Magazine article Gramophone

'Overture Transcriptions, Vol 2'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Overture Transcriptions, Vol 2'

Article excerpt

JS Bach A Stronghold Sure (from Cantata No 80, transcr Grace) Handel Ptolemy Overture (transcr Lang) Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor--Overture (transcr Lemare) Spohr Jessonda--Overture (transcr Best) Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet (transcr Lemare) Verdi La traviata--Overture (transcr Byram-Wigfield) Weber Oberon--Overture (transcr Peace) Timothy Byram-Wigfield org Delphian (F) DCD34143 (67' * DDD) Played on the organ of Rochdale Town Hall

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Here's a good old-fashioned town hall organ recital of the kind that had people queuing round the block in the decades before the advent of the gramophone and radio. For instance, Edwin Lemare's recitals in the late 1890s at St Margaret's, Westminster, attracted crowds so great that not only were people turned away but police had to clear a way for his carriage.

Lemare, certainly the most innovative transcriber of orchestral works for the organ during his lifetime (1865-1934), is represented here by Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. If you didn't know, you would think they were both original works for the organ.

The latter incorporates a spectacularly demanding example of Lemare's speciality--thumbing down, ie where the thumb stretches down to play the melody on one manual while the four fingers of the same hand play the accompaniment on the manual above. …

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