Concert Organ Masterpieces
Masterpieces from the concert organ repertoire performed on the magnificent organ at St John's Church, Toorak, Melbourne. The works included were drawn from Thomas Heywood's series of annual Grand Organ Concerts at the church.
Masterpieces performed on one of Australia's most famous romantic organs — St John's Church Toorak, Melbourne!
In 1997, acclaimed organist Thomas Heywood founded a series of annual Grand Organ Concerts at St John's Church in Toorak, Melbourne, in which he performed programs compiled exclusively from the masterpieces of the concert organ repertoire.
The St John's Church organ is a versatile and exciting musical instrument and the music on this CD has been specifically chosen to display its full capabilities. Romantic organ works as well as virtuosic transcriptions of compositions originally written for other instruments are featured, including the "Overture" from "The Magic Flute", Debussy's "Clair de lune", Dvorák's "Largo" from "The New World Symphony", Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" and Lemare's "Concertstück".
Pictured on the CD cover, the magnificent Hill Organ was originally built by the distinguished English organ building firm of William Hill & Son in 1913. In 1961 it was completely rebuilt to modern tastes, which unfortunately were a poor contrast to the original plans.
In 1994 the decision was made to restore it and the noted Sydney firm of Peter D.G. Jewkes Pty Ltd were employed to return the instrument to Dr Hill's original concept of 1913. The restoration took over 14 months to complete. A new console was constructed, the pipe work and internal configuration were returned to their original configuration, the organ case was restored and the facade pipes were stencilled and gilted by the acclaimed Melbourne artist Marc Nobel.
The restored instrument is ideally suited to the music of the Romantic era and is one of the finest organs in the country. As the largest Edwardian church in Melbourne the St John's organ is a magnificent vehicle for recitals as well as an invaluable musical resource to both the parish and the wider community.
Thomas Heywood is one of Australia's most-sought after concert organists, holding an enviable reputation as one of the leading interpreters of the large-scale romantic and transcription repertoire.
“Good marks for original programming. The organ's sound is good ... the notes are excellent”
— The Delian, USA
- The Magic Flute Overture Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Concerto for Two Violins in D minor 1st movement Johann Sebastian Bach
- Suite Bergamasque Clair de lune Claude Debussy
- [Adagio, Allegro and Maestoso]
- Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World") Largo Antonín Dvořák
- Andante maestoso and Allegro
- Allegro, ma non presto
- Autumn Song William Faulkes
- "London" Symphony in D, No. 104 1st movement Franz Joseph Haydn
- "The Flight of the Bumblebee" Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Concertsück Edwin Henry Lemare
Organ Sonata in D minor William Thomas Best
Organ Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major George Frideric Handel
- Thomas Heywood · organ
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel's music was well known to such later composers as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms.
Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.