On May 9, 2009, the Harvard Musical Association and the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Inc. sponsored a festive concert to commemorate the gift in 1860 by members of the Harvard Musical Association of the E. F. Walcker and Company organ, Opus 200, to the Boston Music Hall.
The concert featured four organists and was a re-creation of the inaugural program played on the instrument in Boston on November 2, 1863. A capacity crowd enjoyed this duplication of the inauguration of the “Great Organ” festivities – complete with the reading of the 1863 original ode written especially for the occasion, and the appearance by an actor in period clothes representing the son of the organ builder, Herr Friedrich Walcker.
A 51-minute DVD has been produced of highlights of the inaugural program re-creation. It features the following selections performed on the “Great Organ”.
Toccata in F major, BWV 540 …..Johann Sebastian Bach (performed by Brian Jones)
Double Chorus from “Israel in Egypt”: “He led them through the deep”
and “But the waters overwhelmed their enemies” …….. George Frideric Handel (transcribed and performed by Peter Sykes)
Sonata in A major, Op. 65, No. 3 ……Felix Mendelssohn (performed by Mark Dwyer)
Offertoire in G major, Op. 35, No. 4 ……… Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély
(performed by Brian Jones)
Variations on the National Anthem …….. John Knowles Paine (performed by Sandra Soderlund)
Chorus from “Messiah”: “Hallelujah” ………….. George Frideric Handel (performed by all assembled)
This new DVD captures the spirit of the festive gathering, and is available at the Music Hall during events sponsored by the Board of Trustees at a price of $20.00. It is also available by mail order at $23.00 each, including shipping by USPS First-Class Mail.
Send your order, accompanied by a check made payable to “Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Inc.”, to:
Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Inc.
38 Chestnut Court
North Andover, Massachusetts 01845-5320