When Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy first played the organ in England, he surprised his public with his virtuosity, which was completely unknown to the British on this instrument. His pedal playing was particularly impressive, and as a consequence England’s extremely conservative organ builders experienced an unprecedented innovative drive.
The organ built by Thomas Hill attests to this watershed development. It was saved from demolition in St. John’s Church in London and – only recently freshly restored – can now be experienced as a choir organ in St. Peter’s Church in Leiden in Holland. Leo van Doeselaar is now presenting this marvel of English organ design for the first time on Super Audio.
The Six SonatasRead more certainly number among Mendelssohn’s best-known organ works. However, it is not so widely known that these sonatas actually represent a collection of études for organ and were compiled especially for English organists. Not all of these finely crafted études can be made to fit the strict sonata idea. Leo van Doeselaar has selected some of these lesser known pieces. Read less
Repays repeated listeningDecember 9, 2016By D. MIDDENDORP (BRIAR HILL, Victoria)See All My Reviews"My initial impression of this CD was equivocal, however on 2nd and 3rd listening sessions, I became more impressed and surprised. A 19th century English organ in a Dutch church ? Well, this is the 2nd instrument in the St. Peterskerk of Leiden, which also houses the famous and monumental old organ. The Hill organ of 1883 on this recording has only 31 stops on 3 manuals but is remarkably bright and clear, with quasi French style reeds and beautiful flute stops. I found the Variations Serieuses a bit drab, but the other music is very enjoyable."Report Abuse