From Memoirs of a San Francisco Organ Builder,
St. John’s organ was the largest three manual tracker action organ in San Francisco and, undoubtedly, on the West Coast. . . in 1954, a campaign was authorized to gather funds for a modernization of the organ with the result that our firm was awarded the contract to undertake the work. The beautiful and massive black walnut case was retained. The slide and pallet chests and all of the old pipes which were still new electric pneumatic action was applied to the organ. Several new bellows were installed. A new three manual and Pedal console, with all necessary combinations – pistons, couplers, etc., was provided. Six new additional sets or ranks of pipes were added and a necessary larger blower was installed, resulting in a better and larger organ than ever before. . . The organ was finally re-dedicated on March 10, 1957.
Pieces that Cyrill will play:
Prelude: Fugue in memory of Alexander Pirumov by Cyril Deaconoff.
Alexander Pirumov (1930-1995) was a distinguished Russian composer, Professor at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and composition teacher of Cyril Deaconoff. The fugue was composed in 1996 to honor Pirumov’s memory as a ‘master of polyphony’.
Passing of peace: In God I put my trust by Powell
Reflection: Le Cygne (The Swan) by Saint-Saens, arr. by Guilmant
One of the most popular Saint-Saens’ hits, The Swan was originally a part of a cycle ‘The Carnaval of Animals’ for a symphony orchestra. This organ transcription by Alexandre Guilmant, a respected French organist and composer in his own right, is one of the few organ transcriptions of his orchestral music that Saint-Saens allowed to be published in his lifetime.
Anthem: Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
The Prince of Denmark’s March, commonly, though erroneously, known as the Trumpet Voluntary, was composed around 1699. Clarke was the first organist of the then newly rebuilt St. Paul’s Cathedral. The march is very popular as wedding music (it was played during the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in St. Paul’s Cathedral) and was often broadcast by the BBC during Wrold Was II, especially when broadcasting to occupied Denmark.
Postlude: The Majesty and Power of His Name:
This is an arrangement of 2 different tunes associated with the same hymn text, ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’. The first, Diadem, was written in 1838 by a 19-year old Englishman, James Ellor. He worked in a hat factory during the week but directed the music at the Wesleyan Chapel in Droylsden on Sundays.
The second tune, Coronation, was composed in 1792 by Oliver Holden of Charlestown, Massachusetts. Aside from his musical activities, Holden was a carpenter, a real estate owner, a publisher, a representative in Congress, and finally a lay preacher.