AN ‘ELM COURT’ MUSICALE
The 1929 SKINNER RESIDENCE ORGAN OP. 783
Thomas Murray, Peter Stoltzfus and selected organ rolls
JAV RECORDINGS JAV139
Few indeed are those who possess a residence pipe organ complete with a roll-player which allows the owner to provide music for his friends at Elm Court even though he cannot play a note! On this CD Thomas Murray opens with a rarely heard Sonata No1 in A (1904) by Felix Borowski, who was born near Kendal and studied at the Royal College of Music with Sir Richard Terry, continuing with pieces by Andre Fleury, Liszt and R. K. Biggs. No need to expound on Thomas Murray’s handling of this Skinner residence organ of Gt.13, Sw.6, Ped.6 – it is just perfect, as usual. In 2003 Professor Murray was awarded an Hon. FRCO and I was privileged to attend the ceremony.
Peter Stotzfus, who also studied with Thomas Murray at Yale, then plays two movements from Vierne’s 24 Pieces en style libre, Op.31. The roll-player then completes the programme by playing – faultlessly, of course – six items by Stravinsky, Ambriose Thomas and Pietro Yon, plus ‘Tea by Vincent Youmans and ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ by Paul Dukas – all on Skinner rolls. Admittedly a miscellany, but a jolly good one.