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« Making Music City Mixture : Part III | Main | Making Music City Mixture : Planning »
Monday
Jun252012

Making Music City Mixture : Part II

St. Andrew’s Anglican Parish

Church: http://StAndrewsNashville.org/
Organ photos: http://www.PhotographyByStein.com/nashvilleorgans/standrews/standrewsmain.htm
Organ specifications: PDF: Specification
Organ builder: http://www.VisserAssociates.com/

We hit the road to Nashville on Saturday, October 8, 2011. Sunday and Monday, October 9-10, were practice days, and we recorded Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, October 11-13.

First stop on Sunday was St. Andrew’s to practice. Church was over around 11:30, which would give me plenty of time to make friends with the Visser-Rowland, register the Sweelinck Variants and then get over to First Presbyterian at the end of its service, to practice and be done for the day. Or so I thought.

The rapturous smell of incense hung in the air at St. Andrew’s, and I knew that Carl Smith was right where he wanted to be in that congregation. As is the case for many liturgically-minded congregations these days, attendance and contributions are down, but the church is bravely soldiering on in its time-honored traditions.

Carl asked if I was planning to record on the Juget-Sinclair at Second Presbyterian. I had not heard of that church at all, but I am familiar with Juget-Sinclair and knew that I had to pursue this one! So I immediately got on the phone with David Bridges at Second Presbyterian. He was most accommodating and was able to secure Session approval for me to record there. I visited the church later that same afternoon, after practicing at First Presbyterian. So Sunday got longer! But the project got more interesting, a deserving organ got included, and we all have Carl Smith to thank for it. I also mused on how careful I had been to contact venues months in advance to make this recording, and yet I had overlooked a treasure of an organ but was able to add it with less than a day’s notice. How these things go.

Practicing at St. Andrew’s was a bit like going back to my days in Houston. Visser-Rowland’s shop (now Visser & Associates) is in Houston, and I spent a lot of time there during my graduate school years. I saw many an organ on the shop floor much like the one at St. Andrew’s, and I learned a great deal about organ building from Pieter Visser, who always warmly welcomed me to the shop. I remember during the 1995 AGO regional convention in Nashville going over to St. Andrew’s to seek out Pieter’s only instrument in town, to enjoy a bit of Houston in Nashville. I am glad this organ could be included on this recording.

Wednesday evening’s recording session at St. Andrew’s was quick. The organ does its job without protest. You’ll hear in the Sweelinck Variants on “Est-ce Mars” on the recording how well this organ “speaks Dutch.” After all, its builder is Dutch.

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