Thursday, October 4, 2012

Franck: Organ Chorales (Guy Weitz)

Guy Weitz
During the late 1920s, when the introduction of electrical recording made it possible for the record companies to make on-location recordings on a wide scale, a great deal of attention was focused on the one instrument which had no chance of being recorded by the acoustical process - the pipe organ.  The pages of the HMV and Columbia catalogues of this period are littered with organ records, most of them by organists of strictly local (British) reputation - men such as G. D. Cunningham and George Thalben-Ball.  An exception was the Belgian-born organist and composer Guy Weitz (1883-1970), a student of Widor and Guilmant at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.  At the onset of war in 1914 he fled Belgium for London, where he was organist at the Farm Street Church from 1917 to 1967.  HMV got him to make these first recordings of two Franck chorales:

Franck: Chorale No. 1 in E Major
Guy Weitz at the Organ of St. Thomas' Church, Wandsworth
Recorded October 7, 1929
HMV C 1825 and C 1826, two 78-rpm records

Franck: Chorale No. 3 in A minor and
Widor: Symphony No. 4 - Andante cantabile
Guy Weitz at the Organ of Westminster Cathedral, London
Recorded December 16, 1926, and May 4, 1927
HMV C 1378 and C 1379, two 78-rpm records

Both recordings are available in one bundle:
Link (FLAC files, 71.91 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 31.99 MB)

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