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The pipe organ built by the Skinner Organ Company of Boston as its Opus 529 in 1927 for the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Detroit was recorded by organist Nigel Potts.
Opus 529's original cost was $48,750, a tidy sum of money in 1925. The pipe organ contains 64 ranks in six divisions over four manuals and pedal, 68 stops, three percussions, and 4,376 pipes located in five chambers around the cathedral. A unique feature of this pipe organ is the two-manual, twenty-one stop lobby console, which plays ranks from the Swell and Choir divisions of the main organ speaking through a separate set of louvers into the Scottish Rite lobby. This pipe organ is one of a trio of large unaltered Skinner organs in Detroit. The Scottish Rite pipe organ is characteristic of Ernest M. Skinner’s work following his second visit to England and France in March, 1924. The highly-developed Chorus in the Great division, featuring a Willis-style five-rank Mixture, first and second Diapasons, Octave, Super Octave, and Twelfth is uncommonly bright for an American pipe organ of the early 20th century. In addition, the Swell division contains a five-rank French Cornet, along with the usual complement of Diapasons, Flutes and Reeds. The Solo division houses one of the earliest examples of Skinner’s improved English Horn, and the lowest six notes of the pedal 32-foot Bombarde contain the first example of his adaptation of the Willis pneumatic starter. The instrument contains a full complement of Skinner’s most beautiful Solo Stops, Flutes, Celestes, and powerful Reeds. Mr. Potts is the son of and himself is a Mason and he plays several works that have Masonic connections. The recording has transcriptions for organ by Mozart, Wagner, Liszt and others. Featured is Jean Sibelius' "Marche Funebre" from the Masonic Ritual Music.
This recording comes with extensive documentation: an essay about the pipe organ, notes on the music, stoplist and numerous photos.
|1||Symphony No.41 in C major, K551 "Jupiter": Allegro vivace||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|2||Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Prelude to Act 3||Richard Wagner|
|3||String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3 "Emperor": Poco adagio, cantabile||Joseph Haydn|
|4||Masonic Ritual Music: Marche Funebre||Jean Sibelius|
|5||The Magic Flute: March for the Priests||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|6||Masonic Funeral Music for Orchestra, K477||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|7||Les Preludes (Symphonic Poem No.3)||Franz Liszt|