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Christmas Pipe Organ Fantasy-St Mary's, Dayton, Ohio Part 1

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Uploaded on Dec 12, 2008

This is part one of a two-part video taken during the December, 1996, pipe organ re-dedication concert - played by Frederick Hohman - of a 1920s vintage Austin pipe organ at St. Mary's Church in Dayton, Ohio. The organ was restored through combined efforts of professional guidance by Peebles & Herzog of Columbus, Ohio and the labor of the people of St. Mary's Church.

The work being played is by Gaston Dethier, who once taught organ at the Juilliard School in New York City. This work, entitled "Christmas - Fantasy on Adeste Fideles" was composed about 1900 and was published in 1902.

This 15-minute virtuoso organ work is a virtuoso piece that starts with a free fantasia, followed by a pastorale and then several variations, where textures and organ stop colors are contrasted.

The late organ virtuoso Virgil Fox made this piece familiar to concert goers beginning in the 1940s, however, in the recorded examples we have of this piece as played by Virgil Fox, extensive cuts were made, including both the simple pastorale sections as well as some of the most difficult variations. Gaston Dethier was also not always credited as the composer of the piece in Fox's programs and recordings. The piece as seen in this 2-part video is played complete as published about 1902.

This video shows concert footage, as well as many scenes - taken during the daylight hours just prior to the evening concert - showing the vintage stained glass windows and other religious art and statues that adorned the sanctuary at St. Mary's in December of 1996.

Frederick Hohman has recorded Dethier's "Christmas" on a CD audio recording on an organ in San Francisco, and was released as Pro Organo CD 7040 entitled "A Saint-Saens Sort of Christmas." This CD is presently sold out and out of print. This performance of Dethier's "Christmas" was included in episode #11 of the original Midnight Pipes television series, which was produced and aired between 1996 and 2000.

For information about seasonal pipe organ concerts by Frederick Hohman, contact fred@zarex.com or visit www.frederickhohman.net

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