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Bach Organ Partita at Lyons, New York

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Published on Mar 6, 2008

Organist Frederick Hohman plays the first portion of the organ partita on the choral "Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig," S. 768, by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The organ is the 1970 Schlicker organ, 2 manuals and pedal, 31 ranks at the First Lutheran Church of Lyons, New York. The organ is considered a hybrid, because, while it is mainly a mechanical-action instrument (tracker), it incorporates some electro-mechanical features. For example, the 16-foot pedal stops are on electro-pneumatic offset chests, and not tracker driven. Also, the organ has an electric stop action and a crescendo pedal, but a tracker swell shutter control.

The acoustics at First Lutheran Church of Lyons are much like the live acoustics found in eastern European churches from the 19th-century. The immigrants who made the plaster that lines the walls of the sanctuary used the same construction techniques they brought from Germany. First Lutheran Church of Lyons dates from 1830, and held services in German until the 1950s.

The Bach Partita on "Sei gegrüsset" is the longest of Bach's solo organ works. After the choral is heard on the "plenum" registration, we see the first 3 variations played. Variation one presents a highly-ornamented choral melody in the right hand against an accompaniment figure in the left hand. The second variation is a four-voice elaboration of the chorale, while the third variation is played on a 4-foot flute stop, with figures that only hint at the root chorale melody and its harmonies.

Frederick Hohman's website is: http://www.frederickhohman.net and his recordings and videos may be reviewed and purchased at http://www.zarex.com/bin

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