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Lyadov Muzïkalnaya tabakerka [A Musical Snuffbox], Op. 32

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Published on Aug 8, 2012

Thomas Heywood performs A Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32 by Anatol Lyadov, transcribed by Thomas Heywood, on the historic 1915 Frederick Rothwell organ in St George's Church, Headstone, Harrow, London, UK.

Performed live on Sunday 1 July 2012 at 7 pm.

This magnificent organ was the largest completely new instrument built by the Rothwell firm, including a detached patent console and carved oak case designed by Rothwell himself.

In 1910, having established his own organ building firm over a decade earlier, Frederick Rothwell was invited by Walford Davies to rebuild the instrument at the Temple Church in London -- an instrument that was to prove a milestone in Rothwell's career. The Temple Church organ was rebuilt with one of Rothwell's new patent consoles incorporating stop, coupler and combination keys above each manual in the same line of sight. This unique system of registrational control enabled the player to easily obtain far greater tonal versatility than had hitherto been the case. The young George Thalben-Ball, who was to become the finest organ virtuoso of his generation, considered Rothwell's large 4-manual Temple Church organ "the most beautiful organ in the world".

After the success of the Temple Church organ, numerous instruments throughout the UK built or rebuilt by Rothwell were provided with his ingenious patent consoles. In 1930, twin 4-manual patent consoles were even provided for the organ in St George's Chapel, Windsor where Rothwell's inventive design allowed the instrument to be played by two organists simultaneously yet completely independently as each console allowed absolute registrational independence through controlling unique dual mechanism soundboards. Rothwell's patent consoles were praised by many of the world's leading organists -- no organist who performed on a Rothwell console "would willingly choose another."

The patent console at Headstone is the earliest of the few remaining patent consoles still in use.

Although Rothwell's "inventive genius" was a significant factor in his professional success, his remarkable ability as a voicer and tonal finisher was also greatly admired during his lifetime.

The interested reader is referred to the comprehensive study of Rothwell's work "The Progress of Frederick Rothwell" by Stephen Keeble, published by Dragon Slayer Press in 2002. Copies may be obtained by writing to: St George's Vicarage, 96 Pinner View, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 4RJ, England, UK.

For copies of Thomas Heywood's CD or MP3s of sizzling romantic Handel on the Rothwell organ - "Too Hot to Handel", please visit concertorgan.com.

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