I love to hear BIG pipe organ pieces. One of my favorites is: Widor’s Toccata. I first became acquainted with it during my seminary years. For a couple of years, I sang in the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church Choir. Porter Remington was the Organist/Choir Director.
During that time the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ underwent a major restoration. I have forgotten when the work began, but I know that the congregation was without the organ for two major Christian festivals, Christmas and Easter. When you were accustomed to hearing the glorious sounds of that marvelous instrument, it was hard to reacquaint ourselves with piano accompaniment solely.
Everyone was eager for the work to be completed. Everyone was excited thinking that the restoration would be quicker than we anticipated. The weeks stretched into months and to the best of my recollection the restoration work was completed, and the parts had to be put together on site (much like our recent experience with the Deagan chimes). It was finally ready in May and we would hear the organ first in worship and later in an organ recital to showcase what the newly refurbished organ could do.
I never will forget that Porter began with the softer sounds to reintroduce the organ to the congregation. The concert ended that day with Widor’s Toccata and what a glorious ending it was. She pulled out all the stops!
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary … Praise Him with the trumpet sound, praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine … Praise Him with strings and pipe. Praise Him with clanging cymbals, praise Him with loud clashing cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! (excerpts from Psalm 150)
O God, we give You thanks for the gift of music. When deprived of instruments or musicians, we realize that our praise may not be as wonderful as when accompanied. As we raise our voices in song, let us encourage everything that breathes to praise You, O God. Amen.