Fernando Germani from Westminster Cathedral and All Souls Church, London

This is the third release with Fernando Germani. Now it’s time for the famous recordings from Westminster Cathedral done during the period from 1947-53. Thanks to Claus Byrith I’ve been able to access the catalogue of the HMV Plum Label “C” Series where all Germani's recordings were released. This catalogue gives us among many things the exact dates and places of the recordings. These informations showed an interesting thing; the Dorian Toccata was not recorded in Westminster, as I first thought, but in All Soul's Church on Langham Place in London. This church and the organ were damaged in 1940 during the war, and the organ was dismantled. It was then rebuilt in 1951. Acccording to the HMV catalogue Fernando Germani recorded the Dorian Toccata (from this release) and the Mozart F-minor Fantasia on the newly installed organ in 1952.

Furthermore the catalogue shows that Germani also recorded the C minor Passacaglia of Bach, the Nöel X by Daquin and “Tu es Petrus” by Henri Mulet. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find these recordings, so if anyone has them or can get access to them and send a copy to me, it would be greatly appreciated.

A technical note: Since these recordings were obviously never intended to be spliced together digitally, Claus Byrith and I faced a rather odd but common problem when working with 78rpms. Germani tends to make ritardandos toward the end of each side of a 78rpms side, even though the cuts sometimes had to be made in some quite “unmusical” places in the piece due to the limitations of 4’30 minutes per side. Another even greater problem is that to properly end a side and begin the next side Germani sometimes holds the last chord much too long at the end and on the next side continues from the chord on the next side. This habit made perfect sense when playing the 78rpms, where there had to be a gap in the music anyway because the grammophone had to turn the sides. But when trying to digitally construct a continuously running piece it creates some problems concerning where to cut and paste.

We again encountered some pitch problems, this time in the Bach e-minor and Dorian toccata.

One again, thanks to Michael Gartz for providing the transfers and to Claus Byrith for the audio restoration work. The picture is from http://www.buccoliniorgani.it/fernando_germani.php

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