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Die Welte-Philharmonie-Orgel The Britannic Organ Vol. 1 OC 840 2 CD
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Format2 Audio CD
Ordering NumberOC 840
Release date08/06/2011
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Bach, Johann Sebastian
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Berlioz, Hector
  • Boellmann, Leon
  • Callaerts, Joseph
  • Dupre, Marcel
  • Grieg, Edvard
  • Grison, Jules
  • Guilmant, Alexandre
  • Haydn, Franz Joseph
  • Herold, Ferdinand
  • Lindberg, Oskar Frederik
  • Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Reger, Max
  • Wagner, Richard

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      Description hide

      The Britannic Organ Vol. 1
      The organ, built for the ocean liner Britannic, sister ship of the Titanic
      – Rare historic Welte rolls, heard once again on the Brittanic organ
      – The first organ recordings in history: legendary organists on Welte rolls
      – David Rumsey demonstrates the Britannic organ

      A truly magnificent instrument exists in the Museum für Musikautomaten in Seewen, near the city of Basel: an example of the so-called “Welte Philharmonie Organ” from the famous Welte factory for automatic musical instruments. The history of this instrument is absolutely unique. Although it was one of the museum collection’s major exhibitions for many years, its true identity was not discovered until 2007. In the course of restoration, proof was found that this was the instrument built in 1913/14, originally for the “Britannic” ocean liner, the sister of the “Titanic”. But because the “Britannic” ended up being used as a hospital ship during World War I, the gigantic organ was probably never installed on the ship’s passenger deck. After discovery of the instrument’s history and completion of renovation, it was baptized the “Britannic Organ” and is now in outstanding condition, available to be seen as well as heard.

      The uses of such an instrument are many. This first volume (the first of a longer series) presents various recordings of the Seewen Britannic Organ. Organist David Rumsey, who has known this instrument for years, makes the organ’s many diverse and characteristic registers resound. In addition, rolls from the historic Welte catalog, punched by hand, can be heard, as well as some of the oldest recordings of historic organists. The Welte Philharmonie Organ was used as a type of recording device. This made it possible to preserve interpretations from the beginning of the 20th century, before any acoustic or magnetic recording methods were available.

      Tracklist hide

      hide CD 1
      • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
        • 1.Ouverture The Marriage of Figaro KV 492
          Welte Roll 421 (master)
      • Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
        Excerpts from Peer Gynt-Suite
        Welte Roll 213 (master)
        • 2.Morgenstimmung (Morgenstemning) 02:47
        • 3.Åses Tod (Åses død)03:48
      • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
        • 4.Egmont Ouverture op. 84
          Welte Roll 956 (copy)
      • Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
        • 5.Damnation de Faust op. 24 Ballet des sylphes
          Welte Roll 53 (master)
      • Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
        • 6.Excerpts from Lohengrin
          Welte Roll 642 (master)
      • Ferdinand Hérold (1791-1833)
        • 7.Zampa Ouverture
          Welte Roll 236 (master)
      • The earliest organist recordings

        Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
        Organist: Carl Hofner (1842-1912)
        • 8.Chorale Prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen BWV 727
          Welte Roll 717 (master)
        • 9.Praeludium and Fugue in C minor BWV 549
          Welte Roll 716 (master)
      • Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)
        Organist: Karl Hermann Köhl (1855-1919)
        • 10.March on a theme of G.F. Haendel
          Welte Roll 776 (copy)
      • Max Reger (1873-1916)
        Organist: Clarence Eddy (1851-1937)
        • 11.Pastorale Welte Roll 1664 (copy)03:41
      • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)
        Organist: Edwin H. Lemare (1865-1934)
        • 12.Ruy Blas Overture
          Welte Roll 1241 (master)
      • Total:01:11:22
      more CD 2
      • Demonstrations of the Britannic Organ Seewen

        Joseph Callaerts (1838-1918)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 1.Finale from Toccata op. 23/306:01
      • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 2.Jesu bleibet meine Freude BWV 14703:14
        • 3.Choral Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn BWV 64802:21
        • 4.from a Concerto by Duke Wilhelm Ernst - Second Movement02:09
      • Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
        Pieces for a Musical Clock
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 5.No 18 in F major Der Kaffeeklatsch (Coffee Chatter) 00:46
        • 6.No 5 in C major 01:05
      • Oskar Frederik Lindberg (1887-1955)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 7.Gammal Fåbodspsalm från Dalarna 03:41
      • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 8.Organ Sonata op. 65 No. 4, II. Andante religioso02:07
      • Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 9.Menuet Gothique02:36
      • Max Reger (1873-1916)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 10.Benedictus04:36
      • Jules Grison (1842-1896)
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 11.Toccata in F minor07:44
      • Bridges between mechanical and human-played music

        Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
        • 12.Improvisation on a Theme of F. Schubert
          Welte Roll 2047 (copy)
      • Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
        Pieces for a Musical Clock
        Organist: David Rumsey
        • 13.No. 2 in C major 00:51
        • 14.No. 11 in C major00:54
      • Attrib. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
        • 15.Türkischer Marsch
          (Non-Welte Roll)
      • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
        • 16.Fantasia for Mechanical Organ KV 608
          Welte Roll 429 (master)
      • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
        • 17.Wellingtons Sieg (Wellington’s Victory) op. 91 (Reconstruction)07:40
      • Total:01:10:53