Music for Sunday 02.25.18 Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) was one of the most important composers in Tudor England. He was also one of the most long-lived, having been born during the lifetime of Henry VII, surviving Henry VIII, and flourishing well into the reign of Elizabeth I. Today our choir sings Tallis’s “Purge me, O Lord”, a particularly beautiful example of the English sacred anthem of those times. Prelude and Postlude are by Georg Böhm (1661-1733), the great organist of the Johanniskirche in Lüneberg, Germany who was trained by Bach family members and who, in turn, befriended the young J.S. Bach during the latter’s schooldays in Lüneberg. The baroque organ from those days still survives in that church. I once had the privilege of playing it, briefly, during my own years living in that region.
Our Organ: In 1961 the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston installed the two-manual, 34-stop forerunner of our present sanctuary organ. In 2001 J. Nelson and Company enriched the instrument by the addition of 61 digitally-sampled voices and a 3-manual console from the Allen Company in Pennsylvania, allowing the performance of repertoire ranging in style from baroque to contemporary. The dedicatory concert of the present organ was given by the late Dr. Philip Hahn, then Music Director at St. John’s. Images of the instrument may be viewed here.