This is my entry for the Secrets of Organ Playing Contest Week 53. I'm playing Sir George Thalben-Ball's Elegy. I did not plan to record this piece for this week's contest, but I felt it was appropriate given the tone that the New Year has brought upon us in Australia. In case you've been living under a rock, the country is pretty much burning everywhere. I pray that rain will bring much needed reprieve to this national disaster which has claimed lives, homes, native animals and land.
The Thalben-Ball Elegy is a piece of repertoire that is in many organists arsenal. The meaning of Elegy is "a poem of serious reflection, usually a lament for the dead". This composition was originally an improvisation broadcast live for a daily religious service during World War II. Listeners liked it and wanted to know what is was! As it was an improvisation, Thalben-Ball did his best to write down what he played. This piece was also famously played at the Funeral of Princess Diana. So given the sombre start to this New Year, I felt that this piece was highly appropriate.
This was recorded on the Henry Willis organ in Salisbury Cathedral (England), using the Hauptwerk VPO software.