Organ recital to raise rafters

The Feather Market Organ Society is presenting its first organ recital of 2018 on the grand organ of the Feather Market Centre on Thursday February 7 at 1pm and is looking forward to celebrating its 20th birthday in fine musical style in June.
Brilliant young Pretoria organist Isabelle van Rensburg, who has already made a name for herself as an outstanding recitalist, will perform on Thursday.
Her varied programme, lasting 50 minutes, will include well-known works such as Boëllmann’s Gothic Suite, the Bach-Vivaldi Concerto, Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster (a work imitating Westminster Cathedral’s bells) and three carol arrangements.
The Feather Market Organ Society’s Prof Albert Troskie, who designed the magnificent pipe organ, said the organ’s 20th birthday would be celebrated on June 4 with a recital by British organist Tim Lees.
“The organ was acquired after 15 years of hard work and many attempts at convincing the authorities to acquire a concert hall organ, especially since the Feather Market auditorium with its vast volume and excellent acoustics proved to be the ideal space,” Troskie said.
The organ was built by Port Elizabeth organ builder, the late Jan Pekelharing, and inaugurated on June 4, 1999. It has the largest organ case in SA, cost R2.6m to build, is 14m high, 10m wide and 3m deep, and weighs 20 ton. It has four keyboards and a pedalboard, 93 stops and 5,508 pipes, Troskie said. A team of woodcarvers worked for two years to carve the delicate wood patterns decorating the facade.
“The organ is a great success story and, since 1999, has been used intensively: The Feather Market Organ Society has already presented some 175 organ concerts by 53 local and 27 overseas organists,” he said. The latest CD featuring this organ – Organ Magnificent – was released in 2017, and is still available.
“Nowhere else in SA are organ concerts presented on such a regular basis – to the musical and cultural enrichment of all our inhabitants,” Troskie said. “The NMB Municipality must be praised for their continuing financial support, enabling the Feather Market Organ Society to have their 10 presentations per year.”
Besides recitals, the instrument is also used in choral and symphony concerts, at exhibitions and conferences, for CD recordings and at special events such as the popular Christmas charity concerts.
The organ is regularly tuned and maintained by Pekelharing’s two sons, Sebastian and Daniel.
Tickets for Thursday’s concert are R40 for adults and R35 for pensioners at the door. Entrance is free for pupils and students. New members are always welcome to join the Feather Market Organ Society. Contact Albert Troskie on 082-726-9595 for details...

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