Frederick Swann plays the world's largest church organ!The first organ was built by E. M. Skinner for the chancel of the church. In 1969 a new and larger instrument was built in the rear gallery by the Schlicker Organ Company, who also constructed an Italian-style continuo organ located above the south choir. All the organs can be played from either or both of the two consoles, one in the chancel, the other in the rear gallery, creating a single instrument of great size, containing divisions of contrasting styles.
British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams is known for his choral anthems and large-scale works, but he was also responsible for selecting the tunes fo the 1906 version of The English Hymnal. He wrote some tunes himself, such as Down Ampney (Come done, O love Divine) and Sine Nomine (For All the Saints), and arranged some 40 English folksongs. The result was a substantial and lasting contribution to 20th-century hymnody, which is celebrated in this recording.
The neo-Gothic First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is home to the world’s largest church organ. The instrument known as “The Great Organs of First Church“ is, quite simply, one of the wonders of the musical world. Its size is only one aspect of its uniqueness: one must add its spatial distribution around the building, the variety of its components and the tonal balance of the whole---and one could also add the story of its gradual evolution. The new organist of the church, David Goode, puts this instrument through its paces with a highly varied program ranging from Frescobaldi to Gershwin.