We are so incredibly blessed to have the Rudolf von Beckerath organ in our church. The instrument is now 35 years old and it’s as good as new, having undergone a complete restoration and cleaning in 2008. A year ago there was incident in which the doors fell off due to metal fatigue in the hinges and Masako Schwalbenitz, a local woodworking craftsman and member of the congregation, just brought back the refinished doors a couple of weeks ago. Now armed with brand-new hinges from Germany, the doors are absolutely gorgeous.
In researching information for this blog, I came across some old pictures. This one is of Carl talking to Herr von Beckerath in the LCH courtyard. I remember coming to an informative session for the Hawaii American Guild of Organists in which Herr von Beckerath talked about his latest installation, and I remember his beautiful, very elegant English. He spent five weeks voicing our instrument and by all accounts had a wonderful time in Hawaii. It was to be the last instrument he personally oversaw in the United States before his death in 1976, and the organ’s lyricism and elegant voicing is evident to everyone who hears it.
In this picture Carl Crosier and McNeil Robinson, organist from New York City, just finished playing Soler’s Sixth Concerto for two organs. Neil was brought to Hawaii to dedicate the instrument in 1975. Prior to the big organ being installed the church had purchased a used positiv organ from Beckerath to be used in the interim. It was later sold to Holy Innocents Church in Lahaina, Maui. McNeil Robinson came back two years later to play our wedding.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that in December 1972, Carl Crosier was hired as the organist. He always tells people that after we got married in 1977, he relinquished the position because I was a better organist!