Certainly one of the highlights of this convention was last night’s performance of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” by Peter Sykes, who transcribed the orchestral score for organ. Apparently this was the 21st anniversary of Sykes’ first performance of this work, also for the Organ Historical Society.
I was able to find a YouTube video of “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity,” one of my favorite movements, of Peter Sykes playing at the Skinner organ at Girard College in Philadelphia.
One of the main reasons I don’t play transcriptions is that they are just too darned hard! It requires the ten fingers and two feet of only one person to play all those orchestral parts. In last night’s performance, Sykes was aided by TWO registrants — that’s two people, one on each side, to pull the stops, and believe me, those people had to work very hard for all the myriad stop changes.
Peter Sykes got the third standing ovation of the convention.