This is acclaimed organist Dr. Frederick Hohman performing the Toccata from the Fifth Symphony for Organ by Charles-Marie Widor on the Schantz organ of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, an instrument with electro-pneumatic
action and a work which has been recorded many, many times by some of the most talented organists in the world on some of the grandest pipe organs in the world. This recording clocks in a 6:00 minutes, about as fast as can be without hurrying the music.
Of interest is the excellent camera work in this video, the well articulated arpeggios and chords, the consistent but nuanced tempo whichs keep the music from sounding mechanical page after page, the observance of diminuendos as the score indicates, the
skillful use of registration and subsidiary manuals, the phrasing in the pedal, and those fabulous end chords correctly timed -- everything combining to bring out all of the majestic powers at work on the page.
The observant observer will also note
in this video that 1) for the infamous "impossible" stretch of a 10th in the left hand chord on the 4th beat of measure 8, he does not take the high E with the right hand but (unexpectedly) moves the low C up one octave, retaining a four-note C7 chord but
in 2nd inversion, close position, 2) the pedal line is doubled at the octave in measure 49 and played one octave lower than written, 3) the high F in the left hand chord on the first beat of measure 63 is taken with the right hand, as expected, and 4) instead
of taking the left hand chords beginning on measure 67 with the left hand on the (Swell) manual above the Great in the octave where written as indicated in the score, requiring the hands to be crossed, these chords are unexptectedly taken an octave lower than
written on the (Choir) manual below the Great with all suboctave stops retired on that manual. Some organists find it easier to play this passage this way. Some also find it more practical to keep both hands on the Great throughout the whole work
employing piston changes and, of course, the swell shoe to effect volume adjustments until this last passage and THEN cross the left hand over the right to go to the Swell.
We offer Dr. Hohman our compliments and sincerest thanks for recording
and posting this fine video on YouTube for public viewing.