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Rhapsody on Reformation Hymn "Ein' feste Burg"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/28/21)
Composer: Sellars, Gatty
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Gatty Sellars (1887-1938) was Organist at the Queen's Hall in London. During his career he was described as “the world’s greatest descriptive organist.” He played on radio and in films, and was filmed playing his "At the Temple Gates," at Central Hall, Westminster, which you can see on youtube:

There are also a number of other video recordings of Gatty Sellars on youtube, should you feel so inclined.

I received a copy of "Rhapsody on Reformation Hymn "Ein' feste Burg" from our member "Dabchurch" some time ago. I've never forgotten it, but have only finally gotten around to recording it.


The work was published by Oxford University Press in 1938, the year after the composer's death. It is of course based upon Martin Luther's famous tune, and is set as a grand set of variations which are loosely connected into what one could call a rhapsody.

The work is sectional, but with a sense of continuous flow. I've tried to bring a feeling of cohesiveness to the work, seeking also to get as much variety of color as I could.

The sections remain pretty much in the "same tempo," although the feeling of "faster or slower" comes about through the length of notes and the nature of the variation or section.

I am grateful to my good friend "Dabchurch" for sending the score to me, and I hope that my listener's will enjoy the performance!

If you like this recording, you should check out the two contrasting uploads of the composer's most well-known work, "At the Temple Gates," which you can find here:

Attached below are several photos of Gatty Sellars, including one of his signature, and one of a concert program from his Transcontinental Return Tour (1915-1916).
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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