Alfred Hollins and Friends

The first commercial recording of the Third Baptist organ is now available. Released on the Regent label, this recording features Simon Niemi?ski playing works of Alfred Hollins and his dedicatee composers. Hollins, along with Edwin H. Lemare and William Wolstenholme were all born in 1865, and this album helps commemorate the sesquicentennial of their births. Hollins performed a recital at Third Baptist Church on December 2, 1925.


The album was performed by Simon Nieminski from Edinburgh, Scotland. Simon was born in London and descended from an unlikely mixture of Edwardian Japanese acrobats, Lancastrian Music Hall artistes and a Polish army veteran. He studied in London at the Royal College of Music, as Organ Scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge and as Organ Scholar of York Minster. He is experienced in the cathedral music tradition, currently as Organist of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh and Director of Music at The Robin Chapel, and previously as Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, where he directed the choir in daily choral services, concerts (including Handel’s Messiah) recordings and broadcasts. He has also conducted the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union in concert at the Usher Hall and played organ in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia.

His work takes him around the UK and abroad, both in concert and over the airwaves, from BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains programme to Choral Evensong on Radio 3, and Pipedreams in the USA. As a recitalist, his programmes often include unusual but attractive repertoire and he aims to play programmes which appeal to organ buffs and sceptics alike. His recordings have helped to revive the music of unjustly neglected composers, with releases on the Pro Organo label of the Promenades en Provence by Eugène Reuchsel (“This is a splendid release… There is a lot of poetry here.” – The American Record Guide; “Simon Nieminski’s playing is utterly convincing and at one stroke establishes him as a recording artist of the first rank.” – Organists’ Review) and the Symphonies of Edward Shippen Barnes – American pupil of Louis Vierne (“Pro Organo and Simon Nieminski must be commended for searching out this music and having the courage to record it – would that other companies would make the efforts to record music which is both unusual and worthy.” – The Organ.) An interest in transcriptions has resulted in recordings of works inspired by Shakespeare, and another of Elgar, including the complete Enigma Variations (“Romantic organ playing at its best” – The Organ.) A CD on the new organ was released, which was reviewed as a Star Recording in The Organ (“…a triumph for both organ and organist…”) More details about his recordings can be found on his website.

The CD is for sale for $20, and available in the office of Third Baptist Church, although you may order your copy right here, courtesy of Brent’s Brushes. A shipping fee of $4 will be added to orders in the US and Canada. Other international orders should go to Missouri and St. Louis Sales Tax will be added to local orders.

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