‘A Spiritual Message from the Singing Tower’ recorded by Anton Brees features seventeen hymns played on the Carillon. Onward Christian Soldiers, O Sanctissima and Angels We Have Heard on High appear on this CD.
Born in 1897 in Antwerp, Belgium, Anton Brees gained an early appreciation of the carillon from his father, Gustaf, organist and carillonneur of the Antwerp Catherdral. Anton studied carillon under his father for a number of years before attending the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, eventually graduating with distinction. His first professional position was as an organist at the town hall in Antwerp, but word of his carillon virtuosity soon spread.
In 1928 he was selected by Edward Bok to serve as the Bellmaster of the Singing Tower in Lake Wales. His lengthy career saw him circling the globe for dedication concerts, guest appearances, and several European tours. The great majority of his time, however, was spent advocating for the carillon to his adopted country and making sure that his audiences always heard something to which they could relate and with which they were familiar.
Anton died unexpectedly in March of 1967 in Lake Wales during his playing season. The legacy that Anton left to the carillon world was not one of original composition or musical publication but rather one filled with his contributions as teacher, innovator, advocate, and inspirational performer.
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