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Thread: Wonderful Organs I have heard or played

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    Wonderful Organs I have heard or played

    My earliest memory of organ sound – probably in my home city – is of the English Cathedral organ. That grandeur of the pedal line grinding away and shaking the building has an irresistible thrill. The disco effect that ripples in your stomach.

    That sort of effect turns up in those wonderful French reeds, which have such an extraordinary swagger and bite. My favourite is St.-Sulpice, where one has the wonderful realization that this is the same sound that Widor and Dupré heard as they composed. The Cavaillé-Coll flutes, of course are wonderful, and in music like the slow movement of the Symphonie Gothique the effect is stirring indeed.

    Very often it is the flutes one admires so much in Arp Schnitger’s instruments. I had the good fortune to attend a course led by Harald Vogel (just a bit of name-dropping as we go) in 1991. The clarity and force of the Schnitger organs was impressive, but it was more recently that I found my favourite in the Martinikerk, Groningen. This instrument had become unplayable, and it is now marvellously restored, as is another one (out of the five that Groningen posseses) in the Aa-Kerk. This has a slightly romantic sound as a result of later rebuilds, and it would be sad not to be attracted to it. It is an example of restoring as much of the original as possible, while retaining the excellent work of later generations.

    My absolute favourite organs are those by Gottfried Silbermann. Many of these have been retained almost unaltered. Like the Schnitger instruments, they combine forcefulness with singing. This is noticeable in the small organ in Nassau, the perfect village organ - to my mind. It has 21 stops on two manuals in a tiny church, and sounds very loud at the console! Of Silbermann’s large organs, I prefer the Hofkirche instrument.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Last edited by Dorsetmike; Oct-28-2014 at 21:20.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  4. #3
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Thank-you very much for those tracks; they are wonderful!

    Roger.

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