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Thread: Classical Organists Opinions of Theatre Organs

  1. #1
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster AllanP's Avatar
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    Classical Organists Opinions of Theatre Organs

    At a Christmas party today, the question arose that it appears that some of our classical organ friends really appear to intensely dislike theatre organs (without ever having heard one). My first organ teacher is a neo-baroque fan who typifies this attitude.

    This forum is primarily a classical organ forum. Does anyone have any explanation for the attitude expressed above? Is this related to the dislike for the "romantic" style of organ design?

    I have run into this view point in the past. Is it possible that organists are becoming more flexible today?

  2. #2
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I think theatre organs are wonderful ... I like the fact that the pipe work is completely hidden, unlike their church or civic relatives. My only gripe is that they always tend to have an over the top tremulant which never seems to be switched off ...
    Last edited by Contratrombone64; Dec-17-2007 at 07:00.

  3. #3
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    I love the Theatre Organ. But I have yet much more to learn about it. I purchase Dave Junchen's book on the Wurlitzers and it has been a wonderful piece of reference material. I shall be purchasing some more material about the Theatre Organ so that I may become really conversant in the subject.

    Back in my youthful days, I always went to hear the organ at Radio City Music Hall - attended their Christmas show and many other pagents. Whenever the organist kicked in the 64' Resultants, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. Dick Liebert and Raymond Bohr were on the staff of organists back then. The acoustics of the Music Hall have changed quite significantly after the renovations - they are poorer imo - so sad!!!
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  4. #4
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    64' resultants in a theater organ ... wow!

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I got to hear only one theatre organ while I visited Pheonix Ariz. when
    I was a teenager and in my twenties. It was huge. It makes the one
    I play look like a little Hammond instead of a pipe organ. I saw a
    hammond as a pipe organ once and played a small one that I learned to
    hate while I was still a kid. The silly thing had a graphic equalizer on it
    instead of stops and sqawked like a chicken if not adjusted just right.
    But theatre organs I like as long as they don't look like they just came
    from the circus and look nice.
    judy tooley

  6. #6
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi CT64,

    Here the Radio City Music Hall Organ and the accompanying stoplist:

    http://www.atos.org/Pages/Journal/Ra...RadioCity.html

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  7. #7
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    That was a pretty one. This theatre organ doesn't look like it came
    from the circus.
    judy tooley

  8. #8
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Sweet Corn, would love to see photos of the pipe chambers ... alas I couldn't find them.

  9. #9
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi gang,

    Radio City Music Hall is one of the triumphs of Art-Deco Architecture. It was and still is considered the showplace of the Nation. Before people had television, the show broadcasts from Radio City brought countless hours of entertainment to the masses.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  10. #10
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Actually I do indeed like theatre organs, And I'm in awe of those people who can really play them well in the various styles they're intended for because I can't - never learnt how, and it's too late for me anyway!

  11. #11
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi NEB,

    I would think its never to late too learn the Theatre Organ if you put your heart into it.

    Humbly,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Love this stuff ... Fortunate for me, we have a IV/79 Wurlitzer just 110 miles away in Mesa, Arizona - (pics and specs) that I travel to see at least 4 times each year. Two of their regular organists, Charlie Balogh and Lew Williams, do a splendid job of exploring the entire resources of this magnificent organ ... and yes, they do play things with the trems off, too. Lew always performs the Mulet Thou Art The Rock in his evening set at least once. He also does things like The Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke) using the horizontal trumpet mounted on the back wall. Going there after Christmas one night with my Son while he is here for the holidays.
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


  13. #13
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Wonderful Krummhorn ... I love the idea of a trumpet en chamade on a theater organ ... and why not I say?

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