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"Artist Program Update"
Congratulations on the Recital at St. Paul's Chapel - Columbia University. I fondly remember having lessons with Carl Weinrich on that instrument, and its wonderfully resonant acoustics at St. Paul's. Best wishes for continued success.
Robert C. Shone
"One Per Part, Please."
Odd - you speak of Bach this week. I am playing two Bach pieces on Sunday. Just the practice makes me at peace with myself - I get lost there. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Gayle Hinsdill, Dean
Eastern New York Chapter, AGO
Thank you for your newsletter. I really enjoy reading it and looking at the occasional composition. I learn a great deal from your letter. We say in Cherokee--Wa-do or thank you.
Will W. Rogers
"Organ Shoes Poetry Contest Update"
I just went onto the web page and viewed the poetry and the appealing photos of your old organ shoes. Seeing those shoes reminds me of the time in the 1970's when I was studying organ with Ronald Stalford, former Organist-Choirmaster at an Episcopal church in Georgetown (in DC). Well, he had some real ugly old large dusty brown organ shoes on his desk. Once for a joke, I took one of the shoes and mailed it to him (he lived near the church). Later on he asked, "Why did you mail me my shoe?!"
[Also added to Organ Shoes Hall of Fame -Ed.]
Estimados Amigos de BachOrgan:
Feliz Navidad y muchas bendiciones de parte de Dios para el año 2002
Thank you for the Christmas Fanfare. Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.
Will W. Rogers
I agree with you, Dan.
After all the Christmas Eve services are done and I slip off that bench, there is an aura I can almost step into that feels like finally it has arrived. I can be free to enjoy the season.
Thank you for the updates.
Gayle Hinsdill, Dean
Eastern New York Chapter, AGO
"Turkey Day Wrap-up"
Thanks for having me on your list. I really enjoy poking around the sites. There is just one question for Dennis [of Dennis' Pipe Organ page. -ed.]:
How did you get:
"Claironette 8' (just got!! Yahooooo!)"
on one knob??? ;-)
"Choosing an Organ"
You might want to add a site that my company sponsors, http://www.PipeOrgans.com, to your list of links. This site contains quite a bit of info that could be useful to those interested in purchasing or rebuilding a pipe organ.
Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.
sponsor of http://www.PipeOrgans.com
"Affordable Organ Shoes"
Do you or any of your readers know a source for affordable organ shoes for a 9 year old, size 6 1/2 boy/youth sizes. With growing feet, the $50-70 range is tough - his Bach fugues are really calling out for real organ shoes. Thanks.
[Please email AffordableOrganShoes@BACHorgan.com with your responses.]
I enjoy your BACHorgan "Rampages" and appreciate the refined distinction you made in your mission statement. It is interesting to watch your weekly site grow. Keep up the good work.
That's a marvellous idea about donating a CD to firemen. We're going to do that, -- we admire them almost more than any other occupation! Thanks for the idea...
Thank you for your thoughts and sentiments in this letter. I think you have put things very well regarding the tragedy and now getting on with our lives in a way that gives us more concern for others. Of course, our special gift is music, and I think music is very much needed and appreciated at this time. For that reason, I went ahead with my long-scheduled recital at St. Patrick's (even though I had little enthusiasm for practicing after Sept. 11), and I think it was the right thing to do.
"Elegy for Freedom"
Another message from Holland. First of all we give you and all Americans our most sincere condolences for the horrible and barbaric acts in New York and Washington. I printed your composition "Elegy for Freedom" and yesterday morning in the service of the German Church in The Hague I played this piece for the whole congregation after the reverend had introduced you and your music based on a printout of the email you wrote. The whole service was dedicated to the disaster and your composition was extremely appreciated. It made the emotional bond we all feel with the USA much stronger and several people commented how well your composition fitted their thoughts of compassion during the service. I promised our reverend to email you back and sharing our feelings with you and thanking you for sharing with us your feelings through your music.
For your information, I often play solo organ music in our services and yesterday I played "Elegy for Freedom" after the sung liturgy parts (and after the reading of the gospel). After the sermon I played "O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde Gross" from J.S. Bach while at the end I played the Litanies from Jehan Alain which I found appropriate in this situation and to help people to focus their minds of the terrible events.
Organist of the German Church in The Hague
Just want you to know that I used "Elegy" for this morning's service. It went well and people appreciated knowing of your experiences. Thanks for sending it and Blessings on You.
St. Luke's Episcopal
Los Gatos, CA
Our hearts break for you - thank you for your musical offering. At a time like this, you feel you HAVE to do something, don't you. I'm glad you did this. Even here in New Zealand we feel the pain.
Thanks for the "Elegy for Freedom." It is quite moving.
Will W. Rogers
You didn't know this, but the high school in which I teach (or taught, I should perhaps say) is in the former shadow of the former World Trade Center. You can imagine what my Tuesday was like.
Unexpectedly having these days off, I also responded to the overwhelming destruction by creating, in my case some numbers for solo violin. The last time I wrote for that was a single piece in 1979, and that is now number 2 in a suite of five pieces. This also, sir, makes me a 21st century composer, since it is the first thing I wrote since finishing my MBE project last year (which was of course part of the last decade, century, millennium).
But, Dan, more than anything I thank you for what you wrote! On the one hand, it made my recent, unexpected creative project not just acceptable but commendable, not an escape from my fellow man, but a reaching out with all my heart in the best way I know how! In the midst of unspeakable, unprecedented tragedy, with lungs filled with noxious fumes, I wrote first a Humoresque. I see that now, not as ironic but pointedly defiant. I have also been wondering how I could ever make the music that's so important to my life meaningful again to my young charges, after all they (we) have been through. You have shown the way. Music is part of what makes us human, and asseverating our humanity is important work now as we rebuild our lives.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
D.C.Pryor & Alisa Highfill-Pryor
I was moved to make this mp3 file from your PDF score. Thanks for letting me participate; my only ministry is on the Internet. (Die Pfeiffenorgel SoundFont from Andreas Sims.)
Labor Day Getaway
I thoroughly enjoyed going on your organ crawl with you of the San Francisco Bay Area!!! Thank you very much for bringing the site to my attention. Sure enough! I did have to work and it was my birthday on Labor Day!!! That was a neat gift!!!
Gayle Hinsdill, Dean
Eastern New York Chapter
[Happy Birthday, Gayle! -Ed.]
Yes, the Manuel Rosales @ Mission San Jose is a visual treat with a most unusual affect/effect on the ear... due in part to its 1/4-comma meantone as well as the Mission's irregular adobe walls plus heavy wood beam atmosphere. Visiting this June from Barnard/Columbia U., Dr. Gail Archer brought us a recital of fascinating 16th and 17th century Spanish and Italian literature for realization through the Rosales Op. 14... and on the next day, a lecture and recital of German works of same period on our recently restored Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (San Jose, CA) 37 rank 1886 Odell.
With her visit next summer, we expect to identify more hidden mechanical treasures for her explore and amuse fulfilling yet another composer's intent... and builder's dream. (Unseen in the Rinehart site image of the Rosales organ is the choir of delightful character expressions free painted about each of the facade flue slits and... and we do expect the big grin impressed on the C and beaming down upon the organist is that of the builder. I'll take my camera next week and capture this for you... your group.
Brombaugh Opus 35
On the new Brombaugh, do you think
you could get the stop list posted? And maybe some description of the instrument's raison d' être? Thanks!
[The organ specifications and a description of the organ by the builder have been kindly provided by John Brombaugh. They are now included on the Organ Links page. -Ed.]
Thank you for taking the time to create this wonderful page.
Will W. Rogers
"To fill with wonder"
Thank you, Dan,
Filled with wonder did it for me, right on.
I am having a super week!!!
"Oliver Latry - Brombaugh Organ Recital"
I thought that the titular position at Notre Dame was shared by three persons.
R Jay Williamson
San Francisco, CA
[From Mr. Latry's bio: "Olivier Latry, titular organist of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.... At age 23 he won a competition to become one of the three titular organists of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris." So I guess each of the three may call themselves by the same title. Anyone out there have anything to add? -Ed.]
"The Pipe Counters"
I'm enjoying your weekly presentations. Lots of good information. Being from Eugene, we are very partial to the work of John Brombaugh. Your note about the organ preservation effort in Madrid is nice. Do however remember our own Organ Historical Society and the Organ Clearing House which has placed more than 2,000 old organs in new homes. The OHS Convention is now on in Winston-Salem.
"Coming to Fresh Terms with the Sacred in Bach"
Thanks for the information RE the article on Suzuki and Bach. A friend here gives me the NY Times, but I am so busy that I don't look in every corner of it when she gives it to me - so I missed looking until I saw your comments. I know Suzuki; he was at the big conference in Goeteborg, Sweden, with me last summer. He knows that our shop is building a very large concert hall organ for Japan right now, so he is quite curious about what we do. In fact, his comments on religion and Bach are interesting because our customer in Japan made it VERY clear to me that our concert hall organ was NOT supposed to make ANY implications of Christianity! I told him I wasn't planning to have it do missionary work, but that the entire nature of the type of pipe organs I build is based on the ideas early organbuilders were developing for use in the ancient European churches! I am glad Suzuki understands that, too, especially for JSB. I will be writing him very soon with thanks for what he was saying in the NY Times article.
Thanks for your contribution each week to my intellectual life. I enjoyed Bernard Sherman's article immensely. He deftly covered many of the dark Lutheran theological issues that have always troubled me about Bach's texts, although he downplayed the mathematical interplay and sheer musical genius which makes Bach a world contender. At one rebellious stage of my life, having burned out on the Institutional Church, I was in favor of organs in secular venues playing only "secular" Bach, though I've come to realize there was no such distinction in Bach's mind between a Brandenberg Concerto and a Passion.
This is an interesting discussion -- I've often wondered whether there are more of Bach's sacred pieces, or excerpts, which might be appropriate for our services. One could certainly never strip the inspiration and spiritual joy from some of those great passages. I am in awe of how much is communicated through sacred music. I'm not an expert at these things, but have wondered if there aren't parts of chorales, cantatas, masses, etc., that can be adapted for preludes or postludes. I don't have anything specific in mind, but know that there are some glorious and uplifting moments in that part of the literature -- Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, for a quick example, where the music alone sings with faith and joy. I'm a special fan of the choral work, I guess. Nothing but music comes close for me to the total joy and inspiration I find in "religion."
I went to Westminster Choir College, which has a wonderful organ department. The web page is:
Alison Siener Brown
[Added to the Organ Schools page]
"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men"
There is another wonderful English unison setting (the Vaughan Williams is unison) by Granville Bantock. I can't think that is still in print. It is splendid and well worth pursuing, if you can find it.
Downloadable Sheet Music
Here's another free sheet music resource, pdf variety:
This was what I had in mind many years ago when I was scrambling for music for the choir practice each Wednesday night. It has never been implemented on a full enough scale, but these websites show what could be done if someone with a lot of time on their hands . . . oops, that would be me. Guess I don't need any new responsibilities. Cheers and thanks for BACHorgan.com, which is a deeply buried link on my Artist Page.
Exciting to hear about this website. I'm eagerly looking forward to using
One question, I have heard a rumer that Gordon Getty financed the re-issue
on CD of the E Power Biggs recordings. Do you have any verification of
Just looked at your website and read the tribute to Garth Peacock. I studied with him while I was at Oberlin also (1967-1971). What a great man.
Wish you success with the new website and will visit it frequently. If I have something to report (joke or Bachstory) you will hear from me. Oh yeah, one last remark. the shoe story is a bit "disgusting." I always learned from my organ teachers that organist should learn to play with virtually each and every type of shoe, although I must admit that I also have my preferences. Nevertheless I once have seen Marie-Claire Alain playing the organ with high-heel shoes, which seems to confirm what my teacher said....
Organist of the German Church
The Hague, The Netherlands