Unwanted Organ Taken by Unlikely Church

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Unwanted Pipe Organ Saved from Scrapheap by Church

From The Courier comes this story which creates mixed feelings for me. It’s sad that this church in Dundee, Scotland, doesn’t want its organ, but it’s going to a home that most of us would find unlikely —  Kazakhstan. I think most people know where it is because of the maps shown when reporting on the Iraq-Syria-IS conflict. I’m sure it will be appreciated in its new home.

A Dundee church organ facing the scrapheap has found a match made in Heaven — 4,000 miles away in Kazakhstan. Craigiebank Church’s 114-year-old pipe organ had an uncertain future as the church is scheduled to be demolished before being redeveloped into a community project called the Circle.

Moved to Dundee in 1949 and made up of 1,446 pipes, there was no space for the huge organ in the church’s redevelopment plans.

“Many of us learned about the impending demolition of Craigiebank Church with something approaching horror due to the remarkably good organ”

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Organ Polychrome by Jan Kraybill Reviewed

Organ Polychrome Reviewed

Read John Sunier’s review (Audiophile Audition) of this high-definition audio recording by Jan Kraybill on the Casavant in the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s available in several locations including amazon.com.

“A complete list of the registrations of the Julia Irene Kauffman Organ appears in the note booklet, and Kraybill’s notes on each composer often end with a description of the construction and registrations of one of the works so that you can follow along while listening. Her playing is expressive in the quieter portions and pulls out all the stops when hitting some of the big orchestral-imitation passages in these colorful pieces.”

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Are We Going Backwards Here?

New Musical Arrangements on an Old Organ

Those who read my blog know that I go out of my way to ‘accentuate the positive,’ so to write. This post caught my attention, in a bad way, and I felt compelled to draw it to your attention. I won’t identify the organist or the location; if you’re really interested, read the article. All I can do is shake my head at what, to me at least, is a huge step backwards.

For a third annual concert, [the organist] wanted to do something different. Becker, the organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, will perform variations on classic hymns at the Oct. 19 concert at 2 p.m. The Hinners Organ at St. Paul’s is 111 years old and still in its original condition. “It’s a neat, fun instrument to play,” he said.

Becker will be performing familiar hymns such as “I Danced in the Morning,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Blessed Assurance,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Amazing Grace.” In past years, he said, he performed classical pieces.

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St John’s Cathedral, Albuqueque, and their Reuter

The Bible, Art, and a Pipe Organ

In addition to the recital, the article stated that the organist, Dr. Jörg Abbing, was delivering a free lecture at the Cathedral, discussing “the different paths of musical composition for the organ as they are represented in the 20th century.”

I don’t know how you feel about the instrument, but I love the organ, especially the Pipe organ. Always have, and I’m sure I always will. From my admiration of Albert Schweitzer (an organist and Bach specialist) as a teenager, to my father working for a time as an organ representative, I’ve had a deep admiration for the “King of All Instruments.” So the lecture was a no-brainer for me

Reading this post, I wished I had made a point to stop there the last time I was out West to a convention. This sounds like a cathedral that would prove interesting depth upon visitation and exploration. More information on the organ, including the specification, may be found on the church’s website.

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Clark Wilson Plays Nosferatu on the Lerner’s Kimball

Lerner Theatre presents “Nosferatu” with Live Pipe Organ

Last Saturday, Clark Wilson played another film at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart, Indiana. The photo above shows Clark accompanying Buster Keaton in “Steamboat Bill Jr” there. For me, “Nosferatu” is scarier and less-often shown than the 1925 “Phantom,” and it’s a better choice for a Halloween program. If you attended, please post your comments here.

When the Lerner opened 90 years ago and the Kimball organ was brand new, this was the entertainment people came to see.

“Not many theaters still have a pipe organ. You’d have to go to Chicago or maybe Fort Wayne to even experience this, and we have it right here in Elkhart,” she says. “These organs are incredible, and we bring in talent to play these shows. It’s a one-man orchestra that plays in time with the movie and makes it come alive.”

BTW, I recommend Behind that Curtain by as a great way to keep up publicity for a venue like this. More theatres should do this.

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Miss Page & Cletus in the Embassy (video)

‘Miss Page’ Gets Musical Sendoff before Restoration

“Cletus Goens talks about The Embassy Theater’s pipe organ ‘Miss Page’ and plays a few songs before the organ is sent to be restored on October 8, 2014.”

Learn more about this great organ at www.cicatos.org/. There is more about Carlton Smith’s restoration plans at washingtontimes.com.

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Canadian International Organ Competition Videos

The Canadian International Organ Competition

Some of you will know some of the contestants, but even if you don’t, I think you’ll enjoy seeing these and following it. Think of it as an organic reality show!

Direct from Montreal, the organ capital of North America, watch 15 brilliant young players from eight countries compete for more than $70,000 in prizes — with full video coverage of the 2014 Canadian International Organ Competition.

The first round (Oct. 8-10) features music exclusively by German baroque composers Dieterich Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach, performed on a three-manual mechanical action instrument (38 stops, 56 ranks) built by Rudolf von Beckerath and installed in 1961 at the Église de l’Immaculée-Conception. Videos will be posted below following each performance, as soon as they are available.

Come on, United States of America — we have a lot of nice organs, too! Let’s a US International Organ Competition going.

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New International Organ Festival

Grodno to Host International Organ Music Festival

You are forgiven if you don’t know where Grodno is, but the organ (photo above) from the State College of Arts there in Belarus is indeed impressive. This Polish-built instrument is from 2014 and I don’t have other details on it.

An international organ music festival will take place in Grodno on 9 October-20 November, BelTA learnt from the main department for ideology, culture and youth affairs of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.

The festival will feature concerts of Belarusian and foreign organ players. Performers will give concerts on the unique organ Magnus Silesia Royal placed in the Grodno State College of Arts. The program of the festival will comprise solo concerts of People’s Artist of Belarus, Professor of the Belarusian State Music Academy Igor Olovnikov; soloist of the Belarusian State Philharmonics Konstantin Sharov and soloist of the concert hall of St Sofia Cathedral in Polotsk Ksenia Pogorelaya. Foreign participants will come to the festival from Germany (concert performer, organist and conductor, cantor and organist in the Lutheran Church in Thuringia Martin Meier), Poland (organist, conductor and composer Gedymin Grubba). Among the performers will be Organ Music Professor in the West University of Timisoara (Romania) Felician Rosca and well-known Russian Yekaterina Melnikova, the author of numerous art projects in the organ music.

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Motorcyles and Organs

How the Power Of A Pipe Organ Is Like Riding A Harley

If you didn’t see this article last month, here it is. This is one of the stranger headlines I’ve seen. One might liken the playing of an organ to the riding of a large motorcycle: both are large, heavy, and in their own way, noisy. However, I don’t think there’s much to the analogy other than the sound of the rumbling bass. There is a short interview with Jan Kraybill that is interesting.

A new CD, Organ Polychrome: The French School, recorded at the Kauffman Center, features music by French composers, such as Jehain Alain, Joseph Bonnet, and Louis Vierne. Kraybill, an educator, musician, as well as avid motorcyclist, compares riding her Harley-Davidson to playing the Casavant organ, where one is surrounded by sound.

“As you play it, you are sitting among the pipes that you are playing, you are right there with them. Really, the sense of power that you get from all around you, it’s amazing.”

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Ethereal Sounds from A Möller (video)

Church Concert Showcases M.P. Möller Pipe Organ

“Ethereal sounds from a vintage M.P. Moller pipe organ echoed inside the Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown Sunday in a concert to showcase the instrument. The organ was built in the early 1900s and was used at The Maryland Theatre for silent movies and other musical productions there, said Rick Hill, pastor of the church.”

The short video does not contain your typical virtuoso organist and music, but I’ll bet we’ve all experienced something like this before. As you prepare for the onslaught of innumerable Phantoms of the Opera this month, check an ET, the Extra-Terrestrial. Ha!

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