All Organists Should Know Rolls

Museum für Musikautomaten

If you don’t know everything there is to know about Welte (and I certainly didn’t!), you should make time to visit this incredible site. The museum is in Switzerland, and the site offers German, French, Italian, and English. The photo on the left is the Welte factory and on the right is a console with roll player. On the site, start by clicking on your preferred language (right, near top), and then click the link to the right of the image of the roll player, “Wie von Geisterhand” or “As if by magic” or  “Comme par magie” or “Come per magia.” This will begin your journey into this excellent presentation on the reproduced music of generations past: “A history of the Welte Company to mark the 100th anniversary of the Welte Philharmonie organ.”

Many of you may have seen David Rumsey’s article in The Diapason, “Welte’s Philharmonie roll recordings 1910-1928” from March 2011. The recordings referenced in that article on available for listening on their web site (click “videos” on the left if necessary). I have personally learned a lot about this subject from David’s article and the museum and enthusiastically recommend these resources to all lovers of organ music.

I have exciting news regarding a particular Welte organ roll to announce later this year, and I wish you were anticipating this as much as I am.

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