October Bundle Is Popular

“Thank you, Michael! I look forward to working on and performing this beautiful music!” —Washington DC, USA

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Ravel’s Pavane, Faulkes’s Fortress, Boex’s Rustic March, and Kinder’s Toccata

For October’s offering, I have chosen four pieces with two that are instantly recognized, one that is little known, and one which is seldom heard. I really hope there’s something for all tastes!


1. PAVANE (pour une infante défunte), by Maurice Ravel, arranged by Charles Cronham. This is a fine arrangement, not hard to play, that captures the beauty and pathos of Ravel’s haunting melody. He composed the original for piano in 1899 in fulfillment of a commission and orchestrated it in 1910. Cronham’s organ arrangement is from 1950.

2. FESTIVAL PRELUDE ON EIN’ FESTE BURG, by William Faulkes. His treatment of this tune is not as involved or difficult as many pieces for festivals. Faulkes dedicated it to Edwin H Lemare in 1913, and it’s a great way to open a hymn festival or for postlude honoring Martin Luther (October 31).

3. MARCHE CHAMPÊTRE and THE CALM OF NIGHT, by Andrew J Boex. Though not his name, he was known in English-speaking countries as “Andrew.” To read a particularly interesting capsule biography of Boex and to hear some recordings of his music, please visit the page below.

4. TOCCATA IN D, by Ralph Kinder. I’m sure you’re thinking that we surely don’t need another toccata, especially in D. This is Kinder at his most ambitious! The right hand is filled with brilliant sixteenths but they are easily fingered. The left hand is pure accompaniment. It doesn’t have a fugue, but the ending has a great part to show off your solo or horizontal trumpet.

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. To get the four pieces mentioned above, I offer a special price so you can buy all of the pieces above with one click and save money in the deal. I welcome your support, and if you don’t want to play a particular piece in the group, consider giving it to a student or another organist.


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Loving Some of the Titles You Have Available

Thank you so very much for your kind service and your letter. I bought these items for my friend who was a rink organist for over 40 years in the Philadelphia area. Since moving down here, he’s been performing on the piano, but I believe that he has wanted to get back in the “organ” circuit, but he’s not a “church organist” nor a “classic organist.” Recently, he played the Morton Organ in the Carolina Theater in Greensboro for a fund raiser and is looking to expanding theater organ repertoire, so any suggestions you’d like to share, I’m SURE would be appreciated.

This morning, he and I spent our coffee hour, intently perusing your website, and just LOVING some of the titles you have available. I’m quite certain that this will NOT be our last interaction.

—North Carolina, USA

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Summer Fancies, Vodorinski Three, Toy March, and Prometheus Creatures

Greetings, everyone. September’s offerings include a last fling of Summer (and it’s not The Last Rose of Summer), a March of the Toys, and a transcription of Beethoven’s Creatures of Prometheus. The most unusual item, though, is a set of three by the little-known composer, Anton Vodorinski. Read below for the full story.


1. SUMMER FANCIES, by Rossetter Cole. Close out your summer with Cole’s pastoral light-hearted music. He played an E M Skinner for this piece, but I think it would work well on a theatre organ.

2. ORGAN RECITAL PIECES, by Anton Vodorinski. He was born in 1875 and by 1889, he had won the prestigious scholarship competition for Trinity College of Music. He won the competition again in 1892 and was appointed organist of St John’s Church, Wimbledon, London, where he remained for five years. If this sounds a bit familiar, it should. As I have told you over the many organ arrangements I’ve restored over the years … Ketèlbey was an organist! Under the Vodorinski pseudonym, these three pieces were published in 1911, the year he became music editor for Chappell and music director of the Columbia Gramophone Co and four years before publication of his “In A Monastery Garden.” Please take a look!

3. MARCH OF THE TOYS, by Oscar Schminke. Schminke used a 57 second piece as the basis for this march. It’s easy enough for any organist but still fun.

4. OVERTURE TO PROMETHEUS, by Ludwig van Beethoven, arranged by Samuel Warren. Critics and scholars have written that Beethoven’s music for this ballet, Creatures of Prometheus, is easier and lighter than his typical later music. Warren indicates where Beethoven uses instruments and gives you indications of how to recreate this on the organ. If you don’t know this little jewel, I hope you will visit my page to see and hear the music.

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. To get the four pieces mentioned above, I offer a special price so you can buy all of the pieces above with one click and save money in the deal. I welcome your support, and if you don’t want to play a particular piece in the group, consider giving it to a student or another organist.


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Surprisingly Large, but Somehow Kept Out of Sight

The History Behind the Shelton High School Pipe Organ

I love interns. Rachel Philipson, intern for the Shelton Herald, put this article together about a forgotten and abandoned organ. Yes, interns have the creativity and willingness to write about topics that experienced career news reports pass over. Once upon a time organs were built into high school auditoriums. Times changed and well, out of sight, out of mind, so life went on without the organ and organist. Read about what’s happening now.

More than 30 years ago, a 1927 Austin theatre pipe organ was moved into the auditorium where a variety of nationally acclaimed organists would perform.

Jon Sibley, president of the Connecticut Valley Theatre Organ Society, said the the organ is surprisingly large, but somehow kept out of sight. “[The organ is] behind the wall grilles on either side of the stage. Mechanical parts to the rare pipe organ include wind reservoirs that are located below the chambers, making the organ installation two stories high behind the auditorium walls and out of sight. One would be quite amazed as to what and how much is there.”


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Our Proper Packing for International Delivery

“Thank you very much for the prompt service. The delivery arrived today without any damages or bends, due to your proper packing. Even the long way across the big water to Europe! It soon will be used for warm up until the final events take place. Thanks again and until next time.” —Germany

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On the Lookout for New Repertoire

On the Lookout for New Repertoire

I received this note recently, and it made my day, week, and month! This kind of encouragement makes me want to continue restoring more and more organ music.

Thank you very much indeed for the organ music which arrived beautifully packaged as always! I play weekly organ recitals in one of the churches where I work and am always on the lookout for new repertoire to play for the small but faithful audience that come every week. The music on your website is virtually unknown to Dutch audiences (and indeed English audiences when I play in the UK).

Theatre organs are also a passion of mine and your store is one of the only places I know that has music specifically for theatre organ. I shall certainly learn a lot by studying the arrangements by Fred Feibel. Another very useful feature on the website is the recording of each piece which helps to get a quick impression of the music. Perhaps I can have a go at making some recordings of the arrangements on the theatre organs here in the Netherlands.

Many thanks once again — another very satisfied customer!

Have a great Summer. Best wishes.


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Festival Prelude on Ein’ Feste Burg

Festival Prelude on Ein’ Feste Burg

I have begun work on restoring organ music by William Faulkes, as some of you know by playing his Paraphrase on a Christmas Hymn (“O Little Town of Bethlehem”). I wanted to start with that one because it’s one of the better settings of Lewis Redner’s tune, St Louis. I have others by Faulkes for future release, and so today I have started working on his Festival Prelude on “A Mighty Fortress.” This piece has the distinction of being the last of his organ music to stay in print. Those of you who play it understand its appeal; it is an excellent choice for Reformation Day.

Now, on to the performance log shown above and in detail here. Sometimes, I am told that my restored music comes from the free download sites. Ha! If you have seen most of the organ music there, you will notice poor resolutions, skewed images, pages missing, notes unclear, and more. It is not possible to restore what’s not there! I am restoring Faulkes’s most popular piece from the well-worn copy owned by the great organist, Carl F Mueller. The dates above show the number of times he played it. The first was a recital on October 14, 1917, and the last was for service on October 30, 1960. What a run!

I hope you will watch this blog for my announcement of this piece!

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Neglect of British and American Concert Organ Music

Neglect of British and American Concert Organ Music

One essay by Dr Wolfram Syré in his blog on Contrebombarde.com, “The Barde,” was kindly brought to my attention by Steve Schlesing. The full title is too long for a good headline, but here it is: “The scandalous neglect of British and US-American concert hall organ-music is still going strong until today.” His writings and choices of literature often coincide with mine, and this column is one of them. While you read, I suggest you listen to some of the huge selection of his performances on his website (below).

I was very irritated seeing that the articles about e. g. William Thomas Best, Alfred Hollins or John Ebenezer West have been eliminated from the new edition of the the “New Grove’s Dictionary of Music.” Somewhere I read that the organ music of these composers would not be “serious” or “important” enough. Speaking about British organ music only, names like e. g. Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford, Alan Gray, Edward Elgar, Basil Harwood, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, George Thalben-Ball or Percy Whitlock are mentioned.

His website is www.orgel-organ-orgue.de/.

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Christos Patterakis on the Reuter Sample Set

The Organ of Temple Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon

Steve Schlesing has made a recording of Roy Perry’s Christos Patterakis on this sample set taken from Reuter’s Opus 227 from 1926. It’s a great match of music and instrument. Thanks, Steve!

Here’s a bit about the organ that was sampled (from the Sonus Paradisi website).

The congregation was formed in 1858 and first met in Burke’s Hall on First Street. In 1861 they built their first edifice which was the first synagogue on the Northern Pacific coast. It was enlarged four years later, but was soon outgrown. A new temple was consecrated in 1889 and housed a Geo. Kilgen organ that burned with the temple in 1923. The present Byzantine-style temple of brick and sandstone was consecrated in April 1928. The Reuter organ was contracted on December 28, 1926. It was scheduled for delivery in September 1927, but was probably not installed until 1928. The cost of the organ was $25,000.00.

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