Monday, April 12, 2010

The pipe organ and Johann Sebastian

from w
There are few sounds more wonderful than the D Minor Toccato and Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach (though some of his other pieces could do with a good edit!). The sound of a very good pipe organ can be marvellous, though I have at times been heard to say, 'They should put a bomb under some of those old pipe organs in churches!' which deeply shocked listeners. I said this in the context of a music conference where most of the delegates were excellent musicians. My point was that this instrument is irrelevant in many churches with small congregations as it is overpowering to the human voices. A piano, flute, guitar would be more suitable. Pipe organs are fine if there are two hundred singers. Also, how many students are there learning the pipe organ these days? An elderly man in a nearby church continues to battle on playing into his nineties!

Next weekend in Geelong there'll be an Organ and Choir Festival with concerts in numerous venues Saturday and Sunday. I hope to get there on the Saturday and I will NOT talk of bombs this time.

The pictures here are variations from a photo I took on Sunday at Coburg Uniting (once Methodist) Church im Melbourne - no-one plays the instrument as the congregation meeting there sing a capella. I had in mind the Bach Toccato and Fugue with the overlapping sounds.

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