PipeChat Digest #1565 - Sunday, August 20, 2000
OHS Boston Thursday 8/17-A Marathon Day. . . .
  by <ManderUSA@aol.com>
  by "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net>
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
  by <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Interesting item on eBay web site item#414366017: ELECTRIC ORGAN
  by <desertbob@rglobal.net>
KSTL studio Wurlitzer
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Fw: KSTL studio Wurlitzer
  by "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net>
Re: KSTL studio Wurlitzer
  by "charder@ties.k12.mn.us" <charder@mail.ties.k12.mn.us>

(back) Subject: OHS Boston Thursday 8/17-A Marathon Day. . . . From: <ManderUSA@aol.com> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 10:27:28 EDT   .. . . . at the end of which many of us felt like we had indeed run the 26 =   miles.   The day began with a lecture which, regrettably, I had to miss. Some will have attended a slightly different form of it in Seattle, and from all accounts, I ought to have been there. "Time, Taste, and the Organ Case" = was tailored here by Matthew Bellocchio to include some of the famous Boston organs heard at the convention.   On the bus at about 10:15 to thread our way through NY style traffic to = Most Holy Redeemer Church, East Boston. Well worth it! Occasionally at OHS conventions, the program book says "Program to be announced." This is = never the result of indecision, disorganization, or laziness. It's a signal that = at any given moment, up to and including the first notes of the recital, = there is doubt about what will and what will not play on the organ! In pretty = bad shape, this instrument is, nonetheless, worth the pilgrimage. Not only is = it the largest remaining instrument by William Simmons (1823-1876), but it is =   also the "oldest extant two-manual organ with a detached, reversed = console," quoting from the Organ Handbook. Dr. Kevin Birch teaches at the University = of Maine School of Performing Arts in Orono, and is Director of Music at St. John Roman Catholic Church in Bangor, where he has developed an important musical program, including the preservation of the church's 1860 E. & G.G. =   Hook organ. For us, carefully and late in the day, he developed a = completely satisfying program which demonstrated the capabilities of the instrument = in its present condition. The instrument is so dusty and dirty that it has = not been possible to tune it completely for a long time, so avoidance of upperwork was the order of the day. We heard lots of foundation tone, and excellent stuff it was, too. He began with a fine performance of the Bach Pastorale, the perfect piece for the circumstances, showing a few small = but distinguished combinations of sounds. All the combinations were announced before he began the work. Next, a pleasant surprise, at least to me - = three beautiful organ pieces of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, all from 1898, and possibly the only works for organ by this gifted and short lived violinist =   and composition student of C.V.Stanford. Kevin found the perfect solution = to the problems of the organ's state of health, by calling on a 'Cellist = friend, Jonathan Cortolano (which I hope I am spelling correctly from hearing it announced), to play the melody lines, requiring that the meager = functioning voices of the organ only play accompaniment for the most part. With a = really voluptuously beautiful 'Cello tone, this enterprise was a great success. = The pieces were entitled Arietta, Elegy, and Melody. Kevin promised to demonstrate some of the notes of the Oboe that were working, and did so charmingly with a bit of Jesu Bambino of Pietro Yon. After this, we were happily presented with another fine hymn opportunity, a lovely early 18th century tune (Sweet Sacrament) found in Worship III to the text "Jesus, my =   Lord, my God, my All." We had a great sing, and took full advantage of a = very nice harmonization. This is the organ upon which, in 1975, Thomas Murray recorded the Mendelssohn sonatas, recently reissued on CD. It is only = through many volunteer hours by Richard Lahaise that we were able to hear any of = this marvellous but sadly neglected instrument.   Next, on to Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church in Hyde Park, to = hear Stephen Roberts on the 1892 Carlton Michell instrument, much of which was probably built by Hunter in London, and which was originally in St. = Stephen's Church in the South End of Boston. Tubular Pneumatic at birth, when moved = to Precious Blood in 1956, Richard Lahaise electrified the instrument and = fitted it with a new console. Stephen needed his own version of Dexter and = Sinister, but *inside* the organ following marked scores and manipulating the Swell shutters, rather than at the console turning and registering. The expression pedals were temporarily disconnected.   For PipOrg-L readers, I am almost afraid to mention it (!), but Stephen's first piece was by Franz Schmidt, a fine Toccata for Organ of 1924. This = was not a high speed toccata, but rather, a genial perpetual motion sort of thing, very interesting harmonically, and perhaps a bit reminiscent of = Reger. Harmonies shift and resolve in often unexpected ways.   I often talk, nay, brag about the hymn singing at OHS conventions - our glorious unisons and glorious harmonies. I don't recall us singing = plainsong before, but Stephen gave us Ave Verum Corpus in a 14th century plainsong tune. We did not have time to work for any sort of nuance, but, large body =   that we are, we managed some very gentle yet full and rich (accompanied) singing. It was quite beautiful, and followed immediately by Everett Titcomb's "Communion Meditation on 'Ave Verum Corpus.' " It was helpful to =   have sung the entire long plainsong melody before hearing Titcomb's work based upon it.   The program ended with the brilliant and brilliantly-played Allegro Vivace =   from the Widor 5th Symphony, a great way to cap an altogether solid and splendid recital. Thank you Stephen.   Next, on to Christ Church Unity (Sears Chapel) in Brookline for a fine recital by Andrew Scanlon, winner of the 1999 Boston Chapter AGO = Competition for Young Organists, and a student of John Walker at Duquesne. He is also Organist and Choir Director at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Export, Pennsylvania. (Is there an Import?) Andrew was one of the six young organists chosen to play at the New York National in 1996. Anyway, this = Sears Chapel has a rather handsome exterior and a somewhat disappointing = interior (rather the opposite of this writer!). The organ is chambered in the west gallery, with an attractive facade with stenciled pipes, but is a smallish =   gem (nineteen stops) being asked to speak down a rather long carpeted nave =   filled with thickly cushioned pews. It is all a bit distant, sadly, but = the instrument, E. & G. G. Hook from 1862, is intact and well cared for, and = was presented on this occasion with the handsome plaque that the Society = presents to churches that care for their instruments of exceptional merit and historical significance. Andrew opened with a fine, if slightly rigid, performance of the Bach C Major (545), a wonderful Organo Pleno work (Bach =   wrote this on the manuscript) not, I think, often played in recital, being =   passed over for some of its more famous siblings. Keller quotes Straube as =   saying in reference to this work: "Let the organist seek to reproduce in = his registration the magnificence and splendor of the Meistersinger = orchestra." Wow! Not in this space, unfortunately (or fortunately), but the ears = adjust and I enjoyed hearing this piece with which I struggled as a student so = very solidly played.   Next, the first two movements of the Mendelssohn Second Sonata, Grave and Adagio, the somewhat thin Oboe perhaps wanting a bit of help from the = Stopped Diapason. I love that Adagio movement, and it was clear that Andrew does = as well - nicely felt. Then, the jaunty Trumpet Dialogue from the Couperin Convents Mass, followed by a rather sweet setting of Allein Gott by Dudley =   Buck (join the world in spoonerizing that), which consisted of a = harmonically interesting chorale, with variation. Last on the program, two fine pieces = by someone of whom I know nothing - who can help? I have not been able to = catch Andrew to ask. A Rondeau and Deo Gracias by Joseph Wilcox Jenkins (b. = 1928). This is lovely, modal, spirited stuff, perhaps somewhat in the Hindemith mode. Andrew Scanlon is a fine young player, who also knows how to put together not-your-usual recital program - a very enjoyable and rewarding event in our busy day!   The afternoon ended with two rather amazing events!! At the "United = Parish" in Brookline, we were all kind of blown away by Peter Krasinski and Aeolian-Skinner opus 885 (1932-33 - and not at all unlike the Meistersinger Orchestra!!) and much more. First, we were welcomed in a recording by = Ernest Skinner himself, apparently from a welcoming speech he made to an AGO gathering at some point very late in his life. It was loud and clear, and = you cannot imagine the shock quotient of it all. It was a stunning opening, = with no warning whatsoever! Bravo to whoever managed this coup. (Unconfirmed rumors abound that Mabel Skinner may make an appearance on the morrow!) = But there was more. After singing "O God our help" from the hymnal in the pews = in our usual sensational manner, with Peter's magnificent accompaniment, we heard a program of two works, once again, not your usual organ recital. We =   first heard Peter and the Wolf, transcribed by Peter Krasinski, narrated = by a woman from the church's Board of Deacons who had earlier graciously = received an OHS Plaque for the organ. This was clearly a new translation from the Russian, beginning more-or-less thusly: "Peter lifted the heavy rolltop, = and threw the switch, activating the great Spencer blower." And then we had = Peter being hustled inside, to escape the evil Clarinet. And then, with Peter, = we cowered in the face of "Evil hunters, seeking unaltered Skinner organs!" = It was all so perfectly done - the narration was really dramatically = delivered, and Peter Krasinski - what to say? The transcription, the performance, the =   organ - it was nothing less than fabulous - requiring a chapter of its own = in any history ever written about OHS Conventions We Have Known - = unexpurgated edition! For a bit more icing on an already rich cake, Peter Krasinski's = own transcription of von Suppe's Poet and Peasant Overture.   At the end of the afternoon, the astonishing, amazing - whatever - = computer driven Boston University Symphonic Organ, hosted by its creator, Nelson Barden. The whole thing had its genesis in a small Skinner (opus 764) instrument in a Rockefeller mansion in Greenwich, CT. The architects of = the house had managed to run three pipes under the ceiling of the organ = chamber, water, steam, and sewer, allowing for the possibility of disaster, should = any one of these burst. As Nelson put it, when disaster did strike, it was not =   water, not steam, but . . . The organ was a mess, and was disposed of, to =   take its place, well scrubbed, we presume, in what was to become one of = the organic wonders of the world. Further donations of house and other organs kept the thing growing to its present size, and it now lives in its = permanent home at last, on a great balcony overlooking a large kind of banqueting = hall. On screen before us, we saw what the computer operator sees on his monitor = up in the balcony. We see the four keyboards plus a short one for the Pedalboard, laid out, surrounded by lists of all the stops available, and watch as colored lights indicate which keys and which stops are playing. = We heard a performance, electronically recorded, of listmember Carlo playing Fiddle Faddle, Edwin Lemare playing the Bach "Jig" Fugue, and lots of = other goodies. An exciting aspect of this is the ability to reproduce here the = many performances committed to paper rolls in Germany in the 20s and 30s, at a time when sound recording was not yet totally viable on location, and, of course, the immense resources of this instrument make possible just about = any registrational requirement. After the great show, most of our large party took advantage of being able to walk right through this marvel, to see, = under glass, the whole thing operating. What a day this has been, but it is not over yet.   After dinner, off to The Mission Church to hear Julian Wachner on = Hutchings Opus 410 of 1897 sounding out of its great west gallery case into a superb =   acoustical space. The program began with the Bach Piece d'Orgue, and when = the great contrapuntal section, perhaps the greatest of all such musical = moments, began, we were presented with a great wall of sound reminiscent only, perhaps, of Woolsey Hall. The opening arpeggiated bit wanted, for me, a somewhat lighter touch, it all seeming a bit heavily legato to me, but no matter. We then heard our second performance of the convention of the Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue in C Minor. No harm done - the piece bears rehearing, and was very different here anyway, given the rather different instruments and settings. The buildup of the Fugue was really masterful, = and filled with excitement. Then, the Cantabile from the Widor 6th, with a gorgeous Oboe. A wonderful wash of foundational tone filled the Durufle = ALAIN P & F, a superb performance of one of everybody's favorites pieces in all = the organ repertoire. It was a fine ending to a rich first half of the = program.   After intermission, we were driven hastily back to our seats by a fabulous =   improvised fanfare, using the splendid, if un-Englishy, Tuba. We next = heard the Boston premiere of "Les Tres Riches Heures," (An Organ Book of Hours) = by Marjorie Merryman. At the wonderful Worcester Regional Convention last = year, we heard the world premiere of this work played by Katherine Pardee, and I =   was delighted tonight to have a second hearing, and I know I will be = forgiven for inserting in here what I wrote about that earlier performance.   "This was followed by what has to be seen as a great event, the unveiling = of a wonderful new work commissioned by the Worcester Chapter, with help from a Boston Chapter AGO Special Projects Advisory Committee. Les Tres Riches Heures by Marjorie Merryman (b.1951) is inspired by the Book of Hours (the =   liturgical monastic "offices") of Jean, Duc de Berry, with miniature paintings by master Flemish/German artists of the 15th century. The six movements are entitled:1. Procession, 2. Dialogues, 3. Cycle of the Year, = 4. Rebellion, 5. De Profundis, and 6. Celebrations. I don't want to take bandwidth here, but if people are interested, I will gladly copy the very fine notes about this work that describe both the paintings and the nature of the music inspired by each = one. Marjorie Merryman was present at the performance, and was acknowledged by Katharine, and roundly cheered by the audience."   That was written last summer, but the offer of the notes still stands, if anyone would like to read them. Thank you Julian Wachner for bringing this =   great music to life one more time. We ended the evening singing Holy Holy Holy to, of course, Nicaea. We were given instructions in the program to = sing verses 1 and 4 in unison, with women singing verse 2 and men verse 3. As I =   always do, I object gently to the fact that we were denied the opportunity = of singing at least one verse in the glorious harmony of which we are so capable!! After we finished singing, Julian, without pause, went on into a =   pretty wild improvisation on Nicaea which I quite enjoyed, a final shot at =   hearing this really quite fabulous instrument.   So, it was the end of the first (very) full day, and he saw that it was = good, and went back to the hotel and collapsed! Tomorrow will be somewhat = easier, but I would not have had our Thursday any other way - a succession of wonderful musical experiences!   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com  
(back) Subject: OHS From: "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 17:34:35 -0500   Awfully quiet on the list.   Look out Boston-- here come the organ-nuts+ACE-   Stuck here in Indiana.   Cheers to all,   Rick        
(back) Subject: Re: OHS From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 16:02:07   At 05:34 PM 8/19/2000 -0500, you wrote: >Look out Boston-- here come the organ-nuts<snip>   Indeed, and of all different stripes, also. As it turns out jazz great Joey DeFrancesco is performing on the Hammond at Scullers in Cambridge. Those into the finest of jazz on the Hammond Organ would do well to check out tonight's show while in Baaaaaaahstun. Reviews of Friday night's show were predictable...Joey's the best!   DeserTBoB    
(back) Subject: Re: OHS From: <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 21:08:57 -0400 (EDT)   Ah Rick, don't feel bad. I'm stuck at the Jersey Shore, too.   Let's talk about all of them while they're in Boston :). (just kidding, of course)   Neil    
(back) Subject: Re: OHS From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 18:57:39   At 09:08 PM 8/19/2000 -0400, you wrote: >Let's talk about all of them while they're in Boston :)<snip>   OK, let's! First on all, I want someone there to give us a reveiw of bReWsE Cornely's performance on his Emenee Golden Pipe Organ! heheheheh!   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Interesting item on eBay web site item#414366017: ELECTRIC ORGAN From: <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 19:06:58 PDT   Here's the SMALLEST organ I've ever seen Estey-type "stop key" action on! = LMAO   Title of item: ELECTRIC ORGAN Seller: rmantiquecompany@aol.com Starts: Aug-19-00 16:19:33 PDT Ends: Aug-29-00 16:19:33 PDT Price: Starts at $9.99 To bid on the item, go = to: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3D414366017     Item Description: ELECTRIC ORGAN BY DUETTE TABLE TOP MODEL FULLY FUNCTIONAL SEE PHOTOS = BELOW GOOD LUCK BIDDING WINNER TO PAY ACTUAL SHIPPING CHARGES AND = INSURANCE..   Visit eBay, the world's largest Personal Trading Community at = http://www.ebay.com  
(back) Subject: KSTL studio Wurlitzer From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 19:21:10   Today's memory buster:   Does anyone know the whereabouts of the KSTL radio/tv studio Wurlitzer in Minneapolis? It was presided over for years by "Mr. MoooAHHH", Lenny Leigh, who also recorded two LPs on it for RCA Victor. For Pipechatters = on IRC, this is where those two cuts, "Redwing" and "Barney Google/Black Bottom/Charleston Medley" came from that I've lavished upon you! Lenny Leigh was indeed an interesting player, perfecting the moooo-AHHHH sound = of two reeds, one on second touch, and played an endless stream of repetitive percussion!   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Fw: KSTL studio Wurlitzer From: "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 22:14:16 -0500   Hi Bob- I have no idea of the whereabouts of the KSTL Wurli, but I have = the album you mention. 'The Mighty WurliTzer and the Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties'. Corny-but-cute.   The wow-wah trumpet- effect you mention I have by Uncle Al on the Stadium Barton playing Clyde McCoys' 'Sugar Blues'.   Somehow, somewhere I came across an LP of pipe organ and percussion- live sideman traps and percussion. So-so.   Rick     ----- Original Message ----- From: Bob Scarborough <desertbob@rglobal.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 7:21 PM Subject: KSTL studio Wurlitzer     > Today's memory buster: > > Does anyone know the whereabouts of the KSTL radio/tv studio Wurlitzer = in > Minneapolis? It was presided over for years by "Mr. MoooAHHH", Lenny > Leigh, who also recorded two LPs on it for RCA Victor. For Pipechatters on > IRC, this is where those two cuts, "Redwing" and "Barney Google/Black > Bottom/Charleston Medley" came from that I've lavished upon you! Lenny > Leigh was indeed an interesting player, perfecting the moooo-AHHHH sound of > two reeds, one on second touch, and played an endless stream of = repetitive > percussion! > > DeserTBoB > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org >      
(back) Subject: Re: KSTL studio Wurlitzer From: "charder@ties.k12.mn.us" <charder@mail.ties.k12.mn.us> Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 22:32:08 -0500 (CDT)   I believe it was installed in Phipps Center for the Performing Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin. (Just across the St. Croix River from the Twin Cities.)   It is featured several times each year with concerts be nationally known Theater Organ artists. I heard it a couple of years ago when Tom Hazelton played it. This was the first time in my life I had heard a theater organ. I was more than impressed. I was rather "moved" by some of the musical results acheived on this beautiful instrument.   Charles Harder