Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Virgil Fox Plays the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ
"Johann Sebastian Bach is glad you're here!" So Virgil Fox told his audience of 5,500 in St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco. The legendary organist played two "Bach Gamut" concerts, in all musical keys from A to G... more »
"Johann Sebastian Bach is glad you're here!" So Virgil Fox told his audience of 5,500 in St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco. The legendary organist played two "Bach Gamut" concerts, in all musical keys from A to G, in September 1976. This album is volume 1 of the recordings of those historic occasions. Never before released, it reminds us of the power of the artist, Virgil Fox; of the composer, J.S. Bach; and of the cathedral's Fratelli Ruffatti four-manual, 89-rank pipe organ, and the Rodgers 'Royal V" five-manual touring organ temporarily installed for these concerts. Crystal Rainbow created environmental lighting throughout the 200-foot high cathedral, inspired by Fox's "Heavy Organ" screen light show concerts. For the DVD-video, Marshall Yaeger's Kaleidoplex Digital Light Organ is used to create 16:9 widescreen visuals that relate artistically to Fox's dramatic music making. The 2.0 stereo CD is from a HDCD master, made from an original 3-channel analog recording. Dolby Digital 5.1 is featured on the surround sound remix for the DVD-Video disc.
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The greatest organist playing the world's greatest organ!!
T. Bux | Barnesville, PA United States | 11/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an outstanding CD/DVD combo. The DVD contains many fun sections including a segement from a TV show in the 1970s called Evening Magazine where you see him at the console of this large instrument, along with voice over and some history of the large organ.
The audio tracks represent very well the dynamics of this organ from the full and methodical "Fanfares" to the somewhat mournful "Come, Sweet Death", to the bouncy march, "Pomp and Circumstances".
The absolute best track on this album is "Come, Sweet Death." The full rich sound of the swell and string divisions shine, and the sheer tonal spread of the 30,000 pipes comes through in this Bach favorite. This rendition was transposed specifically for this organ, and is Virgil Fox's favorite and best known song.
If you've ever heard this organ in real life, are a Fox fan, or just like organs, this CD is a must. I'll warn you, once you hear the John Wanamaker organ, every other instrument like it will just be considered a toy."
D. L. Evans | 12/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Wanamaker Organ is an Philadelphia as Philadelphia gets. The department store has changed hands several times over recent years, but the organ has remained.
It has been joked if the organ ever left Philadelphia, people would tear down the department store brick by brick.
If you never have an opportunity to see the real thing in action (which should be on a list of 100 things to do before you die), then get this CD.
Pipe organ music is an acquired taste, but it serves as genuine historic role in the development of music.
Even today, the organ draws 1000's of people during free shows held during the week, especially during the Christmas season with the accompanying light show."
A good, solid, recording
D. Chambers | Arizona | 01/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The organ itself may be of interest, as well as the music. There is a website maintained by the Friends, and nice writeups on the organ and John Wanamaker in Wikipedia."