This page has pictures of some of my favorite organs….
(seated at the grand console of the Schnitger at St. Jacobi in Hamburg)
Organs in Bremen and vicinity
An excerpt from one of my diploma recitals, playing Invocation from Reger’s Second Sonata.
Gottfried Silbermann organ (1732) in the West Crypt of the same church
Also from the same recital, a Canzone by Salvatore.
Although the organ isn’t old, it was built into a facade (the part of the organ you can see, the case) from the 16th century! My teacher calls it “one of the best organs in Germany for playing the music of Bach and the Baroque”.
here I’m playing the Bach Prelude and Fugue in G-minor, BWV 535
van der Putten organ (2002) in the Walle Church, Walle-Bremen
This organ is also new, but built after models of historic organs, so one could say it “sounds old”. In a good way.
Here is a close-up of the keyboards, with the sub-semi tones (those extra, raised “black” keys – which in this case are white). They enable one to be able play either G# or A-flat, D# or E-flat, which on an organ tuned in mean-tone temperament, are different notes. Pretty tricky to get used to at first!
Erasmus Bielfeldt organ (1734) in the St. Wilhaldi church, Osterholz-Schambeck
Arp Schnitger organ (1693-94) in the Findorffkirche, Grasberg
Organs elsewhere in Germany
Arp Schnitger organ(1680) at St. Peter und Paul church in Cappel
Would you like to stay in an apartment beside this church, and practice all day and night on this amazing instrument? My friend Beth can tell you how!
from another of my diploma recitals, playing Buxtehude’s Praeludium in D minor
from a recital I played in Feb of 2009, Scheidemann’s Verbum caro factum est
This is the church where the organ builder, Arp himself, is buried,
Here we see the relieved recitalist, after the concert, with her husband and in-laws
Gottfried Silbermann organ (1710-14) in St. Marien Church/ Freiberger Dom, in Freiberg, Germany
Klapmeyer organ (1730) in St. Nicolai, Altenbruch
Anonymous organ (1659) in the Reformed Church in Uttum
Gottfried Silbermann organ (1755) in the Hofkirche in Dresden, Germany
Fürtwangler und Hammer organ (1916) in the Dom/Cathedral in Verden
a recording I made of Durufle’s Scherzo
Organs in other countries
The transept organ at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam
Ahrend/Brunzema build the organ in 1964-65 inside the original organ case from 1658.
Tolouse, France – Saint-Pierre des Chartreux – Delauney (1683), Micot (1784), Grenzing (1983)
This wonderful instrument for playing the French classic repertoire was begun by Delauney in 1683, further work done by Micot in 1784, and restored by Grenzing in 1893
Tolouse, France – the Ahrend organ from 1981, in the Musee des Augustins
This fabulous German Baroque instrument is in a museum in Toulouse.
The Cavaille-Coll organ (1862) at St. Suplice in Paris, France
An iconic instrument in the organ world, because of the famous organist/ composers who have presided here.
– There are many other fabulous organs in Paris and Toulouse which I saw and played, but I am mostly not very good at taking pictures of organs in large, dark churches, it seems…
– There are not only fabulous organs in Europe, and I hope you don’t get the impression that the only good ones were all built before 1750. I have recently updated my “Organs in the USA” section, to include most of my favorite builders, and representative instruments. Stay tuned for more!
Organs in the USA
Wahl organ (2011) at Augustana Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL
My pals at Augustana (cantor Dan Schwandt), and Wahl Organbuilders (Ron Wahl, and the too-modest-to-be-photographed Christoph Wahl), asked me to play the dedication concert on this lovely little instrument, which reminds me of other modest but beautiful and elegantly-designed instruments in Germany.
Martin Pasi organ (2007) in Winnetka, IL
The Winnetka Congergational Church – an amazing room for organ music, a cleverly designed organ with lots of colorful stops, and a great sound!
Taylor and Boody organ (1980) at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA
One of their earliest instruments, still full of energy, vitality, and life after all these years! (kind of like me…)
Small, but packing quite a punch as well. (I’m not exactly sure if that’s like me or not.)
Taylor and Boody (2005) at Goshen College, Indiana
Another beautiful example of American organ building – as Prof. Vogel likes to say, it’s not only beautiful to look at!
Dobson Pipe Organ Builders (1989), First Congregational Church, Battle Creek, MI
I had a very enjoyable time, at the Regional AGO Convention, summer of 2013, playing this sweet little Dobson, in the chapel of this church.
Paul Fritts and Company (2004), University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
An incredible room houses an incredible instrument, which is thankfully only 90 minutes from Holland, MI! Craig Cramer and his students are to be envied… The place to go in the Midwest, if you want to play Buxtehude!
Richards, Fowkes, and Co (1995ish), First Lutheran Church, Boston, MA
I was very excited when I finally was able to hear and play an example of fine organ building from these builders, who live and mostly build organs unfortunately, much too far from where I live! Just like being back in Germany, playing on this one…
Juget-Sinclair (2005), St. Andrews Episcopal, Wellsley, MA
Someone I trust told me I needed to check this out when in Boston, and I was glad (thanks Christa!). Watch out for these guys – they’re Canadian, so they’re probably pleasant and unassuming (I have Canadian relatives), but don’t let that fool you – they definitey know about organ building.
From a concert I played in July of 2009 for the Organ Historical Society National Convention, Karg-Elert’s Choral Prelude on “Aus tiefer Not”
Martin Pasi organ (2004) at St. Paul and the Redeemer Church in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood (USA)
This is from a concert I played in Sept of 2008, as part of the AGO International Year of the Organ. I am playing Bach’s newly discovered Chorale Fantasy on “Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns haelt”
Casavant Freres organ (1980) in the First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois (USA)
This is where I worked as church musician for five years from 1999 to 2004.
-a recording I made of Tournemire’s Improvisation on Victamae paschali