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Organist Thomas Murray standing next to the 4 manual Skinner Organ console in the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art
Sacré-Coeur Paris with composers Mulet and Ropartz

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An orchestra is capable of the softest pianissimos and very loud fortississimo. Few single instruments has this ability. Pipe organs have this dynamic range.

Ken Cowan is one of the top concert organists in the world today. His keyboard technique and musical skills are shared by a small number of elite organists. Ken Cowan is also a easygoing and humble guy - people love his down to earth personality.

Transformation with before and after photos are amazing to see. This is the first before and after comparison of a pipe organ I know of. In this video organist Stephen Tharp is seen and heard playing Vierne's Carillon de Westminster on the Kilgen pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn.

In JAV Recordings first full length DVD organist Mark Dwyer recorded organ works of Leo Sowerby, Sir Hubert Parry and Louis Vierne on the 1936 Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at the Church of the Advent in Boston. The organ at The Church of the Advent is well known in organ circles as one of the finest organs in the United States. It is an pioneering example of G. Donald Harrison's mature tonal style, eventually labeled as "American Classic".

Daniel Roth, organist of Saint-Sulpice playing the Final from Symphony No. 4 of Louis Vierne on the newly restored Kilgen Pipe Organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn, New York.

On Tuesday, July 28 at 7:30pm organist Joyce Jones will play a recital to benefit the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Guild of Organist's Pipe Organ Encounter at Our Lady of Refuge Church. 

Organist Ken Cowan is a member of the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he is Associate Professor and head of the organ program. Ken is also Organist and Artist-in-Residence at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston, TX. Previous positions have included Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award. In May of 2015 he recorded this video on the restored Kilgen Pipe Organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn. 

The organ of Saint-Jacques in Liège was built in 1600, probably either by Nicolas Niehoff or, even more likely, Floris Hocquet I. The original stoplist has not survived. The instrument was first rebuilt in 1669 by André Severin, a native of Maastricht. Arnold Clerinx completely renewed it in 1854, when the large shutters disappeared and the case was substantially deepened; in so doing, all traces of the old instrument were entirely erased.

Greetings from Ken Cowan, currently a full-time Professor, head of the organ program at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and recitalist, who recorded this performance of Reger's Fantasy on the chorale "Hallelujah, Gott zu loben" on the rebuilt Kilgen organ at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY.

The organ of the Grote Kerk in Oosthuizen was long considered to be one of the oldest organs in the Netherlands, built in 1521 and sometimes attributed to Jan van Covelens. The meantone temperament introduced in 1966 was at the time a revelation for many lovers of early organ music, and this contributed considerably to the instrument's fame.

Stephen Tharp a concert organist, church organist and recording artist recently made a video of his transcription of The Sorcerer's Apprentice on the pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn. Which was recently restored through a colaboration of A.R. Schopp's Sons and Quimby Pipe Organ. The funds were raised largely through over 1500 online donation, with gift made by people who have never been to Brooklyn. 

Loreto Aramendi's organ recital at Our Lady of Refuge in Brooklyn consisted of organ works from the French and German Romantic periods and a work by Bach. The music was all perfectly suited to a Symphonic American Organ like the restored Kilgen Organ at Our Lady of Refuge in Brooklyn.

Three years after the old organ of St. Stephanskirche in Tangermünde fell victim to the fire that swept through the town in 1617, Hans Scherer (the younger) of Hamburg was commissioned in 1620 to build a new instrument, which he completed in 1624. Around 1790, Johann Gottfried Zabel of Tangermünde undertook a major technical rebuild, including replacement of the Hauptwerk and Oberpositiv windchests and action, and new keyboards.

Daniel Roth is one of the giants of the organ world. He is highly regarded as a teacher, a composer, improviser and performer. Mr. Roth will play the last in a series of seven organ recital celebrating the restoration of the pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge.

 

Who is Elke Voelker? Tell us a little about her studies and professional career.

 

Elke Voelker is a German Organist who studied organ with Leo Kraemer and Hans-Juergen Kaiser in Germany. She received a scholarship which allowed her to study with Wolfgang Ruebsam at the University of Chicago, Nicholas Kynaston in London and Michelle Leclerc at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

Organist Todd Wilson while preparing for an organ recital at Our Lady of Refuge in Brooklyn sat down and just played Johann Sebastian Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 from memory on the restored Kilgen pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge.

Day 11 – Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 

The final day of our tour! It is hard to believe that I have been with this group for 11 days looking at pipe organs all over Northern Germany. Our final day began in Verden, where we heard the 1916 Furtwaengler & Hammer organ in Sts. Maria & Caecilia Dom. The church's foundation was laid in 1290, the building finally consecrated in 1490. The interior of the Dom is expansive. We first heard Tillmann Benfer play the 1968 Hillebrand organ, which is modeled after historic instruments, to a degree, and located towards the front of the church. Next he

Day 10 – Tuesday, May 17, 2011

 

We left Cuxhaven and the North Sea coast early this morning, beginning the long drive inland to the Bremen area and our last hotel. The first organ today was in Osterholz-Scharmbeck, at the Willehadi Kirche which was completed by Erasmus Bielfeldt in 1748. It is preserved almost true to the original instrument and has 23 stops on two manuals and pedal. In the late 19th century it was altered and the facade pipes

Day 9 – Monday – May 16, 2011

 

Rain is in the forecast for the day. Petrikirche – a brand new organ by Woehl in French romantic style, with many beautiful 8 foot stops. This is the 3rd in this turn-of-the-century church; they decided that, with all of the historic German-style organs around, they'd do something different.

Day 8 – Sunday, May 15, 2011

 

A more relaxed start this morning, we weren't required to be on the bus until 10:30am, a welcome change that allowed us to catch up on some sleep. We drove a short distance to Altenbruch for the 11am Lutheran Service, arriving just a little late. 

As there was no back door, we walked in the FRONT DOOR, in front of everyone! Baptisms

Day 7 – Saturday, May 14, 2011:

 

After several pleasant nights in Norden/Norddeich, we departed this morning with our ultimate destination Cuxhaven, also on the North Sea coast, and the Strandperle Hotel. This time, most people brought down there own bags so as to minimize confusion with the hotel porters and keep us on schedule for our visit to the Ahrend Orgelbau (organ building) Company.

Group Photo taken of the Pipedreams Group - Sunday May 15, 2011 

 

Pipedreams Group Photo infront of the Schnitger from 1680 Peter & Paul Kirche in Cappel outside of Cuxhaven, Germany. This was some second hand organ the church bought in the 18th century. 

Day 6 – Friday, May 13, 2011

 

This morning started off with some internet problems.  I was hoping to post Day 5, but the network in the hotel was not working. It was heavy jacket weather today, the inevitably situation of being up by the North Sea where the wind blows constantly and, this morning, it is cold out. After a good breakfast the group was off to Pilsum to see the organ at the Reformed Church

Day 5 - Thursday, May 12, 2011:

 

We were on the road 9am, and the first instrument we saw was the famous and unusual Schnitger at the Ludgerikirche in Norden proper, built in 1692 and beautifully restored by Juergen Ahrend in 1990. I had always wondered why the case is a bit oddly designed, as the CD booklets I have of the instruments how it to be a bit cock-eyed. Now, after my visit to the church, I fully understand. The first section of the building dates from the 13th century, a very

Day 4 - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

 

Today we left the Hamburg Renaissance Hotel and had an interesting situation with our bags, as the hotel has arranged for only two porters to bring down everyone's bag. Needless to say, we left a bit late, but all the baggage made the bus. Next we drove west, with our eventual destination destination being the North Sea city of Norden.

Day 3 – Tuesday, May 10, 2011

 

Today was a significant day, a trip to Lueneburg and churches that Johann Sebastian Bach knew in his youth – Michaeliskirche and Johanniskirche.  At the age of 14, Johann Sebastian Bach was awarded a choral scholarship to study at the Michaeliskirche, but when his voiced changed a short while later, he continued in Lueneburg, studying with Georg Boehm at Johanniskirche, basically as Boehm's assistant, taking almost daily lessons.  With that

Day 2 - Monday, May 9, 2011

 

We were off to an early start this morning, everyone was on the bus at 7:45, rolling on our way to Schwerin for our first stop of the day.  Schwerin is beautiful and the Cathedral (or Dom) is in the center of this picturesque town, on the highest point of ground. The organist, Jan Ernst, knows his instrument and how to get every color out of it. I was very impressed by his playing. The 84-stop instrument was built by Friedrich Ladegast (1871), one of the premier

Day 1 –  Sunday, May 8, 2011

 

Today was the first day of the Pipedreams tour led by Michael Barone.  It started at the Hamburg airport, though we had was some concerns, as a number of people had missed their connections, but by the end of the day everyone gotten here safe and sound.

On November 21, 2014 at 7:30pm one of the greatest improvisers and composers of our time will perform a concert in Brooklyn at Our Lady of Refuge Church. Mr. Escaich will play works of César Franck, Maurice Duruflé and Charles Tournemire, and will improvise four pieces in specific musical forms based on submitted themes.

The original, famous and popular silent movie version of "The Phantom of the Opera" will enjoy a special showing on Friday October 17th at 7:30 pm at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn, NY, accompanied by Todd Wilson on the church's newly restored Kilgen pipe organ.

The Grenzing pipe organ in the Catedral de Sanata Maria la Real de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain is spectacular. Little did any of us know what awaited this group of American Organists and what we were about to hear. One of our group members would record an impromptu improvisation on this magnificent Grenzing pipe organ that would be "caught on tape" by me!

Day 8, we left Burgos early Tuesday May 21 for a short drive to Lerma Spain to hear two famous pipe organs then on to Madrid. The first church we visited was the Collegiate Church of San Pedro in Lerma, consecrated in 1617. Its epistle organ (south side of church) is the oldest pipe organ in Spain.

On Day Seven of the Pipe Dreams Tour of Pipe Organs in Spain, we had bags out at 7am and the bus was rolling to Burgos at 9am. Burgos was founded 854 AD, it is a city of about 200,000 with 20,000 people living in the city. There are a large number of building remaining from the medieval age. It was also the birth place of El Cid.

This group of organists have been traveling and looking at the best new and very old pipe organs in Spain. We arrived in San Sbastian, Spain to see some of the significant pipe organs in this city. It was Pentecost Sunday and I had hoped to hear some terrific church music in Spain, well I'll leave that one alone. My liturgical joy was some Durufle. The first organ we heard was at the Church of Saint Vincent which has a Cavaille-Coll that was restored in 2000.

The previous day started in Mallorca and now we are in Bilbao on our tour of pipe organs in Spain. It is cold and raining, just yesterday it was bright and sunny.

Day four of the Pipe Dreams Tour started on the beautiful Island of Palma de Mallorca. Everyone else was heading to the beach in this tropical paradise, but NO not the group of 40 American organists–we were heading off to hear pipe organs in church on the island. Just think none of us had to pack sunscreen! We had to have our bags out at 6am, mind you, this blogger was up until 2am posting photos and videos to the internet.

Day three of the Pipe Dreams Tour was the group's second day in Barcelona. Our first stop of the day demonstrated the wide breath of the Grenzing workshop – the restoration of a 1907 E. F. Walcker in the Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Day two of the Pipe Dreams Tour was our first full day in Barcelona, the group got up early and drove into the mountains of Montserrat. The drive was through incredible rock formations up

Saint Paul Parish K Street has one of the finest music programs in all of Washington DC and is blessed with a fabulous organ, several excellent choirs and their Music Director, Robert McCormick, who is universally respected for his superb musical skills in the organ world.

May 14, 2013, El Papiol, Spain | The entire group of forty American pipe organ enthusiasts arrived in Spain today for the start of the Pipe Dreams Tour. We settled into our hotel in downtown Barcelona and visited Gerhard Grenzing Organbuilder.

Ken Cowan is widely regarded as one of the finest organists in the United States today. Mr. Cowan has an active organ recital schedule and has numerous recordings out on CD and iTunes. 

I began learning the organ whilst I was a chorister at York Minster, studying under John Scott Whiteley. I had played the piano from a young age, so it was probably inevitable that I became fascinated by the organ music I heard every day.

Ken Cowan is one of the leading organist in the world today. He is a true virtuoso of the organ, down to earth and a pleasure to work with.

This is an audio interview with Professor Thomas Murray, University Organist and Professor of Music at Yale University, where he talks about his life as a musician.

"in the Gigue Fugue the tune comes three times in the hands and when I hit the feet...."

 

These words spoken by Virgil Fox are known by many around the world today. Virgil Fox was and is a great influence to many in the organ world.

The organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach is some of the most perfect and profound writing in the history of music. Bach, for much of his life, was a "church organist" and pushed the pipe organ to the compositional and mechanical limits of his day. During his lifetime Bach wrote several large-scale sets of chorale preludes: Orgelbüchlein, Clavier-Übung, Schübler Chorales and the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes.

Restoring a pipe organ is a daunting task, even repairing a pipe organ is a significant project. How often have organists heard, well it would be nice to get the organ working again if we had the money to do the work. There are three simple paths that can be taken when dealing with a pipe organ in need of repair or restoration:

Organist Olivier Latry was invited by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to play an organ recital in the Chris and Anne Reyes Organ and Choral Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on February 25, 2014. The recital was played twice to accommodate the great number of people who wanted to hear Mr. Latry play.

Olivier Latry is an Organist from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. He is seen here playing the Allegro vivace movement of Charles-Marie Widor: Symphony No. 5. This was recorded live with no editing at the dedication of the pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn, New York. 

Pipe Organs are the most fascinating musical instruments built, they have thousands of pipes, a wide dynamic range, they are as big as a house, but most of all to watch a top organist play can be as exciting as watching Saga Kostsenburg snowboarding at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Many people lament the beautiful things made by past generations that could be returned to their former beauty if funding existed. How often do you hear people say we don’t manufacture things like we once did in the USA? This is a story that flies in the face of those two beliefs.

Daniel Roth is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s leading interpreters of French Romantic Organ Literature today. He is the titular organist of Saint-Sulpice in Paris where his predecessors were the who’s who of French organ composers and organists: Charles-Marie Widor, Marcel Dupre and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald.