Organ muse

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s new organ sounds wonderful:

It has 6,938 pipes, ranging from pencil-size to more than 40 feet, deployed in 125 ranks. In a demonstration and performance for the press, Jeffrey Brillhart, an organist from Bryn Mawr, Pa., coaxed out a high, thin, almost inaudible piping that was seemingly adrift in the hall (like the familiar whine of a malfunctioning hearing aid), then sounded a hoarse, bottomless, almost pitchless flutter that the builders refer to as a “tuned helicopter.”

When we were kids I and Mr O somehow persuaded the vicar to give us the keys to the church and the organ, and we made such a horrific noise that we never dared return. Mr O has gone on to write even more horrific noises, while I have dedicated my life to mediocre kitsch, but one of my proudest moments came in a large Dutch provincial cinema when I managed to get into the organ compartment during a particularly meaningful part of some Julia Roberts vehicle and play a condensed version of The Ride of the Valkyries, confirming for my then girlfriend a decision she had long taken. I have yet to come into contact with Spanish theatre or church organs, but wait like a child, in keen anticipation.

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *