Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rockin' Pipe Organ

Today Karen and I took my mother to see an amazing concert on an awesome pipe organ. It is in the Overture Center in Madison and was just phenomenal. I'd say there were 800 or so people who came to hear this concert and the organist was amazing. He played a tribute to Felix Mendelssohn, Bach, Mozart, and Shumann in honor of Mendelssohn's 200th birthday. He called it Felix and friends. I have never seen such incredible foot work and just general knowledge of the instrument. I had a very clear view of his volume control and was amazed at how adept he was. I am excited for the new season of concerts on this organ. There are 4 hymn sings and some other concerts as well.

If you love the sound of real pipe organs...not that blah stuff in 95% of WELS churches...this is something to hear. More than the instrument of course is having an organist who can bring out the sound. It is a shame so many of our churches have 300,000 to 800,000 dollar pipe organs and they are played like there are only 4 flute settings in existence. That is one of my pet peeves. I remember once at my old church thinking how sad it was a congregation of 2300 people has such a lame instrument. Then one of the synod's most talented organists played it and holy crap...The church thundered and moved and there was probably dust flying out of half the pipes from lack of use.

Well anyways..try to make the next concert there in September. Here are some facts on this organ made by Orgelbau Klais Bonn.
  • craftsman construction using old-fashioned methods and handmade elements; wood harvested and cured for years
  • stored in "closet" approximately 18" x 65" and 62-feet high with stairs to reach the instrument
  • organ and enclosure together weigh approximately 350,000 Ibs.
  • organ moves into position on rails at a speed of one foot per minute
  • 40-foot doors open to reveal organ and form side walls of orchestra shell; wood panels drop down to form ceiling
  • separate ventilation system in stage house includes temperature-controlled environment for organ


Cheryl Louise Johnson said...

At first glance I thought you were doing an article on DNA (the top image)! :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah and alot of those organs can out do alot of praise bands! ;)

Joe K.