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The Organist is Dead
The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 7/31/14 | Richard Ingrams

Posted on 08/04/2014 8:22:57 AM PDT by marshmallow

A great English Christian figure is in danger of dying out

The Church organist is in a strange position, half in and half out of the service – partly why I like it. In some churches, if I am lucky, I am hidden away from the vicar and the congregation, so if the service is boring I can do silent practice on the keyboard or read the psalms, helpfully reprinted at the back of the best hymn book: the English Hymnal. The other advantage, from an oldie’s point of view, is that you don’t have to keep standing up all the time.

I have never considered myself a proper organist, although I have been playing in churches for more than 50 years. I am a pianist who plays the organ, but I can’t do the pedals, which is what a proper organist has to be able to do.

My job has been little more than playing hymns, something I have always enjoyed doing so long – that is, that I am allowed to choose the hymns myself. Nowadays, when organists are in short supply, it is easier to get agreement on this point from vicars or priests. Despite my many years as a not very committed Anglican, I am a baptised Catholic and was confirmed four years ago at Douai Abbey in Berkshire, after which I became a part-time organist for a short time in a local Catholic church.

I realised then that the Church of England, which has ruined most of its churches and jettisoned its famous Book of Common Prayer still had one advantage over the Catholics in its vast repository of hymns, many of them the work of famous poets and composers. Not that that has stopped the C of E’s politically correct brigade from moving in on........

(Excerpt) Read more at catholicherald.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Worship
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/04/2014 8:22:57 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
I have never like organ music. Every time I hear it in church I think of that scene from the old planet of the apes movies where the human survivors are worshiping the bomb and then reveal their true selves by removing their false faces to expose the radiation burns.

It just sort of creeps me out.

2 posted on 08/04/2014 8:26:08 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

You’ve never attended high mass in a church with a pipe organ.


3 posted on 08/04/2014 8:32:15 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Conservatism is the political disposition of grown-ups.)
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To: marshmallow

It is just not a Baptist hymn without an organ.


4 posted on 08/04/2014 8:32:53 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: marshmallow

I play in a church ensemble and love a good pipe organ (electric organ...heck no). We’re fortunate to have two good organists.


5 posted on 08/04/2014 8:37:29 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Illegals Are Getting Flat Screet TV's....NOT TB Screenings!)
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To: marshmallow

We have a fantastic organist at our Masses. Sacred music is not dead at our Church.

Hooray.


6 posted on 08/04/2014 8:39:53 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: marshmallow

My grandmother played the organ at her church from the time she was 12 years old till she had a stroke at 85. She still gives piano lessons.


7 posted on 08/04/2014 8:41:58 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

I play the organ (including the pedals). It’s not called the King Of Instruments for nothing.


8 posted on 08/04/2014 8:44:23 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

**hymn**

Thanks for using the correct word. Contemporary “song” just turns me off.


9 posted on 08/04/2014 8:48:25 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: marshmallow

Your local Mormons will usually have a piano and an organ.

What do you get if you turn a moslem inside out?

Answer: A Mormon.


10 posted on 08/04/2014 8:49:11 AM PDT by isthisnickcool (NO MORE IRS!)
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To: marshmallow
Not to worry. The organ has been replaced by the steel guitar ...

Buddy Emmons - Pachelbel Canon In D Major on steel guitar

11 posted on 08/04/2014 8:51:31 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: marshmallow

I grew up in Catholic Churches that had fantastic organs and organists. I have always believed it to be a magnificent musical instrument that is a fitting tribute to the Glory of God. After Vatican 2 most of the churches started gravitating toward hootenannies. No thanks.


12 posted on 08/04/2014 8:57:37 AM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED.)
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To: marshmallow
Many years ago I attended mass at Solesmes Abbey, in Solesmes France. The abbey is dedicated to preserving the Gregorian chant and has a beautiful pipe organ. This is what liturgical music was meant to be.
13 posted on 08/04/2014 8:58:12 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: TexasFreeper2009
Planet of the Apes? I would understand better if you'd said it was the Dr. Phibes movies...

I admit going to see an organ concert with the Great Organ in the Methuen Memorial Music Hall. Lovely mid-19th century organ originally commissioned for Boston, until tastes changed and the BSO came into being.

14 posted on 08/04/2014 8:58:22 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: coloradan

Wife and I both started out as organ builders, or at least, technicians/tuners.

Included an opus at a church on SoCal’s Catalina Island. Also, the bossman, years later, designed and supervised the construction of the organ at LA’s Disney Concert Hall.


15 posted on 08/04/2014 8:59:45 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Carol Willams plays a beautiful composition on that organ, “Twilight”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hglUzmDAfwU There’s no sheet music that I know of, but I managed to figure most of it out by ear.


16 posted on 08/04/2014 9:03:20 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
I like the "feel" a big pipe organ gives you with those vibrations deep in your lungs etc.

It helps me humble myself in the Lord's house.

17 posted on 08/04/2014 9:05:01 AM PDT by capt. norm
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To: marshmallow

The one thing that I really missed when I left the Episcopal Church was the music. We were communicants at a large Cathedral and left to attend a small Continuing (traditional) Anglican church.


18 posted on 08/04/2014 9:05:04 AM PDT by kalee
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To: marshmallow

I’ve always been in awe of pipe organs. They make the sanctuary feel like it’s a part of the instrument, where most musical experiences there is a distinct “them” over there playing and “you” over here, listening. That the organist is nearly always difficult to see just adds to the mystique.

But what really impresses me is that these massive, complicated and powerful instruments were built all over Europe and run completely without electricity, mass production, or any of the modern “essentials” that would be required today. It must have been an overwhelming experience to visit a church in, say, the mid 1600s and hear one of these amazing instruments. Think of the general state of living and technology back then and compare that to what was present in a cathedral with a pipe organ.


19 posted on 08/04/2014 9:20:12 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: marshmallow

The power and majesty of a pipe organ cannot be equalled. I heard E Power Biggs play Bach’s Little Fugue on a respectable instrument and it nearly blew my hat off.

And I wasn’t wearing one.


20 posted on 08/04/2014 9:22:28 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Liberty Valance

Ping for later.


21 posted on 08/04/2014 9:29:30 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: marshmallow

I love organs both at church and at St. Louis Cardinal baseball games.

Here’s the great Cardinal organist, Mr. Ernie Hays:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aygALzju9yw


22 posted on 08/04/2014 9:29:38 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: miele man

for later read


23 posted on 08/04/2014 10:01:16 AM PDT by miele man
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To: IronJack
I am seriously jealous. My choir director turned pages for Biggs when he was 12 and still considers it one of the high points of his life.
24 posted on 08/04/2014 10:22:47 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (I lost my phased plasma rifle in a tragic hovercraft accident.)
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To: Salvation
Contemporary “song” just turns me off.

I'm with you. Despite the "joyful noise" admonition, I don't think there's anything more out of place in a service than electric guitars and a full drum set.

25 posted on 08/04/2014 10:25:38 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (It is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

I don’t mind organ music, and can enjoy it if the organist is young enough. I’m of the belief that as older organists lose hearing in the higher ranges, they just pull out the stops a bit further to compensate. And when played like that, it sounds like someone is torturing cats. They don’t seem to hear the screams, but it can drive me from the church.


26 posted on 08/04/2014 10:58:06 AM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: CrazyIvan

It was the dedication concert for the pipe organ at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. I was just a kid taking piano lessons and my mom thought it might inspire me to learn to play the organ as well.

It inspired me all right, but I never learned to play the organ like THAT. I’d give anything to be left alone in that auditorium for an hour after someone “mistakenly” left the engine running on that beast ...


27 posted on 08/04/2014 12:02:32 PM PDT by IronJack
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