Skip to comments.The Organist is Dead
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 oldies point of view, is that you dont 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 cant 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 Es politically correct brigade from moving in on........
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicherald.co.uk ...
It just sort of creeps me out.
You’ve never attended high mass in a church with a pipe organ.
It is just not a Baptist hymn without an organ.
I play in a church ensemble and love a good pipe organ (electric organ...heck no). We’re fortunate to have two good organists.
We have a fantastic organist at our Masses. Sacred music is not dead at our Church.
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.
I play the organ (including the pedals). It’s not called the King Of Instruments for nothing.
Thanks for using the correct word. Contemporary “song” just turns me off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It helps me humble myself in the Lord's house.
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.
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.
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.