The United States of Bach

It is as simple as Bach’s instructions, “Push the right key and the right time and the organ plays itself.” With that in mind, we’ll discover just how much diversity there is behind that seemingly obvious instruction. Listen to six American soloists on as many American instruments will treat us to Preludes and Fantasies, melodious chorale-settings and vibrant fugues. In a cross-country survey, from churches in South Dakota, Georgia, Michigan and Utah and university halls in Arizona and Texas, we celebrate Baroque organ music at its best and show Johann Sebastian the American way. It’s the United States of Bach.
1928 Kimball at Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minn.1928 Kimball at Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minn.

A Voice From The Past #9610

The mammoth 10,000-pipe former Minneapolis Auditorium Kimball organ, still awaiting restoration and relocation in the city’s new Convention Center, provides some music from its Farewell for Now concert with the Minnesota Orchestra and recordings taped just days before it was dismantled for storage back in 1987. Performers include Edward Berryman, Tom Hazleton, Robert Vickery and Hector Olivera with conductor Jahja Ling. Unfortunately, restoration plans for this unique instrument have fallen into limbo. We hope it won’t be too long before there’s good news to report. Meanwhile, enjoy these remarkable archive artifacts. In particular, Olivera’s performance of the Jongen is an audio tour de force.

Everything Old is New Again

We journey back in time on our next Pipedreams program, to the days when movies were real events and movie palaces were the most opulent buildings in the land. The sound of the theatre organ is filled with nostalgia, but these remarkable, resilient instruments are even more vital today, as we discover in conversation with American Theatre Organ Society president Stephen Adams while listening to seventeen different artists and installations. We’ll travel from the Granada Theatre in Kansas City to the Vancouver Orpheum, from Wichita’s Century II Convention Center to the Sanfillipo Music Salon near Chicago. Whether in tunes by Gershwin or Jerome Kern, Chopin or Richard Rodgers, every generation finds its true love in the world of the Mighty Wurlitzer where Everything Old is New Again, this week on Pipedreams.