Nov 16

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The History of the Organ, Part 1: It’s Latin Origins, Part 2: From Sweelink to Bach, Part 3: The Golden Age, and Part 4: The Modern Age ★★★★

Only after I purchased each of these separately did I notice that the complete set is now available for a bit cheaper than purchasing each part separately. The production was accomplished by ArtHaus, and utilizes a number of well-known and accomplished organists to demonstrate various historical and modern organs. There is much discussion on the early invention and development of what we know of as the organ, and its evolution and development over time into the modern instrument that we know. The development of organ music was also discussed. There are episodes that spend time in a modern organ building shop, showing how both historical and modern organs are assembled.

Each episode was slightly under one hour, making the set quite pricey for what you get. Topics are treated very superficially. You are never given an in-depth view of the assemblage of any of the organs demonstrated. There are no details as to how organ music has changed over time, or what musically distinguishes one composer from another, other than a brief demonstration of some of their pieces. The technique of playing the organ is only superficially approached in one teaching episode of an accomplished organist with a student.

I enjoyed the series but feel that it could have been much better done. Unfortunately, there isn’t much out there about the prince of all musical instruments, the organ. To that, a better series on the organ is well deserved.

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