Anthony Poole Posted September 16, 2004 Share Posted September 16, 2004 I wondered whether any of the participants in this forum have listened to or played the new Walt Disney Hall organ. I've not heard or seen it yet, so probably shouldn't really comment as my only impressions of it are the photographs I've seen and one review I've read. But when I first saw a schematic of it, my first thought was that it could have been something conjoured by the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I find the debate about the concert hall pipe organ fascinating. On the one hand I understand and even sympathise with those who have hang ups for all sorts of legitimate reasons and associate the organ with the church. But I wish people could consider it first as a musical instrument, which is what it was before it went into the church in the first place. Unlike any other musical instrument, the organ is so large that it becomes a part of the fabric of the building and becomes an architectural feature of it, whether it is in a concert hall or a church. Even the consoles of the 'Might' Wurlitzer's were a visual asset to a building, even if you couldn't see the rest of the organ. Personally I'm against the idea of hiding organs behind a screen, especially in a concert hall, as it negates the purpose of going to experience live music. The live performance experience is just as much visual as it is aural, and that does not even take account the aural aspect of front display pipes. I've only heard one good organ behind a screen, which is at Westminster Cathedral, although that is a remarkable and exceptional instrument for a variety of reasons. So back to my original question, does the Walt Disney Hall organ sound like it looks? And do people think this visual and tonal eclectic approach is right for a concert hall, as opposed to a church, given the huge demands of a concert hall instrument as opposed to the equally large, but different, demands of a church instrument? I should say that what I have read about the organ describes the sound as powerful, bucking the trend of more recent thin toned concert hall instruments. And the review I read describesthe tonal approach as eclectic. My impression of the visual approach is that it is unconventional, which is stating the obvious, against what looks like a relatively conventional concert hall backdrop - again, judging by photographs, rather than seeing the beast in the flesh. I've just had an idea for a cartoon, with the music especially composed for the organ. It's a shame I can't draw. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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