by Mona Seghatoleslami
The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has declared July 2008 to June 2009 “The International Year of the Organ.”
Despite growing up hearing an organ played nearly every Sunday in church, the instrument is a bit of a mystery to me. Organ players talk about all different makes and models, pipe lengths, stops, etc. I’m starting to realize that things are not as simple as an organ is an organ is an organ.
So, I think I’m going to take this year celebrating the organ to learn more about “the king of instruments” (as Mozart called the organ). And of course I’ll be sure to share my explorations here. Any organists out there want to chime in with some suggestions for getting started?
AGO members have already started celebrating. This past weekend, they sponsored “The World’s Largest Organ Recital.” It was more than one very large concert; chapters of the AGO held organ recitals on the same day (Sunday October 19th) all over the country.
I wasn’t able to make it to any organ recitals that day, but Chris Nagorka, of Kanawha Organ Works, recorded the Kanawha AGO chapter’s recital at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in St. Albans. Here are some selections:
Listen to Andrew Swing perform Toccata in D Minor by JS Bach
Listen to Paul Isaacs Jr. perform Toccata in F by Dietrich Buxtehude