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Howard Goodall's Organ Works

Howard Goodall's Organ Works

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Item Number:
KUL D4442
97 min.
Closed Caption:
Kultur International Films, Ltd
A fascinating journey through the evolution of the traditional pipe organ through to the digital age. Includes four full-length programs: Medieval Organs, Baroque Organs, 19th Century and Contemporary.

This serious, informative and highly amusing insight into the world of the organ endeavors to explain why, for some people, this bold, colorful and beautiful instrument has an irresistible power!

In the ancient world, it played a part in public spectacle, used by the Romans at gladiatorial contests – perhaps the only thing heard above the baying crowds! It evolved through medieval and Baroque times when Martin Luther, allegedly complaining that the devil had all the best tunes, converted popular folk melodies into hymns, and ultimately the Lutheran hymn book was produced, a sort of melodic greatest hits of the day. It is hard to overstate the influence on the organ of JS Bach, whose music is the finest ever written for the instrument, giving it a distinctive, living voice. Moving to modern times, we look at how the Wurlitzer and Hammond B3 have brought organ music to new audiences and new generations.

Goodall's fascinating journey takes him to gems of the organ world in Spain, France, Germany, Holland and onto the USA, a journey that takes him to churches, cathedrals, castles and parks, West Point Military Academy and on to "one of the wonders of the musical world", in a Philadelphia department store!

Ultimately Goodall examines the future of the traditional pipe organ in the face of competition in the digital age, concluding that given its history and popularity, there will always be a place for the magnificent and majestic original!

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