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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Wigton
1990 Wigton organ at Saint Mary’s Church in Detroit, Michigan

Historic Organs of Michigan

Some of them are small and could fit in your living room. Others are large and make a mighty noise. All of them are old, but what does age mean in this context? On our next Pipedreams, we hear the music of historic pipe organs in and around Detroit. Some still are playing in their original settings, others have been moved to new homes, properly restored to begin a second century of use. All tell us something about times past, when the organbuilder’s art in the United States was at its first full bloom. They look back over more than one hundred fifty years of experience, and remind us that beauty is as much in reflection as forward motion. Aesthetic archeologist and fixit-magician Dana Hull shares some surprises from her territory. She shares her insights, introducing us to a vibrant and sturdy breed: the Historic Organs of Michigan, this week on Pipedreams.

Program Broadcast dates:

  • March 26, 2001

Music played in the program

CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR: Allegro, from Symphony Number 6, Opus 42, number 2 –David Hufford (1990 Wigton/Old St. Mary RCC, Detroit, MI)

THÉODORE DUBOIS: Offertoire –Barry Turley (1887 Wood/St. Anne RCC, Detroit, MI)

HYMN: Standing on the Promises. GLADYS FISHER: The Shepherd’s Psalm –Elgin Clingaman (1889 Wood & Son/Pilgrim Church, Detroit, MI)

TOMASA VITALI (arranged by Auer/Respighi): Chaconne in g –Lisa Shihoten, violin; Ken Cowan (1926 Skinner/Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian, Detroit, MI) JAV CD-118

ERNST PEPPING: Macht hoch die Tür, from Grosses OrgelbuchLarry Visser (1985 Wilhelm/First Congregational, Ann Arbor, MI)

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN: Pieces for Musical Clock –Thomas Brown (1865 Erben/First Presbyterian, Cass City, MI)

ALEXANDRE GUILMANT: Offertoire in C –Agnes Armstrong (1892 Johnson & Son/Cass Community UMC, Detroit, MI)

LOUIS VIERNE: Andantino, from Pieces in Free Style –Susan Goodson (1924 Casavant Frères/Martyrs of Uganda RCC, Detroit, MI)

NED ROREM: Impromptu, from Organ Book III –MaryAnn Crugher Balduf (1857 Erben/St. James Episcopal, Dexter, MI)

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT: Harmonies du soir –Gordon Atkinson (1932 Votteler-Holtkamp-Sparling/Zion Lutheran, Detroit, MI)

RICHARD WHITING: Beyond the Blue Horizon –Scott Smith (1927 Barton/Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI)

ORPHA OCHSE: Prelude –Karen Cahill, flute; Anita Hanawalt (1898 Möller/St. John Episcopal, Sandusky, MI)

RUTH WATSON HENDERSON: Meditation on Herzliebster Jesu –Joanne Vollendorf (1892 Jardine & Son/Trinity Episcopal, Detroit, MI)

DUDLEY BUCK: Allegro maestoso, from Grand Sonata in E-flat –George Bozeman (1861 E. & G.G. Hook/Holy Cross RCC, Marine City, MI)

Filler –FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (see above)

Several of these instruments were relocated through the offices of the Organ Clearing House. One is cared for by the local chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. Unless otherwise indicated, the performances above were recorded by OHS engineer Ed Kelly during the 1995 convention of the Organ Historical Society and are available from the OHS in an annotated compact disc collection Historic Organs of Michigan, OHS CD-95.