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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Firmin Swinnen?”

October 27, 2006

Dear Michael,

Do you know of any LP’s with Firmin Swinnen playing? The reason that I ask is that I recently acquired the LP The Art of Firmin Swinnen. The record displays an organist of extraordinary talent. In reading the record jacket Swinnen owned a recording company called Swinnen-Art. I can’t believe that his company only produced one recording. The record jacket plus an article in a previous edition of the Diapason magazine make mention of a jazz version of Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor. This is something that I personally would love to hear

Ed Terry
Hazlet, NJ

Dear Ed ,

I know of only one LP of Firmin Swinnen’s playing (he was for many years employed by the duPont family, playing the landmark Aeolian ‘residence organ’ in the ballroom at Longwood Gardens), and it sounds as though you already have it. I’m not totally ‘up’ on that topic, but if any other web watchers know more, we’d be happy to add your knowledge to my ignorance :-)
And, though it sounds rather intriguing, I’ve never heard the jazz arrangement of Bach’s Passacaglia.



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