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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Sick of the Stuff”

September 14, 2009


Dear Michael,

I was just listening to one of your programs. I salute you for emphasizing what is now an unpopular instrument. At the same time, I've never understood why organists never play Bach. I talked to one, and he said that he was so sick of the stuff that he would never play it again. But those of us who rather appreciate Bach would like to hear some, just from time to time. It won't kill you to do so.
Oh, lord, there goes some Messien. A man with less talent has never lived. Anyhow thanks for the program. When I was a kid (20) I wanted to built organs (Baldwin did made electronic ones, and I lived in Cincinnati), but it didn't work out.
Good luck to you. I don't mean to offend you, but it's getting ridiculous.

Jerry

 

Jerry,

Organists DO play Bach, and plenty of it/him. And he’s present on PIPEDREAMS, too. Consider a marvelous performance of Prelude & Fugue BWV 546 from Yale recently, as well as nearly all-Bach programs in March and July. If you type “Bach” into the Pipedreams Website Searchbar, you should come up with many, many items to enjoy.
But I do think that any organist who claims to be “so sick of the stuff that he would never play it again” is not truly an organist.
And I confess that I do suspect the comments from anyone who suggests of Messiaen that “a man with less talent has never lived”...perhaps you simply have not yet figured out how to listen?
Interesting that you lived in Cincinnati near the Baldwin Electronic Organ factory. John Brombaugh, one of the finest American organbuilders of the 20th century, actually worked for Baldwin...and then realized how “real organ music” was produced.
Jerry, the world is ridiculous (or we humans have made it so...).
Fortunately, there's Bach, and Messiaen, to distract us from that reality.
:-)

 

jmb

 

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