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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Carl Weinrich”

June 2, 2006

Dear Michael,
The program on E. Power Biggs was great. Another great organist you should consider doing a program about is Carl Weinrich. He was just as influential as E. Power Biggs but seems to be overlooked. Weinrich was one of the students of the great Walter Lynnwood Farnam who was considered one of the greatest organists of all time and was responsible for the revival of Bach organ music. Anyway…just a thought.

Robert Varner
Garfield, NJ

Dear Robert,
So many organists of the past, so little time. Today I’ve received email suggestions that I do retrospective programs about Tom Hazleton (recently deceased), Edwin H. Lemare, and Alexander McCurdy, too.

I grew up with Weinrich LPs in my collection, and still do have a quantity of his recordings, very few of which have made the transfer to CD format. One listens to him as a ‘point in time’…playing Buxtehude on a shrill Marcussen neo-baroque organ, for instance, seems interesting only as a reference to how far we have come, now able to enjoy rich stereo recordings by Harald Vogel on authentically restored historic instruments from Buxtehude’s time. I do have a fondness for Weinrich’s recording at Symphony Hall, Boston, of the Brahms Fugue in A-flat minor.

I try to bring in representative examples of the best ‘old style’
players now and then, but there also are so many new, young folk deserving attention…let’s just say it would be possible to program a daily show and still not run dry.

Thanks for the suggestion.



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