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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Best of Both Worlds”

September 29, 2008

Dear Michael,

I was pleased to attend this recent event at the St. Josephs Cathedral. The program was well done.
There was an article well before the event announcing the new Fritz organ. That article did mention that the Beckerath down the street in the First Congretational Church was credited with being the inspiration.
I am a huge fan of the Beckerath, it is an outstanding neo-classic instrument. When Lionell Rogg played at it’s dedication in 1973 he described it as one of the 10 best organs he had ever performed on, quite a compliment coming from him! Felix Hell and many many other performers too have described it as a superb intstrument. Interesting is that the Congregational Church has two organs, the second being a recently restored Kimball, a romantic instrument originally installed in the 1930s.
Comparing the Beckerath with the Fritz I find the Beckerath superior in sound. For lack of a better description I will say that the Fritz sounded somewhat thick and muddy in comparison.
When it comes to the beauty of the case the Fritz has it hands down! It truly is beautiful.
Hopefully a program featuring both of those instruments will happen soon.




I think you will agree that Columbus is very luck to have both instruments. Happily, they are different (and in very different acoustics, which also may have something to do with the character of their voice). Comparisons are inevitable, and I expect that there is some music which works particularly well on one instrument and less so on the other...though each is inherently ‘musical’ in its effect.
You should be a very happy camper :-)





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