"Phantoms of the Organ" Halloween bash - diyAudio
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Old 1st November 2008, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default "Phantoms of the Organ" Halloween bash

Well there, fans of the bassic. Last night was Toronto's annual Halloween organ bash. Metropolitan United Church, largest organ in Canada, a Casavant five-manual, 121 rank, Aeolian-Skinner-like instrument with electric activation. Yes, Toronto also has at least one genuine Aeolian-Skinner five-manual instrument as well as fabulous Casavant tracker organs (and for collectors of the unusual, there's a fine Casavant tracker in a synagogue in Buffalo).

It is a scholarship fund raiser event for the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the church and crowd were dressed for Halloween and jolly time was had by all. In addition to the wonderfully loud French organ pieces (well, had to start with the old pot-boiler, Toccata and Fugue in d-minor, of course), there was variations on Alfred Hitchcock's TV theme, and other fun pieces.

A few weeks ago there was a concert of French organ music on another organ with profound reeds that I thought was louder. But I forgot to take my SPL meter. We have a lot of mostly free organ concerts here.

The organist associations have big conventions here and there (here in the spring). Fans of subwoofers ought to think about attending.

1. Almost any city can organize a fun Halloween organ night like that.

2. Peak SPL near the organ was no more than 105 dBC with my old Radio Shack meter, although the meter is possibly a bit bass-impaired. Loud parts were generally in the 90-95 dBC range.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 01:07 AM   #2
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What a great idea, I may just send off an email to the MSO suggesting just such a concert for next year at Melbourne Town Hall
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Old 17th April 2009, 10:10 PM   #3
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Default Loud organ music 2009 April 17 at 7:30

Hey Toronto fans of loud organ music... Yorkminster Park Baptist (large Cassavant). No tickets needed (donation only).
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Old 19th April 2009, 12:50 AM   #4
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Proved to be a great concert. Lots of brassy French organ music using the reeds a lot. That is a specialty of this organ. Unlistenable unless you are 2/3 back in the church.

Lots of free organ concerts in Toronto and in many cities. A lot to be said for exposing yourself to "the real thing" if you are trying to woof at home.

Having said that, I think it has been many years since people last used to think that the criterion for playing recorded music at home was that it was supposed to be like having Carnegie Hall in your living room or some gibberish like that.

Never the less, a lot of folks with great thumping one-note "tuned" bass (or transmission lines posturing as horns) think that is what bass is really like.
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Old 19th April 2009, 01:21 AM   #5
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Speaking of loud organs -- the Organ Historical Society is having their 2009 Convention in Cleveland from July 5th through July 9th -- not too far for you Ontarioans as one of the programs is in Toledo, another in Oberlin (at the Conservatory) -- Cleveland had a large organ building industry at the turn of the century --

The program is July 5 to July 9 -- concludes with a concert on the 1929 Skinner in Severance Hall.

Here's a link to the program:

http://www.organsociety.org/2009/reg...Brochure-1.pdf

The Wannamaker Organ was featured in Philadelphia today.
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Old 19th April 2009, 02:10 AM   #6
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Well, not bad.

Check out one of our annual organ festivals (esp. organ and brass):

http://www.organixconcerts.ca/2009/index.html
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Old 19th April 2009, 12:05 PM   #7
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That looks good.

My wife and I went to a couple concerts in Montreal and Quebec last summer.

The St. Procop church is being decommissioned by the Diocese of Cleveland. They have a pre-WWI Voettler Holtkamp which I would like to hear, thus I will probably drive out there for a couple of days.
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Old 30th October 2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default "Phantoms of the Organ" 2010

Friday night at 10, Oct 29, latest re-incarnation, about the 7th annual event. Largest organ in Canada, 8200 pipes.

They move the console to the middle of the "stage" so you can watch the organists play - it must be electro-pneumatic with a long cord. They played a medley of Phantom of the Opera, Thriller (from a deceased scary chap named Jackson), and other pieces with no visible organist from some remote place - sure looks and sounds scary

Organists and audience in costumes. Candles, smoke, rude noises. Usual big crowd of several hundred.

A few peaks near 100 dBC with usual peaks around 95 dBC. Great deal of fancy pedal work. Since a Radio Shack SPL meter is shy a 1.5 to 3 dB at the lowest freq., reality is a bit louder.

Usual scary music... but performance of over-played old warhorse, T&F in d minor, was noteworthy by Matthew Coons. Also Louis Vierne, PDQ Bach, Rumba (nice, by Pierre Cholley), Arabian Dance from the Nutcracker, and wrapping up with a stirring performance of Boellmann's familiar Toccata from Suite Gothique (student performer in fairy costume with pink tutu).

And a good time was had by all.
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Old 30th October 2010, 04:21 PM   #9
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Wish I could have made it there for this. Got to see this organ while I was visiting my sister in Ontario this summer - probably one of the best sounding Casavants I've heard.
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Old 30th October 2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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Pretty good for a big organ.

Casavants freres of St. Hyacinthe Quebec (in the countryside, not too far from Montreal, got stranded there with wife on a motorcycle trip during Hurricane George), also make wonderful trackers. Deer Park United (a few blocks from home) is my favorite - about as different as could be.
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