Posted by: rbbadger | September 27, 2009

Carol Williams plays an organ from 1610

The British organist Carol Williams is an organist I very much like.  She is a very good musician, but she is not at all stuffy, as musicians and especially organists can sometimes be.  She now has a video series where she plays different organs throughout the world.  This organ you will see is quite different from the one she most often plays.  She is one of the last of a dying breed in America, namely a city organist.  The city of San Diego, being blessed as it is with abundant sunshine and warm weather, has a very large organ housed in a pavilion in Balboa Park.  Dr. Williams performs often on this one-of-a kind instrument.  She is paid by the city to do so.   In the days before radio, city organists were quite common.  American cities built huge instruments, had frequent recitals, and hired prominent organists to play them regularly.  Some of these instruments still exist, though San Diego is unique perhaps in that they still have a City Organist!  In her programs, she plays everything from the standards of organ literature, to Joplin rags, to Sousa marches, and much more.

The organ which you will see Dr. Williams play is from 1610.  It is in the chapel of Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerø, Denmark.  The bellows are still pumped by hand, so you will get to see this as well. 

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Responses

  1. Wouldn’t you LOVE to get your fingers on that old organ in that fabulous castle?!


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