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  Home > Artist Roster > Fox, Virgil >

  Virgil Fox at Wanamaker Organ
Virgil Fox at Wanamaker Organ

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Product Code: DVD-042

Program and Notes
Virgil Fox at Wanamakers!
Wanamaker Organ (1964)
Lord & Taylor, Philadelphia
6 manuals, 451 stops, 30,067 pipes

Virgil Fox’s 1964 recording on the Lord & Taylor Wanamaker remains as exciting today as it was then. Re-released for the 100th-anniversary year of the Wanamaker—the world’s largest playing organ—this CD/DVD album features the famous Command Classics 40-minute audiophile recording on a CD and, in the same package, on the audio track of a DVD-Video. (During the playing of the audio tracks also on the CD, the DVD displays a collection of kaleidoscopic collages. )

In addition, the DVD includes an 11-minute TV interview of Fox at the Wanamaker Organ (1979), and a 30-minute performance videotaped in 1970 for the CBS network TV show Camera Three.

Played on the Wanamaker organ:
WAGNER: Fanfares from Parsifal
WAGNER: Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
VIERNE: Carillon de Westminster
BACH / FOX: Come Sweet Death
MULET: Thou Art the Rock
ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1
FAURÉ: Nocturne from Shylock

The CBS Camera Three program, which is entitled La Belle Époque, was performed in a TV studio.
Played on his touring electronic organ:
GUILMANT: Marche Religieuse
IVES: Variations on America
ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1

The 11-minute TV interview was shot at the Wanamaker organ in 1979 by KYW-TV 3 in Philadelphia.

Average Customer Review: 4.5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 2 Write a review.

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Virgil Fox at Wanamaker December 12, 2009
Reviewer: Bryan Leech from Upwey, VIC Australia  
I am reviewing the original release, which I am listening to as I await this release. The Wanamaker sound is unique. The organ is so large it takes a master performer to produce the wonderful music and sounds of this recording. Like the rogers, this organ is designed to play much more than standard organ works. Although the entire recording is a revelation, "Come Sweet Death" and the "Liebestöd" are very special. Although I haven't heard the Rogers tracks, it was not uncommon for Fox to take liberties with standard works . But Bach and Handel, as examples, frequently improvised and made various changes. But only one version could be committed to print. In more recent times, many organists, and lovers of organ music, have been ignorant of this fact. Speaking as an organist, too many modern organists take a dull and unimaginative approach to the pipe organ. Fox didn't.

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  0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A worthy Wanamaker memory January 5, 2009
Reviewer: Michael Timberlake from Hurstpierpoint,, West Sussex United Kingdom  

Virgils magic and The Wanamaker what a combination.  The sound and the empathy just command you to stop and listen. Knowing how weave tonal magic on an organ this complex came as second nature to Virgil. A lovely a confident large sound and the controlled passionate Come Sweet Death will give you a moist eye if you have a soul. And I bet he played it all from memory. Just staggering, what a performer, what a musician, what an organist.

Sometimes the exuberance of the showman resulted in performances of questionable taste on the electronic Touring Organ. Luckily for us Virgil gave The Wanamaker the respect it deserves, he has left us with an enduring memory.

There are many sound and video clips available elsewhere if you want to form a more balanced view of Virgils performances. In my opinion the light show adds nothing to the DVD.

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