Monday, 7 September 2009
I've always been a bit of a fan of tinkly piano music and concert organs. (The first LP I ever bought was a pianist called Charlie Kunz. I know that dates me!) So on Sunday I spent a delightful afternoon in Saltaire's Victoria Hall at a concert, sponsored by the Cinema Organ Society (North), listening to John Mann playing a wonderfully varied selection of music on the recently installed Wurlitzer Pipe Organ.
The organ is a Wurlitzer Opus 2208, originally installed in the Gaumont Theatre Oldham in 1937. (It has some additional pipe sets from elsewhere). Organs such as these were common in theatres and cinemas, often rising up from beneath the stage - as indeed the Victoria Hall organ thrillingly does! They used to accompany silent movies in the 1920s before becoming solo instruments in their own right.
After the concert I had the privilege of looking below stage at the 'works' - the pipes and bellows and the enormous organ lift mechanism, not to mention a load of electronics. Very fascinating and very complicated!
There are regular concerts scheduled (the next on Friday 18 Sept at 7.30, as part of Saltaire Festival) - and dances too, for the more nimble folks. If you want a dose of wholesome enjoyment and nostalgia, I do recommend it. There's nothing more uplifting to the spirits than people following their passion and communicating it to others. Thanks to all at COS North!