With our offices unusually quiet again in the second lockdown I resorted to exploring YouTube for material to pass some time. I also wanted to find a film clip I remember from the 1990’s of a remarkable home organ in the USA which I saw on one of the series ‘Howard Goodall’s Organworks’
Not all past programmes can be viewed on YouTube but I was lucky and found what I needed in program 9.
The gentleman in question was called Jaques Littlefield. He had amassed a considerable fortune and enjoyed spending it as the programme showed.
He owned a prodigious collection of military vehicles and had commissioned organ builder Fisk to provide a very substantial 3 manual tracker instrument in a more than appropriately sized concert hall (See image above). Jaques died over 10 years ago and the organ has since been moved to the Alumni Hall of Indiana University.
I had to go through all the available programs on YouTube and I was struck just how amazingly informative they are. Howard Goodall CBE, has a very natural and relaxed presentation style.
Only us ‘older’ organists may remember this series so I hope those of you not familiar with it will enjoy it.
Howard of course is a well known personality in the music world, with I am happy to say a home Viscount Organ, well assuming he still has it.
He is also a well known composer with numerous TV scores to his credit including his setting of the Lord is my Shepherd which became the theme tune for ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Blackadder’. I wonder if these two credits are the bane of his life?
So here are the videos to the only episodes I can find .
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.
Martin Stringer says
Having started my working life with an apprenticeship to JW Walker in 1965 – this is a fascinating look at the organ in all it’s guises!
Sadly the Walker apprenticeship could’nt continue but my love for the organ has.In the Highlands there are some interesting examples of organ – some barely playable – certainly no more than hymns! However my consolation is our excellent Envoy 35F in our huge 500+ seat church in Cromarty on the Black Isle – which I regularly played until Covid took over!
Thankyou for posting these recordings David – totally enjoyable and enlightening too! Wishing yourself and Viscount a successful and prosperous 2021.