If you’ve missed any of Peterborough Singers’ artistic director Syd Birrell’s Organ Talks, fear not, they are all available online. Each features Syd at the fine Casavant pipe organ of Murray Street Baptist Church, playing organ pieces by J.S. Bach, recorded by Peterborough Singers’ board chair-slash-gifted-tech-guy Carey Gibson.
Syd says he thoroughly enjoys sharing the “whys and whens” of each organ piece, as well as playing the works themselves — after many hours of practicing to meet the challenges of the repertoire. Listeners will learn not only about the mighty instrument itself but also about some of the challenges faced by the organist. (“Not the least of which is the footwork required in playing the organ pedalboard!” says Syd.)
What’s more, a second set of organ talks is in the works, details and dates TBA. Syd will move “beyond Bach,” and include works such as Widor’s Toccata in F and an episode of wedding music featuring the Singers’ much loved “trumpeter in residence,” Doug Sutherland. So, stay tuned! And meanwhile, have a look and listen to previous episodes of The Organ Talks: Syd Birrell Plays and Talks Bach.
An Introduction to the Pipe Organ
Toccata & Fugue in D Minor
The Little Organ Book
The Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor
Overture, Concerto & Fugue, or Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
Fantasia & Fugue in G Minor, the Ultimate Audition Piece
Two Composers, Two Toccatas, One Key, and 166 Years
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C: An Even Harder Pedal Solo!
BAROQUE ROCK? The Dorian Toccata and the Jig Fugue