A History of the Organ

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Arts Documentary hosted by Tim Hardy, published by RM Arts in 1997 - English narration

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Image: A-History-of-the-Organ-Cover.jpg

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A History of the Organ 1 - 4

Produced by FR3 / RM Arts / Tara Productions in association with the Centre National de la Cinématographie - 1997

Series Editor Gilles Cantagrel ; Directed by Nat Lilenstein


The organ is one of the oldest, most complex and most glorious musical instruments known to man. The four-part series tells the history of this magnificent instrument, displaying the beauty of the sound it produces, the wealth of music written for it, the craftsmanship involved in building such a complicated and often ornate structure and the wonderful settings in which it has come to reside. The Four Volumes that make up this documentary are very informative, and include musical examples composed for the various periods which best show the advances in the development of The King of Instruments. The journey takes us from Italy, Spain, Germany and France to discover and listen to the changes that make up the history of this wonderful instrument.

[edit] Latin Origins

Starting out in the Verona workshop of Bartolomeo Formentelli, this episode travels through Italy, Spain and France to trace the origins, history and development of the organ. It encompasses the classical sobriety of the Italian style, the Golden Age of the organ in sixteenth-century Spain, and the French style of the eighteenth century.
FEATURING MUSIC BY Pierre Attaignant, Antonio de Cabezón, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Francisco Correa de Arauxo, François Couperin, Nicolas de Grigny and Louis-Claude Daquin

[edit] From Sweelinck to Bach

Focusing on the influence of the great German school of organ builders in Northern Europe, this episode was filmed in The Netherlands and Germany. With the advent of the Lutheran reforms in the church, the organ became an increasingly widespread and important part of religious worship. The development of organ music from Sweelinck, the ‘maker of organists’, through Buxtehude to the golden age, in which the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach is highlighted, is shown.
FEATURING MUSIC BY Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Dietrich Buxtehude, Matthias Weckmann and Johann Sebastian Bach
ORGANISTS Gustav Leonhardt, Bernard Foccroulle, Hans Heintze

[edit] The Golden Age

This episode focuses on the first half of the 18th Century - the Golden Age of organ music. The French and German school of organ production is presented and works by Marchand, Dandrieu and Johann Sebastian Bach will be played.
FEATURING MUSIC BY Louis Marchand, Johann Sebastian Bach and Jean-Francois Dandrieu
ORGANISTS Xavier Darasse, André Isoir and Gustav Leonhardt

[edit] The Modern Age

Tracing the organ’s development, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, this episode visits France and Switzerland. The impact of changes in society, tastes and musical styles, as well as technological advances, are examined and illustrated with music by Charles-Marie Widor, Max Reger, Olivier Messiaen and Jehan Alain.
ORGANISTS Marie-Claire Alain, René Saorgin, Louis Robilliard and Xavier Darasse

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: AVC Advanced Video Codec
Video Bitrate: 1199 kbps
Video Resolution: 704x544
Display Aspect Ratio: 1.294:1
Frames Per Second: 29.970 FPS
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48KHz
Audio Streams: 2
RunTime Per Part: 52mn 57s
Number Of Parts: 4
Part Size: 538 - 667 MiB
Ripped by: DocFreak08

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