Virgil Fox, Bach, and the Wanamaker Organ

The above video is an interview of Virgil Fox, and a film of him playing the pipe organ at Wanamaker’s Department Store in Philadelphia.   Click the arrow in the lower left hand  of the You Tube box to view it. 

The organ is still there in the Wanamaker building, although the store is now a Macy’s.  If you are in  Center city Philadelphia,  stop by to see the organ sitting overhead in the store’s Grand Court.  They still play it on a daily basis.

I first heard Virgil Fox’s Album, Heavy Organ, Live at the Fillmore East” when I was around 15.  It was an experience I’ll never forget.   A few weeks ago, my brother mentioned listening to Fox on You Tube and I started jonesing for  for Heavy Organ.  Before he got into the music at that concert,  Fox told the audience,   “I believe that Sebastian Bach is delighted that you are here. Bach and Shakespeare have felt everything. This man Bach is, as history goes on,  proving to to be one of the great inspirations for our inheritance.  All we have to do is open our pores and let him in.”  Fox played though 144 speakers at that concert.  He really knew how to put on a show.

Do yourself a favor and let in Johan Sebastian Bach and Virgil Fox.  Listen to Heavy Organ in streaming audio, by clicking   Here.  You’ll have to create an account at Wolfgang’s Vault, but it’s definitely worth it.  The have a lot of great music including free streaming audio.

To learn more about the Wanamaker organ, press  Here.

2 responses to “Virgil Fox, Bach, and the Wanamaker Organ

  1. I acquired a record album of Virgil Fox playing the great Wanamaker’s organ many years ago (around 1963).

    I have a special affection for this organ, since I visited the Wanamaker’s Department Store on many occasions as a child, and once had the thrill of hearing my grandmother play the organ. At that time, she (Mrs. Daisy Corr Clinton) was the organist at the Central Congregational Church in Philadelphia. She had the reputation of being able to read a book while playing the music for church services. I suspect she was concentrating fully on this incredible organ when she played it.

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