Howard Goodall's Organ Works (DVD, 2009)
5.0 / 5.0
In Howard Goodall's Organ Works, Howard unveils the secret and the not-so-secret life of the world's most misunderstood musical wonder - its passion, its murky past, and its madness.This sweeping odyssey through the Northern Hemisphere, whilst being grippingly informative, is anything but reverential. Howard investigates the organ's turbulent history as the servant of two masters, sacred and secular. From Medieval cathedrals to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool; from Tyrolean castles to the Jazz Café, he follows its relentless progress from holiness to hipness, from classical simplicity to outrageous eccentricity. For most people, the organ is inextricably linked with gorgeous old churches, and during the series Howard visits some fabulous examples, like the ones Bach & Mozart played, and obscure discoveries that have never been filmed before. There are French whoppers by Cavaillé-Coll, and exquisite miniatures from Austria. But the series leaps just as enthusiastically into the organ's other life outside the church, the world of the Mighty Wurlitzer and the bluesy Hammond. This series separates the flutes from the reeds, the digital from the electronic, and the hauptwerk from the brustwerk.