organ donor

this saturday and monday, the oregon symphony will be performing camille saint-saëns’ symphony #3 ~ a work that just so happens to require a pipe organ.  when the program was announced last year, i couldn’t help but wonder how the band was gonna pull this off, considering the arlene schnitzer concert hall lost its original wurlitzer organ in the late 70’s to a *pizza restaurant in denver, colorado.  [sadly, i am not making this shit up.]  anyways, the cb investigative team tracked down mr. steve dougherty (intrepid owner of master’s touch music store right here in pdx) and got the scoop: the orchestra will be renting a $22,000 (!) rodgers 568 digital organ fully loaded with two manuals, 108 pipe organ stops, 104 additional midi voices, 89 pipe organ voices, 15 orchestral voices, all adding up to equal 340 pipe ranks.  um, looks like the band won’t need to borrow the beav’s bitchin’ casiotone afterall.

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3 Responses to “organ donor”


  1. 1 Portia April 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    This must have been all the rage in the late 70s/early 80s. There was a pizza place where I grew up called Pipes-n-Pizza.

  2. 2 Jimbo May 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Feedback: (1) The OSO did a fabulous job on the Saint-Saens (2) The Rodgers “organ” had all the tonality of a B-52 flying at 500 feet – HIDEOUS sound! What an embarrassment to an otherwise flawless performance. If that organ was “loaded”, it was with circuit-breakers, completely lacking in the rich sound of a well-constructed and properly voiced pipe organ. (Check out the Levine/Berlin Philharmonic’s performance, DGG 125505, or Daniel Roth/Les Siecles recording at San Sulpice in Paris, Musicales Actes Sud (www.actes-sud.fr.)

    Question: with a world-class orchestra like OSO, why does Portland settle for an electric organ at the Schnitzer? ($22,000… Really?). Suggestion: send the Rodgers “thing” back to the Pizza Parlor…. please!

    • 3 classicalbeaver May 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      aw jimbo, c’mon… i hear what you’re saying, but let’s cut the rodgers 568 a little slack, eh? i think everyone would love it if the oso had a gorgeous pipe organ, but until some kind philanthropist bikes up to the schnitzer with 2 million dollars in his panniers, we’ll have to make due with digital. otherwise, we don’t get to hear uncle camille’s symphony, which would be tres regrettable.


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