This serious, informative, and highly amusing insight into the world of organ endeavours to explain why, for some people, this bold, colourful and beautiful instrument has an irresistible power!
In the ancient world, it played a part in public spectacle - it was used by the Romans at gladiatorial contests - perhap the only thing heard above the baying crowds!
It evolved through medievla and Baroque times when Martin Luther, allegedly complaining that the devil had all the best tunes, concerted popular folk melodies into hymns, and ultimately the Lutheran hymn book was produced, a sort of melodic greatest hits of the day. It is hard to overstate the influence of the organ on JS Bach, whose music is the finest ever written for the instrument, giving it a distinctive, living voice.
Moving to modern times, we look at how the Wulitzer and Hammond B3 have brought organ music to new audiences and new generations.
Goodall's fascinating journey takes him to gems of the organ world in Spain, France, Germany, Holland and onto the USA, a journey that takes him to churches, cathedrals, castles and parks, West Point Military Academy and on to "one of the wonders of the musical world", in a Philadelphia department store!
Ultimately Goodall examines the future of the traditional pipe organ in the face of competition in the digital age, concluding that given its history and popularity, there will always be a place for the magnificent and majestic original!