Recommend some unusual pipe organ compositions.

I likes me some pipe organ music. There are plenty of good, classical-style pipe organ pieces out there, but I’m interested in tracking down more unconventional pipe organ music - pairing the organ with unusual accompanying instrumentation, and/or employing musical styles that classical composers would not approve of.

Over the years I’ve collected several albums from the Paul Winter Consort. My favorite is Canyon, which is book-ended by two pipe organ pieces, “Grand Canyon Sunrise” and “Grand Canyon Sunset”. They are the artists-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John The Divine in New York; earlier this fall I finally had the chance to attend a Sunday-afternoon organ recital there, and it was breathtaking.

(Yes, I also have Whales Alive. It’s…OK. Not as good as Canyon, at least not to my ear.)

Another favorite comes from Mannheim Steamroller: G Major Toccata.

Hans Zimmer’s use of the pipe organ on the soundtrack for Interstellar was fantastic.

Hopefully the descriptions above give you some sense of the sort of thing I’m after.

So whatchagot?

I found this article about a year ago and absolutely fell in love with the links in it:

But I am following this thread because I am very interested in this subject too.

Also, I too enjoy the organ music in Interstellar, terrific stuff.

All I can think of is the album I have of someone playing the Beatles catalog on a pipe organ, in the style of J.S. Bach. But I can’t remember the album’s/organist’s name, and I think it’s out of print (I copied a friend’s CD several years ago). I’ll check at home and get back to you.

In the meantime, you might appreciate a link that my father – who has been an organist for more than 50 years* – sent to me just the other day: all Christmas organ music, all the time. :smiley:

*So I grew up hearing pipe organs, but sometime in my 30s I realized that I actually do like the sound. Hammonds, on the other hand, not so much.

Neil Young doing “Like a Hurricane” has him accompanying himself on the harmonica. Probably not what you’re looking for but this was a great excuse for me to post it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for this; I’ll be having a listen over the next week or so.

On a lark, I decided to just google “unusual pipe organ music”. Duh. Lots of hits. Waddyaknow, here’s a pretty slick rendering of the Star Wars main title music, performed on the mighty Wurlitzer. My OP was written with big cathedral-based pipe organs in mind, but I do happen to like Wurlitzers, too. There’s one in the Michigan Theatre here in Ann Arbor, and I’ve enjoyed hearing performers noodling on it in advance of various concerts and movies that I’ve attended there.

I plucked the Star Wars performance from this list of “10 coolest pipe organ covers of modern songs”.

Have you heard their Toccata in de Mole?

Well, there’s Boellman’s Suite Gothique from 1895. That’s pretty cool.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KOyHci0j518

I also love this organ version of Saint-Saens’s “Danse Macabre,” played by a kid who looks like he’s fourteen, on an old Baroque organ where he needs assistants to pull the stops for him.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=grR_guswfyE

Search out some Rick Wakeman stuff, either solo or with Yes. He was known to hammer on the pipes.

I saw Neil do this live in Las Vegas. It was one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had. He finished, and it was quite as a church. The people were simply in awe.

That might have been better using a real pipe organ instead of a synthesizer.

Rick Wakeman - Judas Iscariot
Yes - Awaken - Wakeman has an insane organ solo before the piece closes

How about PDQ Bach’s Toot Suite for calliope four hands.

I believe Phantom of the Opera has a bunch of organ-based music in it.

Which one?

In the original novel (1912) and in the Universal Lon Chaney picture (1925), the Phantom played an intricate organ piece of his own composition called “Don Juan Triumphant.” (It may have been the basis of an opera he was working on; in those days the pipe organ was considered the supreme instrument and would have been Erik’s choice for composing.)

Post-Chaney Phantoms are all over the place in terms of plot and character, and I don’t think “Don Juan Triumphant” ever reappeared.

The 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Both the London and Broadway cast recordings.