Heavy Organ = Bach Live at Fillmore East
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Audio CD, February 19, 2014
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This East Coast performance brought classical music, in the form of Bach, to the younger Fillmore audience. By this point in time, Virgil Fox had established a reputation as a flamboyant guru of classical organ music. He made his concerts not only audio experiences, but a visual ones as well, featuring light shows and screen projections not unlike the psychedelic bands that frequented Bill Graham's venues. This made him a controversial figure among his peers in the classical music world, however, despite being widely recognized as perhaps the most accomplished organist of his time.
For these gigs, a Rogers Touring Organ was installed in the venue. It was quite the ordeal, as the instrument weighed in at two tons and featured 144 speakers, which gave it the ability to reproduce the sounds made on the massive pipe organs. It was also fitted with early digital equipment capable of replicating sounds made by various European pipe organs.
Fox achieves a massive sound, and is a genuine virtuoso on the material. These shows, to be sure, were unlike anything else performed at the Fillmores. From the crowd's enthusiastic response, though, made clearly audible on this recording, Graham's efforts to bring this music to a younger audience seem to have been much appreciated.
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