Hear Prog Organ - a Virtual Pipe Organ
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  Listen to the Prog Organ Virtual Pipe Organ  

 

Last revised: 29 September 2017

 

Below are over three hours of mp3 audio recordings of Prog Organ, representing many different organs.  They reflect the sounds you would experience when seated at the console of the corresponding pipe organ, not the distantly-recorded effects more appropriate to a CD of the instrument.  Although superficially impressive at first, this latter approach can make a simulation feel increasingly unnatural to the player accustomed to sitting closer to the pipes in most cases.  Therefore the ambience is on the "dry" side rather than "wet", adjusted to approximate the ambience of the original buildings.  Do not expect the 10 seconds' worth of St Paul's cathedral type of reverberation washing around your ears which manufacturers impose so often on their audio samples - they only do this to disguise the inadequate sound of their organs.  What you hear here is the sound of accurately-simulated pipes in a realistic acoustic.

 

All the clips were recorded in real time by real players at a real console, warts and all, not merely invented by somebody pratting around off line with a MIDI sequencer as is so often done.  The warts are effective watermarks!

 

In most cases the sub-headings below are links which will take you to other articles on this site, where you can also access the same clips as well as read more about the simulated organs they were recorded on.  The simulations are listed in an approximate date order (i.e. the date of the simulated pipe organ).

 

Sennheiser HD 650 phones and KEF Reference 104aB speakers are used for mastering in my studio, but if you want to hear exactly what I heard then the headphone option is the one to go for.

 

 

1. Small Digital Organ

These recordings were made using the classically-voiced 'Small Digital Organ' sample set.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Sw:    8 . 8 . 4 . 4 .  III . 16 . 8 . 8 . 4 . Trem

Gt:    8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 2 . 8

Ped:  16 . 16 . 8 . 8 . 16 . 4

Couplers: 3

 

  Prelude on the hymn tune 'Halifax' (W T Best) - 0.98 MB/1m 4s

  Reflection (Charles Wood) - 2.01 MB/2m 16s  

  Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich. BWV 605. (J S Bach) - 2 MB/2m 11s

2. "Neo-Baroque" Organ

This is a simulation of the style of "neo-baroque" pipe organ commonly built in Britain and America in the mid-20th century.  While the fluework was voiced generally along Baroque lines, there were usually attempts to make these instruments more eclectic by including stops such as French reeds and strings together with undulating stops.  Typically at least one department would be enclosed, borrowing and extension was used, and the action would be electric with a plethora of couplers and registration aids.  The organ here is of this type and it could reasonably be described as a two manual version of the 1950's Harrison & Harrison organ at London's Royal Festival Hall.  Its synoptic disposition is:

 

Sw:    8 . 8 (celeste) . 8 . 8 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 .1 3/5 . IV . 16 . 8 . 4 . Trem

Gt:    16 . 8  . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 . 1 1/3 . IV . 8

Ped:  16 . 16 . 16 . 8 . 8 . 4 . III . 16 . 8 . 4

Couplers:  3

 

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland. BuxWV 211. (Buxtehude) - 1.79 MB/1m 57s

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland. BWV 599. (Bach) - 1.48 MB/1m 37s

Herr Christ, der einig'ge Gottes-Sohn. BuxWV 192. (Buxtehude) - 2.78 MB/3m 2s

Herr Christ, der eing'ge Gottes-Sohn. BWV 601. (Bach) - 1.74 MB/1m 54s

Sunset - 1.8 MB/1m 57s

3. Bureå church, Sweden

These recordings were made using samples from the three manual neo-Baroque organ at Bureå church in Sweden using the sample set by Lars Palo and Graham Goode.  The instrument was built in 1967 by Hammarbergs Orgelbyggeri AB.  Further details can be found at www.familjenpalo.se/vpo/about-burea-church though a few changes were made in this version (e.g. an additional principal-toned pedal stop of 16 foot pitch was derived).   A synoptic disposition is:

 

Huvudverk: 8. 8. 4. 4. 2. II. V. 8

Svällverk: 8. 8. 4. 4. 2. 1 3/5 . 1 1/3 . 1 1/7 . III. 8. Trem

Bröstverk: 8. 4. 2 2/3 . 2. 1. II. 8

Pedal: 16. 16. 8. 8. 4. 2. IV. 16. 4

Couplers: 6

 

The Bröstverk was implemented as an independent but 'floating' division which can be coupled to either or both of the keyboards (and the pedals) in the current two manual Prog Organ console.

 

'Short' Prelude in D minor. BWV 554a (attrib. J S Bach) - 1.78 MB/1m 57s

 

4. St George's Church, Dunster

These recordings were made on a simulation of the Hill, Norman and Beard organ of 1962 at Dunster church in Somerset.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Sw:    8 . 8 (celeste) . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 . 1 3/5 . 1 1/3 . III . 16 . 8 . 8 . 8 (from Gt) . Trem

Gt:    16 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . 2 . II . 8 . 4

Ped:  16 . 16 . 16 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 2 . 16 . 16 (from Sw)

Couplers: 8 (incl. various sub & super octaves and unison off)

 

  Arioso (Bach) - 3.14 MB/3m 26s

  Puer natus in Bethlehem. BWV 603 (Bach) - 982 kB/1m 2s

  Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich. BWV 609. (Bach) - 804 kB/51s

  Ave Verum (Mozart) - 2.27 MB/2m 29s

  Bist du bei mir (Stölzel) - 2.2 MB/2m 24s

  A Memorial Piece (Parry) - 1.80 MB/1m 59s

  Andante in G (Charles Macpherson) - 2.9 MB/3m 10s

  Monologue XI in F sharp major (Rheinberger) - 3.7 MB/4m 2s

  Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark's March) (Jeremiah Clarke)  - 2.96 MB/3m 14s

  Salut d'Amour (Elgar arr. Grey) - 2.71 MB/2m 57s  

  Entrée Pontificale (Enrico Bossi) - 3.82 MB/4m 10s

  Postlude on a theme of Orlando Gibbons (Song 22) (C V Stanford) - 3.24 MB/3m 32s

 

5. "WurliTzer" Virtual Theatre Pipe Organ

These recordings were made mainly using samples from the 3/10 Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the St Albans Organ Theatre, England.  The sample set was augmented using a few additional ranks to become a fully unified 13 rank virtual theatre pipe organ in two simulated pipe chambers.  Click on the heading above for its tonal analysis.  As with any theatre organ, a wide range of stops can be derived from the basic ranks but the synoptic disposition below shows the particular one used for the recordings.  Here flue stops are black, reeds red, strings green and tuned percussions blue.  Unfortunately copyright considerations severely constrain the number of of theatre-style items which can be included here.

 

Solo:  16 . 16 . 16 . 16 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . Trem

Accomp:  8 . 8 . 8 . 8 (celeste) . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 4 . 2 . 8 . 8 . Trem

Pedal:  16 . 16 . 16 . 16 . 8 . 8

Couplers: 2 (Solo and Accomp to Pedal)

 

  Holsworthy Church Bells (S S Wesley arr. Pykett) - 3.45 MB/3m 46s (also available here played on a simulated 'Romantic British' organ)

  Since the day I met you (Harry Dacre) - 2.45 MB/2m 40s

 

6. St Mary's Church, Pilton  

These recordings were made on a simulation of Robert Hope-Jones's organ of 1898 which still exists at Pilton church in Devon.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Sw:    8 . 8 . 8 . 8 (celeste) . 8 . 4 . 8

Gt:    16 . 8 . 8 . 8

Ped:  32 . 16 . 16 . 8

Couplers:  8 (incl. various sub & super octaves)

Other:  Stop Switch

 

Demonstration of the stops - 4.20 MB/4m 35s (yes, their relative dynamics really are like this!)

Cantilène Religieuse (Dubois) - 2.58 MB/2m 49s

Vom Himmel hoch BWV 606 (J S Bach) - 706 kB/45s

 

7. Bellahouston Parish Church, Glasgow  

These recordings were made on a digital re-creation of the Cavaillé-Coll organ installed here in 1874 but long since lost.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Réc:    8 . 8 . 8 (celeste) . 4 . II-IV . 8 . 8 . Trem

G.O. :    16 . 8 . 8 . 4

Péd:  16 . 8 . 8 . 8 (all duplexed)

Couplers:  4 (incl. octave grave)

 

Choral No. 1 in E (extract - Franck) - 5.9MB/6m 31s

Andantino in G minor (Franck) - 5.75 MB/6m 16s

 Élévation ou Communion (Saint-Saëns) - 4.01 MB/4m 23s

 Prière à Notre Dame (Boellmann) - 3.22 MB/3m 31s

 Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott. BWV 602. (J S Bach) - 1.1 MB/1m 10s

 

In November 2013 this organ was extended to 30 speaking stops so that it would encompass a wider range of Cavaillé-Coll's characteristic tone colours, including his beautiful quiet solo reeds and his powerful pedal organs.  The augmented instrument is described in the article The organ Cavaillé-Coll never built!  The following tracks were recorded on the modified organ:

 

  Pièce Héroïque (César Franck) - 8.20 MB/8m 58s

  Pastorale from 1ère Sonate (extract - Guilmant) - 3.56 MB/3m 53s

  Toccata from Symphony no. 5 (Widor) - 5.42 MB/5m 55s

  Berceuse (Saint-Saëns arr Guilmant) - 4.2MB/4m 34s

 

8. St Mary Ponsbourne, Hertfordshire

 

The church of St Mary Ponsbourne near St Albans in Hertfordshire, England, contains an authentic and historic English organ built in the mid-Victorian era by the well known firm of J W Walker in 1858.  This article describes how its sound was captured digitally  for posterity on a virtual pipe organ (Prog Organ), just prior to a major overhaul in April 2013.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Sw: 16 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 2 . 8

Gt:  8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4. 2 2/3 . 2

Ped: 16

Couplers: 2

 

Extracts from violin sonata in E (M C Festing) - 4.32 MB/4m 43s

Andante Religioso (Henry Smart) - 1.5 MB/1m 38s

 Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ - BWV 604 (J S Bach) - 1.21 MB/1m 19s

 

9. Protestant Church, Romanswiller, Wasselone, France

This much-modified organ was built originally by Stiehr-Mockers in 1843, and you can download its history here.  These Prog Organ-compatible samples were derived from Joseph Basquin's originals which contain some exquisite sounds (downloadable as jeuxdorgues21.rar from www.jeuxdorgues.com, though I have re-looped and de-noised most of the original samples).  It is sometimes refreshing to listen to a non-Cavaillé-Coll organ!  A synoptic disposition is:

 

Pos:    8 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . 1 3/5 . III . 8

G.O. :    16 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4. 2 . V . III . 8

Péd:  16 . 8 . 4 . 8

Couplers:  3

 

  Song Without Words (M Moskowski) - 2.25 MB/2m 27s

  Largo (Bruckner) - 1.42 MB/1m 33s

In 2013 the original sparse sample set containing 265 samples was expanded to a complete set of 923.  The method used to realise this is described in the article Creating Sample Sets for Digital Organs from Sparse Data.  The simulation was also modified and enlarged in other ways as follows:

 

  1. The simulation was tuned to Young's temperament (1799).

  2. Stops with an incomplete bass compass in the original sample set (Bourdon 16 and Hautbois 8) have now been carried down to bottom C.

  3. The compass of the Cornet has been extended to 3 octaves starting at G below middle C.

  4. The manual compass has been extended to 61 notes and the pedals to 30 notes.

  5. A Tremulant has been added to the Positif.

  6. The Positif division is now 'enclosed', making it a Positif-expressif rather than the original Positif-de-dos.

  7. Several new stops, including a 16 foot reed, were added to the pedal organ.

 

The following tracks were recorded on the modified instrument:

 

  Voluntary no. 8 in C minor - extract (Maurice Greene) - 1.77 MB/1m 56 s

  Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten - BWV 642 - extract (J S Bach) - 791 kB/50s

  Chorale prelude on "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" (Max Reger) - 1.44 MB/1m 34s

  Gottes Sohn ist kommen - BWV 600 (J S Bach) - 1.12 MB/1m 19s

 

10. Dorfkirche, Fraureuth  

These recordings were made on a re-creation of Gottfried Silbermann's village organ of 1742 at Fraureuth, Saxony.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Hauptwerk:  8 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . 1 3/5 . IV . III-V

Oberwerk:  8 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . 1 1/3 . 1 . II . II

Ped:  16 . 8 . 16

Couplers:  3

Other:  General tremulant

 

Extracts from Pastorale in F. BWV 590. (Bach)  - 4 MB/4m 35s (about 1 minute from each movement)

Prelude in E minor. BWV 533. (Bach) - 2.2 MB/2m 24s

'Great' Fantasia in G minor. BWV 542a. (Bach) - 4.47 MB/4m 53 s

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier. BWV 731. (Bach) - 2.06 MB/2m 15s

'Short' Prelude no. IV in F. BWV 556a. (Bach) - 1.33 MB/1m 27s

 In Dulci Jubilo - BWV 729 (J S Bach) - 2.27 MB/2m 29s

Jesu, meine Freude - BWV 610 (J S Bach) - 2.52 MB/2m 45s

 

11. Neue Kirche, Arnstadt 

These recordings were made on a re-creation of J F Wender's organ of 1703 at Arnstadt, where the turbulent teenage Bach was appointed as its first organist.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Brustwerk:  8 . 4 . 4 . 4 . 2 2/3 .  II . III

Oberwerk:  8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 8 . 5 1/3 . 4 . IV . II . 8

Ped:  16 . 8 . 16 . 2

Couplers:  3

Other:  General tremulant, Cymbalstern (in C), Cymbalstern (in G)

 

  Toccata in D minor. BWV 565a. (attrib. Bach) - 2.46 MB/2m 41s

  Prelude in E flat. BWV 552a. (St Anne) (extract - Bach) - 2.11 MB/2m 18s

  Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. BWV 645. (extract - Bach) - 1.97 MB/2m 9s

  Meine Seele erhebt den Herren. BWV 648. (extract - Bach) - 1.29 MB/1m 24s

  Wo soll ich fliehen hin. BWV 646. (extract - Bach) - 630 KB/40s

  In dir ist Freude (Gastoldi) - 943 KB/59s

  Christum wir sollen loben schon. BWV 611. (J S Bach) - 2.13 MB/2m 19s

 

12. St Peter-und-Paul-Kirche, Cappel

These recordings were made on a re-creation of Arp Schnitger's organ of 1680, originally in the monastery chapel of St John in Hamburg but now at Cappel.  This was one of the organs used in the 1950's by Helmut Walcha for his series of Bach recordings.  More details of this organ, including the stop list, can be seen if you click on the link above but a synoptic disposition is:

 

Hauptwerk:  16 . 8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 2/3 . 2 . II . V-VI . III . 8

Rückpositiv:  8 . 8 . 4 . 4 . 2 . 1 1/3 . II . II . IV-VI . 16

Ped:  16 . 8 . 4 . 2 . II . IV-VI . 16 . 8 . 2

Couplers:  1

Other:  General tremulant, Cymbalstern

 

  XVth century tune to the chorale 'Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes-Sohn - 978 KB/1m 2s

  Mein junges Leben hat ein End. (extracts - Sweelinck) - 3.8 MB/4m 9s (about 1/2 min from each movement)  

  Prelude in D major. BuxWV139. (Buxtehude) -  4.57 MB/4m 59s

  Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her. BWV 606. (Bach) - 828 kB/53s

  Heut' triumphiret Gottes Sohn. BWV 630. (Bach)   - 1.47 MB/1m 36s

  Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist. BWV 631. (Bach)  - 882 kB/56s

  Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier. BWV 633. (Bach) - 1.68 MB/1m 50s

  Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ. BWV 639. (Bach) - 2.06 MB/2m 5s

  Canzona in D minor. BWV 588. (extract - Bach) - 2.92 MB/3m 11s

  Adeste Fideles (hymn tune) (attrib. J F Wade) - 883 KB/56s

  Adagio in C (William Russell) - 1.98 MB/2m 9s

  Adagio from Sonata no. 1 (Mendelssohn) - 1.64 MB/1m 47s