Music: The Organ as Synthesizer

Organ music, wrote John Milton in the 1630s, "could dissolve me into ecstasies and bring all heaven before mine eyes." Until the 20th century, most music lovers would have agreed. Despite the revival of interest in Baroque music, the organ's role in modern musical life has been marginal. One reason is the declining importance of the church itself. Another is that organists by temperament seem to be among the most staid of musicians. In the past few years, though, a new excitement has been stirred by organ playing and composing, thanks largely to...

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