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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Ann Arbor, Michigan organ broadcast

Author Topic: Ann Arbor, Michigan organ broadcast
Ron Keillor

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003

 - posted October 27, 2004 05:15 PM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
to be broadcast on NPR = check local listings or the NPR website for times
PIPEDREAMS Program No. 0447
(uplink on 11/22/2004)

Once Upon a Theatre . . . at Ann Arbor's 75-year-old Michigan Theatre, an aging pipe organ served as keystone to the downtown's heritage preservation.

RICHARD WHITING: Hooray for Hollywood!. MEL BROOKS: Medley, fr The Producers. HUBERT GIRAUD: Sous le ciel de Paris. MARGUERITE MONNOT: Hymne a l'amour. CHARLES DUMONT: Les flonflons du bal –Steve Ball (1927 Barton) Michigan CD-1001 (

MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: Once Upon a Castle (world premiere) –Ann Arbor Symphony/Arie Lipsky, conductor (r. 11/15/03)

ROBERT TOMS: I kind o' like Ann Arbor, fr The Junior Girls Play 1910 –Steven Ball (Barton/Michigan Theatre) Michigan CD-1001

MANUEL de FALLA: Ritual Fire Dance. RICHARD RODGERS: Medley –Kay McAbee (r. 1968, Michigan Theatre Archives)

JOHN BARRY: The Music of Goodbye, fr Out of Africa –Steven Ball (Barton/Michigan Theatre) Michigan CD-1001

The 13-rank Barton pipe organ, restored to ‘original condition', is played Wednesday through Sunday before the showing of all evening films. For information: . Thanks are due to Gayle Steiner, Henry Aldridge, David Lau, Scott Smith, the Michigan Theatre Foundation and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra ( for the encouragement and cooperation which made this program possible.

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William Hooper

Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003

 - posted October 27, 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Bartons are fun. Barton had great, often gaudy, always theatrical consoles (sometimes decorated with dragons), & he liked very high pressures & tangy voicing. Barton was based in Wisconsin, most of his organs were around there, he wasn't one of the biggest builders like Wurlitzer or Robert Morton.

In the universe of epithets & nicknames for organs, the Bartons' are very informative. Wurlitzer may have called their product a "Mighty Wurlitzer", but lots of folks will call one a "Girlie Wurly", & there are also the "Snortin' Morton" & "Fartin' Barton".

"Original condition" is sort of speculative - many organs are excellently restored, but fashion tends to come into play with tuning & voicing over the years. Tremulants used to be faster, now all the Wurlitzer organ folk have to have a tibia trem that goes glub, glub, glub. They're doubtless better tuned these days, but pipes get subtly re-voiced sometimes & lose some edge which some ears find disagreeable. Some folks can't stand those cool "sizzling bacon" Morton or Kimball strings! I'm not familiar with the Michigan's organ; this is just a generality.

Barton's magnum opus was also the magnum opus of all theatre organs: the late, lamented organ at the Chicago Stadium.

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