Gene Gajewski

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Leeds Town Hall Organ

Here are a couple of CD recordings I made last year of various organ works by J.S. Bach, but never got around to posting them. It is interesting to note that there are hundreds of organ-works in the J.S. Bach catalog. I thought it would be fun to bring some of these to life on the computer. All the sheet music material for the CD’s was sourced from MuseScore, as usual.

I don’t have much in the way of sampler libraries for pipe organ, except that the Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 library I own happens to include one. Since it’s part of an orchestral “package”, though complete, it’s not overly detailed. I happened to come across a free pipe organ library put out by a small company named SamplephonicsThe Leeds Town Hall Orchestra. This was just what I needed, since I didn’t feel I wanted to invest in an expensive commercial library for occasional pipe organ projects.

Pipe organs have thousands of pipes, so any sample library of one worth its salt is going to take several gigabytes of storage. This “Leeds” library weighs in at 3.2Gb, which is no slouch.

For this project, I supplemented “Leeds‘ with the 16′ and 32’ registers from GPO 5’s organ. . You won’t hear those pipes on your PC speakers, but they are in there. You really need something with 8″ or larger speakers to hear them effectively. I have a set of 8″ studio monitors that are connected to my PC via an audio interface that works for me.



It appears I am in error and do indeed have another pipe organ sampler library in my possesion – Garritan’s Classic Pipe Organs. I now recall I purchased it as the most economical way to get some 32′ and 16′ pipes to supplement Leeds with. The organs in GPO5 are somewhat similar but don’t include these ranks, which are needed if you’re looking to get that earth-shaking sound organ sound.

Note that the organ music recordings above were produced using a single tutti mixture of voice stops all throughout the recordings. This was a producers choice as to what I felt sounded best. In actuality, organ music will switch voice stops in and out throughout a piece. I’m going to do another recording of a Bach composition. published by an organist on MuseScore. and have it switch stops according to its score. I’ll cover that piece, its difficulties, and its compromises encountered in a new post.

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