Looking for specific sounding organ music
October 16, 2021 9:18 PM   Subscribe

I will be writing a score in about 6 months and am looking for inspiration and ideas for it. I don’t know much about organ music, but I am looking for anything that’s like Bach’s legendary Toccata and Fugue in D minor AND/OR the Interstellar soundtrack.

My personal favorite organ music is the Interstellar soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, due to its intensity and the timbre. The standout track on there is “Detach”, with its triumphant final section being my favorite part. I’m looking for organ music similar to this, and…

Maybe it’s because I am a guitarist, but I am really hoping to listen to some stuff that has fast scalar sections, like death metal solos if they were played on organ. Anything along the harmonic lines of technical death metal would be appreciated. Major bonus points if there is soloing over loud drones.

The main thing I’ve been able to find is this.

Where is the organ shred?!
posted by gucci mane to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Organ toccatas are generally a good place to look for this sort of technical play as they tend to have a lot of fast-moving melodies/harmonies over a pedal bass-line.

Here are a few pieces of organ music that I know and can recommend:
The Widor Tocatta
Prelude in A by A.D. Sulit
G. Major Toccata by Mannheim Steamroller
Toccata on "O Filii Et Filiae" by Lynwood Farnam
Saint-Saens' Symphony #3 "Organ" - Finale

This playlist I found while searching for these pieces looks promising as well.
posted by Aleyn at 10:57 PM on October 16, 2021

I came here to recommend the joyfully mad SORTIE In E Flat by Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély .

Also - perhaps - the finale of Organ Symphony No. 3 by Saint Saens - as an example of organ "power chords" with an orchestral backing.
posted by rongorongo at 1:03 AM on October 17, 2021

Do you know Anna von Hauswolff's music? It features pipe organ prominently and seems to be informed by a metal-adjacent worldview: e.g. Sacro Bosco.

Perhaps you might be interested in the harmonies in some of the more 'chromatic' 17th-century organ compositions like Sweelinck's Fantasia Chromatica, or Rossi's Toccata Settima.
posted by misteraitch at 4:54 AM on October 17, 2021

Rick Wakeman has always ripped off every composer under the sun; time to return the favour?
posted by flabdablet at 5:34 AM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Not organ but drone based.
The artist is Matthias Loibner.
posted by 15L06 at 8:03 AM on October 17, 2021

Virgil Fox_ Heavy Organ_ Bach Live At Winterland (1972) - YouTube. I was listening to this guy as a toddler, he's fun like Tom Lehrer.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:28 AM on October 17, 2021

They don't call forth the specific track you cited, but there are two organ pieces on Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks that I've thought wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Interstellar soundtrack (to the extent that it wouldn't be surprising to learn they'd used them as temp score):

Track 05: Iconography

Track 09: Organum
posted by nobody at 12:42 PM on October 17, 2021

I came to recommend Jim Williams' score to the film RAW, but on further examination find that despite my recollection it contains no organ. It is really good though, so there is that.
posted by TheCoug at 9:08 AM on October 18, 2021

Belay that, there IS organ on the track "Finale". I'm not losing my mind after all!
posted by TheCoug at 9:16 AM on October 18, 2021

I am looking for anything that’s like Bach’s legendary Toccata and Fugue in D minor ... fast scalar sections

It's been suggested by several Bach scholars that the Toccata and Fugue in D minor might originally have been written for solo violin and later adapted for organ, and there have been several attempts to reconstruct the "original" version; I really like Andrew Manze's. So you might also enjoy some of Bach's solo violin music - e.g. there are lots of versions of the BVW 1002 Double Presto on YouTube...
posted by offog at 10:31 AM on October 18, 2021

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