Comments, reviews and other curiosities
Reviews and columns:
From Music and Vision Daily, reviewed by KELLY FERJUTZ
(May 20, 2009):
“If you've ever experienced chills up (or down) your spine at the sound of a 32ft Bombarde, this is the book for you! It's a lovely suite for organistas, done in the 'theme and variations' style of composition. Anyone who has ever touched or even heard a pipe organ (especially) will enjoy Organ-isms. I suspect that even those with experience only on smaller organs will also find much to treasure within these pages.
Jenny Setchell, the author, says that there may be a sequel. I would suggest
crossing multiple fingers in the hope that this happens. However, as
the contributors are all (or mostly all) organists, they should be exempt.
It is only the readers who should keep digits crossed ... I'm just as
certain you'll thoroughly enjoy this book, as will anyone on your gift
list who enjoys music or is, in fact, a musician. I quite look forward
to a second volume of such delightful tales. ”
From the website Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (AKA The Ralph Mag - USA)- March, 2009
“Organ-isms can be very funny. The knowledge of the contributors is staggering, though sometimes the language can bamboozle the everyday reader with words like coupler, trumpet 8ft, tabs, swell, trackers, 32ft Diaphone, Tuba Mirabilis and, ach du lieber, Der Fuchsschwanz . . . But it is a feast of musicians and high-class music: Bach, Diabelli, Handel, Max Reger, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbon, and to my surprise, Olivier Messiaen.” Read full review...
From The Organ, (UK) February 2009:
“This is one of the most - if not the most - enjoyable of books on organs and organists I have read for a very long time . . . An utterly delightful book, which is most assuredly strongly recommended.” (RMW)
A preliminary look from from Bachorgan.com (Dan Long):
"Organ-isms" is a handsome little book; it's been put together in a very pleasing way. And what a great concept for a book! Organists are famous storytellers and pass their stories on with pride. What organ student hasn't heard a crack-up story from their teacher?
While "Organ-isms" is lots of fun, Chapter 1 manages to
seriousness and importance of the organists' job. That chapter alone
should be required reading for all clergy and music committee members." (Full review will follow later)
What the readers think...
- “Thanks heaps for compiling the first volume - it got devoured at a sitting and I now treat my choir to one anecdote per choir practice - if they behave. . .”
- I have finished reading "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the world of the King of Instruments" by Jenny Setchell ... Wow. This was as enjoyable as having a nice dinner with seasoned veterans of the organ world, where fun stories flow as freely as the libations. I am ready for volume two! Kudos to Jenny and to all who shared the hilarious stories. (Organfocus Newsletter - Lana Krakovskiy)
- Your delightful book Organ-isms arrived yesterday and I finished it
I am not an organist - I taught high school vocal music and directed
many choral groups, broadway shows, and church choirs - but I have
been an organ buff for most of my long life and can relate to many of
- Thank you very much! (A friend ) ordered me a copy, and I've enjoyed the book so much I'm giving him a copy! Thank you!
Just thought I would write and let you know how much I have enjoyed reading "Organ-Isms" which you sent to me recently. Although I am not a musician of any kind (the world of crotchets, minims and semi-quavers are a total mystery to me!) I do love the organ and have done for many years. The many hilarious articles in the book had me shaking with laughter many times - I read most of it in bed of a night before turning out the light, and my wife always knew from the way the bed shook when I found a part which made me laugh.
Your book is magnificent! Have loved the way you have created the flow from subject to subject, story to story. What interesting stories they are too.
I got my copy of Organ-isms today and I have been reading it and I'm so captivated; I haven't stopped from laughing so much at all the anecdotes from the colleagues. What a great book!!!
Your book just arrived and already I have found myself lost in it--it is wonderfully and engagingly written.
Congratulations - I think that it is quite excellent. Not only will it be very entertaining for the 'practitioners' but it should be compulsory reading for organ builders/tuners and those setting up the venue for any concert involving the organ!
Have so much enjoyed reading it - absolutely wonderful and many congratulations on such a great job. I'm so pleased I'm not the only one who meets up with 'these people'!!!
"My copy arrived Christmas Eve (thanks Jenny).
Wife grabbed it to wrap as present to go under the tree.
I came downstairs at 4.00am for a drink of water.
Spotted newly wrapped book under tree.
Unwrapped book, started reading, was discovered by wife at 6.30am, attempting to re-wrap book.
Accused by wife of inserting decimal point to my age of 63 years
Accused by wife of unreasonable behaviour, for not allowing her to open presents until after church."
Is volume two ready yet? Just finished it, brilliant! I'm in
admiration of the way you've linked everything up. It all flows along wonderfully well. A really good read !"
"What particularly makes your book so enjoyable is that I can personally relate to so many of the anecdotes"
" LOVE YOUR BOOK! It just arrived a few days ago and I have spent every spare moment reading it…and howling"
"I'm laughing myself silly, I just started the book. It's just so much fun!!! "
"Can't put it down!"
"It arrived today and I'm half way through it! It's
really great! Put the ironing off for hours."
"A major project carried off with style and panache!
As far as I know, there is nothing else quite like it. I shall look forward to reading the reviews in due time.You dovetail your various stories into the narrative so very cleverly that the flow seems easy and inevitable."
I was bemused throughout. One test of a good book for me is whether I keep reading it to the exclusion of the other 3 books I have "on the go". Organ-isms passed that test easily.
Many thanks to all contributors and to Jenny.
- It really is very entertaining. Some of the stories are so unlikely they just have to be true!