For the purposes of this simple demonstration, we compiled selections from many organ installations in cities in the US, Canada and the UK. You will hear several different organists, as well. It is our hope that it will provide you with a good idea of the Phoenix sound and a sampling of our English, Baroque, French and Orchestral specifications.
Many of the original recordings were sent to us by either churches or organists, and some recordings are of live concert performances. Audiophiles could be critical of the quality of some of the recordings, but we felt it more beneficial for you to hear many Phoenix Organs. The acoustics vary from reverberant to somewhat dry.
Track 2 was recorded on the 4 manual hybrid organ at St. John's, Peterborough, Canada. Of the 72 stops, 41 are Phoenix pipe samples and 31 are 1956 Casavant Freres ranks of pipes. Phoenix Organ's President and Tonal Director, Donald Anderson plays this combination organ, as well as several other instruments on this recording.
Purists may not be in favor of orchestral samples on an organ, but, after listening to Bach's Air in G on Track 8, and the choral selection from Streetsville United Church on Track 15, they would have to admit, not only is this sound very fine, but the sounds add variety and interest to traditional church music. By the way, all of the sounds on these tracks are from the Phoenix Organ and played live. No external sound modules, or digital recorders were used. Phoenix includes many high quality orchestral samples on each organ as standard.
Track 3 was recorded by Mark Miller, organist of First Christian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska. The console-style and English sound were based on the famous organ at King's College Cambridge, England. You can see this lovely console on the Installations page of our website at www.phoenixorgans.com. As well, tracks 7, 10 and 16 were sent to us by Vancouver Island organist, Alastair Highet. His model PT 237, with 2 manuals, 37 stops, is installed in his home.
Track 8, Pachelbel's Ciacona, was played on the smallest Phoenix Organ, with just 19 stops. Despite its size, this organ stands solidly on its own. We have been contacted by organists in Germany who have asked from which German organ we sampled the pipes. In fact, they were mostly from a German-Canadian pipe builder, Hallman.
Track 19 was recorded at a live concert by Thomas Fitches, respected Toronto organist and pipe organ voicer, on the very first Phoenix installed in North America, at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada.
The final track on this demo CD is a build-up of the French spec, from soft to full organ, on the St. Judes, Oakville, Ontario organ. The 24 audio channels of speakers were installed in 4 locations providing a fine ensemble sound.