Today for organ buffs:
March 26 at 1:30 pm
Cinéma ONF / NFB
United Kingdom, Netherlands, 2009, colour, 114 min, Dutch, German, English subtitles
Extraordinary documentary on the lineage of Schnitger organs in Northern Holland from the 16th Century to the 1800s. In depth analysis of the history and the manufacturing process — from melting the lead into sheets to form each flute, chiseled by hand — to the length of each tube and the volume of the structure, the quality of the sound of the cymbals and reeds, the number of towers and stops, creating the special mix and texture of each organ, etc.
The interviews and narration in Dutch is at bit grating to North American ears and tends to interfere with the extensive reading of the subtitles over nearly 2 hours. However, the passion and experience of the old-timers who convey their knowledge in such great detail relate the importance of these majestic instruments, pre-emptive to the renowned Casavant organs, like a testament to a lost art.
Magnificent and earth shaking music by Bach and Mozart is played throughout the film. A real treat.