The cabinet for the Gebruder Bruder organ was repaired and refinished by Ron Cappel, with the internal mechanical apparatus and pipework carefully restored, circa 1985, by Mike Kitner for the Bowers Collection. It was recorded in October of 1985 by Tim Westman, soon after restoration had been completed. Upon hearing the instrument, Mr. Kitner commented to Art Reblitz that it was the loudest European fairground organ that he had ever heard, describing it as deafening in his small workshop space. As for myself, having heard many Bruder organs, I can vouch for the fact that they are generally very "bright," which is exactly what was needed for the average noisy carousel environment, and to compete, in this case, with the five-million people eating hot dogs nearby.
The musical layout of the organ, according to Mr. Kitner, is unusual in several respects. In addition to the standard wooden trumpets encountered in German organs, this one is also fitted with a set of powerful brass trumpets, which angle up through an opening in the top of the cabinet and are pointed forward. These beautiful brass trumpets are not visible when the organ facade is assembled and are combined with a rank of stopped flutes, which comprise the only pipe registers in the counter-melody section. The melody section of the organ contains a very small set of wooden reed pipes that look like trumpets, and that appear to have been used to bolster the melody section's basic violin sound. Otherwise, the organ is consistent with the usual German construction, with a bass section of stopped flutes, violoncellos and a rank of trombones; an accompaniment section made up of stopped and open flutes and violins, and an alto violin section acting as a bridge between the accompaniment and melody sections. There are a total of 426 pipes, with percussion that consists of a bass drum and cymbal, snare drum and a set of orchestra bells (located as part of the melody section).
The musical selections on this compact disc are all marches, and comprise the total music-book library available while Mr. Bowers owned the instrument. Only very minor noise reduction technology was necessary in the preparation of this CD, and was used mainly to eliminate tape hiss from the old source tape recordings. For band organ enthusiasts, or anyone ready to enjoy the midway sounds of old Coney Island, this CD ought to please.
Currently, this magnificent example of a Gebruder Bruder band organ is located in the country of its origin, and can be seen displayed in the Museum Mechanischer Musikinstrumente, in Bruchsal, Germany (http://www.bruchsal-xl.de/KULTUR/MUSEEN/MMM/).
Gebruder Bruder 94-Keyless Fair Organ (Band Organ)
|1.||March Medley arranged by Kevin Mears|
|2.||Luna Park March|
|3.||In The Good Old Summertime|
|4.||Stars And Stripes Forever|
|5.||Entry Of The Gladiators|
Listen to a sample.....
"LUNA PARK MARCH"
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