Sunday, June 7, 2015

WANAMAKER ORGAN DAY!

 
Was yesterday gorgeous or was it gorgeous!?!? Yesterday started my jam packed summer schedule, of vacations, events guest coming and going, and weekend get-a-ways...my social scene is about to really swirl. Yesterday it kicked off with the legendary magic of the Wanamaker Organ concert in Philadelphia, accompanied with some members of the Philadelphia Brass. So some new readers may not be aware, the organ is located in what was the famous and elegant John Wanamaker department store which was around for almost 200 years, and now sadly Macy's owns. But, at least they have kept the organ playing daily, and still continue with tradition  of great yearly concerts. It is also a treat to go and just soak in the incredible architecture this building has. Originally it was 12 floors of exclusive clothing boutique shops, but now reduced to three floors. But the architecture remains very opulent.
 
 
But the center piece of the place is it's huge organ!!!!
 
 
A picture of Peter Richard Conti on the balcony for Anne Marie......

 
Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. The Wanamaker organ is played twice a day Monday through Saturday, but more frequently during the Christmas season. The organ is also featured at several special concerts held throughout the year, including events featuring the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Festival Chorus and Brass Ensemble In its present configuration, the Wanamaker Organ has 28,604 pipes in 463 ranks. The organ console consists of six manuals with an array of stops and controls that command the organ. The organ's String Division forms the largest single organ chamber in the world. The instrument features eighty-eight ranks of string pipes. The organ is famed for its orchestra-like sound, coming from pipes that are voiced softer than usual, allowing an unusually rich build-up because of the massing of pipe-tone families. The artistic obligation entailed by the creation of this instrument has always been honored, with two curators employed in its constant and scrupulous care. The organ, with its regular program of concerts and recitals, was maintained by Wanamaker's throughout the chain's history, even as the company's financial fortunes waned. This level of dedication was maintained when corporate parentage shifted from the Wanamaker family to Carter Hawley Hale Stores followed by Woodward & Lothrop, Lord & Taylor  and finally to Macy's.
 
 
A wooden sculpt of Schubert is found behind the organ stand gates!
 
 
Some more gratuitous architecture shots of this Grande Dame.....
 
 
If your a die hard Philadelphian, you'll be familiar with the old saying "Meet me at the eagle!" Handmade in Frankfurt, Germany, the bronze Wanamaker Eagle weighs 2,500 pounds and sits on a granite base in the Grand Court. The floor of the Grand Court had to be strengthened with girders to support it. There are 5,000 sculpted feathers on the entire Eagle!!!!
 
 
Some exterior shots.....
 
 
This Grande Dame sits catty-corner to another of my favorite building for architecture.....City Hall!
 
I'll be sharing some amazing shots I got there soon. In the meantime if you want more information on the organ visit The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. And to hear this amazing instrument...take a listen! Tootles!!!!

34 comments:

  1. oh thank you, mistress, for including a pic of his HAWTNESS, peter richard conti!

    we philadelphians are proud of this store, designed by daniel burnham (he also designed marshal fields in chicago, and union station in washington dc); it will ALWAYS be wanamakers to us.

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    1. I have always found residents of Philadelphia, like yourself and the Mistress, to take such pride and honor of your city...it's refreshing to see.

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    2. thank you; my sainted grandmother taught us to be proud from whence you came.

      grandmother was the first generation born in this country; her parents came from austria to america in search of a better life.

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  2. My goodness. Thanks for the tour. I never knew!

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    1. gives ya an excuse to come east, doesn't it? ;-)

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  3. Now that is a HUGE organ! I have never seen anything like it. It always amazes me when I go to Philly. I always have to stop for a listen. Amazing post.

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  4. Absolutely breathtaking!!!!!!!! I couldn't even imagine shopping in such a opulent setting!!!!! The organ is very interesting also, thank you so much for sharing your day. I had no idea. I must travel to Philly one day.

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    1. please do; we have much to see/do/eat/shop!

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  5. What another spectacular post! How many cities can say they have something like this? Your truly captured some lovely shots, with the video and shots, I feel like I was right there.

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  6. So what did we learn here? If your not playing with your big organ or that of someone else, your listening to one.

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  7. Thank you so much Mistress for the outstanding post and day and sharing it with us. You are always up to something interesting and supporting the arts. I have been to see and hear this magnificant and incomparable instrument several times in the recent past, and many, many shopping trips to Wanamaker's, and it's magic captivates the listener as soon as the first notes are sounded. Truly NOT to be missed if one travels to Philadelphia. I will eagerly await the city hall post....that picture may be the best shot of it I have seen!!!!!!

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  8. Ok, I'm hooked. I want my own but I am going to need a bigger place to live.

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  9. Glorious moments on a fabulous instrument, and spectacular architecture. I have always thought Philly has some of the best architecture of all the cities, I have traveled.

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  10. What a great day it looks like you had! It is mind blowing the size of that thing, and that's its in a department store, which is equally incredible.

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  11. I can't even begin to imagine the skill it must take to play that!

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  12. What a treat to see again! While we didn't have a chance to hear the organ being played when we were there years ago, just a look at the incredible pipes was so impressive!!! I wish we'd been there during the concert hours.

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  13. You have to do this once. Plus the sales in Macy's are always great. Shoes, umbrellas, shirts... Whatever you need. The organ concerts are really special if you grew up with church organ music. And the John Wanamaker history is... historic. You out did yourself Mistress! Beautiful.

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  14. Ive enjoyed reading about the organ and listening to concert. What a magnificent place. I hope it is preserved forever

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  15. What an amazing day!!!!!! How did I not know about this? Philly certainly has lots to offer, I too should plan a visit . Soon!

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  16. This thing is a monster! With that grand court, it must really sound thundering?. Must be a real treat to hear it played. And your pictures are quite amazing, you got some great shots.

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  17. You sure DON'T see things like this anymore. What a day of culture. The picture about half way down, looking up, with a single flag is a stunning shot!

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  18. Now that has got to take a ton of energy to play that organ!!!! Loved the facts about the eagle

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  19. WOW,that is amazing, so nice the tradition continues. The architecture is jaw dropping.

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  20. What a great place to get lost in! Even DC doesn't have anything like that. And learned something too.

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  21. Not quite the organ I expected, but it's pretty, too!

    And I imagine it sounds glorious as well!

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  22. OMG that place is amazing!

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  23. I always have a fond place for a massive organ. Jx

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    1. I know you do dear...and your usually sitting on it.

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  24. This was the only drawback to the European tour.....i always love going to these concerts. You got some phenomenal pictures!!!!!

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    1. While it was good, I'm sure where you were was much more a once in a lifetime moment. So jealous, wish I could have heard the London performance.

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  25. This place is a gem in this wasteland of small bars. Came to event venues Chicago here on a Saturday night around 9:30, not too crowded at that time. Ordered 2 beers and fries and the total was around $16.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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