It will soon be 20 years since The Aeolian Pipe Organ and Its Music was published by the Organ Historical Society. This landmark volume has been out of print for so long that copies now sell for more than $500. A second edition, revised and greatly expanded, is now in publication and, in addition to emendations and many new photographs, the annotated opus list of over 900 organs (with contract dates, prices, additions, and alterations) has been updated to reflect subsequent activity.
The Aeolian Pipe Organ and Its Music is the story of America’s oldest, largest, and longest-lived residence organ company, whose instruments provided music in the home in the era before the wide-spread use of the phonograph and radio. A list of Aeolian patrons is a veritable Who’s Who in American business, industry, and finance.
This book not only documents the organs, but also the music they were programmed to reproduce, Aeolian’s commissions from Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, Stokowski, and Humperdinck, and their reproduction of performances of renowned artists. A special section features a wealth of unpublished photographs of Aeolian installations. In addition to a study of the 54 recording organists, dozens of stoplists are included and complete catalogues of Aeolian organ rolls.
As a companion volume to Rollin Smith’s Pipe Organs of the Rich and Famous, this notable publication makes for reading as fascinating as it is entertaining.