Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seventeenth Century Organ Music (Finn Viderø)

Finn Viderø
One of the most renowned record shops in America in the second quarter of the twentieth century was New York's Gramophone Shop, on East 48th Street. Begun in the spring of 1928 by William H. Tyler and Joseph Brodan, the store did a thriving business in imported recordings and eventually took to releasing esoteric fare under its own imprint, although in most cases the actual records were recorded and pressed by HMV. (Latter-day collectors have additional reason to bless the existence of the Gramophone Shop - the three editions of the Encyclopedia of Recorded Music which it sponsored, from 1936, 1942, and 1948, which remain standard reference works.) Among its albums under the heading of "Gramophone Shop Celebrities" is this marvelous collection by the Danish organist Finn Viderø:

Seventeenth Century Organ Music:
Buxtehude: Toccata in F Major, BuxWV 156
Froberger: 2 Ricercare - In the Phrygian Mode; in F-Sharp Minor
Louis Marchand: Dialogue in C Major
Franz Tunder: Prelude in G Minor
Matthias Weckmann: Toccata in E Minor
Pachelbel: Fantasia in G Minor; Ricercare in C Minor
Buxtehude: Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, BuxWV 140
Buxtehude: Canzonetta in E Minor, BuxWV 169
Finn Viderø at the organ of Jaegersborg Church, Denmark
Recorded c. 1948 by HMV
Gramophone Shop Celebrities Album No. 6, six 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 130.42 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 84.19 MB)

Of the Gramophone Shop's two co-founders, Mr. Tyler, who had since at least 1925 been the manager of the record department at the New York Band Instrument Company (as we find out in the June, 1925, issue of "The Talking Machine World"), has a connection with my native city, Atlanta, as well. For, by the time these "Gramophone Shop Celebrities" sets were being made in the late 40s, Mr. Tyler had left New York to found his own shop down here, at 845 Peachtree Street, known as Tyler's Gramophone Shop. My old mentor Bill Brooks spoke of working for this shop (and indeed, the 1947 Atlanta City Directory lists him as a salesman there) - which would explain the large number of imported records that Mr. Brooks possessed, for Mr. Tyler worked as an importer here as he had in New York. His store didn't last long, unfortunately. It's listed in only two editions of the city directories, 1947 and 1948-49. Some twenty years ago I acquired a few 78s from a lady who had been one of his customers (this lady's name, alas, I cannot remember, but she attended the church I was playing for at the time). She remembered Tyler's Gramophone Shop as "a wonderful place," and that "it closed down after Mr. Tyler committed suicide." The original Gramophone Shop in New York closed its doors for good early in 1954.

I do not know whether I will post again before Christmas, so everyone accept my best wishes for a happy holiday season!


  1. Alternate links:



  2. Happy holidays, Bryan, and thanks for this, and for the anecdote, with a tragic ending. I so wish I had been old enough to visit the legendary music shops of New York. I did spend a great deal of time in that city in the last 15 years - only to witness the final remaining stores close down.

  3. And our warmest thanks and very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you too! I have this set too, and I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for transferring and posting it - I've never heard it, and now I can at last enjoy it. I didn't know that about Tyler. Sad - he'd achieved so much. Fascinating story which needs pursuing, I feel. Many, many thanks, as ever, Nick

  4. Most of the supplements are here:

  5. Feliz Navidad, Felices Fiestas a todos, un abrazo y siempre miles de gracias por vuestro trabajo!

  6. I am grateful to you for all of your postings this year. Merry Christmas to you and yours.