Playing for Apollo

January 16, 2003

In 1960, in an article about Glenn Gould for The New Yorker
magazine, Joseph Roddy harnesses Nietzsche's terms to describe a dichotomy he
perceives in the composition and the playing of piano music. Eighteenth-century
keyboard compositions "are Apollonian, adhering to classical formality and
reserve; those of the nineteenth century are Dionysiac, being notable for
poetic mood and emotional thunder." Keyboard compositions of the twentieth
century, "for all their involutions, have shown a tendency to return to
the Apollonian ideal."2 Rather than providing a clear example of either
Apollonian or Dionysiac tendencies, Glenn Gould's life and art enclose a
mesmeric opposition of both classical and romantic components: Dionysiac
frenzies during performance, behavior for which he became legend, and
Apollonian compositions and interpretations which are "essentially
dispassionate." It was Gould's interpretation of Bach's "highly Apollonian"
Goldberg Variations which established the young Canadian as a top-ranking
pianist. Playing the Variations, Gould accomplishes his technically flawless
performance, "lean, aloof and fleet," in ten minutes and twenty-one
seconds less than it took Wanda Landowska to complete her highly Dionysiac
performance of the same work.3

Joseph Roddy's description of Glenn Gould and his music
suggests a startling similarity to the Apollonian style and taste of Carl
Weinrich, organist and choirmaster of Princeton University from 1943 to his
retirement in 1973. There are, of course, many significant differences between
the two men.  Gould the pianist was
famous for his histrionics, swaying and singing and conducting himself as he
played. Weinrich the organist was just as known for a calm, classical manner,
an almost unnerving physical control which he exercised even during the music's
most intense passages.4 But, as we shall see, when Carl Weinrich compiled his
own canon of organ music, his choices were very like what the younger Gould
came to champion:  the music of
Sweelinck, of Bach, of Hindemith, of Krenek. In addition, few words could
better describe Carl Weinrich's playing than those applied to Glenn Gould:
"lean, aloof, fleet." And if Gould had his Van Cliburn, so, too,
Weinrich had his artistic antipodes. From his own era sprang the Dionysiac
Virgil Fox, whose preconcert foreplay, cavalier treatment of the printed score,
and wild technical high jinks asserted a violent contrast to Weinrich's
Apollonian creed. Most often compared with Weinrich was his exact contemporary,
E. Power Biggs, whose playing, though technically less precise than Weinrich's,
could hardly be called Dionysiac. Biggs's dedication to popularizing the organ,
however, eventually bred in him a Dionysian's taste, music of uneven artistic
merit from all periods, chosen because it appealed to the untrained listener.
In our own era, Anthony Newman, Simon Preston and Diane Bish are only a few of
the many outstanding Dionysiac recitalists.

Carl Weinrich's importance in American organ music, however,
reached far beyond the university where he made his home. Weinrich was both a
traditionalist and a revolutionary, the former because he chose to concentrate
his energies on the works of Bach, the latter because he was one of a group of
American organists who in this century thoroughly altered American practices of
organ playing and building.5 But what was Weinrich's method and how did he
acquire it?

Lynnwood Farnam: Beauty with Discipline

When Carl Weinrich began in earnest his study of organ in
the 1920s, instruments, the technique of playing, and attitudes toward organ
literature differed greatly from today's prevailing notions. Mechanically
sluggish consoles and the romantic organ's preponderance of 8¢ diapasons
and strings made intricate passages, particularly in the music of J.S. Bach,
difficult to hear and hence not rewarding to master.  Indeed, Bach's famous remark, "you need only to hit the
right notes at the right moment and the instrument does the rest"6
alleged, when Carl Weinrich began his career, not irony and understatement, but
impossibility. Lists of organ stops from those years read like a romantic
orchestral fantasy: flauto amabile, tuba mirabile, philomela. Weinrich was one
of a group of energetic, musically dissatisfied young organists who gathered
about the great teacher and player, Lynnwood Farnam, organist at the Church of
the Holy Communion in New York City until his death in 1930. Together they
reformed and refashioned American organ playing.7

As the first step toward unlocking music's subjective
components or its effect upon the soul, Lynnwood Farnam directed his students'
physical dexterity to the technical components or skeleton of organ music.8 To
approach music's aesthetic ends, Farnam first insisted upon absolute mastery of
the score, careful planning of fingering, endless practice of difficult
passages. Moreover, Farnam demanded an end to the physical pyrotechnics and
theatrical body thrusts which organists often affected at the console. Clear,
clean, precise playing soon brought a predictable dissatisfaction with the
sluggish, muddy sounds of romantic organs and led to an interest in Baroque
techniques of organ building, a return to the principles of construction,
design and stop selection practiced in Bach's era. Farnam's followers, then,
embarked upon a dual quest: more responsive instruments and clearer sounds to
convey more precise playing. Their vision for organ study proclaimed forcefully
the link between technical and aesthetic dimensions of music, the objective and
subjective components of art. And in his own practice, Lynnwood Farnam left
little to chance; before playing a recital, he insisted upon a minimum of
fifteen hours to prepare himself at the instrument he was to play.

In addition to his insistence upon technical perfection,
Farnam's notions of repertoire were built around the music of Bach. He
especially condemned the nineteenth-century custom of including transcriptions
or arrangements of piano music in organ recitals: études of Chopin or
Schumann, pieces such as Debussy's Clair de lune, Rachmaninoff's Prelude in
C-sharp Minor, and overtures and arias from opera. In a series of twenty
recitals, Farnam performed the complete organ works of Bach, a monumental
statement of his musical vision and a feat which his student, Carl Weinrich,
was to repeat many times. Weinrich's appointment as Farnam's successor at the
Church of the Holy Communion, following the latter's death in 1930, indicates
the high regard which Weinrich's playing enjoyed in Farnam's circle.

Weinrich's legacy to his students, and hence to all
musicians who followed him, is three-fold. First, he adopted, practiced, and
passed on Lynnwood Farnam's uncompromising standard of technical excellence as
the foundation of aesthetic satisfaction. Second, having at his disposal the
whole of organ literature, he offered to his students his own special views
concerning repertoire and its use. Third, Weinrich fostered in those about him
an artistic awakening, a refined musical judgment, the unerring aesthetic
sensibility which Plato attributes in the Republic, Book III, to a proper
education in music. Throughout his life, Carl Weinrich stubbornly refused to
practice or to perform any but the very best music composed for the organ. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 

Legacy 1: Technique, Organ Design and Artistry

It is the first of these three legacies, Weinrich's efforts
to rescue organ playing from technical lassitude, which remains his most
difficult, his most heroic and his most far-reaching musical gift to us. To
begin with, Weinrich's Apollonian style rested upon an intense scrutiny of the
notes. His scores included extensive notations of fingering, and much of his
time with students was given over to searching carefully and slowly for the
best possible execution of difficult passages. Impatient with older theories of
fingering, Weinrich was an outspoken proponent of employing, whenever possible,
"the strong fingers," the thumb, index and middle finger of each
hand. He insisted that, especially in the works of Bach, one could always
devise a comfortable fingering for even the most difficult passages. He often
commented that "if the fingering of a particular passage isn't comfortable
when you practice it, the tension of a public performance will probably cause
you to stumble at that spot. A musical composition is like a string of
pearls--one weak knot, and the necklace breaks; one flubbed measure can destroy
the beauty and perfection which you achieve in all the others."

To be sure, a difficult measure or passage, properly fingered,
might require scores of repeated attempts to master. One should know a work
well enough to play each part separately, he insisted, and should practice a
piece for at least one year before performing it in public. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  As if to follow Bach's famous attribution
of his own success to hard work,9 Weinrich the student practiced at least eight
hours per day. At the time of his retirement, he still considered five hours
per day a minimum practice schedule for an active organist.

Weinrich's concern for precision even extended to noting
pedal passages with a "P.N." to remind himself which was the
"pivot note," the moment at which the body should shift its angle to
execute comfortably the pedal lines. 
And then, like Farnam, he allowed himself no other movement at the
console.  He was willing to discuss
diverse possibilities for phrasing, and hence for interpretation, only after a
student had demonstrated undisputed mastery of the work's skeleton. He liked to
say that his first concern was to help a student get the notes firmly in hand,
into the "strong fingers." "After that," he once said,
"we can discuss phrasing at our leisure.  My first job is to see that you can play these notes
correctly and with the same good fingering each time you approach this

It is natural that, following Lynnwood Farnam's first steps,
Carl Weinrich's tireless zeal to perfect the technique of organ playing led
him, as it had led Bach before him, to a careful evaluation of the instrument
itself, to the impact of organ design upon technical and aesthetic
considerations. Determined that musical lines must be clear to the ear,
Weinrich was an early proponent of spare use of the 8' registers, of eliminating
the heavy Diapason stops and of developing a full Rückpositiv division for
proper registration of the music of Bach. Together with G. Donald Harrison of
the Skinner Organ Company, Weinrich toured the organ lofts of Europe in the
summer of 1936 and studied carefully the instruments whose design and sound he
admired. While head of the organ department at Westminster Choir College style="mso-spacerun: yes">  (1934-1940), he designed a Baroque
instrument for his studio, the celebrated "Praetorius Organ"
installed in 1939, one of the first instruments in this country built to
recover the clear tonal capacity and clean sounds necessary to the technical
perfection Weinrich sought.

After taking up his post at Princeton in 1943, Weinrich
began with Harrison a rebuilding of the University's enormous Chapel organ,
disconnecting many of the old, useless stops and adding the bright sounds of a
Baroque instrument.10 In later years, Weinrich collaborated with Walter
Holtkamp, Sr. in pioneering efforts to design organs following Baroque models.
The thirty-four stop, three-manual Holtkamp organ at General Theological
Seminary in New York, completed in October, 1958, is a monument to their
labors.11  Weinrich proudly used
this instrument for all of his later recordings with RCA Victor.

Improved technical articulation and improved organ sound
generated new possibilities for interpretation. Both inspired and enabled by
new instruments, Carl Weinrich began to play Bach's works at a far greater
speed than had been the custom. One need only compare Weinrich's early
recordings of Bach with those of Albert Schweitzer, a formidable Bach scholar
but a technically mediocre performer, to understand the very pleasing aesthetic
implications of superior technique, clear sounds and brisk tempi. Throughout
his life, Weinrich remained keenly interested in the relationship between tempo
and music's aesthetic effect. He checked himself regularly with a metronome to
ensure an accurate rhythmic rendering of each passage. He was forever warning
of the danger of rushing the sixteenth notes, even when playing with the
metronome. The margins of Weinrich's music, particularly his Bach scores,
contained a fascinating record of the diverse organs upon which he had
performed and recorded, and the tempi appropriate to each. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  But the happy marriage of superior
technique and intelligent organ design gave birth to unexpected musical
problems, unanticipated artistic discoveries.

In 1959, Carl Weinrich dedicated a new Holtkamp organ for
the First Presbyterian Church, now Nassau Presbyterian, in Princeton. Conceived
as an instrument similar to the organ at General Theological Seminary in New
York, the Princeton Holkamp included a complete Rückpositiv division,
three manuals and twenty-nine stops.12 Organist of the church for forty years,
Mary Krimmel was also Weinrich's brilliant student from his earliest days of
teaching, and she was determined that her congregation should enjoy the fruits
of Weinrich's research into organ design. But upon completion of the organ, a
problem which neither Weinrich nor Mrs. Krimmel foresaw quickly began to
manifest itself. Unlike the New York organ, First Presbyterian's instrument is
housed in an acoustically challenged space. Because First Presbyterian stands
approximately 150 yards from the Princeton Chapel, with its immense Aeolian
Skinner and endless echoes, the several organists who often performed on both
instruments experienced a technical, then aesthetic dichotomy. Detached, crisp
playing necessary for musical clarity in the cavernous chapel produced a
crumbly, thin, and altogether uninteresting effect in the church; stately tempi
suited to the chapel's great masses of sound became tediously slow in the
church. Each setting was an exaggerated circumstance: few rooms could be as
acoustically alive as the Princeton Chapel or as tonally unresponsive as the
First Presbyterian Church.

Efforts to find a technical solution to the aesthetic
dilemma surrounding these two fine organs led Carl Weinrich and Mary Krimmel to
undertake a search for improved articulation, an approach which would finally
produce aesthetically pleasing music in both the chapel and church. For
Weinrich, the subject was not a new one. Questions of how to achieve the best
articulation of a musical line began during his days under Farnam. Carl
Weinrich the student marvelled at his teacher's ability to play a legato line
as though there were tiny spaces of air between each note.13 In later years,
Weinrich often commented to his own students that he learned from Farnam the
secret of how to execute a singing legato without loss of definition and
clarity. Under no circumstances was the listener to sense a staccato touch.

The problem of fitting articulation to the instrument and to
its environment remained a matter of great interest to both Carl Weinrich and
Mary Krimmel to the end of their professional lives. It was my great good fortune
to be the student of both Weinrich and Krimmel and to prepare for many years a
weekly lesson on each instrument. What they learned and I absorbed from this
experience proved the most exciting and complete instruction possible in organ
articulation. Their endless discussions of articulation, of technical
exactitude, of how to execute the notes, would not have been novel in piano
pedagogy. For organ study, it was revolutionary. The following principles
slowly emerged.

First, neither strict legato nor detached, non-legato
playing satisfied the listener in either setting.  On both organs, a sensible alternation between detaching and
connecting notes produced the best effect.  Second, step-motion generally required a legato line, while
skips could be detached.  In the
church, the slightest change from a legato to a detached line produced an
immediate effect; in the chapel, only very pronounced, exaggerated articulation
reached the listener's ear. What in the chapel seemed to the performer a
slightly detached articulation became a singing legato as the sound moved out
to fill the nave. Finally, and most important, the same piece had to be
executed very differently on each organ. In the chapel, Bach's heroic Toccata
in F major had to be played at a tempo deliberate enough to allow an
appreciation of the work's massive chords punctuated by octave leaps and
cadenzas in the pedal. In the church, the Toccata had to move at much brisker
pace; sections following the second pedal cadenza unfolded most effectively if
the organist conceived of one beat, not three, to a measure.

Handel concerti proved to be the most difficult works of all
to tackle. In the chapel, a clearly detached line in all parts produced an
exciting interpretation; in the church, one had to cultivate a very slight
detachment, an articulation midway between staccato and legato, one which
obliged the organist to remain precariously perched on the edge of the keys.
Carl Weinrich, having thoroughly adjusted to the very live acoustics of the
Princeton Chapel, continued to employ a crisp, detached articulation; Mary
Krimmel, confronted with the dry environment, moved to a firm, legato style
made vital by a careful detaching of skips. The lesson is a clear one:
organists must approach each instrument, able to make even radical adjustments
in articulation to suit the organ's setting.

Legacy 2: Components and Uses of Repertoire

As he carried forward Lynnwood Farnam's technical legacy,
Carl Weinrich, like Farnam before him, exercised a formidable influence upon an
entire generation's notion of worthy repertoire for a superior organist.
Weinrich's clearest statement concerning organ literature came in 1950-51, when
Harvard University named him the Lamb Visiting Lecturer in Music, an honor
previously accorded Gustav Holst, Béla Bartók, and Aaron Copland.
For the first time, this prestigious post went to a performer, and the
compositions Weinrich chose for his series of eight recitals form what might be
called the Great Works for the organ.14 Weinrich's Apollonian tastes are never
more apparent: not one single work chosen for the eight recitals comes from the
nineteenth century.

It is here that the history of organ playing records an
accident, an irony, and an amusing juxtaposition. At the same time the
Apollonian Carl Weinrich was playing the eight Lamb recitals in Harvard's
Memorial Church, E. Power Biggs was continuing his custom, begun in the 1940s,
of broadcasting organ recitals from Boston's Symphony hall and Harvard's
Busch-Reisinger Museum. It would be an exaggeration to assert that these two
famous pioneers in organ study and building shared no common ground. As is
well-known, Biggs, like Weinrich, collaborated in the 1930s with his fellow
English ex-patriot, G. Donald Harrison, in the design and building of tonally
improved organs.  Biggs supervised,
in 1937, the construction of one of Harrison's early instruments, an organ for
Busch Reisinger Museum much like the "Praetorius Organ" Harrison
installed at Westminster Choir College for Weinrich. It is this instrument
which Biggs used for his famous broadcasts which began in 1942.15

Operating independent of both church and school, however,
Biggs's turf lay in the concert hall. Sensitive to that environment, he
cultivated a Dionysiac's taste and repertoire unlike Carl Weinrich's chosen
restraint. His programs, which contended with Weinrich's for announcement space
in the Harvard University Gazette of 1950-51, did include Bach, but also a
heavy offering of nineteenth-century music: Franck, Strauss, Schumann, and the
twentieth-century warhorse, Alain's Litanies. Biggs's Dionysiac programming was
conceived to make organ music accessible to untrained listeners, and to widen
organ repertoire to include all manner of popular and classical works.
Weinrich's Apollonian attitude gave no thought to popular taste or preference.
He was delighted with the environment which Princeton's chapel provided for his
recitals: absolute silence before the music began, and no applause at its

Among those Bach chorale preludes Weinrich played most often
were, from the Eighteen Organ Chorales, "O Lamm Gottes"; the
celebrated, double pedal composition on "An Wasserflüssen
Babylon"; and from the third part of the Klavierübung, a spectacular
little fugue, "Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot," and Bach's only
six-voice composition which has come down to us for the organ, "Aus tiefer

Perhaps the double pedal lines of "Aus tiefer Not"
and "An Wasserflüssen Babylon" appealed to Weinrich. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Only an organist of superlative
technical accomplishment can handle these complex pedal parts, and at the same
time convey the sadness and deep feelings which pervade each piece. And his
playing of much smaller works reliably captured the same mystical quality of
more extended compositions; from the Orgelbüchlein, he often chose for a
recital's encore "In dir ist Freude," "In dulci jubilo" and
"Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf"; each in his hands became a
small, flawless jewel.

Of Bach's great preludes and fugues, Weinrich played often
the Fugue in E-flat major ("St. Anne"), the Toccata and Fugue in F
major, the extremely popular Toccata and Fugue in D minor, the Prelude and
Fugue in A minor, the Fantasie and Fugue in G minor, the Toccata, Adagio and
Fugue in C major, the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, the Toccata and Fugue
in D minor (the "Dorian"), the Fantasie in G major, the Prelude and
Fugue in B minor, the Prelude and Fugue in G major and, curiously, the
strangely hybrid Pastorale in F. His playing of both the pedal and manual
ornaments in Bach's Toccata in F, the piece which for Mendelssohn "brought
down the roof of the church,"16 and his introduction of complex
ornamentation in Bach's subject for the Fugue in F major, perfectly executed
each time the subject appears, were spectacular examples of his technical

Another of his favorites was the Concerto in A minor, Bach's
arrangement for organ of Vivaldi's double concerto for two violins. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Weinrich performed the spare,
ravishingly beautiful middle movement at a very gentle, meditative pace,
employing a mournful reed for the solo passages, and then fell suddenly,
unexpectedly, with piercingly bright sounds upon the descending scale passages
which open the last movement. His breathlessly exciting tempo of this final
movement, notes spectacularly detached and perfectly articulated, formed a
thrilling contrast to the middle movement's careful legato touch and languid
mood. In addition, for the last movement of the concerto, Weinrich exploited
his talent for innovative registrations and the Princeton organ's resources,
employing two divisions located on opposite sides of the chancel; the result
accentuated the dazzling series of echoes and imitations for which Vivaldi's
music is famous, all played at a speed which no organist could match.

Weinrich regularly included movements from Bach's Trio
Sonatas in chapel services and on recital programs, and described playing these
most difficult of all pieces for the organ as "walking on eggs for twenty
minutes." He was, moreover, wonderfully inventive in selecting music for
the special needs of a university community. For the long academic processions
at all official university functions in the chapel, Weinrich chose, rather than
insipid voluntaries or marches, Bach's elaborately extended chorales and
chorale preludes on "Komm, heiliger Geist," from the Eighteen Organ
Chorales, and "Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit" and "Kyrie, Gott
heiliger Geist," from the third part of the Klavierübung. Weinrich's
choice of Bach's most ornate four-part chorales for processionals at university
functions meant filling the chapel's nave with what are perhaps music's most
majestic chords, most ordered voices. It is hard to imagine a more perfect
blend of reason, sensual splendor, and art: the four musical lines moving
flawlessly toward their cadences as scholars of all ages and academic colors
process ponderously by.

While his primary interest and preference always lay with
the music of J.S. Bach, Carl Weinrich often commented that his favorite piece,
one which he played in public at least once each year, was Buxtehude's chorale
prelude on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern!  And Weinrich's unbending fidelity to the score did not imply
monochromatic or uninteresting choices of registration. His daring, unexpected
use of reeds in Buxtehude's Wie schön leuchtet, preserved in a recording
made on the Holtkamp at General Theological Seminary, is a truly ingenious
interpretation of a masterpiece. He frequently performed Sweelinck's echo
fantasies and variations on Mein junges Leben hat ein End', Cabezón's
Diferencias sobre el canto del caballero, the preludes and fugues of Buxtehude
and Bruhns, Lübeck's Prelude and Fugue in E major, Noël #10 from
Daquin's book of twelve noëls. He recorded the Handel organ concertos,
Mozart church sonatas, and the Haydn organ concerto with Arthur Fiedler and the
Boston Pops orchestra. In addition, Weinrich released recordings of Baroque
Christmas music and organ music of the Bach family.

Although not as a group his favorite works, a few pieces
from Romantic composers appeared each year on his programs and among his
recordings; reviewers and concert goers frequently commented that it was
surprising to hear the organist famous for definitive renditions of Bach bring
such precision and sensitivity to later works.17 He played Mendelssohn's Sonata
I, Franck's Pièce Héroïque, and Brahms's chorale preludes
and Fugue in A-flat minor. The modern period received his enthusiastic study,
especially Hindemith's First Sonata for organ, Messiaen's Dieu Parmi Nous, and
Marcel Dupré's Cortège et Litanie, copied down when Weinrich was
a student of the great Frenchman. And Weinrich was very proud to have offered
the first public performance of Schoenberg's "Variations on a Recitativ,"
op. 40, a work which he edited for publication.

Weinrich's improvisations, or, rather, what we might call
Weinrich's theory of improvisation, deserve special mention. No Princeton
student interested in music could ever forget Carl Weinrich's spectacular
modulations and improvisations spun out between the organ's offertory and the
congregation's singing of the Doxology which followed. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Retaining the theme from his offertory
piece, Weinrich slipped adroitly through a succession of keys, adding ranks of
pipes with each phrase. Three special pieces reveal how he planned his
modulations or "improvisations," for in truth, Carl Weinrich was too
much a student of the classical principles of form, too Apollonian, to attempt
an unplanned or uncharted improvisation. 

The last movement of Mendelssohn's first organ sonata and
Bach's "St. Anne" fugue, two master works he especially favored for
offertories at Princeton, possess unmistakable, famous musical tropes which he
used to begin the improvisation and to establish its structure. The thundering
arpeggios of Mendelssohn's finale to his first sonata, the "St. Anne"
theme and the subject of the third movement's fugue--each became the germ for
an improvisation.  If the offertory
happened to include an anthem or composition by Mozart, Weinrich quoted the
great chords, dissonances, and dotted rhythms of Mozart's Fantasie in F minor,
K. 608.   Listeners awaited
the inevitable, climactic arrival of the dominant seventh chord, and then the
resolution in G major on which note the singing began. Because Weinrich never
played a preparatory phrase from the Doxology, one was obliged to listen
intently as the downbeat of an emerging tonic chord drew nearer and nearer.
Organists who must provide an improvisational bridge between an anthem and
doxology would do well to remember Weinrich's secret.  One should choose a theme or motif of the piece just
completed, and make that theme or motif the unifying idea of improvisation.

Legacy 3: Aesthetic Sensibility and a Life in Music

Carl Weinrich's third great legacy to organ study and
performance evolved from his decision, taken early in his career, to invest his
energy and effort in only those works he considered the very best compositions
for the organ. Having little patience with Romantic warhorses which merely
exploit the organ's capacity to sustain loud, rushing noise, Weinrich
withstood, in Apollonian fashion like Bach before him, many years of censure
from mediocre musicians and critics who felt him excessively inflexible,
narrow, and rigid in his adherence to Bach.

But Carl Weinrich's early recognition of those compositions
of greatest artistic value, and his fidelity to their study and performance,
widened his place in musical history from that of master performer to master
teacher. His dual authority, first over organ music's technical, then its
aesthetic, dimensions pointed students' interest and organists' labors toward
those composers and compositions capable of capturing one's imagination
forever. His life's work answers not only the question of how to realize the
full beauty of organ literature, but which portions of that literature merit
first, our endless technical effort to play accurately, and then, a lifetime of
sensitivity and reflection to interpret.

Perhaps because as a weekly performer for the Princeton
community, Carl Weinrich had to reclaim and defend his mastery of the organ
each time he sat down at the console, he retained throughout his professional
life both a student's wonder at the act of playing and a student's uneasiness
before the demands of the art. One could say without fear of overstatement that
Carl Weinrich remained, forever, frightfully respectful of the perils of
performance. It is not possible to over-practice great music or to arrive at a
definitive interpretation of its beauty, he liked to observe, nor does one ever
tire of returning "to polish once again an exquisite diamond."

As a teacher, 
Weinrich set before his students a three-pronged challenge which he
himself had answered: to identify within one's self a passionate devotion to
one field of inquiry and to remain forever its restless student; to train
discriminating eyes and ears to direct the efforts of imperfect hands and feet;
to recognize that mastery of a discipline is achieved only when one understands
that it is in the details of construction, in the skeleton, that all great art
is made. The process of intense scrutiny required to master a work's skeleton
teaches us that all art is not equal, all compositions not of a quality to
command one's study for life.

It is not surprise, finally, to discover that in his thirty
years at Princeton University's center, Weinrich's approach to the study of
music practiced the fundamental principles of a liberal arts college.
Princeton's president Robert F. Goheen, in his address to the Freshman Class at
Opening Exercises in the fall of 1965, insisted that a liberal education is not
merely to prepare one to earn a living, but also to open the mind to a field of
inquiry, a body of knowledge or learning capable of engaging the spirit and
intellect throughout life. In order to realize any of the great ends of
education, students must give themselves to a discipline, an intellectual and
artistic task which will command their life's attention, effort, and passion.

In music, a regrettable emphasis, often encouraged by
teachers, upon pursuing "what hasn't been done" occasionally leads
students to invest their time and talent in works or ideas too shallow for
repeated scrutiny, too jejune to sustain a mature spirit. By stating
unequivocally that organists should look to Bach, that the Master's greatest
works require a lifetime to execute and to interpret, that a life spent with
J.S. Bach is a life well spent, Weinrich's legacy can still spare all who will
listen from the sa