Independent Presbyterian Church
“I just played a Bach recital on your new instrument in Birmingham, Alabama, and I was thrilled about your artistic overall accomplishment in that particular situation.
“The organ is simply magnificent for so much literature, and even my JSB love was ‘transmitted’ to the audience. It has an overall even Tutti, a warm sound, not too much for the room, just ‘right’!
“Of course, my personal ideal situation is mechanical action and a straight pedalboard. But it was a lot of fun to interpret JSB on your amazing artistry in organ building.
“Thank you so very much for this landmark organ to set further standards for the future in U.S. organ building.”
“I want to let you know how very much I enjoyed playing the wonderful instrument at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. My recital in the 2013 November series was last Sunday, Nov. 3. Fortunately I arrived there early enough to have many hours of practice for a program of French romantic music along with one German composition, the Karg-Elert Fugue, Kanzone und Epilog. This work adds violin, played beautifully by Daniel Szasz, and fine women’s voices of the IPC choir at the close of the composition. Many people from the audience spoke to me afterward about how much they enjoyed this work, not having heard it before.
Highland Park United Methodist Church
“I know I’ve said this before, but it can't be said often enough. Thanks for giving us such an incredible instrument to bolster our spirits, enliven our worship, and fill our sanctuary with beauty.”
John Randolph Brown,
Saint David’s Church
“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I had the opportunity to play your instrument at St. David’s last week and loved it. I accompanied the world premiere of an hour-long cantata for choir and organ by Curt Cacioppo. The instrument provided an endless palette of tonal possibilities and was one of the real stars of the show. The combination of the instrument and the room is a dream. I couldn’t get over how warm and beautiful the organ is.”
The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Verizon Hall
“The new Dobson finds its place in the now-long arc of American concert hall organs installed in the last two decades. Up to mezzo forte, it is easily the best and most colourful of this new breed. It meshes with the band with greater refinement and interest than either Dallas or Los Angeles, partly for having, finally, the real range of piano and mezzo voices to do so, but also because the material is treated with uncompromising grace…At Verizon the tone is developed in a way that makes sense in the context of an orchestra hall, not hanging on to any idealism from the Renaissance or Baroque, but establishing the Romantic and Modern as viable ground for elegant sound.”
“…the organ is nothing short of an outstanding achievement, and one audiences seem to love.”
Just a quick note to say how much everyone, including myself, enjoyed playing at Verizon Hall this past Saturday for the special organ event. Quite a few people played who had no familiarity with that instrument, and as Caroline Robinson and I were the “tour guides” throughout the day of practice sessions, we had a good view of their reactions. To a person, everyone took to the instrument easily, and got some amazing sounds given the variety of selections and performers. The instrument’s tonal flexibility made everyone’s job so much easier. The 4' flute on the solo remains my favorite stop!
Once again, thanks for providing Philadelphia with an outstanding instrument that I consider myself so privileged to play. Also, I want to say that I recently had the opportunity to play the organ at St. David’s. What a gem that is!! We need more organs like that in Philly area churches. There’s not a stop on that organ that isn’t exactly what it should be, and the ensemble is amazing. It sounds like an organ twice its size.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
“But the most impressive instrument at the [2004 AGO] convention was the new Dobson at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, as expertly played by Martin Jean. … [It] makes a thrilling sound in an awe-inspiring space that would seem impossible to fill acoustically.”
“We worked with Lynn as well as many other members of his firm and had nothing but success in our collaboration. The craftsmanship evident in the construction of the organ is of the very highest quality and the sound of the organ is one of the most beautiful features of the Cathedral. I have only the highest praise for their effort and ability and am grateful for their participation in a project as important to me as was the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.”
“Let me address you all by saying that the pleasure of performing in Los Angeles recently on your organ at the Cathedral was all mine. What you have achieved there, in that space, is in my opinion a modern masterpiece, and should you ever feel it appropriate to quote me on that, by all means you may do so. I rarely find newly-built organs that are so engaging in the most synthesized and harmonious way, and almost never in the United States can we see an example of not only an exceptionally fine modern organ, but a new one that must overcome the difficulties of a spacious acoustic something that Americans all but never face in newer buildings these days. Few organ builders I’ve found could have handled that marriage of space and sound so well as to have an organ that more than fills a room that large and angular, even at the most subtle levels, but always in balance as a musical instrument, first and foremost, uncompromisingly artistic and at no point overdone. Your LA Cathedral organ met what I have hoped to find and surpassed all expectations over the five glorious days during which I was so fortunate to as to make music there in preparation for my concert. This is a monumental accomplishment by any measurement my words are practically inadequate, ultimately.”
St. Paul's Church, Rock Creek Parish
“This smallish gem of an instrument is huge from a musical standpoint. Graham Elliott’s demonstration consisted of a brilliant improvisation that began pianissimo and gradually built up to full organ, complete with toccata-like figurations, and then back down to a whisper. It was a seamless progression no one thing stood out. Even mixtures and reeds elegantly entered the build-up. And yet, the individual stops are filled with character and color. For anyone who has not yet seen and heard this marvel you owe it to yourself to do so at the first possible opportunity.”
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
“This organ brims with inspiration. Visually, the creative adaptation of the traditional French choir organ creates a comely solution for this setting; the turned tower posts are especially well-crafted and thought out. The specification is refreshingly gimmick-free: stops say what they are, are found in traditional places and accomplish expected roles. The bold ensemble overcomes the rotten acoustics, not with brutality but through elegant force. Perhaps it is better to say that its grandeur is a still more remarkable attribute.
“If one had to dwell on areas of excellence, I would choose the strings and the reeds. The strings not only have a crisp and salacious effect, but are nicely balanced Great to Swell, as well as adding a lovely but not overdone edge to the fonds d’orgue. The reeds are superb, and however hackneyed the sentiment, it's enchanting to come across a new Full Swell that isn’t merely effective but genuinely stirring.”
First United Methodist Church
“I enjoyed the instrument very much. The Harmonic Flute 8' is a fabulous soundI don’t know that I could imagine the Vierne Arabesque sounding any nicer than it did.”
“To date, there have been over 100 recitals performed by international and national artists. The instrument has been highly lauded and acclaimed by everyone who has had the privilege to play it.
“Dobson Pipe Organ Builders has the enviable reputation of being at the very top of the list of organ building firms, both in America and abroad.”
The University of South Carolina
“From each individual pipe to the winding to the key action and stunning case, the instrument is a major artistic accomplishment.”
“My respect for your company is higher than ever.”
First Presbyterian Church
“I want to convey my enthusiasm and admiration for your instrument at John Ourensma’s church in Battle Creek, which I had the pleasure of playing this past weekend. I had been looking forward to that recital, as I had never had the chance to play one of your instruments. As one who has always had an interest in the tonal/mechanical side of the organ, I greatly admire and appreciate the superb job you have done in what was undoubtedly a rather complex rebuild. You and your voicer have done a fabulous job in scaling and blending pipework of many vintages. The organ is really quite thrilling, and full of beautiful soundsGt. Flute Harmonique is one of the best I've ever heard. John also took me next door to see your instrument in the chapel of the Cong. Church next dooranother gem.
“I have long admired your work dating back to the first time I heard and played a Dobson in the studio of St. Olaf College. It was a refreshing joy to hear and play.
“Next came the opportunity to examine and play a Hymn Festival on your Schlicker-Dobson Organ at Valparaiso University. I found your concept of sound forthright, most satisfying and exciting and thus completing the original design of the builder. I honestly believe Herman Schlicker would have been very grateful and proud of your work.”
“I wish you well in your ongoing, creative approach to the building, rebuilding and restoration of pipe organs. Bravo.”
“It is a real pleasure to express to you my genuine enthusiasm for the organs you build.
“As you are aware, I have been presented in recitals on several of your instruments, and I have heard others.
“First and foremost, there is a consistency of beautiful sound in all of your instruments. This should always be the main consideration for anyone purchasing an organ. Too often people get caught up in ‘gadgets’ and lose sight of the fact that such things don’t produce the sound.
“Furthermore, I have always found your workmanship to be superior in every way, from the smallest detail to the largest. You present the highest quality in every area. And your key actions are a joy to play.
“Your organs are truly ‘musical’ instruments, something that I really appreciate as an organist. Your specifications regardless of the size are always thought out from a musical standpoint as well as ‘by the book‘, and designed to give the maximum flexibility to the performer and the music.
“The listener benefits from all these things also!
“I play dozens of organs by different builders every year all over the world. Many are very fine, satisfying, and thrilling. But I have yet to play any that would relegate your work to second place.
“A final thing I wish to mention is how each and every organ of yours that I have experienced fits its surroundings so perfectly. This is no easy task for a builder, and one that many do not always achieve. Just another example of your super dedication to detail.
“As you are becoming more and more known and respected as a builder, my only regret is that I am in the process of retiring as a performer and thus won’t have the joy and privilege of playing your instruments in the future.
“I extend my best wishes for your continued success.”
Edward Anders Sövik, FAIA
“I am an architect, recently retired, with nearly five decades of work in church design and buildings for music. I and my firm, Sövik, Mathre Sathrum, Quanbeck, Inc. had something of a reputation. In the course of my years I was associated with eight or ten pipe organ builders, including all those who were regarded as leaders in the field.
“Among the projects were a sequence of four collaborations with Dobson, beginning with a very early project and including the instrument that I hear every Sunday at church. It is no surprise to me that in his maturity the most prestigious and honorable commissions should be attracted to his company.
“If you have any doubts about Mr. Dobson’s personal commitments, his staff, or the musical and technical sensibilities and skill that come as part of his service, forget the doubts. Mr. Dobson will bring integrity, reliability, understanding and imagination.”
Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd.
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