Virgil Fox
The Girard College Recording

First recordings of
The "Gigue" Fugue and Come, Sweet Death

OrganArts inaugurates a series of historic recordings by various artists with a CD of Virgil Fox’s first commercial recording sessions. When Fox was 29, RCA Victor recorded him on the magnificent E.M. Skinner Organ in the Chapel at Girard College, Philadelphia. He plays his arrangement of Bach’s “Come, Sweet Death,” Healy Willan’s “Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue” (which he never recorded elsewhere), and ten more pieces he helped make famous. RCA released, on 78 rpm discs, only eight of the twelve works recorded. John Wilson has digitized all twelve pieces to inaugurate this series. Liner notes by Jonathan Ambrosino.

Virgil Fox plays the
Wanamaker Grand Court Organ

Virgil Fox Plays The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ Selections recorded in 1964. Personnel: Virgil Fox (organ). Virgil Fox Plays The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ contains a single disc with 7 songs.

Virgil Fox
The Bach Gamut, Volume 1

St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, 1976
Fratelli Ruffatti pipe organ, 4-manuals, 89-ranks, 1971
Rodgers "Royal V" Touring Organ, 5-manuals, 1975

St. Mary's Poster

The original Concert Poster designed for the recital series that The Bach Gamut was taken from. Suitable for framing!

Virgil Fox (The Dish)
by Richard Torrence & Marshall Yaeger

Book Description

A spicy biography of the late Virgil Fox (1912-1980), who was one of the most successful and famous organists in history. Written by the organist's managers for 17 years, the book is based on a 375-page memoir of Fox's artistic heir and protege, Ted Alan Worth. Includes contributions by 17 other associates and students who knew Fox intimately, including Carlo Curley, Fred Swann, Albert Fuller, and Richard Morris.


All The Stops
by Craig Whitney

Book Description

A distinguished New York Times editor explores the history of the pipe organ in America in a book that will intrigue and delight anyone interested in classical music and popular culture.

Organists Virgil Fox and E. Power Biggs each have two chapters, and "define" the playing of the King of Instruments in America the 20th Century. Organbuilders E. M. Skinner, G. Donald Harrison, and Charles Fisk are covered extensively. The two chapters on Virgil Fox quote Virgil Fox (The Dish) 42 times, and include interesting photographs.

Heavy Organ Poster

David Byrd was commissioned to design this poster for “Heavy Organ” in 1972. It’s as stylish now as it was innovative then.

Byrd’s concept was based on a publicity photo of Virgil Fox, and on Marshall Yaeger’s text for a Virgil Fox concert flyer that actually predated “Heavy Organ” by several years.


Virgil Fox Memorial Concert


"This is an impeccably recorded CD. Perfect balance of organ and audience applause--there is little indication of it being a LIVE recording, except for the applause. The performances are awesome. Tom Hazleton's theatre-organ influences can be heard in his interpretation of Bach's T & F in d-minor. As flamboyant as Fox himself would have played it. The concert ends with F. Swann playing an emotional Come, Sweet Death with 20 tolls of the great bell (20 years since Fox's death). He then leads the attendees in O God, Our Help in Ages Past. Splendid singing by what must be an audience of musicians, and fantastic hymn-playing as only Swann can do on the great 5-manual Riverside organ--utilizing all of its vast resources in the final 'amen'."

Heavy Organ
Tribute to Virgil Fox

Virgil Fox would have been thrilled to have seen and heard this recording by Richard Morris on the 3/79 Ruffatti classical pipe organ in Spivey Hall—a concert hall instrument he inspired. He would have been envious, however, of 21st Century DVD technology that allows great organ music to be combined with a visual component: a screen show inspired by Fox’s legendary Fillmore East premiere of his own “Heavy Organ” in 1970.