Virgil Fox

Winterland (San Francisco, CA)

Oct 14, 1971

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  1. 1 Prelude In A Minor 04:32
  2. 2 Fugue A La Gigue 04:16
  3. 3 Toccata & Fugue In D Minor 08:43
  4. 4 Vivace (Trio Sonata #3 in D Minor) 04:15
  5. 5 Sinfonia (Cantata #29) 06:12
  6. 6 Sleepers Wake 05:18
  7. 7 In Duci Jubilo 02:35
  8. 8 Come Sweet Death 08:55
More Virgil Fox

Virgil Fox - organ
Pablo Light show - light show

This west coast performance, as well as an east coast performance at the Fillmore the previous year, brought classical music, in the form of Bach, to the younger Winterland audience. At this point in time, Virgil Fox had established a reputation as a flamboyant guru of classical organ music. He made his concerts not only audio experiences, but visual ones as well, featuring light shows and screen projections not unlike the psychedelic bands that frequented the Fillmores - a characteristic that made him a controversial figure among his peers in the classical music world.

For these gigs, a Rogers Touring Organ was installed in the venue. Installation was quite the ordeal, as this instrument weighed in at two tons and featured 144 speakers. This gave it the ability to reproduce the sounds made on the massive pipe organs. It was also fitted with early digital equipment capable of replicating sounds made by various European pipe organs.

Fox achieves a massive sound, and is a virtuoso on the material. These shows were unlike anything else performed at the Fillmores. From the crowd's enthusiastic response, made clearly audible on this recording, Graham's efforts to bring this music to a younger audience were much appreciated.

This show is incredibly interesting, especially the final number, "Come Sweet Death," which reaches an intensity level beyond a lot of the more standard Bach compositions. This show also has a more spontaneous feel to it than the Fillmore show the year before, and is a wonderful testament to the innovation and diversity that Bill Graham brought to his Fillmore programs.