Well Organized

Despite what you Mastodon fans might believe, there is no sound in the world heavier than a pipe organ. For truly Earth-shaking proof, check out Summer Sundays at the Console, a casual concert series revolving around the $1.2 million baby at Palm Beach's lovely Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church. Installed in 1999, the Bethesda beauty is relatively new in pipe-organ years (the oldest, in Sion, Switzerland, has been spewing fugues since 1390), but the 80-year-old Episcopal church's stone, abbey-like construction lends profound acoustics to the instrument's already massive sound. The thing is so big you can't even see it: most of its 6,058 pipes are housed within the walls of the church, as is the air compression system that breathes glorious life into them. The holy racket this thing generates includes the sound of woodwinds, reeds, strings, and the diapason pipes -- the haunting, gothic, pure organ sound revered by every vampire, mad scientist, 18th-century German composer, and torrid lover.

Summer Sundays at the Console begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 21, with a pipe-organ demonstration by resident organist Harold Pysher and two other local organists. They conclude at 2 p.m August 28, with three South Florida organists performing classical, jazz, and traditional compositions. The performances last less than an hour and are free at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church, 141 S. County Rd., Palm Beach. Call 561-655-4554.

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Jonathan Zwickel