Forget the cowbell. In 19th-century France, new organs featured special effects to help improvisers imitate the sounds of storms. These included special “Pedale de tonnerre”, or Thunder Pedal, that simultaneously sounded some of the lowest pedal tones. On organs not so fortunately equipped, the organist would have to depress several pedals manually or use the arm:
Lefebure-Wely was the undisputed master of organ storms. His Scene pastorale appears in Dover’s intriguing collection Organ Music for the Christmas Season. Pick up your copy today!