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Excerpts from the blogs of Inquirer critics.

An organ performance, eight decades late

From Peter Dobrin's "ArtsWatch"


The Philadelphia Orchestra and organist Peter Richard Conte will perform, in the old Wanamaker department store, a work that had been slated to have its world premiere there eight decades ago.

Joseph Jongen's

Symphonie concertante

was commissioned in 1926 by Rodman Wanamaker, son of the store's founder, to be performed by the orchestra with the Wanamaker Organ. After delays in the organ's expansion, and various deaths, the premiere took place in Brussels instead. The work has since become standard repertoire.

In September, the space's current retail occupant, Macy's, and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ will present the Jongen in its long-delayed premiere in the venue for which it was written, plus the world premiere of Howard Shore's


. Also on the Sept. 27 concert program are the Stokowski transcription of Bach's

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

, and Dupré's

Cortege and Litany, Op. 19, No. 2

. Rossen Milanov will conduct.

The Wanamaker Organ, installed in the space in 1911 after its debut at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, is a National Historic Landmark. It has nearly 28,500 pipes, ranging in size from 32 feet to a quarter of an inch.

It is still played in daily concerts by Conte - the fourth person since 1911 to hold the title of "Grand Court Organist."

Tickets for "A Grand 150th Anniversary Concert," celebrating Macy's 150th anniversary, benefit the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ, and range from $100 to $5,000. The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Macy's, 1300 Market St. Information: 215-893-1999,



Tom Waits for Tom Waits

From Dan DeLuca's "In the Mix"


Tom Waits is going on tour this summer. He's not coming anywhere close to Philadelphia - Columbus, Ohio, on June 28 is as near it gets. "We're going to the Deep South where they still love a man who wears red pants and they make him feel welcome," he's said. Earlier this month, Waits explained it all and released an interview with himself.

Clearly enjoying the company and approving of the questions, the practiced vaudevillian explains what's wrong with the world ("We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. . . . We are monkeys with money and guns"); quotes Erma Bombeck when asked what he's learned from parenthood ("Never loan your car to anyone to whom you've given birth"); and offers up his definition of a gentleman ("A man who can play accordion, but doesn't").

I Shot the Sheriff . . .

From Steven Rea's

"On Movies Online"


Never mind the big news that Martin Scorsese will be making the authorized Bob Marley documentary slated for a Feb. 6, 2010, release, which would have been the reggae superstar's 65th birthday. Scorsese, whose Rolling Stones concert doc,

Shine a Light

, is at the Franklin Institute, and who has committed to making a George Harrison doc, too, has bowed from the Marley doc because of scheduling conflicts.

Anyway, no Marty, no cry. Jonathan Demme has been picked to replace Scorsese on the Marley bio, and in many ways, he's better-suited for it. Demme has a history of music pics, from the groundbreaking Talking Heads title

Stop Making Sense

, to the Robyn Hitchcock concert pic

Storefront Hitchcock

to catching Neil Young in

Heart of Gold

. Demme, who is in the process of editing a new Neil Young concert film, has directed music videos (Bruce Springsteen, New Order, The Pretenders) and shown fine, and eclectic, musical tastes in the soundtracks to his fiction features.

"I am thrilled and humbled," Demme said in a statement, "by this extraordinary opportunity to participate in fashioning a motion picture that can serve as a worthy vessel for the spiritual and musical brilliance of Bob Marley."