PipeChat Digest #2174 - Thursday, June 28, 2001
 
OHS-2001-North Carolina, 6/22/01
  by <ManderUSA@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: OHS-2001-North Carolina, 6/22/01 From: <ManderUSA@aol.com> Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 02:01:28 EDT     --part1_26.17704614.286c2238_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en   Dear Lists and Friends   Our first full day, Friday, June 22, plunged us right into the OHS Convention bus-church-bus-church routine at its richest and most full, complete with an 8:30 a.m. departure (and I might add, an 11:30 p.m. homecoming!). We are of hearty stock, those of us who are regulars at these gatherings, and we are here to see and hear pipe organs, and they just don=3DE2=3D80=3D99t seem to all be conveniently located on the same = street in the same town. We had a wide variety of experiences this day, in the vicinity of Danville and Chatham, Virginia, a two-hour bus ride from our hotel.   Our first stop: Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, Danville, housing a gentle and lovely 1860 Boston-built Simmons and Willcox organ, rebuilt with significant additions by George Bozeman in 1988. As this organ was saved and relocated through the good work of the late (still hard to say) Alan Laufman and the Organ Clearing House, it was somehow entirely appropriate that this recital was played by the new director of the Clearing House, John Bishop. The Program:   J. S. Bach =3DE2=3D80=3D93 Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (549), begun = quietly, very slowly, and passionately, a new approach to this work for me, but once I got over that, I began to really like it. The fugue, on the other hand, was quite quick, almost Newmanlike, on a reedy registration, building naughtily with the gradual opening of the box. I got over that too! It was fun.   Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 from Hexachordum Apollinis: = Aria Sebaldina. The Hexachordum is one of four collections of two part pieces from 1699.=3D20   Derek Bourgeois (b. 1941 - a student of Howells) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 Serenade, written for the procession at his own wedding, a fine, accessible work, in a fresh but not shocking harmonic idiom.   The Hymn: =3DE2=3D80=3D9CChrist is made the sure foundation=3DE2=3D80=3D9D = sung to =3DE2=3D =3D80=3D9CWestminster Abbey." We got to sing in parts in our usual impressive way, and when it came time for the descant in the last verse, we were ready, with sopranos of both sexes. It was pretty amazing!   Jean Langlais (1907-1991) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 from 24 Pieces for Organ or = Harmonium=3D20=3D =3DE2=3D80=3D93=3D20 VI: Noel With Variations and VII: Choral (with three variations). These are wonderful pieces of which I was not aware. Thank you, John, for bringing them to us.   Louis-James-Alfred Lefebure-Wely (1817-1869) - Sortie. This was so well done, it made up for the over-exposure from which this piece now suffers. The program did not give the key, but it is either B flat or B.   He who occupies the director's chair of the Organ Clearing House is able to shape and encourage one of the greatest programs to ever come out of the OHS. Its achievements under Alan Laufman were staggering. We offer John Bishop thanks for showing us his musical side, and wish him the very best in guiding OCH in the years ahead.   At Sacred Heart R.C. Church, Danville, James Darling, well-known for his many years at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, gave us an excellent recital on a Simmons organ from 1877, rebuilt with some tonal changes by Andover in 1980-81. We began with "Corelli's Celebrated Concerto in C Major," Opus 6, No. 10 [Arcangelo Corelli 1653-1713], adapted for Organ, Harpsichord or Piano Forte by Thomas Billington (1754-1832?). There are six typical suite movements beginning with a Preludio - andante largo, and ending with a Minuetto - vivace.   From Voluntary in D Major (Opus 6, No. 5) of Samuel Wesley (1766-1830) we heard the Grave [with variations] based on a theme by Mr. Ste-n Paxten, whomever he might have been. It's really more-or-less the celebrated tune "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," in a set of variations = much played to great merriment by Lady Susi Jeans. Jock Darling does these things really well - these performances were really sparkling and fun = -=3D20 while in some hands, music of this period and type can become deadly. The hymn, giving us a good chance at some excellent harmonizing, used a favorite tune for me, Hereford, by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810- 1876), text "O thou who camest from above" by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), this completing a little Wesley corner. Realizing fully how very subjective these things are, I nonetheless have to say I was a bit discomfited by the rather rapid waltz tempo at which we sang the gentle and lovely Hereford. I'll get over it.   The program next promised more Wesley, but the artist had a change of mind and moved smartly and surely into the 20th century with a quite flashy and wonderful choral-based work, <Christ ist erstanden> by Ludwig Lenel (b. 1914), long associated with Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The performance of this tough work with "lots of notes" was totally fabulous - exciting in the extreme, and our thanks to Mr. Darling for bringing it to us.   After a good lunch at the Knights of Columbus Hall (bar closed!), we moved on to First Christian Church, still in Danville, which became the scene of an unfortunate confluence of realities. A walk in the park might well have been better. OHS really tries, with the help of always willing volunteers, to get organs into shape for our pleasure and=3D20 edification. This recalcitrant machine (built at a time when Moller could actually build good instruments), through poor design, including really ill-thought out tuning and maintenance access, and long term neglect, in recent years due to the poverty of the congregation, defied all attempts to bring it "online." Just to get inside the thing, lots of heavy case pipes have to be removed, this landing you on the huge reservoir, and leading you to other contortions to actually get at the pipes that badly need your ministrations. With the complexities of running smoothly a convention of this kind, and it does indeed run amazingly smoothly, this poor old organ and its condition did not get sufficient attention. If anyone *had* paid sufficient attention, I do believe the recital might have been simply cancelled - perhaps for that walk in the park. Baxter Jennings, longtime organist at Sacred Heart Church, where we had just been, was the poor unfortunate given the assignment to play this instrument. I don't know if he screamed and yelled about the condition of the organ. He may have been reluctant to do so, not wanting to jeopardize his opportunity to play in this national forum. Susanne Martin, choir director at Sacred Heart, came along to sing the <Pie Jesu> from the Faure, but was overwhelmed mostly by a too loud registration, which in turn, might have been necessary if none of the softer stops had sufficient notes actually playing. I think too, that Mr. Jennings was totally terrified by the experience of not ever knowing what notes might play at any given time, and by knowing that under these almost impossible circumstances, he was playing for a church full of organists from all over the country. I do believe a player with more technical assurance and lots of recital experience behind him, might have made it all happen, but given the condition of the organ, it could never have been much of an experience. Our next event involved a Moller of 1912, the previous instrument having been built in 1900. I would not want to say it restored one's faith in Moller, but it did show that in the first part of the 20th century, some very good things could come out of Hagerstown, and often did.   We moved to Chatham Presbyterian Church in Chatham, for some really solid, assured, playing on the 17 stop Moller from 1912, mentioned above. What a solid and lovely instrument, and what a player is Randy Bourne. His biography is instructive: Oberlin, after which he became the first student of Harald Vogel in Germany, then U. of Oregon. Seventeen years as Associate Music Director of Minnesota Public Radio, from which only good things flow, and from 1984, conductor of The Lyra Concert, a baroque orchestra. Oh, and he is also an organist - and how! For the first two pieces, the organ was hand pumped, with all the well-known benefits of this. We heard a Praeludium (WV33) of Scheidemann, followed by the Prelude & Fugue in F Major, from the Eight Little. The supple and sensitive playing of these pieces make me want to hear The Lyra Concert to experience this kind of playing translated to orchestral terms. Randy spoke with us during much of this concert, and the compelling nature of both the playing and the chat kept us at full attention all the way. One of the first things he mentioned was his use, in the Bach, of an old edition of 1909, a product of its time, suggesting soloing out sections using a solo Flute accompanied by strings. Would this have been taken seriously by many organists as little as ten years ago? Some would say we are returning to the corrupt old ways of the pre- <Orgelbewegung> days. Others, me with them, might say that we have matured musically, and can now ask what is musical rather than what do the "rules" say. Remember, this is a Harald Vogel student we see before us.   Next, four gently busy Variations on "St. Catherine" written in 1999 by a friend of Randy, Robin Rokey (b. 1950). St. Catherine is the tune to which most of us sing "Faith of our fathers." Randy then pulled out a piece of music that was given to him long years ago by an organist who basically said he could have it because it was junk. This was a ravishing transcription of Melodie in E-flat Major (Opus 42, No. 3) of Tchaikovsky, with the Flute solo accompanied on that rarity, "An audible Aeoline!" This was followed by another successful transcription, of a Mussorgsky piece, "Fair at Sorochintzy," with images of the Cossacks riding into a village, destroying it, and riding off - exciting stuff! The groggy part of the day, late afternoon, was totally beguiled by this wonderful recital, which ended with the hymn "Love Divine, all loves excelling," sung, you guessed it, to Beecher. And here was one of our recitalists who understands the wonder of hymn singing, gave us a chance at some harmony, and accompanied us rather than dominated us. He would not have drawn the Mixtures, even had there been any!   J. R. Daniels, who has a church in the Pittsburgh area, has been around OHS conventions since 1994, in which year he was an E. Power Biggs Fellow. He gave us a concert at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chatham, on a much-moved 1865 S.S. Hamill organ of about 12 stops, depending upon how one counts. Taylor and Boody did a restoration in 1992, adding a Pedalboard and a Pedal Bourdon. Here is another recitalist who under- stands hymns - he supported us gently in a sweet old traditional Roman Catholic hymn, letting us happily harmonize to our hearts' content. He then made an apt little speech about how much louder this gentle instru- ment would have sounded when it was built, to people who had so little noise and music in their lives. We then preceded to a recital of music that made me wonder whether we have matured (taking up the thread of the previous recital) sufficiently to accept most of the music on this program! J.R. is, at present, researching the music of Theodore Salome (1834-1896) whose music I have heard courtesy of an English friend who plays some of it, but almost as comic relief.   In any case, we began with The Canterbury March, by Harry Crane Perin (1868-1933), not a work of much substance, and I had the feeling that Mr. Daniels was uncomfortable with it and with some of the other music in his chosen program, or else the physical layout of the organ was dis- orienting. This was followed by the essential Lefebure-Wely, a piece I had not heard, called 'Choeur de Voix humaines," (The Nuns' Chorus), consisting of Flute solo with flourishes, accompanied on strings. This was followed by a kind of ornamented Aria on "My hope is built," by John Behnke, who was born in 1953.   It was then Salome time. J.R. warned us that the next piece, Offertoire in D flat, had been referred to by John Henderson, in his great "A Directory of Composers for Organ" as the worst piece of organ music ever written. J.R. generated much merriment by telling of his discovery of the score to this awful piece while he was doing Salome research in France, and noting that it was dedicated to Salome's mother-in-law! The recital ended with a more interesting work of Salome, "Grand Choeur in A," altogether a better piece than the previous offering.   After a good dinner at the Stratford Inn Conference Center in Danville, we headed to The Church of the Epiphany, which has two organs, and at which we heard two organists. George Bozeman, organbuilder, and a regular recitalist at these conventions, played the first half on a 1928 Skinner of 16 ranks, I thought not a very successful example of the=3D20 breed. George, as always, gave us something unusual and interesting, the Sonata Cromatica (Seconda) of Pietro Yon. There are three movements, <Andante rustico, Adagio triste>, and <Fantasia e Fuga-Andante mosso>. I was sure that what we were handed next was not going to work, but I underestimated us. We had in our hymnals a choral score of the Yon Gesu Bambino, and led by an excellent soloist who also conducted,=3D20 Robert Sutter, we did a wonderful job. What a great idea, and what an interesting recital. Thank you George.   After a brief stretch, the music moved to the balcony, with its 1978 Andover Organ of 38 stops, for a contrast of epic proportions. I have to say that I cannot guage accurately the mood of this convention. I am mostly surrounded by good friends and true, all of whom have a very real appreciation of organs more symphonic, or at least Romantic, in orientation than what we were about to hear. They seem to still keep me as a friend, despite the fact that I have been heard to utter=3D20 blasphemous words like "Fisk" or "Flentrop," or now, "Andover." I can see and almost feel the heat rising. And of course, my own organ orientation began at Oberlin, the orientation of which needs no describing. My social status may abruptly change now, when I declare that I actually liked the Andover! Really! There are 12 ranks of Mixture, given unpromising names like Cymbal, or - oh my - simply "Sharp." These are a bit uppity, but judicious registrational pruning can work wonders, and there is much that is beautiful in this instrument. I don't, as I said above, really know the mind of the approximately 350 souls attending this convention. I will say that those of us who do have some appreciation of the so-called classically oriented instrument, were sorely tested later in the week by an organ that made even us cringe a bit! Wait for it.     The upstairs organist was Kathleen Scheide, and she began by giving some of us a case of the giggles, I am afraid. Aria: <Quis=3D20 mutuos amores>, by F.-X. Murschhauser. The description is quite understandable in the German: "mit Variationen cum imitation cuculi." The, I thought, not very interesting variations went on, and on, and on, while what is called in the specification, a "Birdola" squeaked and whistled without mercy. Toward the end, a very clangy zimbelstern joined the fray, and this proved almost too much for the composure of some. We managed to settle down for a the hymn "Everlasting Arms of Love," to a tune called Galliard.   Next Ms Scheide played a piece on my hit parade of chorale preludes, the long, multi-stanza <O Lamm Gottes> (656) of Bach. It's a very subjective and, to many, important concern - how one deals with these wonderful treatments of the great chorals. For me, with 656, the beautiful opening verse wants "softly and tenderly," followed by a soloing out of the cantus in the next verse, followed in turn by a reedy sound in the somewhat fanfare-like verse. In the, to me, astonishing descending chromatic passage, I require a big, dramatic sound, with=3D20 the final section full but much reduced from what it follows. I am baring my soul here, knowing that there will be those who disapprove of all these perhaps Romantic perversions. Anyway, it will explain a bit my dislike of the rather Harpsichord like treatment the piece received, brittle and seemingly somewhat cold.   This was followed by the Reger Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, well and fully done, and then we heard from Ms Scheide as composer, in a very pleasant piece called "Aria La Romanesca."   The program finished with Ms Scheide's own transcription of a Mozart Piano Duet, K. 358, into an organ sonata in three movements. Always, with transcriptions, one needs to ask if the work is diminished or improved by the switch over. I love the sound of the organ as much as anyone reading this, but I have to say, after having the experience of listening to this happening, I kept thinking of the wonderful sound of two fine pianos playing these notes, and hungering for it. You can be sure there was lots of conversation about this evening and this entire day, as we made the long trek back to Winston-Salem. Once back at the hotel, we settled into the exhibit room (with cash bar - well patronized), and began nibbling, credit cards ready, at the stock on hand in what has to be one of the most complete music stores oriented to organists ever seen in one place, albeit only existing for one week.   Cheers for now,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com =3DC2=3DA0     --part1_26.17704614.286c2238_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en   <HTML><FONT FACE=3D3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D3D2>Dear Lists and = Friends <BR> <BR>Our first full day, Friday, June 22, plunged us right into the OHS <BR>Convention bus-church-bus-church routine at its richest and most full, <BR>complete with an 8:30 a.m. departure (and I might add, an 11:30 p.m. <BR>homecoming!). We are of hearty stock, those of us who are regulars at <BR>these gatherings, and we are here to see and hear pipe organs, and = they <BR>just don=3DE2=3D80=3D99t seem to all be conveniently located on the = same stree=3D t in <BR>the same town. We had a wide variety of experiences this day, in the <BR>vicinity of Danville and Chatham, Virginia, a two-hour bus ride from <BR>our hotel. <BR> <BR>Our first stop: Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, Danville, = housing <BR>a gentle and lovely 1860 Boston-built Simmons and Willcox organ, <BR>rebuilt with significant additions by George Bozeman in 1988. As this <BR>organ was saved and relocated through the good work of the late (still <BR>hard to say) Alan Laufman and the Organ Clearing House, it was somehow <BR>entirely appropriate that this recital was played by the new director <BR>of the Clearing House, John Bishop. The Program: <BR> <BR>J. S. Bach =3DE2=3D80=3D93 Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (549), begun = quietly,=3D20=3D very <BR>slowly, and passionately, a new approach to this work for me, but once <BR>I got over that, I began to really like it. The fugue, on the other <BR>hand, was quite quick, almost Newmanlike, on a reedy registration, <BR>building naughtily with the gradual opening of the box. I got over = that <BR>too! It was fun. <BR> <BR>Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 from Hexachordum = Apollinis: Aria <BR>Sebaldina. The Hexachordum is one of four collections of two part <BR>pieces from 1699.=3D20 <BR> <BR>Derek Bourgeois (b. 1941 - a student of Howells) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 = Serenade, <BR>written for the procession at his own wedding, a fine, accessible = work, <BR>in a fresh but not shocking harmonic idiom. <BR> <BR>The Hymn: =3DE2=3D80=3D9CChrist is made the sure = foundation=3DE2=3D80=3D9D sung to=3D20=3D =3DE2=3D80=3D9CWestminster <BR>Abbey." We got to sing in parts in our usual impressive way, and when <BR>it came time for the descant in the last verse, we were ready, with <BR>sopranos of both sexes. It was pretty amazing! <BR> <BR>Jean Langlais (1907-1991) =3DE2=3D80=3D93 from 24 Pieces for Organ or = Harmoniu=3D m =3DE2=3D80=3D93=3D20 <BR>VI: Noel With Variations and VII: Choral (with three variations). = These <BR>are wonderful pieces of which I was not aware. Thank you, John, for <BR>bringing them to us. <BR> <BR>Louis-James-Alfred Lefebure-Wely (1817-1869) - Sortie. This was so well <BR>done, it made up for the over-exposure from which this piece now <BR>suffers. The program did not give the key, but it is either B flat or = B. <BR> <BR>He who occupies the director's chair of the Organ Clearing House is <BR>able to shape and encourage one of the greatest programs to ever <BR>come out of the OHS. Its achievements under Alan Laufman were <BR>staggering. We offer John Bishop thanks for showing us his musical <BR>side, and wish him the very best in guiding OCH in the years ahead. <BR> <BR>At Sacred Heart R.C. Church, Danville, James Darling, well-known for <BR>his many years at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, gave us an <BR>excellent recital on a Simmons organ from 1877, rebuilt with some <BR>tonal changes by Andover in 1980-81. We began with "Corelli's = Celebrated <BR>Concerto in C Major," Opus 6, No. 10 [Arcangelo Corelli 1653-1713], <BR>adapted for Organ, Harpsichord or Piano Forte by Thomas Billington <BR>(1754-1832?). There are six typical suite movements beginning with a <BR>Preludio - andante largo, and ending with a Minuetto - vivace. <BR> <BR>From Voluntary in D Major (Opus 6, No. 5) of Samuel Wesley (1766-1830) <BR>we heard the Grave [with variations] based on a theme by Mr. Ste-n <BR>Paxten, whomever he might have been. It's really more-or-less the <BR>celebrated tune "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," in a set of = variations=3D20=3D much <BR>played to great merriment by Lady Susi Jeans. Jock Darling does these <BR>things really well - these performances were really sparkling and fun = -=3D20 <BR>while in some hands, music of this period and type can become deadly. <BR>The hymn, giving us a good chance at some excellent harmonizing, used <BR>a favorite tune for me, Hereford, by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810- <BR>1876), text "O thou who camest from above" by Charles Wesley <BR>(1707-1788), this completing a little Wesley corner. Realizing fully <BR>how very subjective these things are, I nonetheless have to say I was = a <BR>bit discomfited by the rather rapid waltz tempo at which we sang the <BR>gentle and lovely Hereford. I'll get over it. <BR> <BR>The program next promised more Wesley, but the artist had a change of <BR>mind and moved smartly and surely into the 20th century with a quite <BR>flashy and wonderful choral-based work, &lt;Christ ist erstanden&gt; = by=3D20=3D Ludwig <BR>Lenel (b. 1914), long associated with Muhlenberg College in Allentown, <BR>PA. The performance of this tough work with "lots of notes" was = totally <BR>fabulous - exciting in the extreme, and our thanks to Mr. Darling for <BR>bringing it to us. <BR> <BR>After a good lunch at the Knights of Columbus Hall (bar closed!), we <BR>moved on to First Christian Church, still in Danville, which became = the <BR>scene of an unfortunate confluence of realities. A walk in the park <BR>might well have been better. OHS really tries, with the help of always <BR>willing volunteers, to get organs into shape for our pleasure and=3D20 <BR>edification. This recalcitrant machine (built at a time when Moller <BR>could actually build good instruments), through poor design, including <BR>really ill-thought out tuning and maintenance access, and long term <BR>neglect, in recent years due to the poverty of the congregation, = defied <BR>all attempts to bring it "online." Just to get inside the thing, lots = of <BR>heavy case pipes have to be removed, this landing you on the huge <BR>reservoir, and leading you to other contortions to actually get at the <BR>pipes that badly need your ministrations. With the complexities of <BR>running smoothly a convention of this kind, and it does indeed run <BR>amazingly smoothly, this poor old organ and its condition did not <BR>get sufficient attention. If anyone *had* paid sufficient attention, I = d=3D o <BR>believe the recital might have been simply cancelled - perhaps for = that <BR>walk in the park. Baxter Jennings, longtime organist at Sacred Heart <BR>Church, where we had just been, was the poor unfortunate given the <BR>assignment to play this instrument. I don't know if he screamed and <BR>yelled about the condition of the organ. He may have been reluctant to <BR>do so, not wanting to jeopardize his opportunity to play in this = nationa=3D l <BR>forum. Susanne Martin, choir director at Sacred Heart, came along to <BR>sing the &lt;Pie Jesu&gt; from the Faure, but was overwhelmed mostly = by <BR>a too loud registration, which in turn, might have been necessary if <BR>none of the softer stops had sufficient notes actually playing. I = think <BR>too, that Mr. Jennings was totally terrified by the experience of not <BR>ever knowing what notes might play at any given time, and by knowing <BR>that under these almost impossible circumstances, he was playing for <BR>a church full of organists from all over the country. I do believe a <BR>player with more technical assurance and lots of recital experience <BR>behind him, might have made it all happen, but given the condition of <BR>the organ, it could never have been much of an experience. Our next <BR>event involved a Moller of 1912, the previous instrument having been <BR>built in 1900. I would not want to say it restored one's faith in <BR>Moller, but it did show that in the first part of the 20th century, = some <BR>very good things could come out of Hagerstown, and often did. <BR> <BR>We moved to Chatham Presbyterian Church in Chatham, for some really <BR>solid, assured, playing on the 17 stop Moller from 1912, mentioned <BR>above. What a solid and lovely instrument, and what a player is Randy <BR>Bourne. His biography is instructive: Oberlin, after which he became = the <BR>first student of Harald Vogel in Germany, then U. of Oregon. Seventeen <BR>years as Associate Music Director of Minnesota Public Radio, from = which <BR>only good things flow, and from 1984, conductor of The Lyra Concert, a <BR>baroque orchestra. Oh, and he is also an organist - and how! For the <BR>first two pieces, the organ was hand pumped, with all the well-known <BR>benefits of this. We heard a Praeludium (WV33) of Scheidemann, = followed <BR>by the Prelude &amp; Fugue in F Major, from the Eight Little. The = supple=3D and <BR>sensitive playing of these pieces make me want to hear The Lyra = Concert <BR>to experience this kind of playing translated to orchestral terms. = Randy <BR>spoke with us during much of this concert, and the compelling nature <BR>of both the playing and the chat kept us at full attention all the = way. <BR>One of the first things he mentioned was his use, in the Bach, of an <BR>old edition of 1909, a product of its time, suggesting soloing out <BR>sections using a solo Flute accompanied by strings. Would this have <BR>been taken seriously by many organists as little as ten years ago? <BR>Some would say we are returning to the corrupt old ways of the pre- <BR>&lt;Orgelbewegung&gt; days. Others, me with them, might say that we = have <BR>matured musically, and can now ask what is musical rather than what <BR>do the "rules" say. Remember, this is a Harald Vogel student we see <BR>before us. <BR> <BR>Next, four gently busy Variations on "St. Catherine" written in 1999 = by <BR>a friend of Randy, Robin Rokey (b. 1950). St. Catherine is the tune to <BR>which most of us sing "Faith of our fathers." Randy then pulled out a <BR>piece of music that was given to him long years ago by an organist <BR>who basically said he could have it because it was junk. This was a <BR>ravishing transcription of Melodie in E-flat Major (Opus 42, No. 3) of <BR>Tchaikovsky, with the Flute solo accompanied on that rarity, "An <BR>audible Aeoline!" This was followed by another successful = transcription, <BR>of a Mussorgsky piece, "Fair at Sorochintzy," with images of the <BR>Cossacks riding into a village, destroying it, and riding off - = exciting <BR>stuff! The groggy part of the day, late afternoon, was totally = beguiled <BR>by this wonderful recital, which ended with the hymn "Love Divine, all <BR>loves excelling," sung, you guessed it, to Beecher. And here was one <BR>of our recitalists who understands the wonder of hymn singing, gave us <BR>a chance at some harmony, and accompanied us rather than dominated <BR>us. He would not have drawn the Mixtures, even had there been any! <BR> <BR>J. R. Daniels, who has a church in the Pittsburgh area, has been = around <BR>OHS conventions since 1994, in which year he was an E. Power Biggs <BR>Fellow. He gave us a concert at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chatham, <BR>on a much-moved 1865 S.S. Hamill organ of about 12 stops, depending <BR>upon how one counts. Taylor and Boody did a restoration in 1992, = adding <BR>a Pedalboard and a Pedal Bourdon. Here is another recitalist who = under- <BR>stands hymns - he supported us gently in a sweet old traditional Roman <BR>Catholic hymn, letting us happily harmonize to our hearts' content. He <BR>then made an apt little speech about how much louder this gentle = instru- <BR>ment would have sounded when it was built, to people who had so little <BR>noise and music in their lives. We then preceded to a recital of music <BR>that made me wonder whether we have matured (taking up the thread of <BR>the previous recital) sufficiently to accept most of the music on this <BR>program! J.R. is, at present, researching the music of Theodore Salome <BR>(1834-1896) whose music I have heard courtesy of an English friend who <BR>plays some of it, but almost as comic relief. <BR> <BR>In any case, we began with The Canterbury March, by Harry Crane Perin <BR>(1868-1933), not a work of much substance, and I had the feeling that = Mr=3D .. <BR>Daniels was uncomfortable with it and with some of the other music in <BR>his chosen program, or else the physical layout of the organ was dis- <BR>orienting. This was followed by the essential Lefebure-Wely, a piece I <BR>had not heard, called 'Choeur de Voix humaines," (The Nuns' Chorus), <BR>consisting of Flute solo with flourishes, accompanied on strings. This <BR>was followed by a kind of ornamented Aria on "My hope is built," by <BR>John Behnke, who was born in 1953. <BR> <BR>It was then Salome time. J.R. warned us that the next piece, = Offertoire <BR>in D flat, had been referred to by John Henderson, in his great "A <BR>Directory of Composers for Organ" as the worst piece of organ music <BR>ever written. J.R. generated much merriment by telling of his = discovery <BR>of the score to this awful piece while he was doing Salome research in <BR>France, and noting that it was dedicated to Salome's mother-in-law! <BR>The recital ended with a more interesting work of Salome, "Grand = Choeur <BR>in A," altogether a better piece than the previous offering. <BR> <BR>After a good dinner at the Stratford Inn Conference Center in = Danville, <BR>we headed to The Church of the Epiphany, which has two organs, and <BR>at which we heard two organists. George Bozeman, organbuilder, and a <BR>regular recitalist at these conventions, played the first half on a = 1928 <BR>Skinner of 16 ranks, I thought not a very successful example of = the=3D20 <BR>breed. George, as always, gave us something unusual and interesting, <BR>the Sonata Cromatica (Seconda) of Pietro Yon. There are three = movements, <BR>&lt;Andante rustico, Adagio triste&gt;, and &lt;Fantasia e = Fuga-Andante=3D20=3D mosso&gt;. <BR>I was sure that what we were handed next was not going to work, but I <BR>underestimated us. We had in our hymnals a choral score of the Yon <BR>Gesu Bambino, and led by an excellent soloist who also conducted,=3D20 <BR>Robert Sutter, we did a wonderful job. What a great idea, and what an <BR>interesting recital. Thank you George. <BR> <BR>After a brief stretch, the music moved to the balcony, with its 1978 <BR>Andover Organ of 38 stops, for a contrast of epic proportions. I have = to <BR>say that I cannot guage accurately the mood of this convention. I am <BR>mostly surrounded by good friends and true, all of whom have a very <BR>real appreciation of organs more symphonic, or at least Romantic, <BR>in orientation than what we were about to hear. They seem to still = keep <BR>me as a friend, despite the fact that I have been heard to utter=3D20 <BR>blasphemous words like "Fisk" or "Flentrop," or now, "Andover." I can <BR>see and almost feel the heat rising. And of course, my own organ <BR>orientation began at Oberlin, the orientation of which needs no <BR>describing. My social status may abruptly change now, when I declare <BR>that I actually liked the Andover! Really! There are 12 ranks of = Mixture=3D , <BR>given unpromising names like Cymbal, or - oh my - simply "Sharp." <BR>These are a bit uppity, but judicious registrational pruning can work <BR>wonders, and there is much that is beautiful in this instrument. I = don't=3D , <BR>as I said above, really know the mind of the approximately 350 souls <BR>attending this convention. I will say that those of us who do have = some <BR>appreciation of the so-called classically oriented instrument, were <BR>sorely tested later in the week by an organ that made even us cringe <BR>a bit! Wait for it. <BR> <BR> <BR>The upstairs organist was Kathleen Scheide, and she began by <BR>giving some of us a case of the giggles, I am afraid. Aria: = &lt;Quis=3D20 <BR>mutuos amores&gt;, by F.-X. Murschhauser. The description is quite <BR>understandable in the German: "mit Variationen cum imitation cuculi." <BR>The, I thought, not very interesting variations went on, and on, and = on, <BR>while what is called in the specification, a "Birdola" squeaked and <BR>whistled without mercy. Toward the end, a very clangy zimbelstern <BR>joined the fray, and this proved almost too much for the composure <BR>of some. We managed to settle down for a the hymn "Everlasting <BR>Arms of Love," to a tune called Galliard. <BR> <BR>Next Ms Scheide played a piece on my hit parade of chorale preludes, <BR>the long, multi-stanza &lt;O Lamm Gottes&gt; (656) of Bach. It's a = very <BR>subjective and, to many, important concern - how one deals with these <BR>wonderful treatments of the great chorals. For me, with 656, the <BR>beautiful opening verse wants "softly and tenderly," followed by a <BR>soloing out of the cantus in the next verse, followed in turn by a = reedy <BR>sound in the somewhat fanfare-like verse. In the, to me, astonishing <BR>descending chromatic passage, I require a big, dramatic sound, = with=3D20 <BR>the final section full but much reduced from what it follows. I am = barin=3D g <BR>my soul here, knowing that there will be those who disapprove of all <BR>these perhaps Romantic perversions. Anyway, it will explain a bit my <BR>dislike of the rather Harpsichord like treatment the piece received, <BR>brittle and seemingly somewhat cold. <BR> <BR>This was followed by the Reger Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, well <BR>and fully done, and then we heard from Ms Scheide as composer, in <BR>a very pleasant piece called "Aria La Romanesca." <BR> <BR>The program finished with Ms Scheide's own transcription of a <BR>Mozart Piano Duet, K. 358, into an organ sonata in three movements. <BR>Always, with transcriptions, one needs to ask if the work is = diminished <BR>or improved by the switch over. I love the sound of the organ as much <BR>as anyone reading this, but I have to say, after having the experience <BR>of listening to this happening, I kept thinking of the wonderful sound <BR>of two fine pianos playing these notes, and hungering for it. You <BR>can be sure there was lots of conversation about this evening and <BR>this entire day, as we made the long trek back to Winston-Salem. <BR>Once back at the hotel, we settled into the exhibit room (with cash <BR>bar - well patronized), and began nibbling, credit cards ready, at <BR>the stock on hand in what has to be one of the most complete music <BR>stores oriented to organists ever seen in one place, albeit only <BR>existing for one week. <BR> <BR>Cheers for now, <BR> <BR>Malcolm Wechsler <BR>www.mander-organs.com =3DC2=3DA0 <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_26.17704614.286c2238_boundary--