PipeChat Digest #2179 - Thursday, June 28, 2001
 
OHS-2001-N. Carolina, 6/22/01- Part 1
  by <ManderUSA@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: OHS-2001-N. Carolina, 6/22/01- Part 1 From: <ManderUSA@aol.com> Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 02:22:04 EDT     --part1_33.1714c298.286c270c_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"UTF-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Language: en   Dear Lists and Friends,   This report is divided into two sections, as it is too long in full for AOL to mail it - at least tonight. This is section ONE.   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.   End of Part One - Malcolm Wechsler       --part1_33.1714c298.286c270c_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>This report is divided into two sections, as it is too long in full = for <BR>AOL to mail it - at least tonight. This is section ONE. <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>End of Part One - Malcolm Wechsler <BR> <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_33.1714c298.286c270c_boundary--