PipeChat Digest #2982 - Wednesday, July 24, 2002
 
Claptrap - was trashy organ music
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com>
Re: Saint-Saens and Dukas
  by <WiegandCJ@aol.com>
Re: A taste from the past
  by "Jim Hailey" <jhaileya10@charter.net>
Re: Connect the dots to bring on Summer!!
  by <Myosotis51@aol.com>
Organs/ church scenes in movies
  by "Hugh Drogemuller" <hdrogemuller@sympatico.ca>
Re: Claptrap - was trashy organ music
  by "Robert Lind" <Robert_Lind@cch.com>
RE: trashy organ music?
  by "Emmons, Paul" <pemmons@wcupa.edu>
RE: trashy organ music?
  by "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@VASSAR.EDU>
Felix Hell in Saddle Brook, NJ - 7/22/02
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
RE: Felix Hell in Saddle Brook, NJ - 7/22/02
  by "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org>
Re: Saint-Saens and Dukas
  by "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu>
RE: Saint-Saens and Dukas
  by "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org>
 

(back) Subject: Claptrap - was trashy organ music From: "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 10:54:52 +0000   Dear list There is a vast repertoire of "claptrap" - some of which has great charm. = I would suggest by definition it is music which charms the ear without = having any great profundity, and is probably best defined by comparion with the great musical works, which it is not. There is much music which is both tuneful and well written - Vierne for example. Franck is profound, Bonnet, =   Boelmann and Lefebure Wely entertaining, and I guess Norman Cocker, Percy Whitlock and Alfred Hollins come in the "claptrap" class - but they are = fun to listen to, often quite difficult to play - AH's "song of sunshine" requires a lot of work, as do the Norman Cocker Tuba Tune and The five = short pieces of Percy Whitlock. Having heard Thomas Murray playing the Hollins = on the cube organ I got totally addicted to it! I had to buy it and learn it = - it goes into my next programme! I think that where they fall short of greatness is in their lack of development. Franck and Vierne, and many = other great French composers - Durufle, Litaize and Dupre for example, have the ability to develop a musical idea into a major work which demands intellectual capacity and technical dexterity. John Foss   _________________________________________________________________ Join the world=92s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail. http://www.hotmail.com    
(back) Subject: Re: Saint-Saens and Dukas From: <WiegandCJ@aol.com> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 07:36:34 EDT   In einer eMail vom 23.07.02 13:56:35 (MEZ) - Mitteleurop. Sommerzeit = schreibt gksjd85@direcway.com:   > I listened to a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Saint-Saens' third > symphony and Paul Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", recorded by the > Berlin Philharmonic and James Levine, with Simon Preston at organ, no > organ listed (although there is an obscure buried reference to > "Jesus-Christus-Kirche, 6/1986"). Two questions:   Many recordings of the Deutsche Grammophon were made in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche Berlin-Dahlem, especially many Karajan-recordings, including two full sets of Betthoven symphonies.   > (1) I know that the organ actually participates in the symphony in > movements 2 and 4, but does it actually "do" anything in movements 1 = and > 3? I have two recordings of this, and although I strain I can hear no > organ involvement. I know that a few of you have performed this with > orchestra (I have only worked with transcriptions and recordings, and > have never reviewed the orchestral score).   No work for the organ in movements 1 and 3. > (2) Would the buried reference above be the site of the organ, and can > anyone tell us what organ resides there?   It is a Hammer-organ with III/45. > (3) Preston's name is listed after the Dukas selection - is there an > actual organ part in the orchestral version of the Dukas? I have heard > Peter Conte do his transcription of this piece - fascinating.   No. The Dukas selection was recorded at the Philharmonie in Berlin. You = get some further informations at http://einsys.einpgh.org:8882/MARION/ABL-9379   Carl  
(back) Subject: Re: A taste from the past From: "Jim Hailey" <jhaileya10@charter.net> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 08:08:32 -0500     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> To: <PIPORG-L@listserv.albany.edu>; "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2002 8:06 PM Subject: A taste from the past     I didn't even wait to chill it, but opened one and > poured it into a frosty mug with a couple ice cubes. > > > Glenda Sutton   Ah Glenda, this must be your prinzipal mixture then. The cubes makes it somewhat weak when taken with the contra-bratwurst.   Jim H > gksjd85@direcway.com > > > > > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org >      
(back) Subject: Re: Connect the dots to bring on Summer!! From: <Myosotis51@aol.com> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:05:11 EDT   Marika wrote:       > http://sugar3.com/sugarcards/cards_sq/HDsum/ykap_ > SummerTime.swf     :-D!!! Thank you.  
(back) Subject: Organs/ church scenes in movies From: "Hugh Drogemuller" <hdrogemuller@sympatico.ca> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:20:38 -0400   A month or so ago there was reference to an English movie with a significant number of scenes shot in and around churches .Do any on the list recollect the name of the movie?   HD    
(back) Subject: Re: Claptrap - was trashy organ music From: "Robert Lind" <Robert_Lind@cch.com> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 10:49:56 -0500   I take exception to John Foss's post. "Claptrap" in my Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined: "pretentious nonsense: TRASH". We've had some postings that fit that category = (including my own), but I would NEVER, EVER consider Whitlock's Folktune (from the below-mentioned Five Short Pieces) to come anywhere near that. To me it = is one of the sublime Romantic gems in our repertory.   This business is quite subjective, and I'll use myself as proof of that. For me Franck's Andantino in g is anything = but "profound", and I have never played and will never play it. There are = pieces by JS Bach that I wouldn't consider playing because they're not up to = snuff. At this point in my life I care little for Dupr=E9 outside of parts of = Opus 7 (I find him quite guilty of pretentious nonsense a great deal of the = time). I can remember buying his Triptych early in the 1960s and just couldn't = wait to get into this great work from the master. I worked and worked and = worked on the dithyramb and found it so unrewarding that I finally gave up and = have never picked up the piece again. On the other hand, people on this list = (I think) have praised recent performances of this very piece. =20   Don't be fooled by tricky passagework and basic ideas that are excellent in themselves but that aren't = necessarily carried out to a cohesive and wondrous conclusion. Intellectual = capacity is rather dicey. Some folks reach their peak rather early within the IQ = scale, and others go so far that one ends up with totally arid dodecaphonic gibberish in all its permutations that I, for one, don't care to bother with. I have a professor-of-composition friend who is so bright that = he's had a pained expression on his face ever since I first met him in 1963. = He received a number of important orchestral commissions, and having heard = one of them, I don't care to hear any more, thank you.   And, of course, composers can alter their courses dramatically over the span of their careers. I might look at = the works of Elliott Carter, e.g., and wish that he'd never changed from = the mid 1940s to what he started to be circa 1951. He probably thought he was rehashing the territory of Aaron Copland and had to move somewhere = else, and so, indeed, he picked up and went somewhere else. Copland, meantime, = was becoming a parody of himself, and he had to move. I don't care for HIS destination, either. If Stravinsky had died after he'd written his = three early ballets (culminating in Le Sacre), the musical world would still = be crying over the incredible loss to humanity. In my estimation, he = eventually got caught up in neoclassical claptrap (with a few notable exceptions) = and became an empty parody of his own self-imposed style that so many = composers had figured they'd better copy or be booted out of town. Eventually Stravinsky found that he had to move on, and he succumbed to sterile dodecaphony that he himself had decried for so long. Now there's a guy = who was mightily impressed with his "intellectual capacity"! No one = (perhaps in the whole history of personkind) could quite reach the level of = Stravinsky.   I've gotten off the mark here and must apologize for rambling. Again, this whole "art thing" is subjective, = and each of us changes throughout life. Today I enjoy music that speaks to = my soul, that is meaningful and has the craftsmanship and integrity to = stand tall under repeated listening, practicing, and scrutiny. An awful lot = of our standard literature doesn't measure up for me.   Robert Lind=20         John Foss <harfo32@hotmail.com> 07/24/2002 05:54 AM Please respond to PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> =09 To: pipechat@pipechat.org@SMTP@cchntmsd cc:=09 Subject: Claptrap - was trashy organ music=09     Dear list There is a vast repertoire of "claptrap" - some of which has great charm. I=20 would suggest by definition it is music which charms the ear without having=20 any great profundity, and is probably best defined by comparion with the=20 great musical works, which it is not. There is much music which is both=20 tuneful and well written - Vierne for example. Franck is profound, Bonnet,=20 Boelmann and Lefebure Wely entertaining, and I guess Norman Cocker, Percy=20 Whitlock and Alfred Hollins come in the "claptrap" class - but they are fun=20 to listen to, often quite difficult to play - AH's "song of sunshine"=20 requires a lot of work, as do the Norman Cocker Tuba Tune and The five short=20 pieces of Percy Whitlock. Having heard Thomas Murray playing the Hollins on=20 the cube organ I got totally addicted to it! I had to buy it and learn it -=20 it goes into my next programme! I think that where they fall short of=20 greatness is in their lack of development. Franck and Vierne, and many other=20 great French composers - Durufle, Litaize and Dupre for example, have the=20 ability to develop a musical idea into a major work which demands=20 intellectual capacity and technical dexterity. John Foss    
(back) Subject: RE: trashy organ music? From: "Emmons, Paul" <pemmons@wcupa.edu> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 09:33:32 -0400   Greg Homza writes:   >I'm looking for GOOD TRASH, and especially humorous GOOD TRASH.   "Good trash" sounds like an oxymoron rather than _le mot just_, but I = think I know what you mean.   "Donkey dance" by Robert Elmore used to be popular on recital programs, although I don't think I have ever heard it. It was published in sheet music in the H.W. Gray Saint Cecilia series.   I am reminded of Elmore because Jeff Smith played another of his pieces, Pavane, in his tenth anniversary recital at the Riverside Church last Thursday. Whether it was the position in the recital (just after the youthful exuberance of Bach's Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C), or the first live hearing for me of a selection from a favorite old recording, or the lush resources of the Riverside organ, or Dr. Smith's lingering, sensuous rendition-- this very quiet piece was an unexpected delight, like = a whiff of perfume, and I'll probably think first of of it when remembering this event.   Richard Purvis (who composed and improvised in a style similar to Elmore's own) recorded it at Grace Cathedral shortly after its publication c1954. Yet Purvis's performance seemed more perfunctory and the movement didn't make as much of an impression on me there (maybe I should listen to it again). It is the second movement of Elmore's "Rhythmic suite" and was = also separately published as sheet music, by various small firms, at least some of which were represented by Theodore Presser-- appropriately enough, the composer being a Philadelphian (long holding forth at Tenth Presbyterian, = a church also famous for its preachers). Perhaps this excerpting indicates its success or popularity at one time.   Something worldly about its atmosphere suggests to me that it is conceived as recital rather than church repertoire. I wonder whether top American organists like Purvis, Elmore, or Fox would play it in church as well. If so, I think I'd feel more nostalgic than shocked.      
(back) Subject: RE: trashy organ music? From: "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@VASSAR.EDU> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:01:38 -0700   >Greg Homza writes: > > >I'm looking for GOOD TRASH, and especially humorous GOOD TRASH.   I believe nothing wil get as many snickers as Ives: "Variations on America" as well as wild applause; especially when played tongue in cheek........a parody on a parody.   John V  
(back) Subject: Felix Hell in Saddle Brook, NJ - 7/22/02 From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:30:24 -0400   Dear Lists and Friends,   We betook ourselves across the river to Saddle Brook, New Jersey last Monday, July 22nd, for the third and last in a series of summer concerts = at the blessedly airconditioned church of Saint Philip the Apostle - this, to hear one of our favorite Energizer Bunnies of the organ world - Felix = Hell. He just keeps on going . . . and going . . . and going! Nothing battery operated here, however. This guy is able to present about two solid hours = of organ music to a mostly non-organist audience, and make them eat up things like the Bach Preludes and Fugues in A Minor and D Major, Schmuecke Dich, = a complete Trio Sonata (E flat), a Mendelssohn Sonata, a Franck Chorale, the Liszt B-A-C-H, and they might as well all be favorite lollipops, so rapt = was the attention and so clear the enjoyment - and I have left out four pieces in this list! And my crude Energizer reference is not just for the length = of the program, but for the tremendous energy and excitement of the performances, but more about that as we work our way through the program.   Felix began with a Bach G Major Prelude (568) that Keller thinks was = written for Pedal Harpsichord, and he quotes Spitta: "a sort of thematic = development is indeed perceptible, but the chief motivating idea was the releasing of = a tumultuous flood of sound, in which the impetuous spirit of the young composer revels with delight." Well, I don't know if Felix has ever read that bit of Spitta, but he sure got the idea of a "tumultuous flood of sound," and it really was quite a wonderful bravura presentation.   I've not heard Felix play the Bach A Minor Prelude & Fugue before. In London, Ontario about a week ago, he was asked to play for and talk to a = POW group the morning after his concert there. In a rather nice pedagogical approach, he asked the students if they would mind him playing something = he was just working on, giving him a chance to try it out on them. I am sure they enjoyed this kind of insider privilege, and I expect they heard a rather good performance as well. In his Saddle Brook performance, I felt there were places that in minute ways suggested perhaps the work had not quite completely settled yet, but it was lovely to hear, and I = particularly enjoyed Felix's flexible treatment of the opening nine bars before the entrance of the Pedal Point, continuing flexibly through bar 21, when new fun begins to happen.   I never tire of hearing or playing Schmueke dich. Felix makes it sing, and causes everyone to listen intently.   The printed program was an eye catching inkjet job, that looked for all = the world like a diner placemat! Now there's an idea for publicity. (Oh dear, = I will not be allowed in this church again!) However, the copy was all clear and accurate, and complete in all but one thing - The E Flat Major Trio Sonata was listed without showing the movements, which I think is always tough on an audience that may not know these works. However, they seemed = to pick up on Felix's gestures, with only a very little bit of applause after the first movement. I would swear that the third movement was just about = as fast as a human can possibly play it. I had an imaginary little = conversation with Felix during it, asking: "Felix, why do you play it so fast?" with = the answer (you guessed it): "Because I can!" Vernon de Tar used to say that = two people can play the same piece at exactly the same tempo, and one will be too fast, the other just fine, and it all had to do with being sure of the notes - he who is unsure (it was usually me) will sound frantic. Felix is, of course, totally sure, and what he did was exciting beyond words, and it brought forth the first of several standing ovulations of the evening! In response, Felix did a big symbolic wipe of the brow, which got a really = good laugh.   Felix has been touring with the Big Bach D Major, below the Equator, above the Equator, and above the 49th Parallel, and I have heard quite a few of the above-the-Equator shows, and I had the feeling that perhaps this work, which excited the Saddle Brook audience as much as any, is getting a bit frayed around the edges and is not always into the keys. I'm just over sensitive! But he did all his trademark and sometimes daring tricks, including the incredibly fast pedal run at the end, and the place went = mad, everyone on their feet like a shot, clapping and shouting, in some cases even before the last notes had been played! You can't argue with such enthusiasm, often in short supply at organ recitals! On to intermission.   Most artists have life-long relationships with certain major works, and = over the years, these works continue to develop and mature. I think I have = heard Felix play four Mendelssohn Sonatas, and the one I think is really his is No. 6, which he played, in a change of program, at his 16th birthday performance at St. Peter's in Manhattan, not long after the events of September 11th. The memory of that performance (and event) stay with me. This evening, he chose to play Mendelssohn 2, which has not been an easy fit, there being tempo considerations to work at, but it is interesting to see it develop, and the audience, unaware of all this, thoroughly enjoyed this lovely piece.   A nice touch is following the Sonata with a gentle and sensitive = performance of the G Major Prelude. The applause came slowly in that way that says the audience is moved.   I think Felix has the perfect Franck temperament, not a half bad thing to have. He is sure, he is free, he is passionate - His A Minor Chorale was just wonderful. HOWEVER! And I can't let this go by unsaid. In the absolutely ravishing Trumpet/Oboe solo, you know the one, Felix got = playful, and turned to the MIDI for a most hideous travesty of a sound, with a tremulant that accelerated as a note was held. It's only a few bars, and I could not wait for it to end. Even using the tremulant in this most exquisite passage is wrong, but that indescribably awful sound really was = a desecration of one of the most beautiful passages in all of Franck. I = calmed down fairly quickly, and the rest of the performance was truly beautiful, = an d, of course, the audience mostly heard nothing amiss, and gave their approval after the exciting big ending.   The Norbert Schneider Toccata has possibly become Felix's private piece, = in that almost no one else has the stamina to quite get through it - maybe actually no one! I think it is a wonderful piece, and never tire of = hearing it, partly because of being part of a mob reaction - the audience gets so charged up, it is fun to be a part of that. It brings on incredible shouts and applause, and this young man has earned all of it and more, just by bringing this piece to life wherever he goes. By the way, it stirred up a very gentle Trumpet Cypher somewhere, which came and went during the = piece, mostly inaudible through all around it, but it sounded out softly but persistently at the end. The Peragallos, whose workshop is not far away, were present at the recital, and they were able quickly to silence the wayward pipe. As Felix graciously and truthfully said afterwards, this can happen to any instrument, and if it is going to, the Schneider Toccata = will be what does it. Without giving specifics, I know that this piece has done infinitely worse things to some organs that Felix has played. It's a bit like the Y2K business. Is your organ Schneider compliant?   To calm people down, what better than the Liszt Adagio (Consolation)? A beautiful piece, beautifully played.   I believe I heard Felix's first public performance of the Liszt B-A-C-H a couple of years ago. I think in Felix, Liszt has a true soul mate, with = all of Liszt's famed technical mastery to go with this. It is wonderful to = hear him play this magnificent work. I have not tired of it yet. As for the audience, Pandemonium had set in. Eventually, Felix was able to start the first encore, and I got to hear for the first time his by now famous insertion of the opening of "I've been working on the Railroad" just once = in the pedal of the Finale from the Vierne First Symphony. The pastor of St. Therese Church on Staten Island was present, as were a number of people = from the parish. Felix has played there twice, and discovered that this pastor loves the music of Vierne, and has even preached on the subject. When = Felix did the encore there, the last time he played there, he played it = straight, not wanting to offend such a rare thing as a Vierne loving priest. (The priests at Notre Dame certainly seemed not to love the man or his music.) Well, this priest was, as they say in Internet Speak, ROTFLMAO, having finally heard this little bit of fun. By the way, Felix swears he would = not do this if the piece was part of the printed program - only as an encore. Quelle delicatesse!   In case Felix was not yet worn out, he responded to the continued applause with, you guessed it, the Widor Toccata, sturdy, strong, and ever = exciting.   Three cheers for St. Philip's Church, for giving us this excellent series, inspired by Peragallo Opus 508, III/32, attracting on this occasion a very large audience. The organ speaks clearly into a rather dry but non-destructive acoustic, and apparently, there are plans afoot to deal = with the ceiling and the floor, which should improve things measurably. AND, three cheers for the man of the hour, Felix Hell, who can hold and excite = an audience for over two hours, and leave them asking for more. Cherish with = me this wonderful performer who, with each appearance, leaves people of all sorts and ages with indelible happy impressions of the instrument we love and its music.   He and Hans are off to Germany in a few hours, for some time at home and a recharging of those (Energizer) batteries. Felix's first performance back = in the U. S. is at Our Lady of the Angels in Baltimore on September 8th, followed by a special scholarship fundraising concert in the great Music Hall at Methuen on Friday the 13th!   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com        
(back) Subject: RE: Felix Hell in Saddle Brook, NJ - 7/22/02 From: "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:40:34 -0400   Gee Malcolm. If you keep writing them like this, and you always do, I = won't have to actually ever go hear Felix play. I feel so exuberant just reading your writing about his playing. I feel as tough I'm hearing him play. Why you just make me twinkle. And my headache just disappeared too!!! Robert Colasacco   -----Original Message----- From: Malcolm Wechsler [mailto:manderusa@earthlink.net] Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 2:30 PM To: Pipe Chat; Pipe Organ List Subject: Felix Hell in Saddle Brook, NJ - 7/22/02     Dear Lists and Friends,   We betook ourselves across the river to Saddle Brook, New Jersey last  
(back) Subject: Re: Saint-Saens and Dukas From: "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:28:32 -0400   >> (1) I know that the organ actually participates in the symphony in >> movements 2 and 4, but does it actually "do" anything in movements 1 = and >> 3? I have two recordings of this, and although I strain I can hear no >> organ involvement. I know that a few of you have performed this with >> orchestra (I have only worked with transcriptions and recordings, and >> have never reviewed the orchestral score). > > No work for the organ in movements 1 and 3.   Just a caution here: Saint-Saens actually marks the work as being in two large movements, even though each of his movements seems clearly = divided into two movements. So, he would have us say that the organ plays in the second large section of each movement.   Don't mean to nit-pick. It's just that if someone writes or speaks of this work in Saint-Saens' terms, we should know what is being said.   Cordially,   Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA    
(back) Subject: RE: Saint-Saens and Dukas From: "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:55:35 -0400   Whenever I listen to it I just think of the organ as "filler" or "fullnesser" it seems only to serve to add fullness to the orchestration. = I can't imagine anyone even having to practice the part very much. My mental image when I hear it is that they called in "some" organist to play this part s/he's never seen before and s/he reads it right then and there!! No big whoop, you know what I mean. Although I think it's a lovely piece. I mean so Berj Zamcojian[sp?] is the organist on my album cover, but does he really want to be affilitated! Does this piece "make" the organist? What? Robert Colasacco   -----Original Message----- From: Karl Moyer [mailto:kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu] Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 2:29 PM To: PipeChat Subject: Re: Saint-Saens and Dukas     >> (1) I know that the organ actually participates in the symphony in