PipeChat Digest #2881 - Sunday, June 2, 2002
 
A CD review by a neophyte . . .
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Differences
  by "pat and ian" <patian@senet.com.au>
Re: Differences
  by "jon bertschinger" <jonberts@magiccablepc.com>
Re: A CD review by a neophyte . . .
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com>
 

(back) Subject: A CD review by a neophyte . . . From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 15:13:27 -0500   And a stupid question thrown in for good measure. This week I was fortunate to make acquaintance with several CDs from the mass gift provided by my friend that were deserving of comment.   "The Bach Family: Organ Works"; Wilhelm Krumbach on the Herbst Organ of the SchloBkirche in Lahm-Itzgrund, Germany (1968-69, 1993, Teldec Classics International, a Time Warner Company - set of 2 CDs, 4509-92176-2). This included music by J.S., Johann Lorenz, Johann Michael, Johann Christoph, Johann Bernhard, and Johann Ernst Bach. CD 1 was largely unremarkable except for the selections of the P&F in a-moll, BWV 904, and the P&F in C-dur, BWV 547. I really don't ever recall hearing these in recital, and they were interesting. The photo shows placement of the 2-manual, roughly 30-or-so rank, much-tampered-with instrument as nestled in an alcove/gallery above the altar, with a small curtained cantilevered pulpit contained in the level between altar and organ.   CD 2 was more revealing. Johann Lorenz' P&F in D-dur was delightful to me, and even contained some challenging pedal passages in the last couple of pages. I really enjoyed the Johann Michael Bach's "Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Her", and would like to find that music to learn: the sturdy chordal passages complemented the polyphonic interludes well. I had heard J.S.' Capriccio in E-fur, BWV 993, but it was delightful enough for a look-see also. I had totally forgotten Johann Christoph's music, which I had played a few years back when first learning to play. And Johann Ernst's Fantasie and Fuge in F-dur was full of great arpeggios. I have not yet checked into how to order this music - does anyone know if any of the scores are still in print? I actually have forgotten to replace the disk, just letting it play over and over.   An aside here: on track 7, Johann Christoph's "Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz", there are noticeable sounds whenever the organist plays a C or D above middle C, and perhaps one or two of the accidentals in that area. The sound is not unlike the tapping of a spoon against an empty beer bottle. Would any experts care to comment on the probable cause of this: would it be classified in the realm of "cipher"? Could this be simply a contact problem? Maybe it's supposed to sound like that; in my sheltered existence I have not personally encountered this problem at the console. In trying to tune my ears to listen critically to recorded organ music, I am truly a neophyte in need of instruction.   The second CD was one that I would never have bought myself, because of the packaging: it is one of these "Weekend Classics" collections by London. However, it is thoroughly delightful: "Organ Favourites: Bach, Widor, Mozart, Wagner, Handel"; Simon Preston at Westminster Abbey (1963, 1964, 1965, 1990, Decca/London, 430 145-2). I'm sure most of you will be familiar with this. However, I've led a sheltered life. This really does contain many favorites. I managed to hold on to my dinner during the Widor Toccata (I make myself listen to it often in an effort to combat my motion sickness), and truly love the Wachet Auf and the Mozart Fantasia.   The Walton Crown Imperial was played faster than I ever remember it, and it was refreshing. Have you ever noticed how our perceptions of something are colored and locked in based upon our first exposure? Well, for some reason utterly unknown to me, the Vierne Finale from Symphony No. 1 must be my favorite piece. Because of my sheltered life, the first time I ever heard this piece was at the hands of then 15-year old Felix Hell. There is only one word to describe it: happy. I'm always happy when I hear that piece, and it hearkens back a series of blissful moments in my life.   Some CDs of organ works are enjoyable in automobile CD players; some are not car-friendly because the range of volume between pianissimo and fortissimo. This is further aggravated by the amount of engine noise heard in a particular vehicle. Most of my exposure to CDs comes from travel to and from court. "The Bach Family" passes the car test with flying colors. I have not yet heard Preston in the car, so cannot comment - I have apprehensions (some of his sudden crescendos are quite abrupt - not a good omen).   "The Durufle Requiem; Moets sur des themes Gregoriens": Teresa Berganza, Jose Van Dam, Ensemble Vocal Audite Nova de Paris, Choeurs & Orchestre Colonne, Michel Corboz (1986, Erato, 2292-45230-2), is not car friendly at all. I already owned a CD of this music with the P&F on the name A-L-A-I-N and a few others (1994, Naxos 8.553196) with Eric LeBrun, organ, and was wondering whether it was gluttonous and sinful to own 2 CDs of the same music. I assumed this CD would be even better than my Naxos. However, I was wrong, at least in the comfort of my CRV - barely audible at the loudest setting. I could tell you virtually nothing about the sound of the organ, which was played by Philippe Corboz. The credits enigmatically list the churches of la Trinite and Notre-Dame du Liban (Paris). I am sure the recording is fine in other settings, but think I prefer the Naxos recording with its more-for-the-money listing, adding the Scherzo and Notre Pere.   Well, next week perhaps I will get to expose myself to more of these treasures. Thanks for reading along.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: Differences From: "pat and ian" <patian@senet.com.au> Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 08:15:26 +0930   What are the differences to listen for in the sound of a 1. Classical organ?   2. Romantic organ?   3. German voicing?   4. English voicing?   Ian.    
(back) Subject: Re: Differences From: "jon bertschinger" <jonberts@magiccablepc.com> Date: Sat, 01 Jun 2002 19:04:59 -0500   ok...I'll take a stab at this one. Please understand that I'll be generalizing a bunch...sometimes a rose is a rose.   1. Classical organ would probably be something described having clear tone, with the idea of a tonal building by not only stop variety, but thru pitch as well. Also pipe scales more closely match each other between families of tones. Principals and Flutes are almost if not the same scales, and strings are more like just narrower principals in sound, just not as "loud". For instance, a classical Great Organ stoplist:   16' Principal 8' Oktav 8' Rohrfl=F6te 4' Oktav 2 2/3' Quinte 2' Oktav II 1 1/3' Mixture IV 2/3' Scharf IV 16' Trompete 8' Trompete 4' Schalmei   ok...a Romantic organ depends upon tonal build up more by voices than pitches, also, it is trying to imitate the orchestra. Also, it will have higher windpressures, and scales will differ between flutes, strings, and principals (diapasons) more than in classic scaling. =20 Dynamic treatment between stops may be greater. ie: diapasons much louder than flutes,etc. here is an example of what I would consider a "romantic organ's Great Division".   Great Organ   16' Open Diapason (with beards) 8' 1st Open Diapason (largest scale) 8' 2nd Open Diapason (smaller scale) 8' Flute (probably a large scale open wood or metal?) 8' Dulciana 4' Octave (larger scale than found in Classical organ) 4' Flute d'Amour (stopped wood, with pierced stopper handles) 2 2/3' Twelfth 2' Fifteenth 2 2/3' Full Mixture IV 8' Tromba 4' Tromba Clarion   Now you ask about voicing...differences between German and English? That would largely depend upon the date. Early "classical" organ building had sounds much the same in either country....Bach, Handel, etc. But in later building, old traditions were carried on in Germany, but "new influences of higher windpressures, electrically controlled actions, etc. greatly affected scale designs and voicing methods. To generalize, there would be tighter windways and less nicking in German organs, while English organs would have higher pressures and wider windway openings, and lots of knicking...deep knicks.   hope that this answers a few questions, it's not comprehensive, I could write a book.....     best wishes,   Jon Bertschinger Tonal Director Temple Organs Saint Joseph, MO (North Kansas City area)  
(back) Subject: Re: A CD review by a neophyte . . . From: "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com> Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 05:23:16 +0000   I hope members will excuse my posting this letter from the Spectator competition no 2235, in which the readers were invited to supply a polite thank you letter which failed to mask their shock-horror on being given a well-meaning but grotesquely inappropriate birthday present. I actually laughed until I cried and the result was quite painful.   Dear X, It was clever of yout to find out - perhaps a little bird told you? - = about my life long passion for Beethoven. And it was brave of you to guess which =   disc I might not already have in my carefully (obsessively, my wife would say) classified collection of his works. But despite what I fondly = imagined was a comprehensive knowledge of the recorded canon, BEETHOVEN'S GREATEST HITS is certainly quite new to me. I look forward to hearing it, when time =   permits, with considerable interest. Indeed, its whole approach - an eclectic mixture of single movements, arias and so forth, sometimes on unexpected instruments and by performers often quite unknown to me - promises an experience I have never had before. I have placed it in a special category of its own on the shelf, where I assure you it will = remain for a long time to come, Affectionately, NP John Foss       _________________________________________________________________ Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com