PipeChat Digest #3240 - Monday, November 18, 2002
 
Re: Bach Passacaglia & Fugue
  by "David Carter" <davidorganist2002@yahoo.com>
Re: Bach to nature
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Authenticity?
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Felix Hell Recital
  by "mack02445" <mack02445@mindspring.com>
Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish)
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: bach
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish)
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: bach
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
RE: pay the organist?
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
RE: Recital Programmes
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish)
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
Re: Recital Programmes
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Re: Bach Passacaglia & Fugue From: "David Carter" <davidorganist2002@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 12:28:57 -0800 (PST)   Thanks to all who responded - I won't think that recitalists are leaving = off the fugue if they just list the Passacaglia alone on their program. Thanks also for all the = information about the origin of the word, it was quite interesting.   As to my experience with Bach's P&F (I hope I haven't already shared this = with the list: My organ teacher (who gave free lessons in exchange for singing in the = choir and occasional sub engagements) programmed it on an all-Bach recital. It was quite = fascinating to watch her prepare the piece, with all of the attendant manual and registration changes. I = grew to know the structure of the piece quite well, although I have yet to learn it myself (maybe = someday if I ever find that "round to-it" that is so elusive these days).   The Passacaglia and Fugue of Bach remains one of my favorite pieces of = organ literature.   David Carter     __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Web Hosting - Let the expert host your site http://webhosting.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Bach to nature From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 10:35:04 +1300   Hi, Colin,   Most of what you write is, of course, utterly correct and laudable. I = should however, in the interests of historical accuracy, point out that organists play with the Tremulant, not the Vibrato. Tremulants are socially OK, but Vibratos can only be bought in Adulte Shoppes.   I do hope you will take the trouble to read P.D.Q.Bach's massive = magisterial work, in three volumes of 642 pages each, on "The Origin and Use of the Tremulant in Contrapuntal Sextets for Violone and Dulcimer". This was published between 1823 and 1797 and was endorsed by no less a personage = than Prince Albert's grandfather, the Italian of Alberti bass fame. (They = dropped the "i" later, as Victoria would not be reminded of Albert's Italian heritage).   Yours in great esteem, Ross   >Where else, but from an organist, did violinists get the silly idea of playing their instruments with a vibrato?        
(back) Subject: Re: Authenticity? From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:01:03 +1300   Thanks for your further reply. Just one more note on that 16ft metal I had removed from the Great - it is about 14" scale at CCC, so no tiddler! Oh yes, I meant to say that we did slightly shift the innards around. The Choir, instead of being behind the "en fenetre" console, is now some 15ft higher in the case. I had the back of the box removed and the division placed hard against a brick wall. So, without any revoicing the division = is about 65% louder and of brighter, clearer tone. In both Swell and choir, = the shutters now open to about 85 degrees, where they were only about 45 = before. The console had funny old Laukhuff pneumatic tabs, but I had these = replaced with drawknobs on angled jambs. A wee bit about the balance. The two Great Mixtures are not a 4rk split = into two, but are differently scaled. No.2 8ft OpDiap, Princ.4, 2 15th and 2nd (i.e. high) Mixture is an absolutely perfect balance for the Swell 8ft OpDiap., 4 Princ. and 3rk Mixture, with the choir 8 4 2 and Gemshorn 19th not very far behind. The old Swell Horn, not altered at all, is a good = match for the new Great Trumpet, but the Horn is very much fuller and richer, = with rather more than a hint of Cornopean tone. Full Swell is of course just = the 16 & 8 reeds and Mixture. With the Octave coupler, you get the brilliance needed, and it was good to be able to keep the reed in its original = voicing. I'm a little unhappy with the Great 17th, as it is not exactly the same scale and voicing as the 12th and 15th, even though I specified that: it's = a little smaller and slightly more flutey. This organ was the first in NZ's history to have two Mixtures on the = Great, by the way, and the Great 17th was also a "new" idea. To add that 17th to the full Great is to alter the character of the Great a lot, even though = you can also use the rank just with ther 8ft flute for a "piquant" tone. All the chorus stuff is on the slider chests. It was edtremely fortunate that the Great Open Diapasons, Hohl Flute and original (12.15) Mixture, = for example, were on two slides per stop, with the stop action pulling (of course) both slides at once. This meant that by having new stop action, = the (12.15) Mixture didn't need to be touched to enable the ranks to draw separately. And so on.   The entire organ is on about 3.5" wind.   I believe many of the metal pipes are in fact by Laukhuff. Croft (the builder) often imported cheapish German pipes, instead of (for example) Marshall or Palmer ones from England, and then voiced them to sound = English. Gave me a financial advantage over competitors here, and his voicing was excellent by the standards of the day and is still usually very very musical.   I wish you could hear this organ. The major sad thing is that the = acoustics of the church are very very dead.   Regards, Ross    
(back) Subject: Felix Hell Recital From: "mack02445" <mack02445@mindspring.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 16:27:20 -0500   Howdy fellow listers, Yesterday I feel I spent all day on the train. Travelling from Boston to Newark to hear Felix play at the Cathedral Basicilica of the Sacred Heart on the Schantz. It was well worth it, I assure you. Felix was in top form considering his schedule that weekend and played brilliantly. The organ was quite good in person, coming from an old Aeolian-Skinner man, I was impressed. I am sure Malcolm will review the recital properly as I will not attempt to. Just wanted to add it was great seeing so many listers there too.   Cheers,   Mack    
(back) Subject: Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish) From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 16:42:22 EST     --part1_9d.314fe303.2b0ab8be_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   In a message dated 11/18/02 2:59:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, RonSeverin@aol.com writes:     > Do we really have to recreate what we think a Bach organ looked and > played like, reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? > Or do we take a more practical approach, and just enjoy interpretating > his work to the best of our own knowledge and technique? I think we've > walked in so much quicksand, with one fad or another trying to recreate > the past that we have very little idea of. People jumping on and off = band- > wagons. Producing hash sounding organs because we refuse to bow > to the last and most important altar, temperment of the scale. We have > developed absolute camps of playing his music, and everybody else > is wrong elitism.   One of the reasons we can play Bach's music to the best of our knowledge = IS that research and discovery has revealed a great deal which contributes to =   that store of knowledge. People jumping on and off bandwagons and = producing "harsh sounding organs" has resulted in some of the wonderful sounding = organs that we enjoy today. Temperament, scale, voicing, and style are all = OPTIONS which sould be available to us. The everyone else is wrong elitism is counter-productive especially when that attitude is held by the folks who want an "it-will-play-everything-equal-temperament" organ. These people would have or still try to eliminate all options and avenues of = experience. I know of no one (myself included, believe it or not) who enjoys unequal temperament who would recommend ALL instrument being tuned to ONE unequal temperament, or that all organs be built in ONE style. Sadly and ironically, it is those people who propose an all-purpose instrument who would deprive us of variety.   Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui in the Muttastery at Howling Acres http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502 check out <A = HREF=3D"http://www.visionsuccess.com/BC2053">Vision Success </A>       --part1_9d.314fe303.2b0ab8be_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2>In a message dated = 11/18/02 2:59:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, RonSeverin@aol.com writes: <BR> <BR> <BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=3DCITE style=3D"BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; = MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">Do we really have = to recreate what we think a Bach organ looked and <BR>played like, reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? <BR>Or do we take a more practical approach, and just enjoy interpretating <BR>his work to the best of our own knowledge and technique? I think we've <BR>walked in so much quicksand, with one fad or another trying to = recreate <BR>the past that we have very little idea of. People jumping on and off = band- <BR>wagons. Producing hash sounding organs because we refuse to bow <BR>to the last and most important altar, temperment of the scale. We have <BR>developed absolute camps of playing his music, and everybody else <BR>is wrong elitism. </FONT><FONT COLOR=3D"#000000" SIZE=3D3 = FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" FACE=3D"Arial" LANG=3D"0"></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR></FONT><FONT COLOR=3D"#000000" SIZE=3D2 FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" = FACE=3D"Arial" LANG=3D"0"> <BR>One of the reasons we can play Bach's music to the best of our = knowledge IS that research and discovery has revealed a great deal which = contributes to that store of knowledge. &nbsp;&nbsp;People jumping on and = off bandwagons and producing "harsh sounding organs" has resulted in some = of the wonderful sounding organs that we enjoy today. &nbsp;Temperament, = scale, voicing, and style are all OPTIONS which sould be available to us. = &nbsp;&nbsp;The everyone else is wrong elitism is counter-productive = especially when that attitude is held by the folks who want an = "it-will-play-everything-equal-temperament" organ. &nbsp;&nbsp;These = people would have or still try to eliminate all options and avenues of = experience. &nbsp;I know of no one (myself included, believe it or not) who enjoys unequal = temperament who would recommend ALL instrument being tuned to ONE unequal = temperament, or that all organs be built in ONE style. = &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sadly and ironically, it is those people who propose an <BR> <BR>Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui &nbsp;in the Muttastery at Howling = Acres http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502 = &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;check out &nbsp;&nbsp;<A = HREF=3D"http://www.visionsuccess.com/BC2053">Vision Success </A> <BR> <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_9d.314fe303.2b0ab8be_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: bach From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:23:52 +1300   Being in NZ, I never met Biggs, but he was a penpal for some years and = used to send me autographed records every Christmas. His letters were always thoughtful, kindly and encouraging. When on the way back to the USA from an Australian recital tour, he deliberately had a stopover in Auckland so he could ring me in = Christchurch (where I lived then). He wrote that he spent the entire two hours (in Auckland) in a phone box trying to get me, but sadly I missed him as I was out of the office all morning. From what I know, I'd say Biggs was a man I'd love to have as a neighbour, friend and teacher, even apart from any of his obvious musical talents and willingness to share knowledge and skill with others.   Ross Anyway--the heck with all that...Tell me about Biggs? What was his personality like? Wow, what a neat experience for you!    
(back) Subject: Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish) From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:44:13 +1300   Hear, hear, hear! Thank you, Ron.   I remember being criticised heavily by an "academic musician" not long ago for speaking of "Mozart's Requiem". I was forcibly told that he did not write the work and that it was inferior anyway (to what, wasn't said). My reaction was this: "I love the music and so do untold 1000s of others. If = I call it Mozart's Requiem, absolutely everyone knows what music I'm = referring to."   Yes, indeedy, music-making must be fun and music-listening must be enjoyable. When doing some BMus papers about 20 years ago, I had the temerity to write in an essay that 12-tone stuff, what they call dodecaphonic, is cacophonous junk. My lecturer wrote on my paper that I = must learn to control my prejudices. I wrote back, "So must you," as he = insisted that major and minor scales and harmony were now regarded as passe, = had-it, out-of-date.   I'm reminded of the comment of a former Governor-General of NZ, "Music is that which, having heard the night before, you whistle or sing in the = shower this morning." OK, inadequate, but a wonderful talking point and something = I can get close to.   I heard a Bach recital at St Giles's Cripplegate, London, in 1992 (Ann someone-or-other). The organist played everything so fast and so staccato that the pipes couldn't speak properly and the music was just a whirring whirl of noise. I asked why she did this and was told contemptuously that that's what authentic Bach performance is like - staccato and fast - and that anything else is Romantic drivel. I asked then what CPE Bach was = doing when he wrote that his Dad played legato whenever possible. I got no = answer.   I've just been listening to some tapes, made of my mentor and friend = Maxwell Fernie, from back in the 1960s and 70s. I've been amazed at hearing these tapes (which I didn't know till a few months ago had even been made) to = hear how incredibly MUSICAL Fernie's playing was, even if the organ being used does not resemble anything Bach would have been able to hear or use.   Dare I say it here: one of my favourite recordings is of a Scots fiddler playing Scots folk music, unaccompanied, on an Amati violin. The music is sheer melody, played superbly, on an unutterably beautiful instrument. As it's unaccompanied, I can "listen to" all the implied harmonies I wish. An absolute treasure of a record, especially the stunning slow Laments and Airs.   I don't need to labour the point I'm making.   Ross Enjoy recreating Bach's music! Use your head, ears, and what ever other critcal thing you can think of to make music, but make music, for God's sake.   Ron Severin    
(back) Subject: Re: bach From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 18:33:04 EST     --part1_121.1a3dc433.2b0ad2b0_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   it would be neat for you to put transcriptions of those letters on this = list! choir and organ may even be interested in them! that is if they are not = too personal. gregory.   --part1_121.1a3dc433.2b0ad2b0_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2>it would be neat for = you to put transcriptions of those letters on this list! &nbsp;choir and = organ may even be interested in them! &nbsp;that is if they are not too = personal. <BR>gregory.</FONT></HTML>   --part1_121.1a3dc433.2b0ad2b0_boundary--  
(back) Subject: RE: pay the organist? From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 17:41:31 -0600   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of jon bertschinger   .. . . Not to mention the phone calls to pick my brain about something for the service (I think Lawyers bill that too? (btw..I like a few lawyers)).   To which Glenda replies:   The fewer the better (at least for my pocketbook - low supply equals high demand).   Glenda Sutton, Esq.      
(back) Subject: RE: Recital Programmes From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 17:52:28 -0600   I would like to vary Colin's challenge a bit. We all have favorite pull-out-all-the-stop warhorse recital fare, but what would be your favorite softer organ music to intersperse in a recital? This is the harder question for me in trying to come up with a response to Colin's query.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of cmys13085@blueyonder.co.uk   A hypothetical scenario......a substantial eclectic organ in a good acoustic.   What recital programme would pipechatters like to hear most, given the above and a good performer?          
(back) Subject: Re: Of Biggs, Bach and Blockwerk(longish) From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 18:59:51 EST     --part1_73.2946dcb7.2b0ad8f7_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   you wrote: Do we really have to recreate what we think a Bach organ looked and played like, reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? Or do we take a more practical approach, and just enjoy interpretating his work to the best of our own knowledge and technique? I write: If everyone were to play every thing to the best of our OWN knowldege and technique, there would be a whole lot more crappy recordings of Bach. = It's like telling a child, "Oh, you don't have to go to your history classes," = or "never mind studying the constitution." It is just irresponsible. Could = you imagine ??? It is our job as organists to prolong the sublime work of our =   predecessors, especially Bach. He redefined the style of playing of every =   instrument he wrote for, in particular keyboard instruments. Just look at =   his contemporaries...Pachelbel, Vivaldi and many others couldn't hold a candel to Bach... The only 3 that were as revolutionary and wonderfully = tasty as him were Domenico Scarlatti and Francois Couperin (who were both direct =   contemporaries of Bach i.e. born in 1685), and possibly Handel.   You wrote: reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? F.Y.I.----Many organs built in Bach's time still survive in their original =   condition. Ones that have been added on to or modified usually have a stoplist telling you what is new and what's old. For example at St. = Sulpice in Paris, the organ was twice rebuilt, there are 3 stoplists hanging in = the organ loft. In fact, a lot of pipework there is from Cliquot (pretty old stuff!!!)   Overall, If we don't mind our manners, everone might just start to play = like Cameron Carpenter, and the beauty and truth of Bach and all music will be distorted and diminished-He even had the nerve to add notes to the Bach D major... There is no excuse for mediocrity or playing something in a masturbatory style that just makes you feel good, or uses loud reeds and = the 32' bombarde constantly to please highly UNEDUCATED crowds. Just because = a crowd likes something because they know nothing about the real thing = doesn't mean its good. We have educate audiences about composers and proper practices and approach the music of Bach with such reverence and awe as if =   God has written it. He sure did inspire it.   History is important. It is our turn to prolong it. Gregory   --part1_73.2946dcb7.2b0ad8f7_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2>you wrote: <BR>Do we really have to recreate what we think a Bach organ looked and <BR>played like, reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? <BR>Or do we take a more practical approach, and just enjoy interpretating <BR>his work to the best of our own knowledge and technique? <BR>I write: <BR>If everyone were to play every thing to the best of our OWN knowldege = and technique, there would be a whole lot more crappy recordings of Bach. = &nbsp;It's like telling a child, "Oh, you don't have to go to your history = classes," or "never mind studying the constitution." &nbsp;It is just = irresponsible. Could you imagine ??? &nbsp;It is our job as organists to = prolong the sublime work of our predecessors, especially Bach. &nbsp;He = redefined the style of playing of every instrument he wrote for, in = particular keyboard instruments. &nbsp;Just look at his = contemporaries...Pachelbel, Vivaldi and many others couldn't hold a candel = to Bach... The only 3 that were as revolutionary and wonderfully tasty as = him were Domenico Scarlatti and Francois Couperin (who were both direct = contemporaries of Bach i.e. born in 1685), and possibly Handel. <BR> <BR>You wrote: <BR> reproducing what MAY have been in the specification? <BR>F.Y.I.----Many organs built in Bach's time still survive in their = original condition. &nbsp;Ones that have been added on to or modified = usually have a stoplist telling you what is new and what's old. &nbsp;For example at St. Sulpice in Paris, = the organ was twice rebuilt, there are 3 stoplists hanging in the organ = loft. &nbsp;In fact, a lot of pipework there is from Cliquot (pretty old = stuff!!!) <BR> <BR>Overall, If we don't mind our manners, everone might just start to = play like Cameron Carpenter, and the beauty and truth of Bach and all = music will be distorted and diminished-He even had the nerve to add notes = to the Bach D major... &nbsp;There is no excuse for mediocrity or playing = something in a masturbatory style that just makes you feel good, or uses = loud reeds and the 32' bombarde constantly to please highly UNEDUCATED = crowds. &nbsp;Just because a crowd likes something because they know = nothing about the real thing doesn't mean its good. &nbsp;We have educate = audiences about composers and proper practices and approach the music of = Bach with such reverence and awe as if God has written it. &nbsp;He sure = did inspire it. <BR> <BR>History is important. &nbsp;It is our turn to prolong it. <BR>Gregory <BR> </FONT></HTML>   --part1_73.2946dcb7.2b0ad8f7_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: Recital Programmes From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 19:06:57 EST     --part1_99.2feaf9e4.2b0adaa1_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   reger chorales brahms chorales. widor adagios. bach chorales. franck. possibly 3 settings of a chorale by diff. composers preceded by the hymn.     --part1_99.2feaf9e4.2b0adaa1_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2>reger chorales <BR>brahms chorales. <BR>widor adagios. <BR>bach chorales. <BR>franck. <BR>possibly 3 settings of a chorale by diff. composers preceded by the = hymn. <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_99.2feaf9e4.2b0adaa1_boundary--