PipeChat Digest #3128 - Tuesday, September 17, 2002
 
OT, but cute - I think
  by <Kzimmer0817@aol.com>
Roland, Kurzweil,Emu,etc.etc. (off topic)
  by "Hugh Drogemuller" <hdrogemuller@sympatico.ca>
Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth!
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: music list
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth!
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>
A rekindled interest
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Re: Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth!
  by "mack02445" <mack02445@mindspring.com>
Re: music list
  by "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu>
relays - check out your options
  by "Randy Terry" <williamransomejr@yahoo.com>
Re: OT, but cute - I think
  by <Chicaleee@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: OT, but cute - I think From: <Kzimmer0817@aol.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 08:22:21 EDT     --part1_51.240df62f.2ab726fd_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Regarding the music suggestion:   Linda McKechnie has a bunch of music out there what mixes = classical/baroque with hymns. Some are found in her Hymnworks Collections. They come in piano/organ duets.   Some of these kinds of pieces I really like. Some have transitions = between the hymn and the classical piece that are entirely too abrupt.   I hear her music several times during the day on a couple of our local Christian radio stations.   I just received a copy of Liebestraum+Shine on Us. I had heard it on the radio and it was beautiful.   Check out: www.lindaMcKechnie.com   Keith   --part1_51.240df62f.2ab726fd_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2 FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" = FACE=3D"Arial" LANG=3D"0">Regarding the music suggestion:<BR> <BR> Linda McKechnie has a bunch of music out there what mixes = classical/baroque with hymns.&nbsp; Some are found in her Hymnworks = Collections.&nbsp; They come in piano/organ duets.<BR> <BR> Some of these kinds of pieces I really like.&nbsp; Some have transitions = between the hymn and the classical piece that are entirely too abrupt.<BR> <BR> I hear her music several times during the day on a couple of our local = Christian radio stations.<BR> <BR> I just received a copy of Liebestraum+Shine on Us.&nbsp; I had heard it on = the radio and it was beautiful.<BR> <BR> Check out:&nbsp; www.lindaMcKechnie.com<BR> <BR> Keith</FONT></HTML>   --part1_51.240df62f.2ab726fd_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Roland, Kurzweil,Emu,etc.etc. (off topic) From: "Hugh Drogemuller" <hdrogemuller@sympatico.ca> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 11:52:22 -0400   Hi List,   I would appreciate private mail from any who have knowledge on the = relative quality of the sound patches used in sound modules made by the above and any other manufacturer.   Thanks   HD    
(back) Subject: Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth! From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 16:13:51 -0400   Felix Hell at Methuen, Friday the Thirteenth, September 2002       < http://www.mmmh.org/home.htm >       I arrived at Methuen on Friday evening at about 7:30, a half hour before kick-off, totally exhausted from two days of visits to three highly = intense, informed, and committed church Organ Committees, this on too little sleep. Next to wonderful family and friends, the Pipe Organ is the most important reality in my life. Usually, and certainly in these three cases, Organ Committees do what they do, never easy work, because of their commitment = to the Pipe Organ, and to doing the best for their churches. That is really nice company to keep! So, tired but buoyed up by those experiences, I = walked in to find an almost full house in the Music Hall. It was soon completely full. Talk about commitment to the Pipe Organ. At 8 p.m., the roller = coaster ride began! The excellent Richard Ouellette spoke a bit about the scholarship fund, the beneficiary of the proceeds from tonight's recital. = I had been under the impression that the fund provided help to high school graduates going on to study Organ at university, but Richard pointed out = to me before the recital that it in fact helps music students in general, = some of whom do indeed go on to study Organ. Contributions to the fund are = always welcomed, and it needs to be known that Felix made his contribution to = this fund by playing for a small honorarium which just about met expenses for himself and his paternal page turner, with travel, two nights in a hotel, and meals. In an amazing way, the hall and those who fill it gave back something very powerful. I have spoken with Hans a couple of times since = the event, and in addition to the rather incredible characteristics of the instrument and the acoustic surrounding it, of which more later, they are still under the spell of that Methuen Audience. It reminded me of Parisian audiences at Organ recitals, informed, involved, and fully responsive. = There was amazing stuff going on between Organist and Audience on this occasion, the likes of which I have not seen for a very long time.       Richard Ouellette's opening announcements included the information that Felix is the youngest Organist ever to play an Organ recital sponsored by the Methuen Memorial Music Hall.       The Program:       A great recital opening piece: Bach Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor, with the Fantasy played in a lovely lyrical manner - everything sang. The tempo of the Fugue was not at all shy, with a wonderful gradual buildup.       Who does not love the Orgelbuechlein Choral Prelude on Ich ruf zu dir? Beautifully played, or one might say, sung, using a gentle reed for the ornamented cantus, all at a pace that seemed perfect for the music and the space.       Now, you will want some information about the Methuen Organ in order to fully enjoy reading about Felix's performance of the Franck E Major = Choral. It's the first time I have heard him play this, only heretofore having = heard the A Minor at his hands. Can the B Minor be far behind? This 1863 German Organ (Walcker) has had lots of <Bier und Kartoffeln> - it has an enormous bottom! On the Great, there are three 16s, yea and even a 5 1/3 Quint, Trompettes at 16 and 8, and a 4 foot Clarion. I am not sure what G. Donald thought of these Great Reeds - he was not fond of such things. In the = Pedal, one of the world's great 32' Flues plus a major 32' Contre Bombarde, five = 16 ' Flues and two 16' Reeds. Now, can you imagine a bit the sound of that = most wonderful of all opening pages? It was incredibly rich and glorious, and I think Felix and Cesar Auguste would have got along just fine. Felix plays this work with an underlying steady beat, but with a lovely gentle flexibility which responds to the ebb and flow of musical tensions. Where Franck marks <piu animato,> he gets just that with a lovely animation, and registrations, while basically prescribed by the composer, still leave = some room for imagination, given the many possibilities on this instrument. = Good choices abounded throughout. A towering performance, and it was after this that the audience began to show its demonstrative capabilities! They (and = I) were hooked!       As a gentle bridge between two large works, Felix played the Mendelssohn G Major Prelude, Opus 37, No. 2. There was something, I thought, very = strange about the Tremulant, a bit disturbing it was, and I wondered if it was getting ready for its appearance accompanying the Thief of Baghdad on October 25th (7:30). It had a rather theatrical effect. The sound = otherwise was attractive and the playing warmly musical.       I have heard Felix play five of the six Mendelssohn Sonatas now. Only = Number 5 is missing, and probably not for too long.   1. <Allegro moderato e serioso> is powerful and serene at the same time, possibly, in my mind, the finest movement in these Opus 65 Sonatas. Felix takes both the <moderato> and the <serioso> quite, well, seriously, and = the amazing depth and breadth of this Organ puts it all over the top.   2. <Adagio>. Marked 100 to the eighth note, it wants to move, if serenely, and so it did. The Celestes are lovely.   3. <Andante recitativo> Again, when the ff chords come in in the fourth = bar, the power and profundity of this instrument almost overwhelm. We're = talking about four chords and their various iterations. The intricacies of the alternations of pp and ff, along with the complexities of the rhythmic changes are all under this player's control, no small achievement. It's a tough movement to bring off. No problem!   4. <Allegro assai vivace>. One can only say Bravo! A lot of the rapid = motion in this movement will hardly ever be heard clearly in performance on a = large instrument in a reasonably large acoustic. It is all effect, and what an effect it was, as Felix swooped up and down the keyboard. The end of this movement was accompanied by spontaneous shouting, and for the first time, = we are told, since sometime in the early 80s, there was a standing ovation at the end of the first part of a recital!       Now, talk about kewl - Rather than sequestering himself in the Artist's Room, Felix came to the basement level and mingled with the audience, chatting amiably with friends old and new, looking not the least bit = winded, or apprehensive about what he had yet to do!       At the sign of the flashing lights, we all piled back into our seats. Chandler Noyes, a member of the Methuen Board, the person who will supply the accompaniment to The Thief of Baghdad on October 25th, climbed on to = the organ bench, and played a big, loud note of the dominant, and we all sang surely one of the most rousing renditions, in full and glorious harmony, = of Happy Birthday to Felix. No, he was not born on Friday the 13th, missing = it by just two minutes. He was born at 12:02 a.m. on the 14th, which I have = on the authority of the man who paced the floor outside the Maternity Ward through much of that late night. Felix is now firmly 17, with all the rights, immunities, and privileges that pertain!       The second half of the program consisted of two great mountains of music with a gentle valley between them. I am so grateful to Felix for playing = the Guilmant First Sonata. It's a terrific vehicle for a virtuoso of his stature, and we are given a chance at hearing this worthy music that does not get much of an outing. One can easily imagine the incredible stir made by Guilmant as he toured with works like this. American organists went = over the top both at the great man's virtuosity and his music. I really thought that at Methuen, we were going to have a standing ovation right at the end of the first movement! Felix used the full resources of the Organ for = this, which revealed, possibly for the first time that evening, the extent to which this instrument can be Mixture driven, but with an amazing underpinning of large scale flue work! How much of this Mixture work was indigenous to the original Walcker, and what came from G. Donald Harrison = in the 1948 rebuild? If there were actually the present number of Mixtures in the old organ, did they sound anything like what is there now? I have no basis for knowing one way or another, but feel some doubt that there would have been such brightness. In context, acoustically and with such a broad underpinning, none of this was too much. It all cohered and served to clarify. One simply wonders about its historicity, and has no intention of getting concerned about it. On the Great: IV Fourniture, IV Scharff, IV Kleine Mixtur; on the Swell, just a IV Fourniture; on the Positif, a III Scharff and III Zimbel, and on the Choir, a II-III Cymbel. The performance of this movement was the most virile imaginable, full of excitement.   2. For the Pastorale, a lovely lyrical performance with effective registrations.   3. <Allegro assai>. Uh huh, "assai" indeed. Wow! If you want to think of <Allegro assai> as something akin to "as fast as possible," we had that. = It was simply amazing - thrilling beyond words. Strangely, my favorite = "rumble strips" in the Pedal did not come out to particularly good effect. It was okay, because we could see them happening, but they did not rumble quite = as much as one would have expected, given the Pedal this Organ possesses. At the two last big chords, everyone levitated, shouting out, full voice! The word Pandemonium comes to mind.       The valley between the two mountains was the Rheinberger <Abendfriede>, receiving the Full Slush treatment. It is a beautiful work, and Felix = plays it beautifully and sensitively.       Could we stand yet more excitement? Clearly yes. The Liszt B-A-C-H was written in 1855, just about the time the contract was being signed with E. F. Walcker for the great Boston Music Hall Organ. Hearing this work played by Felix Hell on this instrument, which he registers and controls with = such care and skill, in this acoustic, with this audience, was a transcendent experience, one of several given us on this evening of Friday the 13th. = That was the end of the printed program, but of course, it was not over!       When the applause finally subsided (I should have timed it!), Felix made a good speech, thanking all for coming and being such an incredible = audience, and saying he hoped he could come back some time. He was not trolling for = a reaction there, but just stating what he really felt. Nonetheless, the reaction was unmistakably loud and clear. Have no doubt. We shall hear = Felix at Methuen again . . . and again!       An encore was demanded, and one was certainly provided, in a powerful performance of the Toccata, <Schlafes Bruder>, by Norbert Schneider, a = Felix specialty that possibly no one else dares to play. It was wonderful to = hear this on such a complete, deep, and powerful instrument. It's fun to watch, as well, as it takes the player up and down the keyboards, and as the = Pedal goes essentially mad in a few places. Felix tends to use music in his performances, but for this piece, he plays from memory. I am thinking that no one could really play this piece without committing it to memory, = anyway. I think many in this very discerning crowd of Organ music lovers might = have been hearing the work for the first time. The reaction, whether to the = music itself, or to the complete virtuosity required for presenting it, was = pretty wild.       Then, in the nicest way, Felix said "I really have to ask you. Do you want to go home now?" It was quite clear that no one wanted to leave quite yet, and someone yelled out "Widor Toccata." Felix said he would play it, and wisely had, in fact, the music handy. When he agreed to this, an elderly gentleman sitting next to me, possibly an organist who was clearly deeply involved in all the music we had heard, said quietly but out loud: "What a kid! And so gracious!" Amen!       Malcolm Wechsler   www.mander-organs.com          
(back) Subject: Re: music list From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 17:55:09 -0400   On 9/15/02 6:46 PM, "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> wrote:   > Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA) > Hamilton, Ohio > Sept. 15, 8:00 and 10:30 > Randy, I'd have enjoyed that service very much. Well, not as much as "at home"--which is impossible to beat, or close to it. But yours looks like = a fine example of what Sunday morning should be.   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth! From: "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 17:38:39 -0500   At 4:13 PM -0400 09/16/2002, Malcolm Wechsler wrote: > This 1863 German >Organ (Walcker) has had lots of <Bier und Kartoffeln> - it has an = enormous >bottom! On the Great, there are three 16s, yea and even a 5 1/3 Quint, >Trompettes at 16 and 8, and a 4 foot Clarion. I am not sure what G. = Donald >thought of these Great Reeds - he was not fond of such things. I   Malcolm   If I am not mistaken, those reeds were added by the Andover Company many years after GDH left the organ. I think his specification did not include any Great reeds as was the case with too many organs he designed.   David  
(back) Subject: A rekindled interest From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 19:01:27 -0500   As you know for the last three months I have been sans church and organ, having resigned from St. A's effective last Trinity Sunday. I had little time to miss it or the organ until a week or so ago, because handling all the dependency cases in three courts, two of which involved a 30- and 45-mile drive at least once per week and many times more, was a large task for someone who had not seen that much action in the last 6 years.   Therefore, I really looked forward to attending my first organ recital in over five months, hearing Fred Swann at First United Methodist Church, Pensacola, on Sunday, September 15. This was my third personal hearing of Mr. Swann, whom I regard as a consummate gentleman and technician.   A picture of the "new" 4-manual organ built by Tom Helms is found at:   http://www.pensacola-ago.org/firstumc.htm   I'm afraid the chapter webmaster has not posted the new specs; if interested, you must write me to request them, and I will try to find time to type them out.   I was very impressed by the organ facade - the congregation had expanded the rear area to house the organ, and it was a pleasing improvement for this church. The builder had taken great pains to make the organ styling and wood finish match the existing church appointments; my only question was why a black organ console?   Mr. Swann's program:   Piece Heroique - Cesar Franck Requiescat in pace - Leo Sowerby Dialogue - Nicolas de Grigny Recit de tierce en taille - Francois Couperin le Grand Noel Saintonge - Jean-Francois Dandrieu Fantasie and Fugue in c minor (BWV 537) - J.S. Bach Passacaglia, Sonata VIII, op. 132 - Josef Rheinberger   Intermission   Introduction and Fugue on "St. Denio" - John Weaver Meditation - Maurice Durufle Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue - Healey Willan   As I said, there is no shortage of bass in this organ, and it was used very effectively. However, the climactic moments did not ruffle my coif, and full organ seemed to be a tremulant muddy jumble. I was very disappointed in Mr. Swann's performance, and by the second piece was concerned that he was ill - his playing seemed uncharacteristically sloppy to my ears. My teacher made the enigmatic statement that it might not be Swann but what I was hearing. I will reserve my opinion of the organ until I've heard it a few times in other hands.   The Franck was my favorite piece of the performance, and pretty authentically done on this organ. There was a cipher in the middle of the Sowerby, which interrupted the performance. Sowerby wrote some great musical moments, but like the music of Wagner and Messiaen one has to wade through a lot to get to it. The Rheinberger is a great piece if you don't know it. The Durufle was apparently just discovered in his papers a few months ago. The Willan is Fred's signature piece, but I've heard him do better with it.   The evening, despite my disappointment, was fabulous. A group of friends had a wonderful dinner out afterward, with a great discussion of organs, and I was inspired to play an organ again. I think I talked two friends in accompanying me to Atlanta in November for more organic fun. As if the Divinity was guiding my way, when I arrived home there was a phone message that the treasurer at St. A's had a new church key with my name on it, so that I could practice there when I pleased.   The next day being Yom Kippur and a judicial holiday, I did not allow grass to grow under my feet. After washing the storm debris off the front porch, I retrieved the key to the church, and walked back into St. A's for the first time since I had left. The organ was in good condition, surprisingly in tune even with the swell shutters left shut. I grimaced at the registrations left by the last occupant. To each her own - I felt none of the old possessiveness, just a simple happiness at being in the company of an old friend.   I spent an hour plus just playing, no exercises, no registering the pistons, just pulling out music and playing. I was only moderately bad, which pleased me immensely that I had not totally "lost it" during my hiatus.   The AGO chapter has scheduled its first event of the year Tuesday evening. Guess what - a dinner and organ crawl at the FUMC organ! Now is a chance to get my questions answered and to get to hear the organ from various points in the room. Will I get a chance to sit at the console? Will I dare?   What a scary thought. Maybe an earthquake will occur in Northwest Florida and prevent such a catastrophe.   Back to work.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: Re: Felix Hell at Methuen - Friday the Thirteenth! From: "mack02445" <mack02445@mindspring.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 20:11:32 -0400       David Scribner wrote:   >Malcolm > > If I am not mistaken, those reeds were added by the Andover Company many =   > years after GDH left the organ. I think his specification did not > include any Great reeds as was the case with too many organs he = designed. > > David > >   David,   You are correct. Andover did add the reed chorus to the Great while I was still involved with them in the 60's. Bob Reich did the voicing.   Cheers, Mack    
(back) Subject: Re: music list From: "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 20:25:11 -0400   on 9/16/02 5:55 PM, Alan Freed at acfreed0904@earthlink.net wrote:   > On 9/15/02 6:46 PM, "Randolph Runyon" <runyonr@muohio.edu> wrote: > >> Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA) >> Hamilton, Ohio >> Sept. 15, 8:00 and 10:30 >> > Randy, I'd have enjoyed that service very much. Well, not as much as = "at > home"--which is impossible to beat, or close to it. But yours looks = like a > fine example of what Sunday morning should be. > > Alan >   Many thanks, Alan!   Randy    
(back) Subject: relays - check out your options From: "Randy Terry" <williamransomejr@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 18:28:47 -0700 (PDT)   I would urge everyone contemplating a console/relay project or a new = electric action organ to consider all options: diode matrix, multiplex, and especially = computer control systems. Peterson, the "big" supplier, makes all three, but there are = other options and you should at least look at them and not dismiss them out of hand.   I have a computer control system running a rebuilt Aeolian-Skinner console = and 20 ranks. I am still fascinated with the flexibility, once you get past the learning = curve, how easy it is to make major changes in specification in less than 1 minute.   I decided to use my control systems almost instant ability to make = significant specification changes and assigned three blank rockers to become specialty = couplers. In just about 5 minutes I had Pedal to Great Bass, and Swell to Great and = Great to Swell melody couplers. I actually used the S/G melody coupler on Sunday on a few = hymn verses with Trumpet and Cornet 8' adding point to the melody without having to = actually play the melody on the swell.   These are not things I would include permanently, of course, and the = Chimes, Cymbelstern, and Nave Shutters Off will soon be wired in - but it is pretty fantastic. = One could, if one wanted, store multiple specifications to suit multiple organists = (knobs with Aeolian-like engraving??)   I am sure many of the features such as I have described here will = eventually become common. But when you think about totally changing a stoplist without = rewiring a single item (and if you can run a computer you can do it) it is really something = remarkable. Have I changed my stops around? No. Have I caused my pistons to operate in = odd ways? No. There has been no need. But it is still totally cool to have that option!   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Randy Terry The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California   __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! News - Today's headlines http://news.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: OT, but cute - I think From: <Chicaleee@aol.com> Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 23:22:34 EDT     --part1_86.205a5e9c.2ab7f9fa_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   As it was an unusually informal day Sunday, the pianist and I did the duet = in the McKecknie book with the Bach Menuet and Heaven Came Down. It brought down the house. It was "Round Up" Sunday, so we did a rousing arrangement =   (our own) of Happy Trails To You for the Postlude as everyone went to the barbecue. However, everyone stayed and listened or sang and then = applauded. Don't get me wrong, I am not bragging. I prefer formal organ repertoire = and Bach, etc. But, it was just the day. No one was ready to listen to a = Bach Prelude and Fugue. Sunday I am doing the Pachelbel Toccata in Eb minor = for the postlude. I think the Keyboardist (if she shows up) is doing the prelude, which will be gospel choruses. The pianist and I will probably = do a duet again for the offertory, but it will be in good taste. We are = working on a wonderful arrangement of a Bach Sinfonia. Lee   --part1_86.205a5e9c.2ab7f9fa_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D2>As it was an unusually = informal day Sunday, the pianist and I did the duet in the McKecknie book = with the Bach Menuet and Heaven Came Down. &nbsp;It brought down the = house. &nbsp;It was "Round Up" Sunday, so we did a rousing arrangement = (our own) of Happy Trails To You for the Postlude as everyone went to the = barbecue. &nbsp;However, everyone stayed and listened or sang and then = applauded. &nbsp;Don't get me wrong, I am not bragging. &nbsp;I prefer = formal organ repertoire and Bach, etc. &nbsp;But, it was just the day. = &nbsp;No one was ready to listen to &nbsp;a Bach Prelude and Fugue. = &nbsp;Sunday I am doing the Pachelbel Toccata in Eb minor for the = postlude. &nbsp;I think the Keyboardist (if she shows up) is doing the = prelude, which will be gospel choruses. &nbsp;The pianist and I will = probably do a duet again for the offertory, but it will be in good taste. = &nbsp;We are working on a wonderful arrangement of a Bach Sinfonia. = &nbsp;Lee</FO   --part1_86.205a5e9c.2ab7f9fa_boundary--