PipeChat Digest #3434 - Thursday, February 6, 2003
 
RE: more on performance practice
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com>
Re: PipeChat Digest #3409 - 01/28/03
  by <Chicaleee@aol.com>
Re: UK radio "The organist entertains"
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Truths
  by <Hell-Felix@t-online.de>
Re: more on performance practice
  by <Hell-Felix@t-online.de>
Re: RE.; TRINITY CHURCH, WALL STREET
  by "Robert Eversman" <highnote@mhtc.net>
RE: more on performance practice
  by "Charles E. Brown" <chabrown@bellatlantic.net>
Re: TRINITY CHURCH, WALL STREET
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: RE: more on performance practice From: "John Foss" <harfo32@hotmail.com> Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 10:15:38 +0000   When I first gave organ recitals back in the early 60's (St Mary Magdalene =   Paddington 1961) I was virtually self taught - but I was invited to give = the recitals by people who had heard me playing so I must have communicated something! In fact someone said to me "Why don't you have some lessons?" - =   not a bad idea. I was then fortunate in finding three quite outstanding teachers. Firstly Norman Johnson, who I met through Michael Dudman, = arguably Australia's foremost teacher of the day. Norman was very strict - he came = to an early recital I gave (at St Vedast Foster Lane) and shook his head = saying "it must be because you're good looking!" I didn't think I was - it had never crossed my mind actually, however .....the Church was full, and I played the Bach G Minor Fantasia and Fugue, the First Trio Sonata and the Langlais "Incantation Pour Un Jour Saint" with great enthusiasm but = somewhat less accuracy. The Musical Times reviewer said "we look forward to hearing =   John Foss at the Royal Festival Hall." Norman was a more percipient and critical commentator, and he very kindly gave me some lessons. Probably rightly he didn't think I should have been playing in public! He = inculcated in me the need for accurate rhythm, attack and release, fingering, = pedalling and precision. Rhythm, attack and release were paramount. Also eliminating =   unecessary movement. We would spend two hours, for example, on the first eight bars of the Bach "great" G major. I then went to the Royal College = of Music and studied with Ralph Downes for three years. Again his reputation = as a teacher was international and he was also very demanding. We would = spend, for example, an entire lesson on the 4 opening bars of the Fugue of the Toccata and Fugue in F, or the ornamentation of a bar of a trio sonata. He =   was a stickler for accuracy on registration, notably with Franck, but also =   with Bach, despite the organ in room 90 at the RCM being less than = perfect. However when I had really worked hard I had lessons at the Oratory, which had - and still has - a fine instrument, suitable for all schools of = music. He told me to "study the score" , i.e. read through the music I was = learning and hear it in my mind, "like a conductor." I still do this. A few other memorable comments included "Mendelssohn was not a mediocre composer" = after I had played the A major sonata to him without having done any work on it, =   and "Can you play the scale of c major, John?" which, at the time I couldn't. "Learn all the scales on the piano by next week", which I did! = He also made me work through the Dupre "Methode d'orgue". The third person I have to thank - though I didn't have formal lessons from him - is Dennis Hunt who would sit patiently in the Church where I was playing and listen = to my programme through before a recital, making notes, and then give me a = few highly pertinent comments. He brought home to me the importance of = phrasing and how the phrase and its relationship to others was at the heart of the composer's intentions. He gave me advice such as "you must capture the "Hero" in the Piece Heroique." He meant that it called for a dramatic interpretation - the dragon must be ready to be unleashed. Of course you = can learn from listening to other performances, and again, it can be useful to =   refer to the score. I find that by working at the music and looking for = the way a composer relates his ideas my understanding of his intention is enhanced. I sometimes fall short of the high ideals my teachers set - we = are human after all - but I must have learnt something, for I was a joint prizewinner(with Simon Lindley)of the Royal College of Music organ prize playing Vierne's second symphony. Bob Griffiths, a St Alban's Festival prizewinner, and now professor of organ at Ohio Wesleyan university, was a =   good supporter of mine, and used to travel up down England listening to my =   recitals. On one occasion (St Mary's Leicester) he said, with a look of slight surprise on his face "That was really excellent playing, John!" I remember Michael Dudman with the same look of surprise at Grimsby Parish Church when I played there! However, the main point is that through their =   teaching I hope I came to appreciate that it is the composer's intentions that are first and foremost in a performance. This at least means studying =   the style and sounds of a period. It doesn't mean slavishly following them =   on every organ in every building - obviously one needs to be able to adapt =   to circumstances, but I do believe that a recitalist should have studied these basic facets of the music he is playing. You should be in control. Your fingers should be trained to arrive on the right note at the right time! Sorry if this has been a bit long and I might have said some of this = before, but it is an interesting topic and really, interpretation is what playing = is about. I am interested in everyone's views and I don't necessarily = disagree with them - but you should bear in mind the composer. It was he who gave birth to his ideas, and we should respect this, John Foss   www.johnfoss.gr         _________________________________________________________________ STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=3Dfeatures/junkmail    
(back) Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #3409 - 01/28/03 From: <Chicaleee@aol.com> Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 07:38:08 EST     --part1_49.2a827e0f.2b73b130_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Pipe, glad to see you on Pipechat. I know you will enjoy it, and we will enjoy your comments. Tell everyone a little about yourself for an introduction. Lee   --part1_49.2a827e0f.2b73b130_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <HTML><FONT FACE=3D3Darial,helvetica><FONT COLOR=3D3D"#400040" SIZE=3D3D2 = FAMILY=3D =3D3D"SANSSERIF" FACE=3D3D"Arial" LANG=3D3D"0">Pipe, glad to see you on = Pipechat.&=3D nbsp; I know you will enjoy it, and we will enjoy your comments.&nbsp; = Tell=3D20=3D everyone a little about yourself for an introduction.&nbsp; = Lee</FONT></HTML=3D >   --part1_49.2a827e0f.2b73b130_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: UK radio "The organist entertains" From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 07:48:27 -0500   Colin,   Whose recording of St. Ignatius was it, please?   Thanks,   Malcolm   ----- Original Message ----- From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 10:58 PM Subject: UK radio "The organist entertains"     > Hello, > > Two remarkable things on the long running Radio 2 > programme "The organist entertains" from the BBC. > > Firstly, a chance to hear the new instrument by Mander > at St.Ignatious, Loyola........wow! > > Secondly, a truly awful performance of the Bach > D-minor, with lots of swell shutters, an incredibly > fast fugue, loud registration and huge armfuls of > showmanship. > > Tuning into the programme after it had started, I was > wondering who might be playing this "criminally > insane" performance........all my guesses were very > wide of the mark. It was none other than the late, > and very great, George Thalben-Ball in his younger > days as a concert virtuoso playing to the gallery. > > This reminded me of certain recent criticisms about a > young organist in the USA....... > > It must be the case that, as we grow older, we forget > how wild and wacky WE might once have been. > > If it was good enough for GTB, then who are we to > criticise? > > Regards, > > Colin Mitchell UK >      
(back) Subject: Re: Truths From: <Hell-Felix@t-online.de> Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 13:53:34 +0100 (CET)   Thank you, Mr. Sybesma, for your post, which makes clear, that you so well well understood, what I was trying to say, although your comment can make the reader believe, that I probably don't really know what I am talking about. Yes, even after the 60 years of learning process, which I mentioned recently, there is still something to learn, by anbody of us, whether he /she is a scholar or not... Felix > > KenSybesma@aol.com wrote: > > In a message dated 5.2.03 10.42.32 AM, > > Hell-Felix@t-online.de writes: > > > > > > > I think, that this makes very clear all the > > difficulties we have > > > today, finding the "truth". Is there one at all??? > > > > > > > There are many truths, and they are all discovered in > > time from study and > > learning, and just when you've discovered the ultimate > > truth, you realize > > there is yet more to learn. > > > > > :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: > > Note: opinions expressed on PIPORG-L are those of the > > > individual con- > > tributors and not necessarily those of the list owners > > > nor of the Uni- > > versity at Albany. For a brief summary of list > > commands, send mail to > > listserv@listserv.albany.edu saying GET LSVCMMDS.TXT > > > or see the web > > page at http://www.albany.edu/piporg-l/lsvcmmds.html . > > > :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: > > >  
(back) Subject: Re: more on performance practice From: <Hell-Felix@t-online.de> Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 14:08:31 +0100 (CET)   John Foss wrote:   > Bob Griffiths, a St Alban's Festival prizewinner, and now professor > of organ at Ohio Wesleyan university, was a good supporter of mine, > and used to travel up down England listening to my recitals. On one > occasion (St Mary's Leicester) he said, with a look of slight surprise > on his face "That was really excellent playing, John!"   In May 1999 I had the opportunity to spent one week (16 lesson hours!!) with Professor Griffith, working on Franck chorales (No 3 and No. 2). This was the most deeply insight in the music of Cesar Franck I ever had. After that week I never again have encountered such an intensive work together with a teacher on a certain work again. Professor Griffith is most certainly a great teacher, and a wonderful person.   Felix  
(back) Subject: Re: RE.; TRINITY CHURCH, WALL STREET From: "Robert Eversman" <highnote@mhtc.net> Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 07:44:04 -0600     > D. Keith Morgan wrote:   > Then the organist goes on to say "The sound is so > real, so phenomenal, so life-like, that I defy anybody > to tell me they're not listening to a real pipe > organ." Would someone please explain to me how anyone can > possibly know this?   Hi list, I have been quiet for a while (seeking cover!) but must comment here.Trinity Church was a church on my list of organs to see before my = legs stop working, but I guess I can now shorten the list a bit. I play a = modern 3 man. digital which works well for the church's needs (at least for now) and is allowing me to learn registration on a large 3 man. design and = manage a big sound in public but I look forward to moving on to better things. (even a Moller Artiste !) I do not want to start the pipe vs elec. war again, but it amazes me how someone with the qualifications needed to be organist at Trinity Church can make such a statement. The loss of that Skinner in my mind is a real tragedy. Maybe I will visit Trinity Church in 20 yrs and see how things are working out with the new wonder machine ! LOL Hope I have not offended anyone, not my intention ! My point = here is hold tight to your values, work with what you have and keep on learning = ! Never stop, never stop, never stop ! Robert, Blue Mounds, WI     > >      
(back) Subject: RE: more on performance practice From: "Charles E. Brown" <chabrown@bellatlantic.net> Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 09:16:23 -0500   This is a multi-part message in MIME format.   ------=3D_NextPart_000_0030_01C2CDC0.6B71F300 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Bruce:     Your post, in my opinion, brings a lot of ideas together.     Using your example of the Buxtehude, you and I can hear the same work in two entirely different ways and bring two very different ideas to our performances. Yet, no one can use the terms "right" or "wrong" for either of us. I am sure that if Mr. Hell performed the same work, he would bring a third idea to the table and so on.     This comes back to the origin of this thread. Namely, the dogma which is most prevalent in the organ world needs to be checked and questioned. There is no one definitive way (Mr. Hell used the word "truth") to perform any musical work and that the true scholarly task is to examine all possible ideas.     In the process of that examination, some ideas may ultimately prove more successful than others. However, even in the discarded ones, there is learning. I would certainly not play Bach like Virgil Fox did many times, but his performances gave me a lot of new ideas that I can apply to my own interpretations.     Charles E. Brown   Author - Fireworks MX From Zero to Hero   Beginning Dreamweaver MX   Contributor - The Macromedia Studio MX Bible       -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of Cremona502@cs.com Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 11:55 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Re: more on performance practice     In a message dated 2/5/03 7:45:22 PM Eastern Standard Time, chabrown@bellatlantic.net writes:     However, in my opinion, ultimately it is the notes that will speak to me. A big part of my practice, especially in the beginning of learning a new composition, is practicing away from the keyboard. Just closing my eyes and letting the music formulate in my mind. Letting it talk to me and visualizing the finished product.     This is true, except that I would liken it to listening to someone reading to you in a foreign language but with an "american" accent. You get the relative meaning but do not hear the inflection of the authentic pronunciation.   To get the right "accent" in organ music it is important to also hear the colour and temperament of the period. It isn't necessary to have an understanding and enjoyment, but it assists in communication.   For instance, I never really enjoyed the organ music of Buxtehude until I heard it played on unequal temperament. It opened up a new world of perception for me, not only in Buxtehude, but also Bach and others. I now hear these unique tonalities, or rather experience these unique tonalities, even when I'm playing on an instrument with equal temperament.   Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui in the Muttastery at Howling Acres http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502     ------=3D_NextPart_000_0030_01C2CDC0.6B71F300 Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <html>   <head> <META HTTP-EQUIV=3D3D"Content-Type" CONTENT=3D3D"text/html; =3D charset=3D3Dus-ascii">     <meta name=3D3DGenerator content=3D3D"Microsoft Word 10 (filtered)">   <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Tahoma; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline;} span.EmailStyle17 {font-family:Arial; color:navy;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style>   </head>   <body lang=3D3DEN-US link=3D3Dblue vlink=3D3Dpurple>   <div class=3D3DSection1>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Bruce:</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Your post, in my opinion, brings a = =3D lot of ideas together.</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Using your example of the =3D Buxtehude, you and I can hear the same work in two entirely different ways and bring =3D two very different ideas to our performances. Yet, no one can use the terms =3D &#8220;right&#8221; or &#8220;wrong&#8221; for either of us. I am sure that if Mr. Hell =3D performed the same work, he would bring a third idea to the table and so on. =3D </span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>This comes back to the origin of =3D this thread. Namely, the dogma which is most prevalent in the organ world =3D needs to be checked and questioned. There is no one definitive way (Mr. Hell used = =3D the word &#8220;truth&#8221;) to perform any musical work and that the true scholarly task is to examine all possible ideas.</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>In the process of that examination, = =3D some ideas may ultimately prove more successful than others. However, even in = =3D the discarded ones, there is learning. I would certainly not play Bach like Virgil Fox = =3D did many times, but his performances gave me a lot of new ideas that I can =3D apply to my own interpretations.</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <div>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Charles E. Brown</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Author -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Fireworks MX From Zero to =3D Hero</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;= =3D &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Beginning Dreamweaver MX</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3D2 color=3D3Dnavy = face=3D3DArial><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Contributor - The Macromedia Studio = =3D MX Bible</span></font></p>   </div>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal style=3D3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3D2 =3D face=3D3DTahoma><span style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal style=3D3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3D2 =3D face=3D3DTahoma><span style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal style=3D3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3D2 =3D face=3D3DTahoma><span style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'>-----Original =3D Message-----<br> <b><span style=3D3D'font-weight:bold'>From:</span></b> =3D pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] <b><span style=3D3D'font-weight:bold'>On =3D Behalf Of </span></b>Cremona502@cs.com<br> <b><span style=3D3D'font-weight:bold'>Sent:</span></b> </span></font><font = =3D size=3D3D2 face=3D3DTahoma><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'>Wednesday, February 05, 2003</span></font><font size=3D3D2 face=3D3DTahoma><span style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'> </span></font><font size=3D3D2 face=3D3DTahoma><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'>11:55 =3D PM</span></font><font size=3D3D2 face=3D3DTahoma><span =3D style=3D3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma'><br> <b><span style=3D3D'font-weight:bold'>To:</span></b> =3D pipechat@pipechat.org<br> <b><span style=3D3D'font-weight:bold'>Subject:</span></b> Re: more on =3D performance practice</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal style=3D3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3D3 =3D face=3D3D"Times New Roman"><span style=3D3D'font-size:12.0pt'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>   <p class=3D3DMsoNormal style=3D3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3D3 =3D face=3D3DArial><span style=3D3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>In a message dated 2/5/03 = =3D 7:45:22 PM Eastern Standard Time, chabrown@bellatlantic.net writes: <br> <br> <br> <font color=3D3Dnavy><span style=3D3D'color:navy'>However, in my opinion, = =3D ultimately it is the notes that will speak to me.</span></font><font color=3D3Dblack FAMILY=3D3DSANSSERIF><span style=3D3D'color:black'> <br> </span></font><font color=3D3Dnavy FAMILY=3D3DSANSSERIF><span =3D style=3D3D'color:navy'>A big part of my practice, especially in the beginning of learning a new =3D composition, is practicing away from the keyboard. Just closing my eyes and letting =3D the music formulate in my mind. Letting it talk to me and visualizing the =3D finished product.</span></font><font color=3D3Dblack FAMILY=3D3DSANSSERIF><span style=3D3D'color:black'> <br> <br> <br> This is true, except that I would liken it to listening to someone =3D reading to you in a foreign language but with an &quot;american&quot; accent. &nbsp;&nbsp;You get the relative meaning but do not hear the inflection = =3D of the authentic pronunciation. &nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br> To get the right &quot;accent&quot; in organ music it is important to =3D also hear the colour and temperament of the period. &nbsp;&nbsp;It isn't necessary = =3D to have an understanding and enjoyment, but it assists in communication. =3D <br> <br> For instance, I never really enjoyed the organ music of Buxtehude until = =3D I heard it played on unequal temperament. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It opened up a new =3D world of perception for me, not only in Buxtehude, but also Bach and others. &nbsp;&nbsp;I now hear these unique tonalities, or rather experience =3D these unique tonalities, even when I'm playing on an instrument with equal temperament. <br> <br> Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui &nbsp;in the Muttastery at Howling =3D Acres http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; = =3D </span></font></span></font></p>   </div>   </body>   </html>   ------=3D_NextPart_000_0030_01C2CDC0.6B71F300--      
(back) Subject: Re: TRINITY CHURCH, WALL STREET From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 09:48:30 EST   A list member lamented "the loss of the AEolian-Skinner." It isn't "lost." They know where it is.   It has been proclaimed a LOSS. Which begs the eternal question, "But Gwampa, if the organ is all bwoken = and nobody can make it better, why is it in storwage? Why don't dey frow it in = da garbidge? Huh, Gwampa?" Then again, never trust a toddler with such = matters.