PipeChat Digest #3397 - Thursday, January 23, 2003
Felix Heats Things Up In Frigid Fort Wayne
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
RE: Peter Racine Fricker
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Hinge tape
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Hinge tape
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Peter Racine Fricker
  by "Peter Harrison" <peter@phmusic.co.uk>

(back) Subject: Felix Heats Things Up In Frigid Fort Wayne From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 20:49:01 -0500   Fort Wayne Indiana can be a treacherously cold and snowy place to travel to in the middle of January, but on Sunday January 19, I threw caution to the wind, and made the 220 mile trip from Cleveland to hear Felix weave his magic at an interesting church with an even more interesting organ. It was well worth every frigid mile. Trinity English Lutheran Church began its life in 1846, and is billed as the oldest exclusively English speaking Lutheran Church in Northern indiana. It is built in the Gothic style and the nave is a large domed room with transepts and galleries along with lots of stained glass. It is very beautiful indeed. One would expect a reverberant acoustic in such a large space, but the wall and ceiling surfaces are covered in porous brick and Gustavani Tile, materials that are designed to eliminate all reverberation. It appears that an application of clear acoustic sealant has been applied to the tiled ceiling areas in an attempt to restore some of the acoustic, but the result seemed less than successful unfortunately. The instrument began life as =C6olian Opus1557 and was dedicated in 1926. It was 30 ranks over 4 manuals and pedals, and included an =C6olian Duo-Art player. In 1949, =C6olian-Skinner renovated the organ as Opus1171 adding 9 more ranks of pipes. More additions and renovations have been carried out over the years including a new console, an SSL system, Positiv, and Antiphonal Divisions, and a very loud but glorious Trompete de Tour which is installed at the very top of the dome. It is of the hooded variety, and speaks on 15" of wind. It will indeed part your hair. Being rather more used to more symmetrical configurations of organ divisions, I was struck by the unusual layout of this instrument. The bulk of it, including the Swell, Choir, and Pedal are installed in a deep chamber on the East wall of the chancel. The Great stands in front of this chamber in a sort of "flower box" and in unenclosed. On the opposite wall in another flower box is the Positiv alone. In the rear gallery, the Antiphonal occupies most of the back wall. Then of course up in the dome, mounted into the East Bay, nearly invisible it's so high up, is the horn of plenty. (grin) As usual, Felix seemed to bring out the best in this instrument. His carefully chosen registrations often had the music dancing between the widely separated chancel and antiphonal divisions which created an auditory delight. Felix reserved the Trompete de Tour for occasional accent and emphasis, but IMHO did not over use it. I suppose such a rank is like fine old brandy. A snifter full will warm you through and through, but the whole bottle will give you a headache. Having heard Felix play 7 other concerts, and nearly wearing out the 3 CDs he's recorded, I've heard a good deal of his concert repertoire, and this program contained some fine old friends. The first half was all Bach, leading off with the Wedge (BMV 548) and following with "O Mensch" (BMV 622). I never tire of hearing Felix play these because each hearing is like an evolutionary journey through Felix's progressive and maturing style. It's an amazing process to witness, and one of the primary reasons I keep on traveling to hear him. Next we heard Trio Sonata No. 1 (BMV525). Listening to Felix play Trios on an instrument with widely separated divisions is a special treat as he moves the parts around the room, calling and answering, and then returning. I could be happy with an entire concert of Bach Trios in such a room with such an organ. Felix finished the first half with the P&F in D Major (BMV532) which left the audience marveling and showing their appreciation with several demands for Felix to come back for another bow. I'm sure very few knew what awaited them in the second half. Felix was just getting started. I spotted Hans Hell sorting out the music at the console during intermission, so made my way up there to greet him. I was rewarded with an enthusiastic back slapping handshake, and genuine appreciation for my making the trip to be there. Although my main purpose for traveling is to hear Felix, I must admit that I get a substantial amount of joy from greeting and getting the chance to talk with Hans as well. I must say that Hans and Felix both take excellent care of their loyal fans. Speaking of fans, I thought it a little amusing but most appropriate that when Felix was introduced and took his bow at the beginning of the concert, Hans then came out to assume his page turning and registration assistant duties, and was given his own applause for which he bowed. I think that tradition needs to be continued, and I will certainly promote it at any future Felix Hell concert I attend. I urge others to do likewise. The logistical support Hans provides for the Felix Hell Concert Tour is an art unto itself I think. Choral No. 1 in E Major by C=E9sar Franck was an excellent choice to begin the second half of the program. After the purity of the all Bach first half, the Franck gave the audience its first taste of occasional dissonance and increasing momentum towards what was to come next. I've grown to like this piece very much. Toccata "Schlafes Bruder" has been often described to me as Felix's "signature" piece. I have no evidence to confirm or dispute this, but I can say that it is always thrilling to hear Felix play it. I must say I have heard it played on more enjoyable instruments, but Felix managed to coax the best from what he had to work with. It was time to use the big trumpet, and Felix wasn't shy. To say that the audience was stunned after hearing this piece is an understatement. As we sat after the roaring applause, I heard someone behind me say "I never knew our organ could sound like that". Next came "Abendfriede" by Josef Rheinberger which was a clever choice to soothe any jangled nerves. The sustained silence between the end of the piece and the beginning of the applause spoke volumes about Felix's sensitive rendition. The program concluded with the 3 movements of Felix Alexandre Guilmant's Sonata No. 1 in D Minor. I have a special fondness for this work, having first heard it in Hamilton Ontario as the Organ Symphony at the Brott Music Festival. Felix performed it with full orchestra. I heard it again in Newark NJ. at Sacred Heart as the Organ Sonata, and was amazed how skillfully Felix assumed the orchestral parts that are blended into the Sonata. The central Pastorale movement is utterly beautiful. The Final movement repeats the theme heard first in the Introduction et Allegro, and brings it all to a grand conclusion. In my opinion, Felix owns this piece, or at least owns me when I hear him play it. Thanks Felix. The audience showed their appreciation by jumping to their collective feet, and bringing Felix back for 3 bows. We began to quiet down as he moved to the microphone for the first time in the program. I was rather surprised by his suggestion that since he had just finished such bold music with so very many notes, it might be time for something a little more sedate. He announced he would play the Adagio movement from the Widor 5th Symphony for his encore. Although I enjoyed hearing this rather sedate and infrequently heard movement, I could not help remembering that most Felix Hell encores were a touch more on the brisk side. Well, he fooled me completely, for as soon as the final notes of the Adagio disappeared, he jumped immediately into the Toccata to the gasping delight of the audience. Another standing ovation ensued at the Toccata's conclusion. After several more curtain calls, Felix returned to the microphone and announced he would play the Final Movement from Vierne's Symphonie 1. He also told us to listen for something that sounded "not quite right", and to applaud if we understood his little joke. This was of course his now famous insertion of "Working on the Railroad" into the theme towards the end of the piece. Well, it was pretty hard to miss since he played in on the Trompete de Tour. (grin) So thus ended another sterling performance full of excitement and beauty. I have never walked away from a Felix Hell concert without a sincere sense of wonder and appreciation for the skill and artistry he brings to every single performance. We all seem to dwell on how young he is and how well he does for his age, but I think he now transcends such description, and has earned the right to be known as one of our truly great musicians period, without any such qualifiers. I feel quite fortunate to live in this age and time, and to be witness to the emergence of such a talent. Bravo Felix. I eagerly anticipate what is yet to come from you.   Respectfully Submitted Mike Gettelman    
(back) Subject: RE: Peter Racine Fricker From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 03:20:38 +0000 (GMT)   Hello,   Thanks very much for that Paul.....but I was referring to the OTHER Fricker at Leeds Town Hall who, it seems, moved to Canada. (Ref; Pipechat posting)   I was wondering if there might be a connection between Herbert Fricker and Peter R Fricker.   However, looking through what you wrote, it would appear that Peter Fricker was a very multi-talented man, which is quite fascinating.   I must confess that I have never read a single thing about him before this!   I just know that I have always liked that organ Pastoral.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- "Emmons, Paul" <pemmons@wcupa.edu> wrote: >   > > Then he has become a prophet without honor in his > own country. New Grove > Dictionary of Music has a substantial article with a > photo of him > conducting. (Peter Racine Fricker) >   __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts http://uk.my.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Hinge tape From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 23:29:39 -0500     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Noel Stoutenburg" <mjolnir@ticnet.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 3:38 PM Subject: Re: Hinge tape     > > Richard wrote: > > > > What exactly does this stuff do, and how do you use it? Do you slice = the spine and > > press this on the back edge of the pages? Is it for books, too, or = just music with a few > > pages? > > > > Gamble hinge tape was an adhesive backed cloth tape, with two or more > pieces of tape sewed together down the middle. It was primarily > intended for choral music, where the weakest part of the music was the > fold. >   <snip>   > ns      
(back) Subject: Re: Hinge tape From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 23:35:19 -0500   Sorry, I hit send accidentally. What I started to say was: When I was at Oberlin in the 50s, all of the circulating library of music available to = us was Gamble Hinged. It was a good student job to do the work of applying = the hinges. With a fairly heavy cover stock included, the music was = practically indestructible, and as someone mentioned earlier, it also always lay flat.   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com   ----- Original Message ----- From: "Noel Stoutenburg" <mjolnir@ticnet.com> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 3:38 PM Subject: Re: Hinge tape     > > Richard wrote: > > > > What exactly does this stuff do, and how do you use it? Do you slice = the spine and > > press this on the back edge of the pages? Is it for books, too, or = just music with a few > > pages? > > > > Gamble hinge tape was an adhesive backed cloth tape, with two or more > pieces of tape sewed together down the middle.      
(back) Subject: Re: Peter Racine Fricker From: "Peter Harrison" <peter@phmusic.co.uk> Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 07:40:57 -0000   "Colin Mitchell" cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk wrote:   | Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 14:27:48 +0000 (GMT) | | ..., I seem | to associate the name Fricker with Leeds Town Hall, | here in the UK......possibly Civic Organist?     I have two references for organists called Fricker.   The "Organists Who's Who" chapter of the "Dictionary of Organs & = Organists", second edition, published in 1921 by Geo Mate & Son lists James F. Fricker A.R.C.O. as having a number of Swansea (GB) connections.   "The Complete Organ Recitalist" edited by Herbert Westerby and published = in 1927 lists A. H. Fricker M.A., Mus. Doc., F.R.C.O. as a British organist, but at the time of publication, organist of Metropolitan Methodist Church = in Toronto, Canada. At that time he was also a Vice-President of the Canadian College of Organists. It is interesting that amongst those qualifications recorded for the members of the Council of the Canadian College, only one was an FCCO, the others qualifications shown all being FRCO and one FAGO. Dr. Healey-Willan is amongst the CCO council members shown without a diploma.   Neither sources suggests either of these two Frickers is related to the other and with Peter Racine Fricker being born in London in 1920, there is again no obvious family connection.     Peter M Harrison Director of Music, Emmanuel Church, Holcombe & P H Music : 48 Moorfield : Edgworth Bolton : Lancs : BL7 0DH : GB fax: +44 (0)1204 853445 : tel: +44 (0)1204 853310 web: www.phmusic.co.uk