PipeChat Digest #3788 - Sunday, July 6, 2003
 
OHS 2003, First Full Day - VERY LONG
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: OHS 2003, First Full Day - VERY LONG
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Steve's Church Concert
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk>
 

(back) Subject: OHS 2003, First Full Day - VERY LONG From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 23:43:07 -0400   AGNES ARMSTRONG   Well, this day, Friday, June 20th, was to be our first full day of the = 2003 OHS Convention. The organizers made sure it was rich and full, while we = all still had the energy! I admit that after a full morning of finishing up work, including packing for eight days, and a six hour drive to reach Erik Suter's grand opening last night, I did not have too much energy left. For this reason, I had The Long Sleep on Thursday night, and missed what I am told was a very fine 8:30 lecture by Frederick Weiser. The topic was Pennsylvania German Culture, which I realized as the week went on, would have been a perfect orientation to so much that we saw and heard.   I was well-rested, bright eyed, and happily anticipating the first recital of the day, as I hopped on the bus at 9:30 for the long journey to Lititz = to hear good friend, Agnes Armstrong. Agnes's recital was in the Chapel of = the Lindenhall School for Girls, the oldest boarding school for girls in the = U. S. She played on a slightly smaller (7 ranks) and slightly older (1904) = Hook & Hastings than the one which I play every Sunday. It too was restored (in 1998) by Patrick Murphy, whose ties to the OHS go back a long way, he = having been the very first E. Power Biggs Fellow.   Agnes Armstrong plays in two churches on Sunday. I often wonder how people manage to do this. One of her churches, St. John's Lutheran in Altamont, = NY, has a new French Organ by Cabourdin which I long to see. Some day. She has advanced music degrees from SUNY, from the College of St. Rose, and from = New York University. She has published an edition of the Organ works of Ernest Chausson, and her book on Guilmant should be with us before too much = longer. She has concretized a great deal, and her CDs are available at the OHS Store, during the convention.   As for Lititz, where the next three recitals took place, here is a quote from one of the many Websites devoted to the place: "Located in the heart = of beautiful Lancaster County, Lititz has an eclectic history dating well beyond its founding by Moravian missionaries in 1756. Situated among the rolling hills, quiet streams and lush farmlands of Pennsylvania Dutch Country . . . . . ." Other than the fact that the four days of rain had begun by now in earnest, this is a wonderful part of the world, and as the week unfolded, we learned also of its Organic treasures, and I don't mean vegetables.   Agnes Armstrong played beautifully and sympathetically on wonderful and gentle sounds, beginning with music by a name I have often read, but music from which I have not heard. We heard Prelude in D, by Abbe Georg Joseph Vogler. Then, with the addition of the pleasantly strong 4' Principal, the highest altitude in the Organ, we heard kind of a self-important little piece by Abraham Ritter (1792-1860), a Voluntary on a Moravian Hymn. Then, by Elizabeth Stirling (1819-1895), we heard a pleasant and charming piece (but not more than that), a Largo in A-flat. We owe her respect and = sympathy however, as John Henderson points out that she completed the Bachelor of Music Degree at Oxford University, but never received the honor, as women were not then permitted to have the degree! These first three pieces, = though not powerful bits of the repertoire for Organ, were nonetheless just the thing to show with great clarity the virtues of the beautiful and gentle sounds of this Organ.   And now for something completely different, and something from the 20th century as well: Gordon Balch Nevin's lovely Will o' the Wisp (Scherzo-Toccatina), the intricacies of which were well under the control = of this Organist. It was played to the sound of occasional amiable giggles = from the audience. Lovely, fun stuff. We went back a century then to a work of Adolph Friedrich Hesse (1808-1863), tremendously highly regarded in his time, but now essentially no longer remembered. The work, Postludium, is solidly written, peppered with various contrapuntal niceties, and is well worth playing.   The program ended with a hymn, something included with every recital at these conventions, and a moment to be looked forward to and savored. I believe that normally, recitalists get to choose their own hymns. I understand that Dr. Karl Moyer offered each recitalist at this convention = an opportunity to choose hymns well known to the Moravians, and Agnes chose = so to do, giving us a really wonderful hymn, "We who here together are assembled." The tune, Covenant, is of Christian Gregor, and the words by Christian Renatus von Zinzendorf. The harmony was available in our special Hymn Supplement. I have to make now a true confession about this = supplement. We all, of course, used it throughout the week, singing all the hymns dutifully, but cheerfully and competently. The last recitalist of the convention was Lois Regestein, who chose not a Moravian hymn, but rather, something well suited to the fact that her recital represented our last = time all together, the end of the convention. Well, with that recital finished with its appropriate hymn, I closed the book and packed it up. Had I = looked one page further, I would have discovered something new and wonderful. = Here is Karl Moyer's little Hymnal Companion to all we had sung throughout the week, which would seem to be a fine idea for future conventions. (How did = I fail to notice and wonder about the fact that there were more pages ahead after the last hymn?) Are there others who were at this rich and wonderful convention who also have the same confession to make, or am I alone in = this? Oh, and by the way, I learned from this Companion, having now found it, = that the hymn Agnes accompanied in the Chapel of the Lindenhall School for = Girls was regularly sung in that place as a birthday song by the students. What = a lovely beginning to a fine first full day.   ROBERT BARNEY in the Chapel of the Single Brothers' House   Robert drew the task of playing this tiny and quite delicate seeming = little Tannenberg from 1793 - four manual stops, no Pedal. He did battle with it manfully, it having a very difficult and delicate action to play. The = stops are 8' Gedackt, 8' Gamba (with 17 basses common with the Gedackt), 4' = (Open) Floet (spelled thus), and a 2' Principal, lower 29 pipes in the fa=E7ade. = It is all very gentle, and in the first piece, Voluntary in G of Purcell, the clattering of the action very nearly drowned out the music! Then followed = a Pachelbel "Choralthema" in D Major with eight variations, on the tune = <Alle Menschen mussen sterben.> There were no musical surprises here, but it = gave us a good chance to hear the instrument in various combinations. To me, = the pleasures of the hymn singing we do at these conventions are greatly enhanced when we can sing in harmony, as we did this day. The tune is "Gregor," in honor of Christian Gregor, who wrote the words - "My portion = is the Lord." The anonymous tune is from the Choral Buch of the Hernnhut Moravian community in Germany. I think we were pleasing in His/Her sight!   Well, the program here offered next "Will o' the Wisp" of Nevin. Robert announced what we had all guessed, that this piece, not part of his plan = at all, slipped into the book in mysterious ways, obviously from Agnes Armstrong's program just before. My rector always says: "Bill Gates made = me do it!" What we did have next was a really interesting work by Johann de = Deo Beranek (1813-1875), a Four Voice Fugue on the name B-A-C-H. This was a fine, solid work, and in John Henderson, one can find a fairly substantial list of more works to explore. In the piece we heard, in addition to the B-A-C-H theme, I thought I kept hearing snippets of <Christ Lag.> Very = well, if understandably a bit carefully, done, Robert, a tough assignment.   Robert is Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church, Concord, MA and Associate Director of the Treble Chorus of New England. He has an active performing and teaching life in the Boston area.   One thing struck me in the short history of this Organ. It had been built for a Moravian church in Frederick County, Maryland, which, in 1957, = decided to set the instrument free. The Lititz Moravian community got it, and packed it off to M. P. Moller for repairs and for the moving job. In 1957, would one have sent this delicate and exquisite flower off to Hagerstown? Just curious. In recent years, James McFarland & Co. have done further restorative repairs.   RAY BRUNNER in the Auditorium of the Linden Hall School for Girls   This was not music, but talk, but was certainly music to my ears. The lecture was entitled "Pennsylvania German Organ Building, David = Tannenberg's Legacy." Any sort of pr=E9cis of this wonderful non-stop appreciation of = such a strong artistic vein in the history of the making of beautiful Organs would require reproducing the entire speech. Nothing could be left out. My small knowledge and experience of the work of Tannenberg all came from = books and articles. Obviously, by the end of this week, that all changed dramatically, and for me, one of the highlights, almost an emotional experience, was hearing and seeing David Tannenberg's very last Organ, = built in 1804, now safely situated in a small auditorium at the York County Museum. More about that later.   It was not just in this talk that we heard from Ray Brunner. It was also = in the beauties of quite a number of Organs heard in this convention, Organs that his firm, R. J. Brunner & Company, had restored, repaired, and even rescued. He and his wife Ruth, also part of the company and a church Organist herself, have been a huge part of putting together and = maintaining this distinguished convention. At one of our venues, they were both given = an award for distinguished service to the OHS, this presented amidst the = cheers of us all.   JAMES DARLING in the Fellowship Hall of the Single Brothers' House   It is now 1:45, and I must mention to you, lest you get hungry, that sometime ago, we had a beautiful box lunch which would have been eaten out of doors, were not the heavens continuing to open up. "Jock" Darling is perhaps known to many reading this, if they have made the pilgrimage to Colonial Williamsburg, a wonderful place to visit. He is at the center of = a lot of musical activity there, particularly in Bruton Parish Church, where he has served for almost 40 years. Here, he was playing a much traveled single manual Tannenberg of nine stops, built in 1787. It found its way to the Fellowship Hall of the Single Brothers' House in 1983, restored and reconstructed by James R. McFarland & Co. The Organ had suffered mightily from various forms of ill treatment including a fire. The work to bring = the Organ back into shape was extensive. The 20 note Pedalboard has two stops = of its own, a Sub Bass at 16 and an Open Wood Oktav Bass at 8'.   The program began with a Bach setting of Allein Gott that I do not know. = It is basically the choral played in phrases, with quite active = interpolations between each phrase. Two volumes of my Peters Bach are at the church, and = I have a feeling this is somewhere there. Please: BWV Numbers.   Then, a Pachelbel setting of Allein Gott, a typical Fughetta-like = Pachelbel choral prelude, played pleasantly crisply. More Pachelbel: A Fugue & Chorale, the Fugue being very lively indeed.   Here followed four Preludes by the English Moravian, Christian Latrobe (1758-1836). These are somewhat Mozart like, and John Henderson suspects that, lacking evidence that Latrobe ever wrote for the Organ, these are likely transcription of Piano pieces.   The event of the day was the hymn, "Morning Star, O cheering sight," to = the tune "Hagen," by the Rev. F. F. Hagen. Armed with my friendly Hymn Supplement, I WILL do this little treasure in my church on Epiphany. I am quite happy to Fax a copy to anyone not smart enough to have come to the convention, thus getting the invaluable Hymnal Supplement, but if anyone does request this page, I will first need to seek permission of the OHS or of the copyright owners. There are choral parts (harmony, of course) and also a couple of short, repeating Soprano solos. A very young singer from the Lititz congregation was the excellent soloist, singing with true pitch, good breathing, and a lovely tone. She, Kelsey Hohsted, is a 'Cello = student in the Preparatory Division at The Peabody in Baltimore. There are four stanzas. I really did not want it to stop.   Jock next followed a bit of a trend in playing two preludes and fugues = from the Well Tempered Clavier. Both made a case for themselves as transcriptions.   The program closed in a satisfying way with a Pachelbel Prelude in D.   BRUCE STEVENS at Salem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania   At 2:30, we said goodbye to Lititz, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and traveled about an hour to Lebanon. Bruce Stevens had been unable to attend and play at our convention in Chicago last year. He is back and we were about to get our fix, on a rather amazing Organ of 1888, built by the builder who bid lowest in a competition amongst many, the Miller Organ Company of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. You've all heard of it, right? Our Organ Handbook gives the names and bids of the six other builders, names you = would know. Miller's bid was $3,300, for which they produced a lot of Organ, 31 ranks on three manuals. The Great is founded on an independent 16' Double Open, the bottom four pipes of which are stopped wood, space clearly being an issue. The Pedal also has an independent Double Open, a Bourdon 16, and an 8' Violoncello. The Great Trumpet is the only commanding manual reed. = The Swell has only a Bassoon Oboe at 8' and the Choir has a Clarionet at 8'. With these seeming lacks, this Organ makes a mighty sound, full of excitement. It is also a beautiful visual presence in the room, if a bit unusual in its presentation.   Bruce Stevens is Organist of Second Presbyterian Church in Downtown Richmond. He is director of the famous OHS European Tours, this year's heading to Sweden. His degrees are from the University of Richmond and University of Illinois, with further study in Denmark with Finn Videro (there's a diacritical I desperately want to do) and Gretha Krogh. He also studied with Anton Heiler in Vienna, with further study also at the Royal School of Church Music, then in Croydon. He has played recitals internationally, with twelve being for National Conventions of the OHS. He has recorded much, on CDs available from the OHS Catalogue online. Can you believe that on the very day of this recital this year, June 20th, he recorded in 1987 the 11th Sonata of Rheinberger, the last movement of = which we hear this evening. Well, on to this evening:   The program began with the March on a Theme of Handel by Guilmant. After hearing gentle, marvelous, small instruments today, it took a bit of = getting used to, hearing voluptuous shadings with the Swells in the beginning. The Fugue was bold and exciting. With all this activity, the wind held steady.   The lovely Sweelinck <Mein junges Leben> began with a gorgeous Flute, and the whole rest of the piece, you can imagine, gave us a meticulously = played grand tour of the Organ.   The Mendelssohn Second Sonata struck me as a bit cold, my own skewed aesthetic wanting a bit more "give," recognizing Pedal entries and high points of phrases, but it was lovely to hear, and the Allegro registration was really rich with sturdy 16' tone in the manuals. It was Hymn Time. O Christ the Word Incarnate, proclaimed the Supplement, and the better known O Word of God incarnate appeared in the printed program. That latter is what is in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982, and that is what we sang, in the harmonization of Mendelssohn, connecting us back to = the Sonata. This is a favorite hymn of Pennsylvania Lutheran congregations (tune: Munich).   At this point, wanting to be sure that we had a complete tour of the = Organ, Bruce showed us the somewhat audible Choir Dulciana and the gentle Swell Viola, knowing that they would be swamped in the registrations of any = pieces on the program.   Continuing in a way our connection with Mendelssohn, we heard <Moderato> from <Tre Tonstykker> of Niels Gade, an interesting piece wanting lots of energy. We then heard the Fugue from the Rheinberger Sonata 11, previously recorded on this Organ, as mentioned above. Wow!   Karl Moyer had gently prodded recitalists to consider including some = modern pieces in the programs, and I suppose Pepping still fits the bill. We = heard three characteristic Choral Preludes. Charming works. I love them.   What a grand ending: The Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, followed = by tumultuous applause. Welcome back, Bruce. Come again!   Following this recital, the entire convention was fed sumptuously in one = of the great spaces in these spacious buildings.   LORENZ MAYCHER in the Memorial Chapel of Salem Lutheran Church, Lebanon   Bruce Stevens's recital was in Salem Lutheran Church (Original Church). We are now in what began as a memorial chapel, but is now really the most = used of the two buildings. It is larger as well. Sounds different, too. The = Organ is Ernest Skinner Opus 683 of 1928. This place is then referred to as = Salem Lutheran Church (Memorial Chapel). How nice to have a choice.   Lorenz Maycher was, at once time, quite a regular at OHS conventions, = always wangling his way into playing an E. M. Skinner Organ. Oh, there was an exception, when he played the monstrous Austin in St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Hanover, PA. Anyway, he disappeared for a time, and I knew he = was no longer at the First Christian Science Church in Manhattan, and wondered where he was. Well, now I know - he is Organist-Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church, Bethlehem, PA, and teaches at Lafayette College in = Easton, PA. His program bio reminds me that he was an OHS Biggs Fellow in 1990. He has played for six OHS conventions.   The place where we had dinner in this huge church complex is adjacent to = the Memorial Chapel, and having relaxed over dinner, I was slow and walked through the large opening as the Bach C Minor Fantasy and Fugue was beginning. Whatever do my ears hear? I have not heard Bach on this kind of sound for years - a 26 stop Organ, 73 note chests on Swell and Choir, thus supercoupled to be sure, fighting its way out of a chamber on one side of the chancel. The playing was the kind of legato that matches all of this. = I am not complaining. It's just a reaction to years of listening to Bach on encased instruments speaking clearly down the nave, with an articulate playing style to match, or earlier than that, on Organs with wide open picket fences of pipes out in the open, basically in reaction to just the sort of sound we were hearing this evening. I was not hating it - Lorenz does it so well, I was getting into the spirit a bit, but it, nonetheless, is not how I want my Bach forever.   We next heard a wonderfully orchestral performance of the Handel Concerto = in F, very carefully wrought, taxing the capabilities of the famous Skinner solo stops to the limit.   The Daquin Cuckoo was lots of fun. Lorenz orchestrated what is, I believe, = a Harpsichord piece, so that we had Cuckoos coming out all over.   "Dreams" by Hugh McAmis I did not know. There was a dreamy English Horn = solo and a dreamy beginning in general. The Organ built up rather a lot, and = then the whole thing ended up with Chimes and Celestes, a registrational <tour = de force.> We heard then a four movement Suite in E Major, by Everett Titcomb - 1. Prelude, with voluptuous sounds. 2. A Scherzo was Celestial, but bouncy = and still very much a scherzo. 3. Cantilena was also Celestial and with a stronger melodic voice - a bit of the Harmonic Flute. 4. The Recessional, rather like a fine English cathedral Organist playing the choir out after Evensong, certainly a compliment.   The Harry Rowe Shelley Fanfare D'Orgue is a fine, and very flashy piece, = and a good way to send us all out buzzing for the Intermission.   We came back from the break for the hymn, "Lord Jesus, we humbly pray." = The connection here is in the author of the words, Henry Eyster Jacobs (1844-1932), who taught at what is now Gettysburg College, and from 1883, = at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. The tune is by Ignaz Pleyel. It is not a barn burner, but with a lovely harmony, we all enjoyed singing it. I had fun throughout the convention assessing the degree of liturgical conservatism of those who played, guessing whether this would manifest itself in whether or not an Amen was placed at the end of the hymn. I knew Lorenz would give us one, and he did more, putting a little winding down sort of quiet coda at the end. Nice.   People in our time are learning anew of the charms of the music of Alfred Hollins, the blind, English Organist (1865-1942) who toured this country many years ago both as Organist and as Pianist. I learned a lot of this music at the hands of David Liddle, a blind Organist from London who = toured with me in this country at least a dozen times. We heard Grand Choeur No. = 2, with the usual stately beginning, and a spritely middle section, combining themes.   For something completely different, three Songs of Faith and Penitence, by Leo Sowerby: 1. O God of Light, 2. O Jesus, Lord of Mercy Great, 3. Thou = art my strength. These were sung dramatically by Linda Laubach, about whom we were given no information. Lorenz's Organ accompaniments were nothing less than superb.   We heard then Impromptu by Gaston Dethier (1875-1958) - This is Salon = music of great charm, with a workout for the French Horn.   Last item on the program: Improvisation on an Irish Air, by Norman Coke-Jephcott, one time Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine = in New York.   And so, for a time, the tonal pendulum has swung wildly, and really, a = good time was had by all. Come again, Lorenz. And here endeth a very long first day of the 2003 convention.   A one-hour trip brought us back to the hotel for visiting, drinking, and buying music, books, and CDs from the best but most ephemeral store to be found, catering to the interests of Organists anywhere.   The buses depart in the morning at 9, which we should be able to manage. = It will be a rich and full day, containing a few surprises. Stay tuned.   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com        
(back) Subject: Re: OHS 2003, First Full Day - VERY LONG From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 01:11:06 EDT     --part1_1d8.d589752.2c39096a_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   In a message dated 7/5/03 11:44:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, manderusa@EARTHLINK.NET writes:     > She has concretized a great deal, ..... but it hardly shows at all!!!! heeheehee       Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui in the Muttastery at Howling Acres http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502   FEED AN ANIMAL FOR FREE <A = HREF=3D"http://tinyurl.com/2j5i">http://tinyurl.com/2j5i</A> (please it'll = only take a minute!)     --part1_1d8.d589752.2c39096a_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <HTML><FONT FACE=3D3Darial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=3D3D2>In a message dated = 7/5/03=3D 11:44:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, manderusa@EARTHLINK.NET writes: <BR> <BR> <BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=3D3DCITE style=3D3D"BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; = MARGIN-=3D LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">She has concretized a = great=3D deal, </FONT><FONT COLOR=3D3D"#000000" SIZE=3D3D3 FAMILY=3D3D"SANSSERIF" = FACE=3D =3D3D"Arial" LANG=3D3D"0"></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR></FONT><FONT COLOR=3D3D"#000000" SIZE=3D3D2 FAMILY=3D3D"SANSSERIF" = FACE=3D3D"Ar=3D ial" LANG=3D3D"0"><B><I>.... but it hardly shows at all!!!! = &nbsp;heeheehee</B=3D ></I> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>Bruce, with Miles, Molly and Degui &nbsp;in the Muttastery at Howling = Ac=3D res http://members.tripod.com/Brucon502 = &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <BR> <BR>FEED AN ANIMAL FOR FREE <A = HREF=3D3D"http://tinyurl.com/2j5i">http://tinyu=3D rl.com/2j5i</A> (please it'll only take a minute!) <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_1d8.d589752.2c39096a_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Re: Steve's Church Concert From: "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 06:37:35 +0100 (BST)   Yes Steve - congratulations! Encouraging children to take part in worthwhile music is absolutely essential for the future - if they don't learn decent music now what will they teach future generations? Like you, I had a summer concert a couple of weeks back - in fact we have had a wealth of musical activity here on Mount Olympus (Litochoro and Katerini) involving young people in the past month - you can read the reviews on organists off topic athttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/orgofftop/messages under The Incredible Kids of katerini and Choral Concert in Litochoro. They included at least 3 child prodigies - these were not painful performances - 8 year old Violinist Cleopatra Kolianou making her debut as soloist in the Vivaldi A major violin concerto - "Whose heart can fail to melt when a fair haired, blue eyed child as young as this takes the stage and plays with such assurance! Immaculately in tune and rhythmically precise, her performance of the Vivaldi Concerto in A major would, I am sure, have won favour with the composer himself." Beethoven's Fantasy for Piano, choir and orchestra with 14 year old Paris Tsenikoglou as soloist - having just returned from Graz in Austria where he was invited to give a solo piano recital after his performance at last year's summer festival attracted an audience of over 500 at the opening concert of our new open air theatre, a small version of Epidavros, entirely constructed of marble, and 15 year old Klaidi Nazemlaris, whose children's choir gave a lively recital of Greek folk music, Klaidi playing piano solos by Bach, Chopin and Liszt. (You can see them in the gallery on my home page). So, strength to your arm! John Foss www.johnfoss.gr   ________________________________________________________________________ Want to chat instantly with your online friends? Get the FREE Yahoo! Messenger http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/