PipeChat Digest #3550 - Tuesday, March 18, 2003
 
A DATE WITH ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT ORGANISTS
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Melbourne Cathedral
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Ascension Church, Milwaukee
  by "John Seboldt" <rohrwerk@seboldt.net>
Re: T.C. Lewis
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Melbourne Cathedral
  by "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Melbourne Cathedral
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Holy Week Music (X-posted)
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Why not budget home instruments?
  by "Teah" <teahzg@charter.net>
 

(back) Subject: A DATE WITH ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT ORGANISTS From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 21:08:43 -0600   A DATE WITH ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT ORGANISTS     In order to prevent your enjoying my recounting of my escapades too much (a Calvinist tendency on my part to be sure), I must preface this with an unhappy recitation of some of my recent angst. As I have complained several times recently, work has been extraordinarily hard and frustrating, trying to accomplish things in a vacuum of power and authority and with a boss who cannot think outside whatever box is placed around her, some egocentric judges and eccentric attorneys. Before, my outlets included music and the church, but I let the church go because the frustrations there outweighed any sense of accomplishment or other benefit. I was a great champion of the AGO in my geographical area, and of the largest classical music series around these parts. However, lately the chapter has degenerated to a series of "let's eat cheese and crackers and gossip" sessions (something for which I really cannot drum up the energy to drive 75 miles one-way), and the series this year produced less enthusiasm from me than usual. So I had been casting about elsewhere for my organ enjoyment.   Meanwhile, a month of rain in the Florida Panhandle with the resulting enforced indoor lassitude had transformed me into a porcupine turned inside out, with some of the worst arthritic pain I had heretofore experienced, enough to keep me out of work for 2 days in utter agony and despondency, unable to work in my flower beds although everything down here (weeds included) was blooming profusely. You know it is bad when the highlight of my week was having the judge compliment me in court on my cross-examination of a witness.   After a visit to my doctor with a list compiled by my husband Rick of what was wrong with me (yes, it was a rather long list), I received reinforcements of medications to help hold the malady (the arthritic one) in check and to bolster my previously prescribed but largely ineffectual anti-bitch pills. I called up an old AGO boyfriend and asked him to accompany me to Pensacola to Christ Church last Sunday to hear Christopher Herrick, billed in the flyer as "one of the world's most important organists". Upon reading the flyer, Rick urged me to go and shake the man's hand, and this I determined to do, despite my natural reticence in the presence of greatness.   This was not the first time I have heard Christopher Herrick - he had played at this venue a few years ago. He always devises an interesting program, so I was curious to see what was on the plate for this recital. Ergo:   Fiesta - Iain Farrington (1977 - ) Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke An Occasional Trumpet Voluntary - Patrick Gowers Six Roumanian Folk Dances - Bela Bartok, transcribed by Herrick Trio Sonata No. 3 in D minor - Bach Prelude and Fugue in B minor - Bach Siyahamba (from Three Global Songs) - John Behnke Prelude and Fugue in the Mixolydian - Flor Peeters Choral "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" - Alexandre Guilmant The Seraph's Strain - William Wolstenholme Tu es petra, . . . - Henri Mulet   Several of these selections are featured in his latest Fireworks CD (No. 9, I do believe). The organ, a Gabriel Kney III/60 built 1975, is an old friend, maybe as familiar to me as the Mander of St. Ignatius Loyola is to Malcolm Wechsler. I have spent many a Friday afternoon at this console, practicing and in lessons, and was fortunate to play a service there once. It has some very nice qualities, and Christopher Herrick gave it high praise, having performed on the instrument a total of three occasions. He in fact praised Canadian organ builders, listing Letourneau as a favorite. The man knows how to talk to an audience - he gives them just enough delightful tidbits of wit and information.   The Farrington piece, a jazzy freight-train ditty, wasn't too bad. It was written by the young man for Herrick in honor of his sixtieth birthday. Herrick also performed a selection called "Stride Dance" (I believe) by the composer as an encore - I think the end may have been the best part of the recital! It was jazzy and bluesy, reminding me somewhat of Thelonious Monk. I resolved to learn this one for a church prelude!   This was the first time I ever remember hearing the Clarke played in the key of C, but that was planned so that Herrick could segue straight into the Gowers' play on the theme, another somewhat jazzy morsel. He evidently enjoyed playing it, for his head was bobbing up and down, and there was an almost gospel feel at the conclusion - Glory be!   Herrick himself transcribed the Bartok, and helped the audience out by warning them that they would know the dances were over when he threw his hands up in the air! This was an amusing and charming gesture that he employed the entire night to clue the audience in on the end of each selection - everyone seemed to get a kick out of watching for it. I found myself wondering how Bela thought people might conceivably "dance" to these extremely diverting slices, for which Herrick utilized some excitingly different registrations. There was long applause at the end.   Ken Karadin, organist/choirmaster at Christ Church and organizer of the music series, explained to me that he truly felt that Herrick was one of the most important organists in the world, particularly after his stepping up to the plate in a somewhat impromptu fashion to play the entire complete organ works of J.S. Bach during the 1998 Lincoln Center Festival in 14 consecutive daily recitals (who was it that was to play the recitals and died? I had sadly forgotten all about that incident until Ken mentioned it). Herrick is an interesting interpreter of Bach, having recorded them in a 16-CD set.   The third trio sonata is my favorite, and I liked his deft treatment of the trills and ornaments, many times in a manner somewhat delayed and strange to my ears, but reminiscent of my favorite English Suite keyboard music. This was thoroughly diverting, but my ears still favor Felix Hell's crisper, cleaner take on the trio sonata. There was a slight bobble at the end of the "adagio e dolce" movement, which proves that even important organists can do so as well as the rest of us. The "vivace" movement was exactly that - how does one play it that fast without mistakes or runaway trains? Herrick was confident and surefooted in his treatment.   The B minor prelude was played faster than I've ever heard it - an allegretto bordering on vivace itself! - which made it quite exciting but perfectly under control. I swallowed my gum! The fugue started out on a plenum (naturally), backing down to flutes for the all-manual section, and slowly building up to full great. Herrick, like Felix, feels the music, and showed it in a slight swaying motion.   The Behnke was contemporary, and used all the reeds one way or another - enough said.   Herrick told us he had learned the Peeters' composition for a competition years ago, and "relearned" it for use for recital repertoire. It began with a pedal solo, and was mainly of the early freight-train genre. It is indeed very difficult to play.   Guilmant wrote the subject choral after the death of his wife, and it consisted of four (I think, but then again I can't count) variations in classic Guilmant style. Herrick made nice use of expression, with a lovely ending to the third variation.   The Seraph's Strain was indubitably a "sentimental piece". Although this is the kind of organ music which turned me off the organ as a child, it was rather lovely under Herrick's fingers. There was absolute silence after the "Amen" was played.   Although I've heard many speak of growing tired of hearing Mulet's war horse, this was actually the first time I'd heard it live in a recital. It was a great ending to an entertaining afternoon of music, with Herrick bouncing and jiving, and exhibiting the reeds to great satisfaction at just the right moments and for not too long. Again his expression was impeccable.   The entire recital did not last much more than an hour, and all too soon we were buying CDs and preparing to leave, when Ken asked us to accompany Herrick to dinner. A group of eight of us, four organists and four non-organists, convened at the Fish House for dead seafood, condiments and drinks on a dark and stormy night. Mr. Herrick proved to be as charming off-stage as on, and we discussed a great many topics, including organs, Southern cuisine, doctors vs. lawyers (an M.D. and I sat side by side in perfect harmony and cordiality during the entire dinner), and varieties of audience behaviors across continental divides. It was a most enjoyable evening, during which Herrick debuted grilled amberjack with fried okra, collard greens and hush puppies, and ate the whole thing!   I made it home around 10:00, fell into bed dreaming of dismantling an old theatre and organ therein (where did this subconscious thread come from?), and woke up stiff but psyched to face a Monday of court. I can hardly wait to hear Olivier Latry later this month.   Cheers,   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com        
(back) Subject: Melbourne Cathedral From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 03:28:42 +0000 (GMT)   Hello,   I just had to get the World Atlas out to find out where Australia is! (All Kangaroos and spiders if you ask me!)   Anyway, it seems it is a bit far to drive or catch a bus, so I will take your word for it!   Actually, a serious point....how does one begin to compare Southwark with Melbourne? Very different buildings.   I suspect that Southwark is its equal, but nothing can ever sound as good as an organ in a big, resonant building. So perhaps the BUILDING is better...just not as old.   Funnel Spiders's webs under the pedal board.....I'm not coming over to find out!!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK (head office)     --- Mark Quarmby <mark_quarmby@yahoo.com> wrote: > You seem to forget that the best TC Lewis organ of > them all is the one > in St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia.   __________________________________________________ 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: Ascension Church, Milwaukee From: "John Seboldt" <rohrwerk@seboldt.net> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 21:34:17 -0600   At 09:00 PM 3/15/03 -0500, you wrote: >Then, some weeks or months later, as the Day drew nigh, they talked to = her >again, and she had to give regrets. LIBERACE would be performing in >Milwaukee on that very afternoon, and she had a ticket. No WAY could she >attend the dedication. > >End of story; they got on without her. > >Alan   What a hoot... and of course it is known around here that Liberace's home town is the village of West Milwaukee.   John Seboldt    
(back) Subject: Re: T.C. Lewis From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 18:01:29 +1200   >You seem to forget that the best TC Lewis organ of them all is the one >in St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia.   Mark, By praising Southwark and Kelvingrove, I was in no way belittling = Melbourne. Every single report I have ever heard of or read marvels at the = magnificence of the Melbourne Lewis, and of H&H's work there. The only time I heard the organ directly was, sadly an occasions when the organist playing it never touched the reeds and scarcely got off the flutes, so I cannot feel I know it.   How does the sound "get round the corner" into the nave and travel to the west end of that long nave? Effectively?   Ross    
(back) Subject: Re: Melbourne Cathedral From: "Ross & Lynda Wards" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 18:05:56 +1200   >I just had to get the World Atlas out to find out >where Australia is! (All Kangaroos and spiders if you >ask me!)   And if you go east from Melbourne about 2500 miles you'll possibly arrive = in NZ. :-)   >I suspect that Southwark is its equal, but nothing can >ever sound as good as an organ in a big, resonant >building. So perhaps the BUILDING is better...just not >as old.   Well, part of Southwark is old, but the nave is 19thC, as I rather suspect Melbourne is, so there is not much difference in age. Incidentally, I have = a piece of stone about the size of a tennis ball from the Norman part of Southwark, from near the east end - north east of the crossing.   Ross    
(back) Subject: Re: Melbourne Cathedral From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 06:17:52 +0000 (GMT)   Hello,   Please return our heritage immediately!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK --- Ross & Lynda Wards <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> wrote:   I have a > piece of stone about the size of a tennis ball from > the Norman part of > Southwark.........   __________________________________________________ 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: Holy Week Music (X-posted) From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 23:46:12 -0800   OK, I've got it all organized. Did everybody get everything they needed/wanted?   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: Re: Why not budget home instruments? From: "Teah" <teahzg@charter.net> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 03:25:41 -0600   Hmmm ... not quite so Gary. Maybe Johannus does it that way, but having bought one of those Euro models from a different builder, your statements are inaccurate. I traveled 5 hours from my home to play an organ made by the builder ... not to Holland. The ordering process was handled via = email, telephone, registered mail, and electronic funds transfer. Quite easy and stress free actually. There was some discussion about a deposit prior to the organ being built as I recall. However, I chose to pay the invoice in full, which included building the organ, in-house voicing, packing, shipping, and Customs Fees, delivery and tonal finishing. All of the arrangements and paperwork were taken care of by the builder and the US = Rep. The organ was personally delivered to my door by the builder and US Rep, = and tonal finishing was done to my satisfaction. Taxes were dealt with when I filed my returns. As to the "flat pedal board" statement, I was given a choice: flat, straight concave (BDO), or concave radiating (AGO). All I = had to do was wait patiently.   Respectfully,   Tim   ----- Original Message ----- From: "G. Deboer" <gdeboer@bluemarble.net> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 8:09 PM Subject: Re: Why not budget home instruments?     > Does anyone in the USA really want one of those European models ? > Remember that it has the flat, short pedalboard, only internal speakers and > no divisional capture systems. > If so, it is perfectly alright for you to go and visit one of those Euro > dealers and purchase the instrument of your choice at the low web prices > posted. > The dealer will want 50% up front on the spot, you fly back home, then 2 > months later he will call you that your organ is ready to be picked up = and > pay for the other 50%. You need to fly back there or pay someone else = to do > the items below. > > Now YOU need to make arrangements and pay for those up front, the thing > needs to be crated for ocean shipping, boat arrangements, trucking > arrangements, the USA government wants their taxes for duty, excise and > others before they release it to you. (Lots of forms to fill out) > By the time you get the thing home (one month later) and add up your overall > cost, you could have bought the same (better) AGO version right here at home > for the same US $ as now quoted by the US dealers. With all that, you would > still save substantially over what is available from other US made > manufacturers. > > Why are US organs made for the US market not at about 1/2 price of what = a > Euro comparable import costs in the US ? This is the original question = in > reverse. > Can you detect some price gouging here perhaps ? > > Note: The USA dealer who is importing Euro instruments has all those > expenses to pay for as well, with the exception of flying back and forth of > course. > > However, if there is genuine interest here in wanting to purchase the = Euro > versions of the Johannus organs, please email me privately and we will find > out if that is possible through the dealer network. Thanks. > > Gary       --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.463 / Virus Database: 262 - Release Date: 3/17/2003