PipeChat Digest #4254 - Tuesday, February 3, 2004
 
OHS 2003 - The Final Day - At Last
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Church organists behaving badly
  by "Alicia Zeilenga" <azeilenga@theatreorgans.com>
Re: Church organists behaving badly
  by "Stephen Barker" <steve@sbarker.net>
Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements
  by "Patricia/Thomas Gregory" <tgregory@speeddial.net>
LQ mp3 for those with slow connection
  by "Jonathan Orwig" <giwro@adelphia.net>
Re: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements
  by "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com>
Re: BAD NEWS!!!  Fwd: Northwestern University Organ Music Degree  Program
  by <Innkawgneeto@cs.com>
Re: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements
  by "Tom Hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com>
 

(back) Subject: OHS 2003 - The Final Day - At Last From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 18:40:10 -0500   Last Day - OHS Convention 2003, Central Pennsylvania Thursday, June 26th, 2003.   This is, of course, very much delayed, for which I apologize. Some of you know how long it takes to (hopefully) fairly and completely describe what went on on each day of these wonderful conventions. I was finally able to begin to outline this report a few days ago, and this morning, I awoke at about 4:30, began work, and only now, at 6:30 in the evening, have I = finally finished the job. As always, please do point out discepancies, confusions, downright misinformation, and anything else that comes to mind. It is = always appreciated. Now, on to the report:   Lovers of the Pipe Organ take many forms, referring not to anatomy but to aesthetic responses to music. In this, there are parallels to other, more main stream music lovers. Sometimes, those keen about a particular form of music for, say, orchestra, orchestra and voice, or the piano, focus on = that form almost exclusively, occasionally to the exclusion of all others. = Those addicted to G=F6tterd=E4mmerung may fail to respond at all to an opera of Rameau. Those who respond to some of the towering piano works of a Liszt might find the Haydn sonatas empty of meaning. A lover of the Roman = Carnival Overture (Feste Romane) might not respond to a Classical string quartet, = BUT there are those who find the string quartet to be among the purest of all possible ensemble music. There is vast room for expression of all sorts, = but there is unanimity of character in the sound source. It would have been = the string quartet people rather than the followers of some of Respighi's more powerful works or the Wagnerites who will have most enjoyed the 2003 Convention's last day, Thursday, June 26th, 2003. It was a day of single manual Organs, and for me, it was a treat, albeit an intimate one!!   Over the years, the O.H.S. has taught many Organists that for the careful listener, wonderful music can be made on an Organ of only one manual and a very few stops. While we miss here a large palette of stops of differing colors, we hear the music, its quality adorned by a mere handful of stops, themselves, hopefully, of great beauty. I have heard people say of, = perhaps, a particular 8' Principal or a Flute, that "This is a sound I can listen = to all day." It's this kind of experience that validates a day with four recitals on single manual Organs by builders of unquestioned quality, = along with players who know how to best exploit them.   At Salem United Church in Bethel, PA, the first recital of the day was played by John Charles Schucker, a name new to me, and a person I hope to hear again. He was at one time an Organ student of Karl Moyer, who was perhaps responsible for bringing him to this convention. Karl has been a major figure in making this convention happen. Mr. Schucker holds Bachelor and Master's degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied Organ = with Vernon deTar and piano with Earl Wild. He is now pianist and Organist with The American Boychoir in Princeton, NJ. The Organ assigned to him this day was built in 1872 by the distinguished Pennsylvania German Organbuilder, Thomas Dieffenbach. It is one of two instruments we will hear today that = has a Pedal division, in this case, a 16' Bourdon, a coupler, and only 13 = Pedal keys. The manual division is fairly complete with three 8' stops, Open Diapason, Flute, and Dulciana, a Principal, Flute, and Stopped Diapason at = 4 ', and a 2' Fifteenth. The console is detached and reversed. The Wanamaker Organ it is not, but for the careful listener, there is much beauty to be found.   Mr. Schucker's program began with one of the Bach Three Part inventions, = or Sinfonien, this in E flat major, BWV 791, a lovely work which, given the player's elegant touch and articulation, transferred to the Organ = perfectly well.   Here followed two charming settings of Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten, one of Telemann and another of Jacob Friedrich Greiss, an Organist in Darmstadt in the middle of the 18th century.   The perfect place to go when playing an instrument with a very limited (or no) Pedal division is L'Organiste of C=E9sar Franck, two volumes for Organ = or Harmonium with a few, usually optional Pedal parts. From the first volume, we heard the charming Andantino in E Minor, perhaps a bit more fully developed than some works in L'Organiste, and also, with more flashes of = the chromaticism so much a part of Franck's works for Organ and works for = other instruments and ensembles.   Another obvious source of choice repertoire for a small instrument is the Brahms Choral Preludes, and on this instrument, of such tonal integrity = and interest, the Choral Prelude on O Gott, du frommer Gott was really moving. We also sang the chorale, in Bach's glorious harmonization. Two of the = four B's today. (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and SowerB.)   Other than parts of the Ordinary of the Mass, which we sing in my church = at various times in the church year, I don't know David Hurd's output as well as I ought. I admire his playing greatly. From a set of three fugues in honor of Thomas Julian Talley, a former Professor of Liturgics at General Seminary, where David has taught for many years, we heard a Fugue on the name Julian. The other two fugues are written around Dr. Talley's other = two names. These are quite accessible, and based on the one we heard, very attractive manual pieces, published by Selah.   Here followed two choral preludes on Vom Himmel hoch, the first, from everybody's favorite "80 Choral Preludes," by Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau (1663-1712), a really charming event in the hands of this player on this instrument, and then one more setting, in the unique and lively style of Helmut Walcha (1907-1991).   Well, you have one manual and a very few Pedal notes. How to send people away whistling and even dancing! THE Buxtehude Fugue in C, a bit of perpetual motion, with, toward the end, a few long Pedal notes to add a touch of gravitas to the finale. How wonderful, and what a fine recital, resourceful in its choice of music for the instrument, and played with = both verve and sensitivity. Bravo. Come again!     Lou Carol Fix at Peter Hall, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA   After a relaxing, snoozing trip to Bethlehem and Moravian College, the convention divided into two parts, some having an early-ish lunch at = 11:45, with my group heading upstairs to Peter Hall, with its wonderful little = late 18th century Organ by Samuel Green of London. This is smaller than the Dieffenbach instrument, having no Pedal division at all, and having only four stops. It is also approximately 100 years older! There is an 8' Open Diapason and an 8' Stopped Diapason, a 4' Principal, divided Bass and Treble, and a 2' Fifteenth, also divided. So, smaller instrument, but a = new flexibility, reflected in Ms Fix's fine program. Ray Brunner (R. J. = Brunner & Co.) meticulously restored this instrument in 1998. In her writings = about this Samuel Green Organ, Ruth Brunner gives us two very interesting thoughts: "Green was one of the first English builders to experiment with scaling variation." And also: "By 1778, there is evidence that he was experimenting with different treatments for mixtures, in order to make = them sweeter in tone." Where was he in the 60s when we needed him? Also of interest: "Other evidence suggests Green may have brought extra pipes when site finishing, re-scaling as necessary to achieve the desired result." = The Organ has an ingenious wind supply system. There is a wooden handle at the back right which can be pumped easily from there, but there is also a foot pedal which is movable. It can slide over to the right side of the case front where the pumper can both pump and, with hands free, turn pages or pull stops. However, this clever pedal can also be moved close enough to = the Organist so he or she can pump and provide wind while playing the Organ.   Ruth Brunner, wife of Ray Brunner, and a master Organbuilder in her own right, died of cancer at the age of 45, on November 6th, 2003. She worked hard planning this convention, and though clearly ill, also worked very = hard to keep things moving and in order as the convention was in progress. She = is missed!   Lou Carol Fix is Artist/Lecturer at Moravian College, teaching Organ, recorder, and music history since 1985. She has degrees in Organ and musicology from Salem College and Indiana University. She is Organist and Director of Music at Peace-Tohickon Lutheran Church in Perkasie, PA.   The program began with a familiar Moravian hymn by Christian Gregor, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes . . " There are two unison parts, equal voices, always sung antiphonally. There is nothing complicated about it, = but it grips one and becomes whistling material for days afterwards. We did well. I first learned this through a very popular anthem on the tune for youth choir, by Roberta Bitgood.   Next, a hymn setting, thus called to set it apart from a simple chorale prelude. This was an historic manner of accompanying a hymn, providing a relief when there were 13 (very slowly sung) stanzas. Between phrases, = there are interludes. There are massive Bach settings that are like this, and = the setting of "In Dulci Jubilo," BWV 729 comes to mind. The setting of Allein Gott we heard this day was by a 19th century composer called Van Vleck. There were apparently so many musicianly Van Vlecks that no one is quite sure which one was the composer of this setting. This Organ has a machine stop that can retire and restore the higher pitched stops, and Ms. Fix = used this to advantage, in contrasting the big choral sections to the = interludes. The human-pumped sound showed itself to great advantage here!   Next, by Christian Latrobe (1758-1836), a not incredibly profound work = with the uninspiring title, "Prelude III." It is part of a set of Nine Preludes written in 1806. Latrobe was an ordained Moravian minister who lived most = of his life in England. He never came America. Ms Fix used the machine stop = to provide a loud-soft contrast.   The divided stops came into their own in a Trumpet Voluntary by John = Bennett (c. 1735-1784) There are two movements, Larghetto and Allegro, as is the case with many similar voluntaries in a number of volumes of early English Organ music. The Larghetto of this work is particularly sweet.   "Toccata Terza" from "The First Book of Toccatas, Partitas" of Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643). Frescobaldi is absolutely clear about wanting = this music to have a flexibility and suppleness, which we certainly experienced in this performance. The mean tone temperament of this instrument combines with this early 17th century work to create sounds of a rare beauty.   The concert ended with some very imaginative music by Benjamin Carr, born = in England in 1768, but coming to the U.S. in 1793, and settling in Philadelphia. He opened a music shop, and also served for thirty years as Organist at St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church. We heard his "Voluntary for the Organ," written in 1801, a quite substantial work in several movements, with numerous registration suggestions. According to Ms Fix's extensive notes, this work has often been considered to be one of the most important pieces of Organ music from early America. One would have to = agree.   And so ended a second fine recital on this final day of the convention.   The next obligation for the group I was in was to have lunch and then to take some time to stroll around the grounds a bit, before hopping on the = bus for Nazareth and Whitefield House of the Moravian Historical Museum. = Uh-Oh, the Organs are getting smaller! Not so much, actually, as this Organ has four stops as did the Samuel Green instrument, but here the stops are not divided, and there is not an 8' Open Diapason, but rather a "Flute = Amabile," an open stop beautiful in its own right, but without quite the strength = that a Diapason would have. Anyway, as people in the late 18th century surely said, "Gee Dad, it's a Tannenberg," and a very fine Organ indeed. The = honor of playing this lovely instrument went to Thomas Dressler who studied as a teenager with James Boeringer, later earning a Bachelor of Music degree, = cum laude, at Susquehanna University, and then a Master of Music degree in performance, with honors, at Westminster Choir College. His teachers at Westminster were Mark Brombaugh and Joan Lippincott.   The program began with our magnificent singing of a hymn in glorious harmony, a hymn that is apparently of tremendous significance in Moravian congregations. The soprano often goes to an F, giving the ladies a real chance to shine, despite the fact that the pitch of the Organ is A=3D430. = I think we did it proud, and this with only the accompaniment of a quite gentle instrument. All we needed was a bit of pitch and rhythmic guidance and we were well at it. The text: "Sing hallelujah, praise the Lord" to a tune by Bishop John Bechler (1784-1857).   We next heard a rather bright and cheerful little piece by Oliver Shaw, a new name to me. In the absence of any provided notes, I Googled a bit and learned only two things. The first, that the birth date given in the = program appears to be wrong. It should be 1799 rather than 1779. Shaw died in = 1848, and I am sure, would have preferred to have been born in 1779. He was apparently blind, and lived most of his life in and around Providence, = Rhode Island. Thus, the "Trip to Pawtucket," which we heard, a happy beginning = to the recital.   Less happy was something entitled "Voluntary #1," from "American Church Organ Voluntaries" of 1856, which sounds like it might be one of those collections of "stuff" one could do to fill the requirements of preludes = and postludes without too much thought.   We heard then another pleasant piece by Oliver Shaw entitled "Rondo."   James Cox Beckel (1811-1880) was, like Benjamin Carr, whose music we heard at Lou Carol Fix's recital earlier, an Organist and composer in Philadelphia. His "Century of American Organ Music-1776-1876" is a tremendously useful historical resource. The excellent Voluntary in C is found in his Volume 3. His father was also a Philadelphia Organist.   Oliver Shaw again appears with something else from near his Rhode Island home - The Bristol March, another cheerful work, this time using the entire = Organ. It's only four stops, but there is the power of contrast, after quieter works, and it worked here.   Finally, we come to music by an Organists' Composer - Georg Boehm. I think his dates in the program are in doubt, as other sources have given Boehm four less years to live. That's twice! He is generally dated as 1661-1733. = I love Boehm's music, finding that it has, for me at least, a unique flavor and language, if you will - a kind of refreshing exuberance. Bach appears = to have absorbed something from Boehm, as he did rather more from Buxtehude. = It was refreshing to end with first the Partita on "Gelobet seist du," and = then the Capriccio in D.   After a suitable interval, we found our way to the buses, heading for Shartlesville, for The Pennsylvania Dutch Dinner at the famous Haag's = Hotel. I am not sure I had yet recovered from the last time, which was perhaps three years ago, but I forced myself! We then were given the choice of taking the bus or a short walk to Friedens Church, still in Shartlesville. You'll have to guess what I did.   The final recital of the day, and also of the Convention was given to Lois Regestein, an OHS regular of long standing. Before her marriage, Lois was, like me, a W, and in the absence of unlikely Ys or Zs, we are always last. We went to Oberlin at the same time, in a day when attendance was always taken at classes. In those classes that we had together, once they got through with me, Lois was all that was left. Today, she got to finish, and very nicely, too.   She began with the truly lovely Prelude in F of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847), Mendelssohn's older sister, apparently a work she composed = for her own wedding.   The Bach Pastorale began a bit tentatively, but gained focus gradually. To me, the second section wants a bit more clarity through articulation. The third section sang as well it should, and the final glorious section = romped along merrily. It was a bit of an irony having this ultimate manualiter piece to play on the one Organ of the day with something of a Pedal = section, but it is, without reference to that, a fine piece, and one we do not hear all that often.   The next piece was of great interest to us all, first of all because of = its intriguing title, "The Nines," a most interesting piece written in 1992 by = a well-known member of the OHS Family, Rachel Archibald. Her birth date is given, but I will respect her privacy, adding that she does not even begin to look it!   "The Nines" were/was followed by three settings of Christmas tunes. I love the music of Pepping, which does not often show up on recital programs, although I think more people play his choral preludes in church, and I do believe they are worthy of secular public performance. The first Ernst Pepping (1900-1981) piece was a setting of Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, and it bubbled its way along in a kind of neo Baroque haze, without the harmonic language to go with it. In the middle of a kind of Pepping sandwich came a lovely Polish Carol by Stefan Surzyuski. If you really = want to know, the name of the piece is: "Pospieszcie pastuszki do stajenki." While Lois has completely translated the Pepping chorale titles, for this piece, we are left with "Polish Carol." I am suspicious! The second = Pepping is "Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle," played with the requisite verve. Both Pepping works are from the Kleines Orgelbuch, which, like the Grosses Orgelbuch, was written in 1939 or 1940, and published in 1941.   Next, "The Nighting Gall" by Henry Loosemore, (c.1605-1670), with suitable effects. We know practically nothing of Loosemore, except that one of everyone's favorite choral pieces was stolen from Gibbons by him - "O = Lord, increase my faith." Lois played this piece of fun for all it was worth, = and went on to do the same with the next piece,"The Thunder Storm" by Thomas = P. Ryder (1836-1887). To this, there are four movements, Andantino - "Bagpipe" - Storm - and Vesper Hymn. This is surely the first Organ work = to make use of note clusters and partially drawn stops, but to make matters more intense, Lois had some sort of a thunder sheet, a piece of metal that was able to make a rather amazing thunder sound. It was liberally used.   After all of that fracas, we sang the hymn quoted in the last movement of the Ryder, the well-known Vesper Hymn, to a tune attributed to = Bortniansky. This was at about 8:45 p.m., as the light was fading a bit. We sang: "Now, on land and sea descending, Brings the night its peace profound." It's a lovely tune, we had the harmony in hand, and it made a fine finish to a splendid week!   The Organ, by the way, was by Thomas Dieffenbach, built in 1891, and thus one of his last instruments. Like the Dieffenbach we heard first today, = the console is detached and reversed. The manual division of this instrument = has eight stops, four at 8' (an Open Diapason, a Stopped Diapason, a Flute, = and a Dulciana. At 4', a Principal and Stopped Diapason, a Quint (shown as 3' here) and a 2' Flauto. N.B., this manual division is enclosed! There are = 20 Pedal notes, and the two stops are a 16' Sub Bass and an 8' Violin Bass, plus a coupler.   Mrs. Regestein holds degrees from both Oberlin and the Yale School of = Music. Since 1983, she has been Organist for the First Congregational Church in Winchester, MA. In1987, the OHS conferred on her The Distinguished Service Award for her efforts to protect the splendid 1863 E. & G.G. Hook Organ in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Boston, from threatened damage or removal.   Let us all gather in Buffalo next summer, from July 13th through the 20th for the 2004 Convention of The Organ Historical Society.   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com              
(back) Subject: Re: Church organists behaving badly From: "Alicia Zeilenga" <azeilenga@theatreorgans.com> Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 17:41:42 -0600   Haha. Yesterday the priest mentioned that "truth is marching on" during the sermon, so I played "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for the postlude. My choir was highly amused =3D) Alicia Zeilenga Sub-Dean AGO@UI "Santa Caecilia, ora pro nobis"     -----Original Message----- From: David Scribner <david@blackiris.com> To: pipechat@pipechat.org Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 15:26:20 -0600 Subject: Church organists behaving badly   > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3451683.stm > > ENJOY!!! > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org >      
(back) Subject: Re: Church organists behaving badly From: "Stephen Barker" <steve@sbarker.net> Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 23:58:59 +0000   When I was still a student, myselt and two other friends each played in different churches in the city and on a Thursday night we used to decide on the theme fro the next Sunday's improvisation, which ranged from the mildly humerous to the absolutely ridiculous! Not sure how well known the Wurzells are worldwide, but anyone in the UK will know "I've got a brand new combine harvester" which went down very well at the Harvest Festival...!   Steve Canterbury UK    
(back) Subject: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements From: "Patricia/Thomas Gregory" <tgregory@speeddial.net> Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 19:07:22 -0600   Greetings:   I am searching for music for organ/handbells for a program in May.   There are many compositions/arrangements for 4 - 5 octaves of bells. Can anyone recommend challenging literature for a 2 1/2 octave set (G4 - C7) using 8 ringers?   Best wishes,   Tom Gregory   -- Thomas and Patricia Gregory 716 West College Avenue Waukesha WI USA 53186-4569  
(back) Subject: LQ mp3 for those with slow connection From: "Jonathan Orwig" <giwro@adelphia.net> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 19:09:14 -0800   Hello friends,   Forgive the second intrusion, but several have wriiten asking for a = smaller file......   I forget the woes of a dial-up modem since we've switched to High-speed = cable modem this summer - my apologies.   SOOOO -   the link for the smaller (lower quality) file is: http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/orwig_comps/Orwig_Toccata_in_GmLQ.mp3   If you listen to it and decide you want the larger version: http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/orwig_comps/Orwig_Toccata_in_Gm.mp3   And a big thank-you to all who have written comments....     Jonathan Orwig  
(back) Subject: Re: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements From: "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 21:47:55 -0600   I just found "Festival Intrada" by Tucker. It is very pretty and = challenging for the handbell players. The organ part isn't as challenging, but complements the handbells well. I have an extra copy of it if you wish to look at it.   The composition is from GIA.   Tina Hemphill St. Joan of Arc Nashotah ----- Original Message ----- From: "Patricia/Thomas Gregory" <tgregory@speeddial.net> To: "Pipechat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 7:07 PM Subject: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements     > Greetings: > > I am searching for music for organ/handbells for a program in May. > > There are many compositions/arrangements for 4 - 5 octaves of bells. = Can > anyone recommend challenging literature for a 2 1/2 octave set (G4 - C7) > using 8 ringers? > > Best wishes, > > Tom Gregory > > -- > Thomas and Patricia Gregory > 716 West College Avenue > Waukesha WI USA > 53186-4569 > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > > >      
(back) Subject: Re: BAD NEWS!!! Fwd: Northwestern University Organ Music Degree Programs From: <Innkawgneeto@cs.com> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 23:03:02 EST     > Not a good day for the church music world.   Neither is it good for academia!   Neil Brown    
(back) Subject: Re: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements From: "Tom Hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 23:39:06 -0500   There is a good piece by Arnold Sherman called Antiphon that does work with only 2-3 octaves of bells. It has organ and/or brass accompaniment. His music is always challenging and enjoyable.   Tom Hoehn, Organist http://theatreorgans.com/tomhoehn Roaring Twenties Pizza and Pipes (substitute)(4/42 Wurlitzer) First United Methodist Church, Clearwater, FL (4/98 Ruffati/Wicks/Rodgers) Manasota/OATOS/HiloBay/CIC-ATOS/VotS-ATOS/Dairyland-ATOS ----- Original Message ----- From: "Patricia/Thomas Gregory" <tgregory@speeddial.net> To: "Pipechat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 8:07 PM Subject: Suggestions for Organ/Handbell compositions/arrangements     > Greetings: > > I am searching for music for organ/handbells for a program in May. > > There are many compositions/arrangements for 4 - 5 octaves of bells. = Can > anyone recommend challenging literature for a 2 1/2 octave set (G4 - C7) > using 8 ringers? > > Best wishes, > > Tom Gregory > > -- > Thomas and Patricia Gregory > 716 West College Avenue > Waukesha WI USA > 53186-4569 > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > >