PipeChat Digest #4305 - Thursday, February 26, 2004
 
Teardo Times Two - 1 Old, 1 New
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Teardo Times...PAstorale
  by "T.Desiree' Hines" <nicemusica@yahoo.com>
Re: Teardo Times Two - 1 Old, 1 New
  by <Mark85inCT@aol.com>
Re: LISTEN UP! The fate of the Organ department at Chicago	Musical Coll
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
AFTER "THE PASSION" --- OFF TOPIC
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
Re: LISTEN UP! The fate of the Organ department at Chicago Musical	Coll
  by "Beau Surratt" <Beau.Surratt@theatreorgans.com>
Organ topics, nailed and derailed
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: Organ topics, nailed and derailed
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
The Teaching Company
  by "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net>
 

(back) Subject: Teardo Times Two - 1 Old, 1 New From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:09:10 -0500   Teardo Times Two - 1 Old, 1 New   Dear Listmembers and Friends,   There are no Tears in Teardo. The name is pronounced Tay-ARE-Dough. I have been listening to Fred Teardo since he was in high school, when he was studying with listmember Stephen Roberts. He is one of those kids that = grew up in a home with an Organist father, as did Ken Cowan. Fred was a bit younger when I first heard him than was Ken Cowan. There is something to = be said for growing up watching your father play the Organ. I don't think one can overestimate the effect on a young person's playing of watching it = done on a regular basis, hearing the instrument and its repertoire, hearing it discussed within the family and with other Organists. My father played a mandolin very badly, a product of the New York City schools' encouragement of mandolin bands. That's my excuse.   So Fred, as a high school freshman played already with a lot of assurance. = I have no doubt that Ken was doing the same. I wish I could insert here from Fred's program bio the list of competitions in which he placed or took = first prize while in high school. Combined with all he has done since, it would require rather too much bandwidth. I do well remember in 1999, his winning the AGO Region One Competition (still in high school) and going on to play = a fine recital at the Regional Convention in Worcester, MA that year. He was then chosen to give a "Rising Star" performance at the 2000 AGO National = in Seattle. There's lots more, and I choose to mention one more particularly impressive achievement, quoting directly from the program bio: "As a semi-finalist in the Twenty-first St. Alban's International Organ Festival in St. Albans, England, he was the only American and the youngest = competitor of 15 chosen to compete from a pool of over eighty applicants wordwide." = Oh, and this little tidbit which I missed, sadly: "Mr. Teardo was featured in = a segment on the revived interest in the Pipe Organ on ABC World News Tonight." Perhaps some of you caught that.   This posting is about two of Fred's recitals, as I gradually try to catch = up with my notes from a number of recitals of days gone by. The first, on November 30th, 2003, was in Battell Chapel at Yale, currently Mr. Teardo's church home, if you will, he being the "Titulaire" of the place, no small honor. The Organ is vintage "Papa" Holtkamp, and I hope you will at least smile indulgently when I say that I love this instrument. What this Organ stands for is a big part of my past. I can say the same for this program, which contained many pieces very dear to me.   First was the great Buxtehude Praeludium in G Minor (BuxWV 149). What's = not to love? Fred sings every note he plays(!), and I don't mean out loud. He played from memory throughout this concert, having thus made, of = necessity, every phrase become a part of himself. In this very sectional work, the transitions from one style, one sort of articulation, one consort of sound to another were beautifully dealt with. It was a wonderful performance.   One waits each year for Lent to move along a little faster so one can play the great Leipzig Choral Prelude on "O Lamm Gottes" (656). I have never appreciated this work played with a big plenum from beginning to end, but, much like the Passacaglia in C Minor, it is sometimes done this way. Fred and I have a common Organ ancestry, I believe. He is now studying with Haskell Thomson, who was a student at Oberlin during my time there. In = those dear, dead days, we registered each large section appropriately (we = believe) to both text and texture, and that is how it came to Yale this evening. It was splendid. I tend to judge a performance of this piece partly on how = one moment in this piece is treated. It's the place on the last page in which the 3/2 signature returns, leading to five bars of the most intensely powerful chromatic writing in the Organ repertoire. Played in a matter-of-fact manner, you're dismissed, thank you! Come back another = time. Fred feels this five bars and the entire work surrounding them just as = Bach and I do. I write glibly, but was really powerfully moved by this performance.   In line with current naming practice, based upon Bach's usage, we then = heard the Toccata in C (564), perhaps more tellingly known as the Toccata, = Adagio and Fugue in C. The second recital about which I will speak after the one = at Yale, was out in the country in Connecticut, so we did get there the down home version of the name, Toccata, Adagio, & Fugue complete. (This was, in one's students days, known always as the Toma(h)to, Avocado and Fig. Have = it your way.) Fred's performance of this was beyond scintillating. Totally clear, totally clean and articulate, and full of excitement, and the tempo in the Fugue was not shy.   In the Alain Second Fantasy, Fred found sounds of a richness, breadth and beauty that some are convinced are not possible in a Holtkamp Organ of = this vintage. They are wrong, and coupled with Fred's consistently expressive playing, this was a fine performance.   The 1909 Pastorale of Jean Jules Amable Roger-Ducasse (1873-1954) (known usually as J.J.!) does not get out in public very often, not least = because, while not necessarily sounding so, it is of almost frightening difficulty = to pull off. Fred pulled it off bigtime, and given the clarity of this instrument, it fared better than it often does on more murky and less articulate Organs. My friend and choir director in Cleveland, Walter Blodgett, thought of this piece as one that separates those who can from those who wish they could. Fred can, and we owe him for this wonderful performance.   Calvin Hampton shares with Mozart the reality of a life cut short, and in the case of both men, we dream of what music we might have been given had they lived longer. Cal died in his mid-40s. Both here at Yale, and in his recital last Sunday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, CT, Fred played, from Suite No. 2: Lullaby. It is a sublime little piece. I reveled in its simple beauty, as I have before. The note in the Yale program tells us that this simple theme and variations is not quite as uncomplicated as = it sounds: "Each variation is subsequently written one major third lower than the theme's original key of A Major, and utilizes progressive rhythmic diminutions: eighths, triplets, and sixteenths."   I remember Petr Eben as an open, cheerfully talkative guy who would start = a conversation with anyone at the Cambridge (UK) International Congress of Organists in 1987. I was part of many of these, and came to realize that = he was, in part, reveling in the glory of having managed to get out of Czechoslovakia, and being able to talk freely. His music was becoming = known a bit at that time. From "Laudes" (1964), we heard the first piece, called Largo, not an entirely apt name, as it was often much more than Largo, including at the very beginning. A question of mood rather than actual tempo. I would like to quote from the program the entire paragraph of = notes for this piece. I believe the students are all to produce notes for their programs, so presumably these excellent ones are by Fred himself. "Czech composer Petr Eben wrote the four-movement work Laudes as a protest = against humanity's unwillingness to offer praise to God. The tempo indication of = the first movement, Largo, is somewhat misleading, for it begins as a = brilliant toccata with Lombard rhythms and rapid flourishes. After a slight = build-up, the mood and tempo change and a new theme is introduced - a variant of the plainsong Easter Alleluia. A gradual crescendo leads to the return of the = A section, where earlier motives return and are combined with the chant = theme in majestic conclusion."   Majestic conclusion, indeed. What a terrific recital, attended by a veritable Who's Who in the Organ world around these parts, but then, Yale has a somewhat unique Organ Culture, if you like. It starts with three Organs of immense significance, historically and musically. It was an important moment that saw the arrival of the Battell Holtkamp in 1951. = Read all about it: http://www.yale.edu/ism/organ_atyale/battell.htm Move 20 years forward, to 1971, to the arrival of the von Beckerath Organ in = Dwight Chapel. Of some historical interest: A member of the crew installing this instrument was John Mander, during his six year apprenticeship with Beckerath. http://www.yale.edu/ism/organ_atyale/Bozyan.htm You can read about that here. Topping them all in size, and bringing an incredible = Organ eclecticism to the Yale Campus is the truly famous Newberry Memorial Organ in Woolsey Hall. Read about it here: http://www.yale.edu/ism/organ_atyale/Newberry.html I remember Charles Kirgbaum pointing out to me once that it is to Battell and Dwight that we possibly owe the present untouched condition of the = great Woolsey Organ. There was so much excitement about the Holtkamp in 1951 and the Beckerath in 1971, that no one was interested enough in Woolsey to bother trying to redesign it as something it was not intended to be, which became the fate of the great Skinner at Princeton. A great pendulum has swung way over, but then has returned to neutral ground. Both the = Beckerath and Woolsey are adored. My love of the Holtkamp is not universal, but I do believe it is now looked on a bit more kindly than heretofore. Certainly Fred made it sing and show itself at its best.   RECITAL NUMBER TWO: St. John's Episcopal Church, Washington, CT Last Sunday, 2/22/04 at 4 p.m.   If you want to get oriented first, have a look at the URL below, which = will give you lots of information about the Organ, with some photographs that give a bit of an idea of the beauty of this fine, even elegant smallish building, seating perhaps as many as three hundred. You will see that the Organ is quite large, and might think it too much for the building. It is not. With the large number of stops, there is tremendous variety rather = than bombast. Even the en chamade reed in the west end, while full of = directness and excitement, would shock and annoy no one. If this is an example of = Wicks 's most recent work, and I know it is from some others of the period I = have heard, they have much to be proud of. I hope to hear this sometime as an accompaniment instrument. I expect it excels in this. http://www.wicks.com/organ/specs/6373.htm   I confess to arriving very slightly late, and thus hearing, along with a = few others, the first work on a church porch, from behind a closed door. = Without a program, I did some guessing about what manner of music was this. I guessed that it might be something of Vierne that I did not know, although = I wasn't quite convinced of this. It's a great piece, harmonically interesting - Fantasia and Toccata in D Minor - by . . . . . C. V. = Stanford. Fred plays with a very assured "forward movement" is how I can describe = it. It's not rushing, but there is an energy that draws each phrase off the = page fully, with a good feel for tensions and releases. The word is perhaps "drive," but without any implication of rushing. I hope you can make something out of all that. It was certainly apt for the next piece, one of the gorgeous Psalm Preludes of Herbert Howells, Number 2 in Set Two, on = the text: "Yea, the darkness is no darkness with Thee, but the night is as = clear as the day: the darkness and light to Thee are both alike. (Psalm 139-11).   Next, the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C of Bach, the Toccata with a wonderfully expressive long Pedal solo. The Adagio had elegance in both registration (with lots to choose from) and in execution. The phrase ends = of the melody were cut rather shorter than I had heard them before, and with the force of Eastman and Yale behind this, I had best pay attention. Like the snow (yes, we still have lots around here), the Fugue was deep and = crisp and even, at a brave clip right from the beginning. There was one small memory lapse near the end, handled deftly and unobtrusively. Only Bach and I, and perhaps a few others, suspected.   As at Battell, we heard the Calvin Hampton Lullaby, again, a work of ravishing beauty, well served by both Organist and Organ.   Before Fred played the last work on the program, the Durufl=E9 Suite (Opus = 5), he spoke a bit about the famous Toccata, and about Durufl=E9's dislike of = this work of his. I have always heard that he would not teach it to any = students. I also had heard of Madame teaching it to students secretly, but had never heard Fred's take on this: That Durufl=E9 would teach students only one = thing about this piece - how and where to cut it to make it much shorter! With great affection, in this one instance, we all disagree with the great man, and accept the Toccata as a wonderful masterpiece. With this lovely Organ, with the console out in front in full view, with a memorized performance = by this young master, in the intimate and attractive surroundings of St. = John' s, it was a really rich experience to hear the Suite fully realized. After much applause from, by the way, quite a large audience, Fred gently = returned us to real life, dancing along the way, with two very sweet and gentle little Allemandes.   Thanks be to Mark Scholtz, Organist of St. John's, and to the church, for hosting a marvelous music series. You can hear Mark on Low Sunday, April 18th at 4 p.m. You can hear the St. John's Chorale either on Friday = evening, April 30th at 8 or on Sunday, May 2nd at 4 p.m. You can hear the Manhattan String Quartet with pianist Robert DeGaetano on Sunday, May 16th, at 4 = p.m. Please write me if you want more information. At this time of year, you reach the place by dog sled, but by Low Sunday, there will be other = options.   I have thought it would be great to hear Fred at Woolsey. He will be = playing what I understand is a half hour recital there at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21st. I think I heard that another student will be playing the other half of the hour, before or after, I do not know, and who it is, I don't know either. I'll keep my ear to the ground, and will get the information = on the list when I have some. If you are anywhere near, try to hear him if possible. If not, put your ear to the ground and you'll hear a bit of Woolsey, wherever you might be on the planet.   And by the way, in speaking of Yale's "special Organ culture," I must not fail to mention the role played in this of the great teachers, past and present. Frank Bozyan, Charles Krigbaum, and today, Thomas Murray, Martin Jean, and also now, Haskell Thomson. Somewhere way back there was also Horatio Parker. And then there are the many distinguished former students, including Stephen Thomas and Ken Cowan, to mention two that come to mind immediately. There are many more.   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com      
(back) Subject: Re: Teardo Times...PAstorale From: "T.Desiree' Hines" <nicemusica@yahoo.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 12:28:36 -0800 (PST)   That Roger-doucasse Pastorale is truly a tour-de-force and is VERY VERY = Difficult. Jim Holloway would tere the mess outta that piece with flawless = awe. Kudos to Fred for doing the same (appearantly!) and for the gutys to = play that piece. I'll stick to the Franck Pastorale lol. OMG the did the Suite opus 5! Is he single? Psst...where do I cut the Toccata to make it shorter? I will ask Susan = Ferre'. NO I would not dare. Its too beautiful of a peice esp with the = ending from the 2nd edition. Yet, virgil, used the ending from the first.     From Desiree' T. Desiree' Hines Chicago, IL 60649 http://concertartist.info/bios/hines.html   --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail  
(back) Subject: Re: Teardo Times Two - 1 Old, 1 New From: <Mark85inCT@aol.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:36:47 EST   Malcolm,   Thank you for the kind words about our Wicks and Saint John's. I'm a very lucky guy to be working in such an environment. For a GREAT view of Saint = John's and our organ, I would suggest the Parish's website which is currently at: =   www.stjohnswashington.com.   Cheers - Mark Scholtz    
(back) Subject: Re: LISTEN UP! The fate of the Organ department at Chicago Musical Coll From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:41:47 -0500   On 2/26/04 2:49 PM, "DudelK@aol.com" <DudelK@aol.com> wrote:   > I think they may even have phased out the German Dept. which would have = been > unthinkable years ago for a school with such strong Germanic/Lutheran = roots.   That is strange indeed. Surely even a decent public high school in = Chicago offers at least two years of German!   Alan    
(back) Subject: AFTER "THE PASSION" --- OFF TOPIC From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 13:20:06 -0800   I don't want to add a lot of fuel to this debate, lest it turn into a conflagration, but do wish to state that I have no intention whatsoever of seeing this horror movie.   St. Thomas the Apostle said, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25 KJV)   Apparently, there are many modern-day "Doubting Thomases" who also need graphic validation of the crucifixion in order to believe.   However, Jesus himself said, to St. Thomas in fact, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29b KVJ)   I'd rather know that I am blessed for my faith, than to fear that I must witness the unspeakable violence and paralyzing agony of his crucifixion first-hand in order to believe.   Especially when we're talking about a Hollywood movie that has taken a number of liberties with the Gospel accountings of the event. And that, furthermore, despite the filmmaker's suave denials, the film is in some ways blatantly anti-Semitic.   My understanding of the life of Jesus Christ is that it is the RESURRECTION, and not the death, that is the focal point. I would rather live my life on a daily basis under that "blessed hope" than to cower and tremble in sickened terror sitting in a dark movie theater watching a twisted moviemaker's pornographic, sadomasochistic fantasy play out before me.   Anyone who cares to further discuss this off-list with me may feel free to email me. Since it's not a topical discussion for the list, I don't want to get into it here any further.   ~ C      
(back) Subject: Re: LISTEN UP! The fate of the Organ department at Chicago Musical Coll From: "Beau Surratt" <Beau.Surratt@theatreorgans.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:31:10 -0600   Hi! I know for sure that Concordia is still offering a Masters in Church Music. I played in the Fox Valley Chapter of the AGO's Festival of English and Irish Hymns this past Sunday night. Steve Wente, professor of organ at CURF, played as well. We were discussing that they are doing some pretty extensive work on the 3 manual Zimmer in their chapel in order to make at bit more suitable and give it some new life.   In fact, I've thought about the possibility of doing a Master of Church Music there.     Blessings, Beau Surratt      
(back) Subject: Organ topics, nailed and derailed From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 16:57:41 EST   Ladies and Gentlemen: The topic of this controversial film is not fodder for any of the many =   "chat" lists into which it was introduced. The instigator was aware of = this, and made their choice. I am told by devout Catholics that true belief and sympathy with suffering is not dependent upon viewing the deeply disturbed and = disturbing, grotesquely voyeuristic fetishism of a troubled director with too much = money on his hands. Anti-Semitism is in the eye, heart, and upbringing of the beholder, whether they are moved by the Passion or not. Hatred is a choice, and a film cannot sway an intelligent, perceptive human.   As sacred musicians, our SERVICE TO FAITH is a valid topic. The = choice, ranking, or hatred of faith is NOT. Let us get back to the topics of organ =   music, organbuilding, organ performance, and the survival of our = profession, keeping in mind that radical fundamentalists of ANY faith, including those = who identify themselves as "Christian," are not buying or using or playing = pipe organs.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City   ..  
(back) Subject: Re: Organ topics, nailed and derailed From: <ScottFop@aol.com> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 17:01:16 EST   In a message dated 2/26/04 3:59:00 PM Central Standard Time, TubaMagna@aol.com writes:   > Ladies and Gentlemen: > The topic of this controversial film is not fodder for any of the many =   > "chat" lists into which it was introduced. The instigator was aware of = this, > and > made their choice.   Instigator? Hmmm, I have been called many things...and, yes- I DID make = my choice, and I sent the email anyway. Anything else?   -Scott   Scott F. Foppiano Cantantibus organis Caecilia Domino decantabat.    
(back) Subject: The Teaching Company From: "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 17:03:29 -0500   List,   Periodically I receive a catalog from "The Teaching Company" which = consists of recorded lectures on a variety of subjects. The courses are priced at about 20% of their usual list price. I'm not sure what that means. Supposedly these professors are the best around.   Anyway, they have a course entitled "How to Listen and Understand Great Music" taught by Professor Robert Greenberg and consists of 48 lectures.   Has anybody had any experience with this company or these courses. Actually, they have a website:   www.teach12.com/learn   The link to the music courses is:   http://www.teach12.com/store/courses.asp?t=3D&sl=3D&s=3D904&sbj=3DFine%20Ar= ts%20and% 20Music&fMode=3Ds   Thanks, Keith