PipeChat Digest #4641 - Saturday, July 24, 2004
 
OHS Convention
  by "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@earthlink.net>
Re: Titelouze
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: Attitude (and Organists)
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>
RE: Attitude
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>
RE: pleasing this career.
  by "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net>
Re: organ music for August 15
  by <OMusic@aol.com>
Re: organ music for August 15
  by <OMusic@aol.com>
Re: organ music for August 15
  by "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com>
 

(back) Subject: OHS Convention From: "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@earthlink.net> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 22:05:58 -0500   Dear List,   OK, since someone asked (and since it would be ON topic....! <g>), here's a= =20 few memories of this just past convention which stand out in my mind. I'll= =20 try to be brief, and hope I don't step on Malcom's toes (and his=20 forthcoming reviews) *too* much....!!   The first hymn of the convention, at Fred Swann's recital at St.=20 Stanislaus. (Holy God, we praise thy Name) What a wonderful, energetic=20 choice for the first "group sing", and early in his program at=20 that. Though I'm not much of a vocalist myself, there is still something=20 unbelievably magical about being part of the OHS group in song. A great=20 reminder of what we would be in for for the rest of the week.   Karpeles Manuscript Museum's (mostly) 1913 M=F6ller. I guess I'm one of the= =20 few who actually *did* know where I was going to be, why, and what we would= =20 be hearing that day. :-) This event, as I'm told, fell into place at the= =20 very last possible moment, when the Karpeles organization finally came into= =20 actual posession of the building (a former Christian Science Church). The= =20 organ within had not seen service for quite a few years before, since=20 occupants of the structure after the Christian Scientists had disconnected= =20 the 3-phase electric service to the building, leaving the blower motor=20 incapable of operation. This situation changed, apparently just within the= =20 last few months (!!!) such that we were able to visit this venue and hear=20 the instrument while we ate our boxed lunches. (Up to that point, we had=20 already been scheduled to visit another nearby and currently operating=20 Karpeles Museum building, which has only the facade of a not-dissimilar=20 M=F6ller, for the same box lunch.) I found out all of this within a couple= =20 hours of arriving in Buffalo, incidentally, when Joe McCabe cornered me and= =20 offered me the 'chance to volunteer' <wink, wink> to fix a bad key on the=20 organ's console, and mebbe touch up a few out of tune reed notes...? Of=20 course I agreed, and (with borrowed tools) ended up discovering the=20 instrument to be in remarkably good condition, with even the Echo Organ=20 fully functional. Some would term it a "blunderbuss organ" or a "slush=20 box" I suppose -- but I happen to kinda like that sort of organ.=20 ;-) ;-) (we even got to hear the Harp and Chimes, as has already been=20 reported) It was comforting to speak briefly with one of the Karpeles=20 Directors after the event, and hear him express their conviction to retain= =20 and restore the instrument as they continue to restore the building itself,= =20 which will become further museum space eventually.   Scott Foppiano's silent movie at the Shea's Theatre. This was just too=20 much fun for words. Bravo!! Here also, I had a nice conversation with one= =20 of the volunteer ushers, who was quite interested in what exactly it was=20 that brought our ragtag group together to the theatre on a Thursday=20 evening. When showing her my Organ Handbook, she recognized many of the=20 churches we were going to visit. (by the pictures of their organs, no=20 less!) They are proud of their spectacular showplace of a Theatre, for=20 good reason indeed.   Stephen Roberts valiantly playing the operable portions of the Kimball at=20 Church of the Ascension, Episcopal. Including the bottom few notes of a=20 16' reed, which were used to excellent effect during the singing of "The=20 Royal Telephone". (I kid you not -- I still cannot quite honestly believe= =20 that the whole group didn't end up piled on the floor in laughter...!) His= =20 Ives 'Variations on America' was also remarkable, ably brought to us with=20 the efficient help of two of his students acting as the "combination= action".   Thomas Murray, playing a nearly intact 1923 E.M. Skinner at Central Park=20 UMC. The work of a past master of his style of organbuilding at his=20 finest, showcased by a present master of that same style of music and organ= =20 performance. This event was destined for perfection, by dictionary=20 definition. Afterwards, due to the kindness of Paul Marchesano, I was able= =20 to make the long climb up into the church tower and attic for a quick tour= =20 of the instrument's interior. Among the delights hidden up there are the=20 bottom pipes of the (wooden) 16' Trombone, beautifully knuckle-mitered to=20 fit under their ceiling. What gorgeous craftsmanship!   Will Headlee, on the (somewhat altered) 1903 Kimball at St.Louis=20 R.C. Printed programs handed to us on our arrival gave complete=20 registration data and all the notes we needed for the whole show, including= =20 the request to hold all applause until the end of everything. Thus, as the= =20 music progressed, I found myself being drawn further and further into it.=20 (and further away from everything else in the conscious world) By the time= =20 he was finished, I think you might have been able to drive a freight train= =20 through the narthex without my noticing it...but the enthusiastic applause= =20 brought me back to reality. Then we sang (Round the Lord in glory seated)= =20 and I was sent off to nether-nether land yet again...!   James Bigham, playing a hymn festival on a simply enormous instrument of=20 many and various pedigrees, most recently as straightened out by Kegg Pipe= =20 Organ Builders. Seems as though this congregation (Holy Trinity Lutheran)= =20 is very large and very much likes to sing, and that they have been involved= =20 in a more-or-less continuous process of enlarging and revising (mostly=20 enlarging?) their instrument for several decades now. The results are=20 stupendous, to say the least! Mr. Bigham is the Organist/Choirmaster of=20 the church, and gave us a complete tour of the instrument's vast and=20 powerful resources. (including some lovely soft stops and combinations as=20 well, lest they be neglected in the commentary) I'd have not thought it=20 possible for much of any organ (possibly save Atlantic City?) to overtake=20 the complete group of OHS'ers at full tilt...but with *this* one, we=20 eventually met our match! It'd be great fun to hear the church completely= =20 full of their own congregation (this is in fact the "normal" situation=20 there, apparently) all belting out a good loud hymn -- I've no doubt you'd= =20 be able to hear them going from outside down the block...!!   Justin Hartz, playing an unusual little (completely original) baby=20 Wurlitzer in the chapel of Forest Lawn Cemetery. This tiny organ seems=20 perfectly suited to the delightful little chapel it is located within, and= =20 was shown to be capable of a surprising range of music by Mr. Hartz's=20 program, titled "Going Out in Style". We were welcomed by the president of= =20 the cemetery association/management (I think?) who expressed his very=20 pleasant surprise to learn that their little organ was of great interest to= =20 our group, and he seemed genuinely pleased to accept the Historic Organ=20 Citation which was awarded to it during our visit. I left there with no=20 doubt that the rare little gem of an organ will continue to remain healthy= =20 and loved, with renewed appreciation by its owners.   In Middleport NY, the group was scheduled to divide in half and conquer two= =20 small churches simultaneously. Somehow, we managed to arrive in town=20 slightly more than a full hour before the events there were to begin. I=20 still don't know how this happened (as, in my experience, these conventions= =20 usually tend to get off schedule in the "late" direction...!) but it=20 did. Most fortunately, the two churches were a couple blocks down the=20 pleasant Main Street of Middleport from where the Erie Canal passes through= =20 town. Main Street crosses the canal at an interesting ca.1912 mechanical=20 liftbridge at this point, and we had (quite accidentally) arrived just in=20 time to see it in operation several times. The Bridgetenders were probably= =20 caught a bit off their guard by our group of a couple hundred folks with=20 cameras descending on them all at once, but were very hospitable once they= =20 realized what was going on, even to the point of opening the access hatches= =20 so we could see and take pictures of the bridge "works". In the end,=20 everybody got to their recitals on time, and we were back on our schedule.   The final convention recital by Ken Cowan, at St. Joseph R.C. Cathedral,=20 where he played the E. & G.G. Hook & Hastings organ, built originally in=20 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and recently rebuilt by= =20 the Andover Organ Company. Along with a fine performance which well showed= =20 the beauty of this magnificent instrument, we also sang the hymn "Dear Lord= =20 and Father of Mankind". Like our first hymn of the convention, this seemed= =20 a perfect match to the group and to the (now very different, of course)=20 mood of the moment. Again, we outdid ourselves in glorious song. I'm not= =20 sure there was a dry eye in the house when we finished...the people behind= =20 me (local folks, not with the convention group) were most certainly=20 impressed!! It is always fun to see the reactions of parishoners (or other= =20 guests) when they hear what our large group of organ music nuts can do when= =20 given the chance to sing our hearts out...this time, though we didn't get=20 to amaze them with four part harmony, we used group dynamics following the= =20 text (and Ken's lead at the console) instead...! <lol>   Well, I said I'd try to be brief, and I guess I already sorta missed that=20 goal. I'll close this now, and leave the rest for Malcolm and/or anyone=20 else to continue. There was indeed a great deal more which took= place....!!!   Tim Bovard Little Rock (who is starting to get caught up with missed sleep!)     =20    
(back) Subject: Re: Titelouze From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:06:29 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Raymond "Bud" Clark makes, as always, some excellent points.   Unfortunately, one or two niggles........   The late 18th century organ in France, as realised by Cliquot, sometimes contained a full compass pedal organ. (Poitiers/St Sulpice, Paris....latter designed by Dom Bedos?)   The usual compass started at low FFFF....a whole 5th below the now accepted CCC. The lowest flues and reeds were therefore in the 32ft range....about 24ft in fact!   However, with regards Titelouze, Raymond is quite right. Cliquot was much later.   Concerning English Pedals, he has his wires crossed somewhere along the line of transmission.   Mendelssohn did NOT introduce the pedal organ. He merely cancelled a number of concerts because English organs didn't have them.   Willis and Wesley certainly PROMOTED the pedal organ, and Wesley was an expert pedaller; as was Willis, but their contribution came later.   IN FACT, pedals had been introduced at Westminster Abbey in the days of Eliot & Hill (1840's?)   There was a battle royal when Holdich made a full pedal for the new organ of Lichfield Cathedral; the organist of the day suggesting that "he may fit them, but I shall not use them" being the celebrated response.   Ward of York (a former workman/foreman(?) with Eliot & Hill when they built the instrument for Yorks Minster) had utilised a pedal organ at Doncaster Parish Church using the old F compass. (This organ was destroyed by fire when Wm.Hill was working on it and converting the pedals to CCC compass) Again, around the mid to late 1840's (?) when Ward built it with a pedal organ to FFF compass.   Mendelssohn DOES come into the equation however, for he was a personal friend of Prince Albert. He was also close to Dr.Henry Gauntlett, and Gauntlett (unlike Charles Burney in the 18th century) saw the wisdom of the "German organ" with its full pedal divisions. Gauntlett, in conjunction with William Hill, therefore had built a number of instruments with a CCC compass pedal and independent pedal stops.   One of these instruments I played, before it was destroyed, and stood close to the Willis works in Liverpool, in Great George Street Congregational Church....I think, again, 1840's, built by William Hill.   A later organ, also by Hill, survives in recognisable form, at the Methodist Church, Cambridge. Again 1840-50 or so, this organ originally graced the great Eastbrook Chapel (Methodist) in Bradford, just down the road from me, and I can vouch for the fact that, even if a little underpowered,(in that huge chapel) it was a superb instrument. It now sounds far, far better in a building half the size.   Shortly after all this came the Great Exhibition, mooted by Prince Albert, and of course, one of the exhibitors was Schulze, who built a fine organ and impressed with it.   This resulted in the huge (then) 5-manual Schulze organ of approx. 100 stops in Doncaster Parish Church, which set the mould for, more or less, all further organ building in the North of England for a very long time.   All Willis and Wesley did was to standardise the pedal organ compass and dimensions, and in this, they were extremely successful.   The brief affair with German organ style was short-lived of course, because Willis, and other organ-builders, came under the spell of Cavaille-Coll.     Sadly, by the early Edwardian era, the English had relegated the role of the pedal organ to that of a bass department, by and large, and the result of this was the typical booming Open Wood fashion of the day. Only in the greatest churches, town halls and cathedrals, were there organists capable of playing repertoire which made full use of large independent pedal departments.   Sorry to be a little vague in parts, but I haven't my notes to hand, and its late, and I'm going entirely from memory.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK             --- "Raymond H. Clark" <quilisma@cox.net> wrote: > > REMEMBER: there is NEVER 16' tone in a French > baroque pedal part. It > didn't exist, and there was no way to GET it. > > The "Resonance" divisions of VERY *late* baroque > French organs (a third > or fourth manual which DID contain 16' stops and was > PERMANENTLY coupled > to the Pedale) were few and far between, and were > the EXCEPTION, *not* > the rule. > > I don't recall now, but I THINK Cavaille-Coll in the > 19th century was > among the first to build full-compass 16' or 32' > pedals in France ... > > (Much the same was true in England ... Willis, > Wesley, and Mendelssohn > were responsible for the introduction of pedals of > ANY kind in English > organs ... English organs made do with a quasi-10 > 2/3 bass, as the > keyboards extended to G below our low C of > present-day manual keyboard). >     __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: RE: Attitude (and Organists) From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 23:52:03 -0500   Emily wrote:   > It saddens me to know--and I do know--that there are substantial > numbers of > my colleagues who would like nothing better than to focus on my having a > mere Bachelor's degree, or the lack of prestige of the university I > attended, or my admittedly limited technical proficiency.   Emily, I wouldn't even let this bother you that you have "only" a = Bachelor's degree. In fact, I'd give little credence to it. I've played for one church for 10 years, and left it to start at the one I'm currently at (3 years and one month almost to the day). I have NO degree in music. (I do have a Bachelors of Science - Computer Science) Sometimes I lament that I don't have the music degree, but then I think about all I've done and = still get to do in the future. I don't mean to sound conceited or bragging, but I've even been told by parishoners that they liked my playing better than = my predecessor who has a Masters' Degree. So, it's not all about the fact = that someone's able to pass courses. It lies in the talent God gives us.   Now, before y'all light your flame torches, I'm not in any way DISSING the degrees either. A degree is something hard-earned, and I do have a lot of respect for them. I'm just saying they shouldn't be MANDATORY. I'm also not even discussing salary issues at this point. I'm only talking = ABILITY.   And, if anyone would like to challenge this, I have SEVERAL congregations you can talk to. :)   Regards, Jeff    
(back) Subject: RE: Attitude From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 23:55:10 -0500   Dale, well said!!! You'd think a "dying breed" (if that's really the = case) would stick together instead of trying to compete. Especially given the abundance of jobs out there now. Do you think that this sort of attitude among organists comes from insecurity, as opposed to a feeling of superiority? I know speaking for myself that I am insecure...always = worried that someone who comes in to play might impress the congregation more, and thereby moving me out. I don't think that'd happen, though, because as = you say, we do more than just be parish organist. (I'm not sure I got your context right, but we DO more than just play.) I mean, for example, we = tend to be counselors for the distraught choir member who just needs someone to talk to, we plan, we practice, we interact with people, we have to be diplomatic in handling complaints (the organ is SUPPOSED to be loud on = this piece), and somehow lead worship in the midst of all it...and you know what...I wouldn't give it up for the world! :)   Jeff   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Keys4bach@aol.com Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 5:38 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Re: Attitude     In a message dated 7/23/2004 6:08:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, eadams@cinci.rr.com writes:     we think and speak about each other.         I find that my frustration comes from the self promoters or perhaps the one whose family or friend has deigned to anoint the next "god." Those of = us who do more than the parish organist but less than the National Cathedral every week get the same treatment along the way. I invite you to live my recent week at the LA AGO convention.   The good thing on this list is that in the end, it continues to appear that we really do "love" each other and our careers and our goals and our instrument. We all learn from everything we read.   no soapbox, just a thank you to the list owners for a place to be "me".   dale very warm in Florida  
(back) Subject: RE: pleasing this career. From: "Jeff White" <reedstop@charter.net> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 23:56:37 -0500   Desiree' said: Being an organist has probably been very hard when you are different and don't follow status quo since the earliest days or organized organ lit. = Its just part of this career. Organists are hard to please. But, I attempt not to please Organists, but the people I play for.   and I say: and that's the right way to think!! After all, the people = you play for are paying your salary...and if they like what you do, then = you're doing it right. I've long ago given up the "this is the way you are supposed to do it." Who says? :)   Jeff  
(back) Subject: Re: organ music for August 15 From: <OMusic@aol.com> Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 02:58:35 EDT   Don't forget the cherry on top of the whip. That would make for a great Sunday (Sundae) Lee  
(back) Subject: Re: organ music for August 15 From: <OMusic@aol.com> Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 03:00:40 EDT   Alan, Keith M. was in the Navy, too. I did a most unusual offertory = Sunday. It was the Widor 5th Toccaca interspersed with This is the Day and I Will Enter. Lee  
(back) Subject: Re: organ music for August 15 From: "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com> Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 04:09:18 -0400   Is there anything out there on Salve Regina? If not, how about some kind = of improvisation with a little polyphony. I could see something fugal coming from the refrain. Then to spice it up one could add some of the = syncopation from the "Sister Act" version. There's also the chance for an antiphonal thingy on the stanza (verse) with the "O Maria". So many possibilities for =   someone adept at that sort of thing.   Ross Coulson "Cole" Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA