PipeChat Digest #4495 - Tuesday, May 11, 2004
 
Re: the absolute truth about French baroque cornets <g>
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Absolute truths
  by "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net>
TNT on Fifth Av - Michael Messina 5-9-04
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
"absolute truths" in organ-builder
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
X-Posted -- this weekend--
  by "Tom Hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com>
Disney Hall Organ newspaper article
  by "Stanley Lowkis" <Lowkis@theatreorgans.com>
Re: A TWELFTH???
  by "Christopher Howerter" <OrgelspielerKMD@msn.com>
Re: A TWELFTH???
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Disney Hall Organ newspaper article
  by "bgsx" <bgsx52@sympatico.ca>
Re: developing good practice technique
  by "MusicMan" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
Re: absolute truth
  by "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk>
 

(back) Subject: Re: the absolute truth about French baroque cornets <g> From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 15:10:24 -0700       Steskinner@aol.com wrote:   > Here is a case at hand--several posts back, someone described a > moderately sized 3 manual organ specification with 3 (THREE!!!!) cornets =   > as being "ideal." This is amatter of opinion, and I would very much > like to see this person's point-of-view. I cannot for the life of me > figure why anyone, at any time would need more than 1 cornet. I > certainly don't challenge that it is ideal for the person posting, but I =   > just don't get it. >   If you want to play just about ANY of the French baroque organ literature, at least TWO *strong* cornets are required; a lot of the Noels also call for the Echo Cornet on the Recit or Echo manual.   A flute unit at 8-4-2 with the off-unison pitches drawn from it does NOT constitute a cornet. Aside from not being able to tune the Nazard and Tierce true, let it be stated here as an absolute truth (grin) that the French classical cornet consists of the following:   8' Bourdon - usually built as a metal chimney flute from tenor c (5 1/3' Gross Nasard on large organs) 4' PRESTANT (PRINCIPAL tone, NOT flute tone) (3 1/5' Gross Tierce on large organs) 2 2/3' Nasard - tapered or wide-scale, NOT principal tone 2' Quarte de Nasard - WIDE-scale, NOT principal tone 1 3/5' Tierce - OPEN flute tone (1 1/3' Larigot) - WIDE-scale, usually on the Positif   The 8' and 4' ranks may be omitted for reasons of economy or space, as long as they are available as separate stops.   The Grand Orgue and Positiv Cornets, whether composed (on one knob) or decomposed (drawing separately) should be FULL compass. Otherwise there's no way to play a Basse de Trompette with the Cornet drawn for reinforcement, or a Tierce en Taille, or a Basse de Tierce. In addition, many French baroque pieces call for a DIALOGUE between two Cornets, either alone or as part of the Grand Jeu of the GO and the Positif. In the first instance, hopefully the GO would have at least the Gross Tierce as part of the Cornet, and the Positif the Larigot.   That bottom octave of 2 2/3 - 2 - 1 3/5 pipes doesn't cost THAT much ... if necessary, make it a Cornet III-IV-V ranks, adding the 4' in the second octave and the 8' in the third octave, but at LEAST have the 2 2/3 - 2 - 1 3/5 full compass.   Historically the Recit Cornet DID begin at tenor f or middle c, but if it's the second Cornet of only TWO, then it must be full compass as well.   My own personal preference:   Swell - Cornet III or Cornet III-IV-V - full compass Great - Double Nazard 5 1/3', Double Tierce 3 1/5' (drawing separately) + Cornet V - all full compass Positive - 8 flute, 4' principal, 2 2/3' nazard, 2' flautino, 1 3/5 tierce, 1 1/3' larigot (drawing separately) - all ranks full compass   French builders GENERALLY added the Gross Tierce to the GO *before* they added a Gross Nasard ... it's the Gross Tierce that gives the characteristic "snarl" to the Grand Jeu of the GO.   A great deal of the French baroque literature is useful for preludes and postludes as "absolute music", divorced from the context of the Chant and the Mass, on account of the relative shortness of the movements (except for the Offertoires), so one can "fill in" with additional movements as necessary.   That's not how the music intended to be used, but the French Baroque Organ Mass with choir and organ alternating is a dead issue today, except for the occasional historical reconstruction, on account of changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy.   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Re: Absolute truths From: "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 19:16:15 -0400   Well, I'll agree with 4 out of 6.   -WG   "Milo R. Shepherd" <mrstwin2@cox.net> wrote:   >Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 17:49:56 -0400 > >There are some absolute truths in everyday life....one that you have to >breath to live as well as eat and drink. These are nature absolutes. >Science has shown that there are many constants in the universe. To say >that there is no absolute truth is to deny the greatness of the world, >galaxy etc. > >Some absolutes in organs is that you need at least some keys, stops, = pedals, >a console, pipework, blowers, etc. Everything else is really up to the >induhvidual. > >Just my two cents worth. > >Milo > >      
(back) Subject: TNT on Fifth Av - Michael Messina 5-9-04 From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 19:21:47 -0400     TNT on Fifth Av - Michael Messina, 5-9-04   I have known Michael Messina for at least ten years, although I have not seen him a great deal since he moved to Indianapolis several years ago as Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church. As an Eastman student, he was = Organist at Christ Church, Pittsford, NY, really a suburb of Rochester, when the Mander Organ was delivered. He now holds the DMA from Eastman. I saw in = the St. Thomas Fifth Avenue schedule that he was giving the Sunday 5:15 post Evensong recital this past Sunday, so after lunch, I headed into the = Emerald City in time for Evensong.   I had NO idea what I was to experience. It was, of course, a nice chance = to visit with Michael, and to hear an Organ recital, but it was, in fact, an EPIC EVENT, words used by a woman who came up afterwards to speak with the performers! I am sometimes guilty of hyperbolic words, although I do usually tame myself a bit at the proof reading stage. Concerning today's event, there is nothing I could say that would be overstated, either about the performances or about the choice of program. TNT! It was indeed Dynamite, not too much to say at all! On the Organ lists, we have quite a few readers who are in the U.K. and in Canada, some in Germany, = individuals in other European countries, and one listmember in Greece. What we heard this afternoon was something of which every American Organist can be = proud, and I am keen to spread this abroad. We were hearing three undoubted masterpieces of American music for Organ, by two top notch American = players. Two, you ask. Michael, in the last piece in the program, was aided by Jon Cummins, about whom more shortly.   I think I am correct in saying that not all Organists, American or otherwise, are fans of the music of Leo Sowerby. It is, perhaps, an = acquired taste, doubtless less understood when it was new to our world than is the case now. Comes Autumn Time, Pageant, these are somewhat well-known. There was a lovely little Pastorale in the Gleason book that many played as they were learning. And, of course, there is an abundance of choral music that = is performed here and there, which has helped people to absorb the style. Michael began his recital with a magnificent performance of Passacaglia, = the third movement of the Symphony for Organ of 1930. The St. Thomas = "downstairs Organ" is replete with color and solo stops, and with enough power in various ensembles to allow a piece like this Passacaglia to build - and build - and keep on building. Michael's performance made all the many intricacies as they accumulated, one on top of another, clear and clearly understood. If there has ever been any doubt about the true significance = of Sowerby's music, and I suppose there has been, this piece and the performance it received today would surely settle that score. In addition = to which, this is big virtuosic stuff played by a consummate virtuoso. The audience was clearly made up of those who are able to recognize something this great when it happens. One could see that people were truly = spellbound, I among them.   I first knew Larry King when he was Assistant to Alec Wyton at St. John = the Divine. He was kind enough to invite me to attend rehearsals of the choir during the week, from which I learned a great deal. At the old Juilliard building, I was a short walk away, and took advantage of the invitation quite often. When my church decided to begin singing the appointed Psalms each week, Larry agreed to come up to do an evening workshop with the congregation. He gave us a bit of history, some Theology, and a splendid rehearsal on the Psalms for the next few weeks. Later, at Trinity, Wall Street, I attended some weekday concerts, and saw Larry's great skill and imagination in action. However, I really came to know him as a composer = only after his death, and that was on the first occasion of my hearing "Resurrection," written in 1981. I, and no doubt thousands of others over the years, have heard that work and realized they were in the presence of something extraordinary. There are four sections, played seamlessly: = Lament, The Rising, The Ecstasy, and Reflection, and the entire work seems to have its own modality. I don't own the score, and don't know what Larry had to say about it. I do know that the St. Thomas Organ, with its abundance of beautiful color and solo stops, as mentioned above, in the hands of = someone like Michael, who is able to bring a fertile imagination to the art of registration, made possible wonderful combinations of sounds. In "The Rising," there was immense strength and power. We, as an audience, clearly took part in "Reflection," which ends the piece, and the custom of there being no applause until the end of the recital enabled us to sit quietly = and to remain within the spell created by this music.   Well, the spell never quite left. It was with me full force, as I settled = in for the experience of a work of Calvin Hampton that I had neither heard = nor heard of - The Alexander Variations. I heard the gentle sound of the beautiful Taylor and Boody Organ being opened up in the west gallery, and turned around to see Jon Cummins on the bench. I met Jon when he, like Michael, was Organist at Christ Church, Pittsford. He was influential in = the design of that Organ. He completed the DMA Degree at Eastman, and is now Organist and Master of the Choristers at Christ Church Cathedral, in Lexington, Kentucky.   For tonight's two-Organ performance, he was wearing the earphones that = would help to keep the whole enterprise together, and there was a page turner at his side. Well, it all began, and was a two-Organ feast. Each instrument = had complete solo sections, and at other times, both instruments played together - perfectly together, I should add. Sometimes, they both contributed to large ensemble sounds, and at other times, one instrument provided a solo, the other, accompaniment. It was quite an astonishment, possibly at its most astonishing in a variation near the end, in which Michael Messina, seated at the Aeolian-Skinner console at the north side = of the Choir, made liberal use of the en chamade in the west gallery, just above and behind the Taylor and Boody, while Jon Cummins went about his business on that Organ. It was a wonderful tumult. I had spent some = energy at the beginning of the performance wondering about this Alexander person. = I thought that perhaps there was a musical subject made up of the letters of that name, or that it was someone who had written a theme used in the = work. Later, I began to think that only those who knew Alexander Technique could possibly play the work and survive. Michael explained after that Alexander was the name of the family who gave the Aeolian-Skinner Organ in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. There is clearly a bit more to this story, but with a long line of admirers waiting to greet both Michael and Jon, it was clearly not a time for pressing for more information. Someone reading this will, no doubt, have more information to offer. Was the work a commission, or was it just a grand gesture toward one who created a stunning = instrument in a wonderful space.   At the end of the concert, there was prolonged applause, with all rising, = I am sure out of a combination of gratitude and honor for the performers, = but also in recognition of the glory of the music we had been privileged to hear, thanks to their commitment to it. Many present knew one or more of = the composers of these works. Some recounted their own experiences after the concert, and part of the feelings of many had to do with the loss of both Larry and Calvin much too soon.   So, congratulations and thanks to Dr. Michael Messina for conceiving of = and performing this magnificent program, and thanks also to Dr. Jon Cummins = for providing the second part of the wonderful Alexander Variations of Calvin Hampton, making it possible for us to hear them, in my case, for the first time.   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com                  
(back) Subject: "absolute truths" in organ-builder From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 15:22:23 -0700   First, go to the LITERATURE (my perennial plea) ... what does the LEGITIMATE organ and choral literature require?   I never cease to be amazed at what English organs are able to do in the service, relative to their size. The Swell at St. Paul's Cathedral in London has but 12-13 stops.   I listened to BBC Evensong this week from Salisbury ... the Willis organ is a modest-sized 4m, certainly less than 100 stops; the sound is AMAZING.   It's my contention that ALL the LEGITIMATE organ and choral literature can be played on a well-designed, scaled and voiced three-manual organ of thirty stops ... some would say even less. But the operative phrase is "well-designed, scaled and voiced".   Schoenstein demonstrated the outer limits of artistic scaling in the new organ for the Mormon Assembly Hall, a purposely acoustically dead room seating 20,000 ... the organ has what? 135 stops? It is said the organ is VERY successful.   The recent account of the OHS Convention mentioned a smallish 2m Hook and Hastings that produced a "wall of sound" which FILLED the room in which it stood.   Just because an institution can AFFORD to build an organ of 200+ stops doesn't necessarily mean they SHOULD <g>.   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: X-Posted -- this weekend-- From: "Tom Hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 20:02:30 -0400   Lists:   I'll be in the Atlanta area this weekend -- arriving late Thursday night = or early Friday morning (arriving with a friend to pick up an organ console = for transport back to Florida). I'd love to be able to get into some the Atlanta TPO's if possible -- home installations included. W could be leaving Saturday afternoon -- (I have to be back in church on Sunday morning). Would anybody open up a bench for a struggling musician?   Tom Hoehn, Organist Roaring 20's Pizza & Pipes, Ellenton, FL (substitute - 4/42 Wurlitzer) First United Methodist Church, Clearwater, FL (4/9?- = Rodgers/Ruffati/Wicks) Manasota/OATOS/HiloBay/CIC-ATOS/VotS-ATOS/DTOS http://theatreorgans.com/tomhoehn http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/TOUploads/      
(back) Subject: Disney Hall Organ newspaper article From: "Stanley Lowkis" <Lowkis@theatreorgans.com> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 20:11:32 -0500   This is a link to a New York Times article regarding the voicing titled: "Pipes Askew, It Still Needs to Sing"   Free registration may be required. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/11/science/11ORGA.html   Stan Lowkis      
(back) Subject: Re: A TWELFTH??? From: "Christopher Howerter" <OrgelspielerKMD@msn.com> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 21:57:08 -0400   Dear List,   I apologize, though when I wrote that posting I was still rather tired. = Nevertheless, Dupre could comfortably reach a tenth. It was Franck who = could reach a twelfth, BTW. Also, someone mentioned about practicing = Alto and Tenor then Soprano and Alto, etc. etc. Concerning the = exhaustive list of combinations which were mentioned, I feel that it is = only necessary to break a part down this far when you are unable to play = it altogether, perfectly. To always practice every part of every piece = in all those combinations turns this into a fetish [ good or bad, you = decided :) ], which would become very tedious, in my opinion.   Sincerely, Christopher J. Howerter, SPC (who is about to fall over after tuning = part of a 100-some rank organ for 8 hours)  
(back) Subject: Re: A TWELFTH??? From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 19:00:08 -0700   Um, not if you want the finger independence and the fingering to be absolutely secure, IMHO.   Cheers,   Bud   Christopher Howerter wrote:   > Dear List, > > I apologize, though when I wrote that posting I was still rather tired. =   > Nevertheless, Dupre could comfortably reach a tenth. It was Franck who > could reach a twelfth, BTW. Also, someone mentioned about practicing > Alto and Tenor then Soprano and Alto, etc. etc. Concerning the > exhaustive list of combinations which were mentioned, I feel that it is > only necessary to break a part down this far when you are unable to play =   > it altogether, perfectly. To always practice every part of every piece > in all those combinations turns this into a fetish [ good or bad, you > decided :) ], which would become very tedious, in my opinion. > > Sincerely, > Christopher J. Howerter, SPC (who is about to fall over after tuning > part of a 100-some rank organ for 8 hours)      
(back) Subject: Re: Disney Hall Organ newspaper article From: "bgsx" <bgsx52@sympatico.ca> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 22:14:36 -0400   > This is a link to a New York Times article regarding the voicing > titled: "Pipes Askew, It Still Needs to Sing" > > Free registration may be required. > http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/11/science/11ORGA.html > > Stan Lowkis   this might get you past the free registration   http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/11/science/11ORGA.html?ex=3D1084852800&en=3D= 0e842bd0c9ed40ca&ei=3D5062&partner=3DGOOGLE      
(back) Subject: Re: developing good practice technique From: "MusicMan" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 08:00:11 +0100   Yes, Jarle; "Different strokes for different folks !"   And for me_ what I first play through is the tune - wherever in the score it is found, and, if that disappears, then whatever other subject takes = its place.   Next; articulation (or breathing, if we were singing it), and I've often asked Brass players to sing their parts through, sometimes (almost) making it a choir practice before a band practice - that sure taught them where = to breath, as well as warming-up an essential part of their playing anatomy.   Next, registration; so, while I am rehearsing (such a nicer word than practice: surely we practice scales, but we rehearse our pieces ?) my mind becomes completely accustomed to sound I am trying to make.   Now I can try putting things together...   Finally: what elements of ME do I introduce to the piece .. (contentious thought, that, for some people - but I do not want to merely re-create someone else's ideas - however exalted 'they' may have been), I am just as concerned with moulding it, and adding 'my' element to it - "It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it !'.   If an artist, perhaps in tribute to a former 'great', makes a copy of a painting; people call it forgery ! How many organists are satisfied with 'forging' pieces every time they sit and play ?   Vive la difference !   Harry [MusicMan] Grove   -----Original Message----- From: Jarle Fagerheim <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Date: 10 May 2004 16:40 Subject: RE: developing good practice technique     >I believe one thing is very important to remember in >discussions like this; the fact that people are >different. There's no such thing as an absolute truth, >even though some claim to know it. But for _me [snip]      
(back) Subject: Re: absolute truth From: "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 09:15:06 +0200 (CEST)   Steskinner@aol.com wrote: >> Would not this statement be an example of an absolute truth?   Yes, indeed. But my statement leaves me with much fewer such truths :-)   Seriously, to make this clear (and I doubt I'll succeed in that...): I _believe_ there are no absolute truths. But I'm not saying that's the absolute truth. It's just my personal belief. You understand?   mrstwin2@cox.net wrote: >> Science has shown that there are many constants in >> the universe. To say that there is no absolute >> truth is to deny the greatness of the world, galaxy >> etc.   Well... At some point in history it was an absolute truth that the sun revolves around the earth. But as we all know, that "truth" has been disproved so many times that science has rejected it as a possible theory. Science is constantly making progress, new discoveries are being made, and things we now think of as "constant" and "absolute" are going to be disproved. I'm quite confident in that, but of course there's the possibility that science may stagnate...   >> Some absolutes in organs is that you need at least >> some keys, stops, pedals, a console, pipework, >> blowers, etc. Everything else is really up to the >> induhvidual.   Organs have been built without stops (blockwerk), pedals, pipework (but those aren't PIPE organs!).   Anyway, why not build an organ without a console, keys, pedals, and stops, leaving the pipework and blower? Maybe some "device" could control the organ for us. That "device" could for example be light sensitive, translating light to music.   There are ENDLESS possibilities here. We just need to have our minds open for things that violate our "laws", "absolutes" and "constants".   BTW I found an interesting discussion about this: http://www.lucifer.com/virus/virus.96/0747.html   -- Jarle   ______________________________________________________ F=E5 den nye Yahoo! Messenger p=E5 http://no.messenger.yahoo.com/ Nye ikoner og bakgrunner, webkamera med superkvalitet og dobbelt s=E5 = morsom