PipeChat Digest #4505 - Monday, May 17, 2004
Re: PipeChat Digest #4504 - 05/17/04
  by "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net>
Thayer Sonata
  by "SHAWN M. GINGRICH" <shawn.gingrich@firstumchershey.org>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu>
Symphonies for organ and orchestra
  by "Steve Chandler" <stevec@open-tech.com>
RE: changes in Bach
  by "Mr. R.E. Malone" <remalone@btinternet.com>
Re: changes in Bach
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Another Royal Wedding
  by "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es>
Church of the Covenant
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
Re: Thayer Sonata
  by "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu>
Re: Need anthems (from Victoria)
  by "Fran Walker" <fwalker@northwestern.edu>
Up Close and Personal with Felix Hell (Part I "The Mechanics of a  Recita
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: changes in Bach
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
The Church of England expands in France
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk>

(back) Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #4504 - 05/17/04 From: "Walter Greenwood" <walterg@nauticom.net> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 09:41:08 -0400   Thank you, Colin. Well said. I was going to open this can of worms again the other day but couldn't find my cohones.   - WG   >Subject: Re: changes in Bach >From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> >Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 20:51:02 -0700 (PDT) > >Hello, > >I'm a little late responding to this post by Bud, due >to ongoing computer problems which I am now on the >verge of resolving. > >Bud makes some interesting observations about Bach, >but I would question his conclusions concerning manual >changes etc. > >... >As a general rule of thumb, it is my belief that >ANYTHING which sounds in context and does not serve as >a distraction, is "correct." Adding stops is not, in >itself, anathema to good Bach. Organ playing remains >as it was in Bach's day on the many extant european >organs of the period....a social event, in which two >or three gather to enjoy music at the console, with >one or more assistants pushing and pulling at stops on >the hoof. > >Forget the nonsense about "what a solo performer could >do" on an original instrument! >... >Regards, > >Colin Mitchell UK >        
(back) Subject: Thayer Sonata From: "SHAWN M. GINGRICH" <shawn.gingrich@firstumchershey.org> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 09:59:59 -0400   Does anyone know of the Eugene Thayer "Sonata I" which includes the Variations on the tune America? I see reference to it through Wayne Leupold who publishes just the Variations but would like to see the whole Sonata.   -------|\----- Shawn M. Gingrich, Minister of Music -------|/----- First United Methodist Church ------/|------ Hershey, PA 17033 -----|-(-)---- 717-533-9668 ------\|/----- shawn.gingrich@firstumchershey.org o/ =20    
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 10:49:37 -0400   (big snip) > Surely, the architecture and consistency of phrasing > are of paramount importance, and Bach's music requires > very careful analysis if that architecture is to > remain true to the musical intentions. (snip) > However, I would certainly concur with Bud when he > suggests that to err on the side of registrational > minimalism is better than vast kaleidescopic changes > of registration, if only because the musical mind is > then obliged to concentrate on the phrasing and > architecture of which I write.   Well said. Conversely, I continue to think that one can clarify the "architecture" of many Bach works with discrete changes of manual in the manner of the concerto grosso. Bach was, after all, both a violinist and steeped in the Italian tradition of his day, esp. through his cousin = Walter in Weimar, and he did leave specific manual-change instructions in the = organ adaptations of concerti by Ernst, Vivaldi, etc.   But apply this to large-scale fugues, for example the magnificent B minor (or H minor, if you wish it that way) fugue. It makes all the sense in the world to leave the Hauptwerk for some secondary manual after the strong f# minor cadence point where the pedals drop out and then to return to the Hauptwerk where Bach adds yet a second countersubject and then = soon also a pedal entrance in the dominant key. I find performances of that = and similarly-constructed fugues boring to the point of intolerable when the organist stays on one manual throughout the fugue, as though nothing is happening in the structure.   I struggle, however, to know much smaller a structure can still = utilize this Hauptwerk - secondary manual - Hauptwerk process. And sometimes, as with the exciting D-Major fugue that organists "rip off" like bats flying from you-know-where, this structure is not quite so clear or definable. = On occasion I have played the D-Major on THREE levels, reducing to 8' and 2' stops in that middle passage where the pedal takes up the second half of = the fugue subject on high D and the hands have the repeated eighth-note/quarter-note/rest pattern repeated. I guess I'm satisfied = that so doing also can help to display the structure of the piece.   Apart from any such question of "authenticity" or the like, we do need to consider how this straight-through playing of such works without manual or stop changes has bored the daylights out of our audiences, esp. on = organs in which the tone is not as genial to such practice as, say, the wonderful Silbermann in the Hofkirche in Dresden, which I visited in March. Most = of the time we don't play instruments with such marvelous tone and in such generous acoustical environment. And when American organists utilize this straight-through-without-change concept in such works at quite loud = volume, we make the audience-rejection problem far worse.   I think that a rigid, dogmatic approach which tends to forget listener pleasure and performer creativity can also be unfaithful to the spirit = with which Bach worked and played. I'd far rather hear a tastefully "poetic" performance than one that sounds like the organist checked every note and trill "by the book" but only ever "thought" the music but never "felt" it. Bach took interesting "liberties" with things; within the limits of "good taste," whatever that is, would he deny us that prerogative?   Cordially,   Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA    
(back) Subject: Symphonies for organ and orchestra From: "Steve Chandler" <stevec@open-tech.com> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 09:47:36 -0500   > > > Yonnen? symphony for organ and orchestra? > =20 > Alan Freed responded: Sure. I think "Jongen." Played at one of the inaugural recitals of = the Kuhn at Alice Tully Hall at Juilliard. Can=B9t recall the name of th= e recitalist. Tons of recordings available. But start with a "J".       Hi All,   I believe the Jongen Symphonie Concertante is indeed what the origina= l=20 poster was looking for, great piece!   In a related vein. I purchased a Naxos recording of 3 symphonies by N= ed=20 Rorem (great CD, wonderful music). In the liner notes was the mention= =20 that he had written a Concerto for Organ nand Orchestra. Is anyone= =20 familiar with this piece?   Steve Chandler http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler        
(back) Subject: RE: changes in Bach From: "Mr. R.E. Malone" <remalone@btinternet.com> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 08:30:41 -0700     Colin says:   >I cannot take serious the Bach playing of,< >say, Virgil Fox or Carlo Curley <   As there is nothing in writing from anyone who heard Bach play live, it would appear to me to be unnecessary head banging trying to make a comparison.   Regards to all,   Richard.    
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 08:52:24 -0700   Don't we have at least one commentary that says Bach could play with his feet what most organists would find "sufficiently grievous to play with both hands?" And that his choices of stops "terrified" organ-builders when he came to "prove" a new instrument? And that "these (registrational) skills died with him?" I'm sure there must be others ...   In the matter of manual and registration changes, I was at pains to point out in my original posting that the run-of-the-mill American electro-pneumatic organ CANNOT play Bach without manual and/or registration changes. The sound IS too tedious. That is the fault of the organs, not of the music.   I would point out, however, that the architecture is self-evident in the music itself. Bach alternately thickens and thins the texture in the large preludes and fugues. On a GOOD organ, a NATURAL crescendo and decrescendo then occurs, on account of the organ's VOICING. At least in SOME cases, FURTHER highlighting it by means of registration and manual changes is like taking a box of crayons to the Sistine ceiling (grin).   Yes, of COURSE, in the transcriptions of Vivaldi and other Italian composers, one would alternate between the ripieno/soloisti of the Rueckpositiv and the tutti of the Hauptwerk.   I cannot recall the teacher at the moment, but it has been said that when the sections of a piece OVERLAP, one generally should NOT change manuals (on a GOOD organ); when there is SILENCE, then changing manuals is an OPTION. Compare the sections of the b minor Prelude and Fugue with the sections of the D Major Prelude and Fugue and the F Major Toccata and Fugue.   Those questions are entirely separate from examining the validity of romantic INTERPRETATIONS using the swell box(es), French-style chorus reeds, celestes, excessive rubato, soloing out the fugue subject, etc.   Cheers,   Bud   Mr. R.E. Malone wrote:   > Colin says: > > >>I cannot take serious the Bach playing of,< >>say, Virgil Fox or Carlo Curley < > > > As there is nothing in writing from anyone who heard Bach play live, it > would appear to me to be unnecessary head banging trying to make a > comparison. > > Regards to all, > > Richard. > > "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: Another Royal Wedding From: "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 18:19:09 +0200   Just to remind/inform everyone that there will be another Royal Wedding this Saturday, May 22. The Crown Prince of Spain, Filipe will be marrying Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a former TV journalist (often not very accurately described as a "TV Anchor", a role she did in fact fulfill as a summer stand-in a couple of times last year although her main job was as a reporter).   The ceremony takes place at 11 am (Spanish time) in the Cathedral of La Almudena in Madrid, followed by the traditional visit to the Basilica de Atocha where the bride will present her bouquet to the statue of the virgin there.   There are details in Spanish only on the Royal Web site (http://www.casareal.es/boda) but with no details of the music other than that it will be played by the Radiotelevisi=F3n Espa=F1ola symphony orchestra with the National Choir. Presumably the Grenzing organ will have some part to play too (specs on our site: http://www.IntOrg.org).   News coverage of the wedding has been massive and continues to increase but with little attention being paid to the music other than a brief report the other day on the orchestra rehearsing. A lot of the coverage has been on the security measures, which are massive in the light of the March 11 bombings and include closing air space for 50 miles around Madrid to all non-scheduled flights and borrowing an AWACS aircraft from NATO to keep watch all day.   Peter.    
(back) Subject: Church of the Covenant From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 13:28:42 -0400   Hello again, Would like to add some corrections to my long post concerning Jonathan Ryan's recital at The Church of the Covenant last Friday. First of all, the organ is a Skinner/A-S/Holtkamp pedigree, not Aeolian/A-S/Holtkamp as I reported. Secondly, the big 32' rank living in its own separate gallery to the right of the chancel is a Bombard and not a Violone as I reported. You would think I should know the difference between a reed and a flue by now. I recieved a nice note from the organ company that has been working on the instrument in recent past, and was startled to learn that steam from the church's heating system had somehow found its way into the organ's wind supply this past winter. Equally distressing was the fact that a great deal of work had been done this past summer to restore and improve much of the organ, and the steam accident created the need to re do much of that work. The Antiphonal, which had been playing before the steam accident, now needs much work to the leather and other components, so the wind supply has been shut off to the Division and is awaiting repairs. Let us hope that the church finds the resources to quickly return the organ to its original glory, and gives Todd Wilson back his beloved Hooded Trumpet that now lies silent in the Antiphonal. One last interesting story is the 32' Bombard that I reported on with such glee. I learned it is a most recent addition to The Church of the Covenant Organ and came from Trinity Episcopal Church in Toledo, which is the church Todd Wilson grew up in. That organ was broken up in 2002 and Todd seized the opportunity to add a sizable amount to the foundation of the Organ of the Church of the Covenant, and the Bombard was added in 2003. It is indeed impressive. As usual, my report on a recital has degraded into much talk about the instrument. It is simply testimony to my love for organ instruments themselves, and in no way intended to minimize the fine job Jonathan Ryan did demonstrating it for us. I sincere thank him, Todd Wilson, and everybody else who allowed me to have this wonderful, if short organic experience.   Cheers Mike Gettelman      
(back) Subject: Re: Thayer Sonata From: "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 14:32:32 -0400   > Does anyone know of the Eugene Thayer "Sonata I" which includes the > Variations on the tune America? I see reference to it through Wayne > Leupold who publishes just the Variations but would like to see the > whole Sonata.   Sonata 1 of Thayer does include variations on what is identified as = "God Save the King" as its third and final movement. (Interesting that Queen Victoria was on the throne when Thayer published the work; yet he calls it "...King.")   Sonata 2 opens with a five-voice fugue on the same tune and includes a set of variations on "Ein americanisches Lied" ("the Star-Spangled = Banner"), which was not yet the national anthem for the United States. (That came in 1931, if I recall correctly.) The fugue is short but more "dignified" = than the variations. The second sonata is part of my CD "AS the Dew From heaven Distilling," Raven OAR-290, avail. from OHS or from me. I'm not aware of any available recording of Sonata 1, and while I've played Sonata 1, I = don't like it as much as Sonata 2.   Cordially, Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA    
(back) Subject: Re: Need anthems (from Victoria) From: "Fran Walker" <fwalker@northwestern.edu> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 13:27:10 -0700   Victoria, the Oxford Easy Anthem Book (suggested to me for Easter by Malcolm Welcher of this chat group) has 50 excellent anthems for all occasions. Oxford University Press; most publishers here could get it for = you.   Fran Walker Organist, NS Methodist Glencoe, IL   At 09:44 PM 5/16/04 -0500, you wrote:   >Subject: Re: Need anthems >From: <RMB10@aol.com> >Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 06:02:35 EDT > > >I have formed a small choir in my church (S-S-S-A-A-B), and we need = >music. >The church owns virtually none other than the Hymnal, and an angel >has >offered to purchase some. > > > >snip< > >Victoria--   ************************************************** Fran Walker (fwalker@northwestern.edu)      
(back) Subject: Up Close and Personal with Felix Hell (Part I "The Mechanics of a Recital") From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 15:15:08 -0400   Greetings to All, I have had a busy organic weekend with Jonathan Ryan's recital on Friday night, which I have already reported on, and on Sunday I had the joy to welcome Felix and Hans Hell to my home town as Felix played a recital at Berea United Methodist Church which is about 20 odd miles South of Cleveland. Much of what I report next will seem rather mundane to some people, but if you keep in mind that I am but a simple organ enthusiast who is joyfully exploring all sides of organ performance, different instruments, and just what it takes to prepare for a recital, perhaps you can have an inner smile for someone taking his first baby steps to understanding. This is like having run of a candy shop for me. With my after-glow in full bloom, I can't help but want to share the experience. As a friend of the Hells, I was permitted to attend Felix's rehearsal and registration session on Saturday. This taught me volumes about what a recitalist must go through to adapt repertoire, registration, and swell levels to an instrument the performer has never seen or heard before. Obviously preliminary information about the organ itself determines much about what literature can be performed effectively upon it. The instrument is 3 manual tracker of 36 stops built by Orgelbaumeister Rudolf Janke of Bovenden, Germany. Felix was quite at 'home" with it so to speak. It has a limited combination action of just 6 pedal actuated presets and an all cancel pedal. This limitation required Felix to hand register the opening combination of nearly every movement of each piece in order to reserve the presets for changes on the fly. Even the presets were just basic combinations requiring Felix to add to them as needed with on the fly hand registration. It was a revelation to me that Felix was able to adapt so quickly. Much of my education this day came from Hans. I cannot imagine how an organist preparing a recital on a strange instrument could do so without the close co-operation of a knowledgeable partner who is able to circulate through the room, and make suggestions as to registrations, swell openings, and other helpful information that can only come from someone who is hearing the organ at audience listening positions. I think Hans is Felix's secret weapon as to how he can play so many recitals on so many different instruments, with such short preparation and rehearsal time. It is quite obvious that Felix knows his repertoire sufficiently well that he need not practice it, so the time spent in preparation is simply short segments of the music where registrations change, and where crescendos and diminuendos require fine tuning swell shade openings. The next thing I found fascinating was the system Felix uses to annotate his music once he has found the combinations he will use. By methodically sticking small pieces of "Post-It" notes that he cuts up with scissors to the plastic protectors covering the music, all the changes are recorded for that recital. I had to chuckle as Hans was kept busy during the entire session removing the little pieces of Post-It from the music Felix would rehearse next. These were left over from the last recital where that music was used, and every bit had to be removed to avoid confusion with this recital. Each piece of music had an astounding number of notes. Another interesting thing to note is the system Felix and Hans have created to cue Hans when he is required to assist with registration changes. Whereas all of the notes Felix uses himself are done in yellow colored Post-Its, those that cue Hans are done in orange. Furthermore, they have created a set of symbols for Hans' cues that indicate whether Hans has time to make the change leisurely, or if he must change it spot on at that point. Even the music score itself is a study in efficiency. Where possible, the lower right corners of the plastic protectors ate slightly bent and creased downwards so that each page stands proud of the one underneath it making it far easier for Felix to lift each page in succession at turning points. Most of his music is spiral bound, and this seems to work quite effectively for page turning. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the spiral hinge is lubricated, but I didn't think to ask. As the end of the preparation session drew near, I discovered one of the benefits of the partnership between Hans and Felix. One of the pieces programed for the recital was Buxtehuda "Prelude, Fugue, and Ciaconna in C Major. It is one of Hans' favorites, and at his request, Felix played it through for us. What a treat. I spent all of the session back in the pew area of the church with Hans, and because of the layout of the organ in its self contained case against the front wall of the chancel, and because there is a 6 or 7 foot tall Ruckpositiv obscuring the organist who plays facing the wall, I didn't see much of Felix at the console. Recital day would change that to my great joy, and I would get to learn another spectacular lesson about what an organist goes through physically to create musical splendor. More on that in my second installment.   Cheers to All Mike Gettelman    
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 12:23:49 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I agree with Karl.....Bach should ALWAYS be exciting rather than consistently "correct."   One of my favourite tricks is to start (on a baroque instrument) the A minor P & F on a sweet-toned 8 & 2ft combination....gently teasing the listener.   Then, just as the listener is having to actually listen for a change, I come crashing in with full pedal on the the first E and swap to full pleno for the manual flourishes thereafter!   It never fails to grab people where it hurts, but it remains absolutely "authentic" in that it was (a) possible in Bach's day, and (b) is architecturally "correct" by not being a distraction.   Call it dramatic, or even romantic, but boring it is not!!   The organ was, and remains, a concertante instrument, which, you know, is why they had so many stops and manuals in Bach's day.   Regards,   Colin MItchell UK       --- Karl Moyer <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu> > > > Conversely, I continue to think that > one can clarify the > "architecture" of many Bach works with discrete > changes of manual in the > manner of the concerto grosso.     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: RE: changes in Bach From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 12:35:45 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   With all due respect to Richard and the memory of the late Virgil Fox, I think it has nothing to do with a matter of history.   Bach wrote always to the glory of his creator, whereas Virgil Fox always drew attention to himself as a virtuoso and dramatist.   That is not a criticism, but merely the observation that Virgil Fox was an exciting "act" and a white knuckle performer. He was most definitely never dull!   Both have their place in the world, and I relish some of the old Fox recordings, but tend to draw a veil over his Bach renderings. His "Giant" Fugue is a classic, where he finds excuse to introduce some obscure counterpoint on the "big" chamades, the purpose of which escapes me.   That said, it does have an effect. I find myself giving an involuntary whoop at the end, waving a flag and grinning from ear to ear!!!!!!!!!   Now THAT'S entertainment!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   --- "Mr. R.E. Malone" <remalone@btinternet.com> wrote: > > Colin says: > > >I cannot take serious the Bach playing of,< > >say, Virgil Fox or Carlo Curley <       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 12:51:36 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I think I (and we?) fully understood Bud's excellent points.   Did things die with Bach I wonder?   Certainly, that particular tradition died a death soon after, and was really only kept alive by Boelly in France, if I understand my history correctly. I suppose one of the "problems" of modern performance is to do with the fact that the tradition WAS broken, and was only resurrected in the 19th century by Mendelssohn and his followers.   However, I always find the W T Best editions fascinating, because IMHO, he understood Bach perfectly, judging by the performing editions he edited.   I often wonder what will happen in a hundred years time, long after churches have stopped using organs altogether. Someone will wander into a music school or auditorium and say, "I found this interesting old music by Reger, whoever he was. I wonder how Reger played it?"   AND YOU THINK WE HAVE PROBLEMS WITH BACH!!   Now to end, I must tell you all something completely "off topic," which had me giggling away for ages.   There is a large billboard near to where I live, on which is an advert comprising of a huge dollar bill....could be American Express or somesuch.   Some bright young thing had taken a felt-tip pen to it, drawn sunglasses on George Washington, and had him drinking a cocktail from a straw......it was absolutely wonderful.   Now Bud, about those crayons and the Sistine Chapel....do you know who can supply scaffolding in Italy?   I'll book us tickets and we can make our mark on history!!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         --- quilisma@cox.net wrote:   > At least in > SOME cases, FURTHER highlighting it by means of > registration and manual > changes is like taking a box of crayons to the > Sistine ceiling (grin). >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: The Church of England expands in France From: "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 22:18:51 +0100 (BST)   There was an article in today's Daily Telegraph about a growing branch of the Church of England in France amongst the ex-patriate community. It reports the fact that they celebrate traditional C of E services, including hymns, mentions one of the villages (Magn=E9) and shows a photograph of the inside of the church. It would be interesting to know what the organ is. Cavaille Coll or Veuve Clicquot perhaps? John Foss   "Yesterday about 60 of the flock congregated for Sunday Communion in a borrowed Roman Catholic church in the village of Magn=E9, set in verdant countryside south of Poitiers."   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=3D/news/2004/05/17/nchur17.x= ml&sSheet=3D/news/2004/05/17/ixhome.html   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D www.johnfoss.gr http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orgofftop/ Topics of the week : Point and Counterpoint The Never Ending Story Strauss's "Alpine Symphony" CD and DVD death     ____________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger - Communicate instantly..."Ping" your friends today! Download Messenger Now http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/download/index.html