PipeChat Digest #4509 - Wednesday, May 19, 2004
 
Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not
  by "James Nerstheimer" <enigma1685@yahoo.com>
Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not
  by <Keys4bach@aol.com>
Re: Up Close and Personal With Felix Hell
  by "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com>
Re: Up Close and Personal With Felix Hell
  by <Keys4bach@aol.com>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: changes in Bach
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com>
Assistance at the console
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not
  by "Bill Raty" <billious@billraty.com>
Stop changes in Bach
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Assistance at the console
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Assistance at the console
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Re: Assistance at the console
  by "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca>
RE: putting Bach through the changes--or not
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
 

(back) Subject: Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not From: "James Nerstheimer" <enigma1685@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 03:47:16 -0700 (PDT)     I played the Prelude and Fugue in C-major last week on two different = sounds=97plenums with mixtures on Great and Pedal uncoupled followed by = the 8' Principal all by itself on the Great, and 16'-8' Principals on the = Pedal, uncoupled, for the Fugue. Not much unlike Michael Murray on the = Davies Hall recording. I figured it worked there and indeed it worked at = St. Paul's. BTW, I tend NEVER to use a swell pedal in any music written = before the device was invented unless the instrument were poor enough as = to leave me with no choice. (rare)   Now, what fun do all you have with those "ocean swells" in the D-minor = Fugue (BWV 565)? I don't play that one often as it's kinda like = Beethoven's 5th. Is a piece overplayed if one can hear it on cellphones? = :*) Had to put a crowd-pleaser in there somewhere!     jim     O):^)   --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price.  
(back) Subject: Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not From: <Keys4bach@aol.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 06:56:41 EDT   In a message dated 5/19/2004 6:47:46 AM Eastern Standard Time, enigma1685@yahoo.com writes:   > tend NEVER to use a swell pedal in any music written before the device = was > invented unless the instrument were poor enough as to leave me with no > choice. (rare)   This seems quite reasonable.......the entire c major was broken up by = superb articulation and varied touch I would guess......   dale in Florida i have been and always shall be a friend of manual changes <G>    
(back) Subject: Re: Up Close and Personal With Felix Hell From: "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 10:38:58 -0400   How unfortunate it is that there are people who find a need to attempt to diminish the success of others by resorting to sarcasm and ill will. Felix Hell is one of the great lights in the world of organ performance, winning new friends for our instrument and its music wherever he plays, doing so with graciousness, humility, and -- above all -- the sheer power of his musicianship. We may not see another performer of Felix Hell's caliber in our lifetimes. That said, there is certainly room for other fine organ performers. I will wait with great eagerness for those who are so limitless in their criticitsm to rise to his level -- or even surpass it. Something tells me I have a long wait ahead of me.   Steve Best in Utica, NY       Sean M. Haley wrote:   >Ah yes, more adoring fan mail for the organ world's young celebrity. > > >I always find it interesting how young performers are so highly praised >while those that are "more seasoned' are considered old fashioned and >without youthful vigor. But I must say that with age comes maturity, >especially where communicating emotion to your audience is concerned. Do >not miss understand me. I think Felix is an exceptionally talented young >man but he still has a great deal to learn about communication with the >audience as a performer. One a TV camera will not give. > >Why is it that we put normal down to earth individuals on a pedestal and >then insist they be treated as though we were in the presence of the >Almighty? It is one thing to be respectful and appreciative of a = person's >talents, but it is another to worship yet another human being who is only >developing that which God gave them. >      
(back) Subject: Re: Up Close and Personal With Felix Hell From: <Keys4bach@aol.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 10:42:36 EDT   In a message dated 5/19/2004 10:38:13 AM Eastern Standard Time, sbest@borg.com writes:   > How unfortunate it is that there are people who find a need to attempt > to diminish the success of others by resorting to sarcasm and ill will. >   I saw none of this in the post---on the contrary, I get the feeling Sean = is awaiting how much further MR. Felix can and will go. Maturation is good = for all of us. It will set Felix up forever I am most sure.   But then I like Cameron and Paul also. And theater organists too......Michael Fraser for one. Lance Luce for another. So perhaps my = opinion is stilted.     i use heels too <G>   we are all on the same side here.   GO FELIX, GO.   dale in Florida    
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:33:25 +0100 (BST)   I have no idea what Bach would have done - my guess is that he would still stick to tracker action today. The very nice two manual tracker instrument I play regularly - Weigel II/22 - no aids to registration, usual three couplers operated by pedal hook down (picture available at my home page - GALLERY - organs) suits his music very well. There are obvious places for manual changes in many of his his works, and to suggest otherwise is obtuse. Terraced dynamics was the style of the period. Don't tell me Bach didn't have any assistants to help him with stop changes! 22 children? John Foss   =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  
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 09:20:29 -0700   OK, enough's enough. I stated a position, supported by internal evidence and logic, passed down to me by some of the greatest master teachers and players of the 20th century (not all of them from the US); some people didn't even know their NAMES (!). I am neither obtuse nor a fuddy-duddy; what I AM is outta here.   Bud   John Foss wrote:   > I have no idea what Bach would have done - my guess is > that he would still stick to tracker action today. The > very nice two manual tracker instrument I play > regularly - Weigel II/22 - no aids to registration, > usual three couplers operated by pedal hook down > (picture available at my home page - GALLERY - organs) > suits his music very well. There are obvious places > for manual changes in many of his his works, and to > suggest otherwise is obtuse. Terraced dynamics was the > style of the period. Don't tell me Bach didn't have > any assistants to help him with stop changes! 22 > children? > John Foss > > =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 > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > > >      
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:23:23 -0400   At 04:33 PM 2004-05-19 +0100, you wrote: >I have no idea what Bach would have done - my guess is >that he would still stick to tracker action today. The >very nice two manual tracker instrument I play >regularly - Weigel II/22 - no aids to registration, >usual three couplers operated by pedal hook down >(picture available at my home page - GALLERY - organs) >suits his music very well. There are obvious places >for manual changes in many of his his works, and to >suggest otherwise is obtuse. Terraced dynamics was the >style of the period. Don't tell me Bach didn't have >any assistants to help him with stop changes! 22 >children? >John Foss   John,   I thought he only had 20 children. Did he have a maid on the side?   I understand only 10 of his offspring made it to adulthood.   If I read Bach correctly, and the accounts of his playing, his playing was =   very colourful, and virtuouso-like. That doesn't mean he did things the Virgil Fox would do, but I think it does mean that he would have changed registration and manuals more often than is done these days by the tracker =   backer crowd.   One piece that comes to mind about terraced dynamics, is the Passacaglia = by Bach. To me there is tension built up by changing the registration, when the motif comes up again. Why so many organists now play it full bore on the plenum throughout (or almost throughout) is beyond me.   Arie V.   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Arie Vandenberg Classic Organbuilders ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com Tel.: 905-475-1263      
(back) Subject: Assistance at the console From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 13:40:21 -0400   On 5/19/04 11:33 AM, "John Foss" <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:   > Don't tell me Bach didn't have any assistants to help him with stop chang= es! > 22 children?=20   Even with four pumping the bellows, that still leaves a few ready for registrations.   You should see our Pedro d'Aquino on the bench with his eldest son, who is 10 or 11. Eduardo is so small that I'm surprised he can "reach" to do it, but he's a terrific page-turner. I think he enjoys giving the impression that he's paying no attention at all=8Bbut he's ready, and fast!   I don't think I've seen him work on registrations, but that's probably righ= t around the corner.=20   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not From: "Bill Raty" <billious@billraty.com> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 11:42:16 -0700 (PDT)   Historical informed practice is a place to start, it shouldn't necessarily be a destination.   Let me make an analogy, as thin as it may be: just because the first automobile had a tiller as a steering device shouldn't mean that I must drive a similarly equipped automobile to have my transportation be considered valid.   The musician and instrument (which I'm also infering to mean the venue) are only two parts of music making-- the audience is a critical component.   We aren't playing for listeners of the baroque period. We are playing for people whose musical sensibilities have been shaped by a modern culture with an incredibly varied and omnipresent soundtrack via Movies, TV, radio.   I've been to concerts where a talented and concientious performer is slavishly executing to the current understanding of historical performance (which has drifted over time, BTW), in one case with a quintaton honking away during the whole piece. I know enough to appreciate what the performer was thinking, however my sensibilites were still offended.   I've also been to recitals where creative use of the instrument at hand and of course, historically informed approach could not be claimed: a Frescobaldi elevation played on flute celeste for instance. The effect was truly divine and the audience so spellbound that several seconds elapsed before people could gather enough wits to applaud. This pause wasn't due to a case of "is he done yet?" The audience was transported by the music, instrument, and performer to another place.   Look no further than today's cover bands of popular music: the best ones don't try to slavishly copy the original work, but rather make a musical expression of their own based upon the skeleton of the original-- inspired by the original but yet their own creation, instead of a reproduction.   When an organ is played, it most likely going to be a different instrument, a different venue, and most certainly a different audience than was present when the music was conceived and ink was put to paper.   I'm not inclined to employ Virgil Fox's technique of changing registration every 8 bars, even mid subject, yet I still get goosebumps when I hear his performance of the Fugue in a (minor) from Fillmore East. The energy and drive are overwhelming, and the enthusiasm is infectious.   Did Bach play that way? Did Bach intend for the music to be played that way? Doubtful. Was it a valid musical expression. Most certainly!   Defining what is and what isn't musical is pointless because it would place bounds on human expression. It remains like the old saw about the judge and obscenity: I can't define it but I know it when I see it.   Know the work. Know the instrument. Know your audience. Make creative use of the ingredients. No matter what you do you will participate (Soli Deo Gloria) in making something new. Cooperate with the inevitable rather than fight it.   Much regards,   -Bill  
(back) Subject: Stop changes in Bach From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 11:27:27 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Arie brings up the Bach Passacaglia; itself a derivative of a well-worn tradition.   I cannot even begin to think that Bach would have trudged through it on full plenum throughout!   Relying on "texture" is not, surely, very good music making, when the work cries out for tonal "variety" to match the musical variety of that texture.   Both the Passacaglia and the Ciaconne are art forms closely related to "Variation Form," but with a recurring theme. Variety of writing, texture AND sounds, is surely the essence of these forms, whether played on a harpsichord or the organ?   For my money, one of the loveliest performances of the Bach Passacaglia was that recorded for posterity by the late E.Power-Biggs on the Flentrop at Harvard. It is elegant, subtle and ever so good to listen to.   What more can one need?   I'll draw a veil over Arie's "Tracker backer" comment....Bach was presumably one also!!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- Arie Vandenberg <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> wrote:   > One piece that comes to mind about terraced > dynamics, is the Passacaglia by > Bach. To me there is tension built up by changing > the registration, when > the motif comes up again. Why so many organists now > play it full bore on > the plenum throughout (or almost throughout) is > beyond me.       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: Re: Assistance at the console From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 11:49:49 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I think it's called "playing to the gallery" John!   There are delightful accounts of Dr Francis Jackson during his tenure at York Minster, when the screen console would have three or four people crammed in to watch the master at work.....and he IS the absolute master of accompaniment.   Dr Jackson knows all the wording of the psalms by heart, and is therefore freed from the burden of actually reading the words.   One has to imagine the scene......four people in the console, and the Assistant Organist vacating the console, having played the pre-service voluntaries. Dr Jackson is still fastening his organ-shoe laces as the choir arrive at the choir stalls.   He turns to a visitor and says, "Would you be kind enough to give them a G for the responses on the Dulciana?"   Dr Jackson is STILL fumbling with his shoe-laces when the responses come to an end and the psalms are announced.   Just as we all think that he hasn't heard, or has forgotten that he might be required, he turns to the console, flicks a piston, and whilst holding the opening chord, swings his legs over the organ bench as he accompanies the start of the psalm!!   Nail biting stuff indeed!   But to hear his worms and feathered fowls, whales moving in the waters, or the roar of God's anger, is to witness musical genius at work.   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-   Then there was Dr Philip Marshall, just up the road at Ripon Minster.........   This is the organ screen on which, just to the rear of the console, there is the famous wooden hand on a rocker pedal. This hand was used to beat time in days gone by, when the original organ had no pedals.   There he was, mid-service, dropping a leg over the organ bench and pumping the hand up and down during the prayers!   When asked what he was doing, he replied, "I'm just waving to my mother!!"   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-   Well we ARE a nation of eccentrics in the UK!!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         > On 5/19/04 11:33 AM, "John Foss" > <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> wrote: >   > You should see our Pedro d'Aquino on the bench with > his eldest son, who is > 10 or 11. Eduardo is so small that I'm surprised he > can "reach" to do it, > but he's a terrific page-turner. I think he enjoys > giving the impression > that he's paying no attention at all, but he's ready, > and fast!     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: Re: putting Bach through the changes--or not From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 11:59:11 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   No real quibbles with Bill's comments, except one.   The use of a Celeste in an Italian Eelevation is quite historically correct!   Early Italian organs often had a Voce Umana register, tuned as an undulating stop. (I think it was tuned flat like a flute celeste.)   The effect, especially in a big resonant building, is nothing short of ravishing, where the Elevation twists and turns harmonically, and at a very slow pace full of musical suspensions. The Elevations were, to some extent, the seeds of romantic chormaticism, and composers would often demonstrate their mastery of harmony with these pieces.   The ultimate Italian expression of that love of quirky harmony is to be found in the music of Gesualdo.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         --- Bill Raty <billious@billraty.com> wrote: > Historical informed practice is a place to start, it > shouldn't > necessarily be a destination. > > > I've also been to recitals where creative use of the > instrument > at hand and of course, historically informed > approach could not > be claimed: a Frescobaldi elevation played on flute > celeste for > instance. The effect was truly divine and the > audience so > spellbound that several seconds elapsed before > people could > gather enough wits to applaud     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: Re: Assistance at the console From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 15:49:38 -0400   That, Colin, is delicious. About thirty more of those, fairly large, attractive type, some pictures, and you have a book. I'll want one copy = for myself, and several dozen to give as Christmas presents that no one will already have.   To think that he (Francis Jackson) played in Worcester, Massachusetts a = few months ago, a bit less than three hours from here, and I could not go.   Thanks for that,   Malcolm   P.S. The quote below about Pedro d'Aquino surely comes from Alan Freed at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Manhattan, rather than from John Foss in Greece, as it appears. These quotes within quotes can be treacherous!   ----- Original Message ----- From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 2:49 PM Subject: Re: Assistance at the console     > Hello, > > I think it's called "playing to the gallery" John! > > There are delightful accounts of Dr Francis Jackson > during his tenure at York Minster, when the screen > console would have three or four people crammed in to > watch the master at work.....and he IS the absolute > master of accompaniment. > > Dr Jackson knows all the wording of the psalms by > heart, and is therefore freed from the burden of > actually reading the words. > > One has to imagine the scene......four people in the > console, and the Assistant Organist vacating the > console, having played the pre-service voluntaries. > Dr Jackson is still fastening his organ-shoe laces as > the choir arrive at the choir stalls. > > He turns to a visitor and says, "Would you be kind > enough to give them a G for the responses on the > Dulciana?" > > Dr Jackson is STILL fumbling with his shoe-laces when > the responses come to an end and the psalms are > announced. > > Just as we all think that he hasn't heard, or has > forgotten that he might be required, he turns to the > console, flicks a piston, and whilst holding the > opening chord, swings his legs over the organ bench as > he accompanies the start of the psalm!! > > Nail biting stuff indeed! > > But to hear his worms and feathered fowls, whales > moving in the waters, or the roar of God's anger, is > to witness musical genius at work. > > -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- > > Then there was Dr Philip Marshall, just up the road at > Ripon Minster......... > > This is the organ screen on which, just to the rear of > the console, there is the famous wooden hand on a > rocker pedal. This hand was used to beat time in days > gone by, when the original organ had no pedals. > > There he was, mid-service, dropping a leg over the > organ bench and pumping the hand up and down during > the prayers! > > When asked what he was doing, he replied, "I'm just > waving to my mother!!" > > -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- > > Well we ARE a nation of eccentrics in the UK!! > > Regards, > > Colin Mitchell UK > > > > > > On 5/19/04 11:33 AM, "John Foss" > > <harfo32@yahoo.co.uk> wrote: > > > > > You should see our Pedro d'Aquino on the bench with > > his eldest son, who is > > 10 or 11. Eduardo is so small that I'm surprised he > > can "reach" to do it, > > but he's a terrific page-turner. I think he enjoys > > giving the impression > > that he's paying no attention at all, but he's > ready, > > and fast! > > > >      
(back) Subject: Re: Assistance at the console From: "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca> Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:18:51 -0400   I have done registration duty for a couple of blind organists, and one of the things I have found is that you need to have the score in front of you =   to know when to change the registration, - at least a blind organist isn't =   going to miss it being up on the music rest.   Another thing is that you need to be both quick and ambidextrous, for the organist is likely to be charging on thinking that you have pulled, (or pushed), all the stops in no time at all!   But it is good fun when it all works out properly!   What is the proper name for the stop puller? Registrant? And is the manual blower pumper the Calcant? I have done that too!   Bob Conway    
(back) Subject: RE: putting Bach through the changes--or not From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 09:45:58 +1200     >The effect, especially in a big resonant building, is nothing short of ravishing, where the Elevation twists and turns harmonically, and at a very slow pace full of musical suspensions. The Elevations were, to some extent, the seeds of romantic chormaticism, and composers would often demonstrate their mastery of harmony with these pieces.   Oh aye indeed! I treasure my two old lp's of the 1581 Antegnati in = Brescia, where the Fiffaro, i.e.Principal Celeste, is indeed delicious. If I had enough money and the organ to put it in, I'd want a slow-beating rich unenclosed and unhindered warm-tone Diapason and its Celeste. To me, that sound is infinitely preferable to a flute celeste.   Surprisingly, the sound can be tolerably-well approached in the 1m (and no Pedals) Ahlborn-Galanti electroid in on of this parish's churches. I use = the 8ft Principal with the very much softer Unda Maris (kind of = Dulciana-toned) and it's remarkably effective in those chromatic early Italian pieces. On = an 1890s [pipe] organ I sometimes play, I can use the Swell Violin Diapason = and the slow Tremulant coupled to the Great Op.Diap. for a very effective = sound, horrible as that might seem theoretically.   Ross   --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.688 / Virus Database: 449 - Release Date: 18/05/2004