PipeChat Digest #4755 - Friday, September 10, 2004
 
New MP3 added
  by "Octaaf" <octaaf@charter.net>
Re: the death of grammar
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE; What is happening in today's church
  by "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com>
Re: Being Happy in Your Church
  by "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com>
Annual Dutch Dash  (part one) - Hideously long
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
 

(back) Subject: New MP3 added From: "Octaaf" <octaaf@charter.net> Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 06:03:42 -0500   Greetings,   The Organs and Organists Online downloads page has been updated with a = fine performance of Franz Liszt's "Prelude and Fugue on B.A.C.H." by 20 year = old Norwegian organist Hallgeir =D8gaard playing the 44 stop 1892 Hollenbach = organ of Korskirken, Bergen, Norway.   Cheers,   Tim Grenz      
(back) Subject: Re: the death of grammar From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 05:19:17 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I can actually keep this on topic!   I once said to an organist, "Which of the two diapasons do you use the most?"   He replied, "Both or either."   He is an English teacher!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK           __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages! http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: RE; What is happening in today's church From: "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com> Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 08:21:18 -0400   Alan, in response to my mostly joking reference to the concentration of Lutherans in Minnesota said:   "Don't overlook NON-Minnesota ELCAism. Both east and west coasts offer a different stripe, and some excellent music programs. In my opinion, significantly better than the norm for the Midwest."   You're probably right, although now in my late middle age I'm comfortably settled into my present location, where my hubby and I are happy with the quality of life and where the cost of living is substantially more affordable than the coasts. So a move anywhere isn't in the cards for me personally. Certainly might be worth keeping in mind for someone younger and/or more career minded, though.    
(back) Subject: Re: Being Happy in Your Church From: "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com> Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 08:24:29 -0400   Monty asked: "Where are all the others who are happy in their ministries????"   I guess from my previous notes it's obvious I'm happy where I am, but just in case it isn't...   Although I was not brought up Lutheran, I wanted to play for a Lutheran church because of my *personal* opinion (Larry, please note <g>) that in denominational terms the Lutherans are the strongest remaining holdouts = for appreciating the traditional kinds of music and worship aesthetics I = value. I had no idea how much joy, meaning and beauty I would quickly come to = find in the Lutheran way of interpreting and presenting the Lord's Word. Every Sunday I hear what I think are the consistently best sermons I've ever experienced--and as I said, this is in a small suburban church with an interim pastor. I love the way everything is planned to work together into = a cohesive message each week.   I thought I was just getting a job where working conditions would be pleasant, and instead already I feel a part of a ministry that I was = called to do.    
(back) Subject: Annual Dutch Dash (part one) - Hideously long From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 05:30:44 -0700 (PDT)     UT,RE ME BUT FAR FROM THE SOL     This year's "Annual Dutch Dash" was a little different from those of previous years, in so much as I took my friend's son, Shaun; a quick-witted fourteen year-old boy with learning difficulties, and something of a puzzling contradiction. An agreeable boy, I knew he would not be the slightest problem, except that I had to limit the usual non-stop round of organ visits and concerts, and consider him also.   Dealing with young teenage boys is really quite easy; there being just three priorities. Firstly, there has to be a source of fast food at any time of day or night. Secondly, there needs to be a regular supply of ice-cream and the thirdly, it is important to know that teenagers have a perverse penchant for a type of senseless motion guaranteed to induce vomiting in normal adults. Now I have no particular prejudice concerning MacDonald's, but.....I wish THEY would go belly-up rather than ME ! With the ice-cream fared better; finding myself re-discovering the joys of Hagen Dag in a cone. The senseless motion thing I had hoped to avoid at all costs!   With wall-to-wall rain, the weather in Holland was almost the equal of that in the UK this summer, and things did not auger well for our stay. Bad weather may not spoil the enjoyment of organs and museums, but for a teenager, it is the very end of life as they understand it.   To alleviate hotel entrapment syndrome, we took a trip on the Rotterdam "Spido" harbour-tour boat and marvelled at some of the biggest ships in the world, against a backdrop of oil refineries, enormous container depots and huge cranes which move the goods around with apparent ease. With the rain persisting down, and Shaun bored after seeing three ships, two containers and one oil refinery, it was time to give him money for ice-cream.   After that, we caught a Metrotrain up to St.Lauren's Cathedral. Shaun was awed by the huge, blood-red organ case of the Marcussen organ in the west gallery, with its glistening tin pipes and chamades. We spoke to the elderly lady on the visitor's desk, who proved to be extremely pleasant; taking the time to show Shaun many photographs of old Rotterdam, the aftermath of the wartime blitz and the restoration of the cathedral following its destruction on the 14th May, 1940. (I recalled list member Arie Vandenburg mentioning how, on the morning after the bombing, he walked with his father and witnessed first hand the total destruction of old Rotterdam and the burned out shell of the ruined cathedral.)   In our discussion with the charming elderly lady in the cathedral, I told Shaun incorrectly (due to previous misinformation) that the new organ had been paid for by Germany after the war, as part of war reparations. I almost feared for my life as the lady's eyes suddenly blazed angrily and she spat out the words, "You must nefer belief wat a German tells you! We paid for der orgel, and for all der restoration!" Ah! How the agony of forgiving can so often exceed the hurt of something lost!   Still, at least I solved a mystery at St.Lauren's, for I have often wondered what organ stood in the cathedral's west end before 1940. I discovered that it was an Andries Wolfferts organ dating from 1792, which had been re-built by Batz in 1845.   After St.Lauren's, it was time to make a dash back to the hotel in heavy rain.....tomorrow would be another day, and the first organ concert at Haarlem.   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-       Tell almost ANY organist in the Netherlands that you are going to Haarlem, and they will give you a slightly grave look and say something like, "Haarlem ish not so gutt....more Marcussen dan Nederlands orgel."   Well, it IS difficult to keep a straight face whilst nodding thoughtfully, anxious not to hurt the finer feelings of national pride or to contradict the almost religious Dutch reverence for all things concerned with heritage!   Many of us would happily die for a single rank of those pipes!!   OF COURSE Marcussen altered the sound of a perfectly wonderful Dutch organ almost completely, but in the process, created possibly the finest instrument in the world to-day. It's quite difficult to feel empathy for the pain that many Dutch organists clearly feel as they dismiss Haarlem as a national disaster area!   Ah! How the agony of forgiving can so often exceed the hurt of something lost!   So far as I know, Marcussen have never performed a major Dutch restoration since; though they did make two of the four instruments in St.Lauren's, Rotterdam. (Why do they need four??)   So with high expectations from memories past, I attended the first of two concerts at St.Bavo this year; something which Shaun was also looking forward to, after playing the CD endlessly before we set off from England. Shaun has a smile and a personality which lights up the world, and he entered into the spirit of things when I led him into St Bavo backwards; planting him at the crossing before turning him to face the organ. Quite what the Hollanders made of this curious ritual, I hesitate to think, but Shaun was utterly stunned by the awesome beauty of the visual feast.   With a couple of hours to kill before the concert, Shaun located Hagen Dag ice-cream with astonishing efficiency, after which we visited the wonderful Frans Hals museum and poured over Dutch Masters from the "Golden Age". After that, it was time for the concert, and we filed back into the Bavokerk to join a sizeable audience in the nave.   At this point, I hope I will not be misunderstood, for the playing of Jaco van Leeuwen was perfectly splendid, and any one of the pieces played would have been quite acceptable in isolation. However, a Spanische "Tiento lleno de 4.tono" by Heredia, a Tomkins "Voluntary," the deeply depressing "Prelude & Fugue in B-minor Opus 129/7 & 8" by Max Reger and the rather strangely contrapuntal "Theme and variations Op.115" by Bossi, are hardly the stuff of what I would call musical entertainment. The 20th century was represented also by a Partita on "Es geht daher des Tages Schein" by Hans Haselbock....not perhaps the finest moment in musical composition, and a far cry from the rhythmic drive of a Peter Eben or the suave harmonies of the French school. Had it not been for Bach and Buxtehude, this would have been a tedious concert, but fortunately, the "Preludium in Aminor - BuxWV 153" and the ever beautiful "An wasserflussen Babylon - BWV653" lifted the spirits slightly.   Shaun was clearly disappointed and confused by what he heard, and I felt disappointed for him. It reminded me of what Dr Francis Jackson always said about programme planning, "Something light, something heavy, something fast and something slow.......and always a nice melody or two for the old ladies!"   In recent years, I have heard both Bas de Vroome and Jos van der Kooy put this organ through its paces to magical effect; especially the latter, who can literally "make the organ talk." Jos van der Kooy also has the gift of excellent programme planning.   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-   After the concert, we found time to spend the evening in Amsterdam ; though it is not a city in which I like to spend a lot of time, due to the influx of sleazy tourists, an abundance of drug-sellers and the high prices of everything. A look inside the lovely Oudekerk took us through the red-light area, much to Shaun's amusement, as he waved and smiled happily at the ladies in the shop windows. I had all on to stop him wandering into "book shops" (wink,wink) and live shows apparently playing vivid re-workings of "Romeo and Juliet," but owing more to Chaucer than Shakespeare. A city boat cruise, a visit to a diamond polishing works, and it was starting to get late. Shaun ate a whole bag of revolting sweets, another ice-cream and then dragged me into a KFC; my protests falling upon deaf ears.   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-     Say what you will about the benefits of a close family life, but when it comes to teenage pastimes, Holland has much to learn. The seaside in Holland is a place to stroll, collapse in a group huddle on the beach or eat with the family in a restaurant. In fact, eating seems to be the main national activity in the Netherlands.   Shaun had taken his flippers and goggles, but they had to stay in the boot of the car; the wind and rain a threat to life. It was therefore in total desperation that we fled inland to Leiden; the only means of escaping the awful weather driving relentlessly in from the North Sea. At the very least, Leiden promised cafes, churches, museums and other sources of shelter....perhaps even Hagen Dag and a MacDonalds.   What I did not expect was the existence of the Leiden music week, which meant that all the organists were out in force around town. To be absolutely honest, I was reasonably unaware of the historic organs in Leiden, even though someone did once mention them to me. A beautiful old university town with a fascinating harbour area and an obligatory canal system, we strolled into two of Leiden's churches; the first being the Markerk, where the strong, broad tones of the organ filled this interesting octagonal renaissance church.   "Of course I would love to have a look at the organ and meet the organist," said I to the charming young steward showing people around this lovely and resonant building.   So it was, I was shown the console and permitted to play one of the few genuine Hagabeer organs in Holland, which contains later additions. Even though the third (Borstwerk?) manual wasn't used due to a lack of tuning, there was enough of this fine instrument available as to make a strong, joyful sound, devoid of the brightness of later instruments. This is hardly surprising, considering that the pipes looked decidedly dull, with the tin conten obviously quite low. Apparently, many older Netherlands instruments use low tin pipe-metal, with some utilising almost pure lead pipes and producing a darker tone than many other North European instruments. The glum pipes of older organ fronts often contrast vividly with the polished tin 32ft fronts of instruments such as the Bavo-orgel; made possible by the introduction of readily available Cornish tin from Engalnd. I was reminded of the almost black pipes to be seen on the organ in the famous "Church in the attic," Amsterdam, and the gently singing tones of that particular organ..   Much to my annoyance, I had left my spectacles in the car by mistake, so I could not read music without them. Groping above and below knee level for suitable sounding stops, I opted to play the "Trumpet Tune" by Philip Tordoff; an organist local to me who has a good sense of humour. It proceeds in the key of G major in 18th century style, making it ideal for a mean-tone tuned instrument......until it gets to the end, whereupon it becomes comically chromatic. The look on the organist's face at the Markerk was priceless; the sort of look reserved for those taken by surprise by a cruise missile....a combination of shock and deep distress, as the organ wolfed and howled in protest!   Keeping a perfectly straight face, I left the organist to finish playing his well practised Krebs.   From there, I made my way to yet another church, this time the Waalsekerk, where the deeply suntanned organist (think "black") drank tea during an organ interlude. I didn't catch his name, and didn't have the heart to ask him to repeat it slowly. However, it seems that he was the main organist at the Markerk where I had just been to play the organ. He kindly took me up the most frightening flight of steps to the ancient console of the Steevens/van Assendelft organ of 1746-1748. Once more, I climbed aboard, only to find stops going down in a straight line from eye level to knee level....disconcerting without spectacles when the stop heads are wrote in flowing script. Time for that " Trumpet Tune" again, but I improvised a less startling ending and thus avoided a repeat of the wolf-whistles heard at the Markerk.   With only one manual, but a very full specification, pull down pedals and a strong 16ft Principal bass, this was a potent organ in what is a quite small wooden church with box pews. It tells its own story of powerful, uninhibited singing of the metrical psalms, for this organ was quite capable of accompanying a church full of people and more, yet never once sounding disagreeable. The case, with a magnificent 16ft front and surrounded by two smaller towers at 8ft length, is an absolute joy to the eye, as with so many others in this country of wonderfully eleborate organ-cases. There is something about fine carving, gold gilt, polished tin and the warm shades of traditional greyish brown Dutch Oak........   Of special mention is the fact that the organist studied with both Klaas Bolt and harpsichord with Ton Koopman. His finger technique was very much in the manner of "early keyboard," and I found his delicate control of double trills and the gliding, claw-like movements of his fingers especially interesting, with the most minimal of finger movement. Clearly a master of such technique, I decided it was best not to take it up for myself, but I have to admit that my normal fingering felt clumsy on the smaller keys of this organ. I descended the organ loft at my peril down the almost vertical stairs and listened for a while....and it was beautiful.   With Shaun now beginning to suffer "sensless motion deprivation," ........shuffling feet....kicking dirt.....stroking potentially viscous dogs......pushing chewing gum into holes in brick walls....it was time to consider his needs. With that in mind, it was another ghastly offering from MacDonalds and a quick canter down the road to the outskirts of Rotterdam and the Go-Kart circuit.   Shaun is very quick in a go-kart, and easily won a race with a commendable fastest race lap time. With adults and children unable to race at the same time, (God bless EU regulations!) he challenged me to "have a go." Of course, it was ONLY to please him that I took off my jacket, donned a pair of cover-alls and a skid-lid........(grin!) ...paid my money and sat in a go-kart for the first time in years. It was a competitive heat, with five other very quick drivers, but I'm delighted to report that I totally shattered Shaun's lap time by almost a full second and won the race by half a lap.....not bad for an old-timer!! I was stunned when I was approached by the owner of the circuit, who invited me to take part in the annual "race of champions".....I had set the fifth fastest time of the year,(move over Schumacher!) and the fastest four were lean, mean lightweight teenagers. Unfortunately, the prospect of trying to lose thirty pounds in weight in a fortnight, paying for the air-fare from England and holing up in a hotel for the night, mitigated against further involvement..........I shall doubtless regret it forever.   At least, Shaun now had solid confirmation of the fact that organists can have a deeply lunatic streak lurking within!   -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-     To be continued......         __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? New and Improved Yahoo! 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