PipeChat Digest #5277 - Monday, April 18, 2005
 
An Afrikaaner in Pensacola
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Re: Hector Olivera
  by "tom hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com>
Re: From a carillon lover
  by <Justinhartz@aol.com>
Re: From a carillon lover
  by "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
 

(back) Subject: An Afrikaaner in Pensacola From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 22:47:50 -0500   I had exposed myself to little in the genre of organ events this year, other than my own recital. I had missed Jane Parker Smith at two venues, Ken Cowan at one, and Alan Morrison at another. Life was just so busy and fraught with stress, and I could never get away. But I have resolved to change that situation.   Finally, I made it to an event - the first organ recital at Christ Church Pensacola since Hurricane Ivan. So I decided to make a day of it in Pensacola. I left early Sunday morning to attend mass at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church downtown, where I am scheduled to sub the end of May. I found the church shrouded in scaffolding, part of the renovations required to salvage the effects of Ivan. When I walked in, the choir was practicing in the back loft, where the organ was housed. The organ is rather nondescript, to be kind, in an attractive building. Apparently this church came close to closure several years ago, and was saved by the skin of its teeth, so to speak.   Someone had made a comment the other night that this organ started out as a Wurlitzer, but when I spoke to the organist this morning, she said it was a tracker before renovation/rebuilding by the local Austin representative as one of his first solo projects. She was unaware of any details of its history. She made it sound pretty good during the service, but I'm not sure how.   The service was uneventful, which nowadays is a good thing. The priest's homily was in essence begging families to promote the priesthood as a vocation for their children. I thought to myself that the celibacy requirement chases off most of the younger generation, exposed as they are to the sex-craze of Madison Avenue. Anyway, I was given a pin and a medal of John Paul II just for attending. Dang - I never got a medal for going to church, although I seem to recall that the Baptists used to give pins for perfect Sunday School attendance.   After church I met with the organist to ask questions about the order of service, and was told to expect the unexpected. OK, I thought, nothing new there. Then she left me alone to play around with the organ so that I could decide what of my limited repertoire would fit and be appropriate.   I spent about an hour and a half at the console. My left hand had improved immensely, and I played well for someone who hadn't touched a keyboard in two weeks. But I didn't want to tempt fate, and the little old altar guild lady was loitering, refusing to leave me alone because she feared I might steal something. So I left before she collapsed from starvation.   It was a beautiful sunny day of spring, even though Pensacola was still scarred from the hurricane. So I spent an hour eating at a Ruby Tuesdays, relishing a specialty martini, then decided to buy a pair of shoes at the mall while under the influence of a pleasant buzz and fortified with dead fish and broccoli. I mean, every woman can always use another pair of black shoes.   I finally made it to Christ Church, which had been seriously damaged during the storm when its bell tower collapsed into the subfloor. The ceiling had been repaired, but the roof was not finished, and there were chairs instead of pews in the back of the church. The organ was undamaged although exposed to the elements for two weeks. This was my first view of the interior of the church since the storm, and my first trip to Pensacola since the fateful day in February when I decided to get the heck out of state employment and enter the private sector.   Anyway, about the recital - Mr. Herman Jordaan of South Africa was performing. He looked extremely young (I did ask him his age afterward, but will refrain from making the information public) and good-looking. His biographical information was missing from the bulletin. I also asked if he had met Deon Irish, cool organist extraordinaire of the Cape - he had not. His program:   Partite diverse sopra 'Ach, was soll ich Sunder machen', BWV 770 - Bach Three Organ Pieces: Intrada, Cantilena, Toccata - Henk Temmingh (b. 1930) Fantasia in F minor, K.V. 594 - Mozart 'Song of an old woman in her hut at dawn' from Africa Hymnus - Stefans Grove (b. 1922) Zweite Sonata, op. 60 - Invocation and Fugue - Reger Piece d'Orgue, BWV 572 - Bach   I don't think I had heard the Partita since a recording by Walcha. I thought to myself, not for the first time, that it was extremely long, but then I am not fond of theme and variation pieces. Mr. Jordaan made the organ sound well indeed, his articulation leaving nothing wanting. I realized that although there are things about this organ I do not like, it is still my favorite organ in the area of Pensacola and environs, and I possess many fond memories of lessons on it and of church services there.   Temmingh is an Amsterdam transplant to South Africa. The first movement was the typical reed with chromatic accompaniment we've all heard before, which many people must find appealing because the genre is heard so much. I call it 'post-traumatic freight train-ish with not enough to drink and on hydrocodone withdrawal', which is better than oxycontin withdrawal, so I'm told. The toccata was the better of the movements, less like a cliche, with almost a British sound. I might like this one.   The Mozart was smooth. When was the last time I heard this? Weaver? Craighead? This was probably as good a rendition as I can remember hearing, clean and crisp, with nary a missed a note.   The Grove (with an accent on the 'e') started out not as a freight train, but more like an African beetle dragging its hind legs, something we might hear on a National Geographic special. And in fact the piece was full of bird songs and crickets chirping, very exotic, better than Messiaen.   The Reger was the piece de resistance (forgive the spelling and lack of diacriticals). Yes, I do like Reger, although I don't go steady with him. The invocation was lovely to me, strangely enough, and what is that familiar chorale near the end? The fugue was magnificent - he nailed it.   The last Bach was played at full organ, even the Lentemente, legato and majestic.   The young man has played Minnesota, Colorado, and Clearwater, and is on his way to Hartford, Connecticut. To all my friends up that way, he might be worth a train ride to hear.   Next week I get to hear a preview of a friend's first organ recital and two children in recital sponsored by the local AGO chapter, then on Mother's Day I shall hear Alan Morrison in Atlanta, then my friend's recital the middle of May, before subbing Memorial Day weekend for the RCs. Perhaps I am making up for lost time.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: Re: Hector Olivera From: "tom hoehn" <thoehn@theatreorgans.com> Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 23:02:23 -0500   I haven't seen Hector live in quite a while -- although I do have a copy of his works of Caesar Franck recorded in Miami on a rather large instrument (I forget which one now) it is utterly fantastic.   I've known Hector for many years first from his days of playing the O-1 to Yamaha to Rodgers/Roland. He never ceases to amaze me and make me want to quit playing after one of his performances (some artists make me wanna practice -- to sound more like them -- but Hector just makes me think I'll never do any better -- and then I start practicing again.   He is a true gentleman, and a genius besides. His pedalwork is absolutely fantabulous.   My .02 worth   Tom Hoehn, Clearwater, FL   -----Original Message----- From: Gfc234@aol.com To: pipechat@pipechat.org Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 21:47:05 EDT Subject: Re: Hector Olivera   > > In a message dated 4/17/05 8:35:09 PM, walterg@nauticom.net writes: > > > > urthermore, one of the best ambasadors the pipe organ has out in > front of > > the great organ-ignorant public. > > > > I'll shut up now. > > > > -WG > > > > Based upon a recital I attended recently, I respectfully, and > wholeheartedly > disagree with the above statement. > I will not write another word on this topic-it is not constructive-and > I > shouldn't have made that comment several days ago that started this > whole thing. > Good evening- > gfc > > > > Gregory Ceurvorst > 1921 Sherman Ave. #GS > Evanston, IL 60201 > 847.332.2788 home/fax > 708.243.2549 mobile > gfc234@aol.com > gfc234@nextel.blackberry.net >      
(back) Subject: Re: From a carillon lover From: <Justinhartz@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 00:28:04 EDT   The instrument you describe seems similar to the Schulmerich "Carillon =   Americana". These instruments were popular in the 50's and 60's. A number of recordings were made, including several by John Klein. = One, "A Christmas Sound Spectacular" was so popular it was reissued last year = by Schulmerich. These instruments are played like an organ with standard 61 notes manuals. They have the wire type of resonators Jim describes. They are not played like a "real" carillon, which is played using = fists, feet, and occasionally open hands. No flames please. These are very different instruments. Both = instruments have their merits. Check out the Klein recording. It is a real period piece with lush orchestrations and choir. I grew up listening to it as a kid and it had a = profound impact on how I interpret popular music at the organ. Cheers, Justin  
(back) Subject: Re: From a carillon lover From: "Harry Grove" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 07:27:20 +0100   When our village bells were restored at the Millennium (originally cast = 1676 - which in America is probably a long time ago) we had to spend extra money in strengthening the frame (oak trunks) by = underpinning them with steel H-frame girders. This gave the springiness of the natural wood with the reassurance that = we wouldn't come 'tumbling down', together with tons of rotating metal = and some 60 foot of stone masonry which makes-up the spire. Savings were made by NOT re-installing the carillon - entire; and by = only putting back those pieces which doubled as the clock striking = mechanism. So, we have a beautiful peal of eight (Treble 5 cwt to Tenor 18 cwt) and = a working clock; but no Carillon.   This correspondence has stirred thoughts in me about finding the = remaining cash to complete things.   Anyone know of a rich philanthropist ?   Harry Grove [a.k.a. a musicman thumbing through his address book] ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Justinhartz@aol.com=20 To: pipechat@pipechat.org=20 Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 5:28 AM Subject: Re: From a carillon lover     [snip] =20   They are not played like a "real" carillon, which is played using = fists, feet, and occasionally open hands. Ours was a 'fist thumper'