PipeChat Digest #5353 - Wednesday, May 18, 2005
 
good accompanimental organs
  by "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net>
Re: untitled composition question
  by <RMB10@aol.com>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@millersville.edu>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "Maurits Lamers" <maurits@weidestraat.nl>
Adoro Devote setting
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "Jonathan Orwig" <giwro@adelphia.net>
reeds - what were they thinking?
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
choirmasters cues
  by "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (correction)
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
New publications from JFFJ (X post)
  by "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: the organist-choirmaster...
  by "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca>
 

(back) Subject: good accompanimental organs From: "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 07:57:46 -0700   While on the subject of choir and accompaniment, I'm curious about = people's thoughts on what constitutes a good instrument for accompanying the choir.   When I was a college freshman, my church replaced its 1925 Skinner with a 1982 Reuter. There are many admirable qualities about the Reuter, but I = was always disappointed with the balance between the great and swell. All the interesting stops were in the swell, with a lone 8' Bourdon in the great, thus, using the two manuals to contrast each other or for an obbligato = part in the organ music only offered one limited possibilities. The stoplist follows:   GREAT:   8' Principal 8' Bourdon 8' Rohrflute (sw) 4' Octave 4' Rohrflute (sw) 2' Fifteenth IV Mixture   SWELL:   8' Rohrflute 8' Viole 8' Celeste 4' Spitzflute 2-2/3 Nasard 2' Blockflute 1-3/5 Tierce 1-1/3 Nasard Mixture (PREP) 8' Trumpet 8' Oboe 4' Trumpet   PEDAL:   16' Principal 16' Subbass 16' Rohr Gedeckt (sw) 8' Octave 8' Subbass 8' Rohrflute (sw) 4' Octave 4' Subbass 16' Trumpet (sw) 8' Trumpet (sw) Blank Blank   When I designed the specifications for the instrument in my present = church, I wanted to be sure and have plenty of possibilities for loud and soft, = solo and accompaniment in both divisions. The Reuter is 19 ranks, the organ at St. Peter's below is 20. Here is the stoplist:   GREAT:   16' Gedeckt (sw) *8' Diapason *8' Principal (unit, from 4' Octave) 8' Solo Flutes (unit - Clarabella and Koppelflute at 8') 8' Claribel Flute 8' Gemshorn (sw) 5-1/3' Gross Nasat (sw) *4' Octave 4' Rohrflute *2-2/3' Twelfth *2' Fifteenth 2' Koppel (sw) II Sesquialtera (sw) IV Mixture 1-1/3 (sw) 8' Trumpet (sw) 8' Oboe (sw) 4' Clarion (sw) Great 4' (effective on 8 and 4' stops only) Swell 16, 8, 4' * exposed, remainder enclosed with swell   SWELL:   16' Gemshorn (unit, bass from ex Quintadena) 8' Principal (unit, bass from flute at 8 + gemshorn at 8 & 4) 8' Gedeckt 8' Gemshorn 8' Celeste 4' Principal 4' Koppelflute 4' Unda Maris II (unit, from ghns) 2-2/3' Nasat 2' Octave (ext 4) 2' Flute (ext gt 4) 1-3/5' Terz 1-1/3' Quintflute (ext) IV Grave Mixture 2-2/3' (unit) IV Mixture 1-1/3' 16' Double Trumpet 8' Trumpet (ext) 8' Oboe 4' Clarion (ext) Tremulant   PEDAL:   32' Acoustic Bass (unit) 16' Bourdon 16' Gedeckt (sw) 8' Octave (gt 8) 8' Bass Flute (ext) 8' Gemshorn (sw) 4' Choral Bass (gt 8) III Mixture 5-1/3 (unit from sw Nasard, gt 2-2/3 + 2) 32' Harmonics (unit) 16' Dbl Trumpet (sw) 8' Trumpet (sw) 4' Clarion (sw) 4' Oboe (sw) Great 8' Swell 8, 4'   While the stoplist is busy, the organ will do a great deal, and even = though they share the mutations, the great cornet is a different character from = the swell. Lots of cool stuff here!     +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Randy Terry Music Minister The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California        
(back) Subject: Re: untitled composition question From: <RMB10@aol.com> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 11:05:20 EDT   Shirley said: Or perhaps it's on organlive.com. Listen to some of the works of that composer and see if you can find its title.     There are some interesting performances on OrganLive. I really like doing =   searches for a certain piece and listening to varying performances. It's = really interesting to note the time differences on pieces, too, as played by different performers. There are some interesting renditions of some = masterworks, one that comes to mind is Alains Litanies--one performance is almost a minute longer than the other players on there. OrganLive is a great resource and = Brent Johnson does a great job keeping the site going.   However, if one only knows the composer's name, it could possibly make it difficult to do a search because there is a chance that there could be = many works by that composer. On the other hand, he could be a "one hit wonder".     Monty Bennett  
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@millersville.edu> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 11:43:54 -0400   On 17 May 2005 at 9:44, Charles Peery expounded: >> > Are there musical limits to the amount of improvement one can make = in a >> choir, musically, if you have >> > to both play and conduct? > Yes, but the limits here outweigh the over-all ministry detriments that so often exist in having two persons, one to direct, one to play. So the abundance of such positions becomes strong testimonial to their value.   The person needs to be good enough at the organ so as to go the organ accompanying almost without thinking about it when rehearsing or service-conducting the choir. Insufficient organ skills are often the = first reason why such combined positions fail for some folks.   Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA  
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "Maurits Lamers" <maurits@weidestraat.nl> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 17:52:13 +0200   Hi all,   One addition I have to make to my last mail... It helps a lot if you=20 CAN do both. But nevertheless you should avoid it when performing in any way. During=20=   rehearsals you can play, but accompany all the time creates lazy choir=20=   singers. Rehearsals should be done with as less accompaniment as=20 possible.   My last post has a strong emphasis on the performance, not the=20 rehearsal. That should clear things up a bit :)   greets   Maurits   Op 18-mei-05 om 17:43 heeft Karl Moyer het volgende geschreven:   > On 17 May 2005 at 9:44, Charles Peery expounded: >> > =A0Are there musical limits to the amount of improvement one can = make=20 >> in a choir, musically, if you have >> > to both play and conduct? >> > Yes, but the limits here outweigh the over-all ministry detriments=20 > that so often exist in having two persons, one to direct, one to play.=20=   > =A0=A0So the abundance of such positions becomes strong testimonial to=20=   > their value. > > The person needs to be good enough at the organ so as to go the organ=20=   > accompanying almost without thinking about it when rehearsing or=20 > service-conducting the choir. =A0Insufficient organ skills are often = the=20 > first reason why such combined positions fail for some folks. > > =A0=A0=A0=A0Karl E. Moyer > =A0=A0=A0=A0Lancaster PA=20 > =20=  
(back) Subject: Adoro Devote setting From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 10:58:48 -0500   > Howdy. As you know, I am playing a gig for the RCs the last Sunday in > May, Corpus Christi Sunday. One of our hymns is 'Adoro devote'. I > could always improvise, but has anyone (hint, hint, Bob Lind) done an > organ solo prelude/rendition of it that I could learn fairly quickly to > use at an appropriate interval? =20   Glenda--   I believe that Leon Beollmann wrote a "Processional March" on this tune, and it's rather nice! I can't remember what collection it is in, though. =20   Daniel Hancock Springfield, Missouri  
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "Jonathan Orwig" <giwro@adelphia.net> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 09:18:57 -0700   Karl is 100% right here....   In previous years (early 1990's) I both directed and played...   I'm not the world's best sight-reader, so I was concerned that it might handicap being able to do 2 things at once....   What I found was that I ended up memorizing most of the choir accomps so I could make eye contact with the choir!   I also found that I needed 3-4 hours of practice _DAILY_ to feel comfortable....   Having played a number of years since then, I think I'd not need as much time now, but I'd surely have some wood-shedding to do if I wanted to do both again. In my current position, I'm blessed with an accompanist (and have been since I started here) But _I_ get to do the hiring of the same. We have been using students from the local University - it gives them accompanying experience and a decent wage and helps me out immensely.   I must agree that if you are to do both, you must train your choir to = WATCH for small cues (what? I have to LOOK UP? <giggle>) and it also helps if you teach the piece so well that you really aren't needed except for the occasional entrance or cutoff. For those whose choirs find this to be a burden, I've also found that sometimes we need to scale back the difficulty level for the choir music...   This is often one of the HARDEST lessons to learn!   Sometimes a choir simply canNOT do the level of music that the director wants to do, OR they need FAR more rehearsal than we give them.   I have a lot of retirees, and I post a calendar for them to sign out IN ADVANCE if they are going out of town... I plan my music accordingly - if certain people are gone, it's likely going to require cutting back on the level of difficulty, since the remaining faithful simply CANNOT carry a difficult piece by themselves. They understand this, and I've got them trained to TELL me when they are gonna be gone - in fact I had someone call me from IDAHO (we're in California) to tell me they had decided to stay away one more week so I could change plans if needed.     Karl Moyer wrote:   >On 17 May 2005 at 9:44, Charles Peery expounded: > > >>>> Are there musical limits to the amount of improvement one can make in = a >>>> >>>> >>>choir, musically, if you have >>> >>> >>>>to both play and conduct? >>>> >>>> >Yes, but the limits here outweigh the over-all ministry detriments that = so >often exist in having two persons, one to direct, one to play. So the >abundance of such positions becomes strong testimonial to their value. > >The person needs to be good enough at the organ so as to go the organ >accompanying almost without thinking about it when rehearsing or >service-conducting the choir. Insufficient organ skills are often the = first >reason why such combined positions fail for some folks. > > Karl E. Moyer > Lancaster PA > > > -- Jonathan Orwig Evensong Music, Media and Graphics New Organ and Choral Music http://www.evensongmusic.net    
(back) Subject: reeds - what were they thinking? From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 11:35:17 -0500   >From: <Steskinner@aol.com> >Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 05:29:20 EDT   >My original complaint was about a 27 rank tracker organ going into a >church,=20 >having two cornets, but no reed chorus. An acceptable reed chorus could be >a=20 >16' anything and a 8' trumpet. The requirement for this organ would be to=20 >play church services, but to answer the question, a "reed chorus" would be=20 >required to play the Widor Toccata from Symphonie V, as well as any of a >hundred=20 >other pieces from the French tradition. Sowerby calls for a reed chorus in=20 >"Carillon." Purvis (admitedly on the outskirts of the "organ literature"=20 >definition) in "Carol Rhapsody" "Thanksgiving" "In Babilone" etc. Percy >Fletcher=20 >"Toccata Festiva", Dubois "Sortie Toccata", Boelmann "Toccata" from Suite >Gothique.=20   >I guess my question (rant, really) was about the wisdom of having TWO=20 >cornets, at the expense of ONE reed chorus.   Well, I can understand your frustration with that scenario. But, Wouldn't it really be possible to substitute a flue stop of 16' pitch for a missing reed, if you had to? I suppose I probably play too many organs that don't have a "reed chorus", but the majority of service playing organs in this area have no 16' reed in the manuals. =20   I remember hearing about a Richard Bond organ that had no 16' reed in the manuals, but in the swell had a 16' Dulciana that was voiced to blend with the swell reeds, and it was reported that it was an acceptable, flexible alternative for a 16' reed in a reed chorus. Likewise, if there was no 4' reed, and you needed one, it seems like a 4' principal or string could suffice. =20   On paper, I wouldn't relish the idea of the 27 rank tracker you cite, but if it works aurally, then I don't care as much what the stops are, as long as they are successful. Can you share specifications of the instrument?   Daniel Hancock Springfield, Missouri  
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 11:06:59 -0600   Hello, Jonathan, et al: Of all that has been written on this subject, what may be the heaviest is: > it also helps if you teach the piece so well that > you really aren't needed except for the occasional > entrance or cutoff. Some music can be rendered that way. I watched a PBS presentation of Andre Previn leading an orchestra in which he gave the downbeat of a Mozart Symphony, then walked to the edge of the stage, folded his arms, and waited until they finished playing to the end of the movement. In the audience were school children and interested adults (possibly a free concert). At the end of the movement, Mr. Previn walked back to the podium and gave a cutoff for all those playing. Mr. Previn told the audience, there is a lot of music than can be played this way. The people in the orchestra can play it, they know it well enough to express it, and the start and stop are the only two events that need to be defined by someone else. THAT is considered to be knowing the music well enough that it will sound proper in performance. Most of us have few church choirs with that kind of expertise in singing peformance. Many of us have church choirs who are totally amateur, lack the training to sing well, and depend on a neighbor or the conductor for everything needed in singing the music as well as can be done with the talent available. I am please to hear that many of you have church choirs who can perform most anything you ask of them. However, I find it strange that you do this with a relatively small choir. Maybe that is because you have such high expectations of the singers that amateurs will not attempt to sing with you. Don't know your particular limitations, but we need about 80 singers on any given Sunday morning to keep things moving well with the congregation. We may have more than 100 singers or be down to about 60 singers, but the body of sound needed to fill the room with sound and lead the congregation is sufficient. We will usually have about 1000 people singing the hymns and gospel songs on any given Sunday. Typically, that many people in the choir (mostly amateur status) will need someone directing them, and sufficient training in rehearsal to know how to be at the right place with the right emphasis all the way through the music selected for that Sunday. Our organ console is at floor level, and most of the choir singers higher on risers cannot see the organist. Our traditions depend on the leadership of a conductor, (aka choir director, music director, etc.) and we do not mind his presence nor his/her ability to present the music from a unique perspective. It's their job. Most of our organists are there to play preludes, offertories, impromptu, postludes, and accompany the choir(s), ensemble(s), and soloists. We also work with a very talented pianist. The wise music directors solicit and work closely with the other instrumental musicians. This makes for long-term relationships and sustains a more enriched choral presentation scenario for the church. While some may question why this or that is necessary at all, depending on what tradition you support, we may also question why you limit yourself so terribly. F. Richard Burt Curator of the Organ First Baptist Church Garland, Texas ..    
(back) Subject: choirmasters cues From: "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 10:39:03 -0700   In my job as organist and choirmaster I have an 8 voice choir, 3 men, five women. Several years ago, we deleted the mid-week evening rehearsal = because most of the singers were young and had infants or toddlers at home, and we could not afford nursery care except on Sunday morning.   Having the main rehearsal on Sunday was difficult for me. I felt rushed = and never felt like I was plugged into my role as service organist until half way through the service. My choirs like to sing through the hymns, etc, especially with a musically astute rector who chooses freely from the many Episcopal music resources (he has assigned the task of music choosing to = me, but often makes his own suggestions, and I really enjoy working with a rector who has the ability and taste to choose effective music!) What this all means is that the choir's actual rehearsal time for anthems was around 30 minutes.   Currently, the choir's makeup is such that we have been able to = re-institute the Thursday practice. There are some singers who can't make the week = night rehearsal and that's OK. Usually, there are three to four who come, and = we woodshed parts and work on choral and vocal techniques. The singers who = do come are excited about the chance to have some individual help, and things are coming together very nicely now on Sunday mornings.   I find my singers responding very well to the subtle cues they receive = from me, and only one of them qualifies as a soloist. The difference between = the rushed Sunday rehearsals and the added weeknight practice is definitely = what has brought on this improvement, because I try to explain what my sorts of cues mean, and I have encouraged the singers to ask questions. We just never had time to delve this deep into things on Sundays.   Randy   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Randy Terry Music Minister The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California        
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (correction) From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 11:59:00 -0600   Hello, PipeChatters: > Hello, Jonathan, et al: > > Of all that has been written on this subject, what > may be the heaviest is . . .   * * * < correction>   > I am pleased to hear. . . > that many of you have church choirs who can > perform most anything you ask of them. However, > I find it strange that you do this with a relatively > small choir. Maybe that is because you have such > high expectations of the singers that amateurs will > not attempt to sing with you. Don't know your > particular limitations, but we need about 80 singers > on any given Sunday morning to keep things > moving well with the congregation.       <another correction> > We may have more than 100 choir singers or be down > to about 60 singers, but the body of sound needed > to fill the room and lead the congregation is sufficient. > We will usually have about 1000 people in the > congregation singing the hymns and gospel songs > on any given Sunday. Typically, that many people < (60 to about 100) in the choir (mostly amateur status) > will need someone directing them during the service, > and sufficient training in rehearsal to know how to be > at the right place with the right emphasis all the way > through the music selected for that Sunday. Maybe that will clarify what I was trying to say in too great a hurry. <apologetic grins> F. Richard Burt ..    
(back) Subject: New publications from JFFJ (X post) From: "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 20:42:32 +0200   The free online music publisher JFFJ (www.jffj.tk) celebrates the Norwegian Constitution Day (well, it was yesterday ;) with two new publications for organ: Jon Kristian Fjellestad's "Fanfare" and 15-year old Thomas Monrad Erlandsen's "Toccata"   Also new is a 5-page performance edition of Jon Kristian's "Toccata". Since its publication, the piece has sounded in several churches, from Trondheim to Melbourne, including two British Cathedrals! There is a minor printing error in bar 32; the pedal notes should be b-g#-a, not b-g#-a#.   As always, our publications are licenced under Creative Commons, which allows free use and distribution. So go have a look at www.jffj.tk and enjoy our music!   Jarle Fagerheim Director I, JFFJ  
(back) Subject: Re: the organist-choirmaster... From: "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca> Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 13:36:11 -0500   I've always been in a real quandry on this question. I've worked as both organist/choirmaster and as organist with a choirmaster; and I've listened to many choirs over the years under the direction of a conductor who is accompanying or who is only conducting.   On average, I think the separate organist and choirmaster produce a better result. There seems to be much more control over the choir when someone is concentrating solely on them.   But I love to play the organ and would not choose to be a choirmaster only. And the choirmaster has to be the boss. And I hate that! A quandry.   Russ Greene       On May 17, 2005, at 9:06 PM, Randy Terry wrote:   > Generally, if there is a separate choir director, they are usually the > director of music, too.