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Malcolm Kemp

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Posts posted by Malcolm Kemp

  1. Organ Recital by Malcolm Kemp

    Monday 2nd November, 1pm

    St Saviour's church, South Street, Eastbourne

    Retiring Collection - coffee and biscuits available afterwards.

     

    Programme

    Franck - Chorale No. 3 in A minor

    Purcell - Voluntarty in Dminor for Double Organ

    J S Bach - Prelude and Fugue in B minor

    Howells - Rhapsody in Dflat

    Reger - Melodia in Bflat

    Vierne - Final from Symphony No 1.

  2. This work, all thirty five minutes of it, is being played by Paul Derrett in a recital at Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, London SW1, at 3pm on Saturday 28th March. The recital is part of the AGM of The Organ Club but the recital is open to the public, free of charge. Other works in the programme include thosse by Bach, Stanley, Delius and Harold Skidmore.

     

    You will be aware that the organ was recently rebuilt by Harrison and Harrison.

     

    Paul describes the Weitz work as "wonderfully written for the instrument, powerful, wonderful and attractive".

     

    Malcolm

  3. A couple of weeks ago I played the first movement of the Sonata in a recital. I first learnt it many decades ago with Dougie Hawridge who was in his elemet with this genre, and I've kept it in the repertoire on and off ever since. Preparing for this recital I carefully studied the Christopher Kent edition in the organ volume of the complete Elgar edition and found the more detailed markings very helpful and interesting, giving me a new perspective on the work. I also studied a YouTube recording of the Arthur Jacob orchestration which I found somewhat disappointing although it was an old and poor quality recording. The Elgar started the recital and it finished with the first movement of Widor 6. I discovered that both pieces are transformed if you observe all the phrasing, staccato etc., markings meticulously and practise doing so very slowly and meticulously. The result was that, for me and, I hope, the audience, both pieces came so much more alive than they often sound.

     

    Malcolm

  4. St Saviour's Church, South Street, Eastbourne.

    Monday 3rd November at 1pm

    Retiring Collection and light refreshments.

     

    Malcolm Kemp (organ)

     

    Elgar First movement, Allegro Maestoso, from Sonata No 1 in G major

    Howells Master Tallis's Testament

    Mozart Fantasia in F minor and major (KV 594)

    Reger Benedictus in Dflat

    Langlais Cantilene from Suite Breve

    Widor First movement, Allegro, from Symphony No 6.

  5. I'll also throw into the mix James Lancelot's acclaimed DVD of the Organ Sonata. It will take a little effort to get hold of it though.

     

    Not only is the Lancelot performance extremely fine; he also demonstrates how to get round some of the musical and technical problems that the work presents. Worth having even for that even if the performance hadn't been utterly first rate (which it is!)

     

    Malcolm

  6.  

    It's, in fact, just under £60, and can be ordered here.

    Thanks, Mr Wolsey, you've helped me decide that it's worthwhile to pay out all this money to the Elgar Foundation. You may have seen the discussion on this topic on my Facebook timeline. I think it's a worthwhile financial sacrifice to make in the interests of the integrity of authentic musical performance! A lot has changed regarding this sort of thing since I first learnt it with Douglas Hawkridge so many years ago even though i remember him playing it so well at Sussex Gardens.

     

    Malcolm

  7. It's such a pity that the Christopher Kent edition of the Sonata (which has been described to me with varying levels of approval) has - according to learned and academically aware organist friends - only ever been available in the volume of complete organ works in the Novello Complete Elgar Edition. One might hope that one day it might appear published as a performance score on it's own. Something over £80 for the whole volume is a little steep for a Senior Citizen!

     

    Malcolm

  8. Not only is ridiculously fast tempi a problem in Baroque music; some Anglican church music - and especially Psalms - is now performed significantly faster than it was fifty years ago. Perhaps the problem with the Baroque tempi is like so much with life these days; everyone's in such a hurry all the time. I'm sure I've read somewhere (perhaps in the writing of Peter Williams, I'm not sure) that Bach was very aware of the speed of the average human heartbeat. Surely that gives us some indication of what he was thinking?

     

    Malcolm

  9. Colin - Your comment about Bach gradually changing his playing as he aged/matured brought Dupré instantly to my mind. Some of his best known recordings - not necessarily his best technically - were made when he was getting quite old.

     

    Malcolm

  10. I likewise agree that Baroque tempi these days seem to be far too fast. If you do the Bach Motets too fast they simply become a blurred jumble. John Mander singles out Harnoncourt as a culprit; I find nearly all Harnoncourt's tempi excessively fast, particularly so in Mozart Mass recordings. Ultimately we don't know for sure what Bach and his contemporaries did and we need to make educated guesses/judgments information available.

     

    There is a similar problem, particular to organists, with the term legato. There are those who try to say that Bach played with the kind of absolute legato we would associate, perhaps with Franck or a Field Nocturne and there are those who try to play Bach with a totally detached staccato. I don't subscribe to either of these theories. I suspect that the nearest one could get to describing what is wanted is an "articulated legato" - neither a Romantic type legato nor staccato.

     

    Surely ultimately, whether considering tempi or touch in playing Baroque music, the ear has to be the ultimate judge, taking into account the size and acoustics of the space it's being performed in and the number of people in the room. I have several DVDs of Barenboim giving both piano and orchestra conducting masterclasses; he constantly advises that the tempo is the LAST thing you need to decide upon after having taken everything else into consideration first.

     

    Malcolm

  11. I can think of several people who have been either temporarily or permanently banned from this forum by the administrator for comments less rude and offensive than some of those that Blackadder has been posting recently under this and another topic.

     

    This is supposed to be a friendly forum for like minded people. Let's keep it that way, please.

     

    Malcolm

  12. According to a message from his wife and daughter on the home page of the firm's website he died at home on 24th July (Thursday).

     

    There seems to be confusion about date and place of death, both here and elsewhere. Whatever the facts, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.

     

    Malcolm

  13. Frankly, I can't see the point in reciting who has taught down as far as oneself. If so I could claim pedigree back to both Ivor Atkins and Flor Peeters but can't see the point of it and it isn't even interesting or reliable. My most recent three teachers all had lessons with Gillian Weir and they all quoted her as saying quit different and contradictory things. Surely the important thing is what we do with what we've been taught; do we handle what we've been taught with care, further research of our own and, at all times, respect for the integrity of the music itself? Do we ask ourselves and our teachers the right questions?

     

    So far as engaging young people with the organ is concerned there is more properly organised expert outreach for young organist than ever before, and it comes at a very high standard - Oundle, The Organ Scholar Experience, the vast opportunities for organ scholarships, the RCO, trips by music colleges to hear and play foreign organs, courses organised by people like Nigel Allcoat, to name but a few that come instantly to mind. I cannot think of any other period when it has been so easy for young people to learn to play the organ, and get vast and varied experience in the process, to a very high professional standard. If you read the reports and photos of these activities they certainly seem to be full to capacity with very young and enthusiastic players. This country is currently turning out good numbers of very, very fine young players. Whether many of them will ever want to play regularly in church is another matter and it won't be their fault or that of other musicians if they don't.

     

    If you want to encourage young players don't let any of them anywhere near a local organists' association because nothing will put them off quicker or more effectively and I really mean this, seriously.

     

    Malcolm

  14. It is used ad nauseum in Chichester diocese and has been almost since it first appeared. The problem is that, like other good settings - and the Thorne is a very good setting for congregational singing - it gets tedious if you have that and nothing else. I think he originally wrote it for Portsmouth cathedral (hence "St Thomas") where he was sub organist.

     

    Malcolm

  15. Sorry - Portsmouth don't have copies and David Price doesn't know the piece. On Monday give Richard Barnes of Cathedral Music a call (01243 379968) as he often has odd copies of things like this amongst his vast collection. Tell him I suggested that you rang.

     

    Malcolm

  16. David Price (who was one of Barry F's organ scholars at Rochester) might have copies at Portsmouth. I'll ask him and let you know.

     

    When I once wanted copies of a hymn tune he had written I found Barry Ferguson extremely helpful and obliging. (On the other hand, he did once pinch one of my choristers for the Rochester choir. Silly boy is now a Vicar!)

     

     

    Malcolm

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