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Everything posted by Fiffaro

  1. Peter Planyavsky has recorded all the organ works of Heiller. I don't have any idea if these are still available or not.
  2. Very good sense. I shall certainly use this approach! Thanks.
  3. Just where the RH part moves to the Positif? (Assuming you are playing hands swapped.) I am able to apply a stringendo after that quite happily, but would prefer to be playing faster earlier. Normally I'd try rhythmic variants to help a passage like this, dotted, 1 + 3, 4 + 4, 2 + 6 and so on tracking the speed of each variation as I push the tempo. However... The grouping of the quavers in the theme is so ground into my brain from learning the rest of the piece that I can't stick to the rhythmic variant, even though I've been using this approach for years in other pieces and don't normally have to even think about it. The power (?) of the brain sometimes just gets in the way. I've wondered about using Sibelius to type the chords in groups of fours, but seeing I can't stay with the rhythms when practising this section from memory and not using the music, I'm not sure that this will work. So, I admit to just bashing away at it. I'd love to increase my tempo further through this section, so perhaps re typesetting might help.
  4. I have found, in those pieces of Alain's that I've played, that he (the editor?) prefers to add accidentals that are not necessary in order to make his writing clear, rather than the other way around. See, for example. Le Jardin suspendu, second page, 4th system first bar and following bar, where the second sharp on f'-sharp is unnecessary, or in Litanies in the rapid descending chord passage that most of us take hands crossed which has many more accidentals than are required by the rules of music copying. For me, this indicates quite the opposite approach from expecting an accidental in one voice to be read in another and applied to the other b's which don't have a double flat in their octave. In a quick look through of some of his music that I play, I was not able to find an 'apply it in another octave' example that would be analogous to applying b-double flats in the Vivacissimo section. Having said that, I'm sure someone will be motivated to find such an example, so please share it with us.
  5. Ah, one of my favourite topics! Almost all of the chamber concerts I perform use some non-equal temperament. In fact, I've only ever tried tuning my harpsichord in equal temperament once, and that as an exercise, several decades ago. Singers who are used to this work much the same was as, for example, string players, tuning in (pardon the pun) to the characteristics of the temperament that you've chosen on the fly as they rehearse, and occasionally asking to work on particular intervals or chords when they are struggling to centre the pitch quickly. Singing 'in tune' involves more than just how wide a third is, or how narrow a fifth is, in any case, and it tends to be less experienced conductors and choirs which obsess most when dealing with this aspect. (This is not meant to be a reflection on the question, which is a good question or the originator of this thread. On the contrary, I'm just trying to say that for those that are more experienced, there is less worry about this particular aspect of sounding 'in tune' than for those that are less experienced.) In my experience, in trying to help singers tune pure intervals, pianos tuned equally are not the ideal pedagogical help. Organs, with their sustained tone, are better, and, for example, 1/4 meantone, provides pure thirds for singers to hear and to match pitch with (c - e, f - a, d - f-sharp, e-flat - g, g - b, b-flat - d, and your choice of e - g-sharp or a - flat to c) and for perfect fourths and fiths, although, as pwhodges says, not in the same triad! (But that doesn't matter once the singer has experienced the sensation of what a pure third, fourth of fifth really sounds and feels like.) Of course, there is wonderful software for this as well. There are funny moments with all this: I never tire of watching cellists tune to an A, then tune wonderfully pure fifths, only to look puzzled when the C is not in tune with the accompanying instrument. They do it time and time again and the result never changes! I have wondered, with instruments where the harmonics are so out of tune as they are with a piano, whether people with so called perfect pitch are pitching to the first, second or even subsequent harmonics. Piano tuning is a series of compromises to work with this problem. Tuning harpsichords is so much easier than tuning pianos as with smaller diameter strings their harmonics are much closer to being in tune. Now, I used to play an organ build in 1741 which was decidedly not equally tempered. The choir at that church was not the most advanced choir that I've trained, but they had no trouble singing to it. The congregation was totally used to it and never commented on it. I chose to transpose some hymns into keys that worked better with the temperament. The repertoire that worked well on that instrument was written before God punished musicians by leading humanity to the general adoption of equal temperament. That was the most extreme temperament I've regularly enjoyed for leading a congregation, but I have also played others with milder temperaments such as Valotti and Young. It was very rare to find something in an accompaniment that hit the ears, and the congregations were used to it in any case. I so miss that Pfiffaro and the wonderful sound of the Principale. Sigh. Back to the Baileys and pleasant memories.
  6. Whoops. Indeed. Try 3 hours and 30 minutes. Enough time for several swings of the censer. (Makes note to self about using correct symbols for time. Contemplates shooting himself with a banana, but realises it is not loaded and eats it instead. Does not fall in the water.)
  7. Just to be a little different: Easter Sunday (with the Anglicans) Fleury's Prelude, Cantilene et Finale with the Cantilene pre service and the Finale after. Mass setting was Howell's Coll Reg. The organ at Trinity College, Melbourne, suits the French toccata style - it is easy to be overbearing given the Chapel's size and the voicing of the organ, so the final, long held high g''' then f''' worked. My wife enjoyed it, and that's all that matters! Easter Vigil: I played for an Extraordinary Mass (RC) and didn't get to play a note until we were 2' 10" into the Mass, with the whole Mass lasting 3' 30". Can any of the other board members better that? The only English spoken was for the Homily and the renewal of baptismal vows. Mass was chanted. Communion and Offertory were Frescobaldi and Postlude was Muffat's Toccata decima on a quaint little organ with one pedal stop and about 10 stops distributed over two manuals. One ivory detached itself when I went absolutely wild for the improvisation after the incipit of the Gloria It was kind of relaxing watching the poor conductor who also was required to cantor a fair amount keeping the whole musical show on the road while I just waited for my little moments. It does make a change from my last 8 years. I did enjoy the whole experience.
  8. How, that's one of the tricks I learnt for playing flexible winded organs - release the lower pipes that require more air flow first, and you drive the pitch of the higher notes up. Rule of thumb, play notes requiring more wind first, release them last: Roll up when starting, down when finishing. Pfiff - or are we still hung up about using real names!
  9. If you're like me, and spend considerable time working out fingering and writing it in, a scan of complex pieces, saved to hard drive and a backup, provides a degree of comfort in case the music goes missing in transit.
  10. They didn't have the espresso machine when I used to dep there! I'm miffed! That was the church where I was practicing, early evening, during the first Gulf war when I heard small explosions. We were all a little tense as there had been shots fired from one of the embassies into a crowd outside an embassy just a few days before. The embassies had extra security measures around them, with barricades and extra security very visible, policemen with semiautomatic rifles slung across their chests. Christchurch is opposited the UK embassy and was clearly experiencing heightened security measures. I thought the best thing to do was to hit the floor and lie down. After some time, it occurred to me that I had not heard any sirens as one would expect with an outbreak of shooting. When I had the courage to investigate, I found that, in the nearby castle grounds, fireworks were being let off. That night, I hadn't needed coffee to keep me alert!
  11. As a student, I made the mistake of deciding to master a Bach Sonata during the summer break. That was in Sydney, Australia, where the temperature could top 40 degrees. The church I was practicing in was the German Lutheran Church where the little Schuke organ was in the gallery close to the ceiling, in other words, where the heat was at its most noticeable. It would get very hot. Next door was a bottle shop and a pub. Now, the delicate art was to have a cold beer at hand, to drink enough to help keep one cool, and not so much that the session was wasted. One of my female colleagues couldn't bring herself to drink alcohol in the church, so her approach was to remove clothing to the bare minimum, safe in the knowledge that she would just have enough time to return to respectability, between hearing the door to the church being unlocked and opened, and anyone reaching the top of the stairs to the gallery. That system would have worked well, if she'd remembered to play softly enough to hear the door open...
  12. But, in most non-equal temperaments, the triads with the purer thirds are also the triads with the narrowest fifths, so it is difficult to see how "at least half the keys are purer than ET" Unfortunately, our ears are more sensitive to narrow fifths than they are to wide thirds. Having said that, as someone who regularly tunes and performs in a variety of non-equal temperaments on harpsichord, and for years played for a church on an organ with close to 1/4 comma meantone, I am a very strong supporter of historic temperaments. This is a topic that has appeared previously on this forum, so the search engine is your friend. For a serious start to understanding 19th century tuning, I'd begin by reading "Tuning : containing the perfection of eighteenth-century temperament, the lost art of nineteenth-century temperament, and the science of equal temperament, complete with instructions for aural and electronic tuning" by Owen H. Jorgensen. Try you local University library.
  13. Just to cheer you all up... I learned early in my student days, in Australia, to work on Bach's Trio Sonatas during winter: I find more than any other music that I warm up when playing them. As a student I made the mistake of working on a new sonata in Summer, when the temperature in the church was in the mid to high 30s, and with the church right next door to a pub. I'd buy cold beer, and then tread a fine line between being to warm to want to continue and too sloshed to be worthwhile continuing.
  14. I've played in churches when the holy water inside the church is frozen. Fortunately, not where I currently work or live! Fingerless gloves are available made from thermal material, hence much thinner than any made from wool. Hiking and climbing outlets have little packages of clear liquid that, after clicking a metal disc in the pouch, change to a white solid, releasing heat. This is reversible by then heating them in boiling water, preparing them for being used again. These same outlets have thermal underwear, including what I know as 'Long Johns' - full length underpants, as well as thermal socks. I have also used water bottles, only mildly warm, resting them on the keyboard before playing so that the cold keyboard doesn't draw the heat from my fingers. Be careful as none of us wants to damage keyboards, I'm sure! Be careful with heaters when the humidity is low. I currently play on an organ where the bench split as a result of low humidity and a heater placed to close, fortunately before I was appointed to the position.
  15. Not much different in the colonies, um Australia, I'm afraid. My son is finishing his secondary schooling this year, and has attended a specialist College of the Arts school. They were required to do some harmonisation 'in the style of Bach'. I looked at his - blatant consecutive fifths and octaves, no sense of good harmonic progression - marked with top marks and no faults corrected. Conclusion (not only from this one occasion)? The teacher in an elite music and arts school is herself not capable of doing the work at an acceptable level. More and more the school course work has been dominated by jazz and pop music, even though this school has enough classical instrumentalists to form a credible orchestra. And the choir? (They do have a choir, I guess I should be thankful, and the quality has improved over the last four or so years with a change of director.) Most of what is sung is the sickly sweet music that youth choir directs think young children like singing. A couple of them attended a Tallis Scholars Summer School a couple of years ago. That was not because the Summer School offered sickly sweet music. My son goes from singing Byrd and Purcell on Sunday to 'let's clap to the rhythm' during the week. He know what he prefers.
  16. Thank you for those who are expressing positive comments for MM. My contribution was an attempt to do that, but I think was ultimately used to fan the fire. I'm sure others have noticed that those three, now, posters that are so positive about Mr Laube's playing all have very low numbers of posts. My experience in online forums leads me to smell a rat when a number of low posters start pushing a product, particularly in such a strident way. On the OT topic of anonymity and pseudonyms, IT security experts advise people not to post on forums in a way that allows obvious identification. There are people who sell information they glean from haunting forums to others who use that information to know when to break into people's homes. Posting time patterns, for example, provide information, as well as comments about holidays, or in our case, statements about intentions to attend concerts would be dangerous. This was brought home to me on another forum that I've been very active on in the last year, a house building forum, where recently the members in my city suffered a spate of break ins. In one case, a forum member had previously posted plans of her house, later putting photos of an expensive purchase on the forum. Muddy footprints went straight to the room with the item, the thieves not even looking in other rooms to see what else was there. From what was happening, it was clear that the forum had an observer who was passing information on.
  17. Fiffaro

    New CD

    Hi Ian, This item is now listed as sold and no longer available. I hope you did have more than one copy made!
  18. Sorry, pressed the button once, two posts resulted. Hmmm.
  19. People use pseudonyms because that is the culture of on-line forums. To criticise people for using pseudonyms is as useless as bemoaning the use of first names rather than surnames by strangers. The world has changed. Besides, it doesn't take much to discover who Musing Muso is if you want to do so. Those of us that have frequented this forum for some time value MMs contributions and often find great enjoyment in reading them even if we don't always agree with everything that he says: I suspect that's the way he would like it. As someone with not inconsiderable performance experience, and even more experience attending concerts, standing ovations are not a good indicator of good playing. It is possible to manipulate audiences. Think, for example, that David Helfgott has received standing ovations. I remember reading publicity for an Australian boys' choir saying that they received a standing ovation at the end of a particular concert. Well, yes, of course, they finished the program with an arrangement of the national anthem and people stood for that! People stand when someone slots a round ball through some metal - I never understood that. Shame that the pseudonym 'cynic' is already taken on this forum, or I'd think about using it myself. In any case, I hope that my first few posts didn't offend any long standing members of these forums that have helped make my visits here often enjoyable, entertaining, thought-provoking, enriching and have contributed to my knowledge of my specialist area in life.
  20. All those years of searching on limited instruments for acceptable registrations for the Bach Sonatas, and then playing movements with the RH down an octave and the LH up an octave pay off! :angry:
  21. Should that be the other way around? The rapid chords are written for the LH, but can be played by the RH if you cross your hands. Do others do this?
  22. The story is told, in Viennese circles, that Guido Meyer was once asked to dep when Planyavsky was sick and so learned the Heiller organ concerto from memory in a couple of days. But that was Guido. There are some with that kind of ability. Some of us simply have to work very hard to have music solidly from memory.
  23. One of the first pieces I tried to play in public from memory was the Finale from Vierne's Symphonie 1. Those that know it well can probably guess where this post is going from the quote above. Yes, the bottom of the second page, having modulated to b minor, where Vierne uses a little link passage to move to the second subject - the one Vierne introduces in canon between RH and pedal - has to be differentiate from the bottom of the 3rd last page where the identical passage work then moves to the second subject in octaves in the hands with chords. Forget how to play the second one, and you are stuck in an endless loop, repeating most of the work!!! I spend some time each practice session playing music from memory. Part of my requirements to have a work solidly from memory is to have multiple 'start' points within a work, where if something goes wrong, I can work to the next reset spot and be sure that everything is correct from that point again. I'll spot check several places in the Vierne from time to time, but I always make sure I spot check those two, related spots. NEVER AGAIN WILL I MAKE THAT MISTAKE!!!!
  24. Not a recital, but I have included works by Cabezon in my planning for this Semester's music at the College where I am organist and the church where I'm DoM. The Hispanieae Schola Musica Sacra edition is available at IMSLP.
  25. Why not ask the organ tuner if, and how, the pedal board can be removed for cleaning underneath it? I'm sure most organ maintainers would not mind having someone else do that for them so that they are able to concentrate on things that you can't take care of. A quick phone call might be all it takes, or to meet with the maintainer when they are next there to show you how to do it safely.
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