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Everything posted by Fiffaro

  1. I'm aware of a number of my colleagues who take the same approach that I do: we own the Baerenreiter edition, either own or have copies of the critical reports, but more often than not play from other editions that we have checked against the Baerenreiter. For example, the trio sonatas are more compactly laid out in the Novello (old) edition and more amenable to turning for oneself; many of the chorale preludes I play from the Peters edition (I had to learn those funny clefs during my undergraduate days, and now I'm quite thankful as that saves me reading ledger lines, I can annoy cellists and violists by saying "let's start from where you play..." and I play continuo from funny clefs fairly regularly)
  2. JOR, I'm inclined also to think that there is a missed sharp in bar 49 on the d''. The harmonic rate of change in bars 46 to 53 would support this. However, taken at the speed that I've heard some play this, I'm not sure that most listeners would hear the difference! As Latry said when a student was playing "Dieu parmi nous" very fast, 'vif et puissant' might mean as fast as the piece can by understood by the listener rather than as fast as your fingers can play. At speeds that are too fast, I think some of the rhythmic interest in Fête is lost.
  3. Sorry for the multiple postings - every time I pressed the 'Add Reply' button I went to a screen that said some sort of flood control measure was in place and to try again in 20 seconds, which I did. If anyone can tell me how to delete the multiple posts, I'd be happy to, but I can't see how to do that.
  4. Having recently followed the implosion of a highly talented friend of mine with, unfortunately, a very prickly character, a lack of ability to get on with people and the belief that the world must run according to his perception, I'd make sure that I found out as much as I was able about applicant's interpersonal skills. It amazes me how many positions are filled without a quick phone call or two to check with referees and to talk with people at previous places of employment. I have also seen high prices paid for that lack of basic background checking!
  5. The single, most frequently asked composer for me has been Bach, particularly the P & Fs. One piece that I have found useful to have with me for funerals is Vierne's 'Préambule' (Op. 31 No. 1) from the 24 Pièces en style libre.
  6. This is the same as my fingering for the 2nd and 3rd flourishes. For the first flourish, I use a slight variation that I need to allow my right hand to open in time for the following chord: 1st flourish (bottom of 1st page in the Brietkopf/Simon edition) LH 5 4 2 1 RH 1 2 3 4 LH 2 1 RH 3 4
  7. A more mature organist than I, who studied with Anton Heiller, tells the story of asking for a lesson focussing on improvisation as the required piece had not been prepared for the lesson. Heiller asked for a trio in ternary form. The storyteller said that all went okay until it was time for the restatement of the 'A' section - and he couldn't remember well enough what he had done. Heiller started calling out the note to play from the church floor! That sort of aural memory must help so much!
  8. Audience numbers might increase if we all showed a little more bare leg.
  9. We need something like this in Melbourne, Australia. We have just been informed that the Casavant organ in our main concert hall (Hamer Hall) is to be removed during the refurbishing of the hall and NOT REPLACED!!! Now, the organ does have problems as an instrument for such a venue as the stops are all mechanical action with only ventils, in French fashion as aids. It does mitigate against organists preparing major performances in the limited time that occurs for such events nowadays. The organ, whilst having some lovely softer stops, does rather lack grunt and can't compete with full orchestra in romantic organ concertos or THAT symphony by SS. So, instead of taking the instrument and doing what is needed to make it work, they are going to get rid of it. We believe that this is largely because of a scathing letter written about ten years ago by a then famous international organist who has rather fallen out of favour in the meantime and who definitely was not a good selection to perform on this instrument. The problems with the instrument, as I see it, stem from relying on a single, somewhat misguided organ consultant in the initial building, and now will be lost because of another single opinion. I wish these guys would learn instead of repeating mistakes to the detriment of the organ world.
  10. No one has mentioned, unless I missed it, the Carus edition. Carus-Verlag is the publisher of the Rheinberger complete edition, and Sonata 8 is found in volume 38. Each volume has critical notes and reports on the sources. I purchased a single copy of Sonata 8 but splurged and bought volume 40 which contains a wealth of organ music, 271 pages of it - his music for organ apart from the sonatas that have opus numbers. Yesterday, during a free lunch hour concert, I played the complete Sonata 8 on the Melbourne Town Hall organ, a large late romantic organ (Hill, Norman & Beard 1927-1929) with an American classical organ overlay (rebuilt by Schantz in 1999-2000). The program started with Mendelssohn's Sonata 1, then the Rheinberger, followed by Jürgen Essl's Toccata in E. There is much in common between the two sonatas, but with some lovely, twisty differences. The audience (typically around 600 - 800 people) tends to be a mix of colleagues, business people enjoying their lunch break, and a large contingent of more elderly people enjoying some free entertainment. The Rheinberger worked a treat, and received very warm, generous and sustained applause. Wonderfully gratifying. That was the first time I've played all the sonata in one concert, but I'm definitely going to do so again when the instrument supports the sonata well. The passacaglia gives wonderful opportunities to showcase many of the softer and medium level sounds on an organ. The fugue is also a bit of a ripper, and I think works quite powerfully. One of my colleagues told me that he had played through the fugue a few times and had been impressed with it, and hearing it played in my concert reinforced his belief that it is also a very fine composition, unfortunately in the same sonata as one of Rheinberger's best movements, so unjustly neglected. Volume 40 bears the title 'Kleinere Orgelwerke' - small organ works. Some works are indeed short, trios, for example, only one page long. There are also many pieces four and five pages long. Very worthwhile adding to one's library and then selecting pieces to add to one's repertoire. I hope that your audience/congregation rewards you well for your work in learning and presenting the work, Philip.
  11. Over the last few years, a number of my colleagues have travelled to the UK for lessons. Not organ, but harpsichord, voice, recorder and so on. Now, admittedly, these were working with teachers in high demand (Emma Kirkby for voice, for example), but it strikes me that the rates being mentioned here for organ tuition are more than significantly lower than is being charged by teachers for tuition in other instruments. Are we selling ourselves short?
  12. I'll think I'll have to introduce this forum to a colleague of mine with whom I have an arrangement whereby I practice a couple of days a week on his mechanical action organ, and he is preparing for an exam on my more English eclectic electric action instrument. I always return his organ bench to the height he uses, trying to get the same distance from the console, and I've walked in to play for a service on my instrument to find I have to change over the blocks under my organ stool and shift it forward again. It's the little things... Notice the personal pronouns, even thought organs aren't really ours!
  13. After reading this thread a couple of days ago, I did a slow "dotted" play through of the Vierne Toccata. What struck me is very close to what MusingMuso wrote about anchor points. I find that the Vierne often involves spreading the gap between two fingers in order to move to the next set of notes that fall under the hand, and that change in hand shape occurs at quite a slow rate and are rather small each time. There are also passages where chords just shift up or down making both reading and playing easier. Having said that, I must confess to having had to work much harder to bring, initially, the Vierne to performance standard than I have had to for any of the Handel concertos or pieces of similar ilk, such as the obligato organ movements in Bach cantatas. Perhaps the relative time spent has something to do with the ease with which I can bring the Vierne back to performance standard, and then the surety with which I perform it. I don't think this is a bad thing, though, as Handel and Bach obligato movements can sound better when they aren't so thoroughly learnt in that there is less spontaneity. I shall now crawl back into my shell.
  14. utI was organist for 6 years on a 1741 Dacci (so Italian, I concede) very original organ. French, yes, South German, yes, (worked and studied in Austria) but not as much of central German and Northern European organs as I'd have liked, and with family and mortgage commitments unlikely to be able to spend more time on them in the near future . As I see it, this thread is not primarily about historical mechanical action instruments, but about "a (good) tracker-action" as MM worded it. Now, this is open to varied interpretation, but I read it to mean what we would deem a lightish, responsive modern mechanical action: the sort of instrument that I'd expect most learning organist in the UK or in my home country to have access to regularly for practise.
  15. Should recordings of (acoustic) guitar music be subject to similar criteria? Would we criticise such a recording if we are able to hear noise from the fingers sliding on the strings? What about recordings of cellists who preplay notes quietly or hit their fingers quickly onto the fingerboard to check intonation before major entries? What about recordings of wonderful gamba playing with the breathing of the player present. Would we condem a recording of harpsichord music because of the sound of the jack falling back into place when the note is released? Do we acknowledge the change of quality which occurs with the voice across the voice's range with even the most beautiful voice? I smell a rat when critics ignore extraneous noises or strange characteristics from other instrumentalists whilst criticising organists for the sounds that are part and parcel of the organ. To my mind, other music lovers criticising the sounds of a barker lever working away only indicates that they need to find out more about the instrument they are listening to much as we learn to forgive any instrument its strange ways. (These comments are made generally as I have not heard any of Andrew McGregor's programmes.)
  16. For me, I've never been able to get used to the invariable sudden snap shut of wind to the pipes that electric action enforces. To play, for example, Bach's setting of 'O mensch bewein' and have each note abruptly cut off is a little painful. On a mechanical action instrument, I am able to release the notes with a little more grace. But then, I was brought up playing mechanical action instruments and hardly ever played other actions when I was acquiring my tertiary qualifications. I still remember my first big recital on an electric action instrument as I had to work hard at dealing with the difference and translate what I was able to do easily on a mechanical action instrument. As students, when we sat through competitions and amused ourselves by trying to predict who would successfully move through to the next round after only a few bars of hearing candidates playing, we would also categorise them into those that learnt and practised on mechanical or non-mechanical action. It seemed to always be fairly obvious which performers were not used to the extra precision that a good mechanical action organ is able to provide.
  17. This is one of the reasons why I photocopy my own scores and learn and play from the photocopy. As my eyesight is no longer up to reading figured bass from miniature scores, I find reading fingering written in ink easier than when it is pencilled. I can't bring myself to write with ink in my originals...
  18. How mega cool would that be! Play the organ at Notre Dame from your home PC with a Midi keyboard! What fun one could have. For example, slip a few extra notes into the beginning of the organist's improvisation and see if they are incorporated into the development by the organist. Or just play the organ when the cathedral is empty at night. Record your own You Tube video without actually having to be there. This is more fun than thinking of what to do with the proceeds of a lottery that I'll never win!
  19. Learning a new piece is very hard, often discouraging work, almost impossible to do if you come home tired after a day of work doing something else! I've learned to motivate myself with little things, such as setting myself a goal of fingering a new system every day, on average, until the piece is learned. I even rough out the pieces I want to learn at the beginning of each calendar year. Yes, learning can be absolutely boring at times. I also keep sessions shorter when I am discouraged and intersperse the learning with playing pieces that I've slogged through recently and now enjoy playing. I've spent most of the time since the beginning of October flat on my back - no practice in that time. Interestingly, given the comments above, the trio sonata I worked so hard on for a recital earlier this year was still accurate after this extended break, and I felt I was able to concentrate better on it than when I had been belting it into my fingers and brain. I was taught to prepare a piece for a performance for friends a year before it is needed, then put it to bed for nine months before bringing it back up to speed. I don't always get to follow that advice! Good luck.
  20. I second this vote for Bine's recording, although, Bazuin, I sometimes think her outer movements would sometimes benefit from a little more drive or aggression.
  21. I sometimes think that as a player I am playing at a good listening speed - until I listen to a recording of myself and hear that it appears faster or slower when listen to it whilst not playing than I believed whilst playing.
  22. One of my pet peeves, particularly when playing low on the manuals, is when players don't listen to whether the reeds are able to speak properly, sometimes because the same articulation is being used low in the range as is used higher in the range where the reeds speak more promptly.
  23. True, however there is still much that could be addressed with this approach. It would allow Cynic to sit in the nave with the priest and listen to what is happening if the priest hears the problem again. Then, the possibility of Mixture with migraine, notes played too short to sound properly, and the result of leaving a mobile phone near the system could all be checked and possibly eliminated. Having taken a side step in life for a while and worked as an Electronic Engineer in a research institution then in a spin off company that produced both PC software and embedded software, and having been the person who was the engineer turned to when others had failed to locate problems, I can vouch for the methodical approach, looking at one subset of possibilities, and indeed one possibility at a time.
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