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Everything posted by Fiffaro

  1. Fiffaro

    Proms 2008

    Back for the yearly repeat of L'Ascension and a first try at using two manuals for the chords in Transports de joie. Interestingly, for me, I found that this was unnerving. When played on one manual, my hands just touch each other as they move from chord to chord, and I seem to have gotten used to that as the guide to how far to move each hand between chords. I was also going to have a go at the suggestion further back in the thread about having two notes in one hand and one in the other for all the chords. A very original suggestion, but I've had a cold since Easter Sunday - five weeks ago - that has limited my practice time as I've been getting very tired after only a few hours of practice. It's a swine of a cold. So, I'm still playing it the way I first learned as a fearless teenager. I'm sure I played it faster and more accurately then. Now please excuse me while I put away my rose coloured memory...
  2. I rarely learn a piece from any of my original scores any more. One reason is that I find it much easier to read fingering when I've used a pen rather than pencil to write, and I can't bring myself to use pen on a score. I also use colour overliners to mark passages that I have splatted more than once. Because I practice at various consoles during the week, I am constantly transporting my music, and even with the best intentions in the world, constant transporting and use does impact on the longevity of a score. We know that some editions will probably only enjoy a single print run and then not be available to replace damaged copies. Hence, I photocopy all the music of substance that I add to my repertoire. Sometimes I place this in a display folder - but then I need to be careful that spotlights in venues will not reflect off the plastic - or I bind with a spiral bind - much more durable than a comb binding. In my dreams I scan my music when I've performed each piece enough to be happy with my markings in case I lose a copy or my house burns down, so that I won't lose the results of the hard work and time that goes into fingering and preparing a piece. This has the benefit of keeping the weight down when flying to a concert, and airlines in this part of the world now see luggage charges as the salvation of their bottom line.
  3. I would hazard a guess that I'm not the only person to use a tepid water bottle or two to warm up the manuals before I've played a recital. It's so much more comfortable playing when you aren't feeling the heat of the fingers being drained by the keys!
  4. I've only ever conducted this with the soloist and choir singing the German text. It has the benefit of removing the phrase about the godless. I'm intrigued by what the trebles in my choir will sing without batting an eyelid or what triggers the puerile humour that some of them can't restrain from time to time. For those that are interested and might not count German as a language, here is a fairly literal translation, the aim having been to keep each English words as close as possible to the position of the word being translated. When the corrections start flooding in, I'll see how thick my skin is! Hör mein Bitten, Herr, neige dich zu mir, Hear my prayer, Lord, incline yourself to me. auf deines Kindes Stimme habe Acht! To the voice of your child be attentive. Ich bin allein: wer wird mir Tröster und Helfer Sein? I'm alone. Who will be my comforter and helper? Ich irre ohne Pfad in dunkler Nacht! I'm lost, without a path in the dark night. Die Feinde sei droh'n und heben ihr Haupt: The enemy are threatening and lift up their voices: „Wo ist nun der Retter, an den ihr geglaubt?“ "Now where is the Saviour in whom you believe?" Sie lästern dich täglich, sie stellen uns nach, The blaspheme you daily; they persecute us und halten die Frommen and keep the pious In Knechtschaft und Schmach. in slavery and shame. Mich fasst des Todes Furcht bei ihrem Dräu'n! I'm frightened to death because of their posturing. sie sind unzählige, ich bin allein; They are numberless; I'm alone. mit meiner Kraft kann ich nicht widersteh'n; With all my strength I am unable to resist. Herr, kämpfe du für mich, Lord, fight for me: Gott, hör' mein Fleh'n! God, hear my plea! O könnt ich fliegen wie Tauben dahin, If only I could fly away like a dove, weit hinweg vor dem Feinde zu flieh'n! flee a long way away from the enemy! In die Wüste eilt' ich dann fort, Then I would hurry into the wilderness fände Ruhe am schattigen Ort. and find rest in a shady spot.
  5. It worked very well for me, and the church that employed me, for six years when I worked in Austria. The priest and I still occasionally email each other, even though this is now quite a few years ago. Time goes so fast. In some ways this arrangements eases some of the possible points of tension. It certainly led, in my case, to a better feeling of partnership in the working arrangements.
  6. Final from Vierne's 3rd symphony. Glad no one wanted me to stop so they could make some sort of announcement! OT Darke in E as the Mass Setting. The boys sailed through the Gloria, including the g'' that they hold for several bars. Sometimes the planets seem to line up correctly. Given we are a parish church and the boys rehearse for such a short amount of time each week, Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday is a huge demand on them. And, two new boys are joining the training group for the choir, one having badgered his parents until they just want relief and the other as a result of hearing the choir for the first time on Easter Sunday. My cup runneth over, particularly after the less than stellar start to the week courtesy of the electricians I've grumbled about in another thread. http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...t&pid=45470
  7. O how I can relate to that! (Except for the reverberation. Blast. And the organ in tune.) I walked into the choir room last Thursday to discover that the electricians had replaced 180 watts of fluorescent lighting with 60 watts of compact fluorescent lighting. That after I'd spoken to the Vicar, the site supervisor and the electrician about what was needed and had been assured that all would be done according to my wishes. Doh! High ceiling of dark wood. Not only that, but they had ripped the heaters and associated wiring from the walls leaving dirt, paint and plaster over all the music that had been set out for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter. Two hours of preparation time was lost in cleaning and arranging alternate lighting for the rehearsal. Then, on Saturday, arriving for what I thought would be a good six hours of time on the organ, I found that the low voltage electrics to the organ had been cut when the old distribution board had been decommissioned. No one had thought to do more than just check that the blower, on a separate three phase supply, was working. Oh, and they replaced a carefully placed 200 watt incandescent light with a fluorescent tube mounted just above the music desk so that it shone straight into my eyes - and I can't see the monitor - without a thought to checking with me first. To add insult to injury, the temperature in this part of the world has dropped, the week after the tuners visited, resulting in not being able to use reed stops. They didn't tune the flue work on the Great as I had requested, so that's not the best, either. Looks like I'll be tuning tomorrow instead of working on my postlude. Strangely, the opposite happened in the week leading to Christmas. [The temperature continued to climb until we reached the 47 Celsius on what has been called 'Black Saturday' when fires killed so many around the state. I'm grateful that I wasn't personally affected.] "We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan In accents most forlorn Outside the church ere Mass began One frosty Sunday morn.
  8. Three of the now senior, most influential teachers in Australia studied with Heiller, and these teachers ended up in three of our largest cities - David Rumsey (Sydney, now Switzerland celbrated his 70th birthday yesterday), Douglass Lawrence in Melbourne and Christa Rumey in Adelaide (just retired to Tasmania). I'm of the generation following that, having studied with one of these teachers and then having spent time with Radulescu. Brett Leighton (Linz) is another that followed this path, and Christopher Wrench (Brisbane) also studied with Radulescu. Heiller was also very influential in the USA, and taught many students from there. (Remember, for example, the Anton Heiller Memorial Organ at Southern Missionary College where the organist is Judy Glass, one of Heiller's students.)
  9. I always thought that a reference to Godspell's "Turn back o man, forswear thy foolish ways" might be the way to go, particularly if the termination of employment was not mutually agreed.
  10. Fiffaro


    I'd love to have that problem! Following a rebuild in the 1980s, the instrument where I am DoM doesn't enjoy the slightest 'wind tremor' as a result of turning the tremulant on. I noted this in the service book early in my tenure, and was told by the builder/tuner that it was already adjusted as strongly as possible. Sigh. I'm sure that the generous supplier of this forum would be more useful than that, but the builder/tuner of the instrument I play on is a member of the congregation, and very valued for the work he does around the church without charging, otherwise I'd suggest that a more proactive builder be sought.
  11. The cost should be relatively easy to calculate if you know what the rating of the blower is, what rating any lighting and heating or cooling is, and the cost of electricity. So, according to the White Blower Manufacturing site, a 1.5 hp motor is adequate for supplying 3.5" of pressure to an organ if 47 stops. This can be supplied by a motor that draws 12 amps which equate to 2.88 kilowatthours. (All these calculations are for Australian voltage and power costs.) Add in a couple of hundred watts for lighting and supply to the console and round it up to be generous, say 3.2 kwh. That equates to 46 cents per hour - £0.22 Where I am DoM, the organ is wonderful for Psalm accompaniment, improvisation and Darke in E and so on, but I much prefer a mechanical action instrument for my regular practice, and travel cost and time to my church is high during the week. I benefit from three churches that allow me to practice on their instruments for no charge. In each case, I try to make this worthwhile. I'll offer incumbents at these churches first dibs on any weddings that I can't do, or make myself available for any funeral services during the week that they are unable to attend. For one church, I didn't charge for playing for a recital to mark the anniversary of their organ and of their church, and so on. We have also never charged for making my instrument available for use, in fact, it has been encouraged. We need more organists in this neck of the woods!
  12. When the vicar says that "I stand in front of a painting for a while and admire it, but then I tire of it and move on"? i think we could start a separate thread on inappropriate ways to terminate someone's employment. But then, that would start me on denominations that write in their magazines, and freely talk to the media, about the way that some workers are exploited but are oblivious to the working conditions they impose on their own musicians. Time for me to move on, but not because I've added any corny jokes...
  13. Thank you all for your suggestions. I was tempted by 'Fred', Barry, but I'm not sure that would get past the committee that vets the recitals at that particular venue. These committees sometimes exhibit a different sense of humour to mine. Heva, I've played in concerts where food associated in some way with the music has been available. I thought of morphing your suggestion into 'Sauerkraut and Snails'... I've proposed the title of "Gravitas, Galant and Frisson". (Yes, without the umlaut.) If you have any more brain waves, do tell, as this will not be set in stone until after the committee meets in a week's time. Cheers, Pfiff
  14. Dear all, I wonder if I could engage those brains that are so good at dreaming up specifications for organs of a given size on a somewhat different challenge. I've been asked to think up a title for a concert, and I'm at a bit of a loss. Often, there will be some theme to my concerts that suggest titles, but this concert is a fairly random collection of pieces mainly designed to show off the instrument to advantage, particularly reserving the full power of the instrument for short bursts as it is a fairly overpowering instrument for sustained listening. Here is the programme: Mendelssohn Sonata 5 Bach Sonata 6 Reger Benedictus (Op 59. No. 9) Vierne Sicilienne Vierne Final from Symphony 3 I thought of calling it 'Rumours' as I simply don't have any sensible, attractively marketable suggestions. Help, please. Kind regards, Pfiff
  15. Many thanks, Tiratutti! I've placed an order with them.
  16. Hi All, I'm looking for some material for my next cello and organ recital and wouldn't mind including something lighter like Joseph Jongen's Humoresque Op 92., however, I've drawn a complete blank on locating a score for this. Can anyone point me in the right direction? It has been recorded a number of times, but published? Kind regards, Pfiff.
  17. I recently performed one of the two double concertos for violin and organ by Vivaldi. It was fun to play and the audience enjoyed it, but it is hardly a substantial work! I understand that Vivaldi also wrote some concertos for harpsichord and orchestra that are playable on organ - but I haven't checked that myself. Don't forget the Haydn organ concertos, either. Soler also requires small resources to perform.
  18. Fiffaro

    Shove Coupler

    There is an online diagram of the working of a shove coupler in the Wikipedia article on harpsichord. See Figure 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpsichord Simplicity often has much going for it.
  19. Tony, have you tried the latest generation Sony Minidisc (MZRH1) that records in uncompressed WAV format? You can set manual control of input volume as the switch on option, too. Altogether a more user friendly version than any of the earlier incarnations, and a couple of online reviews rate its recording quality (uncompressed) higher than the current generation of solid state portable recorders. Just a shame it took them so long to release a model with most of what I want. The most notable drawback for me is that drag and drop file transfer is still not possible.
  20. Just to let you know that a colleague has been able to help me with this. Now I'm much more relaxed, waiting for the next unexpected development! Mr Moderator, if you'd like to remove this thread... Fiffaro
  21. Having programmed Mozart's Exsultate jubilate for a concert this Saturday to celebrate the restoration and 150th anniversary of the church where I'm DoM, and having, as I thought, checked that parts were available on CPDL... Well you can guess the rest. Is anyone able to point me to a site with the parts available for download - I'm happy to pay - as I don't have time between now and then to enter them into Sibelius myself. Or, if any member has scanned copies of an out-of-copyright edition that could be emailed, that would be wonderful. Organ and its Music? Perhaps a written out continuo part that will be played on a chamber organ will help me fit into this category. This time I'm conducting, not playing, so a continuo part is needed for the player of the chamber organ. Kind regards, Fiffaro
  22. Yes, welcome. We should pull out all stops to make new forum participants, such as Tiratutti, welcome. Sorry. How many of you resisted that? Fiffaro
  23. The Bach anniversary organ in Vienna is the organ in St Augustine build by Reil (The Netherlands). Tuning is listed as Werckmeister (modified), and the organ is of the historically inspired ilk. Brings back memories of concerts on both it and the big Rieger in the gallery. Sigh. A pretty picture and the specifications can be viewed at: http://www.hochamt.at/augustines.php?sublink=f3 A (very) quick translation of the accompanying text: The Reil Organ The small organ of St Augustine was constructed using historical building methods by the brothers Reil (Heerde/Holland) for the Vienna Festival that celebrated the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth (the year of Bach's birth is given as 1785 on the web site, whoops) and dedicated by the then Archbishop of Vienna, Dr Franz Kardinal Koenig. It combines, in its two manuals and 25 stops, characteristic elements of the art of organ building in Bach's time, above all those of the organ builders Gottfried Silbermann and Tobias Trost. The selection of material and functions allows one to experience the sound world of Bach, and for that reason the organ is also known as the "Vienna Bach Organ". It is situated in St Augustine's, and is used both in services and organ concerts. At the bottom of the specification, it is noted that the lowest c-sharp has no independent pipework, instead being coupled to the c-sharp an octave higher. I'd prefer a real short octave instead - I used to enjoy playing chords with my left hand that I can't reach on 'normal' manuals!
  24. And then, to confuse the issue, this was sent as a letter to the editor of the same newspaper: Grab a seat - cathedral organ will be flourishing As the chief organ grinder of St Andrew's Cathedral, I was pleasantly surprised to see that our services were front-page news ("Cathedral finds its organ grinding", September 8). But please, let's get some matters straight. On Sunday, for Father's Day, the choir processed out down the main aisle and there were many happy fathers in the large congregation who stayed and listened to the wonderful (and loud!) new cathedral brass ensemble. Music featured included Bach and S. S. Wesley as well as some classic hymns pumped out by the brass, the cathedral choir and the mighty organ. The music here seems to be in full and good voice. My assistant and I always try to lead the congregation as best we can. Sometimes that means playing softer as well as louder. But Sunday's music is always varied, so be early for a seat. The organ will certainly flourish at the end. Oh dear, I guess that one has to keep the boss happy, particularly when criticism is flying.
  25. You can preview the first page of one of the two Estampie from the Robersbridge Codex that Radulescu chose to include in Organum Antiquum, plus part of the preface, on Doblinger's 'Music2Print' web site. If you decide to purchase, you can download immediately and print. Try this link: http://www.music2print.at/EncryptedDownloa...;ProductID=3533 or dig through from the doblinger.at site.
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