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Everything posted by Fiffaro

  1. As a student, a significant number of years ago, a local church declined to allow me time on their organ. When their organist resigned a few months later, they sought help from the church music department where I was studying to help find someone to fill the position as they were experiencing some difficulty in so doing. The head of the department made the connection, and the short-sightedness of their policy was made evident to them. My wife's work includes supervising the placement of student teachers in primary and secondary schools. She has fielded phone calls from schools that are not able to find teachers for particular subjects, the same schools that have refused requests for student teacher placements. Where I am employed allows all who would like to practice to do so free of charge. They do have to find time around me and those who receive priority because they are my students or dep for me. We see part of our reason for existence as ensuring the continuation of that which we enjoy. We don't have any problems with people trying to tune pipes as it is rather difficult to gain access. A blessing in disguise. Though, people who leave chewed pencils behind, or mark the music desk with pencil marks as the pick up and put down their pencil...
  2. Indeed. The organ in the Melbourne Town Hall, Australia. (Hill, Norman and Beard, 1929; rebuilt Schantz, 2001) Before a concert that I was sharing with a brass band, and while the band was warming up I was doing a dry run through some of my registration changes. On making a change, the organ burst into life, with a registration that was not the same as the one selected, and with a cluster of random notes. Turning the organ off stopped the noise, but on restarting the organ, and again trying a dry run, the same problem resulted in an even louder sound. Fortunately, the concert went ahead without a problem. A year or so later, during a masterclass, a poor guinea pig was only a few bars into Vierne 1, first movement, when the same problem occurred. I'm not sure that the student has recovered. Having worked with legacy embedded systems, and having been responsible for programming some, the nature of the beast does concern me. Typically, a contractor is brought in to design hardware, perhaps a different contractor to produce software, and when the project is 'finished' they move on. Support in such cases is always going to be very difficult. Tracking down intermittent faults that occur once every few months is a job for an extremely well paid consultant, and even then is not always successful. Even in-house design work has problems as staff change, and because they are often unable to afford to pay someone who has the expertise to track down obscure hardware, let alone software, problems. As well, the very art of designing the hardware and software in a fail-safe system is typically not taught to CS or EE students, and there have been some very embarrassing cases of multi-million dollar designs for mission critical systems having to be scrapped because they did fail and fixing the problem was no longer an option. How much more difficult is it then for a system that has to fit within the cost constrains of an organ? And, what is going to happen when a critical part fails and replacements are not available? Or the tools use to produce the firmware don't work on the latest computer systems? These do happen, leaving expensive systems unable to operate. In the case of the Melbourne Town Hall, the rebuild is reported to have cost AUD 4.5 million (about 2.8 million euro), but there appears to be a decided lack of enthusiasm for encouraging the firm that rebuilt the organ to fix the problem. I was aware, in the 1980s, there were problems with the electronics of the organ in the Sydney Opera House. I can remember the zylophone playing on every second note, even though I hadn't drawn the stop, for example. The old engineering philosophy of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is valid. I prefer real pieces of wood connected my keys to my pallets!
  3. I wonder how the new Carus-Verlag complete edition of Rheinberger's organ music compares with the editions already mentioned? And a thank you to all those whose members of this forum (and Mander Organs). I've followed this for about a year before taking the plunge and joining the forum. I've always found browsing this board entertaining and informative (and a positive experience because of posters' politeness) sometimes taking me in directions that I wouldn't otherwise have gone (Rheinberger, for example.). The most perfect summer of my life was during my first year of study in Vienna, when I attended an organ masterclass in Liechtenstein. Just the scenery, for someone who had lived all his life in Australia, was unbelievable, with snow on the peaks of the mountains, wildflowers of many colours in the meadows, and the beautiful warmth in the valleys. Of course, I could not escape the connection with Rheinberger, and would happily have traded listening to some of his sonatas for the seemingly endless repetitions of Mozart's 'organ' music!
  4. The title of the book by David Humphries is "The Esoteric Structure of Bach's Clavierübung III", published by University College Cardiff Press (1983). The ISBN is 0-906449-55-3. The analysis of the Fugue does not receive as much attention as that of the Prelude, but is worth reading, nevertheless. In short, Humphries points out that the style of the fugue is the antithesis of that of the prelude (stile antico vs stile galant), and that antithesis is central to the whole of the Clavierübung III. This dualism is also evident in the obvious expression of three Persons in the prelude, while the fugue expresses one Person. There are, though, many trinity and God references in the fugue. Three each of: Flats in key-signature Subjects Sections Staves per system Systems per page 27 (3 cubed) entries of the principal theme; 12 in section 1, 6 in section 2, 9 in section 3 Numbers of bars in each section 36 (4 x 9) 45 (5 x 9) 36 (4 x 9) Number of voices in each section 5 4 5 Humphreys then points out that adding the multiplier of the 9 (3 squared) for the number of bars in each section with the number of voices in each section always results in 9. (For example, in section one: 4 + 5 = 9) Humphreys also relates the prelude to the morning blessing (crossing oneself) and the fugue to the evening blessing (also crossing oneself). That covers most of his analysis.
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