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martin_greenwood's Achievements


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  1. Whislt I'm not in the league of those who are recording professional CDs, I do record my playing for practice purposes and sharing with family and friends. Even in such an informal situation I find that my mind will play games with me to a greater extend that when doing a live performance. For me, in a live performance situation, any mistake or imperfection is immediately in the past. So assuming it wasn't catastrophic, it doesn't impact the remainder of the performance. However when making a recording, the pressure increases throughout the performance. The further though the piece you are without having made any mistakes, the more effort that is "at stake" if you make a mistake between now and the end of the piece. It's all silly mind games I'm sure, and not so disimilar from me becoming progressively cack-handed as soon as I approach the "daily record" whislt playing pit-pat on the beach during family holidays. Sq.
  2. I've been using Riemenschneider as transposition practice for ARCO next January. I'm puzzled as to many chorales that are clearly in G minor are frequently given a key signature of just Bb, with the Eb's shown as accidentals throughout the chorale. Please could one or you erudite types enlighten me. Thanks Sq.
  3. Here, here! It seems to me that one or two newcomers to the forum have jumped straight in wearing size 12 wellies, without having first absorbed the "house style" of the forum i.e. informed discussion which is not necessarily consensual, but which nevertheless remains friendly. Sq.
  4. I'm currently working on SS Wesley's Andante in G (Novello English Organ Music Vol 2), and am interested in just how legato I should be making the various patterns of consecutive 6ths that occur in either hand throughout the piece. The easier option is to do a "pseudo legato" with the upper notes always legato, but where expedient permitting the lower notes to detach e.g. to use a right hand thumb on consecutive notes. Or what I presume is the "correct" option is to do shed-loads of finger substitution for a full legato series of 6th (5:2 to 4:1/5:2 to 4:1/5:2 etc.). The tempo suggested by Wesley is crotchet 63 and the 6th are in quavers. Given some of the chromatics involved, the hand angles are in places rather awkward and this is going to take me quite some practice to get sufficiently fluent for a concert performance. What do you good people think? Is the full legato essential, or would a reverberant accoustic support some "cheating"? Sq.
  5. I wonder to what extent being able to play from memory is linked with the ability to "play by ear". Of course an accurate rendition from memory is not the same as an approximation by ear, however perhaps a strong aural ability helps the brain to fill in the gaps which might otherwise be problematic? I also wonder if there is any merit in commiting a piece to memory for the sake of it as opposed to for a specific recital? It's always beneficial to have a piece "up your sleeve", should a playing opportunity arise unexpectedly when exploring unfamiliar churches. But does the time and effort involved produce any other benefits which would make this worthwhile at the expense of say increasing your repertiore by learning another piece? Sq.
  6. Perhaps in certain situations the overall speed of learning the music is actually being hampered by using someone else's fingerings. I can see that for relatively straightforward pieces then using the fingering already provided would speed things along. But for more complex pieces, perhaps the painful process of working out your own fingering yields not just a comfortable set of fingerings, but also contributes something significant to the learning process. Sq.
  7. This was said to me with a twinkle in the eye. I expect the sentiment was true, even if professionalism prevailed in practice. Sq. PS It seems I was earlier typing with my elbows (which makes a change from playing with my boxing gloves on!).
  8. I'm reliable told by a ABRSM examiner, that for this exam you are guaranteed to get a distinction sinply by NOT playing Top Cat. It might be catchy, but it loses it's appeal after a few dozen performances!
  9. Hello All On 20th January the Essex Organists' Association is holding a workshop evening on a theme of Home Practice Organs, and somewhat rashly I offered to pull the whole thing together. The sorts of questions we aim to address include, What type of house instruments are available? Can you really fit a pipe organ in a living room? Can you really fit a pipe organ in a living room? How can I use an Apple Mac or PC to bring playing the world's best pipe organs within reach of my own home? Can I really do this incrementally without high initial cost? What is the second hand market like? How expensive are the various options? Who can I speak to for first-hand impartial advice? The questions above will be explored by means of photographs, recordings and first-hand accounts from the owners of 4 different styles of house organ - 2 pipe organs, a modern factory-built toaster and toaster build around the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ system. Whilst most home practice organs are of the electronic variety, we were very keen to demonstrate that house pipe organs can be a viable option too - hence the 2 related case-studies (there's a pun there somewhere). I've pulled most of the material together already, but am running light on typical costs of second-hand practice instruments. So if any forum members have purchased second-hand house organs (pipe or digital) in the not too distant past and would be happy to share price information with me, please contact me via PM. Thanks Sq.
  10. Thanks so much to everyone for your suggestions. I'll attack my music shelf tonight I see what I've got "in stock". Sq.
  11. Hello All, I've just discovered that our organist has had to take leave over Christmas for family reasons, so as assistant I will be stepping in and covering all the services. This will be my first 9 lessons as the main organist (I've accomanied specific choir items in previous years). I'm going to have my work cut out, since I have to fit in preparation for the choir accompaniments etc. alongside my day job and trumpet playing commitments. Which brings me to the subject question... Does anyone have suggestions for a suitable voluntary for the end of 9 lessons, which will not require hours of preparation. As a guideline, I'm of aspiring ARCO standard. Many thanks in advance! Sq
  12. This talk of requiring an additional semitone beyond the reach of the upper reach of the pedal division instrument reminds me of the inverse problem when playing the bassoon. Occasionally a piece requires a low A, which is a semitone lower than the standard lowest note of Bb (the Rumpole of the Bailley theme springs to mind). In this situation a rolled up piece of music stuck in the top of the bassoon does the trick nicely. But an equivalent low tech approach to the upper note issue on pedal divisions would require a hacksaw, so I guess that's not a go-er. Sq
  13. Thanks for your thoughts Pfiff. In the last week the fugue seems to have "clicked" for me me, so I think you're probably right regarding the upfront pain. Sq.
  14. I'm in the middle of learning this piece at the moment from the Novello Vol.2 edition. So far I've had one lesson on the Allegro and am a week or so away from having prepared the fugue ready for having it taken apart at my next lesson. This might be down to my inexperience, but it's taken me an inordinate amount of time (a few hours) sorting out the fugue fingering in order i) to bring out the various entries, and ii) just to cover all the notes and suspensions. Is this to be expected, or is it my inexperience in preparing fugues? Sq
  15. Announcing the arrival of that irritating chatterbox who just won't shut up:- Mr Simon Furr, or "Si" for short.
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