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Mander Organs

David Surtees

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Everything posted by David Surtees

  1. If there were a culture in this country that valued the organ, the demise of Christianity would not be an issue. It is worth comparing the situation here with that in the Netherlands. In an increasingly secular society many churches have closed, but the organs (often of huge historical significance) remain in use. The number of organ recitals that take place seems staggering, and they are by and large very well supported. It seems unlikely to me that the Dutch organ building industry will die out any time soon.
  2. But that only applies to the staff, whether performing or front of house. There are (to my knowledge) no similar protections for the paying public.
  3. It was discussed here when it was first announced by Škrabl. Although it appears that the stop list has changed slightly since then. There is now an Hautbois on the Récit which was noted in the comments as lacking.
  4. There’s also a version by Anne Marsden Thomas that does just that in the Oxford Service Music for Organ, manuals and pedals Book 1. Her solution is a da capo, then a 3 bar coda after bar 8.
  5. No one has mentioned Barber’s Toccata Festiva yet which has a very substantial organ part including a pedal solo. It’s almost an organ concerto in all but name.
  6. The most expensive performers on a per note basis have to be the two percussionists in Bruckner Symphony no. 7. Just one note in a piece lasting over an hour.
  7. Those two comments, from John Lill and András Schiff, are very perceptive, perhaps suggesting that those pianists that are successful in transferring Bach’s music to the piano are those that have some affinity for the instruments on which it was originally composed, even if they don’t play them themselves. I know a pianist (who doesn’t play the organ) said to me that she had a much greater appreciation for Bach’s music after playing a harpsichord for the first time. As far as my own experience is concerned, I now have no inclination to play Bach on the piano, but before I learned either the organ or harpsichord, it was one of my greatest joys.
  8. Definitely agree with VH’s comments regarding András Schiff. He’s one of the few pianists who I enjoy listening to play Bach. His depth of feeling for the music is unsurpassed. As far as Bach piano transcriptions go, the only one I care much for is Brahms’ version for left hand of the Chaconne from the D minor partita. Unashamedly romantic, but still with the character of the piece intact.
  9. Thanks for this. Will make sure to listen. Though I might have to catch the second one one iPlayer (or whatever it is called these days) as have a rehearsal at the same time. On a related note, does anyone know if any of the OrganFest was recorded? Would be great to hear some of the concerts for those off us who weren’t able to make it.
  10. I don’t think the BBC can be held too much at fault for merely repeating what the RAH say about the organ. The fact the the hall doesn’t seem to know (or care) about the instrument under their protection is however concerning.
  11. As far as i can work out, the B&H edition is not for organ and piano. Rather it is either for organ or two pianos. In the case of the two piano version, the first pianist plays the manual parts of the organ version, and the second pianist plays the two staves at the bottom of the score. The note on IMSLP seems to suggest that both versions are by Liszt, the with the organ version being the original.
  12. According to NPOR (N18210) “the organ at St Mary’s Southampton (N11630) is said to ‘incorporate some Father Willis pipework from the former Albert Hall in Stirling’.” This is corroborated by the entry for Stirling Town Hall in Alan Buchan’s Organs in Scotland (2018).
  13. The Straube edition is available on IMSLP here: https://imslp.org/wiki/Orgelkompositionen_(Liszt%2C_Franz)
  14. I believe there was an HTB plant (somewhere in London) that used the organ regularly in Sunday services, as I know someone who depped there occasionally. He thought it was the only HTB church that did.
  15. What a fascinating piece. I've never come across it before, nor Porter Heaps, for that matter. Given that the organist James Welch is from Palo Alto, where Heaps lived in his retirement, it is entirely possible the piece has never been published, and Welch was given a copy personally by the composer.
  16. There was (possibly still is) an Aria by Rawsthorne published by Mayhew, but I don’t have a copy so not sure if it’s the same piece. Have never come across the Wachet Auf piece though.
  17. Surely the easiest programme depends on the organist, and how well the know each piece. If you had been playing a particular piece for years, and knew it inside out, surely you might find it easier than a technically less demanding piece, that was completely unknown.
  18. The Ahrend organ in the Reid Concert Hall at Edinburgh University is tuned to Werkmeister III, and is to my mind an incredibly versatile instrument. I once heard a performance of the Brahms fugue in Ab minor on it, which was fascinating and surprising, and really opened my ears to the possibility of playing 19th century music in an unequal temperament. Most of my practice is done on a toaster with a limited selection of historic temperaments, and I tend to leave it in Werkmeister, finding it to be more interesting than Kirnberger or Valotti, and more versatile than Meantone or Pythagorean (the other options). As far as piano tunings are concerned, there were some interesting comments in the obituary thread for Jean Guillou on this forum regarding Serge Cordier and his temperaments, which were designed for the piano, although translated to other instruments such as organs.
  19. Florence Price wrote a fairly significant body of organ works including a sonata and a suite (No. 1, although I don’t think there is a No. 2), as well as a host of smaller works. They are published by ClarNan editions, in four volumes edited by Calvert Johnson. Unfortunately ClarNan do not have a distributor in Europe, so their music has to be ordered from an American supplier, with associated exhorbitant postage costs. Other female composers worth checking out include the Swede Elfride Andrée, whose Symphony No. 1 is a masterpiece. Her Symphony No. 2 features a brass band as well as the organ, but is not quite up to the standard set by the first, in my opinion. Johanna Senfter was a pupil of Reger, and wrote several chorale preludes, clearly inspired by her teacher. Here is the Fantasie und Fuge über Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern:
  20. The French word Franck Riester used was « atteint », which implies the organ has been affected, or reached by the fire. “Achieved” is an odd translation in that context. Also just seen on social media: According to Mgr Benoist de Sinety, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Paris, the Notre-Dame organ is “practically completely destroyed.”
  21. As a lover of both organ music, and heavy metal, this amuses me greatly.
  22. The Paris firefighters are now reporting that the fire is lessening in intensity, and the building will be saved, according to France24. But there is, I imagine, little hope for anything inside.
  23. It would appear (2104 BST, 2204 Paris time) that the flames have returned to the North tower. The fire has been burning for over 3 hours now, and the firefighters are not certain to be able to stop the spread of the fire, according to French media.
  24. From the pictures on France24 at least one of the towers is in flames.
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