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About Zimbelstern

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  1. It just so happens Colin that I am presently carefully reading your extremely informative article “The Tonal Structure of Principal Stops”, in order to gain a better understanding of harmonics as they apply to organ pipes. It is significant that Hans Henny Jahnn’s work as a writer thinker and organ builder was for most of his life heavily bound up with his theorising about the ‘harmonic’ structure of the universe. I have yet to digest the enormous amount of material in German that exists concerning Jahnn and his relationship to the Orgelbewegung, but it is appears that theorising about harmoni
  2. I certainly think there are parallels between what was happening in Germany in the 19th century and in other countries. Just as the Pre-Raphaelites and devotees of Arts and Crafts in Britain looked back to the Middle Ages, so artists in Germany, notably the Nazarene movement (the subject of part of George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch) also looked back to that time. It should be remembered that the ‘rediscovery’ of Bach, starting with Forkel at the beginning of the 19th century, coincided with the occupation of Germany. As the 19th century progressed, Bach became more and more identified in (espec
  3. A chance comment in a recent post on this site has prompted me to read extensively on this topic in recent days. I come at it not only as an organist, but also as a Germanist. Having read through various threads on this forum, notably the one in 2007 regarding the immediate postwar period in northern Germany, as well as some of the extensive literature available, I am struck by the fact that the origins of the movement seem to lie, not in the initiatives of organ builders in Germany, but rather in the general artistic and cultural movements at the end of the 19th century, which then influence
  4. As I recall, this discussion was originally about attendances at organ recitals. Most organ recitals are held in places of worship, and attendance is subject to the organisers reaching those who may be interested in listening to organ music and convincing them that the experience will be worthwhile. Since the vast majority of the population do not have any idea what a pipe organ is, they are unlikely to want to attend an organ recital. Outside the hardcore devotees there has to be some special factor which will persuade them to attend. One of those factors can be the local community’s re
  5. I would contend that, given the right organ and the right acoustic, this is refuted by the first page (notably bars 5 and 11) of the Final of Vierne’s Third Symphony alone.
  6. Yet it is precisely the Proms which present another image of classical music in this country. In 2010 there was an average audience of 4,000 for each of the 76 concerts held in the Albert Hall. Were the BBC to engage an artist such as Olivier Latry at a normal evening Prom start time of 7.30, and publicise the concert appropriately, and then broadcast it on TV, they could do an unparalleled service to the cause of organ music. A source of great mystery to me is why our august organ institutions, to one of which I pay £110 per year in subscriptions, carry so little weight in this regard. I do n
  7. “A fantastic night for the Brooklyn Diocese: Dedicatory Recital played by Olivier Latry On October 18, 2013 Olivier Latry played the dedicatory recital after Bishop Nicholas Anthony Di Marzio (The Seventh Bishop of the Brooklyn Diocese) blessed the organ. Olivier Latry is the organist at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He is one of the greats of the great organists of our time. This organ recital was attended by over 750 paying people. Some people even flew in from Europe and many came from all over the country. They believed in the parish. Many contributed many times over the years and wan
  8. I actually find it utterly bizarre that the BBC should have organised this organ recital on a Sunday morning, in the full knowledge that literally thousands of church organists up and down the land would give their eye teeth to attend a recital by Olivier Latry, which they might have done for £5 if they had been free to do so. In view of the recent fire at Notre Dame it is even more reprehensible. I’m afraid, though, that the BBC is an enemy of all things organ and Christian. Any organ recital at the Proms is an extremely rare event, in spite of the fact that they have an enormous and powerful
  9. If my memory serves me correctly, there is an Aria by Rawsthorne in this volume: https://www.kevinmayhew.com/148-interludes.html
  10. https://lyon.catholique.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Document-officiel-nomination-organistes.pdf The above document makes it clear that, in the diocese of Lyons at least, it is the parish which employs the organist and which is responsible for remunerating him or her.
  11. Who pays the organists in France? (If they are paid at all!)
  12. I agree wholeheartedly with Vox Humana regarding tempo. When learning a new piece I usually feel the need, after I have learnt the notes, to listen to as many different recordings as I can, something which is now quite straightforward with a subscription to a service like Apple Music. I am nearly always surprised by the range of tempos. In a few cases, a piece may be played by the fastest player at almost twice the speed of the slowest. I often wonder if it was actually possible to play Bach at the tempi adopted by many current performers, given the accounts in 18th century literature o
  13. A mouth controlled device already exists. It is used by parachutists to take photos. You plug it into an Airturn page turner. The device is placed between the teeth and you bite it to turn the page. I’ve got one and it works. It’s useful for home recording. I wouldn’t want to use it in church or for a recital as it becomes wearing after a while and you would look ridiculous.
  14. The Ovation has its origin in Classical Antiquity. It came second only to a Triumph, granted to returning victorious generals. Whilst the Bible gives us authority to praise God with clapping, singing and the playing of musical instruments, there seems to be no biblical justification for doing the same for visiting organists in a church. The following article from the New York Times gives an interesting insight into the origin and nature of the modern standing ovation: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/21/theater/theater-the-tyranny-of-the-standing-ovation.html
  15. Colin, you may already be aware of this paper which reproduces and translates every known 18th century quote relating to J.S. Bach’s preferences regarding temperament. http://www.huygens-fokker.org/docs/Kroesbergen_Bach_Temperament.pdf Particularly interesting is the evidence that Werkmeister changed his opinions about temperament and at the end of his life had come to prefer equal temperament.
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