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Dafydd y Garreg Wen

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Everything posted by Dafydd y Garreg Wen

  1. Selected Pieces looks very good value. How many are for organ? There is a two C.D. set Autumn Sequence - The Music of Douglas Steele and his circle issued by Campion Cameo. Reviewed here: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/aug05/Steele_autumn_cameo204041.htm The organ pieces are rather close miked. For my taste could do with a bit more space to let them breathe (not a criticism of the playing).
  2. Yes, that’s right. I remember now. Apologies for muddying the waters. Anton Rubinstein (not Arthur) of course,
  3. Welcome likewise. The niece of a local organist long deceased always mentions your grandfather’s Russian Patrol whenever I see her, so it evidently made an abiding impression on her. It was a piece her uncle enjoyed including in recitals. I think she would like me to play it for her for old time’s sake, but I’ve never come across a score.
  4. If anyone’s interested in the origins of the phrase .... “Mote” is the present tense of the verb of which “must” is the past tense. When “must” began to be used in a present sense it elbowed out the old present “mote”. In Middle English ”so mote it be” is a purely conventional rendering of “Amen”, and that’s no doubt why the Halliwell MS uses it. It didn’t originally have the esoteric significance it has acquired, and indeed it continued to be used as a mere archaism (with no Masonic or other ritual implications) into the nineteenth century.
  5. bookfinder.com is useful because it checks various sites, including ABE. In this instance one could shave a few pounds off that price: https://www.bookfinder.com/book/9781576471777/
  6. I can see a case for arrangements. This repertoire sounds well (naturally) on instruments of the period, with their livelier voicing and the necessary stops. But on romantic instruments with their smoother voicing it can sound thin and dull. Is it therefore justifiable to try to put back something of the excitement that has been lost by arranging the original? Don’t know .... Then there are arrangements, and arrangements. C.H. Trevor’s are pretty chaste and restrained but others are, as Tony observes, overblown. Do you say, “If I am going to use an arrangement I’ve conceded the principle, so I might as well let my hair down”? Or do you go for a more middle-of-the-road approach à la Trevor?
  7. Intriguing. Sounds like pastiche Handel to me. Makes a certain amount of musical sense if you want to play the trumpet tune and feel it needs some sort of introduction, but you want something more dramatic than the demure eighteenth-century lead-in. Wonder who wrote it.
  8. “It’s the right evening for a tune,” Snufkin thought. A new tune, one part expectation, two parts spring sadness, and for the rest just the great delight of walking alone and liking it. He had kept this tune under his hat for several days, but hadn’t quite dared to take it out yet. It had to grow into a kind of happy conviction. Then he would simply have to put his lips to the mouth-organ, and all the notes would jump instantly into their places. If he released them too soon, they might get stuck crossways and make only a half-good tune, or he might lose them altogether and never be in the right mood to get hold of them again. Tunes are serious things, especially if they have to be jolly and sad at the same time. But this evening Snufkin felt rather sure of his tune. It was there, waiting, nearly full-grown– and it was going to be the best he ever made. Tove Jansson Tales from Moominvalley
  9. This is the sort of folk mass I prefer .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQfuf8MyRP4
  10. Incidentally, I only discovered recently that Gregory Murray’s People’s Mass was originally written for the Latin text of the ordinary (in 1950). The version we all know and love (hem hem) is an adaptation of this original to fit the English translation: hence the addition of “new” to the title.
  11. The dreaded Spirit of Vatican II ....
  12. It’s amazing/amusing how often one is told that something (like the almost total disuse of Latin or chant) is “because of Vatican II” when it’s not in the decrees, and quite often directly contrary to them. (Of course, “because of Vatican II” isn’t quite the same as “in accordance with the decrees of Vatican II”, but that’s generally the implication.) Not that this is a peculiarly Roman Catholic thing. How many Anglicans know that the canon law of the Church of England expects them to go to church every Sunday? But I digress ....
  13. On the other hand, Vatican II also decreed e.g. that Latin should remain the norm for worship (with the vernacular only being allowed as an exception where local conditions made it desirable) and that chant should be the musical norm. I’m not sure quite how well these mandates are working out in practice ....
  14. Thank you for these suggestions. We have a suitably noisy reed on the Solo here (not en chamade but more that sort of sound than a Tuba). I know the Miller Winchester New piece and shall probably play it on Palm Sunday. I was wondering about an improvisation, as I could only think of the Guilmant and didn’t quite fancy that. But it also struck me as a bit odd that such a splendid tune should have had so little use made of it, or was that just my ignorance? Hence my enquiry. In some ways an improvisation would be better as an introduction to Mass - easier to manage the timings. Perhaps beginning slow and mysterious à la Messiaen to express the quiet of the garden in the early morning but also the hiddenness and mystery of the Resurrection; then building from that to end with a fanfare as the clergy enter and ending with full organ. Hmmm. Has potential ....
  15. Have a fancy to play something based on Maccabeus on Easter Morning. Any recommendations? (Other than the Guilmant Paraphrase, which I’m already familiar with.)
  16. The Drayton Pavane is gem - a bit “different”. The opening reminds me of Vaughan Williams’ Job. He has written other organ music but as far as I can tell none of it is published.
  17. Personally I’d say the rot set in when we abandoned monody. Ban organum now, before it’s too late!!!!
  18. Well put. An implied rebuke to their neighbours in Sheffield??
  19. It's in the unlucky 1904 edition. That seems to be its first appearance. It's not in Steggall's 1889 supplement to the 1875 edition (the "First Supplement").
  20. Possibly he was a Welshman! Having made my generalisation, I have to admit that tenors are much commoner here than in England (genuine tenors, not just highish baritones).
  21. A singing teacher I once met had a lot of pupils who were older teenagers coming to him with little singing experience. He complained that they all wanted to sing in the same area regardless of sex (the upper tenor and lower alto area), and had great difficulty in accessing the upper part of their voices (girls) or lower part (boys). Even more frustrating was the fact that the favoured area was rarely the best part of the voice. Even experienced / trained singers don’t fit very well into these categories. Most men are baritones and most women mezzos and have to be shoe-horned into bass or tenor, contralto or soprano. Which does rather make one wonder why the categories developed in the first place ....
  22. The case of Goss's Praise, my Soul is interesting. It was originally published in two versions (Brown-Borthwick Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book, 1869). The first version is in D and sets five unison verses, each with a different accompaniment. This reflects the tradition where hymns and metrical psalms were sung in unison, with the organist varying the accompaniment (including the harmonies) for each verse. S.S. Wesley's A Selection of Psalm Tunes: Adapted Expressly to the English Organ with Pedals (1842) is a good example, and later in the nineteenth century Stanford was praised for the artistry with which he did this sort of thing in accompanying undergraduate hymn singing in Trinity College chapel. The second version is in E and is "Arranged for Four Vocal Parts" (possibly by the composer, as the harmonies do not correspond with those of any of the five unison verse accompaniments). This is clearly the basis for the harmony version we sing today for verse 2, though with some differences. A footnote states, "This Tune, as harmonised for four voices, is transposed to E, as the key of D would be too low for the basses." Does this suggest that singing in harmony perhaps encouraged the adoption of higher keys in hymn books? It's worth noting that the keys in Wesley's Selection, intended to accompany unison singing, are on the lower side compared with e.g. the Standard Edition of Ancient and Modern (tho' higher than we might prefer today). (Incidentally, of Goss's five unison accompaniments three are those printed in modern hymn books; the one for verse 2 has been supplanted by the harmony version, and the one for "Frail as summer's flower we flourish" has been discarded along with that verse. If anyone wants to revive them, Brown-Borthwick is available via Google Books.)
  23. Possibly we should have a separate thread on the pitch of hymns, but this forum has a long and noble tradition of going off topic .... It’s a question that has long puzzled me. In the case of Welsh (and I believe English) chapels the situation is quite clear. The pitch tends to be on the high side because historically the whole congregation sang in harmony. Thus in the standard modern Welsh hymn book, Caneuon Ffydd, Fs are commonplace. I’m not sure how alive the tradition is in regular Sunday worship as I only ever play for funerals in chapels, where there seems to be a mix of unison and harmony singing. In Anglican hymn books pitch has been sliding downwards during the twentieth century. The old Standard Edition of Ancient and Modern reflects the nineteenth century norm: Es are normal and Fs not uncommon. The English Hymnal is a shade lower and perhaps initiated the trend. Ancient and Modern Revised is similar - Fs are rare. The New Standard edition, as mentioned, rather overshot and was criticised for this at the time it came out. Common Praise and the New English Hymnal are more moderate. Mayhew if anything goes further than the New Standard. Assuming people’s voices haven’t changed (and bearing in mind that many Victorian organs were on the sharp side), what does this shift reflect? Did Anglicans once (but a long time ago) sing in harmony, and the pitches in Victorian hymn books reflected this? Or did those pitches reflect an aspiration that congregations should sing in harmony, but it never really caught on (whereas it did in chapels)?
  24. Ah, I hadn’t realised that. Thank you. Would save me some trouble if it works.
  25. Play from the original print? That’s three pages plus one system over, which could be stuck on the bottom of the third page. Having said that, whilst it’s interesting and perhaps beneficial to play from original editions and manuscripts, I’m not sure I’d want to do it publicly!
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