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Dafydd y Garreg Wen

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Everything posted by Dafydd y Garreg Wen

  1. So the arrangement of Barnby as published is correct, but the original Campbell chant (though originating with the composer himself) isn’t, tho’ you wouldn’t realise that from looking at/performing it. Meanwhile the manuscript version of the Barnby arrangement circulating in some places, tho’ emanating from S. George’s, is inauthentic. Fascinating! Who’d be a musicologist?
  2. I only have a manuscript copy, but you’re welcome to a scan of it. Vox, however, may have the original.
  3. Ingenious, tho’ the opportunity is there for things to go radically wrong! (Grimaces at wrong note. App interprets as instruction to turn page. Grimaces at this and the app does it again ....)
  4. A worthy project. I’ve tried A3 landscape scores in the past but found the long “systems” disconcerting - it’s such a long way back from the end of a line to the beginning of the next one. I’ve also tried A3 portrait. This has the advantage that the lines aren’t so long and I can fit three sheets on the music stand. But staring up into the stratosphere for the top lines is, again, disconcerting, especially when you’re at the extreme top left or right (and inevitably the hands will be at the opposite extremity of the keyboard at this point). Recently I’ve been experimenting with a new method involving joined A4 sheets (conventional enough) but in a slightly counter-intuitive layout. I don’t suppose I’m the first to come up with this, but it’s not a method I’ve seen or read about. It reduces the number of pages turns (not actually turns, but removes) considerably - a sixteen page score only needs four turns/removes. That’s useful, but the great advantage is that you have a page in hand whilst your turner does the removing, so there’s much less stress for both turner and player, and minimal disruption for the player.
  5. I couldn’t agree more. I should have added a rider - something like “and hymns but in a rather different way.” Distraction and mucking about were emphatically not what I had in mind. I would suggest a separate thread on hymn accompaniment to avoid further hijacking this one, but I am wary as this is such a contentious area.
  6. Because of the way digital images are produced latency is an inherent problem. WiFi may exacerbate it, but (essentially) it will always be there. Whether it would be serious enough to cause difficulties, however, is another question (depends on the particular equipment you use and the purpose you’re using it for).
  7. N.B. Just reporting, not endorsing that view! I prefer the freer approach, but I shouldn’t wish to impugn the artistry or professionalism of musicians who adopt a different one.
  8. Thank you for that pointer. Superb playing, and a fine psalm to accompany. The singing's not too shabby either! No doubt a happy combination of all three to raise things to this level. This approach to psalm accompaniment seems not exactly a lost art, but less common nowadays. I was brought up with the idea that it was inartistic, even amateurish, to play the voice parts of a chant (or indeed hymn) as written over and over again. I'm not sure why there has been a change - I don't recall e.g. a critique of the "free" approach and a call for a simpler one. It's been some years since I listened to the Radio 3 Choral Evensong broadcasts regularly, but with this point in mind I've just listened to the psalms from a couple of recent broadcasts. The free approach seems to be alive and well in Portsmouth. The accompaniment at Royal Holloway by contrast was much plainer - I only noticed a single bit of descant (may have missed some subtler stuff). That's not to criticise the musicians at all, for the psalms were done well and the registrations were varied and imaginative. A shift in taste, I suppose. (Incidentally, do you know the published Campbell arrangement of the Barnby chant (usually in E but here in E flat) for Psalm 24?)
  9. Indeed. For that reason I’m not in a hurry to recommend replacing the analogue system here. The snag is that we really could do with a third camera, but I’ve had no luck sourcing a suitable second-hand one.
  10. Yes, I enjoyed this recording when it first came out. It struck me how strong an advocate Porter was for Campbell’s music.
  11. It used to be normal too to increase the tempo as the music got louder, and slacken as it became softer, whereas nowadays it’s considered a fault. You hear this a lot in early recordings. Ironically it may be that recordings led to the change of taste. I don’t suppose that before they existed anyone (except metronome fiends??) noticed the tendency, which is a perfectly natural one.
  12. I’m probably guilty myself of wallowing a bit in this piece, but yes I think that is probably about the right tempo. We organists often have in our mind’s ear an orchestra playing this sort of thing, but forget that the tone of orchestral instruments (especially strings) is more dynamic than that of the organ, so a slow tempo still has a certain life about it. To get an equivalent effect on the organ one needs to play a bit faster, or else the line sags and things start to stagnate. The opposite is true with faster tempi. An orchestra can take music at a tremendous lick that will sound rushed on the organ (to say nothing of pipes not having time to speak properly and actions time to work). Which is not to say we shouldn’t let the sound and effect of other instruments inform our playing (quite the opposite - organists need to avoid insularity), but a literal “translation” can lead us astray.
  13. Sorry to hear it. I had a nasty feeling they’d eventually succumb to this pernicious habit. Alas that they have done so.
  14. Thank you for all these interesting suggestions. Much to explore.
  15. “Arthur is a good boy; he doesn’t say them’s grouses, he says them’s grice.” A.W. Verrall (But they were actually partridges.)
  16. Oh, pish! People don’t use near, ly, e, nough, com, mas, now, a, days. And as for s;e;m;i;c;o;l;o;n;s; ....
  17. I suppose I could sing the plainsong bits ....
  18. The most important thing is *never* to use a post code. I was very pleased to discover that the Republic of Ireland is blessedly free of such abominations. All hail to Erin’s Isle!
  19. Happens even within English - chicken was originally a plural (of chick).
  20. In this particular context, however, it should really have been in the genitive (hem hem).
  21. An agendum is list with only one thing to be done on it. The rarity of the form is testimony to the fact that, alas, so few meetings are so lucky as to be faced with but a single task (tho’ I must admit to engineering such a meeting solely so I could use the term ...).
  22. I prefer the formation “awful” ....
  23. It's Our Lady of Sorrows next Tuesday. I know the Demessieux setting of the Stabat Mater chant. Any other pieces based on this that members recommend? Or other Marian pieces that are of a suitably dolorous character? I shall be playing a small two-manual instrument, but should be interested for future reference to hear of pieces too that require something larger. I suppose that music relating to Candlemass might also be appropriate ("Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also").
  24. Having observed that in normal conditions I don’t use the Thalben-Ball volume much, I do commend it as an excellent source of ideas for improvisation. And talking of improvisation, I noted that the theme of forgiveness is prominent in next week’s readings from the three-year lectionary. Two hymns that came to mind were “Dear Lord and Father”, and “Amazing Grace”. I couldn’t find anything based on either that appealed, so I was pleased to discover that if you adjust the metre you can play A. Grace over the top of Repton quite nicely, which gives me the basis for an appropriate interlude to cover the offertory.
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