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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by octave_dolce

  1. I was wondering if people generally use 8-foot stop(s) or 4-foot stop(s) for the chorale tune in the pedal. I have experimented with both, and 4-foot stops sound fine even if Bach didn't call for them.
  2. I just started learning Anton Heiller's Meditation on the Easter Chant "Victimae Paschali." I cannot find any recording of this piece, not even on Naxos Music Library or YouTube. Has this piece been recorded?
  3. I attended the dedicatory service this past Sunday and plan on going to the dedicatory recital tomorrow night. From what I heard, it is a glorious instrument with fiery reeds. A colleague commented that the principal stops could have been fuller. I liked all the French pieces I heard (Titelouze, Couperin, de Grigny, Franck, Durufle), though I wasn't too crazy about the Bach (but I think it was the playing rather than the instrument).
  4. Any recommendation?
  5. This is not true! I have purchased organ music from the Juilliard Store. The collection is very limited, though. If I need something that I can't find in a store, I either ask the store to place an order for me (with no obligation to purchase when the scores arrive), or get them through sheetmusicplus.com
  6. In New York, your best bet would be the Juilliard Bookstore. The biggest sheet music seller in the city went out of business about a year ago, unfortunately. The Juilliard store is OK. If you are looking for specific titles, you may wish to email them to put copies on hold first.
  7. I went to his recital last night. This was my second time hearing him live, and I must say that I was more impressed with his playing this time. The first time I heard him, I was quite turned off by his interpretation of the "traditional" repertoire. The playing was not very musical, to say the least. Last night, I felt very differently. The programme was mostly transcriptions. While I did not like everything that I heard, the playing was musical--meticulous phrasing, sensitive articulation, clear delineation of form, etc. Sure, some transcriptions did not work as well as others (such as the Chopin Etudes and the Schubert Erlkonig), but the colours that he got out of the organ were simply dazzling. I knew that organ very well, and yet I heard many sounds that I had never heard before. No doubt he is a flamboyant performer. Nevertheless, based on what I heard and saw last night, he did not change registration frequently or take rapid passages in the pedals for the sake of showmanship alone. Also, he displayed an effort in reaching out to the audience: greeting the audience personally half hour before the recital, and giving intros to the pieces he played.
  8. Definitely. Fingering is such a personal thing. The choice of fingering is affected by the player's hand span, technique, and interpretation.
  9. I have been using Finale since 1997 and am very happy with it. I have no plan to switch to other notation software such as Sibelius. I think Finale is still regarded as the best notation software in the market. But with its steep learning curve, many new users go for Sibelius instead. Finale comes in different versions. I would recommend the "full" version, not Finale Allegro or Finale PrintMusic, etc. Educators and church musicians can purchase the software at the discount pricing.
  10. I'm thinking of purchasing an electronic organ for practice at home. I'm on a tight budget and space is limited, so for now, I just want to get a modest, two-manual instrument with built-in speakers. I prefer a digital instrument than an analog instrument, but can make compromise if need be. I have only played on Allen and Rodgers organs, so prefer them over other brands. I have a slight preference for Allen. The Rodgers instruments that I played had decent sounds, but I didn't like the pedalboard. Do you have any recommendations? As I understand, electronic organs of the same brand vary in quality depending on the time period and where they were manufactured.
  11. On the East Coast, Hyfrydol is far more common.
  12. I own two pairs of organmaster shoes, and I must say that I am quite disappointed with the newer pair. Apparently the shoes are manufactured by a different company now. The shoes are quite stiff and uncomfortable on the feet. (But if you have to walk in them, the newer shoes are safer because the heels are not slippery like the older ones.)
  13. I heard Jeremy Filsell's recital tonight and it was a disappointment, to say the least. Sure, he has fast fingers, but his playing was unmusical. I thought he didn't have very good control over the Bach pieces. The Durufle Suite was awful, particularly the Sicilienne movement, which was rendered mechanically.
  14. I've heard both organists at the same venue (different concerts in the same recital series). I must say that Nathan Laube is a much better musician. While Cameron Carpenter has amazing technique and showmanship, Nathan Laube shows way more depth in his interpretation.
  15. I'm sure your hands are still much bigger than mine. My LH is not any bigger than my RH, so swapping hands will not work for sure. I considered taking the lowest note in the RH with the foot; however, the note in question is either beyond the range of the pedalboard or not within the reach of the foot when it is already playing another note. Currently I am revoicing the RH chords. For example, instead of the written D-Bb-F, C-F#-D, B-G-D, I play Bb-D-F, F#-C-D, G-B-D. This progression can be found on the 3rd page from the end, in the 3rd system. Although the rearranged chords preserves the voice-leading, the overall sound is quite different as the notes are more closely spaced. I am not entirely happy with the altered sound. Hand span is not an issue for me in the Noel Variations.
  16. I don't think so. My hand can barely reach an octave. Unless I implant an extra joint to my pinkie and/or thumb, there's no way for my hand to reach a 10th.
  17. I said that I cannot play the big chords because hand span is a problem. Swapping the hands isn't going to help, is it?
  18. I've learned the B major P&F and now want to tackle the G-minor pair. I'm having problem with the big chords in the RH in the prelude. My hand cannot span more than an octave. Given the speed and the LH pitches, it's not possible to let LH take the lowest notes of the RH chords. Moving the lowest notes up an octave produces an unsatisfactory sound. What's your advice (besides to avoid this piece)?
  19. I have no problem at all with the quaver triplets in the LH, nor with the other passage similar to this one (with more flats). In this A-flat major passage, I have trouble maintaining eveness in the crochets in the pedal when I bring all three lines together. The rests and the large leaps are throwing me off, I think.
  20. I'm in the process of polishing this work for performance in autumn. One passage in the prelude that I never feel confident about is the bit in A-flat major: RH plays the tune in crochet triplets and regular crochets, LH plays the accompaniment in quaver triplets, and the feet in crochet notes and rests. I've done a huge amount of practice at various tempi, hands separately, hands together, LH/RH with pedal, using clear 4' stop only, etc. But I don't feel good and can't quite hear everything when I put all three parts together at the performance tempo with the prescribed registration. Any suggestion as to how to get this passage correct consistently?
  21. I'd like to know more about this fugue, seeing that it's not included in the Neue Bach Ausgabe volumes. The counterpoint may not be as intriguing as that of the big organ fugues, but it reminds me of the fugal sections of some of the harpsichord toccatas.
  22. That explains why I posted my question.
  23. What are your preferred tempi for the prelude and the fugue? Do you find minum = 72 too fast for the last section of the prelude? Also: How do you achieve perfect eveness without sounding mechanical when the semiquavers appear for the first time in the fugue?
  24. Hmmm... I am no violinist or cellist, but I believe JSB's works for unaccompanied violin and cello are amongst the finest music ever written. There is so much going on with the voice leading despite the fact that music is written for a "melodic" instrument. It is so amazing to hear how all the contrapuntal voices come together.
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