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sbarber49

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Everything posted by sbarber49

  1. sbarber49

    Bwv 562

    He still managed to write the only truly "great" organ music other than Bach's. (I know no-one will disagree!) Stephen Barber
  2. sbarber49

    Bwv 562

    To broaden it out a bit: just how unreliable is the Novello Bach edition? I've always used it, although I wouldn't, of course, if I were starting out now. I thought that it was pretty reliable as regards the actual notes - the editorial additions can be ignored. (The number of wrong notes I play probably make any misreadings pale into insignificance anyway.) With BWV 562 it's a completely different piece, though. Are the volumes revised by Emery better? Has anyone studied the Ridout edition for Kevin Mayhew? Incidentally I hadn't known that Fauré had produced an edition of Bach's organ works (https://urresearch.rochester.edu/handle/1802/1718). I wonder why he didn't write any organ music - or is there a stray piece or two somewhere? Stephen Barber
  3. sbarber49

    Radio 3

    Certainly we organists regard the voluntary as part of the service, but it clearly isn't. At the end of the service in my church it is very important that people to greet and talk to each other - more important than that they should listen to my organ playing. If I demanded the congregation to sit and listen I would feel it unfair to play for more than a minute or so. As I said before: the eucharist ends with the dismissal. I am talking about parish churches rather than cathedrals and similar churches. But even there, I have never sung or played in one where the clergy and DOM don't feel free to talk to each other immediately after the final prayer, and then disappear - not "part of the service", then! (Although often congregations do stay and listen to the voluntary at evensong.) It just seems to me that to expect the congregation (especially in an ordinary parish church) to sit and listen to an organ piece (however well-chosen to fit the occasion and however well-played) is to live in cloud cuckoo land. Why should they? Why should we impose it on them? Anyway, when did we decide that the voluntary was "part of the service"? - when I played my first Choral Evensong on R3 the voluntary was faded out as it always was then. Certainly I take the point about not treating classical music as wallpaper; the answer is simple: don't play a voluntary. Stephen Barber
  4. sbarber49

    Radio 3

    Why not indeed? Voluntaries are played for the benefit of the organist, not the congregation. If the congregation ask for a mini-concert after the service then that's different. I play in 2 different churches: in the mornings no-one listens and that's my own church where the congregation is extremely supportive of my efforts both on the organ (the rest of the service) and with the choir. In the evening I play in a different church and the congregation normally sits and listens to the voluntary and often applauds at the end. That's great, of course, but I don't regard their attention as my right. In a cathedral one might expect people to either listen or move out of the choir, but that's not so easy in a parish church. Again I ask: how many DOMs in cathedrals listen to voluntaries? Stephen Barber
  5. sbarber49

    Bwv 562

    Kimberley Marshall has written the following: The elegant Fantasy in c minor, BWV 562, demonstrates Bach at his most French, with beautifully ornamented melodies and graceful slurs suggesting the vocal style of Lully’s operas. The five-part texture, with two voices in each hand and one in the pedal, may have been adopted by Bach following his study of Nicolas de Grigny’s Premier Livre d’Orgue (Paris, 1699). Bach made a complete copy of this source (now Mus. HS 1538 of the Stadt und Universitäts Bibliothek in Frankfurt-am-Main), which attests to the detailed attention he gave to Grigny’s compositional style. The autograph copy of the work (P490) makes explicit Bach’s ornamentation, so there is no question of these having been inserted at a later date by a copyist fond of French agréments. If this is correct, how could the Novello editors justify leaving the ornaments out? Stephen Barber
  6. sbarber49

    Bwv 562

    Can someone please tell my why the Novello edition of the Fantasia in C minor (BWV 562) does not have the ornaments that are in the old Bachgesellschaft edition (and others)? Is it taken from another manuscript? Is it a legitimate way of playing the piece. I have always used the Novello edition to which I years ago added the ornamentation by hand, but have just started a pupil on the piece and am wondering about it. Stephen Barber
  7. sbarber49

    Radio 3

    I think we're being a bit precious about this. The voluntary after a service is not part of that service: the final dismissal after a eucharist goes something like: "let us go forth in peace" not "let us sit down and listen to the organ". It is very important that members of a parish church congregation do talk to each other after a service and there is no reason why they should have to sit and listen to an organ piece unless they choose to. I think that for us to expect them to is rather arrogant on our part. By all means choose not to play a voluntary at all if you prefer. There is no analogy with the last piece in a concert. I'm not convinced that organists are much better than other people in listening to the voluntary. In how many cathedrals do the choir and DOM listen quietly as opposed to scuttling away and disrobing? Stephen Barber
  8. sbarber49

    Duets

    What about Denis Bédard's "Duet Suite"? (Written, I think, for McAllister & Jackson.) I have done his Suite for Piano and Organ a couple of times and it has been much enjoyed both by us and the audiences. Approachable stuff and fun. Stephen Barber
  9. Yaxley is still there, although the church is now "less traditional" in its music, I gather. Stephen Barber
  10. I don't usually have any difficulty getting a congregation to keep up. There are some hymns, though, where I find the opposite. When I used to play at the local crematorium (before they replaced us with a "box") I sometimes had difficulty in "Abide with me" with congregations who shortened the semibreve in bar 4 to a minim. What can you do? If they carry on while you're still holding the chord you've either got to follow them or make an issue of it, usually not appropriate at a funeral in a small chapel. There's also that extra bar's rest in the verse part of "I, the Lord of sea and sky" - there are always some people in a congregation who carry straight on. The irregular breaks in "Come down, O love divine", can also be a problem, since it seems to be a case of "anything goes" in many churches (not in mine!). Stephen Barber
  11. It has a pause in NEH and I would always put in one extra beat here. It's a German Chorale, after all. Would you ignore all the pauses in the Bach chorales? Stephen Barber
  12. I have a CD of two of the organs in the Frari Church (Basilica dei Frari): a Callido of 1795 (20 stops, 1 manual) and a Piaggia from 1752 (10 stops, 1 manual). They sound good to me; recently restored and "tuned into unison" by Zanin and Son. I picked up the CD in the church but didn't hear the organs live. There is also a 3 manual Mascioni from 1928. The church has an enclosed choir (or something like it, anyway) and I remember thinking that I'd love to sing a evensong there. I used to have a tape of three other organs, but have now lost it. I seem to remember two of them were good: S Zaccaria and S Maria del Rosario and one pretty awful - St Mark's. It didn't sound anything to write home about live, either. Stephen Barber
  13. I never get any reaction to any voluntary, but yesterday I dumbed-down: "Sortie" (Michel) (from one of the "Jazz Inspirations books). It's a very jolly, jazzy piece in an updated Lefebre-Wely mould. To a man (and woman) the congregation loved it (one of the choir girls wants it on a CD so she can do her homework to it!) I didn't know whether to be pleased or annoyed. Stephen Barber
  14. Actually, according to Peter Williams' book, Erbarm dich mein was a chorale for the 3rd, 11th, 14th, and 22nd Sundays after Trinity, not Lent (although we, of course, associate Ps 51 with Lent and BWV 721 is very suitable for it). Aus tiefer Not was apparently a burial and communion hymn, but was also associated with Palm Sunday, Trinity 21 and Trinity 22). There seem to be no cantatas for Lent except Lent 3. I am beginning to think that there was no organ music between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday in the Lutheran church at the time. I was hoping someone would confirm or deny this but I know this thread is an old one (it took me a long time to get validated so that I could post!) and really on the wrong forum. Stephen Barber
  15. Yes, but there are no Preludes between "Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf" (for the Feast of the Purification) and "O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig" (for Passiontide) and nor did Bach inscribe any title pages between them. Why not? Was Lent not kept or was the organist not allowed to play preludes during the first part of Lent? The 2 preludes you mention were going to follow "Vater Unser", and were not intended, presumably, to be part of the cycle for the Liturgical Year, however suitable for Lent they seem to be. Stephen Barber
  16. Can anyone tell me why Bach included no Lent preludes (other than the wonderful Passiontide ones, of course) in the Orgelbüchlein? I don't think there were any planned either, or were there? Was Lent important in the Lutheran church at the time? What chorales were sung in Lent? I like to play the 1st movement of Mendelssohn Sonata 3 (Aus Tiefer Not) and Sonata 1. Also the Andriessen Variations for no good reason except that I like them, they're easy and they sound solemn. Stephen Barber
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