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Mander Organs
Guest Roffensis

Philip Glass

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I like the description:- "playing with sounds."

What else is music, anyway?

 

half the audience quietly walked out from the "konzert."

I am not averse to innovation in music, but I baulk at inflicting experimentation upon people;

But composers (and performers) have been experimenting, and people have been walking out of concerts, for centuries. Nothing new there, then.

 

Paul

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I may be tempted to take this thread more seriously if people discussed, for example, the music of the late Marian Sawa (Poland) or some of the contemporary organ-works from Hungary, of which we appear to know absolutely nothing in England.

 

MM

 

Do you know in which countries (other than that to which Marian Sawa is native) this composer is well-known, MM?

 

I am not sure that simply failing to discuss a possibly obscure eastern European composer thus renders a thread either flippant or unworthy of a response. I understand that you have a great interest in, amongst many other things, organ music from Poland. However, I for one confess that I know little of this repertoire. Does this fact therefore count against me?

 

MM, surely you are not suggesting that this thread is devoid of merit due to this omission? :unsure:

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Guest Roffensis
I like Four Organs too. Variations for Wind, Strings and Keyboards (includes organ) is worth a hear too. One of my favourite Reich works at the moment is You Are (Variations).

 

 

Reich's "Desert Music" is good as well. Have you heard that?

 

R

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Do you know in which countries (other than that to which Marian Sawa is native) this composer is well-known, MM?

 

I am not sure that simply failing to discuss a possibly obscure eastern European composer thus renders a thread either flippant or unworthy of a response. I understand that you have a great interest in, amongst many other things, organ music from Poland. However, I for one confess that I know little of this repertoire. Does this fact therefore count against me?

 

MM, surely you are not suggesting that this thread is devoid of merit due to this omission? :unsure:

 

 

=======================

 

 

I am not for one moment suggesting that the thread is devoid of merit, or even interest, I am merely trying to keep feet on the ground.

 

Minimalism, as a musical concept, is now over 50-60 years old, and very much a "then" rather than "now" experience. The fact that I hate it, is neither here nor there.

 

Personally, I just think it is a dumbing down of all that music should be, and finds more contemporary expression in the trance "techno" music heard in discos.

 

If I wanted to enjoy a trance-like experience, and had at my disposal (a) An ecstacy tablet (b ) Indian sitar improvisations (c ) the organ music of Philip Glass (d) Techno music or (e) Buddhist chants, I think I would go for (b ) and (e) in that order, whilst many of the younger generation would combine (a) and (d).

 

This leaves (c ) very much out on a limb, where it is likely to remain.

 

I mentioned the music of Marian Sawa for a particular reason, because (I haven't seen the scores), there seems to be quite an abundance of repeated rythmic patterns and short themes; used to quite hypnotic effect and sometimes in a quite pseudo-contrapuntal way, as they alternate between various pitches.

 

It seems to me, that an object-lesson in how to endlessly repeat an idea to the point that it becomes worryingly obsessive, yet superb music at the same time, is the Alain "Litanies."

 

I'll try and find a link to the music of Marian Sawa, and you will be able to judge for yourselves, but I have found myself listening to it a great deal, which means that it must pass some sort of personal test, if nothing else.

 

Of course, I can't resist the suggestion that "those who live in Glass houses cannot afford to rattle Cages."

 

MM

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How very interesting that I should sub-consciously make the connection between Marian Sawa and Jehan Alain!

 

Read the following review, from "Records International" :-

 

 

 

Fourth volume of Sawa"s organ music offers more traditionally formulated pieces, the first three on the list above being bipartite "fantasy and fugue" compositions. The "Canzona", too, closes with a fugue but it has some of the Gallic character of Jehan Alain and "Stained Glass Windows" is also French in its attention to color and sheer beauty of sound. "Regina" agreeably offers a folk-song and two church songs in an atmosphere of simple joy and celebration. Records International.

 

=========================

 

You can listen to "Sekwens" by Marian Sawa on the following site, plus some rather good offerings by Buxtehude and Bach/Vivaldi.

 

 

http://www.organy.net/jan/

 

Also, a "Fugue Bolero" by Marian Sawa, recorded at St.Ouen, Rouen, which seems quite cheerful:

 

http://www.cathedrale-rouen.net/larigot/concerts.htm

 

MM

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Of course, I can't resist the suggestion that "those who live in Glass houses cannot afford to rattle Cages."

 

MM

 

Oh God....

 

:unsure:

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I heard a performance, such as it was, at St.Bavo a couple of years back, where the registrands eased stops out and eased them in again, and resorted to switching the blower on and off whilst note-clusters were held down; with the result that half the audience quietly walked out from the "konzert."
Ligeti's "Harmonies" is rather similar. I like it very much, though I'd baulk at doing to the organ what Ligeti asks in order to get these sounds: http://lavamus.com/Album/2175085/Gyorgy_Li.../Continuum/mp3/ (The "fast forwards" are not part of the score!)

 

I find Ligeti's music fascinating. I'd love to be able to play "Coulée", but find myself simply unable to keep track of when to change notes in the rapid broken chord figuration. (The manual parts are written as a succession of quavers, all under one beam from beginning to end of the piece, with around 100 quavers on each staff).

 

This is modern music, but not minimalistic: there is too much going on for that.

 

Sawa's "Fugue Bolero" sound great fun. Again too developed to be minimalistic. I'd love to get a copy. It would be a great crown pleaser I'm sure.

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How very interesting that I should sub-consciously make the connection between Marian Sawa and Jehan Alain!

 

Read the following review, from "Records International" :-

Fourth volume of Sawa"s organ music offers more traditionally formulated pieces, the first three on the list above being bipartite "fantasy and fugue" compositions. The "Canzona", too, closes with a fugue but it has some of the Gallic character of Jehan Alain and "Stained Glass Windows" is also French in its attention to color and sheer beauty of sound. "Regina" agreeably offers a folk-song and two church songs in an atmosphere of simple joy and celebration. Records International.

 

=========================

 

You can listen to "Sekwens" by Marian Sawa on the following site, plus some rather good offerings by Buxtehude and Bach/Vivaldi.

http://www.organy.net/jan/

 

Also, a "Fugue Bolero" by Marian Sawa, recorded at St.Ouen, Rouen, which seems quite cheerful:

 

http://www.cathedrale-rouen.net/larigot/concerts.htm

 

MM

 

I shall endeavour to check these out when I return from work. Unfortunately, due to misuse by some students, almost every type of download is blocked here - even the colour pink is censored.

 

Ah well.

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I have a CD of the late Donald Joyce playing some of Philip Glass's organ music, who is a minimalist composer. Don't go looking for great streams of Reger, it isn't there. it's actually pretty simple in terms of harmonic progressions etc, but in terms of effect, very interesting. I bought copies of two of his scores, Dance IV, something like 42 pages of Arpeggios in contrary motion and so on, but his "Mad Rush" I really like very much. Pretty sad, and it works excellently on the organ. The sort of stuff that you can literally sit and play from sight, but a difinite change from the usual.

 

I wonder if anyone else plays anything by him?

Richard.

 

Can you tell me who publishes "Mad Rush"? I looked for it on the site of my usual online suppler and came up blank.

 

Thanks

B

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Guest Roffensis
Can you tell me who publishes "Mad Rush"? I looked for it on the site of my usual online suppler and came up blank.

 

Thanks

B

 

 

Musicroom has it, it's published by Chester.

 

If you have any probs I'll find you a link.

 

Best,

 

R

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In your opinion, R, is this piece (Mad Rush) learnable for a recital I am doing mid-April? I suppose I coiuld describe myself as a reasonably good organist though not professional. No Trotter, me! (But few are!)

 

Peter

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In your opinion, R, is this piece (Mad Rush) learnable for a recital I am doing mid-April? I suppose I coiuld describe myself as a reasonably good organist though not professional. No Trotter, me! (But few are!)

 

Peter

 

 

If you suffer from wrist ache, then no!!!......, there are lot of fast chordal "arpeggios" in contrary motion, never more than an octave in each hand, if you suffer from cramp you could leave out the repeats if it's a tracker organ!.... It really is not difficult, a few off beats and so on, typical of him, but I would honestly say do it, it is sight readable, and very effective. I'm sure you'll master it.

 

Oh, and I'm no Thomas Trotter either!

 

R

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Sawa's "Fugue Bolero" sound great fun. Again too developed to be minimalistic. I'd love to get a copy. It would be a great crown pleaser I'm sure.

 

 

=============================

 

It is quite fun, and I also like the "Sekwens" by Marian Sawa.

 

The problem, as ever, is the language, coupled to the fact that the Poles (bless 'em) are just not street-wise when it comes to almost anything, so you find yourself stumbling around trying to find out if the thing has even been published, if so when and where and if they are still in business.

 

I know that at least some of the Sawa works have been published by "Warsaw Music Edition," but beyond this I draw a blank.

 

I would dearly love to get hold of at least some of Sawa's very extensive output.

 

However, most tunnels have lights at the end of them, unless there has been a collapse, and I am currently investigating.

 

I even found a Polish organist who studied in America, and I have his e-mail address.

 

I'll see what I can discover.

 

MM

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If you suffer from wrist ache, then no!!!......, there are lot of fast chordal "arpeggios" in contrary motion, never more than an octave in each hand, if you suffer from cramp you could leave out the repeats if it's a tracker organ!.... It really is not difficult, a few off beats and so on, typical of him, but I would honestly say do it, it is sight readable, and very effective. I'm sure you'll master it.

 

Oh, and I'm no Thomas Trotter either!

 

R

 

 

Well ..... I've just ordered it! I'll let you know how we get on together!

 

P

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I found another book: American Minimal Music by Wim Mertens which has a whole chapter devoted to Philip Glass. It also discusses Reich's Four Organs and has some extracts from the score.

 

Peter

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

I played a Sweelinck Toccata a few weeks ago, and someone asked me afterwards if it was by Philip Glass!

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I played a Sweelinck Toccata a few weeks ago, and someone asked me afterwards if it was by Philip Glass!

:rolleyes::ph34r::lol:

 

I can only sympathise. But look on the bright side. In my neck of the woods I'd be lucky if the congregation included anyone who had ever heard of Glass!

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
:rolleyes::ph34r::lol:

 

I can only sympathise. But look on the bright side. In my neck of the woods I'd be lucky if the congregation included anyone who had ever heard of Glass!

 

Well, since central heating arrived in this neck of the woods, it was a pretty essential invention in order to keep the heat in! :D:D:D:D

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If anyone is thinking of buying or has bought the score (as I have) there are one or two misprints. At bar 99 the right hand part sgould be the same as in the previous bar, The LH Es in bars 170-1 should be tied.

 

But do look at this piece, it is excellent, nd I am thinking of getting more of his stuff when I have got this one under my belt.

 

Peter

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Guest Roffensis
If anyone is thinking of buying or has bought the score (as I have) there are one or two misprints. At bar 99 the right hand part sgould be the same as in the previous bar, The LH Es in bars 170-1 should be tied.

 

But do look at this piece, it is excellent, nd I am thinking of getting more of his stuff when I have got this one under my belt.

 

Peter

 

 

That's the bar I noticed also. However, I play it as written, as I am not convinced it is a misprint. It does add an interesting discord, which is typical of Glass.

 

Great news that you have the score, Glass is very underrated, there is a lot of snob value attached to music, and what people consider worthy and not. Glass turned his back on western music, despite an excellent grounding. In my humble opinion, he has as much to say as Hakim and Messiaen , but in a different way. If we are to say that such "minimalist" music is weak, then we are missing a valid contribution to modern music. Must everything in life be the same, and follow a set pattern? Is there really no room for diversity? Mad Rush is excellent, exciting, sad, and incredibly atmospheric. The maths (if you like) behind it, and the reinforecements of different notes and patterns are one of it's great strengths. I played it at my church on saturday, and there were interested and positive comments afterwards.

 

R

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Glass turned his back on western music, despite an excellent grounding.
Well now, did he? I don't think so and I very much doubt he does either. What he did do was absorb non-Western elements and influences (mainly Indian), while still remaining fundamentally rooted in Western harmony, temperament, rhythm and melodic contours. All he has really abandoned is the formal structure.

 

I can see why people find this music appealing and if they also find it intellectually satisfying as well, good luck to them. Everyone is entitled to their views and it would be a poor world if we all agreed about everything. But I still think this sort of music is a cop-out. For rather similar reasons I've no time for conceptual art either. Art that expresses an intellectual concept that has to be explained before the art can be properly appreciated falls at the first hurdle for me. But I acknowledge that, to other people, this is merely a perfectly valid redefining of art itself. At the end of the day, art is what you want it to be.

 

Is anyone else old enough to remember the redoubtable Fyffe Robertson, the man who coined the abbreviation "phart" to describe phoney art? I imagine he was probably the first person to use the word on TV.

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it would be a poor world if we all agreed about everything.
Talking of which, I was quite bemused to stumble across this just now while searching out information for a programme note I'm supposed to be writing: http://cavlec.yarinareth.net/archives/2006...durufls-requiem

 

I understand what he's getting at, but I couldn't disagree more!

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Talking of which, I was quite bemused to stumble across this just now while searching out information for a programme note I'm supposed to be writing: http://cavlec.yarinareth.net/archives/2006...durufls-requiem

 

I understand what he's getting at, but I couldn't disagree more!

 

I am not even certain that I understand the point which he was trying to make, Vox. Is it possible that he had been listening to the setting of the Requiem by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and simply mixed-up the two pieces in his mind?

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I am not even certain that I understand the point which he was trying to make, Vox. Is it possible that he had been listening to the setting of the Requiem by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and simply mixed-up the two pieces in his mind?
Oh no, M'sieur, he means the Duruflé all right. He was clearly reacting to the textures without being able to appreciate the overall effect. The performance may have been to blame of course, or maybe he simply has no empathy with impressionist music. Actually it sounds as though he can't quite cope with the fact that Duruflé didn't merely write a second Fauré Requiem. He wouldn't be the first. It is very tempting to make comparisons since both share a similar vision and, after Fauré's simplicity, Duruflé's luxuriant textures can take some getting used to. When people first encouter the Duruflé I believe it is quite usual for them initially to prefer the Fauré, but to end up preferring the other.

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