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Mander Organs
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Philip Glass

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I'm still looking for minimalism that convinces. I'm still open minded. But Im not letting my brains fall out.

Much to my surprise, my wife and I both found the ENO production of Satyagraha enthralling. I can't claim to have sorted out exactly why but the ritual/repetiton (and some lush melodies) were certainly part of it.

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Thanks for that recommendation. I'll keep an ear open for it. How long is it? Ritual repetition I can do - within reason.

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In principle I don't have a problem with this at all since all I ever ask of music is that it both moves and sustains the intellect .

 

Forgive me, but just because the unwashed like a piece of music doesn't mean it's good. On that basis we'd all think Stainer's Crucifixion is good - and not even Stainer himself thought that. No. All it means is that the unwashed like it. That of course is a perfectly valid response on its own level and ample justification for performing such music. Nothing wrong with a bit of harmless enjoyment; after all, what on earth do we listen to music for? But we shouldn't make the mistake of equating popularity with quality.

 

 

But even the great unwashed as you call them have intellects and if this is sustained and enriched by Stainer's Crucifixion then who are we to argue? No, it's not my cup of tea either but there are those who are moved and, dare I say it, spiritually uplifted by it.

 

Scrawled on a wall at the RAM:

 

Q: What do you think of Stainer's Crucifixion?

A: I'm all for it. :D

 

 

Peter

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Indeed, Peter: that was the part of the point I was making.

 

Your graffitto reminds me of a slightly more on topic one I once saw in the gents at the British Museum when it was still in Great Russell Street: "If music be the food of love, Stockhausen is a banker" - except that wasn't quite how the last word read.

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Indeed, Peter: that was the part of the point I was making.

 

Your graffitto reminds me of a slightly more on topic one I once saw in the gents at the British Museum when it was still in Great Russell Street: "If music be the food of love, Stockhausen is a banker" - except that wasn't quite how the last word read.

 

 

:D

 

But who said "have you heard any Stockhausen?" to which the reply was "no, but I've trodden in some" :lol:

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:D

 

But who said "have you heard any Stockhausen?" to which the reply was "no, but I've trodden in some" :lol:

 

Wasn't that said about Schoenberg?

 

AJJ

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:D

 

But who said "have you heard any Stockhausen?" to which the reply was "no, but I've trodden in some" :lol:

 

 

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

 

 

Sir Thomas Beecham!

 

MM

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On that basis we'd all think Stainer's Crucifixion is good - and not even Stainer himself thought that.

 

Maybe but he did leave us what I think are two very fine hymn tunes in the Crucifixion: Cross of Jesus and All for Jesus. Not sure however if these were writtn for the Crucifixion or wherther they were pre-composed and he incorporated them. Is there any information on this (and yes I realise this is really another thread!).

 

Peter

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I had always understood that they were written for the cantata, but now you mention it I'm not sure why. As you say, they are very fine tunes.

 

It is a shame that The Crucifixion has been so influential in shaping our opinion of Stainer. It doesn't help that it has tended to be lumped with Maunder's Olivet to Calvary. In fact Stainer was capable of some quite fine things IMO. Only yesterday I was listening to an old Argo LP of his music recorded by Magdalen College under Bernard Rose (with Ian Crabbe at the organ - and playing superbly if I may say so). If you accept that Stainer's basically Mendelssohnian style starts from the precept that a shapely tune is all-important, the stuff on this disc is really far from trite. I would defy anyone to recognise Let Christ the King as the work of the same composer as The Crucifixion.

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It is a shame that The Crucifixion has been so influential in shaping our opinion of Stainer. It doesn't help that it has tended to be lumped with Maunder's Olivet to Calvary.

 

Slightly off-topic, I confess, but mention of Olivet to Calvary reminds me of another cantata by Maunder which I had the misfortune to encounter as a boy chorister in a country church many decades ago: Penitence, Pardon and Peace. FAR, far, worse even than Olivet to Calvary! Did anyone else share my misfortune?

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
Slightly off-topic, I confess, but mention of Olivet to Calvary reminds me of another cantata by Maunder which I had the misfortune to encounter as a boy chorister in a country church many decades ago: Penitence, Pardon and Peace. FAR, far, worse even than Olivet to Calvary! Did anyone else share my misfortune?

 

How does it compare to the choral works of Caleb Simper? :o

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This has come some way since it started on Glass and minimalism, but has anyone come across Miroir by Ad Wammes? Its crops up in quite a few programmes by 'concert organists', I rather like it as a piece of minimalism, and its not too long. There's a recording from Symphony Hall of it.

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This has come some way since it started on Glass and minimalism, but has anyone come across Miroir by Ad Wammes? Its crops up in quite a few programmes by 'concert organists', I rather like it as a piece of minimalism, and its not too long. There's a recording from Symphony Hall of it.

 

No, never heard fof it but would like tol earn more - is it published? Who performs it on the recording?

 

Thanks, Guilmant

 

Peter

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Yes, Boosey and Hawkes have just reprinted it (was prev available I think as a hand written MS) and its on one of Trotters disc, can't remember if its Sounds Phenomenal, Sounds Spectactular, Sounds Difficuolt or Sounds Bloody Hard (get the drift!). I'll look it up later. Needs a responsive and even action. It doesn't work on bad tracker, or bad electric actions!

 

Does anyone know where you can get hold of the Fugue Bolero by Sawa?

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This has come some way since it started on Glass and minimalism, but has anyone come across Miroir by Ad Wammes? Its crops up in quite a few programmes by 'concert organists', I rather like it as a piece of minimalism, and its not too long. There's a recording from Symphony Hall of it.

 

 

Just discovered his website where you can print off a sample of the score and hear a section of it...

 

http://www.adwammes.nl/index2.php?lng=_en&...n&id=Miroir

 

Peter

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Guest Cynic
Slightly off-topic, I confess, but mention of Olivet to Calvary reminds me of another cantata by Maunder which I had the misfortune to encounter as a boy chorister in a country church many decades ago: Penitence, Pardon and Peace. FAR, far, worse even than Olivet to Calvary! Did anyone else share my misfortune?

 

 

Remaining off-topic!

 

IMHO there is a work that comfortably (or uncomfortably) outdoes these (and 'Crucifixion' too): 'The Darkest Hour' by Gaul. I believe that it is well-named.

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Guest Cynic
Back ON topic, cynic,

 

As an eminient concert organist, do you play any minimalist music?

 

 

 

You're a kind man to be so flattering.

 

Minimalist? There's plenty that ought to qualify by reason that it consists of the minimum of material repeated virtually ad nauseam.

Some well-knowns:

Toccatina by Yon, Widor Toccata, Saint-Saen's Prelude in E flat, Gordon Young's Prelude in Classical style, J.S.Bach's early Prelude in G minor......

 

Answering you more seriously, I do play 'Trumpeting Organ Morgan' and I like it (audiences do too). I have two Ligeti Pieces and some Part. Generally, I have avoided putting things in programmes if nobody present is likely to enjoy them. This has prevented me from playing one or two seriously good bits of music. For instance, where outside Oxbridge would I find an audience for Frank Martin's Passacaille? I don't want my tender audience to suffer, even if I think it's a stunning work. I am always open to suggestions for things I should learn, so suggest away!

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I have two Ligeti Pieces

Is that Harmonies and Coulée by any chance? These are fabulous pieces (as is most Ligeti I've heard), though I would never feel quite happy mugging the organ in the way Ligeti asks for Harmonies. I'd love to learn Coulée, but how the hell do you manage to remember exactly when to change what notes. It all moves so fast I find it impossible to keep track. Any tips gratefully received.

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Guest Cynic
Is that Harmonies and Coulée by any chance? These are fabulous pieces (as is most Ligeti I've heard), though I would never feel quite happy mugging the organ in the way Ligeti asks for Harmonies. I'd love to learn Coulée, but how the hell do you manage to remember exactly when to change what notes. It all moves so fast I find it impossible to keep track. Any tips gratefully received.

 

 

I'd not pretend to be on any sort of inside track with Coulee (BTW how does one do French accents on a word-processor?) what I did to learn it was draw pencil lines at what I thought were the important changes and count my 'bars' off in sections. It appears to have no rhythm, but essentially I introduced one for my own purposes - even if that was mostly visual.

 

Does this make any sense?

 

Learning anything, the final performance speed is immaterial. If you consistently play it with the same fingers when you learn it, it will eventually end up as a muscular memory - like scales. Ever wondered why you play them better when you play them fast? It's because when your brain has given up trying to steer, a properly learned thing will come by itself. [Mind you, I try not to play the bulk of serious emotional stuff in this way - it might get far too clinical - but the occasional flourishes might flow as above.]

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(BTW how does one do French accents on a word-processor?)

 

Use the character map - I find it easier than remembering where the shortcut keys are, since I do not write in French the entire time. There is a wealth of symbols between the many type-faces. Arial, Baskerville, Garamond and many others contain a complete Cyrillic alphablet, a Greek alphabet (current, not Attic) and a host of other useful things - such as the cross and double-cross symbols.

 

If you do search for 'charmap', you can then create a shortcut to desktop - and it will always be with you.

 

Well, until your computer next crashes, or the hard-drive dies....

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(BTW how does one do French accents on a word-processor?)

For acute accents on vowels, Windows accepts <Alt Gr>+vowel as a simple shortcut. I've not discovered any other shortcuts, so either use the character mapper or type the decimal code of the letter while holding down <alt>.

 

Paul

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Far from minimalist but I don't really want to start a new thread, I have been to a recital today where the organist played Neilson's Commotio, a piece I heard and (shhhhh!) taped on the radio once so I got used to hearing it but this was the first time I think I'd heard it live. It is a fantastic piece of music and the recitalist did it proud. I'm not an organist but I'd be interested to hear other's opinion of the work and in fact whether you play it because it seemed to me an horrendous thing to play.

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