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Organ Comcertos And Other Things


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Hi MM

 

Whilst looking for something else I stumbled across the original Virgil Fox thread, and I see this debate has been had before. Enough was said there. If I'd known about it at the time I wouldn't have posted the above as it doesn't add anything new.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

 

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

 

Exactly!

 

How many organists are still the subject of heated debate almost 30 years after they expired?

 

I guess Virgil Fox would be the first to appreciate the controversy!

 

He WAS quite wonderful at what he did, but whether he should have done it or not, is another matter entirely. Not many people have the confidence to refer to E P Biggs the way he did, or to accuse composers of writing rubbish, and re-inventing it on their behalf.

 

But when it came to thrills per second, and mass communication, he had no equal.

 

I liked what he did, but that doesn't mean that I try play the same way, or seek to copy his "style."

 

But "tacky" is not the right description for the phenomenon; which centred (centred?) around Fox's sheer energy, panache and enthusiasm.

 

You listen, and then respond with the explitive of your choice!

 

MM

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And, above all, ego. Don't forget that!

 

 

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

 

 

Of course Ego!

 

But isn't that a very American statement?

 

It's the perfect artistic reflection on a country built by great individual characters, and perhaps not far removed from Sinatra "Doing it his way."

 

I think this is what I like about the Fox legacy, which takes overstatement and then turns it into an art form, just as Bette Midler does.

 

Oddly enough, there was one thing which really struck me about America when I was there. It wasn't about big cars (I borrowed an 8 litre Cadillac for a while), tall buildings and huge organs, but rather, kids living the American dream and enjoying it. The energy and enthusiasm of youth jazz bands, kids on skateboards and just people having fun with life itself: this is what I observed more than anything else.

 

The only British equivalent is Sir Elton John, but that's not our kind of music, is it?

 

MM

 

(Closet Elton John fan)

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Hurrah for organ concertos!

 

However, no-one has yet mentioned what must be an extensive repertoire for organ + which doesn't involve hiring a full symphony orchestra.

 

I'm think about small resources with organ, which could really be anything.

 

One of my absolute delights is an LP of E.Power-Biggs entitled "Heroic music," which includes Telemann by that name, but on the other side, a number of works re-cast to include percussion instruments and brass.

 

It is such a breath of musical fresh-air.

 

There must be lots of music which is delightful and not over-taxing financially when it comes to getting other musicians involved.

 

MM

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  • 1 year later...
Many years ago I heard a an organ concerto by Charles Chaynes. I thought it was fabulous, and am amazed and disappointed that I have never heard it again. It was similar to the Poulenc concerto in style, and I seem to recall seeing it in the UMP catalogue. I believe Marie Claire Alain used to have it in her repertoire ; I would love to hear it again if anyone knows of a recording or forthcoming performance.

 

M

The Avant Garde Project has recently released a "BitTorrent" of the Chaynes Organ Concerto (AGP 136).

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Hurrah for organ concertos!

 

However, no-one has yet mentioned what must be an extensive repertoire for organ + which doesn't involve hiring a full symphony orchestra.

 

I'm think about small resources with organ, which could really be anything.

 

One of my absolute delights is an LP of E.Power-Biggs entitled "Heroic music," which includes Telemann by that name, but on the other side, a number of works re-cast to include percussion instruments and brass.

 

It is such a breath of musical fresh-air.

 

There must be lots of music which is delightful and not over-taxing financially when it comes to getting other musicians involved.

 

MM

 

There's a "Concertino" by Christopher Boodle (organ and small orchestra), also "Organ Dances" by Bob Chilcott (organ, strings and percussion) a wonderful Concerto by Philip Moore for organ, strings and timpani (performed only once to date, and pending revision by the composer before it can be given another outing) and one by Francis Jackson for organ, strings, timpani and celesta (or possibly piano if everything's played up an octave or two...?) plus of course the Mozart pieces for glass harmonica and strings.

 

For that matter, Mozart's Epistle or "Church" Sonatas can be done with minimal forces - and are truly exquisite!

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How about Naji Hakim's three organ concerti? Absolutely top drawer stuff, from the ear tickling manuals-only intimacy of the First, through the powerful 'Seattle' Concerto, to the hysterical Charleston rhythms of the Third. Well worth a listen/play.

 

First and Third (plus Magnificat and a fabulously romantic suite for horn & organ) here

 

Seattle (and Violin Concerto with lusciously erotic slow mvt) here

 

IFB

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The original version of Guilmant's Sonata 1 was scored, initially performed as and still occasionally played as an organ concerto, and called, in the orchestral arrangement, his first symphony. Confusingly, his so-named second symphony was an organ concerto arrangement of his 8th and final organ sonata. He also wrote an Allegro pour Orgue et Orchestre - Opus 81 - I've never heard it, but Ian Tracey has made a recording in Liverpool Cathedral of it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently performed one of the two double concertos for violin and organ by Vivaldi. It was fun to play and the audience enjoyed it, but it is hardly a substantial work!

 

I understand that Vivaldi also wrote some concertos for harpsichord and orchestra that are playable on organ - but I haven't checked that myself.

 

Don't forget the Haydn organ concertos, either.

 

Soler also requires small resources to perform.

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