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Peter Clark

Liszt Ad Nos

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What is the best - and cheapest (!) - edition of this piece. Of those who play it, how long would it take to learn. Is it one of those pieces which is less disficult than it sounds? I can just about get though the BACH....

 

 

Peter

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Guest Cynic
What is the best - and cheapest (!) - edition of this piece. Of those who play it, how long would it take to learn. Is it one of those pieces which is less disficult than it sounds? I can just about get though the BACH....

Peter

 

Dear Peter,

First (and off topic) I tried to send you a message but your inbox is full!. I'll try again later on.

 

Second: The question! I strongly recommend the Peters edition - page-turns in sensible places, plenty of registration marks (from someone in sympathy with the era) and an (apparently) pretty authentic score. As to difficulty level, I'm afraid IMHO 'Ad Nos' is around three times as difficult as B.A.C.H. - on a par with The Reubke and some of the Reger Fantasies. Obviously if you hanker after playing it, have a go, but expect it to take a while to sort out - as well as a good while to play (25 minutes or so).

 

Best wishes,

P.

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Dear Peter,

First (and off topic) I tried to send you a message but your inbox is full!. I'll try again later on.

 

Second: The question! I strongly recommend the Peters edition - page-turns in sensible places, plenty of registration marks (from someone in sympathy with the era) and an (apparently) pretty authentic score. As to difficulty level, I'm afraid IMHO 'Ad Nos' is around three times as difficult as B.A.C.H. - on a par with The Reubke and some of the Reger Fantasies. Obviously if you hanker after playing it, have a go, but expect it to take a while to sort out - as well as a good while to play (25 minutes or so).

 

Best wishes,

P.

 

 

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

 

 

I absolutely agree with Paul; except that I've never actually learned the darned thing!

 

Don't get me wrong, I've worked at it, and I can play a mean 8 minutes of it. The trouble is, I get bored with it, and throw it to one side eventually, and by the time I've decided to come back to it, I've forgotten it all, and have to start with the same bits as before. At the current rate of progress, I have estimated that I will 287 years old when I finally learn all of it!!!!

 

It is awfully pianistic in places.....rather more so than the Reubke, I would suggest.

 

That said, an awful lot of it is also very easy to play, unlike the Reubke, which isn't.

 

I think you will need to be very dedicated to this work if you intend to learn it.

 

MM

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This rings lots of bells with me. It is one of those pieces that I have decided to play every year as a New Year's resolution but can never quite follow through.

 

In the best tradition, I have started to learn it from the end backwards, but I suspect that the really tough stuff is in the four pages leading into the final statement of the chorale - can anyone confirm this and, if so, offer any tips on how to crack it ?

 

It was one of those pieces I first heard as a moody adolescent, and it has never completely left me. The first recording I heard was by Xavier Darasse at St Sernin Toulouse, and if I concentrate, I think I can play the entire recording in my head. What I love about his interpretation is the slow burn. I never like those performances that get to the tutti by the third statement of the chorale ; Darasse never rises above mezzo forte for the first ten pages, but when the big stuff appears, it just floors you.

 

I ought to add that of all the Liszt pieces, this is the only one that really melts my butter - I really couldn't be bothered to spend the time learning BACH which has never convinced me.

 

I have heard many performances over the years, many of them rather scrappy, but when it is played right, the effect is overwhelming. I particularly remember John Scott playing it at St Paul's Cathedral about ten years ago. I swear that on the last page, the whole cathedral started to move and take off, like the mother ship at the end of Close Encounters - I have never heard anything like it again. It seems to me that the slog is worth it if only against the possibility that you might recapture that experience.

 

Unbelievably, the other great performance I remember was from one of my contemporary organ scholars at Oxford (not a big name) who played it on the squeaky two manual organ at Merton. I thought it would be ridiculous, but he paced it so well that it came off superbly.

 

As for practicalities, I have got a couple of editions, but have been strongly recommended to the Universal Edition as being textually the most accurate (even if rather expensive).

 

I have also been told by a friend of mine who plays it that it is not actually that difficult, compared to, say, the Reubke (which I can get round with sufficient work). I suspect that, in the main, this is true, although there are probably a few killer moments that make up for it.

 

I suspect that the trick with learning this piece is to look one year ahead and pencil it into a programme on a suitable organ, then break the piece down into chunks timetabled over a few months at a rate of so many pages a week, and just push yourself through it.

 

Hmm ... I think I feel a new resolution coming on.

 

Keep in touch Peter - perhaps we might learn it together !

 

M

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Thanks all for the replies so far. The only new edition I can find is the one published by Schirmer - but it is remarkably cheap (I was thinking of £20.00 or so!):

 

http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/047582/details.html

 

Universal and Peters don't seem to have it in their catalogues unless it is included in the Peters Vols 1 or 2 of the complete organ works but their website does not give the contents.

 

Justadad, the download version you alerted me to - this is organ or pedal piano with an optional estra pair of hands, is it not. I believe this is how Liszt was (reluctantly) persuaded to publish it (for financial reasons I think) but that he later withdrew it in favour of an organ alone edition. Many thanks, it wll be useful for following the CD but it is a somewhat "busy" score which I don't fancy playing from!

 

Yes MAB, my intention would be to learn it chunk by chunk - perhaps we should learn the same chunks whch we could MP3 each other (is there such a verb as "to MP3" and how wold one decline it?) to offer advice :P .

 

More comments please!!

 

Peter

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is there such a verb as "to MP3" and how wold one decline it?

[pedant]

You wouldn't. Verbs are conjugated!

 

It's a mistake a lot of us make. When my Latin mistress at school asked me to conjugate I declined. :P

[/pedant]

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Peter -

 

I had to get the Universal edition on special order from Allegro Music.

 

It took a little time, and was not far short of £20, but I think it is worth it in the long run.

 

Perhaps we should start an 'Ad Nos learner's support group'.

 

'My name is Mark. I am an Ad Nos addict. I keep trying to learn it but keep getting stuck at (insert page number)'.

 

M

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[pedant]

You wouldn't. Verbs are conjugated!

 

It's a mistake a lot of us make. When my Latin mistress at school asked me to conjugate I declined. :P

[/pedant]

Yes Vox, I should know that, I did NT Greek at university!

 

P

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But how does one account for such a difference in price? £6.00 is a lot cheaper than £20.00. Is the Schirmer possibly a little too idiosyncratically edited, or not edited enough?

 

"My names Peter, I'm an Ad Nos addict and I haven't eve bought the thing yet...."

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[pedant]

 

When my Latin mistress at school asked me to conjugate I declined. :P

 

[/pedant]

 

 

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

 

I feel deprived, in that I never had a Latin teacher. Still, I had a good physics teacher!

 

:o

 

MM

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Guest Cynic
Universal and Peters don't seem to have it in their catalogues unless it is included in the Peters Vols 1 or 2 of the complete organ works but their website does not give the contents.

 

 

It's in volume 2 which also has the BACH and a variety of lesser pieces. Indeed, 'Ad nos' takes up 50 of the 107 pages.

I've seen several versions and own other editions; I've briefly flirted with the Margittay edition (for example) but I always return to the Peters/Straube. I wouldn't look any further if I were you. Want to see a copy? I could bring it on Monday!

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It's in volume 2 which also has the BACH and a variety of lesser pieces. Indeed, 'Ad nos' takes up 50 of the 107 pages.

I've seen several versions and own other editions; I've briefly flirted with the Margittay edition (for example) but I always return to the Peters/Straube. I wouldn't look any further if I were you. Want to see a copy? I could bring it on Monday!

 

Yes please but please don't expect me to sight read it!!!

 

 

Peter

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Yes please but please don't expect me to sight read it!!!

Peter

 

He is too kind to do that - but after your Vicar of Dibley comment, you can count on me to expect just that!!! :)

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Firstly, many thanks to all who have been so helpful in my enquiry, both on and off the forum. But does anyone know where I could find the original chorale (with text) upon which the fantasia and fugue is based? Thanks.

 

Peter

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[pedant]

You wouldn't. Verbs are conjugated!

 

It's a mistake a lot of us make. When my Latin mistress at school asked me to conjugate I declined. :o

[/pedant]

 

Absolutely! In any case, it would be an intransitive verb - such as 'texted' (bleah!).

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Firstly, many thanks to all who have been so helpful in my enquiry, both on and off the forum. But does anyone know where I could find the original chorale (with text) upon which the fantasia and fugue is based? Thanks.

 

Peter

 

It isn't a chorale at all. It is a quotation from Meyerbeer's opera "Le Prophete".

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In Meyerbeer's opera, I believe this melody is sung as a hymn by a gathering of Anabaptists (whatever they are), so we're all right.

 

Anabaptists are a group who have a "second" baptism in adulthood (I think).

 

Peter

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In Meyerbeer's opera, I believe this melody is sung as a hymn by a gathering of Anabaptists (whatever they are), so we're all right.

 

Tut, tut, Paul. call yourself an Anglican? In the 39 articles we are told that members of the C of E are allowed to own personal property -

 

'...not holding all goods in common, as some Anabaptists do vainly boast'.

 

So, no Anglican member of this board should be coming up North to grab a piece of your house organ any time soon...

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Guest Cynic
Tut, tut, Paul. call yourself an Anglican? In the 39 articles we are told that members of the C of E are allowed to own personal property -

 

'...not holding all goods in common, as some Anabaptists do vainly boast'.

 

So, no Anglican member of this board should be coming up North to grab a piece of your house organ any time soon...

 

 

Sorry...? Lost you there!

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Just in case anyone is the slightest bit interested, I see that I posted on 7th September saying that I was inspired to have a real crack at Ad Nos this year.

 

This thread really encouraged me to get the bit between my teeth, and today I played the piece through for the first time in a (roughly) finished state, so that is about 8 weeks later, spending about 3 hours a week on the piece. It is one of those pieces that becomes an obsession. I feel a sense of dread as I approach the church to practice it, but once you start playing it, you can't get it out of your head.

 

I suspect all this shows it that I am a slow learner, but I can report that a lot of it is not that difficult, although there are a couple of corners where very careful fingering is needed, with a lot of slow, detailed practice needed to get the notes really clean.

 

The hard bits are as hard as anything in the Reubke, but the rest is slightly less concentrated.

 

The first section (which I still think is the best) is relatively straightforward, although you need a very big stretch at some points.

 

The fugue is the hardest part. The opening pages of manual only writing need careful sorting out, likewise bars 651 to 673. I adopt some rather unorthodox / pianistic fingering to get round some of the passages at speed.

 

Now comes the hard part - getting it really polished to performance level, and relating the various pulses / tempi. I am convinced that this is one of those pieces that is thrown away too many times by a flashy performance at too fast a speed when it has so much atmosphere to deliver at a broader pace - think Claudio Arrau rather than, say, Lang Lang.

 

Peter - if you are still interested in learning the piece, let me know and I woudl be delighted to compare notes.

 

Just to show I have put my money where my mouth is, I have programmed the piece at recitals next year including Westminster Cathedral on 15th June. All supporters welcome !

 

Mark B

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I was inspired to have a real crack at Ad Nos this year.

Mark B

 

I wondered if you had heard Daniel Roth's CD of it (and Liszt's other works) played at St Sulpice - an organ and performance to match the scope of the compositions!!! Motette CD 12021 :rolleyes:

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Mark, thanks for remembering my interest! I am still interested but have 2 recitals planned for early next year neither of which will be featuring Ad Nos as I am unsure of my capability at the moment! I have the Nicholas Kynaston recording - anybody else have that one?

 

Peter

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