Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Mulet - Esquisses Byzantines


MAB
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have always been intrigued by Mulet's Esquisses Byzantines, coming across them first, like most of us, through Tu es Petra.

 

I remember being blown away by hearing Nicholas Kynaston conclude a RFH recital years ago with Rosace and Tu es Petra, which are the two movements I play. I have a soft spot for Tu es Petra which I still think is by far the most exciting of the standard toccatas that do the rounds, and Rosace seems to be featuring more in programmes.

 

I have been digging around on the internet and found Mulet to be a fascinating character - according to Wikipaedia, he destroyed all his manuscripts in 1937 and lived in seclusion for the last 30 years of his life, a monastic character.

 

I would love to delve deeper into the Esquisses and wonder if anyone could suggest which other movements are worth looking at ? I have seen Chant Funebre, Nef, Vitrail and Noel appearing in programmes, and recall that Paul (aka Cynic) recorded the entire sequence at Notre Dame, Leicester Place some years ago. Perhaps someone could suggest a group of 3 or 4 that might go well together as a suite ?

 

Just for the record, I ought to add that I dislike the Carillon Sortie as much as I love Tu es Petra (which is a very considerable amount). One of those instances when you ask yourself how someone who could write a piece as good as A could also write a piece as naff as B. Or am I alone in this ?

 

Kind regards,

M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like both Tu es Petra, and Carillon sortie by Mulet. I'm hoping to have 'tu-es' learnt for dedication festival, it really is the most appropriate piece '(on this rock i will build thy church)

 

The Whole set are avalible for £28 from www.musicroom.com i remember seeing if you feel up to that outlay, but noel is very nice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Barry Williams
I have always been intrigued by Mulet's Esquisses Byzantines, coming across them first, like most of us, through Tu es Petra.

 

I remember being blown away by hearing Nicholas Kynaston conclude a RFH recital years ago with Rosace and Tu es Petra, which are the two movements I play. I have a soft spot for Tu es Petra which I still think is by far the most exciting of the standard toccatas that do the rounds, and Rosace seems to be featuring more in programmes.

 

I have been digging around on the internet and found Mulet to be a fascinating character - according to Wikipaedia, he destroyed all his manuscripts in 1937 and lived in seclusion for the last 30 years of his life, a monastic character.

 

I would love to delve deeper into the Esquisses and wonder if anyone could suggest which other movements are worth looking at ? I have seen Chant Funebre, Nef, Vitrail and Noel appearing in programmes, and recall that Paul (aka Cynic) recorded the entire sequence at Notre Dame, Leicester Place some years ago. Perhaps someone could suggest a group of 3 or 4 that might go well together as a suite ?

 

Just for the record, I ought to add that I dislike the Carillon Sortie as much as I love Tu es Petra (which is a very considerable amount). One of those instances when you ask yourself how someone who could write a piece as good as A could also write a piece as naff as B. Or am I alone in this ?

 

Kind regards,

M

 

Mulet was a pupil of Leroux, Widor and Guilmant. He was a fine cellist as well as a brilliant organist. He was much criticised for his opinions on organs in 1922, following the publication of three articles criticising sub and super couplers and high wind pressures which he thought detracted from the real character of the organ - sounds familiar!

 

Not all his manuscripts were destroyed. The orchestral scores are in the library of Radio-Diffusion Francaise. These are readily accessible to researchers. He was highly respected and admired by his professional colleagues. Vierne, for example, praised his compositions, his playing and his improvising. Indeed, Canon, from Opus 31 is dedicated to Mulet. Tournemire also spoke highly of him, as did Messiaen. There is no doubt that his contemporaries held him and his compositions in very high regard.

 

He ran a toy shop at one time. I think it was in Paris. He was far from a recluse. He played at Draguignan cathedral until his health failed, when to moved to La Maison des Petites Soeurs des Pauvres, a convent. That around about the end of 1958. His dates are: 17/10 1878 to 10/9/1967.

 

Barry Williams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for the record, I ought to add that I dislike the Carillon Sortie as much as I love Tu es Petra (which is a very considerable amount). One of those instances when you ask yourself how someone who could write a piece as good as A could also write a piece as naff as B. Or am I alone in this ?

I think one would have to concede that the Carillon-sortie does not have the musical muscle of Tu es Petra, but I am far from disliking it. The main problem with it (here we go again, so take a deep breath, everyone, and roll your eyes) is that, like so many Franch Toccatas these days, nearly everyone plays it far too fast for it to sound musically effective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... I have been digging around on the internet and found Mulet to be a fascinating character - according to Wikipaedia, he destroyed all his manuscripts in 1937 and lived in seclusion for the last 30 years of his life, a monastic character. ...

 

M

 

Further to the post by Barry Williams, the information given in Wikipedia is neither exhaustive (as one might expect for this type of 'spot-reference' resource) nor always accurate (which is unfortunate). Not infrequently, articles are submitted by sixth form students, for example, and are therefore likely to be less well-researched.

 

For the record, I would not regard Mulet's Carillon-Sortie as 'naff' - but I certainly prefer Tu es petra (note the use of the lower-case - otherwise it is the wrong type of 'rock'). I have a recording of it played on the H&H organ of Coventry Cathedral; it seems to suit that instrument rather well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always been intrigued by Mulet's Esquisses Byzantines, coming across them first, like most of us, through Tu es Petra.

 

I remember being blown away by hearing Nicholas Kynaston conclude a RFH recital years ago with Rosace and Tu es Petra, which are the two movements I play. I have a soft spot for Tu es Petra which I still think is by far the most exciting of the standard toccatas that do the rounds, and Rosace seems to be featuring more in programmes.

 

I have been digging around on the internet and found Mulet to be a fascinating character - according to Wikipaedia, he destroyed all his manuscripts in 1937 and lived in seclusion for the last 30 years of his life, a monastic character.

 

I would love to delve deeper into the Esquisses and wonder if anyone could suggest which other movements are worth looking at ? I have seen Chant Funebre, Nef, Vitrail and Noel appearing in programmes, and recall that Paul (aka Cynic) recorded the entire sequence at Notre Dame, Leicester Place some years ago. Perhaps someone could suggest a group of 3 or 4 that might go well together as a suite ?

 

Just for the record, I ought to add that I dislike the Carillon Sortie as much as I love Tu es Petra (which is a very considerable amount). One of those instances when you ask yourself how someone who could write a piece as good as A could also write a piece as naff as B. Or am I alone in this ?

 

Kind regards,

M

 

 

IMHO He wrote nothing naff that has come down to us! It's all wonderful stuff, particularly if you have time for pieces to unfold because they're not all exciting. Some people only want an adrenalin rush, don't they?! This music provides ecstacies of a totally different kind.

As to the complete Mulet recording which I made on two CDs for Priory in 1988, I was delighted when a number of supposed 'lost' items came to light. indeed, they kept arriving as we approached our recording date, the last one within about a week (and never published, so it had to go in!). Rather unfortunately, the extra pieces were all soft, so we had to slip in a filler work to help balance the second CD - that was the Toccata by Lynnwood Farnam.

 

Particularly strong movements from Esquisses Byzantines are

Nef (NB rather long if done at the composer's suggested speed!)

Procession (v. fine and exciting - tricky though)

Vitrail

Noel

Chant Funebre

In Paradisum

Campanile

Rosace (this is regularly interpreted by at least one famous player as a brisk toccata! - not my view of it at all)

 

I realise that I have named almost every one of the set! Frankly they're all good.

If you can only afford time to learn three, Campanile, Noel and Procession would make a nice set.

 

Of the remaining pieces, I think the two tiny ones from Pere Jobert's collection (Petit Offertoire and Sortie Douce) are both gorgeous but Offertoire Funebre is one of the greatest pieces in the literature...and I don't think anyone else plays it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where can I get these please Paul?

 

AJJ

 

 

Ah, now you're asking!

Like so much good stuff, they're long out of print.

 

I have them.........

maybe you'll have to bribe me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much, Paul, for your view of the Esquisses - just the response I was hoping to receive, from the person I hoped would respond.

 

Many thanks.

 

M

 

Incidentally, just how big would that bribe have to be ?

 

 

You may have some music that I'm looking for!

Let me have your contact details and I'll pester you some time.

 

BTW someone else (besides you) wants those two little Mulet items so some time soon I'm digging towards them. Organ parts are currently stacked up to head height virtually everywhere here at the moment, including in front of some of my music shelves. Next week I'm having a big push towards getting manual III playing.

 

Best wishes,

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...