Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Recommended Posts

Now here is something VERY interesting, from an organist that I bet few have heard of in the UK.

 

There are some awful performances of the Bruhns E minor, a lot of very hurried and ill thought out performances of Bach and a lot of weary performances of the Lang "Tuba Tune," but here are three links which demonstrate a remarkable musical and artistic talent from James Pollard; a UK organist living and working in Amsterdam, but originally from Burnley.

 

I was absolutely thrilled to hear this, not least because I am fairly certain that the organist in question and myself met in unlikely circumstances in a bar in Burnley about a decade ago, and discovered that we shared a mutual friend, without knowing that the mutual friend knew two organists each unknown to the other! (Bizzare!)

 

The Bruhns is utterly magnificent, and played on the Bavo Orgel at Haarlem, with excellent sound quality.

 

The Bach C Major (the "Weimar") is so wonderfully controlled and musical.....an object lesson in Bach playing at the correct tempo.

 

The third clip is as magical as it is entertaining, because Mr Pollard CHANGES THE NOTES, to outstanding effect!!

 

Now, if only Mr Lang had written it this way, it would have been a lot better.

 

Enjoy.

 

BRUHNS

 

BACH

 

LANG

 

MM

 

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

 

 

Answering my own post, I was pleased to receive an e-mail from James Pollard in Amsterdam.

 

Obviously a well-rounded individual, he's currently playing in the musical "Chicago," and sometimes accompanies the "Cathedral Singers of Europe".

 

Apparently, the shortened version of the Lang "Tuba Tube" was played by ear, because he'd never bothered to learn it.

 

I think that's wonderful, because his version is far better!! :blink:

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 1.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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

 

 

Answering my own post, I was pleased to receive an e-mail from James Pollard in Amsterdam.

 

Obviously a well-rounded individual, he's currently playing in the musical "Chicago," and sometimes accompanies the "Cathedral Singers of Europe".

 

Apparently, the shortened version of the Lang "Tuba Tube" was played by ear, because he'd never bothered to learn it.

 

I think that's wonderful, because his version is far better!! :blink:

 

MM

 

 

Chicago - great musical. Ebb and Kander are up there with Rogers and Hammerstein/Rogers and Hart, Kern, Coward &c as writers of musicals. Vastly superior to one current exponent whose father was a respected organist/composer and whose brother plays a big upside-down violin.

 

P

Link to post
Share on other sites
Chicago - great musical. Ebb and Kander are up there with Rogers and Hammerstein/Rogers and Hart, Kern, Coward &c as writers of musicals. Vastly superior to one current exponent whose father was a respected organist/composer and whose brother plays a big upside-down violin.

 

P

 

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

 

Ah! But you see, it's not quite so straightforward in the little world of "organists who do other things."

 

Now while I completely agree about Johnny Kander and the musical "Chicago," and may or may not agree with the comments about a certain titled gentleman who claims to write musicals in the UK, I can reveal that a very able organist (a D.Mus no less),was the Musical Director for "Cats" when it toured around the provinces. Trouble is, I can't recall his name, but he was quite into theatre organs and things theatrical.

 

Who knows? One of these days I may bump into someone who does nothing but play the organ!

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely not the composer whose 'memory' of a melody bears more than a passing resemblance to Torvill and Dean's greatest hit with the snare drum ostinato, and whose venture in to Marian writing seems to have occured during a dream about the slow movement to Mendelssohn's violin concerto?

Link to post
Share on other sites
You mean the chap whose father was a real composer?

 

And who, as a student, learnt Reger's Fantasie and Fugue on the name BACH and played it (apparently from memory) one week later in a students' concert....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when you thought you were a musician..........!!!!!

 

 

 

Not only a wonderfully energetic, thoughtful and brilliantly executed version of the BWV565, but look carefully at the fingering.

 

This is a technical and musical tour de force.

 

I hope the dozen people in the audience enjoyed it!

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another remarkable performance of a work of which I've never heard by a composer likewise, but was apparently an Italian Bishop AND one of the great Italian organists on a par with Enrico Bossi.

 

 

The following information comes from the U-Tube entry:-

 

Raffaele Manari was an Italian bishop and he was one of the most important organist that in Italy with Enrico Bossi and others renovated the organ italian tradition with a movement called "Cecilian Reform" between 19 and 20 century.He was the planner of the great organ Tamburini in Messina's.cathedral,Italy,the third bigger organ in Europe.This is a very hard piece for pedals,my master played it very well at some concert.

 

The organist is the very impressive American organist McNeil Robinson.

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's another remarkable performance of a work of which I've never heard by a composer likewise, but was apparently an Italian Bishop AND one of the great Italian organists on a par with Enrico Bossi.

 

 

The following information comes from the U-Tube entry:-

 

Raffaele Manari was an Italian bishop and he was one of the most important organist that in Italy with Enrico Bossi and others renovated the organ italian tradition with a movement called "Cecilian Reform" between 19 and 20 century.He was the planner of the great organ Tamburini in Messina's.cathedral,Italy,the third bigger organ in Europe.This is a very hard piece for pedals,my master played it very well at some concert.

 

The organist is the very impressive American organist McNeil Robinson.

 

MM

 

Hi MM

 

Yes, this is a wonderful performance of Manari's great pedal study by Robinson.

 

As to the composer, the Youtube information gilds the lily slightly - he wasn't ever enthroned as a bishop, at least according to what I've read about him - but he nonetheless seems to have been a most remarkable man.

 

Raffaeli Manari was born in Càrsoli (L'Aquila) on 21 April 1887 and died in Rome on his 46th birthday, in 1933. He packed a great deal in his relatively short life - in particular, he:

  • studied theology and sacred music at the Seminario Vaticano and Collegio Capranica, taking Holy Orders in 1910;
    was awarded his degree in canon law by the Univeristà Gregoriana in 1912;
    simultaneously studied organ under Remigio Renzi, taking his diploma in 1913;
    was named principal teacher of organ at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra in Rome in 1917, teaching there until his death; and
    was appointed organist at the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano in 1920.

Henderson's Directory of Composers for Organ states that he had also been organist of the cathedral in Messina, and subsequently took his teaching position at the Pontificio Istituto. So I assume from this that he was at Messina between 1913 and 1917.

 

I hope this helps as regards background.

 

Rgds

MJF

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi MM

 

Yes, this is a wonderful performance of Manari's great pedal study by Robinson.

 

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

 

 

Thanks for the information. I'm just surprised that I've never heard of the composer or the piece in question, whereas the music of Enrico Bossi is well known to many of us; having being championed by Francis Jackson, Simon Preston, Jos van der Kooy and Virgil Fox.

 

The other thought struck me, that we know generally very little about Italian organ-music after the baroque period, and clearly, there is quite a wealth of repertoire, organs and organists.

 

I'm fascinated.

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

How about Widor with a Caribbean flavour....

 

 

I know nothing about steel bands, but the arrangement strikes me as quite clever, esp the way they manage the arpeggios. Fun too, even if they all look so miserable!

 

JS

Link to post
Share on other sites
How about Widor with a Caribbean flavour....

 

 

I know nothing about steel bands, but the arrangement strikes me as quite clever, esp the way they manage the arpeggios. Fun too, even if they all look so miserable!

 

JS

 

Most entertaining - and taken at a good and sensible speed too. How many (me included) have taken it at a breakneck pace? I was talking to a friend who was once a member of this forum who opined that this is in fact more difficult to play at a measured pace (as here) than the helter-skelter often heard. I am finding the same problem with the Dupre C&L. Working on it! :P

 

Peter

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's one unusual one; a video on which the organ blower is seen, but not the organist.

A fine performance of Bach's Little Fugue, BWV 578, played by Willem Tanke, with a beautifully clear organ tone and very clear contrapuntal lines.

Willem Tank is working on a research project about the performance of Bach's music, and I think that this clip is a small part of it. I get the impression that he is well known for his performances of Bach, but none - or almost none are available on CD yet.

 

I have copied the audio from this clip onto a CD and played it to several groups of people who are deeply interested in classical music, although none is an organ specialist. In every group one or more people have, unprompted, said that they have never heard a better organ or a better performance of this work.

 

David

Link to post
Share on other sites
I get the impression that he is well known for his performances of Bach, but none - or almost none are available on CD yet.

Not really. Here in Holland Willem is known as a specialist in modern organ repertoire, from Messiaen to the most recent compositions.

Can't remember I ever heard him playing any Bach.

Link to post
Share on other sites
How about Widor with a Caribbean flavour....

 

 

I know nothing about steel bands, but the arrangement strikes me as quite clever, esp the way they manage the arpeggios. Fun too, even if they all look so miserable!

 

JS

 

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

 

 

For those who like transcriptions of organ works, rather than t'other way around, these should surprise and delight.

 

Two Toccatas from the pens of Messrs.Widor and Boellman.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzkmR0trlPo...feature=related

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_HU1IJQ0SQ

 

 

The Boellman is really quite stunningly effective, I think.

 

We are so priviledged to have "Dyke" on the door step.....what a band!

 

 

MM

 

 

PS: Listening to the Boellman again, I think there's a bit of organ creeping in towards the end, but you never can tell with these brass bands.....they're so bloomin loud!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone for Dieu Parmi Nous with a difference?

 

 

I don't know whether to be more impressed with the instrument, or the fact that he's playing from memory!

 

 

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

 

 

I've only just got around to listening to this, and I am flabbergasted. The extraordinary thing is, that if one were to learn this work and look for inspiration, this is porobably the definitive musical performance.

 

I then looked into other performances, and discover superlative Reger played on the same instrument by the same performer.

 

 

This is a musician of world importance and ability from the Ukraine; the likes of whom I have seldom heard.

 

OMG.....I've discovered others too. :o

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_WJrOVHLAw...feature=related

 

Just marvellous!

 

 

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly a couple of contrasting performances of the William Tell Overture:

 

and
- to my mind it's musicianship on the theatre organ and theatre on the church organ (I do appreciate both are church organs, but I'm sure you'll get my drift!). Happy to be disagreed with!?

 

Secondly, Lauridsen's absolutely stunning O Magnum Mysterium from Westminster Cathedral's last

. The moment you hear the organ enter the score you realise, if you haven't appreciated them already, what a world-class choir this is. Look out for, and listen to, Whitacre's Lux Arumque from the same Mass.

 

Tony

Link to post
Share on other sites
The moment you hear the organ enter the score you realise, if you haven't appreciated them already, what a world-class choir this is.

But using the organ there at all is a cheat!

 

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites
===========================

 

 

I've only just got around to listening to this, and I am flabbergasted. The extraordinary thing is, that if one were to learn this work and look for inspiration, this is porobably the definitive musical performance.

 

I then looked into other performances, and discover superlative Reger played on the same instrument by the same performer.

 

 

This is a musician of world importance and ability from the Ukraine; the likes of whom I have seldom heard.

 

Holy cow!!! Seldom heard, don't you mean never? Could we persuade the Royal College to give him an honorary FRCO?

 

Though to be honest with such exceptional talent it wouldn't surprise me, if you blindfolded the examiners and the guy turned up, that they wouldn't even notice he wasn't playing the organ and they'd give him the prize regardless. That has to be the performance of the year!

 

I wonder what other instruments famous organ works have been transcribed to? Oh, I forgot, our friend Jonny Sebbie Bach and the famous toccata that he didn't write ;-)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rS7A_32SZM

I'm tempted to think it sounds better on a violin than.....

 

...a glass harp (set of 37 chromatic wineglasses)!!!! Seriously!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Firstly a couple of contrasting performances of the William Tell Overture:

 

and
- to my mind it's musicianship on the theatre organ and theatre on the church organ (I do appreciate both are church organs, but I'm sure you'll get my drift!). Happy to be disagreed with!?

 

Secondly, Lauridsen's absolutely stunning O Magnum Mysterium from Westminster Cathedral's last

. The moment you hear the organ enter the score you realise, if you haven't appreciated them already, what a world-class choir this is. Look out for, and listen to, Whitacre's Lux Arumque from the same Mass.

 

Tony

 

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

 

I now issue a "brutally honest alert" for the feint of heart and for those with a delicate constitution.

 

There is a certain tendency among younger American organists to push the technical limits and display a great deal of virtuosity at the expense of musicianship. I don't know whether it's the "competitive self-belief" thing, or whether they are taught like that in the colleges and universities.

 

Annoyingly, the technique is always flawless, and I doubt that many can match the thoroughness of the training.

 

However, both Nathan Laube and Jelani Eddington annoy me intensely, because I just find their organ-playing to be a triumph of virtuosity and stylised performance over musicianship.

 

Do they feel the notes they are playing, I wonder?

 

I find both to be extremely cold, clinical and detached; rather like the paranoid schizophrenic who has learned how to fake the emotions of smiling and grimacing.

 

The best American organists are supremely gifted, both technically and musically, and Gerre Hancock is just one example.

 

Somehow, I sense the words New and York, without ever having delved into their respective training or backgrounds.

 

Sorry to be such a swine!

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites
Holy cow!!! Seldom heard, don't you mean never? Could we persuade the Royal College to give him an honorary FRCO?

 

Though to be honest with such exceptional talent it wouldn't surprise me, if you blindfolded the examiners and the guy turned up, that they wouldn't even notice he wasn't playing the organ and they'd give him the prize regardless. That has to be the performance of the year!

 

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

 

 

It gets even more astonishing.

 

They compose for this instrument too, and it's not rubbish.

 

I hope the following link works OK, perhaps in the hope that someone will transcribe this for organ.

 

http://zhukov.com.ua/video.php

 

Scroll down to the V.Zubytsky. Partita concertante II, of which there are three separate videos for each movement.

 

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just had to share this with you all..............

 

 

 

The title is by Johann Schrammel entitled: "Wien Bleibt Wien Marsch" ( Vienna Remains Vienna)

 

I'm terribly sorry! :D

 

This is the more refined version:-

 

 

 

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...