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Dulciana - Raul Prieto Ramirez is indeed a very exciting player. He played one recital at Victoria Hall Hanley last year, all from memory, and everyone was "knocked out". I believe it was the only UK recital he gave; we need to see and hear him more over here.

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Not sure if we've had it already (what a long thread), but this is exciting.

 

 

I don't know whether anyone else noticed, but there is a small 'football' icon under the picture. I pressed it and found, to my disgust, what sounded like a 'vuvuzela' chorus playing over the music!

 

I'll be so glad when this world cup nonsense is over for another four years!

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I don't know whether anyone else noticed, but there is a small 'football' icon under the picture. I pressed it and found, to my disgust, what sounded like a 'vuvuzela' chorus playing over the music!

 

I'll be so glad when this world cup nonsense is over for another four years!

 

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

 

 

 

How refreshing to know that we can keep in touch with the glorious game while listening the sound of the organ. Quite inspirational!

 

I am currently writing up an article entitled, "Towards a history of the vuvuzela."

 

MM

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I hope you don't mind if I post another, very interesting (and IMNSHO a very fine) performance of the Reger Toccata in D minor Op.59:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZzQzrVJhfw

 

There's more on the website in the commentary.

 

 

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

 

 

What I find very interesting about this is not so much the concept of "half" metronomic markings, but the fact that a slower pace for Reger reveals something else, which I think I've always known. I think the penny dropped early with me at age 14, because the first Reger I heard live was played by Fernando Germani, and I was in raptures afterwards.

 

Maybe I'm alone in thinking that Reger is often maligned by the labels "contrapuntal" and "classical." These he certainly was, but what is lost in fast, strictly regular rhythms or empty virtuosity, (to give it another name), is the sheer lyricism and inner passion of the music, which the slower tempi brings out and even wrings out of the score. Reger is nothing without introspective melancholia, lyricism and brooding intensity, which are, of course, completely self-indulgent and possibly made him certifiable.1

 

I cannot agree with the organist however, that only a German romantic instrument is suitable, because I know that I can use very different means to achieve the same thing on a susbstantial British romantic-organ, and that certainly doesn't need 20 - 40 hours of practise if you know how.

 

Anyway, for those who enjoy quality of notes over quantity of notes, and thoughtful playing over stylised playing, here is an absolute delight, played by Wim van Beek on the organ of the Martinikerk, Groningen. This organ is more Schnitger than a Schnitger, and speaks volumes about the superlative restoration skills of Jurgen Ahrend and Cor Edeskes.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lYzvcyAFlU...=1&index=65

 

If anyone weants an hour os so of uninterrupted, high quality organ-radio on some of the best organs in the Nederlands, just leave the YouTube clip running, and it will go to the next.

 

Why can't we have those lovely 24ft Sub-Quint metals, which produce such wonderful gravity?

 

MM

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Having seen the work of Mr Stewen on another website used by a number of members of this Board I bought his book on The Straube Code. I ordered it from his own website and it arrived very quickly. I can highly recommend it. Very short - 33 pages - but packed with useful information and insights.

 

Malcolm

 

 

 

 

I hope you don't mind if I post another, very interesting (and IMNSHO a very fine) performance of the Reger Toccata in D minor Op.59:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZzQzrVJhfw

 

There's more on the website in the commentary.

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Thanks for that playlist link MM. I'm just remembering how fabulous those reeds are on those organs. So rich, so lyrical and so expressive. And really sensitive - I found (to my frustration) you really need to know how to play to get them to sound like that. Getting the best of those reeds means you really need to understand how the organ breathes and how your touch affects it.

 

I agree it's very feasible and worthwhile to play Reger on a large, well-found British organ, although sadly most of the recorded performances of Reger on these organs I've heard tends to fall into the "bombastic but empty" camp. I find it's fascinating and very instructive to see Reger being played on a Sauer by people like Henrico and Heinz Wunderlich. Tonally, the Sauers seem to have a depth and 3 dimensional quality to their sound that I haven't found in any British organs I've heard. It's not just that they can be loud and magnificent, it's that there's a depth and airiness to the majestic sound that's unique to these organs. Listen to the Berliner Dom on a really good sound system and you'll hear what I'm talking about - the effect is very subtle though and passes many by. These organ;s subtle quality isn't about loudness but depth, richness and grandeur of sound. It's also surprising how clear their sound is too - all those massed 8 foot stops don't seem to muddy the aural waters at all...

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Thanks for that playlist link MM. I'm just remembering how fabulous those reeds are on those organs. So rich, so lyrical and so expressive. And really sensitive - I found (to my frustration) you really need to know how to play to get them to sound like that. Getting the best of those reeds means you really need to understand how the organ breathes and how your touch affects it.

 

I agree it's very feasible and worthwhile to play Reger on a large, well-found British organ, although sadly most of the recorded performances of Reger on these organs I've heard tends to fall into the "bombastic but empty" camp. I find it's fascinating and very instructive to see Reger being played on a Sauer by people like Henrico and Heinz Wunderlich. Tonally, the Sauers seem to have a depth and 3 dimensional quality to their sound that I haven't found in any British organs I've heard. It's not just that they can be loud and magnificent, it's that there's a depth and airiness to the majestic sound that's unique to these organs. Listen to the Berliner Dom on a really good sound system and you'll hear what I'm talking about - the effect is very subtle though and passes many by. These organ;s subtle quality isn't about loudness but depth, richness and grandeur of sound. It's also surprising how clear their sound is too - all those massed 8 foot stops don't seem to muddy the aural waters at all...

 

 

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

 

 

I quite agree with Colin re: Sauer organs and Walcker organs also. Reger also seems to work well on the few remaining Steinmeyer instruments.

 

In this country, the organ which I found the most rewarding for Reger, was when I played "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben" at St.Bride's, Fleet Street. That has a similar weightless clarity and almost limitless expression.

 

Another pseudo neo-classical/half-way house romantic/rather interesting all-rounder.....Huddersfield Uni....I heard Nicholas Kynaston play some very convincing Reger there.

 

Generally, Reger suffers to some extent on more traditional English organs.

 

MM

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone come across Jean-Baptiste Robin before?

He is titulaire at Poitier (where he certainly won't be playing this - Pédalier à la française!), I have his set of Couperin CDs from there which I like a lot.

Here is the Durufle P&F from St. Eustache; very fine indeed, very well controlled.

Notice in particular the big time-delay at the mobile console!

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Anyone come across Jean-Baptiste Robin before?

He is titulaire at Poitier (where he certainly won't be playing this - Pédalier à la française!), I have his set of Couperin CDs from there which I like a lot.

Here is the Durufle P&F from St. Eustache; very fine indeed, very well controlled.

Notice in particular the big time-delay at the mobile console!

 

 

I was pleased to hear him in early July at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists - he played some Alain (Trois Danses) a couple of his own pieces and a commissioned work for Organ and Harp by Rachel Laurin. Everything but the Commissioned work was by memory and all was flawlessly played. I also attended an improvisation workshop that he gave later in the week.... the only problem there was difficulty hearing what he was saying (although his handout musical examples and playing/teaching pretty much were understandable without hearing the commentary). My impression was of his total virtuosity and command of the organ - he tossed off the difficulties calmly and without any excessive gyrations... certainly one to watch!

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I was pleased to hear him in early July at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists - he played some Alain (Trois Danses) a couple of his own pieces and a commissioned work for Organ and Harp by Rachel Laurin. Everything but the Commissioned work was by memory and all was flawlessly played. I also attended an improvisation workshop that he gave later in the week.... the only problem there was difficulty hearing what he was saying (although his handout musical examples and playing/teaching pretty much were understandable without hearing the commentary). My impression was of his total virtuosity and command of the organ - he tossed off the difficulties calmly and without any excessive gyrations... certainly one to watch!

Robin's site

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Just had this shown to me, its one of my favourite Bach fugues. What do the more disscerning amonst you think??

 

Peter

 

 

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

 

 

It's a solid enough performance, but perhaps lacking in a little daylight. I note that the organist uses, (shock/horror), his heels from time to time!

 

Personally speaking, I rather dislike "flat" registrations and a lack of musical dialogue in Bach; as if the concerted style wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

 

Why is this suddenly the fashion?

 

Organ-wise.....well....a good enough I suppose, but the very reedy quality rather spoils the clarity of the chorus-work. I can never understand why Tierce ranks of this power ever became fashionable; if only because the octave Tierce, (as part of a Tertian), adds all the colour required but without any of the gravel. The pedal reeds are rather nice for this kind of music; being rather "woody" and fundamental. Perhaps not a zillion miles away from Schnitger pedal reeds, with their leather faced shallots.

 

Would I travel to hear this organ?

 

In a word....no....unless I happened to be passing-by on the way to Poland or the Czech Republic.

 

MM

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I agree with MM about the playing.

The registration could be more imaginative by far with this organ, but

this would be immediately questionned by the "Mixture all the way long" theology....

 

As for the tierce Mixtures:

 

1)- Bach had precisely that, and only that, at hand with 90% of the organs

he played in the area he lived in 90% of his lifetime.

This was the normal Mixture scheme in that area, save with Silbermann

(trained in France) and some "Ripieno" on secondary manuals in certain

organs (Casparini pupils, Scheibe...)

 

 

2)- I agree they are tiresome if used too longly. But those strong stops were

never intended to be used the way we do now ! As I said, there are plenty of alternatives

for a P&F in a Trost organ.

 

One would never draw, on a romantic organ, the strongest stops (Trumpets, Tromba, Tuba...)

all the way through a 10' piece, agreed ?

In a Trost organ the (only two!) Mixtures are the very last thing one has to draw, they are even

stronger than the few chorus reed stops. They are meant for climaxes, or a short Prelude.

I cannot imagine Bach would have used them for ten minutes at a time.

 

"Perhaps not a zillion miles away from Schnitger pedal reeds, with their leather faced shallots."

(Quote)

 

Yes, agreed ! all the reed stops I could examine there have leathered shallots, but usually

only in the bass.

 

"Would I travel to hear this organ?"

(Quote)

 

I think you should. But then, you should be allowed to try for yourself, at lenght,

to registrate and play it in a way that would suit your own musical sense. I believe

the results could be interesting...

 

Pierre

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I agree with MM about the playing.

The registration could be more imaginative by far with this organ, but

this would be immediately questionned by the "Mixture all the way long" theology....

 

As for the tierce Mixtures:

 

1)- Bach had precisely that, and only that, at hand with 90% of the organs

he played in the area he lived in 90% of his lifetime.

This was the normal Mixture scheme in that area, save with Silbermann

(trained in France) and some "Ripieno" on secondary manuals in certain

organs (Casparini pupils, Scheibe...)

 

 

2)- I agree they are tiresome if used too longly. But those strong stops were

never intended to be used the way we do now ! As I said, there are plenty of alternatives

for a P&F in a Trost organ.

 

One would never draw, on a romantic organ, the strongest stops (Trumpets, Tromba, Tuba...)

all the way through a 10' piece, agreed ?

In a Trost organ the (only two!) Mixtures are the very last thing one has to draw, they are even

stronger than the few chorus reed stops. They are meant for climaxes, or a short Prelude.

I cannot imagine Bach would have used them for ten minutes at a time.

 

"Perhaps not a zillion miles away from Schnitger pedal reeds, with their leather faced shallots."

(Quote)

 

Yes, agreed ! all the reed stops I could examine there have leathered shallots, but usually

only in the bass.

 

"Would I travel to hear this organ?"

(Quote)

 

I think you should. But then, you should be allowed to try for yourself, at lenght,

to registrate and play it in a way that would suit your own musical sense. I believe

the results could be interesting...

 

Pierre

 

 

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

 

 

Please don't misunderstand me Pierre, I think the Torst sound is very interesting and the quality of the organ good, but of course, what we do not hear in this performance is the beauty or otherwise of the flutes and manual reeds, which may represent the jewels contained within the scheme of the instrument.

 

However, tierce mixtures are perfectly fine for Bach, and I can think of one or two "neo-classical" instruments which sound incomplete without them; especially where there is no manual reed tone.

 

The problem I have with the Trost organ is a rather patchy and incoherent Pedal Organ, which doesn't sound terribly convincing to my ears, in spite of the obvious gravity and fullness of tone.

 

In this important respect, the Naumberg instrument is vastly superior IMHO.

 

Obviously, Bach would have known this and similar instruments, as well as those he heard on his travels North (Luneberg and Hamburg), and South East into the Czech region of Carlsbad, where I have no idea what he may have found.

 

The interesting thing is, that after Arnstadt and Weimar, Bach presumably paid less attention to organ-music, and rather more attention to choral and instrumental music, with a punishing schedule of church work. It is a matter of conjecture as to whether Bach preferred this or that instrument, because whenever I look at his music, I just know that Bach wrote from the head, with a candle and a quill pen in his house. I doubt that he had any specific organ in mind, and in any event, it is very difficult to actually recall how a particular organ sounds once away from the instrument, even though we can all recognise particular instruments when we hear them again.

 

I shall make a point of listening to other recordings of the Trost organs, which may feature some of the other sounds rather than just the Pleno with tierce registers drawn.

 

MM

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