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Surely for an authentic Bach performance, the conductor should merely stand in front of the musicians looking rather cross, and periodically throw objects (pencils, erasers, scores, shoes, wigs etc) in the direction of any hapless individual who particularly displeases him.

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Surely for an authentic Bach performance, the conductor should merely stand in front of the musicians looking rather cross, and periodically throw objects (pencils, erasers, scores, shoes, wigs etc) in the direction of any hapless individual who particularly displeases him.

 

Brilliant, Paul ! I guffawed.

 

In remembrance of the fabled behaviour of a recently retired manager of a soccer team, could a part of this be called the ‘wigdrier’ treatment ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a clip that I thought might cause some interest.

 

Some time back there was a thread on this forum regarding the demise of the "Hour of Power" from (IIRC) Crystal Cathedral. Well here is an interesting clip from 1979. Robert Schuller's "Hour of Power" from Garden Grove Church. The piece is "Tu es Petra" (Henri Mulet) and the organist is Virgil Fox!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzRPCV3nOCs

 

Pity that the sound quality is not good on the clip.

 

HTIOI,

Dave

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is amazing - I wonder how it would go down at our place?

Whoa! Powerful stuff. Gotta say the grand organ sounds a bit overbearing here which is a pity. Good music though.

 

Anyway, I just found this clip and it certainly takes me back. The organ is that of Clifton College Chapel, Bristol (England) and I remember this instrument well as I had lessons on it in the early 1990s. Good to hear it again here in the hands of Andrew Dewar.

 

 

Dave

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Dear friends,

 

Last May, when I mailed with David Aprahamian Liddle, he wrote that he would like to open his own Youtube account, as he believed there was nothing at all from him on Youtube. "This is beginning to make me feel like a 'non-person'". So I took my little Nikon P310 photo camera with me when we visited David at the former home of Felix Aprahamian in North London, now the home of The Arabesque Trust for Blind Organists. With the little Nikon we made seven videos of David, playing compositions by Bach, Hollins and himself at the former organ of André Marchal and the Courcelle chamber organ in the same house.

He played, among other things, two parts of his new "Mnemonic Suite" Opus 21, which will be premiered by himself at St Michael's, Cornhill, London on Monday 22 September 2013.

The sound quality is not superb and the automatic volume control plays some tricks with the dynamics in all the pieces, but these videos are all taken "in one shot". David is announcing the pieces himself.

On the last video he is playing the grand piano in his own arrangement of "Dzidzernag", a melody of the Armenian composer Komitas (1869-1935), dedicated to the memory of an Armenian friend.

Gerco Schaap (NL)

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And now for a few lighter moments:

 

Firstly something which can be best described as 'sequencer abuse': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUXXXrZsHdk

 

An organ being built. Watch out for an appearance by the builder at about 50sec in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXdsE7_RcYQ

 

Finally, not really YouTube, but fun anyway: http://soundcloud.com/jeremy-dawson-1/im-an-organist

 

Enjoy,

DP

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Again, this is not a YouTube clip - but it is too good to miss. The late, lamented Gerre Hancock, improvising on Ora labora, (the hymn tune by Thomas Tertius Noble.), on his last Sunday as Organist of Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, NYC: https://soundcloud.com/pipe_organ/gerre-hancock-last-improvisation-saint-thomas-church-on-ora-labora

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Firstly something which can be best described as 'sequencer abuse': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUXXXrZsHdk

 

I am reminded of a moment at a masterclass given in Wellington by Olivier Latry, when a young organist was rushing through the sequencer at quite a fast pace to a particular point in his piece, to which Olivier replied "You will never play at Notre-Dame!!"

 

Never mind what it's doing to the electrics, but more importantly what is it going to do to soundboards (if they are sliders)...

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I am reminded of a moment at a masterclass given in Wellington by Olivier Latry, when a young organist was rushing through the sequencer at quite a fast pace to a particular point in his piece, to which Olivier replied "You will never play at Notre-Dame!!"

 

Never mind what it's doing to the electrics, but more importantly what is it going to do to soundboards (if they are sliders)...

 

I wondered about the same thing. I should have thought that it was possible to cause some damage by doing this. Aside from the fact that it is pointless.

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And that is the advantage of the footpump for this music - it's subtle, but does allow the music to "sing" with the phrasing in a way that a constant electric blower can't do.

 

Out of curiousity, baroque organs would all have been hand or foot-pumped originally. I'm aware that many baroque survivors (and their modern reproductions) will have retained the original blowing equipment but in addition will have an electric blower, and I'd wager that 99% of the time the electric blower is used rather than the footpump. But instead of a fan blower which delivers a constant supply of wind, have any baroque or neobaroque organs had electrically operated bellows fitted that go up and down like a manual pump? How different would the organ sound if hand (or foot)-pumped, or with an electrical motor operating the pump, compared to being blown with a fan?

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Here's a link to a recent recital on a four-stop organ complete with footpump:

 

 

It's hard enough focussing on the music when giving a recital, without having to remember to pump the footpump every few seconds!

Am I correct in thinking that he's playing from a ipad? How does this work, then?

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All the music was copyright-free, available free from imslp.org and saved as pdf files onto a 10-inch Android tablet to which a computer mouse was attached. The page-turner sat behind recitalist and clicked the mouse to advance the music one page at a time.

 

On my home practice organ I have a 26 inch 1920x1200 resolution monitor in place of a music stand, plus two thumb pistons and two toe pistons which advance the music two pages at a time or go back two pages. A 26 inch monitor has about the same area as a pair of A4 pages in "portrait" arrangement, and is only slightly narrower than two A4 "landscape" pages side by side. I have accumulated a vast digital collection of out-of-copyright music and have hardly used any paper music at all in the past two years.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not YouTube - but how I wish I could be there! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fp4bb

 

Posted 28 August

Actually the more one listens to Richard Hills' Prom Concert played on the Willis/Harrison/Mander organ of the Royal Albert Hall, the more marvellous it becomes. I really do hope a CD becomes possible. (Better still a DVD!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2013/august-26/14684
- at least for a few days....
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His technique and musicality are beyond question.

 

However, this is not for me. At all.

"Good morning, Eeyore," said Pooh.

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."

"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.

"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

:)

Personally I have never had any desire to travel this road either - but that doesn't mean I can't admire those who play in this style. I do - and I enjoyed this prom hugely. This style of playing is totally different discipline from the one I have, but I am certainly the poorer for not having it.

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Personally I have never had any desire to travel this road either - but that doesn't mean I can't admire those who play in this style. I do - and I enjoyed this prom hugely. This style of playing is totally different discipline from the one I have, but I am certainly the poorer for not having it.

 

 

Vox - I have no quarrel with that.

 

However, I am both saddened and puzzled that it is considered necessary to attempt to coax the music-loving promenaders to like organ music by playing either transcriptions of light music - or by engaging artists who may be considered eccentric - with a playing style to match.* I cannot help but wish that the opportunity had been taken to present the audience with music actually written for the instrument - choosing works which were reasonably tuneful and accessible, yet nevertheless were more 'mainstream' repertoire. I genuinely doubt that, in the long term, this will have a lasting positive effect on the world of organ music. Is this not 'dumbing-down' our art just as much as an endless succession of trite game-shows (or so-called 'reality' shows) does to television audiences?

 

Again, in order to be perfectly clear, I have no quarrel with either the technique or musicianship of Richard Hills - both of which are clearly excellent.

 

Having a good professional orchestra based a few miles away, I note from their concert season programmes of the last few years that it is apparently not regarded as necessary to resort to a similar tactic for those attending orchestral concerts.

 

 

 

* By this, I do not refer to Richard Hills.

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I'm no expert in the field—can anyone give an outline of the kind of repertoire the RAH organ was designed for and, secondly, what was generally played on it in its first 50 years? I'd be surprised if more original organ music was played than transcriptions but pleased to be proved wrong.

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I'm no expert in the field—can anyone give an outline of the kind of repertoire the RAH organ was designed for and, secondly, what was generally played on it in its first 50 years? I'd be surprised if more original organ music was played than transcriptions but pleased to be proved wrong.

 

I am not sure if any programmes still exist from the original opening of 1872. In any case, at the time (and for many years afterwards) most organ recitals anywhere consisted largely of orchestral transcriptions - for the simple reason that few people were able to hear an orchestra playing live and, in any case, recorded music was not then widely available.* With the number of excellent professional orchestras and high-quality recordings available today, I can see little or no point in playing orchestral transcriptions on an organ.

 

However, to return to the RAH organ: at the re-opening composite recital (part-way through Harrisons' complete rebuild of 1924-33), as far as I can ascertain, all pieces which were played were mainstream organ repertoire.

 

 

 

* I am aware of the historic recording of Au Clair de la Lune (of 1860). However, this sounds dreadful (as well it might) - and even reduced Charlotte Green to a state of helpless mirth live on Radio Four's Today programme.

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