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This interpretation of the 'Dorian' is right on the nail for me.  Speed, articulation and organ all first class. I do like the way Leo van Doeselaar carries the trill on the top E in bar 29 to carry right through to the end - but it's a pig to do; it took me weeks to get it right.

 

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Well. Here it is, the recording that sparked it all off. Reg Dixon at the 2/10 Wurlitzer of the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool in 1932, with Guilty, even complete with Vocals. Compared to the contemporary Blackpool style we all know today, it is very tame, but at the time it was revolutionary!

https://youtu.be/u8Zn3M3lMcI

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I've always had a huge admiration for Nigel, an amazing musician, since he gave me some improvisation lessons as a student.  That increased even more a few years ago when he was in the news for the principled stand he took as a magistrate.  I'll look forward to watching this.

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I’ve always thought that Nigel is vastly underrated as a performer, improviser and teacher.

As an attendee on some of his International Summer Organ Conservatoire courses I was on the receiving end of some inspirational teaching, and I genuinely don’t think I’ve heard a better improviser - his mastery of so many diverse styles is staggering.  It’s good to see this enterprising association taking an interest in his work. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's something of potential interest. A new digital-only album is now available of the Klais organs in Cologne Cathedral, played by the cathedral's organist Winfried Bönig. A YouTube preview, with German comments from the organist (available with English subtitles) can be found at 

The Klais website gives more information, and download links, at https://klais.de/m.php?sid=560

HTIOI,
Dave

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And here is a rendition of Widor's Toccata played on the organ of the Hevig Eleonora Church, Stockholm, Sweden. Organ IVP/181 by Grönlund (1976, 58 stops) and Allen Organ Company (2017, 123 stops). Very good talent in someone so young, especially playing it without the music.

A YouTube search turns up a number of clips of her and I would say that she clearly has a bright future ahead of him in the organ world.

Dave

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11 minutes ago, DaveHarries said:

And here is a rendition of Widor's Toccata played on the organ of the Hevig Eleonora Church, Stockholm, Sweden. Organ IVP/181 by Grönlund (1976, 58 stops) and Allen Organ Company (2017, 123 stops). Very good talent in someone so young, especially playing it without the music.

So is this now a hybrid organ? If so, why on earth? The original III/P pipe organ sounded more than adequate to my ears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE7EaJ1TC9c

 

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8 hours ago, DaveHarries said:

And here is a rendition of Widor's Toccata played on the organ of the Hevig Eleonora Church, Stockholm, Sweden. Organ IVP/181 by Grönlund (1976, 58 stops) and Allen Organ Company (2017, 123 stops). Very good talent in someone so young, especially playing it without the music.

A YouTube search turns up a number of clips of her and I would say that she clearly has a bright future ahead of her in the organ world.

Dave

The 'her' is a 'him'!!!

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2 hours ago, peterdoughty said:

And something very out of the ordinary.

 

Very Ligeti!! - which is not, exactly, that 'up to date'! - Volumina, mentioned in the clip, was written in 1961/62 - 60 years ago!!! And Ligeti has been dead for 15 years!!

I didn't think it was, musically, particularly 'out of the ordinary' - or, perhaps it was, with an organist really using his instrument to experiment with different sound 'shapes'. I suppose that's, generally, not what organists are well-known for!!! 

Some interesting sounds. I remember writing a piece, when I was a student, some ten years after Volumina', for organ, which involved playing with a gloved fist! - but that's another story - and the score is, hopefully, lost!!!

Enjoyed the clip, by the way! Thanks for posting it!

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On 09/09/2021 at 20:53, S_L said:

I remember writing a piece, when I was a student, some ten years after Volumina', for organ, which involved playing with a gloved fist! - but that's another story …

In the fascinating book “Wednesdays at 5.55, Organ Recitals at the Royal Festival Hall” (W Harry Hoyle, Clontarf Press, 2018) it is related that the first performance there of Volumina by Xavier Darasse on 4th March 1971 did not proceed beyond the first chord - this had fused the organ’s ‘electrics’!  The Times reported this as possibly “an Act of God”!

Elsewhere in that book I recall reading that Ralph Downes had categorically forbidden a visiting artist playing a work involving clenched fists!  

Downes kept a tight rein on all performers, however distinguished, and they had to conform strictly to his house rules; repertoire had to be ‘approved’ and not duplicated or repeated in the same season; no smoking at the console - and a notice on the console to that effect!  But it is said he was exceptionally kind and helpful to young, nervous players, and many of our leading organists had their ‘breakthrough’ debut at the RFH.

The RFH audience sizes could be extraordinary in the early years. Even Lionel Rogg was nervous at his first recital to see an audience of 1,300.  A year later it was 1,600.  Helmut Walcha achieved similar figures.

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4 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Elsewhere in that book I recall reading that Ralph Downes had categorically forbidden a visiting artist playing a work involving clenched fists!  

The RFH audience sizes could be extraordinary in the early years. Even Lionel Rogg was nervous at his first recital to see an audience of 1,300.  A year later it was 1,600.  Helmut Walcha achieved similar figures.

I don't think anyone played my piece in the RFH - at least, I hope not!!

Yes. I remember those recitals - I was doing Post Grad. work at RCM - packed out they used to be - I wonder what went wrong!!!

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17 minutes ago, S_L said:

I don't think anyone played my piece in the RFH - at least, I hope not!!

Yes. I remember those recitals - I was doing Post Grad. work at RCM - packed out they used to be - I wonder what went wrong!!!

I think this link refers - it's not a very technical explanation of what exactly happened in the electrical system or what was needed to fix it though!

(I've hunted through a couple of CD booklets because I remembered reading something similar, and found it: Gillian Weir relays a separate story about one of her performances of Camillieri's Missa Mundi causing the organ's fuses to blow 'in one venerable English cathedral,' although luckily her recorded performance of it, in the RFH, didn't suffer the same fate!

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I could be wrong, but I took S_L to be referring to the demise of the 5.55 recitals rather than demise of the organ under the strain of Volumina!  

Thank you for that fascinating link to the BBC article.  The history of the event and how the fault was rectified are dealt with more fully in the book, so I limited myself to the bare bones here.

But also fascinating is the close up of the RFH left stop-jamb and the label, directly under the pedal reeds “Manual Basses” which confirms my recollection that Downes’ design carried down manual basses onto the pedal - this was discussed only just the other day on Niccolo Morandi’s thread about the Mutin/ Cavaillé-Coll “Unusual 77-Note Residence Organ”.

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5 hours ago, peterdoughty said:

think this link refers - it's not a very technical explanation of what exactly happened in the electrical system or what was needed to fix it though!

I wonder if it's not the same piece referred to here, as Volumina begins ffff, not with the blower crescendo (though it is meant to end with the blower turning off and gradual loss of wind). However I never had a score, but on my regular visits to Foyle's as a teenager I used to look at the score they had, so I may have remembered this incorrectly!

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32 minutes ago, DariusB said:

I wonder if it's not the same piece referred to here, as Volumina begins ffff, not with the blower crescendo (though it is meant to end with the blower turning off and gradual loss of wind).

Now that's something you can't do with a toaster, or with The-System-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.  Ditto this piece, which I rather like, and which underlines the point S_L made yesterday about originality.

 

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Vox Humana said:
"Now that's something you can't do with a toaster, or with The-System-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. "

If you mean turning the blower off, hearing the wind sag, and the pipes gradually ceasing  to speak, that is something you definitely *can* do with "The-System-That-Must-Not-Be-Named".

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2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

I could be wrong, but I took S_L to be referring to the demise of the 5.55 recitals rather than demise of the organ under the strain of Volumina!  

Absolutely!!!

And, on the subject of Ligeti, can I recommend the very excellent book by my old colleague Richard Steinitz. An excellent read!

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Several factors in their demise, I think: the RFH organ itself ageing, RD’s retirement and changed tastes?  

Interestingly in a group setting some years later, RD told us that if starting afresh things would now have been very different, not least the shape of the hall and its acoustics, and the organ would be tracker!  

He mentioned, with slight contempt in the tone of his voice, that some younger organists had refused to play the RFH organ as it wasn’t tracker!  In earlier days it was looked on as a very great honour, probably the apogee for a young player, to perform there.

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