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Langlais: Incantation Pour Un Jour Saint And Buxtehude: Ciacona


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I have often wondered if, in the antepenultimate bar of the Langlais Incantation , the lower right hand part should be an F# minim. Any thoughts?

 

Also, in the Peters edition of the Ciacona by Buxtehude (bk 1 p 64), are the frequent manual changes suggested necessary or indeed authentic?

 

Thanks

 

Peter

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I have often wondered if, in the antepenultimate bar of the Langlais Incantation , the lower right hand part should be an F# minim. Any thoughts?

No - F natural as printed. I have an old recording of Langlais himself playing the Incantation at Salisbury Cathedral in the early 80s. He plays F natural.

 

Also, in the Peters edition of the Ciacona by Buxtehude (bk 1 p 64), are the frequent manual changes suggested necessary or indeed authentic?

 

They neither appear in Hedar's 1952 edition nor Albrecht's of 1998. Current thought is that these editions - as well as those by Beckmann and Belotti (all post-1950) are 'recommended'. The Peters edition is not recommended at all.

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No - F natural as printed. I have an old recording of Langlais himself playing the Incantation at Salisbury Cathedral in the early 80s. He plays F natural.

They neither appear in Hedar's 1952 edition nor Albrecht's of 1998. Current thought is that these editions - as well as those by Beckmann and Belotti (all post-1950) are 'recommended'. The Peters edition is not recommended at all.

 

No Buxtehude autograph of organ music has survived. Any indications of registration or manual changes are added at least by contempary pupils or copyists and are not free of aspects of "fashion" (see J. G. Walthers richly ornamented chorale versions).

The Peters Edition shows the version of a 20th century editor.

Performance practice of Buxtehude organ music and other composers of his time is still a field of vital discussion and some speculation. A large organ of that period gives you plenty of nice-sounding possibilities...

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No - F natural as printed. I have an old recording of Langlais himself playing the Incantation at Salisbury Cathedral in the early 80s. He plays F natural.

 

 

Thanks, Wolsey. Kathleen Thomerson in an article Recent Organ Works of Jean Langlais in Music (Vol 12, No 8, May 1978 pp 34-6) notes the following misprints:

 

bar 2 rh top d should be a semibreve.

bar 4 rh lower d# should be a semibreve

bar 33 last chord in lh should be c#/e# (as in bar 34).

 

I have also noticed that in bar 87 the first lh g should be dotted.

 

Peter

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Thanks, Wolsey. Kathleen Thomerson in an article Recent Organ Works of Jean Langlais in Music (Vol 12, No 8, May 1978 pp 34-6) notes the following misprints:

 

bar 2 rh top d should be a semibreve.

bar 4 rh lower d# should be a semibreve

bar 33 last chord in lh should be c#/e# (as in bar 34).

 

I have also noticed that in bar 87 the first lh g should be dotted.

 

Peter

 

I had a nagging feeling as I sat down and corrected these misprints - confirmed by what Langlais plays in the Salisbury recording I mentioned in post number 2 above. I therefore decided to listen to the performance with a pair of headphones, and have picked up two further misprints:

 

bar 4: RH first chord - the middle note Langlais plays is B sharp, not B natural

bar 22: LH 2nd (dotted crotchet) chord - the upper note he plays is F - not A

 

To clarify an ambiguity:

9 bars from the end (bar 84): the A sharp in the group of grace notes still applies in the following three RH quaver chords.

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Thanks Wolsey - I have been puzzled as to the apparently anomolous dotted C# crotchet octave in the pedal of bar 43 - is this correct, or should the manual chords also be dotted? In bar 67 surely the last two rh Fs should be tied, as in bar 70?

 

People may be interested to know that two articles on this piece have been published: Fr Charles Dreisoerner: "The Themes of Langlasi'Incantation" in The AGO-RCCO magazine, April 1972 41-44 and Sue Kirkland: "Incantation or Litany? Towards an understanding of Langlais' Incantation pour un Jour Saint" in Organists' Review May 2005 116-118.

 

The second article seems to follow somewhat closely the former, using pactically the same musical examples with the addition that the author draws a comparision with Alain's Litanies.

 

Peter

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Thanks Wolsey - I have been puzzled as to the apparently anomolous dotted C# crotchet octave in the pedal of bar 43 - is this correct, or should the manual chords also be dotted?

Looking at bars 39 and 41, the dotted crotchet pedal octave in bar 43 is correct, and the manual chords should surely be dotted crotchets followed by a quaver rest, and not as printed.

In bar 67 surely the last two rh Fs should be tied, as in bar 70?

On the basis that six other similar bars on that page had ties, I had pencilled in a tie here many years ago...

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  • 2 years later...

Revisiting the misprints in the Langlais, may I query the registration on the second page? After beginning the piece on full organ, Langlais instructs the removal of the doubles and the Positif and Pedal anches. At the top of p.2 both hands are on PR. Then comes the direction "GPR Anches", followed on p.3 by "+ Anches P" and then "+ Anches G". From this I assume that the direction "GPR Anches" should actually read "GPR + Anches R". Is this correct, or am I missing something? The registration directions on the first two pages do seem anomalous. Just which anches are to be removed on page 1? Presumably those on the GO are removed as well since they have to come off before they can be added back. How about the those on the Récit? Do they come off too, or do they stay?

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Revisiting the misprints in the Langlais, may I query the registration on the second page? After beginning the piece on full organ, Langlais instructs the removal of the doubles and the Positif and Pedal anches. At the top of p.2 both hands are on PR. Then comes the direction "GPR Anches", followed on p.3 by "+ Anches P" and then "+ Anches G". From this I assume that the direction "GPR Anches" should actually read "GPR + Anches R". Is this correct, or am I missing something? The registration directions on the first two pages do seem anomalous. Just which anches are to be removed on page 1? Presumably those on the GO are removed as well since they have to come off before they can be added back. How about the those on the Récit? Do they come off too, or do they stay?

It is an interesting question. As for the GPRanches instruction, I believe you are correct, it does come else where, although I cannot remember where at present! To be able to at the G & P anches you need to have only the R anches on at that point. I'm wondering if the other question actually implies that the GO anches shouldn't be on at all at the opening. Remembering what a great deal of French organs are like, the P & R anches would be sufficient with the full chorus to give a full organ effect. The GO anches would be added for additional effect, at the climax of a passage. Of course, if they are chemades, they would cut through everything anyway. I need to check my score, however, I leant it to someone some years ago and it hasn't come back yet!

 

Jonathan

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Revisiting the misprints in the Langlais, may I query the registration on the second page? After beginning the piece on full organ, Langlais instructs the removal of the doubles and the Positif and Pedal anches. At the top of p.2 both hands are on PR. Then comes the direction "GPR Anches", followed on p.3 by "+ Anches P" and then "+ Anches G". From this I assume that the direction "GPR Anches" should actually read "GPR + Anches R". Is this correct, or am I missing something? The registration directions on the first two pages do seem anomalous. Just which anches are to be removed on page 1? Presumably those on the GO are removed as well since they have to come off before they can be added back. How about the those on the Récit? Do they come off too, or do they stay?

Listening once again to the 1984 BBC recording of Langlais at Salisbury, he retains the Anches R at bar 7, and it is clear that the Anches G have been removed at this point, in addition to the groups of stops you've mentioned. Heaven alone knows what is meant by GPR Anches, but my guess is that the word 'Anches' shouldn't be there at all.

 

Another gem to mark into your scores: in the antepenultimate bar, Langlais observes his Lento, and in the RH, he plays a 'B' a third below the semiquaver D sharp tied to a minim. In the LH, he does not tie the lowest two notes of the chord leading into the antepenultimate bar, but makes a clear break (both hands) before this bar.

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