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handsoff
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One for the electronic timers....

 

R3 on Thursday am (although in Wednesday's listings) at 01.00 is playing an hour of Buxtehude to mark the 300th anniversary of his death. The player is Hans Davidsson, but no mention of the organ's location.

 

Rob Cowan has just played a recording of part of Widor's 6th from Hexham Abbey - very nice too...

 

I went to my old Alma Mater at Warwick yesterday to hear excerpts (sadly all too few) from the Vierne Messe Solennelle during the morning mass. The organ sounded good with a nice fanfare on the chamades to welcome Easter and quite a few bits on full belt. Annoyingly, to bring up another thread, a large percentage of the congregation chattered during the final voluntary. Their numbers, sadly, included the acting DoM who came into the nave and started greeting people. Now THAT is being rude to the organist.

 

P

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As said acting-DoM - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!! And I don't think the organist minded at all - in fact, I enjoyed a lovely conversation with him during the voluntary itself.

 

Happy Easter Folks. :blink:

I agree - I'd rather my DoM talked to people whilst they were still there rather than ignoring them as/until they leave! Mind you our church is big enough that people can (and do) stay at the east end to listen or 'retreat' to the west end to converse - not so easy if you have sections of the organ east & west.

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Granted, and I wouldn't attempt to make a peep when both organs are going at full pelt... (our regular congregations on Sundays and during the week are very polite, sit quietly and listen - a quality that is rather lacking in non-regular church goers)

 

RFS

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[R3 on Thursday am (although in Wednesday's listings) at 01.00 is playing an hour of Buxtehude to mark the 300th anniversary of his death. The player is Hans Davidsson, but no mention of the organ's location.

 

One would assume it is taken from his recent Gothic recordings at Örgryte Nya Kyrka in Göteborg.

 

Bazuin

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As said acting-DoM - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!! And I don't think the organist minded at all - in fact, I enjoyed a lovely conversation with him during the voluntary itself.

 

Happy Easter Folks. :blink:

 

Fair enough, but I minded. I didn't really want to leave my seat and walk away from the chatter so that I could hear the organ without extraneous noise in my right ear. I may not be a regular churchgoer these days but I did spend some 9 years in the choir at St. Mary's after I ceased abusing the keyboards and pedals, and try to stick to the standards that were expected then. As mgp said though - there is plenty of room in St. M's for both factions!

 

It was good to catch up with 4 of my friends who still are in the choir and am looking forward to the next Old Boys' meet....

 

P

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I am not an organist, but if I were, and if people started to chatter during my final voluntary, I should immediately cease playing and leave them to it!

 

I agree that it is the height of bad manners - would you expect the audience to begin to converse during the final piece of a symphony orchestra's concert?

 

Sadly, bad manners now seem to be commonplace in this country.

 

John

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I am not an organist, but if I were, and if people started to chatter during my final voluntary, I should immediately cease playing and leave them to it!

 

I agree that it is the height of bad manners - would you expect the audience to begin to converse during the final piece of a symphony orchestra's concert?

 

Sadly, bad manners now seem to be commonplace in this country.

 

John

 

I think we're being a bit precious about this.

 

The voluntary after a service is not part of that service: the final dismissal after a eucharist goes something like: "let us go forth in peace" not "let us sit down and listen to the organ". It is very important that members of a parish church congregation do talk to each other after a service and there is no reason why they should have to sit and listen to an organ piece unless they choose to. I think that for us to expect them to is rather arrogant on our part. By all means choose not to play a voluntary at all if you prefer. There is no analogy with the last piece in a concert.

 

I'm not convinced that organists are much better than other people in listening to the voluntary. In how many cathedrals do the choir and DOM listen quietly as opposed to scuttling away and disrobing?

 

Stephen Barber

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I think we're being a bit precious about this.

 

The voluntary after a service is not part of that service: the final dismissal after a eucharist goes something like: "let us go forth in peace" not "let us sit down and listen to the organ". It is very important that members of a parish church congregation do talk to each other after a service and there is no reason why they should have to sit and listen to an organ piece unless they choose to. I think that for us to expect them to is rather arrogant on our part. By all means choose not to play a voluntary at all if you prefer. There is no analogy with the last piece in a concert.

 

I'm not convinced that organists are much better than other people in listening to the voluntary. In how many cathedrals do the choir and DOM listen quietly as opposed to scuttling away and disrobing?

 

Stephen Barber

 

I disagree.

 

If an end of service voluntary is merely background music to accompany the congregation departing/having a chat, why not put on a CD of some typical 'supermarket music'!

 

If someone is making an effort to produce something of artistic merit, it would be nice if people did him/her the courtesy of listening (or at least keeping quiet so that others may). Whether it is 'part of the service' is, in my opinion, irrelevant.

 

John

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I disagree.

 

If an end of service voluntary is merely background music to accompany the congregation departing/having a chat, why not put on a CD of some typical 'supermarket music'!

John

 

Why not indeed? Voluntaries are played for the benefit of the organist, not the congregation. If the congregation ask for a mini-concert after the service then that's different.

 

I play in 2 different churches: in the mornings no-one listens and that's my own church where the congregation is extremely supportive of my efforts both on the organ (the rest of the service) and with the choir. In the evening I play in a different church and the congregation normally sits and listens to the voluntary and often applauds at the end. That's great, of course, but I don't regard their attention as my right.

 

In a cathedral one might expect people to either listen or move out of the choir, but that's not so easy in a parish church. Again I ask: how many DOMs in cathedrals listen to voluntaries?

 

Stephen Barber

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Voluntaries are played for the benefit of the organist....

 

I strongly disagree.

 

When I play a voluntary, it is part and parcel of my offering whatever skills I've been given to the worship and glory of God. I know that many or, hopefully, most church organists would think the same.

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I think we're being a bit precious about this.

 

The voluntary after a service is not part of that service: the final dismissal after a eucharist goes something like: "let us go forth in peace" not "let us sit down and listen to the organ". It is very important that members of a parish church congregation do talk to each other after a service and there is no reason why they should have to sit and listen to an organ piece unless they choose to. I think that for us to expect them to is rather arrogant on our part. By all means choose not to play a voluntary at all if you prefer. There is no analogy with the last piece in a concert.

 

I'm not convinced that organists are much better than other people in listening to the voluntary. In how many cathedrals do the choir and DOM listen quietly as opposed to scuttling away and disrobing?

 

Stephen Barber

 

I too disagree, I have always treated the voluntary as part of the service, and consequently expect to listen to, or expect others to do so when I'm playing. If we use your reasoning at Evensong, the service strictly finishes after the collects, consequently, by that criteria, we can expect the congregation to chat during the anthem, the sermon, and the prayers. You might think we're being a bit 'precious', but in my church there are a good number of people who sit and listen to the voluntary and treat it like that, even when some of the others would like it to be more like Waterloo Station. Unfortunately, the 'chatters' also like to hold their conversations before the service, during the peace, and after receiving communion. I'm afraid I will continue to consider the final voluntary part of my worship, and an important part of it as well.

 

Jonathan

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When I was learning the organ I was taught, including during a couple of courses at Addington Palace, that the service should not be considered over until the voluntary was finished. For that reason, it was impressed on me that the playing should always be of the highest standard possible.

 

P

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When I was learning the organ I was taught, including during a couple of courses at Addington Palace, that the service should not be considered over until the voluntary was finished. For that reason, it was impressed on me that the playing should always be of the highest standard possible.

 

P

 

Certainly we organists regard the voluntary as part of the service, but it clearly isn't.

 

At the end of the service in my church it is very important that people to greet and talk to each other - more important than that they should listen to my organ playing. If I demanded the congregation to sit and listen I would feel it unfair to play for more than a minute or so. As I said before: the eucharist ends with the dismissal.

 

I am talking about parish churches rather than cathedrals and similar churches. But even there, I have never sung or played in one where the clergy and DOM don't feel free to talk to each other immediately after the final prayer, and then disappear - not "part of the service", then! (Although often congregations do stay and listen to the voluntary at evensong.)

 

It just seems to me that to expect the congregation (especially in an ordinary parish church) to sit and listen to an organ piece (however well-chosen to fit the occasion and however well-played) is to live in cloud cuckoo land. Why should they? Why should we impose it on them?

 

Anyway, when did we decide that the voluntary was "part of the service"? - when I played my first Choral Evensong on R3 the voluntary was faded out as it always was then.

 

Certainly I take the point about not treating classical music as wallpaper; the answer is simple: don't play a voluntary.

 

Stephen Barber

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I always remember my first visit to Germany (1978) when we attended a service at Stade. I was impressed with the fact that the clergy and choir processed in, sat down, and then the organist played (I think) a Buxtehude P and F while all listened. At the end of the service the clergy and choir and congregation all remained seated while a voluntary was played - THEN the clergy and choir processed out. Nobody said a word until then. How civilised. Does this still happen? It's a long time since I've been.

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I always remember my first visit to Germany (1978) when we attended a service at Stade. I was impressed with the fact that the clergy and choir processed in, sat down, and then the organist played (I think) a Buxtehude P and F while all listened. At the end of the service the clergy and choir and congregation all remained seated while a voluntary was played - THEN the clergy and choir processed out. Nobody said a word until then. How civilised. Does this still happen? It's a long time since I've been.

 

And, as has recently been mentioned on this forum, organ music appears to be much more popular amongst the general public in Germany than it has been for a long time in this country, if attendance at organ recitals is anything to go by.

 

John

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