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Fantasy Album


Justadad

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A lot of incredibly talented musicians contribute to this forum and it occurred to me that a compilation album of tracks performed by members would not just be brilliant, but might also be important.

 

If you were invited to contribute a track of your choice to such an album, what would you play, on which organ, and why?

 

Best wishes

 

J

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A lot of incredibly talented musicians contribute to this forum and it occurred to me that a compilation album of tracks performed by members would not just be brilliant, but might also be important.

 

If you were invited to contribute a track of your choice to such an album, what would you play, on which organ, and why?

 

Best wishes

 

J

Bach or Franck (but I decline to say why!). On St Bavo, Haarlem (Bach) or Amiens Cathedral (Franck) as it's the only biggish French organ I've played - I don't get out much.

 

Stephen Barber

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Very good idea. I would want to play something at Twyford, where I'm organist, for obvious reasons. I guess I'd want to play something appropriate for the organ so let's say a Mendelssohn organ sonata. Maybe No. 2 as it's currently my favourite.

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Widor 6 at All Saints' Westbury. This brilliant creation by Stephen Cooke (after Bevington, via Mr John Coulson) just brims over with excitement and the first page spits garlic at you. Alternatively, the St Anne on Drake's instrument at Chingford (RC church, see NPOR).

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Franck 3rd Chorale at Truro Cathedral. Organ and music matched in majesty and grandeur.

 

I played the first Choral at a recital in Truro Cathedral a few years ago. It was OK, but I was not really convinced by the very loud Pedal Ophicleide - it just sounded too fat and foundational for the Franck. In addition, the Choir Organ is very quiet from the console (and not appreciably louder in the stalls), which makes this department rather less useful as a substitute for the large Positif:

 

Ste.-Clotilde:

 

POSITIF ORGUE (54 notes)

 

Bourdon 16

Montre 8

Flûte Harmonique 8

Bourdon 8

Viole de Gambe 8

Unda Maris 8

Prestant 4

Octave 4

Quinte 2 2/3

Doublette 2

Plein jeu Harmonique III-VI

Trompette 8

Cromorne 8

Clairon 4

 

Stops in red-brown are the jeux des combinaisons, and were controlled by the Anches Positif pedal.

 

It should also be borne in mind that the location of the Positif division at Ste. Clotilde was somewhat unusual, being placed in the centre of the façade and flanked on either side by the pipes of the Grand-Orgue. Due to this position, the stops of this section - and the reeds in particular - [were] as powerful as those of the G.O.

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Oops. Sorry!

 

Think nothing of it. Well, not much, anyway.... :D

 

The 32ft. flue is also not that good at Truro; some notes are indistinct whilst others are too loud and heavy - low A is a particular offender in this regard.

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Think nothing of it. Well, not much, anyway.... :D

 

The 32ft. flue is also not that good at Truro; some notes are indistinct whilst others are too loud and heavy - low A is a particular offender in this regard.

 

Is that hearing it from the console or in the nave?

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Is that hearing it from the console or in the nave?

 

Console, stalls - and certainly from the first few rows of the nave. In any case, to the best of my knowledge, Truro Cathedral does not have a noticeable problem with 'standing waves'.

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I don't consider myself exeptionally talented, merely competent so: the first piece I learned, aged 12, was the Pachelbel g minor fantasia; the first piece I played in public was the Buxtehude D major; I'd put these two in as I know them, and then probably the Reger Te Deum from op 59. Why? Because it's fairly short (and, Justadad, you didn't say how long we had!). If I had the time I might add the (unjustly IMHO) neglected Bach Fugue on a Subject (2 actually) of Correlli. Another reason is that none of these pieces (with the possible exception of the Buxtehude) gets much of an outing.

 

All played on the organ in St Peter's, Cardiff.

 

Regards

 

 

Peter

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After a few days thought, do you know what? This isn't such a daft idea. With a maximum of 5 minutes each, we could fit on 16 tracks, or with 4-4.5 minutes each 17 or 18. I think to make it practical we'd have to do away with 'dream' instruments and either use our own or ones we have strong connections with.

 

Splitting 1000 discs between 16-18 people, we end up with about 60 each which gives us each a sales income of £600. Because there would be so many locations, I have no idea what recording/editing costs would be. If 16 people don't come forward then we could raise the time limit and the share of discs a bit for scarcely any further outlay. (I'd love to record the Vierne Les Angelus cycle for organ and soprano with my other half.) Obviously those of us with the rights to existing CDs could choose to send in an already-edited track.

 

Mr Cynic, your thoughts?? Anyone else keen to take part?

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Guest Cynic
After a few days thought, do you know what? This isn't such a daft idea. With a maximum of 5 minutes each, we could fit on 16 tracks, or with 4-4.5 minutes each 17 or 18. I think to make it practical we'd have to do away with 'dream' instruments and either use our own or ones we have strong connections with.

 

Splitting 1000 discs between 16-18 people, we end up with about 60 each which gives us each a sales income of £600. Because there would be so many locations, I have no idea what recording/editing costs would be. If 16 people don't come forward then we could raise the time limit and the share of discs a bit for scarcely any further outlay. (I'd love to record the Vierne Les Angelus cycle for organ and soprano with my other half.) Obviously those of us with the rights to existing CDs could choose to send in an already-edited track.

 

Mr Cynic, your thoughts?? Anyone else keen to take part?

 

 

We already have amongst our members those with appropriate kit and expertise to record. The two problems are going to be venue(s) and copyrights. However, if those sufficiently interested in playing something still covered by copyright were prepared to pay for this privilege that one's soon covered. [1000 copies of a five-minute piece on a CD selling for £10 works out at about £40, if you're wondering]. Someone would have to go to the labour of the MCPS return, but I've done plenty of these and don't mind offering to look after that side of things. In recent months I have done three CDs with no MCPS return necessary - in the case of two, everything included was written by composers who died more than 70 years ago, in the case of the third, the living composer gave us all necessary rights. We didn't necessarily end up with worse than usual programmes either!

 

As to venues, we obviously need free ones. I have found that anywhere off the beaten track is likely to say 'yes' without fee. It's grand instruments in tourist traps that see you coming and ask for huge sums. One place I am due to record shortly, we're going to have to do it all in one night because there's no way we can possibly afford to pay for two! They're charging for rehearsal time too, and the organ sounds as if it's not been tuned for some while and we may also have to pay for that!!! It's no good recording without proper permissions though. I know of one (pretty well-known) recitalist who sets out his wares at each 'do' and includes CDs he (or a friend) has remastered from live recordings of him playing in famous places. If Westminster Abbey (for instance) catches up with him, he'll find this a very costly mistake!

 

What we need, if this is a serious goer (which has yet to be proven) is a team of kind souls with either decent mikes and mini-disc or better, prepared to go around to get down a few tracks from folks who don't have their own equipment. Recordings to be made on instruments within reach where authorities are seriously friendly. This does not make it a worse disc... famous organs are already well-recorded. Variety is good. There would be a headache choosing programme order and it could end up rather bitty (like the RAM's project Grand Chorus, where I for one wished that they had recorded more than one track on each instrument of interest.)

 

Decent editing takes time, so if anyone is kind enough to offer to do this, that will be the lion's share of the work by a long way. What we need is

1. an obsessive with substantial private means,

2. preferably with no dependent relatives or neighbours,

3. no other hobbies and

4. a truly saintly outlook towards fellow members of this forum.

Might be a tall order!

 

I am left wondering if anyone other than us would be interested in a CD recorded in a large variety of places. I do think it's useful for someone up-and-coming to be able to showcase their work, but be warned - your first effort on disc has to be good. If I were advising, which I suppose I am, I'd make sure that what you want to play has not already been done to perfection by other people. Find some treasure (like David C and his Anthony Scott items) as your five minutes of stardom, don't creak out a Widor movement on Bogbrush and Scraper's magnum opus in Little Snoring by the Sea.

 

 

 

 

PS A not totally frivolous thought - maybe Mr.Mander has an instrument of which he is proud that has not been recorded where the natives might be friendly?

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PS A not totally frivolous thought - maybe Mr.Mander has an instrument of which he is proud that has not been recorded where the natives might be friendly?

 

All sounding eminently sensible.

 

There are going to be some costs - pressing, booklets and cases, etc - which apply to all in equal measure. Would it be fair to include a limited release MCPS licence within this, taking away the copyright concerns? I think the maximum charge is £250 per 1000 discs. That would mean everyone involved has two bills to pay - one for their share of 1000 discs (which I roughly calculate from my limited experience to be about £70-£80 each), and one for recording/editing such as they are able to arrange themselves. Knowing what income may be achieved from selling 60 discs means participants can decide how much they are willing to spend on recording. I know that locally I can hire decent recording equipment and an hour or so's editing time within about £100, or I can have the engineer there on site for about £200.

 

My experience of shifting 60 copies of a new CD is that it really doesn't take terribly long but then again I was in the fortunate position of having 6 choral societies to sell to.

 

Shall we call forward some names first of all, then talk about programme ideas when we know how many/how long?

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Recording five-minute pieces in different parts of the country would become an imposition for one person (or just expensive). But I'll just mention that I have the necessary equipment, and can do pro-level recording within a fairly generous reach of Oxford, for petrol money - further afield might require some additional persuasion. Editing and mastering I could do for a minor stake in sales and nothing up front.

 

This is, these days, a hobby for me; so I hope this doesn't come over as advertising!

 

Paul

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I am left wondering if anyone other than us would be interested in a CD recorded in a large variety of places. I do think it's useful for someone up-and-coming to be able to showcase their work, but be warned - your first effort on disc has to be good. If I were advising, which I suppose I am, I'd make sure that what you want to play has not already been done to perfection by other people. Find some treasure (like David C and his Anthony Scott items) as your five minutes of stardom, don't creak out a Widor movement on Bogbrush and Scraper's magnum opus in Little Snoring by the Sea.

PS A not totally frivolous thought - maybe Mr.Mander has an instrument of which he is proud that has not been recorded where the natives might be friendly?

 

In that case, and I agree with you, Paul, I'd probably offer the Pachelbel I mentioned earlier and perhaps one of the David Johnson Trumpet Tunes - a good collection, by the way.(Does anybody know them?) These might come in at about 5 minutes.

 

St Peter's Cardiff is OK for recording - I did mention this to the PP some time ago.

 

Peter

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