Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Magdeburg - All Over!


Barry Jordan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our festival week "Organo pleno" was a great success. There was a lot of

very good organ playing (Martin Haselböck, Thomas Murray, Vincent

Dubois, Thomas Trotter, Ludger Lohmann - and myself bringing up the

rear), with an average of 600 people at each of the solo recitals, 1500

at the opening Choral/orchestral/organ concert (Jongen Symphonie

concertante and Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, conducted by me with M. Has.

at the organ).

 

The winner of the concurrent 4th August Gottfried Ritter Competition,

finals in the cathedral last Friday night, was the 23 year old Drahuslav

Gric from the Czech Republic, who followed a slightly humdrum

performance of the Franck b minor Choral with a staggering Dupré 2nd

Symphony. Runners up were Hee-Jung Min (Korea, currently studying in

Freiburg) and Eric Kolind (Denmark). German Daniel Beilschmidt won the

Ritter prize, and might even have won the competition if he had not

courageously confined his final round programm to 5 movements of

Messiaen's "Livre d'orgue".

 

It was an excellent week!

 

B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Barry

 

If it's not too personal a question, which did you enjoy most, playing your recital or conducting the concert?

 

Also, were the recitals or concert recorded for commercial availability?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Barry

 

If it's not too personal a question, which did you enjoy most, playing your recital or conducting the concert?

 

Also, were the recitals or concert recorded for commercial availability?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

None of the events were recorded.

 

I recorded two CD's in the weeks immediately before the opening:

 

"Eroica" contains: Jongen Sonata eroica, Nowowiejski Symphony No. 9; Stanford Sonata eroica. Label "Organ" ORG 7227.2

"Symphonic Impressions" has smaller pieces by Cocker, Whitlock, Vierne, Karg-Elert, Rheinberger et al. Label IFO 00 312

 

We have copies available, but they should show up in the online shop at www.ifo-records.de quite soon. They are widely distributed (the OHS carries them, for example).

 

I'll put up a few sound samples soon.

 

Cheers

Barry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hearty congratulations to Barry and the organ-team. After all that activity, I think Barry could plunge into post-traumatic stress. He's worked hard for it!

 

Now a question......

 

Who on earth is/was Nowowiejski?

 

This sounds suspiciously Eastern European or Russian to me, but it's not a name I've yet stumbled across. Furthermore, if you played the 9th, what are the other eight Symphonies like?

 

I'm quite fascinated to know more.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hearty congratulations to Barry and the organ-team. After all that activity, I think Barry could plunge into post-traumatic stress. He's worked hard for it!

 

Now a question......

 

Who on earth is/was Nowowiejski?

 

This sounds suspiciously Eastern European or Russian to me, but it's not a name I've yet stumbled across. Furthermore, if you played the 9th, what are the other eight Symphonies like?

 

I'm quite fascinated to know more.

 

MM

 

Feliks Nowowiejski was a Pole ("Are you a pole-vaulter?" "No, I am a Tscherman, but how did you know my name is Walter?").... 1877 - 1946. Learned briefly at the Stern Conservatorium in Berlin as a young man (and one a prize at the "London Peace Musician Competition" for a military march called "Under the banner of Peace"!) Returned to Poland as cathedral organist at Olsztyn (Allenstein) in 1898, but two years later gave up the post again and went to Berlin as a student of Max Bruch. An oratorio "Quo vadis?" was performed 1909 in Amsterdam; the Poles regard Now. as the first Polish composer since Chopin to have won international recgnition. He was drafted into the Prssian army in 1914; after te end of the war he worked amongst the Polish community in Berlin for a while until returning to Warsaw and then Poznan, where he became director of the Music Academy. He was considered the best organist in the country. At the outbreak of WW II he fled to Cracow, but had a stroke in 1941 and was partially paralysed.

 

The name has been surfacing occasionally for a while now; I played in Warsaw a few years ago and was curious, so I had a polish friend send me the symphonies and a further volume of occasional pieces, all published (very badly) by the the Chopin Academy. I haven't explored all the symphonies in depth yet; they need a firm control, as they can ramble a bit, but it's very colourful and imaginative music. A bit like slightly eastern Reger without the pomposity; but the 9th also has some fairly obvious formal influences from, eg, the Widor IVth.

 

Incidentally, FN gave a recital in London in 1931. Here he was already mentioned as the composer of 9 Symphonies for the organ. His Opus list is a mess.

 

Hope this is enough to whet your appetite. I'd put up a bit of the music, but unfortunately it's embargoed until the CD officially comes out at the end of June.

 

Cheers

Barry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feliks Nowowiejski was a Pole ("Are you a pole-vaulter?" "No, I am a Tscherman, but how did you know my name is Walter?").... 1877 - 1946. Learned briefly at the Stern Conservatorium in Berlin as a young man (and one a prize at the "London Peace Musician Competition" for a military march called "Under the banner of Peace"!) Returned to Poland as cathedral organist at Olsztyn (Allenstein) in 1898, but two years later gave up the post again and went to Berlin as a student of Max Bruch. An oratorio "Quo vadis?" was performed 1909 in Amsterdam; the Poles regard Now. as the first Polish composer since Chopin to have won international recgnition. He was drafted into the Prssian army in 1914; after te end of the war he worked amongst the Polish community in Berlin for a while until returning to Warsaw and then Poznan, where he became director of the Music Academy. He was considered the best organist in the country. At the outbreak of WW II he fled to Cracow, but had a stroke in 1941 and was partially paralysed.

 

The name has been surfacing occasionally for a while now; I played in Warsaw a few years ago and was curious, so I had a polish friend send me the symphonies and a further volume of occasional pieces, all published (very badly) by the the Chopin Academy. I haven't explored all the symphonies in depth yet; they need a firm control, as they can ramble a bit, but it's very colourful and imaginative music. A bit like slightly eastern Reger without the pomposity; but the 9th also has some fairly obvious formal influences from, eg, the Widor IVth.

 

Incidentally, FN gave a recital in London in 1931. Here he was already mentioned as the composer of 9 Symphonies for the organ. His Opus list is a mess.

 

Hope this is enough to whet your appetite. I'd put up a bit of the music, but unfortunately it's embargoed until the CD officially comes out at the end of June.

 

Cheers

Barry

 

 

=========================

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to write all that. I hadn't heard of this composer until now.

 

I suppose one of the great tragedies of the Hitler insanity, was his intention to completely wipe Poland off the map, and this extended to the destruction of culture. So much must have been lost, and even now, things creep out of the woodwork which have lay dormant for decades. Nigel Kennedy has recorded some previously unheard and unrecorded Polish romantic music.

 

I love the Polish/German joke!

 

I asked a young English lad at a warehouse how he coped with Polish names.

 

"Easy," he replied.

 

"How?" I enquired.

 

"Watch this," he said.

 

He put his hand to his mouth and cried, "Yow!"

 

40 Polish heads turned to look! :rolleyes:

 

==============

 

The best joke I've heard all week goes like this:-

 

What is ET short for?

 

I don't know; what is ET short for?

 

Because he only had little legs.

 

===============

 

Small minds, and all that!

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best joke I've heard all week goes like this:-

 

What is ET short for?

 

I don't know; what is ET short for?

 

Because he only had little legs.

 

The old ones are always the best. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks MM! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I take a moment to recommend the cpo recordings of the Nowowiejski symphonies and concertos played by the late Jerzy Erdman. He also prepared a scholarly edition of the music I believe, (I know Erdman's daughter very well, she introduced me to the recordings and the music). The organ is a Klais from around 1910, proper German late Romantic and far more interesting than the organs they build now. The aesthetic works very well for N's music, I think there's more than a hint of Wagner (ironically?) in the harmonic language, and while it does ramble a bit, there are some astonishing moments. The Erdman recordings are very special; committed, virtuosic and, apparently all but unedited.

 

Nice that Barry Jordan chose to record this music on his new instrument.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I take a moment to recommend the cpo recordings of the Nowowiejski symphonies and concertos played by the late Jerzy Erdman. He also prepared a scholarly edition of the music I believe, (I know Erdman's daughter very well, she introduced me to the recordings and the music). The organ is a Klais from around 1910, proper German late Romantic and far more interesting than the organs they build now. The aesthetic works very well for N's music, I think there's more than a hint of Wagner (ironically?) in the harmonic language, and while it does ramble a bit, there are some astonishing moments. The Erdman recordings are very special; committed, virtuosic and, apparently all but unedited.

 

Nice that Barry Jordan chose to record this music on his new instrument.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

 

Well, this IS the Chopin Academy edition. But it is riddled with typos. There is often no solution except to guess.

 

B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Well, this IS the Chopin Academy edition. But it is riddled with typos. There is often no solution except to guess."

 

There is a story behind the publication of that edition which was somewhat complicated, I can't recall the circumstances. Musical politics in Poland seems to be a complicated subject. I will try and find out something about it, and report back....

 

Bazuin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now a question......

 

Who on earth is/was Nowowiejski?

 

This sounds suspiciously Eastern European or Russian to me, but it's not a name I've yet stumbled across. Furthermore, if you played the 9th, what are the other eight Symphonies like?

 

I'm quite fascinated to know more.

 

MM

 

There is a 20-page article on Nowowiejski by Nicholas Fogg in the current issue of The Organ Club Journal (2008/1).

 

JS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I thought members of this forum might appreciate a small write-up of this spectacular new instrument. It represents the largest all-new organ to be made in the whole of Germany for some years. I was privileged to give a recital upon it on Sunday afternoon (10th August) and very much enjoyed both this (which was very well attended) and the pre-concert rehearsals.

 

It is an unashamedly romantic organ, the greater part of it firmly in the German tradition. Unusual to most of us would be the multiplicity of strings and a number of free reed solo stops. The pedal strings in particular are remarkable - mostly in wood they speak almost frighteningly fast! The solo division is also unusual, and attending the morning service at 10am on the same day, my wife and I were able to appreciate the purpose of a good pallette of strong solo stops because these were used in the absence of a choir (currently on holiday) to give a strong melodic lead during congregational singing and to reinforce chorale melodies when Barry Jordan improvises ('preluding') as was the tradition in Bach's time which still continues as part of Protestant worship.

 

Over and above exceptionally fine fluework - all of it prompt speaking and pure down to the lowest notes - there are more reeds than would normally be specified in this part of Germany. Some of these stops are more 'French' in character (alongside the traditional German Trompete stops) and one - the superb Tuba is from the English tradition. This stop was voiced by Michael Blighton of Manders to special order. Both it and the Chamade (sited at the top of the organ and angled upwards at a slight angle like rockets) speak out with ease over the remainder of the organ. That Tuba was emphatically worth all the effort that went into it.

 

I was given a tour around the insides of the instrument - led round spacious platforms, up wide staircases and internal walkways, all built of mild steel and thick pine. The finish is extremely good and everything matches. Anyone would be impressed at the quality of planning and execution of such a large project.

 

In case anyone reading this worries that choosing an essentially romantic design would restrict the player, I should add that the action is mechanical, incorporating Fisk-style servo pneumatics to assist with coupling what are very substantial divisions. I watched one of these in action - they follow the tracker movement exactly - i.e. a slow attack is still a slow attack, unlike electric assistance which uses heavy duty solenoids. Bach sounded splendid, even if I succumbed to the temptation of drawing the (French-style) 32' Bombarde for the last section! There is, it should be noted, a three-manual neo-classical organ from 1969 elsewhere in the same building. This is by the same firm (Schuke of Potsdam) and it is a fine musical instrument. Clearly, no trouble was spared to give it the fine sound that it has, although the casework clearly shows that the available budget was small in the D.D.R. days when it was built.

 

What is the highest praise I can give to Barry Jordan's new organ? One of the most comfortable and elegant consoles I have ever played? An instrument that can match every mood? Well, to pick out just one piece - this is the first time I have included Herbert Howells (Master Tallis) in a programme in Europe and not experienced difficulty making it sound exactly right.

 

You'd better believe that Reger's Dankpsalm sounded stunning too - I was able to take it for a good walk and then I stamped the last page flat!!! Wow. I'm still buzzing, can you tell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...