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Investigating New Composers


andyorgan
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The title says it all really. I learnt a piece by Planyavsky for my recent FRCO (the Toccata alla Rumba, and a good piece too) and on the back of the publication (by Doblinger) are a whole series of pieces and composers being advertised, quite a lot of whom I play nothing of. Can anyone shed any light on any of the following composers and any of the pieces worth playing (and how difficult they are!):

 

Doppelbauer

Eder

Haselbock

Heiller (other than the Nun komm variations)

Kropfreiter

Leitner

Planyavsky (other than the piece mentioned above)

Radulescu

Rapf

Schollum

Wellesz

 

I know some of us inhabit some obscure corners of the repertoire, here's hoping!

 

Thanks

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The title says it all really. I learnt a piece by Planyavsky for my recent FRCO (the Toccata alla Rumba, and a good piece too) and on the back of the publication (by Doblinger) are a whole series of pieces and composers being advertised, quite a lot of whom I play nothing of. Can anyone shed any light on any of the following composers and any of the pieces worth playing (and how difficult they are!):

 

Doppelbauer

Eder

Haselbock

Heiller (other than the Nun komm variations)

Kropfreiter

Leitner

Planyavsky (other than the piece mentioned above)

Radulescu

Rapf

Schollum

Wellesz

 

I know some of us inhabit some obscure corners of the repertoire, here's hoping!

 

Thanks

 

 

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

 

 

I think, but will have to check, that there is a piece entitled "Angels on the organ case" (or whatever it is in the Slovak tongue),

by Radelescu. I'll confirm this when I've had time to dig.

 

I have a Toccata by Kropfeiter (Oxford edition, I think) which is quite jolly, with a rhythm which sounds as if it is based on a train going across a set of points. It's quite fast, but at least it's in C major and very readable.

 

There's an awful lot waiting to be discovered, and I think I've previously mentioned an absolutely stunning fugue by the German composer Josef Trompke, which really should be in every advanced organist's repertoire.

 

I'll see if I can find the mp3 links to it, and post them later.

 

MM

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

I think, but will have to check, that there is a piece entitled "Angels on the organ case" (or whatever it is in the Slovak tongue),

by Radelescu. I'll confirm this when I've had time to dig.

 

I have a Toccata by Kropfeiter (Oxford edition, I think) which is quite jolly, with a rhythm which sounds as if it is based on a train going across a set of points. It's quite fast, but at least it's in C major and very readable.

 

There's an awful lot waiting to be discovered, and I think I've previously mentioned an absolutely stunning fugue by the German composer Josef Trompke, which really should be in every advanced organist's repertoire.

 

I'll see if I can find the mp3 links to it, and post them later.

 

MM

 

 

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

 

 

My apologies; it wasn't Radalescu I had in mind.

 

However, here are the links to the fugue by Josef Trompke, which comes from his organ "Triptychon."

 

I have no idea what the rest of the work is like, but this fugue is marvellous, as is the performance on the recording which can be heard on the link below.

 

http://www.gunther-rost.de/hoerproben.php

 

It looks as if the work is available direct from the composer for about £8.

 

http://www.trompke.homepage.t-online.de/7%...mpositionen.htm

 

As I've stated before, it's a bit of scandal that a VAST repertoire of contemporary music seems to be "out of print" at best, and none more than the simply huge amount of music from the Czech Republic.

 

Enjoy the fugue, and try to mentally work out the fingering for those last two or three bars!

 

MM

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Doppelbauer

Eder

Haselbock

Heiller (other than the Nun komm variations)

Kropfreiter

Leitner

Planyavsky (other than the piece mentioned above)

Radulescu

Rapf

Schollum

Wellesz

 

Most of these are known to me from the time I studied and worked in Vienna. Doblinger does a laudable job promoting living composers of organ music.

 

Most of these composers are or were very accomplished organists, and some of the works can be demanding. Radulescu, for example, is left-handed, and some of his compositions do reflect this.

 

On the other hand, there are some delightful works that are relatively easy to learn and play. Heiller's 'Choralvorspiele zu Liedern des Dänischen Gesangsbuchs' (Chorale preludes on tunes from the Danish hymnbook) contain 7 settings, influenced a little by jazz harmonies and quite approachable. A Prelude, Interlude and Chorale on O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden is listed as a 3rd grade piece in our local Examination Board's syllabus. I regularly play four of these as music at weddings or funerals - one of these is on the hymn 'Sorrig og glaede', (Sorrow and happiness), which seems appropriate for both occasions!

 

You might like to look at Heiller's 'Tanz-Toccata'. composed in 1970 if you are after something more challenging, but not too difficult. Here you will find influences from composers such as Jehan Alain. His meditation on 'Ecce lignum crucis' is worth learning for Holy Week. It is effective and not very technically demanding. It was published in Mordern Organ Music Book 2.

 

Planyavsky's 'Toccata alla rumba' is quite popular, and probably deserves to be, but having spent time to learn his Sonata II, I only played it the one time and have dropped it from my repertoire. Planyavsky is very witty, very competent, but for my taste, lacks what is required to sustain prolonged exposure to a piece. I've chuckled at what he has done in his improvisations, but rarely gone away thinking that I've heard something special.

 

Radulescu's compositions reflect his intense study of early organ music, as well as music of the twentieth century. This results in it being refreshingly different, infusing, as it does, early composition techniques into a modern idiom. Try looking at 'Ricercari', which has three movements, Organa, Versus, and Estampie. Quite original, and well received when I've heard it performed. Radulescu is very highly regarded by those organists who know his music.

 

Kropfreiter was strongly influenced by the neo-Baroque movement, and his works are often thin in texture. 'Toccata Francese' is worth considering (as is his 'Vier Stücke' for flute and organ if you are looking at music for this combination).

 

I've never been attracted to Martin Haselböck's compositions - an issue of personal taste - but if you have the opportunity to hear his father, Hans, improvise, then do. Wonderful late romantic idiom music flows from his fingers so naturally.

 

There are others that know this music better than I, (Bazuin, perhaps?) but hopefully this will start answering some of your questions.

 

David

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Excellent, many thanks, very helpful and I've logged in at the Doblinger site.

 

On the Planyavsky front, do you know the first sonata? And did you drop the second sonata because of audience reaction, or just a lot of work for little reward?

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On the Planyavsky front, do you know the first sonata? And did you drop the second sonata because of audience reaction, or just a lot of work for little reward?

I'm afraid that I don't recall having heard his first sonata and I don't have a copy of it. Sorry. Strangely, I don't recall many of his students playing his works for the Klassenabende at the Hochschule in Vienna.

 

I dropped the second sonata from my repertoire because of audience reaction - from an audience that was open and accepting of new music - and because I didn't find it especially rewarding to play. It wasn't difficult to get under my fingers.

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The title says it all really. I learnt a piece by Planyavsky for my recent FRCO (the Toccata alla Rumba, and a good piece too) and on the back of the publication (by Doblinger) are a whole series of pieces and composers being advertised, quite a lot of whom I play nothing of. Can anyone shed any light on any of the following composers and any of the pieces worth playing (and how difficult they are!):

 

Doppelbauer

Eder

Haselbock

Heiller (other than the Nun komm variations)

Kropfreiter

Leitner

Planyavsky (other than the piece mentioned above)

Radulescu

Rapf

Schollum

Wellesz

 

I know some of us inhabit some obscure corners of the repertoire, here's hoping!

 

Thanks

 

 

I've explored a little of this - of those above that I've seen or heard:

 

Doppelbauer - wrote some fantastic music... a wonderful Toccata and Fugue In Memoriam Maurice Ravel (just got the score to that one) and a number of other works. Although they are not often played, they are effective pieces and would be a nice change from the usual. Here a clip from his Partita Gregoriana

 

Heiller's works are also quite fine - I've got a number of the scores (including a Sonate that's difficult but rewarding) Here a short clip of his CP on Valet will ich der geben

 

Kropfreiter is a mixed bag - some of his stuff is quite wonderful and listenable (like the Toccata Francese mentioned earlier), some of it is just plain ugly (IMHO). When I was working at a music store, I ordered couple of the Sonates, I was disappointed at what I received, as I felt the dissonance of the music was such that learning the work wasn't worth my effort. He did write 3 pieces for Organ and Oboe that are simply magical:

Meditativ

Grotsk-Zwielichtig

Variativ

 

I'd also mention the music of Georg Trexler and Sigfrid Reda, both neglected but worthy of further investigation.

 

Cheers,

 

- G

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