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Proms 2008


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Don't forget tonight's First Night with Wayne Marshall playing Dieu Parmi Nous at around 21.25. Sound and pictures for an organ solo eh?! The BBC is coming along...I shan't make the mistake of using digital TV for the picture and Radio 3 through the hi-fi for sound though - that "digi-delay" is awful. Thank goodness we still have an analogue TV signal in Warwickshire which at least means all will be in synch... Mrs T. is really looking forward to it! :P

 

Olivier Latry features on Monday, including an interview at 20.30. Again it's Messiaen (L'Ascension) and then Saint-Saens No.3 ;) at 20.50. M. Latry is also the subject of Artist Focus on Monday and Thursday at 22.30 on R3.

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I still have the recording (on videotape) of Wayne Marshall's performance of Transport de Joie from the Last Night of 1997. His performance was very good indeed, and although the organ was getting a little bit 'tired' it certainly provided a rousing performance all round. Listening to the recording again (which is still in excellent condition) there is plenty of 'pedal', which is more than can be said of the organ today. Camera work was also good at the manuals and pedals.

 

Although a different piece is on offer tonight it will be good to compare the two performances side-by-side. If anyone can get the best out of this organ, Wayne Marshall can. I'm afraid all that I've heard before has been a profound disappointment. Still, I shall reserve judgement until listening to this evening's performance!

 

Have you heard the organ "in the flesh" as it were or just recordings?

 

It is superb to listen to directly opposite in the upper circle

 

Peter

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Virtuosity at the expense of musicianship perhaps? - There are motifs i've certainly found in the inner parts before that i couldn't hear at that speed

 

Far from being "God is with us"....... more like God is belting up the M1 in a Ferrari.

 

Still, he made up for it in the last chord, which lasted 2 weeks.

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From the BBC message board...not posted by me!

 

"During one of the interminable inter-item chat sessions which marred the opening Prom concert, Charles Hazlewood claimed that the longest pipe in the Albert Hall organ was 64' long.

 

Are you sure about that, Mr. Hazlewood? True, the pedal department boasts an "acoustic bass", of 64' pitch, but "acoustic" in this context generally means two pipes a fifth apart sounding together and producing the effect of a note an octave below the lower of the two pipes: in this case, the longest one of these would be 32' (or 16' if it was a stopped pipe.)

 

AFAIK, the only organ in the world which has a true full-length "open" 64' pipe is Sydney Town Hall."

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Virtuosity at the expense of musicianship perhaps? - There are motifs i've certainly found in the inner parts before that i couldn't hear at that speed

 

I certainly think so. It did nothing for me. And yes, the final chord was ridiculously long in the context of the speed he took what had gone before. The performance was grotesque.

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"Apologies - I must have missed CH saying about the derived 64'....I thought I heard him say that the longest pipe was 64' in length rather than a double quint +32' effect."

 

You did.

 

"Far from being "God is with us"....... more like God is belting up the M1 in a Ferrari.

Still, he made up for it in the last chord, which lasted 2 weeks."

 

Spot on.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

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"The performance was grotesque."

I thought it was rather good. Fast certainly, but it is meant to be a toccata, isn't it? Comforting to see him position his right foot on the top E before he started the section!

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I think Wayne Marshall needs some lessons in French: "Très modéré" means "very moderate" for the opening chords. It isn't the opening of Transports de Joie. It meant that when the chords returned before the toccata bit they had to go at a completely different speed so the idea of recapitulation and contrast with the fast sections was lost: This was just one instance of many when Dieu Parmi Nous degenerated into a thoughtless jumble.

 

It would have been nice if WM had paid a little more attention to the note values Messiaen took care to notate in the slower sections and the last chord still sounding long after the music finished served no purpose: I thought musicianship was sacrificed at the altar of showing off. I'm surprised WM hasn't grown out of this phase yet - most of us start to leave this phase behind in our teens.

 

I thought the level of musicianship shown in organ solo contrasted dramatically to the inspired and inspiring musicianship shown by the other soloists and orchestra - and to the last organ recital at the RAH, which was a magnificient display of technical ability.

 

Still, I was absolutely delighted that the organ was given such a big profile and enthusiastic coverage at the opening night! Well done BBC!

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I'm not sure if this is true. It is certainly the only full-length 64' reed stop in the Southern Hemisphere!

I think Atlantic City has a 64' diaphone, full length. I think any others (except Sydney TH) are derived. I know of no full length 64' flue stops - the amount of wind required would be vast!

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I endorse many of the earlier comments, Wayne Marshall played all the notes but his performance did nothing for me. I agree the last chord was absurdly long. It was good to see the organ featured in a mainstream concert with a full audience even if it wasn't a work that is likely to attract many new followers.

JC

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