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2002 Mander Organ Featured On Us Radio Show


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  1. 1. What do you think?

    • Exceeded my expectations
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    • Just different from what I expected
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On Peachtree Road

A large new instrument by Mander Organs of England brings resplendent opportunity to a prospering United Methodist congregation in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

With 72 stops and 90 ranks, this ranks as one of the largest mechanical action pipe organs ever built by a British company in an unusual double case.

 

The show includes music by Stanford, Howells, Widor and a new work by Paulus. The performers are Olivier Latry, Huw Williams, Michael Shake, Scott H. Atchison and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

 

Here is the link to programme information including the link to a recording of the 90-minute show. Pipedreams #0541

 

Here is the link to a page on Mander Organs about the building of this instrument. Peachtree Road UMC Atlanta

 

Enjoy the show and let us know what you think. Don't forget to vote!

 

atlanta_peachtreemander.jpg

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I can access this on-line - if you would like to give some detail about your set up (processor, browser, browser version, which edition of RealPlayer etc), I will try to help you fix this.

 

Rachel, for Mander Organs

 

Thanks!

 

I tried with IE instead of Mozilla and now it works for me.

I am going to link to it on my forum.

Oh, I have also linked to the Pdf-file about scalings. It is extremely interesting

and full of details that deserve some discussion; an organ-building course

(again)!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Thanks!

 

I tried with IE instead of Mozilla and now it works for me.

I am going to link to it on my forum.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

 

I listened to a large part of this programme yesterday, but wished I'd heard the radio broadcast, because I am sure the sound would have been much better. Nevertheless, the organ sounded good. But the pedal foundation tone sounded very strong and thick, and that could be to do with the webcast as well. The accoustic sounded on the dry side, although I am reliably informed by an eminent organist who gave one of the early recitals that the room is actually pretty good. The strings reminded me of St Ignatius, sometimes, which is not surprising given that it is the same builder, although somebody might tell me that the scaling and style are completely different. But that is just an observation.

 

It was interesting to hear the Stephen Paulus concerto for organ, orchestra and chorus in its original version. This piece was especially commissioned for the opening of this instrument. There have been a few revisions in the last movement, which were made in time for the New York premiere at St Ignatius, New York in March of last year. I was lucky enough to sing in the New York performance, and had a real blast doing it. It's a great piece and deserves wider recognition, especially in New York. I think it would go down a real treat with a Proms audience in London.

 

Anyway, I recommend listening to this concert. You can listen to it in stages if you don't have an hour and a half to hear the whole thing at once.

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It was interesting to hear the Stephen Paulus concerto for organ, orchestra and chorus in its original version. This piece was especially commissioned for the opening of this instrument. There have been a few revisions in the last movement, which were made in time for the New York premiere at St Ignatius, New York in March of last year. I was lucky enough to sing in the New York performance, and had a real blast doing it. It's a great piece and deserves wider recognition, especially in New York. I think it would go down a real treat with a Proms audience in London.

 

I have been moved to post for the first time by this response to the Paulus concerto. I would be delighted to hear it at the Proms sometime, if only because it the audience reaction would be so hostile. I can't remember the last time I heard such a badly written piece. The general level seems to be sub-John Adams (which in itself is saying something) with an excursion into a miserably faux-Symphony of Psalms finale. The abortive attempts at sweeping Romantic choral writing are out of place in what is elsewhere trying to be fashionably minimalist, but the crowning glory is the inappropriate, unengaging final few bars that would be considered overblown had Schoenberg ended Gurrelieder with them!

 

So roll on the Proms performance, it can't be less worthy than the sound-effects nonsense Macmillan's Scotch Bestiary treated us to this year!

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I have been moved to post for the first time by this response to the Paulus concerto. I would be delighted to hear it at the Proms sometime, if only because it the audience reaction would be so hostile. I can't remember the last time I heard such a badly written piece. The general level seems to be sub-John Adams (which in itself is saying something) with an excursion into a miserably faux-Symphony of Psalms finale. The abortive attempts at sweeping Romantic choral writing are out of place in what is elsewhere trying to be fashionably minimalist, but the crowning glory is the inappropriate, unengaging final few bars that would be considered overblown had Schoenberg ended Gurrelieder with them!

 

So roll on the Proms performance, it can't be less worthy than the sound-effects nonsense Macmillan's Scotch Bestiary treated us to this year!

 

 

 

This is an interesting response. I never said the piece was well-written, only that it was fun to do. But I disagree with your view that it is a badly written piece. But this is subjective.

 

If you look, or listen to the choral writing, it makes no attempt at minimalism, there is too much material for it to be minimalist in the Glass or Adams school. And the other movements are not strictly minimalist either.

 

I'm not a great fan of the minimalist school but, personally, I believe John Adams has had something to say where others have failed, but, again, this is subjective.

 

I only see a very vague passing reference to Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms in the Paulus concerto, rather than a crude attempt at Symphony of Psalms pastiche, but perhaps I am missing something.

 

I don't understand your point about the final bars being considered "overblown had Schoenberg ended Gurrelieder with them". The point is that Schoenberg did not write the piece and compared with the vast and lush, romantic score of Gurrelieder, there is nothing in Stephen Paulus that could possibly considered overblown.

 

Incidentally, one of the revisions by the composer I referred to, I think, occured at the end of the piece that makes for a more powerful ending.

 

And not to belittle Proms audiences, but they do tend to like exuberant pieces and there is plenty of exuberance in this concerto.

 

And, you have no idea of the enthusiasm with which the St Ignatius audience received this concerto. I have never seen such an enthusiastic standing ovation, where the audience got up on their feet immediately. And this is an audience with a diet of repertoire from Gregorian chant, ealy music, polyphony, through the Baroque, classical and romantic periods, spirituals, gospel, contemporary, etc, etc with composers from both sides of the Pond.

 

My main criticism of what little of Stephen Paulus's music I have encountered generally, not this piece, is that there can be too much emphasis on rythm for my liking. I often feel that parts of his faster music cry out for the occasional phrase of some length to break up the relentless, percussive, rythmic drive. But he is hardly a minimalist in the same vain as Adams or Philip Glass. You don't get the same tiny fragment repeated endlessly several times before moving onto the next slice.

 

Incidentally, I don't believe that Glass, Adams and a few other like-minded composers were the true inventors of minimalism in musical composition. Listen and look at the beginning of Louis Vierne's Les Cloches de Hinkley from the 24 Pieces of Fantasy and you will find an example of minimalism that dates back to 1927 in the manual part in the opening measures and another example near the beginning in the right hand.

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I listened to a large part of this programme yesterday, but wished I'd heard the radio broadcast, because I am sure the sound would have been much better.

I just want to say that Real Player adjusts the quality of the stream automatically based on how much bandwidth is available. So if you have high speed internet and is listening to the stream, and then suddenly download a large file, the quality would go down to accomodate the download and then go back up once the download is complete.

 

It's kind of unfortunate if you don't have a fast connection and want to listen and do other stuff on the internet at the same time. But definitely try it and see if it improves the quality at all.

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The accoustic sounded on the dry side, although I am reliably informed by an eminent organist who gave one of the early recitals that the room is actually pretty good.

The accoustics on recordings vary greatly depending on where the mics are placed. If the mics are really closed, right in front of the case, then the accoustic will sound very dry. If the mics are placed further away, then they will have a chance to capture the original sound and the reverberations.

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The accoustics on recordings vary greatly depending on where the mics are placed.  If the mics are really closed, right in front of the case, then the accoustic will sound very dry.  If the mics are placed further away, then they will have a chance to capture the original sound and the reverberations.

 

I'm guessing that it was the microphone placements, as I have been told by an organist who played there that the room is pretty good.

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I'm guessing that it was the microphone placements, as I have been told by an organist who played there that the room is pretty good.

 

Yes the works were recorded by two (I think) different engineers based on the event, but cannot recall specifically microphone placement. I will say at their closest, particularly for solo organ, the placement is on the nave floor a good distance from the cases. The lack of resonance also has to do with the fact that the room was packed to the gills for the Inaugural Concert (Stanford, RVW, Paulus), and Recital (Latry) which does affect the sound even when in the room. The local music critic reviewing events at the church kept commenting on the deadness of the room which was not a wholly true statement. If you take the pew cushions out of the church you add almost 2-3 seconds of reverb which becomes nearly too much.

 

The Nestor anthems were recorded live in worship and the organ solos (Bolcom, Sowande) re-recorded after worship due to pre and post service socializing.

 

I too think the Paulus made a better, even bigger impact in New York. Maybe it had to do with programming as well as the "state" of the piece when first performed. It was exciting to be on the receiving end of something which I had been somewhat involved in - page turner!

 

Michael Shake

(now of Highland Park Presbyterian, Dallas, TX)

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