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Mander Organs
Peter Clark

Morning Worship Radio 4 Today

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Indeed DT. And i'm sure the Vierne was also wonderful, if we actually had the chance to hear more than the opening theme statement!

A performance of the Vierne on this instrument can be found here http://www.sjcchoir.co.uk/default.php?page...&webcast=25.

 

I have got a lot of pleasure from St John's Cambridge Choir website although it does show that the congregation is quoite noisy during post service voluntaries!

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I enjoyed much of today's (8th March) - the opening Slane was very arresting although I was not too keen on the treatment of Repton. Any other thoughts?

 

Peter

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I enjoyed much of today's (8th March) - the opening Slane was very arresting although I was not too keen on the treatment of Repton. Any other thoughts?

 

Peter

If that is what the congregation find helpful in their worship, I am happy for them to interpret the music in that way. But I'm sorry to say that I found no inspiration in it. While listening, I thought of the words of Prince Charles "Like a carbuncle on the face of an old friend".

JC

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I enjoyed much of today's (8th March) - the opening Slane was very arresting although I was not too keen on the treatment of Repton. Any other thoughts?

 

Peter

 

I didn't hear much of it but what I did hear I hated. I thought the treatment of Slane was a musical obscenity. Likewise Repton.

 

People should, by all means, do the music they like and that they find helpful, but, as far as I'm concerned, good hymn tunes should not be treated in the way Slane and Repton were. Couldn't we put a preservation order on hymn tunes; or have Listed tunes that may only be bowdlerized on obtaining a Faculty from the Archdeacon.

 

By the way, what was the time signature for this version of Slane? I was in the shower at the time I couldn't make up my mind.

 

I also hate the incessant scooping up to high notes.

 

Grumpy old organist,

Stephen Barber

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I didn't hear much of it but what I did hear I hated. I thought the treatment of Slane was a musical obscenity. Likewise Repton.

[snip]

By the way, what was the time signature for this version of Slane? I was in the shower at the time I couldn't make up my mind.

 

I also hate the incessant scooping up to high notes.

 

Grumpy old organist,

Stephen Barber

Huh! I had switched off the broadcast before stepping in to my shower.

 

Another G.O.O.

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By the way, what was the time signature for this version of Slane? I was in the shower at the time I couldn't make up my mind.

It sounded like 4/4 but with 3-3-2 phrasing, if you see what I mean...

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As mentioned here before, presumably: http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...ost&p=42193

 

Fortunately I was spared that. I was rudely awakened at the start of yet another miserable offering of melodic tautology that mostly hovered around the mediant, subdominant and dominant. I imagine it was meant to sound pious; it succeeded only in sounding sentimental and dejected. Fortunately my wife soon switched it off.

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As mentioned here before, presumably: http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...ost&p=42193

 

Fortunately I was spared that. I was rudely awakened at the start of yet another miserable offering of melodic tautology that mostly hovered around the mediant, subdominant and dominant. I imagine it was meant to sound pious; it succeeded only in sounding sentimental and dejected. Fortunately my wife soon switched it off.

 

I usually avoid problems of this nature by either leaving the radio off altogether around this time on a Sunday - or having it tuned to BBC Radio 1, which I find somewhat preferable.

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I was on the point of writing to the BBC after the 8th March epic to ask why they feel it neccesary to trivialise such fine hymns. I really can't be doing with this "folky" anticipation of the next note!

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The anthem in today's broadcast was quite spine-tingling. I only heard it on a small transistor so can't comment on the quaility of the performance but I'd love to know what it is called. It seemed mainly unision with Ahhh descants every so often. Anybody know? Oh and I wasn't surprised to see John Rutter in there somewhere, considering Tuesday. It's the onlt time of the year I drink Guinness! (Hope that's not advertising.)

 

 

Peter

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Sunday morning radio is full of dreadful shocks - I turned on to Radio Three this morning only to hear an unspeakably crude arrangement of a Bach organ fugue by Elgar - I don't know why the BBC thinks orchestral transcriptions of organ music are better to listen to than the real thing - there seems to be some strange preconceptions of listners mental capacity......

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Sunday morning radio is full of dreadful shocks - I turned on to Radio Three this morning only to hear an unspeakably crude arrangement of a Bach organ fugue by Elgar - I don't know why the BBC thinks orchestral transcriptions of organ music are better to listen to than the real thing - there seems to be some strange preconceptions of listners mental capacity......

I'm sorry to disagree here, but I think these Romantic orchestrations are wonderful. If I can persuade you to look any further, Chandos have a couple of CDs worth listening to. There's the Schoenberg St Anne P and F, two different versions of the Pass and Fugue in Cm (Stokowski and Respighi), to name the two best.

 

We had another thread somewhere about transcribing for the organ, the orchestral transcriptions of the original (if you get that), and it turned out that quite a number of us had tried it at some stage.

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Also (going back to this morning's Sunday Worship) it was nice to hear the Buxtehude D minor Passacaglia given an outing, a piece heard too rarely these days. I might slip it in sometime... though my copy (Peters edition) has consecutive 5ths. Is this correct?

 

Peter

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I have to agree with DouglasCorr regarding arrangements, Whether you like them or not, what is the point? I'm afraid that it looks to me like the usual Radio 3 anti-organ stance. I give an honourable exception to Rob Cowan who slips in the occasional track and I understand genuinely likes organ music. As well as orchestral arrangements one occasionally hears piano arrangements of organ music, which always strikes me, not being a fan of the piano, as even worse.

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Also [...] it was nice to hear the Buxtehude D minor Passacaglia given an outing, a piece heard too rarely these days. [...] though my copy (Peters edition) has consecutive 5ths. Is this correct?

Probably not. The question of 'correct' editions of Buxtehude's organ music has come up on here before. Organists and organ teachers who are musicologically minded will look askance at anyone who today uses Peters edition when playing Buxtehude.

 

I started off on Hedar's 1952 edition and then bought Albrecht's of 1998. Current thought is that these editions - as well as those by Beckmann and Belotti (both post-1950) are 'recommended'. Peters is not recommended at all.

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Probably not. The question of 'correct' editions of Buxtehude's organ music has come up on here before. Organists and organ teachers who are musicologically minded will look askance at anyone who today uses Peters edition when playing Buxtehude.

 

Or Bach, presumably.

 

Stephen Barber

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Or Bach, presumably.

 

Stephen Barber

I honestly don't know; I am guessing that there are different circumstances relating to the sources and the degree of editorial intervention as far as Bach is concerned. In Advice for Organ Teachers, Margaret Phillips recommended Peters as "still a useful edition", but that was seventeen years ago. It was also the edition used by my teacher, Peter Hurford. While it appears to have been superseded in recent times by Lohmann's Breitkopf edition, I believe Peters is still regarded as being reliable for Bach.

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Sunday morning radio is full of dreadful shocks - I turned on to Radio Three this morning only to hear an unspeakably crude arrangement of a Bach organ fugue by Elgar - I don't know why the BBC thinks orchestral transcriptions of organ music are better to listen to than the real thing - there seems to be some strange preconceptions of listners mental capacity......

Crude? I'd like to hear a better orchestration from that contributor, or anybody else. Mental capacity is indeed in question here...

 

I'm sure most of my orchestral musician friends (and certainly my clarinettist wife) would far rather wake up to that on a Sunday morning than 10 minutes of organo pleno (absolutely no double entendre intended).

 

That particular performance was exquisite and highly detailed too; the phrasing/slurring as expressive as any period chamber ensemble. So what if there was slurring across upbeats - 100 years ago we would all be playing like that and regarding it as 'gospel'.

 

Elgar's own interpretation (available on Naxos) is somewhat more restrained, actually, with a faster Fantasia and less rubato in the Fugue.

 

IFB

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... While it appears to have been superseded in recent times by Lohmann's Breitkopf edition, I believe Peters is still regarded as being reliable for Bach.

Yes it is generally, because the editors, Griepenkerl and Roitzsch, treated the music with much caution and restraint and, in mid-19th century, had access to sources which were lost later. The Bärenreiter edition, however ambitious scientifically, rests on a narrower base in some respect.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Crude? I'd like to hear a better orchestration from that contributor, or anybody else. Mental capacity is indeed in question here...

 

I'm sure most of my orchestral musician friends (and certainly my clarinettist wife) would far rather wake up to that on a Sunday morning than 10 minutes of organo pleno (absolutely no double entendre intended).

 

That particular performance was exquisite and highly detailed too; the phrasing/slurring as expressive as any period chamber ensemble. So what if there was slurring across upbeats - 100 years ago we would all be playing like that and regarding it as 'gospel'.

 

Elgar's own interpretation (available on Naxos) is somewhat more restrained, actually, with a faster Fantasia and less rubato in the Fugue.

 

IFB

There's a quote somewhere about great music transcending its medium of expression (Rollin Smith?). The F and F is very good music, and probably even in ths hands of the all but dullest orchestrations, would stand up well; in Elgar's hands it comes off exceptionally well. I urge the original contributor to listen to some other orchestrations of Bach's organ music, and I would like to be sure that he will come away with some fresh ideas about interpretation.

 

"An arrangement of a well known instrumental adagio or andante is infinitely more preferable to the frequently dull specimens of modern organ music duly vaunted as being 'original'."

 

(WT Best)

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Busoni, who indeed transcribed organ and violin works by Bach for the piano, expressed the view that all music is transcription - the notes on the page are a transcription of the composer's ideas, any performance is a transcription of the notes on the page, each done with the artistry (or not) of the transcriber. From this point of view a change of instrumentation is merely another layer of transcription rather than a betrayal of an imaginary "original". And Bach's own transcriptions of many of his own works as well as those of Vivaldi, Ernst and others, show that he was by no means opposed to the idea.

 

Paul

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I'm sorry to disagree here, but I think these Romantic orchestrations are wonderful. If I can persuade you to look any further, Chandos have a couple of CDs worth listening to. There's the Schoenberg St Anne P and F, two different versions of the Pass and Fugue in Cm (Stokowski and Respighi), to name the two best.

 

We had another thread somewhere about transcribing for the organ, the orchestral transcriptions of the original (if you get that), and it turned out that quite a number of us had tried it at some stage.

 

I would have to agree with Douglas. I think the Elgar sounds bizarre. I find the piece infinitely preferable on most organs.

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... Crude? I'd like to hear a better orchestration from that contributor, or anybody else. Mental capacity is indeed in question here...

 

I'm sure most of my orchestral musician friends (and certainly my clarinettist wife) would far rather wake up to that on a Sunday morning than 10 minutes of organo pleno (absolutely no double entendre intended). ...

 

IFB

 

Therein may lie the answer, Ian.

 

I have yet to encounter any orchestral musician who even likes organ music. Personally, I would far rather listen to a good organ than an orchestra.

 

I would be interested to hear a reason why organists are frowned upon for preferring their own instrument. Why should the orchestra come first?

 

Whilst not necessarily agreeing that the Elgar transcription could be described as 'crude', I find the percussion objectionable wherever it is used. For me it adds nothing to Bach's beautiful music. It could be argued that the use of an orchestra upsets the natural balance between the voices.

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