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Martin Cooke

Howells

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I have a colleague for whom I occasionally play lunchtime recitals (at his church). He often returns proposed programmes sent in by other recitalists, with directions to change certain pieces - not necessarily because other recitalists have played a particular work recently. He maintains that he wishes to keep up (and even increase) the size of his target audience, and

 

And he can still get people to give recitals for him?

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And he can still get people to give recitals for him?

 

 

1) Pay well

 

2) Demand exciting and varied programmes, prepared well

 

3) Get huge audiences

 

4) Pay more

 

5) Demand better and even more varied programmes, prepared even more well

 

6) Get bigger audiences; etc etc etc.

 

 

It works.

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So far, so good.

 

It makes me think to the Rose growers forums !

 

During the 19th century only, about 50,000 rose varieties have

been obtained; during the 20th, even more.

After 20 years of "top 10 bests" listings, we have about 8,000 left.

The rest went into the scrapyard, maybe along with Zinc pipes, Hope-Jones work

etc....

 

Do we want to end up in 100 years with 5 Toccatas, some Chorals and some

pieces from Widor and Vierne left ?

 

Remember mighty General Motors; while "building what the customer wants",

they rationnalized out all "Substanz" from their brands, up to the final collapse

absolutely all in Detroit knew was to come.

 

"We are at the summit of the cliff; now it is time to make a big step

forward, guys!" B)

 

Pierre

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I am afraid I simply do not regard most of his organ music as recital repertoire - I think that much it (even the rhapsodies) is better as mood-setting

 

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

 

 

Got it right in one "pcnd" B):D

 

 

MM

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I am afraid I simply do not regard most of his organ music as recital repertoire - I think that much it (even the rhapsodies) is better as mood-setting music, before or after a service - ideally Evensong.

 

I'll go one step further and admit that anything by Howells bores me to tears (and yes, I realise this comment may very well make me unpopular B) )

 

 

EC

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Remember mighty General Motors; while "building what the customer wants",

they rationnalized out all "Substanz" from their brands, up to the final collapse

absolutely all in Detroit knew was to come.

 

"We are at the summit of the cliff; now it is time to make a big step

forward, guys!" B)

 

Pierre

 

 

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

 

Not so!

 

The Germans and Japanese were just doing things a lot better.

 

Last comment correct.

 

MM

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I'll go one step further and admit that anything by Howells bores me to tears (and yes, I realise this comment may very well make me unpopular :D )

 

 

EC

 

 

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

 

 

You can't get further than throwing things at the organist, I can assure you.

 

"It begins with a strange and involuntary twitching of the right eye, Doctor." B)

 

MM

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I have the same feelings about much of the organ music of Max Reger although I have to say Thomas Trotter's performace of Wachet Auf at Birmingham Town Hall last Monday was stunning.

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I'll go one step further and admit that anything by Howells bores me to tears (and yes, I realise this comment may very well make me unpopular B) )

 

 

EC

 

Not with me - come and play some Bach - or even Cochereau - at my church, you will be welcome. Just leave the Howells at home.

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

 

 

Got it right in one "pcnd" B):D

 

 

MM

 

Fine - but must I have those ears around my pseudonym?

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David's post answers this succinctly.

 

Indeed. It's a good plan - provided it works. If your colleague is getting the "huge audiences" that David refers to, good luck to him!

 

Having endured the occasional ill-planned recital, I can see the value of vetting the programme - though I am not sure that having a "blacklist" of pieces and composers is the best way to achieve variety! Depending on who was doing the vetting, the process might result in programmes lacking challenge, being a bit "samey" or merely reflecting the (possibly rather narrow!) tastes of the organiser.

 

Would you, for instance, want the vetting to be in the hands of the contributor to the August Organists' Review who suggested that recitals should consist entirely of "pieces with tunes" and that there should be no fugues? Or perhaps pcnd's colleague is that man, and he gets 500+ at his recitals every week and offers his recitalists a £1,000 fee!!

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"of the contributor to the August Organists' Review who suggested that recitals should consist entirely of "pieces with tunes" and that there should be no fugues?"

(Quote)

 

A somewhat caricatural version of my point: This is suicide !

After 25 years at work in the Marketing, I learnt something

about it, ladies and gent'....

 

Pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap, and after us they can eat the stones!

 

Pierre

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Indeed. It's a good plan - provided it works. If your colleague is getting the "huge audiences" that David refers to, good luck to him!

 

Having endured the occasional ill-planned recital, I can see the value of vetting the programme - though I am not sure that having a "blacklist" of pieces and composers is the best way to achieve variety! Depending on who was doing the vetting, the process might result in programmes lacking challenge, being a bit "samey" or merely reflecting the (possibly rather narrow!) tastes of the organiser.

 

The programming guidelines are 'Town Hall, not Festival Hall, and preferably at least one outing for the Tuba'.

 

The average audience is somewhere around the 150-200 mark and the fee about the same.

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The programming guidelines are 'Town Hall, not Festival Hall, and preferably at least one outing for the Tuba'.

 

The average audience is somewhere around the 150-200 mark and the fee about the same.

 

Can't argue with that! And all done by not allowing any Howells to be played: fancy that!! :)

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Would you, for instance, want the vetting to be in the hands of the contributor to the August Organists' Review who suggested that recitals should consist entirely of "pieces with tunes" and that there should be no fugues?

 

 

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

 

 

Oh definitely! I feel exactly the same way about the Matthew Passion and the Messiah. With all that fugal rubbish, I'm surprised they get any audiences at all in the UK.

 

:)

 

MM

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Can't argue with that! And all done by not allowing any Howells to be played: fancy that!! :)

No-one has complained so far....

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

 

 

Oh definitely! I feel exactly the same way about the Matthew Passion and the Messiah. With all that fugal rubbish, I'm surprised they get any audiences at all in the UK.

 

:)

 

MM

 

YES!!!

From a marketing point of view, Bach must be scraped save the only "good" Toccata.

"Concentrate on value", guys. Remember: 20% of your customers make 80% of

your income, and this, with 20% of your portfolio.

So: drop 80% of your products and 80% of your customers, and so increase profits !

(Of course you'll do the same next year, and, and, and...)

 

Pierre

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YES!!!

From a marketing point of view, Bach must be scraped save the only "good" Toccata.

"Concentrate on value", guys. Remember: 20% of your customers make 80% of

your income, and this, with 20% of your portfolio.

So: drop 80% of your products and 80% of your customers, and so increase profits !

(Of course you'll do the same next year, and, and, and...)

 

Pierre

 

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

 

Ah, the joys of marketing statistics!

 

The problem is Pierre, that 100% of to-day's audience, were once 20% of yesterday's audience, and by the looks of it, 80% of tommorows audience will be 20% of to-day's, which means that only 4% of yesterday's audience, who are alive to-day, will still be alive tommorow; further suggesting that close to 100% of all people die.

 

It's a sad state of affairs.

 

MM

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So the organ Marketing works too well....

Back to the music ?

Why does Howells please so much to the continentals ?

 

Pierre

-------------------------------------

 

Where exactly?

 

I've never seen it on a single programme anywhere.

 

Having stated that, I did once hear Harris's "Flourish for an occasion" played at the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam.

 

Not quite the sound Harris had in mind, I suspect, but politely received by an obviously puzzled audience.

 

MM

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Where exactly?

 

I've never seen it on a single programme anywhere.

 

For one instance, may I refer the honourable gentleman to post 44 above? :rolleyes:

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As you already know, the fashion on the continent today goes

towards the german and english romantic organs.

So there is an interest for their repertoires as well.

And besides the Tuba tunes and others decorative, circumstances-driven

works, there are the deeper-meant works the british never liked

too much (pedantry, disturbing, etc, etc, etc); this is what is sought

after this side of the Chunnel, where Grigny is preffered to Balbastre.

 

Pierre

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