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Hearing Continental Organs Live


Malcolm Kemp
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Over the past year I have become accutely aware - more so than ever before - that if one wishes to play music of a particular "school" (ie Bach, Buxtehude, Franck, Widor or French Classical) and play it authentically and with understanding one really needs to go to hear and play the organs for which they were written. I don't think anyone would argue with that.

 

Perhaps I should blame Mr Allcoat for this!

 

Apart from trips occasionally organised by the Organ Club are there any fairly small scale and not too expensive visits organised anywhere which would be suitable for someone like me who is retired and not particularly well travelled?

 

Malcolm

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Some of the local IAO organists' associations arrange overseas visits. Winchester has visited Netherlands, France and Spain in the past few years and I know many of the neighbouring associations have done similar things. Most of these are fairly small scale - like an extended weekend or 4-5 days over a half-term week. Generally, we get about 1/2 dozen, which is a very easy number to manage. I find small numbers means a more relaxed, informal, feel to the holiday and a much longer time to play the organs yourself and get much better contact with them.

 

Alternatively, if you've got a friend or two, who would want to go as well, you can arrange your own trips. Many of the organists are very amenable if you contact them by email and many speak good English too, esp. in the Netherlands. If you speak French and German you should be fine. Thanks to the Internet, it's relatively easy to sort out travel arrangements and accomodation in advance. You can also sort out your itinery to do other things that'll interest you as well, like interesting Cities and such like, as well as controlling the costs yourself. If you have a friend like Mr. Allcoat, with lots of contacts abroad, they're usually happy to help organise a visit by giving you the contacts and give suggestions of places you might not have thought of (not that I'm trying to prosletyse Nigel on his own behalf...).

 

So have fun - you'll have a great time. As well as finding out how a North German Sesquialtera really sounds, I found that my forrays abroad have made me appreciate the organs we have in England much more and broadened my outlook as a result.

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Malcolm

 

The best way is to incorporate it into your holiday, it means that you're not competing with others for console time etc. The Netherlands is great if you want to hear fantastic organs (thousands of organ concerts during the summer), but getting access to them can be difficult. The organists there are inundated with requests for access and often become very possessive as a result. You can also end up paying a lot for your hour or two of exploration. There are exceptions and if you PM me I'd be delighted to put you in touch with some great people. Remember that the smaller organs often teach you at least as much as the larger, more famous ones.

 

"Over the past year I have become accutely aware - more so than ever before - that if one wishes to play music of a particular "school" (ie Bach, Buxtehude, Franck, Widor or French Classical) and play it authentically and with understanding one really needs to go to hear and play the organs for which they were written. I don't think anyone would argue with that."

 

Absolutely, except I that am allergic to the word 'authentic' which is no longer banded about in the way it was 25 years ago. Then it was a useful way to sell records, but of course in an different time and era we can never get beyond 'historically informed'. In other words, a historic organ won't give you an 'authentic' experience but it will challenge your perceptions in more ways than you can imagine and you give you the insights you need to help you find your own truth.

 

"I found that my forrays abroad have made me appreciate the organs we have in England"

 

Yes, 100% agree.

 

Bazuin

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The best way is to incorporate it into your holiday

Bazuin

 

I've started doing this and mercifully Mrs AJJ and the 'little people' are usually amicable these days too - Nigel A's contacts have been invaluable but also theircontacts are starting to figure - no one has yet been anything but welcoming. Email helps greatly too - this is mainly France though.

 

A

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See

http://www.dutchorgantours.nl/

which fortunately (or otherwise, depending on who you are) is now fully booked for players next April. There have been five similar tours in earlier years, of which I attended the last three. The maximum group size has been about 18, with half or dozen or so players in the group. Watch the adverts in Organists' Review, the August or November editions next year, in the hope that there will be another in 2011.

 

David Hitchin

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As far as Bach is concerned, the interesting organs

are in the "Neuen Ländern", the ex-DDR area also.

Do a Google on "Wagner Orgel"(1) and "Trost Orgel", and you

will soon find interesting contacts...Slightly less busy than

more "trendy", but less "Bach-close", places.

 

(1)- Use "advanced search" in order to be able to avoid the word "Richard"!!!

 

Pierre

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Philip Carter has organised two overseas tours a year for many years, now very popular. I'm sure he won't mind me saying that he's now getting on in years so we don't know how long he can continue with the very heavy work load involved. I don't know if he's doing any in 2010, or if so where, (he did 2 this year) but contact him at pl.carter at btopenworld dot com (you know what "at" and "dot" means (just in case spammers pick this up).

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Over the past year I have become accutely aware - more so than ever before - that if one wishes to play music of a particular "school" (ie Bach, Buxtehude, Franck, Widor or French Classical) and play it authentically and with understanding one really needs to go to hear and play the organs for which they were written. I don't think anyone would argue with that.

 

Perhaps I should blame Mr Allcoat for this!

 

Apart from trips occasionally organised by the Organ Club are there any fairly small scale and not too expensive visits organised anywhere which would be suitable for someone like me who is retired and not particularly well travelled?

 

Malcolm

 

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

 

I know that I am extremely fortunate to have played many old, restored and new instruments in the Netherlands; ranging from the well known giants such as Haarlem,(Grotekerk/St Bavo RC Basilica/ Concertegebouw Cavaille-Coll (rebuilt by Adema), Zwolle, Alkmaar, to smaller (and often even more "authentic") instruments in churches less well known. On the other hand, I've never sat at the original console of a Cavaille-Coll, but I have enjoyed many instruments inspired by them; largely in America and England.

 

I'm not sure what these organs have taught me, because they are not really "authentic" in any way, when it comes to the music of contemporary composers in other countries. As our friend 'Bazuin' rightly points out, the great Netherlands organs really didn't inspire much in the way of genuine repertoire. Consequently, while they are broadly compatible with the German baroque style, they are not really what Bach and his predecessors and contemporaries would have known; save for the handful of Schnitger organs found in the Netherlands. Even the acoustics into which many of these great instruments speak, are usually completely different, and it is probably in the smaller churches that something more akin to the "Bach" acoustic is to be found.

 

What a great classical organ teaches you, is the remarkable affinity between that of organ-building tonal-architecture, and that of the music written for such instruments.

 

You don't even need to travel abroad; nice though that may be. A visit to the school-hall of Eton College would reveal quite a lot, I suspect.

 

The Parr Hall, Warrington is about as close as it gets to original Cavaille-Coll, but I gather that the action changed at some point. (I haven't visited the instrument).

 

On the other hand, there are Fr.Willis organs which will demonstrate a Barker-Lever action admirably, so it is simply a matter of mentally splicing the two together; assuming that it is possible to gain access to the relevant instruments.

 

What can be said with certainty, is that musicians respond to each unique set of circumstances as they find them, and if "authenticity" is the name of the game, there are probably more authentic examples here in the UK than in many parts of Europe. Liverpool Cathedral will teach you all you want to know about "authentic" Anglican accompaniment and the UK organ repertoire, while almost anything made before 1850, will teach you something about "ye olde English" school. Find a Samuel Green or Snetzler organ, (of which a few still exist), and you're on the money for Wesley, Walond and Handel.

 

In many ways, I learned many of the lessons in America, where almost all organ styles co-exist. Of course, it's a big place, and travelling around to one or more specific instrument(s), is going to be expensive, but for those who can afford it, the experience is astonishing. For instance, I played (without music), one of the few Bach works I can play from memory, the infamous Toccata & Fugue in D minor (BWV 565). (It was my test piece for a number of instruments). As a musician, I responded quite diferently to various instruments; although the notes remained broadly the same. It was all rather classical and straight played on a Fisk organ or on the Busch Museum, Flentrop, at Harvard University, but when I tried the same thing on a huge 5-manual Aeolian-Skiner, I was drawn into a murkier world of kaleidoscopic changes of registration, which seemed right. So we got the Full Swell, the big pedal 32ft reeds and the en-chamade party-horns. Worse still, I found myself wanting to add great crescendos and delicate echoes, as well as playing very legato. This was a way of making music in a less than generous acoustic. Having said that, I had a lot more fun playing the Giga by Bossi, where a General Crescendo comes into its own at the end.

 

I suspect that all organs teach us things: even naughty things, but they also draw things out of the performer.

 

The organ is unique, in that it tells us what to do with particular genres of music, and sometimes, it isn't quite what we expected. That is all part of the pain and pleasure of being an organist.

 

MM

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

... You don't even need to travel abroad; nice though that may be. A visit to the school-hall of Eton College would reveal quite a lot, I suspect.

 

The Parr Hall, Warrington is about as close as it gets to original Cavaille-Coll, but I gather that the action changed at some point. (I haven't visited the instrument). ...

 

 

MM

 

You may be better off visiting the smaller (but rather closer to its original condition) instrument at Farnborough Abbey.

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You may be better off visiting the smaller (but rather closer to its original condition) instrument at Farnborough Abbey.

 

 

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

 

 

Well I would, except that I really don't do much French....Dupre "Noel" thingy and a few other bits.

 

My heart just isn't in it, I'm afraid......better than Howells though, it has to be said.

 

;)

 

MM

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

 

 

Well I would, except that I really don't do much French....Dupre "Noel" thingy and a few other bits.

 

My heart just isn't in it, I'm afraid......better than Howells though, it has to be said.

 

;)

 

MM

 

You could always try playing some nice Bach on it, MM.

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Some quick thoughts about this.

 

"Concertegebouw Cavaille-Coll (rebuilt by Adema)"

 

but since completely unrebuilt by Flentrop.

 

"I'm not sure what these organs have taught me, because they are not really "authentic" in any way, when it comes to the music of contemporary composers in other countries."

 

I am beginning to suspect however that the question of the relationship between literature and historic organs is sometimes rather restrictive in terms of how we understand those instruments. In Holland the organs were built for two things: 1) Congregational singing 2) improvisation. To a greater or lesser extent this applies elsewhere too (congregational singing less in the Catholic countries). In the case of pre-romantic organ literature, we really don't know much about often the 'pieces' which came down to us were played, or how much they were preserved on paper as aids to illustrate improvisation techniques. Don't forget that even Franck, whose oeuvre we associate exclusively with C-C, had an extraordinarily limited repertoire and taught his students improvisation, almost exclusively.

 

"As our friend 'Bazuin' rightly points out, the great Netherlands organs really didn't inspire much in the way of genuine repertoire."

 

Indeed. However the point about the Dutch organs (from 1511-1900 roughly speaking) is that they draw on enough sylistic links from other places (as does the Dutch language) to make valid contributions to the performance practice questions. More importantly, the best of those organs are of a quality which is almost unimaginable elsewhere, with the few famous exceptions we all know in France, Saxony, Italy etc

 

"Consequently, while they are broadly compatible with the German baroque style,"

 

There is no such thing, this kind of generalisation is really unhelpful in understanding a historic organ with manifold subtle stylistic links to different evolving traditions. As a random example, consider the question of reed construction and voicing in the Schnitger tradition. Arp Schnitger's reeds (with the layer of leather on the shallot) produce almost no overtones. This was studiously copied by his pupil Rudolf Garrels (see Anloo, Purmerend). Schtniger's son, Franz Casper does something different (Alkmaar, where the reeds have more overtones and seem, generally, louder).

 

"they are not really what Bach and his predecessors and contemporaries would have known; save for the handful of Schnitger organs found in the Netherlands."

 

Bach's links with Schnitger were minimal, however Alkmaar has one of the world's greatest Bach organs. This illustrates neatly the point; you have to be able to think outside the perceived stylistic boundaries to appreciate the musical marriages and objectively dismiss the non-marriages. At the end of the day, there is not a better organ in Northern Europe, and perhaps only 5 in the world which deserve mention in the same breath. The fact that the organ is essentially from Bach's lifetime, and has survived 95% intact is highly fortuitous happenstance.

 

"You don't even need to travel abroad; nice though that may be. A visit to the school-hall of Eton College would reveal quite a lot, I suspect."

 

Really? Mittenreither represents the Dutch style at precisely the period when no organ music was being written anywhere. It has nothing to do with any of the Dutch styles we (loosely) associate with the repertoire. I don't know whether Flentrop left behind a Flentrop organ or a Mittenreither organ, but the Mittenreither organs I've seen in Holland have a peculiarly sophisticated, soft, enlightenment-period feel. Think Haydn, Mozart, but not Buxtehude!

 

"On the other hand, there are Fr.Willis organs which will demonstrate a Barker-Lever action admirably, so it is simply a matter of mentally splicing the two together; assuming that it is possible to gain access to the relevant instruments."

 

Father Willis organs are marvellously good, although like the famous Dutch organs there is little famous literature linked with them (much as I like the Ouseley sonata.....why do you never hear that piece?). You can't appreciate Father Willis fully until you've seen and played some C-C, Sauer, Ladegast, even Akerman and Lund (!). Once again, you have to appreciate the subtle stylistic links to understand why the non-British Romantic literature sounds so good on Willis I organs. And, of course, to appreciate the significance of that shamelessly high quality.

 

" there are probably more authentic examples here in the UK than in many parts of Europe. Liverpool Cathedral will teach you all you want to know about "authentic" Anglican accompaniment and the UK organ repertoire"

 

Authentic Anglican accompaniment circa 1926, meticulously passed on from teacher to pupil. Unique and special but not authentic except in Liverpool at a certain moment. Likewise, UK organ repertoire post 1900.

 

Bazuin

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"I don't know whether Flentrop left behind a Flentrop organ or a Mittenreither organ"

 

It's definitely a Flentrop. A nice one, but definitely Flentrop, late 70s, built at an interesting time as Cor Edeskes was starting to come to the fore in Flentrop...

 

 

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

 

 

Wasn't Cor Edeskes involved at Groningen and Alkmaar?

 

Someone remind me/correct me please.

 

MM

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

 

 

Wasn't Cor Edeskes involved at Groningen and Alkmaar?

 

Someone remind me/correct me please.

 

MM

 

Certainly the former and I shall find my book of the latter. But for me one the most monumental of reconstructions and restorations when he was with Marcussen, is in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. This was the organ that first totally inspired me to learn more of the old organs and the literature from those times. I sat in the great Nave of this building for a concert and the hush descended on the many hundreds of people as the huge painted doors slowly creaked open and when fully outstretched, the Plenum showered down on us. This was my Damascus moment.

 

Best wishes,

N

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Some quick thoughts about this.

 

"Concertegebouw Cavaille-Coll (rebuilt by Adema)"

 

but since completely unrebuilt by Flentrop.

 

"I'm not sure what these organs have taught me, because they are not really "authentic" in any way, when it comes to the music of contemporary composers in other countries."

 

I am beginning to suspect however that the question of the relationship between literature and historic organs is sometimes rather restrictive in terms of how we understand those instruments. In Holland the organs were built for two things: 1) Congregational singing 2) improvisation. To a greater or lesser extent this applies elsewhere too (congregational singing less in the Catholic countries). In the case of pre-romantic organ literature, we really don't know much about often the 'pieces' which came down to us were played, or how much they were preserved on paper as aids to illustrate improvisation techniques. Don't forget that even Franck, whose oeuvre we associate exclusively with C-C, had an extraordinarily limited repertoire and taught his students improvisation, almost exclusively.

 

"As our friend 'Bazuin' rightly points out, the great Netherlands organs really didn't inspire much in the way of genuine repertoire."

 

Indeed. However the point about the Dutch organs (from 1511-1900 roughly speaking) is that they draw on enough sylistic links from other places (as does the Dutch language) to make valid contributions to the performance practice questions. More importantly, the best of those organs are of a quality which is almost unimaginable elsewhere, with the few famous exceptions we all know in France, Saxony, Italy etc

 

"Consequently, while they are broadly compatible with the German baroque style,"

 

There is no such thing, this kind of generalisation is really unhelpful in understanding a historic organ with manifold subtle stylistic links to different evolving traditions. As a random example, consider the question of reed construction and voicing in the Schnitger tradition. Arp Schnitger's reeds (with the layer of leather on the shallot) produce almost no overtones. This was studiously copied by his pupil Rudolf Garrels (see Anloo, Purmerend). Schtniger's son, Franz Casper does something different (Alkmaar, where the reeds have more overtones and seem, generally, louder).

 

"they are not really what Bach and his predecessors and contemporaries would have known; save for the handful of Schnitger organs found in the Netherlands."

 

Bach's links with Schnitger were minimal, however Alkmaar has one of the world's greatest Bach organs. This illustrates neatly the point; you have to be able to think outside the perceived stylistic boundaries to appreciate the musical marriages and objectively dismiss the non-marriages. At the end of the day, there is not a better organ in Northern Europe, and perhaps only 5 in the world which deserve mention in the same breath. The fact that the organ is essentially from Bach's lifetime, and has survived 95% intact is highly fortuitous happenstance.

 

"You don't even need to travel abroad; nice though that may be. A visit to the school-hall of Eton College would reveal quite a lot, I suspect."

 

Really? Mittenreither represents the Dutch style at precisely the period when no organ music was being written anywhere. It has nothing to do with any of the Dutch styles we (loosely) associate with the repertoire. I don't know whether Flentrop left behind a Flentrop organ or a Mittenreither organ, but the Mittenreither organs I've seen in Holland have a peculiarly sophisticated, soft, enlightenment-period feel. Think Haydn, Mozart, but not Buxtehude!

 

"On the other hand, there are Fr.Willis organs which will demonstrate a Barker-Lever action admirably, so it is simply a matter of mentally splicing the two together; assuming that it is possible to gain access to the relevant instruments."

 

Father Willis organs are marvellously good, although like the famous Dutch organs there is little famous literature linked with them (much as I like the Ouseley sonata.....why do you never hear that piece?). You can't appreciate Father Willis fully until you've seen and played some C-C, Sauer, Ladegast, even Akerman and Lund (!). Once again, you have to appreciate the subtle stylistic links to understand why the non-British Romantic literature sounds so good on Willis I organs. And, of course, to appreciate the significance of that shamelessly high quality.

 

" there are probably more authentic examples here in the UK than in many parts of Europe. Liverpool Cathedral will teach you all you want to know about "authentic" Anglican accompaniment and the UK organ repertoire"

 

Authentic Anglican accompaniment circa 1926, meticulously passed on from teacher to pupil. Unique and special but not authentic except in Liverpool at a certain moment. Likewise, UK organ repertoire post 1900.

 

Bazuin

 

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

 

 

 

Points arising:-

(Concertegebouw Haarlem, Cavaille-Coll)........"since completely unrebuilt by Flentrop."

 

Indeed it has, and how I would enjoy the chance to hear it now that the work is done.

 

"Don't forget that even Franck, whose oeuvre we associate exclusively with C-C, had an extraordinarily limited repertoire and taught his students improvisation, almost exclusively".

 

 

I am staggered to learn this; I had no idea. I suppose it shouldn't come as such a big surprise, because Guilmant was the one who studied much, and more or less ran the Parisian organ establishment; his work on early music quite extensive. I love moments like this, when someone informs me of something I never knew and could never have expected; simply because I have never studied the particular subject. I think that this is one of the great charms of this discussion board.

 

At the end of the day, there is not a better organ in Northern Europe, and perhaps only 5 in the world which deserve mention in the same breath.

 

What a deliciously open-ended comment. I am now contemplating what the others might be! Dare I suggest that Sydney Town Hall is among them, and possibly the Skinner at Yale University? That leaves 3 for me to ponder. I quite agree about Alkmaar, which is utterly breathtaking by any standards of the organ-builder's art and craft.

Mittenreither represents the Dutch style at precisely the period when no organ music was being written anywhere. It has nothing to do with any of the Dutch styles we (loosely) associate with the repertoire.

 

 

The Eton organ is very much Flentrop in style, with a few historic bits. The school hall has a rather nice acoustic, with lots of wood. It reminds me of certain churches in the Netherlands, and the organ is a delight.

I'm not sure if no organ-music was being written. I've mentioned this non-existent hole in organ composition previously. In the Czech Republic, (then Czechoslovakia), Josef Seger and Franz Benda were scribbling things down.; Seger very much in the lingering style of the baroque, and Benda drawn to the classical style of his friend Mozart. Maybe not the greatest repertoire, but good repertoire nonetheless.

 

Father Willis organs are marvellously good, although like the famous Dutch organs there is little famous literature linked with them (much as I like the Ouseley sonata.....why do you never hear that piece?).

 

I must confess to not knowing the Ousley Sonata myself, but I am certainly very aware of the organ music of Stanford, which suits the "Father" Willis style. It is a style which would have been very well known to Stanford. Let's not forget the Elgar Sonata, much as it leaves me cold as an organ-work; always sounding to my ears like an organ-transcription of an orchestral work. (1st performed at Gloucester, if I recall correctly).

 

You can't appreciate Father Willis fully until you've seen and played some C-C, Sauer, Ladegast

 

....

Well I suspect that I can and I have done, but I take your point.

Once again, you have to appreciate the subtle stylistic links to understand why the non-British Romantic literature sounds so good on Willis I organs.

 

 

Quite how Willis arrived at what he did, always baffles me, but I agree. Vierne to Reger to Mendelssohn to Stanford.....it all sounds good. You could say the same about the best work of Thomas Hill., Hill, Norman & Beard Ltd., Taylor, the Lewis at Southwark Cathedral and many of the organs built or re-built by our kind hosts. The best work of John Compton also qualifies, and it's amazing what can be played on the best Harrison instruments. The same is also true of certain American instruments, and especially the American Classics. Shame on eclecticism of any kind!

 

And, of course, to appreciate the significance of that shamelessly high quality.

 

Agreed, but then, we made good steam-engines, looms, bridges, ships and sewers in those days. That's why we gained an enviable reputation, which carried us right through to Concorde and beyond. The British Empire was a useful source of cheap, quality raw-materials.

 

Authentic Anglican accompaniment circa 1926, meticulously passed on from teacher to pupil. Unique and special but not authentic except in Liverpool at a certain moment.

 

Nah! This is over-egging it a bit. The usual thing was to sing as a chorister, get to know the sound, then copy it when you could reach the pedals. I can do it, and I never had a tutor passing things on meticulously. I just used my ears. Of course, when you've learned how to slither around the console like a spider on LSD, weaving the magic of dynamic control and word-painting, people are impressed, but it really isn't THAT difficult to achieve. (However, you soon realise why we need many pistons). The point I was making, concerns the fact that, at Liverpool, you will find absolutely everything needed for Anglican accompaniment and just about all of the romantic and post-romantic English repertoire.

 

 

MM

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"Don't forget that even Franck, whose oeuvre we associate exclusively with C-C, had an extraordinarily limited repertoire and taught his students improvisation, almost exclusively".

 

I am staggered to learn this; I had no idea.

According to Rollin Smith,* Franck performed only ten works in public: his Six Pièces, his Trois Pièces and Bach's Prelude and Fugue in E minor BWV 533.

 

* Towards an Authentic Interpretation of the Organ Works of César Franck, p.35.

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Some quick thoughts about this.

 

... Don't forget that even Franck, whose oeuvre we associate exclusively with C-C, had an extraordinarily limited repertoire and taught his students improvisation, almost exclusively. ...

 

 

Bazuin

 

Well, yes - but he possessed magnificent sideburns.

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

... The point I was making, concerns the fact that, at Liverpool, you will find absolutely everything needed for Anglican accompaniment and just about all of the romantic and post-romantic English repertoire.

 

 

MM

 

Well, yes - but since this is once again the largest organ in the British Isles, this is hardly surprising. In a number of ways, it is not really a typical 'Anglican cathedral accompanimental instrument' - not least due to its vast size.

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"I am staggered to learn this; I had no idea."

 

This is the reason Widor was so significant, bringing the 'German' style (via Lemmens) from Brussels to the class of the Paris Conservatoire. It was a real revolution.

 

"What a deliciously open-ended comment. I am now contemplating what the others might be!"

 

I hope we might perhaps all agree on two: Rouen (C-C, 1890) and Bologna (da Prato 1471-75). My nominees for the others would probably include Freiberg Dom and Poitiers, others might disagree.

 

"The point I was making, concerns the fact that, at Liverpool, you will find absolutely everything needed for Anglican accompaniment and just about all of the romantic and post-romantic English repertoire."

 

Regarding accompaniment - my experience is that in Liverpool a certain performance practice has been preserved which is remarkably close to the aesthetic of the organ. Ian Tracey's accompaniments are really unlike anything else I've heard in England.

 

"Wasn't Cor Edeskes involved at Groningen and Alkmaar?"

 

Cor Edskes advised in Groningen (Martini) - his other most notable projects include Roskilde, Hamburg (Jacobi) and the Nieuwe Kerk mentioned by Nigel. The adviser in Alkmaar (certainly with the big organ but also the Van Covelens I think) was Koos van der Linde.

 

Cor Edskes is the most remarkable organologist alive today. Now 85 he remains both highly active and extremely reclusive. Fortunately an English film maker, Will Fraser, has just completed a feature length documentary about historic organs in Groningen province on which he is interviewed at great length. It is one of the most brilliant pieces of organ-related documentary you will ever see. It is for sale on DVD, together with 5 CDs recorded by Sietze de Vries, and a 12,000 word book (in 3 languages) with which I was (peripherally) involved. I can't recommend this enough:

 

http://www.fuguestatefilms.co.uk/news.html

 

Bazuin

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... Regarding accompaniment - my experience is that in Liverpool a certain performance practice has been preserved which is remarkably close to the aesthetic of the organ. Ian Tracey's accompaniments are really unlike anything else I've heard in England. ...

 

 

Bazuin

 

I would agree with this, although I would state that they are superb. The sheer size and design of this instrument dictates thai one cannot simply use it in a conventional 'cathedral' sense, for want of a convenient, concise description.

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Apologies if anyone else has mentioned this one but there is a tour in 2010 run by Martin Randall travel which, on a preliminary Google appears to be led by a Bach specialist. It is mainly in Saxony and looks at the Baroque organs of the region.

 

I know no more than that it is about £1500 for 5 days which is not exactly chicken feed but I suppose it depends on your budget.

I am not sure if you are given the opportunity to try the things out yourself.

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Apologies if anyone else has mentioned this one but there is a tour in 2010 run by Martin Randall travel which, on a preliminary Google appears to be led by a Bach specialist. It is mainly in Saxony and looks at the Baroque organs of the region.

 

I know no more than that it is about £1500 for 5 days which is not exactly chicken feed but I suppose it depends on your budget.

I am not sure if you are given the opportunity to try the things out yourself.

For £1,500 I should want to take some of the pipes home with me....

 

:blink:

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