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Guilmant - Final To Sonata No. 1


Philip
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I too tend to leave out the triple pedalling, or everything gets rather muddy in some cases!

 

I own the complete scores of the eight sonatas, but have really only ever played a handful of selected movements.

 

I'd love to learn the 8th in it's entirety one day, having only ever played the second movement - for me it's the finest of the set!

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I'd love to learn the 8th in it's entirety one day, having only ever played the second movement - for me it's the finest of the set!

I love playing the Scherzo from the 8th - it really is a lot of fun. In the symphonic version, there seems to be little for the organ to do!

 

I did give the first movement a bash at Chester Cathedral some years ago after Mattins. Always had the orchestral version in my head and never quite managed to get it up to the speed of Tortelier and the BBC Phil. Oh well.

 

Does anyone know if it is possible to purchase the orchestral versions in full score (perhaps with the organ part as a separate booklet) ?

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How fast do people think the Final of Sonata 1 should go? I have MM crotchet = 120 in my copy but I feel this is too fast. It sounds too hurried at this pace to make good listening. Even the firey, youthful performance Raul Prieto Ramirez (youtube link above) clocks in at about 104-108, which I feel is about the right speed. What do other people think?

The usual caveats about building and organ, etc.

 

I must admit that I play this at the marked speed (or, to be more exact, I used to since I haven't played it for a long time). With the right approach I think this speed can sound quite tempestuous and gripping. I don't know who's playing here and I haven't checked my metronome, but it seems near the marked speed and it works for me:

.

 

On the other hand, the musical content of this movement is not that strong and if you are not careful it can very easily sound terribly banal, especially if played like a sewing machine. You need to make sure you're projecting proper drama, not a limp-wristed tantrum. Because of this inherent weakness it can certainly benefit from a slower pace and most of the performances on YouTube that I sampled were nearer Ramirez's - which I think sounds very convincing in that acoustic.

 

Just my view.

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I love playing the Scherzo from the 8th - it really is a lot of fun. In the symphonic version, there seems to be little for the organ to do!

 

I did give the first movement a bash at Chester Cathedral some years ago after Mattins. Always had the orchestral version in my head and never quite managed to get it up to the speed of Tortelier and the BBC Phil. Oh well.

 

Does anyone know if it is possible to purchase the orchestral versions in full score (perhaps with the organ part as a separate booklet) ?

 

I think they used to be in the Kalmus catologe, certqainly no.1 did.

 

Agree with your point about the scherzo of no.8, but I still don't think you beat the whole of number 5. Whilst all the movements are good, I find there's a much better sense of overall shape and architecture in the symphony as a whole. There are even some 'hairs on the back of the neck' moments as well.

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