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" Mystery " Programmes comments

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Just wishing to collate readers opinions on the issue of " the programme will be announced from the console ".

 

I ask this with regard to Mr. Carpenters scheduled recital at the Bridgewater in May.

 

Maybe this is a fashionable trend with Our American Cousins ?

 

The main point I am making is this, whilst not doubting Mr. Carpenters musical abilities I am more in doubt as to the capability of the instrument in the hall which has,shall I say,delicately, " limitations ".

 

 

Bottom line is would anyone be prepared to pay £15:00 up front and not have a clue as to the programme ( or is it program??!! ) content?

 

Concerts I have attended of a rock nature have, when announcing a " mystery guest " been pretty abysmal.

 

Possibly I have answered my own question!

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The main reason is the instruments, and the restrictions they impose on what Cameron would like to do. When he has not seen or played a particular instrument he is reluctant to put down a set programme. There are other factors which would also cause him to change what he might play.

 

Whatever he plays, be assured it will be an amazing experience for all who part with £15!

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I seriously doubt whether the precise programme is of any particular concern to those wanting to hear Cameron Carpenter (or Carlo, for that matter), so long as they are guaranteed a display of virtuosity - and that they can surely take for granted.

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I seriously doubt whether the precise programme is of any particular concern to those wanting to hear Cameron Carpenter (or Carlo, for that matter), so long as they are guaranteed a display of virtuosity - and that they can surely take for granted.

 

 

Thanks for the input on this one. I will mull your comments over and decide at a later date.

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A Polish friend came over twice a few years ago, and on both occasions, i sent him a recording, if i could, and a spec of the given organs he was going to play in recital. Everything went well, including his first public performance of the Whitlock C minor Symphony in Durham cathedral, (which he did at my request)

Peter

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Sounds like one to be avoided at all costs.

 

I don't go to concerts to hear the performer's technique: I expect he'll play everything far too fast to ensure that the audience can't miss it, though. And it sounds like he's going to talk to the audience, which I hate. And he hasn't taken the trouble to prepare his recital properly - not to the extent of deciding what to play, for instance.

 

Gosh, it really has brought out the Grumpy Old Man in me, hasn't it? Better not take me too seriously! ;)

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Sounds like one to be avoided at all costs.

 

I don't go to concerts to hear the performer's technique: I expect he'll play everything far too fast to ensure that the audience can't miss it, though. And it sounds like he's going to talk to the audience, which I hate. And he hasn't taken the trouble to prepare his recital properly - not to the extent of deciding what to play, for instance.

 

Gosh, it really has brought out the Grumpy Old Man in me, hasn't it? Better not take me too seriously! ;)

 

Nick, I think I like you!! I take you very seriously!

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Sounds like one to be avoided at all costs.

 

I don't go to concerts to hear the performer's technique: I expect he'll play everything far too fast to ensure that the audience can't miss it, though. And it sounds like he's going to talk to the audience, which I hate. And he hasn't taken the trouble to prepare his recital properly - not to the extent of deciding what to play, for instance.

 

Gosh, it really has brought out the Grumpy Old Man in me, hasn't it? Better not take me too seriously! ;)

 

I would also agree with this. Having watched Cameron Carpenter play a large toaster on DVD, I would not wish to hear him, it is simply not a style which interests me remotely. I have little sympathy with saccharine-laden music, performed with kaleidoscopic changes of registration every three seconds.

 

In any case, he may still cancel at the last minute, just as he did before.

 

I should rather hear our own David Briggs any day - he also has a truly virtuosic technique; but in Briggs' case, it is allied to faultless musicianship - and superb taste.

 

However, that is just my opinion....

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I have noticed that Dr. Simon Lindley, now asks for no applause after pieces, rather just playing straight through, and where by this was common in Durham Cath, when I used to attend recitals there years ago, Its seems a familiar occurence that what is going to be "played next", is well explained to all.

Peter

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I would also agree with this. Having watched Cameron Carpenter play a large toaster on DVD, I would not wish to hear him, it is simply not a style which interests me remotely. I have little sympathy with saccharine-laden music, performed with kaleidoscopic changes of registration every three seconds.

 

In any case, he may still cancel at the last minute, just as he did before.

 

I should rather hear our own David Briggs any day - he also has a truly virtuosic technique; but in Briggs' case, it is allied to faultless musicianship - and superb taste.

 

However, that is just my opinion....

[/quote

 

I am quite happy with your opinion Sir ;)

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I have noticed that Dr. Simon Lindley, now asks for no applause after pieces, rather just playing straight through, and where by this was common in Durham Cath, when I used to attend recitals there years ago, Its seems a familiar occurence that what is going to be "played next", is well explained to all.

Peter

 

Precisely Sir. I have attended numerous recitals where the performer has augmented the printed programme with vocal additions. I stress;" already printed programmes "

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I once went to a recital where there were (IIRC) twelve major works on the programme, and the recitalist spoke about each of them for a good five minutes. And then played two encores. Talk about losing the will to live. The pubs had nearly closed by the time we got out. ;)

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I once went to a recital where there were (IIRC) twelve major works on the programme, and the recitalist spoke about each of them for a good five minutes. And then played two encores. Talk about losing the will to live. The pubs had nearly closed by the time we got out. ;)

I couldn't abide an organist talking for so long - it would drive me up the wall!

 

But I wonder why so many people seem to object to organists giving their audiences a little (interesting and informative!) detail about the pieces being played. Surely it's our job to educate, arouse interest and inform as well as to entertain, is it not?

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I couldn't abide an organist talking for so long - it would drive me up the wall!

 

But I wonder why so many people seem to object to organists giving their audiences a little (interesting and informative!) detail about the pieces being played. Surely it's our job to educate, arouse interest and inform as well as to entertain, is it not?

 

For my fourpenn'orth, I am quite happy for performers to speak about a piece if:

 

- it is brief*;

- it is informative; and preferably

- it is slightly witty or amusing.

 

(* I remember attending a recital in foreign parts - I think it was Germany. The organist rattled on for several minutes and, apart from the occasional word, I didn't understand anything. Then the priest got up... !)

 

I go to recitals to hear the organ and the organist, usually in that order (of importance, not temporal - I hear them at the same time, of course!)

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Surely it's our job to educate, arouse interest and inform as well as to entertain, is it not?

 

Well yes - but why do we do it by talking at our recitals? You don't find this sort of thing going on (much) at "proper" concerts, recitals and opera performances. You may get a pre-concert talk, but it's a separate event you can choose to go to or not. What you do get, of course, are printed programme notes, which you can choose to read or not. In fact, these are ideal, since they offer an alternative source of amusement if the performance fails to hold your attention.

 

I recall the Halle having a visiting conductor about twenty years ago who rather liked the sound of his own voice. He was allowed to get away with it for a while, but I do recall one occasion when a groan went round the audience when he came on holding a microphone.

 

And on another occasion, Roy Goodman was conducting and turned to the audience to explain that the dry atmosphere in the hall was the reason why so much re-tuning of the strings was needed. He prefaced his explanation by saying "I am not a great believer in talking at concerts ..." at which there was a palpable - and possibly even audible - wave of approval.

 

Do we not have the confidence that our performances will speak for themselves?

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Sounds like one to be avoided at all costs.

 

I don't go to concerts to hear the performer's technique: I expect he'll play everything far too fast to ensure that the audience can't miss it, though. And it sounds like he's going to talk to the audience, which I hate. And he hasn't taken the trouble to prepare his recital properly - not to the extent of deciding what to play, for instance.

 

Gosh, it really has brought out the Grumpy Old Man in me, hasn't it? Better not take me too seriously! ;)

 

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

 

 

I am quite unable to understand the snobbishness of those who decry musicians who choose an alternative path and do something different.

 

Were the high-steel men who built the Empire States Building in record time, (never surpassed to this day), any better than Harold Lloyd, simply because they had a serious purpose and stayed out of sight?

 

What on Earth is wrong with extreme organ virtuosity as entertainment?

 

Does it harm anyone?

 

Does it depress people like many organ recitals do?

 

The fact that "aye" don't play like that, has nothing to do with not being capable, (which I am not), but the fact that I choose a different way.

 

If I can go and watch circus acrobats and gasp in admiration, or watch Olympic skiers hurling themselves off ski-jumps, why would I not derive pleasure from watching and hearing Cameron Carpenter strut his stuff?

 

Perhaps we are all so stuffy and high-minded, that we deserve the half-dozen or so who turn up to organ-recitals.

 

Bring back Mozart, and Rachmaninov, and Liszt, and Pagannini....go for it....Liberace and Virgil Fox!

 

I like to be entertained from time to time.

 

I despair.

 

MM

 

 

ps: Nick is not a grumpy old man. :P

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I go to recitals to hear the organ and the organist, usually in that order (of importance, not temporal - I hear them at the same time, of course!)

 

Personally I find the pieces played to be quite important and that the role of the organ and the organist is merely to convey the music.

 

I am beginning to think I am odd.

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Personally I find the pieces played to be quite important and that the role of the organ and the organist is merely to convey the music.

 

I am beginning to think I am odd.

 

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

 

 

Whatever happened to "Playing to the gallery," which is often what separated great organists from the rest?

 

When I listen to the sheer calculated 'cleverness' of Bach, and some of the showier moments, I'm quite certain that he was just, ever-so-slightly, the showman organist.

 

Other names abound.....Liszt, Reubke, Vierne, Gigout, Frescobaldi, Scarlatti et al.

 

Why do people write "impossible" music if it isn't to be heard?

 

The long suffering decline into piety and self-indulgence....Herbert Howells and an aniseed ball for a moment of guilty pleasure.

 

Back to "War & Peace" for a bit of light reading!

 

MM

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

 

 

Whatever happened to "Playing to the gallery," which is often what separated great organists from the rest?

 

When I listen to the sheer calculated 'cleverness' of Bach, and some of the showier moments, I'm quite certain that he was just, ever-so-slightly, the showman organist.

 

Other names abound.....Liszt, Reubke, Vierne, Gigout, Frescobaldi, Scarlatti et al.

 

Why do people write "impossible" music if it isn't to be heard?

 

The long suffering decline into piety and self-indulgence....Herbert Howells and an aniseed ball for a moment of guilty pleasure.

 

Back to "War & Peace" for a bit of light reading!

 

MM

 

 

 

Steady, Steady; we are all moving off beam on this topic. The original point made here was " do you agree/disagree with attending recitals to which you do not know the content of the programme beforehand ? "

 

Some very interesting comments made here which is fine. But, they are missing the original point entirely I feel.

 

So, draw a deep breath before you hit the keys ( keys on pc ok? )

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We ramble this way and that on the board. That's part of the pleasure.......

 

However, I wasn't the one who decided to take a sideswipe at a particular recitalist; possibly because I know just how musically and brilliantly he can play when the occasion demands.

 

Hector Olivera enjoyed similar comments from "the establishment" in America, but he could probably outplay 99% of them.

 

Each to his own......I would be delighted to hear Cameron Carpenter, if only to marvel at his technique and showmanship.

After Carlo Curley, the last showman I heard was the Late Sir George Thalben-Ball, and to brutally honest, his playing bored me.

 

I rarely attend recitals knowing what people are going to play.

 

MM

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Personally I find the pieces played to be quite important and that the role of the organ and the organist is merely to convey the music.

 

I am beginning to think I am odd.

 

No, I think the music is important as well, of course. Personally, however, I like to hear and compare organs.

 

I once went to an all-Messaien recital (!) just to hear the organ. Sorry, I do realise a lot of people here actually like Messaien!

 

Now I'm beginning to think that I am odd.

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Guest Roffensis
No, I think the music is important as well, of course. Personally, however, I like to hear and compare organs.

 

I once went to an all-Messaien recital (!) just to hear the organ. Sorry, I do realise a lot of people here actually like Messaien!

 

Now I'm beginning to think that I am odd.

 

 

Speaking of Messiaen, has anyone seen or heard of a CD entitled "A Pot Pourri of Oliver Messiaen Favourites for Organ" ?

 

R

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... However, I wasn't the one who decided to take a sideswipe at a particular recitalist; possibly because I know just how musically and brilliantly he can play when the occasion demands.

 

This is partly the problem - every time I have heard David Briggs play he has done so with great brilliance and superb musicianship.

Each to his own......I would be delighted to hear Cameron Carpenter, if only to marvel at his technique and showmanship.

After Carlo Curley, the last showman I heard was the Late Sir George Thalben-Ball, and to brutally honest, his playing bored me. ...

 

MM

 

As you say, each to his own. For my part, Cameron Carpenter's playing bored me to distraction. I am not impressed by the type of musicianship in which he seems to indulge. Aside from the fact that I do not particularly care for his choice of repertoire, I found that his style of playing actually got in the way of the music.

 

To be honest, these days I am much more interested in service playing - recitals do not hold much of an attraction for me. It is so easy to hear the same old warhorses trotted out - or having to endure contemporary works which often sound as if the compositional technique involved hitting the keys with two dead cats still in the stage of full rigor - and then writing down the result. However, listening to a really good organist playing for a mass (for example) - and I am thinking primarily of those which may be heard in many French and English cathedrals - can be a thrilling experience. On the one hand, this would include, in addition to a wide repertoire, beautifully crafted improvisations which provide excellent commentaries on what is taking place - and fitting the mood of the service exactly; then. on the other side, a range of sympathetic accompaniments to some excellent choral singing. Clearly standards will vary - and there will be some repetition of repertoire, but I much prefer this kind of experience to a solo organ recital.

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