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Programming Question


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I am planning a recital programme for a few months' time. I originally thought I would open with the Bossi Étude symphonique, followed by the large Bruhns E minor, but have just found out that the organ I shall be playing only has 56 note keyboards, which cuts out the Bossi (you can't really rewrite that top A). I suppose I could just open with the Bruhns, but ideally I'd like to find an alternative, ear-grabbing opener.

 

One of the pieces I'm considering is the Murrill Carillon. Having tried it out to see how it fits with the Bruhns, I was immediately surprised by how similar their openings sounded. I'm wondering whether this would be an interesting juxtaposition in programming terms or not a good idea at all. I think I'm inclined towards the latter view, but I wondered what the team thinks.

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I think that it might depend on the expected audience. If it's likely to be a knowledgeable and enthusiastic bunch then I'm sure that the juxtaposition would work, but if it's a "Oh he's a nice chap, let's go and hear him play" group, it may be less apparent what you're up to.

 

Bear in mind though that I've never given a recital, my experience being purely as a listener. There are many who should be grateful for that... :D

 

Edit

 

I've just remembered that I did actually give a very short recital in my school's chapel in about 1969 as part of some school/Shakespeare celebration. I've no idea what I played but it's a fair bet that John Stanley, John Bennett and JSB figured. The audience would been teachers, some local dignitaries and my teacher, who was probably more nervous than I!

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But an experienced listener, nonetheless! Thank you for that thought. The audience will probably be a mixture. It will certainly include a number of (mainly amateur) organists, but it is likely that some of the church congregation will be present also - maybe even more of the latter than the former.

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Last year the Murrill was my staple concert opener (being as he was born in 1909) and it went down well at concerts which had both large numbers of organ afficianados and also a 'holidaymaker' audience.

 

Why not do it? If what you are doing is appreciated, then great but if it's not musically appreciated but still considered that it makes a nice sound that is also good surely?

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  • 3 weeks later...

In response to my original posting I received a very helpful e-mail from our friend Cynic with a long list of suitable openers, with the result that I am rethinking the first two items somewhat. However, my original question still remains and I would be interested in views. Does the Murrill followed by the Bruhns actually work in programming terms?

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In response to my original posting I received a very helpful e-mail from our friend Cynic with a long list of suitable openers, with the result that I am rethinking the first two items somewhat. However, my original question still remains and I would be interested in views. Does the Murrill followed by the Bruhns actually work in programming terms?

 

 

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

 

 

I don't think it does personally; the Murril rather light-weight (but fun), compared to the genius of Bruhns.

 

If you want to start with something which isn't too long, but grabs the attention of folk, there's no better opener than that splendid Bach Prelude in G major in North German style....I haven't the BWV to hand....it's the one which starts the the low G pedal-point, and a descending G major scale in the RH.

 

It would make a perfect link with Bruhns, because the Bach copies the style of Buxtehude.

 

However, a bit of a blast to another bit of blast, (no matter how lyrical the Bruhns in places), might be better broken up with a quiet CP from the pen of Buxtehude or even Walther.

 

I don't think it would be a good idea to over-shadow the Bruhns....it's too important a work to be relegated to second-fiddle, even if that would have been an artistic opportunity for Bruhns!

 

MM

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If you want to start with something which isn't too long, but grabs the attention of folk, there's no better opener than that splendid Bach Prelude in G major in North German style....I haven't the BWV to hand....it's the one which starts the the low G pedal-point, and a descending G major scale in the RH.

BWV568. I agree - it's a good piece to open a recital - not too heavyweight, fun and enjoyable. Not difficult either... it sets a nice tenor for the rest of the recital. It's also a useful voluntary - not too long or difficult on a Sunday morning.

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Thanks for those views. Appreciated.

 

Regarding BWV 568, I know the NBA has no problem with it so I suppose the attribution is secure (is it?), but I really cannot think of any work by Bach that sounds more convincingly like the work of J. L. Krebs. Is it just me? (Probably...)

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BWV568. I agree - it's a good piece to open a recital - not too heavyweight, fun and enjoyable. Not difficult either... it sets a nice tenor for the rest of the recital. It's also a useful voluntary - not too long or difficult on a Sunday morning.

 

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

 

 

Funny you should mention that Colin, because I know of one notable organist who struggles to co-ordinate BWV568 at the point when all the parts are working in similar rhythm. It took me a while to get that bit right too....I don't know why.

 

It's one of the curious things about playing anything. I can rattle through a part of the Liszt BACH which the same organist has struggled with for decades, and I can never understand his problem. He can play the Basill Harwood "Sonata", and the Willan "Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue", but I can never get to grips with them at all.

 

He plays Herbert Howells......I think that must be the reason for both his triumph and his failure.

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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Thanks for those views. Appreciated.

 

Regarding BWV 568, I know the NBA has no problem with it so I suppose the attribution is secure (is it?), but I really cannot think of any work by Bach that sounds more convincingly like the work of J. L. Krebs. Is it just me? (Probably...)

Did anyone else hear BWV568 on Pipe Dreams last week - played on a Hammond C3? :rolleyes:

P.

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Regarding BWV 568, I know the NBA has no problem with it so I suppose the attribution is secure (is it?), but I really cannot think of any work by Bach that sounds more convincingly like the work of J. L. Krebs. Is it just me? (Probably...)

Peter Williams certainly has doubts about the attribution:

"While part-writing, sequences and pedal points could suggest an early work of Bach, the absence of thematic interest does not"

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Peter Williams certainly has doubts about the attribution:

"While part-writing, sequences and pedal points could suggest an early work of Bach, the absence of thematic interest does not"

 

Nope, its too good and too short for Krebs. I play a fair bit of Krebs, and 568 has the brevity and concentration of development that much Krebs doesn't have. The C major is the one I play the most, and he just about gets away with it, but the C minor, D major and the E major, just have too much endless spinning of subjects and motifs. I really enjoy 568, I'll be gutted if it turns out to be by someone else! I agree that its hard to find a stylistic equivalent in JSB, but hey, surely he might have had a different waft of inspiration that day?

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Peter Williams certainly has doubts about the attribution:

"While part-writing, sequences and pedal points could suggest an early work of Bach, the absence of thematic interest does not"

 

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

 

 

Didn't he question BWV565?

 

Nice idea, but who else could possibly have written it?

 

I feel a bit the same about the BWV568.....far too authoratative and assured to be the work of anyone else.

 

MM

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

 

 

Funny you should mention that Colin, because I know of one notable organist who struggles to co-ordinate BWV568 at the point when all the parts are working in similar rhythm. It took me a while to get that bit right too....I don't know why.

 

It's one of the curious things about playing anything. I can rattle through a part of the Liszt BACH which the same organist has struggled with for decades, and I can never understand his problem. He can play the Basill Harwood "Sonata", and the Willan "Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue", but I can never get to grips with them at all.

 

He plays Herbert Howells......I think that must be the reason for both his triumph and his failure.

 

;)

 

MM

 

There's a slightly tricky bar on the final page, where the pedal is doing broken octaves in semi-quavers, the right hand joins in in semi-quavers (having missed the first semi-quaver on the beat) and the left hand plays some harmonic quavers. It usually needs some practice to get it all together - I find the left hand, for some reason, never seems to "stick" (probably because it's not really doing anything noticeable). But it's all over in a flash and the rest is really quite plain sailing.

 

I note, from Facebook statuses, that some of my friends seem to be recording late Howells this week. Reading between the lines, I don't think they're all relishing it particularly...

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  • 2 years later...
Regarding BWV 568, I know the NBA has no problem with it so I suppose the attribution is secure (is it?), but I really cannot think of any work by Bach that sounds more convincingly like the work of J. L. Krebs. Is it just me? (Probably...)

 

Well, what do you know? I see the new Breitkopf vol.4 rejects BWV 568 from the Bach canon and relegates it to the accompanying CD. It transpires that the piece actually doesn't have an attribution. It is transmitted in a manuscript in tandem with the "Little Harmonic Labyrinth" which is ascribed to Bach and a later copyist assumed that that ascription applied to both pieces. The editors of the Breitkopf edition consider the Labyrith attribution wrong anyway and also relegate that to the CD. Pieter Dirksen has apparently suggested W. F. Bach as a possible composer of BWV 568. I still hear a lot of J. L. Krebs in it, but then I know a lot more of his music than I do Friedemann's (and BTW, Krebs isn't always long-winded by any means). Realistically, there are probably several composers who could have written it. Kittel for one, perhaps?

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In recent years, I've taken to pairing BWV 568 with the even more dubious BWV 574 fugue, which I think is rather a fun piece. I suppose it may be rather naughty to do this, but there is ample precedent. While I'm at it, I had better confess to sometimes putting BWV 1068 (Air on the G string) between the prelude and the fugue....

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In recent years, I've taken to pairing BWV 568 with the even more dubious BWV 574 fugue, which I think is rather a fun piece. I suppose it may be rather naughty to do this, but there is ample precedent. While I'm at it, I had better confess to sometimes putting BWV 1068 (Air on the G string) between the prelude and the fugue....

 

Ah. Now I am afraid I shall have to notify Social Services....

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