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Musica Religiosa Orgelradio


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I am astonished.

Bookmarked already. Looking at the playlist, more ambitious even than PipeDreams!

(Very chuffed. 15 minutes on the Victoria Hall organ today in Hanley. Then the lighting crew needed the hall.)

Ian Ck

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Guest Hector5

We have been listening to Music Religiosa on our internet radio - in fact my wife is utterly addicted to it. The other programme that has become addictive is Organ Live which we can also receive on the internet radio. The fun with this is that you can request music from their vast archive, and it will appear quite quickly on the radio. This station can be received downstairs in the study, but for whatever reason cannot be receive on the Pure DAB/Internet radios.

 

I love technology!!!

 

Hector

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After several visits to the Netherlands I am beginning to appreciate the quality of their instruments, and to discover how much new music is composed and improvised there. Unfortunately the Dutch seem to think that no one outside of their country is likely to be interested, except in the well-known instruments such as at Haarlem, Alkmaar and Zwolle. It's possible, with a little knowledge of Dutch and a lot of persistence to find out what is available there, and to buy some sheet music and recordings over the internet, but this only scratches the surface.

 

This new internet radio channel makes it easier for people outside of that country to experience more of the sound of these instruments and the music created by Dutch organists.

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"Unfortunately the Dutch seem to think that no one outside of their country is likely to be interested, except in the well-known instruments such as at Haarlem, Alkmaar and Zwolle. It's possible, with a little knowledge of Dutch and a lot of persistence to find out what is available there, and to buy some sheet music and recordings over the internet, but this only scratches the surface."

 

I can understand why you think so. The Dutch attitude towards their organs is coloured by many things, not least the predominantly orthodox-protestant church culture which barely recognises the concept of the professional organist. You can appreciate that this extends into the absence of a culture of 'selling' their (often wonderful) churches and organs to outsiders. Completely different from the often quite professional marketing going on in many English Cathedrals. I should say that within NL, this varies from region to region, but it is significant. Alkmaar (for example) is more internationally oriented because of the enlightened (and internationally active) people there, and by the fact that the big church hasn't been a church for 15-or-so years (which brings its own problems but that's another story). The attitude in Alkmaar of the 'organs as international cultural treasures' is highly unusual in NL where organists still too often guard the instruments like their personal possessions, no matter one's credentials or impeccable approaches...

 

Can I once again plug the amazing 'Pronkjuwelen' box with its 5 CDs, book, and Will Fraser's fabulous 100-minute documentary about historic organs in Groningen? He manages to 'sell' something of the extraordinary nature of the subject to an international audience in a way the Dutch never could!

 

"This new internet radio channel makes it easier for people outside of that country to experience more of the sound of these instruments and the music created by Dutch organists."

 

I hope so.

 

Bazuin

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"Unfortunately the Dutch seem to think that no one outside of their country is likely to be interested, except in the well-known instruments such as at Haarlem, Alkmaar and Zwolle. It's possible, with a little knowledge of Dutch and a lot of persistence to find out what is available there, and to buy some sheet music and recordings over the internet, but this only scratches the surface."

 

I can understand why you think so. The Dutch attitude towards their organs is coloured by many things, not least the predominantly orthodox-protestant church culture which barely recognises the concept of the professional organist. You can appreciate that this extends into the absence of a culture of 'selling' their (often wonderful) churches and organs to outsiders. Completely different from the often quite professional marketing going on in many English Cathedrals. I should say that within NL, this varies from region to region, but it is significant. Alkmaar (for example) is more internationally oriented because of the enlightened (and internationally active) people there, and by the fact that the big church hasn't been a church for 15-or-so years (which brings its own problems but that's another story). The attitude in Alkmaar of the 'organs as international cultural treasures' is highly unusual in NL where organists still too often guard the instruments like their personal possessions, no matter one's credentials or impeccable approaches...

Bazuin

 

My thanks to Bazuin for his comments. I would appreciate a little more information about the "concept of the professional organist" which some churches lack. How does this differ from the situation in the UK?

 

There are many "stichtings" which raise money for the preservation of particular historic instruments, and which participate with others in arranging many organ recitals. Their horizens don't seem to stretch beyond their localities. Many of them have arranged recording sessions, valuable records of the instruments, and in my experience, usually excellent performances. When the organist puts on a performance, a few of these will be put out for members of the audience to buy, but that is often the only location at which they can be found. A few will mention them on a website, but with no facilities for remote purchase, not even Paypal.

 

There are recitals which, in the UK, would be considered "classical" and others, consisting almost entirely of improvisations on popular hymns, which in the UK would appeal to the "theatre organ" clientele. (I have a DVD of John Propitius improvising at the Martinikerk, Bolsward, which provides ravishing examples of the tone-colours that this organ can produce, but did there really need to be so much use of the tremulant?)

 

On the other hand, there are some excellent evangelists for the Dutch organ. Johan Stolk, the Secretary of the Dutch Historic Organ Society has organised annual tours in the last five years, with another one to take place this April, which have included Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Purmerend, Harderwijk, Amersfoort, Zwolle, Kampen, Zutphen, Utrecht, Bolsward, Leens, Nijkerk and ‘s Hertogenbosch. This year the tour is based in Groningen and we are due to visit several of the organs on the multimedia set that you recommended. He also assisted with Michael Barone's tour of the Netherlands recently.

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"How does this differ from the situation in the UK?"

 

In the UK there are pay scales for organists which apply in virtually all churches. These pay scales are considerably higher than their Dutch equivalents. However, in the Netherlands, many church denominations don't pay the organist at all as it falls under 'Gods' work. Interestingly, this doesn't apply to members of the clergy. In the Netherlands the pay scales are determined by qualification more than by duties performed. However, if you gain qualifications while you are in service, even though you are then entitled to a higher pay scale, often the churches will shrug their shoulders and continue paying you as an amateur. I and other colleagues went through months of negotiation to have pay raised according to our qualifications, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. The church culture simply isn't comfortable with the notion of spending money on music. (There are, as with all these things, notable examples).

 

Another example - traditionally the Dutch Protestant churches didn't have choirs. Many (perhaps a majority) of protestant denominations still forbid them. However, when the 1973 Dutch hymn book came out, many protestant churches started new choirs to teach the congregation the outlandishly angular new hymns of Tera de Marez Oyens and others. They were referred to not as 'choirs' but by a diminutive word 'cantorij'. So in the Netherlands today, Catholic churches have choirs, but protestant churches (even the few large ones with active music programmes) technically still only have 'cantorijen'. Music (other than congregational singing) is still frowned upon the protestant churches even if only implicitly in the liturgically progressive churches. (In other words, they say that music is integral to what they do but they don't invest in it - the concept of the organ or choral scholar is completely alien to them although it could work very well in certain places).

 

"There are many "stichtings" which raise money for the preservation of particular historic instruments, and which participate with others in arranging many organ recitals. Their horizens don't seem to stretch beyond their localities."

 

Hopefully my little lecture in Dutch church culture will help you to understand why. It's really a complicated situation, and there are wonderful examples of wonderful people with wonderful organs who are genuinely delighted when you make the effort to go and see and play them and who fight hard for the national and international recognition of their instruments (sometimes in the smallest and least likely places!). Too often, the organ is either off limits, or only accessible by parting with (literally) wads of cash. Then the Dutch organists wring their hands about the lack of young organists in the country... ;)

 

"There are recitals which, in the UK, would be considered "classical" and others, consisting almost entirely of improvisations on popular hymns, which in the UK would appeal to the "theatre organ" clientele."

 

I'm not sure they would appeal to our theatre organists - the latter is really higher art than anything the Dutch sub-culture organists can produce (see the much talked-about Tiger Rag film posted on the Youtube thread).

 

"(I have a DVD of John Propitius improvising at the Martinikerk, Bolsward, which provides ravishing examples of the tone-colours that this organ can produce, but did there really need to be so much use of the tremulant?)"

 

There are lots and lots of better recordings of this fantastic organ. Check out Sietze de Vries on Youtube.

 

Holland is wonderful really. But there are many problems there which take years to fathom, never mind try to solve.

 

Bazuin

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"How does this differ from the situation in the UK?"

 

In the UK there are pay scales for organists which apply in virtually all churches. These pay scales are considerably higher than their Dutch equivalents.

 

Bazuin

 

Hi

 

In your dreams maybe! Very few free churches pay their organists - except perhaps for weddings and funerals (and then often only if the person/people concerned are not members of the congregation) - and last time I looked the RSCM rates were well on the low side.

 

In getting on for 50 years of organ playing I've only received payment for 2 normal church services - both in Anglican churches (and that was only because the incumbents concerned insisted). To be fair, one church did pay an annual "music allowance" - and hear at Heaton our organist received a small honorarium until he retired.

 

Available rates for weddings & funerals vary around the country. In N.W. Essex, 8 years ago I was getting £50 for funerals and £100 for weddings - assuming no "difficult" music was required. Since moving to Bradford, the highest I've been offered (with one exception) is £50 - and that's for a funeral next week where I'm helping out a local organist who has a funeral of one of his choir members at the same time.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Is this site still working for you?

 

The screen comes up as before, but on my computer the sound stream is not found, so no music!

 

One theory is that the server can handle only a limited number of listeners, and that it has become (deservedly) too popular for its own good.

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  • 5 years later...

Still seems to be going strong....just the web address has evidently changed. You can listen via a browser at

 

http://radioplayer.npo.nl/radio4/?channel=39

 

or

http://icecast.omroep.nl/radio4-orgelradio-bb-mp3

 

I play the icecast stream through VLC and the Windows bar at the top updates with each piece showing the performer, organ, organbuilder and title of piece (annoyingly it omits the composer making it hard to track down things that I hear and want to learn! Maybe someone knows a weblink that shows the complete playlists.)

 

On the subject of Organlive, they now have three or four different spinoffs - the main one, a baroque station, a themed station and in December, 24-7 Christmas organ music. The trouble is, there is so much lovely organ music being streamed these days that I'm finding I never listen to other instruments any more!

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  • 2 months later...

I recently discovered that my hifi amp is able to play internet radio. Unfortunately none of the organ radio stations that it receives (Organlive, Orgelradio and Organ Experience) will play for more than a few minutes before they stop and restart, or even get stuck in a "loop" playing the same few bars over again. Can anyone suggest why this happens with these stations, when other classical music stations that my amp is able to receive seem to play flawlessly? It does make listening to music rather unenjoyable.

 

For what it matters the amp is plugged into my home network using an ethernet cable rather than wireless connection.

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