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William Mathias - Organ Music

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'Just got this set - played by Richard Lea at Liverpool Met. - amazing sounds and interesting music I'd not heard much of before. 'Really worth getting!

 

A

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When I saw your post I was quite excited as I used to have the Chrisotopher Herrick LP. I looked the Richard Lea recording up on Amazon and see one track is listed as Fanfare for KBL and Toccata Giocosa. On the recording the former seems to run straight into the latter. Three questions struck me:

 

when did Mathias make this adjustment?

why did he?

is it entirely successful?

 

Peter

 

a 4th question: who KBL?

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When I saw your post I was quite excited as I used to have the Chrisotopher Herrick LP. I looked the Richard Lea recording up on Amazon and see one track is listed as Fanfare for KBL and Toccata Giocosa. On the recording the former seems to run straight into the latter. Three questions struck me:

 

when did Mathias make this adjustment?

why did he?

is it entirely successful?

 

Peter

 

a 4th question: who KBL?

 

"Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was Registrar of the Royal College of Organists at the time, and designed as an introduction to the third piece, Toccata Giocosa (1967)."

 

Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm

 

Graham

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"Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was Registrar of the Royal College of Organists at the time, and designed as an introduction to the third piece, Toccata Giocosa (1967)."

 

Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm

 

Graham

 

Thanks Graham. I play the Toccata but feel I would rather let it stand alone. That pedal intro with the following chords is, to my mind, some of the best of Mathias. That and the opening to Invocations which I have always found electifying.

 

Peter

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Is this fanfare the one that appears in the Oxford Book of Ceremonial Music and which, with me lacking other ideas and having looked at before but never played, I decided I will do on Sunday morning?

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"Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was Registrar of the Royal College of Organists at the time...."

Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm

Graham

I'm afraid the notes are incorrect. Barry Lyndon was the Clerk to the College; Hugh Marchant was the Hon Registrar.

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I'm afraid the notes are incorrect. Barry Lyndon was the Clerk to the College; Hugh Marchant was the Hon Registrar.

 

Indeed he was...........

 

Graham

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Is this fanfare the one that appears in the Oxford Book of Ceremonial Music and which, with me lacking other ideas and having looked at before but never played, I decided I will do on Sunday morning?

 

From memory, the Fanfare in the Oxford Book of Ceremonial Music was written in 1987.

 

Graham

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"Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was Registrar of the Royal College of Organists at the time, and designed as an introduction to the third piece, Toccata Giocosa (1967)."

 

Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm

 

Graham

 

It's rather good, isn't it! I've popped it on my ipod. Is it available from anywhere does anyone know? - (except from Richard Lea, presumably)

Martin

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Some of the music on the CDs is either new to me or sounds so much better than I remember it to be. I have already used the little Canzonetta. I agree with Peter Clark though - the KBL part of the Toccata Giocosa does sound a little strange - maybe it's just because I know the piece quite well without this newer introduction. The 3 unpublished early pieces are interesting - especially the final Toccata.

 

A

 

PS I also unashamedly play the Processional - some don't like it much but it always goes down well with 'them in the pews'.

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Thanks for the clarification.

 

I do really enjoy the 'Processional' which is perhaps Mathias' 'trademark' piece, and certainly the most widely played. Congregations enjoy it too - although it sounds modern it doesn't sound overly dischordant and for the organist it isn't that taxing - you're basically OK if you can play lots of consecutive fifths! I think the 'Recessional' which was written later is probably more interesting and more satisfying but isn't as approachable. As some point I will spend some time on it and learn it.

 

The 'Fanfare' that I referred to is worth learning. Rather different to the 'Processional', but modern and impressive sounding and again not too difficult.

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This thread on Mathias prompted me to look at my scores of his music. I looked at Invocations a few weeks ago, which I really like, but a piece of his which seems rarely to get an outing is Berceuse (1986) which, on a much fudged play-throught today, strikes me as being a most effective piece. Hardly a lullaby at times though! It employs, as one would expect, the idiosyncratic melodic, rhythmic and harmonic language of the composer, but I would suggest this is not one of his more demanding pieces, at least for the player, on a par I would say with Processional as far a technique is concerned. I wonder how it goes down with audiences?

 

Peter

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About 15 years ago I played the Chorale and the Canzonetta in a recital. It was on one of the those neo-classical type instruments in Cambridge (I can't remember which one) to break up an other wise 18th century programme. I think they went down well with the audience, a number came to enquire after the score at the end (possibly to see if they were as easy as they sounded?)

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I've come across a fair amount of Mathias' organ music before, although confess to only having ever played a couple out of the Organ Album, as well as the aforementioned Fanfare. I've got the Berceuse on a recording (James Lancelot at Durham) and the description given by Peter is most apt - 'Berceuse' seems a bit of a misnomer!

 

His music seems to have been lambasted somewhat, but like many others here, I find a lot of his music very approachable and listener-friendly. The Recessional in particular would seem a great piece to open a recital with.

 

VA

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Hyperion have got Vol.13 of Herrick's excellent Organ Fireworks series on offer at the moment on the website (in the "Please somebody buy me" section, unbelievably); this volume has the Recessional on it.

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"Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was [Clerk] of the Royal College of Organists at the time, and designed as an introduction to the third piece, Toccata Giocosa (1967)."

 

Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm

 

Graham

 

The venerable institution that was Barry Lyndon has, sadly, died recently.

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