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John Sayer

David Briggs at the proms

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The Royal Albert Hall must have been at least 70% full for David Briggs's Bach Prom last Saturday. Those making a full Bach Day of it may only have come to fill the gap between the Complete Brandenburgs in the morning and the orchestral transcriptions in the evening, but, whatever the reason, it was a heartening sight to see the stalls, boxes and the central part of the gallery pretty well full, not to mention several hundred in the arena (incidentally probably the worst place to hear from, thanks to the impediment of the wretched orchestral canopy).

 

The programme was a mix of original pieces and transcriptions, the two divided by a not-too-serious interview with DB himself. The Passacaglia gave us a big, classical plenum with all the Great mixtures (a tad relentless after a while) plus incisive pedal reed. In Wachet auf what sounded like a sprightly Choir Trumpet took the chorale melody.

 

However, the true revelation came with the transcriptions, with registrations blowing dust out of long-unheard pipes and reaching parts of the organ other recitalists never seem to reach; delicate strings and flutes in Sheep may safely graze, massed Violes etc in Virgil Fox's incredibly lush arrangement of Süsser Tod and some Tuba pyrotechnics in DB's own realisation of Orchestral Suite No 3, served up with infectious energy and fun.

 

All in all, the best £5 worth of organ music I've heard for a long time.

 

JS

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I only managed to catch the second half of the broadcast, due entirely to a late running wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed the broadcast .

 

If only I had a tuba or two to use next time I play some Bach - such fun

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the two divided by a not-too-serious interview with DB himself.

 

I especially liked his impression of JSB piloting an aircraft about to land in the UK... I felt that it rather non-plussed Sara Mohr-Pietsch :D

 

The transcriptions were very enjoyable; the last three movements of the Suite No 3 worked especially well, and as for the encore - cor!

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While there is no denying his technique and ability, and while I agree that you have to revel in the wonderful sounds that the RAH Willis can produce, I found it all a bit overpowering after a while. I agree with John Sayer about the Passacaglia. ("A tad relentless after a while")

 

Good to see so many there, though.

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Can anyone help me with a recording of this recital, please :rolleyes: ??

I was waiting in my car during my trip to Yorkshire when I heard the last piece ("Orchestral" Suite Nr. 3).

Exciting, but came home just too late to hear the recital on the BBC iPlayer!

Please mail me on gercoschaap[at]ziggo[dot]nl.

Thanx very much for replying!

Gerco Schaap, The Netherlands

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Can anyone help me with a recording of this recital, please :rolleyes: ??

I was waiting in my car during my trip to Yorkshire when I heard the last piece ("Orchestral" Suite Nr. 3).

Exciting, but came home just too late to hear the recital on the BBC iPlayer!

Please mail me on gercoschaap[at]ziggo[dot]nl.

Thanx very much for replying!

Gerco Schaap, The Netherlands

 

 

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

 

 

That's a shame, I hope Gerco gets hold of the recording somehow.

 

Just to make a general point, isn't David Briggs simply wonderful as an organist?

 

He has that extraordinarily rare talent and ability, which lifts the organ out of the church and onto centre stage of the concert platform. It's easy to see why he left cathedral music behind to concentrate on a solo career as a concert organist.

 

I'm sure someone will hjave posted it on the 'YouTube' category, but I would recommend a listen to his magnificent improvisation on the theme of "Old MacDonald had a farm" from a suitablly pastoral Gloucester.

 

MM

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Everyone probably knows this already, but just in case ...

 

It is possible to save streaming audio while you listen to it.

 

So if you want to save any part of anything you listen to on Pipedreams, or any of the BBC radio stations online, or anything else that doesn't offer you a convenient 'download' link, it's really quite easy.

 

I suppose there are many utilities around that will do the job, but I like Soundtap. It's simple to use, and the basic version (which does everything I need it to do) is free.

 

http://www.nch.com.au/soundtap/index.html (I have no affiliation with this company; I just like their product.)

 

You can always listen online, of course. But if you want to pop it on your MP3 player, or a CD ...

 

Best wishes

 

J

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Everyone probably knows this already, but just in case ...

 

It is possible to save streaming audio while you listen to it.

 

So if you want to save any part of anything you listen to on Pipedreams, or any of the BBC radio stations online, or anything else that doesn't offer you a convenient 'download' link, it's really quite easy.

 

I suppose there are many utilities around that will do the job, but I like Soundtap. It's simple to use, and the basic version (which does everything I need it to do) is free.

 

http://www.nch.com.au/soundtap/index.html (I have no affiliation with this company; I just like their product.)

 

You can always listen online, of course. But if you want to pop it on your MP3 player, or a CD ...

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

Hi

 

The point of streaming audio is to - theoretically at least - prevent private recordings (copyright rears its ugly head again). That said, the last time I wanted to recrd an audio stream I just connected the output of the computer soundcard to ad audio CD recorder. My only attempt at recording a stream in the computer failed with large digital spikes - a complete waste of time (but others may have had more success than I did.)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Thanks to members of this Board I am enjoying an MP3 recording of the Briggs recital.

The sound quality of Pipe Dreams is a bit poor.

Many thanks,

Gerco Schaap

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Hearing the Tubas being used in the Bach "Orchestral Suite" reminds me of an amusing moment at the Royal Albert Hall, when the late "Queen Mother" attended a concert, and then asked if she could see the organ afterwards.

 

The organist for the concert was the late Bill Davies (BBC staff organist/pianist), and he had the pleasure of showing HRH "the works" at the console; demonstrating some of the various sounds.

 

"MayI?" Her majesty, asked.

 

Bill Davies deferred and slid off the organ bench, as the "Queen Mother" slid onto it, suggesting that she would like to play a hymn.

 

Bill drew a few quiet stops on the Choir Organ, but HRH gave her famous smile, and with twinkling eyes, pushed the stops back in again.

 

"This is the one I like," she said; drawing out the big Tuba.

 

As Bill said, it was probably the loudest version of "Abide with me" ever heard in London!

 

MM

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Her daughter would not have been amused. She doesn't like loud organs. I know this not only because of tales about the west end Trumpets at St Paul's, but because I, personally, once offended her by accompanying the psalm too loudly one Easter Sunday morning (so I was informed, indirectly, after the event). I'm sure I was meant to be extremely disconcerted by this, but in fact it was a considerable comfort because, from that moment on, I knew that whoever's toes I might step on as I went though life, I would always be able to say, "Look, Chuck, I've upset more important people than you in my time."

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Her daughter would not have been amused. She doesn't like loud organs. I know this not only because of tales about the west end Trumpets at St Paul's, but because I, personally, once offended her by accompanying the psalm too loudly one Easter Sunday morning (so I was informed, indirectly, after the event). I'm sure I was meant to be extremely disconcerted by this, but in fact it was a considerable comfort because, from that moment on, I knew that whoever's toes I might step on as I went though life, I wold always be able to say, "Look, Chuck, I've upset more important people than you in my time."

 

Yes. How ungrateful of her. I'm assuming they were named with her in mind!

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Yes. How ungrateful of her. I'm assuming they were named with her in mind!

 

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

 

 

I recall HRH Prince Philip grimacing when a real trumpet fanfare included a really bum note at St.Paul's. It must have been at the wedding of Charles and Diana, I think.

 

Perhaps being surrounded by trumpets and fanfares for most of their lives, they have develeoped some sort of phobic aversion to them. The "Queen Mum" would probably have preferred a lone piper in the dome in any case.

 

Instead of a "Fanfare of trumpets" or a "Plaint of pipes." they should try a "V..V..Vroom of Vuvazelas" next time!

 

They'll soon be grateful for the return of the West End chamades.

 

MM

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