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The Organist Entertains


handsoff

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Possibly. There seems to be a cold front though surrounding Manderville, but a sudden surge of moderation would be welcome.

 

P

 

Ah, what have I said that people dont like? Im still on topic. It still all comes down to the organist being able to entertain.

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I never said that the organ shouldnt be heard in public again. Jean was using a simple registration, for the purposes of TV and the Public. The public DONT know the difference between a piano and organ sounds, let alone know the difference between an organ and a piano, they think they are both the same thing.

Well you said jean was playing music that was 30-50 years old and that it was out of date. In that case, then so is nearly 100% of organ repetoir, orchestral works, etc etc. Jean played what was expected of her. Should classical organist stop playing music that was written more than 30 years ago?! Should orchestras just do the same thing because its more than 30 years old?!

As for the ATOS, many of the people I have spoken to in the US dont have much of an opinion of the ATOS. Much the same as many in the UK dont have a great opinion of the COS. And when the COS go to the ATOS conventions, very few will go near them!

A majority of americans I have spoken to LOVE the Blackpool style, as does Richard Hills (that is where he started off). It has to be done properly, and there are only two or three organists who can pull it off as it should be. The current Blackpool style is best described as "contemporary" or "heavy" Blackpool, and its far from what it used to be except with it being in strict tempo.

Robert Wolfe is popular in the US and in Australia. Hes about as close to 50s/60s Dixon as you can get now.

 

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Well..............the organ style of synthesiser has been around a long time now.

 

If Hector Olivera had done his absolutely brilliant "Raiders of the lost ark," using everything at his disposal, do you think "the public" wouldn't have noticed that it didn't sound like a piano, but more like a full orchestra?

 

More importantly, do you think they might have noticed just how clever he is?

 

I think you underestimate "the public;" the general body of which includes many young keyboard players who are perfectly at ease with modern technology.

 

I just don't understand the obsession with Reginald Dixon, who was heavy handed the first time around, and totally predictable. His style is a complete turn off to most of the theatre organ crowd I know, and I don't know of many electronic exponents copying his style, unless they happen to be employed at Blackpool.

 

As for the age of music, isn't "pop" (ie: "popular") music exactly what it states on the packaging?

 

It is popular until the next generation take over the (rather mercenary) market, and most of it falls by the wayside. A few examples become the "classics" of their age; defining an era and often used as a reference point in the lives of "ordinary people."

 

It really isn't up to any of us to anticipate the next classic, or what will die as time marches on.......whatever will be, will be.

 

Classical music is as sub-divided as any other, but it is usually quality rather than fashion which keeps it alive. Certain things move in and out of fashion certainly, but they are usually picked up again by new generations. The music of Flor Peeters is seldom heard these days, but I can absolutely guarantee that it will enjoy a renaissance in years to come, along with many other forgotten or neglected works.

 

The classical market is, of course, much more discerning than the popular market.

 

I can't speak with absolute authority concerning Richard Hills, but I believe he was a pupil of John Norris at the theatre organ, and if so, about the last thing he would have been taught would have been the Blackpool style. He would have been taught properly, with more than a nod in the direction of the American style, where the left hand actually does something other than mark out time or plonk away at percussion effects.

 

At least Robert Wolfe took some lessons from Adrian Lucas when he was at Norwich, I believe; possibly because he wasn't too arrogant to believe that he had nothing to learn. (It's a while since I had a drink with Robert and David in the pub, but he's a pleasant chap with a good sense of humour).

 

MM

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There's an awful lot of greenfly about don't you think considering the very cold winter?

 

 

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It was terribly warm in February and March, and greenfly don't just eat you know.

 

As for educated fleas.....well......

 

MM

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I can see what other people talk about on other forums now...this is the type of forum they mean. Its a disgrace of a forum. If this is the type of attitudes applied elsewhere in the organ world..........no wonder its a bloody mess!

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

 

 

I just don't understand the obsession with Reginald Dixon, who was heavy handed the first time around, and totally predictable. His style is a complete turn off to most of the theatre organ crowd I know, and I don't know of many electronic exponents copying his style, unless they happen to be employed at Blackpool.

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Your description is about as far as you can possibly get from Dixon. His style was crisp, clean, light, lively and spontanious. Your giving a snobs description of Dixon. As for Richard Hills, when I have spoken to him, he has respect for the style, and he does enjoy it when its done properly, and has been known to play in the style at concerts around the country. The whole idea of the Blackpool style is based around the sound of a dance band. That is how Dixon used to play.

 

"Frankly, I doubt that anyone to-day would be turned on by replicating the style of "Mr.Blackpool" or any of his clones, whatever appeal it may have to a relatively tiny niche within the theatre organ world. "

Thats also crap. The blackpool style gets the LARGEST AUDIENCES. Richard Hills etc are lucky if they get 100 in the door, yet book a blackpool organist, you get 300-500 in the door- It proves itself what people want to hear. Bums on seats PROVE it.

I certainly cant see many "educated fleas" on here at all!!

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Your description is about as far as you can possibly get from Dixon. His style was crisp, clean, light, lively and spontanious. Your giving a snobs description of Dixon. As for Richard Hills, when I have spoken to him, he has respect for the style, and he does enjoy it when its done properly, and has been known to play in the style at concerts around the country. The whole idea of the Blackpool style is based around the sound of a dance band. That is how Dixon used to play.

 

"Frankly, I doubt that anyone to-day would be turned on by replicating the style of "Mr.Blackpool" or any of his clones, whatever appeal it may have to a relatively tiny niche within the theatre organ world. "

Thats also crap. The blackpool style gets the LARGEST AUDIENCES. Richard Hills etc are lucky if they get 100 in the door, yet book a blackpool organist, you get 300-500 in the door- It proves itself what people want to hear. Bums on seats PROVE it.

I certainly cant see many "educated fleas" on here at all!!

 

 

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I've seen over a thousand people at a Carlo Curley concert, but you tell us that he's an awful organist.....still....bums on seats.

 

Where did the dance bands go?

 

They were replaced by DJ's.....presumably better quality, because that's what people want to hear.

 

Perhaps it is your attitude which epitomises everything that is wrong with ordinary British people to-day.......easily pleased if there's plenty of noise and bounce, undiscriminating and happy to accept whatever rubbish is put before them.

 

I'd like to see most theatre organists appear with a brass-band. There'd be a mass walk-out long before the interval, because the audiences simply wouldn't tolerate it.

 

As for snobbery, perhaps you should ask yourself where the great "working class" musical activities came from.....youknow....the colliery and mill bands, the fantastic choirs and choral societies, music education in schools etc etc.

 

Funnily enough, it was organists who were very often the local driving force behind them,and if you don'tknow that, you don't know anything.

 

As for light music, Britain largely turned its back a long time ago, and if you want to hear it done properly, played by professionals, you have to go to America.

 

They don't do amateurish and cheap.

 

MM

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I know not whether I speak for others too, but this is now exceeding boring.

 

As for the assertion that this forum is a disgrace: it was fine, before: draw whatever conclusion you may from that.

 

On another personal note - I think that it is unfair to expect anyone who is seriously interested in the future of the pipe organ to have any views whatever on the playing of stuff on an electronic keyboard on a populist 'talent show' being able to bring a wider public interest to pipe organs and the music written for them. If these are the ways in which you believe a wider audience for the pipe organ can, will or may be brought about, consider this: the dilution of a medium rarely strengthens it.

 

DW

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I know not whether I speak for others too, but this is now exceeding boring.

 

As for the assertion that this forum is a disgrace: it was fine, before: draw whatever conclusion you may from that.

 

DW

 

Hear hear! Having been an active member of this forum for quite a few years now I have rarely seen anything approaching the implied condemnation of the vast majority of its participants by applying the word "disgrace". Had I been a moderator the remarks from Carrick would have attracted my censure long before now. I feel that it may be time for the moderating team to take some action.

 

Peter

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I was unable to understand the process of "carrick's" argument before, and I'm still unable, despite asking for clarification. It's an important topic and worthy of proper debate, but that debate must be reasoned. Bums on seats 'prove' nothing. The reasons why those bums are there, and may or may not continue to be there are so many and varied as to be impossible to judge broadly and then draw broad conclusions.

 

I haven't found it boring, I just don't quite understand the point, so don't know where the argument is going. There is a difference between opinion and argument. Both are fine if tempered, reasoned and in context and if this subject is what I think it's about, necessary.

 

AJS

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I know not whether I speak for others too, but this is now exceeding boring.

 

As for the assertion that this forum is a disgrace: it was fine, before: draw whatever conclusion you may from that.

 

On another personal note - I think that it is unfair to expect anyone who is seriously interested in the future of the pipe organ to have any views whatever on the playing of stuff on an electronic keyboard on a populist 'talent show' being able to bring a wider public interest to pipe organs and the music written for them. If these are the ways in which you believe a wider audience for the pipe organ can, will or may be brought about, consider this: the dilution of a medium rarely strengthens it.

 

DW

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Hear hear! Having been an active member of this forum for quite a few years now I have rarely seen anything approaching the implied condemnation of the vast majority of its participants by applying the word "disgrace". Had I been a moderator the remarks from Carrick would have attracted my censure long before now. I feel that it may be time for the moderating team to take some action.

 

Peter

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I am a Reginald Dixon fan, as also of Carlo Curley, and I recall that Carrick agrees with me, and MM disagrees, and I feel that is fine. People may not like each other, but we should respect that having differing views makes the world go round. I did query earlier on in the thread, why the title of "The Organist Entertains" had suddenly become heated discussion on the merits of RD and CC.

I find it interesting to learn peoples views and opinions especially if I respect them, but there is no need to be unpleasant to each other surely ?

Colin Richell

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I am a Reginald Dixon fan, as also of Carlo Curley, and I recall that Carrick agrees with me, and MM disagrees, and I feel that is fine. People may not like each other, but we should respect that having differing views makes the world go round. I did query earlier on in the thread, why the title of "The Organist Entertains" had suddenly become heated discussion on the merits of RD and CC.

I find it interesting to learn peoples views and opinions especially if I respect them, but there is no need to be unpleasant to each other surely ?

Colin Richell

 

 

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I agree entirely, and frankly, my patience has run out.

 

A forum should be about sharing knowledge and our reaction to what others do and how they think, rather than making statements and defending them to the last breath. I really don't care what people like or dislike, but I do care about understanding why they do or don't; especially if it has musical merit and credibility.

 

As I've stated previousy, I'm fairly immune to criticism, but I do take exception to anyone who refers to the members of this board as "snobs."

 

In spite of some incredibly well educated members and eloquent arguees (new word there!), the last thing I have found is snobbery.

 

Generally speaking we have and perhaps enjoy our differences, which is what a forum should be about.

 

MM

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On another personal note - I think that it is unfair to expect anyone who is seriously interested in the future of the pipe organ to have any views whatever on the playing of stuff on an electronic keyboard on a populist 'talent show' being able to bring a wider public interest to pipe organs and the music written for them. If these are the ways in which you believe a wider audience for the pipe organ can, will or may be brought about, consider this: the dilution of a medium rarely strengthens it.

 

DW

 

 

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I would be happy to agree with you David, but in the real world I struggle.

 

Forget all the nonsense about talent shows, and instead, consider the "entertainment market" as it stands. In most modern venues, pipe organs are not installed, and whether we like it or not, synths, electronic instruments, CD's (etc), are possibly the ONLY way that people will hear something approaching the sound of a pipe organ; be it classical organ or theatre organ.

 

You and I cannot alter that, and to some degree, we all have to live with it, even if it isn't what we would prefer, and even if the sound cannot, by definition, match up to that of pipe organs.

 

Indeed, the choice is fairly stark, and when it comes to hearing music arranged for a theatre organ, (which is where my musical interest lies), I can enjoy that even if the instrument is an electronic replica.

 

Of course, the real thing is even more enjoyable; espcially if it is handled by a real professional.

 

MM

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The point surely is not one of discussing the merits of Curley or Dixon but the langauge used. Yiou can love Carlo and Reg or you can hate them (or at least their playing) but introducing ad hominem arguments with words such as "snobbish" or "disgrace" is not acceptable.

 

What is snobbish anyway? I love Bach, Messiaen, Dupre; I also love Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and The Beatles. There are organists who do not like the last three. There are pop fans who do not like the former trio.

 

Are the non-likers of the former any more snobbish than their likers, or the non-likers of the second trinity more snobbish than the likers?

 

I am not a G&S fan. Some organists I know are. Does that make me a snob?

 

I am a Miles Davis and fan. Some organists I know are not. Does that make them snobbish?

 

I am also a Dr Who and Star Trek fan. Some organists I know.... and so on.

 

The only disgrace this forum has suffered recently is the description of it as being a disgrace.

 

Which it is not.

 

Peter

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Thank you MM for your sensible and reasoned response .

Eventually I want to install an organ in the Alexandra Palace Theatre when restoration is complete.

It would be prohibitive to even consider a pipe organ, so the only alternative is an electronic model suitable for a very large theatre, with a very high ceiling and great acoustics.

At venues without an organ one has to be hired in costing something like £600.

Presumably some of the new models are so small and light they can be easily transported to venues, unlike for example the Allen Organ which Carlo uses.

The Allen organ is very close to a pipe organ, but you can tell the difference, and in my opinion will never be as good.

Its a bit like cheating, recording a pipe organ and then relaying the sound through speakers, but it certainly seems to have caught on, especially for homes where there is not space for even a small pipe organ.

Colin Richell.

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I met Reginald Dixon once. He was a VERY nice man.... :)

 

 

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My uncle got to know him very well, and said exactly the same. I don't doubt his charm and his entertainment abilities for one moment, but he was a product of an era long past, and like Gracie Fields, Winifred Atwell, "Two ton" Tessy and George Formby, his style doesn't sit well in to-day's world. That's the real point, because he was a musical stylist above all else.

 

MM

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Jean Martyn is playing organ (and she is most certainly entertaining on tv) .She is playing a yamaha EL900 organ. If it was hammond, or classical she was playing she wouldnt have got through, people wouldnt have stood for it . Jean has been touring the UK, Europe and the US for 30 years playing piano, and organ,. She plays in classical, light, theatre, boogie woogie, rock n roll, jazz and pop styles. She has played for celebrities several times, including royalty, and has appeared on the bbc several times too.

"Personally I would have thought we had more than enough organists in this country already !" whats that suppose to mean?

 

I have read all the JUNK that has poluted this excellent forum as a result of this Jean Martyn business, and frankly I'm sick of it! Come on, this forum is intended to promote the ORGAN, that to my mind being principally the classical pipe organ, with a nodding deference occasionally to the fact that the theatre organ has pipes.

 

However, irrespective of whether or not Jean Martyn plays either type of instrument, what she 'performed' on BGT was nothing short of rubbish. The instrument she used is not fit to bear the title 'organ', as it is a 'multi-keyboard', and her 'Bobby Crush' style has no musical value whatsoever. It was patently obvious to any with an eye and an ear for detail that much of what we heard was pre-recorded, and her moments of arm-lifting betrayed this- the music continued when she wasn't touching the thing! It was all artless and appalling trash, fodder for the 'keyboard club' and so on.

 

It's her choice to do what she does, but why on earth did it ever merit a mention on here? Please, please, please, NO MORE!!!

 

CP

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