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Faure Requiem


Martin Cooke
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I could do with some advice, please, on the best edition to use for organ accopaniment of the Faure. (Sorry - can't see how to do an e acute on an ipad!) i have played it before but have lost my copy. I have the "new" Rutter edition but from a cursory glance at it, it goes into four staves in a couple of places and whilst I can cope with that, I just wonder if anyone has a suggestion or two. Of course, I need to have some cognisance of what the choir will be using - Novello, I think. Many thanks.

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I've used Rutter edition on the last three occasions that I've accompanied the Faure (my copy is now liberally annotated with references to page numbers and rehearsal figures from the Novello edition). I have always engaged the services of a page turner with sufficient keyboard skills to add some of the music on the additional staves. Some may see this as cheating, but I would ague that it's a perfectly legitimate way of realising an orchestral reduction.

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I could do with some advice, please, on the best edition to use for organ accopaniment of the Faure. (Sorry - can't see how to do an e acute on an ipad!)

No iPad here but I'm guessing the keyboard works on the same principle as the iPhone: try keeping your finger on the "e" and a slew of differently accented "e"s should appear.

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I would second Paul Morley - the Rutter edition is excellent: it is basically the original (1892?) Faure organ part as he wrote it. Faure's orchestral parts enhance the organ part with the texture of the strings and colours of the brass and woodwind but all the necessary notes are in the organ part.

 

I don't feel it's necessary to play every note when it goes into 4 staves - many of them are lost anyway - it is just there to add to the organ part and your ears will be the best judge - I feel parts like the cello lines and of course the Trumpets in the Dies Ira should be added. John Rutter's notes in his editorial sum up exactly how the 4-stave sections should be used.

 

If I remember, in the sanctus I play the bottom two or three of the sustained notes on a 8ft stop in the pedals, the arpeggios in the left hand on a separate stop and the solo violin part on a good principal stop in the right hand.

 

I would strongly recommend listening to a recording with an orchestra to know how to colour the organ part: there's a section towards the end of the Agnus Dei that has a superb Trumpet/Tuba solo in the tenor before the recapitulation of the opening and personally I feel a lot of music is lost if it is left out. However, it's not there in the organ part but I've written it in to my copy.

 

The other thing I would second in John Rutter's editorial is to be quite sparing in use of 16ft pedals. I only use 16ft pedals when the double basses join the cellos on the bass line.

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I would second Colin Harvey's suggestions to the letter.

 

With the exception of the 16' pedal thing, I use the Rutter edition and do almost exactly the same, and I'm now inclined to follow his lead re: the use or no of 16' pedal stops.

 

If you take this advice, you'll find that all will be well. Anything else will make itself apparent at the "dress" rehearsal. At that point it will be a simple matter to make necessary adjustments, however slight.

 

Good luck.

 

 

I would second Paul Morley - the Rutter edition is excellent: it is basically the original (1892?) Faure organ part as he wrote it. Faure's orchestral parts enhance the organ part with the texture of the strings and colours of the brass and woodwind but all the necessary notes are in the organ part.

 

I don't feel it's necessary to play every note when it goes into 4 staves - many of them are lost anyway - it is just there to add to the organ part and your ears will be the best judge - I feel parts like the cello lines and of course the Trumpets in the Dies Ira should be added. John Rutter's notes in his editorial sum up exactly how the 4-stave sections should be used.

 

If I remember, in the sanctus I play the bottom two or three of the sustained notes on a 8ft stop in the pedals, the arpeggios in the left hand on a separate stop and the solo violin part on a good principal stop in the right hand.

 

I would strongly recommend listening to a recording with an orchestra to know how to colour the organ part: there's a section towards the end of the Agnus Dei that has a superb Trumpet/Tuba solo in the tenor before the recapitulation of the opening and personally I feel a lot of music is lost if it is left out. However, it's not there in the organ part but I've written it in to my copy.

 

The other thing I would second in John Rutter's editorial is to be quite sparing in use of 16ft pedals. I only use 16ft pedals when the double basses join the cellos on the bass line.

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I would strongly recommend listening to a recording with an orchestra to know how to colour the organ part: there's a section towards the end of the Agnus Dei that has a superb Trumpet/Tuba solo in the tenor before the recapitulation of the opening and personally I feel a lot of music is lost if it is left out. However, it's not there in the organ part but I've written it in to my copy.

I agree with practically all that has been said by Paul Morley and Colin Harvey. I would advise though that the recording with orchestra should be of the Rutter edition itself; the Cambridge Singers made one under Rutter's direction almost thirty years ago. There may be others of the Rutter, but I do not know. Many other recordings though tend to be of the so-called Roger-Ducasse edition, at which one should askance if one reads Rutter's fascinating account of the genesis of the various versions and editions.

 

If playing from the Rutter edition, I use a suitably proficient page turner who plays the second keyboard part of the Sanctus.

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Thank you so much for all your help and advice. Clearly I need to read up Rutter's thoughts, look at his score in more detail (which I haven't yet), and listen to the Cambridge Singers' recording with pencil in hand. This isn't until May so I've got time to sort it out.

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I, personally, would not be happy using anything other than the Rutter score. However, when I was at Chester, we had the Roger Ducasse piano reduction edition (the original one I think ...) My boss was convinced it was the best. If you're very good at playing piano transcriptions of orchestral scores on the organ (as with mozart masses etc etc) perhaps challenge yourself! I'd keep things comfortable at go with Rutter - it will be much less of a head ache.

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As others have said, the Rutter is the easiest to play. It's not difficult to adapt the four-stave bits by holding big chords and playing the harp parts on a different manual.

 

In the 'In Paradisum', I find it easiest to play the lowest part on 8' pedal, adding 16' later on when the texture warms up.

 

Be warned, the Roger-Ducasse edition (I think) has the semiquavers in 'In Paradisum' laid out differently and this can be terminally off-putting if someone else is using a different edition. I don't think there would be problems if some had Rutter and some Novello.

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What about the Bärenreiter edition? Anyone using it? Although I don't know it myself, it does appear to be useful for choir+organ performance; organ part is written on three staves (there's a score sample on the Bärenreiter website). I'd be interested to know if anyone, who's been playing the Requiem more often, has compared it to the Rutter edition. Peters and Carus both seem to be using the 1900 full orchestra version (no organ solo versions here, only piano reduction).

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I had a quick flick through the Baerenreiter edition as a friend had a copy - I really can't remember it that well, except it seemed very... Baerenreiter. From the sample on website, well, the first page doesn't really present the most difficult challenges for an editor/arranger so it's not really possible to form an opinion. The Rutter edition presents the original organ part, as Faure wrote it, with extra indications of notes added by the orchestra in small notes. In his editorial JR seems convinced of the conjecture that the 1900 orchestration may have been delegated to somebody else (i.e. not Faure) because it is not of the same standard as the 1893 edition. Therefore, there is a train of thought that the 1900 version is not Faure's work. Roger-Ducasse seems to have prepared the piano reduction of the 1900 edition. Personally, I'm not sure what value there is to an organ transcription based on a piano reduction of the original organ part prepared by a 3rd party if you can just get the original organ part...

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