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Programme Choices...


passion_chorale
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Hello all,

 

I thought I would make use of the legendary 'crowdsourcing' qualities of this board to assist me with coming up with some ideas for a diploma programme. Recently, I completed the Trinity 'ATCL' performance diploma, and I'm now turning my attention to the 'LTCL' performance diploma. I'll be looking at this in more detail with my teacher, but thought it would be a nice exercise for anybody with some time.

 

The syllabus can be found on pages 28-29 of the document accessible on the top rhs of this page:

 

http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1587

 

The requirements are for a programme length of 37-43 minutes, with a range of moods/style/tempi; the whole displaying artistic coherence. I think that the playing level is judged at the standard of a UK undergraduate level final recital. Entrants are not restricted to the listed pieces, and can request to play other pieces.

 

As you will see, there are some suggestions in the 'LTCL' category. I would like to learn the Bach Passacaglia; being such a monumental piece I suppose it would have to go at the end of a programme?

 

Apart from that I'm very open to suggestions at this stage. If we suppose that a performance of the Passacaglia comes in at 13-14 minutes, there would be plenty of time for something else. Personally speaking, I like counterpoint, and so have been hankering after doing Mendelssohn Son. III properly for a while. However, I don't do complex french stuff with fast passagework or much romantic repertoire, and perhaps this could be a good opportunity to delve deeper into those styles.

 

The performance organ is a very adaptable 3M mech. action instrument in a good acoustic.

All yours!

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Without want to suggest repertoire, I would look closely at the specification of the instrument concerned. Can you provide a link to the National Register? If you have a chance to hear it, that also is a good help. The other thing to consider is how much rehearsal time you are allowed. The practical points being appraised frequently can lead you to the correct repertoire to play in such situations.

All the best with it all.

Nigel

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Are you allowed someone to help with registration as well as page turning? On a strange organ, especially with limited practice time it is best to stick to stuff that, whilst demonstrating good organ mangement, doesn't involve too much intricate registration. When I did FTCL organ about 30 yeas ago now I think I was allowed about two hours practice on the rogan (which was the Harrison in St MAry's Bryanston Square).

 

Malcolm

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Without want to suggest repertoire, I would look closely at the specification of the instrument concerned. Can you provide a link to the National Register? If you have a chance to hear it, that also is a good help. The other thing to consider is how much rehearsal time you are allowed. The practical points being appraised frequently can lead you to the correct repertoire to play in such situations.

All the best with it all.

Nigel

 

Hello,

 

The organ is:

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=E00237

 

I would have a page turner and use of pistons. I have full-time access to the instrument.

 

Regards, David.

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Hello,

 

The organ is:

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=E00237

 

I would have a page turner and use of pistons. I have full-time access to the instrument.

 

Regards, David.

 

 

Nice organ - I remember it from my student days (people were less complimentary about the bells :'The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling, But Christ Church bells go boink").

 

When I've had diploma students, I've always urged them to try and select music which gives them the best chance of passing the exam. There's no sense choosing wonderful music unless you're sure you can bring it off to a standard acceptable to the examiners. Thus, although the Bach Passacaglia may be among the most fabulous pieces ever written for the organ, it's long, requires a lot of registration (unless you're Dutch) and has some hellish complicated moments, especially in the fugue (not to mention all those twiddly bits in the passacaglia before the pedal re-enters). (Having had lessons on a certain Harrison just down the road from Christ Church, Bristol, I'm tempted to add 'and it needs a Tuba', but that would be wicked). How about the Great G major (BWV 541) or the Great C major (Hickory, Dickory Dock)? In general, syllabi, even for FRCO, contain pretty wide differences in difficulty between various pieces, so there's no harm in choosing the easier options, to say nothing of those which will suit your instrument. I once tried, unsuccessfully, to talk an FRCO candidate out of playing Bairstow's Toccata on Pange lingua at Marylebone Parish Church. That was about fifteen years ago and he's still not an FRCO....

 

Sitting Trinity diplomas in a local centre means that you may not be examined by organists, which makes it slightly easier in some ways (they probably wouldn't know a Tierce en Taille if it dropped on them), but conversely means that it's worth trying very hard to get good contrasts between pieces and colourful registration that will appeal to someone who may not play the organ.

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Nice organ - I remember it from my student days (people were less complimentary about the bells :'The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling, But Christ Church bells go boink").

 

When I've had diploma students, I've always urged them to try and select music which gives them the best chance of passing the exam. There's no sense choosing wonderful music unless you're sure you can bring it off to a standard acceptable to the examiners. Thus, although the Bach Passacaglia may be among the most fabulous pieces ever written for the organ, it's long, requires a lot of registration (unless you're Dutch) and has some hellish complicated moments, especially in the fugue (not to mention all those twiddly bits in the passacaglia before the pedal re-enters). (Having had lessons on a certain Harrison just down the road from Christ Church, Bristol, I'm tempted to add 'and it needs a Tuba', but that would be wicked). How about the Great G major (BWV 541) or the Great C major (Hickory, Dickory Dock)? In general, syllabi, even for FRCO, contain pretty wide differences in difficulty between various pieces, so there's no harm in choosing the easier options, to say nothing of those which will suit your instrument. I once tried, unsuccessfully, to talk an FRCO candidate out of playing Bairstow's Toccata on Pange lingua at Marylebone Parish Church. That was about fifteen years ago and he's still not an FRCO....

 

Sitting Trinity diplomas in a local centre means that you may not be examined by organists, which makes it slightly easier in some ways (they probably wouldn't know a Tierce en Taille if it dropped on them), but conversely means that it's worth trying very hard to get good contrasts between pieces and colourful registration that will appeal to someone who may not play the organ.

 

Many thanks, this is very useful advice; it's also nice that you know the instrument! Recently, a big choir trumpet was added, which goes some way to solving the tuba problem...

 

I agree with you about the difficulty of the Pass. ; however I have limited time to play any music (Job/professional qualifying exams) so feel that I should conquer a limited amount of the canonical stuff at the moment, (and it is after all on the Trinity list for this level). My playing has improved a lot following a similar approach for ATCL. As you say though, the risk of failure is real. However, even getting it to the stage of being able to enter it into the Exam means that you are 75% of the way there. I can see how dropping diplomas could be a problem if you required them for career progression as a professional musician though. My strategy will probably be to take the risk, and to take it on the chin if I fail and not to complain after having been warned. And to practice a lot.

 

Best wishes, David.

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