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Widor's Toccata as you don't usually hear it


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At Westminster Central Hall tonight we heard Sidney Torch's arrangement of "That Toccata" for organ and orchestra.

So far, so good. But the organ (just rebuilt earlier this year) obviously enjoyed it so much that it didn't want to stop...

After the final chord we were treated to an extended encore of the bottom F on the 32ft reed - at least five minutes, and that was *after* the blower had been switched off in an attempt to cure the problem! :P

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At Westminster Central Hall tonight we heard Sidney Torch's arrangement of "That Toccata" for organ and orchestra.

So far, so good. But the organ (just rebuilt earlier this year) obviously enjoyed it so much that it didn't want to stop...

After the final chord we were treated to an extended encore of the bottom F on the 32ft reed - at least five minutes, and that was *after* the blower had been switched off in an attempt to cure the problem! :P

 

 

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

 

 

Ner' mind Sid Torch!

 

Oop 'ere we expect t'brass players alone to play it, wi'hout all yon mamby pamby strings spoilin' it.

 

Seriously....this is bloody amazing!

 

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=420341254873 :o

 

 

MM

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

 

 

Ner' mind Sid Torch!

 

Oop 'ere we expect t'brass players alone to play it, wi'hout all yon mamby pamby strings spoilin' it.

 

Seriously....this is bloody amazing!

 

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=420341254873 :P

 

 

MM

 

This is truly amazing - I don't think most of us could play it that well on the organ!

 

I am always gobsmacked by the versatility of band players. Orchestral trumpeters would tell you it was impossible to keep one's lip for that long!

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This is truly amazing - I don't think most of us could play it that well on the organ!

 

I am always gobsmacked by the versatility of band players. Orchestral trumpeters would tell you it was impossible to keep one's lip for that long!

 

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

 

 

Famously, Andre Previn said, after conducting Black Dyke Band, "I wish I had brass players like this in the LSO!"

 

The amazing thing is, that in spite of pit and mill closures, these bands not only flourish, but have reached a quite staggering level of virtuosity which makes them famous around the world; Black Dyke being one of the most consistently brilliant, with professional quality leadership and conductors. They even have a composer in residence and have commissioned works from some of the best, as well as entice top arrangers like Gordon Langford.

 

In our recent ramble about the Anglican church-music tradition and the origins of it, I think I mentioned the importance of the brass bands as well as the local choirs, and the brass band movement was entirely born of working-class roots, and still retains that to a considerable extent; being open to all who want to pursue it to whatever level of which they prove capable.

 

Of course, with Black Dyke, there is a bit of a history of organ and brass, in that Roy Newsome FRCO was for a long time their principal conductor, and John Clough (the organ builder) their principal euphonium player. The fame of the latter is nothing short of legendary.

 

I know that I've mentioned it previously, but hearing "Black Dyke" win the triple championship at the Albert Hall in, I think, 1974, when they played Edward Gregson's "Connotations for Brass," remains one of the musical high-points of my life. The performance was absolutely electrifying, and for a little while, no-one applauded. When they did.......... :P ....they went berserk.

 

Organ and brass are a fine combination of sounds, and how I yearn for a re-release on CD of an old LP made by E Power Biggs, entitled "Heroic music for organ & brass" issued by Columbia. Sadly, it hasn't happened yet, but it is just a wonderful album, should anyone discover the master tapes.

 

I'm sure I've said it before, but we could usefully exploit the world of brass in combination with the organ, and reach a far wider listening public.

 

MM

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It used to be common practice (pre ~1960) for British players, of good taste, to hold on to the pedal note after the final chords on the manuals had finished. Thalben-Ball, did this for example. :P

 

 

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

 

 

Virgil Fox did it too......but then he would, wouldn't he? :o

 

MM

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I must admit that even in my youth this did make me question what the meaning of good taste was among organists.

 

Paul

 

 

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

 

 

Apparently, it's now "Speckled Hen," "Bishop's Finger" and "Taylor's Landlord."

 

MM

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

 

 

Virgil Fox did it too......but then he would, wouldn't he? :P

 

MM

 

 

Back home when I was a teenager, the Borough Organist used to do this. We used to refer to him as Left-Boot Lenny. Strangely enough, a lot of the stuff he used to play is coming back in fashion, and we now recognise the instrument itself as being an extraordinarily fine beast.

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N08698

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It used to be common practice (pre ~1960) for British players, of good taste, to hold on to the pedal note after the final chords on the manuals had finished. Thalben-Ball, did this for example. :P

 

I have also encountered this, particularly on the early BBC broadcasts, however it was probably done to create an acoustic in a dry studio?! :o

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I have also encountered this, particularly on the early BBC broadcasts, however it was probably done to create an acoustic in a dry studio?! :P

 

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

 

Absolutely right!

 

Virgil Fox, often playing in very dead acoustics in America, (such as the Riverside Church used to be like), used a more sophisticated method.

 

He would roll-off the last chord from the top down, with the pedal note coming off last. The effect was surprisingly good, and not as weird as one might imagine it to be when it was done right.

 

I'll have a dig around for an example, but I'm not sure I will find one.

 

Edit:- Found one!

 

MM

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Virgil Fox, often playing in very dead acoustics in America, (such as the Riverside Church used to be like), used a more sophisticated method.

 

He would roll-off the last chord from the top down, with the pedal note coming off last.

MM

 

How, that's one of the tricks I learnt for playing flexible winded organs - release the lower pipes that require more air flow first, and you drive the pitch of the higher notes up. Rule of thumb, play notes requiring more wind first, release them last: Roll up when starting, down when finishing.

 

Pfiff - or are we still hung up about using real names!

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http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/st.../rte-indent.gif

It used to be common practice (pre ~1960) for British players, of good taste, to hold on to the pedal note after the final chords on the manuals had finished. Thalben-Ball, did this for example. :blink:

 

John Dykes Bower (c 1962) used to release last chords at St Paul's by rolling -off from the top down. His hands and arms finished up over his left shoulder. Just as well that page turners stood on his right or they would have had to duck! When I asked him why, he explained that the cathedral's reverberation period was longer for high notes than for low notes. This technique helped the last chord to die away as a chord. He didn't want it to sound as if he'd taken the left hand and pedal off early. I presume he didn't do it in less reverberant buildings - but I never asked.

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

 

Absolutely right!

 

Virgil Fox, often playing in very dead acoustics in America, (such as the Riverside Church used to be like), used a more sophisticated method.

 

He would roll-off the last chord from the top down, with the pedal note coming off last. The effect was surprisingly good, and not as weird as one might imagine it to be when it was done right.

 

I'll have a dig around for an example, but I'm not sure I will find one.

 

Edit:- Found one!

 

 

MM

 

How could you possibly listen to such an arrangement?? Languish in the real thing

, and maybe there is a touch of pedal left at the end. or very slow action?
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