Jump to content
Mander Organs
Malcolm Kemp

Alain's Litanies- A query

Recommended Posts

last page of the Widor Toccata problematic for me these days - now there's an obvious candidate for swapping hands; has anyone tried that?

 

I know one professional player who always swaps hands for that bit. I suspect there may be a lot more of them around.

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

One trick I am finding helpful is to play every chord in this passage twice in a dotted rhythm, not worrying about the speed of the passage as a whole (in fact, playing it quite slowly to begin with), but concentrating on getting a swift, accurate movement from one chord to the next.

 

I hope all this makes sense.

 

Very good sense. I shall certainly use this approach! Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swapping hands round is always a possibility I consider in particularly tricky passages. Peter Wright was quite keen on this when I was having lessons with him a few years back and it can make passages much more manageable.

 

Malcolm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out here at 4'58''

 

He's playing what's indicated in the score - but with both hands on the same manual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am aware that this thread last drew breath in late June but I have been unable to post for some months owing to various mental aberrations on my part and I have only just now managed to come up for air and shout (successfully) for help. Here I must record my thanks to a fellow board member who helped with some technical problems and also encouraged me to see it through at a time when I was all for hanging up my boxing gloves and skis for good.

 

I have been much intrigued by the various posts on this subject and I fear that I can add nothing sensibly useful to the arguments already set out, apart from the suggestion that one plays it all as fast as possible in a large resonant building and no one will ever know if you've practised it or not (alright, Vox Humana, I'm coming out with my hands up).

 

I used to play the organ in a small village church in North East Dorset; the elderly gentleman who ran the village garage and who occasionally played the organ if I was away once asked me if I had ever heard of an organist called Jehan Alain. I confirmed my acquaintance with the music of Alain and he told me that he recalled Alain staying in the village for a few weeks during the war. Alain returned to France and lost his life almost immediately upon his return to his native country.

 

The old man was most unlikely to have made the story up and I wonder whether there are any who might, perhaps, be able to confirm this narrative. The village is called Wimborne St Giles, is about 10 miles north of Wimborne Minster and has a handsome Comper-restored church with a notable Harrison organ in the west gallery. It has, rather unusually, a full length 16' Open Wood on the pedals and is a remarkably effective instrument.

 

It's nice to be back!

 

David Harrison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to play the organ in a small village church in North East Dorset; the elderly gentleman who ran the village garage and who occasionally played the organ if I was away once asked me if I had ever heard of an organist called Jehan Alain. I confirmed my acquaintance with the music of Alain and he told me that he recalled Alain staying in the village for a few weeks during the war. Alain returned to France and lost his life almost immediately upon his return to his native country.

 

The old man was most unlikely to have made the story up and I wonder whether there are any who might, perhaps, be able to confirm this narrative. The village is called Wimborne St Giles, is about 10 miles north of Wimborne Minster

 

Good to see you back, David.

 

A bit of Googling suggests that there might indeed be something in this tale. If I am reading this chapter from Gavoty's book correctly (and, for me, the translation is almost as impenetrable as the French), it would appear that Alain was evacuated from Dunkirk to England in 1940 and did get to play an organ in Bournemouth. However, he could have been in Dorset for only a week at most. He landed in England at dawn on 1 June and was back in Brittany on 7 June. He was killed on 20 June.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a slow learner, I offer thanks for the posts on the double flats in the Vivacissimo - Declamato bar of Litanies.

I seek help about apparent ambiguities on the second-to-last page of Litanies in the Leduc edition of 1939 (&c).

In the fourth system, in the right hand chord with A flat at the top, is the C natural? In the next R.H. chord with G natural at the top, is the B natural? In the next R.H. chord is the A natural? [ie. do accidentals for one hand not apply to the other here?]

By the way, what about the Gs in the left hand in the first bar of the second page of the Leduc edition? Is G flat really intended here, unlike in the previous bar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With reference to Fiffaro's "Litanies, in the rapid descending chord passage that most of us take hands crossed", where exactly does that passage occur, please? It seems not obvious to me at this early stage of working on the piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know one professional player who always swaps hands for that bit. I suspect there may be a lot more of them around.

 

Ian

 

Vierne: Carillon de Westminster bb 35 -59 is good for swapping. Puzzled me for ages until the penny finally dropped ! I recall seeing one notable organist struggle to make the LH do all the hard work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With reference to Fiffaro's "Litanies, in the rapid descending chord passage that most of us take hands crossed", where exactly does that passage occur, please? It seems not obvious to me at this early stage of working on the piece.

 

Towards the end of the work, the 18th bar from the end (and identical passage 2 bars earlier). In my edition (Alphonse leduc 1971) the 18th bar from the end is on top of the last page of the 2nd volume, page 36.

 

This section comes immediately after the theme is in the pedals. and is played over a pedal g-sharp (tied to an a-flat).

 

Another way to find it is to count from the Declamato bar that started this thread - the 7th bar after.

 

HTH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a slow learner, I offer thanks for the posts on the double flats in the Vivacissimo - Declamato bar of Litanies.

I seek help about apparent ambiguities on the second-to-last page of Litanies in the Leduc edition of 1939 (&c).

In the fourth system, in the right hand chord with A flat at the top, is the C natural? In the next R.H. chord with G natural at the top, is the B natural? In the next R.H. chord is the A natural? [ie. do accidentals for one hand not apply to the other here?]

By the way, what about the Gs in the left hand in the first bar of the second page of the Leduc edition? Is G flat really intended here, unlike in the previous bar?

 

The C, B and A are natural: Accidentals from one staff do not effect the other staff. If you compare chords between the two systems, you'll find that all the RH chords are played by the LH, and you can use that to check each chord.

 

G natural is intended.

 

Have fun learning the work. It's worth working hard on the rapid descending chord section from early in the process, as this is the section that tends to separate the sheep from the goats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...