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Purcell in Durham


kropf
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Hello!

 

Hearing a very fine rendering of Purcell's Voluntary on an organ of the kind of Durham Cathedral is not what one would expect when opening the weakly BBC3 evensong stream.

Beside that it makes a nice frame together with the opening "Remember not, Lord", it is simply played in a most perfect manner. Compliments to Francesca Massey.

This recording confirms me in my attitude, that those instruments (and some of you are aware that I regularly sit an something comparable, though of poorer quality) are capable of much more than many do consider.

 

German organists first would ask: How could you play Purcell on such an instrument?

 

It is mostly the unequal temperament, what is missing, but beside that, it sounds lively and adequate. Could anybody from the region inform me, how the piece was adapted to the organ (as long as the stream is available online...)?

Trumpet solo on Swell and accompanying voices on Positive or....?

 

Thanks!

Karl-Bernhardin

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There have been certain times during my life as a listener when I have longed for the correct tonal resources for a particular peice of music, and this includes an unequal temperament. A Cathedral organ is all about compromise; do you tailor the sounds etc to cope with the accompanyment of a small portion of choral music from a small time period or do you aim for something able to cover a wider time period. The organist did their very best but I could not bear to listen to the re-broadcast of this and had to turn it off when the concluding voluntary was begining. PJW

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There have been certain times during my life as a listener when I have longed for the correct tonal resources for a particular peice of music, and this includes an unequal temperament. ...The organist did their very best but I could not bear to listen to the re-broadcast of this and had to turn it off when the concluding voluntary was begining. PJW

 

I tend to turn off when the playing is boring, be it even on instruments with appropriate tonal resources (what happens much more often, in my ears). But I can understand that there might be much more longing for the correct resources in voicing and temperament when the area is filled with compromising instruments.

In Germany, the majority of the new smaller and mid-size organs do now come with unequal temperament.

When I was studying in Vienna (end of 80ies...), there was a fashion among the local builders with poorer voicing capabilities to use unequal temperament everywhere, as (nearly) everything sounded better - well, it actually does.

An example I recently passed by online, where unequal temperament meets an instrument which would normally not have one, is this partly-symphonic Mathis organ of 2012. (Scroll down for spec)

 

I agree that this specific Purcell heavily relies on the effects of unequal temperament. But I think that players who know, what would happen to certain intervalls or notes on such an organ, are able to reproduce a faint rendering of those effects on equal-t. organs by other means.

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Hearing a very fine rendering of Purcell's Voluntary on an organ of the kind of Durham Cathedral is not what one would expect when opening the weakly BBC3 evensong stream … it is simply played in a most perfect manner. Compliments to Francesca Massey.

This recording confirms me in my attitude, that those instruments (and some of you are aware that I regularly sit an something comparable, though of poorer quality) are capable of much more than many do consider.

German organists first would ask: How could you play Purcell on such an instrument?

 

Being a German concertgoer, I sometimes think: How could anyone play such wonderful music on such a fine instrument without any ears, or with so little in between them?

 

After listening to the BBC stream, I can only say I'm with Karl Bernhardin Kropf in this. The playing is splendidly free and expressive, and also very stylish in the application of ornaments and rhythmic tension. Played in this manner, the music just makes the organ sound exciting. The accompaniment (Probably FaCh + Principal + Doublette), fairly neutral in itself, nicely balances the treble-heavy solo voice (my guess is SW OD II + Principals 4 + 2, + Trumpet), which in itself gains much brilliance from the ornamentation. It’s fire and ice, in a way. It’s good.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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