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Vox Humana

Nautical Organ Pieces

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There is a fine toccata by Remzi in the Dover book 'Toccatas, Carillons and Scherzos' - I think it's in b minor? If not, a mighty fine book to have available on the shelf with some obscure gems amongst the warhorses!

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Then what about Paladilhi's oratoria Les saintes maries de la mer, transcribed for organ by Albert Renaud and available here:

 

https://urresearch.rochester.edu/institutionalPublicationPublicView.action?institutionalItemVersionId=3638

 

Nothing exists on Youtube under either composer so it must be pretty obscure but Renaud wrote some decent stuff and Paladilhi was highly regarded in France....

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Well, I've decided that I'm going to run with the Rawsthorne Humoresque, because one kind forum member has very generously given me his copy, and one or other of the "watery" Reuchsel Images (both if I can swing it), because another, equally kind, member has lent me his.

 

It's been said before but I'll say it again: the helpfulness of people on this forum is simply fantastic and I'm really most grateful to all of you who have helped with suggestions and copies.

 

For anyone interested, the Reuchsel Images are much more approachable than I feared. In terms of difficulty I'd put them on a par with Messiaen's La Nativité. Reading the notation is actually probably easier. The greatest difficulty, I'm finding, is that Reuchsel writes very full chords which need to be played legato but which can't be achieved by "creeping" over the keys in the usual way. Lightening-quick (and accurate!) hand-shifts seem the only solution - and I need to make it work in a fairly dryish acoustic too. But there's nothing insurmountable here. Two days' work and already the easier one is coming along nicely. OK, so to date the St Tropez barges are still banging against each other rather than rocking and the crashing waves at Port Cros definitely sound more like a car crash, but they'll come together with practice.

 

I also rather like the lavender fields one: Douceur des champs de lavande fleurie. (Am I right in interpreting douceur in this context as fragrance? My French is dodgy!)

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Edwin Lamare Op 91 Concert Fantasia upon The Sailor's Hornpipe, British Grenadiers and Rule Britannia,

I had to find this for a recent occasion at Coventry Cathedral for the installation of the new Archdeacon who had been in a similar post in the Royal Navy. I have it if anyone wishes a PDF.

Best wishes,

Nigel

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Dear Nigel,

I hope you are well. Can you kindly send me a pdf of the Lemare Concert Fantasia? It sounds great fun.

 

All best wishes,

 

David (Patrick)

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Would it be possible to have it uploaded to imslp if you have a pdf version Nigel? Lemare died in 1934 so it should be copyright-free (though i suppose that depends how old your edition is). That site is a treasure trove of things, but it's only as good as what has been uploaded. Between that and scorser.com I have managed to expand my repertoire beyond my wildest dreams since I finished building my home practice organ.

 

Regarding the Renzi toccata, thank you to Davidb for pointing me in the direction of the Dover book. A copy is on its way to me in the post right now!

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Vox, There are a couple of sea-related movements in the Eugene Reuchsel Huit Images de Provence. Assauts de vagues aux rochers de l’Ile de Port-Cros, and Balancements des barcasses colorées au Vieux Port de Saint-Tropez.

 

I am due to play these pieces next weekend (along with the Hornpipe Humoresque). I have really enjoyed learning them, particularly the one about the coloured launches, which I think is quite lovely. As I have to introduce them verbally, can anyone tell me, please, how I should pronounce Reuchsel? The family had settled in France in 1824, so did they retain the original Bavarian pronunciation in the twentieth century (I can cope with that), or had they adopted a French one? If the latter, what is it? (Roo-shell??)

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Hi all,

 

Returning to the Mander fora (with thanks to John Mander and Rachel Mawhood) after quite a while away then a brief period of "lurking"...

 

I realise that I'm rather late on this topic, but Flor Peeters' "Lied to the Ocean" (the 1st movement of his Lied Symphony) came immediately to mind. If not directly nautical (as in "mucking about in boats"), it certainly creates an effective sound-image of rolling mid-ocean swells.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Whitlock's To Phoebe isn't really about the sea, at all. The piece that is connected is his March for the 'Phoebe', that was HMS Phoebe, a Dido-class cruiser, which was active on the Malta convoys. Whitlock wrote it in July 1942 for the ship's band. The 2-stave, short score surfaced in a pile of music at a Bournemouth jumble sale (in 1978, I think), sent along by Byron Brooke, who had been leader of the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra during the War. It's an excellent nautical march, very crisp and bouncy. Robert Gower's organ arrangment was published by Novellos, in an organ album - Processionals - which is probably out of print now.

 

Whitlock's friend, Bernard Walker (dedicatee of the former's Fanfare) composed a chorale-prelude on Melita (For Those in Peril...) which he worked in counterpoint with The Sailor's Hornpipe. Although this is still in MS I recorded it on an organ CD - St Bride's, Fleet Street. Great fun. I've often wondered whether the Scherzo from RVW's A Sea Symphony might make a good organ piece, even without Whitman's words.

 

Malcolm Riley

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It's remarkable how the Sailor's Hornpipe fits almost exactly as a descant to Melita. I must confess to having been occasionally outrageous in the last verse of Eternal Father....

 

Vaughan Williams' brass band March on Blow away the morning dew sounds good on the organ (as, indeed, does Holst's St. Paul's Suite), and the melody has strong nautical connections (I think it's used by the Marines).

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