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Mander Organs

BBC Proms 2015


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Lots of really exciting music to listen to this year including celebrations of Nielsen's 150th anniversary, with Gillian Weir playing 'Commotio', (I wonder how many of us perform those three wonderful motets by Nielsen also featured!), Charles Ives' 4th Symphony I am really looking forward to and the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez ('Le marteau sans maitre', 'Notatons', 'Pli selon pli' amongst others) alongside more standard, well-known repertoire.

 

Stephen Farr is playing an organ concerto by Jon Leifs "Jón Leifs’s Organ Concerto harnesses the full power and scope of the Royal Albert Hall’s organ in its massive musical gestures........"

 

"The Royal Albert Hall’s great organ is showcased in a series of Proms this year, starting with Poulenc’s Baroque-inspired Organ Concerto – all Gothic flourishes and grand gestures" with James O'Donnell

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Lots of really exciting music to listen to this year including celebrations of Nielsen's 150th anniversary, with Gillian Weir playing 'Commotio', (I wonder how many of us perform those three wonderful motets by Nielsen also featured!), Charles Ives' 4th Symphony I am really looking forward to and the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez ('Le marteau sans maitre', 'Notatons', 'Pli selon pli' amongst others) alongside more standard, well-known repertoire.

 

Stephen Farr is playing an organ concerto by Jon Leifs "Jón Leifs’s Organ Concerto harnesses the full power and scope of the Royal Albert Hall’s organ in its massive musical gestures........"

 

"The Royal Albert Hall’s great organ is showcased in a series of Proms this year, starting with Poulenc’s Baroque-inspired Organ Concerto – all Gothic flourishes and grand gestures" with James O'Donnell

 

Is Gilian Weir really playing Commotio at the Proms this year? I know she did so in 1980, but I thought she'd retired now.

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Is Gilian Weir really playing Commotio at the Proms this year? I know she did so in 1980, but I thought she'd retired now.

 

 

My apologies - I have misunderstood how the website is working - and you are right, I was looking at a past performance of the work, she payed it in 1980, and not a performance for this year! That doesn't explain it very well - but if you look at the Proms website you will understand how I was confused - perhaps!

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My apologies - I have misunderstood how the website is working - and you are right, I was looking at a past performance of the work, she payed it in 1980, and not a performance for this year! That doesn't explain it very well - but if you look at the Proms website you will understand how I was confused - perhaps!

 

No problem - I quite understand. Although I'm disappointed she isn't making a comeback to play Commotio!

JJK

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No problem - I quite understand. Although I'm disappointed she isn't making a comeback to play Commotio!

JJK

 

I'm so sorry - I should have said "thank-you" for pointing it out!

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  • 2 months later...

Whilst listening to the recent Proms broadcast of the Poulenc Organ Concerto I heard an interesting remark. The announcer stated that the RAH organ boasted 1000 pipes. Has it been rebuilt again on the quiet with a very liberal amount of extension or did I not hear clearly want the man said? Perhaps one should not mention such trifling slips lest the apparent anti-organ departmentof the BBC gets even more vindictive!

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A video recording of James O'Donnell's performance of the Poulenc is available on the BBC iPlayer here, even if it wasn't broadcast with the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and Mozart K 551 from the same concert on BBC4 this evening. It's available until 24 August.

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Do you remember a piece that you heard for the very first time and that made you say "Wow!!" I can think of a number of pieces, among them music as diverse as the 'Sonata sopra Sancta Maria' from Monteverdi 'Vespers of 1610' (in about 1970!) - and, around about the same time, Pierre Boulez Piano 'Notations' - the latter of which are being performed in the orchestral version of 1975 at the Proms tonight!

 

Wow!!

 

..................... and the substantial work tonight - Holst - 'Planets' - wonder if they will use the organ or miss the part out - as so often happens! We shall see!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did anyone hear Stephen Farr playing the Jon Leifs 'Organ Concerto' on Friday night?

 

The BBC Symphony Orchestra were, as usual, quite superb and the Albert Hall organ (and Stephen Farr!) coped very well with the difficult score!

 

It was a refreshing change to hear an Organ Concerto that wasn't by Poulenc but, of course, that came earlier!!!

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Yes, I agree - I thought the BBCSO and Stephen Farr played brilliantly. The Leifs Organ Concerto is a brutal and terrifying piece. I found the opening arresting (even if a health warning is advised) and the similarly tough passacaglia developed effectively towards a fitting climax. After that, I felt the coda continued for about 6 minutes after the music had finished. It lost all momentum for me, where the thrashing around on the timpani followed by the orchestra and organ playing in glacial alternatum developed the musical picture no further. The final cadence was effected more by sheer brute sonic force than musical argument.

 

That said, I'm glad to have heard it and take my hat off to those who scheduled it and performed it.

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