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The BBC ‘discovers’ organ music - BBC Ten Pieces Secondary Music


John Furse
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02xs0xh

 

Even if it’s not played on the organ . . . may not be by the named composer . . . and may not even have been written for the instrument.

 

The good thing is that it’s there and has good backup, in terms of resources. It will also widen knowledge and can, if ‘used’ properly, stimulate discussion re HIP (pka ‘authenticity’).

 

I have a similar gripe to the list of ten for the primary sector: where, apart from the VW, is the music softer than fff ? In the whole ‘20’, there is no piano concerto, despite this genre being visually the most exciting to watch- along with that for percussion. An organ concerto would have been a step too far.

 

Alternatives endlessly could be proffered. I would have liked at least one, more challenging work: Webern, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Berio, Boulez . . . etc. Just as the AB was, when I started its exam process in the 50s, music is assumed to begin with Bach ? !

 

But we’re here. The intention’s good and its success is to be hoped for.

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............................................ I would have liked at least one, more challenging work: Webern, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Berio, Boulez . . . etc. Just as the AB was, when I started its exam process in the 50s, music is assumed to begin with Bach ? !

 

 

The 'establishment' have always been slow to react well to 'modern' music! - but it is better now than it used to be! I remember being hauled in to see John Stainer, the Registrar of the RCM, following a performance of John Cage's 'Theatre Piece' one lunchtime in, about 1967. He told us that he wanted no more of this kind of thing!! I played the Webern Drei Kleine Stucke in a lunchtime recital there in 1968 - two or three minutes of hard work (they ain't easy!!) and they were dismissed, almost out of hand, by most listeners as not being really 'serious' music! "SL likes his novelties!!"

 

Likewise when I first examined for AB a heated discussion took place as to whether some Webern should be included on the Grade VI (?) list. Amazingly the piece made it onto the list but I think I only ever heard one performance of it!

 

Yes, I would have liked to see something challenging on the list, I don't know the Gabriel Prokofiev and it won't play on my computer but, I suspect a bit like firstrees, I wouldn't know where to start compiling my list of 10 pieces to inspire young people - but, and it won't surprise readers, it wouldn't begin with Bach!!

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