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Mander Organs
David Drinkell

Howells: Saraband in modo elegiaco - oops?

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When one changes organs, as it were, the business of revising registrations can result in things hitherto unnoticed coming to light. Getting Howells's Saraband in modo elegiaco (from the Six Pieces) ready for performance in Fredericton Cathedral, I realised that I have always played the second beat in the right hand at bar 21 as C naturals, but there is no accidental to modify the C sharps earlier in the bar. Having played the piece for years, obviously the C naturals sound right to me now. Am I getting it wrong?

 

Incidentally, we had three baptisms at the Cathedral yesterday, two at 10.00 and one at 11.45. At the 11.45 service, one of the godparents was in Calgary (about the same distance west from Fredericton as London, England is east) and was represented on Skype (he apparently had a better view than most of the rest of the congregation). This was a first for us - has anyone else experienced it?

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Am I getting it wrong?

 

I fear so. Definitely C sharps. I don't think there can be any doubt about this. If you look at the opening bar, and bar 22 - and indeed many other bars in this piece - you will see that bar 21 is really only reiterating the three-note cell ("appogiatura", main note, repetition of main note) that pervades the whole piece. I can't recall ever hearing a recording in which the notes you question are played as C naturals.

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Yes, I guess so. I wasn't 100% convinced about the opening figure, in the light of what he does with it later on, but I think you're right.

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