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Mander Organs
Guest Lee Blick

Vierne Finale Symphony No.1

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Oh God - it is 12h37 and I am due in school at 07h45!

 

Wuss. I'm still writing code, and I'm due up at 6.30, followed by a 60 mile drive... (a short hop for our American colleagues!)

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Seriously, I think you make a good point. It's not as though this board has closed membership, and there aren't many organ fora in existence. How long before Mr Nobile does actually find this board, and how would this thread come across? As you say - whether in seriousness or in jest, I can't tell - like a bunch of elitest snobs.

 

For once, I can understand some of stevec_whatsisname's vitriol directed towards ivory tower British organ snobs (and I'm not trying to be rude about anyone on here, I include myself in this label, despite not being a very good organist!).

 

It is indeed possible he might draw such a conclusion but the future of civilisation is indeed bleak if we cannot make the distinction between "elitist snobbery" on the one hand and the application of discriminating judgement to assess the relative position in the scale of artistic worth of something which has been put into the public domain accompanied by explicit claims as to its merits and artistic worth.I do not accept that I am snob because I consider Jane Austen a better novelist than Barbara Cartland or Michael Angelo's David a rather better example of the sculptor's art than the plasticene model made by next door's four year old.

 

On the contrary I consider I am making the use of the brain which I have been given for the purpose for which it was intended, ie thinking and making distinctions which can be defended on the basis of rational criteria. Moreover Andrew Lucas and several others have drawn attention to the fact that there are signs which indicate ability - if you listen to only the first ten seconds or so of the Vierne there would not appear to be all that much wrong with it.

 

In the bad old days people suffered disadvantage because others based judgements on quite irrelevant considerations such as colour, gender, or social class. It has been a most unfortunate consequence of the process of dealing with that injustice, that the message that making distinctions on the basis of irrelevant considerations is impermissible has been transmuted into "making distinctions on any basis is impermissible and/or elitist." Bentham would have called this nonsense on stilts ! If there are no degrees of attainment then anything is as good and as worthy as anything else. That the world does not actually work or think like this is capable of proof by a quite simple experiment. I invite everyone here next Valentine's day (or at the next available opportunity such as a birthday or anniversary) to arrange to take their significant other for a slap up meal at the greasiest and most sordid local cafe they can find, on the basis that it is snobbish and elitist to draw a distinction between the food to be had there and that at the local restarant with two Micheline Stars. I rather doubt that the extent of agreement with this proposition will be very significant. In fact , I rather suspect that many hereon would consider it likely to be seriously prejudicial to their future happiness and peace of mind to even make the attempt!

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Lest anyone be in any doubt (and some of you are) my comment was not intended to be taken seriously.

 

Yes, I was, but I was having a conscience attack about being rude about someone else's playing - probably because I'd just heard a recording of myself!

 

 

I'm cured now :)

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Yes, I was, but I was having a conscience attack about being rude about someone else's playing - probably because I'd just heard a recording of myself!

I'm cured now :)

 

I am glad to hear it but you did not need to feel guilty. I doubt anyone here is criticising Arty for his playing per se or even having it recorded or videoed, since these could both help him analyse what he is doing and how to do it better. It is not how he played but ratherwhat he wrote (or allowed to be written) about himself and published to the world generally that provoked my comments and , I believe, those of everybody else here as well. As far as I am aware you have neither published the recording of your playing nor advanced claims to having written a new page in the history of cultural development through your unique contribution not only to music but to art and literature as well. Being born in a stable does not make you a horse and you do not need to be able to lay an egg in order to tell a bad one.

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Have you looked closely at the rabbit?

 

Is it playing that portative organ, or....?

 

CENSORED!

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

I think that rabbit certainly loves his organ a lot. There's something rather worrying about the angle of his head.

 

Typical rabbit, really.

 

Colin :):)

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:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I think that rabbit certainly loves his organ a lot. There's something rather worrying about the angle of his head.

 

Typical rabbit, really.

 

Colin  :)  :)

Mmmm.... head forward - eyes almost closed - clearly at one with his organ.

 

As you say - typical rabbit....

 

Is that a shag pile carpet under the rabbit?

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I'm still wondering whether the rabbit is playing on a keyboard or is simply holding onto the side of the organ. The artist (a 14th Century monk from Norwich, if I remember correctly) has left it deliciously open to interpretation...

 

It's a good thing that rabbit hasn't discovered the organ in pcnd's signature. Just think of the damage that rabbit could do to the chamades and what a fright those chamades could give that rabbit....

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Guest Lee Blick

Are people seeing things into the rabbit that are just not there? All I see is a rabbit enjoying playing a portative organ. Considering that the artist is a monk, I am in no doubt the drawing is portraying one of God's creatures praising our Lord through the gift of music. :)

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Are people seeing things into the rabbit that are just not there?  All I see is a rabbit enjoying playing a portative organ.  Considering that the artist is a monk, I am in no doubt the drawing is portraying one of God's creatures praising our Lord through the gift of music.  :)

 

This could be a genuine belgian joke. Congratulations!

Pierre

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I've just listened to the Vierne again. The shock horror of it is just as strong during a second listening. It's just unbelieveably bad.

 

And it's made even worse because you know he could have learnt to play it properly but couldn't be bothered.

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If this is true (and I suspect that you are correct) this is supremely arrogant - to assume that he is more able to judge how to play a piece than the composer.

 

Incidentally, if one reads the account of Vierne's audition in order to gain the post of Titulaire at Nôtre-Dame, the types of improvisation which he was expected to produce make Arthur Nobile look even more ridiculous.

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Guest Lee Blick

I'm wondering wether it was a mistake by the producers that this take was added and not a different one. I think there is a story to be uncovered here more than he is a just a crap player. Perhaps Andrew Lucas is right, perhaps Arthur did learn it by ear, but suffers some sort of learning impairment or sight deficiency or even deafness. I think on reflection maybe we ought to find out more. :)

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I'm wondering wether it was a mistake by the producers that this take was added and not a different one.  I think there is a story to be uncovered here more than he is a just a crap player.  Perhaps Andrew Lucas is right, perhaps Arthur did learn it by ear, but suffers some sort of learning impairment or sight deficiency or even deafness.  I think on reflection maybe we ought to find out more.  ;)

 

However, this is at odds with his biography.

 

No, sorry, Lee - I think that he is simply a charlatan. I have watched the improvisation video carefully (and listened to as much as I can bear of the Vierne) and I am convinced that he is either:

 

unbelievably arrogant

lazy

musically dishonest

 

(or any combination of the above).

 

One or two of us have pointed-out that, underneath all the rubbish and pointless gestures, there is a basically sound technique.

 

I think that it is possible that he did learn things by ear - as a short-cut. However, I am fairly certain that, if he does suffer from any impaired ability, 'we' (the listener) would be the first to know. Under such circumstances, I cannot believe that one would wish to keep people guessing - if he is labouring under a handicap of some sort, then I believe he would attempt to harness our emotions (such as sympathy - or empathy) in order that we should see how he is able to 'triumph over adversity'.

 

Personally, I think that the only handicap form which he suffers, is impaired judgement - or taste.

 

I think that what we have here, is a clear case of flaunting the sound advice given (I think) by Mark Twain*: (when applied to a musical context)

 

"Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth - and remove all doubt".

 

* One of our tenors tells me that it was actually Denis Thatcher who said this.... :)

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