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Mander Organs
Ronald Bayfield

Vierne's "Carillon de Westminster

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The most difficult bit is surely that sustained A in the left hand while the remaining fingers play a series of sixteenths. It starts OK but after a few bars you need to stretch a ninth. I find the easiest way is to use the left thumb in succession for GAG GBG etc. My question is: Vierne was quite a little man and probably have small hands. How did he play it? 

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Another possible work around depending on the organ is to play the held A in the pedals as well as the written pedal line. Possibly controversial but playing two naturals with the thumb wasn't possible on a heavy tracker action for me.

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Being about to play it on Wednesday lunchtime on a fairly heavy tracker action, I can't help wondering (regardless of Barker levers), whether even Vierne might have succumbed to temptations of the Notre Dame acoustic and not held all the As?  Heresy, I know....

Alternatively, there's this unlikely kind of solution (at around 1 minute in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93JiXloIhn4

and, (off-topic, sorry!), best wishes from Tim to Ron who I assume is he who often covered my absences from Brighthelm Church around 1996-2005.

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9 hours ago, Ronald Bayfield said:

Vierne was quite a little man and probably have small hands.

By no means a reply, Ron - but maybe this will be of interest - http://parismuseescollections.paris.fr/fr/musee-carnavalet/oeuvres/mains-de-l-organiste-louis-vierne-jouant-sur-un-orgue-a-cinq-claviers

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Uncanny!  I've been thinking about posting on this very aspect of the Carillon de Westminster for the past couple of weeks.  The best I can think of is to hop the thumb around, as suggested above, but it's not a very satisfactory (or safe!) way of doing things.  I tried holding the A on the Pedal, but it doesn't really come off at Fredericton Cathedral.

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