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Vierne - Carillion De Westminster


Guest Lee Blick
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Guest Lee Blick

Just been listening to a recording of this piece by Stephen Cleobury at Kings College, Cambridge. He made the middle bit sound like a Waltz, I'm not sure whether he or the composer intended that but I thought it was rather attractive and gave me a different perspective on this piece, perhaps it was not just about the bells but also Vierne's gentle nod to London's popular culture?

 

Have you discovered different perspectives or been influenced by fresh interpretations from live performances or recordings of organ pieces?

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Have you discovered different perspectives or been influenced by fresh interpretations from live performances or recordings of organ pieces?

I learnt a very good lesson at a Festival Hall recital given a few years ago by a well known concert organist about the need to start the Fugue in JSB's Fantasia & Fugue in G minor at a slower speed than one might otherwise wish. In the recital, the organist started the Fugue at a speed that simply was not sustainable once things got more complicated. The result was spectacular, rather like watching a car crash in slow motion as you gradually realise the inevitable is unavoidable.

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Have you discovered different perspectives or been influenced by fresh interpretations from live performances or recordings of organ pieces?

 

I would take this question a little further - has anyone fostered a favourite recorded interpretation, only to find another (perhaps years later) that trumps it ?

 

Personally, I have often found that the first-purchased recorded performance of a given work becomes a favourite, to which all subsequent versions are subservient.

A benchmark, if you like.

 

David Sanger's Jongen Sonata Eroica from Bath Abbey (pre Klais) is one such definitive example.

 

H

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Just been listening to a recording of this piece by Stephen Cleobury at Kings College, Cambridge.  He made the middle bit sound like a Waltz, I'm not sure whether he or the composer intended that but I thought it was rather attractive and gave me a different perspective on this piece, perhaps it was not just about the bells but also Vierne's gentle nod to London's popular culture?

 

Have you discovered different perspectives or been influenced by fresh interpretations from live performances or recordings of organ pieces?

 

=========================

 

 

I hadn't thought about this before, but I suspect that there is truth in the notion that performances we heard first, or nearly first, tend to be our favourites.

 

So whilst I can think of organs better suited to the task, the Selby recording of Germani playing the Reger "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben" is a personal bechmark. It sounds so effortless and musical throughout; on the strength of which, this has always been my first love as an organ-work. I've never varied from that, and even went to the trouble of learning it for my performance finals.

 

Now when it comes to Bach, there has been shifting sand. For instance, I never switched on to the "St.Anne" until Francis Jackson absolutely blew me away with a stupendous performance at Leeds PC, when I was probably about 18 years-of-age.

He did much the same with the Dupre "Noel variations" some years later, and I learned that as a consequence.

 

When you've been around a bit and heard a lot of music, there aren't many surprises left to enjoy. In fact, there is the distinct tendency to become the seasoned hack; comparing this with that, but not really enthused any more as a young organist might be.

 

Then something happens, like hearing Francesco Finnotti play the 2nd BACH fugue by Schumann. Suddenly, what I had always regarded as somewhat academic and semi-lifeless works, became the most exciting thing I had heard for a decade.

 

He takes that fugue at a blinding pace, but under perfect control. The passion, the excitement and the sheer "balls out" anger in that work seemed to shout out something in Schumann I had never heard previously. I played it over and over again; music in hand and marvelling at the technique and finger-substitution control.

 

So I learned it, and learned it, and learned it......6 months of really hard-work, but the reward was being able to play it like canned-lightning under firm control, and in the process, developing my technique and finger control considerably. (My fingers were like championship-winning racing-snakes by the time I had mastered it and the copy was in tatters!)

 

Then a couple of years ago......54 years of age, Holland, yet another baroque Schnitger organ to hear, not really in the mood: just going to hear the organ at the Martininkerk, Groningen because there happened to be a concert there.

 

Nice organ.....very nice.....stupendous in fact: I was starting to show interest.

 

Then came the Gigue Fugue....roll up trouser-legs, cross arms and away we went.....at about half the speed I always played it !

 

It was jaunty yet elegant, refined and almost delicate, using not many stops and no mixtures at all. I was walking on air and, at the same time, chastising myself for having murdered the work a thousand times as I sprinted to the finish and almost leapt off the organ like some crazed swashbuckling pirate

 

I heard a different Gigue Fugue, and now I play a different Gigue Fugue.

 

I suppose when nothing excites anymore, it's time to pack up or die, so I'm delighted to report that I can still be moved by new ideas and new performances of familiar works.

 

Now, about this wonderful Czech music which no-one seems to know.......

 

 

MM

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Just been listening to a recording of this piece by Stephen Cleobury at Kings College, Cambridge.  He made the middle bit sound like a Waltz
I don't know this recording, but I've just been listening to a performance of it by one of Cleobury's former organ scholars on the "Fit for King's" programme on Pipedreams here at 01:07:36 and he seems to be trying to do something similar at 01:09:00. We get something similar towards the end (at 01:11:30) where the accompaniment actually swamps the melody for a while. I wonder whether this is that mysterious and rather variable French registration known as "le coque-houp". But this was a live broadcast, which is bound to be a bit stressful even for the best, so I'm not inclined to be too hard.

 

I agree with the posters who find themselves influenced by the first recording they hear of a piece.

 

But one "different" interpretation that comes to mind was hearing Robert Clark's BWV 545 on the Bach at Naumburg CDs. The slow and magisterial opening to the prelude is about as far from Hurford as you could get and immediately made me go "wow!" Mind you, in that acoustic perhaps he didn't have too much option.

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I learnt a very good lesson at a Festival Hall recital given a few years ago by a well known concert organist about the need to start the Fugue in JSB's Fantasia & Fugue in G minor at a slower speed than one might otherwise wish. In the recital, the organist started the Fugue at a speed that simply was not sustainable once things got more complicated. The result was spectacular, rather like watching a car crash in slow motion as you gradually realise the inevitable is unavoidable.whol

 

That wouldn't be the same gentleman who recorded said same piece (542?) on my instrument for the BBC? The same chap who manages to play that Fugue well over a minute faster than my other 2 recordings? (4:52 as opposed to 6:07 !)

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=========================

I hadn't thought about this before, but I suspect that there is truth in the notion that performances we heard first, or nearly first, tend to be our favourites.

 

So whilst I can think of organs better suited to the task, the Selby recording of Germani playing the Reger "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben" is a personal bechmark.  It sounds so effortless and musical throughout; on the strength of which, this has always been my first love as an organ-work. I've never varied from that, and even went to the trouble of learning it for my performance finals.

 

Now when it comes to Bach, there has been shifting sand. For instance, I never switched on to the "St.Anne" until Francis Jackson absolutely blew me away with a stupendous performance at Leeds PC, when I was probably about 18 years-of-age.

He did much the same with the Dupre "Noel variations" some years later, and I learned that as a consequence.

 

When you've been around a bit and heard a lot of music, there aren't many surprises left to enjoy. In fact, there is the distinct tendency to become the seasoned hack; comparing this with that, but not really enthused any more as a young organist might be.

 

Then something happens, like hearing Francesco Finnotti play the 2nd BACH fugue by Schumann. Suddenly, what I had always regarded as somewhat academic and semi-lifeless works, became the most exciting thing I had heard for a decade.

 

He takes that fugue at a blinding pace, but under perfect control. The passion, the excitement and the sheer "balls out" anger in that work seemed to shout out something in Schumann I had never heard previously. I played it over and over again; music in hand and marvelling at the technique and finger-substitution control.

 

So I learned it, and learned it, and learned it......6 months of really hard-work, but the reward was being able to play it like canned-lightning under firm control, and in the process, developing my technique and finger control considerably. (My fingers were like championship-winning racing-snakes by the time I had mastered it and the copy was in tatters!)

 

Then a couple of years ago......54 years of age, Holland, yet another baroque Schnitger organ to hear, not really in the mood: just going to hear the organ at the Martininkerk, Groningen because there happened to be a concert there.

 

Nice organ.....very nice.....stupendous in fact: I was starting to show interest.

 

Then came the Gigue Fugue....roll up trouser-legs, cross arms and away we went.....at about half the speed I always played it !

 

It was jaunty yet elegant, refined and almost delicate, using not many stops and no mixtures at all.  I was walking on air and, at the same time, chastising myself for having murdered the work a thousand times as I sprinted to the finish and almost leapt off the organ like some crazed swashbuckling pirate

 

I heard a different Gigue Fugue, and now I play a different Gigue Fugue.

 

I suppose when nothing excites anymore, it's time to pack up or die, so I'm delighted to report that I can still be moved by new ideas and new performances of familiar works.

 

Now, about this wonderful Czech music which no-one seems to know.......

MM

 

You make several good points, MM.

 

I would agree with most - although I, too, have the Reger/Germani/Selby recording, I have to admit that for me, Roger Fisher at Chester and Paul Morgan (who taught me the organ for several years from the age of fourteen) at Exeter both eclipse the Germani recording. Both treat the work differently - notably Paul Morgan, who somehow manages to highlight certain fugal entries to thrilling effect.

 

I was also interested to read your comments (and those by another contributor) regarding speed during a live performance - I have heard many performances of the organ works of JSB in which I felt that the performer played too quickly - with the result that musicality became subservient to technique.

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You make several good points, MM.

 

I would agree with most - although I, too, have the Reger/Germani/Selby recording, I have to admit that for me, Roger Fisher at Chester and Paul Morgan (who taught me the organ for several years from the age of fourteen) at Exeter both eclipse the Germani recording. Both treat the work differently - notably Paul Morgan, who somehow manages to highlight certain fugal entries to thrilling effect.

 

I was also interested to read your comments (and those by another contributor) regarding speed during a live performance - I have heard many performances of the organ works of JSB in which the performer plays too quickly - with the result that musicality becomes subservient to technique.

 

============================

 

I wonder if Germani really wanted to play this work for the Selby recording? I often wonder.

 

One thing I can tell you about that particular EMI release; the organ was recorded with an abundance of ambience, possibly using ribbon mics which further increased the "warmth" of the sound. The pressings weren't exactly state of the art !

 

It's actually quite difficult to hear what Germani was actually doing in fine detail, but there is a very interesting quiet moment, where he "thumbs down" and picks out the chorale theme; something which Reger often did apparently. Also, in the sheet-music, (I think it's Universal) there are specific references to the use of manual to pedal couplers at strategic points, and I very much doubt that this could have been achieved without a registrant on hand; the fingers and feet being fairly fully occupied in the usual Reger musical traffic-jam.

 

I heard Germani play Reger live on two occasions, and it was absolutely sensational. That was the first time I heard the big BACH and the moment I fell in love with the work.....I think I was 15 at the time!

 

This business of speed is especially interesting, and I will avoid the subject of performer's nerves getting the better of them, which is not so much a musical decision as a musical handicap.....but it happens.

 

I'll assume that our imaginary organist is fully in control and emotionally stable in front of a crowd.

 

The problem we all face when playing Bach (or other contrapuntal music), is that we practice under particular circumstances and then attempt to transfer what we have learned elsewhere. Sometimes, we end up with a performance which is far too fast for the acoustic, but as a general rule, if one cannot HEAR what is going on, rather than simply reading and seeing what is going on, then the tempo is wrong. Sometimes it's good to record a practice session, and I have often been surprised just how quickly things seem afterwards, when at the console, one's thoughts and actions seemed about right.

 

I mentioned in my previous post two organ works. One was the Schumann 2nd BACH fugue, which when played at a gentle amble, lacks any sort of impact. Up the tempo almost to the "fiendish" category, using lots of fire and brimstone, and it becomes a real barn-burner; to quote an American phrase. It's as if the counterpoint is subserviant to the passion and ire of the work, which is, after all, marked "Lebhaft." Actually getting to the point where one can play very quickly, very cleanly and even in a detached style, requires REALLY serious practice to get the co-ordination right. So this is one way to go.

 

The "Gigue" fugue played at an elegant, sedate pace is something else. How often I, and others, have played this work as if it were outright panache for the sake of it. Yet hearing it played with majesterial control, as I did at Groningen, was to hear a profoundly beautiful work rather than a bit of pure showmanship. The organist drew attention to the music rather than himself, and I applaude that.

 

There is a tremendous difference in artistry between those who want to prove how fast they CAN go, those who take things as fast as they DARE go, and those who play things as fast as they SHOULD go.

 

MM

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Indeed, MM - wise words.

 

Yes, I did not intend to generalise when writing about speeds. There are pieces - and occasions - when a fast speed is both appropriate and almost de rigeur.

 

Two occasions spring to mind: the first, a recording of Cochereau playing the final movement from Dupré's Evocation incredibly fast. However, it is both clear and thrilling. It is also, as far as I can remember, extremely accurate!

 

The second was during a recital which I gave (and which was recorded) at Coventry Cathedral. One of the works was Mulet's Tu es petra. I have to say that I was not particularly conscious that it was particularly fast whilst I was playing it, yet, on listening to the recording, it sounded quite fast indeed. Fortunately I did not do anything awful to it - whilst not perfect in the way that one is able to make perfect a recording which is not 'live', most of the notes are in the right order!

 

However, is seemed to me that, on that occasion and on that organ, a faster speed than was normal was quite appropriate.

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Guest Lee Blick
I'll assume that our imaginary organist is fully in control and emotionally stable in front of a crowd

 

You mean like Arty, the 'Fusician'? :D

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Have you discovered different perspectives or been influenced by fresh interpretations from live performances or recordings of organ pieces?

 

One recent experience is the comparison between two interpretations of the Preludio from Marcel Dupré's 2nd Symphony: I already knew the one by Rolande Falcinelli at Angoulême Cathedral (France), which is highly powerful, dramatic, almost apocalyptic. After listening to many dull versions of the work, I recently listened to the interpretation by Helmut Schröder at St. Dionysius of Rheine (Germany), which is very joyful, almost jazz-like. The two versions couldn't be father apart from each other, but they both make a lot of sense.

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You mean like Arty, the 'Fusician'?  :D

 

====================

 

Idea for a CD cover..........

 

"Arty interprets like no other, constantly striving to reach the highs and lows of every performance as he constantly re-writes the meaning of musicianship"

 

It reminds me of a famous performance by a student pianist, the parents of whom were so determined to see him reach fame, hired a huge concert hall, paid for an orchestra and gave away free tickets. To make matters worse, a brilliant violinst agreed to turn the pages but declined to perform, whilst the student's brilliant piano tutor reluctantly agreed to stand-in as violinist.

 

The newspaper criticism which followed the concert is a classic.

 

It went something like:-

 

"Last night, we were treated to a most unusual concert before a capacity audience. Unfortunately, the man who turned the pages for the pianist should really have been playing the violin. The gentleman who played the violin should really have been playing the piano, and the young man who played the piano should really have been turning the pages."

 

Not quite as succinct as the film-critic who went to see the opening of "I am a camera."

 

Asked how she liked the lead actress, she replied, "I no Leica!"

 

Max Reger had the perfect answer to a newspaper art-critic, when he replied something like:-

 

"I am reading you criticism whilst seated in the smallest room in the house. I am happy to say that it will soon be behind me and forgotten"

 

Wordz iz fun.

 

MM

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Indeed, MM - wise words.

 

Yes, I did not intend to generalise when writing about speeds. There are pieces - and occasions - when a fast speed is both appropriate and almost de rigeur.

 

 

The second was during a recital which I gave (and which was recorded) at Coventry Cathedral. One of the works was Mulet's Tu es petra. I have to say that I was not particularly conscious that it was particularly fast

 

=======================

 

It's a funny thing, but whenever I play French music, I play it very fast, so as to get it out of the way as quickly as possible!

 

Head to head in the Widor, I'm not sure whether Jane Parker-Smith or myself would claim the chequered flag.

 

Mulet's "Tues es Petra" .....now that's given me an idea for a new thread....organ-works you really HATE!

 

:D

 

 

MM

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====================

 

Idea for a CD cover..........

 

"Arty interprets like no other, constantly striving to reach the highs and lows of every performance as he constantly re-writes the meaning of musicianship"

 

It reminds me of a famous performance by a student pianist, the parents of whom were so determined to see him reach fame, hired a huge concert hall, paid for an orchestra and gave away free tickets. To make matters worse, a brilliant violinst agreed to turn the pages but declined to perform, whilst the student's brilliant piano tutor reluctantly agreed to stand-in as violinist.

 

The newspaper criticism which followed the concert is a classic.

 

It went something like:-

 

"Last night, we were treated to a most unusual concert before a capacity audience. Unfortunately, the man who turned the pages for the pianist should really have been playing the violin. The gentleman who played the violin should really have been playing the piano, and the young man who played the piano should really have been turning the pages."

 

Not quite as succinct as the film-critic who went to see the opening of "I am a camera."

 

Asked how she liked the lead actress, she replied, "I no Leica!"

 

Max Reger had the perfect answer to a newspaper art-critic, when he replied something like:-

 

"I am reading you criticism whilst seated in the smallest room in the house. I am happy to say that it will soon be behind me and forgotten"

 

Wordz iz fun.

 

MM

 

Great story MM - it appeared in the Book of Heroic Failures a few years back. Thanks for reminding me of it. I think (but might be wrong) that the famous pianist (who actually turned pages) was Cortot and the famous violinist (who ended up playing the piano) was Joachim. Joachim owed the student pianist's father a favour, so booked the Salle Gaveau in Paris for the occasion - he only agreed to play himself when the father pressed him to perform to boost non existent ticket sales. Cortot just happened to be in the audience and volunteered for page turning when Joachim got nervous and asked for a volunteer.

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=======================

 

It's a funny thing, but whenever I play French music, I play it very fast, so as to get it out of the way as quickly as possible!

 

Head to head in the Widor, I'm not sure whether Jane Parker-Smith or myself would claim the chequered flag.

 

Mulet's "Tues es Petra" .....now that's given me an idea for a new thread....organ-works you really HATE! 

 

:D

MM

Excellent idea for a new thread MM - I'll pitch in first with Widor 5. Not just the Toccata - it's those lame central movements. You'd derive more benefit from filing your socks in order of purchase date. I also have a blind spot when it comes to Mendelssohn in general - but the G major Prelude and Fugue is aural Mogadon. Oh, and the Eben Moto Ostinato. Your turn...why do you hate the Mulet?

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Excellent idea for a new thread MM - I'll pitch in first with Widor 5.  Not just the Toccata - it's those lame central movements. You'd derive more benefit from filing your socks in order of purchase date. I also have a blind spot when it comes to Mendelssohn in general - but the G major Prelude and Fugue is aural Mogadon. Oh, and the Eben Moto Ostinato. Your turn...why do you hate the Mulet?

 

===========================

 

Well, what can I say?

 

I am in the middle of learning the Eben "Moto Ostinato"

 

I'll open up the new thread of "Works we love to hate," but in the meantime, would issue a few words of warning about the side effects of aural-Mogadon.

 

The symptoms are:-

 

- headache

- giddiness

- reduced blood pressure

- stomach upsets

- skin rashes

- changes in vision

- changes in the level of sexual desire

- inability to hold urine in the bladder

- jaundice - yellowing of the eyes and skin

- blood disorders - resulting in severe tiredness

- depression

 

 

I've known a few organists who suffer from all the above, usually after a trip to the "Bishop & Firkin"

 

:D

 

MM

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===========================

 

Well, what can I say?

 

I am in the middle of learning the Eben "Moto Ostinato"

 

I'll open up the new thread of "Works we love to hate," but in the meantime, would issue a few words of warning about the side effects of aural-Mogadon.

 

The symptoms are:-

 

- headache

- giddiness

- reduced blood pressure

- stomach upsets

- skin rashes

- changes in vision

- changes in the level of sexual desire

- inability to hold urine in the bladder

- jaundice - yellowing of the eyes and skin

- blood disorders - resulting in severe tiredness

- depression

I've known a few organists who suffer from all the above, usually after a trip to the "Bishop & Firkin"

 

:D

 

MM

You've set my mind at rest, MM. I'm not divulging which of the above symptoms might apply....S
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...those lame central movements

 

Have to disagree with SJF about this.

 

A year ago, I took part in a concert in a church on the south coast - a mixture of choral, piano and organ items. The organist of the church had promised to offer a couple of pieces.

 

This gentle 70+ man stepped up and rendered a fantastically lyrical II mvmt from Widor 5. It was well-played, well-registered and thoughtfully presented and the audience were attentive and appreciative. What more could one want ?

 

Sometimes the unexpected choices are just right...

 

H

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Have to disagree with SJF about this.

 

A year ago, I took part in a concert in a church on the south coast - a mixture of choral, piano and organ items.  The organist of the church had promised to offer a couple of pieces. 

 

This gentle 70+ man stepped up and rendered a fantastically lyrical II mvmt from Widor 5.  It was well-played, well-registered and thoughtfully presented and the audience were attentive and appreciative. What more could one want ?

 

Sometimes the unexpected choices are just right...

 

H

Thanks headcase - it's an entirely irrational hatred of mine :D

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I do agree with Stephen's comment regarding Widor V - I much prefer II or III - in fact, II is a particular favourite.

 

The hates - anything which I have heard by Petr Eben, or Hindemith (I find his sonati almost as boring as some of Beethoven's piano music - I did not say all, incidentally!).

 

Then there is William Mathias - (would this be one piece with different titles - or are there in fact several that just sound the same?) (miaow....)

 

But for the prize, I think that it would have to be Lefébure-Wély. I completely detest everything which I have heard by this composer. Strangely enough, according to Saint-Saëns, L-W was actually a good improvisor - in a totally different (and more serious) style to the stuff he wrote.

 

I think that I would rather appear on 'Surprise! Surprise!' than play his music in concert.

 

I notice that no-one seems to be able to agree on where to put accents in his name - I tried several internet sites and they were mostly different. Not that I am particularly bothered either way.

 

Oh, MM - excuse me mentioning it, but Tu es petra does not have a capital 'p' - otherwise it is the wrong sort of 'petra'. It is one of the most often mis-spelled titles in programme notes.

 

Other highlights have been:

 

'Music for organ and bras' (on a poster); 'Requiem! Conducted by the composer - John Nutter' (this on a poster outside the Methodist Central Hall, Coventry); 'Great Circuit Celebration - Special Sining by the Choir' (another church poster) and an unfortunate typographical error in the first word of a certain short choral piece by Franck, the text of which deals with 'bread of angels'.

 

Incidentally MM, I did not draw attention to your typo for any other reason than to give me a reasonable link to the above mistakes - God knows, I make enough typing errors myself....

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I do agree with Stephen's comment regarding Widor V - I much prefer II or III - in fact, II is a particular favourite.

 

The hates - anything which I have heard by Petr Eben, or Hindemith (I find his sonati almost as boring as some of Beethoven's piano music - I did not say all, incidentally!).

 

Then there is William Mathias - (would this be one piece with different titles - or are there in fact several that just sound the same?) (miaow....)

 

But for the prize, I think that it would have to be Lefébure-Wély. I completely detest everything which I have heard by this composer. Strangely enough, according to Saint-Saëns, L-W was  actually a good improvisor - in a totally different (and more serious) style to the stuff he wrote.

 

I think that I would rather appear on 'Surprise! Surprise!' than play his music in concert.

 

I notice that no-one seems to be able to agree on where to put accents in his name - I tried several internet sites and they were mostly different. Not that I am particularly bothered either way.

 

Oh, MM - excuse me mentioning it, but Tu es petra does not have a capital 'p' - otherwise it is the wrong sort of 'petra'. It is one of the most often mis-spelled titles in programme notes.

 

Other highlights have been:

 

'Music for organ and bras' (on a poster); 'Requiem!  Conducted by the composer - John Nutter' (this on a poster outside the Methodist Central Hall, Coventry); 'Great Circuit Celebration - Special Sining by the Choir' (another church poster) and an unfortunate typographical error in the first word of a certain short choral piece by Franck, the text of which deals with 'bread of angels'.

 

Incidentally MM, I did not draw attention to your typo for any other reason than to give me a reasonable link to the above mistakes - God knows, I make enough typing errors myself....

 

================

 

Well it just shows how much I know about Mulet! I have the music somewhere near the bottom of the heap.

 

I always thought it meant "Thou art Peter," but then, I understand that the French use the last word in a slightly naughty way.

 

Anyway, I suppose one could say that "Tu es petra" rocks.

 

I am intrigues by the dislike for Eben and Hindemith; two composers I actually like, to the extent that I am currently slowly working on learning the Eben "Moto Ostinato" and I have played Hindemith in recital. I actually think that the musical language of Hindemith offers a possible way out of applied cacophony and a return to contrapuntal writing. Maybe I just like linear music rather than vertical harmony....the difference between French music and the rest of the mainland European tradition perhaps.

 

Not strictly a typo, but I did enjoy the moment when we had a preacher talking about "The evils of drink" at a shared Methodist/Anglican service.

 

How could I resist including a work by Brewer?

 

I recall a delightful misprint in the Halifax Courier, when the incumbent organist, Philip Tordoff and myself performed a selection of transcriptions from a well known work prior to the commencement of an RSPCA service. The "Swan" sounded delightful with Piano and Cello solo, played by a chorister. The "cuckoo" was perfectly rendered (with clockwork precision) on the Great Hohl Flute. Then came the "Elephant," for which I found the first (and last) use for the Pedal Octave Wood, which trumped away wonderfully; the last note given over to the Pedal Ophicleide.

 

The local newspaper announced it as - Opening voluntary - "Cuckoo, Swan, & Elephant - Sans Carnival."

 

MM

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================

 

Well it just shows how much I know about Mulet!  I have the music somewhere near the bottom of the heap.

 

I always thought it meant "Thou art Peter," but then, I understand that the French use the last word in a slightly naughty way.

 

Anyway, I suppose one could say that "Tu es petra" rocks.

 

I am intrigues by the dislike for Eben and Hindemith; two composers I actually like, to the extent that I am currently slowly working on learning the Eben "Moto Ostinato" and I have played Hindemith in recital. I actually think that the musical language of Hindemith offers a possible way out of applied cacophony and a return to contrapuntal writing. Maybe I just like linear music rather than vertical harmony....the difference between French music and the rest of the mainland European tradition perhaps.

 

Not strictly a typo, but I did enjoy the moment when we had a preacher talking about "The evils of drink" at a shared Methodist/Anglican service.

 

How could I resist including a work by Brewer?

 

I recall a delightful misprint in the Halifax Courier, when the incumbent organist, Philip Tordoff and myself performed  a selection of transcriptions from a well known work prior to the commencement of an RSPCA service. The "Swan" sounded delightful with Piano and Cello solo, played by a chorister. The "cuckoo" was perfectly rendered  (with clockwork precision) on the Great Hohl Flute. Then came the "Elephant," for which I found the first (and last) use for the Pedal Octave Wood, which trumped away wonderfully; the last note given over to the Pedal Ophicleide.

 

The local newspaper announced it as - Opening voluntary - "Cuckoo, Swan, & Elephant - Sans Carnival."

 

MM

In successive Christmases at Winchester we had 'the shepherds visit the manager' and 'blessed is the fruit of thy worm, Jesus'.

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