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Simon Preston - Reubke Sonata On The 94th Psalm


Graham Powell
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Apologies, this time with link as follows:

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Reubke-Organ-Sonata-...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

Just slightly overpriced?  B)

 

This recording has appeared on Ebay before - commanding well over £50 if I remember correctly. Still, this price seems surprisingly high - will be interesting to see if it sells.

 

It is my favourite recording of the Reubke, and I think on release was described by Gordon Reynolds as the finest performance of the 20th century. The thing for me is the innate musicianship - however, the organ could not be described as authentic, and I suspect the performance is not particularly historically informed.

 

JJK

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All I can say is this recording illustrates

how post-romantic H&H reeds (1937) do

in Liszt and Reubke...

Pierre

 

.....but you should note that the Great reeds had been revoiced by the time this recording was made. This was done at Preston's behest (in 1982 I think), and I guess they became much less tromba-like.

 

JJK

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.....but you should note that the Great reeds had been revoiced by the time this recording was made. This was done at Preston's behest (in 1982 I think), and I guess they became much less tromba-like.

 

JJK

 

Indeed, but it may be still the best recording of a kind of organ

continental players and builders do not know at all.

It is one of the surprises that await them here.

It may be not authentic, but you have to admit that Tuba sounds

really great in both pieces....While nor Reubke nor Ladegast organs

had anything like that (Reubke's family were organ builders).

The chorus reeds are still of the "smooth", somewhat closed-toned kind,

compared to french ones, and the Mixtures match them perfectly.

Pierre

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Indeed, but it may be still the best recording of a kind of organ

continental players and builders do not know at all.

It is one of the surprises that await them here.

It may be not authentic, but you have to admit that Tuba sounds

really great in both pieces....While nor Reubke nor Ladegast organs

had anything like that (Reubke's family were organ builders).

The chorus reeds are still of the "smooth", somewhat closed-toned kind,

compared to french ones, and the Mixtures match them perfectly.

Pierre

 

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

 

I have a lot of old LP recordings, but sadly, only the record-sleeve of the Preston recording following a mishap involving a cut-glass vase, a dozen roses and a loose shoe-lace.

 

From what I recall, it was a wonderful performance, but I always felt that the organ got in the way of the music a wee bit.

 

I therefore console myself in the knowledge that I have the Roger Fisher performance from Chester, where the organ fares rather better, the reeds are superior and the performance quite "balls-out" from start to finish.

 

As I've just damaged the stylus on my record-deck, I can't check it out, (I don't have much luck with record-decks) but I seem to to recall that Roger Fisher gets those "impossible" swell-crescendos almost at the beginning, where both feet are fully occupied doing other things.

 

Of course, Reubke himself had a "device" for achieving this impossible feat, I seem to recall, whilst everyone else who wishes to play the music as carved in stone, are obliged to call upon the services of anyone small enough and agile enough to either work their way behind the console and operate the swell-pedal by hand, or swing on the mechanical linkage like an organistic version of Quasemodo.

 

"The reeds! The reeds!"

 

If Pierre likes British organ-artillery, he wouldn't be disappointed with the 32ft Trombone and the Solo Tubas on that Chester recording.

 

MM

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I think I do have it, MM,

 

Somewhere in the three rooms here that are full with LP's.

 

Don't assume Reubke's organs had crescendo pedals and

even Swellboxes!

I come back with some links.

Pierre

 

 

This one had indeed a Swell:

 

http://www.reubke-orgel.de/dispo.htm

 

....But if you look at its specification, this is only an Echo!

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I think I do have it, MM,

 

Somewhere in the three rooms here that are full with LP's.

 

Don't assume Reubke's organs had crescendo pedals and

even Swellboxes!

I come back with some links.

Pierre

This one had indeed a Swell:

 

http://www.reubke-orgel.de/dispo.htm

 

....But if you look at its specification, this is only an Echo!

 

 

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

 

Indeed Pierre, but you will recall that the crescendo in the Reubke Sonata occurs right at the start, when the organ is at its' quietest.......that suggests the use of an Echo-swell.

 

I recall our friend Freiderich Sprondel telling me of a "device" found on certain German organs, which used a falling-weight and some sort of screw-damper (friction?), which could be pre-set. With a kick of a wooden lever (or somesuch), the weight would descend and open the swell louvres at a pre-determined speed.

 

Perhaps this solves the mystery of the "impossible" crescendos in the Reubke Sonata?

 

Authenticity is everything, is it not? (Apart from getting the notes in the right order, of course)

 

MM

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

 

I have a lot of old LP recordings, but sadly, only the record-sleeve of the Preston recording following a mishap involving a cut-glass vase, a dozen roses and a loose shoe-lace.

 

From what I recall, it was a wonderful performance, but I always felt that the organ got in the way of the music a wee bit.

 

 

I wonder if your lost LP was the older Preston recording at WA - 1960s I guess? It would be fascinating to compare this with the later (1985) Reubke, recorded after the rebuild - but I guess the old LP is even harder to come by than the CD.

 

JJK

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

I recall our friend Freiderich Sprondel telling me of a "device" found on certain German organs, which used a falling-weight and some sort of screw-damper (friction?), which could be pre-set. With a kick of a wooden lever (or somesuch), the weight would descend and open the swell louvres at a pre-determined speed.

Perhaps this solves the mystery of the "impossible" crescendos in the Reubke Sonata?

 

Hmm -- either that wasn't me, or it was on another forum. It is an interesting topic, however, and I remember that I wrote something concerning it some time.

 

Ladegast's bigger organs had a crescendo device that operated the stops automatically, but not the Merseburg one, which was Ladegast's first large instrument. In the large 1854 organ in the Marienkirche Lübeck, however, built by Reubke's Thuringian contemporary Schulze (father and son), there was a pneumatic device that opened the Swell shades automatically and apparently was provided as an alternative to the (also provided) spoon-shaped lever. Here, the shades would return to "closed" position when the organist's foot left the lever.

 

Devices of this kind were rare exceptions only to be found in large instruments. I doubt whether Reubke would have known automatic crescendoes. His father didn't build any, not even in his largest instrument, a successor of which is currently under construction in Magdeburg cathedral, under Barry's attentive eyes.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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I have played the Reubke organ in Kyritz to which Pierre provided a link. It is really rather beautiful and strangely neglected. Perhaps if it still had its original mechanism, instead of rather noisy cone chests, it would be more interesting to recording companies.

 

I think, however, that the answer to the "impossible" crescendi in the Sonata might be quite simple - the Merseburg organ has a hand control for the swell. And though there is not really a lot on the swell of that organ either, it is enough to realise these fairy modest dynamic differences.

 

It was the practice to use four registrants, two on each side, at Merseburg at that time. I have played this instrument since the restoration too. It is not an instrument on which you can simply slide on to the bench and play........

 

Cheers

Barry

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Indeed, Barry!

 

There are "Klangbeispiele" (MP3s) on this website so everyone

can hear something of this organ.

 

Here is an interesting page about Liszt, Reubke and this

so important Merseburg's organ:

 

http://www.in.fh-merseburg.de/~buchanan/orgel/liszte.htm

 

(If you read the specification, note that "Durchschlagend" means "free reed"!)

Pierre

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[/i]

 

This recording has appeared on Ebay before - commanding well over £50 if I remember correctly. Still, this price seems surprisingly high - will be interesting to see if it sells.

 

It is my favourite recording of the Reubke, and I think on release was described by Gordon Reynolds as the finest performance of the 20th century. The thing for me is the innate musicianship - however, the organ could not be described as authentic, and I suspect the performance is not particularly historically informed.

 

JJK

 

 

I purchased a copy in good playing condition from a second-hand record shop - along with a number of others, including almost the entire 'Great Cathedral Organs' series - the average price which I paid was around £2.00 - £2.50 per disc.

 

Perhaps someone is attempting to fund a heart transplant - or a fortnight in Nassau, Bahamas....

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Guest Roffensis

Oh yes! This is the work that sounds like the full organ piston was pressed while someone was hooverinig the pedals and cleaning the keys........ :o:o

Well it is monday morning!!

R

 

Incidently I got my copy of Preston/Reubke for £85 off ebay, this must have been a bargain?

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Incidently I got my copy of Preston/Reubke for £85 off ebay, this must have been a bargain?

Mmmmmaybe not! I got my Preston/Reubke/Liszt/DG CD from eBay for £23.00, albeit without the CD booklet. At the time, I thought this somewhat on the expensive side, but now think I got a bargain. I have repeatedly e-mailed DG to see if they have any plans to reissue the CD, but their answer has always been a resounding "Nein"!

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I have repeatedly e-mailed DG to see if they have any plans to reissue the CD, but their answer has always been a resounding "Nein"!

 

Had the marketing job for the british organ be done, this CD would

have its deserved place: on every disc shop's desk, presented on

a display, in every continental country.

DG would be at their tenth re-launch maybe...

Pierre

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  • 8 months later...
Mmmmmaybe not! I got my Preston/Reubke/Liszt/DG CD from eBay for £23.00, albeit without the CD booklet. At the time, I thought this somewhat on the expensive side, but now think I got a bargain. I have repeatedly e-mailed DG to see if they have any plans to reissue the CD, but their answer has always been a resounding "Nein"!

 

For anyone interested, a reissue of Simon Preston's recording of the 94th Psalm and Ad Nos, seems to be available (at a more sensible price) at Archiv Music.

 

Pat

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Guest Roffensis
For anyone interested, a reissue of Simon Preston's recording of the 94th Psalm and Ad Nos, seems to be available (at a more sensible price) at Archiv Music.

 

Pat

 

 

Yes, but it's been reissued on a Cd-R according to the site if you read about the recording......a bit second rate if you ask me!

 

R

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Yes, but it's been reissued on a Cd-R according to the site if you read about the recording......a bit second rate if you ask me!

 

R

I haven't heard it, so I can't comment on the quality, though I'm not sure why CD-R media should be any different to CD?

 

Pat

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