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Eastern European Music And Two Fine Organs


MusingMuso
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Thanks to "pcnd" asking me about the Adema organ of the RC Basilik, Haarlem, in the Netherlands, I spent a little while digging around for the specifications of the THREE organs in the cathedral (4-manual, 3 manual and a little Koororgel).

 

I then set about trying to find sound-clips, only to stumble across some superb full-length radio archive performances form the Netherlands.

 

Not only did I stumble across this, to my delight, I discovered quite a lot of music previously unknown to me from Eastern Europe.

 

I shan't say too much about the music, for you may listen for yourselves.

 

However, is it only me that plays Glasunov and the Kodaly "Preludium", which can be heard played on the simply wonderful Adema organ at Haarlem RC cathedral, in all its "Cavaille-Coll-esque" glory?

 

I'm not too sure how to react to Hungarian organ-music, which can be heard played on the Walcker organ of Doesburg Cathedral in the Netherlands, but the organ is again wonderful.

 

Here are the pieces and the radio-net links:-

 

http://orgelconcerten.ncrv.nl/ncrv?nav=wjqbuCsHtGAiBzBGFHD

 

Preludes & Fugues by Alexander Glasunov (Ru)

Prelude - Zoltan Kodaly (Hu)

Passacaglia - Dimitri Shoastakovich (Transcription) (Ru)

1st Fantasia - Petr Eben (Cz)

 

Ecce Homo - Klement Slavicky (Cz)

 

http://orgelconcerten.ncrv.nl/ncrv?nav=enqbuCsHtGAiBzBGFkCvC

 

(Walcker Orgel - Doesburg - Netherlands)

 

Music by Hungarian Composers:-

 

Te Deum - Imre Sulvok

St Stephen's Fantasy - Gabo Lisznvav

Epilogue (BACH) - Elek Huzella

Reflection - Istvan Kollos

 

MM

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I play the Kodaly (the only time I have artistically used a crescendo pedal - at St Mary's Southampton as a student - to register this) and my former teacher David K Patrick (not David M Patrick who recorded French music at Buckfast and Coventry etc.) has given recitals on the Adema organ on a number of occasions being aquainted with Bernard Bartelink for many years. It is very fine!

 

AJJ

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However, is it only me that plays Glasunov and the Kodaly "Preludium"?
I've looked at the three Glasunov pieces and keep feeling I ought to learn at least the Fantaisie, but so far haven't got round to it. To be honest there are so many other things ahead of it in my "to do" list.

 

I had to play the Kodaly last year for a choir that did Pange Lingua, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy my own copy. I do, however, play the organ solo version of the Ite missa est from the Missa Brevis. Why on earth I never hear of anyone else playing that is quite beyond me. It's not all that difficult and makes a splendid postlude.

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Passacaglia - Dimitri Shoastakovich (Transcription) (Ru)
Are you sure this is a transcription? I ask because that was my initial assumption when I read that it comes from his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk". However, in the score of it that I have there's no indication of it being an arrangement and John Henderson's A Directory of Composers for the Organ says that Shostakovitch composed it at a later date as a substitute for the piece in the opera that he originally wrote (for the marriage ceremony if I recall correctly - which I probably don't).
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I do, however, play the organ solo version of the Ite missa est from the Missa Brevis. Why on earth I never hear of anyone else playing that is quite beyond me. It's not all that difficult and makes a splendid postlude.

The whole Missa Brevis was first published as a work for organ solo, to get around religious restrictions during the war. It's hard to come by in that form, but I have a Hungarian recording of it.

 

Paul

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The whole Missa Brevis was first published as a work for organ solo, to get around religious restrictions during the war.  It's hard to come by in that form, but I have a Hungarian recording of it.

 

Paul

Good heavens, I never knew that!
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Are you sure this is a transcription? I ask because that was my initial assumption when I read that it comes from his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk". However, in the score of it that I have there's no indication of it being an arrangement and John Henderson's A Directory of Composers for the Organ says that Shostakovitch composed it at a later date as a substitute for the piece in the opera that he originally wrote (for the marriage ceremony if I recall correctly - which I probably don't).

 

 

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

 

What's the saying?

 

"Don't assume.....it makes an ass of u an me"

 

I had "assumed" it to be a transcription when I read the bit about opera, but I am absolutely intrigued that it may well be a genuine organ work.

 

MM

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Splendid Website I did not know, MM,

 

Thanks!

Pierre

 

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

 

Another set of examples from the Adema orgel at St.Bavo RC, Haarlem.

 

This time French music, but not the first or last tracks, which are played on two other instruments; the rest being the Haarlem instrument.

 

Nice organ!

 

MM

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

 

Another set of examples from the Adema orgel at St.Bavo RC, Haarlem.

 

This time French music, but not the first or last tracks, which are played on two other instruments; the rest being the Haarlem instrument.

 

Nice organ!

 

MM

 

 

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

 

Sorry! Forgot to include the link, which is:-

 

http://www.orgelradio.nl/wcms/modules/news...php?storyid=100

 

MM

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

 

What's the saying?

 

"Don't assume.....it makes an ass of u an me"

 

I had "assumed" it to be a transcription when I read the bit about opera, but I am absolutely intrigued that it may well be a genuine organ work.

 

MM

MM - There is an original solo version of the Shostakovich piece - it appears in a Peters Edition compilation of music from the Soviet Republic. This edition can be quite hard to find, and for a long time I resorted to rearranging a piano transcription of the Passacaglia - this piano version was itself a transcription of the orchestral version of the piece. I have a feeling (but don't know why) that the organ piece was the original, and S replaced it with an orchestral movement for the very good reason that not many opera houses have organs. But I could be wrong on that point..
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MM - There is an original solo version of the Shostakovich piece - it appears in a Peters Edition compilation of music from the Soviet Republic.
That's the version I have. Do you play that polytonal Toccata by Slonimsky? It's such a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek bit of fun (at least, I hope that's how he meant it!)
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  • 4 months later...
Guest Barry Williams
MM - There is an original solo version of the Shostakovich piece - it appears in a Peters Edition compilation of music from the Soviet Republic. This edition can be quite hard to find, and for a long time I resorted to rearranging a piano transcription of the Passacaglia - this piano version was itself a transcription of the orchestral version of the piece. I have a feeling (but don't know why) that the organ piece was the original, and S replaced it with an orchestral movement for the very good reason that not many opera houses have organs. But I could be wrong on that point..

 

 

The Peters edition is No 5750 and also has the correct version of the Toccata by Georgi Muschel, (note the spelling, please) which is often played in an edited form published by OUP. The volume also includes Muschel's Aria as well as the Shostakovich Passacaglis which is from the opera "Katerina Izmailova" - noted at the head of the score. The 'Five Contrasts' by Edgar Arro are worth playing yet rarely get the airing they deserve.

 

Barry Williams

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The Peters edition is No 5750 and also has the correct version of the Toccata by Georgi Muschel, (note the spelling, please) which is often played in an edited form published by OUP.  The volume also includes Muschel's Aria as well as the Shostakovich Passacaglis which is from the opera "Katerina Izmailova" - noted at the head of the score.  The 'Five Contrasts' by Edgar Arro are worth playing yet rarely get the airing they deserve.

 

Barry Williams

 

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

 

 

Many thanks for that information Barry. I'm determined to work up a recital programme of entirely "Eastern Bloc" music, which has to stay within the realms of audience acceptability, thus limiting the field a little to those little numbers which are either tuneful, conventional, snappy, exciting or a tad amusing.

 

Thus far, of the music in my collection, I have a nice little fugue by Carl Ferdinand Seger (wrongly attributed to Czernohorsky, I believe), the Muschel of course (who hasn't?), the delightful Preludium by Kodaly, the well worn Liszt works (I may avoid these), a transcription of the Prokofiev Toccata (a fine work which transcribes well), various bits of Eben and the Victimae Paschali variation by Ropek. After that, I've got a few obscure modern pieces, but nothing which would set the toes tapping or the heart racing.

 

Poland is not terribly well represented in my music, but if it comes to the worst, I can write down from recordings a delightful little ditty from the Tablature of "Jan of Lublin" (15th Century?)

 

One thing which did delight me recently, was a fugue by Seger, which unusually starts with an ascending whole tone theme, C,D,E,F#,G#,G#,G# (all in quavers), and which is apparently the start of a well known old Czech Christmas Carol. I know this, because I put it up on the computer and played it. Marek suddenly burst into song and incomprehensible Czech jibberish, (somewhat atonally) and then shrieked "You nice Cristmas having."

 

Bloody foreigners!

 

Actually I can recommend having a "music critic" who listens to Whitney Houston, because the moment they start to mime slashing their wrists, or simulate the gallows with their tongues hung out and their head to one side, you know that you're on the wrong track!

 

:P

 

MM

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The Peters edition is No 5750 and also has the correct version of the Toccata by Georgi Muschel, (note the spelling, please) which is often played in an edited form published by OUP.Barry Williams

Thanks for that, Barry. I am interested in your comment about the spelling. My knowledge of eastern languages is absolutely zero, but I note that "Grove" which seems to have a thing about spelling names properly (with some surprising results for some well-known Russian composers) spells it Musheľ . (Sorry about the font - the "L" didn't look right in Geneva.)Can someone clarify please?

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Thanks for that, Barry. I am interested in your comment about the spelling. My knowledge of eastern languages is absolutely zero, but I note that "Grove" which seems to have a thing about spelling names properly (with some surprising results for some well-known Russian composers) spells it Musheľ . (Sorry about the font - the "L" didn't look right in Geneva.)Can someone clarify please?

 

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

 

Wasn't Mushel...or Muschel......actually from the Ukraine?

 

MM

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No. He was born in Tambov - which is in Russia, isn't it? Subsequently worked in Uzbekistan where he was a composition teacher and music professor at the Tashkent Conservatory. It seems he became a sort of neo-nationalist composer (like a good Soviet, I suppose), studying Uzbek folk music and incorporating it into works in the European genre. (All this from Grove.) As I have mentioned before, the suite from which the Toccata comes is apparently based on Uzbek themes - which (as I have also said) is why in my opinion many players take it too fast.

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