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Westgate Morris

Pre-flash!

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Hmmm.... I think that I would have put HH in advance of the other two, however much one may dislike his music.

Unless, of course, you were joking "MM".

 

:ph34r:

 

 

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

 

 

You KNOW the music of Herbert Haag?

 

I'm astonished but thrilled.

 

;)

 

MM

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

 

.

 

There is Caleb Simper....less fine

 

 

Since I have never knowingly heard anything written by CS, I intend to reserve judgment until I do, if ever. It is strange that someone whose work appears to be almost universally reviled (at least here) has never featured on the programme of any recital I have attended, or on any service list I have perused , in the years since 1960. Nor did I ever come across copies of his music pushed to the back of any of the various music cupboards I have helped to clear out in my time. So unless he was responsible for writing what I had assumed were rather uninspired improvisations by the organist of the church I attended in my youth, I am fairly certain I have never heard played a note written by him. Therefore, while I am quite prepared to accept that the received wisdom is correct , I would just like to know how do other people know he was so bad?

 

BAC

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It is strange that someone whose work appears to be almost universally reviled (at least here) has never featured on the programme of any recital I have attended, or on any service list I have perused , in the years since 1960.

Take it from me, Brian, when you finally do see or hear something by him, you'll understand why!

 

I came across him at a very early age because the ancient organist at the church where I was a choirboy practically existed on volumes of his... er... music. Even at that impressionable age I knew it would be better avoided.

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

 

.

 

There is Caleb Simper....less fine

Since I have never knowingly heard anything written by CS, I intend to reserve judgment until I do, if ever. It is strange that someone whose work appears to be almost universally reviled (at least here) has never featured on the programme of any recital I have attended, or on any service list I have perused , in the years since 1960. Nor did I ever come across copies of his music pushed to the back of any of the various music cupboards I have helped to clear out in my time. So unless he was responsible for writing what I had assumed were rather uninspired improvisations by the organist of the church I attended in my youth, I am fairly certain I have never heard played a note written by him. Therefore, while I am quite prepared to accept that the received wisdom is correct , I would just like to know how do other people know he was so bad?

 

BAC

 

You might find this interesting http://www.cul.co.uk/music/compx.htm

 

I especially like the RWV quote re Simper and Maunder............. :ph34r:

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Or, better still, learn to improvise - then you can just open the hymn book at random and make something that fits the mood perfectly.  It is really very easy to do.  PM Nigel Allcoat and get his Masterclass CD's, or keep an eye out for him or David Briggs appearing near you & ask for a lesson.  Once you've mentally grabbed a couple of basic frameworks it's really quite possible to do away with pre-service music altogether.

 

I fully agree that for a skilled improviser this is a perfectly feasible approach: was it not said of Howells that while acting organist at St John's during the war he never played any composed organ music by anybody ? However, there is the problem of what to do while the learning process is taking place, and also the consideration of what to do if the skill cannot be acquired: not everyone can learn every skill, after all, however easy others may find it. I have never been able to master swimming! Those with limited talent for the skill should perhaps not be encouraged to inflict their efforts on congregations (or anyone else) as a matter of course, if for no other reason than that it may serve to set people's benchmark for what organ music is like and confirm their opinion that they do not like it. By all means encourage everyone to essay the skill but I have no more wish to hear the musical efforts of those who could not master it than I have to be flown by a pilot who has not quite got the hang of flying yet!!

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This gives a reasonable flavour of his style: http://www.stainer.co.uk/images/pdf/d85.pdf

 

 

Thank you for the link. I begin to see a reason for his reputation though to be fair I have come across others whose preservice improvisiations sound not dissimilar - unless of course they are playing his music from memory . Perhaps those who do improvise in this style should be encouraged to use , at least occasionally, pre- service music composed by others ?

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Graham,

 

Thank you for the musical link. I now have heard something by Simper albeit an anthemn accompaniment rather than a piece of solo organ music. The evidence to justify the general opinion is accumulating rapidly, it must be admitted. However, while this would not make my top 100 , no make that top 1000, pieces of liturgical music, I have to say that I would still rather hear this than some of the pieces of "praise" music which we are about to favoured with, according to our parish magazine. I am quite happy to listen to Buddy Rich or Gene Kruppa play the drums or the Band of the Royal Marines but a rhythmically challenged drummer can be hard to take, especially in consort with a not-quite-in-tune guitar played by someone who cannot sight read and has not learned all the notes. Incidentally, I should make it clear that this particular duo were heard at a location far removed from where I currently reside and have no connection of which I am aware with the musicians in my present parish.

 

BAC

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Guest Roffensis
Tuba envy??

 

God, no!

Just a comment on the lack of taste....

 

Personally speaking, I always manage a very nice climax without the aid of a tuba.

 

:ph34r:

 

 

Yes, we don't like Tubas. Nasty things. As to English repertoire, try Walond's Voluntary No. 6 in d minor, very nice indeed, I reckon the best thing he wrote really. I know of a certain recording of Bridge's Adagio in E where a nice loud brassy reed is drawn for the climax, and it sounds horrendous. Some people have no taste.

 

R

 

SCREAM

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Yes, we don't like Tubas. Nasty things. As to English repertoire, try Walond's Voluntary No. 6 in d minor, very nice indeed, I reckon the best thing he wrote really. I know of a certain recording of Bridge's Adagio in E where a nice loud brassy reed is drawn for the climax, and it sounds horrendous. Some people have no taste.

 

R

 

SCREAM

 

;):D:D:ph34r:;):P

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TUBA ISSUES: Can someone explain this hate/distaste in tight, clear sentences. As few as possible. (Am I hinting at the fact that this is not always the case here in 'O R G A N L A N D'?)

 

I hear great recordings of English Tubas and think -wow. I've heard a few live. Is this the same kind of extreme opinion we get over the Vox Humana. ;)

What about cousin Tromba? :ph34r:

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I do not dislike them as much as our friend Pierre-Cochereau-Notre-Dame appears to, but...

 

The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. There is nothing a Tuba can do that a good, bright Royal, Military or Orchestral Trumpet (or whatever you want to call it) of equivalent power cannot do better. The Trumpet does not necessarily have to be en chamade though it may be nice if it is.*

 

Nevertheless the stylistic integrity of an instrument is paramount and overrides one's personal taste. However unpleasant the sound it would be a travesty to sacrifice the Tuba on almost any large organ from the Romantic period. For better or worse, it is the appropriate stop for a certain style of organ. But give me a clean slate and it wouldn't get a look in.

 

Trombas are even worse. What on earth is the point of them? They do nobility well, I grant you, but their cloying fatness is incapable of delivering any sense of excitement. Again a good Trumpet chorus will do anything a Tromba chorus can do - and better.

 

* I have just as little time for chamades that sound like someone blowing into a megaphone through a comb and tissue paper as I do for Tubas.

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I do not dislike them as much as our friend Pierre-Cochereau-Notre-Dame appears to, but...

 

The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. There is nothing a Tuba can do that a good, bright Royal, Military or Orchestral Trumpet (or whatever you want to call it) of equivalent power cannot do better. The Trumpet does not necessarily have to be en chamade though it may be nice if it is.*

 

Nevertheless the stylistic integrity of an instrument is paramount and overrides one's personal taste. However unpleasant the sound it would be a travesty to sacrifice the Tuba on almost any large organ from the Romantic period. For better or worse, it is the appropriate stop for a certain style of organ. But give me a clean slate and it wouldn't get a look in.

 

Trombas are even worse. What on earth is the point of them? They do nobility well, I grant you, but their cloying fatness is incapable of delivering any sense of excitement. Again a good Trumpet chorus will do anything a Tromba chorus can do - and better.

 

* I have just as little time for chamades that sound like someone blowing into a megaphone through a comb and tissue paper as I do for Tubas.

 

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

 

I absolutely agree with this!

 

That said, the Tuba at Exeter is rather good, and Fr Willis Tubas do tend to be a lot brighter than their counterparts.

 

Considering the fact that we introduced good HP trumpet tone into organs, it was really only H,N & B who pursued it wthh vigour.

 

MM

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"The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. "

 

(Quote)

 

We won't go very far with judgments like that.

I could tell you open-shallots, low pressures trumpets are crude,

primitive things; that german Trompetes are thin, too short cut affairs;

and, and, and......Where shall we end up ?

Nowhere.....Nothing left, since all is "bad".

 

Sometimes I feel the organists may be compared with childs dealing

with meals; they'd eat only chips -not even the fish- if their parents

did not push them in order they try at least something else.

 

You cannot eat only sugar, nor only salt or spices, you need both.

 

It is exactly the same with reed tone. The french organ knows only

one extreme, and, mind you, it suffers badly from that.

Post-romantic british organs had only the other extreme of the pallet,

which restricted them from FF upwards.

But is it better to have an huge hole in the Crescendo? That's the french

organ problem, though.

 

Maybe a belgian chef cocq is needed in order to accomodate rich, varied

and well-balanced meals... :ph34r::D;)

 

Pierre

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I do not dislike them as much as our friend Pierre-Cochereau-Notre-Dame appears to, but...

 

The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. There is nothing a Tuba can do that a good, bright Royal, Military or Orchestral Trumpet (or whatever you want to call it) of equivalent power cannot do better. The Trumpet does not necessarily have to be en chamade though it may be nice if it is.*

 

Nevertheless the stylistic integrity of an instrument is paramount and overrides one's personal taste. However unpleasant the sound it would be a travesty to sacrifice the Tuba on almost any large organ from the Romantic period. For better or worse, it is the appropriate stop for a certain style of organ. But give me a clean slate and it wouldn't get a look in.

 

Trombas are even worse. What on earth is the point of them? They do nobility well, I grant you, but their cloying fatness is incapable of delivering any sense of excitement. Again a good Trumpet chorus will do anything a Tromba chorus can do - and better.

 

* I have just as little time for chamades that sound like someone blowing into a megaphone through a comb and tissue paper as I do for Tubas.

 

 

Aha! I sense some agreement here, VH.

 

I concur with your comments - even the last (but with reservation). Even some thin chamades can be made more serviceable through judicous coupling and 'filling-out'. However, it is virtually impossible to 'thin-down' a tuba....

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"The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. "

 

(Quote)

 

We won't go very far with judgments like that.

 

But it is difficult to argue against this description. It is a sound which is largely harmonically dead - and generally produces a thick blanket of sound.

 

 

It is exactly the same with reed tone. The french organ knows only

one extreme, and, mind you, it suffers badly from that.

Post-romantic british organs had only the other extreme of the pallet,

which restricted them from FF upwards.

But is it better to have an huge hole in the Crescendo? That's the french

organ problem, though.

 

Pierre

 

 

This I cannot agree with, Pierre. Arthur Harrison (to quote but one builder) had two entirely distinct chorus reed timbres in his instruments: fat Tromba ranks on the GO and thin, fiery trumpets on the Swell.

 

 

More later - I am now teaching again.

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I talked about Post-romantic british organs in general,

not specifically Arthur Harrison.

Him and Willis played in another category...

 

Pierre

 

Sorry - you did.

 

I was distracted by the fact that the bell had sounded for the next teaching period - and this computer appears either to have a corrupt registry or a faulty HDD, since it keeps crashing. (Thank God Microsoft do not manufacture automotive vehicles....)

 

However, I am not entirely certain I understand your point.

 

Do you mean tone-palette? Also do you mean 'FF' as an indication of loudness? (Incidentally Pierre, I am not criticising your linguistic skills - which are far superior to my own.)

 

If so, I do not agree regarding the French organ. A crescendo on a standard (if there is such a thing) Cavaillé-Coll three-clavier organ, is achieved by the successive coupling of the various ensembles. In order to avoid an aural jump in a crescendo, one can couple the various fonds (at 16p, 8p and 4p) then successively add the jeux de combinaisons of each division, until the tutti is reached - and use the expression pedal of the Récit for fine adjustments.

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I mean if the british organ may lack the panache of several "free-toned"

french reed choruses trumpeting in the edifice, in the french organ, you have nothing

between the flues and the Trompettes; draw anyone alone, it will dominate the rest.

 

The French found a solution: the Demi Grand-choeur, in which you add the Swell reeds, but with the box closed, to the flues of all divisions.

 

But a strict romantic Crescendo should be made without resorting to the swell shutters!

 

Pierre

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But a strict romantic Crescendo should be made without resorting to the swell shutters!

 

Pierre

 

Ummm.... I have never heard or read that!

 

Certainly, much British Romantic music often has a good deal of crescendi (and diminuendi) specifically marked in the scores.

 

I would be interested to know who said this - and why!

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"The Tuba is a thick, deadening blanket of sound devoid of harmonics. "

 

(Quote)

 

We won't go very far with judgments like that.

I could tell you open-shallots, low pressures trumpets are crude,

primitive things; that german Trompetes are thin, too short cut affairs;

and, and, and......Where shall we end up ?

Nowhere.....Nothing left, since all is "bad".

 

Sometimes I feel the organists may be compared with childs dealing

with meals; they'd eat only chips -not even the fish- if their parents

did not push them in order they try at least something else.

 

You cannot eat only sugar, nor only salt or spices, you need both.

 

It is exactly the same with reed tone. The french organ knows only

one extreme, and, mind you, it suffers badly from that.

Post-romantic british organs had only the other extreme of the pallet,

which restricted them from FF upwards.

But is it better to have an huge hole in the Crescendo? That's the french

organ problem, though.

 

Maybe a belgian chef cocq is needed in order to accomodate rich, varied

and well-balanced meals... :P  :P  :P

 

Pierre

 

But Pierre - the grass is always more green on the other side of the fence....

 

B)

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