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Mander Organs
ajt

Embarassment...

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Surely organs are used in brothels everywhere (not speaking from any personal experience I hasten to add)

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What on earth for?

 

:blink:

 

G

 

Presumably either to cover the sounds of the over-excited patrons or to make the Catthylicks feel at home?

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Presumably either to cover the sounds of the over-excited patrons or to make the Catthylicks feel at home?

 

Who will come up with a suitable programme of music?

 

FF

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Guest Andrew Butler

"I am black but comely" (Dupre)

 

Include singing of hymn "Her Virgin eyes saw God Incarnate born" - for the benefit of taking 3rd line of v.1 totally out of context! (Before anyone accuses me of offending anyone, I am an RC myself!)

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Guest Andrew Butler

Did there not used to be a set of volumes called "The Climax Organ Albums" or suchlike?

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Did there not used to be a set of volumes called "The Climax Organ Albums" or suchlike?

 

In 1960 I inherited No.6 of The Climax Album for Organ (W.Paxton 36-38 Dean Street,London) which contains such gems as Chanson Triste, Overture to Deborah and Achieved is the Glorious Work!!!

 

It came in a brown paper cover - so much for the swingin' sixties.

 

A

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But I have to say that I consider the whole notion of the orchestral organ flawed. Not so long ago I attended a recital on our local 4+P foghorn, which is as octopodian and orchestral as they come. The programme contained several orchestral transcriptions, but, though the playing was perfectly competent, I merely found myself thinking how inferior the organ is to an orchestra. However well such pieces are played, the organ just cannot compete in terms of subtlety of colour and expression, so why flog a dead horse? There's plenty of real organ music out there.

 

Rant over. :D

 

What about the other way round ie organ works transcribed for orchestra? Stokowski is porobabaly the best-known example thanks to Walt Disney, but what do people think in general? Can the orchestra "compete" with the organ in a work conceived for that intrument? I

 

Peter

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What about the other way round ie organ works transcribed for orchestra? Stokowski is porobabaly the best-known example thanks to Walt Disney, but what do people think in general? Can the orchestra "compete" with the organ in a work conceived for that intrument? I

 

Peter

 

I had the misfortune to hear the Wood arrangement of Bach's (?) T & F BWV565 on the opening night of the 2004 Prom Season. Based on that alone, my answer would have to be "no". But realistically, I would imagine that much of the romantic organ repertoire could work very well orchestrally - the Widor Symphonies (wasn't No.6 written for organ and orchestra?) and the Saint Saens Fantaisies spring to mind.....

 

G

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I've never yet heard an orchestral arrangement of Bach that worked. Even Bach's own orchestral version of the first movement of his E minor Trio Sonata is a bit naff IMO (though I'm not sure which came first).

 

The Elgar Sonata works well, but you could argue that it wasn't really conceived for the organ anyway since Elgar was obviously thinking in orchestral terms from the outset.

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The Elgar Sonata works well, but you could argue that it wasn't really conceived for the organ anyway since Elgar was obviously thinking in orchestral terms from the outset.

 

The arrangement by Gordon Jacob presumably. I think it does far more than work well: it's marvellous. Jacob's orchestration does not attempt to replicate an Elgarian texture, and (e.g.) uses woodwind in a most unelgarian way to bring out lines of counterpoint that simply do not emerge from the original score, to my eye at least, or from performances on the organ. Although I love the original, I think the orchestral version is actually a different and greater work.

 

I'm inclined to question whether Elgar conceived the sonata in orchestral terms. It was a specific commission and came at a time when he had done nothing abstract on a comparable scale. I think it could be argued that not having to think in orchestral terms allowed him to think structurally, and manage a large form, in a way he had not attempted hitherto. He had recently composed the Vesper Voluntaries for organ, at a time when he had a small organ in his house, and was a competent player and had access to expert advice on technical questions, so the simple assumption is that the work was conceived for the instrument.

 

It would be interesting to know whether the house-organ was a pipe organ and whether it moved to later houses with him. Jerrold Moore refers to Elgar's father coming to tune the organ, which rather argues against it being the otherwise more likely reed organ (which stay in tune from the maker - or out of tune, of course - and are the very devil to retune).

 

Elgar's own efforts at orchestrating Bach seem to me to be awful.

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Guest Barry Williams
The arrangement by Gordon Jacob presumably. I think it does far more than work well: it's marvellous. Jacob's orchestration does not attempt to replicate an Elgarian texture, and (e.g.) uses woodwind in a most unelgarian way to bring out lines of counterpoint that simply do not emerge from the original score, to my eye at least, or from performances on the organ. Although I love the original, I think the orchestral version is actually a different and greater work.

 

I'm inclined to question whether Elgar conceived the sonata in orchestral terms. It was a specific commission and came at a time when he had done nothing abstract on a comparable scale. I think it could be argued that not having to think in orchestral terms allowed him to think structurally, and manage a large form, in a way he had not attempted hitherto. He had recently composed the Vesper Voluntaries for organ, at a time when he had a small organ in his house, and was a competent player and had access to expert advice on technical questions, so the simple assumption is that the work was conceived for the instrument.

 

It would be interesting to know whether the house-organ was a pipe organ and whether it moved to later houses with him. Jerrold Moore refers to Elgar's father coming to tune the organ, which rather argues against it being the otherwise more likely reed organ (which stay in tune from the maker - or out of tune, of course - and are the very devil to retune).

 

Elgar's own efforts at orchestrating Bach seem to me to be awful.

 

 

 

As far as I can recall, the Elgars moved to Oaklands in Upper Norwood, about October 1889. Mr and Mrs Raikes, (relatives, I think,) permitted the Elgars to use their house and the organ was installed specifically for Elgar's use. Elgar used the proximity to enable him to attend the concerts at the Crystal Palace conducted by Sir August Manns. The house organ had two manuals and pedals and most probably a tenor C compass for most , if not all, the Swell stops. As Elgar started writing the Black Knight whilst at Oaklands, (that piece is the musical forerunner of the G Major Sonata,) it is clear that there was some connection, albeit tentative, with the house organ. However, the provenance of the G major Sonata is well recorded and needs no further comment. I think that the house organ went to a church. Moore links the Vesper Voluntaries with Oaklands and that pipe organ. He also records how much Elgar hated his duties as a church organist.

 

All in haste and from memory - I hope this is helpful.

 

Barry Williams

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As far as I can recall, the Elgars moved to Oaklands in Upper Norwood, about October 1889. Mr and Mrs Raikes, (relatives, I think,) permitted the Elgars to use their house and the organ was installed specifically for Elgar's use. Elgar used the proximity to enable him to attend the concerts at the Crystal Palace conducted by Sir August Manns. The house organ had two manuals and pedals and most probably a tenor C compass for most , if not all, the Swell stops. As Elgar started writing the Black Knight whilst at Oaklands, (that piece is the musical forerunner of the G Major Sonata,) it is clear that there was some connection, albeit tentative, with the house organ. However, the provenance of the G major Sonata is well recorded and needs no further comment. I think that the house organ went to a church. Moore links the Vesper Voluntaries with Oaklands and that pipe organ. He also records how much Elgar hated his duties as a church organist.

 

All in haste and from memory - I hope this is helpful.

 

Barry Williams

 

Many thanks: your reply could hardly be more helpful. One problem I have with Moore's book is that the index lists only proper names of people and bodies etc, so it's difficult, without a great deal of searching in the text, to find (if it's there at all) information of the sort you have provided .

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Carrying on the Embarrassment thread...

 

Andy Lumsden came over to have a look at the St. Mary's organ this morning, and, as ever, played like a genius.

 

I made the mistake of trying to play, and misguidedly chose Widor VI.

 

I immediately donned my finest boxing gloves and flippers. Doh!

 

Andy was, of course, thoroughly charming about it, but I was soooooo embarrassed.

 

I'm sure I'm not unique in this regard, but I really go to pieces when I think someone is listening and judging...

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