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Wesley Choral Song And Fugue


Westgate Morris
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S. S. Wesley’s Choral Song and Fugue can be found at this web page for free download/print.

 

http://www.rodeby.noteperfect.net/

 

I know the English organs of this period rarely had pedals or if they did the pedal division was small. Is this a reasonable edition? What edition do you own or play from? Suggestions about the 'rodeby' edition.

 

Colm Carey’s CD on the new Letourneau at the Tower of London got me back onto this piece.

 

WM

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S. S. Wesley’s Choral Song and Fugue can be found at this web page for free download/print.

 

http://www.rodeby.noteperfect.net/

 

I know the English organs of this period rarely had pedals or if they did the pedal division was small. Is this a reasonable edition? What edition do you own or play from? Suggestions about the 'rodeby' edition.

That's an edition of the piece as written, lots of notes below bottom C, both in the manuals and in the pedals that are used in the fugue ("and Fugue" is not part of the original title, incidentally). I use the Hinrichsen "Tallis to Wesley" edition, which is also of the original form, with my own notation of pedal usage for C organs.

 

The download file is grossly inaccurate, as well as ugly. Just look at the bass clef in bar 14, which contains the two minims missing from bar 16! There are slurs and ties missing, and notes translated enharmonically into the wrong key (e.g. A#s instead of Bbs in bars 26ff). The word "edition" is too kind for this - someone's simply playing with a cheap score-writing package.

 

Do yourself a favour and buy a proper copy.

 

Paul

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Is this a reasonable edition?
Nope. It looks to have been copied very inaccurately from Gordon Phillips's edition in Tallis to Wesley, vol.5 (Hinrichsen, no.1757a). Phillips (or Hinrichsen) unfortunately didn't include a critical commentary, but assuming his edition to be accurate (and he does appear to bracket his editorial additions), on the first page alone I note the following:

 

1) notes missing in bars 1, 4, 6, 9;

2) an enharmonic boob and some stray ties in bar 5 (enharmonic errors are legion in this copy);

3) the two minims in the bass part of bar 14 belong in bar 16;

4) the "forte" marking in bar 17 is not in the original (Phillips adds it editorially - oh what a giveaway!)

5) an original "piano" sign is missing in bar 25;

6) some slurs are missing in bars 25 and 26 and all the A sharps in this line should of course be B flats;

7) there are several ties omitted and others added

 

And so on.

 

And the ossia in bar 83 is straight out of Phillips too.

 

A pathetic offering. You get what you pay for.

 

Edit: Ah, Paul got there first! <_<

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That's an edition of the piece as written, lots of notes below bottom C, both in the manuals and in the pedals that are used in the fugue ("and Fugue" is not part of the original title, incidentally). I use the Hinrichsen "Tallis to Wesley" edition, which is also of the original form, with my own notation of pedal usage for C organs.

 

The download file is grossly inaccurate, as well as ugly. Just look at the bass clef in bar 14, which contains the two minims missing from bar 16! There are slurs and ties missing, and notes translated enharmonically into the wrong key (e.g. A#s instead of Bbs in bars 26ff). The word "edition" is too kind for this - someone's simply playing with a cheap score-writing package.

 

Do yourself a favour and buy a proper copy.

 

Paul

 

Hi

 

I have the "Tallis to Wesley" version - but the advantage of a GG compass organ to play it on! I'd be interested to know if there's a better edition (preferably not edited to fit on modern compass).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Apropos this piece, though not this edition, I have found that the cosecutive octaves in bar 5 and so on can be dealt with by substituting a B flat in the pedal for the G at the fourth crotchet. This does not disturb the flow of the music at all, and satisfiesthe legalists! I don't suppose I am alone in wondering if that was a slip of Wesley's pen?

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

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Guest Andrew Butler

How do others register this piece? I have a 2-stave version (in Novello's 9-volume English Organ Music series, ed. Langley) that has what I assume are Wesley's registrations (Gt to 15th, and Choir to 15th)

 

I used to have a 3-stave version (Novello again) arranged I think by Garrett, that I have heard Roy Massey play on a Hereford LP of music by S S Wesley, giving it "the works" !

 

I perhaps should be ashamed to say that I prefer the latter!

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Apropos this piece, though not this edition, I have found that the cosecutive octaves in bar 5 and so on can be dealt with by substituting a B flat in the pedal for the G at the fourth crotchet. This does not disturb the flow of the music at all, and satisfiesthe legalists! I don't suppose I am alone in wondering if that was a slip of Wesley's pen?

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

 

Hi

 

In the Heinrichsen edition the only consecutive octaves in that bar are in the LH - and as there are several places that are similar, I doubt if its a slip of the pen - more likely intended to give the depth that a GG compass manual is capable off without using pedals. The large jumps and consecutive ocatves in the bass surely point to a non-legato performance - which to my ears seems to work pretty well.

 

Having seen the earlier correspondence, I played the Choral Song section yesterday morning as our closing voluntary. Full organ for the forte passages, reducing (on the combination action) to 8fts for the quieter bits, and taking the 8ft Open off for piano sections, leaving just the rather lovely Stopped Diapason Treble that Willis made from an old Keraulophon rank in the just completed restoration. (Organ is a 5 stop GG compass chamber organ of c.1820 St Diap Bass, Open Diap, Stopped Diap Treble, Dulciana, Principal 15th - last 2 can be drawn & cancelled by a pair of combination pedals).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Andrew Butler
Hi

 

In the Heinrichsen edition the only consecutive octaves in that bar are in the LH - and as there are several places that are similar, I doubt if its a slip of the pen - more likely intended to give the depth that a GG compass manual is capable off without using pedals. The large jumps and consecutive ocatves in the bass surely point to a non-legato performance - which to my ears seems to work pretty well.

 

Having seen the earlier correspondence, I played the Choral Song section yesterday morning as our closing voluntary. Full organ for the forte passages, reducing (on the combination action) to 8fts for the quieter bits, and taking the 8ft Open off for piano sections, leaving just the rather lovely Stopped Diapason Treble that Willis made from an old Keraulophon rank in the just completed restoration. (Organ is a 5 stop GG compass chamber organ of c.1820 St Diap Bass, Open Diap, Stopped Diap Treble, Dulciana, Principal 15th - last 2 can be drawn & cancelled by a pair of combination pedals).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Is it a stopped metal rank then? I thought keraulophons were metal......

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Hi

 

In the Heinrichsen edition the only consecutive octaves in that bar are in the LH - and as there are several places that are similar, I doubt if its a slip of the pen - more likely intended to give the depth that a GG compass manual is capable off without using pedals. The large jumps and consecutive ocatves in the bass surely point to a non-legato performance - which to my ears seems to work pretty well.

 

Having seen the earlier correspondence, I played the Choral Song section yesterday morning as our closing voluntary. Full organ for the forte passages, reducing (on the combination action) to 8fts for the quieter bits, and taking the 8ft Open off for piano sections, leaving just the rather lovely Stopped Diapason Treble that Willis made from an old Keraulophon rank in the just completed restoration. (Organ is a 5 stop GG compass chamber organ of c.1820 St Diap Bass, Open Diap, Stopped Diap Treble, Dulciana, Principal 15th - last 2 can be drawn & cancelled by a pair of combination pedals).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Ooops! I meant to say "consecutive fifths", not octaves! Does that make more sense?

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

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Apropos this piece, though not this edition, I have found that the cosecutive fifths in bar 5 and so on can be dealt with by substituting a B flat in the pedal for the G at the fourth crotchet. This does not disturb the flow of the music at all, and satisfies the legalists! I don't suppose I am alone in wondering if that was a slip of Wesley's pen?
Now there's a thing. In the Hinrichsen edition the consecutives are highlighted by oblique lines and the editor states that they are marked liked this in the original. This is not particularly helpful, though, because he does not tell us whether the source is a printed edition, a holograph manuscript and, if the latter, whether the highlighting is in the composer's hand or that of a later user. Does Langley's edition say anything about this?
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Is it a stopped metal rank then? I thought keraulophons were metal......

 

Hi

 

The Keraupophon is a metal rank. From evidence on the soundboard, the original rank on that slide was a very small-scale wooden stop - logically the Treble half of the Stopped Diapason rank, which was a very odd and uncharacteristic ommision from an organ of this type and size. Willis' who did the restoration (and a very good job they've made of it too) had planned to use a s/h stop by Bryceson from their stock, but it was of too large a scale to fit properly - and since the job had already overun on time (and hence cost) they suggested cutting down and stoppering the Keraulophon pipes (which were clearly later than the rest of the metal stops and from a different source) - and this has worked out pretty well. The stop sonds gorgeous - it's rather quieter than I had hoped - slightly softer than the Dulciana - but amazingly, it will sit under the 4ft & 2ft principal chorus instead of the Open and seems to grow and remain audible.

 

There is historic precedent for metal stopped diapason ranks.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Ooops! I meant to say "consecutive fifths", not octaves! Does that make more sense?

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

 

That makes more sense as a problem - I must admit I've not really noticced - I just play it, and it seems to work OK.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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