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Organ Duets


John Sayer
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About 15 years ago I saw a review of an arrangement of Johann Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz for organ duet - pedals only - that is for 4 feet! The publisher may have been Bärenreiter, though I could be mistaken.

 

I remember being intrigued at the time but never got round to following it up. It must be great fun to play. Has anyone come across it?

 

Perhaps other members might like to tell of other off-beat examples of the genre.

 

JS

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Fascinating subject.

 

Around 25 years ago I turned pages for Graham Barber and Dame Gillian Weir when they gave a duet recital - they included Alkan's Bombardo - Carillon, also for 4 feet alone.

 

The rest of their recital was of the more standard fare, notably the Merkel sonata, the Wesley Duet, and various other odds and ends.

 

I was at school with Jeremy Barham who for some time played in duet with William McVicker. I know they found the score of at least one of the movements for 'The Planets' in an arrangement by, or at any rate authorised by, Holst himself, and I seem to remember that there was some suggestion of the entire suite being composed for organ duet.

 

Roger Sayer has launched a successful duo in the past year or so ; their unique selling point is a series of organ duet arrangements of the James Bond themes. I have not heard them, but imagine that this could be really effective.

 

On a tangential subject, I seem to recall that when David Goode won the Calgary prize for best encore, he played his own transcription of Stars and Stripes forever, with the tune in the right foot, the bass in the left foot, the middle parts in the left hand, and the piccolo obligato in the right hand.

 

Who needs four feet when you can do that with two ?

 

M

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On a tangential subject, I seem to recall that when David Goode won the Calgary prize for best encore, he played his own transcription of Stars and Stripes forever, with the tune in the right foot, the bass in the left foot, the middle parts in the left hand, and the piccolo obligato in the right hand.

 

I still have on video part of a programme with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales recorded at the (now demolished) Astra theatre in Llandudno. It included an appearance by the American theatre organist, the late Rob Calcaterra who always did 'Stars and Stripes' as a party-piece. He kept the bass to the pedal, played accompaniment with left-hand, with the melody of the middle section on second touch using the bottom couple of fingers of his left hand, leaving his right hand free for the obligato. Damned impressive it was too. I saw him perform it live once on a clapped out Compton, which while impressive lacked the sheer sonic impact of the Llandudno Christie!

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About 15 years ago I saw a review of an arrangement of Johann Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz for organ duet - pedals only - that is for 4 feet! The publisher may have been Bärenreiter, though I could be mistaken.

 

I remember being intrigued at the time but never got round to following it up. It must be great fun to play. Has anyone come across it?

 

Perhaps other members might like to tell of other off-beat examples of the genre.

 

JS

 

 

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

 

Waltzing Matilda using 4-feet sounds much more fun!

 

(I cannot imagine why I just thought of Thomas Trotter and Carlo Curley wearing bush-hats with corks dangling on strings)

 

Anyway, here is a list of organ-duest of which I am aware, assumiong that it is a GOOD THING that organists should be seen performing intimately together in public.

 

RAMÓN FERRENAC: Sonata in G for Organ 4-hands -Beatrice-Maria Winberger, Gerhard Weinberger (1999 Grenzing/Cathedral 'Al Almudena', Madrid, Spain) Ars Musici CD-1338 (Organ Historical Society)

 

BALDASSARE GALUPPI: Sonata in C for Two Organs -Luigi Celeghin (1757 Nacchini); János Sebestyén (1785 Callido/Basilica della Misericordia; Sant' Elpidio a Mare, Italy) Hungaroton CD-31464

 

THOMAS TOMPKINS: A Fancy for Two

 

BARRIE CABENA: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 55

 

MELCHIORE CHIESA: Sonata in D for Two Organs

 

WILHELM FRIEDRICH ERNST BACH: Andante for 4-hands

 

ADOLPH HESSE: Fantasy in c, Op. 35

 

CHARLES CALLAHAN: Evensong

 

PHILIP MOORE: Allegro for Organ Duet (1993)

 

GIOVANNI BERNARDO LUCCHINETTI: Concerto for Two Organs

 

ROBERT HEBBLE: Cathedral Tapestry (for two organs and carillon)

 

ROBERT AMPT:- Waltzing Matild - a duet for 4 feet

 

LECBRECHT BAUMERT (1833-1904): Sonata in g-minor, op. 50for four hands

 

ROBIN DINDA: Charlie Dog Blues, Op. 17

 

GASTON LITAIZE : Pentecôte: Triptyque for Two OrgansI. Vigile; II. Nocturne; III. Séquence

 

JOHN RUTTER: Variations on an Easter Theme (O filii)

 

J C KELLNER: Quartetto in E flat for two Persons and Pedals

 

JEAN LANGLAIS: Double Fantaisie

 

 

GUSTAV MERKEL: Sonata d-moll for four hands and feet, Op.30

Allegro moderato - Adagio - Allegro con fuoco. Fuga: Piu moderato

 

ANTONIO SOLER: Concierto (C major)

 

THOMAS TOMKINS: A Fancy for two to play

 

SAMUEL WESLEY: Duet for the Organ

Allegro - Andante - Fuga: Alla Capella

 

SAMUEL WESLEY: Three Duets for Eliza

Moderately slow, Moderately slow - lively, Andante (vivace)

 

KENNETH LEIGHTON: Martyrs [Duet], Opus 73

 

(Now I've just thought of Kiwi Dame Gillian Weir and Joe Brand together at the same console)

 

:)

 

MM

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Barry Williams

Robert Munns has kindly provided me with details of two organ duet pieces he has played on a number of occasions:

 

Schubert: Fugue for Two Organists in E minor Opus 152 (Doblinger catalogue 652)

 

Lachner: Introduction and Fugue in D minor (Doblinger catalogue 653)

 

(Franz Lachner played the second organ part with Schubert at the first performance of the Fugue in E minor. He was Rheinberger's teacher.)

 

I do not know either of these pieces, but I hope the information may be of use.

 

Barry Williams

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