Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

was E. Power Biggs good?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    What about Vladimir Horowitz? not as a comparison in recordings, but one in ability at 88

    Comment


    • -

      Post deleted by author

      Comment


      • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

        Charlie is also right. I usually say "piece" or "pieces" since I am not always referring to music that is in either a singing style or that has a singing part. I'm done with this footnote!

        Comment


        • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

          I have a copy of Horowitz's last recording, and it is amazing for any age! There are quite a few pianists who still concertize well into their eighties. But it would be silly to assume that Widor's technique was never better than it was at age 88.

          dan

          Comment


          • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

            That's an awfully good point, Dan. I didn't realize Widor was that old when he made those recordings. You're entirely correct in saying that it would be silly to assume that was the extent of his technique. I was told that the reverb in the building was so extensive that he had to play slowly to achieve any clarity at all! I guess that just wasn't true. I've been in that building. Come to think of it, the reverb was high, but not THAT bad!

            I heard Dupre play when he was in his eightys and, to be honest, I wish I had never heard him play! That concert was a mess! But then we went up afterwords to say hello and his hands were so badly deformed with arthritis that I didn't really want to shake hands with him! They looked like bears claws!

            Another case in point: have you ever heard that set of recordings by Messiaen playing his own works. There are obvious splices every two to three measures! He wasn't that old when he made that set. At the time the feeling was that the guy just couldn't play that well!

            They say that a composer should NEVER be allowed any place near his own works! The best example of that I have ever seen was years ago I saw Roger Sessions guesting with the Cleveland Phil. They were playing one of the Sessions symphonies. The orchestra was doing fine, but Roger got lost and had to stop the entire orchestra for a few minutes to figure out where he was!

            Comment


            • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

              This is true Dan, but like any good artist, leaving the stage before it leaves you seems to be the way any artist wants to be remembered, at their best. If diminishing technical ability is obvious to the listener, it is also to the performer. why would any one record something obviously not their best? There are no excuses for a poor performance. They only ruin what a life time of work has built.and it seems that every one remembers a one note mistake over an entire well played recital. Ah, the critics! spare me the arthritis excuses . 28 or 88, Horowitz's technic was impeccable. If Widor could not play his best at 88, then he should have refrained from recording. I don't think that if he were younger the recording would have been any better, but that is only my speculation, No one else's.

              Comment


              • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                Obviously, any one referring to Virgil Fox as the Liberace of the organ has never really attended or watched a concert by either of the men. Liberace was more of a lounge organist playing the piano. Telling jokes about his brother George in between pieces. Just because Fox incorporated talk in his concerts, doesn't mean he was a comedian. I see no comparison between the two and any one who does probably could not distinguish which one played the organ and which one played the piano.
                Just as you don't hear Liberace compared to Rubinstein, you don't hear Lenny Dee or Ethel Smith compared to Virgil Fox or E. P. Biggs. None of the professionals in your academic environment held either of these fine musicians as a "Prime" example for students to emulate because they were jealous of the fact that they would never be the musicians that Fox and Biggs were.
                isn't it funny how those who bite the hand that feed them are starving and wonder why? I wonder how many students , who were influenced by Fox or Biggs ended up students of those professionals.? hummmmmm?

                Comment


                • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                  If you have ever heard Marcel Dupre's recording of the Passion Symphony you would know what I am talking about. He also suffered from arthritis and he has some mistakes. But the recording is still amazing-it was at the St Ouen Cacaille-Coll. He might not have been able to play his esquisses anymore but his interpretation is more mature. A recording can be loaded with "mistakes" and still be better than any other (didn't they say something like that of Cortot?).

                  dan

                  Comment


                  • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                    I couldn't agree with you more Dan. Any one counting wrong notes is listening for the wrong reason any how.

                    My point exactly about Fox and Biggs. I find Biggs so stringently correct and driveless where Fox is so alive for me that if he did play any mistakes, I didn't notice them.

                    When it comes to recordings though, one is left to the mercy of the one who edits. In the brilliant re mastering of the "Bach Gamut" 40 measures of the "D" major fugue were edited out, much to my disappointment. Fox played it magnificently, and the publisher wrote to me after I mentioned this to them saying I was the only one to complain. Oh well. maybe one day they will be able to put all of Bach's organ works on a thirty minute Christmas CD.

                    Let's keep our fingers crossed!

                    Comment


                    • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                      Hi, I'm new to the Forum.

                      Of course Biggs was good. His style was less passionate than someone such as Fox, but he still good. You should hear Biggs playing French works, not just Bach. Fox was good too, but different. Some people don't like Bach being "interpreted", although it is hard not to, since Bach never edited his scores. It was left to Widor and Schweitzer to do some of that.


                      Today we have organists that are as equally as interprative as they are good. Times change and so do playing styles. I heard some old recordings of Albert Schweitzer playing back in the 40's. Really bad playing. Back then they thought he was great. I heard the same of Feika Asma. Not very good playing, either.

                      Antoni

                      Comment


                      • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                        Antoni,
                        Welcome, with the innocence of a new comer, my point is once again made. Take the time to read through the entire post and you'll see that we have all had our differences of opinions in this thread and have voiced them more than just loudly. you can be assured that there is no slack cut from anyone in here.
                        The stating Question of this thread "was E. Power Biggs good?" turned rather quickly to "Biggs Vs Fox" who was better, and specifically, who was better playing Bach. So, with that, welcome to the organ forum!

                        Comment


                        • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                          Having a good many recordings of Biggs, and having the opportunity of hearing him in person at 1st Congregational Church in Los Angeles a number of years ago, he was in all respects a very meticulous player - quite precise to the point of being mechanical, but he was not all serious all the time ... His Well Tempered Clavier recording is one example and so are his published works of the Scott Joplin Rags.
                          His best perfomances were of the Baroque period - and the organs at Cambridge that he had at his disposal were most likely similar in some respects to those that Bach had in his day.
                          I particularly enjoy hearing time and gain the Flentrop on with Biggs played regularly.

                          In defense of Virgil Fox, I must say that I have also enjoyed his interpretations of Bach as well. I totally agree that if Bach had had at his disposal some of the larger instruments in this country at his disposal, he would have used all their resources in his concerts. I've been to many Fox concerts, even had the rare opportunity to chat one on one with him for a while when he was in Pasadena (CA) with his touring Allen Organ. I was also the technician who helped set up that organ for his performance at Pasadena Civic Auditorium back in the 70's.
                          It was a pleasure having met him and even more of a honor to have played his touring Allen for a little while, too.

                          My two favorite artists were Virgil Fox and E. Power Biggs - my current playing method is patterned around those two greats.

                          Comment


                          • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                            Ssshhhhh! don't tell Rodgers, I think they might get a little up set.

                            Comment


                            • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                              The reason the D major fugue is spliced was not because of errors in performance- they ran out of tape and had to replace it. The CD does include a few 'split notes' but from the smallish number of live performances I've heard by really 'famous' organists, the bach gamut is a tour de force. I heard John Scott at St. Thomas Church 5 Av a while ago and he really botched the Passacaglia to pieces. It was a pity because I really enjoyed his recordings and the live performance was more of a let down.

                              dan

                              Comment


                              • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                                I have never seen a Liberace recording for sale. There is probably a good reason for that.

                                dan

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X