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was E. Power Biggs good?

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  • #61
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    First post, here goes:

    I like both of them at certain times.

    For example, I have still not heard a better 552. And I love his work on 564, 582,and 542 his harpsichord work on the trio sonatas and 541 , and the only performances that holds a candle to his 565 is Wendy Carlos and Schweitzer.

    I do hate Bigg's 540. I *really* mean I *Hate* it, and EVERYONE PLAYS IT LIKE HIM!

    For Fox, I love his 540, 532, and 582, although I can take or leave his 542 and his 565.
    I also hate Fox's "komm susser tod" (I don't know the number, that is how much I hate it), but I just hate that piece no matter who plays it.
    Well, I have finally said it.

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    • #62

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      • #63
        Re: was E. Power Biggs good?





        This is from the fan club of E. Power Biggs.

        Biography of E. Power Biggs







        E. Power Biggs (Edward George Power Biggs) lived from 1906

        to 1977. He was one of the greatest organists of the

        twentieth century. He was born in England and trained at

        the Royal Academy of Music in London. He moved to the United

        States in 1930. He popularized organ music through his live weekly radio

        program on CBS (from 1942 to 1958), performances with many major

        symphony orchestras, and many major recordings (now owned by

        Sony Classical). Biggs introduced many Americans to the Baroque

        music of Bach and Handel. His distinctive style and scholarship of early

        organ music set new standards for organists in the United States.

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        • #64
          Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

          hmmmm.....

          "the Vigil Fox Society" and the "E. Power Biggs fan club" . The names of these two organizations clearly points to the organist who was more popular. case closed.

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          • #65
            Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

            "the Vigil Fox Society" and the "E. Power Biggs fan club" . The names of these two organizations clearly points to the organist who was more popular. case closed.

            With good reason, I've never regarded popularity as an indicator of artistic merit.

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            • #66
              Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

              Not having much to say and being an avid listiener is a salient point, come to think of it

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              • #67
                Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                The Virgil Fox Society web page is apparently under reconstruction. Please visit the Virgil Fox Legacy web site at www.virgilfoxlegacy.com. This site seems to have so much more going for it.

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                • #68
                  -

                  For what it's worth: E. Power Biggs is listed in the Oxford Musical Dictionary. Virgil Fox is not. Maybe it's just because Biggs was born in Britain?

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                  • #69
                    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                    Oh, stop it. Fox did it.

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                    • #70
                      Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                      A master class given by Virgil Fox is available at " WWW.VirgilFoxLegacy.com" He covers many topics that are discussed here. After listening to it, there is no doubt in my mind who is the greatest organist of our time. Every thing he discuses makes total sense to me! I only wish I had the opportunity to attend one of his master classes.

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                      • #71
                        Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                        And Virgil Fox still plays better than Catherine Crozier!

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                        • #72
                          Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                          Hi,
                          This is a reply to the original question posed by Stephen Odom. I found this site on a search for anything Biggs related on the internet.
                          I cannot play any instrument. I just love pipe organ music, particularly that of Bach, and especially when played by E. Power Biggs. He's by far my favorite organist.
                          I have every (or nearly every) CD ever made, and a big collection of his LP records. I think I have 30 of them, including a Christmas record not listed in the discography. (The 4 record tribute album put out by Columbia after Biggs' Death has a complete discography.)
                          Biggs preferred tracker organs and extoled the virtues of same.
                          One of my favorite Bach pieces played by Biggs is 565. I love it!
                          On that subject, I have a CD of old recordings of Albert Schweitzer (spelling?) and I hate the way he played 565 and some others too. And it wasn't the poor quality of the recording. It was his way of playing it that I didn't like. It was terrible.
                          While I'm here I'll mention Diane Bish. Anyone ever hear of her? I believe she is a modern day Biggs. She travels the world, playing great organ music on great old organs and has a half-hour tv show, which is available on video, by the way. Her tv program is called the Joy of Music. She plays very well, but her recordings are of poor quality. But I'm referring strictly to the quality of the recording itself, not her playing.
                          One piece I can think of that I really enjoyed her playing was the finale of the Concerto Gregoriano by Pietro Yonn (spelling?) It required a ton of pedals playing, which she pulled off very well. I also liked her rendition of Widor's Toccata and of course Bach BWV 565.
                          I'm somewhat familiar with other organists such as Joan Lippincott, Simon Preston and Virgil Fox. My parents have a few Virgil Fox CD's, but I didn't particularly care for what I heard, after being used to Biggs.
                          Some interesting tidbits about Biggs, I remember reading somewhere that his arthritis was terrible by the time his last few albums were recorded, and we are lucky they were recorded at all. Another was about the Pedal Harpsichord. I believe he had one built for himself because no such instrument existed, at least not one that was still playable. I have 2 or 3 of his Pedal Harpsichord albums and I think they are pretty neat.
                          I've listened to all 30 of the record albums I have and there's nothing I didn't like about any of them.
                          As I said earlier, I'm not an organist, and I don't know all that much about organs, but I think I have a basic understanding of tracker-action versus the other, whatever it's called. And I know the Flentrop in the Busch-Reisinger Museum in Harvard is a Tracker. I think it's a magnificent instrument.
                          One amazing album was his first recording of Gabrieli that he did at St. Mark's in Venice with the Texas Boys Choir, the Gregg Smith Singers and so on. The beauty of it is amazing. I love it. There is one CD of that album and it's no longer made. I was lucky to find one on Ebay and I could listen to it over and over.
                          I could go on, but I'm probably just rambling now.
                          Anyway thanks for an interesting string of posts. I read everything on the first 2 pages of responses and skimmed through the 3rd page.
                          Barry

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                          • #73
                            Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                            Virgil Fox, Ted Alan Worth, Diane Bish and others toured on the three manual Rodgers electronic instrument (Black Beauty) in the early '70s. Ted was Virgil's protege and played in a very similar style. Carlo Curley could play exactly like Virgil, if he wanted to. Diane Bish, who has been playing the same repertoire very well for decades, has her own style. She plays much better than E. Power Biggs. The aforementioned people were turning people on to organ music at community concerts, while Biggs turned out Bach at the Busch! I have just about every LP that Biggs ever recorded and he had some good ones. e.g. Festival of French Organ Music and the Mozart album, just to name two. Opionions are like you know what, everyone has one.

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                            • #74
                              Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                              Posted By: jdcrash on 12-27-2003 07:44 AM
                              Subject: Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                              Message: Diane Bish, who has been playing the same repertoire very well for decades, has her own style.

                              Diane Bish is nothing more than a classical lounge organist!

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                              • #75
                                Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                                And I am a classical lounge lizard!

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