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was E. Power Biggs good?

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  • #91
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    And another thingMr. Louder's postings are thought provoking to say the least), one of the aspects of Virgil's performances was that,not only were they given from memory, but he also had,what I would call, almost perfect control. He had absolute knowledge of the music and absolute mastery of the console on which he performed. I must admit, however, that he did get bogged down, at times, in the mechanics of changing stops and so on. Some stop changes were made for show (horrors!).If he were perfect, he would have ascended into heaven. The last recital that I attended, that was presented from memory, was John Weaver's at a church in Ocala, Florida on a very good Wicks. That guy is a truly awesome musician!

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    • #92
      Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

      As far as I know Virgil Fox was not against playing on period organs; he was against a trend that had more to do with history than tradition (building period organs). Fox was like many of his colleagues (including M.-C. Alain) trained by Dupre, who was able to innovate while not being a rebel. We might object to some of the liberties he took with the music, especially later on, but all the effects were used to articulate the music's structure. Fox admired his masters and their influence on him was immense. The problem I have with Biggs is that sometings he sounds like he's just playing Bach on a tracker and that's it. Although he was trained in England, his technique is as far as I know not really a developement out of a particular school, or much of a development of anything.
      My favorite Bach recording is a collection of Dupre's HMV recordings- there are no tricks, just extreme clarity, and this comes directly from his training. Yet they are very personal performances. Fox has this plus some tricks, but he could not play the tricks without the clarity.
      I don't understand why anyone would research performance practice and organ building in the 17th century as the supreme pinnacle of music that should never have changed. Albert Schweitzer was adopted by the movement as a founding father, but he was never advocating a revolution.

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              • #97
                Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                Luckily, Bach had also found a new challenge since 1729, when he took over the direction of the Collegium Musicum (Music Society), an orchestra of students and some professional musicians founded by Telemann in 1702. With a short interruption berween 1737 and 1739, Bach assumed the leadership of this society till the early 1740s. The concerts were held once a week (on Friday evenings) in Zimmermann's Coffee House (twice a week during the Easter and St Michael's Fairs) at Katharinenstrasse 14 (picture on the left). With good weather, during the summer, the concerts were also held at Zimmermann's garden near the Grimma Gate (close to the University, near the wall at the opposite side of the city from the Thomas church). In 1734/35 Bach wrote his famous Coffee Cantata, BWV 211, as a kind of commercial for Zimmermann.

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                • #98
                  Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                  Traditionally, it was assumed that just before he died Bach dictated a setting of the chorale Wenn wir in hoechsten Noten sein (For deinen Thron tret ich hiermit) to his son-in-law Altnickol. This has always sounded too virtuous and pious to be true, and indeed, modern Bach scholarship has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that this was a myth all along. Bach was not very much of a religiously inspired composer anyway during the last two decades of his life.

                  Mr. Launders, consider yourself enlarged

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                  • #99

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                    • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                      Mr. Louder,
                      Don't flatter yourself. it was a typo!

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                      • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                        Posted By: jameslouder on 01-03-2004 12:40 PM
                        Subject: Re: was E. Power Biggs good?
                        Message: Grammercy for your instruction, Jerry, me son -- though to tell the truth, you're carrying coals to Newcastle. I'm quite conversant with Bach's biography

                        But what exactly is your point?


                        obviously, the only subject matter that you are conversant with is "name calling"


                        In quoting you, Mr. Louder,

                        "I find rather distasteful your thinly-veiled suggestion (or that of whomever you are quoting) that Bach may have had conducted other pleasures than music at Carlsbad"


                        I stated clearly I was plagiarizing from the "J.S.Bach" website. If you are conversant with the subject matter of Bach's life, you would have known this. So if you find my thinly veiled suggestion distasteful. you are finding suggestions from historians who are well versed with Bach's biography, distasteful.
                        I have no criticism of Bach's way of life. in that 200 mile walk of his I hope that he had a wonderful time. With twenty children to his name, he obviously did. If your interpretation of the historian's account of Bach's return from Carlsbad is strange treatment, you must inhabit some alternative warped reality! Congratulations!
                        I consider him the greatest musician that ever lived. If this opinion you perceive as idolization, Your accountability of history is extremely tainted and opinionated.

                        Now, getting back to the subject matter. This thread has gone from Virgil Fox to J.S.Bach. Obviously two great musicians of their time who's love for the organ ties them together.
                        The fact that Bach did what ever he could to make a buck reflects the thought that if he were alive today, maybe he would be touring with a "Rodgers".
                        Virgil Fox made more money playing the organ than any other organist and in the Interim, Introduced the organ and Bach to more people than any other single musician.

                        portions edited by Admin 1/8/2004 11:33
                        I removed a few sentences from the original that were not in the spirit and level of discourse that I wish to maintain on this site.
                        -Admin

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                        • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                          Yes, yes, Bach touring with a Rodgers...I've heard it all before, and the short answer is, hooey! If Bach were alive today he'd probably be conducting the Berlin Philharmonic and composing operas, but let it pass...

                          Dale Carnegie, forsooth! This is a joke, right? At least I hope it is ... but look, Jerry, this thread is played out and we've gone way off topic. I suggested a while ago that we agree to disagree, and matters should have ended there. The personal remarks are getting very boring, no doubt even more so to other readers. So I'm pulling the plug. It's been a slice, but now

                          Goodbye

                          JL




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                          • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                            The seemusicdvd folks have reported that 250 advance copies of the Virgil Fox recital dvd at St Mary's have been ordered. The dvd should ship on Jan 12. 2004. Would such a demand for an E. Power Biggs dvd exist?

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                            • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                              Would such a demand for an E. Power Biggs dvd exist?
                              Yes. :-D

                              But what's the significance? If popularity is an indicator of artistic accomplishment then Britney Spears is a greater talent than either Biggs or Fox.

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                              • Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

                                Popularity is not an indicator of artistic accomplishment. While B.S. is more physically attractive than Virgil or Edward, she can't hold a candle to these guys in terms of artistic accomplishment. Is she a musician? The organist is the most accomplished of all musicians.

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