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was E. Power Biggs good?

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    They were edited out, I talked with the man who edited it. After thinking he made a good edit of a few measures and my making notice of 40 measures, he told me that he grabbed his score and listened to the recording, and in mis belief of that big of a cut, wrote me to say "there is nothing we can do about it now"</P>


    none the less, there are forty measures missing , this is after the advertisement of "the best recordings ever, nothing was missed except some applause at the ends of each piece" and "the most modern equipment of the day was used". </P>


    If those who made the cut knew the score,cutting the "ala breve" would have been a much better choice. and it would have left enough time so the completerecording would not need a second disk , which is what I believe the cut was made for in the first place.</P>

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  • Kéraulophone
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  • sesquialtera16
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    Calahans book on a-s shows correspondence between gdh and biggs and gdh writes to him ''jimmy''.</P>


    Biggs was excellent in person too. I caught a performance Dec 31 1971 at 12pm at st george 12th at stuyvesant sq in manhattan with brass and percussion.</P>


    Fox and Biggs are equally great because of their enthusiasm as ministers or even emmisaries of the king of instruments. they played well and attracted a huge following to the king. Critics who are nothings and nobodies lambast these idols just to draw attention to themselves.</P>

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  • robmcw
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    I don't think the 40 measures were edited out. I believe they were never recorded in the first place. 40 measures seems to be about the same time it takes to change tape reels. Keith Johnson was asked to record the concert on the fly and only had one three channel analogue tape machine.

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    <DIV>How did you get "Jimmy" out of "E Power" ? I am not criticizing either organist here, but I am criticizingthe editor of a recording of Fox's claimed to be the best yet ever and nothing missing but some applause . the editor of this CD cut out 40 measures of the "D" major fugue. If there needed to be a cut, then the "Ala Breve" section in my opinion would have been a better choice. I was wondering what others thought of this, but, no one else has caught this editing blunder . Either no one is listening to this acclaimed CD or no one is familiar with one of Bach's most famous prelude &amp; fugues, The "D" major! If I may suggest, get your nose out of the camel's butt and put on your ears.</DIV>
    <DIV>Fox's intent was to bring the organ back to popularity, if organists of today listen to this recording and do not find this 40 measure cut offensive, then Fox's goal has not been achieved and it clearly points out that nobody is listening to these works.</DIV>
    <DIV> If alive, Fox , I am sure, would not have allowed this edit to be published.</DIV>

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  • sesquialtera16
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    With respect for the sensibliltiies of many good music critics; as regards Virgil or Jimmy Biggs: they both were not perfect and hit clinkers and omitted sections of the score etc; but to highlight this and ignore all the immeasurable amount of works performed by memory and well at that seems like a case of straining out the gnat and gulping down the camel. if somoeone can play better than either Fox or Biggs then bring 'em on so we can all enjoy them.

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    Well, I would have taken you on with Mahler, but this is a biggs vs Fox debate. here is the greatest of all slip ups of all proclaimed listener's of Fox and biggs recordings.</P>


    A CD released called "the Gamut" of Fox playing at Saint Mary's in SanFrancisco proclaimed that it was the best recordings of Fox yet. Well, anyone and everyone should have caught the 40 measures that were missing from the D Major Fugue. I caught it, and when I contacted the Fox Society about it, they told me that I was the only one that noticed. </P>


    Hmmmmm? what are we all listening to out there, fellow critics?</P>

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  • Jason E
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    [quote user="ReedGuy"]

    E. Power Biggs and Virgil Fox were both before my time, so I was not fortunate enough to hear them in concert. </p>

    [/quote]</p>

    Well me too, although I certainly wish I had heard either in concert. If the 12 tone (Brits, for some reason say "note" instead of "tone") school made every attempt to destroy everything that makes music beautiful -and they lost the battle- I suppose I would always appreciate what Biggs and Fox did for us. Sort of hard to ignore that.</p>

    Surprised no one took me on with Mahler. I was waiting for it; terrible disappointment you know. []</p>

    </p>

    </p>

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  • ReedGuy
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    E. Power Biggs and Virgil Fox were both before my time, so I was not fortunate enough to hear them in concert. All I know about them is from what other people tell me, recordings, and the book I'm almost finished reading called "All The Stops," by Craig Whitney. It is quite an interesting read to the point that it has affected my choices in repertoire for recitals. </P>


    I think both of these individuals are special and they did so much for the organ. Both have planty to teach me. I hate neither. I admire and appreciate both. </P>


    On this controversial issue, I'm more on the middle road I suppose. I have had amazing experiences with trackers and EPs, especially EPs that were romantically influenced. What Ihave troubleagreeing with is when someone says that they love trackers and avoid EPs like the plague or that they love EPs and avoid trackers like the plague. I don't like extremes/radicalism. I never have, I doubt I ever will. I think that when we just throw away something for the sake of a fad or for fashion, we are losing something priceless. This is why I was upset to hear about the "purists" trying to get rid of the romantic instruments. What a shame.How many conflicts in this life could have been avoided if people just stopped for a moment, removed themselves from the situation, took a deep breath, cleared their minds, and truly considered the issue from ALL angles. </P>


    The Bible has something to say about this topic too. I can't recall the exact passage right now, but it speaks of how we are not all one eye, we are not all the same. There is so much variety in life, so much vastness, how can one try to stamp out this variety and vastness which God has created.</P>


    "My way, your way, THE WAY doesn't exist." Nietzsche</P>

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  • Austin766
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    To ask if E.Power Biggs was good is kind of like asking if George Szell and the Cleveland orchestra are/were good (sorry, I felt the need to make a local reference) ro asking if Jimmy Page was a good guitarist. the answer is a resounding yes. Although I think Biggs was a rather conservative Bach player (certainly not as liberal with Bach as Virgil Fox), he was and still is a highly respected organist, people still look up to Biggs with admiration.

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  • Jason E
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    Edit: perhaps I was having a moment of fun with Biggs. Frankly, I feel he was a musician of utmost integrity, yet in the grand scheme wasn't he really just a product of his time? A time when the romanticism of Liszt, Rachmaninov and Elgar was suspect? </p>

    Funnily, then along came Mahler. His neurotic, self-absorbed, nervous music fit the bill perfectly, and New York and London were quick to pick up on it. This was the ideal compromise: outright romanticism, but allied with a post WWII caring and liberal sensibility. So hard to resist... Mahler as a combination of Moses and Christ. Ah, the emperor's clothes...
    </p>

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  • Jason E
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    [quote user="Jerry"]

    I guess I can turn off the lights and shut the door on my way out of this one.</p>

    [/quote]</p>

    Perhaps just as well. My organ prof told me horror stories about the whole Biggs vs Fox scenario. Not a rather pretty moment in musical history. But of course it all dovetailed with cold war musical composition: 12 tone or you're not cool. And then there was Milton Babbitt: Princetonian pompous intellectuals take the reign. What a terrible time for music.</p>

    Is it any wonder the scene was set for Biggs? The organ intellectuals proclaimed "the American Classic just doesn't work". So we have Biggs -the anti-hero- stepping in and recording Bach on the most god awful sounding instrument that mankind could possibly conjure. Columbia called those "Bach Organ Favorites", and tortured us with, what? five volumes? </p>

    Interesting that relatively few of Biggs' recordings have been reissued on CD. But ah, the stories my organ prof told me... and after many drinks he said other stuff which cannot be repeated here.</p>

    [:$] [li] [B]
    </p>

    </p>

    </p>

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    Hi John,</P>


    From May 16, 2006 until July 25 2007, no activity on the "was E. Power Biggs good?" hmmm, it was fun! I guess i can turn off the lights and shut the door on my way out of this one.</P>


    by the way, how have you been?</P>


    Jerry</P>

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  • John Bittner
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?

    [quote user="radagast"] It is a crime that Biggs and his Neo-Baroque Mongol Hordes were responsible for the destruction of many beautiful Skinner organs.[/quote]

    I posted a response to this charge in the Classic &amp; Church Pipe Organs Forum in the Classical Group.




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  • mikecala
    replied
    Re: was E. Power Biggs good?



    Radagast,</P>


    I agree with you 100%. I always found Biggs playing/recordings (especially on that Flentrop) to be sterile and lifeless. Virgil had it down!</P>


    Mike</P>

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