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Tocatta in Fugue in D minor by J. S. Bach

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  • voet
    replied
    Originally posted by Leisesturm View Post
    I have a book of Virgil Fox recital pieces notated exactly as he plays them (no P&F in Cm). I was struck by the amount of super and sub coupling he found necessary even on very large organs.
    A friend of mine included Diane Bish on the concert series at his church. The instrument is a large 5 manual organ. He said he was surprised to find that her plenum registrations used super couplers with mixtures.

    Another time I attended a master class by David Craighead. One of the young players used super couplers with mixtures on the Bach piece she performed for him. While she was playing, one attendee left the room because he found the high frequencies painful to listen to. When Craighead critiqued the young woman's performance, he gently walked up to the console, retired the super couplers and said, "We don't need these." I think she got the point.

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  • Leisesturm
    commented on 's reply
    I agree! I am missing the gene that makes one appreciate 16' tone in the manuals anyway, but that was just horrible.

  • Leisesturm
    replied
    I have a book of Virgil Fox recital pieces notated exactly as he plays them (no P&F in Cm). I was struck by the amount of super and sub coupling he found necessary even on very large organs. What I am struck by when reviewing Bach works on 'authentic' instruments is how much polyphony comes through just by playing the notes! I think a lot of the ... restlessness of modern performers like Fox comes from the lack of ... whatever it is that allows those older instruments to project polyphonic textures.

    Edit: Here, take a listen to this. I'm sure this is no ones definition of a "pipe duster" but the thread has gone past that, I think.
    Last edited by Admin; 10-31-2019, 07:51 AM. Reason: embedded video

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  • Admin
    replied
    Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
    My taste runs to the bombastic, romantic style, so the performance I like best is Virgil Fox playing it on a pipe organ. I forgot the name of the album it is on, but it is my favorite.
    The album I believe you are referring to is Virgil Fox Plays the Philharmonic Hall Organ At Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts on the Command Classics label circa 1963.

    While I really liked Fox's interpretation at the time, the luster has dimmed a bit for me now. I find his nearly incessant registration changes throughout to be a distraction from the core musical structure and counterpoint. Part of Fox's incredible genius was his ability to sugar coat pieces to make them more accessible to the expectations of contemporary listeners, and while I found that tasty at the time, I've come to the conclusion that too much sugar is bad for you and prefer my Bach straight up.

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  • Larrytow
    replied
    When it comes to Bach, my absolute favorite piece to listen to is the Passacaglia and Fugue in Cm ( BWV 582 ). Give it a listen - there is so much more going on in it than the T&F in Dm. It can be done in several ways, from strictly Baroque to unabashedly Romantic.

    My taste runs to the bombastic, romantic style, so the performance I like best is Virgil Fox playing it on a pipe organ. I forgot the name of the album it is on, but it is my favorite. Here is Doug Marshall ( student of Virgil Fox ) playing it on one of his organs, in the same style :

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  • Vebo
    commented on 's reply
    I YouTube searched “Tocatta and Fugue in D minor played badly” most results were not played badly imo. But about 20 down, I found one. But the player was clearly proud of her performance, and I didn’t want to engage in making fun of her by posting it here.

  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    What a perfectly horrid instrument Anthony Newman is playing! I could only take about 30 seconds of the piece before I gave up.

    By contrast, the Saint-Saëns piece was quite nice. Personally, I play the Fugue portion a bit slower and relaxed. The opening 3-manual portion was exquisite, though. Perhaps, a bit more swing than the performer in the video.

    Michael

  • Admin
    commented on 's reply
    Yeah, love that one. I posted it on the Forum a couple of years back, but I don't remember where.

  • Vebo
    replied
    Snagged from FaceBook today. LoL!!
    Click image for larger version

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  • Admin
    replied
    I think part of the problem many have with BWV 565 is that is played too much, too badly, and for the wrong reasons. The fact that it has become horror film trope is really a shame. I've seen many screenings of Lon Chaney's "Phantom of the Opera" where the organist has the Phantom playing it in the unmasking scene, but if you look closely, you'll see he is actually supposed to be playing an aria from the opera he composed for Christine. Personally, I like the piece, but I understand how familiarity can breed contempt.

    I feel the same way about the Widor. Great piece, but played into the ground.

    In addition to some of the Bach mentioned above I'm fond of BWV 548, P & F in e minor ("The Wedge"). How well, without any seeming effort, is Anthony Newman able to play this piece:



    And although a different musical form I prefer Saint-Saens Fantasie in E flat Major to the Widor nowadays.


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  • Vebo
    replied
    And reviewing the Widor tocatta, too “muddy” for me, not as clean and bright.

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  • Vebo
    commented on 's reply
    Put another way, imagine being at the first performance of these pieces. “Oh, that's delightful” vs “Holy ****!”

  • Vebo
    replied
    Just want to thank you all for playing along. I’m not trying to troll, just hoping to spark entertaining convo and get new perspectives and new things to enjoy!

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  • Vebo
    commented on 's reply
    540 has always been a fave. I guess there's something about the exquisite mathematical joy of 565 tinged by the darkness of the minor key, yet staying bright and clean (mostly). It's like preferring a strong Limburger cheese over a good gouda (sorry, I struggled to find a better analogy, and this one kept coming back to me). I spent the afternoon just sifting through BVW 540-565 on YouTube. Also had my Bach Organworks Vol. 2 music book in my lap. It was mentally exhausting. BTW, while not a TOP fave, but a jewel, is BVW 556. A friend of mine used to play it, and I always really enjoyed it.

    To give context to anyone who hasn’t been immersed in this all afternoon:

    540=Toccata and Fugue in F Major
    565=Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

  • voet
    replied
    Vebo, another piece you may like is Bach's Great Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542. The fantasia has a similar dramatic opening and improvisational feel and the fugue is one of Bach's best, in my opinion.

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