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  • Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

    With the prevalence of organ DVDs and videos on U-tube, it is possible to see quite a spectrum of performance styles. Although I prefer the more reserved style of playing, I was wondering how other members (and especially professional organists) feel about the really dramatic performance styles. You know: hands raised well above the manuals during lulls in the music, feet poised like a bird about to pounce on prey, head and/or body swaying back and forth. I think for classical playing, it is extremely distracting, but I was wondering when this style would be acceptable? I suppose if someone is really talented, one can put up with it, but I find it disgusting in mediocre performances. So, what do y'all think?

  • #2
    Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



    I prefer a more conservative approach to the physical aspects of musicianship. I myself am too busy trying to put the right notes in the right places that I have no idea how I appear while doing it. Perhaps I do not want to know? LOL!</P>


    I have seen a video of a husband &amp; wife organist team where he tends to have a bizarre expression on his face while playing. I did find this distracting. But in a live performance, it would likely go unnoticed; it was the video closeup that was so obvious.</P>

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    • #3
      Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



      I find it distracting and - if carried to extremes- annoying. It seems as if the performers who do this intentionally are trying to make themselves the focal point, rather than the music.</P>


      I was always taught that economy of motion is the best way to play accurately and conserve stamina.</P>

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      • #4
        Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



        [quote user="BOZ"]feet poised like a bird about to pounce on prey[/quote]</p>

        You're talking about Arthur Nobile, Jr. aren't you? [;)]
        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

          My teacher definitely does not go for the whole flail your arms like your Virgil Fox bit. I know that I sometimes flail about like Virgil, but try not to.

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          • #6
            Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



            Stefanussen,</p>

            LOL, I cannot tell a lie......  UR a pretty sharp observer. </p>

            Being Italian, myself, I tend to be dramatic in my verbal expression and accompanying gesticulations. On the organ, however, I play so poorly that I try not to attract much attention, hoping to escape without intercepting too many hurled objects.</p>

             </p>

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            • #7
              Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



              [quote user="soubasse32"] I find it distracting and - if carried to extremes- annoying. It seems as if the performers who do this intentionally are trying to make themselves the focal point, rather than the music.[/quote]</P>


              Like in that Youtube video you did last year:</P>


              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEIjP_k-u_g</P>
              2008: Phoenix III/44

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              • #8
                Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: italic;">Clarion - you are such a bad, bad boy!</span></p>

                Anyone know if the theater organ was real or was that scene a composite (multiple shots with painted backgrounds)? I suspect it was a real (nonfunctional) organ on a real set. As I recall, the organ figures in several scenes.</p>

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                • #9
                  Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                  They probably have a bunch of old theatre organ consoles stashed around movie lots. Didn't one of the <U>very</U> early (1930s) Phantom of the Opera movies have a similar theatre organ scene in it was well? Whether this organ was functional or not, the sound track most certainly originated elsewhere! [:D]</P>


                  On the other hand, I find itmost irritating, whensome of Hollywood'swedding/church scenes show a massive pipe organ, with the accompanying sound track being done on a HammondOrgan.[8o|] If they had done that with Dr. Phibes, his the movies would hardly havebeen so memorable. Dr. Phibesisa very much an ingrained featureof our family culture and humour.</P>
                  2008: Phoenix III/44

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                    [quote user="Austin766"]My teacher definitely does not go for the whole flail your arms like your Virgil Fox bit. I know that I sometimes flail about like Virgil, but try not to.
                    [/quote]</P>


                    Virgil is in a catagory of his own.He was an eccentric type genius with a very acute memory and more often than not could perform well without use of a printed score. His instincts moved him to ever more drama in his stage presence so that ordinary people may have liked his style whereas many professionals did not. Still he was a great musical entity hands cape feet whole body and all.</P>

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

                      [quote user="sesquialtera16"]


                      Virgil is in a catagory of his own. . . . Still he was a great musical entity hands cape feet whole body and all.[/quote]</P>


                      </P>
                      2008: Phoenix III/44

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                        Well, you can't get more dramatic than that........</p>

                        Liberace probably would find it too drab, though. </p>

                        Real showmen with substance, those guys.</p>

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

                          [quote user="BOZ"]


                          Well, you can't get more dramatic than that........</P>


                          Liberace probably would find it too drab, though. </P>


                          Real showmen with substance, those guys.</P>


                          [/quote]</P>


                          Liberace and Virgil appeared on the Mike Douglass Show together and chatted . Liberace had a pipe organ in one of his mansions and said he was learning to play it. Then the two showman did a magnificent rendition of Tea For Two--Lee on his Baldwin Concert Grand and Virgil on his Touring Black Beauty. It was a delightful moment to have these two popular figures perform together.</P>

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

                            [quote user="sesquialtera16"][quote user="BOZ"]


                            Well, you can't get more dramatic than that........</p>


                            Liberace probably would find it too drab, though. </p>


                            Real showmen with substance, those guys.</p>


                            [/quote]</p>


                            Liberace and Virgil appeared on the Mike Douglass Show together and chatted . Liberace had a pipe organ in one of his mansions and said he was learning to play it. Then the two showman did a magnificent rendition of Tea For Two--Lee on his Baldwin Concert Grand and Virgil on his Touring Black Beauty. It was a delightful moment to have these two popular figures perform together.</p>

                            [/quote]</p>

                            I believe that Virgil and Liberace were wearing the same style of shoes during that appearance. As an aside, anyone interested in Virgil should read Virgil Fox (The Dish): An Irreverent Biography of the Great American Organist. It's hysterical!
                            </p>

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

                              That is one of the things I like in organ music performances: you don't see the organist. But recently they have started to install a CCTV and project the organist playing on a large screen. Horrible!

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