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What do you think of this church organist?

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  • #16
    I agree that we're comparing apples and oranges here. Playing a recital is not the same as playing a service, nor should one be judged on that basis. On the other hand, the fact the organist in question posted the videos to YouTube for public consumption makes them fair game for public criticism or praise.

    The Grease Pit is not viewable by non-forum members, and so, if the OP requests it, this topic can be moved there, but I don't have a problem leaving it in its current channel.
    Last edited by Admin; 02-20-2019, 10:49 AM.
    -Admin

    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Leisesturm View Post
      I'm kind of puzzled as to why the sitting organist is being evaluated like this in open forum. I'm not sure I would appreciate being compared to more technically elite musicians. I sure hope that if one of my congregation shares a youtube of my playing, they aren't saying: "what do you think of this guy's playing?" I hope they are saying: "here is our fantastic new organist playing ...". If they can't shop my work around without apology then I would hope they would just not even link to it. That guy got the position by displaying to a Search Committee that he should be there and there isn't much use in second guessing the people who had the power to authorize his employment.
      Well the purpose of this thread was not to publicly humiliate the guy. In fact, I was hoping to hear praises about him. The reason I started this thread is because, as I stated in my original post, my family has a different opinion of him than I do. I think he's a fine organist, but my parents say that he's not artistic nor musically inclined. My parents have no music abilities other than my mom having gone for a few piano lessons as a kid. Yet, somehow, she can make vague criticisms without any reason to back up such claims. And it bothers me. I wish my parents would elaborate on what they don't like about him, but they are being stubborn about it.

      Like I said, the first organist I posted looks like he's very good. I mean, the guy can sing, turn pages, adjust the volume of his microphone, and add & remove organ stops all while playing the organ and not missing a beat while doing so. Looks pretty good to me. He may not be professional as that guy who is playing Bach, but he certainly seems to show great skill at playing the organ. But then again, I have zero music abilities to give a fair judgment on the guy.

      So that is my whole reason for starting this thread. I wanted an expert's opinion on the guy to determine whose judgement is correct... my parents or mine.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by mrorgan View Post
        I wish my parents would elaborate on what they don't like about him, but they are being stubborn about it.
        Mrorgan,

        And therein lies the rub. To be honest, from your description perhaps your parents don't have the musical aptitude or vocabulary to accurately communicate their view of the organist's abilities. Perhaps it's just a sixth sense on their part.

        Originally posted by mrorgan View Post
        So that is my whole reason for starting this thread. I wanted an expert's opinion on the guy to determine whose judgement is correct... my parents or mine.
        As you've also discovered, even the so-called "experts" who have weighed in on this thread (and I put myself in the category of "so-called") are rather split on the question. I don't believe you'll successfully achieve a binary (yes/no) response from anyone you ask. Then again, isn't that the point? Not all music or all musicians will ever appeal to all audience/congregation members.

        The above speaks to my last post–it is a fool's errand attempting to compare two musicians who are demonstrably dissimilar. Everyone is talented–but talented differently. To compare them is probably not wise. To attempt to assess a musician's talent or ability level from a singular video is probably not necessarily a good measure of one's true talent or ability.

        Michael
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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        • #19
          Mrorgan, Does your organist ever play a prelude, offertory, communion or postlude? If so, does he ever play a "showy" piece? I find his playing fine for the congregational singing. I can not determine if the congregation is actually singing by the video. I do not like the choice of music but his playing is fine. He probably needs to play the tune to help the congregation sing. The congregation sings better when their notes are played. His voice is fine but it seems that his intro is a little faster than when he starts singing. I believe his singing and playing at the same time slows him down. To determine his actual skill as an organist, you need to post a solo that he played, i.e. a prelude or postlude or something.

          I tell you what, I have heard much worse.

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          • #20
            That type of music should not be played at Mass.
            “I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.” - Johann Sebastian Bach
            Organs I Play:
            - Allen 2100(T); 1951 M.P. Moller, 3 manual, 55 stop, 28 ranks, (Opus 8152); and 1965 Balcom and Vaughan 3 manual, 34 stops, 25 ranks (Opus 690)

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            • Philip Powell
              Philip Powell commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, the II Vatican Council put out specifics for vocal worship during Mass and that doesn't qualify.

            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Those Catholic rebels!

              Michael

            • Philip Powell
              Philip Powell commented
              Editing a comment
              Either way, I think he is a good organist (just poor music).
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