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What do you think of this church organist?

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  • Philip Powell
    commented on 's reply
    Either way, I think he is a good organist (just poor music).

  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Those Catholic rebels!

    Michael

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

  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Philip,

    That depends on the parish, the church, and the priest. In one parish where I play, one church has guitars, drums, etc. The other has an 1860s Hook & Hastings and classical music. Still another doesn't have anyone to play music.

    Michael

    P.S. BTW, I think I understand your comment, though. Playing in church should NOT be about the organist. However, neither should it under-utilize his/her skills.

  • Philip Powell
    replied
    That type of music should not be played at Mass.

    Leave a comment:


  • cearley
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • mrorgan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Admin
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • beel m
    commented on 's reply
    Wow. Just wow!

  • myorgan
    replied
    Going back to the original post and original question, it reminds me of students who ask, "Who is the best ______? ______ or ______?"

    When I began my new retirement job this year, the students began comparing me with the former music teacher an casting him in an unfavorable light. It was then I shared with them the following verse from the Bible (it's a Catholic school):
    We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12)


    Of course, in context, Paul was talking about those who preach the Gospel, but the principle applies to musicians just as well. My point to the class was that there is no person that is better than another as a musician–each person is just talented differently.

    In my former occupation, clients would ask me who was the better pianist–me or another client who just became a resident, who played by ear, for example. My response was that the new resident is probably the better musician–when it comes to playing by ear. I can't play anything I hear just by listening. However, when you give me the notes, I was usually the odds-on favorite above the new resident. People are just talented differently. Ask me to sing and play at the same time? Won't happen for any length of time. However, playing a particular piece of music, well that's a piece of cake (sometimes).

    Leisesturm makes a good point. If we were to compare two well-known performers (i.e. Biggs vs. Fox vs. Carpenter), that's one thing because they are publicly well-known performers. However, making public comparisons of two musicians who have plied their craft to the best of their abilities is probably "not wise." That's just my 2¢ worth. OTOH, the performances have been posted in a public venue, though not by the performers' choice.

    Michael

    P.S. Should I move this thread (or posts following Post #8) to a non-public thread like the General Chat Forum?

    Leave a comment:


  • Larrytow
    commented on 's reply
    Yes, I agree with you. Lots of people read this forum, even if they never post anything, and he could well be one of them.

  • Leisesturm
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • mrorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by mrorgan View Post
    I'm bumping this thread because our church recently had a special concert where they invited a professional organist to play on this EXACT same organ the guy is playing on my videos that I posted on my original post.

    Someone at the church recorded a piece of his performance and posted it on Facebook. And here it is...
    https://www.facebook.com/stsebastian...6630289368022/

    As you can see, this guy knocks that other organist out the window. I attended this concert in person as I was curious and I was WOWed by his performance.

    I posted this in the comments section, but just in case people didn't see it, here's a new video that was posted of this concert. This one is better. It's longer and is filmed directly from the choir loft. There's an intro to the concert so you will have to skip two minutes into the video.

    https://www.facebook.com/stsebastian...2389833334395/

    PS - If you skip 35 minutes into the video, you can see the other organist from my first post helping him turn the pages of the music.

    Leave a comment:


  • mrorgan
    commented on 's reply
    They just posted another video of him and this one is filmed at the choir loft just like the other videos of the other organist I posted in Post #1. This one is a whopping 50 minutes long, so enjoy!
    https://www.facebook.com/stsebastian...2389833334395/
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