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Is there a single pipe organ in America that will play everything in organ history?

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  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by Havoc View Post
    Michael, would you care to name those composers you never heard of? So far it stayed rather within the limits of the better known. (apart from the Padre perhaps but it is easy enoug to find his music as sheet and/or recordings)
    Havoc,

    You nailed it. He was the one I had not been familiar with previously.

    Michael

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  • F Kalbrenner
    replied
    going back to the subject of versatile instruments that are intended to handle a wide range of music I remember stumbling across a pipe organ the was recently inaugurated by Cameron Carpenter at a church located in Italy named Chiesa di di San Carlo al Lazzaretto.

    Unfortunately I can’t find the specification for this organ listed anywhere but from what I know the instrument is suppose to be a typical symphonic / romantic style organ but also with elements of baroque and even theater organ.

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    This thread has taken quite a positive turn by reminding me of composers and even genres I had forgotten about, and even introducing me to new composers, of whom I was not aware.
    Michael, would you care to name those composers you never heard of? So far it stayed rather within the limits of the better known. (apart from the Padre perhaps but it is easy enoug to find his music as sheet and/or recordings)

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  • myorgan
    replied
    This thread has taken quite a positive turn by reminding me of composers and even genres I had forgotten about, and even introducing me to new composers, of whom I was not aware. I'm sure it wasn't the OP's original intent, but the direction of the thread has been more productive than I anticipated.

    Originally posted by regeron View Post
    The "case that rests" is that the original poster has a lot more to learn.

    Wagner is not a composer for the organ. Transcriptions do have their place, but if you want the truly great Romantic repertoire, you have to look at the real organist/composers like:
    -- Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Reubke, Brahms, Rheinberger, Reger and Karg-Elert in Germany;
    -- Elgar, Stanford, Wood and Parry in England;
    -- Lefébure-Wely, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Dubois, Guilmant, Widor, Gigout, and Boëllmann in France.
    [snip]
    I suspect that if that attitude continues, people who know what they're talking about will be less and less likely to help out.
    Originally posted by andijah View Post
    I happen to have lived in Bayreuth for several years (indeed, I learned to play the organ during my time there) and also had the chance to work at the Wagner festival theatre for two seasons. As much as I love the organ and have deep respect for Wagner's operas, I wouldn't dream of having an organ that tries to do justice to a Wagnerian orchestra sound. And as @regeron says, opera is much more than just the music. Especially Wagner with his idea of the "Gesamtkunstwerk"...
    I have to admit, I have been more than a bit annoyed with the OP's posts–yet another person who posts endless questions, then attacks those who post by responding with very little (if any) knowledge of the subject at hand. It reminds me of past members who have done the same, just to stir the pot. It is one thing to post questions about a topic. It is quite another to dismiss the advice of obviously knowledgeable members out-of-hand.

    Let me commend the above posters for responding to the OP's questions tactfully, and patiently. You have shown remarkable restraint and I appreciate your willingness to provide advice in the face of repeated arguments.

    Michael

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Originally posted by F Kalbrenner View Post
    Yes, I see what you mean by the music of Padre Davide being an acquired taste. I think Italian organ music from the first half of the 19th century (which I like to refer to as Opera Organo) is something that would have to live in its own separate world much like the theatre organ as organ music from this time would be far to operatic for a lot of organists.
    Indeed, not for nothing that the Padre was acquianted with Donizetti. It was the time of the great Bel Canto tradition. And you can hear it...

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  • F Kalbrenner
    replied
    Yes, I see what you mean by the music of Padre Davide being an acquired taste. I think Italian organ music from the first half of the 19th century (which I like to refer to as Opera Organo) is something that would have to live in its own separate world much like the theatre organ as organ music from this time would be far to operatic for a lot of organists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM-DqvwNals

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Yep, I think that is a problem with most organists: apart from Bach and a few romantic composers the knowledge of how vast and wide organ music goes is meagre. A side result of that is that organs are often viewed and judges by those few known composers. I read here to often that you need an enormous organ to play music. But you do not need one if you know enough of organ music. The last 15 years I haven't played a single note of pedal! And I'm far from having scratched the surface of what is available to play.

    It is a pity that you cannot start a poll with hundred or more options so we could poll what composers have been played by the members.

    I admit that the Padre is an aquired taste and not everybody will like it. Let alone understand that most of his music is church music, meant to be played during mass. If someone want to get a feeling of his music you should start with the CD's by Marco Ruggeri, played on the organ build to his specification in Piaceza.

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  • F Kalbrenner
    replied
    While I understand your point, you will not be able to play the Quatuor by Marchand as it requires 3 manuals. Likewise the Fanfare by Boesmans which has the same absolute requirement. And it will be hard to play some pieces by Padre Davide da Bergamo who composed for an organ that had 2 complete rows of chormatic bells and a 2 meter diameter drum incorporated. Also pieces that need a Rossignol will propose a serious challenge.
    You know of Padre Davide? I guess Italian organ music from composers like Padre Davide is not as unknown as I had presumed.

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Originally posted by Piperdane View Post
    Absolutely. Not every organist has access to 3 to 5 manuals and 115 ranks. We make do with what we have to work with; I did with a II/9 Moller for over 30 years - it's limited stoplist never stopped me from playing any literature written for the organ.
    While I understand your point, you will not be able to play the Quatuor by Marchand as it requires 3 manuals. Likewise the Fanfare by Boesmans which has the same absolute requirement. And it will be hard to play some pieces by Padre Davide da Bergamo who composed for an organ that had 2 complete rows of chormatic bells and a 2 meter diameter drum incorporated. Also pieces that need a Rossignol will propose a serious challenge.

    Let's say that within the possibilities of any organ, you can play whatever music was composed with similar organs in mind. Now how well it will do that music justice is another discussion.

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  • Piperdane
    replied
    Originally posted by samibe View Post
    . . . A very talented organist could probably do almost any piece justice on just about any pipe organ.
    Absolutely. Not every organist has access to 3 to 5 manuals and 115 ranks. We make do with what we have to work with; I did with a II/9 Moller for over 30 years - it's limited stoplist never stopped me from playing any literature written for the organ.
    Last edited by myorgan; 11-24-2018, 06:56 AM. Reason: fix quote

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  • andijah
    replied
    I happen to have lived in Bayreuth for several years (indeed, I learned to play the organ during my time there) and also had the chance to work at the Wagner festival theatre for two seasons. As much as I love the organ and have deep respect for Wagner's operas, I wouldn't dream of having an organ that tries to do justice to a Wagnerian orchestra sound. And as @regeron says, opera is much more than just the music. Especially Wagner with his idea of the "Gesamtkunstwerk"...

    Leave a comment:


  • regeron
    replied
    Originally posted by jonmyrlebailey View Post
    In addition to a good organist, the complete organ works of Bach and possibly Couperin will require flute pipes that chiff, and possibly a hollow flute stop while Wagner Romantic opera instrumental arrangements will require something of a voix celeste, possibly a vox humana string stop and something of a state trumpet.

    I have no more to ask or say otherwise.

    Thank you, I rest my case.
    The "case that rests" is that the original poster has a lot more to learn.

    Wagner is not a composer for the organ. Transcriptions do have their place, but if you want the truly great Romantic repertoire, you have to look at the real organist/composers like:
    -- Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Reubke, Brahms, Rheinberger, Reger and Karg-Elert in Germany;
    -- Elgar, Stanford, Wood and Parry in England;
    -- Lefébure-Wely, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Dubois, Guilmant, Widor, Gigout, and Boëllmann in France.
    (I stop short of the next generation which, while writing more modern music, still had its roots in Romanticism.)

    Opera, especially in the hands of Wagner, was a multi-media event. It relies on the text to be authentic The drama, the story, the psychological implications - all are part of the composition. Pulling out a single movement here and there, then presenting a non-vocal version of it, is not in any way the same as experiencing the whole opera.

    Without going into other shortcomings in the OP's arguments, this appears to be a case of someone basing a significant opinion on a minimum of knowledge. If there were an interest in learning more and expanding his knowledge base, many people would be willing to help out. However, there have been enough comments from the OP indicating that he feels content to nestle into a comfortable blanket that is threadbare in terms of knowledge and experience, but extremely well-padded in terms of opinion.

    I suspect that if that attitude continues, people who know what they're talking about will be less and less likely to help out.
    Last edited by regeron; 11-21-2018, 10:07 AM.

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  • jonmyrlebailey
    replied
    In addition to a good organist, the complete organ works of Bach and possibly Couperin will require flute pipes that chiff, and possibly a hollow flute stop while Wagner Romantic opera instrumental arrangements will require something of a voix celeste, possibly a vox humana string stop and something of a state trumpet.

    I have no more to ask or say otherwise.

    Thank you, I rest my case.

    Leave a comment:


  • toodles
    replied
    The Orgelbewegung (organ reform) movement was a counter-reaction to the excesses of the symphonic/romantic organ fashions. Organ design fashions follow trends just as other artistic endeavors follow various fashion trends.

    In the USA, the reform movement brought about many "screechers" as a friend of mine calls them. Later reform designs tended to follow historic models more closely--i.e., they did not just follow the basic technology of tracker action, low pressure, and no nicking, but followed the tonal examples as well. Those organs tend to have a robust, warm sound to my ears.

    The reform movement was necessary, I think, but even if not essential, it produced beneficial results. The Flentrop you so admire was a result of that movement, though to my ears it is a little on the tonally harsh side compared to some other builders of neo-Baroque instruments.

    Today the organ world seems to have come into balance, with appreciation for both the Baroque inspired organs and at least somewhat symphonic organ.

    A lot of the symphonic transcription organ music came from a time when recordings of orchestral music did not exist, and for people who did not live in a large city with an orchestra, they were more likely to hear it played on an organ than via a visiting orchestra. An organ really cannot do justice to orchestra music, as an orchestra can't do justice to organ music. They just don't sound the same and can't.

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  • jonmyrlebailey
    replied
    Originally posted by andijah View Post
    First of all, there are still a lot of organs from the romantic era over here that haven't been touched during the Orgelbewegung. Second, there has been a lot of effort to restore organs that had been changed in a way that nowadays is seen as counterproductive.
    Third, I wonder how much you really know about German organ tradition to make such a bold statement...
    Just what I read on a few Internet article lately and had discovered them by accident. I never knew that so many people were adverse to symphonic/orchestral organs during the earlier part of the 20th century.

    Considering the greatness of Richard Wagner, I'm frankly surprised the Romantic organ did not have a huge following in Germany earlier on in history. France, Britain and American seemed to take a great fancy to those types of instruments while many Germans clung to the Baroque tradition.

    I do wish there were more Romantic organs in Germany. There are a handful I gather but not very many. It would be interesting to hear organ arrangements of Wagner's famous operas on such organ since he was a German. A purely Baroque instrument is definitely a no-go for Ride of the Valkyries, Parsifal and Die Meistersinger. Perhaps the German music purists thought Wagner and other German Romantic works should only be executed by orchestral instruments in a symphony, or, on the piano.

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