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Thread: Have we had this before?

  1. #1
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Have we had this before?

    Played by the composer in 1932

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8vz1D_L_OE

    Sounds much better at this speed than the more recent "how fast can you do it" brigade.

    Maybe his age at the time had some effect, but I doubt it, if he thought he couldn't play it at the "correct" speed why would he record it for future generations to hear.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Refreshing to hear this "Widor" tempo ... I fail to understand why some organists try to set land speed records with their crazy tempos.

    This is very close to my tempo when I perform the work.

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Maybe it should be compulsory viewing before opening the score
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    That would be a first though.

    The other factor to consider too is acoustics ... too fast in a very live building and it all blurs together as one big mess of sound.

    It's actually much easier to play in a live room as opposed to a dead one. The church where I play is deader than a doornail - heavy carpet, padded pews - the sound stops before I can even get my fingers off the keys. When I record my playing, I had a little hint of "liveliness" during the editing process which keeps if from being too dry.

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  6. #5
    Commodore con Forza
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    Yes, we've had it before -- its been around for 81 years. At that point Widor would have been 88 years old, so the fact that he could do it at all shows that he still had some stamina left in those old bones. He retired from St. Sulpice at the end of 1933. There might have been a time when he would have played it a bit faster, BUT -- he seems to have been known for complaining that others played it too fast.

    The Virgil Fox/ Diane Bish school may have a good bit of ego involved. And they wouldn't be the first (or last) to let fame go to their heads. But I fully agree that speed is not necessarily a measure of virtuosity, and other comments are correct in saying that the acoustics in a building can make fast tempos just a muddle of noise. Ever hear the saying that the most important stop in an organ is the acoustics?

    Many composers (including Widor) have been known to make varying degrees of changes in their compositions as time went on, and one would assume that the last or final version would be the preferred one. Witness poor Anton Bruckner, who never seemed to be able to make up his mind. I suppose the debate will continue, but I agree that speed does not necessarily mean better.

    As an added thought, 1932 recording technology would surely not be up to the current state of the art, so that could be a factor in how the music sounds. It wasn't until the 1950's, when 'high fidelity' and stereo came along, that the organ suddenly became a measure of recording abilities.
    Last edited by dll927; Nov-08-2013 at 01:31.

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