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Thread: a master of improvisation!

  1. #1
    Midshipman, Forte branchporter's Avatar
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    a master of improvisation!

    Young Gert van Hoef plays a wide variety of music...
    .....and his improvisations - wow!
    Here are improvisations on "Abba Vader u Alleen" and "Conquest of Paradise".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L16n1lpArNU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3u-y_2dPCg

    If you know of a better improvisation by anyone, post a link. I want to hear it!

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Hed does do a great job at improv. I listened to them last night on youtube from his new concert coming in Febr.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

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    Midshipman, Forte branchporter's Avatar
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    Lest you think Gert's only skill is improvisation, here's a video he posted today:

    Final Symphony No 3, Louis Vierne.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSvWHeO4DuQ

    Now 19, Gert began music lessons and learned to read music at 14.
    It looks like he has invested in a pair organ shoes!
    Until now he has played in tennis shoes ...or even hiking boots, as seen in the following video.
    There is some very Impressive footwork in the later part.

    Improvisation on the tune "Wen Nur Den Lieben Gott"
    Hymn "If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee":
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N07M0Rne1xk
    Last edited by branchporter; Feb-12-2014 at 21:49.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Got the email for this post but have not listened to it yet . Yes I noticed the new shoes..just goes to show you can play in whatever you are used to and still do a good job. I think talent is what is important more so then equip ( even if that seems to help many of us )
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Midshipman, Forte branchporter's Avatar
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    I still have not found anyone whose improvisation skill impresses me more than that of young Gert van Hoef.

    I consider this spontaneous improvisation of three tunes from three sources to be masterful. The transitions from tune to tune at 6:40 and 8:00 are impressive. Gert's talented teammate Jan de Rooij also does a great job of improvising the registration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry6M2jivj6c

    This was done on "Church Night", a time when churches in the area are open to visitors who come to explore and learn about them. (A great idea!) At the beginning, you hear people talking and milling around at this informal event. But soon, it became very quiet as people realized that the kid playing the organ was worthy of their attention.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    He's certainly very good, although for my ears, his improvisations are a little on the conservative side. However, a few more years experience, and it would be very interesting to hear what he comes out with.

    For my tastes, breathtaking improvisations tend not to get much better than Olivier Latry.




    Not forgetting the late Pierre Cochereau, one of Notre Dame's most celebrated titulaires.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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  9. #7
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    He's certainly very good, although for my ears, his improvisations are a little on the conservative side. However, a few more years experience, and it would be very interesting to hear what he comes out with.

    For my tastes, breathtaking improvisations tend not to get much better than Olivier Latry.




    Not forgetting the late Pierre Cochereau, one of Notre Dame's most celebrated titulaires.
    I would agree wholeheartedly with this, Soubasse.

    I should also add the sadly missed Yves Devernay (Titulaire-Adjointe, Nôtre-Dame de Paris, 1985-90) and Jean-Jacques Grünenwald (Organiste Titulaire, S. Sulpice 1973-82).*

    And, of course, David Briggs.

    Gert has some fluency and, as Soubasse observes, after a few more years' experience - and some thorough training, he will no doubt be producing something far better
    .

    However, for my taste, even Latry, as good as he is, cannot eclipse the enormous talent, technique and inventiveness of Pierre Cochereau, whom Marcel Dupré described as "a phenomenon without equal in the history of the contemporary organ,"

    A question for Soubasse: Can you tell me who was the female organist who directly succeeded Dupré at S. Sulpice, please? One or two sources state that Grünenwald succeeded Dupré - which is incorrect. As far as I know, there was a lady organist (who apparently was not considered to be particularly good), who played for about two years. However, I cannot either recall her name or remember where I read about her. Thank you.



    * On this website http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Gru...an-Jacques.htm it is stated that he shared this post with Jeanne Demessieux. This would have been impossible - she died on 11 November, 1968.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; May-15-2014 at 23:24.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  10. #8
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I believe I'm in agreement about Cochereau, sometimes I put him and Latry at equal first on my personal list. But, then in listening to the many PC CDs and also David Briggs (yes, also a fantastic improviser) excellent transcriptions of PC improvs, one does hear that there is indeed an intangible edge to PC's playing. Dupre was indeed correct in his comment about PC. Would love to have met him. I've only met Latry once and even then it felt like touching the hand of greatness!

    Sorry to say I'm completely in the dark about this mystery female successor to Dupre - curious, and may be worth a paper-chase.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Regarding successor to Dupre.. I did not find any info on female successor..But a thought. as Jean-Jacques Grünenwald perhaps was confused to have been a female due to the "Jean" . I checked several references and always Jean-Jacques Grünenwald was listed as the successor.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  12. #10
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wljmrbill View Post
    Regarding successor to Dupre.. I did not find any info on female successor..But a thought. as Jean-Jacques Grünenwald perhaps was confused to have been a female due to the "Jean" . I checked several references and always Jean-Jacques Grünenwald was listed as the successor.
    No - this is not the case. (For the record, Dupré died on Whit Sunday, in 1971 - and Grünenwald was not appointed until January, 1973 - leaving an apparent two-year gap.)

    Further research leads me to believe that she may have been Suppléant to Dupré and, after his death, was made temporary Titulaire - S. Sulpice has a history of this; Widor was never actually appointed Titulaire, as he stated himself. He was given a probationary year and, at the end of it, the priest did not mention it, neither did Widor, so he just carried on doing the job until about three years before his death, in 1937..
    Last edited by pcnd5584; May-19-2014 at 22:36.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  13. #11
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    I believe I'm in agreement about Cochereau, sometimes I put him and Latry at equal first on my personal list. But, then in listening to the many PC CDs and also David Briggs (yes, also a fantastic improviser) excellent transcriptions of PC improvs, one does hear that there is indeed an intangible edge to PC's playing. Dupre was indeed correct in his comment about PC. Would love to have met him. I've only met Latry once and even then it felt like touching the hand of greatness!

    Sorry to say I'm completely in the dark about this mystery female successor to Dupre - curious, and may be worth a paper-chase.
    Absolutely.

    As a former pupil of David Briggs (whilst he was Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral), I would certainly agree that he is a fabulous improvisor. Here is an improvised fugue which Briggs created at S. Sulpice, almost three years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOQvxK813J0

    Here is no 'wall of sound', just transcendent, beautiful music. To create this is worlds away from simply 'doodling' quietly - which is often what many who claim to improvise actually do.

    In this fugue, there are no aural 'fireworks', no mere reliance on lightning-speed passage-work, no resorting to tutti effects for excitement* - just pure music, superbly crafted in a recognised form. The richness of his harmonic language, coupled with the mellow transparency of the S. Sulpice Fonds 8 pieds, is, as far as I am concerned, nothing short of sublime.




    * Although I would certainly say that all these things have their time and place. Many of Cochereau's Sorties are full of 'fireworks', lightning-speed passage-work and tutti effects - but never, ever at the expense of thematic content, structure or form. In fact, I find that listening to almost all of these in re-mastered recordings, gives one a feeling of great exhilaration.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; May-19-2014 at 22:55.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcnd5584 View Post
    I would agree wholeheartedly with this, Soubasse.

    I should also add the sadly missed Yves Devernay (Titulaire-Adjointe, Nôtre-Dame de Paris, 1985-90) and Jean-Jacques Grünenwald (Organiste Titulaire, S. Sulpice 1973-82).*

    And, of course, David Briggs.



    Gert has some fluency and, as Soubasse observes, after a few more years' experience - and some thorough training, he will no doubt be producing something far better
    .

    However, for my taste, even Latry, as good as he is, cannot eclipse the enormous talent, technique and inventiveness of Pierre Cochereau, whom Marcel Dupré described as "a phenomenon without equal in the history of the contemporary organ,"

    A question for Soubasse: Can you tell me who was the female organist who directly succeeded Dupré at S. Sulpice, please? One or two sources state that Grünenwald succeeded Dupré - which is incorrect. As far as I know, there was a lady organist (who apparently was not considered to be particularly good), who played for about two years. However, I cannot either recall her name or remember where I read about her. Thank you.



    * On this website http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Gru...an-Jacques.htm it is stated that he shared this post with Jeanne Demessieux. This would have been impossible - she died on 11 November, 1968.
    This is Françoise Renet who was Interim Organist during the Dupré/Grunenwald and Grunenwald/Roth interregna (1971-1973 and 1982-1985, respectively).
    She died at the age of 71 in 1995.

  15. #13
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thierry60 View Post
    This is Françoise Renet who was Interim Organist during the Dupré/Grunenwald and Grunenwald/Roth interregna (1971-1973 and 1982-1985, respectively).
    She died at the age of 71 in 1995.
    Thank you for this. Thierry.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

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