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Thread: Looking for a (rare?!) Carlo Curley CD... HELP!!!

  1. #1
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    Arrow Looking for a (rare?!) Carlo Curley CD... HELP!!!

    Hi all – my first post here I believe!

    I've been looking for a particular Carlo Curley CD for quite some time now, and was wondering if anyone here would have or know of any sources on how or where I might be able to obtain it, or a copy of it:

    Artist: Carlo Curley

    Album title: Bach – Great Organ Works

    Year: 1994

    Label: Decca (or Decca Ovation)

    Location: St. Eustache, Paris

    This CD includes the great Passacagia and Fugue in C-minor, so if it doesn't have this work, it's not the CD I'm searching for. I've searched the web as thoroughly as I could, and came up with little to nothing, so a few "wanted" postings like this seem to be my last, desperate resort.

    Any and all possible leads in my quest for this disc would be very, very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for anyone that's able to help me out here!

    Roy

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Greetings Royboy,

    Welcome to MIMF. Have you checked Carlo's website for this? If not, if you click here you might be able to find it that site.
    He lists all his discography on the site.

    Anyway, glad to have you aboard here - hope you will become a regular participant in some of our discussion areas. Enjoy!!
    Kh ~~.
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    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the kind welcome Krummhorn!

    I am VERY familiar with Carlo's website, and already have many if not most of his CD's and even early cassette tapes and LP's, many if not most of which aren't in print any longer.

    There USED to be a complete discography on his site, but some time ago they reduced that to just the few recordings that are currently available.

    If anyone is interested, I can tell you how to find two MP3 gems available to download from his site. One is a ten minute live concert excerpt of the Passacaglia and Fugue in C-minor on the grand Wanamaker organ, and the other is the entire 16+ minute recording of the Passacaglia and Fugue from this CD that I'm looking for. Needless to say, I'm absolutely thrilled to at least have this, as the sound quality on both these MP3's is really quite good, and as exciting and thrilling as can be on a good sounding computer sound system. Highly recommended to at least consider checking them out, so let me know if you're interested in where to find them on his site.

  4. #4
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    (Notes from the Carlo Curley St. Eustache recording)

    Carlo himself wrote in the sleeve notes for the Decca CD:

    “As you will no doubt learn from the opening eight-bar theme of Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, I chose to approach this work with abundant confidence, eschewing the more familiar – though of course equally legitimate – interpretation in which perhaps one or, at most two, stops are drawn. But although, to set the stage, I do employ the full triple tutti blaze, contrast is surely one of beauty’s building blocks and, from the last low pedal C of the first statement – which, calling into service the very largest 32’ pipes, causes every stone of this huge edifice to tremble throughout its 100 meter height – emerges a beautiful theme played on the sublime solo Cor de basset, a stop presented to Joseph Bonnet, a former organist here, by the titan British organ genius Henry Willis III. It is this theme which forms the basis of the twenty extraordinary variations which follow, and only when Bach has employed them fully is the Passacaglia done.

    “The ensuing double-fugue builds in intensity to near breaking-point until the very last line, when a heart-stopping Neapolitan sixth chord heralds a profound rest before, in the major key, this mighty work is brought to its cataclysmic conclusion.” Carlo at the mobile console of the organ of St.-Eustache at the time of the recording of the Passacaglia It must be remembered that in Bach's day, the fugue was a new and innovative medium as a musical convention and was not heard with the tired dryness and remote formality of later generations of ears. That famous quip which once defined the fugue as ‘a musical composition in which the voices come in one by one while the audience goes out one by one’ was further and hilariously built upon by Virgil Fox, who said of New York City organ recitals "that they were so incestuously esoteric, that as the fugue voices entered one by one, the audience left two by two." In Bach's day, and at his hands, the fugue gripped both soul and body. Time it was that we heard it again with fresh newness.

    Bach's entire oeuvre, although eternal in its validity, has nonetheless to be heard within the context of the musical development of his day – albeit that he stretched that development himself to its very contemporaneous artistic and technological boundaries. A liturgical composer as well as of what would now be called "secular" pieces, he was, in the fugue, most certainly a composer rooted in The Enlightenment – as such, he was very much part of his age. And it was The Enlightenment which was to change the vocabulary of both science and religion to explore musical form within religious expression in ways revolutionary as a result of the overturning of medieval systems of thought at the Reformation. The Age of Enlightenment brought us Newton and Keppler, inter alios, and a prevailing consensus amongst the Illuminati that in the newly-observed and immutable "laws of nature" the Creator had established a “clockwork universe” in which all inevitably moved as a result of a divinely-imbued mechanical quality – and God thus gained a physical remoteness beyond the observable. With its relentless logic and mathematical inevitability – to which the routine is all so prone – does this not reflect in both the very nature and later rendition of the fugue? And yet Bach remains, simultaneously, one of greatest composers ever to have captured the spiritual and to express the holy. Secularism might have been one of the results of The Enlightenment – but Bach's world would not have understood its meaning, for his world was still a holy creation, merely expressed by means Thus, Somerset Maugham – born Paris, 1874, died Nice, 1965 – writes in The Alien Corn:

    She played Bach. I do not know the names of the pieces, but I recognized the stiff ceremonial of the frenchified little German courts and the sober, thrifty comfort of the burghers, and the dancing on the village green, the green trees that looked like Christmas trees, and the sunlight on the wide German country, and a tender cosiness; and in my nostrils there was a warm scent of the soil and I was conscious of a sturdy strength that seemed to have its roots deep in mother earth, and of an elemental power that was timeless and had no home in space.

    In this recording, Carlo plays upon an instrument that is, in the words of Jean Guillou, a "paragon of 20th Century – the realization of a 20th Century musical thought " and utterly French in conception and execution. To play “secular” Bach, out of the ferment of The Enlightenment and, moreover, upon an organ so quintessentially French, based upon a Spanish form of melody that reaches back beyond the Renaissance, Carlo has caught like an image – not on camera but somewhere within the soul – something timeless and though acknowledging the passage of the earthly years, yet gives it a home in space.

    T. Ernest Nichols, author of “VIRGIL FOX: The Innermost Secrets The Method Behind The Madness” – reviewed by Carlo here in Carlo Turns The Tables On The Crits – (www.cafepress.com/virgilfoxmusic) – whose lasting contribution is to have proved a living line in interpretative pedagogy between master and pupil from Bach himself down to Virgil Fox – one of Carlo's teachers and mentors – writes thus:

    “Long before I made the acquaintance of Carlo Curley, I had heard that he had “inherited” the mantle of talent and performance acumen of Virgil Fox. This is just simply not true! Curley is his own man, as unique a musician and as dynamic a player as Fox, to be sure. But, for sure, not a replication, as is the situation with other Fox pupils. And, as with any pupil of a famous artist who has achieved his own, special greatness, there are natural traces of stylistic musical inheritances. But, again, Curley is his own man who, at times, distinctively expresses heroism as well as sensitive vulnerabilities.

    “The popular Virgil Fox version of Bach’s Spanish/Italian dance theme found in BWV 582 is colorfully kaleidoscopic. It is also heavily dependent on a large instrument with many orchestral stops to put over the Fox “treatment” as a good old-fashioned and, at times, hair raising 19th Century theme and variations, sometimes sacrificing the strict 18th Century form that Bach, Purcell, and others employed. Curley, on the other hand, has taken Tradition to new heights with a remarkable show of testosterone in announcing the theme on the Tout Ensemble. I am still marveling at that! He then skillfully reminds us all that Bach was the genius, not the player. Carlo Curley proves this by drawing the listener in to notice, explicitly, each and every one of Bach’s musical devices and intentions without sacrificing virtuosity or musical sensitivity. It is transcendent, especially with the vast SaintEustache instrument at his disposal. Carlo Curley has done an almost impossible feat in reminding us of Bach’s brilliance as a composer and musician, while at the same time subtly allowing the listener to be unequivocally aware that it is Carlo Curley who has done it in a way that is quite unique, never to be forgotten.”

  5. #5
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    Hi Royboy,

    have you had any luck finding the Carlo Curley Bach CD from St. Eustache ???

    Craig

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    His organ is built somewhat like the one at my church.
    judy tooley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orgelmusikmann View Post
    Hi Royboy,

    have you had any luck finding the Carlo Curley Bach CD from St. Eustache ???

    Craig
    Yes... and no. Someone on eBay "found" it for me... supposedly. At first the wrong one, and then all of a sudden the right one (based on pix of album covers). At first $99, then all of a sudden half that, when I said $99 was out of my budget at this time. Almost sounded too good to be true... and it was. IF it was ever sent, I never received it. Needless to say, it was a HUGE disappointment, but I did go through the trouble of getting my money back from PayPal thankfully. I promised seller I'd send the money IF it was ever delivered. I'm still waiting for it.

    Why do you ask? Any good leads or ideas for me???

    Take care, and thanks for your interest anyway!

    Roy

  8. #8
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    Hi All,

    just a quick note on the O.O.P. Carlo Curley CD from St. Eustache. Good News !!!
    Finally there has been a re-issue of the long sought after Bach from St. Eustache.
    http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=171395

    Best Regards,

    Craig

  9. #9
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    Craig,

    Got my "new" once rare and hard to find Curley CD the other day. The Passacagia and Fugue in C-minor ALONE was many, many times worth the price of admission!!! I honestly can't tell you how much I appreciated your heads-up on this re-issue – Christmas came early for me this year! Now I have to listen to the REST of the CD one of these days, but I'm still smiling days later from the P&F listening session!

    Once again, thanks a million!!!

    Roy

  10. #10
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    You might also look here as there is a downloadable MP3 of Mr. Curley being played

    http://www.orgel.com/cube/music-e.html

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