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Thread: Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

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    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

    Hi all,

    It was 70 years ago today (June 2) that Vierne suffered a stroke and died at the console at Notre Dame, toward the end of a recital. I've been working the past week on a realization of one of my favorites of his, the Final from Symphony #6, which I can post since today is life plus 70 and it's now public domain!

    You can just listen to the MP3 (7:01, 6.4 MB download), or read more about Vierne and the work on its page on my site (there's a link on that page to get the MP3 as well).

    I hope you enjoy it!

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    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Hi Jeffrey,

    that means you can be the first one to publish his work for free!!! Great idea!!

    I have listened to the FINAL three times - it's a great work once again. Thanks for posting it here!!!!

    I guess the organ score is original and that strings pads in the middle are from you?

    I must confess that impressionistic organ music is absolutely new for me ( I am aware there are many professional organists here who would laugh at me reading that ). Nevertheless it sounds at least interesting for me - hope you will not expect to hear a lot more from a person who got stuck hopelessly in the 17th C. and for whom the term "organ music" is equal to Bach's music.

    And the story of the life of Vierne was very interesting to read, rather sad, though.

    Good luck and best regards
    Andrew

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    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the feedback; glad you enjoyed it!

    Actually, everything here is purely Vierne's writing; I've just arranged it with the organ patches bolstered by some other, non-organ ones. I usually don't try to create clones of the many existing recordings of the works I do realizations of, but arrangements that hopefully give a slightly different and enjoyable way of hearing the works. So here, rather than just using softer organ patches in the middle, I split up the MIDI sequences into individual parts and assigned them to string pads, flutes, and an aaah choir, in addition to the organ underpinning. Likewise, the loud pedal lines are primarily an organ patch, but blended with double basses and a very soft low brass.

    I grew up on a heavy diet of Bach and Beethoven myself, and I've been slowly tuning my ears to 20th century works over the past few decades. I must say I've really come to love Vierne's music -- it's quite dramatic and very harmonically clever.

    Best regards,

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    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Actually, everything here is purely Vierne's writing; I've just arranged it with the organ patches bolstered by some other, non-organ ones. I usually don't try to create clones of the many existing recordings of the works I do realizations of, but arrangements that hopefully give a slightly different and enjoyable way of hearing the works. So here, rather than just using softer organ patches in the middle, I split up the MIDI sequences into individual parts and assigned them to string pads, flutes, and an aaah choir, in addition to the organ underpinning. Likewise, the loud pedal lines are primarily an organ patch, but blended with double basses and a very soft low brass.

    Yep, now I've got your point - I find that string or choir pads really bring smth. to the whole composition , no matter if they were original or yours. Works good anyway. These sounds made the structure more transparent and easier ( for me , at least ) to grasp .

    Did you think of a kind of completely different arrangement for the piece? I guess it could be interesting to replace the organ COMPLETELY with the orchestral parts, woodwinds etc. May sound very new and fresh - you know, The Pictures From An Exhibition was originally only a piano work , as written by Mussorgsky. Then it was orchestrated by Ravel - and you can very seldom hear the original piano version today. So many would think that it was written as an orchestral suite from the very beginning.

    Then , as we definitely know, that Vierne's music is since almost 2 days FREE, you could give it a try...

    Best regards,

    ( as always very critical ) Andrew

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    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Did you think of a kind of completely different arrangement for the piece? I guess it could be interesting to replace the organ COMPLETELY with the orchestral parts, woodwinds etc. May sound very new and fresh - you know, The Pictures From An Exhibition was originally only a piano work , as written by Mussorgsky. Then it was orchestrated by Ravel - and you can very seldom hear the original piano version today. So many would think that it was written as an orchestral suite from the very beginning.
    And Ravel sure knew what he was doing! Indeed that's the version I heard first as a kid, and the piano version still sounds "bare" to me even today!

    This Vierne is so quintessentially "organ" that I decided against a complete replacement. I have occasionally tried that, as with the very short Bach organ chorale BWV 632. Soft brass and harpsichord (soprano voice) guitars (alto, tenor), and synth pad and acoustic bass (bass).

    Then , as we definitely know, that Vierne's music is since almost 2 days FREE, you could give it a try...
    Hmmm. Let me think about that.

    (your comments helpful as always!)

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Be very careful that you do not violate copyright however ... Vierne's music might very well be out of copyright now ... but music publishing houses maintain copyright on printed sources (not the intellectual property).

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    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Be very careful that you do not violate copyright however ... Vierne's music might very well be out of copyright now ... but music publishing houses maintain copyright on printed sources (not the intellectual property).
    They certainly do, and fear not, I have no intention or plans to "publish" printed scores. As we were discussing on the ASCAP thread on another board, I tend to be hyper-conservative about copyright violations. If it's not past life+70, I don't even want to touch the audio, let alone a printed score. The laws are complex, and if you're not 100% certain, it's best not to go there at all. So the good folks at Henri Lemoine have nothing to worry about from me.
    Last edited by Jeffrey Hall; Jun-04-2007 at 05:51.

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Yep, good man Vierne slumped at the organ console of the instrument which he loved so much. Apparently his left foot came to rest on the lowest C-key and all the registers were drawn and couplers employed for a Sforzando.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    It's part of the reason I chose Vierne to start and conclude my recital this year. T'would be nice if the public at large were more familiar with his music - his Masses are gorgeous works.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Midshipman, Forte Pacific 231's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Hall View Post
    It was 70 years ago today (June 2) that Vierne suffered a stroke and died at the console at Notre Dame, toward the end of a recital.
    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    Yep, good man Vierne slumped at the organ console of the instrument which he loved so much. Apparently his left foot came to rest on the lowest C-key and all the registers were drawn and couplers employed for a Sforzando.
    My father who was at this time in Paris, was at this famous concert in Notre-Dame and tolled me several times of this foot who came to rest a key and thought at the beginning it was a real Forzando. For my father, it was quite emotional this end of Vierne...
    Last edited by Pacific 231; Dec-22-2007 at 19:22.

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Tis a fitting sort of end isn't it.

    Another such end came for Tommy Cooper - the comedian/magician - on stage at the London Paladium during a Royal variety show. The paladium being a theatre he had played many times in his long career and was often considered the peak for the variety artist... Equally fitting.

    I've no doubt that is how each would have wished to have gone!

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