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Thread: Bach

  1. #16
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    I begged our organist to play BWV 565 as he hasn't for ages, he rolled his eyes and said "oh, alright, i guess even that monster needs an outing once in a while".
    The last time I did that one in church was when October 31 (Halloween) fell on a Sunday - The room fell totally silent when I began that piece ... In all my years as a church organist, that was the quietest congregation ever.

    One can never play too much Bach in church, though ... at least, imho.
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  2. #17
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Krummiest - I seem to remember reading some where that it is (maybe) apochrophal ... then that was dispelled based soely on it's wonderful individuality (which only the Great Bach could "dream up").

  3. #18
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Now that's a picture isn't it? Bela Lugosi up in the organ loft playing BWV565 with his Black cape, lined in Blood red silk. Black hair slicked right down enhancing the pale pallow visage and protruding eye teeth. All the better to drink you with. Hahahahahahahahaha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  4. #19
    Captain of Water Music Thomas Dressler's Avatar
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    Gosh guys, thanks! And it's nice to see you here! Corno, don't I know you from before with a different name?

    I've played BWV 565 a couple times--and just like Krummhorn, the year that Halloween fell on Sunday. Same thing happened--I had a church full of people stay for the postlude and then cheer after it was over! (And this in a Catholic church . . .) I, too, have mixed feelings about it, kind of a love/hate relationship. It has never been proven either way whether Bach wrote it or not. At this point in my life, I think it probably is a youthful piece of his, but I have at times wondered if his oldest son, WF Bach, didn't write it. I don't know. It has a lot of weaknesses in terms of technique but it has a wealth of really good ideas. I honestly don't know what to make of it, but I play it maybe every other year. It kind of makes me grit my teeth that of all the pieces we know by Bach, this, which is certainly well intentioned but weak, is known above, say, the double fugue in F or so many other fantastic pieces. The other thing that galls me is how people associate it with horror movies. I have occasionally had people ask for the "Frankenstein" piece or the "Dracula" piece. I know exactly what they're talking about but I pretend I don't. "Bach never wrote a Dracula piece!" I guess I'd play it more often if the associations were different. I am lucky enough where I work that they know some other pieces. I get a lot listening if I play the "Little" G minor fugue, for instance, or Wachet auf, which I play every year on the first Sunday of Advent. One year I didn't get around to Wachet auf and I heard about it from a couple parishioners!

    I have to say, however, that if BWV 565 had magical powers that could transform me into a vampire with blood dripping fangs, I think that just might be a good way to solve the occasional problems that crop up! Then I'd surely play it on an "as needed" basis!!!!



    Tom

  5. #20
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Well now, If I owned a medieval castle, and If it had a great hall, and if that great hall had an Organ, wouldn't halloween be good fun!

  6. #21
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hello Mr. Dressler,

    Strange that you should ask if I was on this forum with a different name. Golly gee, I must have an alter-ego that mimics me. Anyway, this forumsite is so friendly that it is contagious - maybe my bubbly self took liberties which I shouldn't have by being so informal towards a professional musician like yourself and which caused you great consternation.

    If so, please accept my most humble apologies for being so disrespectful.

    Humbly,

    Corno Dolce
    *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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  7. #22
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster Mahlon's Avatar
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    Hey everyone, I would just like to mention that Bach is my all time favorite composer. I'm sure I'll discover other composers that I love, and ofcourse I do..(Beethoven, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff.) to name a few, but I know that for me, at least right now in my life, I view Bach as the ultimate in music making.
    "The purpose of art is not the momentary ejection of adrenaline but the gradual and lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity."- Glenn Gould

    http://www.last.fm/music/Mahlon+Berv?autostart

  8. #23
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    thomas - the thought of you in a black cape sinking your teeth into recalcitrant congregationers makes me smile ... you wouldn't bite too hard, would you? :-)

    Also you mention a double fugue in F ... can you let me know the BWV number?

  9. #24
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Mahlon - I adore Bach so deeply, so committedly that I own all his music and all of that in recording: every sonata, every cantata, every little song with harpsichord accompaniment ... AND whatsmore, it was cheap! (The music I have in PDF for about $80 (comes on a DVD)) and the CDs were from an unknown label to me: Brilliant Classics, which are all on my iPod now. I think I'm the only person on earth with all Bach's music on an iPod ... (sound files that is)

  10. #25
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Well I can't disagree - Bach sure takes some beating. The problem and danger is that cronologically speaking you get up to Bach and get stuck. Nothing much after that registers at all. And that becomes especially true if you are playing a relatively small organ with limited stop lists and no registration aids. Perhaps you might have a crude swell box, but without a balanced pedal.

    So that rules out virtually everthing written after Bach since the stop changes, demands on the swell organ simply can not be met.

    I have to say I do get bored with Baroque music from time to time. But probably less so than any other era...

  11. #26
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    NEB do you think it really matters? Playing French Romantic organ music on a smallish organ works, I remember the organist at St. John's Mudgee (small three manual) played the Widor Toccata, it was fine. I admit I did miss the thundering 32' reeds in the pedal.

  12. #27
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    Well - some things like the Widor work on even a 1 man with just a few stops. In fact many of those toccatas come out OK. they really only require stops adding or subtracting in a predifined sequence and with just 9 stops 1 mnaual and 30 pedals they work. In fact I've even made the Widor sound decent with q 27 note pedal board - just a bit of shifting the octaves. I get my eldest to stand in as page turner and stop mover when I've got no aids to help me and even then she quite happily pushes buttons for me

    The problem is when you re trying to do a lot of the more involved works that really need 3 manuals and some nifty stop changes at that you just hvae a complete nightmare on your hands because of the instrument limitations.

    MY local church the Boellman toccata from suite gothique sounds superb even though we've got only a 16' bourdon and a man-ped coupler. Still works really well. You just work up from the dulciana through the flutes into the diapason/principal and add the 2' as you come back to the main theme towards the end. The pedal tune still comes through nicely not least since working in octaves reinforces the pedal sound anyway, and the shrillness of the chorus to 2' compliments and runs down into the pedals to reinforce that as well. That particular organ doesn't even have good lungs, so when you work into the principal chorus up to 2' you need to be romving the dulciana along the way and the stopped flues 8' & 4' or you'll get that dreaded dipping in the wind pressure when you hit a chord.

    A little common sense solves it. But these types of toccata wihich are really very straightforward (the caellerts is another - the Gigout works too) you can manage because they work around block sound rather than more sophistcated methods of expression. So just like the Baroque where it was characterised by using blocks of sound and mnaual switch to another block of sound (actually not unlike a 2 manual harpsichord) pretty much anything else qritting in that way, prividing the stop changes aren't frequent or onerous can be managed there.

    (helps that they have one of the best acoustics around so a small organ sounds wonderful)
    Last edited by NEB; Jan-28-2008 at 22:41.

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