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Thread: Nice to know his magic is still there

  1. #1
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Nice to know his magic is still there

    I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a huge afficianado of Jehan Alain's music (and life), and in quite the Jungian turn of synchronicity this week, it's been an interesting lead up to the 70th anniversary of Alain's untimely death (June 20, 1940).

    Firstly, there was the posting I made in the "your local organ sounds like" thread wherin I found one of my best performances of Alain's Litanies, then there were my comments in other thread I started in regard to registration woes.

    So yesterday, I played at my other church and after warming them up during communion with Alain's Dorian Choral and my own arrangement for organ of his Vocalise, it was off again with Litanies for the postlude (mainly because it's the only piece that I can play from memory!) played on their otherwise modest but very capable two-manual instrument. It was far from my best performance, but the response was highly encouraging, nothing but positive comments (that I heard anyway!). One of the best was from the oldest member of the crowd who enthusiastically shook my hand and said "It's been so long since I've heard that, thank you so much, that was fantastic!" And from those who'd never heard it before, there was still a "wow" factor from them which was even more encouraging.

    It was nostalgically cyclic for me since I was playing at the church where I had my first organ lessons so many long years ago. It was that teacher who sat me down in front of a recording of Marie-Claire playing her brother's most famous piece which subsequently blew me away. I've just mentioned in the other thread about my conversation with Mme Alain, and I always recall her saying at that time, that there is "something magical about Litanies"

    Regardless of anyone else's opinion (to which they are of course entitled ) I for one, am so glad that Alain's magic is still working, even on the unitiated! It's at times like these that I - perhaps a little wistfully - recall Jehan's own comment:
    "When I am dead, will anyone remember me? Will I have managed to do a little good around me? It's good to imagine eternal mercy"

    Matt
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Matt, dear friend, I own a recording from Wanamaker which has the complete Litanites on it, I just adore it, such beautiful music. I kind of figured he was related to the great M-C.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Commodore con Forza
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    You "figured he was related"? Where have you been? Of course he was related - he was her brother, although somewhat older than she, and she's no puppy any more. I think she was born in 1926, and Jehan was a number of years older.

    Marie-Claire has supposedly done "definitive" recordings of her brother's works, although that is always open to debate.

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    *.............Its nice to image Eternal Mercy* - Believe in Eternal Life and you shall be granted it.

    Soubasse, I am so happy that you had experienced such a state of exaltation - You may have possibly opened new horizons for the listener which had heretofore been unknown to him - Kudos to you Sir.............


    Cheers,

    CD
    *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."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
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    Jehan forever...

    Matt this is a great story you posted ....The kind I love to hear.
    Bless you for payin' a big tribute to Alain's spirit and though I never listen to you performing, I know you did it super.

    Jehan will be forever in our hearts with his magical Litanies.

    dll, Marie-Claire also played her father's music Albert. I got a CD from "Caliope" with her playin' the organ of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the instrument her father used to play and compose for most of his life.
    Great stuff.....

    Alain familly very special related to the organ familly.
    *It's like a fight with women, which always ends in .... bed.*
    F.Kafka, Aphorisms.

  6. #6
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    I think she was born in 1926, and Jehan was a number of years older.

    Marie-Claire has supposedly done "definitive" recordings of her brother's works, although that is always open to debate.
    1926 sounds about right, I sure she said she was about 14 when she went to the site at Saumur where Jehan was killed. She was there with Madeleine (Jehan's wife) and it was around there that they discovered he must have had a bag with his manuscripts in the sidecar of his motorbike, pages of it were blowing across the countryside.

    Marie-Claire has done the complete recordings of Jehan's opus at least twice, I have a digital copy of the original ones on vinyl.

    I have a most excellent all-Alain disc of Thomas Trotter and another by Helga Schaurte (sp?) and I'm pretty sure she's also done all the others. Eric Lebrun (on Naxos surprisingly) has also done a complete recording.

    I must confess to a preference to TT - his playing was quite electrifying, however, even then, little has compared to seeing and hearing Olivier Latry performing the Trois Danses - beyond belief.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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