CE Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, London Sunday, June 26th

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  • DracoM
    replied
    No, I'm just dazed.

    I do sometimes wonder on these threads of the deep organ fans actually hear anybody and get really irritated by the way the singing gets in the way in CE.

    Reminds me of the story of the opera orchestra bass players: one says to the other I'm going to listen up top tomorow night. Two days later reports back to his mate: 'Here, you'll never guess. You know that bit where we're going 'oomp -pah-pah, oom-pah-pah for about a hundred bars. Well, on stage, there's some geezer singing 'La Donna e Mobile' or something. And blow me down, there are three thousand people out there listening. Amazing. '

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  • ardcarp
    replied
    Sorry, Klais....

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  • ardcarp
    replied
    It was worth waiting for.

    At risk of sounding like an organ nerd, I had a German experience rather than a French one. Yonks ago, playing the 'St Anne' Prelude and Fugue on a Kleis in Gottingen, I drew everything on the pedal for the final entry of the 'St Anne' tune, and the notes came very emphatically and worryingly from alternate left and right pedal towers, eg B flat from the left, G from the right, C and B flat again from the left, E flat from the right, and so on. Players of big classical instruments are no doubt used to this sort of thing, but for someone brought up on Harrisons and Willises with pedal pipes shoved round the back any old where, it was a rude awkening. Oh dear my esteem will have fallen with Draco now....

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  • Contre Bombarde
    Guest replied
    I had been in Paris for only a few weeks and hadn't done much playing, just enough to keep my hand in using a small practice organ. My tutor had a long-standing invitation to play a recital on the C-C in St. Ouen, Rouen and asked if I would like to go along to hear and play what he considered to be the finest of the fine. I didn't have to be asked twice and decided that I should play something appropriate for the instrument and settled on Resurrection, the IVth movement of Dupré's Symphonie-Passion.

    To cut a long story short my tutor told me just to play the notes, he would act as registrant and do everything necessary to make it sound as it should. The only non-note playing work for me was to operate the pedal for the récit expressif as marked in the score. For anyone that doesn't know the piece, it is based on the plainchant adore te devote which bears some resemblance to Wachet Auf. The first part is quiet and contemplative but soon builds up towards a typical Dupré toccata and is possibly one one of his most exciting works, more so to me than the better known 1st movement .

    All started well and by about 3'40" full organ was prepared ready for the main pedal entry of the theme on bottom D. I had heard and played the piece on some big UK instruments but was completely unprepared for what was unleashed when I hit that note with my left toes. The tribune appeared to be in the grip of an earth tremor and the most shattering volume of sound hit me; bear in mind that one is not far from the action (pun...) on a mechanically operated organ such as this. The Contre Bombarde simply defies description. It doesn't just speak but declaims and the sound develops in an almost magical way as the note is held. I had never heard anything quite so shattering and it stopped me in my tracks, but not before playing a sequence of completely wrong notes, looking around, saying something quite uncharacteristically profane (St. Ouen is, perhaps fortunately for the sake of my eternal soul, no longer a consecrated building) and collapsing in a fit of hysterical laughter. My tutor stood there with a beatific grin and said that I wasn't the first who had reacted thus and he did hope that I wouldn't be the last. When I had calmed down we started again and got through to the end without mishap, but with goose-bumps the size of golf balls on my arms by the time the final chord had died away.

    To get an idea of the sound one should listen to Ben van Oosten's recording of the work from St Ouen but I promise you that no hi-fi ever conceived can give more than the faintest glimmer of how the organ sounds and feels in the flesh. It is worth the trip to hear it in the Autumn recital season because that is the only way that one can feel the overwhelming presence of this organ in a glorious acoustic.

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  • ardcarp
    replied
    ...can't wait

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  • bach736
    replied
    Look forward to it.

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  • Contre Bombarde
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by DracoM View Post
    < Well not quite in CE, but... >

    Contre-bombarde, that is no gloss by me: it is EXACTLY how it was introduced by the CA on R3, the egregious Petroc.
    Sorry Draco, my meaning was that my piece of light musical entertainment wasn't performed in CE but morning mass.

    All glory, laud etc bach736. I hope to be Paris based in the not too distant future but, as they say, it weren't me I didn't do it!

    Can there ever be enough Bombardes 32p? I have quite a good story of the first time that I encountered a really big C-C reed which I may tell one day.

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  • bach736
    replied
    Apologies, CB - it was an amusing organ transcription of an American advertising jingle, uploaded to You Tube by a Parisian based Contre Bombarde!
    Hadn't realised there were so many of you.

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  • DracoM
    replied
    < Well not quite in CE, but... >

    Contre-bombarde, that is no gloss by me: it is EXACTLY how it was introduced by the CA on R3, the egregious Petroc.

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  • Contre Bombarde
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by bach736 View Post
    Contre Bombarde - have you done the Ren & Stimpy Log song recently?
    I'm sorry bach736, I don't know who Ren & Stimpy are and I haven't "done a log song", something which perhaps sounds a little too lavatorial...

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  • bach736
    replied
    Contre Bombarde - have you done the Ren & Stimpy Log song recently?

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  • Contre Bombarde
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by DracoM View Post
    'Light Fantastic Festival' in CE indeed!!
    Well not quite in CE, but...

    One of our regulars at Sunday morning mass is a most charming and gracious nonagenarian lady with aristocratic connections who celebrated a birthday this weekend. She has told me once or twice over lunches to which she has invited Madame Voix Céleste and me that "Elizabethan Serenade" by Ronald Binge, a theatre organist as well as composer, has been a favourite tune of hers since first she heard it some 40 or more years ago.

    As a small birthday gift I this week improvised the Communion music on that theme and was hugely chuffed when she took my hand after the service and said, with tears in her eyes, "They are quite wrong, you know; the devil doesn't have the best tunes."
    Last edited by Guest; 28-06-11, 08:43. Reason: Tired eyes after 3 hours practice this morning.

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  • DracoM
    replied
    Totally agree about choir, ardcarp mate, and I really do hope CE authorities at Beeb give them a chance to sing a 'proper' CE - yes, I know that will bring the house down on me, ............. 'Light Fantastic Festival' in CE indeed!!

    Would really like to hear those boys singing something better / different. Good mature treb sound - if you see what I mean.

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  • ardcarp
    replied
    Just heard it on i-player. What a fascinating CE! I'm a bit more sanguine abaout it than you, dear Draco!

    Wearisome History channel / travelogue at the start, a sermon that went on too long,
    Whilst I disapprove of travelogues and especially sermons, I have to say the travelogue was far from wearisome (quite good to be informed about this hidden-away gem) and the sermon (not having much to do with God) one of the best I've heard!

    The Sullivan anthem may not have been to everyone's taste, but it was fairly typical of the late Victorian period...think Stainer or Ouseley.

    To have 'Hail Poetry' from Pirates of Penzance during CE was novel. Gilbert intended it to be heavily satirical, of course, and one wonders what he might have made of all those 'royal' prayers near the end with their choral tags! How many private chapels does the Queen actually need, by the way?

    I think someone posted their dislaike of Onward Christian Soldiers...which we didn't actually get. Come on, it's a great tune! I played it to death (along with Stand up X2 for Jesus) when I was a kid on a beat-up old harmonium I bought from a junk shop for £1. So I for one was disappointed.

    But well done to the QCS choir. It was a bit like singing in the aural equivalent of a goldfish bowl, I guess, which makes it all the more impressive.

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  • Magnificat
    Guest replied
    Very committed choir I thought. They did well considering the limited rehearsal time they must have.

    Enjoyed the spoken parts of the service very much the collects, prayers etc were beautifully read and I thought the minister was delightfully unflustered by the mix up at the end.

    I would have preferred the hymn to the voluntary the organ seemed clapped out to me. Agreed with all that was said in the homily even if it was a bit long.

    VCC

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