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Bach Organ Works

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's been a while since I submitted organ stuff. Today recorded some pieces I have been practising for a while. Seems like I'm slowly starting to get the hang if it now.

    This is Bach's powerful and ingenious setting of the famous Pentecost chorale "Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist" (aka Veni Creator Spiritus). A smaller version is included in the Orgelbüchlein. This is the elaborate version from the Leipziger Chorale, which was also reworked for piano by Busoni.

    Bach - Leipziger Chorale No.17 BWV 667 - Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist

    And some short pieces from the Orgelbüchlein. You may need to be a bit liturgically inclined to appreciate all these :wink:

    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 599 - Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (re-recording)
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 601 - Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottessohn
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 602 - Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 603 - Puer natus in Bethlehem
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 604 - Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 606 - Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 628 - Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ (re-recording)
    Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 629 - Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag (re-recording)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut,
    I know practically nothing about organ music. Only that I could probably tell if anything was totally out of whack. All of this sounded good. And I never made it to church yesterday, so now I feel better. :) (less guilty)
     
  3. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bach BWV667 "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist":

    Maybe it is rather an extended than an elaborated version from the Orgelbüchlein, but the extension is really great (the first part is identical to the Orgelbüchlein version beside that it misses the ornaments included in the Orgelbüchlein version (in that area the Orgelbüchlein version is more elaborated)).

    For those who don't know the translation: "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" means translated something like "Come, God Creator, Holy spirit". This is important to know since Bach literally puts the meaning of something walking with big footsteps into music, the pedal notes on the 3rd beat epitomize that.

    Well, the Lord walked a bit in a hectic manner in the first part, but went calmer in the 2nd part. Of course one can walk faster or slower. The hectic was not because of rhythm issues (however the holy lord could rest a bit on the fermate places since he need to breathe, but that is matter of taste), it was because some notes in the middle voices were sloppy played. Because of speed but also because of the heavy reverb (I don't hope you added extra artificial reverb? I would really wish to hear a dryer version, otherwise it is almost impossible to follow every note) I cannot exactly tell what is the reason that it sounds a bit hectic. It can be that there are some notes in the 16th runs are played with overlegato or the fingers did not remove the key at some notes. Don't tell me how difficult it is to play with precise articulation on organ, I know!

    I really liked the 2nd part, and I liked your plenum registration here, the piece allows for strong registers. Did you draw also mixture, not only principal registers?

    A version from me will come too next time, (the Orgelbüchlein version), so Chris, you can beatback than! :lol:


    BWV599 "Nun kommet der Heiden Heiland":

    I like your version, and that you don't play all the way legato - instead with articulation. You went slower in the last two bars, sounded like it should be a ritartando. But since the rit. came in the last few notes additional, it sounded not so inteded to me. And, although the articulation for those notes with 16th upbeats gives the salt in the soup here, it would sound even more convincing if you could manage to do it the same way through all voices, also left hand, and also pedal on the similar places in those voices. That starts already in the first bar at which the "lick" goes 4 times through all voices.
    Maybe you could give it a try how it sounds if the articulation is the same, it sounds almost like a great echo effect than.

    BWV601 "Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes-Sohn":

    Sounds good to me too, not too fast or too slow. I never heard this piece before. In the 2nd part there are some half notes. The first half note in the 2nd part, 2nd bar you played shorter, also in the repetition. Different scores? Otherwise nice piece, and well played, beside some notes in the 2nd part which are "lost in the dark here" here and there! Great, how you managed the 16th notes in the pedal part!

    BWV602 "Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott":

    I appreciate your articulation around those 32th notes, which you managed to maintain the first some bars throughout the places in right and left hand. After the 2nd fermata you lost the groove a bit, sounded a bit unsecure and missing notes, and in the last bars you lost the articulation on those 32th notes. Beside this, well done!

    BWV603 "Puer natus in Bethlehem":

    The score I have here available (Sheetmusicarchive) contains only the shorter version, so I could not follow with score. Maybe one could make the thing a bit more interesting with some articulation in the middle voices? My organ teacher likes too, that the cantus firmus is not played fully legato, instead only "almost" legato, very dense, but not complete legato. That way the cantus firmus does not sound that static (not only on that piece, on all Orgelbüchlein chorales). Of course matter of taste. Tasteful registration for that calm piece!

    BWV604: "Gelobet seist du Jesus Christ":

    I could imagine a more elaborated articulation in the right hand. You play all way through legato beside the feramtes, but make a strong gap before the trill. If there were other accents, I could understand, but not if all the rest is non-stop legato. And after the last fermata you did not articulate - although the fermata are for breathing because the underlaying song starts with a new line. Otherwise calm played. If you would have a decent tremolo, here I could imagine to switch it on for the right hand part.

    BWV606: "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her":

    Nothing to niggle, maybe it could be played a bit more lively so that the melody comes closer to the well known singing version, and so that it sounds a bit happier.

    BWV628: "Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ":

    I like your detached playing, that way nothing can sound blurred, even with reverb.

    BWV629: "Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag":

    Also here, tasteful articulation - well done! The registration is interesting, however the title says translated: "The glorious day appeared". Maybe the registration could sound more glorious regarding the title (nevertheless, beside that it fits to the music itself).


    All in all, again some great contributions. Do you plan to record the complete Orgelbüchlein?
    Your rerecordings show too improvements, regarding articulation, if I have the former correct in mind.
    Your organ playing is getting better and better too, congratulations! And that although you contribute so much on piano, really unbelievable!
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah but you have sang along with them all did you not ? Otherwise it doesn't count :wink:

    No I don't go out of whack anymore like I did in my early recordings. There is the odd insecure pedal note though, especially in the BWV 601 - will need to re-record that.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Olaf. yes I did add the "Light Concert Hall' reverb as in the piano recordings. I know you like a dry organ sound but I can't say I do. Rather have it blurred a bit (as it would sound in a large empty church) than sounding dry. Indeed, all the more important to articulate cleanly and play more detached, you are right in that. It will come. I will probably re-record most of these except the ones that are already re-recorded. I know I keep the off-beat pedal notes far too long in the "Schopfer". Indeed I most always draw the Mixture in the 'loud' pieces. This one, I think, even has the Krummhorn in the pedal (it sounds more like a foghorn with a cold :wink: Would be great to have an organ with better registration possibilities, and a proper 'Posaune' for the regal pedal parts.

    Yes I may do the whole Orgelbuchlein eventually. Keep me busy for a while...

    Ok then, hurry up with that recording so I can get you back :p

    Oh yeah, about taking a rest on the fermatas between the hymn phrases. I have thought about that and discussed it with my teacher. He said this is not usually done. We believe these may be simply intended to point out the 'breathing commas' in case these were played to accompany congregational singing (not sure if that was ever done, but it might just be possible).
     
  6. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Have listened to them all but have no knowledge to write any useful comments regarding your organ playing or intepretation. But I very much enjoyed to listen to them this rainy afternoon at work. They provided me with a calm feeling to a stressed monday. I will probably be a better and patient driver on my way home ;).
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ehehehe... I knew it must be good for something :wink:
     
  8. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Even nothing is something. :wink: :wink:

    What church did you record this at?
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Same as always - I have not got a choice as yet. Why, does it sound different/better ?
     
  10. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    It sounds different. A bit more authoritative and robust. However some spots it reminds me of the creepy music in the movie "A Clockwork Orange" :( But that does not mean that it is bad. 8)


    ...so when will you transcribe Bach's works for pedal solos? Muahaha! Wicked.
     
  11. Anonymous

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    Excellent. Thank you.

    Any chance you will do "In dir ist Freude"? It's my personal favorite from _das Orgelbuchlein_.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah yes, I have just started working on that one, it's one of my favorites too. It's going to take some time, it's damned difficult. But I'll get there.

    Yesterday I heard an instrumental version of this on the radio (different string instruments) and it was absolutely wonderful. Could be it is in one of the cantatas or something, I'll need to check. It is Bach at his very best and mosr radiant.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That is good - the first recordings sounded quite pathetic. I have also changed recording position to down in the chrurch instead of right next to the organ. Sounds a lot better and does not capture all the bench and key noises. The reverb probably makes it sound grander too than before. But mostly, I hope, the playing is more assured.
     
  14. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    If you place the Edirol far away from where you are--how do you turn it off? Or restart it if you make a mistake? Do you have a second person sitting there next to the recorder? If you did not then I bet it was annoying having to walk back and forth? :wink:
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It can record a couple of hours' worth of music, so I leave it on and just play and play. Then afterwards load the whole wad into CoolEdit (this takes a while.....) and copy out the usable bits. Sometimes I start a new track somewhere in the middle so it won't become so big to handle.
     
  16. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    very nice sound in the first bach. I should use it for the church entry...I will listen to all later on.

    Christ, my ignorance....can the organ play fast trills as piano??? Is that the score used for piano too??
     
  17. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think there is a difference between the organ and a piano. I dont think you can play organ music on the piano and vise versa. Look at some of Bach's 371 four-part Chorales--some of the notes in the left hand are impossible to play due to the distance in between them, say from a low F# to an A one octave higher.

    That's just my thoughts. I'm probably wrong. :roll:
     
  18. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Chris, that was just what my overworked person needed!

    Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Have you played this one? It's so ethereal.

    Pete
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    If it's an organ with electrical transmission from keyboard to wind mechanism, and it concerns hight registers (which means short, fast pipes) indeed trills can be pretty smart as you can hear in places. Gets more difficult with mechanical transmission organs because of the pulls and levers in between, and also with lower registers, as big pipes need a little time to come to produce their sound.

    No, I do not use piano scores for organ. Except for the Bach four duets on the site, which are for manuals only and can be played equally well on piano and organ.

    I've tried it out but it is not on my shortlist yet. One of those that everybody knows. I'll get to it eventually.

    Glad you enjoyed these. It's still a bit ragged and/or stiff in places but shows much progress since the last recordings.
     
  20. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    thanks pal. thast pretty clear now.
     

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