Tuesday, March 18, 2014

French Organ Masterworks

This is a past Tuesday Blog from Mar-18-2014. 

This month’s Once Upon the Internet continues our Lenten organ festival, this time presenting a number of works from the French repertoire. 

The playlist takes its tracks from two sources – one is our main “abandoned” site (the old MP3.COM), and the second is from a site that is still active though the tracks that were downloaded are no longer available there. 

The two works by César Franck are performed by German Church organist Henrik Behrens, who was featured last year in our OUTI series. 

The remainder are digitized vinyl performances from the 1950’s and 60’s that were featured on the site Dovesong.com. Still active today, the site is dedicated to “the Positive Music Movement”, and proposes many links to openly available music of all genres.

Don Robertson writes:

In March, 1997, Mary Ellen Bickford and I, with the help of our friend Mike Martin, gave birth to a dream: a website that would make available anywhere in the world, my teachings about music. Since the 1960s, when I first made the important discovery that our culture was becoming focused on negative music, I had been researching, studying, and collecting positive and uplifting music.
About Positive Vs. Negative music, Don writes:

My Music Revolution began in 1968, when I first discovered the duochord: the four-note root chord of negative music. I realized then that the current discordant style of contemporary classical music was based on this negative chord, and that the next stage of musical evolution (after the one taken in the early 1900s by American composer Charles Ives and Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg - the first composers to write music based on discordant harmonies) would be a return to music based on concords, the familiar three-note major and minor chords of traditional harmony.

Don takes his dissertation a little too far to my taste, liking some of the bad episodes of the 20th century to the rise of the duochord and Anton Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra... That havinf been said, Don's musical selections are very good to listen to, and some of his musical analysis is worth reading.

Read more about "the Dovesong story" 

There is nothing unusual to linking French organ music to a spiritual music movement – as the composers were for the most part devout in their religious practices, and were associated with many famous churches in France – Widor at St-Sulpice, Messiaen at La Trinité, even Franck at Ste-Clothilde. Some of these works (though not necessarily the performances) have been part of other playlists in our ongoing look into the music of French organ music from past years.

Happy listening!

Marcel DUPRE (1886 –1971)
Prelude & fugue no. 3 in C Major, op. 36, no. 3
Marcel Dupré, plays the organ at St Sulpice

César FRANCK (1822-1890) 
Choral, FWV 38
Prélude, fugue et variation, in B Minor, FWV 30
Henrik Behrens plays an unidentified Chruch Organ

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992
Le banquet céleste, I/1 
Marcel Dupré, plays the organ at St Sulpice

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) 
Symphony no. 1 in D Minor, op. 14 – VI. Final (Allegro)
E. Power Biggs plays the 1958 Möller Organ, St. George's Church, New York City

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) 
Symphonie Gothique in C Minor, op.70 - II. Andante sostenuto
Günter Berger plays the organ at St. Marien Delmenhorst

Symphonie romane in D Major,op. 73– II. Choral/Adagio
Pierre Cochereau plays the organ at Notre-Dame de Paris

No comments:

Post a Comment