An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

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jbuck919
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An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:46 pm

I really shouldn't have to say "organist Paul Jacobs" any more than I would say "pianist Martha Argerich," but there it is. Those who might have some recollection of my comments about an organ at Lincoln Center will note that he has the same concern, except that he speaks with much more authority. Read on, please, for he has many more cogent thoughts to offer. Incidentally, this just turned up in my e-mail "in" box from a source I did not recognize. I have no idea what list I'm on to have received it, and I was more than half afraid to click on the link.)

https://van-us.atavist.com/sacred-spaces

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Lance
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Re: An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

Post by Lance » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:52 pm

Well John, there WAS pianist Paul Jacobs, too! And what an artist.

This was an extremely informative interview. I have always had a special place in my musical heart for the organ and have a huge number of recordings to prove it ... recordings from the 78-rpm days (transferred to LP or CD), all of Fox's discs and the preponderance of Biggs's recordings. Yes, Carlo Curley, Helmut Walcha, Karl Richter, Albert Schweitzer, Maurice Durufle, Jane Parker-Smith, Elena Barshai, Ulrik Spang-Hanssen, Frederick Swann, Christopher Herrick (lots!), Richard Ellsasser, Marcel DuPre, Yanos Sebestyen, Kevin Boyer, Carl Weinrich, Michael Murray, Cameron Carpenter, and (almost) countless others. Am I not in the majority of those who love organ music (almost) as much as piano music? For me, the organ does retain its popularity as the "king of instruments" with the piano being its "son!" Just wanted to put in my two cents.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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jbuck919
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Re: An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:44 am

Lance wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:52 pm
Well John, there WAS pianist Paul Jacobs, too! And what an artist.
Yes, and that's why for years I've been writing "Paul Jacobs (the organist, not the late pianist)." However, the pianist (whom I also greatly admired) has been dead for so many years that I was hoping I would not have to do that anymore. It's a little like writing "Jane Seymour (the actress, not the third wife of Henry VIII). :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

Post by John F » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:57 am

Well, John, for those who don't particularly follow organs and organists, "Paul Jacobs" still signifies "pianist." And from what this Paul Jacobs says, recognition of the instrument and its players is declining.

By the way, there is a pipe organ at Lincoln Center. It's in Alice Tully Hall, and Paul Jacobs has played it often.
His problem is that Lincoln Center's major concert hall, now named David Geffen Hall, lacks an organ. Of course that doesn't prevent the New York Philharmonic from performing music requiring an organ, from Bach to Saint-Saëns, but they use an electronic instrument. For Jacobs and other organists, I'm sure this is an inadequate substitute, but I must confess that I really can't tell the difference.
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: An interview with organist Paul Jacobs

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:52 pm

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:57 am
Well, John, for those who don't particularly follow organs and organists, "Paul Jacobs" still signifies "pianist." And from what this Paul Jacobs says, recognition of the instrument and its players is declining.

By the way, there is a pipe organ at Lincoln Center. It's in Alice Tully Hall, and Paul Jacobs has played it often.
His problem is that Lincoln Center's major concert hall, now named David Geffen Hall, lacks an organ. Of course that doesn't prevent the New York Philharmonic from performing music requiring an organ, from Bach to Saint-Saëns, but they use an electronic instrument. For Jacobs and other organists, I'm sure this is an inadequate substitute, but I must confess that I really can't tell the difference.
I know the Alice Tully organ (heard it played by Anthony Newman years ago), and it strikes me that we (meaning the CMG collective membership) have been through this before. It is a fine organ of its kind, but it is not a concert hall organ in the sense of what graces, as Jacobs points out, virtually every other important major concert hall in the world. The state of the art, if you want to call it that, with electronic organs, is continually improving, but it remains a disgrace not to have an important organ in Geffen Hall. It is not an American peculiarity--look at what they put in Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

On the other hand, New York is probably the greatest organ city in the world when it comes to pipe organs It does not have the collective richness of Baroque and neo-Baroque organs on the one hand or Romantic organs on the other that one finds stretched across Europe, but no other single city has a concentration of such possibilities. Also, the city churches con tinue to build thanks to endowments and generous gifts. I could name a number of churches with fabulous newer organs. The problem is that they are not suitable for concert use. The acoustics of a concert hall and of a church are quite different. Building a fine organ for a concert hall is an art in itself.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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