Music for Organ and Orchestra

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dulcinea
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Music for Organ and Orchestra

Post by dulcinea » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:22 pm

This week, the MUSIC CHOICE CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES channel played two symphonies for organ and orchestra. The first one, by a French contemporary of Saint-Saens, I did not listen to the end, as it was obvious from the very beginning that it was nothing more than a wretchedly slapdash mix of Bach and Wagner. The other, by Copland, was noble, inspiring and altogether totally worthy of its author. Naturally, two similar pieces in the same week leads me to two inevitable questions: will MUSIC CHOICE play more of this genre, and what other organ and orchestra works are there that deserve to be heard? I suppose CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES will eventually play Poulenc's magnificent Concerto; what similar pieces would you ask MUSIC CHOICE to play?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Post by IcedNote » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:31 pm

I've always liked Durufle's Requiem. :)

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BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:40 pm

Nothing beats Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin

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Post by Ralph » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:18 pm

Franck, Symphony in D.
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Post by pizza » Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:27 am

Joseph Jongen's 1926 Symphonie Concertante Op. 81, for organ and orchestra is a knockout. I know of two recordings: the old EMI with Virgil Fox and the more recent Dorian with Jean Guillou.

praestant

Post by praestant » Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:33 am

[quote="pizza"]Joseph Jongen's 1926 Symphonie Concertante Op. 81, for organ and orchestra is a knockout. I know of two recordings: the old EMI with Virgil Fox and the more recent Dorian with Jean Guillou.[/quote]

Another fine recording is Telarc's, with Michael Murray and the San Fransisco Symphony, Edo de Waart conducting. The organ in Davies Symphony Hall is a large Ruffati.
Telarc CD# 80096

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:17 pm

praestant wrote:
pizza wrote:Joseph Jongen's 1926 Symphonie Concertante Op. 81, for organ and orchestra is a knockout. I know of two recordings: the old EMI with Virgil Fox and the more recent Dorian with Jean Guillou.
Another fine recording is Telarc's, with Michael Murray and the San Fransisco Symphony, Edo de Waart conducting. The organ in Davies Symphony Hall is a large Ruffati.
Telarc CD# 80096
Well, I hope someone whose name is "praestant" (prestant) will add something to our discussions. I am an organist, but found it impossible to contribute to this thread. Consider yourself most welcome.,

(Prestant, for those who care to know, refers to the set of pipes on an organ that are visible in the front of the case, almost always a major rank of the diapason (principall) family.)

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.
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Organ & orchestra???

Post by PJME » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:49 pm

The Duruflé’s choral Requiem (3 versions, all with organ), Franck’s Symphony ( no organ – but an “organ-inspired” composer) and Bartok’s “Mandarin” ( OK – the complete score has an organ + wordless chorus in the deeply affecting last scenes) are hardly concertante works…Strange choices….!?

The 19th and 20th century have produced a rich choice of concertos and symphonies for the exiting combination of organ&orchestra.
Late Romantic French composers (Widor, Guilmant,Dupré,Langlais…not Dulcinea’s favorites though…) were good at it (with the help of Cavaillé Coll, of course) and many concerthalls were built with an organ ( the Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, the Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts & studio 4 at the Flagey building, the new hall in Luzern/Switzerland,Leipzig, the salle Messiaen in Paris/Maison de la Radio…etc)
Composers were (and are) inspired by the force and color of this magnificent instrument.Often it is integrated in the orchestral fabric at climactic moments or to add soft & sustained notes :
Tsjaikowsky : Manfred symphony
Richard Strauss : Eine Alpensymphonie , Josephslegende ..and the incredible Festliches Praeludium for organ & orch. .Scored for mammoth forces (extra trumpets) it is in the words of Norman Del Mar “a succession of perorations” -great fun though when played loud – feel the pompous vibes!
The same goes more or less for Samuel Barber’s Toccata festiva ( ca 1960) written for Philadelphia. Barber at his most “biblical” !
Ottorino Respighi : Vetrate di chiesa ( and in Pini di Roma and Feste Romane)
Great fun : Lou Harrison’s Concerto for organ with percussion orchestra – the last movement is a riot.
Deeply serious and grandly austere: Paul Hindemith’s concerto (1962 – for New York). Very different from the early Kammermusik-concerto,of course. From darkness to (divine)light – the last movement (six variations & coda on Veni creator spiritus) especially is eloquent & moving.(Teldec)
Wild and almost primitive : Iceland’s Jon Leifs . The short first movement of his concerto is stunning.(on BIS)
From Sweden ,Ture Rangstrom: compared to Leifs – a stiff academic . But his symphony nr 4 “Invocatio” is basically a suite in 5 movements and has moments of great beauty.(on Caprice)
From the Czech Republic : Petr Eben : at least 2 well crafted and dynamic concerti.(Panton)
Alfredo Casella: Concerto Romano for organ, brass,timpani and strings. A big work – rather uneven.(Signum)
Frank Martin: Erasmi monumentum (for Rotterdam/in honor of Erasmus – the Doelen hall has a magnificent concertorgan) (Chandos) This Swiss composer never fails to intrigue & move me.
Joseph Jongen’s Symphonie concertante is another good example of the late 19th century symphonic style. Other Belgian composers wrote concerti. Flor Peeters (who taught in the US) wrote a large (45 mins – tonal/late romantic) work shortly after WWII. It is available on the KLARA label
Thierry Escaich wrote a thrilling concerto – available on the Accord label.
There’s more, of course, but a place of honour must go to Jean Guillou, “organiste extraordinaire” at Saint Eustache/Paris. Purists don’t go there… but with at least 6 organconcerti and many “Colloques” (organ with instrument(s), he is maybe the strangest organist/composer tout court! See the maestro at : http://jeanguillou.artistes.universalmusic.fr/

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Re: Organ & orchestra???

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:24 pm

PJME wrote:The Duruflé’s choral Requiem (3 versions, all with organ), Franck’s Symphony ( no organ – but an “organ-inspired” composer) and Bartok’s “Mandarin” ( OK – the complete score has an organ + wordless chorus in the deeply affecting last scenes) are hardly concertante works…Strange choices….!?

The 19th and 20th century have produced a rich choice of concertos and symphonies for the exiting combination of organ&orchestra.
Late Romantic French composers (Widor, Guilmant,Dupré,Langlais…not Dulcinea’s favorites though…) were good at it (with the help of Cavaillé Coll, of course) and many concerthalls were built with an organ ( the Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, the Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts & studio 4 at the Flagey building, the new hall in Luzern/Switzerland,Leipzig, the salle Messiaen in Paris/Maison de la Radio…etc)
Composers were (and are) inspired by the force and color of this magnificent instrument.Often it is integrated in the orchestral fabric at climactic moments or to add soft & sustained notes :
Tsjaikowsky : Manfred symphony
Richard Strauss : Eine Alpensymphonie , Josephslegende ..and the incredible Festliches Praeludium for organ & orch. .Scored for mammoth forces (extra trumpets) it is in the words of Norman Del Mar “a succession of perorations” -great fun though when played loud – feel the pompous vibes!
The same goes more or less for Samuel Barber’s Toccata festiva ( ca 1960) written for Philadelphia. Barber at his most “biblical” !
Ottorino Respighi : Vetrate di chiesa ( and in Pini di Roma and Feste Romane)
Great fun : Lou Harrison’s Concerto for organ with percussion orchestra – the last movement is a riot.
Deeply serious and grandly austere: Paul Hindemith’s concerto (1962 – for New York). Very different from the early Kammermusik-concerto,of course. From darkness to (divine)light – the last movement (six variations & coda on Veni creator spiritus) especially is eloquent & moving.(Teldec)
Wild and almost primitive : Iceland’s Jon Leifs . The short first movement of his concerto is stunning.(on BIS)
From Sweden ,Ture Rangstrom: compared to Leifs – a stiff academic . But his symphony nr 4 “Invocatio” is basically a suite in 5 movements and has moments of great beauty.(on Caprice)
From the Czech Republic : Petr Eben : at least 2 well crafted and dynamic concerti.(Panton)
Alfredo Casella: Concerto Romano for organ, brass,timpani and strings. A big work – rather uneven.(Signum)
Frank Martin: Erasmi monumentum (for Rotterdam/in honor of Erasmus – the Doelen hall has a magnificent concertorgan) (Chandos) This Swiss composer never fails to intrigue & move me.
Joseph Jongen’s Symphonie concertante is another good example of the late 19th century symphonic style. Other Belgian composers wrote concerti. Flor Peeters (who taught in the US) wrote a large (45 mins – tonal/late romantic) work shortly after WWII. It is available on the KLARA label
Thierry Escaich wrote a thrilling concerto – available on the Accord label.
There’s more, of course, but a place of honour must go to Jean Guillou, “organiste extraordinaire” at Saint Eustache/Paris. Purists don’t go there… but with at least 6 organconcerti and many “Colloques” (organ with instrument(s), he is maybe the strangest organist/composer tout court! See the maestro at : http://jeanguillou.artistes.universalmusic.fr/
As William S. Gilbert wrote in HMS Pinnafore, in the number "Things are seldom what they seem," "I could go on like that forever."

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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Post by PJME » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:37 pm

Life is full of surprises.

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Post by Bob » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:37 pm

pizza wrote:Joseph Jongen's 1926 Symphonie Concertante Op. 81, for organ and orchestra is a knockout. I know of two recordings: the old EMI with Virgil Fox and the more recent Dorian with Jean Guillou.
This one's my favorite. Gorgeous opening theme. Don't know the Guillou, but the one I like even more than the old Fox is Michael Murray witn Edo de Waart and San Francisco at the inauguration of the Ruffati organ at Davies Hall. On Telarc. Great sonics, in my humble opinion.

Bob
Last edited by Bob on Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lance » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:57 pm

Well, I am great fan of organ music, solo or with orchestra, or actually in any setting. Here's some recommendations I can make:
  • Classico 424 - Ulrich Spang-Hanssen, organist. Malcolm Arnold's Organ Concerto (premiere recording) w/Bostock, conductor
  • MSR Classics 1171 - Paul Jenkins, organist. Michel Corette's Organ Concerto #1 w/Musica Franca
  • Scandinavian Classics 220549 - Ulrich Spang-Hanssen, organist. Rheinberger: Organ Concertos 1 and 2; Trio for Violin Cello & Organ w/Bostock, conductor
  • Telarc 80136 - Michael Murray, organist. Dupré Organ Symphony in g and Rheinberger Organ Concerto #1 w/Ling, conductor
  • CBS/Sony Classical 45825 - E. Power Biggs, organist - Handel complete organ concertos w/A. Boult, conductor [Biggs' wonderful recording (Columbia/Sony) of the Rheinberger concertos has not been reissued by Sony on CD yet, but has appeared on a Haydn House LP-to-CD transfer] in first class sound
The Jongen Symphonie Concertante with Virgil Fox/Pretre conducting [EMI 65075] is one of my favourite compositions for organ and orchestra.
Last edited by Lance on Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:27 pm

I'm beginning to think that Dulcinea hates French music.
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dulcinea
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Post by dulcinea » Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:25 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:I'm beginning to think that Dulcinea hates French music.
Only bad imitations of Debussy and Ravel. Too many French composers ape them in the same way many Russian composers ape Chaikovskii.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Post by MaestroDJS » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:06 am

For what it's worth, I have these organ concerti in my collection and heartily enjoy most of them. Some have already been mentioned.

Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1759), Italy: Adagio for Strings and Organ (arr. Remo Giazotto)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Germany: various
Samuel Barber (1910-1981), United States: Toccata Festiva
Aaron Copland (1900-1990), United States: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), Germany / United Kingdom: Concerto in F Major; Concerto in B-Flat Major
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Austria: Organ Concerti: No. 1 in C Major, No. 5 in C Major, No. 8 in C Major
Joseph Jongen (1873-1953), Belgium: Symphonie concertante
Jón Leifs (1899-1968), Iceland: Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), France: Concerto in G Minor for Organ, Strings and Timpani
Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901), Liechtenstein: Organ Concerti: in F Major for Organ, String Orchestra and 3 Horns; in G Minor for Organ, String Orchestra, 2 Trumpets, 2 Horns and Timpani
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), France: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor "Avec Orgue"
Leo Sowerby (1895-1968), United States: Classic Concerto; Medieval Poem; Pageant; Festival Musick
Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Germany: Festival Prélude
Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003), Australia: Organ Concerto

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Post by dulcinea » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:52 pm

At this exact moment, CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES is playing Symphony for Organ and Orchestra Nr 2 by Alexandre Guilmant. The Organ Symphony obviously made a big impact on Saint-Saens' contemporaries.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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