Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18

Thread: The Fugue.

  1. #11
    f Forte regeron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    932

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Madison View Post
    here is we digress, if we confine ourself a to baroque music and tech then the progress in pipe organ tech would have been fruitless. I get it that it should be taught but I have problem with saying that confining registration to a specific time period which makes it monolithic and stale. This why I'm an advocate for shutting down revials it stifles both tonal and tech innovations ( in looking at you Biggs!).
    Now I am for what is written on the page that is what is what you are supposed to do then you follow but the wide variation in what's in the console in what is offered is somewhat a hinderance but it allows variety in the sandbox.

    In sure you like it but for me, I like diffrent registration but it has to be tonaly cohesive and sometimes disjointed.

    I was referring to Toccata and Fugue in D minor, it's so chiched it is so gross I cringe every time I here it in a movie or tv.
    Going back to two of the original questions:

    1. When you approach a Fugue do you know when the different sections enter or leaving either by listening or by reading the sheet music?
    ...
    3. Do you registration the different sections, or just roll with one?
    ***
    The word 'sections' is a bit misleading. In a fugue, all of the sections are intertwined. As one is ending, the next is beginning and the beginnings and endings of the individual voices overlap each other. That is one of the results of good contrapuntal writing. That will make it very difficult to suddenly move one voice to another manual, followed by the rest (one at a time) until all voices have moved.

    If there were a strong cadence in which all voices came to a halt, however brief, you might be able to make a change then, but that kind of cadence is not characteristic of fugues.

    You can try to solo out the fugue subjects/answers, then play the accompanying counterpoint on a softer manual, but you will fail. It's just not possible because each voice is constantly going from subject/answer to counterpoint and back again. This is the nature of a fugue.
    ***
    In reply to post #9, I don't think I was confining myself to the Baroque. I did mention Reger as a Romantic composer of fugues and that he included dynamic changes and manual changes in his fugues. We can also include other composers of fugues (just to mention a few):
    Classical - Mozart and Beethoven
    Romantic - Reger and Brahms
    Modern or Neo-Classic - Hindemith, Bartok, and Shostakovich.
    Though they didn't all write for organ, they did write fugues and Bach and the Baroque were their inspiration.

    Each time period followed the rules of fugue, but also introduced it's own melodic and harmonic idioms.

    Limiting yourself to one registration is seldom the cause of 'staleness' in the performance of fugues. "Staleness" has more to do with the organist's lack of:
    - technical ability;
    - musical knowledge and sense.

    Also, if limiting yourself to one manual is considered stale, you will have to contend with all the pianists who successfully and happily play fugues and can't change manuals or registration.

    "Monolithic" - I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. Could you elaborate a bit?

    In the Baroque (as an example) different genres had different registration conventions:
    - Preludes/Fantasias/Toccatas could be very free and sectional, allowing for probably the greatest registrational freedom.
    - Chorale Preludes/Arias are often written for two manuals, one registered as a solo, the other as an accompaniment.
    - Fugues would be played on one manual (with or without pedal, depending on the piece) with one registration for the entire piece.

    It is quite possible to play a Baroque fugue on a non-Baroque organ, but most organists would still try to perform it on one registration - a registration that somehow makes reference to the originally-intended sound.

    I agree that the "Toccata and Fugue in d" has become a cliche. However, I wouldn't call that fugue 'typical' because it isn't. I only cringe when it's badly played; I still thrill to the sound under the hands of a competent musician.

    The rules of art can always be broken, but we must be careful how we do that and why.
    Last edited by regeron; 08-19-2017 at 03:14 AM.

  2. #12
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,855

    I'm ceertainly no expert on this but I do associate a "fugue" more with baroque (and older) than with romantic or more modern organ music. It is after all an old music form that was very popular and brought to great height during the baroque.

    Just picking a few things from Regeron's last post (excellent, just like the one before):

    Quote Originally Posted by regeron View Post
    Limiting yourself to one registration is seldom the cause of 'staleness' in the performance of fugues. "Staleness" has more to do with the organist's lack of:
    - technical ability;
    - musical knowledge and sense.

    It is quite possible to play a Baroque fugue on a non-Baroque organ, but most organists would still try to perform it on one registration - a registration that somehow makes reference to the originally-intended sound.

    I agree that the "Toccata and Fugue in d" has become a cliche. However, I wouldn't call that fugue 'typical' because it isn't. I only cringe when it's badly played; I still thrill to the sound under the hands of a competent musician.

    The rules of art can always be broken, but we must be careful how we do that and why.
    These are for me very good points. A fugue stands or falls first with the composer (some are clearly better than others) and then with the organist. A good organist can make a fugue clear to his listeners. But to be able to do that he should take into account the organ. You simply cannot do that if the organ in question is blending everything so much that you cannot hear the lines.

    Changing registration is something that rarely works in a good way for me. A fugue works because of the content, the way the theme interacts with the rest. Changing registration often distracts from that. It can work, like in the fugue on a theme by Legrenzi where you have 3 more or less distinct parts. But the same piece works just as well without it.

    BWV565 is maybe not stale, but I'm fed up with it. Bach alone wrote maybe 100 other fugues, a good deal of them better than that one. Might be more accessible. Even the toccata isn't that great I think.

    Favourite? Not really. I do like the fugue of the "Dorian" toccata, the Legrenzi, the one by Reincken, Brunhs has some very accessible ones in his preludiums (they are not marked as fugues but they clearly are), Pachelbel has some very moody ones like the D minor.

  3. #13
    f Forte regeron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    932

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Madison View Post
    I want to start a discussion on the Fugue, performances, thoughts and other questions pertaining to the matter. But I want to ask the following questions.

    1. When you approach a Fugue do you know when the different sections enter or leaving either by listening or by reading the sheet music?
    2. what is your favorite fugue? Mine is "passacaglia and Fugue in C minor" , its refreshing not to listen to the "Typical" one.
    3. Do you registration the different sections, or just roll with one?
    Hi Ben,

    I wonder if it would be helpful for you to tell us what sparked these questions.
    - Were you learning a new fugue and wondered how others learned a new fugue?
    - Were you listening to a recording or live performance and you wondered why one organist's performance was different than someone else's?
    - Maybe you heard a really bad performance and wondered what made it so bad.
    - Do you play fugues yourself? If so, on what kinds of instruments?
    - Do you play many of Bach's fugues? Do you play fugues by other composers? If so, which composers?
    - If you don't play fugues yourself, do you listen to many?

  4. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by regeron View Post
    Hi Ben,

    I wonder if it would be helpful for you to tell us what sparked these questions.
    - Were you learning a new fugue and wondered how others learned a new fugue?
    - Were you listening to a recording or live performance and you wondered why one organist's performance was different than someone else's?
    - Maybe you heard a really bad performance and wondered what made it so bad.
    - Do you play fugues yourself? If so, on what kinds of instruments?
    - Do you play many of Bach's fugues? Do you play fugues by other composers? If so, which composers?
    - If you don't play fugues yourself, do you listen to many?
    To answer your questions my keyboard hit the fritz it was only a one keyboard deal anyways. I am on the market to find a cheap "Organ" so I can't play right now.
    I brought this up because, I felt I wanted to. Bring up the idea of more of a symphonic interpretation of fugues and was curious to see what other people thought of and share my ideas.

    And i know from others that is difficult to change the registration on the dime in a fugue but entertain the plausibility for that it could be done.

    and I also thought it would be a meaningful topic to bring up.

  5. #15
    pp Pianissimo Eddy67716's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills of Adelaide
    Posts
    150

    I don't really play the organ and I may not know too much on registration but I feel like this is how I would play Toccata and fugue D minor:
    My beginning Registration would probably be
    Great: Full principal chorus (Even the 16 foot stops.
    Swell: Cornet (maybe only the 8, 4, 2 2/3 and 2 stops if the tierce doesn't blend will with lower notes.
    Choir: Flutes 8 and 2 or 1 (The swell and choir registrations could be swapped if the cornet is on the choir.)
    Pedal: Principal chorus.
    The toccata will open on the great, The echo and the 12th to 15th bars would be played on the swell.
    The fugue would have these registrations chaged.
    Great and pedal: principal chorus with mixture. (no 16 stops on the great)
    It would start on the cornet (Swell) until you got to the subject in the pedal at bar 52 when it switches to the great manual.The subject in F will be played on the swell. The bar 62 to 65 will play on the great and echo on the swell. The next echo pasages would be played on the swell and echoed on the choir. The bar 70 subject gets played on the great and then the next echo passages play differently. I think it would be interesting to play on the great then echo on the swell than the next phrase plays on the choir and then echos on the great. this would repeat until you get to bar 83 when it stays on the choir until the phrase changes when it would change back to the swell and then at the quick demisemiquaver d minor scale on bar 85 when it changes to the great. When the pedal solo subject plays I would add a trumpet 8 and when the great comes back in I would add a principal 16 on the manual. the next echos would play on the great and echo on the swell. After this the trumpet 8 would be added on the great. On the coda the trumpet 8 would be turned off and when you reach the pedal E on bar 132 the pedal 32 stop would be added and the trumpet 8 re added on the great. The flourish on bar 133 would be on the swell until the C major chord which would be played on the great. The chords would be played on the great and the demisemiquavers would be played on the cornet. The final chords would obviously be played on the great.

    This is only my idea and it probably isn't the best way to do it.

  6. #16
    mf Mezzo-Forte Leisesturm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    45.51° N, -122.60° W
    Posts
    501

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy67716 View Post
    This is only my idea and it probably isn't the best way to do it.
    There is no 'best' way. Yours is as valid as anyone else's IF it is informed by actual experimentation with a real organ somewhere. By your own admission you do not have extensive familiarity with organs or organ registration. There is that. Also, and there simply is no way to say this kindly: when a non-organist arranger works out a registration scheme they come up with highly detailed particulars such as you have done. For an actual organist, it is a lot simpler. Here is how I register T&F in d min: Everything the organ has on the Swell, coupled to Everything the organ has on the Great. Couple both to Everything the organ has in the Pedal. Have at it.

    I have a book of Virgil Fox arrangements of Bach repertoire transcribed by Robert Hebble. It's great because it gives not just starting registrations for things, but all the General and Divisional pistons used and what is programmed on them beforehand! The prep for the T&F in d min is half a page of text! It goes WAY beyond anything you can even dream of because Virgil spent hours a day working this stuff out on one of the biggest Aeolian-Skinner organs in America. Which is why I can't even begin to adapt his registration scheme to the modest two manual instruments I have been blessed to play during the course of my Church Music career. I do consider myself better off for having seen Mr. Fox's approach to T&F in d min, however, even if I can only approximate his recommendations. Even organists working with similar sized instruments to Fox's cannot (should not) slavishly program his registrations into their combination actions and then play away without considering what it actually sounds like on their unique instrument. That said, odds are better than even that even if someone did just that, the results would be listenable.

  7. #17
    f Forte regeron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    932

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    There is no 'best' way. Yours is as valid as anyone else's IF it is informed by actual experimentation with a real organ somewhere. By your own admission you do not have extensive familiarity with organs or organ registration. There is that. Also, and there simply is no way to say this kindly: when a non-organist arranger works out a registration scheme they come up with highly detailed particulars such as you have done. For an actual organist, it is a lot simpler. Here is how I register T&F in d min: Everything the organ has on the Swell, coupled to Everything the organ has on the Great. Couple both to Everything the organ has in the Pedal. Have at it.
    ...
    Well said.

    All organs are different - number of stops varies; number of manuals varies; room acoustics vary; voicing varies; size of audience varies. When it comes to performing, your rehearsal organ might not be the one you're performing on and might, indeed, be quite different.

    In all these instances, as we mature as performers, we seek a higher goal - to allow the music to speak for itself in terms that are hopefully true to the composer's intent.

    When we start to play the organ, we learn recipes. If we use a particular registration for a solo, we learn to use certain stop combinations to accompany. We learn that Full Organ doesn't mean all the stops, but only the ones that matter. (How often have we seen Principals 16' to 2', plus a mixture AND the Aeoline?!?! There CAN be reasons for that, but it's highly unusual.)

    As we start to play different organs, both larger and smaller, we learn to adjust to the options available to us. One of my favorite examples is when a colleague of mine had a chance to give a public recital on a large organ, not his own. Weekly, he played an organ of 2 manuals and about 20 stops. Full Organ would have been GT: 8.4.2.IV; SW 8.4.2; PED: 16.8; SW/GT, SW/PED; GT/PED. -- in total, 9 of the 20 stops, or roughy half the organ. When the chance arose to play some of his repertoire on a large organ of 5 manuals and over 100 stops, with pipework in 3 different locations in the church, he drew those same 9 stops, but in this case, it was less than 10% of the organ and it all came from one corner of the space. The sound had no oomph, and he proved his lack of knowledge and experience.

    This organist had not moved beyond the "rules". He followed the registration that he had worked out on a small instrument, not realizing that it had to be "interpreted" to be effective on the much larger organ.

    The same can happen in reverse when someone who lacks the experience and training plays a larger instrument regularly and has to adjust to something smaller. If they use particular stops on their large organ that aren't available on the smaller one, they often have no clue what to do or how to make substitutions.

    Quite simply, most registration boils down to relative strengths of fundamental and overtones, and how much overall sound you want in the room. Until an organist can hear that, they are stuck at an elementary level.

    With maturity (again, experience and training) also comes the understanding of the composer's expectations; expectations based on geography and time. Maturity also affords one the understanding of articulation differences which play no small role in the performance of the repertoire.

    Places like this forum, private teachers, informed listening to both live and recorded performances, reading about historic styles, playing a variety of organs (large and small, old and new) - all these contribute to more informed choices when it comes to registration.

  8. #18
    pp Pianissimo Eddy67716's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills of Adelaide
    Posts
    150

    Using Hauptwerk I've tried making my own arrangement of Little Fugue in G minor BWV 578

    Little Fugue in G minor (StAnnesMoseley).mp3

    I started with Diapasons at 8, 4 and 2 (16, 4, and 4 with the Great to pedal coupler in the Pedals) and Flutes 8, 4 and 2 with the Mixture.
    It starts on the Great until bar 25 where the two upper voices are played in the Swell. After the small codetta Both hands play the Great with the added mixture (If there is a mixture in the pedal it would be engaged when the pedal line starts.) Bar 33 has both hands play the Swell and at bar 40 they go back to the Great.
    Bar 55 swaps back to the Swell and on bar 59 It goes back to the Great with the Great Trumpet 8 stop and when the pedal comes back it has a light 16' reed.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Fugue for Beginners
    By hartleymartin in forum Classical
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-08-2012, 10:35 PM
  2. Buxtehude’s Jig Fugue
    By Don Furr in forum Classical
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-12-2007, 08:33 PM
  3. A little help for the Little Fugue
    By Tutti_Toccata51 in forum Classical
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-01-2007, 08:54 PM
  4. Prelude and Fugue on the name of A.L.A.I.N
    By Tutti_Toccata51 in forum Classical
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-12-2007, 09:58 PM
  5. How To Write a Fugue
    By soundboarddude in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-19-2006, 12:36 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •