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Thread: Toccata by Gaston Bélier

  1. #11
    mf Mezzo-Forte Nutball's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Mt. Juliet TN, USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Amen WRTB. Full disclosure: I haven't heard this particular toccata yet, but probably the number one issue with 99(!) percent of the performances of toccatas as a whole, on YouTube and other archive media, is that they are played by professional organists with loads of technique and the (relatively) simple nature of the manual sequences in the French Style toccatas allows them to be sped up to a truly stupendous degree. With ONE notable exception, this practice is lamentable. A lot of the beauty, interest and in many cases, genius, of these compositions is lost when all that can be discerned is the pedal line. The one exception I mentioned is J.S. Bach. There is something about Bach that is practically fractal in the way every step up in tempo reveals more and new phrasings and articulations. I rarely get annoyed when some top gun organist rips off (literally) Bach repertoire 5x faster than I could ever dream of, but when the same organist does the same thing to Widor, or Boellmann, or Peeters that's when I start to think that my far more humble pacing reveals a lot more about the composers original intentions. BTW have any of you (sorry for the hijack Andrea) heard of either Denis Bedard or Dom Paul Benoit? These two (one deceased, the other just getting started) are French through and through, but you do not need a Conservatory Diploma to pull them off in public performance. That is what I'm guessing we are dealing with here with the work under discussion. I'll get to it after my church service this morning. Cheers.
    I agree, Bach's toccata sounds good at many tempos, widor's toccata, and other's not so much. I found a simple repetitive tune used in windows 3D pinball sounds like one thing (and sounds good too) when played at full speed which is really fast, but it also sounds good, but different (other than the speed difference) when played at half speed, because you can make out each note and have time to think about it. I'm still trying to get to full speed with that tune, but often times I enjoy playing it slowly.

    I do get annoyed though how many people seem to play organ music too fast, most of it sounds worse when played faster and sometimes slower than originally intended
    Allen 530A

  2. #12
    p Piano andijah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Germany, near Frankfurt (Main)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutball View Post
    I do get annoyed though how many people seem to play organ music too fast, most of it sounds worse when played faster and sometimes slower than originally intended
    I guess some of the modern organs make it easier for you to play really fast, whereas some older organs require you to take your time and work with the instrument and the music and not against it.

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