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Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

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yursanity1

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Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

PostThu Jul 23, 2020 11:34 pm

Another (!) over-the-top video utilizing my Hauptwerk setup, green-screen, a dog and a 4 year old! The featured work is Basil Harwood's rarely performed masterpiece, the Toccata. Please, support this channel through the usual means (like/subscribe/and for the love of God, share!) I'm using the free Freisach sampleset by Piotr Grabowski (thank you!) found here... https://piotrgrabowski.pl/friesach/
Also featured are keyboards by Schwindler, which, after a bit of work on my part have turned out quite nice!


Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/b_R0bw1GQuA
Last edited by yursanity1 on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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itsabird

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Re: Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Missing Toccata

PostFri Jul 24, 2020 4:09 am

You should edit your link. The url-part behind https occurs twice and, therefore, results in 404 page not found.
itsabird
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yursanity1

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Re: Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

PostFri Jul 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Thanks, it's fixed!
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organsRgreat

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Re: Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

PostFri Jul 24, 2020 5:43 pm

Wonderful! Very imaginative and great fun. Did you use the Freisach set throughout? If so it has possibilities as a theatre organ that I hadn't realised and need to investigate.

I'm also intrigued - and impressed - that you play from memory. I'm classically trained as a pianist and organist (in that order!) and the usual tradition is that pianists are expected to play from memory, whereas organists generally use the music. I've always assumed that this is because organists also have a lot of mechanical things to think about - registration, swell boxes etc. Do you find that you give a better performance if you memorise?
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yursanity1

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Re: Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

PostFri Jul 24, 2020 11:14 pm

Thanks, no I used the Paramount 310 (free version) for the theater organ improv. I was trying that for the first time, and gained a new appreciation for theater organists in the process. Setting the right mood for the action is quite difficult. My first attempt was a tragic symphony, the second was a super silly Scott Joplin type rag, and I finally settled on the middleground option no. 3. It has a reminiscent, lilting quality that doesn't draw too much attention to itself.

As for memory, the tides have shifted in the organ world and audiences are beginning to be accustomed to memorized performances. I just wrapped up a DMA at Rice studying with Ken Cowan who is a stickler for memory in most situations. Personally, I memorize quite fast, but I don't trust my memory in public except for pieces I've played for a very long time. In recital, I'll usually play a handful of pieces for memory, and play pieces like Schoenberg variations, or works by Messiaen/Florentz with score (not to say it couldn't be memorized, but I do have a life after all!). There are of course the differences in organs/registrations etc. that have to be worked out for every recital too, but that tends to be not the hardest thing about playing for memory I think. It's easier to remember "the oboe is over there" than it is to remember independent lines of a trio sonata!

Check out my earlier video which is a parody of The Twilight Zone if you haven't already. This was one of the most challenging pieces I've memorized, but would never in a million years play it for memory publicly... well maybe in a million years I guess. Anyway it's a pretty funny rendition of Dupre's C major prelude and fugue.

https://youtu.be/hJhkEbVRf0Q
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organsRgreat

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Re: Edited! Sherlock Holmes Searches for Harwood's Toccata

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 5:09 pm

We've had reports of extreme weather in your part of the world, so I hope you and your family are keeping safe. Meanwhile thanks for a detailed reply; the Paramount team's decision to use sampled tremulants throughout certainly produces authentic-sounding results. As my favourite British organist - Reginald Porter-Brown - died in 1982, it's quite likely that you've not heard his recordings. He was very clever with second touch, as explained here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwOc07U7vhA

He was one of the few theatre organists equally at home in the classical repertoire, though his interpretations of the classics could be somewhat "individual" - this is the only time I've heard the fugue subject of the Reubke sonata announced on a solo reed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIXOYCLioPU

I'm all in favour of committing as much to memory as possible, using the score as a safety back-up if necessary; so it's encouraging to know that professional organists on your side of the Atlantic are moving in that direction. My piano teacher at music college - Franz Reizenstein - had studied with Solomon for eleven years. When I started a new piece he would allow me the music at my first lesson on it, but thereafter expected me to hand him the score and play from memory. Very challenging, as he had the notes in front of him and I didn't!

There's a lot to explore on your channel - I now know what a black hole looks like! The version of Gigout's Grand Choeur Dialogue as a relay race made me laugh out loud. More seriously I enjoyed the Whitlock Fantasie Chorale. I live five miles from the organs he played in Bournemouth - the Hill organ in St. Stephen's church is a superb romantic instrument, though I've never enjoyed playing it because I suffer badly from vertigo and the organ loft is about two stories above ground level.

I have subscribed to your channel and will spread the word :-)

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