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Topic: Some Pipe Organ Fun

  1. #1

    Some Pipe Organ Fun

    Hello folks,

    It's been a while since I've posted for a variety of reasons, but I'm happy to be back, and finally with a bit of music to share.

    I recently bought Garritan's Classic Pipe Organs library and it's... pretty amazing. The organ has a special importance for me as it was really my first path into the world of music, first getting my attention when I was maybe 5 years old. It makes me really happy that such exquisite samples are available to remind people of what a great instrument it is.

    I have a couple of things to offer today. First is a setting of the wonderful hymn tune "Kingsfold", an old folk tune that thankfully caught Ralph Vaughan Williams' ear while he was workingon The English Hymnal and is now fairly recognizable. Now I got lazy here, and rather than actually playing it, I just used an existing MIDI file of the hymn that I had from a few months back, so the playing is far less human than it should be. Hopefully it isn't too bad.

    For those interested, the registrations are:

    First Verse: 8 Swell Trompette, Romantic Tutti Combo on the manuals, and Pedal Mixture IV, 8 Pedal Octave, 16 Pedal Principal, 16 Pedal Fagotto on the pedals.

    Second Verse: 8 Swell Trompette and 16 Swell Contre Trompette on the manuals - no pedal.

    Third Verse: Romantic Tutti Combo on the manuals and Pedal Mixture IV, 8 Pedal Octave, 16 Pedal Principal on the pedals.

    Fourth Verse: Romantic Tutti Combo, Swell Trompettes 4, 8, 16 on the manuals, and Pedal Mixture IV, 8 Pedal Octave, 16 Pedal Principal, 8 Pedal Trompette, 16 Pedal Fagotto, 32 Pedal Contre Fagotto on the pedals.

    All the swell shades are open, and I tweaked the 32 pedal reed to give it a bit more gravity. Also, I took an audio snippet of "room noise" from one of my favorite organ recordings and added it in to give a bit more realism.


    Second is an improvisation that I did while exploring the softer colors CPO offers. It's based on a chant tune, "Veni Creator Spiritus", that I'm rather fond of. Now here's the thing: it's about 26 minutes long, and I think it can get a bit monotonous as I don't change registration, and don't have a MIDI pedalboard, so it's hands only. That being said, if you enjoy the sound of the rich foundation stops as much as I apparently was at the time, you might enjoy this too.

    The registration is: 8 Great Principal, 8 Choir Gemshorn, 8 Great Flute Harmonique, 8 Romantic Gamba, 8 Romantic Pianissimo Combo, and the "Flutes" patch from GPO's small organ selection. On the last three, the swell shades are closed.


    Well, that's an awful lot. Hopefully you get some enjoyment out of it, or at least a taste of what CPO can do. It's encouraged me to write a suite for organ (among my many other compositional to-do's), so hopefully I will be back some time soon with actual compositions!

  2. #2

    Re: Some Pipe Organ Fun

    Great! Thank you so much, "TheGreyPilgrim," for posting these lovingly produced pieces using the still rather new Garritan Library, Classic Pipe Organs. We still haven't heard many pieces using the Library here in the LR.

    "Kingsfold" I enjoyed very much. The second one, the take-off on "Veni Creator Spiritus" I confess to fading out before it was finished. As much as I admire the Library, and can enjoy a pipe organ in small doses, I don't have a great love of the instrument, so that length was too much for me. I get tired of an organ's constant bombast which doesn't ever wane, even when set to softer stops. But that says nothing about your thoughtful rendition of the music.

    Thank you very much.


  3. #3

    Re: Some Pipe Organ Fun

    Perfectly understandable, Randy. I can't even really get through it.

    Maybe there is a more cohesive, complete piece in there somewhere that I will dig out eventually.

  4. #4

    Re: Some Pipe Organ Fun

    It's really organ fun as you call it. I like a good pipe organ and you certainly succeeded to record and render a very realistic organ in both pieces. The huge cathedral ambience (and 10 sec reverb) offer a feeling of having been there at the very moment.

    But if you allow me a little remark: because of that cathedral reverb and convolution some of the played registers (mainly the strong and lower ones) get lost in a muddy ambience. We all know that it is a principal task for professional organ players to test the overall acoustic and adapt the playing techniques. A broad legato is mostly useless in such an ambience. A little 'détaché' can do miracles there, without losing the slur effect.

    But as to the rest: a brilliant rendition and interpretation. Very nice improvisation too!

  5. #5

    Re: Some Pipe Organ Fun

    Much appreciated Max!

    Yes, it certainly would be a bit clearer had I played it in real time and phrased appropriately. Next time!

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