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«Future Visions for the Organ in European Cultural Life»

Started by organforumadmin, September 11, 2011, 01:27:36 AM

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Main Presentation
«Future Visions for the Organ in European Cultural Life»
with Prof. Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium/France)

David Pinnegar

Full note to come. Essence included the concept that modern taste should not be imposed upon the past.

David Pinnegar

Rough translation from Google Translate

QuoteReflections on the future of the organ in European cultural life

Bernard Foccroulle

In his 1870 book, "20.000 miles under the sea" Jules Verne portrays a strange but fascinating man, Captain Nemo. That live in seclusion, away from the company, crossed the oceans and the sea bed, studying plants and water organisms, and plays on an organ that is built into his submarine "Nautilus".
"Sometimes , " says the narrator, " I heard the melancholy tones of his organ, he played very expressively, but only at night, in the midst of silent darkness, where slumbered the "Nautilus" in the remote areas of the ocean. "

The organ, an instrument of solitude ... Because the organ can take that powerful instrument to fill the cathedral with its sound and flood tides of thousands of listeners, in our musical life is not an altogether marginal one place: the visionary writer also seems to anticipate something here?

It is undisputed that even his very elevated position in most of our churches give the instrument a unapproachable, magical, even divine train. This is indeed the way the role, which assigned him the liturgy: the organ, often artistically exaggerated by statues of angels and saints, represents the sky, while the singers represent the people of the church. In addition reinforces the fact that their organ tones can endure longer than any other instrument, its sacred character, the feeling of eternity. Art finally testifies polyphonic set a world view that sees music as a reflection of the perfection of creation.

Yet approaching this "heavenly" instrument throughout its long history, more and more to the people. Since 14 Century organ music blends the secular and the sacred, is based on dance forms, as we can see, for example, in the liturgical pieces of the Codex Faenza.

At the end of Renaissance humanism influence the currents of the organ and its music formats. The organ now presses those " affetti " from those emotions and human passions, the Frescobaldi describes in the preface of his First Toccatenbuches. Bull draw simultaneously, Cornet, Correa de Arauxo or Scheidemann organ music in new directions by opening the way for a new virtuosity and individual expression. Subsequent generations
- Bach included - thus contributing to their own individual way to "humanize" the organ music.

By reading the Bible and the word assigns a privileged place, is the Lutheran Reformation, the organ in a new direction and it approaches to the sermon. The Lutheran organ "speaks" as much as she " sings ", "Commented" the Scriptures to the same degree as it gladdens the hearts of the faithful. No wonder then, that the German musicians can be inspired at this moment so much rhetoric by-Textbooks

In response, the Counter-Reformation rather attempts to charm the faithful through a magnificent liturgical music, which shrinks not afraid to make use of the newly Created forms of secular music: as found in France, "Offertoires sur les Grands Jeux" their origin in the French overtures, the "récit" in opera arias, "Noel" at the Fifres, tambourines and musettes of folk music.

The organ, mirrors the cultural diversity of Europe
In an entirely different field organ builders and organists aust press in a very natural, but totally unconscious way, the genius of their respective native languages

The Ripieno an Italian organ evokes the speed and smoothness of the Italian language, rich in vowels and diphthongs. The works by Frescobaldi and Rossi are witness to an art that surprises, contrasts and fast ... Improvisation searches

In contrast, the Germanic organ reflects perfect way to accent and
Articulation of the German language. When listening to a "talking" a principal
North German organ is found in the play of his speech, the consonants in the language
Scherer, Schnitger and Silbermann are so important.

And who does not feel in a Tierce en taille, the softness of the Jeu de Tierce, the sweetness and round out the sound, the nonchalance of the speech, which seems equally to be an echo of the French for the language so typical, faint accent?

All those which Spain have traveled, will have noticed, finally, how similar the direct and colorful sounds of Spanish and the sound of the Comets are or how great the relationship between the nasal voices of children and similar sounds of viejas, Orlos, chirimias and other reeds in the Fundus of the Iberian Organ.

Across Europe, the organ is also from social stratification: we admire the nobility of the aristocratic Compenius organ at the Royal Castle of Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark, delicate and refined, or that organ in the lnnsbruck Silbemnkapelle. On the other hand, who would be unable to move from the power and the rich sounds of the magnificent organ in large cities, pride of the big bourgeoisie in Hamburg, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Riga or Salamanca? And we also do not feel great joy when in contact with instruments rougher, yes, "rural" character of the countryside, in Friesland, in Saxony, in Wallonia, Old Castile or Istria?

Nature has always provided inspiration for organists and organ builders of the "Nightingale" of the French organ to Zimbelstern in northern Germany, without the rain of machine-Hofkirchen Organ Lefebure-Wely's in Lucerne or forgetting organ thunderstorm ...
Cosmic dimensions in Athanasius Kircher's "Musurgia Universalis" (1662) dealt with scientifically exact same as found in the great hymn-cycles Weckmann or, in more poetic form, in Olivier Messiaen's organ works of expression.

The organ can therefore probably be regarded without exaggeration as a great mirror of cultural diversity in Europe. Yes, the organ has our European culture enriched by her repertoire, part of which certainly deserves its place in the pantheon of musical masterpieces, but also through their (perhaps unconscious) role in the "cultural education" of the people, the charge and of course in the listen to those masterpieces also got liturgy.

Fortunately, this tradition through the centuries has never been broken and lives. We have the privilege to play music from past centuries, to well-preserved instruments of the same epochs, and this in a majority of all European countries. Like many other musical cultures are against it have been lost or are only now, after centuries of silence, brought back to life? We have been entrusted with this tradition: it is therefore our responsibility to preserve it and continue to carry on. This is not primarily for ourselves but for the peoples of Europe, for future generations and for the world that has begun to make that specific culture as its own.

The organ and its music alive
You will forgive me for having given the past of the organ music so much time. But how should we look to the future, without counter the present and the past with the greatest care? Can we really assess what is taking place, the organ, or the culture at large, in the world that is emerging now, and built or removed ...? is, with dizzying speed, and before our eyes, and watch the goings often fainted with disgust? As human society will look like in a few decades? In what state will encounter our planet for future generations? If we did not need for a new utopia Jules Verne?

To stay in this lecture, I want to say that the most important challenge that our organists and organ experts in the 21 Coming century, the former is to preserve the organ and its music alive. To keep alive in the true sense of the word by new creations, through a fruitful connection between emerging and that great heritage, take durftJn we, by creation of a fruitful confrontation between the organ music and all forms of music, of all artistic disciplines.

The last 50 years have shown that some of our finest composers have again turned to the organ: Ligeti, Kagel, Gubaidulina, Xenakis, Rihm, Harvey, Dusapin and many other exceptional works you have written and created truly "outrageous" sonic universes can. Some have no hesitation in the past taken in the most creative way under the microscope and be inspired by him, I think, for example, "Fa-Si" by Berio or "Fanfare II" by Boesman, two key works of the seventies. It is also important to continue to sensitize the best living composers for the organ, beyond the circle of "composer-organist '!

The organ has also benefited from the revival of Baroque music: organists have either a soloist or as a continuo player in vocal music, chamber music, as in the great church music works by re-occupied a crucial place in musical life.

We now live in a globalized world: it is up to us to choose between the violent clash of civilizations or a dialogue of cultures. The organ has its place in the intercultural dialogue? Certain composers such as Isang Uun or Toshio Hosokawa come even other continents, in the reverse case is a composer (as Jean-Louis Florentz experienced with the traditional music of black Africa) elsewhere remarkable new sources of inspiration.

We are seeing more and more, as the organ takes part in previously unknown encounters with jazz, traditional music of our regions, with music from Arabia and the Far East. I myself have had the opportunity to give several concerts with a Palestinian musician, Moneim Adwan with, an excellent singer and 'ud player. These concerts have raised not only very deep emotions in the audience, but also musicians forced us to take risks, approach each other and to move us from a written to an oral tradition of music, or vice versa! We classical musicians forcing an encounter with a music whose roots are still felt so alive, help us to go off the beaten track, back into the heart of an oral tradition, which was also one of the sources of our Western music.

In a more general sense, we can also observe how the new organ builds networks of relationships with other artistic disciplines. I'm thinking of encounters between the organ and literature like that, "Hommage a Jehan Alain" last March in Saint Germain-en-Laye with the actress Brigitte Fossey and the organist Michel Bouvard. I am also convinced assume that we could surprise some great video artist, he would deal with organ music. Several performances recently have the organ associated with the dance, for example by means of the Trois Danses by Jehan Alain. I myself have twice had the pleasure to make a specially gratifying experience, one hand with the choreographer and the dancer and sculptor Jan Fabre Annabelle Chambron, on the other hand, with Salvatore Sanchiz and his troupe. Such "Organ and Dance" projects invite the audience to a different kind of hearing, a final farewell from certain prejudices and ask to meet such a novel artistic expressions and creative yourself.

It is undoubtedly one of our most important tasks in convincing the clergy from opening the sacred spaces for such interdisciplinary realizations that are not perhaps directly inspired religious. To find a dance project with access to Catholic Churches, remains a difficult task. But such artistic events are not necessarily almost a spiritual dimension? Would not it about time that the church has more courage to become more open, more a testimony of foresight in dealing with the contemporary?

Has also introduced new technologies, the future also interdisciplinary events simultaneously in different places to perform: an organ recital, for example, which takes place in a church matching the choreography but in a theater or even the same city at another place. This is not a solicitation, our most precious instruments, the oldest, the most modern, to give a new life?

David Pinnegar

Audience participation

Want to receive the organ alive but also due to reach out to the audience. Here we encounter a paradox: the presence of tens of thousands of churches OrgUnit in the instrument a wide distribution and an extraordinary decentralization warrants. We must, however, but also admit that organ recital series often attract only a very limited, so too limited audience, in churches and in concert halls.

Are we allowed ourselves a huge presence of the organ in our radio and television channels boasting?
When, for example, Arte, the European cultural channel par excellence, an organ in Europe
Dedicated program that would have corresponded to his other programmatic ambitions?

And it is my vision of the future of organ and their audience is no disaster scenario, because we have certain significant advantages! We need to convince the big concert promoters to create organ-concert series, which go beyond the boundaries of the aficionados. In Brussels organized by the Palais de Beaux-Arts for several years, a series of organ concerts in the main churches of the city: the artistic quality is very high, the audience recognizes this by force, and the revenues exceed the regular cost!

In Toulouse, put Xavier Darasse than thirty years ago the foundation stone for a brilliant organ in life that can be based on a remarkable wealth of instruments, a festival, master classes and an international competition. In 1996, his successor, Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen, initiated a new stage through the creation of an ambitious festival, which probably refers to the organ, but is open at the same time any kind of musical and artistic expression. Many among us will probably confirm from personal experience that Toulouse-les-orgues has redeemed his promise to keep the organ alive for a large audience

An ambitious educational project about the organ
For the past twenty years, the European opera houses and orchestras cultural mediation jobs created and their activities for young people, particularly school groups, multiplied. The results are sometimes spectacular, not only quantitatively but also in terms of the quality of participation and the reactions of children and adolescents.

I am fully convinced that we can expect a huge construction site, we only briefly introduce ourselves, which force the richness and diversity that we could all pose for the world of schools! Each of our churches can welcome every year thousands of children are called. If we have concepts and educational programs, the appropriate age groups are matched, we can make our young audience simultaneously with the beauty of the instrument and his organ music, but also familiar with all that, which is represented by this artistic and spiritual heritage

We can give them the bird songs, the sound of the sources and the rumble of apocalyptic
Monster show at the Messe de Fa Pentecöte of Messiaen.
We can make them sing a hymn with the Glosas Marie Correa.
We can sing a Luther chorale preludes of Bach and its composed and
its predecessor show.
We can take them into the fantastic universe of Liszt or the musical poetry
Jehan Alain's ...

What we choose this book: if we teach it competently and with conviction, will be our young audience a perfect, spontaneous and responsive audience. And we might be in them can wscken wish later come back once in a concert to further sonic magic of this incredible taste ....

In addition to the world of schools and young people but also all the organizations and clubs not to mention the work in neighborhoods, with groups of immigrants, in hospitals, prisons ... These circles are often very open to suggestions from the "cultural scene". In spite of many prejudices, we must not forget that we can reach an audience that is particularly susceptible to an artistic dimension: the frail man, the more he perceives a work of art with sharp senses, with an intensity that is often much greater as the reaction of an audience so familiar ...

Which organ in the 21 Century?

I personally do not believe in an "organ of the 21 Century ". This is mainly because I do not
Need to see it, to invent a completely new organ. But I am convinced that our
Perform organ builders and their successors are miracles in many different aesthetic

I observe here three fields, three challenges: the first is always the
beautifully preserved historic instruments to learn. The second relates to the organs in
Concert halls:
Too often we give concert hall organs in the absence of the generous acoustics of a
Church, not that kiangliche pleasure that sophistication that we expect. This is a
Expand our audience in the way of the circle.

The third section touches the creative and far-sighted use of new technologies. I believe that digital technologies, particularly the sampling permit, should develop the organ without the craft of the heart to change profession, what so often
Problem of neo-classical organ building was. The combination of digital musical instruments and
traditional organ building would allow you to create an organ and its mirror image and thus the
To explore micro-tonality to extremely fine and controlled manner. It is also conceivable that the
Work on the tone would find there Another exciting development opportunities.

Reach a critical size and unite Europe

For about 15 years ago created a number of European cultural networks everywhere. These include, for example, the association ECHO (European Cities bf Historic Organs) belongs to Alkmaar, Brussels, Freiberg (Germany), Fribourg (Switzerland), Gothenburg, Innsbruck, Lisbon, Umag (Croatia), Zaragoza, and links Toulouse Treviso.

Connecting Arts is another recently established network, a mobile festival, which will circulate in various European cities (Utrecht, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Toulouse). His idea is to replace the organ repertoire, offering a contemporary view of the instrument to stimulate the creation of innovative performances. To give the organ a new dynamic, it connects with dance, theater, visual arts, film or literature. Each partner of Connecting Arts is committed to the production of original creations, which make up the organ in the scene. These pictures will then spread to other European cities.

In many countries there are professional associations or groupings of organ friends. In France, just at the moment, a new association, "Orgue en France". Let us rejoice! But would it not time to prepare for the establishment of such an association at European level? Let us shortly before the power of a European federation, which, beyond any trade union nature, as the target would have to support the diversity of our cultural organistic, give to the cause organ in all countries a voice in political bodies, churches, media

Despite a proliferation of the majority of European countries across the world reached the
Organ never those "critical mass" that would allow it to focus the
Mass media to attract attention. It is therefore our duty to be creative and to our forces
unite to devise events of today have not known size and type.

Globalization is another reason to create a European platform: it is important that the European organ capable in all their diversity to exist on a global level and to interact with similar institutions in other continents in a dialogue. Europe must stand on its cultural heritage and bring it to bear in the context of a globalization that is moving forward with the speed of a TGV!

A European organ-dressing could be from that moment on, a valuable "interface" between local, regional, national, European and world structures, without needing to local and national associations, their relevance and usefulness to dispute.

The support of new technologies

With a certain regularity it comes to major events of European-wide broadcasting, including the restoration of an extraordinary instrument, or the inauguration of a modern and remarkable organ. 2013, for example the reconstruction of the organ in the Hamburg St. Catherine's Church by the company Flentrop will be completed: one considers the feedback positive, which is ready made for two years is the result of his spectacular: It is an organ, the instrument that by Scheidemann and Reinken was before then the Bach organ in the presence desselbigen Reinken also played in 1720. One could not imagine a transfer of the inauguration concerts in dozens of churches and public buildings to organ associations in all European countries?

Or let us imagine a concert at the Chapelle Royale at Versailles, where the organ with the Leçons träte of Ténèbres by Couperin and Charpentier in dialogue. Or a fair or a snack in the splendid setting of a large church in Venice and Mantua. A musical competition between Froberger and Weckmann, Scarlatti and Handel, Bach and Marchand ... Our advanced technologies allow for the dissemination and transfer of such events under excellent conditions and with a very reasonable cost.

In another area, namely the opera, was born and developed in Europe, we find that it comes to worldwide performances, and this not from European opera houses, but by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Peter Gelb, who is currently acting director had the vision to build a distribution network that allows tens of thousands of spectators to witness some live in some 650 movie theaters around the wide performances of the Met.

The organ scene in Europe could possibly be inspired by such an initiative? Such a project required a shared vision, but a variety of places, partnerships and initiatives for implementation. If it were not for a European organ Association, the Union Européenne de Radio-Télé Vision propose to organize a major event held annually and performed in close cooperation with the existing interest groups around the organ?

Why we do not take the initiative of a "European Organ tags," similar to the European Opera Days, which are already there? For several years they take place in May and join over a hundred operas, which recorded with open houses and countless other activities of an ever-increasing success.

Even the fantastic development of new social-networking sites, inviting an almost, more
To take initiatives, which require much more creativity than the use of large financial

I am pleased with the dynamism that is palpable in the Zurich resolution of the organizers of this Congress. But we are not happy with it and emit warning calls to raise demands, we also need to learn, we encourage each other to be creative and to stay as well as from our successes, but also to learn from our defeats.

Final word

A few days ago I read in "Time Magazine" an article about a Peruvian artist not a musician or an artist, but a top chef! Undoubtedly, the Peruvian gastronomy is not our specialty because we pay so as organist rather the rediscovery of original Baroque instruments in that Latin American country, attention ...

But why dedicated "Time" this chef an article, and what he said:
"Gaston Acurio, Peru's top chef, has opened acclaimed restaurants in the food capitals from Madrid to San Francisco. He is also training the next generation of elite cooks in the shantytown of Pachacutec, 50 km outside Uma. He is hoping all this good food and enthusiasm can lead to something much bigger. , We are developing a vanguard project that will train an army of chefs who will revolutionizethis country ', he says. I see Peruvian cuisine as a way of transforming lives to help build a more just, prosperous and democratic society '. "(Time, August 22, 2011)

If one keeps in mind that the top restaurants have such ambitions, why should not the classical music in the world of organ then be possible?

In another country in Latin America, Venezuela, there are tens of thousands of young people that have been made under the program "El Sistema" familiar with the Symphony Orchestra. These young people, often born and raised in favekas form, today some of the finest orchestras in the world, including the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel.
Paradoxically, the organ has the great advantage, not by the gigantic wave of commercialization and marketing to have been recorded, the music affects our lives, even our lives at all to the highest spheres. Maybe this is our opportunity: how to reach a critical threshold, which is the organ that place in the musical life of their admits, on the one hand, highlighting the extraordinary diversity of our instrumental and musical heritage, but on the other hand, without yielding to the siren songs of marketing.

Finally, I would like to thank the organizers of this symposium cordially Europe: through the initiative, all of us to gather here, they invite you to raise awareness of a heritage that is all of us in all its diversity entrusted. They commit us to take action to make it alive. They encourage us to regard it as a social and democratic asset that is at stake. It is up to us to respond to it, wherever we are and act. From the diversity of our answers, our initiatives, our ability to come together and we find ourselves to large joint projects, depends on the future of the organ in Europe!


Bidl by Captain Nemo at the organ
A very highly placed above organ (Metz, Strasbourg?)
A score of Frescobaldi or a contemporary
Organ in a Lutheran church (Bettenhausen: altar, pulpit and organ on the other)
A Catholic prachvtvolles organ case (Counter Reformation): Salamanca?
Compenius organ in Frederiksborg
A typical instrument of a big city (Amsterdam Lübeck? ...)
A small "country-instrument" (Wallonia?)
One or two contemporary scores (volumes, Tuyaux lsang sonores (Yun) and Fanfare
.. 2)
A recording of a performance ((dancing and Organ "
Poster or Photo by Toulouse-les-Orgues
A picture of children or young people around an organist
Organ case Katharinenkirche Hamburg
Map of Europe with the cities of ECHO
Picture of Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra