Conversations about all things organ playing. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene talk with experts from the organ world - concert and church organists, improvisers, educators, composers, organ builders, musicologists and other people who help shape the future of our profession.
This question was sent by Eduardo, and he writes,
Recently I found about historical improvisation and I stumbled upon your dissertation "Improvisation of keyboard preludes in the style of JS Bach: A practical method comprising techniques derived from selected keyboard works" And it looks exactly what i'm looking for at the moment, but I can't find a complete version of it, I just found the index. Is there a way I can get the complete one?
Also , In your webpage you mention a Keyboard Prelude Improvisation Mini Course but the link is dead. Can I still join the Course?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
This question was sent by John, and he writes,
Dear Vidas, wow this is so beautiful! I hear from respected organists that these trio sonatas are some of the most difficult music to play, and you executed it perfectly! Thank you for such an enjoyable experience, and also for setting such a great example for me, your student!
Take care, John
This question was sent by Joe, and he writes:
Hope all is well with you. I am making much headway on Widor's Toccata, even though I have had limited time to practice.
The score that I purchased from you certainly has helped expedite the learning process - MUCH THANKS!
Since the score did not include registration suggestions, I was curious if you know of scores that do include registration.
My organ has the following Stops:”
Quintaten (Sw) 16'
Trompette (SW) 8'
Violas II 8'
Quintaten (Sw) 16'
Violas II (Sw) 8'
super Octave 2'
Vidas: He has three divisions: Pedal, Swell, and Great, and each has around 10 stops, maybe more. He writes further:
“I also have a Floating Division that can be applied to Pedal, Swell, and Great. This includes over 100 stops but cannot be mixed (i.e. only one per Pedal, one for Swell, one for Great).
Please let me know if you have any suggestions for registration based on my Stops List. If you believe something is missing that is critical, I may have it in my Floating Division.
Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.
Vidas: Here’s what I wrote to him:
Unfortunately all Widor marks on the score is FFF, FF, F etc. As I haven't made a video of this piece I can't really demonstrate it for you right now. Since you have only 2 manual instrument, try to experiment with adding or omitting the reeds on both divisions one by one. FFF would be Tutti. FF would be without Clairon, F - without Basson, MF - without Trompette, PP - without Krummhorn. Manuals coupled. Pedals need to be reduced accordingly too.
Hope this helps for now (until I prepare a proper video course).
This question was sent by Manfred, and he writes:
I was playing the organ in the church for services only. The requirements are low. Therefore I could train the Pedal in ‘wild’ and fairly uncontrolled way.
Because of Corona the congregation must not sing. The organist is asked to prepare a few pieces as a solo. So I started to look for organ pieces that are a little more demanding.
Then I was facing severe difficulties with easy or low-medium pieces for organ. Thanks to Youtube I watched the pedaling of good organ players. My style is way off!
This led me to you. You have a method, you want to teach it in an internet-based style – so, I gave it a try.
Man! The first week told me I was not using certain muscles in the ankle area, I had muscle sore. Now, I see a much higher flexibility in my ankles.
I was playing with a sort of tennis shoes. No way! Yesterday I started with organ shoes (dancing shoes actually). Now I can feel the pedal keys and can slide on them. Wonderful!
After this first week I do not detect better accuracy. But my feet want to adopt the new pedaling style when playing my organ pieces. This is sometimes confusing, but I am sure in 2-3 weeks the new techniques will make my feet more ‘relaxed’ as they become friends of the pedal.
I am eagerly looking forward to the next few weeks!
This question was sent by Doug, and he answered my question, What is your goal in organ playing, and what are some challenges that he faces when he tries to reach this goal. So the goal is to become a church organist, and basically advanced in hymn playing. And the challenges are three:
Taking a hymnal with one line and converting it to swell, great and pedals on the fly.
Grand Orgue or Hauptwerk conversion for home organ to practice on.