I learned Franck’s Grande Pièce Symphonique when I was an undergraduate. It’s still probably my favorite organ symphony. As far as I know it was the first in this form. Yesterday despite my fatigue late in the day, I played carefully through the first movement or two.
It was fun to go back through the piece and hear (and see) comments made to me by my then teacher Ray Ferguson. The piece takes more organ than I have (as most pieces do… or at least a better organ).
My musical practices are changing a bit. I have mentioned here before that I am practicing much more carefully than I used to. Another thing I find myself doing is respecting the integrity of the organ I am playing by not throwing on couplers (that is artificially adding a rank).
I sometimes think of myself as “pretending” when I am playing a piece like this. But also I have learned not to think too loud and accept the fact that I am practicing on a small (and small scale) organ and let my registration reflect that.
This is much more satisfying.
Ray and I talked a great deal about using this piece for preludes and postludes, chopping it up. I have done some of that. But not since beginning my work at Grace.
I am listening to the video embedded above. I like this guy interp and tempos so far. It reminds me of Ferguson’s.
I think I thought of the Franck because of the music podcast I mentioned yesterday. They played a recording of his symphony. I studied that in undergraduate school as well. I think it made me a bit nostalgic for the music.
Also I am a very impressionable weak willed individual. For example last night in Donna Leon’s book I was listening to she has the main character read through the first chapter of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon. So this morning I pulled out my copy of which I have read 476 pages (according to where the bookmark was) and read a bit in this book.
I skipped Finnegans Wake this morning and instead decided to roast tomatoes.
Here they are before roasting.
Well it’s getting late. I have to get ready for church. I bought these veggies at the market yesterday. Life is good.