Author Topic: Favourite works for Organ and Orchestra (excluding Saint Saens's 3rd Symphony)  (Read 1591 times)

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Online vandermolen

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A big AMEN  0:)  for the GUILMANT and POULENC works!


Is that the one with 10 trumpets?  I bought that when it first came out on an American label, I think on RCA with Leopold Stokowski conducting!

A fun work!  A potboiler,  :D   but a fun potboiler!  8)

Not to be forgotten:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/hu8Y8elFFhE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/hu8Y8elFFhE</a>
Re: AK - Yes, that's the one Leo.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline classicalgeek

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I've actually seen the Williamson live (great 'big tune' in the finale, based on the dedicatee, Adrian Boult's, initials (ACB)) with Boult conducting. This is the team who recorded it for Lyrita:


I see the Williamson is on Spotify - I'll have to give it a listen soon!

Online vandermolen

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I see the Williamson is on Spotify - I'll have to give it a listen soon!

If you like it you might enjoy 'Elevamini' (his 1st Symphony on another Lyrita CD) and the Sinfonia Concertante. I find him to be an interesting composer.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Concertos or symphonies with organ:

Poulenc: Organ Concerto
Casella: Concerto Romano
Copland: Symphony for organ and orchestra
Hindemith: Organ Concerto
Leifs: Organ Concerto


Works that are not concertos:

Weinberger: Passacaglia for organ and orchestra
Dubois: Fantaisie Triomphale
Otaka: Fantasy for organ and orchestra
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline Brewski

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A 21st-century favorite is A Scotch Bestiary (2003-04) by James MacMillan (basically a concerto for orchestra and organ), with the superb organist Wayne Marshall. There's political content, i.e., warring Scottish factions, but you don't need to know any of that to appreciate MacMillan's exuberant orchestration.

https://www.amazon.com/MacMillan-Scotch-Bestiary-Piano-Concerto/dp/B000FMR3Z8

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Online MusicTurner

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Yes, do and let us know what you think - look out for the big tune in the last movement! I have that Lyrita LP as well.

I've had difficulties finding the Williamson LP (it's there somewhere, but parts of my collection could be better organized), however there's a complete version on you-tube (maybe insert specific Roman numbers too, to get all tracks). It's a sprawling, ambitious, very varied work, with a lot going on, going from the quirky first movement (I was reminded of Stravinsky, big band jazz and even parts of Nørgård's percussion concerto), to the slow movement, at times perhaps reminding of early Messiaen. The finale takes up traits from the 1st movement again, but even more extrovertly, then suddenly a slower, cinematic and lyrical section interrupts, and is combined with the faster music, building up to big, fireworks-like climaxes.

I like that it's generally quite transparent in the instrumentation, very well recorded, and you hear a lot of details, as in chamber music, though the finale makes a lot of use of grand orchestral sound. It's a work worth exploring further.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 04:26:55 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline (: premont :)

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I also have BWV1052 as a concerto for organ & orchestra, it works OK.

Generally I think the harpsichord version works better than the organ version or any reconstructed violin version, because the organ version (taken from the cantata-sinfonias) and the violin version lack the left hand addirtions, which Bach made for the harpsichord version, making the music more weighty and in accordance with the dark manacing character of the composition.
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Offline (: premont :)

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I think the Bach examples of music for organ and orchestra have got a certain character of being arrangements (even if by Bach himself) and for that reason they don't feel quite idiomatic to me. Some of Händel's organ concertos feel more idiomatic but on the other hand they are less musically interesting. So I don't listen much to baroque music for organ and orchestra. Also I'm not much into romantic music, so actually only Hindemith's and Poulenc's concertos remain, and I would hardly call them great favorites.
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Online vandermolen

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I've had difficulties finding the Williamson LP (it's there somewhere, but parts of my collection could be better organized), however there's a complete version on you-tube (maybe insert specific Roman numbers too, to get all tracks). It's a sprawling, ambitious, very varied work, with a lot going on, going from the quirky first movement (I was reminded of Stravinsky, big band jazz and even parts of Nørgård's percussion concerto), to the slow movement, at times perhaps reminding of early Messiaen. The finale takes up traits from the 1st movement again, but even more extrovertly, then suddenly a slower, cinematic and lyrical section interrupts, and is combined with the faster music, building up to big, fireworks-like climaxes.

I like that it's generally quite transparent in the instrumentation, very well recorded, and you hear a lot of details, as in chamber music, though the finale makes a lot of use of grand orchestral sound. It's a work worth exploring further.
Nice analysis and thanks for feeding it back. I'm glad that you found it to be of interest.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Concertos or symphonies with organ:

Poulenc: Organ Concerto
Casella: Concerto Romano
Copland: Symphony for organ and orchestra
Hindemith: Organ Concerto
Leifs: Organ Concerto


Works that are not concertos:

Weinberger: Passacaglia for organ and orchestra
Dubois: Fantaisie Triomphale
Otaka: Fantasy for organ and orchestra
Most interesting Cesar! I only know the Poulenc and Copland and look forward to exploring the others.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Brian

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Leifs wrote an organ concerto? That sounds loud and awesome.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Leifs wrote an organ concerto? That sounds loud and awesome.

Effectively it is, a fun wild riot.

Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Just remembered another work for this splendid combination: Rangström's imposing Symphony No. 4 Invocatio. A strikingly potent and dramatic piece, so don't expect many quiet moments in here. It's perfect to make your stereo or audio system work a fun good deal.  ;D
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Online vandermolen

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Effectively it is, a fun wild riot.


Just sampled it on You Tube - it's a hoot! The organ is given the full 'Dr Phibes' treatment - marvellous stuff!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Just sampled it on You Tube - it's a hoot! The organ is given the full 'Dr Phibes' treatment - marvellous stuff!

Good to know, Jeffrey. Leifs was a specialist in this kind of compositions.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Online vandermolen

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Good to know, Jeffrey. Leifs was a specialist in this kind of compositions.
Just ordered the CD - your fault Cesar!  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline VonStupp

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The link below has been mighty handy for me to explore new repertoire in the organ/orchestra category for a handful of years now. I love discovering organ concertante miniatures, so luckily the internet has been a handy resource to even be able to hear some of the more obscure works on the website. But as with any semi-comprehensive lists like this, there are winners, and moreso, many I haven't enjoyed; the fun is in exploring, though. VS

https://pipedreams.publicradio.org/pdf/organ_orchestra_repertoire.pdf
« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 01:25:22 PM by VonStupp »
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Offline Maestro267

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I'm taking selections from these lists as recommendations, so thank you for those.

About 10 years ago I stumbled upon William Mathias' Organ Concerto being performed on BBC Radio Cymru. I'm not a Welsh speaker but I was transfixed by the music. I was out walking at the time as well. It's a great disappointment that a recording hasn't been released yet, even by a label like Lyrita that specialises in radio broadcasts.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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I found this on YouTube. Seemingly it the sonics is decent enough to appreciate how the music is like.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/QXxIJ7upP_c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/QXxIJ7upP_c</a>
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen