Specialist in French organ music wanted
  • I've been learning Franck's Pastorale, op 19, which I hope to be able to play when I gain access to an actual instrument in an actual church, and decided to listen to a Youtube recording of it to see if I'm conceiving the piece correctly in my mind while I have only a piano to use to learn the piece. This


    is the recording I came across. It doesn't sound right. Anyone help?

    Second question: since the piece is clearly too long to play at one sitting within the context of Mass, except as a prelude, would it be appropriate to break it up, and use snippets of it at various points in the Mass?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 995
    If you're looking for interpretive inspiration I'd start with Marie Clair Alain.

  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,379
    Op. 19 stands out as one of Franck's more effective pieces for a smaller instrument; a lot depends on the effectiveness of the trumpet enclosure though. Israel Lai's playing is interesting for the peaceful and in fact downright lazy atmosphere of a summer day before a storm; such rubato is more obviously out of place in the fugato.

    Something that only now jumped out at me from the title page is "César Franck aîné". Google can't find any César Franck cadet!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,279
    Keep in mind this is Romantic music and needs your interpretation. It is not sewing machine music like some Baroque literature.

    As for it being too long, I wonder what the composers in previous times would make of our get-it-over-with-and-get-out-the-door liturgies. I never had any qualms about breaking pieces up to make them fit the time available. Yes, snippets can be good. You can't go wrong with Alain.
  • Serviam,

    Thank you for that link to Marie-Claire Alain's recording. It sounds much more as I had thought it should. The first recording I found was a transcription for piano, which I found positively off-putting, as my mother would say.


    I agree that a smaller instrument simply lacks enough to play some of Franck's larger repertoire, but I'm not sure Lai's recording is "lazy", when one section sounds (to my ear) positively frenetic, and marked "accelerando".


    Indeed, I ask for the help I do here because Baroque and Romantic aren't the same egg, and should be cooked differently!

    Again, I agree that our modern preoccupation with 37-minute Masses is disturbing, even as I don't think that unproductive lengthening is a good thing. (Unproductive activity includes mini-sermons at the time for the announcements and the prayers of the faithful, for example, or a visiting priest spending more time introducing himself than preaching -- at that point in the Mass, of course.)

    I don't know Mme. Alain's work much (especially compared to some folks, here and elsewhere) but based on the recording Serviam sent me, I'm inclined to agree with you.

    Thanked by 1CharlesW