SOPP519: I’m learning quite a bit of French music to play during upcoming visits to Paris
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 519 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. In this episode, we would like to thank Richard Knot, who sent us his generous donation of £10. And he wrote:
Dear Vidas and Ausra. Enjoy a coffee on me!! Best wishes, Richard
So then, I wrote to him a message thanking Richard. I wrote:
Dear Richard! Thank you for your generous donation... It's very kind of you. How is your organ playing going? ~Vidas
And he wrote:
Dear Vidas, I thought you’d both like a coffee! My playing is going ok thanks, although I’m finding it harder to learn new things quickly and efficiently. I’m learning quite a bit of French music to play during upcoming visits to Paris. Although I have an excellent teacher from the Royal College of Organists, I’m thinking of joining your Total Organist scheme to give me more skills for good effective practising. It’s a lot of money though.
V: And I wrote to him:
Thanks, Richard! Having a goal to be prepared for organ trip in Paris is an excellent motivation. If you can wait until Thanksgiving, Total Organist will have a 50% discount.
To which he replied:
Thanks for letting me know about that, Vidas. It’s very good of you. I can certainly wait for Thanksgiving and your promotional emails!
A: Well, so this is what I like about this message that Richard translates that even though he surely had professional training with a good professor at a well-known institution, he still wants to improve himself. And that’s what I think is very important for each of us. Because no diplomas, no the best professors can set you up for entire life. You still need to improve on yourself throughout your life. And you still need to learn new things and to find out about new things, to find new ways, to try new instruments.
V: And this is especially nice if he goes to Paris.
V: In Paris, he will find many unfamiliar instruments, perhaps famous instruments. And if he ever has a chance to try them out, inevitably the time comes when he needs to play something. And playing something well on these instruments makes the entire trip more enjoyable. And then...
V: ...then that’s where we come in, helping people reach their goals, and helping them achieve better results than they would be doing on their own, alone. So, we’re very grateful to Richard who enabled us to have some coffee.
A: Yes, we will. Maybe next week.
V: Yes. Coffee is a good drink. We drink decaf coffee, right Ausra?
A: Yes. We are very Americans in that way.
A: Almost nobody in Lithuania understands us. We are just asking to them, Why do you drink coffee at all, if you drink decaf? But now there are more and more places where we can get coffee like this.
V: Yeah, lots of younger generation people are starting to convert to decaf tribe.
A: That’s right. And plus, in Vilnius, we have lots of foreign tourists who also comes from various countries, and they want to drink decaf. Not all though, of course, but we get, I think, more and more American tourists.
V: You know what I was surprised about, when we visited various European countries and sat in restaurants? Yes, you could order decaf coffee, but ordering alcohol-free beer was very difficult. Finding a place with…
V: Non-alcoholic, yes.
A: Yes. Well, I guess Europe is drinking a lot alcohol. Which is maybe not so bad, if you are from the southern part of Europe. I don’t think they have so much trouble with alcoholism as we in northern Europe have. There are all these nasty jokes about Swedes, or Finnish people, you know, taking the ferries, to, for example, Estonia. And then not to be able to get out, because the alcohol is cheaper on the Estonian ferry, so we drink a lot.
V: I think one Finnish travel agency got into trouble by advertising trips to Italian as a cheap alcohol place.
A: And in a way, it’s not like it’s really cheap, but it’s much cheaper still than in Finland or Sweden or other Scandinavian countries. But I guess there is something, I don’t know, something about our genes, that we are all in the northern part of Europe, well, don’t hold the alcohol very well, and become alcoholics way too often. Compared to, for example, Italy or Spain and France.
V: But you recently heard a theory that if people lived 300 years, we would all become alcoholics at some point.
A: Yes, there is that theory that there is a sort of limit of alcohol that you need to drink, and after that, you will become an alcoholic. So even if you drink very little, like for example, Vidas and I do, if you would live for 300 years, you would reach that limit of becoming an alcoholic.
V: To which I might reply, if we live for 300 years, all our subscribers would become organ playing virtuosos.
V: Every single one of them.
A: And I just thought about how many organ, maybe I could learn entire organ repertoire that’s written if I was to live for so many years.
V: Oh, yeah - we would need to write more!
V: I wrote two pieces this week already.
A: I don’t think you would feel the lack of organ music, because there are nowadays composers that write a new piece every single day.
V: It’s a good habit, though.
A: Well, yes. You know, before that, I thought maybe you don’t need to bother and to write just, let’s say, average music. But I read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic…
A: About living creative life, and she said that even if you write, she talks mostly about writing literature. If you will create on a regular basis, then there is a chance that out of your, I don’t know, 10 books, one will be really good.
V: Mm hm.
A: Maybe at least one would be so good, but in writing them, you will develop yourself as a writer. Improve yourself as a writer.
V: And she’s known for saying there is a book you need to publish, and there is a book you need to write, and those two books might be completely different books.
A: Yes, and this is so exciting when I’m starting to talk about her, because I read this book on his recommendation.
V: My social status has improved, right, Ausra?
V: Nice. I’m starting to be an influencer.
A: That’s right. So if I would be going to Paris to try different organs, I would probably bring with me Cesar Franck’s L’Organiste. I think it’s an excellent book, if you would just want to get familiar with French organs.
V: Mm hm. It’s easy enough to sight read, if you can. But it’s beautiful enough to be able to sound authentic on these instruments.
A: Yes, and plus, because in Paris, you wouldn’t find authentic Baroque organs. They were most of them built till right after the Revolution, because so many wonderful instruments were destroyed - Baroque instruments - were destroyed during the Revolution. So I guess, the Romantic or Modern music would work much better on those instruments.
V: Mm hm. And by the way, we have prepared many suites by Franck from this collection of L’Organiste with fingering, and even registration suggestions for pipe organs. Because originally, the registration suggestions were written for French harmonium, which are different. We had to convert them. So you can check them out. Okay, guys. Very interesting discussion today. We hope this is useful to you. We would like to thank again to Richard for his kind donation. And now, we will go to have some coffee.
V: Please send us more of your questions. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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