SOPP611: There aren't many videos if any at all on this Clavierubung #2 by Krebs and you uploaded the whole suite!
Vidas: Hello and welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast!
Ausra: This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better organist.
V: We’re your hosts Vidas Pinkevicius...
A: ...and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene.
V: We have over 25 years of experience of playing the organ
A: ...and we’ve been teaching thousands of organists online from 89 countries since 2011.
V: So now let’s jump in and get started with the podcast for today.
A: We hope you’ll enjoy it!
V: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 611 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Kaki, and Kaki writes,
Thanks for the upload! I remember when I was learning the whole suite, always loved Krebs and this Courante was my favorite. There aren't many videos if any at all on this Clavierubung #2 and you uploaded the whole suite! Thanks so much, I enjoyed listening (: A little gem in the sea of youtube videos!
V: And, Ausra, Kaki is referring to my recording on YouTube that I made of Krebs’ Courante from his Clavierubung Part 2. Remember our project at the beginning of quarantine, can you share us what led us to record entire Clavierubung Part 1, 2, and 3?
A: Well, at the beginning of the quarantine, we had only one manual of the Hauptwerk, so we looked for the manual stuff at the beginning. So that’s when we started to record that Clavierubung.
V: Yeah. We couldn’t go to the church anymore. I haven’t received any of multiple keyboards yet, or pedalboard, and Ausra wasn’t even aware that I ordered multiple keyboards and pedalboard. And bench, another bench, right?
A: Yes, true.
V: So it was like our little project to record Krebs’ works together every day and upload them on YouTube. At first, we did that as simple audio files, because Hauptwerk generates two files right away, if you want to record, make a Hauptwerk recording. It generates a MIDI file, which you can then manipulate into music notation of any kind, or playback that MIDI file on the same Hauptwerk sample set. And it also generates WAV file, which is high quality audio, uncompressed audio file which could be edited later, and then made into MP3 or into other formats and then uploaded into internet. So but Ausra, I’m interested into specific angle here: Why did you choose Krebs over, I don’t know, other composers, to record on this manual?
A: Well first of all, I had the score of this volume of Clavierubung, and I have already played, like five pieces out of it for, during various occasions.
V: Mm hm.
A: Well, and I realized, Why not to learn and record the rest of them? Plus, I love them - really, I think this collection of music is great. Not offending that your Clavierubung, but I prefer my Clavierubung, that I played.
V: That’s right - you’ve been playing Clavierubung Part 1. It has, I think 13 collections, 13 sets of chorale settings, each having three verses, right?
A: Yes, and the first one which is my favorite, Allein Gott, it has even more. It has four parts, because it has not only Prelude but also Fughette, and then Chorale, and Chorale Alio modo.
V: So it seems to me that Krebs started really advanced version with basically Prelude and Fugue, and then later his forms got simpler and simpler.
A: But what I like about Clavierubung Part 1, that it’s very well suited for church musicians. Because all these based on different chorale tunes, and you can decide which one to play when. For example, that Erbarm mich is beautiful too, for example for Lent, and Allein Gott I think is well suited for solemn occasions.
V: Mm hm. That’s right. At first we didn’t even use the camera to record ourselves, just the audio.
V: And we added pictures in the video editing software. Specifically, we’ve been using iMovie.
A: Yes. But Kaki’s talking about the Second Clavierubung. Obviously he or she liked your Krebs better.
V: Maybe she hasn’t discovered your channel yet.
A: I don’t know. Well anyway, is your Clavierubung Part 2 of Krebs suitable for church music as well? For church services, or not?
V: Not so much. Because it’s a dance suite.
A: Well, that’s what I thought.
V: Dance suite, it’s in what, maybe 12 parts, 12 movements I think? Something like that. It’s all in C Major, and it has all those traditional dance suite movements, like Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, Prelude and Minuet, what else? Probably Gavotte. Yeah, Gavotte and some others. Maybe Bouree. It’s really wonderful setting, this Clavierubung Part 2. I think the quality of the music is exceptionally high, just like in the part 1.
A: Yes, it’s really nice. I remember a couple of those pieces that you had practiced. They sound really very nice.
V: We’ve been recording each piece every day, and we tried not to cut and paste things together, and tried to learn entire piece and record it in one sitting, which wasn’t very easy at the beginning, because we were not used to this kind of live recording of music on Hauptwerk, right? The keyboard was still new to us. Felt quite strange, this light touch, plastic keyboard, and we spent a lot of time on each piece, even though each movement might not be longer than one or two minutes.
A: That’s right. Anyway, if you want to do something with high quality, you need to put some effort into it, obviously.
V: Good point. Do you remember Ausra, how much time you would spend on average, on each piece?
A: No I don’t recall it.
V: At least half an hour probably.
A: Well yes, probably yes, at least.
V: Even as simple as chorale harmonization, which is the last portion of each chorale, took you at least several tries.
A: Well yes, because you need to think about harmony too, because Krebs provides only two voices, you know, soprano and the bass, and you still have to fill up yourself alto and tenor.
V: Fill in.
A: Fill in, yes.
V: And there is this Clavierubung Part 3, which has six sonatas.
A: (laughs) Are you going to record that as well?
V: No, I already did. Remember, you recorded Part 1, and I recorded the rest.
A: Yes, I remember it.
V: Each of those sonatas have three movements, so six times three is eighteen movements.
A: What about Clavierubung Number 4?
V: I don’t think he wrote Number 4.
A: Ha ha ha!
V: It’s just three parts. Bach wrote four, I think.
A: That’s right.
V: Johann Sebastian Bach.
V: Yes. But you don’t regret recording Krebs.
A: No, I love Krebs, really.
V: We, while recording and uploading Krebs, we stirred, we caused a lot of problems on Hauptwerk. Hauptwerk-related audio platform called ContraBombarde Concert Hall. Remember, Ausra?
A: Yes, I remember that.
V: Because we’ve been uploading what we have created, and sometimes multiple uploads, multiple tracks per day. Like, I remember uploading yours and mine, like six Krebs sections per day - your six and my six - so twelve Krebs from both of us. And when they figured out that we are both husband and wife, so they got furious and they changed the terms of service and regulations. Now users are only able to submit three tracks per day only.
A: Yes, we made history! Sometimes I think people hate us.
V: Oh yeah, those who cannot produce so much, they feel inferior.
V: Yeah. Funny. But I encourage Kaki to take a look at both Clavierubung Part 1 and Clavierubung Part 3. Not only take a look at Ausra’s and my videos, but also try to play those pieces. It’s really worth it.
A: Yes, they are worth consideration.
V: Thank you guys. This was very interesting discussion. We appreciate your questions. Please send them to us. We love helping you grow. 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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