Today in the morning I had a lovely podcast interview with Auke Jongbloed (aka @partitura) on Steem. He is a Dutch organist who loves to transcribe undiscovered early music manuscripts into modern notation which he publishes on his website http://www.partitura.org. He is also an active participant of our Secrets of Organ Playing Contest where he plays his own transcribed scores every week. We talked about what led him to this hobby, where he finds manuscripts to work with, what are some challenges in this process and similar things. I think organists and early music lovers will find this podcast episode particularly appealing when I will publish it later.
Then before noon there came a journalist from Lithuanian Radio Classical Music program. He wanted to talk with me about organ playing for his show. We started at the edge of the organ balcony where he wanted to know what is the first thing that I do when I come here. Obviously, I change the clothes and turn on electricity. Then I fire up the organ blower with the stop handle called "Calcant". In early days before electricity Calcant was a guy who pumped the bellows so organist had to be nice to him and even pay him.
Then we went to the organ bench and I talked about how the organ sound is produced, briefly discussed a history of this instrument in my church and the journalist wanted to know what draws people to the organ when its liturgical role is diminishing, when the interest in the church is diminishing in the Western civilization. It wasn't a long interview and everybody knows I could talk and play for hours but obviously his time was limited. I'm sure we will continue connecting about the organ in the future as well.
Just before leaving the church to pick up Ausra from school I read an email from a church organist who participates in my Harmony class which is part of the St Gregory Organ Academy. He was asking for help with intervals. For the first harmony assignment I asked people to add the bass part to some hymn tunes always thinking about sweet sounding intervals of 3rds and 6th and aim for contrary motion between the hands. This organist doesn't really understand intervals so I recorded a video about it. Hope it helps other people too.
After lunch at home Ausra and I practiced our organ duets. Only 2 days are left before our Saturday night recital and today I found out that composer Kristina Vasiliauskaite is intending to come to the event. We are playing her early work for two organists - "Sounds of the Forest" and her 4 Lithuanian Folk Songs arrangements. I hope she will like what she'll hear. With composers you never know...
We decided today to practice slowly because everything is already prepared, our assistants practiced on Wednesday stop changes and now we only have to maintain our skills and not to blow them ahead of time. It's important to take it easy and be mentally ready for anything on Saturday.
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Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.