>... Handel's style, to me, is discreet to a flaw: something about how
>it doesn't clamour to be noticed just fails to grab me forcefully.
>Maybe my use of a word like 'sparkle' to get at what I find missing in
>his works led him to suggest that the corrective would be to explore
>Handel's organ concertos.
It just goes to show how we experience composers in different ways.
To me, Handel is exciting, forceful, rude, and crude. Someone once wrote
of the "bubble and bounce" of Handel. I think of him as Mr. Entertainment.
>...My point here is not so much to urge others to give them a try as
>to raise some questions about this area of music that's mostly unknown
>to me. I should add that, generally speaking, I don't have the ear or
>patience to have become a fan of solo organ music (live, and brief, makes
>for a considerable difference). But I appreciate Haydn's organ concertos,
>as mentioned, and am also familiar with and enjoy the organ-and-orchestra
>works of Saint-Saens, Poulenc and Harald Genzmer.
>Other than that, I draw a blank. Can anyone enlighten me as to what
>else in this genre is worth seeking?
I like Hindemith's organ concertos, Barber's Toccata Festiva, Hanson's
organ concerto, Sowerby's Classic Concerto, and Jongen's Sinfonia
Concertante, just off the top of my head. Also, Strauss's enjoyably
bombastic Festival Prelude.
>A curious circumstance in this connection, and one that intrigues me
>no end, is that as far as I know JS Bach -- Handel's almost exact
>contemporary -- did not compose organ concertos with orchestral
>accompaniment ...nor for any kind of accompaniment.
>Can anyone suggest any reasons or even speculate about why this turned
>out to be so?
I always suspected it was because Bach was a much better organist than
Handel. He didn't need an orchestra to "fill in," as it were. Other
reasons: Handel's concerti weren't written for the church, but for public
concerts. The orchestra gave the audience their money's worth. Also, the
English organs were generally lighter than German ones and perhaps required
the support of an orchestra.
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