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by Peter Hurford

With the first publication of this book in hardcover in 1988, Peter Hurford, acclaimed for his performances and recordings, demonstrated his ability to communicate to professionals, amateurs, and general listeners the ideas that underpin his performance and teaching. Making Music on the Organ sets out the relation of both the instrument and the performer to the world of music at large, gives authoritative advice on technical problems, and describes the workings of the instrument itself. The chapters on interpretation, with particular emphasis on the music of J.S. Bach, are invaluable, arising from the author's own lifelong dedication to the performance of Bach's music. For this revised edition, the author has made a number of textual emendations and additions and has included new material on the principles of good organ design and the history and use of the swell-box, and a useful summary of temperament.
Download Making Music on the Organ epub
ISBN: 0198162073
ISBN13: 978-0198162070
Category: Photography
Subcategory: Music
Author: Peter Hurford
Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised, Subsequent edition (October 18, 1990)
Pages: 176 pages
ePUB size: 1151 kb
FB2 size: 1450 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 710
Other Formats: lit txt mbr rtf

Peter Hurford could hardly fail to write a fascinating book on his chosen instrument, at which he has excelled for decades. To anybody who has heard his performances (either live or on CD) of baroque compositions in particular, it will be unsurprising to discover how well he analyzes the works of Bach and Couperin. No organist should fail to study his comments on those men.

Nevertheless the volume as a whole is less convincing than it could and should have been. It gives the impression of disparate essays having been put together, rather than that of an organic whole. One sometimes wonders what audience the author intended. Very early on there occurs an unexplained reference to Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (1632?-1714), whose name not one organist in 100 and not one non-organist in 10,000 will recognize. Clearly, then, this is not a production for the tyro. Yet a non-tyro would find much of the material familiar already. And one can only regret that Hurford, like almost all Anglo organists before the 1990s, is so impatient with postromantic organ music even in its French manifestations, let alone in its German (Reger is mentioned only fleetingly; neither J. G. Rheinberger nor Sigfrid Karg-Elert is mentioned at all). At least Hindemith's three organ sonatas receive the praise they deserve.

Like an exceptional curate's egg, then, this is admirable in parts. Would that it were more consistent.