- November 10, 2017 at 10:21 am #547033
Can anyone shed any light on the use of the organ part with the full orchestra Hamelle edition (Kalmus reprint) of Faure’s Requiem?
It appears to mostly double the string parts throughout which seems ridiculous, especially in cases (such as ours) where the organ chambers are a good 40 feet from the orchestra. I have never performed this edition (I’m the chorusmaster and it’s the edition the symphony owned) and all of the sudden someone noticed there was an organ part. 🙂
I’ve only glanced at it but I’m wondering how necessary it is. If someone out there has played it, did you leave out the doublings and basically treat is as a basso continuo part. Has anyone conducted it without using the organ.
Any insights are very much appreciated.
Don McCulloughNovember 11, 2017 at 6:42 am #547194
I don’t usually rely on Wikipedia for much, but as an organist was interested in your question. WKP reports that “Fauré’s publisher, Hamelle, suggested that the composer should rescore the Requiem for performance in concert halls,” and that “critics have speculated whether Fauré, who was not greatly interested in orchestration, delegated some or all of the revision to one of his pupils” (possibly Jean Roger-Duscasse). It continues on, stating “Others have questioned whether so skilled an orchestrator as Roger-Ducasse would have “perpetrated such pointlessly inconspicuous doublings””. [Blyth, Alan (1991). Choral Music on Record. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.]
Perhaps reading the whole passage about the versions Fauré did or didn’t have a hand in would shed more light? See the full article <ahref=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_(Fauré)”>here.
Sounds to me that your intuition about the doubling being ridiculous may be spot-on, Don.
Liberty (Clemson), SCApril 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm #562000
Somehow I never saw your reply. The conductor chose to use the organ anyway so I sat out in the hall during rehearsals and made sure it was mostly unheard… as it added very little but muddiness for the most part. 😉 I seem to recall, however, that the high, staccato motif in the Sanctus was played only by the organ. So, in that sense, it was necessary. By the lack of responses, I gather no one ever does this edition and for good reason. It loses a lot although, if you want to program it with a symphony orchestra, I suppose it’s an option.
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