The Art of Organ Improvisation in England:
"A phenomenally successful release." International Record Review
"Revelatory ... Well-shot, engagingly narrated and beautifully recorded, Ex Tempore is a fascinating insight into a neglected art." BBC Music Magazine
"A fascinating, informative, enjoyable and well-made documentary." Choir and Organ Magazine
In Ex Tempore Ronny Krippner sheds light on how English Organists improvised. In an 85-minute documentary and accompanying CD recording he blows open the 'illusionists art' of improvisation and shows us how it is done.
He discusses the main English organ composers between 1500 and the present day - Tallis, Byrd, Purcell, Handel, Stanford, Howells, Mathias and Leighton. For each composer, he sketches their musical background and analyses their compositional techniques before performing a full improvisation in their style.
The organs he plays are carefully chosen to present the different musical styles at their best. They include big cathedral organs in Bristol and Liverpool to smaller historical instruments at Little Stanmore and Adlington Hall.
Ex Tempore includes interviews with internationally distinguished improvisers David Briggs and Martin Baker, organ builder Dominic Gwynn, and early music scholar and Handel expert Donald Burrows.
In Ronny’s own words:
Organists are required to improvise, to make up music on the spot - primarily during church services but also in concerts. The organ is the only instrument where a classical musician has to have a jazz musician’s ability to create music in this way.
Different countries have developed this crucial skill into different national schools of improvisation: French organists improvise on Gregorian chant, and German organists use chorales.
England has its own tradition too. Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Henry Purcell, George Frederick Handel, John Stanley, Charles Villiers Stanford and Herbert Howells all improvised on the organ. In this film I will show ways in which they worked, and the CD will feature full improvisations in the styles of each composer, ranging from a fantasia in the style of Byrd to a rhapsody in the style of Howells. I’ve carefully chosen organs that represent these composers’ styles at their best, from the grandeur of big cathedral organs in Bristol and Liverpool to the intimacy and beauty of small historical instruments at Little Stanmore and Adlington Hall.
The organs featured are:
Digipack set includes:
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