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#1 Martin Cooke

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 05:39 AM

I wonder how many members have caught up with the latest volume in the OUP Hymn Settings series - Pentecost and Trinity. I played a lovely piece by David Blackwell based on Down Ampney, last Sunday morning. Christopher Tambling's Tuba Tune on Nicaea will get a good outing on Sunday. There are some really excellent miniatures in this series and there is a further new volume coming out in July - Autumn Festivals. The Easter and Ascension volume also has some great pieces in it - a fabulous piece by James Biery on St Fulbert, a Crown Imperial-like piece on Lux Eoi by David Blackwell and a great piece by Paul Leddington-Wright on Guiting Power all stick in the memory but there are many others that folk here would enjoy, and which, in a more spacious age, I shall look forward to getting my teeth into. The price of these volumes varies according to size - all about £15 - £19. (There is an OUP website where you can see sample material from these albums - if you were to look up the Easter and Ascension volume, you can see extracts from the Biery and Blackwell pieces I have just mentioned.)

 

Something else that I have just come across is a new volume from Kevin Mayhew - Preludes Amazing by June Nixon. [This volume in itself is of material extracted from something called Hymns Amazing which I haven't seen but which I believe contains not just preludes but introductions, pre-last verse interludes and last verse arrangements.] I have only just given this a cursory look but I have found anything by June Nixon to be superbly crafted and I have every reason to think this latest work to be in the same vein. 

 

Has anyone any other tips for new publications or discoveries at the moment?

 



#2 Vox_Angelica

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:50 AM

Not necessarily new publications, but I've just bought the Jean Berveiller Suite / Cadence, Alain Scherzo and the collection 'L'Orgue et la Danse'. And recently from ebay:

  • Three Pieces (Betteridge)
  • Rondo alla Campanella (Karg-Elert)
  • Three Pieces (Willan)
  • Pavane (Elmore)
  • Toccata 'Now Thank We All Our God' (Hovland)
  • The Cathedral Organist (if only for the wonderful Dearnley prelude on 'Dominus Regit Me')

Quite enough to be going on with for a while. A keen collector of organ scores, my list of items to source finally seems to be getting gradually shorter.

Tim



#3 Martin Cooke

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:49 AM

This is just the sort of thing I like to hear about - what's caught other people's attention so that new ideas are always germinating. Thanks Vox.



#4 Philip

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:45 PM

I am playing the Tambling on Sunday (have moved the BWV 552 Fugue to the evening to mix it up a bit), not a bad piece with an interesting homage to CS Lang! I also played the Leddington Wright two weeks back when we finished the service with 'Christ triumphant'. I have to confess I've probably not made as much use of these volumes as I might have thus far - the latest one (Pentecost and Trinity) seems to have rather a lot of pieces based on American tunes.



#5 Martin Cooke

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 05:34 AM

Yes, Philip is absolutely correct  - there are a number of American hymns represented in all the volumes and this might be seen as a drawback - but... I suppose we all play German and other chorale preludes on tunes that we don't sing over here. Chris Tambling would have been flattered to see BWV552 moving aside for his Nicaea piece. I want to get my fingers around the David Blackwell piece at the end of the Pentecost and Trinity volume which is dedicated to Chris's memory - it's based on Walk in the Light which is not a tune that is in my DNA as it were.

 

I just wanted to mention, again, the June Nixon volumes I referred to above. I have now got a copy of the Hymns Amazing volume and, I have to say, the title is most apposite! [I originally bought the Preludes Amazing by mistake, but I have passed this on to a friend.] This volume really is a super addition to the repertoire - goodness me, June Nixon, is a fine composer and arranger. You will find here some really cracking last verse arrangements - worth buying just for those - but also some quite delightful preludes of all different species and styles on a wide range of well-known hymns. I played a good dozen of them yesterday and they are entirely straightforward but fresh, listenable, playable and useful. I think everyone would love the one on Thaxted, for a start. Then, as I said yesterday, you get a introduction, the hymn tune proper, an arrangement with alternative harmony, an interlude and then a last verse arrangement. All the last verses I tried were spot on - new and interesting with excellent harmonic progressions.

 

I bought mine through Amazon just for the sake of speed it was £19.99 and I wouldn't have been disappointed if I had paid £29.99. It is great value. Preludes Amazing seems to be about £16.00 - don't hesitate to spend the extra fiver and get all those additions.



#6 Deinonychus

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 08:38 PM

I have just ordered a copy of Hymns Amazing (from Foyles for £19.99 post free), and judging by the sample material available on the Mayhew website it will quickly take its place next to the organ for ready reference. The books that stay by the organ currently are: the last verses books by Rawsthorne, Oxley, and Knight, both volumes of Hymn Miniatures by Rebecca Groom te Velde, Thalben Ball's 113 Variations, Worship Songs for Organ by Simon Lesley as well as the Mayhew collection Covering the Action. These serve me well whenever I need something with limited preparation time.

The Oxford Hymn Settings are excellent, though most require more practice than I have time to give week by week. I did however play Malcolm Archer's Spirit of the Living God from the Pentecost and Trinity volume before the service this morning, as it was one of the hymns today. It is a hugely effective setting of the tune, despite being simple enough to sight-read.

#7 SL

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 04:59 AM

I learn so much from threads like this - and, as I have always said, this is where we are at our best - many thanks to all the contributors.


SL (late of Kings College, Cambridge)


#8 Martin Cooke

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 07:52 PM

I did however play Malcolm Archer's Spirit of the Living God from the Pentecost and Trinity volume before the service this morning, as it was one of the hymns today. It is a hugely effective setting of the tune, despite being simple enough to sight-read.

 

Yes, I played this too - a lovely piece. I have also recently played an interesting piece based on a tune called Bridegroom. It is by one of the US composers - a delightful and 'different' piece - tune on solo 4' flute against a drone on swell strings to begin with an then develops from there - well worth a look. I also indulged myself with Tambling Nicaea piece - quite a corker, this. Watch out for anything by Ashley Grote and David Thorne - always worthwhile. All David Thorne's contributions throughout the series are delightful.



#9 AJJ

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 06:14 PM

I have a few of the OUP books and play a few of the pieces but often much prefer to head for the smaller independent publishers where there are some rather good examples of new(ish) music at competetive prices. I also find that the music is perhaps more characterful and dare say it maybe also less 'mass market'. It is also handy where one can see the music before purchase (as with OUP) and where there is an option of downloading a pdf to print at home - sometimes I do this and sometimes not. Here are some:

http://www.selahpub.com

Check out Craig Philips and Alfred Fedak - quite 'trans Atlantic' but none the worse for this.

http://fireheadeditions.com

The organ music by Huw Morgan is new and refreshing - I even commissioned a couple of nice hymn based pieces from him myself.

http://carsoncooman.com

Much interesting music here too.

There is also Ad Wammes from The Netherlands whose music is not always of the difficulty of his 'Miroire' and Fredrik Sixten from Scandinavia whose music is generally moderately tricky but worth the effort. My problem is that I have so much music I still want to learn and not a vast ammount of extra space to store or funds to afford!

A
"…We can’t criticize the organ for being boring. In such cases it is the organist that is boring. There is no such thing as a boring organ."

#10 Martin Cooke

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:19 AM

Thanks for this AJJ - all really worth a look, aren't they. Am I right in thinking that someone on the forum directed us to the website of Paul Page? He produces some very nice pieces which you can download for free - I have a few of these and especially enjoy Un petit café français... but - and here's the thing - his website seems to have closed overnight - let's hope it's temporary.

 

Here at my school, we have a big chapel service every Friday afternoon and because we have more pupils than we can fit in chapel these days, we have experimented with different ways of dividing the school up. This term, we have had boys one week and girls the next - these are 13-18 year olds. Goodness, what an improvement in their singing! This Friday we had I vow to thee, my country as the first of three hymns so I wound things up by playing the new June Nixon Recessional on Thaxted before the service - loudly, of course - and then used her last verse harmonisation in the 2nd verse. Sorry to keep plugging the Hymns Amazing volume by her - but I can't get enough of it at the moment!



#11 Martin Cooke

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:20 AM

Meant to add... need to find out now about David Briggs' new piece - 15th Variation. Can't remember where I read about it...



#12 Martin Cooke

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:22 AM

Here we are - this is a note from an email from Allegro Music - Richard Priest. It's £7.95. I must say, I have found most DB pieces pretty impossible!

 

David Briggs - Variation XV

We are delighted to announce the arrival of a brand new publication from the Diocese of Hereford’s Organists’ Training Scheme (DHOTS).

It is a 15th Variation to the Elgar’s Enigma Variations composed by David Briggs.

The piece, written as a special tribute to Dr Roy Massey MBE for his 80th birthday, is a witty combination of Elgar’s “Enigma” theme, Henry Smart’s Postlude in D and Dr Massey’s own exuberant improvisatory style, and was premiered in Hereford Cathedral after a performance of the Enigma Variations. The edition is beautifully type-set by Roger Judd and includes background notes and colour photographs of both David and Roy.



#13 Richard Fairhurst

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 01:21 PM

In Blackwells yesterday I stumbled across the brand new Novello Book of Hymns: 50 hymn arrangements for SATB choir and organ, to be sung either as anthems or congregationally, edited by David Hill. I bought a copy and have only had the chance to briefly flick through it so far, but it looks very promising.

 

http://www.musicroom...62/details.html



#14 Philip

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 02:49 PM

In Blackwells yesterday I stumbled across the brand new Novello Book of Hymns: 50 hymn arrangements for SATB choir and organ, to be sung either as anthems or congregationally, edited by David Hill. I bought a copy and have only had the chance to briefly flick through it so far, but it looks very promising.

 

http://www.musicroom...62/details.html

 

I bought this online on impulse a couple of weeks back. I have to say it really is a publication which should be on the top shelf as some of the arrangements are absolute filth (from me, this is a compliment!). Some of the organ introductions and accompaniments are quite challenging as well. I will certainly make use of it but edited highlights and just for the organ parts.

 

Of note so far are Iain Farrington's harmonies for Amazing Grace (deliciously jazzy for a tune I have little time for), Ralph Allwood's Battle Hymn with two key changes and Paul Walton's Londonderry Air.



#15 Martin Cooke

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 06:55 AM

 

I bought this online on impulse a couple of weeks back. I have to say it really is a publication which should be on the top shelf as some of the arrangements are absolute filth (from me, this is a compliment!). Some of the organ introductions and accompaniments are quite challenging as well. I will certainly make use of it but edited highlights and just for the organ parts.

 

This does indeed look to be a corker of a volume and I hope my copy will be arriving today.

 

Yesterday, I took delivery of the latest OUP Hymn Settings volume - Autumn Festivals. Again, this is full of interest and I can imagine myself using at least half of the contents. Some of is will take some learning mind. There are a number of American hymns and in some cases, having looked out the sources on line, it seems that some of the preludes and better than the hymns they are based on. Still, that could just as easily be the case with some English/Welsh tunes. I suppose I am thinking of Rhosymedre. If I were playing regularly these days - (I have just retired) - I would be looking at Malcolm Archer's jaunty piece based on We plough the fields and scatter, for starters. Paul Leddington Wright's delicious little piece on Engelberg would also be getting an early outing. There is always a bit of a compromise when buying an album of music I suppose. When I look back to boyhood, and OUP were producing things like An Album of Praise, and An Album of Postludes etc - you know, the volumes with the old organ case from St George's, Hanover Square on the front - I don't think I ever really got my teeth into more than one piece in any of them - it was the Gordon Jacob piece in Album of Praise. 



#16 Martin Cooke

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 07:14 AM

 

I bought this online on impulse a couple of weeks back. I have to say it really is a publication which should be on the top shelf as some of the arrangements are absolute filth (from me, this is a compliment!). Some of the organ introductions and accompaniments are quite challenging as well. I will certainly make use of it but edited highlights and just for the organ parts.

 

Of note so far are Iain Farrington's harmonies for Amazing Grace (deliciously jazzy for a tune I have little time for), Ralph Allwood's Battle Hymn with two key changes and Paul Walton's Londonderry Air.

 

Absolutely! This is a very exciting volume but as Philip says, some are not for the fainthearted and would need a good deal of practice. (The introduction to Howells' Michael, for instance.)

 

Many items would be great for use in chapels of many independent schools (my world) where there is the luxury of congregational practice so that adequate warning can be given of bravura introductions and interludes, to say nothing of the chance to use the descants and the whole shooting match. The same applies, of course to major choral places though without the 'congo' I presume.

 

It's good finally to have some arrangements of some of the more popular 'newer' hymns - There is a Redeemer, Shine, Jesus, shine - (aaaaargh - I can hear pcnd's reaction already!) - The Servant King, etc, oh, and... In Christ alone. I can't imagine what sort of a hullabaloo I have just started in mentioning those!

 

I only wish Novello had gone for a spiral binding. I know they can look a bit naff - and I am bound to say that the June Nixon volume from Kevin Mayhew which I have enthusiastically endorsed in this post is a bit in that zone - but Carols for Choirs 5, for example, is very neatly done so that the spiral binding is covered by a cardboard spine which helps it to look better on the shelves as well as being more readily identified, of course.

 

For people like me, who believe that hymn singing is a wonderful community activity, and want to help others to share the joy... and who have the resources at their disposal to make a success of all of this... this volume is great fun. If only I hadn't just retired!! 



#17 Richard Fairhurst

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 11:10 AM

A "choir edition" would be good too. I suspect the book could be halved in size if only those parts of the organ accompaniment necessary for following along were included. 'The first Nowell', for example, takes up six pages, but the choir only need to know the four-bar organ introduction, that the melody is SA in v4, TB in v5, and that there's a descant for the final refrain. If such a book were £8-£10 rather than the full-score £15, I and I suspect many others would have a better chance of getting funds from the PCC...



#18 guilmant

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:36 AM

Not necessarily new publications, but I've just bought the Jean Berveiller Suite / Cadence, Alain Scherzo and the collection 'L'Orgue et la Danse'. And recently from ebay:

  • Three Pieces (Betteridge)
  • Rondo alla Campanella (Karg-Elert)
  • Three Pieces (Willan)
  • Pavane (Elmore)
  • Toccata 'Now Thank We All Our God' (Hovland)
  • The Cathedral Organist (if only for the wonderful Dearnley prelude on 'Dominus Regit Me')
Quite enough to be going on with for a while. A keen collector of organ scores, my list of items to source finally seems to be getting gradually shorter.
Tim

Hovland excellent.
I play the Elmore, along with a couple of other movements in the suite (bit more taxing on the technique, mind. The Elmore Society I think they were called were going to republish several other of his organ works. I have a cd of his organ music (which I can't lay my hands on at the moment recorded on that outdoor organ in the US.

#19 guilmant

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:38 AM

Not necessarily new publications, but I've just bought the Jean Berveiller Suite / Cadence, Alain Scherzo and the collection 'L'Orgue et la Danse'. And recently from ebay:

  • Three Pieces (Betteridge)
  • Rondo alla Campanella (Karg-Elert)
  • Three Pieces (Willan)
  • Pavane (Elmore)
  • Toccata 'Now Thank We All Our God' (Hovland)
  • The Cathedral Organist (if only for the wonderful Dearnley prelude on 'Dominus Regit Me')
Quite enough to be going on with for a while. A keen collector of organ scores, my list of items to source finally seems to be getting gradually shorter.
Tim
PS Where did you find the Elmore, I struggled for ages to find it in print.




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