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Member Since 28 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 28 2017 06:24 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Luxuriant Adagio

19 March 2017 - 06:40 PM

Once again, many thanks. I had never heard of Reuschel - (no IMSLP bits) or Saint Martin.


There is a wonderful Mass setting by Leonce de Saint Martin - for 4 part choir and two organs. (It also has ad lib parts for three trumpets and three trombones) If you've done the Vierne Missa Solennelle and want something else for the same forces it is well worth doing!


........................... but that doesn't answer your question - sorry!!

In Topic: Coping with mistakes/failures

08 February 2017 - 07:41 AM

I suspect that all of us, at some point, have found ourselves in a disastrous situation that was not of our making and that we couldn't control. I'm not being flippant when I say that, if it took you 40 years to get to that situation dealing with amateur singers then you have done pretty well!


I think the way to move forward is to cope with it and learn from it. 'These things happen' is a phrase oft used - and there is an element of truth about it - especially when dealing with amateur singers. I learnt, the hard way, when one Sunday morning my, very able, choir sang the simple Tye anthem Give almes of thy goods. It was my fault - it fell apart by the time the top-line entry came in - and I started it again. It did the same thing again and, again, I started again. Third time lucky and we made it, rather well, to the end. There was tension on the sanctuary - you could cut it with a knife! The choir procession made it's way out of church to the choir room and I growled to my wife who was sitting by the organ "you play something!" I made it to the choir room before they had a chance to escape, I apologised to the choir and told them that, if we didn't sing it again now, we would always have a problem with it!  We sang the opening again - perfectly - and the matter was forgotten!! It became the stuff of legend - it proved 'thunderguts' was human - and I made sure it never happened again!


You can blame the Priest but it isn't worth the argument. You can blame the choir - or yourself - the acoustics - the weather - but 'these things happen'!!!

In Topic: I spy with my little eye....

12 December 2016 - 02:20 PM


For my sins I've spent several hours over recent days in central Birmingham doing my Christmas shopping


It struck me a few years ago how musically illiterate our children are growing up to be, when I set up a miniature orchestra for our church's talented young string, brass and woodwind players to accompany the Nine Lessons and Carols service. They complained could I give them something easier to play as they didn't know "songs" like O little town of Bethlehem. On reflection, I shouldn't be surprised - if our carol heritage is no longer heard anywhere at Christmas, except perhaps in church on Christmas morning, why should we expect future generations to recognise them? And is it only Birmingham where Christmas is a totally carol free zone, or is this complete absence of festive music noted elsewhere too?


My sympathy on spending hours shopping in Birmingham. I, likewise, was there last week and, despite having lived a good many years outside our second city, found the centre of it rather frightening but, hey, I live in a tiny little village in the South of the Charente!!


On the second point, I'm not sure that our children are growing up musically illiterate. In fact I would go so far as to say that I think youngsters today are, possibly, more musically literate than they have ever been! I also don't think that knowing or not knowing 'O little town of Bethlehem' is necessarily a sign of musical literacy or lack of it and, like Andrew Butler, I am surprised that your most talented young string, brass and woodwind players were not able to negotiate the parts you had written for them.


I am also of the opinion, and I suspect this may be extremely contentious, that the Church is preparing for the coming of the Christ-child - and that we have ample time for singing Christmas carols after celebrating the birth of Christ i.e. between December 25th and the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord - when Christmas finishes and 'Ordinary time' begins!

In Topic: Chamber organ for sale

04 November 2016 - 09:20 AM

£1020 - 27 bids!


Someone got a bargain I would say!

In Topic: Chamber organ for sale

28 October 2016 - 10:18 AM

Going by the picture, I thought it might fit in our living room, but having now found the dimensions (270cm height) I'm afraid it won't.

Nevertheless, I'd pay £50 for it!




Looks like you will have to pay a bit more now - £560 - with 15 bids and still 6 days to go!!