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  2. handsoff

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    I'm flattered to be described as a Director of Music which although strictly true I suppose, does over-inflate my role as organist of a tiny church with a tiny organ on the point of total failure and no money to fix it. I suspect too that the church will close within 2 or 3 years thanks to the ridiculous amount of money demanded each year by the diocese. The church is in a minute village of perhaps 15 homes and has a congregation of between 8 and 15 souls, all of whom with 2 exceptions come from outside the village solely because of our usage of the BCP and NEH; one family of 3 travelling 20+ miles from Coventry. The mean age is probably 70 and we utterly rely on retired priests to perform the services. I have no objection to some worship songs; there are indeed soome very good examples, but I do know that they would not be accepted at All Saints'. I know this because the Benefice of 4 churches has a Benefice service on a rotating basis on 5th Sundays and in 2 of these, for which I sometimes play, these songs are scheduled. The faction from All Saints' always say that they don't like or want them (or the music group which also accompanies them) when it's our turn. I regularly introduce unfamiliar hymns to them, sometimes to a well-known tune rather than the one set and this seems to go down well. A recent example was "Thee we adore, O hidden Saviour Thee" to the tune of "Abide with Me". This went down really well and I've been asked to repeat soon. (The exercise reminds me of the BBC comedy, still thankfully extant, "I'm sorry I Haven't a Clue" in which my favourite tune swap was "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to the tune of "My Old Man's a Dustman"). It is absolutely true to say that there are some dreadful old hymns. I had to play the tune of "I Vow to Thee" (to alternative words for a wedding last week) and used my school days copy of "Songs of Praise". Some of the dross in there is beyond belief...
  3. Yesterday
  4. David Drinkell

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Quite right too! I have to confess that, as far as Cambridge is concerned, my alma mater is Homerton, where I did my teaching year (my degree is from Bristol). In the hall, there was (in 1979) a Hammond, dated 1937. It still worked, although it was prone, when it got excited, to emit smoke. I suppose a lot of us were like that in those days. I wonder if it's still there. In a way, I was glad to make its acquaintance, as I was of a similar model in a Belfast suburb where I filled in for Evensong for about six months (Cathedral Evensong was at 3.30). At least I got to know how to operate the things - as forumites will know, even just switching them on can be far from straightforward. Real old Hammonds are much sought-after by rock musicians - nothing else makes quite the same sound. Returning to the real things, here are the two other "grinning monkey" cases, apart from Portsmouth Cathedral. All Hallows, Twickenham (by Renatus Harris, ex-All Hallows, Lombard Street, City of London, brought here when that church was demolished and installed by Kingsgate Davidson to a clever scheme by Cecil Clutton: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12615 And St. Clement's, Eastcheap, City, by Renatus Harris. it looks a bit incongruous in its present position perched above the porch, but a fine case all the same. The organ, rebuilt the last two times by Hill, Norman & Beard, I always thought to be a good one. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00714
  5. Zimbelstern

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    “which in turn discourage and completely preclude worship songs“ What a shame that you dismiss a whole genre of music! There are great hymns and awful hymns. There are great worship songs and awful worship songs. Surely the duty of a church Director of Music is to be discerning.
  6. handsoff

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    I choose the hymns for my church and use both an online lectionary and the "Hymns Suggested for Sundays" in the indices; this helps ensure their relevance. We use the BCP and New English Hymnal which in turn discourage and completely preclude worship songs.
  7. MikeK

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    I always find it difficult to understand why incumbents do not choose there own hymns, preferring to leave it to someone else to do this. Hymns should be chosen to comment on or expand the theme set by the readings, sermon etc. Without this continuity they become merely 'gap fillers' & often irrelevant to the rest of the service imho. I would like to think that there is some discussion between interested parties when hymns are chosen, but in my experience this rarely happens. Perhaps playing in one of our 'dissenters' churches has spoilt me! Am I out of touch with what happens in the 2 mainstream establishments?
  8. Zimbelstern

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    I am very fortunate in being delegated the responsibility for choosing the hymns in my church. I am, however, forbidden by the incumbent to include “Shine, Jesus, Shine” in the mass. This doesn’t bother me. I like a lot of Graham Kendrick’s songs, but not that one. One of my favourites is “Rejoice, Rejoice” which I find goes very well on the organ, and lends itself to post service improvisation if chosen as the final hymn. I am very fond of “Abide with Me”, which is set for next Sunday, but for the second year running I have been approached by one of the Church Wardens who says several members of the congregation have asked me to change it, because the emotions it summons up in relation to loved ones who have passed away become almost unbearable. I have resisted doing this, although I have offered to meet with them to explain why I feel we should include it. It is interesting that traditional hymns can be as controversial as “worship songs”.
  9. handsoff

    Music That We'd Rather Not Play

    How things come home to roost. I played for a wedding** yesterday at which the hymns were Morning Has Broken, Jerusalem and Shine. I clearly couldn't object to the latter's use so had to grin and bear it but was pleased enough when the congregation really belted it out; so much so that I had to use the rather loud 2' Fifteenth in the final choruses to support them. What has amused me about Shine this time around is the way that it installed itself as an ear worm while practising; to the extent that I have caught myself humming it out loud in public. As my wife is fond of saying, "God always gets his own back..". ** The highlight of the event was the departure of the bride and groom in a hired Lamborghini Aventador convertible - and watching the bride getting into the passenger seat in full meringue and heels. 📷
  10. Last week
  11. John Furse

    World Cup

    No more Franck, Peeters or Jongen for the rest of the month, please.
  12. P DeVile

    World Cup

    Keeping this thread alive. Good luck to the boys - they did so well. P
  13. John Furse

    World Cup

    This is a complete, choral version. My local cathedral is one that lacks an organ in its Cloister; although they might have been able to wheel out the Positive on to the desert-like Garth.
  14. keyplayer

    World Cup

  15. OrganistOnTheHill

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Hate to say never been to Dunedin although I lived in Christchurch for a few years in the South Island of New Zealand. New Zealand known for its hidden treasures (gems of the golden age of British organ-building!) Norma is the nickname for this Hill, Norman & Beard giant in Dunedin Town Hall! 4 manuals and a grand design! Constantly looked after by the South Island pipe organ company, founded by workers of the Norman & Beard firm in the 1970s.
  16. Guy Russell

    Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

    I have been associated with the organ of Bridlington Priory since the late seventies. The Solo Clarinet has not been a free beating reed since I have known the instrument. I have not come across any reference to it being altered by any previous builders but it was certainly not discarded by Nicholson. Guy Russell.
  17. OrganistOnTheHill

    List of beautiful English Organs

    The 'simple but with class' style case organ at the Savoy Chapel in London. Three manual Walker with a simple organ case design but clean/effective.
  18. John Furse

    World Cup

    I’d been prepared to write: “The bubble no longer is burst: Them 3 Lions made it to FIRST. After all the big talk, England can proudly walk – And this tournament’s no longer cursed !” Unfortunately, and in the present circumstances, I would suggest Super flumina Moscoensis, for the motet. The version by Tie seems to have been lost ! (No penalties are applicable.) I’m sure it’d be easy to arrange for organ Copland’s Fanfare for the Distraught Fan. And, as postlude, Ball’s Elegy.
  19. Zimbelstern

    World Cup

    I would have assembled a large choir and orchestra and performed Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Boer War Te Deum. With its glorious ending incorporating the melody of Onward Christian Soldiers from the 12th minute it would surely have enticed millions of football supporters back home to church.
  20. Choir Man

    World Cup

    Sadly, football is not coming home. But if England had got through to the final, would anyone have played anything special on Sunday? I was thinking of a fanfare based on the 'It's coming home' theme. Any ideas from other forumites? And would you have played them?
  21. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Sorry! I just thought that, seeing as other Cambridge college chapels and a couple of Cathedrals, had got a mention, I'd put a 'plug' in for my old alma mater!
  22. Martin Cooke

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Other than that, the old (1962) Nicholson/Yates case on the organ at St Michael's, Newquay that was destroyed by fire, was appealing, but if we're going to mention King's, Cambridge, I must bring in St Paul's Cathedral... and indeed, Westminster Abbey.
  23. Martin Cooke

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Gosh! This has been a most enjoyable thread so far - full marks to Ooth would might well be our youngest forumite, for initiating it. I have rarely come across organ cases on a scale of beauty of even the least attractive of those that members have drawn to our attention - I guess that St Mary's, Launceston, is the only one I can think of that comes anywhere close: to be continued...
  24. timothyguntrip

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Here is one not far from me in East Sussex - All Saints, Danehill. Lovely Bodley case on the rood screen. http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01928
  25. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    And, just so David doesn't feel he is monopolising the thread, here is one of the most famous sights in the country! I need say no more! - apart from perfect - architecturally totally perfect! http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05254
  26. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    And , talking of favourite buildings!! Christ Church Spitalfields is, I think, my favourite London church. In my days in London it lay almost derelict, saved, I think, by the sale of St. John's Smith Square which covered the funding of the roof replacement which, ultimately, saved the building. I've never been to church there, my preference is for 'slightly further up the candle' - St. Augustine's Kilburn or, for good local 'High Church' St Peter's London Docks! But I went into Christ Church to see the completed restoration and it is stunning, absolutely stunning! Bridge's organ has been magnificently restored to it's 1735 specification, by William Drake Ltd. in 2015. The case is 'out of this world'! More pictures and sound files here: http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=H00969
  27. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Beverley is a bit 'out of the way' - thank goodness! Being 'out of the way' the building has survived 'modernising influences' of the Victorians and of others! I played my first 'cello continuo in there somewhere about 1965/6 when Peter Fletcher was Minster Organist. I think, on that occasion, Andrew Leach, now at Hessle Parish Church, was playing the organ. Over the years I played 'cello continuo dozens of times in there - sometimes in the freezing cold of an East Riding December winter!!! Peter Fletcher took me up to the organ console around the same time. It was a magnificent sight looking down into the choir and, despite being, so I was told, a considerable 'cellist, I knew then that I wanted to play the organ!!!! I've always thought the Arthur Hill organ case, viewed from the West End of the Minster was absolutely perfect and totally matching of the Snetzler case which stands beside it. One of my absolute favourite buildings! Pictures can be seen here! http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D06725 I'm sure someone more competent than I will load a picture - it doesn't seem to want me to load!
  28. David Drinkell

    List of beautiful English Organs

    And another of my favourites - St. Edmundsbury. It's mind-boggling to remember that the two great churches (St. James - now the Cathedral - and St. Mary's, a third, St. Margaret's is long gone), which stand within a stone's throw of each other, were dwarfed by the enormous abbey church which stood behind them, the ruins of which can be seen to this day. St. James was beautifully enlarged in the sixties by Stephen Dykes Bower, and the wonderful central tower completed in 2005, the impetus being a substantial legacy from Dykes Bower - it looks as if it has been there for centuries. The organ was rebuilt in Dykes Bower's new Quire by Nicholson in 1970 (I was at the opening recital, by Francis Jackson) and was a fine job, but relied rather heavily on recycled soundboards, etc. Harrison & Harrison built a new instrument in 2010, and it finally has a pair of proper cases designed by Alan Rome, very much in the Dykes Bower style. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E01697
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