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  2. Fascinating. 'Spross' is cognate with 'sprout' in English, and its primary meaning is now 'scion' according to linguee. I wonder if Rowland knows anything about what happened to the 'Sp' on the beginning of the word? The Luther Bible (I can only find the 1912 version online) give Isaiah 11:1 as "Und es wird eine Rute aufgehen von dem Stamm Isais und eine Zweig aus seiner Wurzel Frucht bringen". 'Rute' is rod or tail and 'Zweig' is branch (presumably cognate with 'twig' in English). The Vulgate (with which Luther would presumably have been familiar) has "Et egredietur virga de radice Jesse, et flos de radice ejus ascendet". 'virga' is a twig or rod and 'flos' is a flower. There are two early versions of the second verse of the carol, a Catholic one and a Protestant one. The Catholic one is the earliest, from 1599 is in the Speyerer Gesangbuch as mentioned by Rowland), which can be inspected here on wikipedia - I've deliberately preserved the original spelling and capitalisation below. There is no punctuation other than a slash between each line and a full stop at the end of each verse; no apostophes are used: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen auß einer wurzel zart Als uns die alten sungen auß Jesse kam die art und hat ein blümlein bracht mitten in kaltem winter wol zu der halben nacht Das Röselein das ich meine Darvon Isaias sagt Ist Maria die reine Die uns das blümlein hat bracht Auß Gottes ewigem raht hat sie ein Kindlein gboren Und blieben ein reine Magd. Speyer is in the south west of modern Germany, I think it would have been in an out-growth of Bavaria politically at the end of the 16th century but correct me if that's wrong. It's not far from Strasbourg so I would expect these spellings to reflect Alsatian usage to some extent. The spelling is not very consistent here but it's tempting to attach significance to the 'e' in the middle of 'Röselein' in verse two. That does suggest the intended meaning was a little rose, at least in the Speyer printer's mind, and the Catholic text here makes it very clear that the Röselein is Mary. This fits in with the late mediaeval tradition of Mary being a rose on the tree of Jesse, but I don't know how widespread that tradition was in 16th century 'Germany'; certainly Mary was associated with roses more widely though (eg. distributing garlands of roses in Albrecht Durer the younger's Rosenkranzfest of 1506). Of course roses don't flower in the winter so you don't see them associated with Christmas imagery much. Christ is unambiguously referred to as a little flower ("blümlein"). Praetorius's 1609 part-books can be inspected on IMSLP - again no apostrophies or punctuation other than slashes between lines and a full stop at the end of the verse: Es ist ein Roeß entsprungen aus einer Wurzel zart als uns die alten sungen aus Jesse kam die art und hat ein blümlein bracht mitten im kalteb Winter wol zu der halben Nacht. Das Roeßlein das ich meine darvon Esaias sagt hat uns gebracht alleine Marii die reine Magd aus Gottes ewgen raht hat sie ein Kind geboren wol zu der halben Nacht. These were printed in Wolfenbüttel in north-east Germany, politically in protestant Brunswick for whose ducal chapel Praetorius was Kapellmeister. I don't quite know what to make of the spelling of 'Roeß' here (linguee hasn't even heard of it), but it's certainly further away from modern German "Rose" and the 'e' is missing from after the ß in Roeßlein so there isn't the same hint of roses to my mind. Here, the Roeßlein isn't Mary, it just brings us Mary. It seems to me that the tradition of seeing Mary as a rose is a more characteristically catholic one and I wouldn't be surprised that it was being de-emphasised here. A lot hinges on those spellings though! I checked them all on linguee.com and none of them is in any common use in modern german except as surnames and acronyms!
  3. Today
  4. Hello from a German member: Christmas. Cheers
  5. One frequently comes across differing opinions about the speed at which organ music should be played. Bach is a case in point, with some players exceeding any reasonable speed limit in my humble opinion, whereas at the opposite pole are those who prefer the 'slow Bach' style. It struck me that perhaps one aspect of the matter concerns contemporary organ blowing practice at the time the composer put pen to paper. Prior to the 19th century when hydraulic, steam, town gas, oil and finally electric blowing entered the arena, everything depended on human muscle power and the relative awkwardness or otherwise of the organ blowers one happened to have. Frequently these would hang around in churchyards while waiting for an organist to appear, who would then toss them a few coins in the hope of having enough wind for the duration of her/his practice session. They would often be village boys or old men with few other employment opportunities (my late father was one such in his youth in the 1920s and he told some amusing tales about pompous and irascible organists), and Elvin's book on organ blowing has some similarly delightful anecdotes about the touchy relationship between the performer and the blower(s). There is also a popular (fictional?) song written apparently in a Somerset-like vernacular bemoaning the arrival of electric blowing at the singer's church and his consequential loss of employment. Then there is that wonderful photograph of the motley collection of blowers at Notre Dame in Paris who were not pensioned off until the 1920s when electric blowing arrived (paid for at least partly by public subscription here in the UK). Against this background, would it be unreasonable to suggest that composer-organists in those days automatically bore in mind the problems they might face if they wrote music which would either be beyond the physical capabilities of their local blowing community, or at least might annoy them? And as part of this, would they (perhaps unconsciously) play at a speed and with relatively economical registrations (defined in terms of wind demand) intended not to arouse too many skirmishes or objections? A possible example of music which could have verged on the unacceptable from the blower's perspective might be Bach's Piece d'Orgue (BWV 572). Its extended allabreve section is usually played loudly today, and sometimes very slowly and ponderously. But I really do wonder whether the poor organ blowers would, or could, have put up with it very often if rendered in this manner! A recording exists of Gottfried Preller playing this piece on the restored 'Bach' organ at Arnstadt where, although played loudly, he takes it at a fair lick. Although today's Arnstadt organ has its manual blowing apparatus, it also has an electric blower, and on Preller's recording I suspect the latter was used as there is no audible vestige of the 'live' winding which one might have otherwise have expected to detect (even though he begins and ends the CD with the calcant bell to the blowers!). The bottom line of these musings is this: might an appreciation of contemporary blowing practice shed some light on likely metronome speeds and perhaps registrations also?
  6. How astonishing, both that the vicar declined to lead such an important occasion and that somebody should grumble about the odd few seconds here or there. Regarding accurate timing though, it's possible to buy new Chinese analogue wrist or pocket watches very cheaply which almost invariably have a sweep seconds hand. Either quartz or mechanical versions are made, and they can be found online or even on market stalls at prices starting from around £20. They are usually identical to the much more expensive ones in retail jewellers' shops but tend to be the rejects from the factory's quality control system for one reason or another, often simply that the mechanical ones don't keep time to better than a few minutes per day. Presumably it would be more expensive to regulate them carefully than to sell them on. (Their movements are also identical to those often sold today under former 'posh' brand names such as Rotary). Like others here, I have found watches useful in church services generally but tend to carry a cheap one around in case of loss or damage. I also sometimes use one with a sweep seconds hand to time beats when tuning an unusual temperament by ear. One feels an empathetic connection to the tuners of yesteryear when doing this, rather than using an electronic tuning device or phone app!
  7. Well, I can’t see any objection to Advent or Christmas, but I believe that in Germany the subject is a Christmas hymn, or even a carol as distinct from a chorale. As happens in other cases, the usual English translations of the words (19th century) do not correspond exactly to the 16th century German ones. There is an interesting take that In the original German title, “ein Ros” equals Old German “ein Reis” (der Spross = shoot, offshoot, sprig), not necessarily a rose (eine Rose), doubtless referring to a shoot from the stem of Jesse mentioned in the following line. I can’t offer any authoritative scholarship about this as I have seen both “Es ist ein Ros’ ” with a single apostrophe after ‘Ros’ and “Es ist ein’ Ros’ “ with the two apostrophes suggesting abbreviations of both eine and Rose. Doesn’t Brahms use the latter, clearly implying a rose? These variations may be due to later usage rather than the original author’s intention. The Speyer Hymnal 1599 shows “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” without apostrophes, but that in turn would require consideration of the contemporary German use of apostrophes! Maybe one of our German members might be able to throw light on this.
  8. Hi I've often used it before our main carol service - but not really thought if it's appropriate anywhen else. Every Blessing Tony
  9. Hi I've taken a fair number of Remembrance services in my days as a Baptist Minister. Timing is an issue - especially in one church where the service was held at the war memorial and a clock on the village school across the road chimed the hours - and wasn't always right! As to the 2 minutes silence, a watch with a second hand works well enough - or possible a stop watch discreetly placed on a lacturn. More recently, when our Remembrance services were in church, I used a countdown timer I downloaded from the web on a netbook computer. Personally, I don't think an odd few minutes error is that important, especially on Remembrance Sunday, but at Ashdon for a few years I lead a short service at the war memorial actually on the 11th, mainly for the benefit of the upper classes in the school (the vicar refused to do it!). For that I did make sure I was dead on time. I then had a complaint that I was a few seconds adrift on the Sunday - it happened to be my turn to lead the village service - I just pointed out that I'd made sure we were dead on time on the 11th, which really is the more significant time IMHO. Every Blessing Tony
  10. I thought it might be worth 'revving' this post up again. I followed up on almost all the suggestions (of pieces I didn't know) and found them invaluable. It's interesting how 'what goes around, comes around' because I had forgotten Colin's suggestion of Vision from Rheinberger's Twelve Characteristic pieces, but I think it came up in another thread recently - well worth downloading, and I am wondering if a nice Christmas present from my eldest sister would be a reprint of the four Novello volumes of these. Does anyone have any new offerings to suggest? I have come across a couple of Rowley items that, to my mind at least, seem at least as worthy as the Benedictus 1 - Solemn Adagio and Contemplation - both on IMSLP. There are a couple of good new transcriptions in the new OUP album of Ceremonial music, and I think I would include the two pieces by Darke and Harris referenced elsewhere in the Novello album Retrospection... especially the Harris. The B flat minor piece in the Bridge Six Pieces, and a couple of others of the six would also qualify as luxuriant adagios in my book. And the Canzona from the Whitlock Sonata is very beautiful - not luxuriant perhaps, except in one very special place. I always enjoy the Liszt Consolation in D flat. Oh, and then there is the Bush Carillon that I also raised in another thread - especially if anyone needs a luxuriant adagio at Christmastime.
  11. Can someone put me right about this? Is music based on this chorale best suited to Advent or to Christmas? I have frequently used and have seen the Brahms listed as pre-service music for Advent services, but is that appropriate or not?
  12. The front pipes were being tuned/voiced/ yesterday when I went to evensong.
  13. AN interesting point this! The chap in charge at our war memorial used his phone to time everything. And that's what I do in church when I am playing a programme of music before a service, but you live and learn. I assumed I could use my iphone clock but that doesn't have all important seconds. I downloaded an exact time app which has seconds and then it is just a matter of making sure the clock doesn't lock and fade in settings. I have tried to find a small dignified looking digital clock with seconds on to no avail.
  14. Yesterday
  15. I just played the melody line as if it were played on a bugle. I think it was the power and character of the individual stop that carried this off, though I quite appreciate that other instruments without a similar stop could create an equally effective sound. I just appreciated that the organ could take the place of a bugler and still add dignity at a very solemn moment. May be it helped that the organ had been tuned four days before and was in good voice!
  16. Thanks Rehfeldt's videos are quite something. Another organist I quite enjoy is Hans Andre Stamm who some of you may have seen videos of him playing the organ works of Bach on the Trost organ in Germany. One thing I didn't know until 2016 was that he also composes music a lot of which has a Celtic style.
  17. The following seems to suggest that Gordon Grimes is a pseudonym for Gordon Hitchcock. I might be getting it wrong, though. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NTIhAQAAIAAJ&dq=university carol book gordon grimes gordon hitchcock&pg=PA1514#v=onepage&q=university carol book gordon grimes gordon hitchcock&f=false
  18. In the event, a young lady trumpet student was engaged to play the Last Post and the Rouse, although the 2 minute silence was truncated to about 40s. (Timing is always precarious at these events; the length of the hymn and the names of the fallen in 2 world wars and subsequent conflicts being relatively few in number from the village, all conspired to leave us 6 minutes short of 11a.m - so another 2 minutes could have felt like overdoing it.) I was filling in, it is an instrument with peculiarities, and it was a short-notice thing, so I went for the possible rather than the ideal. I began with Prelude in the Phrygian mode (Tallis) followed by Cantilena (Karl Jenkins). After the last hymn I played a piano-reduction of Nimrod with additional pedals in the way we all do with hymns. I'm glad I went prepared to play the bugle part on the organ if necessary! Even wearing a watch with a second hand - I wonder how others time the silence discreetly.
  19. Hi I came across Mathias Rehfeldt's You Tube channel recently - I find it well worth a listen. Every Blessing Tony
  20. I must say that I preferred the HN&B console to the new Jones console. Interestingly when the restoration project first surfaced the work was supposed to be going to David Wells - this information was in the public domain. And then "mysteriously" went to Jones.
  21. Last week
  22. Like Martin we had two services. We did a slightly abridged Eucharist half an hour earlier, for which I played Parry's Elegy before and JSB's Kyrie Gott heiliger geist (BWV 671) after. Our second service, which is the civic service for the town/borough, works the opposite way round, starting at the war memorial with the silence etc and then filing into church. I played an assortment while the filing took place including Nimrod (arr. Gower from OUP Ceremonial Music), Angel's Farewell, St Anne Fugue, Rawsthorne Aria, Parry's Memorial Piece from the Little Organ Book and possibly others that I've forgotten. To go out it was Widor's Marche Pontificale - not a remembrance piece at all but with the grandeur for a big service. It took until the end of the repeat of the main theme for the dignitaries to have left, and nearly to the end of the whole thing before the church was clear. Last year it was BWV 546 - Prelude and Fugue.
  23. So, Chris. did you play this 'straight' as it were... just the tune? Or did you harmonise it? (I think I have seen Last Post in harmony in a volume of The Village Organist, though not Reveille.)
  24. One organist I quite like is Mathias Rehfeldt who does a lot of contemporary music combining classical organ and synthesizer. I find it's rather unfortunate that as I am posting this message he only has a mere 300 subscribers on his channel which is a shame as I think the videos he does are amazing and also unique. For those of you who are curious the organ used in the first two videos is the Stockwerk Organ. A rather avant-garde pipe organ located in an office block.
  25. I am also very grateful to the forum and to members contributing to this and its linked thread. I offered to play the Last Post and Reveille at the Remembrance Service at which I was playing (there was no bugler) and this offer was accepted. From the feedback I heard, it was truly appreciated and credit is due to forum members for helping me realise this could be done. Credit is also due to Conacher's for their beautifully snappy Tromba on the organ I was playing, which fulfilled its solo role perfectly.
  26. I'm not certain that any of the pipework dates from the original organ. I regularly practiced on this instrument (in it's previous form) when I was a teenager. I seem to remember that the original organ was formed around an instrument by Gray and Davison, later additions by Goll of Lucerne and then rebuilt with a new console in 1949 by Hill, Norman and Beard. The organ had been moved three times to various places in the cathedral (I may be able to upload from photos taken of the organ in its various places). When I knew it, the spec was (as far as I recall): Great: Bdn 16, Open I 8, Open II 8, Prin 4, 12th 2 2/3, 15th 2 Swell: Open 8, Lieb 8, Echo Viol 8, Celeste 8, Octave Geigen 4, Fifteenth 2, Mixt III, Contra Oboe 16, Trumpet 8 Choir: Lieb 8, Dulc 8, Gemshorn 4, Piccolo 2, Orchestral Clarinet 8, Tromba 8 (enclosed) Ped: Open Bass 16, Bass Viole 16, Bourdon 16, Principal 8, Bass Flute 8, Trombone 16 There may have also been a mutation on the Choir and Mixture on the Great. I haven't played the organ in it's latest form, however!
  27. I am grateful to those forum members here who have put so much thought into their Remembrance services - as I myself have done in my time when at the console. Yesterday, though, we were at a local McDonald's for lunch as part of a day entertaining one of our little grandsons, and my wife and I were touched to find that they also had observed a two minutes' silence just prior to our arrival (though one wonders quite how 'silent' a place full of youngsters would actually have been!). But the aspect of Remembrance I always recall most strongly is having been part of a family which lost members during both world wars, as so many families did, yet I was never really able to find out much about what had actually happened. I am old enough to recall the devastation and austerity of my early childhood in a coal mining area, and can dimly remember an uncle who died in the early 1950s essentially from his experiences sustained working on the Burma Railway. I also knew vaguely that another uncle had died during the war a few years before I was born. He was 21, the son of my grandfather who himself still carried shrapnel around in his leg from the first world war. He was also in the Home Guard in the second. Yet nobody scarcely spoke of it, and this troubled me as a child and into adulthood. I definitely knew I was not supposed to ask questions, so I wonder whether others experienced this in their families? It was obvious that, to their dying day, the subject never lost its rawness for my parents and others. It was only a year ago that I finally discovered what had happened, decades after my parents and grandparents themselves had passed on. Thanks to the internet, I found that my uncle had been shot while on guard duty in the small hours of the morning at Cultybraggan POW camp in Scotland which was reserved for particularly vicious nazis and is now a museum. He was taken to the nearby Gleneagles Hotel which had been commandeered as a military hospital where he died some hours later. I was even able to find a copy of his death entry dryly noted by the duty doctor doing his ward rounds, with my grandfather's so-well-known signature confirming his identity. He and perhaps his wife must have travelled by blacked-out train all the way from the midlands to get there and back again, and I can only guess at his state of mind during that dreadful journey. The next week a funeral notice appeared in a newspaper in his home town (a paper where the boy himself had been a Linotype operator before the war), together with another a few days later thanking friends and relatives for their expressions of sympathy. This information was also turned up on the internet, together with a picture of his grave where he had been buried with full military honours. Its beautiful headstone still looks as new as the day it was made, all wonderfully maintained to this day. I am not sure who does this - it might be his former regiment, the Royal Artillery, or the British Legion - but I am grateful to them, and to a lady I've never met who keeps it tidy especially at Remembrance tide. As I said, until last year I knew none of this, but it is the sort of stuff that matters about Remembrance Day for me and countless others, and I am so pleased that we still celebrate it so that those who were lost are not forgotten. I realise none of this is directly about the organ and its music, but it is the backdrop of much which is about the organ at this time of year.
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