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  2. Organs on Google Street-view

    OK, not quite in the same league but you can see the back of the organ console of Derby Cathedral here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Derby+Cathedral/@52.9249033,-1.4772985,3a,75y,118.9h,78.56t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipMQ7r3BNRd6pvs3AQq36Y3jzREUkPelXVAvn88V!2e10!3e11!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x4879f13e1ad62337:0x4b652586d98716fc!8m2!3d52.924812!4d-1.477404?hl=en Quite a few of the cathedrals have been street-viewed inside, it turns out - Lincoln, Norwich, Canterbury, Derby, Gloucester, Durham, Southwark, Wells and possibly others (not Ely, St Paul's, York, Carlisle, Exeter, Chester, Worcester, Truro, Rochester, St Alban's, Chichester, Southwell or Salisbury if that saves anyone some time!)
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  4. Organs on Google Street-view

    Oh, hijack away by all means: it's not as though I'm trying to answer any serious academic questions! I will make sure I stuff my face with assess the pork pies next time I'm in Beverley. Still interested in any organ-related Google-Street-view nuggets though if anyone has come across them!
  5. Organs on Google Street-view

    Thanks for posting those wonderful pictures of one of my all time favourite buildings - I have known Beverley Minster all my life. The late Peter Fletcher, the Minster organist, gave me my first 'cello lesson and I have played 'continuo' in there so many times (usually in the freezing cold!!!) And the pictures of the 'Crumbs Deli' reminds me of things that I miss about the UK - 'Hand raised Pork Pies with cranberry'!!!! Sorry to hijack your thread! - but Beverley Minster (and pork pies!!) means so much to me!!
  6. Organs on Google Street-view

    Is Beverley Minster the only organ-loft to have been mapped on Google Street View? https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Beverley+Minster/@53.8392407,-0.4246845,3a,75y,111.54h,64.33t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipN-soByCvrxpRh64R6pfi7qmCtxhPvCPA3cOH7-!2e10!3e11!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x4878c7100feffffd:0xf085449cfe09d50a!8m2!3d53.8392946!4d-0.4244797 (Edited to add: unless I'm mistaken that's the Buxtehude Jig Fugue on the music desk! Anyone know who's playing? He looks justifiably pleased with himself!)
  7. Last week
  8. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    I believe that some British universities have now adopted the title of 'Associate Professor' in place of the traditional 'Reader' appointment, perhaps because it sounds more important! I think that British adoption of American terms and language is increasing, no doubt because of the influence of American TV programmes and films and, of course, the Internet. How long before our honours classifications are replaced by 'Cum Laude', 'Magna Cum Laude' and 'Summa Cum Laude', I wonder?
  9. Seeing things differently

    At least the music scores still exist and an increasing amount can be listened to through media such as Youtube even if the quality is somewhat variable (I defy any recording company to successfully market a boxed set of "The complete organ works of William Faulkes" - all 500 of them!). I have lately been drawn to some exceptionally fine works by forgotten German composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as Ludwig Finzenhagen, Hugo Kaun or Hans Fahrmann. Forgotten either because their scores were wiped out in Allied bombing or because that period of German history was intentionally overwritten after the second World War. Thankfully the internet and release of online scores means that what little remains can be archived and searched for with increasing ease and it is well worth the hunt.
  10. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    Whenever I read comments such as those preceding, I am reminded of the opening words of the Preface to the 1549 Book of Common Prayer: “There was never anything by the wit of man so well devised, or so surely established, which (in continuance of time) hath not been corrupted.” Or in the words of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” I understand that in the higher echelons of a German company these days, a doctorate, earned or honorary, is no longer sufficient. One must now have the title of “Professor”. When I was at university, I was in awe of professors. Yet today, it seems, we are adopting the American usage of the term - anyone teaching in an institution of higher education is a “professor”, even if delivering only the occasional lecture or class on a casual basis (in which case one is a “visiting professor”). Spare a thought for poor old J.S. Bach who was keenly aware of his lack of academic title. Perhaps if he’d had a doctorate he’d have written better music.
  11. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    Yes, and interestingly (in this country anyway) more doctorates awarded h.c. have the right to wear a nice, bright predominantly scarlet robe, whereas those who have earned their doctorate by academic means (eg, PhD, EdD, etc) have rather less 'showy' robes! Fair? Well, it really doesn't bother me, my having neither!
  12. Lytham St Cuthberts

    I was not aware of the distinction, but the gentleman concerned was introduced to us as the DOA. He was determined to have us take his proposal and vetoed or subverted every other scheme. It was also clear that our organ builder was 'In his pocket'. I became angry when at a general meeting, having quoted us £200,000 to carry out another plan, agreed with the DOA that the organ concerned was of poor quality. At that moment I became so furious that I dare not speak as the words I would have used were seldom heard in the vicarage!!
  13. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    In some countries, Germany for example, any titles are part of your name and have to be used formally. Those who have honourary doctorates have as their title Dr. h.c, for "honoris causa". That's clear, and allows people to draw their own conclusions.
  14. Well, Dr. Pykett, that statement will make you popular here! There are quite a number of 'Cathedral' musicians, who style themselves 'Dr', who have never studied to Doctorate level and who have been given an Honorary Doctorate from a local University to the Cathedral in which they have worked for years. Some would argue that it is deserved. I agree that it does debase the whole currency and meaning of academia - but it happens and this profession loves it!!!
  15. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    Regarding "Concert" versus "recital, Carlo Curley (possibly following on from Virgil Fox) always said that the term "organ recital" would frighten off prospective audiences, apart from die-hard organ nuts, whereas "organ concert" would not. I think there's a lot of sense to that and I always use the term "concert".
  16. A bit of an " enfant terrible" this one, IMHO and for what it is worth. One could say that " it all depends on what you mean by.... ". Regarding the term " organ concert " so far as I am aware this is the usual term which Americans give to what us Brits would refer to as a " recital ". Nothing particularly wrong with that I don`t think ( IMHO again! ) However, in order to ascend to the dizzy heights of being an " international concert organist " as opposed to a mere " organist " I would agree that the player/performer has to be free from the normal shackles which confine most organists to their consoles. There are n number of professional organists who undertake " trans Atlantic" " or " continental " tours. Several of these are formed from the ranks of our divers cathedrals and often take the format of summer tours and include their choirs too. This is usually on an " exchange " basis. Those organists who have managed to gain the status of " international concert organist " are musical creations of another dimension altogether. They have all undergone the usual rites of passage , tutelage etc. but have been fortunate to develop a completely independent career path to their conventional colleagues. I am not going to " name names " as such for that is too controversial, but I think on the English scene I will not have to duck from too many brickbats if I should mention as an example JPS. She would fit the bill on the basis of her musical training, extensive touring abroad on " more than one occasion ", has a good recording history, lectures whilst on tour ,adjudicates , and finally , employs a management/ PR agency. Good topic for more debate this one methinks.
  17. Seeing things differently

    Hmm! Plenty of material to consider on this topic. You choose a good exam question along the lines of " Can it be said that the quality of English organ music went into a state of decline in the early nineteenth and twentieth century " ? I would state that there were a lot of player/composers who have left us a huge legacy of organ music; the problem being that there is just too much of it and its accessibility is not always easy. Libraries, attics, car boot sales, skips even! During the period under discussion not only in England but also Europe and America there was what could almost be described as a virtual renaissance in works for the organ which matched the developments in organ design on an exponentional scale. The discussion could now divert down the avenues on the subjective/objective quality of some of this work . WTB stands out as a prime example of a brilliant organist who stood classical music on its head by arranging " Classical Hits " for the Common Man and successfully dragged good music out of the musty hidebound stable of the class ridden concert hall . Bests successor at SGH has for some time now regularly included a transcription or two successfully into his recitals . He has also included in other recitals some pieces by lesser known ( or totally forgotten ) composers from the period under review. There are mighty Titans from this period , most notably IMHO I think would be CV Stanford. To finish ( yawn! ) I endorse your comments regarding playing technique/ interpretation; always a bit of a political animal this one. IMHO, which it is all its worth, I think that if we are to really understand and develop our musical skills, both theoretically and practically, and in doing so help to enrich an already ripe harvest we will have to look both back - and forwards ; or to use that terrible metaphor , " avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater ". Eaglefield Hulls most excellent book is as relevant now as when it was first published. One has to make allowances for the epoch in which Hull was trained and any modern day shortcomings which it may now reveal. The same can also be said, I think, with regard to Conways " Organ Playing " written some forty plus years later. All in all a very good posting worthy of some serious debate.
  18. Sumsion Complete Organ Works

    The RSCM has just published a volume of the complete organ works of Herbert Sumsion, edited by Daniel Cook, who has also recorded them: https://www.rscmshop.com/herbert-sumsion-complete-organ-works-n1157.html I've just got a copy - a lovely volume with lots to get stuck into, not least the four Christmas Carol variations, the Toccata on University and the rambunctious Ceremonial March. Plenty of reflective pieces that would work well for service use too, such as the lovely Saraband and Interlude. There is slightly less in the book than on the recordings: the latter has four RVW and two Elgar transcriptions by Sumsion which haven't made it into the book. But at £25 for 170 pages it's not bad value for money.
  19. Seeing things differently

    Of all the periods of organ music history, none seems to have suffered a decline in its reputation as much as that of the late 19th/ early 20th century, especially as regards English organ music and interpretation. Yet with the increasing availability of both music and theoretical works of the period on the internet, we can perhaps begin a long waited re-assessment of the period. Recently, whilst trying to find out more about the musical background of George Oldroyd, I came across the name of his teacher A.E. Hull, whose life was cut short in tragic circumstances in 1928. Amongst his many works is an extensive manual on organ playing entitled: “Organ Playing: Its Technique and Expression” (Augener 1911). After downloading this work, a quick reading made it apparent that Hull had a very wide knowledge of “early” organ music and technique. He was aware of registration and keyboard fingering in Bach’s time and refers to use of toes only as the “old method” of pedalling. His views on phrasing may not be to the taste of many of today’s organists, but the treatise gives excellent insights into how he and his contemporaries approached the subject. At the end of the book Hull reproduces a number of organ recital programmes from the first decade of the 20th century verbatim, including programme notes. These give us the opportunity to compare the recital programmes with those given today (there is a surprising amount of “early” organ music), as well as read assessments of contemporary pieces. I was interested to read the note about Dr A. Lister Peace’s recital given at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool on January 13th 1909. The programme note regarding several movements from Widor’s 5th Symphony has this to say about the last movement, written long before the piece gained the iconic, if not notorious, status it has today: “The Finale is a veritable moto perpetuo; built upon a kind of ecclesiastical chant or plain-song, which is given out on the pedals, fortissimo, with bold and striking effect.”
  20. Appointments 2

    White Smoke from the RSCM ..... at last https://www.rscm.com/we-are-delighted-to-welcome-hugh-morris-as-our-new-director/?platform=hootsuite
  21. Earlier
  22. Celestes

    I've been thinking of trying the same thing with the Choir Dulciana here.
  23. Clairons/Clarions breaking back

    If one is prepared to use one's ears and think outside the box registration-wise, the use of a clarion without a unison reed can help in forming useful combinations. Even with an octave coupler on. I am quite surprised to see how many quite large instruments are appearing without a 4' reed on the Pedal, and in some cases no way to obtain one by coupling
  24. Clairons/Clarions breaking back

    I must confess that I’m very keen on a 4' Clarion (or Clairon). Not so keen on Clarion Tubas. There seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment for no manual 4' reeds on even quite sizeable 3 manual instruments, eg the one in St George’s Hanover Square. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E02004
  25. Celestes

    On my little 1867 one manual Vowles I asked the organ builder to tune the Dulciana as a celeste. It beats with either the string or flute and I do not miss it as the string with box closed is plenty quiet enough for my needs. It also is not needed to acompany anything else. The added dimension of awe and wonder added by this little tweak is much appreciated and if needs be it can always be tuned back. When the whole tuning is a bit wayward on a cold day the organ sounds like one of those little instruments found at the altar end of a big French church. Marvellous for Franck’s L’Organiste or the Langlais 24 pieces. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12535 A
  26. Celestes

    A dulciana on the G O of a 2 manual is useful as an accompaniment to a swell oboe or other suitable solo stop. On the instrument I am responsible for I have had the C O dulciana tuned sharp to beat against the violin diapason. It also works well coupled up to the S O & used with the viol d' orchestra. Other combinations are available!
  27. What is an “International Concert Organist”?

    I remember when I was at the BBC long, long ago, that one year the National Brass Band Championship became the International Brass Band Championship on account of a single band from Holland joining in. I dare say my son who is a pianist would not object to being called an International Concert Pianist - he plays in concerts internationally,after all. I suppose many do, but I suspect that less get around as widely (as well as the "routine" travel around Europe, he regularly goes to both sides of the US, Australia, Japan, Argentina...). Paul
  28. P D Collins Organ At Turner Sims

    It's interesting to consider some of the other great Suffolk churches and their organs. Blythburgh had its little Holdich/Bishop rebuilt by Rodney Briscoe with a lovely new case about fifteen years ago. Stoke-by-Nayland (the finest of the lot, in my opinion, especially outside) had its old (originally 1834) Gray & Davison restored by John Budgen (Bishop & Son) in 1977, after years of extreme decrepitude and in 2006 it was clothed in a new case in Gothick style which is a vast improvement on the stacked up, bat-dropping-encrusted basses that enclosed it (after a fashion) up until then. Southwold's fine big three-manual Walker (designed by Ouseley) was rebuilt by Cedric Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in 1966 (one of the excellent jobs they did around the time, others including Walsingham and St. Botolph, Colchester). You don't see much of it as it is in a chamber, but there's a rather strange case above the choir-stalls that used to contain the console. The nice Hunter/Bishop at Aldeburgh has what is not much more than a Victorian organ-builder's case, but the side facing down the aisle was painted and adorned with a horizontal trumpet in 2000. It looks rather jolly, but is not by its nature such a fine case as the Turner Sims organ. Lavenham replaced their Conacher/Cedric Arnold with a large three-manual which started out as a Father Willis in Holy Trinity, Bournemouth, where it was rebuilt in 1964 by Degens & Rippin, It moved to St. Swithin, Bournemouth when Holy Trinity closed in1974, and then in 1996 was set up at Lavenham by the vicar with help from Lance Foy and Bishop & Son (John Bailey). Since then it has grown to four manuals, with Tuba, 32' reed and flue and about 55 speaking stops. Now, I firmly believe that a church like Lavenham deserves a magnifical organ (adjective from Christopher Smart via Benjamin Britten), but it doesn't at present look particularly handsome, although no worse than the Conacher did. They may improve the look of it in the course of time and I'm certainly not criticising what has been done, but it increases the sense of disbelief that the diocese doesn't want a fine case like the Turner Sims to go in Orford Church. Framlingham has a justly-famed Thamar case and organ , restored in the west gallery by John Budgen in 1970, as well as a late-18th century chamber organ by William Allen. Neither Mildenhall and Stradbroke have particularly large organs, but the former has a Father Willis and the latter a Holdich, both worthy examples. Orford, which is the centre-piece of a beautiful little town and in an area where music-making is of a high standard and churches generally well-supported, surely deserves something special too.
  29. Celestes

    In a lot of cases, I think that the presence of a Dulciana is an admission that the other 8' stops are too loud, although the Dulciana is useful to "warm up" the 8' flute (pcnd's Viole de Gambe probably does this even better. Lawrence Swinyard once likened Great gambas to "army cocoa", which I always thought was a beautiful description, although I never quite understood what he meant). There are some gorgeous unenclosed Dulcianas about - Arthur Harrison's are generally outstanding (in saying this, I guess I'm perilously close to agreeing with pcnd that his organs are generally too loud!), and I liked our host's provision of one on the (ruckpositif) Choir Organ at Cripplegate (which I first played just after it went in), despite Sam Clutton's opinion that it was about the most useless thing for those circumstances. Over here, the Choir Organ in older instruments is nearly always enclosed. On the organ at the Anglican Cathedral in St. John's, Newfoundland, which I played for thirteen years, some modest pepping up in the nineties involved scrapping the Dulciana, Viole, Wald Flute and (Hope-Jones) Quintadena in favour of Nazard, Tierce and appropriate flutes to carry them. The 8' flues in my time were Violin Diapason and Chimney Flute and I never had cause to regret not having anything else. (There was a full-length 16' Dulciana in the Choir box, as well as another one a few feet away from it in the case and played on the Pedal - money must have been no object in 1927 when Casavant rebuilt the organ!). There was a Gemshorn 8' on the Great, which was a Dulciana in all but shape and was useful in quiet combinations, especially as the Great had octave, sub and unison off couplers, but the Choir Dulciana was never missed. Here at Fredericton, I find little use for the enclosed Dulciana on the Choir Organ, although I use the Viole d'Orchestre quite a lot to inject "quiet ginger" (Norman Cocker's term) into various combinations. There's also a very quiet Aeoline on the Echo and a Dolcissimo on the Swell which is more of a wheeze than anything else....
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