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Posts posted by DaveHarries

  1. Greetings,

    The children and youth choir Libera has announced the sad news of the death, on Wednesday 08th September, of its founder and musical director Robert Prizeman at the age of 69. As well as being associated with the choir Libera he will also be remembered for his 1986 composition for BBC TV's "Songs of Praise".

    His passing will, of course, be a sad loss for all who knew him, including the members of Libera. I got my Mum a copy of their "Beyond" CD for Christmas back in 2018: it is much enjoyed. I note that another CD is due soon called "If" of which I note that the last track will be a piece called, perhaps appropriately in view of this news, "Lux aeterna". May he rest in peace and rise in glory.



  2. 2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    I think you probably refer to Henry Willis 4, but I have to say that I have equally never seen a photograph of his father Henry Willis III or, indeed, Bruce Buchanan himself wearing other than a bow tie - a distinctive feature of all of them.

    There should be a title for this!  Willis bow tie tradition, perhaps?

    Indeed. I think he appeared in one of Howard Goodall's programmes 


  3. This week's news bulletin from Southwark Cathedral informs its readers that James Gough - currently organist at St. Matthew's, Westminster - has been appointed as the cathedral's new Assistant Organist and Music Administrator.


  4. And here is a rendition of Widor's Toccata played on the organ of the Hevig Eleonora Church, Stockholm, Sweden. Organ IVP/181 by Grönlund (1976, 58 stops) and Allen Organ Company (2017, 123 stops). Very good talent in someone so young, especially playing it without the music.

    A YouTube search turns up a number of clips of her and I would say that she clearly has a bright future ahead of him in the organ world.


  5. Here's something of potential interest. A new digital-only album is now available of the Klais organs in Cologne Cathedral, played by the cathedral's organist Winfried Bönig. A YouTube preview, with German comments from the organist (available with English subtitles) can be found at 

    The Klais website gives more information, and download links, at https://klais.de/m.php?sid=560


  6. Good to see that the MD of another company - Michael Sutcliffe (Foley-Baker, Inc. of Tolland, Conn - has started a GoFundMe to support employees of the Dobsons organ shop. The initial target of $10,000 was broken within well under 24 hours and, as I write this, the amount raised stands at $35,500; the highest donation recorded is $1500 which is good to see.

    News article: https://www.1380kcim.com/2021/06/24/industry-colleague-starts-gofundme-to-support-dobson-pipe-organ-builders-employees/
    GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-replace-dobson-employees-tools?utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

    Meanwhile other firms in the organ building world and its associated trades are rallying around: the Dobsons page on Facebook informs readers that they have been loaned use of the woodworking shop of Paul Iverson and also have managed to purchase the tools and equipment of the Nelson Barden & Associates workshop in Waltham, Massachusetts.


  7. Some news from Sheffield Cathedral which emerged today, 29th June.

    Many members may recall the fiasco which broke out when the previous Dean of Sheffield, the Very Rev. Peter Bradley, decided to dispense with the choral provision at the Cathedral there back in July 2020.


    The arguments went on for slightly over 3 months until Dean Bradley announced his resignation from the office of Dean of Sheffield on 04th October 2020.


    There was also this:

    On 09/04/2021 at 07:02, S_L said:

    I see, in the 'Church Times' today there is an advert for Dean of Sheffield.

    "Previous Cathedral experience is not essential"

    Anyone who might have wondered what the implications might have been of appointing someone not used to Cathedral life need not worry however: the announcement has now been made today, 29-Jun-2021, that the next Dean of Sheffield is to be Rev. Canon Abigail Thompson who is currently Acting Dean and Sub-Dean of St. Albans Cathedral but is no stranger to the Diocese of Sheffield or the cathedral there. In his introduction, which can be found on YouTube, the Bishop of Sheffield describes Canon Thompson as "an accomplished musician with a particularly strong track record for developing choirs." The introduction can be found at


    Sorry this post is perhaps a bit long but HTIOI,


  8. 8 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    New 32’ case?  Maybe I have misunderstood.  I thought the existing case at Wells was rather fine for a modern effort, particularly the double east front in the quire.  Would that be for a revised west-facing case?  But the 32’ is a puzzle. From memory the height of the vault at Wells is 65 feet, or thereabouts, and the architectural proportions have to be respected.

    Nothing as yet on the H&H website, nor about Norwich and Winchester which were understood to be waiting in the wings.

    I also think it would be a shame to get rid of the existing case at Wells. Also perhaps the only way to balance the sound more to the nave side might be to put some ranks in the nave triforium. Should be an interesting project.


  9. Really awful news. The website of Classic FM here in the UK reports that the cause was a fan which malfunctioned and caused sawdust to ignite.


    St. James, King Street, Sydney - who had recently awarded Dobson's the contract for a new organ - have posted on their Facebook page that "Dobsons advise that they are fully insured and that their intention is to continue in business."

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of the company's employees. I hope that the company will be able to rebuild and bounce back in due course and that the sounds for which the company has rightly earned recognition will be produced once again.


  10. 2 hours ago, dbouckley said:

    Just noted this topic on the net. I'm David Clegg's grandson and as far as I know his only descendant. He died in the UK, and my grandmother came to Australia with my mother. I have some scores, original manuscripts, photos and other memorabilia stored away if anyone's interested. 

    David Bouckley



    Welcome to the forum. Good to know that some of his music etc. has survived.


  11. 13 hours ago, S_L said:

    I see, in the 'Church Times' today there is an advert for Dean of Sheffield.

    "Previous Cathedral experience is not essential"

    Doesn't sound too good. Perhaps a case of being careful what you wish for?


  12. Greetings all,

    Some members here may recall my posts from 2009 and 2018 about the efforts to build a historical replica of the organ of St. Elizabeth, Wroclaw (Poland) that was built by Michael Engler (1752-1761), was worked on by other builders (1848, 1867, 1879, 1907 & 1939) and escaped destruction during WW2 (1939-1945) only to be lost in a fire that gutted the church on 09-Jun-1976. A photo of 10th June 1976 shows how complete the destruction of the organ was: https://polska-org.pl/9069037,foto.html?idEntity=546812

    It is good to be able to report that the work on the organ is now well underway. The organ is being made by a three-way consortium:

    - Orgues Thomas (Stevelot, BE): Windchests
    - Organowe Zych (Wolomin, PL): case and supporting structure.
    - Orgelbau Klais (Bonn, DE): Action, console, wind system, pipework and intonation (voicing?)

    The website of Zych is live but makes no mention of the project; the website of Thomas mentions it but with no links to any information. On the other hand the website of Klais gives a history of the organs of St. Elizabeth and suggests that the Engler-origin organs of Grüssau and Olomuc are serving as models (presumably for things like pipework metal alloys) for the Wroclaw organ.

    The page on the Klais website can be found at https://klais.de/m.php?sid=551 and contains historical pictures of the Wroclaw organ as well as pictures of the 1724 Engler of St. Nicholas, Brieg (Brzeg), Poland which was sadly lost in 1945. You can also on that link find impressions of how the organ in Wroclaw is planned to look when finished. It seems that the comparison with the organ of 1752 will be very good indeed.

    I am sure I read very recently (although I forget where) that inauguration is planned for sometime in Autumn 2021: what a pity I am unlikely to be there. I hope videos will appear online in due course: I think it will be splendid.

    Hope this is of interest.

  13. 1 hour ago, Philip said:

    I haven't watched the Eucharist but would commend the Evensong which included the dedication of the organ by the Archbishop of York. It features a rather interesting set of improvisations early in the service under the section 'The singing of the organ'. But perhaps even more ingenious is the sermon, which is accompanied by the organ in a descriptive manner - I'm not sure if this was wholly improvised although clearly Ben Morris had the text to follow and respond to. Add to this Demessieux Te Deum before, Lanquetuit Toccata after and that Ashfield triple chant for Psalm 66.

    At the end of Dyson in D Mag I'm pretty sure you can hear the (now) two 32' reeds in succession (smaller then larger).

    Order of service, for anyone wondering, can be found at https://d10okuw2vik61v.cloudfront.net/uploads/2021/03/Easter-Day-Evensong-2021.pdf

    That "singing of the organ" bit sounds, if an early edition of Choir & Organ is anything to go by, like part of the dedication mass of the organ of Notre-Dame, Paris following the work of the early 1990s. That service featured something similar.


  14. Hi all,

    I seem to remember that the "Great European Organs" series (Priory Records?) was discontinued a few years back. But an idle few minutes at work today lead to me thinking up this question.

    If Priory Records decided to record one final disc in the "Great European Organs" series and gave you the chance to record the disc in a venue of your choice:
    a) Where would you choose to record it?
    b) What would be the one piece you would have to include as part of your line up?

    For me the answers would be:
    a) Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Cologne (Germany)
    b) Toccata-Prelude on "Von Himmel Hoch" (Garth Edmunson) for which I would use the transept and nave organs simultaneously.

    Two organs both by Klais (Transept: IV+P/102; 1949/2002; Nave : III+P/53; 1998) both of which can be played from the transept console.

    I will be interested to see what other people would do.


  15. 3 hours ago, michaelwilson said:

    James Anderson-Besant has been appointed, currently organ scholar at St John’s Cambridge.

    Slight correction if I may: Assistant Organist of St. John's according to the college website.

    Nothing on the social media of the cathedral or the college but the website of Exeter Cathedral carries this:


  16. Read online this evening that Dr. Richard Shepherd MBE, DL, FRSCM, a composer, former educator, and Director of Development and Chamberlain of York Minster, sadly died on 20th February at the age of 71 after a long illness.

    I had never previously heard of his music until I attended the enthronement service for the current Bishop of Bristol, a former Dean of York, at Bristol Cathedral back in October 2018. One of the anthems for the service was "Eternal light, shine into our hearts", a prayer of Alcuin of York (735-804) which Dr. Shepherd had set to music especially for the service: it was superb. May he rest in peace.


  17. 9 hours ago, Allen Descendant said:

    Thank you so much.  It is lovely to get the exact location where Robert lived and where Emma was born.  Emma died at 21 Longfield Road, St Andrews Park, Bristol.  It was inherited through the Will of Emma's husband to their maiden daughter, Winifred.  She lived in it with no electricity until she died in 1969.  In the hallway was a huge wooden angel which she said had been made by her grandfather (Robert Allen) and that it was one or two, the second was in St Mary Redcliffe.  Many years ago I wrote to St Mary Redcliffe to see if Robert had done any work on their organ.  I know that at least 2 of his children were baptised there.

    Any information on St Mary Redcliffe would be much appreciated.

    A look on the NPOR records for St. Mary Redcliffe makes no mention of Robert Allen and neither does the copy I have of the history of the organs there. As for the address in Longfield Road, St. Andrews it still stands but I can't imagine how she coped with no electricity.


  18. 2 hours ago, Allen Descendant said:

    I have just found this site and as a descendant of Robert ALLEN organ builder, I have a few comments to add and some corrections.

    Robert was apprenticed to Father Henry Willis who sent him to Winchester to overlook the installation of their new organ. As a result, my great grandmother was born there. He then returned to London until 1859 (as you said). He then purchased the company in Bristol from John Smith who was a Moravian.  Robert had a total of 9 children, not 7.  

    As for William.  he was NOT the brother of Robert ALLEN Sr and he was NOT a shoe maker.  He actually died in 1833.  His Will and Probate was published 11 Nov 1833 and he leaves money to his son John and his son Charles Arthur ALLEN was one of his executors.  This William was the Church Organ builder which was mentioned in his Will and he was baptised 09 Apr 1783 at St Marys, Walton on Thames the 6th of 9 children.

    Going back to Robert 2 of his children were born in London and 6 in Bristol as well as Emma Elizabeth who as you say, was born in Winchester.   3 of Robert's sons were also Organ builders but all 3 died young Robert Franckling ALLEN age 51, Walter age 42 and Christopher John age 32.

    "Willis was completing one of his first important organs at Winchester Cathedral in 1854: it had been built for the Great Exhibition in 1851, but very much remodelled for Winchester, so it would have been a big job:  Willis's men were evidently there for almost the whole of 1854. Installation began in January, but when it was first heard in June the press observed that quite a lot was still silent: the official opening recital was not until November."  

    I have birth, marriage and death certificates as well as Wills.

    Greetings A.D and welcome to the forum.


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