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Malcolm Kemp

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  1. Per the on-line Winchester Cathedral newsletter for July, many congratulations to Richard McVeigh on his appointment as Assistant Organist, starting in September. Surely there can be few cathedrals that provide such a wonderful repertoire and standard of music in such a beautiful setting both inside and outside the cathedral? At least two very good pubs very near the Cathedral. There (I don't mean in the pubs!!) he will encounter my own singing teacher, Hilary Llysten Jones, who is a wonderful mentor and inspiration to choirmasters on the subject of vocal techqnique for both adults and children. In two years of private lessons with her I have learned an incredible amount and she has made several visits to Brighton to work with my own choir. Malcolm Kemp
  2. On one of the topics somewhere on this Board it mentions that a recital programme includes Suite Romantique by Denis Bedard. I had never previously heard of him but the website says he is Canadian. It seems that he has written a number of organ works which are published by Editions Cheldar. Is he a composer whose organ works are worth investigating, spending money on and learning? Are there any recordings, perhaps? Either membership of this Board becomes very expensive and addictive or I'm seriously lacking in self control and discipline; I've just ordered three volumes of pieces by Samuel Rousseau from Allegro!!!! Do I need counselling and therapy??? Malcolm Kemp
  3. Thanks for these replies which are most helpful. Malcolm Kemp
  4. This morning, in the cathedral of a neighbouring diocese, I attended the ordination to the pristhood of one of my former choristers/organ students and this Mendelssohn piece was played at the end whlst the Bishop was encouraging us all to applaud and cheer the newly ordained. (The bishop lost no opportunity to mention the local football team's place in the Premiership League.) Whilst I have to admit ignorance of what the priests in Mendelssohn's piece were actually warring and marching about - and it could have been a very laudable cause for all I know - I did just wonder whether it was sending out the right message to eight new priests at the start of their sacerdotal ministry, especially as the service had been all about higher matters than war. Were they being encouraged musically to go back to their parishes and cause trouble? - certainly not what their excellent diocesan bishop was telling them. Do any members - particuarly those with what one might call feet in both camps - have any particular feelings about the choice of this piece? Do any members have any anecdotes about voluntaries at other services which have been totally inappropriate? Malcolm Kemp
  5. The latest a bride has ever been, in my experience, was at St Mary's Kemp Town in Brighton many years ago when the bride (elder sister of a choirboy and living not more than 50 yards from the vestry door) was nearly an hour late. After about half an hour I sent a message to the Vicar (who was waiting at the other end of the church) that I was not going to play another note until the bride arrived. Years later I was organist at the neighbouring church - where the Vicar is a friend of a regular contributor to these columns - and I never had such problems there! My current problem with weddings is over hymns and it reflects the problem I have over hymns at our monthly family Mass. Over the next couple of months I am playing for six weddings, spread between two Brighton churches. I have spoken about the music to all the couples involved and none of them have the foggiest idea about hymns. We live at a time when neither wedding couples nor their parents have ever sung hymns at school so they ask for hymns like "Make me a channel of your peace", "One more step along the road I go" (which mentions neither God nor religion), "Morning has broken" or "Give me beer in my mug, keep on boozing". I tell them they are entitled to have what hymns they like but that they might want to consider what older friends and relations might know (ie Praise my soul or Love Divine). I also point out that "Make me a channel" is extremely difficult to bring off without a choir in attendance and with a congregation made up largely of people who are not regular church attenders. At least I get paid for it!!!......... Malcolm Kemp
  6. Could any board member please suggest a few, not over expensive, printed/published transcriptions that give good, contrasting, examples of Cochereau's improvisatory style and harmonic language? I have some CDs but would also like some printed scores. I have an idea that David Briggs might have produced some transcriptions but am not sure. Musicroom has all sorts of pieces by Cochereau available but some are quite expensive and it's not clear which ones would cover what I'm after. Thanks Malcolm Kemp
  7. Malcolm Kemp


    Cathedral Music, proprietor Richard Barnes, is the copyright holder for Corvedale. He is very approachable (although these days he seems often to take Mondays off). If any member doesn't have contact details for him and needs them please send me a PM. There is a website for Cathedral Music but there is not much on it. If you are into obscure and difficult-to-obtain choral music Richard is an invaluable person to know. Malcolm Kemp
  8. It is not unreasonable to include on all recital &c., printed programmes something along the lines of "electronic recording of this recital without the express permission of the recitalist is illegal." You could, at the same time, remind people to switch off their mobile phones! A year ago a member of our local organists' association was noticed recording an impromptu (and very inaccurate) performance by the resident organist of a church where I had just given a recital. I don't know whether or not he had recorded my recital. As a result of this the secretary of our organists' association agreed to put a reminder in his next monthly encyclical that sich recording is illegal. Malcolm Kemp
  9. At parochial level, in an area where Evensong in any form and, indeed, choirs capable of singing anything, has largely died out, some colleagues and I have got together and we do things similar to the events described above. My own choir, Good Shepherd, Brighton - where our vicar spent 18 years as an RC priest in Aprillia, Italy before converting to Anglicanism - sings choral Evesnong once a month. Singers from St Botolph's Heene (Worthing) come to help at these services and we try to go to help them at their, more occasional, choral Evensongs. Twice a year the choir of Hove Parish church (All Saints') join us for our choral Evensong and twice a year we go to sing choral Evensong with them at their church. This initiative works really well (so long as we don't have too many singers and we are careful to exclude less capable choirs/singers) and it enables our choirs to sing - and enjoy singing - music that they probably wouldn't be able to do on their own. Like all Anglican churches, some people will complain about anything but the vast majority think this is an excellent arrangement. Malcolm Kemp
  10. If any Board member has up-to-date news of Dr Jackson's progress I am sure we would all like to read it, please. Malcolm Kemp
  11. Thanks for this helpful link. Although it does not give me exactly what I was looking for it does give me useful and worthwhile material that I was unaware of. Thanks again. Malcolm Kemp
  12. The Priory CD of Paul Derrett playing Weitz at Hereford can be obtained on-line from "Crotchet". (I've just ordered it!) This on-line DVD/CD ordering firm specialises in organ music and, although not always particularly fast, they do seem to be able to get items that are otherwise difficult to get hold of and one gets the impression that they actually make an effort. (They are having great difficulty getting me the Daniel Roth Sacre Coeur CD that was praised on this Board a while ago, though.) These days it is important to be aware of such on-line shops. In Brighton we had a superb classical CD shop where the manager was a fine example of someone who knew his job thoroughly and excelled at customer service. For various reasons outside the manager's control this shop closed at Easter and the nearest comparable shops now appear to be in Canterbury and Chichester. Malcolm Kemp
  13. Jane Parker-Smith's recent CD (Avie label) "Romantic and virtuso works for Organ Vol 2" contains Symphony No 1. Also available (Regent label) is "Ave Regina - The complete organ works of Guy Weitz - volume 1" played by David Graham. I can't find any mention of volume 2 yet. According to Amazon there is a recording (mid-1990s) of music by Weitz played by Paul Derrett but currently unavailable. The music is all absolutely fantastic and scores of most of it can easily be obtained from Musicroom.com Weitz is an unjustly neglected composer who was Danby's predecessor at Farm Street. One of the singers in the choir of an extremely large church in central Brighton has sung under both Weitz and Lalloux (another unjustly neglected composer of choral music) and he speaks highly of both. Buy and enjoy! Malcolm Kemp
  14. I know it is not strictly related to the organ but I should be grateful if any Board member could point me in the direction of access to copies of Mass settings or motets by Oreste Ravanello. His organ music is in print (Armelin Musica) but neither their catalague nor the Italian version of the Ricordi catalogue help. Some of the organ music is superb (one example has been recorded by Jane Parker-Smith and I am really enjoing learning that one at present). (You get the organ music - new - from a shop in Florence via Abebooks on-line.) Thanks Malcolm Kemp
  15. Whilst the organ had fascinated me since I joined a church choir at the age of 8, it was in 1962 at the age of 14 that I finally decided to persuade my parents to let me have lessons. This decision was influenced, in no small way, by someone - a work colleague of my father - lending me an LP. I recently bought a second hand copy of that LP and thought it was awful in so many ways. Yet - at an impressionable age, all those years ago - that recording of Virgil Fox at the Riverside Church inspired me to start learning. Rather like if I hadn't sung the most dreadful Victorian anthems by Sullivan, Stainer, Smart &c., (apologies to Barry Williams who says he loves them!) as a choirboy I may never have moved on to loving and performing Palestrina and Mozart Masses later. I agree entirely with one comment already made about standards of performance on the organ and perhaps many - or even most - of us have been guilty at some time or other. To give a piano, clarinet, violin recital or whatever you have to be really very good both musically and technically. Yet I have heard many organ recitals over the years by people whose standard of playing was barely adequate for playing a simple service let alone claiming to be good enough to give recitals. The person who lent me that LP was - and remains - a case in point yet he contributed, in another way, to getting me started on the organ. Malcolm Kemp
  16. I'm not sure what news you are awaiting from All Saints' Margaret Street. Perhaps this refers to the appointment of the new Associate Director of Music to replace Andrew Arthur? That appointment was annouced several weeks ago and, per their Parish Magazine is Henry Parkes. Malcolm Kemp
  17. Rollin Smith's book on Vierne (page 589) states that Vierne got extremely upset when he heard the finale to Symphony No 1 played too fast and it also states that Vierne himself was happy for it to be played at mimim 72 instead of minim 76. Too many people seem to put display of flashy technique before projection of the music. I am mindful of a recording of a well-known movement from a Widor symphony (not No 5) by a player of incredible technique, accuracy and rhythmic drive - all very enviable - but the performance is reduced to the level of trivia by a ridiculously fast tempo. I haven't heard the recordings referred to above so cannot comment on those, but the acoustics of the building must be taken into account; I am giving a recital tomorrow in a building with an echo of 5 seconds+ and, hopefully, will show that I have taken this into acocunt. Malcolm Kemp
  18. Malcolm Kemp

    Henri Mulet

    May I also add my own thanks to Paul. This is but one example (albeit a very major example) of the kindness and friendship already shown to me by Board members in the short time I have been a member. I am extremely grateful. Malcolm Kemp
  19. There is a splendid and very exciting performance of this piece on a fairly new CD entitled "Edwardian Splendour" featuring William Whitehead on the organ in St Mary's Bourne Street. Very highly recommended. I also have an older recording by Christopher Herrick. I don't find this a particularly difficult piece technically but it does need to have rhythmic vitality. Malcolm Kemp
  20. I remember an A-level English lesson in around 1965 when the master (a church warden) said, jokingly, to one of my fellow-students "What? You've never had a numinous experience? Go outside and have one immediately." Whilst there is room for, and it is good to have, worship in different styles to suite different personalities and situations it does seem to be increasingly difficult to find worship anywhere that is numinous, bringing people to their knees in the awe and wonder of the beauty of holiness. Surely it is that which can bring many people - but not all, admittedly - to a fuller experience of God. I expect that many organists fall into that category. Malcolm Kemp
  21. I am trying to get hold of copies of the Second Chorale and the Aria by Hendrik Andriessen, both of which are unobtainable as the publisher has stopped trading. Another piece I am trying to get hold of is that by Kromolicki, recently recorded by Jane Parker Smith. Her own copy is a photocopy that she inherited and does not bear the name of the publisher. Any help, please? Malcolm Kemp
  22. In The Lanes in Brighton, in the centre of the orginal village of Brighthelmstone is a pub called the Font and Firkin which, despite being in a former Free-Evangelical church (or some similar demonination) has part of a confessional hanging on the wall. At times they have sold a beer called "Ale Mary". Some local clergy have seen the joke, partaken of this brew and enjoyed it; other have been deeply offended by such irreverence. Malcolm Kemp
  23. There are many tapes/Cds/CD-ROMs/web-downloads available to measure/improve/acquire both relative and perfect pitch and a few of the web-downloads are free. I should be interested to hear whether any membes have found any of these helpful. The best known are those by Graham English and David Lucas Burge, both from USA. There are also a number of websites about intonation and temperaments (as well as IPA charts for singers) and some have examples to hear. I have enjoyed reading a recent short book by Ross Duffin entitled "How equal temperament ruined harmony and why you should care". I think of two conservatoire trained, highly qualified professional musicians who found that their perfect pitch varied up up to a whole tone when they reached their late 60s. If envy were not a sin I would be very envious of the 18 year old violinist who recently heard my church organ for the first time and immediately (and accurately) pronounced that it is currently tuned to 437 instead of 440. Malcolm Kemp
  24. Having just got my free bus pass but never visited Paris I hope to rectify the situtation later this year and will, no doubt, find these postings helpful. (Yes, I know my bus pass doesn't cover travel to Paris!) Friends, some interested particularly in violins and another who runs a church music publishing/retailing business speak of a number of excellent music shops, new and second hand, situated quite near each other in Rue de Rome which, I gather, is easily accessible from the Eurostar station. Malcolm Kemp
  25. Having been reading the posts on this site for a while now, I read the postings on this topic and sent the comments below earlier today to my good friend Barry Williams who sugested that I should join immediately so here goes: The modern Anglican and Roman liturgies are full of rubrics like “a period of silence may be kept”. Initially a number of Brighton area churches – particularly of the Anglo Catholic persuasion – started things like the Celebrant at Mass sitting down in silence after Communion and before saying the Post Communion prayer but this seems gradually to have faded out. A reason given for keeping everything going with everybody “occupied” an “jolly” all the time is the presence of young children. More than once I have heard Martin How say that children cannot create a reverent atmosphere but they can respond positively to one created by adults. Around ten years ago, at an extreme Anglo Catholic church in Hove where I was D-of-M the then Vicar (now an RC layman in Lowestoft) gave me a totally free hand to arrange Maundy Thursday Tenebrae (in a shortened form, lasting just over an hour) on the Wednesday evening. The congregation had to do and say/sing absolutely nothing; they just sat there in a dark church the whole time listening to a carefully hand-picked group of singers singing chants and the music of Vittoria and Allegri. The congregation said it was the best service of Holy Week and I got wonderful letters of praise from them. It also got one of the biggest congregations of the week and it was even larger when we repeated the service the following year. (That church celebrates its Patronal and 125th dedication festivals together in early June this year and I have been asked to return for the occasion to play and provide a semi-professional octet to sing.) My present church is as bad as any for noise before and after Sunday morning services yet on Maundy Thursday this year, when we finished the stripping of the altars and people were praying at the Altar of Repose the only noise was that of people in and around the vestry/sacristy area whispering to each other to be quiet. People are afraid and uncomfortable about sitting passively and letting things quietly and slowly happen around them. Our somewhat curtailed and non-Eucharistic Easter Vigil was done in almost total darkness and lasted around 45 minutes (oh, for the old days when I was young and the service lasted over two hours, ending with Lauds). This involved a lot of chanting of music which we only ever sing at that service and which, as much for an easy life as anything else, and bearing in mind that choirs don’t like turning out on a Saturday evening, I sang mainly myself. Afterwards a member of the congregation who I happen to like came up to me in a very friendly manner and said “We needn’t have come; you could have done the service with just you here”. She thought she hadn’t been doing anything or participating yet, surely, she had been actively participating with her ears? Malcolm Kemp
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