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Malcolm Kemp

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  1. When I was present at a recording of a Choral Evensong for broadcasting at the end of September we (the congregation) were all told by the producer (??) before the service that by the time the recording goes out on air the timing of Choral evensong on Wednesdays will have been brought forward, regularly, to (I think) 3 pm or possibly 3.30pm Malcolm
  2. I have this really excellent DVD; it arrived a couple of days ago. It is superb (apart from the packaging, as has already been mentioned). Surely this DVD is a must for all organists interested in any way in extemporisation. The on-line shop of Fugue State Films is well worth investigation, particularly the contributions from Daniel Moult. I was fascinated that Ronny Krippner is a Bavarian who seems to have taken the whole English church music and organ scene so much to heart and become part of it. Not only that; his English, with barely a foreign accent. is superb. Those members of this forum who are also friends of mine on Facebook will be aware that recently I have commented more than once about how much I have learnt in the past couple of years from DVDs of masterclasses etc., on organ, singing, choir training, choral and orchestral conducting as well as piano playing. The DVD is a marvellous medium for this, especially for the organ, where you can see the player's technique close up. Another thing I have found most inspiring and informative over the past week is a series of three programmes on Sky Arts 2 called School of Listening, about orchestral conducting, featuring Barenboim, Boulez and a very talented young English conductor called Robin Ticciati working with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at the 2007 Salburg Festival. For the price of a DVD, or for free if you are watching television, you can get superb musical tuition whilst sitting in your home. Don't just watch organ programmes; I've learnt a lot about organ playing (keyboard playing in general, in fact) by watching the singing masterclasses of Thomas Quasthoff at the Verbier Festival. Malcolm
  3. if the audition is for a church job I should have thought that their priority might more usefully have been to find out whether you can play hymns (very few people can - it's a difficult art which few people ever master) and whether you can "fill in" if the collection extends beyond the hymn or the censing at the offertory goes on longer than expected. Can you create an appropriate atmosphere on the organ during services? Can you accompany Byrd Second Service or Wood's O Thou the Central Orb? Very few members of the congregation will ever sit and listen to you playing a Bach Trio Sonata or a piece by Durufle but they will listen to you playing for services. Perhaps the people who have arranged this audition have got their priorities wrong! Malcolm
  4. Perhaps I've missed something. Where is Justason moving to, having, presumably, just finished ar Oxford? Malcolm
  5. Hatch, match and dispatch services are a way of getting people into the church community; they are an opening. One of my former choirboys had not been to church for years. He went back to that church to get married, got talking to the Vicar and he is now a highly successful vicar himself. Not as unusual as some people might think. I recall a member of this forum getting into trouble, rightly so, and quoted in Church Times, for making similar disparaging statements about wedding couples who were not up to his personal requirements. Malcolm
  6. Brighton has acquired a brand new, modern, purpose built library in the past ten years or so. I don't often go in there because the facilities are so bad and they appear to provide almost everything except books. We, at one time had a separate, quite large music library, with lots of sheet music, staffed by people who knew about music (the one in Hove was run by an Oxford music graduate who was a very fine pianist) but all we have in the new library is about one aisle of shelving with hardly any sheet music at all. Malcolm
  7. I am sure that I've told you all before that a couple of years ago I discovered a couple of American websites that produce fantastic DVDs and videos of masterclasses in orchestral and choral conducting as well as choir training. The best of these involve the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Very recently I discovered the English website of the Masterclass Media Foundation when I ordered a DVD of Simon Carrington doing a choral conducting masterclass at last year's Three Choirs. From that same site I've also found masterclasses in piano, singing and orchestral conducting, although the catalogue is far broader than that. Some of the masterclasses were recorded at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. All are of a very high standard and the DVDs arrive almost by return of post. As a result of some courses/seminars I've been on in recent months and some related research I've been doing, I've become particularly interested in how our brains process learning and it is clear that different people learn in different ways. I have a student, not the most academically/intellectually gifted person on the planet but well worth teaching, and I'm still trying to decipher how he learns most effectively. I've spoken before about how helpful I find the Priory (and other) DVDs in watching player's techniques &c., and I personally find this a very helpful aid to learning. What I cannot find anywhere (apart from about three uninspiring looking examples on the Organ Historical Society website) is any DVDs of organ playing masterclasses. This is a great pity. Are there any commercially available anywhere? If not, do members of this forum think they might be worthwhile if anyone could be persuaded to produce and market them? Malcolm
  8. Actually Martin How's father was a Bishop. I don't think I've ever met anyone, clerical or lay, who admits to believing the contents of the 39 Articles; I most certainly never have. If they did, a large number of Anglican priests who this morning (or on Thusday evening) rightly caused the consecrated host to be "lifted up, carried about and worshipped" would be in trouble with their consciences! A verse that I consider utter sanctimonious c**p is "O mysterious condescending O abandonment sublime.............." as well as several other gems from that same work. The music is just about bearable; the words try to turn the Passion into pathos instead of Our Lord having things done to him whilst he was being passive. May I suggest, seriously, that the words of Mr Kendrick are no worse than those of the Revd E Sparrow-Simpson. Malcolm
  9. I ordered mine by post when I got their latest printed catalogue about a week ago. I have them all apart from the Liverpool one which doesn't interest me in the slightest. From other sources I've also got the 20th Century J S-W ones, the Lancelot/Elgar Sonata one, the Barber/Armley one and the Moult/Bridlington one. One of the aspects of these that I find most beneficial is that you can watch the technique (both manual and pedal) of real experts and learn a lot from them. I think they are worth buying even if only for that. I may have said this before but I think the most audience friendly player from the point of view of the "extras" talking about the organ and th programme is John Robinson at Canterbury and, to date, I think he is the only one to play his programme from memory. Malcolm
  10. The answer's very simple: give up and let them get on with it. Malcolm
  11. I hope the good people of Essex were careful to inspect the Yorkshireman's passport when ever he ventured out in public. Malcolm
  12. My first serious organ teacher, George Austin, (himself a pupil of Atkins and Brewer) used to describe the Vox Humana at St Bartholomew's Brighton, where he was organist, as "The Goat". Malcolm
  13. Are you allowed someone to help with registration as well as page turning? On a strange organ, especially with limited practice time it is best to stick to stuff that, whilst demonstrating good organ mangement, doesn't involve too much intricate registration. When I did FTCL organ about 30 yeas ago now I think I was allowed about two hours practice on the rogan (which was the Harrison in St MAry's Bryanston Square). Malcolm
  14. St Barry's high standards! I have confess that I have never come across anyone who by any remote stretch of the imagination could be called both "Saint" and "Barry". Now, Bruno, on the other hand, founded the Monastery of La Grande Chartreuse. Sounds a much more worthy cause for canonisation. Malcolm
  15. My copy has now arrived (hold-up due to a misunderstanding over credit card details which was my fault). I agree that the playing is superb, all from memory as already said, and the whole thing is worth every penny. Not my choice of repertoire perhaps but that is neither here nor there. What I particularly liked was John Robinson's general manner when speaking on camera in the bonus tracks. He actually gave the impression of enjoying himself and he even smiled at the camera. Surely a first for this excellent series? Malcolm
  16. It is ironic perhaps that mine still hasn't arrived! Malcolm
  17. I have reached an age where vari-focal lenses are the order of the day. Also, having been short sighted all my life, my dotage means increasing long-sightedness and the two conditions gradually cancelling each other out at an ever increasing (and expensive) rate so that my eyes are now probably better than they've ever been. I have heard all kinds of dire warnings about the problems and dangers of playing the organ in vari-focals and needing a special pair of specs solely for organ playing (a bit like shoes) but I can honestly say I've never had any problems using the vari-focals for playing. Malcolm
  18. For those who have pre-ordered this from Priory I am told that the stock arrived yesterday and orders are being distributed as quickly as possible. Malcolm
  19. If you want copies of "non-organ" music by Widor contact either Richard Barnes of Cathedral Music (near Chichester) or look on the website of Crescendo Music Publications (who send music from Australia very quickly). Malcolm
  20. Widor wrote quite a lot of superb choral/church music, nearly all of which is readily available from publishers in Sussex and Australia. The well-known Mass is but one of those items. Malcolm
  21. I recall going to the AGM of the IAO during its annual congress in Hull circa 1970. It had been anounced that the Hon Gen Secretary (Glynn Jenkins) urgently needed a new typewriter as the current one was worn out. After a coffee break, Henry Willis was given permission to addresss the audience. He produced a wallet and asked anyone had lost it. There being no response, he admitted that it as his own and he took from it a £5 note (it might have been £10 - it was a long time ago now), folded it and stood it on the table. "We've just been told the Hon Gen Sec needs a new typewriter and here's the first £5 towards it. Who'll give me another £5?" Within ten minutes he had collected more than enough money from the audience to buy the Hon Gen Sec a very good quality new typewriter. He had put his visiting card "Henry Willis, Organ Builder" on the door of his room in the sleeping accommodation block at the college of Education where the Congress was being held. Overnight some wicked person (not me!) replaced this with another visiting card "The Allen Organ Co." He took the joke in god humour. Malcolm
  22. Wasn't there a vinyl LP made of the Wimborne organ (not longer after it was rebuilt) by Michael Austin, who was a student of Douglas Hawkridge? I bet nobody has a copy of that these days! At the time it was regarded as a very good recording and he was regarded as a very good player. I knew (the late) Michael James, who was sub-organist there, very slightly - mainly through Canford Summer School connections. Malcolm
  23. The CD I have of Mr Heckelphone's playing is certainly not indifferent. I would call it inspirational. Malcolm
  24. This movement is in 6/8 and the basic pulse seems to be that of a dotted crotchet yet the metronome marking is crotchet 84 which, mathematically, gives an equivalent of 56 for a dotted crotchet. What speed to Board mambers adopt? Did Dupre intent dotted crotchet 84 or did he intend crotchet 84 as printed in the score (dotted crotchet 56)? Malcolm
  25. In early January the London church where I worship did a superb unison Latin Mass setting by Peter Maxwell Davies. The individual movements, perhaps, went on after they'd said what they had to say, but it was a good piece to listen to and I'd happily hear it again. It seemed to be popular with others in the congregation. Wasn't William Mathias's "Let the people praise Thee" written for the Charles/Diana wedding? That was predictably awful. Malcolm
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