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Geoffrey Morgan

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About Geoffrey Morgan

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    Christchurch, Dorset
  1. Organ Tuning

    Whilst it is usual to lay a scale from middle C up on a 4' Principal, there are occasional exceptions to this. A friend of mine tunes organs in USA and invariably lays the bearings an octave lower, on the middle octave of an 8' Diapason. When I was an apprentice at Walker's, fifty years ago, I assisted their tuner Stan Garwood. Stan was a brilliant, conscientious and accurate tuner from whom I learned much. He originally trained at Willis's, but had later spent a lot of time tuning Wurlitzer theatre organs via their U.K. connection S.J.Wright (of Kentish Town). Although Stan used a 4' Principal (middle octave) to lay the scale in the normal way on a church organ, whenever we tuned a Wurlitzer he always laid the scale on the Viole rank at 8' pitch, from tenor A to Middle A. I never asked him why, but always assumed that this was the way Wurlitzer's wanted it done. Can any Wurlitzer specialist advise? Perhaps Ed Millington Stout (from San Francisco) can confirm or deny this? Geoffrey Morgan (Christchurch)
  2. Organ Tuning

  3. Playing From Memory

    I have no doubt that the Ingrow organ is beautifully voiced. I find it difficult to believe, however, that works such as the Reubke Sonata or Reger's "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben!" can be made effective on an instrument such us this, with only three eight foot stops! I still hope that "Mr Muso" will post a recording of his performances on Youtube - so that I can be convinced. Geoffrey Morgan
  4. Playing From Memory

    "Fiffaro" is entitled to hide behind his cloak of anonymity, if he wishes. Whilst I find this mildy irritating, I have neither the time nor the interest to discover who he (or she?) really is. I can say, however, that had he been present at the end of Nathan Laube's recent recital in Truro Cathedral, he would have realised that the standing ovation given to this amazing performer was simply the audience's way of saying thank-you for an evening of truly exceptional music-making. This spontaneous gesture had absolutely nothing in common with the mass hysteria of a sports crowd, nor standing for the national anthem! I hope one day Mr Fiffaro will have the privilege of hearing Mr Laube play live. He will then perhaps understand what I am talking about. I suspect that at least some of his self-confessed cynicism would then melt away... Geoffrey Morgan
  5. Playing From Memory

    Mr "Musing Muso" has evidently studied the Reubke Sonata in some detail. Being able to play the work from memory is indeed an achievement. Please would he post his own performance on YouTube, so that we can all see how it should be done? Geoffrey Morgan
  6. Playing From Memory

    I have no idea who "Musing Muso" is, so I cannot say how valuable is his criticism of Nathan Laube's playing. (Why do people use pseudonyms? To me this is a little bit like wearing a balaclava, so as not to be recognised.) I can only speak from personal experience of two recitals this summer. I heard Mr Laube play at Exeter and Truro cathedrals a short while ago and cannot think of enough superlatives to describe his performances. I have been attending (and giving) organ recitals for more than half a century and would unhesitatingly put Mr Laube's playing right at the top of my list for programme-planning, virtuosic technique, musicianship and organ-management. Not only does he perform entirely from memory, but somehow he also remembers his kaleidoscopic changes of registration too. Anyone hearing his own transcription of the Die Fledermaus Overture would realise immediately that Mr Laube certainly knows how to "handle a good tune"! (What on earth is "Musing Muso" talking about here?) All this is combined with a personal modesty which is not always found in those with such talent. It is difficult to imagine anyone less inclined to "draw attention to themselves". A standing ovation at an organ recital in this country is almost unknown, but on all three occasions that I have heard this young man play live (he is still only 22) the audiences have spontaneously risen to their feet after the final item. I agree with Mr Goodman in that "Musing Muso" should go to hear Mr Laube at Cornhill. Geoffrey Morgan (my real name...)
  7. I am trying to track down certain back numbers of "The Organ" and "Rotunda"; and I have some spare copies of both which I no longer need. If anyone is interested in negotiation with me about this, please email me on; gdm45@talktalk.net Thank you. Geoffrey Morgan
  8. Cameron Carpenter/nathan Laube

    CHRISTCHURCH PRIORY was one of the venues to have been visited by Cameron Carpenter this summer. We were initially disappointed at Mr Carpenter's extraordinary decision to cancel his UK tour; but his name is but a memory now that we have booked NATHAN LAUBE instead. I have visited Nathan's website and listened to many of his tracks, and can confirm that his playing is simply amazing. He is considerably younger than Cameron Carpenter, yet his playing has great maturity, excitement and colour. I have spoken to him several times now, and find that he has a most engaging personality too. His is certainly a name to watch. We, at Christchurch are very excited at the prospect of his concert on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26th at 7.30. (There will be a video screen projection.) If anyone is within reach of the area, I do hope they will support this event. Tickets may be booked via Christchurch Tourist Information Centre, or at the door on the night. Geoffrey Morgan (Priory Organist)
  9. Accompanying Psalms

    I hardly ever read these postings, but have just found one about me, so thought I had better reply, even though the topic has long gone cold, and I am two years late... The story about me and "BR" at Guildford as related by David Coram, was inaccurate, though based on fact. The "BR" referred to was Bernard Rose (not Barry) and the incident took place at Magdalen College Oxford, not Guildford Cathedral. I was organ scholar at Magdalen at the time and was once criticised by Bernard Rose for "playing the psalms too romantically". I defended myself thus "I was only trying to paint the words, Dr Rose." "Yes, but not EVERY word!" said the great man. Geoffrey Morgan
  10. Accompanying Psalms

  11. Elijah - Organ Accompaniment?

    I do have an organ accompaniment score for Mendelssohn's "Elijah", though I would be rather reluctant to lend it to anyone... It was published (I think in 1962) by Peters and the arrangement is not by Marmaduke Conway, but by ROBERT MUNNS. Robert also arranged Haydn's "Creation" in the same series. (Marmaduke Conway arranged Handel's "Messiah") I have used the arrangement for "Elijah" and found it excellent. There are not many bars to a page, and there are 211 pages, therefore one does really need a page-turner; but the print is very large and clear. There are full vocal cues. Of all the oratorios, I find this one the most satisfying to play, provided that the organ available is large and resourceful. I know it is frowned upon to do this sort of thing nowadays, but I would far rather hear a performance done with a GTB-style organ accompaniment, than with a second-rate and thinned-out orchestra, as so often happens with struggling choral societies. Geoffrey Morgan
  12. Cameron Carpenter

    I have been interested to read the various postings about Cameron Carpenter. I had not even heard his name till earlier this year and my initial reaction was to dismiss him and his playing as an American gimmick. A few weeks ago, however, I met him and heard him play in person. I had no hesitation in booking him to play at my church next year. I can confirm too, that on a personal level, I found him to be an utterly charming and unassuming man. He certainly has the most amazing technique that I have seen in fifty years; but more important than this, his musicianship is equal to any of his colleagues. His feeling for colour is second to none and he seems to have almost a mission to "bring the organ to the people". Of course his style of playing does not appeal to the purists, but I think the Organ World needs someone like him at the moment. Too often organists are content to stay in their ivory towers, playing boring programmes to tiny audiences. One thing about Mr Carpenter, he is not boring! For me, watching and hearing him play in person was a completely different experience from merely tuning in to YOUtube. Those who seem to have written him off as just another US show-off, should come along to the Albert Hall on October 21st and hear him in person, before making their final judgement. (Tickets are 25% off, if purchased before Friday...) It takes a lot to persuade me to go to London these days, but I would not miss his UK d├ębut-concert for anything. Geoffrey Morgan
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