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Barry Oakley

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About Barry Oakley

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    The work of John Compton and the art of scaling and voicing.

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  1. Jonathan has been a long time growing on me, but this recital has finally brought home to me what a fine organist he is. Like most highly talented people there comes across strong evidence of humility.
  2. What a most highly talented lady.
  3. In terms of an organ stop I cannot find any reference to a Saxhorn, even in the Encyclopaedia of Organ Stops. But apparently its modern-day equivalent is the Tenor Horn, a core instrument found in brass bands. I'm not surprised that it sits well on a Solo division.
  4. The T C Lewis organ at St Marie's RC Cathedral, Sheffield was in a dreadful state in the 1990's, essentially the mechanical action. It was then maintained by a firm of local bodgers, the unreliable aluminium connections to rollers affixed by Araldite. It has since been rebuilt in conjunction with Andrew Carter and Nicholson's. Not an organ I find particularly inspiring.
  5. The Mander organ eventually disappeared several years ago, I believe acquired by Henry Willis's after several rumoured and failed attempts to sell it to another venue. High on the list was a church in Newquay, Cornwall, but nothing ever came of it.
  6. Directors of Music at Sheffield Cathedral don't seem to stay for long periods, arguably the last being Graham Mathews. Is it because the long-promised pipe organ has never materialised?
  7. Thanks, Tony, I had already seen what You Tube had to offer but wondered if there were any MP3 recordings that would have given better quality. I may, though, have to go down the route you suggest. Barry.
  8. I wonder if anyone on the Mander Forum might have an MP3 sound file of a Casson organ, preferably one of his Positive organs? I’m putting together a PowerPoint presentation for a small audience later in the year and only require around a minute of music. Please PM me via this site if you are able to provide such a file or suggest where I might be able to obtain one. Thanks.
  9. The broadcast media has not been particularly helpful in giving the organ the profile that it deserves. A few weeks before Christmas, listening to BBC Essential Classics, the presenter sought views from listeners about there being more organ music on the programme. I responded immediately and with enthusiasm and my e-mail was read out within the hour. So far I have not noticed any increase in the programme’s organ music output. I also believe the steady secularisation of society has led to enormous lack of exposure to the organ and its music. And somehow, the organ is seen by many as being associated with God and church worship and that it is seen as a bit of a turn-off. Gone too is the sight of colourful theatre organs in cinemas, perhaps with the exception of Leicester Square’s Odeon. Attendance at cathedrals appears to be holding steady or maybe increasing. I was at Gloucester for choral evensong back in October; it was very well attended and the music from choir and organ was first-rate. I think these occasions do tend to attract quire-filled congregations where there is a strong appreciation of good music, perhaps ex choristers as in my case. I’m not sure what the uptake of the organ is in schools. At one time many grammar school pupils were familiar with the organ at daily assemblies. Perhaps the nation’s public schools, most having chapels, are now the only schools where there is still a trickle or flow of potential organ scholars. The local Catholic church in my village is fortunate in having a former Winchester pupil play its single-manual organ when he’s down from Cambridge. He’s talented, having been organ scholar at Gloucester and then Toulouse. But the CofE left me many decades ago, first with the appearance of Series 1 and Series 2, followed by ASB (All Spare Bits) and now Common Worship. What was wrong with the beautiful language of Cranmer? Similarly, the Roman Catholic Church, apart from some cathedrals, abbeys and oratories, have also ditched most of their historical liturgical music, replacing it with dreadful stuff from OCP. I think I’d better stop before losing any accumulation of plenary indulgences.
  10. I much echo what you say in your first paragraph. I was taught the rudiments of piano playing (a skill I've since lost), by the mother of one of my friends and on a Bechstein baby grand. I was then confronted with having to practise on an old upright with a wooden frame that barely stayed in tune for a day. Having something of a critical ear for pitch I could not stand the situation and so reluctantly lost interest. Your second para I also agree with. King's will not lose any of its well established reputation under Daniel Hyde.
  11. Like you, John, I’m not an organist but an avid listener who also leaned towards construction. So far this Christmas I’ve not played a single carol CD, simply relying on the radio broadcast from King’s. What CD listening I’ve done has been much needed dust-offs of Tournemire, Duruffle, Dupre, Langlais, Whitlock and, of course, Bach, etc. Happy New Year everyone.
  12. My contact at Fratelli Rufatti has kindly sent me the stoplist for the new three-manual organ at Pershore Abbey. Interesting. The design of the organ has been very challenging due to the severe space constrictions, determined by the need to reduce the visual impact of the instrument inside the building, in particular by reducing the protrusion of the organ cases to a minimum. In spite of a very creative use of the available spaces, it has been impossible to include some stops which would have been desirable under different circumstances, such as an open 16’ Pedal flue stop, and an additional stop at the Great (a reed stop in particular). The stoplist for the new organ of the abbey church is designed to provide the conditions for the highest possible versatility, so that the instrument may be suitable for a variety of tasks. Its primary purpose will be that of leading choir and congregational singing and in general for the support of the liturgy. In addition, the tonal design reflects the intention of creating the conditions for the proper performance of the classical organ repertoire of different styles. For this reason, in particular, a classical Positiv (Manual I) has been preferred to a Choir or Solo division. The space limitations suggested a small number of unifications and thus provide added flexibility to the player. Although not of large size, the intention is to create an instrument whose stops will all be of distinctive sound character, all meaningful, of classical proportions and voicing and designed to blend in a wide range of combinations. PEDAL ORGAN Resultant Bass 32 Sub Bass 16 Bourdon 16 (Great) Octave 8 Bourdon 8 (Extension Sub Bass) Gedeckt 8 (Great) Super Octave 4 (Extension Octave) Fagotto 16 Fagotto 8 (Extension Fagotto 16) Schalmei 4 (Extension Fagotto 16) POSITIV ORGAN Holz Gedeckt 8 Gemshorn 8 Koppel Flute 4 Block Flute 2 Quint Flute 1.1/3 Cromorne 8 Herald Trumpet 8 (Console Prepared) Positiv 16 Positiv 4 Tremulant Unison Off GREAT ORGAN Bourdon 16 Principal 8 Gedeckt 8 (Extension Bourdon 16) Octave 4 Traverse Flute 4 Super Octave 2 Mixture IV Ranks 1.1/3 Herald Trumpet (Console Prepared) Tremulant Great 16 Unison Off Great 4 SWELL ORGAN – Enclosed Stopped Diapason 8 Viola Gamba 8 Viola Celeste 8 Principal 4 Venetian Flute 4 Nazard 2.2/3 Piccolo 2 Tierce 1.3/5 Plein Jeu III Ranks Trompette Harmonique 8 Herald Trumpet 8 (Console Prepared) Tremulant Swell 16 Unison Off Swell 4
  13. Matthew Martin is becoming something of a Bedouin.
  14. Leeds Minster is now the name of the former Leeds Parish Church. Likewise, the former Holy Trinity Parish Church in Hull was made a minster when Hull was “City of Culture.” It was a name change brought about by Archbishop John Sentamu of York. I always thought the title of minster could only be conferred if monastic links were part of a church’s history. In Hull’s case there is some historic evidence of white friars and black friars (Whitefriargate and Blackfriargate), being once present in the city although I have never seen any links shown in Hull Minster’s past history.
  15. Sheffield City Hall has an ornate, magenta-painted cast iron screen as a facade hiding its organ pipes.
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