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Mander Organs

David Thornton

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Everything posted by David Thornton

  1. I've been using a website called 'scorser.com' which offers you the option of downloading scores as either a midi file, pdf or sibelius file (via scorch). I've been using the pdf version then writing by hand (as it were) into sibelius, I got the impression that a scorch file would open directly into sibelius. DT
  2. Following the recent good advice I received from board members to sort-out PDF creating problems, I thought I would ask for help again. I have been trying to download Sibelius Scorch free software recently, but have failed miserably. I either get an error message or the download begins then freezes the whole computer. I run Sibelius 3 and dowloading files using Scorch, dirctly into Sibelius, will same me several hours of transcribing. Anyone able to offer advice? DT
  3. Another firm recently to appear on the 'custom build' scene is Phoenix Organs (I am aware of number of board members who have Phoenix organs at home), I had some time on one of their large instalations last year and was very impressed indeed, but after a while it all starts to sound too perfect. A builder I know works with both Musicom and Phoenix systems, according to him the Phoenix is a less expensive system but does not offer anywhere near the same levels of adjustability of just about every parameter that Musicom does. CPs comment about Musicoms 'element of life' rings true in my experience, possibly due to their high levels of 'randomisation'. Musicom also supply whole-organ control systems for pipe organs; Worcester and St. Paul's run on these, I'll be surprised if Llandaff doesn't run on one also. DT
  4. They aren't, the Townhall is a 60's/70's building, the Arts Centre is in the old University buildings about half a mile away. We sat at one of those tables last Thursday and ate lunch. DT
  5. My wife and I have just returned from a 3 week walking tour of South Island and were in Christchurch at the beginning of the holiday and also last Thursday. We are stunned by what's happened and recognized many of the ruined places shown in the various TV video clips, a few of our group are still out there. We were told that the Catholic Basilica was damaged in the September earthquake and had been closed-off since then. I gather from Jenny's website that the Townhall Rieger has only just undergone a major injection of additional material; we had a walk around the outside of the building last week, but couldn't gain access. I wonder how it's fared? DT
  6. Sad to report the death of Andrew Seivewright, formerly of Carlisle Cathedral. Here is a brief obituary
  7. Once again, thanks for all the helpful advice. I've just installed PDF995 as Vox suggested and it works perfectly converting Sibelius to pdf, without any pop-ups (which I presume Norton is blocking). Regards, DT
  8. Many thanks to all who have offered advice. I shall try the various options, I should have added that I am also still runnng XP, if that makes any difference. DT
  9. Greetings all! I'm running Sibelius 3 which is quite old now, but does everything I want and the files are always compatible with previous or later versions; however, most people don't have Sibelius and I would like to be able to occasionally send scores converted to pdf documents. There's the option in Sibelius to save scores as 'graphics' but when I try this I get an error message saying that I don't have the correct Adobe software. I've got the free 'Adobe Reader' but need something which will create files in this format but don't really want to pay a lot for software to do something which I wouldn't get much use. I'm sure I've seen a thread on here before about this but can't find it at present. Does anyone know of a free bit of software to create pdf documents? Regards, DT
  10. David, Very sorry that I didn't make it. I reluctantly came to the rescue of a fellow organist who needed someone to play for a wedding at the last minute. I tried driving down mid-afternoon but got totally snarled up in traffic so turned back. Glad to hear it went well. DT
  11. Andrew (George's son) tells me that his father was still a very active part of the family business until a few weeks before his death. DT
  12. He is also chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust, an excellent organisation which looks after many sadly redundant churches of historic/architectural interest, most of which still contain the organ. Cynic's old church 'St. Mary Shrewsbury' is one. DT Oops! didn't notice that John Sayer beat me to it.
  13. looks very much like Leeds Cathedral console.Is it Ben playing? DT
  14. This has appeared on the Cathedral Website
  15. I see that 'Grammar Schools' have had a mention, anyone remember them? I attended a Boys' Grammar in a small northern mill-town from the mid '60s to early '70s, we had a Compton/Makin electronic in the school hall, and a Music Master who was O&C of the town's Parish Church (all-male choir etc.) I can remember 5 boys, as well as myself, who were learning the organ whilst I was at the school; some held local organist's posts outright, others were assistant organists or part of an organists' team at their church. Four, like myself, went on to further ed. in music and eventually jobs as music teachers in secondary education. I don't think any were 'high flyers'. The school organ got plenty of use, I played it most lunch times, daily assemblies with hymns and voluntaries in and out. During my 30 plus years as a Head of Music I have only had 2 organ pupils from within my school. DT
  16. Several years ago I heard Carlo give a recital at a church in Scotland which has a modest but very fine 2 manual Lewis. He was dressed in very casual clothes and played the whole recital from memory, explaining that his suitcase containing all his clothes, shoes, music etc. had been stolen from the train during his journey. Needless-to-say the recital of standard fare: Bach, Franck, Mendelssohn, Mozart and others; was immaculately performed, and as far as musicality was concerned it was one of the best recitals I have heard. DT
  17. I hear that as well as the 'Grand Old Duke of York Tuba Mirabilis' the Minster is re-casting the Great mixtures as follows: Mixture 111 - will be Richard 111 Furniture IV - will be Edward IV Sesquialtera 11 - will be Princes in the Tower 11 (unfortunately the resonators of these pipes have been disconnected!) DT
  18. Quite a few years ago there was a TV programme featuring Gillian Weir at St. Sulpice preparing a recital of Messiaen, anyone remember it? She had 2 registrants, a young man and a young woman who, we were told, were the 'resident' registrants there. Not only did they pull stops but they also operated the ventils. I've been told by French organists that it was common on Romantic C19th instruments for page-turner/registrants to also operate the expression pedal where it is a lever to the right of the pedal board. DT
  19. Anyone come across Jean-Baptiste Robin before? He is titulaire at Poitier (where he certainly won't be playing this - Pédalier à la française!), I have his set of Couperin CDs from there which I like a lot. Here is the Durufle P&F from St. Eustache; very fine indeed, very well controlled. Notice in particular the big time-delay at the mobile console!
  20. Hi Martin, I thought I would relate a charming incident I came across in France whilst on holiday in '94 at the Bastide town of Lauzerte. 2 children were being given a rather unusual organ lesson, they both had violin cases with them and I got the impression that this was part of a 'summer music school'. The boy was no more that ten years old and the girl younger, the boy was quite confident and obviously enjoying the fact that visitors were sat listening, the girl less so. They played a couple of simple manual pieces, the boy managing final pedal notes. Next they had to stand up on top of either side of the organ stool and sing hymns whilst the teacher accompanied! However, the bulk of this lesson which lasted about 45 minutes was spent improvising; solo, both childen together, and duets with the teacher. Beginning with 1 chord and pentatonic melody, progressing to 2 chords and more free-flowing melody. Again the young boy was confident, had a good grasp of what he was doing and enjoyed himself. I try to attend at least one mass with organ at a French Cathedral during our annual visits and have heard many well-structured, stylistic and convincing improvisations. No directionless quasi-modal meandering, no torrents of un-related chords, no strings of added major 7ths and 2nds, I could go on... I feel that here in the UK we have something to learn from this, that improvisation skills are an integral part of an organist's training that need to be taught and developed from the onset. This appears to be the case in France, with obvious results for the mature musicians produced. DT
  21. We had one of our regular short breaks north of the border last week and I was saddened to hear that Tom Carrick died on the 27th May. Tom was organist at both St. John's and the Crichton, Dumfries (the latter church no longer having regular Sunday services). He had been the organist of St. John's since 1956, presiding over rebuilds by H&H in 1969 and 2008. I am aware of one other forum member who knew Tom. DT
  22. Greetings Mark, Stepping into Bourges Cathedral is a truly 'jaw-dropping' experience, very much like Amiens in terms of sheer verticality. I visited here en-route back from the South of France a few years ago. I too have visited all the 'premiership' French Cathedrals and many 'lesser league' ones too, Bourges is one of the very best in my opinion. Here is the spec of the organ, I didn't hear it when I was there. Personally I have always found French organists very accommodating in terms of letting you play. Last year I approached the organist after the main Sunday Mass at Sens and was allowed half an hour on the organ. To make prior arrangements to play I suggest you make contact through Les Amis, the site give a contact email address and the name of the Titulaire. Good luck, Regards, David
  23. His son William is the present organist at Ampleforth Abbey and is on the music staff at Ampleforth College. If you drop him an email at the College I'm sure he will furnish all the information you need. DT
  24. Anyone ever experienced a 'cause or impediment'? At one wedding for which I played many years ago, the Vicar warned me before hand that there was the strong likelyhood of someone raising a 'cause or impediment' when the question was asked. The plan was that, should this happen, I should play as loudly as possible whilst the bride, groom, families and whoever raised the 'cause', retired to the vestry to sort it all out. To my great disappointment, the incident didn't happen. DT
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