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Everything posted by bwv572

  1. Members may be interested to see this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-56294640
  2. I think the pipe organ is working. I had been told the blower had been badly damaged by some mistaken wiring by an electrician but I haven't found any information that backs this up. The Viscount was placed up in the quire and sounded pretty nice for an emergency installation - no doubt smoothed off by the acoustic. There were recitals on the 'cathedral organ' advertised in the cathedral later last year and I did notice that the Viscount has now disappeared from the quire. As for the Rodgers, I noticed that there is a MIDI connection between it and the Tickell but, perhaps, not a sophisticated one. I visited a while ago whilst someone was rehearsing for a recital. The Rodgers was switched on with one of its 32' stops drawn and I could hear notes of that pitch. So I guess the organist simply draws MIDI On and has access to any stops that are drawn on the digital but with no capability of changing any registration.
  3. I've been using forScore for a little while now. So far, I have about 200 scores on it, including PDF exports from Sibelius, some public domain downloads and a limited number of scanned scores. My overall view is a qualified success. It's really handy having so many scores to hand in a convenient package and there are a number of functions that I find useful. There seems to be a number of utilities that are common among the different applications but I note that forScore is only available as an IOS application: anyone who uses Android or Windows will need to look elsewhere. A few pros and cons: Pros It's convenient to have everything in one place. Useful bookmarks feature to cope with repeats. Being able to categories by genre and by 'tags' (such as repertoire, service settings, carols, and the like) is very handy. I have both funeral and wedding tags, for instance, so I can call up all my suitable music without having to delve into the library. The create set lists feature is really useful: you can marshall all the scores you need together and simply tap to get to the next item. Handy for occasions such as carol services (to take a seasonal example). the iPad's retina display means that scores are clear to read (but see below). Cons The iPad is still a small screen. It displays one page easily enough but you can rotate to display two on one screen. Those pages are, however, pretty small and can only be useful as an aide memoir as Rogbi200 mentioned. If you stay with one page per screen, you have to 'turn' the page twice as often. The new Pro might make this a more viable solution with its much larger screen estate. The screen reflects. If the organ light is in the wrong position (given that it is there to illuminate the score) you can lose the display completely. The page tap to turn is OK but if you tap in just the wrong place it can grey the display to show the menu options. In the middle of playing that's not helpful. Some of the downloadable PD scores are poor scans, or scans of poor prints. The iPad display shows warts and all and can be difficult to read in those circumstances. Some music (the Novello Bach editions, for instance) are quite the wrong shape for the screen. You can download more traditional formats, of course but, I still use the original books; it's just easier. I fancy the idea of a digital hymn book but, for it to work, I'd need the facility to display an alternative tune to words. We do that quite a lot in our church and it rather defeats the object if you have to have both the book and iPad open to play an alternative tune. A digital psalter would be handy too but the same issue applies. Overall, I think it's early days but it brings convenience and, once you are used to it, makes life quite a bit easier in some circumstances. It'll never really replace physical scores in some respects and there's still pleasure to be had just opening a musty old book of chorale preludes that technology will never replace. I still keep my physical scores to hand because of belt-and-braces nervousness but less so than I once did. I confess I'd avoid Windows tablets in case some Vierne is killed by the blue screen of death, but that iPad pro with its pencil is calling to me. And, if there's a convenient wi-fi or you have a 4G version there are always the live cricket scores during the sermon (you didn't hear that from me).
  4. In my previous appointment, our weekly Evensong was very poorly attended (sometimes in single figures) and had no choir (except when we did a choral version). With a 22-mile round trip and frequent early trains to London on a Monday, I eventually agreed with the Rector that I would withdraw from these services except for choral Evensongs. As I recall, these weekly services soon became fortnightly, then monthly. At my current appointment we have an evening Communion (BCP) on 2nd Sunday of the month (a blessed relief from the morning 'Family Service') and Evensong on the 4th Sunday. Usually, it's Parish Psalter and hymns except for the occasional choral one. These are fairly sparsely attended but have a warm and intimate atmosphere. We have even shoe-horned some choral Communion settings into the BCP... It's nice to have a couple of Sunday evenings off but I'd be very sad if these services were discontinued (and there have been a few murmurings).
  5. My remark was a touch facetious, I'll admit. But my point was that it is a thrilling stop and deserves to remain on its own terms and for the historical reasons set out previously. I'll temper my position by saying that it's only thrilling if used sparingly (John Winter and Henry Doughty knew that well (HD called it a 'real snorter')). I once went to a lunchtime recital there and the player, an international star, shall we say, used full organ for a prolonged period during 'Ad Nos' (indigestion, anyone?). I decided to go back to the office early. I entirely agree that a softer pedal reed would be useful (and a soft 32', perhaps, like Salisbury or the St Paul's Posaune?) - I'm not against additions, provided the main part of the organ remains unaltered. I stand to be corrected, but I recall that there is provision for the Tuba to be returned to its original position if so desired. Getting back to topic, I always thought the Exeter organ (prior to the rebuild), lovely as it is, was the opposite of Truro with a Trombone that lacked a bit of impact.
  6. +1. I think it might have been voiced to thrill open-mouthed boy choristers at Choral festivals. So, it's worth keeping it as is just for that. Incidentally, I learned that Henry Doughty, for almost 20 years assistant at Truro, died in November (only 6 months after John Winter's death.
  7. +1 for Trevor Tipple. Fine builder and a very nice man.
  8. Apologies if this has appeared elsewhere, though I couldn't find anything. I found out, quite by chance, that John Winter, who was DOM, and previously assistant, at Truro Cathedral for many years died 21 February. I knew John a little and often heard him play in my youth. After he retired from the Cathedral, he took over from me at St. Andrew's Redruth (and played for my wedding, whilst there) for a short time before moving closer to home at King Charles the Martyr at Falmouth. He knew the Willis organ intimately, of course, and I always felt his style suited it as well as any other player I've heard. He had a great facility for improvisation: perhaps not the complex musical forms of some of our present-day virtuosi, but posessed of harmonic and melodic invention, always appropriate and never tiresomely loud at the slightest provocation.
  9. Chaps, Thanks for your responses. You're right that having the console with the choir and the pipes down the back is the worst of all worlds. Even though our church is not particularly large, it's still long enough (and endowed with a prominent chancel arch) that the congregation gets the sound before (and at greater attack) than either me or the choir. Worse, the proximity of the choir means I hear nothing in balance. I had concluded that any solution like this would have to be fully independent from the main PA system, particularly as I don't want the sound of the organ compromised in the nave. We'll get a sound specialist in and see what happens. Could be interesting.
  10. Has anyone applied amplification to an organ? In our church the organ is at the west end and fills the main part of the church quite effectively. However, by the time its sound reaches the choir, it is quite indistinct and lags slightly. Supporting the choir effectively can mean the organ has to be unnecessarily loud with the congregation in between. So I hit on the idea of putting a microphone near the pipes and bringing the sound up to the choir with some well-placed speakers. Of course, we'll need some expert help to do it properly (or not at all!) because we don't want to make the whole thing too loud or destroy the balance and sound of the instrument. I wondered if anyone has experience of this sort of thing?
  11. Chatting to one of the sales guys in Birmingham's Apple shop yesterday, he mentioned that the iPad 2 with its front-facing camera can be configured to turn pages in response to gestures. I can think of a few appropriate ones...
  12. bwv572

    David Briggs

    I missed most of the review but I downloaded it from Hyperion. Pretty impressive, I must say, with powerful singing. The organ winding sounds a little stressed at times!
  13. He told me it was a 'Bach arr. Stravinsky' performance!
  14. It was nice to hear Sean Rafferty talking about Dr Wicks to Harry Christophers on Radio 3 this evening. Christophers echoed much of what's been said on here.
  15. I'm very saddened to read that. Dr Wicks was one of my heroes of the organ loft.
  16. I think I read on another thread that the cathedral is taking a break from the fund-raising and allowing a bit of a delay in work on the Nave organ. The Rodgers is still there.
  17. Didn't Herrick Bunney play Rachmaninov 3 under Sir Malcom Sargent? I'm sure I remember reading that somewhere...
  18. I confess that I'm less a fan of the tuba than I once was. Perhaps we should measure them by vulgarity rather than loudness? As for my favourite sounds: the Lieblich Gedackt and Flutes on the Truro choir organ are simply the loveliest I've ever heard.
  19. At my last chuch in Upton upon Severn, I wasn't paid if the wedding party provided their own organist. I can't say I was that bothered - it seemed a bit churlish to complain about not be compensated for something I dislike doing when I didn't have to do it. One or two other churches where I've played took a different stance and levied the fee anyway. A couple of recent weddings have had some rock anthem or other played through the PA system on the entrance of the bride. At the most recent occasion, the old lady operating the PA sliced off the music as soon as the bride reached the altar. No fade: nothing. I had to laugh.
  20. I suppose that it's the bad experiences that stick in the mind and resonate with a few of us. On the other hand, my experiences in Upton upon Severn were with a keen and friendly choir who welcomed me unreservedly and supported each other. I was sorry to leave them.
  21. I'm very sorry to hear of your friend's difficulties. It's soul-destroying to have to grapple with such behaviour in a place where one would expect a supportive, welcoming and friendly group of people. Sadly, I've known other church choirs who need to be reminded that they are not there for their own sake. It's often the case that what appears to be a significantly-sized 'difficult' group is often comprised of a few trouble-makers, surrounded by others who are afraid to stand up to them. For what it's worth, my advice is that your friend needs to get the incumbent to unclench his nether regions from the fence and to demonstrate his full support. That support should extend to underwriting his approach that members who insist on not appearing at rehearsals may be asked to leave. Similarly, those who cause the unrest and undermine his work and decisions should be asked to leave. He should decide on his time limits and announce this plan in the presence of the incumbent in a meeting either after rehearsal or after a Sunday service. It won't go down well. But, as difficult as it may feel, he should stick to his decisions and keep the incumbent updated on everything that happens. Above all, he should be neither cowed or provoked into anger by the antics of the trouble-makers. In the end, he may end up with a small choir, but they could be a more co-operative group. You never know: with the exodus of some, others - who may have seemed negative - may fall into line. Quite frankly, I'd rather have a faithfull few who at least know why they sing in a church. If the incumbent gives any indication that they will not give their full support then he should walk away and not look back. Other places where the Spirit of the risen Christ is more in evidence will welcome him with open arms. Good luck to him.
  22. Well, since 'retiring' from my DOM appointment at the end of 2008, I live in fond hope that I'll never have to play for another wedding.
  23. As do I. With some dismay, I also believe that I could well experience more satisfaction with a well-installed digital instrument than the poor and delapidated pipe organ over which I preside. My sympathies rapidly die, however, where choices are made based on the seduction of arrays of stops and gadgets, the passing fashions of modern worship or (worst of all!) interior design.
  24. Thanks for the kind offer. I might well take you up on it.
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