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AJJ

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Everything posted by AJJ

  1. The Southampton Compton was used for the continuo in a Messiah when I was there in the late ‘70s. It worked very well! A
  2. The late Colin Norvall from Frome in Somerset did a considerable amount of work on Halmshaw some years ago. I am not sure how comprehensive this is but his widow Valerie might be able to assist you. PM me if I can help by putting you in touch. A
  3. I seem to recall someone at Nicholsons writing that they had only moved the organ and installed it in the new site rather than anything like a rebuild in the larger sense. A
  4. AJJ

    Proms 2019

    SL hits many nails nicely on the head regarding music in schools in his comments above. Somehow I have arrived at my 40th year of teaching Music in schools and I would agree whole heartedly with much he comments on the subject. The organ as far as the sort of students I teach are concerned is a musical instrument just like any other the only thing being that they can not put it in a case to carry home, practice on anywhere easily accessible or get involved with ‘social’ musical activity that does not involve church work. Furthermore it is hard to escape the fact that some in the so called organ world do themselves no good by cultivating a mystique around the instrument and its music which is largely and mercifully missing elsewhere. All the instrumental and tutors where I work have a healthy uptake of students the majority of whom participate in group activities in and out of school as well as ‘doing their own thing’. Moreover the tutors are adaptive to what makes the students ‘tick’ musically and are appreciated for this. If I were their age again I would not in the slightest be attracted for instance to a recent local organ concert performed by a reasonably well known player that consisted of a Vierne Symphonie, some Brahms Chorale Preludes and some lesser titbits etc. However, following a composing workshop with some of the GCSE students many then attended a concert of contemporary pieces by the workshop leader. Incidentally a similar lot sat through a whole opera having spent a day with the singers and producers finding out what they would be hearing etc. They need to be encouraged and to enthused not just somehow blamed for doing what they love and not what others think might be good for them. If a prospective organ student turns up at a local church and hears general musical dullness from someone who has ‘over protective console syndrome’ then they will be likely put off for ever. This happened not long ago to someone I know of at a church with a local reputation for good music making! After all they can also go to a Prom. and hear for example Jess Gillam doing wonders with her Saxophone and hear something that could conceivably set them off to try to do similar. it is in all our hands whether there are up and coming young players for the future, Latry by all accounts filled the RAH healthily and this is great but it would be interesting to see a breakdown of age etc. for those attending. Likewise it was interesting to see the number on various social media outlets who were upset by this concert being on a Sunday morning re their church commitments. It would also be interesting to see how many in the audience were also church goers. A
  5. And shh...not only are the Wyvern ‘Hauptwerk’ set ups good, sitting in our front room is a new 2 manual... A
  6. Totally in agreement! The organ is still the same one I first encountered 40 plus years ago but mechanically and tonally polished so to speak. It proves a point now that a decent action with decent voicing can make music sound good. OK it can not cope with too much high Romanticism but much of the classical and early repertoire works well and anything later requiring clear lines, warm foundations and characterful voices likewise. A
  7. Last week I spent a happy hour playing the Collins at Orford and was mightily impressed. The sound is much more refined than it was when it was in Southampton and indeed the revoicing for the new acoustic has been most successful with former rough edges now lovingly smoothed so to speak. The new action is also all that one could wish for and the new balanced expression pedal and shutters enclosing the Brustwerk an added bonus. A
  8. http://leicestercathedral.org/new-assistant-director-of-music-at-leicester-cathedral/ Exciting new appointment at Leicester Cathedral. A
  9. From personal experience one has to take care with ‘all things to all people’ stoplists that what one actually needs to play actual repertoire does actually work. As an example I recently played a comprehensive two manual where everything ‘looked’ splendid but in fact nothing on the Great was quiet enough to accompany the Swell Oboe or 8’, 4’, 2 2/3 & 1 3/5 combination. The Swell Mixture was also too high to be used properly in choral accompaniment and also sounded decidedly weird coupled down to the Pedals in combination. Likewise deviously fiendishly put together stoplists can often often defeat their own purpose namely to play music or accompany liturgy...speaking as a frequent inventor of such in my misspent youth! A
  10. Great - Make 4’ Flute ‘harmonic’, add 12th 2 2/3. Swell - Change 2’ to Flageolet, add 15.19.22 Mixture, add Cornopean 8, add Vox Humana 8’ add Clarion 4. Choir - Add Dulciana 8’, add Larigot 1 1/3 and maybe even enclose. Pedal - Add Violone 16’, add Flute 8’, take 4’ from Mixture and make independent 15th, add Contra Bassoon 32’. Couplers - Add Bombarde to Swell i don’t usually do these things...... A
  11. Benjamin Sheen from St Thomas NY to be assistant at Christ Church Cathedral Oxford. A
  12. I also learned at St. Mary’s Southampton for a year before the Collins at the university went in. A
  13. Belfast https://www.belfastcathedral.org/news/matthew-owens-to-be-the-next-director-of-music-at-belfast-cathedral A
  14. One can also access OR online via the ‘Pocketmags’ app.Handy for long waits in airports or such like. A
  15. Just what you need for Blaenwern on a Sunday morning! A
  16. Maybe a long shot...I would like to get hold of a (however battered) second hand copy of Making Music at the Organ by PH. If anyone is downsizing so to speak (as we really should be) please PM. Thanks A
  17. Maybe a look through here might help as a start if you have not already done so. Put Keates into the ‘builder’ search. https://www.npor.org.uk/ Paul Hale the former organist at Southwell Minster and source of much organ knowledge might also be able to help, google and you will find his website. A
  18. There is of course Rachel Laurin in Canada. She has produced some marvellous music at all levels of difficulty. https://www.rachellaurin.com/home A
  19. I recently commissioned a piece from the young composer Amy Summers. She has been ‘in residence’ at Nottingham RC Cathedral and is currently studying on a masters course in composition at Trinity College in London. She has produced some lovely liturgical music that deserves investigating and has a fb page with information etc. I have written about her in a recent Organists’ Review article also. https://www.nottinghamcathedralmusic.com/blog/amy-summers-composer-in-residence-profile A
  20. At times I feel that we organists don’t do ourselves any favours and on occasions the stereotypical view ‘out on the streets’ so to speak is not always favourable. The fact that on many occasions the music comes firmly second to the ‘mystique’ with many organists or organ aficionados (do other instruments have similar I wonder?) must be enough to put many off regardless of gender! The technicality and tonal mysteries are all well and good but without the music what is the point? I recently went to a local organists meeting where the centre of attention was a nice medium sized typical ‘village’ instrument, good action and musical sounds. An encouraging number attended with a good number of young players (male and female) who all turned up with appropriate pieces and played really well. There was a significant number (all male) however who came without music and ‘improvised’ in a decidedly unmusical manner. Yet this seemed totally acceptable to them! Most were local church players and when not on the bench could be found in huddles mulling over the beauty of the Swell strings, the fact that there was no electronic combination action or what would make the instrument even better for playing French music on. Enough to put anyone off forever! Working as I do with musicians of all levels and ages (and many outside the organist fraternity) I really feel that gender aside we need to remember that this mystique should not replace musicianship. The instrument is only as good as the player as with a piano, flute or even rock guitar. This applies to church music generally too I feel...but that’s for another forum! A
  21. Brilliant to hear! I remember it going into it’s first home with similar anticipation for it’s opening celebrations. We were very fortunate to have it and it still seems odd for the university to have got rid of it. A
  22. Unrelated Googling dug up this: https://www.pipeorganlist.com/Organ_Webpages/St._Peter,_Gustavus_Adolphus_College_Chapel,_Hendrickson,_sp.html Right near the end, Compton ref. I had not realised that they exported...or maybe I had missed something earlier on here. A
  23. Graham Lord is his son. A
  24. Didn’t Burge found the Wyvern company? Maybe Graham Lord who is now in charge maybe able to throw some light..? A
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