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Mander Organs

AJJ

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Everything posted by AJJ

  1. I played this organ a couple of months ago on a visit with the Bristol & District Organists Asssociation and found it a somewhat strange experience. The 32' was evident but I felt that the sound of the whole instrument had an oddly disembodied feel to it - all on quite a soggy action. The case also looked odd with no caps to the towers - according to the person who spoke to us then these are still around and in storage. A
  2. AJJ

    Mass of St Thomas

    We have used it for about 19 years and I quite like it. All the choir descant bits get put in etc. and I tend to ad lib somewhat with what is actually printed in the organ part as the mood takes. A
  3. As Nicholsons did for Paul Hale at Southwell - he goes into the reasons for this somewhere or other in print - and at Llandaff which in many ways looks like the older relation of Auckland. A
  4. The Swell 'tierce' mixture is also interesting - possibly with the liturgical uses in mind rather than as a sort of enclosed 'Oberwerk' effect? One of the instruments I play has this and despite the fact that these stops have possibly been out of favour for a while I quite like using it when a really gritty full Swell effect is needed or even as a RH solo with 8' and 4' etc. A
  5. Although rarely in contact with an instrument of the size and scope to include these couplers I would see this as decidedly sensible.
  6. Can anyone suggest please - Great Reeds on Pedal, Great Reeds on Solo etc. couplers - is there an advantage in having these over just duplicating a set of stopknobs for Pedal, Solo etc.? There is even a recent big H&H with Great Reeds on Pedal as well as the 16 Great reed drawing independently on the pedal. Strictly speaking I shouldn't have time to be thinking about such things but.....! A
  7. Similar things today. The new H&H at Edington Priory, a substantial two manual, has a 16' Sub Bass, 8' Principal, 8' Flute and 16' Trombone. Similarly from recent similar sized Tickell organs, not a Choral Bass, 2' Flute or fractional length reed in sight. A
  8. And for improvisation especially, some solo inclined pedal flues are of great use. Mind you I'm quite glad that the ubiquitous pedal 4' Schalmei (Rohr or otherwise) seems to have become less popular - it always seemed to be an unpleasantly acidic and somewhat useless noise - especially grafted onto older pipework! A
  9. I have a set of BIOS Journals from 1 to 33 plus 35 ('not sure where 34 is) that I can offer free to anyone who might like them as long as they can collect. Please PM if interested. A
  10. Some of us queuing for an evening concert at S. Eustache in Paris some years ago found ourselves in line for the soup run instead - it turned out that those wanting to hear the organ were entering by the next door round - complete with uniformed security officer. A
  11. It maybe depends on the mind set of the performer to enthuse prospective listeners through the music and through a regard that the organ and whatever is played is not some niche medium but something on a par with any other musical experience. There can be a tendency to play somewhat dull and obscure repertoire and then berate prospective audiences for not attending blaming them for a lack of appreciation of 'high art' music etc. I was asked to play a number of organ items in a choral concert at one of my churches recently. The choir was one that Mr Malone would have been proud to have had a part in its genesis and the church was packed. I had to think long and hard as to what might work in this context and in the end they got some Bach/Vivaldi, some early French and a couple of more recent pieces by Craig Armstrong and Yann Tiersen with origins outside the organ repertoire but nevertheless effective sounding - I though at least. The audience seemed to like the music and many came chatted at the end and the choir are interested in future collaborations - all a pleasant surprise for me. I have to admit however that I decided not to go to a recent lunchtime organ concert near here that consisted of music by Tunder, Howells, Vierne and some 'lollipops' - the publicity wording not mine. I felt some guilt at this decision - even more so when it turned out that only ten people had attended! A
  12. Some things about schools: When I was f/t in charge of the musical input to 30+ years of 11 to 18 year olds I had a rule in my department that there was no such thing as 'pop' or 'classical' music, just good and bad music. This was an easy way in for all of us. The curriculum was 'music' based, not 'pop', world music or wholly classically based although at it's roots were the fundamentals of the so called classical tradition. Students were therefore exposed to the 'classics' but not all the time - after all the Western Classical tradition (however important it is) is not the only one. In my opinion it is almost as irrelevant to have a totally 'classical' diet of music as it is to have a totally 'pop' etc. in a school situation. Furthermore much of the effectiveness of school music is down to the enthusiasm and drive of the teacher/practitioner in spite of the attitude and actions or cost cutting of managers. It takes much energy believe me! I have former students playing in major orchestras, working in music theater, busking in streets, playing in rock bands and even teaching music. I am proud of them all in that they achieved their individual potentials. On the walls of all my teaching spaces was the following - 'can't remember who wrote it: 'You are perfectly entitled to dislike any piece of music you wish as long as you do not speak for all of us - we speak for ourselves.' Some things about organists: Organists should be first and foremost musicians who happen to play the organ - the music comes first not histrionics etc.- Nathan Laube as opposed to Cameron Carpenter for example. The best of us play good music as well as we can and audiences appreciate this regardless of the mechanical and tonal curiosities of the instruments. We need to educate our audiences just as the students in school are educated and above all shed some of the eccentric 'backwater' image some of us appear to have. We also need to be a bit more broad minded and less entrenched in our views. We church musicians also need to remember that there is more out there than just (some of) our narrow bands of experience and that indeed many youngsters have a broader and perhaps more balanced musical diet and appreciation than we do. Gareth Malone may do fantastic things but many others have done and are doing just as well week in week out without the publicity and the TV exposure. Phew! A
  13. AJJ

    Appointments

    Aric Prentice the DOM combines Cathedral and Cathedral School positions too which is interesting. A
  14. Oops - post part deleted - 'didn't read the whole of pcnd's post - I thought it might be the Salisbury recording though - I have found the Salisbury organ live and on CD to sound quite differently on occasions. A
  15. I would be most interested to know what others thought of the music etc. in this broadcast service from the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. A
  16. PM sent to Steve - the LED strips are rather like those available in IKEA etc. In my case the console is compact so the strip mounted at head height in the console opening illuminates keys, music and stops very effectively. The second strip mounted under the keys provides just enough light for the pedals and composition levers etc. The wiring etc. is not readily visible so all is good and smart! A
  17. The instrument I play was restored last year and as part of this has had a really decent solution for lighting installed. Ghastly domestic attachments were removed and a strip of LED lights installed above the music desk, discretely hidden behind a strip of wood. Granted, the organ is a 1 manual with stops in a row a row the keyboard but the whole effect is very effective and much better than the previous large strip light and trailing wires. A similar strip is attached under the keyboard so I now have illuminated pedal regions too - for the first time in 16 plus years. Both are activated from a nice brass effect switch - a twin with the one that turns on the blower. A
  18. AJJ

    RFH Organ

    The branch of Foyles underneath the RFH had a pile of the BIOS Journals for sale when I was up there for the Latry recital. I got my copy then. A
  19. AJJ

    Appointments

    'Could be interesting though...! http://www.organizedcrimeduo.com/ ...it should be added that both are very fine musicians. A
  20. AJJ

    RFH Organ

    ......but isn't that actually what it does? Somewhere I have a photo. A
  21. AJJ

    RFH Organ

    This seemed to be what he was saying - though he (and Mme L.) were able to play the piece (actually Ravel's 4 hand piano version - note for note - no changes) in the USA where apparently the publisher is not able to challenge. It is also on youtube I understand. A
  22. AJJ

    RFH Organ

    The last time I heard the organ in situ - quite a few years back now - I was decidedly unimpressed. It was almost like a caricature - very up front in a decidedly nasty acoustic with a noisy action and some decidedly unpleasant sounds.* Last night could not have been different - the acoustic is warm and broad, the previously unfettered Frenchness of the main reed choruses still exciting but now very civilized and the fonds actually that. The strings I have mentioned above but the quieter flutes (including the banks of Quintadenas) sound very good, the 16 and 32 flue basses 'work' right down to their bass octaves, and the smaller reeds (the Hautboy on the Swell was lovely in the Widor) characterful but again civilized. All in all there are now shades of the recently rebuilt St. Albans organ (also tidied up, rounded out and given more 'beef') and Coventry - though with less acoustic. The action is now pretty much silent, fast and efficient. Latry was brilliantly in control and the effectiveness of the whole event was of course due to him but the organ is certainly sounding much happier, much more musical and in my opinion acquitted itself amazingly well. A * I do however have a recording of a fantastically played performance of the Stanford Fantasia & Toccata op. 57 made before the changes and this is amazing - every note as clear as a bell and registration seemingly held back so as not to sound completely daft. Not the repertoire one would immediately expect but a real surprise. I seem to think it is on a set of discs entitled Grand Chorus.
  23. AJJ

    RFH Organ

    I quite liked them - especially when the Swell and Choir sets were used together at the end of the penultimate movement of the Widor. Considering where we were the overall impression was just about verging on the lush! A
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