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Everything posted by AJJ

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Graham Lord is his son. A
  7. Didn’t Burge found the Wyvern company? Maybe Graham Lord who is now in charge maybe able to throw some light..? A
  8. As an aside on the subject of ‘secular’ tracker organs does anyone know if this instrument is used much these days? http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00527 A
  9. IMHO it sounds much more ‘rounded’ since the recent work. The ‘fonds’ are much warmer and although very much in the style in which they were built the reeds are bettr regulated and again have more warmth. The new Positif reed is nice as are the new 16’ reed and Open Diapason on the Swell. It is still the same instrument but (maybe in a similar way to the last work at St Albans Abbey for instance) it sounds more comfortable and less edgy. I am starting to sound like one of those write-ups from ‘The Organ’ journal in the 50s and 60s but the above seems to convey things nicely. The mechanical action is also much better to play on. Well used for recitals etc. and worth a visit. A
  10. This can be obtained as a CD or iTunes download. I also heard his ‘Poème sur un Choral Imaginaire’ at ND some years ago - an extended piece using both the west end and east end organs. This is available on Youtube too and deserves to be better known - an amazing sonic experience! A
  11. I was thinking about all this with the recent death of Peter Hurford in mind. My ‘local’ diocesan cathedral back in the 60s and 70s was St Albans and I grew up with trips there as part of a visiting choir, being taken to performances by the St Albans Bach Choir, visiting the IOF and eventually playing for parts of a visiting choir service. To this enthusiastic youth it seemed that we had a cathedral organ like no other and whether in its liturgical role or as a recital instrument it never ceased to amaze. Even today after its recentish rehash and dare I say completion it still excites in the same way as Coventry and Windsor do. A
  12. It was many years ago that I was there and I seem to remember that someone (possibly Walkers) changed the Swell Schalmei unit for an Oboe at some point since. It sounded quite pleasant with that ‘up front’ voicing one often finds with smaller Comptons. The organist who organised its installation (maddeningly I still can not recall his name) wanted something on which he could play more ‘classical’ schools of organ music with their associated colours and choruses as things seemed to be heading that way in other places. Boltons was likely a wealthy and fashionable church then and having Comptons do it was possibly a brave experiment. I remember Ralph Downes commenting that some of Roger Yates’ work had a ‘whiff of Willis III about it’ and I suppose that similarly with the Boltons organ some of the (perceived) classical elements were there but with quite a lot of Compton too. A
  13. Possibly the work at Bingley was done by Walker. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01703 This Compton was always quite fun to play and hear. I once chatted at some length with the organist who designed it (I have forgotten his name) when he interviewed me for a degree place (which I never took up) in his later capacity as DOM at St John’s College York. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17245 John Rowntree did a doctorate on some aspects of this, John Norman and Paul Hale also have much to share. A
  14. As an undergraduate I used to practice here before the Peter Collns organ arrived in the Turner Sims hall at Southampton University. A somewhat strange instrument with the console at the east end and the pipework far away in the west. I always wondered who was responsible for acquiring it from a small and somewhat obscure Hull firm for a downtown church. It always seemed to be freezing cold there! * http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N11626 Somewhat later with mechanical action this time. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08854 Roger Yates was an interesting character who was in many ways ahead of his time. A few years back I did a considerable ammount of research into Yates resulting in an extended article for Organists’ Review. If anyone would like a copy please PM me here. A * It is interesting, however to look at what Hall & Broadfield did here. Their work here and above seems nothing like the ‘jobbing’ work they were mostly doing elsewhere. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N04015
  15. Thanks for this Wolsey, I remember these programmes well. A
  16. I had a flashback reading this to having lessons on the organ and ‘depping’ in the choir at Lincoln Cathedral during the mid ‘80s. The Great to Solo coupler to some extent turned the 8’ and 4’ Tubas into ‘uber’ Great reeds on the top manual to at least try to energise the huge space in the nave there. I am not sure how much it achieved this but the sound just west of the screen was stunning along with the full Swell and 32’ reed up in the triforium. I once tried adding the Tubas a Salisbury in the same way but due to the relatively enclosed space there the effect was decidedly more destructive to those below! A
  17. Continuing thanks for all this! The more one reads the more one sees the thought and consideration that thas obviously gone into the present work. For instance, a small detail but the ‘Enclosed Solo on Swell’ coupler. The possiblilities for liturgical work will surely be greatly enhanced and one can only but imagine the ‘uber’ full Swell effect complete with Tubas! A
  18. One small query. What will be the effect of the Choir ‘Octaves Alone’ please? Thanks A
  19. It is interesting to compare the work going on at York with that at Canterbury, both at the hands of the same firm. Rather in the manner of ‘neo’ H&H at one and ‘neo’ Willis at the other. Both look to being eventually excellent for their respective buildings and uses - I do wonder however whether the next incarnation at Worcester could be ‘neo’ Hope Jones. That would be fun and there is at least one builder I can think of who might be able to build it! A
  20. Clifton Cathedral in Bristol also has an electronic in use alongside the 1973 Rieger Orgelbau instrument. A
  21. The renowned French organist and composer Jean Guillou has died. A
  22. Depending on their ages - do not play anything too long even if it means excerpts. If they know what is ‘going on’ then the repertoire does not have to be all pieces they know. If you gain their attention then you will have achieved much. Pieces that you can enthuse about will work whether it be a selected chunk of JSB, Messiaen’s ‘Les Bergers’ the Duruflé ‘Scherzo’ etc. Also maybe find out what they have done at school. ‘Not sure how this would work but maybe also involve some participation - ‘prepared’ semi improvisations with ostinati, drones, pentatonic (or more exotic) scales etc. The younger the are the fewer preconceived ideas they have so as long as you gain their attention most things will work! Sounds exciting! A
  23. Nicholsons have included interesting developments in their swell engines at Llandaff etc. Maybe get in contact with Andrew Caskie their MD. organ builder and excellent player too! a
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