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Posts posted by wolsey

  1. On 08/04/2021 at 19:30, Martin Cooke said:

    So, Wolsey, ought I to play this in the same key or will they expect to hear me move to C major (from G) for that?

    'So mote it be' should be in the same key as Laus Deo/Redhead No 46. The problem with St Oswald being so widely used for the closing ode is that it's in D, and it ends (for men's voices) on tenor D; 'So mote it be' is sung in F or G. As far as tonality is concerned, St Oswald is a poor choice of tune, and that's why Laus Deo/Redhead No 46 is a better musical fit, and arguably a better tune.  

  2. 4 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. I have heard a couple of melodies for 'so mote it be' and I think I am aiming for John Morris's version as quoted. But I am still waiting to hear what tune the local masons are familiar with for the hymn. In a youTube version of all of this, they sing the hymn /ode to St Oswald and then wrench themselves into a different key for the 'mote it be' which sounds most odd. I shan't be doing that. So, if we're going for St Oswald in D major, I shall be going for D, B, C sharp, D. and if 'Laus Deo'... G, E. F sharp, G... which shouldn't be too far from the mark! Not, of course, that anyone can sing this!

    While a few Lodges will have local variations, St Oswald is by far the most commonly used tune for the closing ode. It is true that the juxtaposition of 'So mote it be' in G major after the last verse of the closing ode in D major (St Oswald) jars the sensibilities of many masonic musicians, but it would be unwise to attempt to change something (i.e. leaving 'So mote...' in D major) to which many are accustomed. Moreover, it has become so ingrained that in the occasional situation where musically untrained masons sing the ode unaccompanied, they will jump the upward perfect 4th from the end of the ode to the 'So mote...' without any difficulty.

  3. 46 minutes ago, Dr Nigel H Day said:

    Many institutions - King’s included - have supporting ‘vocal coaches’.  These can be a valuable addition where the DoM is perhaps a stronger organist than a choir trainer.

    I don't think that the engagement of a vocal coach/tutor has any bearing on the choir-training strengths of the DoM. I can think of plenty of foundations with fine choirs under excellent directors where a vocal specialist is also part of the music team.

  4. 28 minutes ago, S_L said:

    I hope this isn't too oblique but, with a possible change 'at the top' in the offing, (a certain person has just passed his 75th birthday) [...]

    It is a matter of public record that “He wants me to stay in post, so I will stay because that’s where my orders come from, that’s where my mandate comes from. I’m going to stay and continue to work wholeheartedly at these matters.”

  5. 2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    Subject to correction, I can’t recall any cases of cathedral deans being honoured in the sense that you mean.  

    The Deans of St Paul's and Westminster are customarily appointed KCVO upon retirement. Christopher Dearnley was appointed LVO upon retirement, and John Scott on his departure for the USA. The current Archbishop's decision not to award Lambeth Doctorates in the short term and their replacement by the Cranmer Awards is much regretted.

  6. 17 hours ago, Clarabella said:

    I think I read somewhere that Southwell is thinking of dropping its use of the term 'minster' on the grounds that not many people now know what a minster is.

    As reported here, it has abandoned the idea for the time being.

  7. On 22/12/2020 at 18:11, DaveHarries said:

    For those of us (like myself) who have shortwave radios the BBC World Service is airing the Kings service. Not sure if I should post the frequency information here unless anyone is interested though but it will be live.


    Are you not able to listen to it online?

  8. 15 hours ago, John Robinson said:

    True, but the recordings I have are of what I have always referred to as the Nine Lessons and Carols.


    This is getting confusing. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is precisely what it says and broadcast on the radio. What are the "two or three TV recordings of the 9 L&C" and the "Nine Lessons and Carols" you refer to? The only Christmas TV broadcasts from King's are as I mentioned earlier: fewer than nine readings, not lessons. The BBC and the College have been trying to correct this misconception about these discrete broadcasts for decades.

  9. I've just caught up with this thread. The website (corrected?) now says the following about bar 6: "right hand, beat 1, add first leger line; beat 3, # belongs to g." Regarding the title-discrepancy, a little research reveals that action de grâce(s) is French for thanksgiving. Action de grâce (with an upper case 'A') refers to the holiday.

  10. On 07/12/2020 at 19:22, David Surtees said:

    [...]The argument that Bach would have removed the trio from BWV 545 when he added it to the C major sonata, seems to me to be unlikely, as if one movement could not live in two different places at the same time, so to speak.

    Peter Williams' 1980 commentary should be your first point of reference. There are no autographs of the two- and three-movement versions, only copies, and some of them of course are variants. This particular work has a complex history which Williams explains, but it's important to note that it's Vogler, not Bach, who interpolates the trio movement; Walther places it after the fugue.

  11. On 06/12/2020 at 17:31, David Surtees said:

    What are your opinions on the tempo relationship between the prelude and fugue? Regardless of how fast you play it, I feel that crotchet in the prelude should approximately equal minim in the fugue. Does this seems sensible or does anyone have any other suggestions?

    Since there are three-movement versions of this work (i.e. BWV 529ii placed before the Fugue), and Preludes are not usually 'umbilically' attached to their Fugues in some sources, I regard them (rightly or wrongly) as discrete entities and don't attempt a tempo relationship between the two.

  12. On 25/09/2020 at 00:51, Vox Humana said:


    [...]the RSCM book of last verse harmonies has Campbell's arrangement of ‘Easter Song/Lasst uns erfreuen’, which I would go so far as to say is the most impressive last verse arrangement I know (which is remarkable, considering that Campbell didn't believe in last verse harmonies: he wrote it at Gerald Knight’s request). The only problems with it are (1) he sets the original A&M Standard rhythm whereas probably everyone nowadays uses the EH one with the extra beats (I did my own adaptation) [...]

    The tune arranged by Campbell in the RSCM's Accompaniments for Unison Hymn-Singing is titled there as 'Easter Song'. 'Lasst uns erfreuen' has the EH rhythm with which most of us are accustomed, and is included in the collection, using that name, in an equally fine arrangement (which I invariably use) by Michael Fleming.

  13. On 05/09/2020 at 17:50, General Cancel said:

    Having just inherited a box of redundant music from a retired organist which included Peter Hurford’s ‘Laudate Dominum’, [...]

    Is there anyone out there in the cyber-chancel who knew Hurford well enough to tell me how he went about composing his organ music / came up with this suite? Perhaps Wolsey, S_L or Ian van Deurne might know...

    Sorry, no. Suite 'Laudate Dominum' dates from 1961 (as S_L says), some eighteen years before my studies with him.


    On 06/09/2020 at 17:32, S_L said:

    improvisation wasn't Hurford's 'big thing'

    I'm afraid this is not quite accurate. His obituary in The Times last year mentioned that he was runner-up to Marie-Claire Alain in the improvisation contest at the Geneva International Music Competition in 1950. Moreover, improvisation continues to play an important part in the St Albans International Organ Festival. A little bit of research on the IOF website reveals that Catharine Crozier wrote in the Musical Times, August 1963: the IOF "was the first of its kind to be held in England. Its purpose was to revive a tradition of contrapuntal improvisation (my italics), and to encourage a high standard of musical style in performance... those who attended expressed the opinion that this had been a successful venture which should be continued." Notice that it precedes performance.

  14. On 19/03/2020 at 14:19, sotto said:

    Whilst social distancing at home I've been watching the latest series of "Outlander" which includes scenes in what looked like a large, and rather fine, American church with a large organ split across matching cases on either side of the quire. With a little bit of research it transpires that these scenes were filmed in Thomas Coats Memorial (Baptist) Church in Paisley, Scotland...[snip]

    Which episode?  I played the organ decades ago, and remember the Saxhorn stop on the Solo. It's a shame there aren't more examples of it.

  15. 5 hours ago, DHM said:

    Others will please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the ADoM at Kings is primarily responsible for Kings Voices (the mixed-voice voluntary choir that sings on Mondays).

    That's certainly my understanding as well. As an aside to the matter of Oxbridge Assistant Directors of Music, more Oxbridge colleges should build on the pioneering work done at Downing College between 2015-18 by Christopher Robinson who acted as Mentor to the Organ Scholars. Downing's first Director of College and Chapel Music, David Lowe, is continuing this arrangement.

  16. On 25/11/2019 at 20:33, Martin Cooke said:

    ... I don't think we can manage any of the Stephen Cleobury arrangements, and in any case, haven't copies, but I might play an organ only arrangement of his Suo Gan at some stage...

    Joys Seven? There's a 4-pt arrangement of it in 100 Carols for Choirs, while the original 8-pt version is available separately.

  17. 2 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    ** What has happened to the Oxford and Cambridge BMus/MusB degree? My observations tell me that folk who stay on after their first degree these days seem to end up with MPhil, MSt, and MMus variously at O and C. Are the BMus degrees still awarded? 

    As far as Cambridge is concerned, the MusB was suspended in 2011. A quick Google at Oxford University pages suggests that the BMus is no longer awarded there either.

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