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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by wolsey

  1. Further to my earlier message, I've just listened to the Credo settings from Stanford's services in B flat and C on Spotify (recorded by Durham Cathedral twenty years ago on the Priory label), and would commend these for consideration as well.

  2. I have this recording of Vierne's complete chamber music. His songs can be found on the Naxos label (Michael Bundy/Jeremy Filsell), as can their recordings of songs by Widor and Tournemire; I have the latter. Many of these twentieth-century French so-called organist-composers wrote much music for forces other than the organ, and it is a shame that it is rarely heard. When was the last time we heard Widor's symphonic or stage works?

  3. '...... I don't think they have never issued those Mitra vinyls on CD, do correct me if wrong - I have the Vierne 6 from that series and it is a fantastic sound, and performance of course).


    Kynaston's Vierne 6 *was* available on CD some years ago from Mitra Classics; I tried to buy it online, but the company didn't have credit card payment facilities, and the German-only website was so unfriendly with regards overseas purchases. Sadly, it seems to have disappeared from the catalogue completely now.

  4. It's such a pity that the Christopher Kent edition of the Sonata (which has been described to me with varying levels of approval) has - according to learned and academically aware organist friends - only ever been available in the volume of complete organ works in the Novello Complete Elgar Edition. One might hope that one day it might appear published as a performance score on it's own. Something over £80 for the whole volume is a little steep for a Senior Citizen!




    It's, in fact, just under £60, and can be ordered here.

  5. An interesting programme, has anyone heard of Florentz?


    Latry performed Florentz's Prélude from L'Enfant noir at his Royal Festival Hall recital on 27 March this year, at which I was present. Jean-Louis Florentz (b.1947) completed university courses in natural science, literary Arabic and ethnomusicology, before entering the Paris Conservatoire where he studied with Messiaen and Schaeffer, receiving additional instruction from Duhamel. He won the Lili Boulanger composition prize in 1978, which was followed, from 1980 onwards, by further prizes from the SACEM and the Institut de France. During the 1970s, he undertook 14 field trips to Africa, and between residencies at the Villa Medici, Rome (1979–81), and at the Casa Velasquez in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca (1983–5), he was a visiting lecturer at Kenyatta University College, Nairobi (1981–2). Appointed to a professorship in ethnomusicology at the Lyons Conservatoire in 1985, he subsequently extended his studies of oral traditions to the West Indies, Polynesia, Egypt and Israel. He was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1995. He was a friend of Latry and died of cancer in 2004.

  6. Opening is based on O Filii e Filiae and dedicated to Widor. Any sugetsions as to what what triggered Stanford into writing these sonatas - 3rd uses St Patrick's Breast[;ate & 4th Hanover.

    The full dedication is to 'Monsieur Charles-Marie Widor and the great Country to which he belongs'. The first three Sonatas were written during the Great War, so the dedication and themes of No. 2 (the last movement uses the Marseillaise, as Martin Cooke notes above) immediately make sense.

  7. "Fanfare for KBL (1990) was the composer's last organ work, and is recorded here for the first time. It's dedicated to K. Barry Lyndon, who was [Clerk] of the Royal College of Organists at the time, and designed as an introduction to the third piece, Toccata Giocosa (1967)."


    Taken from http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C090312.htm




    The venerable institution that was Barry Lyndon has, sadly, died recently.


    Isn't this is just a little premature? A new canon precentor was installed recently - one who has excellent musical credentials (Oxford BMus and choral scholar; sang on the first Tallis Scholars LP), but also one who is also keen to embrace "approachable" styles. Coincidence?

    Why 'premature'? Peter Gould (now 62) was appointed to Derby in 1983. By any reckoning, he has had a very long and successful tenure there.

  9. It would be interesting know the extent to which the reeds were 'revoiced' (if at all) with the re-installation of the organ? They certainly sound better now compared to pre-2005.

    Find a friend who's a BIOS member and ask to see the recent BIOS Journal, or buy it here.

  10. The appointment of Rachel Mahon as Organ Scolar at St Paul's Cathedral merited a photograph in The Times last week.

    There was also a rather silly headline in Norman Lebrecht's blog (http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2014/03/shock-in-cloisters-as-st-pauls-cathedral-appoints-a-woman-organ-scholar.html) about 'shock in cloisters'. When one considers that there are female cathedral organists in the UK; Jane Watts was organ scholar at Westminster Abbey in the mid-1980s; the Chapter of St Paul's includes two female canons, why is this a 'shock in cloisters'? Incidentally, does St Paul's have cloisters?

  11. In which case, I look forward to hearing it live. Can anyone tell me when the next solo recital is, please? Or when the lunch-time recitals commence; the on-line website is less than helpful in its layout and search facility.

    Despite the publication of details of the 2014/15 International Organ Series in recent Pull Out All The Stops literature, programmes and flyers, the website is curiously at fault as you rightly say. Booking is already open for the individual concerts of the series if you look up their dates: 29 September - Jennifer Bate; 18 October - Cameron Carpenter; 10 December - Martin Baker; 2 February 2015 - Ann-Elise Smoot; 27 April - Thomas Trotter.


    As mentioned in post 13 above, the free lunchtime recital series begins in September, and "details are available from April 2014". Apparently, "our free organ recital series... features Organ Curator William McVicker, our Festival Organ Scholar Weston Jennings and up-and-coming organists from London colleges."

  12. At the risk of repeating myself - as well as what has been written by others who have heard the organ live - the sound of the organ and the acoustics have been noticeably improved. When one is used to hearing organs in buildings with a significant period of reverberation, an organ in a concert hall will never sound 'perfect'; the 'ideal' acoustic for an organ is not the same as that for an orchestra. Whatever one's opinion of the sound quality of the recent radio relays (by whatever means), these broadcasts will never convey the full impression of sitting in the RFH auditorium - nor will CDs. As an example, the thrilling tutti I heard live in the last movement of the Saint-Saens Symphony last Wednesday bore no relation to the emasculated sound and balance currently available on BBC iPlayer. Having attended two recitals and two concerts in the POTS festival (and having heard and played the organ at other private events beforehand), I am pleased that one of the capital's concert halls is proving to be a superb venue in which to experience music-making, and that its organ has been re-instated with considerable success. Both the ambience and organ of the RFH in 2014 are quite different beasts to those known hitherto.


    With orchestral concerts (in the RFH) in mind, further acoustic enhancements should be on the cards- notwithstanding the fact that those cards will not be dealt for a very long time. There is an obvious desirability for even greater bloom, in this regard. With an increased (future) knowledge of reflective and reverberance-enhancing materials and the investigation of the possibility of cavity creation, for increased resonance, these should be pencilled in now.


    I’m not suggesting the complete re-building of the Hall, but we will know what to do and how to achieve it even better, in the future- whenever that might be.

    But if, from an orchestral point of view, the hall's acoustic was improved markedly during the refurbishment, why should yet more work be carried out? I take it you've been to an orchestral concert there since the hall was re-opened?

  14. As I said on another forum, I was at the recital, and the combination (played on the swell) appeared to include the 16' Quintadena. The sound though was superior and more convincing when heard live than via the BBC.


    No one has mentioned Latry’s astonishing disclosure of why he wasn’t allowed to perform the Stravinsky Rite. I trust he took legal counsel, before this.

    Why should he take legal counsel before making his disclosure? He came onto the platform with a BBC mike and a sheet of paper from which he read his prepared announcement. In it, he said that he and his wife were "not allowed" by the publisher to play the four-hands piano version on the organ "because of unproven violation of [the] intellectual and moral interest of the composer." I was fortunate to hear them play The Rite in Haarlem in July 2012. If the premise were continued, should the accompanists amongst us be forbidden from playing Elgar's The Spirit of the Lord; Vaughan WIlliams' Rise, heart; Let all the world etc. on the organ? Was Philip Scriven (with Martin Baker) prevented from playing The Rite at Westminster Cathedral in July last year?


    For what it's worth, I attended the first of forty-two organ recitals at the RFH from 1974-1988 on 30 October 1974 (Jean Costa) at the age of sixteen. To my mind (and ears) - and having played the organ very briefly both before and after restoration, the hall acoustics and the instrument are both vastly improved.

  16. Whilst I am pleased to learn of the forthcoming series of organ concerts, I wonder if there is any possibility of re-instating the former Wednesdays at 5.55 series. I realise that many peoples' work habits and working hours have changed over the last twenty years; but it would beb good to see some kind of regular (and permanent) recital series re-established at the RFH.


    The Wednesdays at 5.55 series will not be re-instated. They were seen in more recent years as the sideshow to the main or 'real' musical event of the evening at 7.30pm. The International Organ Series and the other 7.30pm organ recitals before the closure of the Hall *were*/*are* the main musical event of the evening, thus confirming the organ in the mainstream of music-making. Of course, the new lunchtime recitals will be a regular series.

  17. I attended the Organ Gala Launch Concert, and am listening to it again on BBC iPlayer with the Festival brochure in front of me. I think some perspective is needed when viewing the concert. It is the opening event of a three-month festival celebrating the return of the RFH organ, so surely it can be integrated into one evening of music-making with singers and other instruments? There are three celebrity recitals (John Scott, Thomas Trotter and Olivier Latry) - and other concerts/organists besides...

    Moreover, the International Organ Series will feature five evening recitals from September 2014 - April 2015, and a free lunchtime recital series begins in September 2014.

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