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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by wolsey


    1. I need ten pieces for the five Sundays of Lent. If I could find everything by one composer that would be ideal. One year I managed to play only Willan. It is a Lenten discipline – this appeals to me. Taking advantage of a suggestion to my weekly rep. on this forum I’m looking at Gawthrop. Have a listen to Randall Mullin’s youtube recordings of Gawthrop’s Four Noble Gases - charming and well played. What would you play?

    The RSCM's Sunday by Sunday is an excellent quarterly resource (available to its subscribing Individual and Affiliate members) with this sort of information.

  2. The online reference sources - even including Oxford Music Online - all refer to 'a setting' of O little town of Bethlehem. In his CD booklet notes for Wells Cathedral's Hyperion recording, however, the Rev Alan Luff says about the carol that "It is often sung to Vaughan Williams’s arrangement of an English folk tune, but Walford Davies wrote two tunes to it." [my italics]

  3. My memory has faded since I played the organ part from the the orchestral version in 1995, but I'm pretty sure it's easier, since the orchestra covers much of the faster/fussier bits found in the 'organ only' version. I stand to be corrected, but I think that the relentless semiquaver figuration of the Sanctus is divided between the hands and so less fearsome; the orchestral strings play the sustained chords above it.

  4. Philip Moore has written elsewhere:

    "In case you have not already heard, Priscilla Jackson, Francis Jackson’s wife, died two days ago. She was very frail, although remarkably alert. She had meningitis about a year ago, from which she recovered remarkably well, although it left her partially deaf. I think she woke on Sunday with chest pains, and was in hospital for two days. "

  5. Gossip in a pub or around the coffee/dinner table is fine. The Internet, however, is a public medium (subject to the laws of libel), so people should really think twice before publishing stuff here and pressing 'Post'. Facebook, for example, has been used in far too cavalier a fashion, and there have been many recent incidences of people falling foul of the law in one way or the other because of material appearing there.

  6. It seems to be common, if not compulsory, that Choir Masters and Directors of Music retain the title of Organist, while their organists have to make do with being Assistant Organists.


    Why is that?


    I wonder if this is quite correct. The gradual change of [cathedral] job titles was initiated by the 1992 report of the Archbishops' Commission on Church Music In Tune with Heaven which recommended that "Cathedral Chapters give careful thought to what they require of their organist, and consider whether, in any new appointment, a change of nomenclature is desirable in order to indicate the importance of that person's role in the cathedral's life, as well as expertise in choir training, vocal technique and organ-playing." [Recommendation 39]


    A glance at the websites of a few cathedrals will reveal that the person in charge of its music will often have either the title 'Organist & Director of Music' or simply 'Director of Music'; the recent vacancy at St George's Chapel, Windsor, for example, was advertised as the latter, and this is now the default title used in cathedral circles (e.g. Canterbury, York, Gloucester, Winchester, Salisbury, etc.)


    The second person in a cathedral's music department is often titled 'Assistant Organist & Assistant Director of Music', 'Assistant Director of Music', or even 'Organist'.


    Variety in job titles exists, but the matter of them more accurately reflecting the role of twenty-first century cathedral musicians has already been taken in hand.

  7. This was the Bach piece I played for my Grade 8 examination decades ago. I remember being told (as a teenager) to use a 4' stop for the pedal cantus firmus, and a soft 16' was included in the LH semiquaver 'river' passagework. Having just played it through once again after all these years using a 4' and then an 8' stop, it is apparent with the 4' stop that there are indeed far too many collisions/unisons - especially with the RH lower voice. From my experience of organs abroad, the 16' manual stop would be very prompt in its speech, and knowing how agile (period) string players can be, the semiquaver 'river' wouldn't be an issue - and would, perhaps enhance the musical imagery.

  8. I will put it down to the circles I move in, but I am surprised that the Twelve Chorale Preludes have only now been discovered by AJJ. They were published in 1950 in response to a request from an American publisher for less demanding music that would be suitable for students; Dupré's Le Tombeau de Titelouze serves as her model. They were long out of print, and it is very good that their republication relatively recently has ensured a still wider demand. In the original manuscript, five of the preludes are marked with an asterisk as being the composer's own favourites, viz:

    • Tu es Petrus
    • Rorate caeli
    • Ubi caritas
    • Veni Creator
    • Attende, Domine

    Among recordings, I am aware of those of some/all of the preludes by Graham Barber (1985) and Adrian Gunning (1994), as well as the more recent ones of Demessieux's entire oeuvre by Maxime Patel and Stephen Tharp.

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