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Charles Wooler

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Everything posted by Charles Wooler

  1. On the Harrison and Harrison website it states "We are overhauling the keyboards, installing stepper pistons, and repairing and strengthening some of the west front pipes. The work will be carried out early in 2009." All routine housekeeping it seems to me. http://www.harrison-organs.co.uk/plans.html Charles
  2. Due to unforeseen circumstances (blower malfunction at one of the key churches disabling James Lancelot's recital) we have had to postpone this event until Saturday 28th March 2009. Any takers? Charles
  3. Can I draw everyone's attention to an event taking place on Saturday week in Newcastle City Centre? On 10th January 2009 James Parsons will run an Oundle for Organists "Get Ahead" Day but with a slight twist in that is designed to be truely comprehensive ranging from pianists wishing to try the organ for the first time to diploma level participants and for those of all ages. We currently have participants booked with ages ranging from 13 to 70+. Included amongst the many organs being used are the organs of Newcastle City Hall which is a 1929 Arthur Harrison masterpiece of 66 stops and outstanding opulence, the 29 stop Arthur Harrison (1909) of St John the Baptist, Grainger Street and Nicholson's 29 stop organ installed in Gosforth Parish Church in 2000. The tutors are Tom Bell (Oundle for Organists and St Giles Organ School), James Parsons and Michael Haynes (Director of Music at Hexham Abbey). The lunchtime recital will be given by James Lancelot and will include Gigout's Grand Choeur Dialogue. There are many reasons to support this event but unique to this event is the chance to hear and play a concert organ of outstandingly quality that has suffered much neglect in recent years. The Harrison & Harrison concert organ in Newcastle City Hall is a singularly important instrument. Nationally it is the most iconic concert organ of the 1920s – in many ways the last of its line and arguably the finest. The NDSO have been in dialogue with the City Council for a number of years now and a report has been commissioned from Paul Hale which has shaped much of this discussion as to the way forward. As well as playing a vital role in recruiting and training organists young and old in the North East, we are hoping that this weekend will mark a watershed in the instrument's history- please try to be a part of it. Charles Mor information from: http://uk.geocities.com/pvc1@btinternet.com/ or http://www.oundlefestival.org.uk/organ/index.php
  4. Oh damn. Yes that was exactly what I meant! Blame it on the half-term switch off of the brian!
  5. Forgive me if I am repeating anyone's earlier post, but I have a very special spot for all three of the Durham Tubas. "Baby" Tuba on the Solo is very broad in tone but easily controlled by the box, whilst the Bombarde Tuba and Tuba Clarion are big brutes, originally Father Willis and magnificent! The 32 and 16 Ophicleides also on the Bombarde defy description, but suffice it to say that in 1970, the 16 Trombone was extended downwards to give a second 32' redd in the form of the Double Ophicleide. In James Lancelot/Richard Hird's book on the organ it is described as invaluable for those occasions "when a mere ff is required". Charles
  6. At the Basilica of the Spinal Tap perhaps?
  7. That is odd- the Newcastle job has not been advertised yet.....
  8. Does anyone know what is happening at Magdalene College Oxford and Ripon Cathedral, the Organist and Sub-Organists posts respectively are advertised on today's church times. Where are Bill Ives and Tom Leach headed for? Charles
  9. Thanks to everyone for their replies to this thread.I got back from my holiday this morning and my copy had arrived whilst I was away. I am now looking forward to learning it. Charles
  10. Thanks for that Malcolm- I know what you mean. I like to play it both ways but on this occasion at the Kelvingrove where I have a large Lewis and the nature of the concert (entertaining people from a large loft on high whilst they mill around the gallery looking at the exhibits) means that everything needs to make an impact because the audience are far from silent and nothing below mf will be heard at all. I will get onto Banks tomorrow but if anyone else has any othewr suggestions they would be most welcome. Charles
  11. I used to have a very naughty filling out of the famous Stanley Trumpet Voluntary (the one from Op 6 No V) that had lots of nice filled out chords in the left hand and at some points the right hand too. It was published in a volume of Stanley Pieces (I'm fairly certain it was a one composer volume anyway) by OUP in one of their Oxford Organ Music volumes and had the usual sea-green and white stripes alternating on the front with white staves set into the sea-green stripes. It is to my mind, the best non-authentic arrangement (by Henry Ley or Bairstow perhaps but I'm willing to be corrected) that I have come accross, better for my money than for example the one in the Oxford Wedding Albums book. I'm playing at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow for one of their Sunday Recitals and it seems like an ideal opener to me, but I can not find my copy anywhere. Does anyone know the book I'm after, if it is still in print and where I can get a copy (new or otherwise of it from). Many thanks, Charles
  12. My favourite recording of Lanquetuit (IMHO superior to DGW at RAH) is by Jane Parker-Smith on the new Goll organ at Memingham. It can be found here http://www.avierecords.com/Catalogue/Avie_catalogue2.htm. There is also a superb Whitlock Fantasie Chorale No. 1 which sounds far more "English" that I anticipated. A truely wonderful disc. Charles
  13. I went to a lunchtime recital by James Lancelot in Durham Cathedral a little over a year ago and James played Master Tallis' Testament. In the programme notes he explained that after the 1971 rebuild at Gloucester Howells regarded the Durham Cathedral Organ as the best one for his music. He was obviously a man of excellent taste! Charles
  14. Wow! This looks superb- please count me in for the visit! How wonderful that there is such a detailed record in the public domain of the organ's installation too. Does anyone know if this a first for a UK Cathedral organ to be photographed and chronicled in this way? Charles
  15. Dear All, I am playing this Friday's lunchtime recital at Truro Cathedral (1.10pm). The programme is: Intrada- Grayston Ives Pastorale- Cesar Franck Folktune- Percy Whitlock Sonata No. 1 in G- Edward Elgar Apologies for using this board for what appears to be a shameless plug for my recitals- in fact it is not. This is the only message board that I contribute to, and I am still not used to the idea that I feel well acquainted (musically at least) with many on here, but there are only two I would recognise in the street! If anyone on this board goes to the Truro recitals regularly (reading a discussion on another thread suggested to me that this is the case) please pop up and say hi- it would be lovely to be able to put a face to the name (or tag!) All the best, Charles
  16. I'm assuming you're still in Paris but if not- apologies. When the good Mrs W and I were honeymooning there in 2006 I passed a very pleasant half hour or so in Durand's outlet (the address on the fromnt of my Dupre Op 7 says 175 rue Saint Honore) and it is about 10 minutes of Place de la Madeleine. They were very helpful in there and quite tolerant of my Pidgin French. Also try La Flute de Pan, 59 Rue de Rome. There is also another well stocked music shop on the Rue de Rome but its name escpapes me. Hope you enjoy you trip and that you're still in Paris! Charles
  17. Didn't rather a lot of Spotted Metal get melted down and used for scrp in the neo-baroque revival.............
  18. Absolutely agree. Top notch stuff. I decided to withdraw my subscription to Choir and Organ this January when it elapsed. My feelings about it were akin to those I have about OR (however I get free OR as part of my subscription to the Newcastle and District Society of Organists so I still subscribe despite my reservations about it). Given last month's Beethoven IX Disc and this one, I am convinced it was a smart move! Charles
  19. A shot in the dark, but the angel dream is played by Tim Byram Wigfield from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedrall on Priory's Twelve organs of Edinburgh disc. Have you thought of writing to him at St George's, Windsor Castle to ask where he got his copy from? The address for the Chapter Office is on their web site http://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/today/tod_vacancies.asp Charles
  20. Dear Spot, Can you elaborate on this please? I teach Chemistry (from 11-18) and I'm afraid that this is simply another example of half truths being spun willy-nilly with very damaging consequences. If you took the time to investigate fully the issues ( http://www.rsc.org/images/schoolscience050...tcm18-35468.pdf ) then you will find that there is little that is genuinely banned. Those that are banned are banned for very good reasons: children are no longer encouraged to dip their fingers in mercury as mercury attacks the nervous system. Likewise VI formers use toluene as a substitute for benzene as the latter is a carcinogen. The idea that there is less practical work going on in chemistry these days is simply not true: I now do more practical work than ever before- particularly at A level. Those teachers that don't possibly choose to do so as they work in difficult schools where students are difficult to control and focus. Many students in certain schools perceive practical work (not just in science but ICT, Art and Music too) as an opportunity to mess about, consequently teachers of classes with these students have to forego these activities as the net result of the students' behaviour is that their learning outcomes are not met. As a result, end of unit test/summative exam targets are not met and so teacher's backsides are well and truely kicked. Sorry to sound negative, but I know several members of this board will know exactly where I'm coming from. There are many and varied efforts to make the subject spectacular (for one such example: http://www.chemsoc.org/networks/learnnet/classic_exp.htm) and students are genuinely engaged. You only need to type "elephant's toothpast" or "screaming jelly baby" in to youtube to find clips of science lessons that have been uploaded by students themselves. To relate this to the organ: maybe the approach taken by many well meaning bodies including a number of local organists associations offers to much of a passive experience for the participant. At one school I worked at, I took several young pianists from Years 7-10 around some of the local organs. I did a little playing to them but they spent most of the time playing their piano pieces on the organ, trying out the different sounds and pressing lots of pistons. At the end of the two days, two students took up organ lessons with a local music teacher. I can not help but feel however that had I herded an entire year group in to the city hall, put up a very clever video camera and a flash powerpoint and played the music from the starwars movie to the (dare I say complete with fireworks and balloons), the kids would have taken the p*** to begin with and then got bored very quickly BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T ACTIVELY ENGAGED in what is actually an active pursuit rather than a passive one. I am sure that the more low key event would have been more successful. Charles
  21. Two Lewis that I have had recent experiences of and heartily recommend: Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. Currently, the museuem has a free entry fee and a free recital every day at 1 pm (3pm Sundays): a beautiful space with an equally beautiful building. The organ speaks into an enormous atrium which houses the cafe and some exhibits on the lower gallery. The idea of these recitals is that people drop in and drop out from the exhibitions in the other wings or sit and have lunch whilst listening: either way it is an utterly wonderful scheme and I gather is funded entirely by Glasgow based "big businessmen" who are proud of the city's civic organ and want to everyone to have the opportunity to hear it played for free and as often as possible! Out on the North Tyneside coast, 15 mins East of Newcastle near Whitley Bay is the Lewis inb St Goerges Cullercoats which is a beauty and well worth a detour off the A1. It's in excellent condition too having been restored by Harrisons in the 1990s. A good friend of mine os organist there so PM me if you are passing and want to be put in touch! Has anyone every succeeded in playing/hearing the pther Tyneside Lewis at St Hilda's in South Shields. I have been in touch with the church to see if I can have a play several times but the church diary is always busy when I ask to go. Charles
  22. St Oswald's in Durham City has a very nice Peter Collins (III man, 29 stops). I was organ scholar there, still live locally and know the current DoM very well indeed. They are alway happy for people to practice (there wasn't a charge when I was around, if there is now, it will be minimal) and the church has two organists of its own and a couple of "dabblers" in the choir and so the committment to filling in will be virtrally non-existent. We only had deps twice in the 5 years I was there. PM me if you want further contact details. Charles
  23. I quite fancy this series: the Durham organ does Messiaen extremely well, far better than you would expect a Harrison to do so and even better, much of this is free entry, being done liturgically. http://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/introduction/news/47 Charles
  24. Not at all Youtube, but an interesting tangent. I've just ordered my copy of this. Has anyone else heard/seen it. What's it like. I have high expectations! http://www.elgarfoundation.org/trolleyed/2/57/index.htm Charles
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