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David Drinkell

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Everything posted by David Drinkell

  1. Resurrecting a slightly old thread, I came across a fairly easy-to-play firework last week - Noel Parisien by Charles Quef. It's a toccata, easier than the Dubois, perhaps not as easy as the Belier, but quite exciting. The Quatre Noels are available on IMSLP.
  2. Sounds like Nigel Ogden's work - a very effective arrangement.
  3. The Free Trade Hall Wurlitzer was quite well regarded in a "Straight" capacity, and I suppose in a general way, theatre organs (especially Comptons, which included mixtures) were at least as well endowed with upperwork as straight jobs of the time. Peter Williams referred (unfairly!) to Weingarten as a baroque cinema organ (or words to that effect).
  4. Many, myself included, have reason to be grateful to the titulaire at Houdan, Monsieur le General Paris, who was so generous in showing off the wonderful Clicquout organ....
  5. Is Graham Lord any relation to Arthur Lord, who came from Australia and was a big name in electronic organs a while ago. Maurice Forsyth Grant was a pal of Midgley's son while a student and built his own electronic organ a bit later (using mostly surplus telephone parts). He sold it to a Mr. Maxfield, whom I remember from the Organ Club long ago, and the system was acquired and refined by Jack Davies, the Northampton organ builder who made several instruments using it.
  6. Amen! But I doubt whether it would have cost two million even if a top firm like Harrisons' or our hosts did it.
  7. Is my memory playing tricks, or did the Catholic Cathedral at Wrexham in Wales have a similarly entombed and amplified Compton at one time?
  8. Thank you - I think I can visualize (auralize?) what you mean. It was always, I thought, a fine job but I can imagine it being warmed up a bit without losing its character. Last time I heard the Rieger in Clifton Cathedral (about twenty years ago now, I suppose), I thought it sounded more accommodating and less edgy than when I first experienced it in 1975. I think E.A. Cawston adjusted the voicing at a cleaning and Wood has more recently done the same. Conversely, the first attempt at perking up the mixtures at Redcliffe was not entirely successful, but a subsequent revision brought a great improvement, and I daresay the latest restoration will have made it even better. Dear old Bristol - I must get down there again sometime soon.......
  9. The Canterbury Hammond was still there in 1970 when I went to try the Willis. There were, in effect, two instruments, with consoles in the nave and on the screen able to control speakers in nave and/or quire.
  10. The stop-list in NPOR contains some inaccuracies - refer to the photographs to reveal all. I remember this organ well from my student days (when it was quite new!) but I haven't heard it since it Nicholsons' work on it.
  11. Ian Bell, who was one of the last apprentices at Compton's, wrote a very perceptive and sympathetic article in the BIOS Review some years ago, suggesting that the reason Compton's got the Boltons contract might have been because they were moving the previous large Hill organ in the church to Great Yarmouth. He was not convinced that the experiment worked out, but others (e.g. Leslie Barnard, who was no fool) were impressed. Walker's modifications smoothed it out somewhat and replaced the Compton polyphonic bourdon with a second-hand stop from elsewhere, as well as substituting an Oboe for the Schalmei (which seems a pity).
  12. A number of folk around the Cathedral in Fredericton are keen to start what is known as a Paper Bag Choir, that is, a bunch of folk who like to sing but "can't carry a tune in a paper bag". This would include those who, at some time in their life, have been told they can't sing. Has anyone any experience of such a group and could pass on any tips, including repertoire? Thanks!
  13. Peter Hurford was an inspiration to many - his interpretations were models which enlightened much of the repertoire, especially from the Baroque period. In my early teens, I was much taken with a 7" 45rpm recording of Guilain's Suite on the Second Tone made on the then new organ at the RCO. It remains one of my favourite works from that school. Later, I played in a master class on the Orgelbuchlein at Bristol. PH's daughter, Heather was an exact contemporary of mine at Bristol University (although not reading Music). His recordings and the St. Albans Festival will be lasting memorials. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
  14. I'm playing the George Towers Daffyd y Careg Wen today at my weekly noon-hour concert in Fredericton Cathedral, as well as the RVW Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes, Mathias' Processional and Chorale and an extemporization on Aberystwyth. Our Verger, a larger-than-life character from Alabama is called Hank Williams (yes, really!) is of Welsh descent.
  15. Bell-ringing certainly teaches you where to find the finest churches, a tremendous assortment of organs and the best pubs. By the strange workings of fate, I haven't been organist of a church with a proper ring of bells since I left university. St. Magnus Cathedral has three bells, chimed from a mighty wooden armchair up in the tower, with one rope in each hand and a pedal for the third. There is a unique pattern of ringing which gets quicker as hour of service approaches, so people know if they're late. There's also a special pattern for Christmas (called the Rejoicing Bells) which in my time was used a bit more often when a mood of general levity seemed appropriate. Belfast Cathedral has no tower or bells and St. John's Cathedral, Newfoundland has only the bottom few courses of the central tower and one bell. Fredericton has 15 bells (more than any other Canadian church, I'm told) played from a small keyboard in the Lady Chapel. I have written out a few touches of change ringing, which is the nearest I've got to proper ringing in several decades. I sit there on a Sunday playing Stedman Triples and reflect that I was never clever enough to ring Stedman on a real ring of bells..... Peter King's excellent and amusing piece on registration points out that, when it comes to French music, so long as the organ can kick up a heck of a row, has a thunderous pedal and some sort of full swell effect for the boring bit in the middle, eveything will be fine. After all, Dupre, Guilmant, et al never complained about playing their music on organs outside France, and some of Dupre's works require a compass on manual and pedal which he didn't have at St. Sulpice. Peter also points out that, because of the configuration of the St. Sulpice case, the Recit is actually the loudest department, totally contrary to what we normally expect on a Cavaille-Coll Organ.
  16. I was at that concert in the Albert Hall, too. Carlo Curley, Nicholas Kynaston (Carillon de Westminster, complete with bells!), Christopher Dearnley, Jane Parker Smith, Reginald Foort and Marcel Dupre, if memory serves me. Dupre was very rickety by then and his BWV 565 was rather a mess, but his extemporization was amazing. It may have been his last public performance anywhere because I think he died shortly afterwards. I remember being impressed by Reginald Foort - one of the great theatre organists but equally adept in the "straight" repertoire.
  17. Looking at the details in NPOR, I wonder if the enlargements and enhancements which took place in 2001 might have scuppered the chances of Lottery funding. Adding another forty or so speaking stops is quite a change, even though the original Compton scheme remained untouched underneath it all. I wouldn't presume to criticize the work, which seems imaginative, and I didn't know the instrument personally.
  18. I wonder if they tried the Lottery Fund. It came up with the money for a first class Harrison restoration of the organ in Moot Hall, Colchester, where they retained an expert consultant in the person of Bill McVicker.
  19. Thank you for these replies. I had always thought Ley should rhyme with "see", but when I was organist at Henbury Church, Bristol, as a student, the Vicar always pronounced it to rhyme with "say" and since he was an Oxford man and may even have remembered HL, it sowed the seeds of doubt in my mind!
  20. I've always wondered - should Henry Ley's surname be pronounced to rhyme with "see" or "say"?
  21. I played this at my regular noon hour concert in Fredericton Cathedral last Friday. It is indeed a lot of fun. Thanks for the reference - there looks to be quite a treasure trove of short pieces in these volumes on imslp.
  22. We had electric swell engines fitted at Belfast Cathedral - I think they were supplied by Taylor. It was an easy job, accomplished in less than a day for both Swell and Solo boxes. They worked very well, the only downside being that the inertia of the shutters caused a very small time lag, but they were quite large shutter fronts (15 stops in the Swell, 9 in the Solo.
  23. I remember about fifty years ago thinking that "Exurgat Deus" from the "Laudate Dominum" suite was the last word in flashy modern organ music (a performance by Rodney Tomkins, then teaching me at Colchester Royal Grammar School, on the marvellous organ at Walsingham still comes to mind). Since then, I've played the whole suite from time to time and certain movements rather a lot. "Meditation" was definitely on the Ass Board list for one of the lower grades - I remember a chorister at Belfast playing it.
  24. My wife sees pcnd's posts on Facebook and he does indeed seem to be very content. I believe that he was organist at Wimborne, but not choirmaster, although I stand to be corrected on that point.
  25. Welcome - I don't think you'll find unpleasant confrontation here, but there's quite a breadth of opinion and experience. I went to play Cecil Clutton's organ with the Organ Club many years ago when I was still in my teens and I remember him playing Guilain's Second Suite, with much cursing if he played a wrong note.
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