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Martin Cooke

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About Martin Cooke

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  1. What a pity... well, from the hood point of view! Thanks for the info, Wolsey.
  2. This follows on from my recent post about the Geoffrey Bush Carillon. Last night I sought out this album and although I have owned it since 1976, I have never done more than play the pieces through - in so far as I am able! The music is very largely by people we all know of - Thiman, Campbell, Jackson, Armstrong Gibbs... then there is the Geoffrey Bush piece which I am going to use this year. But the album opens with an Improvisation on The First Nowell by CPP Burton and I couldn't help wondering who he was. What a sad a tragic tale it is. So, he was Claud Peter Primrose Burton with what I have always rather regarded as the 'full works' in terms of cathedral organist qualifications - MA, BMus, FRCO (CHM) - St John's College, Oxford, in Burton's case. (I know a lot of people regard the Cambridge MusB hood as pretty unsurpassable, but the Oxford BMus hood - lilac with fur, is a stunner - and rareky seen these days.) ** From 1949 to 1957 he was Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Alban's Abbey, succeeding Meredith Davies who had been there for just two years. It turns out that he drowned in the act of rescuing a chorister who was in trouble in the swimming pool at Hemel Hampstead. The chorister survived, but it turned out that Burton was suffering from TB - (unbeknownst to him) - and his lungs collapsed as he dived into the pool resulting in him drowning. It seems he also wrote a Communion Setting in F - I think I've heard of Burton in F! - but I can't find anything else by him. I wonder if anyone plays the piece or, indeed, anything else from this album. But what a dreadful turn of events. (He was succeeded at St Albans by Peter Hurford.) ** 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?
  3. Does anyone play this piece? I've had it for years and I happened to see that a copy of the old OUP Christmas Album is on ebay at the moment and it reminded me of it. It was dedicated to Christopher Dearnley who recorded it at St Paul's. It's not easy to pick out the treatment of the chorale tune - (Es ist ein Ros). Anyway, I think I'll get it up for a performance before a Christmas service and I'd be interested to hear if anyone has made use of it and has any thoughts about it.
  4. I know what you mean about tinkering and mutations. I just tend to feel Dulcianas are a bit futile and better use could possibly be made of that slide. Perhaps a smaller diapason - a typical Willis Spitzflute (basically an 8ft Gemshorn) would be better than my previous suggestions.
  5. A very interesting and, for me, pertinent, post by handsoff and reply from Colin. I know it's all theoretical but I would be keen to take up both of Colin's ideas - swap in a 4ft flute for the Claribel, and consider what might be more useful than a Dulciana - possibly a delicate Twelfth or a Nineteenth. But I would also want to do something about the pedal organ so that it had a 30 note board with complete Bourdon. Is that physically possible in cases like this where there is only a small pedalboard? Would it have to be on electric action?? I say 'pertinent' because a local instrument is very like this, by William Hill. Tonally, it is beautiful, but it would be so much more versatile and useful for teaching and learning if it had a 'proper' pedal board. What thoughts?
  6. Many thanks, SC. I wonder if Stephen Farr might possibly pick up on this if he has time.
  7. Thanks for persevering. What did you mean about bars between the manuals? And can you describe what registration aids the organ has? Are these all new since the instrument was first installed?
  8. I am truly shocked and very sad indeed to hear this. I didn't know David except that in 1970, aged 14, he and I did a composite recital in St Martin's, Ludgate Hill. It was obvious at the time that he was destined for much greater things, musically, than I. I have not seen him since, but we corresponded from time to time openly on this forum and through the occasional email - usually when I was soliciting one of his excellent arrangements. I have used his Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs, and I also have a copy of his transcription of the Vaughan Williams Thomas Tallis piece, though have not given the attention it deserves. I am sure that his loss will be very keenly felt in the cathedral community in Fredericton and everywhere else that he served with such obvious success and distinction.
  9. 1. OUP's new Ceremonial Music for Organ 2 has arrived but I will leave forumites to form their own conclusions. Sample material and a list of items is available on the OUP Music site. To my mind, there are some good new pieces here - the York Bowen Wedding March, the John Cook Fanfare (for those who haven't already got it), the Ireland Elegy from the Downland Suite (arr Rowley) all come to mind, though I think the latter is available on IMSLP. 2. Today, I received my copy of Elegy and Festive Bells by John Rutter. Worth having. The Elegy is rather lovely - instantly recognisable as Rutter in his gentle mode, whilst the Festive Bells harks back to pieces like O clap your hands together with consecutive cascading fourths but then veers into a 'big tune' that reminds me of Rutter's hymn Eternal God we give you thanks for music. Neither piece is difficult - both very listenable and ready for Remembrance and Christmas in turn.
  10. Hello PCND - good to see that you have burst into life in many postings over the last few hours. I have been in touch with H&H about the possibility of such a photo and apparently the area is still in scaffolding or something that means a photo just yet would not show things at their best. I much look forward to seeing it and agree about the new look console. The whole project is very exciting and interesting and we must hope that it will improve from an organ point of view. I am nor sure whether plans that I think were mooted some years ago for a free-standing nave organ have been abandoned altogether. Speaking of nave organs - it is interesting, if slightly geeky, to note that H&H have renamed some of the stops on the existing nave division.
  11. Having read the various documents, I can't help but feel that the scheme all seems rather extravagant.
  12. Thank you very much for all of that, Andrew - most interesting. It is not hard to imagine that the RBC might have higher ideals in terms of a departmental instrument or instruments. Does anyone know of any announcement regarding the commissioning of a new instrument?
  13. Ah, yes - you're right, AJJ... see here where they mention that the instrument will need some work in the medium future. I wonder what the plans are for organ development at RBC?
  14. This is interesting. The RBC is disposing of the SJ organ which was only moved into the new building two years ago. I don't know the instrument but recall the old pic of Susi Jeans sitting at it when it was installed in her home, Cleveland Lodge. Has anyone played it? On paper, at least, and because it has only just been rebuilt by Nicholsons, it would seem a very good option for someone seeking a pipe organ - rather like the Turner Sims/Orford story.
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