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Martin Cooke

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Everything posted by Martin Cooke

  1. Hello Tim - you can get the Paul Edwards Contemplation from Geoffrey Atkinson at Fagus Music.
  2. All of this might be of interest... https://www.stpauls.co.uk/worship-music/music/concerts-and-events/vierne-150-festival
  3. George Oldroyd is a composer whose organ works might repay a re-visit an re-evaluation. We probably all know Three Liturgical Preludes and Three Liturgical Improvisations - if you don't know No 2 of the latter, do have a look. It involves use of the Advent plainsong, Conditur alme siderum, so is very topical just now! Very lush in places and the best of the bunch. BUT... you can find other Oldroyd pieces on IMSLP including the rather stunning Hymn Tune Meditation on Abide with me, which definitely qualifies (along with LitImp 2) as a luxuriant adagio. Check it out!
  4. Oh! I'm so pleased you like them! Rowley always seems so ignored - a bit like Thiman, who also composed some corkers and had - to my mind - such a wonderful grasp of harmony as well. Other Rowley favourites/discoveries include: Plainsong Preludes No 1 - Resurgam - not as rich as my last two suggestions but well worth a look - IMSLP A Fantasy of Happiness - yes, I know, ghastly title - but really very good - a bit Elgarian - slightly dull main theme, but a jolly good romp - (and therefore, not, in any sense, a luxuriant adagio!) I'm afraid that it doesn't appear to be on IMSLP. Irritatingly, the previous owner of my copy seemed to find it necessary to write in fingering for almost every note - aaaaarrrrrrgh! Heroic Suite - you will probably already have discovered this on IMSLP. Great stuff (almost) all of this. IMSLP. The Contemplation on 'Hawkhurst' is very beautiful. It's on IMSLP but I have it on one of those green seasonal albums published by Novello in the 60s. It's in Trinity, Ascension and Whitsun. And then... there is his sumptuous Chorale Prelude on 'Crimond.' Not on IMSLP but it's in one of those Ashdown cream coloured volumes of Rowley's chorale preludes. I shall play it today at a funeral, but it will be fighting off the new CP on Crimond by Rebecca Groom te Velde in OUP's Funeral and Memorial Music for Organ, published last year - and, eek... one of the only reasons to buy this particular volume, unfortunately. Two others, I am sure you have, Paul - in the IAO Millennium Organ Book - the Paul Edwards Contemplation - (a fabulous luxuriant adagio) - and also the Andrew Fletcher Dithyramb.
  5. I thought it might be worth 'revving' this post up again. I followed up on almost all the suggestions (of pieces I didn't know) and found them invaluable. It's interesting how 'what goes around, comes around' because I had forgotten Colin's suggestion of Vision from Rheinberger's Twelve Characteristic pieces, but I think it came up in another thread recently - well worth downloading, and I am wondering if a nice Christmas present from my eldest sister would be a reprint of the four Novello volumes of these. Does anyone have any new offerings to suggest? I have come across a couple of Rowley items that, to my mind at least, seem at least as worthy as the Benedictus 1 - Solemn Adagio and Contemplation - both on IMSLP. There are a couple of good new transcriptions in the new OUP album of Ceremonial music, and I think I would include the two pieces by Darke and Harris referenced elsewhere in the Novello album Retrospection... especially the Harris. The B flat minor piece in the Bridge Six Pieces, and a couple of others of the six would also qualify as luxuriant adagios in my book. And the Canzona from the Whitlock Sonata is very beautiful - not luxuriant perhaps, except in one very special place. I always enjoy the Liszt Consolation in D flat. Oh, and then there is the Bush Carillon that I also raised in another thread - especially if anyone needs a luxuriant adagio at Christmastime.
  6. Can someone put me right about this? Is music based on this chorale best suited to Advent or to Christmas? I have frequently used and have seen the Brahms listed as pre-service music for Advent services, but is that appropriate or not?
  7. The front pipes were being tuned/voiced/ yesterday when I went to evensong.
  8. AN interesting point this! The chap in charge at our war memorial used his phone to time everything. And that's what I do in church when I am playing a programme of music before a service, but you live and learn. I assumed I could use my iphone clock but that doesn't have all important seconds. I downloaded an exact time app which has seconds and then it is just a matter of making sure the clock doesn't lock and fade in settings. I have tried to find a small dignified looking digital clock with seconds on to no avail.
  9. So, Chris. did you play this 'straight' as it were... just the tune? Or did you harmonise it? (I think I have seen Last Post in harmony in a volume of The Village Organist, though not Reveille.)
  10. It would be interesting to know what was played yesterday. At my church we have two morning services on Remembrance Sunday - a 9.00am Said Eucharist with hymns, and then the main Town Remembrance Service at 10.15am. The first of these isn't 'themed' towards Remembrance Sunday, using the readings for Third Sunday before Advent, but I slipped in David Blackwell's beautiful piece based on Thaxted at the Communion (OUP - Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists - Autumn Festivals). I played Harold Darke's Retrospection at the end, but if I am honest, it didn't hit the spot. I felt the moment required something quiet and meditative, but that just wasn't the right piece at that time, worthy of attention though the piece is. It's in that Novello album (1983) called Retrospection which I have only recently re-discovered. It also contains a super piece by William Harris - Fantasy Prelude - but that's not ready yet. There is no voluntary at the end of the 10.15am service as well all depart to go to the war memorial in silence - (but with a half muffled peal). Before, I played March from Scipio, RAF March Past, Elegiac Prelude on 'Jerusalem' - Charles Callahan - (well worth getting**), Royal British Legion March, Elegy (April 7th, 1913) - Parry, and Nimrod - arranged William Harris. My aim with all of this is to make it interesting yet utterly suitable for the occasion, bearing in mind that there are people of all ages and all faiths present. I came home and watched a recording of the Cenotaph events and it was good to hear David DImbleby mention each piece that the band played, including the Skye Boat Song, The Minstrel Boy, David of the White Rock and Isle of Beauty, all of which were delightful. I have organ versions of the SBS, DotWR, and have just downloaded from IMSLP the basic music for the other two. If you don't know the George Towers arrangement of DotWR, it's really lovely and, and our friend David Drinkell said on this channel once words to the effect... preferable to RVW's version, perhaps. I must say, too, that the new OUP album, Ceremonial Music for Organ II has some very suitable pieces in it for this occasion, though, one of them, the Elegy from the Downland Suite by John Ireland and arranged by Alex Rowley is available through IMSLP. This is a beautiful arrangement and the lush key of Db major helps atmospherically, too. Whilst thinking of Remembrance, we also had an All Souls service recently, and I found the Dr Butz album of Elgar transcriptions arranged by Edward Tambling and splendid source for an arrangement of Sospiri. This also has Chanson de Matin, Chanson de Nuit, Salut d'Amour and the Imperial March in it, but I play these from other arrangements - Salut d'Amour from the old Schott Red Album! ANd I found this an ideal occasion to play John Rutter's newly published Elegy. ** This comes in a volume called O God beyond all praising published by Morning Star. This is seven pieces all by Charles Callahan who is very prolific. I use three of these - the Jerusalem piece, and also those based on Thaxted and Repton. Recommended!
  11. Though inspired by this topic, I am starting a new one on the theme of Remembrance.
  12. And at Truro in 1963. The St Paul's work you refer to was undertaken in 1960, I think. The latest from Salisbury, gleaned from a tweet by John Challenger, ADoM, is that all the pipes have now been re-inserted. The front pipes are to be tuned and voiced shortly and then the scaffolding will be taken down. Because of the busyness of the cathedral between now and Christmas, the rest of the voicing and tuning will take place inJanuary, which was always the plan.
  13. Sorry, we're way off-topic now! But, thank you both for those enjoyable memories. So, Rowland, did you sing with the adults at the 6.30 service? I remember it well from a chorister's point of view. Yes, we'd done 10.30, 11.30 and 3.15pm though, mercifully, with only two sermons, and then the Decani and Cantoris boys took it in turns to sing the 6.30pm. If I recall, it was often the Assistant Sub-Organist, so Richard Popplewell, Timothy Farrell and then Christopher Herrick in my time. Minor Canon Cochrane often conducted the anthem - he was MA, MusB, ARCO and had been Director of Music at Christ's Hospital. He had a bit of a reputation for drink - whether it was true or not, goodness knows! The worst aspect of the 6.30pm service was that the duty choristers had to remain in their horrid Eton suits with their nasty stiff collars until afterwards, but the non-duty crowd could change back into their everyday suits - yes, suits! We had no home clothes (or other comforts at all, actually - no curtains in the dormitories even in the new school when I left in 1970. By the way, lest we should have too much free time on a Sunday, between 3.15 evensong and the 6.30 service, we had 45 minutes of the headmaster reading aloud to us whilst we were issued with two Quality Street. And, Philip, as probationers, we waited outside the Organista door to 'go in' for services. You will know that as well as accessing the organ loft, you could go through an 'invisible door' to the choir stalls. Amongst many memories, I remember that in the cupboard at the bottom of the loft stairs where the organists kept their robes (DB - Oxford DMus, Harry Gabb - FRCO* - RIchard Popplewell FRCO - later, Christopher Dearnley wore Oxford MA or Oxford BMus - (never FRCO) - Christopher Herrick wore his Oxford BA then MA hood, (never FRCO) - there was a metal box with a number of pitch pipes, sitting on the floor. The organists didn't trust the 'dial' on the pitch pipes, and so used to tune them to the organ before playing before the service. On a Friday, when different pitches might be need for psalms, canticles and anthem, they had to have several pitch pipes, all pre-tuned in their pockets! Choristers used to volunteer to go to the loft after evensong to turn pages and generally observe. DB realising that, (a) I was from the county of his beloved Truro organ and (b) being unable to miss the fact that I was already mad keen on organs, suggested that I be allowed to visit the loft in my first term. This was unheard of, but he selected a senior chorister to accompany me - none other than James Lancelot! He allowed me to press the Cancel piston when he finished. The old organ loft was truly special. Not only was the 5-manual console very special in its own right, but I had never seen an organ bench with a back rest before. There was a telephone, two large signal lights, gauges for the infinite speed and gradation swell pedals, a general crescendo swell pedal, and... a Full Organ piston, complete with special red light. But what I loved the most were all the peep holes that enables the organist to see what was going on at the altar, the west doors and down in the choir. I have many memories of visiting the organ loft with all those mentioned except RP who only played at times when we couldn't really go up. I am not surprised that DB granted you a visit, Philip - he was a real gentleman. Turning the pages could be quite as challenge - (a) following the music, but (b) reaching all the way up and then getting a page of the large Novello Bach books to turn fully over was quite hard for a small boy. Christopher Dearnley once asked two of us to pop up after the 1130 Eucharist - I was amazed to find him playing BWV 541 from a miniature score! * Harry Gabb generally kept his chocolate and blue FRCO hood at St Paul's, but around this time, the new rose damask and grey hood (current) was introduced. He wore this at St James' Palace but would bring it to St Paul's if he needed it for special services. And the norm would be for him to conduct while DB played. Eventually, he inherited a second 'new' FRCO hoos and wore that full time at St Paul's.
  14. Good to see mention of the Willis on Wheels, Rowland, and I fully agree that it has, or had, exactly the reputation you ascribe to it which I have always found fascinating though haven't had a chance to assess it for myself. I have heard it played - it was during the John Scott/Andrew Lucas years, and the main organ was having its piston apparatus updated, so the W-o-W had to be pressed into action for the Saturday evensong I attended. It was a chorister reunion. The organ was parked just below the chancel step on the Cantoris side and I was sitting the same side but the other side of the choir so I wasn't optimally located! I think I have read comments especially about the Cornopean. At my church in Bradford on Avon we have a Willis III with a Cornopean on the Swell and it is extraordinarily versatile... I suppose that by that, I mean it is huge and we're lucky to have a newly serviced and very effective set of swell shutters. Anyway, I have often wondered if the dimensions of our Cornopean at BoA were on a similar scale to those on the Willis on Wheels. And it would be great to hear more of your experiences of St Paul's, Harry Gabb or Richard Popplewell.
  15. Along the road from Chichester, at about the same time, Lancing had a three manual Johannus organ for several years and the Walker was in storage. I know nothing about the history of Lancing College chapel but I think it is one of those buildings that has taken all its life to finish. So, I think it was in the late 70s that they built or rebuilt the west end of the chapel - complete with huge and very beautiful rose window designed by Stephen Dykes-Bower. From the school website, it is interesting to note that they have a well-advanced scheme for building a handsome 'proper' porch that befits this magnificent building. Here is a link to Lancing College chapel.
  16. The Chichester Allen organ was installed in 1973 and was in full use until the pipe organ was reinstated in 1986. I am not sure at all about the Allen belonging to JB himself and doubt that being the case. A post above asks 'Why?' Well, at that time, there was a lot going on at Chichester in terms of repair work and I think the feeling was that this had to take precedence over the organ, for obvious reasons. This may not have been based on finance alone - I imagine they were thinking that there would be a fair amount of dust and dirt flying about for some years to come, and they decided not so much to mothball the organ, but to just leave it. It must have been inadequate, in any case - not sure, really, about its adequacy even now. I attended the opening recital by JB himself. I was right at the back of the cathedral, and I had never heard the pipe organ before. To say that the impact was disappointing would be an understatement. That said, I have enjoyed playing it a couple of times for evensongs in the 90s, and it was delightful for accompaniment. With the pipe organ in a poor state, it seems to me very likely that the arrival of the Allen was greeted with considerable enthusiasm. It worked well in all intents and purposes and with the swell organ speakers concealed in the pipe organ's loft, it deceived plenty of people. The other chancel speakers were in the triforium, more or less opposite the pipe organ but slightly further East because of the south transept. There were switchable speakers to the West of the Bishop Bell screen which were just for the Great, Choir and Pedal - thus, the Swell only sounded through the speakers concealed in the pipe organ. A remarkable Tuba effect was obtained by using the card reader on all four Alterable Voice tabs on the swell together with another tab called Reed Solo which actually amplified the volume of any swell stop by some huge degree. JB had this set up on General 12 with more or less full Great, Choir and Pedal, but it was only any good if you had remembered to program the alterable voices. There were other 'cards' as well, including a Chrysoglott - I think you had to select a tab to go with that called Percussion. Around this time William Allbright wrote a Missa Brevis for Chichester which required percussion effects from the organ. Most cards were never used - just the Orchestral Tuba - (think it was called).
  17. John - regarding this phenomenon, do you mean when you are wearing your hearing aids, or naturally? Martin
  18. The video is well worth watching - fabulous music. First time I have heard the John Gardner organ/trumpet piece which I think was written for John Birch for use at one of the SC festivals in the late 70s - an exciting voluntary!
  19. What a pity... well, from the hood point of view! Thanks for the info, Wolsey.
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. Many thanks, SC. I wonder if Stephen Farr might possibly pick up on this if he has time.
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