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Martin Cooke

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Everything posted by Martin Cooke

  1. A splendid recent recital here by Andrew Scott of Harrison and Harrison.
  2. See a pic on the twitter feed here of the final pipe being installed: https://twitter.com/RadleyMusic
  3. I wholeheartedly agree with Paul, above - a really worthwhile set of pieces with the Aria topping the list for me, though my copy, like his, has lain dormant (but vertical) since I bought it in Blackwell's in 1978. Following the Kevin Bowyer article I have managed to acquire a cheap old copy of the Homage March. It is very playable and not difficult, but if my memory serves me well, I think it calls for a big solo reed which I haven't got at church (yet), so it's not in my 'urgent' pile in terms of getting it polished off, but I will revisit it shortly just to keep it brewing. Being a Cramer publication, I am sure they would reprint it inexpensively for anyone interested. When I was seeking a copy of the Bullock Orlando Gibbons piece a few years ago, their MD, Peter Maxwell was most helpful and friendly. The email address at this temporary website should do it. (Hey - I remembered the link!)
  4. The new organ at Radley College appears to be nearing completion. I've seen a photo somewhere (Twitter?) showing the console much more advanced than in the photos on Nicholson's website. This strikes me as a fabulous project and just what a large new 3-manual organ should be like. I am sure that the congregational singing there is absolutely terrific, and I am certain that the new organ will inspire it further. I couldn't help but think of the wonderful hymn singing that goes on in many independent schools as I listened to Dr Michael Moseley's Just one Thing on Radio 4, on my way home from church on Sunday, when he was reminding us that 5 minutes loud singing a day is very good for our immune systems and health generally. I think this link takes you to this programme. Well worth a listen.
  5. Thanks, DHM, and sorry about that. I have inserted the link in the original post but am reproducing it here. It's the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks.
  6. In celebration, I have downloaded (from Banks publications) the PDF of a composition which I had not heard of until I studied the programme for today's 104th Birthday tribute, called Improvisation on a chant by John Goss. [Edit - it turns out that this is a transcription of a pre-evensong improvisation of Dr Jackson's which has been published to mark his 104th birthday. It isn't the first time it has seen the light of day, however, as it was recorded by Simon Nieminksi in Edinburgh Cathedral in 2002.] It is a delightful miniature which I hope to slip in to tomorrow's music schedule at church. I played his prelude on his own East Acklam last Sunday before Harvest Evensong. And I am now going to listen to the Benedicite - something I loved - (because of the word painting in the organ part) - in chorister days. My recording is from Canterbury in Allan Wicks' and Michael Harris's day. And finally, here's a clip, from a few years back, that not everyone may have seen which is just an excerpt of Anna Lapwood playing his Diversion for Mixtures on the organ of Keble College, Oxford - what a piece!
  7. Viscount continues to do well. I read this a little while ago about their installation in Lambeth Palace chapel and now there is an account of a more recent installation in the Old Royal Naval College chapel, Greenwich. As a Viscount owner, I would very much like to hear the result of this special voicing project. One more thing to add to the list of things to do when I eventually think it's safe to visit the capital! Update: And there's this as well. All these are billed as temporary installations while things fall into place so there will be some follow-up in due course.
  8. There is talk of a company called Eule doing it - see the British Pipe Organs Facebook site where a fair bit has been written on the topic. As someone else has commented there, I don't see why they allow the stone screen to be such an impediment to having a decent organ. It seems absurd for the pipework to have to be constrained by one person's 19th century concept of what an organ screen should be like. Can't they be allowed to remove the parts of the screen that purport to be organ casework? Surely worse things have happened. Is this such an important construction that it must be preserved at all costs?
  9. That's kind of you, Keitha. Yes, I have always wondered how you go about an installation like this and at least I now know one company that does it all.,
  10. Thanks for following through with this, Peter, and providing the link where I failed.
  11. This is about an application under the Care of Cathedrals Measure for new CCTV organ equipment at St Paul's. The most interesting thing I read in it was that Harrison and Harrison are now looking after the organ.
  12. That's a bit of a shock! What's the plan for Magdelen?
  13. Yes, that's the one. The Lloyd Webber Trio and the Howells' Epilogue are played on this instrument. (NPOR) This is a very interesting recording, made in 1983 (so, after the 72/77 Mander rebuild, but before the new dome tubas were installed in 2008, and other minor changes in the specification, eg to the Choir and Great, the addition of a pedal Sub Bass on the West Chorus, and some changes to the mixtures in the dome). It's the only recording I know that features any St Paul's instrument other than the grand organ, though much more recently the new Drake organ in the crypt has been recorded. (The crypt organ in this recording is the Willis III - an instrument that Dr Dearnley disliked.) This was a beautifully produced recording project in its original vinyl format with a splendid jacket and commentary. It illustrated Dr Dearnley's wonderfully original and idiosyncratic registration schemes, never more so than in the Lefébure-Wély Sortie in E flat which he opens with a single 8ft dome diapason, building up and moving on from there. Sorry to drone on... just wanted to add that in featuring all the St Paul's organs of CHD's day, we hear a little instrument which was known, by some of us, at any rate, as "Gabb's organ.' I can remember exploring some of the areas above the cathedral floor, and above the Minor Canons' vestry in the North Choir Aisle there was this old instrument. This was 'done up' by Noel Mander and, like the Willis on Wheels, it was put in a smart case. The record sleeve referred to above describes this organ as the Rycroft Chamber organ. I have just turned to my copy of the Plumley and Niland book on the St Paul's organs and this instrument "was found in pieces by Harry Gabb." It was subsequently sold to All Saints', Farnborough, Berkshire. See NPOR. I think I am correct in saying that there have been three new organs at St Paul's since this recording: The Drake in the Crypt, a Jennings practice organ and a Tickell chamber organ - these in addition to the grand organ and the Willis on wheels.
  14. Whether it qualifies for inclusion in this thread or not, I am not sure, but a famous instrument that was designed to be moved around within a single building is the 'Willis on Wheels' at St Paul's Cathedral.
  15. Is anyone able to say a little bit about what happens musically at Christ Church these days? I'm just curious about a very beautiful Evensong I have just watched (and I can't find the link) - it was Tuesday this week - Noble in B minor and Stanford Justorum Animae. Lovely organ playing beforehand - Howells Intrada 2 - (must get that out!) - but played on a two manual pipe organ. The whole service was accompanied on this small instrument and the main organ only used for the David Bednall voluntary. I know very little about the layout of the cathedral or complications that there may be between the extant organ and the position of the choir etc. Can anyone tell us what the new instrument is all about and whence it came, etc?
  16. Martin Cooke


    Nothing to do with me whatsoever - other than through making a purchase or two - but there are several really useful and worthwhile items of organ music on ebay at the moment including bundles of Howells (complete psalm preludes and rhapsodies) Whitlock, Bach, Karg-Elert, Leighton, Rheinberger, etc etc last verse arrangements, lots of Oecumuse publications - sorry, my memory fails me! Worth a look with a search on 'classical organ sheet music' especially on behalf of pupils etc. If you find the first 'bundle' and then search on 'seller's other items, that should be a helpful way forward. I've gone for some Paul Edwards - I always find his compositions worthwhile - and several, to my mind, are really distinguished.
  17. Very sorry indeed to read an announcement on the British Pipe Organs Facebook site that John died yesterday. His is a name that I have known for much of my life through reading the standard organ journals and magazines, so it was a wonderful surprise to find that, when I retired, such a highly respected and renowned organ builder was looking after the local instrument. I met him on several occasions when he came to attend to it and looked forward to these opportunities to hear his wisdom and sense of humour and marvel at his agility. We all despaired of the instrument's many failings and complete lack of quality, and his final advice to us was not to spend any more money on it. Not all that long ago, he wrote a small book called An Organ Builder looks back which is well worth reading if you want to learn more about him and his work. I got my copy direct from John himself and I can't see other sources on line this morning. The organ world will feel his loss very keenly.
  18. Update from St Paul's following on from Simon Johnson's move to Westminster Cathedral - https://www.stpauls.co.uk/news-press/latest-news/latest-news-from-the-music-department
  19. Thank you both. I think that must be the Barenreiter index I found once before - very useful, if not brilliantly laid out. And I have learned the movement from Rubrics now which is delightful. Rowland - I recall an online service from Winchester at which Claudia Grinnell played other movements of this work. She played the first movement at the end, and the movement entitled something like The peace may be exchanged amongst her pre-service music.
  20. Just wondering if anyone can help with the following three questions... Is there, anywhere, an index to the complete Barenreiter Bach edition? I am sure I had and downloaded one but am now not so sure as I seem unable to find or re-find it. So, ideally, I'd like to see a thematic index, but I can make do with one that says 'Prelude and Fugue in X major, BWV 000 - VOLUME 6' ... or something approximating to that. Other than the Barber Adagio arrangement, are there other 'memorial' type pieces that organists use in the US in the same way as perhaps we use Nimrod or Solemn Melody, for example? Nigel Gaze - I played through the Oecumuse score of his Valediction yesterday - a lovely piece which qualifies as a 'luxuriant adagio' in my book. Does anyone have any recommendations for other organ music of his by any chance? A lot is published by Fagus. Many thanks!
  21. I do hope Stephen Farr, PCND on Paul Isom or another forumite with a wide knowledge of the repertoire will come on line soon and solve this - the piece is haunting me!
  22. Yes, it feels familiar - and I agree, re Whitlock - but I can't place it. I look forward to this puzzle being solved!
  23. Good to hear, Rowland, and thanks for that.
  24. Thanks for all these interesting thoughts and contributions. S_L I do fear for the future of the church as we know it, put it like that. I haven't kept up with the saga but there is a lot of talk over here about 10,000 new churches being established without the expense of clergy to run them and all being done in people's homes - and as far as I can tell, this is coming from the top! There is an incredible shortage of money in many (all) dioceses with talk of clergy redundancies - Chelmsford seems to be particularly badly hit, but they are far from alone. A fifth church is just joining four others in a benefice I know in Cornwall... though there are two clergy + two retired clergy and at least 2 LLMs (lay readers) but I imagine it will only be one service per church n most Sundays. And, at what I would regard as the principal church in the benefice, the splendid organ hasn't been tuned for several years, when it used to be done quarterly - but, again, it's not alone in that! I agree that organists don't always do themselves favours. I watched a film recently of a splendid organist introducing his large instrument - it was probably intended for organ enthusiasts only. But he drew some diapasons and played some very dull chords and described it as a 'glorious sound.' Well, we all know what diapasons sound like and, honestly, anyone who thinks three of four together is a 'glorious sound' needs to get out more! And it doesn't need to be like that - just read the account of the tonal work that has been undertaken at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Organists' Review this quarter - it all comes over as really quite exciting. If I am really honest, I am not sure that all these improvisations that many seem to specialise in do the instrument and its players any huge favours. Many, to my humble ears, come over as a mad, discordant and over-long cacophony and I avoid them now. I am showing my ignorance in saying this, I know, but I would much rather listen to a short improvised 'choir in' voluntary by a master of the art, than a long improvised symphony of sorts. And are transcriptions of massive symphonies popular? And if so, who with? And to back up Rowland's thoughts about the good work going on at Oundle and other places - there are some really good people doing some fantastic work with organ and church music with young people. The whole Diocese of Leeds music scheme sounds brilliant, and then there is Anna Lapwood in Cambridge (but, actually 'everywhere') and Tom Daggett (based at St Paul's) who do outstanding work with organ and choral music, inspiring lots of young people. And I sense that this is a movement that is growing as more and more people are caught up in what is already happening. [The contribution from trusts and charities to organ rebuild schemes is often predicated upon the 'new' organ being used to inspire new young organists.]
  25. My latest addition to the luxuriant list is Reginald Hunt's Aria, attention to which is drawn by Kevin Bowyer in the latest Organists' Review, though I think I would play it slightly slower than Dr Bowyer (or Hunt intended). I bought my copy of the Six Pieces in 1978 but, rather shamefully, haven't touched them since so it's good to have been nudged into dusting them off. Lots of interest in the latest OR - I was particularly interested in Paul Hale's account of the tonal work that has been undertaken recently at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. It sounds most worthwhile. A visit to Paul Hale's recently revised website, by the way, reveals two illustrated talks by him which some may not have seen, about some recent organ projects. See here. Most interesting.
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