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Martin Cooke

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Everything posted by Martin Cooke

  1. Not quite, but when the International Congress of Organists (or whatever) was held in Londonm in ?1957, John Dykes-Bower gave a recital in St Paul's which everyone attended and there was a cypher in the Fugue of the Prelude and Fugue in G major - JSB. It has been immortalised in the recent issue of a CD of this performance by Amphion. Another interesting situation was during a recital by John Birch at Norwich Cathedral when in the middle of the D minor "Fiddle Fugue" the blower burned out. Martin.
  2. I expect quite a few of us are asked what we would like for Christmas. I've seen reference to the DVD from Liverpoool - what's the reference for that, please? Are there any other unmissable CD's, books, pieces of sheet music for organists this year? I am sure that members wouold, incidentally enjoy two recent purchases: "Fantaisie Triomphale" and Grades Pieces Symphoniques - two Chandos CDs from Liverpool for Organ and Orchestra - some amazing pieces I'd never come across before - well worth having - both available on itunes, too! What else is there? Sad, I know, but... I would like to find recordings of Gray in F minor Mag and Nunc and also Wood in F (Collegium Regale). I see that Llandaff (Michael Smith) recorded the Gray and it's available from ?Priory but the other settings on this recording are all home-spun things that are not familiar. Does anyone know this recording, or can they recommend another? Martin.
  3. How about some Buxtehude this year before it's too late. I just used the P&F in D major (arpeggio opening - not too difficult)! at our school service. I see that David Briggs has been commissioned to write this year's final voluntary for Christmas Eve at King's - its based on In dulci. Martin
  4. It's Raphael that I was referring to - this recording mentioned above is the one you can get on itunes. Martin.
  5. Fumet: Integrale De L'oeuvre Pour Orgue I discovered this whilst wandering through itunes the other day - there's a cracking Toccata - I recommend downloading it. Martin
  6. I agree - Common Praise - is the best combination. Hymns Old and New is horrible - nasty leatherette, unexpected keys, and (in my opinion) a poor layout which AMR users won't be accustomed to. The other alternative is to do your own and use an excellent company called Gresham Books - this is what many independent schools do and within the covers of the books they produce you'll find some absolute treasures in terms of tunes and arrangements. Admittedly, this is an expensive solution. Martin.
  7. Is there any chance, John, you might bring us up to speed with how things are going with the St Paul's overhaul? I am sure we would all really enjoy seeing a few photos of the new dome console too if that were possible. Many thanks in anticipation. Martin.
  8. I think it was on a post here that I heard about this excellent new volume which I have subsequently purchased (in fact, I bought two by accident), and I wonder whether anyone else has tried it. Some of it isn't all that easy, I must say, but there is plenty of it and with one possible exception (I'll keep its identity to myself for now) it is all good quality and worth having a go at. I know there's been an awful lot of comment about Tubas and that for some members the word is all but unmentionable. I was brought up on the St Paul's Tubas and think you'd have to go a long way to knock the chancel tuba ands tuba clarion there. Still, the York one really is a bit of a bruiser isn't it? Dare I even say that I don't like it... at all? It never occured to me in the good old days of the KIng of Instruments LP with FJ playing the Cocker that it was such a whopper, but I suppose I was just listening on our little Bush gramophone and it didn't overwhelm. However, overwhelm it certainly does in JS-W's recording which comes free with this album. Anyway, has anyone else tried the music? Martin
  9. I see from the St Paul's website's account of the installation of the new dean that Huw Williamsd is styled Assistant Director of Music and Organist and Tom Wimpenny, as Assistant Sub-Organist. (Sorry I can't do the link.)
  10. It would be good to list a few other gems that might be in danger of falling out of the repertoire. No accounting for taste, of course, but does anyone play anything by Harvey Grace? His Resurgam used to be one of John Birch's big pieces at one time. Shame about the title, but there a lovely little piece called In-Voluntary in one of two volumes of six pieces. Hurford - Dialogues? Gordon Jacob - Paean? Has anyone tried any of June Nixon's pieces, published by Mayhew? All well-crafted. If you like lush, there's the Sydney Campbell "Lento" (I think) in the Canterbury Organ Album, and what about Paul Edward's piece piece based on Contemplation? Sorry , these are a bit random!
  11. What's happened to Phoenix? Their website hasn't been updated since February. Are they still going strong?
  12. Mmmm. Is it just me, or am I correct in thinking that there is no mention of the organ in the special Times supplement published today? Admittedly, I've only had a quick thumb through, but as I turned each pager, I was hoping the next would reveal a picture of the famous facade, or a story of the ground-breaking new organ that it was - (by all accounts.) Am I right? Is there really no mention? Shouldn't righteous indignation be expressed at the highest levels? (!) Martin
  13. How do you get hold of a copy of this?
  14. I hope you don't mind a "new topic" for this subject - it seems more specific than my previous one on Electronics. I played a Hauptwerk set-up the other day for the first time. Wow! The sound was quite amazing. It was set up in an old console and was only a start - you had to operate the stops using the mouse and all that but it was sufficient to make me want to know more. The thing is, I can't really work out how you take it further. The Crumhorn website doesn't seem to offer a console that you and I would recognise as such. Hoffrichter offer consoles that look more akin to normal but I can't see how they work with a computer and all of that, and the blog attached to it all suggests that they take an age to appear once they're ordered. Masses of other info is on the www but it's in German and whilt I know the occasional word or two of "Chorale Prelude German" that's my limit! Does anyone have an ABC guide on this - a sort of Dummies guide to how to get yourself a decent Hauptwerk set-up? I want something that can be played as much like a normal instrument as possible but with the Hauptwerk benefits. Where can you go to see and hear more? Happy to enter into private messages if needed but open forum may be of interest to others. Martin.
  15. I realise that this is sensitive, but what's the current ranking of electronics do people think? Are Viscount and similar multi-produced ones to be avoided altogether? I am thinking that for home use, (three manual) a Wyvern or Phoenix would be good but what about Makin/Johannus? Does anyone have recent experience of some of these? I'm particularly interested in Phoenix - they seem to represent good value for money. Not sure if I've got the hang of producing a link to this huge 5-manual Wyvern but it's worth a look. If the link doesn't function, go to Anthony Bogdan in google. Martin.
  16. Well, it hurts me to say this, because I struggle terribly to find any fault with John Scott, and, in any case, I am in no position to criticise, but I do find the psalter extraordinarily complicated and not always necessarily so. That said, I'm sitting here listening to a newly acquired second hand copy of CD 9, I think it is, (sorry - distraction there as frogs have been brought forth - all manner of flies - but AHHHH - a quarter of the chant was missing! - Nice bit of 32ft Contra Posaune though in Psalm 105 v 33!)
  17. Yes, FWAAHH, indeed! Also, what about those amazing arrangements of "Laus Deo" in that same RSCM book, by CH Lloyd and also watch out for Nun Danket by Dykes Bower.
  18. This is fascinating. I just wonder if someone like John Birch might know the answer to some of this. He knew Howells. I know John a bit and although he's not always in the country I could forward him this post and see if he knows anything about it. Martin.
  19. Isn't it time we heard some news of a new appointment at St Paul's? Does anyone have any idea what is happening and when an announcement might appear, by any chance? Martin.
  20. Greetings Justadad and Lawrence. Glad to hear all went well at St. Paul's. In the absence of other informantion is there any chance that either of you might reveal what the state of play is with the rebuilding of the organ? There doesn't seem to be any sort of announcement anywhere and it would be good. If by any chance Mr Mander hinself spots this posting, could you possibly publish a full briefing in the way that one was available in 1972? Are there to be any tonal changes? Martin
  21. The old organ loft at St Paul's cathedral was full of interest because of all the different ways of spying on what was happening around the building. The was one large and one very small peep hole for looking down to the west end and two similar ones on the opposite side for keeping an eye on the altar and the collection's arrival. Then the dummy pipes in the chair case could also be folded right back immediately behind the organist to see the choir. Christopher Dearnel;y always had one of these wide open when he was accompanying to see the beat from the senior vicar's choral - usually Maurice Bevan. On either side of these you could open panels behind the taller chair case pipes and then see out between the pipes themselves. Dykes-Bower used to keep one of these open just a crack to see the choir in. Harry Gabb used to occasionally open one of the larger central doors and one would see him sitting at the console in his braces! Martin.
  22. Lucky boy! The Bach and the Walton are good choices but will eat up the 20 minutes almost entirely. He can have fun choosing his trumpets in the Walton - if he's entirely unfamiliar with the St Paul's organ it will be quite taxing. Personally, though I love the Dorian, I think he could make a stronger impact with, say the Piece d'Orgue or the Allebreve, and then go for some good, honest stock like the Ireland Alla Marcia, Wesley Choral Song, maybe the Bridge Adagio in E - (use the Solo instead of the Swell if you can't have that) and then the Walton - the Dome tubas and Trompette Militaire will aerate the crowds very nicely - you might find access to the Royal Trumpets denied him. Anyway, I'm sure he'll do the school proud. Am I correct in thinking you were the correspondent after a copy of Langlais' Fete? If so, your son is welcome to my copy - it's always been beyond me and I'll never learn it now. Let me have your details somehow (PM, email??) and I'll try to find it! All the best, Martin.
  23. Does anyone know if the new Matthew Copley organ with the 32ft pipework in the case has ever been installed in St Mary's Edinburgh ? According to the Matthew Copley website it says that it was due for completion last Easter but there has been no further news.
  24. Have a look at some short pieces by June Nixon, published by Mayhew. Sorry - mind blank - oh yes - there's one in a book called Couple the Tuba and the other might be in a volume called Fiesta - need to check. What about Percy Fletcher's Fesitval Toccata - very easy but grand sounding on a large instrument. Gordon Jacon Festival Flourish is another arresting but short piece. I don't think anyone has mentioned Bach or Buxtehude - most of the Bach Preludes and Fugues are pretty exciting - try to C major in 9/8 or the G major with the arpeggio start - the huge three part Buxtehude G minor piece is wonderful along with many of the preludes and fugues. The Franck A minor Chorale is a good piece - long, but fiery in places with a huge and very satisfying ending.
  25. My favourites would include the Bridge Adagio in E major, the first 5 of the 6 Howells Psalm-Preludes, some Whitlock, though these aren't of great length - try Folk Tune, Dolcezza, Fidelis all in an OUP album Complete Shorter Organ Works by Whitlock. There's a lovely piece by Noel Rawsthorne based on the Londonderry Air published by Mayhew, some of Malcolm Archer's slow pieces are very pleasing on the ear (maybe a bit Radio 2!). Lots and lots of JSB chorale preludes fit the bill. Thalben-Ball Tune in E is really rather lovely. Try some Rheinberger Sonata movements - Sonata 11 comes to mind - Mendelssohn 1st Sonata, 2nd movt is beautifully crafted. Parry Chorale Preludes: try Rockingham and Melcombe. Hope that's enough to get started with!
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