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Martin Cooke

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Everything posted by Martin Cooke

  1. I need to play this on the organ after a funeral soon. I have downloaded the score (from MusicNotes) and at first glance it all looks straightforward enough but there are places where the voice and trumpet parts meander around each other which could be tricky given that one might rather needs different timbres to represent the two 'voices,' and one's other hand and a foot are busy holding chords. Has anyone a undertaken or come across a 'proper' organ arrangement of this piece. I might be able to get away with it by playing the chords with my feet but I haven't attempted anything yet. Many thanks, in case you can help.
  2. That's what I am thinking, Nigel. But, I suppose a certain amount of organ playing is essential and it depends on whether they can manage with just two organists. 40/50 years ago, it would have been most unusual to have two music staff at any service. I wonder if two staff are needed on dumb days when you would think it quite possible for one to manage with a pitch pipe. It seems awfully dull but also luxurious for an organist to just have to turn up to play a few chords and no voluntaries. And speaking of pitch pipes (and tuning forks)... it is awfully irritating to see in some of even our most celebrated 'quires and places where they thing', the person intoning the responses using a tuning fork almost incessantly - not just at the beginning of the set, but before each and every intonation, and sometimes holding the wretched thing by their ear and banging it on their head whilst they actually sing!!
  3. I can't help wondering if a modified St Paul's model could work elsewhere. Aim for a DoM who is a singer/choralist rather than an organist, and then have two organists beneath, though I accept that St Paul's has three organists in addition to Andrew Carwood. I suppose having a DoM who is a very competent organist as well as a choralist makes for greater flexibility in terms of covering the work though.
  4. Thanks John - the Plymouth Suite beckons, I think.
  5. Christopher Dearnley was given an LVO towards the end of his time, I think, but was not promoted to CVO upon retirement as he certainly deserved... at the very least. And we have seen others fairly recently who have made massive contributions at the organ or with choirs given an MBE which feels insulting to me. Yet in other walks of life it seems almost automatic that awards come one's way, followed by promotions after a fairly short amount of time. Of course, some of this inactivity might be attributable to those in high office in our cathedrals etc who don't submit names for honours.
  6. I wish we could see more of these awards going to organists and our top cathedral/church musicians. As well as these drying up, Lambeth seems to have abandoned its degree awards which could be counted upon - think Dearnley, Birch, Jackson, Thurlow, Massey et al, who all got Lambeth DMus degrees, but although Durham gave James Lancelot a DMus in his final couple of years, just some new-spun medal from Welby, which, to me doesn't cut the mustard. FRCO at 16 and Organist etc at Durham for a huge period of loyal and devoted service with notable milestones prior. Not good enough, I feel. How long does James O'Donnell have to wait for something like a CVO? He has been in charge at countless royal events in the Abbey, and yet, no award - and Andrew Carwood, too... and many others.
  7. OK - many thanks, both of you.
  8. I suddenly got it in my head that I should learn the Guilmant Grand Choeur in D alla Handel last weekend. I know, I know, I could have downloaded it from IMSLP - and I did but there's nothing quite like the real thing - but poking about on line I discovered Forwoods music store. I placed the order on Saturday and received the order yesterday, which, in addition to the Guilmant included a choral piece that had been printed from an archive collection. That's pretty good going, I would say. AND... and this is the nub... there is 25% discount on all Schott music until 31st January - Guilmant, Naji Hakim, Schroeder, transcriptions by Lemare & Guillou etc, though this is not just with Forwoods, I don't think - Schott celebrating 250 years. Anyway, I shall be using them again, certainly.
  9. Gosh, that's useful, too. But, it's all a bit unfathomable. There is there was a musicians' diary that had info like this in.
  10. That's a great starter, S_L - many thanks. So what do you actually type to get this list? I have just typed 'On the day wiki' and that works but the list of anniversaries is almost overwhelming. Can one limit it just to musicians?
  11. St Paul's has announced a series of recitals celebrating 150 years of the 1872 Willis organ. I don't think I found the details on the St Paul's site, but got them from a tweet. However, this is a link to the first of William Fox's Bach series which he gave to an empty cathedral last Sunday. In the opening shots, you get the full 'poster' covering all the recitals. I thoroughly recommend listening to this performance of William's with some seasonal music for New Year, Baptism of Jesus and, coming up soon, Presentation of Christ in the Temple/Purification/Candlemas. Having played BWV 684, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, at church that morning myself without a page turner, it is quite amusing to see the lengths [you will see this turns out to be a pun of sorts] that William has to go to to manage this piece without a turner. (Yesterday, I was engaged in the exercise of preparing a manageable score of Dubois' Fiat Lux for Candlemas.)
  12. I was a bit frustrated to get back from playing for church on Sunday to see a tweet announcing that 'on this day' in 1941, Frank Bridge had died. Is there a list somewhere of information like this, or is it just up to individuals to know and find out these things? I'm sure I'm missing something useful and would be grateful for a pointer, please - and thank you! Martin
  13. ... sorry... and don't forget Highland Cathedral is not Scottish in origin. Christopher Tambling wrote a lot of organ music with a Scottish flavour, all of it published either by Mayhew or Dr Butz. I can narrow this down to a few favourites if you would like me to.
  14. Also this - by AL Peace - https://ks.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/0/00/IMSLP64880-PMLP132155-ConcertFantasia1a.pdf
  15. New volume published by Banks of Scottish themes arranged for organ by Anthony Baldwin. Out now.
  16. Which organ did they use? Pipe or digital?
  17. Thank you, Dave - and your sentiments are warmly echoed from this little region of Wiltshire. What better way could there be to help us look forward to the future than the splendid Nine Lessons and Carols from KIng's yesterday? The final part of the service went on giving! David Hill's fabulous extra descant for verse 7 of O come, all ye faithful was masterful and it followed Christopher Robinson's verse 6 stunningly. Then, after the blessing, we had the Chilcott Still, still, still followed by a spine chilling improvisation (?) that led into an a capella first verse of Hark! which was pure magic. And, there were, of course, many scintillating and delightful moments along the way - the VW Sussex Carol, for example and the Philip Moore. Happy Christmas, everyone. Martin.
  18. Yes, very exciting - by Stuart Nicholson. It's in the second volume of Novello's Noel series - red cover.
  19. I have never heard of him until now. There is no reference to him or any music in Henderson, I'm afraid. His name pops up on the Royal College of Music site and it looks as though he wrote an interesting cultural history of the ABRSM. (Not everyone would use the word 'interesting' in association with the ABRSM, but having in some way been involved in their examining process since I took Grade III Bassoon (Examiner: Garth Benson) about 50 years ago, it looks 'interesting' to me... though very expensive!) Anyway, his Three Pieces - also unknown to me - are just £5 including p&p from Nymet Music, so I look forward to their appearance shortly. If I can't think of anything else to do later I may recount a (slightly) humorous story about an (entirely good-natured) encounter with an ABRSM examiner!
  20. Oh gosh... and new announcements on the King's website say that two choral scholars have had to self-isolate and The King's Singers have been in at very short notice to help with the recorded tv service, and that they will be using a new recording of 9 L&Cs for the Christmas Eve radio broadcast. It seems that they had foreseen the possibility of last minute difficulty and made a recording just in case. I do feel very sorry for everyone involved. Choristers have had a really tough time, I think, since first lockdown. A whole generation left their choirs in July without a proper send-off, and now the top boys at King's aren't getting this most memorable of events. I know it isn't the end of life as we know it, but it's sad for them.
  21. And more recently, I am sure some cathedral sub organists were expected to function as DoM at the Cathedral School is there was one. Actually, wasn't John Sanders Director of Music at King's School, Gloucester, whilst also DoM at the Cathedral? Harry Gabb, sub organist at St Paul's was also Organist, Conductor and Composer at HM Chapel Royal at St James. And John Scott was initially simultaneously sub organist at St Paul's and at Southwark Cathedral.
  22. Just caught up with the Radio Times and the order of service for Christmas Eve at King's. It look very interesting with some new arrangements of carols/hymns in the offing by Daniel Hyde and others. It says that, without a congregation, opportunity has been taken for more choir arrangements of the usual congregational items. But, I am surprised to see that Matthew Martin is listed as the organist for the occasion instead of an organ scholar and can't help wondering what this is about.
  23. It's extraordinary really - and SUCH high standards in terms of skills required - and not just referring to Exeter. I wouldn't have thought the accommodation was worth anything like that - even at £1000 a month, it's only £12,000pa, and I doubt very much if the assistant DoM of any cathedral's accommodation equates to £1000 a month - more like £500. Music posts in independent schools (especially boarding schools) where in the best, similar standards and skills may be needed - along with others, of course - make a FAR more lucrative option.
  24. Many thanks for that pointer, David.
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