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Peter Allison

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Posts posted by Peter Allison

  1. 12 minutes ago, Martin Cooke said:

    Don't miss this recital by Anna Lapwood = part of the Ryedale Festival - https://ryedalefestival.com/event/anna-lapwood-organ/

    Excellent playing all through but great performance of Bach Trio Sonata No 2 in C minor - super little Nigel Church Organ at Coxwood.

    I lived a couple of miles from Coxwold, a few years ago, passed the church every day nearly, but never went in.... as Easingwold was our church at the time


  2. 22 hours ago, Phoneuma said:

    A valuable exercise indeed. There’s probably a case for saying it might be too late but there are some points where the marketing and planning of recitals falls way short of similar events in, say, local music societies.

    One of my biggest gripes is the abject failure to publish the programme of music in advance and this is pretty widespread. I simply won’t go to any recital if I don’t know beforehand what is to be performed. There’s really no excuse for it and it strikes me as lazy and even amateur. You wouldn’t be expected to turn up at the Wigmore Hall not knowing the programme so why is it that this happens at organ recitals? Organ recitals.com has the facility to append programmes, easily. Leeds TH, for instance, publish their full programme at the start of the season.

    I attended one recital in which a respected organist programmed the entire Elgar Vesper voluntaries, a guaranteed turn off. These are of such insignificance as to be rightly forgotten, the sort of bland doodlings to be found in those Victorian Vademecums, serviceable music to fill a gap but nothing more.

    My other bugbear is the outdated ‘every organ recital should include Bach’ statement. Colin’s analysis appears to quash that. Why Bach? Why not Buxtehude for instance? 

    And, biggest turn off (for me) - transcriptions (or, more accurately, arrangements). It’s almost admitting that there’s no decent organ music and I’m inclined to agree at times with that. Decent organ music is there, it’s mostly written by organist composers (much like guitar repertoire) and can I think capture the imagination of the audience. This ‘transcriptions’ lark reaches its absolute nadir in a certain organists fixation with Mahler symphonies, an utterly pointless exercise, futile.

    Maybe some of my comments are abrasive, possibly prejudiced, but the organ recital business is a victim of its own narrow mindedness. There are exceptions of course but joe public isn’t going to be persuaded by a lack of publicity/programme, obscure repertoire, attempts at popularity (arrangements of lollipops from other genres) and a feeling that there is some sort of special alchemy involved - there isn’t.


    As a "non player", I have been to 100's of recitals all over from 1977 until 2019, and for me there is nothing worse than travelling  many miles, paying an entrance fee and finally getting a programme with music  by some composers I have never heard of. Transcriptions... I can take them or leave them, realising that at certain Town Hall venues, they are expected, but I get the Mahler thing (I recorded one in York Minster with permission of the  recitalist and RS).
     I organised my  own recital a few months ago, with an eminent player, good church, quality programme etc, and more advertising  than you could shake a stick at, incl radio..... played to an empty church bar 4 of us

  3. 19 minutes ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    I once had the experience of turning up for a recital which I had sponsored and being asked to pay for admission and the programme!  It wasn’t the fault of the lady on duty at the door - she wouldn’t have known.  The surprise, for me, when I received the programme was that it contained no reference at all to the sponsorship which was my personal donation on behalf of my organists’ association, equally unmentioned.  The degree of professionalism in promoting and advertising recitals varies enormously, as discussed recently on another thread.  

    In ‘defence’ of Coventry, my good fortune there has always been to receive the warmest of welcomes.  My admiration of its splendid H&H organ knows no bounds - but I believe that also needs a lot of money spent on it.

    A friend of mine was going to make a professional recording at Coventry about a year ago or 2 (with Wayne Marshall), they wanted just over £3000 for the  recording session. So as it was a tad rich for his blood, they had the good fortune to go to a large church in Portugal with a new ish large organ, and record for free (was an RC church)

  4. 17 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

    I don't do organ DVDs because, quite frankly, I'm not committed enough to the instrument, but it seems to me that the problem with the traditional British organ is that it hasn't generated any really great music that justifies the medium. Such decent music as has been written for it sounds - or would sound - infinitely more convincing when orchestrated.  He obvious candidate is the Elgar Sonata, but it would be equally true of Whitlock, all of whose output would benefit immensely from orchestration. There probably are odd exceptions to my sweeping statement, but I can't think of them offhand.

    I shall now duck for cover, but please remember that, 'sending the boys round' is against government guidelines. :) 

    A few years ago the Durham University along with James Lancelot and the amazing Cathedral Organ, made and produced a good DVD of the Elgar Sonata, complete with interviews of scholars of the subject (I think)

  5. A few years ago, my best friend who passed away a couple of days ago,  (David Rogers) made a visit, when I lived in Hull, and were given free reign, so used "both" keys to get the blowers working, (you were asked to use just the one key for practising apparently)  and David just improvise for a couple of hours, and took his recorder, and recorded everything. Its one of those days that I will remember for a long time

  6. 14 hours ago, DariusB said:

    I'm truly sorry to hear that.  Dave was a constant and enthusiastic presence at the Leeds Town Hall recitals - he made some fine recordings - and his knowledge not just of organs, but of organ repertoire was astonishing.    It's particularly sad as he was so pleased to have been recently appointed at Wentworth Parish Church.  At the last 'request programme' we had, I'd finally got round to fulfilling his long-stand request to play Peeters' "Flemish Rhapsody" - but he never got to hear it.  I'm sure it's not just at Leeds where his presence at recitals will be greatly missed.

    I agree, his organ knowledge was extraordinary, and he was a very quiet ( but could be stubborn) his acquaintances in the organ world were much talked about. He made many commercial recordings for the likes of Paul Derett and always had good reviews. He went everywhere with his "bag of tricks", a simple portable  DAT recorder and his 80's Tandy PZM microphones. The last time I actually saw him was at Leeds Town Hall, and he had just stuck his mics on the stage to record Jonathan Scott (last January) 

    I spoke to him the day before he passed, and he was in good spirits. I moved down to Sleaford last year, but we were going to have    "a meet"

    I have been in touch with his sister in Aylesbury, and have been asked to help with his gargantuan recording collection, 1000's of them on LP (stereo and mono versions of the same thing),, CD, R to R, DAT, cassette etc

    PM me for more details 

  7. I like the Scott brothers, and have seen all the recordings, they show great musicianship and  Tom is a fantastic photographer/videographer/sound engineer and pianist. Long may they continue to entertain

  8. I have a good friend who has original recordings on spool tape, that was recorded on in the 50's. And I have a couple of standard C90 cassettes that were used to make my first organ recordings on, in 1986. A lot of the vintage stuff may still work IF they are kept in the right conditions and looked after (and make copies/backups). the record label "Hyperion" seemed to have an issue with some recorded CD's a while back, so it seems even relatively new media can fail. I now have a backup of a backup of my "non organ" music plus the original CD's

  9. I have a Zoom H4 Pro, and previously a Zoom H2, and used the other mediums that Collin mentioned, except Mini Disk (I used a Sony DAT). As have mentioned on here before, I am a "non player", but knew more about the works of the organ, composers etc, than my late father, who was an organist from the late 40's until he died, last year. I have always asked for permission before recording anyone, from David Briggs etc  to a humble village organist just rehearsing  the hymns. I have over 300 recordings I can lay my hands on at the press of a few keys on the PC. They are an invaluable tool in the right hands, as long as any recordings are not put on You Tube or Face Book, breaking any copyrights


  10. I was having a look on the "Old Hull" Facebook page, and came across this photo. I am not sure if its been posted on this forum before, But knowing a few people know its history after this happened, I thought they might enlighten us again


  11. 1 hour ago, Phoneuma said:

    Good for him - I’d suggest it’s perfectly in order for him to turn down any request to record any public recitals. This seems to be, or at least was, particularly common a few years back when I attended a few recitals in the north with, on occasion, more than one set of devices recording the concerts. Whether or not permission had been sought (and, I know it hadn’t in more than one case) I found it a very off- putting practice. This simply wouldn’t happen in, say, the Wigmore Hall or the RFH so why should it be considered acceptable at organ recitals. It appeared to me that it was nothing more than some sort of trophy-hunting and very disrespectful to the performer (and, I’m assuming, in clear breach of intellectual property rights). 

    just to point out that in over 200 recitals I have recorded, I have ALWAYS asked for permission to do so from both the organist and the place its being recorded. I have very rarely come across an emphatic no, apart from one at York Minster. I have recordings of the late John Scott, David Sanger and Carlo Curley, as well as Nathan Laube, Graham Barber and David Briggs (at York Minster) etc

  12. On 21/08/2019 at 23:28, pcnd5584 said:

    I particularly like the Durham edition. James Lancelot appears entirely at ease on-camera, and he clearly delights in giving what is one of the best 'sound tours' of an organ in the entire series.

    One or two musical (but not familiar with organ construction) friends watched it, and found it to be both interesting and informative.

    He is VERY particular about recording  him though. I made a midnight recording of him playing just 4 pieces, many years ago... But when I have asked him if I can record him in recital, he always says no, nicely of course. As he thinks that if he knows someone is recording, then he is "playing to the mics". I kind of get that, but at the same time it  tends to be a generation thing, going buy all the U Tubes videos and other social media items

  13. On 02/08/2019 at 09:01, Rowland Wateridge said:

    Perhaps I should not have mentioned (grumbled?) about my church commitment!  The very best hi-fi sound reproduction can never be a substitute for being physically present in the Royal Albert Hall - a venue (and organ) like no other.  I posted the programme details thinking that Olivier Latry’s choice of repertoire would be of interest, and might lead to some discussion about transcriptions and arrangements - I have no problem with either - both terms seem to be interchanged rather loosely.

    People spend thousands on reproduction gear (Hi Fi) and the organ is one of those things that just cannot, cross over well.

    There has been one exception tho ( a very personal one) I went to hear an American organist at St Pauls, a few weeks ago, and yes, its a magnificent organ, BUT I preferred the recorded sounds of the late John Scott (and others) when playing on Full Organ, as the "live" sound was just a mush, it may have something to do with the seating, that was under the dome

  14. On 11/07/2019 at 18:23, Rowland Wateridge said:

    Well, of course, blind organists play from memory, and I count it one of the great privileges of my life to have heard Helmut Walcha play (twice) at the RFH.  Of living performers I have heard, there are David Liddle, also blind, and three Americans: Daniel Hathaway, Paul Jacobs and Nathan Laube who all played from memory.  Of British performers, most recently, and several times, Darius Battiwalla.  I’m sure there are others.  Carlo Curley played extensively from memory, but I’m not sure whether he might have used a score sometimes.

    I believe that playing from memory is more common, even more usual, in the US.

    In a completely different league, of course, didn’t Marcel Dupré play the complete works of Bach from memory?

    Ken Cowan also performs from memory, just like his recital at St Pauls Cathedral, last thursday

  15. On 29/06/2019 at 08:17, Rowland Wateridge said:

    " he received a standing ovation!  I can’t recall that happening before at an organ recital. "

    James Lancelot received one at York Minster, a couple of years ago

    On 29/06/2019 at 08:17, Rowland Wateridge said:




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