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alan taylor

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About alan taylor

  • Birthday 31/08/1946

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  1. Last Sunday afternoon at St Paul's , Simon Johnson played a programme entirely made up of transcriptions, beginning with the Clarke Trumpet Voluntary - using the West Trumpets. Through Maurice Greene, Handel, the Barber Adagio, finishing with Maurice Besly's arrangement of the Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from The Firebird. It was a treat to have the Dome Console in use, generally not the case for Sunday recitals. The programme noted that Simon has just recorded a DVD (for Priory I think) using this console. Next week (24th January) the Organ Scholar Tim Harper is joined by Michael Broadway who will be playing the Pianola. I had once thought that the Pianola simply played itself, but having heard Michael play at the musical Museum in Brentford , I know this is not the case. This is one not to be missed. Alan
  2. I also made the mistake of attending Wayne Marshall's recital. I should have known better, as I have heard him play before. What I find very curious, is that my ears detect great musicality emanating from Mr Marshall. And this whilst I hear him, yet again, destroying the music by trying to prove how clever he is by playing so fast. And then there are the full organ climaxes. Over and over and over again he goes for full organ. And frankly, as far as I am concerned, full organ at the RAH needs to be used sparingly. Maybe no more than twice in a recital. He would probably register a Bach Choral prelude to finish on the solo reeds. If I were ever to meet Mr Marshall, I would suggest to him that he takes the 1st 10 mins of a recital to show how clever he is at playing at speed. He could do this on full organ. Then, turn his musicality back on and make sense of the music. Alan
  3. The organ was used to accompany services in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Alan
  4. The Blackpool Tower has a pipe organ. Alan
  5. In the early 1970s this church had a 3 manuel Willis which was in bad health. This organ was replaced by a 2 manuel tracker organ built by Bishops of Ipswich. The Bishop organ was far to small for the building and the action was very heavy. I have no idea of what is now in place. Maybe David Wyld will be kind enough to loof up the details of the Willis organ? Alan
  6. I would also like to add my appreciation for the visit to St Paul’s. The new reeds, both chorus and tubas are very fine. And certainly fit like a glove to the rest of the organ. Mander’s have done a first class job in matching the new reeds to the Willis organ. But, I wonder if I am alone in regretting the loss of the old tubas? We were also lucky to have Michael Broadway present. Michael tunes both the organ in St Paul’s and indeed the RAH organ. Both organs having to be tuned at night. Thank you too all concerned for an informative and interesting evening. Alan
  7. And what was was the answer? Alan
  8. I also wish to add my appreciation of our visit to Worcester Cathedral. It was a day full of interest. The cathedral made a wise decision in both ordering a new organ and in its inspired choice of organ builder. Our host, Adrian, was both witty and informative. At one stage, Adrian asked the assembled company if there was anything we felt was missing from the new organ. I suggested a diaphone, but my suggestion of adding a diaphone Chamades wasn’t met with his approval. A lot has been written about our generous hosts. I want to thank the members of this board that performed on the organ to a very high standard. Please take no notice of those who from a position of not actually being present to hear you play, tell you from their lofty heights that it is bad form to add the tuba to full organ. There can be no general rule on tubas. It depends on the tuba. And whilst it is true that you aren’t likely to find a tuba on a French organ, the Worcester organ isn't French and doesn't sound like a French organ. The members of this board who performed so well added a great deal to a wonderful day. Alan
  9. Many thanks Simon. Please count me in. Alan
  10. Two more for the day please Adrian. Alan
  11. I paste below, with the full permmision of Ian Bell, up to date information on this organ. Ian's posting was on another list. Alan I am not sure this organ is really on-topic on this list anyway? But since the subject has been aired... As I say, this is a scare story – those circulating it are implying that the organ is under threat of being scrapped, which it is not of course, and either do not know - or are not telling - the important bits of the story. The image of an uncaring local authority carelessly destroying our wonderful heritage is just not aligned with the facts! I appreciate that this is frustrating for those needlessly asked to rally to an unnecessary cause. The hall management first contacted me exactly 3 years ago this week, and I went up and talked to them about their feeling that they had a need to take a broad view of the future viability of the hall, and about their review (already firmly on the agenda at that time) to investigate what effect the presence of the organ might have on the value of the Hall as a general-purpose venue. The organ both occupies what would otherwise be stage area, and at the same time is constantly at risk from the events that take place there, and from the need for riggers and electricians to climb through it, amongst the pipes and up ladders and over the swell-boxes, to reach the roof space above for rigging lights. It is rarely used, and when it is few people go - certainly not enough in these troubled times to justify easily the public funds needed to return it to good order. Contrary to what these folk are saying, maintenance is not a problem and when requested has been diligent - but is seriously limited by the funds they have been able to find to pay for it. Warrington are fully aware of, and very responsibly concerned about, the value of what they have in this instrument. But if the Hall is not viable, the organ has no home in any case, so they have been carrying out parallel studies on the options with and without the organ, whilst at the same time - to illustrate the options that might be available if needed - asking me to filter the numerous takers that have come out of the woodwork, most of whom had no idea how space-consuming it is, nor that it needs a very considerable sum spent on it (perhaps £300k or more). This includes reversing some of the effects of a pretty economical rebuild 35 years ago. They have consulted closely throughout with the local friends of the organ, who have been to see some of the possible homes. They could not have been more thorough. And the fact as I say is that it rarely gets used, and when it does nobody goes - two or three dozen local supporters, and almost certainly nobody who is now shouting about petitions. And having been voiced as a house organ, it sounds dead and muffled in this shabby building (its third home), which is currently decorated to look like a middle eastern brothel and hanging with grubby drapes which further deaden the acoustic! Front of house is pretty grim - backstage years overdue for upgrading. So my view is that the best thing that could happen to it may well be to get it out into somewhere that it can be played and heard every day, with ideally re-instatement of the barker levers and so on that were scrapped in the 1970s. Sheffield Cathedral laid claim to it several months ago but as with any cathedral there are procedures to be gone through, and permission from outside bodies which may or may not be given. Meanwhile I have five other ostensibly viable takers eager to be considered, if in the end, Warrington decide to part with it. I. -- Ian Bell 49 Chelmsford Road Woodford London E18 2PW Tel: 020 8491 0962 Fax: 020 8559 7477 Mob: 07775 500 189
  12. A modern bell is tuned to hum the octave above and below the strike note. Plus a minor third and a major fifth above the strike note. Alan
  13. It isn't a hybrid. It is a very large electronic organ. The pipe organ was dismantled afetr 9/11. The case of the pipe organ hides the loudspeakers. Alan
  14. Stephen Bicknell's memorial concert was attended by about 200 people. Including famous organists and organ builders. The noise whilst the last piece was performed was not unlike a crowded pub at closing time. Alan
  15. Could this be the organ that was given its first recital by Garret O'Brian who was then at St Thomas’s? I went along with Garret for his recital. The organ was simply dreadful. A hymn machine had been rebuilt into a screeching banche. Just about no use at all in accompanying hymns. When asked by its creator what I thought about the new organ, I replied it only lacked two things. Namely a gallon of petrol and a match. Alan
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