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john carter

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About john carter

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    I caught the bug at a very early age from the harmonium in my great aunt’s living room. Attempts to lull me to sleep with Vierne’s Berceuse were pointless because I was so excited by the wheezing monster. Studied piano and cello, but preferred choral singing as it was a much more sociable pursuit and gave me more access to the organ. In the early sixties I had a job interview at Compton, with a view to working on the design of electronic instruments, but had a better offer from a well-known broadcasting organisation, where I remained for the following 35 years. Favourite composer – Franck. Inspiration – Fernando Germani. Now, sadly, on my own I find music is a great comfort, especially late in the evening, when I can turn down the volume so as not to disturb the neighbours and lull myself to sleep with Vierne’s Berceu…zzz.

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  1. Youtube

    Colin, I'm sorry, perhaps I was being a bit prickly. Of course, any of us is free to comment on what we see and hear, but I think criticism needs to be fair. Personally, I was happy with the tempo and some of the rubato may have been the result of thinking time in an "off the cuff" performance. Out of interest, I listened to my own recording of the piece and the speed was much closer to that of Pierre-François than the other example you linked to. But then I too am an amateur, so my opinion isn't worth much. Perhaps it is a sign of getting old (and deaf), but when I listen to what I did in years gone by, I am appalled by the way I used to rush things and didn't give the music time to sing.
  2. Youtube

    Mr Pykett, I must disagree with your opinion. I think for an ad-hoc performance, from memory, by an amateur player, this was extremely good. Pierre-François is the very talented protégé of Daniel Roth and I believe his mentor advised him well on the interpretation of this piece. The tempo may not be to your taste, but I think that was all you needed to write. I feel that to rubbish it in such a pompous manner was unnecessary, bordering on rude.
  3. IVP/68 Kleuker/Steinmeyer for sale

    The replacement of the Zürich Tonhalle organ has been controversial, with some 2000 signatures on a petition to save it, but Jean Guillou's design was thought by some to be unsatisfactory when working with an orchestra. The new 70 stop instrument by Kühn is at the planning stage and should be completed in the late summer of 2020 when the refurbished Tonhalle re-opens. It is to be hoped that a good home will be found for the Kleuker-Steinmeyer.
  4. Unusual audience member

    In reply to Peter Allison, no it wasn't an assistance dog, just an apparently ordinary pet - but obviously one with good taste in music! It just made me smile that the animal was so calm, even when the horizontal "Spanische Trompet" was sounding at full volume. The recital was well attended. Apart from a few of student age, most present were 50 plus. I didn't count, but noticed that women outnumbered men, whereas I tend to notice the opposite at recitals in the UK.
  5. Unusual audience member

    At a recital in Zurich Grossmunster today, I was apprehensive when I saw that an audience member was accompanied by his dog. Gregor Ehrsam, organist of Liebfrauenkirche in Zurich, perfomed an excellent programme of Guilmant and Vierne, that worked remarkably well on the Metzler organ - not the obvious choice of repertoire for that instrument. Throughout, the dog sat quietly and apparently appreciatively!
  6. Suzanne Chaisemartin

    I am sad to note the death of Suzanne Chaisemartin on 8th July 2017 at the age of 96. A brilliant performer and teacher - and a delightful lady!
  7. Organists with hearing problems

    The problem with modern hearing aids, expensive or otherwise, is the inherent shortcoming of all digital devices - delay. Any sound heard directly arrives early compared to that through the aid. I find the only answer is to remove my hearing aids before listening to music or playing.
  8. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    And I object to you saying that the technicians didn't care, when you are in no position to know. I will say no more on the subject.
  9. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    I accept that the broadcast in question was a bit shaky operationally. What I objected to in Dr Wyld's response was that this was typical of the BBC screwing up musical balance. In general, I believe the technical and operational standard is pretty high.
  10. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    It was a Divine Service of Worship. For me, that was and always will be the most important thing. The closing voluntary, however grand, is secondary. And yes, that is my "mentality" as you so charmingly put it.
  11. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    Since you are not prepared to believe you can ever be wrong, there is little further to be said... For those who think I underestimate Colin Walsh, I don't.
  12. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    You know exactly what I mean about the licence fee, so your comment is sheer cynicism, as are your snide remarks about the lack of skill in "BBC Repertoire". If you have, like me, spent your career as a broadcast professional - and I was not aware of you working for the BBC - then your remarks are even more unreasonable than I first thought. To suggest that the Vierne, the least important part of the entire broadcast, can be successfully balanced at the end of the transmission, with just a sound test and old notes from previous visits to the Cathedral, shows a lack of understanding on your part. In terms of the performance, I think we can agree that it was pretty good.
  13. Excellent Vierne from Lincoln

    It's oh so easy to take a pop at professionals who work their socks off to bring you a wealth of high quality entertainment for the princely sum of £145 a year. Would you rather have had the signal hit the limiter as it made its way through a transmission network that is no longer part of the BBC? There is very little time to set these programmes up and quite likely no full rehearsal. I think the guys and girls do a very good job and I wish they weren't criticised by those who do not take into account the circumstances on the day and expect recording studio quality done entirely "off the cuff".
  14. HMV (EMI) Great Cathedral Organ Series

    I may be mistaken, but I think the recordings were made at Selby in 1961. I am aware of some recordings FG made at the RFH and All Soul's, Langham Place in the 1950s.
  15. Lemare's Bach

    There is a limit to the information contained in the roll and no guarantee that the playback speed is exactly the same as the recording speed. What is recorded are changes in tempo rather than absolute tempo. Even factors such as the thickness of the paper can affect the speed of the machine on either recording or playback - or both. As I understand it, a registrant is needed for the playback machine, so even if it were identical to the recording instrument, the result is unlikely to be exactly as the performer heard it. The specification of the playback instrument is: I. MANUAL C-c4 Principal 8’ Vox coelestis 8’ Viol d’orchestre 8’ Gambe 8’ Flöte 4’ Bourdon 8’ Klarinette 8’ Traversflöte 8’ Oboe 8’ Sesquialter II II. MANUAL C-c4 Principal 8’ Vox coelestis 8’ Viol d’orchestre 8’ Gambe 8’ Flöte 4’ Bourdon 8’ Klarinette 8’ Traversflöte 8’ Saxaphon 8’ Saxaphon 16’ extension of 8' Oboe 8’ Trompete 8’ PEDAL C-f1 Subbaß 16’ Flöte 8’ ...so not much upperwork to be found!