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  1. There's a little more information here, which reveals that the soundboards will be replaced: http://www.thisissou...tail/story.html Apparently the organ is not expected to be back in action until Advent 2014. One wonders why it will take so long.
  2. Passed away in hospital earlier after suffering a heart attack yesterday. RIP
  3. From Birmingham Town Hall Organ by Nicholas Thistlethwaite (1984):- "In 1979, the Great Organ soundboards were overhauled, and the existing (1834?) Fifteenth and Mixture IV were replaced with new pipework; shortly after this (1981?) the bottom 8 notes of the Double Open Wood (also an 1834 stop) were cut down on site to improve access to other parts of the instrument." Dr. Thistlethwaite subsequently explains that there were no funds available for major work in the 1970s, so a programme of piecemeal repair and rebuilding was put in hand in 1979. However, the situation changed in 1982 and substantial funds became available allowing a full-scale reconstruction of the instrument.
  4. Quite! Additionally, I find the two examples cited by MM to be a case of the exceptions proving the rule.
  5. What about here? I only played it once about 18 years ago but remember the building having just the right sort of acoustic and instrument for what you're after. I don't believe it is used much for weekend worship nowadays, if much at all. I can pass on contact details if you're interested.
  6. Thank you everybody for some brilliant and amusing suggestions!
  7. That makes three of us, MM. I must confess that I find incredibly moving. Probably my favourite recording of VF on YouTube, in fact. I also find the clip which David Rogers recommends to be quite moving upon several repeated hearings over the last year or so, although I was originally quite appalled by it. However, the rather sentimental story given by some of those who have commented on the clip doesn't quite fit the facts, as a little research will reveal. But, in my humble opinion, it's quite a moving performance if one is able to suspend one's idea of 'good taste' for about seven minutes or so. However, I do wish the soprano had been gagged! As for playing in VF's style, I think that there are times when it's quite appropriate. I play his arrangement of 'Come, Sweet Death' entirely in his style, and can't envisage any other way of performing it. Audiences seem to love it too! I grew up with a recording of him playing BWV 532 in his own rather unique style and find that most other performances of this rather weak work pall into insignificance in comparison (excepting a superb performance by Simon Preston at Exeter Cathedral 20 years or so ago which had me pinned to the pew), and find that this style of performance goes down well with audiences and keeps them interested in a work which is rather more fun playing than hearing. Indeed, I took a bit of a risk when I finished my FTCL recital a few years ago with this work performed - unashamedly! - in the style of VF, and had both examiners (one of whom is well known in our circle) rise to their feet and applaud vigorously at the end. Thank goodness they weren't 'purists' - that group so vociferously loathed by VF! And thank goodness that they were evidently blind to my probable various technical weaknesses too! VF - despite all his 'defects' of taste - managed to bring in people to hear the organ who would have otherwise shied away from an organ recital, and got them to want to come again. The organ world needs more like him and I, for one, am happy to try my humble best to do likewise.
  8. Hi, I've been asked to give a talk about my time as an organist, and have had a pretty lousy suggestion from the organisers of a title for the speech - which I'm intending to replace before the advertisement goes out. I can think of some better titles but, as we have a good number of creative and witty contributors, just thought I'd ask this board for witty and humourous suggestions, should the Muse descend. The talk will be "warts and all" and will be amusing at times - I hope! Anybody care to suggest some potential titles, please?
  9. Sorry, MM, but, if the cap fits...
  10. Indeed. http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/_assets...%20may%2010.pdf (see page 6). Paul was one of my organ teachers many years ago. It's almost hard for me to imagine music at Exeter Cathedral without Paul!
  11. Personally, I just play 'tuneful' music, and nothing too funereal - something which the congregation can 'latch on' to. I found at my last place that this sort of thing seemed to go down rather well. At a 'big' funeral, I tend to send the coffin out to BWV 572 (starting at the second section) for no better reason than hearing this being done many years ago, and thinking it rather effective.
  12. Agreed, on the grounds that 3 got me out of bed to dig out a copy and visit the toaster downstairs to run through it again after a couple of years of not playing it, and 6 has decided me to have another run through it tomorrow. I may even play it this weekend! On the other hand, I was surprised by just how many performances made me close that particular window quite quickly. 3 was actually the only performance I listened to all the way through. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn't have the performance of E. Power Biggs which I've enjoyed for many years. Rather passé now, and recorded on a 1950s neo-classical spitting machine, but still a marvel of interpretation.
  13. I think I've read somewhere that you can purchase Finale at a generously-discounted price if you're a church musician.
  14. Thank you, Malcolm. Anybody else care to suggest what you think a fair rate might be, please?
  15. May I then suggest that all those who would like our generous hosts to consider it might like to sign up below, so to speak? I, for one, think it would be a splendid and worthwhile addition to this discussion board, and hope that Manders may be willing to extend their generosity, should they see fit.
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