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Everything posted by gazman

  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.
  16. What an entertaining thread this has turned out to be! Thank you. Ok, folks, I'll try another tack, if I may. If you're going to take on a new post such as the one I described and are asked to 'name your fee' what - within reason! - would you propose?
  17. I'll post what I suspect you and others may well be thinking... How about having such a section on this forum, please, Mr. Mander, Sir, considering that most organists are also involved in choir training?! It could be fun and, I'm sure, very worthwhile!
  18. I agree. In addition to 'Here in a basement', I also find 'He bears His load on the sorrowful road, and bends 'neath the burden low' a little too much to swallow too. However, musically, I think it very well-crafted, and parts of it have the ability to move me very much. I wonder why there has been so much snobbery against it over the years. Passing fashions, I guess. I grew up with a splendid LP of an abridged version of it sung by the choir of Guildford Cathedral, under Barry Rose. Has anybody else got any favourite recordings (if you dare admit to owning recordings of The Crucifixion!)? On the other hand, as for Olivet To Calvary... EDIT: I see OmegaConsort has beaten me to it. I blame it on my slow laptop!
  19. They're also a lot more straightforward to play in their original two-stave form, of course! Does googling the arrangements you seek produce any useful results?
  20. Good luck getting it sorted out, Peter. If you find the definitive solution to performance nerves, bottle it, sell it, and you'll make a fortune. I'll be your first customer!
  21. Thank you for your advice thus far. I appreciate it! I thought we might have done so, and searched the board for a while before posting, but I couldn't find a topic where we discussed specific fee rates.
  22. I take your point. But I think the 'man-in-the-pew' seems to quite enjoy hearing a few carefully chosen words from the performer. If it enhances the evening's entertainment, then I'm all for it. I couldn't agree more!
  23. Yes, I'm aware of the fundamentals of Hauptwerk. But I don't think I've missed your point. You said "I really don't mind Hauptwerk consoles looking like "glorified midi consoles". At least they're being honest about what they are and their intentions. They're really products of modern technology so I feel the aesthetic of them being unashamedly modern is something to be embraced - I think the idea of touch screen stop jambs, etc, is the right approach, with form following function perfectly." I was making the point that I dislike toaster consoles looking like 'glorified midi consoles' when their main task is to imitate a pipe organ. It seems daft to me that, for example, a Swell to Great thumb piston should be displaced in favour of a 'MIDI on Great' piston, or whatever. Which one of those would you think the most useful when playing the standard repertoire?
  24. Hi folks, Sorry to start up such a potentially boring topic, but I am shortly moving to a new post and have been told by the Rector to name my own fees for weddings and funerals (oh how tempting! ). The church has a proficient choir of trebles and men who do the full 'Cathedral' repertoire, and prospective wedding couples are encouraged to book the choir to present choral items at the ceremony, so most weddings will be more ambitious than "Two hymns. Traditional in and out". As I'm not a member of the RSCM, I'm unable to view their guidelines with regard to minimum fees. So I'd very much appreciate hearing what colleagues charge, if you're willing to divulge, please. I'm also considering applying a blanket fee to weddings to cover 'family' videos, rather than applying an extra fee if couples choose to divulge that they know the wedding will be videoed, having been bitten several times in the past. I'd be interested to hear how widespread applying such a fee is among the profession. Thank you in advance.
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