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Vox Humana

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About Vox Humana

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  1. Vox Humana

    Appointments 2

    Link to King's College's announcement: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/daniel-hyde-appointed-director-of-music.html
  2. Vox Humana

    List of beautiful English Organs

    It's the famous Schulze at St Bartholomew, Armley.
  3. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    I could swear that I remember it at Ch Ch, but it was so long ago that's it's quite possible I'm confusing it with somewhere else.
  4. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Very true. That programme was far more imaginative.
  5. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Ah yes, good old Ps. 104. Very many decades ago I used to play for a choir who did cathedral visits in the summer. This psalm came up more than once and the conductor always asked for a touch of the 32' reed for "and there is that Leviathan". On the old Harrison and Harrison at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (anyone remember that?) it sounded particularly filthy, but the conductor still seemed to think it OK.
  6. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Yes, I wouldn't have minded Cwm Rhondda being just a touch broader. I've never considered taking 'Blaenwern' slowly, but I can see how it might work. As I think I must have mentioned before (probably more than once), I have in the past very occasionally been required by conductors to take hymns at the kind of speeds Vaughan Williams recommended in the English Hymnal. It's fashionable to dismiss these - indeed, ridicule them - as being ludicrously slow. Yet in a big, resonant building with a big congregation (the latter in particular being essential, I think) they can sound very grand indeed. The Tallis and the Rutter were nothing to frighten the horses, but the royal family are not noted for their sophisticated tastes in classical music. Both were very nicely performed though. Incidentally: I saw only twelve boys. Is that all there are? I do hope not.
  7. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Am I allowed to plead induced insanity?
  8. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Regarding hymn accompaniment may I commend particularly the performance of Cwm Rhondda at today's royal wedding as an object lesson in how to herd a body of 800 people at exactly the right, rock-steady speed (although I could have done without the - admittedly very discreet - word painting in v.2) . The last verse reharmonisation-cum-descant was also a model of its kind: totally logical harmonically, but never over the top and with the interest maintained through to the end. It's at 3:47:18 here.
  9. Vox Humana

    List of beautiful English Organs

    This rather poor monochrome photograph shows the rather spectacular Mardon Mowbray organ case at Paignton Parish Church, Devon in its original west-end position c.1889. The case was clearly inspired by Baroque Dutch and north German examples and I don't think I've ever seen anything else to match it in this country. When the organ was moved to the east end the two side towers were discarded. The Chair case now faces across the quire over the organist's head while the main case faces west down the south aisle:
  10. Vox Humana

    Appointments 2

    For clarification, that's St Philip's Cathedral, not St Chad's. I only mention this because I managed to confuse myself over it.
  11. Vox Humana

    Couperin Organ Masses

    Many thanks, Mathrafal. Here is a direct link to the relevant plainsongs for anyone interested. This should be interesting. Somewhere I have an old casette tape (but no longer any means of playing it!) of a BBC broadcast of both masses played by Michel Bouvard with plainsong sung by what was billed as the Maitrises of the Versailles Baroque Music Centre conducted by Olivier Schneebeli. The performance style of the plainsong, with its (semi-rhythmical?) stretched notes and ornaments, was quite unlike the evenly-flowing plainsong we normally hear. It was said to be the result of research, but it's not a field I know anything about.
  12. Vox Humana

    Couperin Organ Masses

    Welcome, Mathrafal. Thank you very much for these two very interesting posts and especially for clarifying the situation regarding the sources. Gallica is such an interesting site! Please could clarify this link to the Gradual? Am I missing something? Page 117 lands me in the middle of the Propers for the Third Sunday after Pentecost. The chants for the Ordinary start here, but I don't see Couperin's cantus firmi amongst them - at least not the Kyrie Cunctipotens or the Gloria (the Sanctus and Agnus are on pages 144-5).
  13. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    Good man!
  14. Vox Humana

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    "More than 70 songs for electronic or pipe organ, american organ, harmonium or piano." I only only person who silently screams whenever I see the word "song" misused in this way?
  15. Vox Humana

    Books about organ

    This - if your pocket can stretch to it. It's quite a voluminous book and not cheap (I don't think the book ever has been), but it is worth every penny, not just for the detailed information about Vierne, but because of the light it sheds on the whole organ world of his time. If you are into French Romantic organ music you'll find this invaluable. This study of Franck's organ music by the same author is also quite interesting, but more narrowly focused and perhaps of more scholarly than general interest (and why the paperback costs such a ludicrous sum is beyond me). Perhaps a book for later. For Bach, I warmly recommend this book by the late Peter Williams, even though it's not specifically about organ music. A more recent book by Prof Williams was published two years ago. I have not read it, but from the blurb I suspect it may be less broad in concept. Perhaps others can comment. The last volume of Williams's seminal three-volume study of Bach's organ music is still available, but now needs supplementing with the prefaces to the new Breitkopf edition (which are available free on the form's website). The New Bach Reader also ought to be on every organist's shelf too (and, as might be expected, is preferable to the original Bach Reader) - but at this stage it's probably one to bear in mind for later. It consists largely of primary source material for Bach's life (most of which is studiously avoided in Amazon's "look inside" facility). Stephen Bicknell's The History of the English Organ is an essential reference for its subject.
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