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Vox Humana

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About Vox Humana

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  1. I accompanied a choir in St John's for a concert a few years ago. I thought it a fine instrument. However, due to it being tightly boxed in (so I understand), it is distinctly on the quiet side as organs of this size go. As at Exeter it was good to be able to use so much of it with a choir, but it did limit the way you could use the Swell. The Celestes, for example, were far too quiet to achieve any kind of balance without mixing with at least the 8' flute. I can't understand why anyone should hate it, but my acquaintance was only fleeting.
  2. It was Nicolaus Bruhns, not Bach, who was noted as having done that.
  3. Only some? I know I'm not that well connected, but I'm not at all sure I've ever met an organist who is completely happy with what (s)he's got. If they have not tinkered, it's probably only because of lack of funds.
  4. It was Sidney Campbell who originally brought Arthur Wills to Ely as his assistant—unceremoniously ousting the incumbent man to make way for him, if I remember correctly. John Wellingham, who studied at Ely with Campbell, tells a tale to cherish. Ely were doing a broadcast Evensong on the Home Service. Campbell was going to conduct; Wills would accompany. The producer asked for a thirty-second organ improvisation in order to set a suitable atmosphere for the service. After the service was over, Campbell came up to John with his hands held limply quivering in front of his breasts in mock s
  5. I recall that Sidney Campbell's solution was to precede the first chord with crotchet octaves B C# F#, a slightly more subtle solution than JDB's and still thematically related. I'm not sure that it was really necessary, though—the choir never had a problem with the start of Stanford's B flat Jubilate. Campbell certainly used reeds for 'He hath shewed strength', but I can't remember whether it was the Solo Trumpet or the Great reeds. A Tuba might be overkill - or at least some might be. A lot of people seem not to like Murrill in E. The Magnificat does sound horribly trite when it's taken to
  6. When I have been sussed in the past, it has usually been my finger substitutions in legato passages that gave me away!
  7. Quite. That's why I was careful to stipulate 'practical'. 🙂
  8. I can't for the life of me see how touch screens are a practical advance on stop knobs. It's the easiest thing in the world to grab and pull a bunch of modern, electrically controlled stop knobs. Pressing three knobs on a touch screen simultaneously surely must require greater precision. (Is that even possible? The last time I encountered a touch screen you could only activate one stop knob at a time, but that was quite a few years ago.)
  9. The last few posts beg the question of who exactly our target clienteles are and whether they require different strategies. Given that I’m a nobody, perhaps I have no business voicing an opinion, but I am afraid that I disagree very much with Brizzle. Perhaps this is because the people I gave recitals to (on the rare occasions I gave them) were always mainly musically unsophisticated—but these people are surely no less important than classical music devotees. That said, I don’t believe that it is necessary to patronise such an audience to provide them with an enjoyable experience. My pro
  10. Interesting development: https://www.sheffieldcathedral.org/news/2020/10/4/announcement-from-the-dean-of-sheffield-cathedral
  11. Yes. 'Easter Song' is the A&M name for the tune and has the shorter note values as set by Campbell; 'Lasst uns erfreuen' is the EH name and has the longer values as set by Fleming. All perfectly logical in their ways. Just in case I haven't been clear, it's Campbell's single chant for psalm 114 that is incorrect in the published version. The published version of his descant for the Barnby chant is correct, but there's an altered version in circulation. It's easy to spot Campbell's original as the first quarter has the chant melody as a left-hand solo (which he used to play on the S
  12. For those on Facebook, both chants can be retrieved via the link below by licking on the 'posted' links, though you have to be a member of the Anglican Chant Appreciation Society group. The Barnby arrangement is the first chant listed, while the single chant I mentioned is no.29-4. Alternatively, if you PM me an email address I'll see what I can do. Both chants are technically still in copyright, but goodness knows where this now lies. All Campbell's immediate relatives pre-deceased him and even his cousins are all dead now. https://www.anglicanchant.nl/books/book034.html
  13. Alas, it is out of print and seemingly unavailable, even in these days of photocopy on demand. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Introits-Chants-T-B-Anthems/dp/B0000CTZOI
  14. I should imagine that most of the lay clerks were the same. In those days a lay clerkship at Windsor (and not only there) was a job for life. I hope at this distance in time it is not too indelicate to say that several that Campbell inherited were well past their best, but apparently impossible to remove. Things began to improve in the early '70s with death, retirements and the appointment of younger men with fine voices. Nevertheless, it remained a mixed bunch. I do not know whether Christopher Robinson managed the impossible, or whether it was simply natural retirement that did the trick,
  15. What an interesting account. Thank you, Rowland. The Walker/Rothwell organ can be heard on this Evensong. It may be Clement McWilliam playing rather than Campbell, judging from the plain psalm accompaniments—although Campbell would still have been new in post, which might be an alternative explanation.
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