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Robert Bowles

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About Robert Bowles

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  • Birthday 24/07/1949

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    Clapham, London
  1. I can shed some light on this - I was there!! The "extra" evensong was instigated c 1870, with a voluntary adult choir (the"Special Service Choir") directed by John Stainer, with ladies singing the treble part. Not long afterwards, the ladies were replaced by the cathedral choristers, but only 2/3 of them. The rule was 2 weeks "on" one week "off". Fair enough, given that we had already sung Matins, Eucharist and (3.15) Evensong already. So we were allowed to bunk off before the sermon. The service was more of a Parish than a Cathedral affair - canticles to Anglican chant and a simple
  2. Aha! Very interesting, Martin. I didn't know about the controversy, but I can shed some light on the Dean and Chapter's preferred location for the Willis on Wheels. It would not have been in the North Transept (which was still boarded off and being restored after WWII bomb damage). The alternative location would have been its normal roosting place, the first window bay in the north quire aisle. Prior to Mander's re-build, the WoW (aka Stainer organ) had no case, and pneumatic action, and it was small enough to pass (only just) through the gates at the entrance to the quire aisle. Leaving
  3. You are correct, Martin - fortnightly 'rehearsals'.
  4. Aha! Very interesting, Martin. DB's concerns were well founded, and I remember him introducing the introduction after a particularly rocky rendition. The challenge for him was that however much he got the boys up to scratch, it was difficult for deputy vicars choral, who would not have practiced it at all. Indeed, we only had 1.25 hour rehearsal per week with the men, in the school hall, and the men attending that rehearsal were those on duty that day - not necessarily those who were to be on duty when it was actually performed! And with 12 sung services a week, there was not time to do
  5. Martin's mentioning Murrill in E and Carillon sent me looking for my copies of both. I was immediately struck by the lack of time signatures. He doesn't seem to have gone in for them at all. My copy of the magnificat is marked with a correction in the first bar of the Con Moto before "He hath shew'd strength" Minim =crotchet is crossed out and replaced by dotted minim = minim. John Dykes Bower (who knew Murrill) said this was a transcription error by the engraver working from Murrill's manuscript. The dot from the first minim got missed, and the second minim was smudged on the manuscr
  6. Harry Gabb certainly wore a chocolate and blueish hood at St Paul's. Someone is playing the Willis on Wheels at 32 seconds into this clip https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVABL93QBX197L8XI3ZUQFCLX35-UK-SAVE-THE-CHILDREN-FUND-ANNIVERSARY-SERVICE-AT-ST-PAULS/query/ST+PAULS+CATHEDRAL but I can't see if it's Harry or DB. I don't remember winged collars at St Paul's, except for Virgers, and then only on Sundays (White ties for the Dean's Virger, black ties for the others). I think you'll find that winged collars and bow ties is a Chapel Royal thing - where Harry and Richard were each DoM
  7. Our copies of Common Praise have now gone to a good home!
  8. "The Organist's Hymnbook" by Anne Marsden Thomas (Cramer Music ISMN: M-2209 - 0621 - 3) has 160 of the most common tunes (but no words!). They are printed on three staves, with suggested fingering and pedalling. Each tune appears twice, once "straight" with note values as printed in hymn books and once with assorted rests to assist with articulation and show what you really need to play to keep a congregation together. My church (in Clapham, South London) has, literally, just pensioned off "Common Praise" in favour of its successor "Ancient and Modern Hymns and Songs for Refreshing
  9. Hmm. Perhaps it was after John Dykes Bower retired and Christopher Dearnley arrrived! After my time!!
  10. Conductor? What conductor? Those were the days when things were only conducted if they were unaccompanied. The main use for the hinged panels was to allow the organist to see what was going on downstairs and draw extemporaisations to a close at the right time. There was of course no cctv and because the case extended well above head level on all sides, mirrors alone did not help. The two hinged panels behind the organist gave views of the high altar and choir stalls but these were replaced with real pipes when the north choir was installed. There were also two much smaller square "advent
  11. All the pieces mentioned so far are in the Oxford Book of Wedding Music for manuals, compiled by Malcolm Archer and published in 1993. I think it's still in print and there are second hand copies on Amazon.
  12. I wonder if an even greater impact resulted from the move away from the tradition where, unless it was for a recording or a very special occasion, singing was only conducted if it was unaccompanied. Has anyone plotted the history of this particular development, which I think happened between 1965 and 1975? Would performances of e.g. Stanford in Bb be more "authentic" without a conductor.............
  13. Aha! Saturday 19th July, perhaps? These are the psalms appointed for 19th evening under the system where the whole psalter was sung, in chunks, a bit at Mattins and a bit more at Evensong, every month. If you go to a psalter with chants, or to a chant book with chants that was put together to match that system, you should find a ready made set that go well together, in related keys, and someone has already decided whether there should be a single or a double chant!!! One set I know of even has the same (single) chant for psalm 99 and psalm 100!
  14. Not celebratory - but pehaps appropriate where something formal is required:- Thomas Attwood's Dirge composed for Nelson's funeral in St Paul's on 9th January 1806. Robert
  15. I'm not sure if I am a "wise one", and I don't have a copy of Ireland's morning service in F. I do however have a first edition, copyright 1915, of the evening service in F, (original printed price 3d, overprinted 4d = 2p). There are NO metronome marks in this edition. The words in italics at the start of the various sections include: Moderato, Dolce,Maestoso, Tranquillo ma non troppo lento. Those seem to me to be all about mood rather than metronomes! And the last one suggests that he was concerned that things might be sung too slowly... So if I were you, I'd ignore editorial metronomn
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