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John Sayer

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Everything posted by John Sayer

  1. Judging by the harbour scenes, the Catholic atmosphere of the church interior, not to mention the look of the organ case, I'm prepared to bet the film was shot in France - maybe somewhere like Honfleur? At first I thought it might be Stade, but all those shutters and mansard roofs are distinctly non-Germanic. JS
  2. I don't know if this helps, but I had lessons as a teenager in 1961 on what was one of the last, if not the last, of Compton jobs, the rebuilt organ at St Mary's, Osterley (Spring Grove) Middlesex. The nearby instrument at St Mary's, Twickenham was of similar date. Ian Bell worked on both, I believe, as an apprentice, so he may know more. JS
  3. For those living in, or visiting, God's Own County during July & August ..... RIPON CATHEDRAL SUMMER ORGAN FESTIVAL Six recitals on Tuesday evenings at 7.30 with interesting & unusual programmes Admission £10 to include refreshments (accompanied children under 16 admitted free) Outline programmes of the first 3 recitals as follows:- Tuesday 12 July - Robert Quinney (Westminster Abbey) Elgar (Pomp & Circumstance Marches 3 & 5) J S Bach (Orgelbüchlein 1717 and Orgelbüchlein Project 2011) Wagner, arr. Lemare (Siegfried Idyll) Guilmant Tuesday 19 J
  4. A comment a bit further down the same YouTube page reads: "Sorry, but this was not recorded at Berlin Cathedral. It is from Wunderlichs recording session at Schwäbisch Hall (1980 Walcker-Tzschöckel, St.Michael)." I agree. I was at Wunderlich's re-opening recital at the Berliner Dom in June 1993, following the marvellous restoration by Sauer, and have heard the instrument several times since. The instrument on this clip is quite different. JS
  5. How about Widor with a Caribbean flavour.... I know nothing about steel bands, but the arrangement strikes me as quite clever, esp the way they manage the arpeggios. Fun too, even if they all look so miserable! JS
  6. Indeed, a splendid instrument reborn in what must be one of the most original and inspiring buildings of the 20th century. Completed in 1923 to the designs of Ragmar Ostberg in so-called 'national romantic' style, it is a remarkable mixture of Florentine, Moorish and Scandinavian influences. The Blue Hall in which the organ is sited is just one of several amazing interiors. Despite its vast size, the scale of the building is somehow humane and democratic. quite unlike the bombastic monstrosities created only a few years later in totalitarian Germany, Italy and Russia. Congratulations to
  7. I find it amazing that anyone can improvise a double fugue, let alone with what , to others, would be crippling arthritis in the fingers. JS
  8. Many thanks. The link you refer to seems to be a search engine for vinyl records and CDs. It lists Heiller's Reger recordings as vinyl discs issued in 1972. Erato itself was taken over by Warner Brothers in 1992. I'm not sure where one goes from here. JS
  9. Could someone track down which label & record number the Heiller/Linz performance was issued on? It might be worth lobbying the record company, assuming, of course, it's still in business. JS
  10. It happened to me in 1984, at a recital given by Matthias Eisenberg on the big new IVP Scuke at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig. "Können Sie registrieren?" he asked, to which I foolishly replied, "Ja, gerne". The piece was the Bach Passacaglia and the music was spattered with numbers referring to the 100-odd illuminated stop lozenges arranged like lift buttons on the LH jamb. I managed to keep up with all the kaleidoscopic stop changes - he was showing off the new instrument, after all - until the big Neapolitan sixth half-close near the end of the Fugue where he wanted about a dozen more sto
  11. Quite right. There is recorded evidence of "Registranten" in 17th Germany and the tradition still continues, often in families, and is even used in improvised pieces. I recall a Dutch organist playing an extended improvisation with the assistance of his two sons. I'm not quite sure how they managed it - maybe it was a combination of preparation, familiarity, telepathy, nods, winks - but very effective it was too. People have commented before about Anton Heiller's incomparably magnificent, barn-storming recording of the Reger Wachet auf! on the Marcussen Ruedigerorgel in the Neuer Dom i
  12. The Newcastle Town Hall organ was in somewhat fragile playing order at the time of an Organ Club visit in 2004, but was able to give at least some impression of its former glory. I particularly remember an absolutely scorching Solo 16-8-4 Orchestral Trumpet rank. The sound is not helped, however, by the heavily carpeted and upholstered auditorium. We were told the City Council was aware of the historic importance of the organ. However, the future of the hall itself (and of the adjoining swimming pool) is uncertain not least because of doubts over its structural soundness. The fate of
  13. Ian Bell, who I believe was apprenticed with Comptons just before they went out of business, gave a lecture to BIOS a few years ago, with many fascinating insights into the way the firm operated, albeit in the years of its decline. His article on concervation issues surrounding the organ at Southampton Guildhall in the latest BIOS Journal (No 29) makes very worthwhile reading. JS
  14. An enclosed Cymbelstern? Surely the problem is that most modern (Anglo-American) Cymbelsterne are simply too loud and too fast. The best Continental examples - whether historic or modern reconstructions - tend to be very gentle. The stop at Roskilde adds a delicate shimmer to a couple of flutes rather than a noisy clang which tires even before the end of a Bach CP. Like others of its kind it is wind-driven and for that reason has tiny, lightweight bells (Schellen) of indeterminate high pitch. JS
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