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John Sayer

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Everything posted by John Sayer

  1. My views must seem hopelessly old-fashioned. There's no harm in thread drift on Facebook or Twitter, but on a specialist forum like this, where a certain standard of conduct is expected from contributors, then they should not abuse the privilege provided, as a matter of courtesy. (In the case to the two recent threads on Ripon Cathedral, some would say there is also the matter of courtesy toward the Dean & Chapter). I'm sorry to say the standard of discussion has deteriorated sadly over the last couple of years. It is surely no coincidence that the number of regular contributors (an
  2. So sorry - I meant, thoughtLESSness, of course. Seriously though chaps, can we not behave a little more responsibly in such things? If not, I'm afraid, I do not wish to be a member for much longer. JS
  3. As the risk of repeating something I wrote on another page relating to Ripon Cathedral, would forum members kindly have the courtesy to start a new thread if they wish to take the debate off at a tangent like this. As a member of the congregation I object to views being aired under the heading of Ripon Cathedral which clearly have little if anything to do with the Cathedral, its worship and its music, and this entirely as a result of laziness and thoughtfulness on the part of contributors - and, predominately, regular contributors who ought to know better. Is it too much to ask for con
  4. Indeed. Totally risible, grotesque in its literal sense, ie. clownlike. I really don't think it's worth wasting any more words on a circus act like this. JS
  5. I seem to remember I got mine through Organists Review/Allegro Music. Durham Cathedral Choristers' Association seem to have it in their online shop at £20. The ref number is SCMA1001and you get an audio CD as well as the DVD.. See: www.durhamcathedralchoir.org.uk JS
  6. On a slightly different tack, there is, of course, the excellent DVD produced jointly by the Elgar Birthplace & St Chad's College, Durham, in which James Lancelot gives a masterclass on the Sonata, and suggests re-workings of one or two 'awkward corners'. The disk is also worth buying for the fascinating discussion on the genesis of the work by Prof Jeremy Dibble, Relf Clark, James L and others - not to mention a visit to H&H's works. For me it's probably the best organ-related DVD to have appeared for years. JS JS
  7. It's now clear that a number of builders seem to have used them at one time or another - Walker, Forster & Andrews included - so they are more widespread than I thought. Perhaps there were firms of key-makers, rather than organ builders proper, who specialised in them. JS
  8. Can anyone advise which builders, apart from Father Willis, used rounded sharps? I'm interested to know whether the Rev'd F H Sutton specified them in the organs he designed or was otherwise involved with. Although I'm not totally certain, I believe the following three instruments have this feature: Hoar Cross, Staffs (Bishop) Brrant Broughton, nr Newark (Wordsworth & Maskell) Stockcross, nr Newbury (Bryceson Bros) Another common factor, which may or may not be relevant, is the involvement of Bodley, as designer both of the church and of the organ case. JS
  9. You'll forgive me if I decline to be drawn into further discussion on the Ripon instrument: I've probably said more than I should anyway. Suffice it to say North Yorkshire folk are proud of this rather special instrument - a wonderful synthesis of Thomas Christopher Lewis and Arthur Harrison at their best - and are keen to see it preserved for posterity. Thank you all for the interest you have shown to date. May I suggest that general debate on organ restorations moves to a separate thread? JS
  10. Well, the BBC have given him not one but two Prom slots at the RAH, so they must be hoping for bums on seats. JS
  11. Cathedral organs have a heavy workload, being played for at least 2 hours on average every day, taking into account services, choir rehearsals and organists' practice etc. Roughly speaking they are thus in use for the equivalent of one whole month each year. On that basis, 30 years does not seem an unreasonable expectation, not least given that builders' guarantees are generally for a shorter period than that. I don't believe the Ripon organ has received more frequent attention than others, and some of the interventions at various dates have been quite limited in scope. The last major di
  12. Arthur Harrison moved the Choir division from its original (Lewis) position above the player's head on the south side of the case - from where it must have sounded lovely in both nave and quire - to make way for a new Solo division. The Choir was was then enclosed in a new position above the stalls on the north side of the quire, receiving a couple of tonal changes in the process. H&H removed the enclosure in 1963, dispensed with a couple of 8ft stops, made the Lieblich Bourdon 16 also playable on the Pedal, thus making room for a Nasard, Tierce and Cimbel. Re-enclosure was mooted
  13. It was Rossini, in fact. "M. Wagner a de beaux moments, mais de mauvais quart-d'heures". Is anyone else heretically inclined to 'mix'n-match' movements from different Rheinberger sonatas at times, to come up with a more satifying 3- or 4- course repast? JS
  14. The Cathedral website now has an announcement on the launch of a new Choral Foundation at Ripon - a positive and exciting way forward. JS
  15. Not impertinent at all. This not a major rebuild in any sense of the word, but a refurbishment aimed at giving the instrument another 25-30 years of reliable service. The total cost, including associated costs such as hire of scaffolding and temporary electronic instruments etc, will be around £260,000. JS
  16. I'm sure Ripon will find a suitable solution, as MM suggests. But that solution will have to take into its position as a city of just 16,000 souls in a rural situation, and with the impact of proposed changes in diocesan structure still unclear. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. JS
  17. As Project Manager for the overhaul of the Ripon instrument next year, perhaps I can put the record straight. Work will start after Easter and should be completed by mid-November. In summary it will comprise: a) thorough cleaning and repair of all pipe work; selective re-leathering of reservoirs and drawstop motors; c) reconstruction/rationalisation of the wind distribution system; d) refurbishment and updating of screen console parts of which are now worn out from continuous daily use since the last major rebuild in 1963. e) cleaning of the case (paid for by the Friends) There
  18. The anthem at the final Evensong of term a couple of weeks ago was Parry's Hear my words, ye people. It raised the roof and drew a spontaneous round of applause from the packed congregation, thereby marking the end of 52 years of the Choir School here in Ripon. An emotional occasion, but, at least at that point, there was every hope of the tradition continuing in the proposed merger with Cundall Manor School. The news that this has now fallen through has left us feeling sadly bereft, as you can imagine. JS
  19. Two friends of mine attended and were similarly enthusiastic. "One of those players you hear, and watch, and time stands still". Exciting, original programme played entirely from memory with quite remarkable technical control. Slightly provocative 'symphonic' rendering of BWV 543, but marvellously inventive, subtle and colourful use of all sections of the instrument in the Mendelssohn and Prokoviev transcriptions, as well as in the modern Canadian pieces. Most memorable, perhaps, as a recital refreshingly different from the normal run-of-the-mill offerings, the only slightly disappointment
  20. Just returned, mightily impressed, from Mlle Demers's recital here in Ripon - 'extra-ordinary' in the true sense of the word. 'Virtuoso' can sometimes be something of a backhanded compliment, but if taken to mean phenomenal technique combined with innate musicality, then it is a worthy accolade in this case. And not a trace of showmanship, unlike certain other virtuoso circus acts currently emanating from the other side of the Atlantic. The Laurin pieces and the transcriptions, particularly, were a delight, extracting some quite remarkable tone colours from the Ripon Lewis/Harrison, many
  21. I wonder if the NPOR reference was meant to be this one - N&B 1912 See http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N14751 JS
  22. I'm reliably informed by a friend that, in the first edition, no actual (i.e. pitched) notes are shown for this passage - only the semiquaver stems and beams. Perhaps someone could confirm? JS
  23. Sorry, one further point, if I may. How are you supposed to hold the crotchet B flat in the LH on the third beat of bar 22? You could thumb down, I suppose, if playing the melody on a upper manual - not what JSB would have done, I'm sure. Or maybe you should just let it go and not worry about it. JS
  24. Apart from the tempo, equally problematic, it seems to me, is the question of dotting. I realise 18c. notation is not always to be read strictly to the letter, but, if JSB goes to the trouble of writing demi-semi-quavers (3 beams) after the ornamented dotted quavers in the melody line, then we should play them as such and not smooth them out to semi-quavers (as on some of the recordings previously mentioned) - i.e. hang on to the E flat and the F in bar 1 almost as long as you can before the final turn - if that makes sense. Some distinguished scholars and players may think otherwise, but
  25. What an odd suggestion for a DOA to make! Worksop Priory has a 1/4 length Sordun: not very convincing, as I recall. JS
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