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sjf1967

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About sjf1967

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  1. There is a lot of music by Judith Bingham - have a look at Resonus Classics website if you’re curious - and there are several new pieces in the offing. Cecilia McDowall has written quite extensively (very good series of pieces on George Herbert poems and a newish set of pieces on the Advent Antiphons), and there are now several pieces by Judith Weir. Errolyn Wallen has written for the instrument too, and Joanna Marsh has written several pieces. Elsa Barraine wrote a very good Prelude and Fugue. The Orgelbuchlein project includes works by quite a few female composers. Janet Owen Thomas and Janet Graham wrote excellent pieces, but alas not many. Diana Burrell wrote a very big set of pieces for organ and various ensembles, The Hours, but I don’t think it’s been performed in its entirety after the various premieres, which were in 1990 or so, I think. Saariaho wrote a concerto recently.
  2. I see someone mentioned the delay already!
  3. I’d also suggest incorporating playing while looking at an imaginary monitor or mirror into your preparation, especially at tricky junctions in the music. However well you know the music, it can be disconcerting to assimilate this aspect on an unfamiliar organ and sometimes you have to look at a picture which isn’t even in your peripheral vision. Arrive in time to familiarise yourself with any vagaries of camera and screen set up, to ensure that the camera is correctly set and focussed (ask before changing the settings), and to get used to the controls for the system - in a big building this can be a complex business. And be aware that some digital systems have a slight delay in the relay of the picture to the monitor - small, but sometimes enough to cause arguments between player and conductor. Worth checking this before the rehearsal.
  4. Funds and space are the crux of it. Trinity is of course very rich, but isn't about to spend £££ on a second organ and there’s nowhere for it to go - so the Metzler has to do everything. In any case the Metzler is already on the road to eclecticism, with a Ruckpositiv in its tonal scheme alongside an enclosed division with a Celeste and the makings of an English full swell. It’s a curious sort of hybrid already in tonal design terms (albeit a very beautiful one), and not one that eg Peter Williams would have thought of as in any way historically informed or rigorous. It was never as pure as the Nottingham Marcussen or the Queens Frobenius. And of course New College is also an eclectic instrument in tonal terms, although in many aspects a visionary one for its time.
  5. A small contribution. I teach the organ scholars at Trinity so have got to know the situation there quite well. It takes two registrants to manage most big works, and preparing the scores and rehearsing the choreography of eg the Durufle Requiem takes very extensive rehearsal time. Finding competent people with time on their hands (and the inclination) to do that regularly during full term is increasingly unviable. The Trinity choir expects - and is expected - to cover the full range of repertoire, and while I loved the instrument in its ‘pure’ form (and, like many others, recorded Bach on it) it’s very easy to have idealistic views about these things when you’re just dropping in to play chorale preludes for a few hours. And a point of ergonomics, which those who haven’t played the instrument might not realise - the stops for each division (which are large, with long wooden shanks, and only possible to draw one at a time) are divided right and left, and those on the extremes are at a full-stretched arm’s distance. One person can’t manage dynamic changes without sliding around on the bench - it’s not a question of invisible contortion but physical impossibility. It’s a very different animal from a two manual organ with the stops of individual divisions placed close together. Adding a sequencer is really just a pragmatic acknowledgment of the realities of the daily use of the instrument (which is a 1975 Metzler with a bit of much-amended old pipe work, not a Silbermann in untouched form). PS all the changes have been designed to be fully reversible if/when that seems desirable in the future.
  6. Cleaning of pipe work, action maintenance and improvement, combination system with sequencer (no divisionals) and new labels for stop knobs. No tonal alterations or revoicing.
  7. It's not really possible to write down in words how many of these issues can be dealt with - there are no shortcuts, alas. Hans Fagius 49 Organ Works by Bach has some of the sort of thing you're after (Sensus Musicbocker) and deals in detail with BWV 641 which shares some features with 622. The weighty and still pretty much unrivalled book on ornamentation is Frederick Neumann's - it was the study which challenged the main note, on the beat orthodoxy of ornament realisation - but it is hundreds of ages long, can be pretty hard going and again there are only a couple of examples from O Mensch in it: but careful reading of it will offer analogies from elsewhere for some of the problems. Not everyone agrees with his conclusions but they are exhaustively argued. The Laukvik book on Historical Performance also has useful contemporary source information about the realisation of ornaments and some good written realisation models (not from BWV 622). But in the end your own ear - informed - has to guide you. Listen to as many harpsichordists as organists, and also as many non- keyboard musicians as you can, I would suggest. Gambists especially. Turns at the end of trills - there seems to be no difference intended in the use of different notations ( and BTW turns notated in exact values at the end of trills should not be regarded as mathematically exact). In the search for definitive ornaments, the crafting of the inner parts of these coloratura pieces is often overlooked: they contain a lot of the expressive force of the music. It's a fascinating exercise to play LH and pedal as a trio sonata.
  8. Board members might be interested to know that the Dunedin Consort performance of the St John Passion on August 20 will include some Bach and Buxtehude (somewhat truncated for practical reasons) organ solo pieces in liturgical contexts. Live broadcast on R3 and also televised on BBC 4.
  9. Joanna March Griffiths is also a very fine composer. She's written some excellent organ solo works, among many other things, which are worth anyone's time. She's also done a huge amount to promote music in the UAE in general.
  10. Yes, for the third manual stops. Like St John's Oxford.
  11. Dulcineau (Dulcimeau. perhaps - I think NPOR may be wrong with this name) - as I recall (it was some months ago and I had a lively toddler with me) it's quite a gentle register. A fuller version of a Voix Humaine maybe, quite 'vocal' in conception. Recordings - I think I can say that this is not entirely out of the question. But it won't be for quite a while yet.
  12. Yes, I've played it; it's not 'to be' installed, it's aready in and has been for some months now. It's very fine indeed - visually and sonically. It's in a purpose built music room with top notch acoustic design. More than that it's up to the owners to tell you, but I'll let them know it's been spotted.....
  13. It's for sale via his website. And whoever played it at King's in 2009 will have it too....
  14. I played in the first inauguration event yesterday - David Titterington (consultant) is playing the opening public recital this evening and I'll be playing a concert in the first series next year. It's very fine indeed. A varied and colourful specification, beautifully scaled for the chapel, and a subtle and responsive action too. A lot of organ has been fitted into a very modest space ad the demands of accompaniment haven't been overlooked - it made a lovely job of Parry's Hear my Words sung the by the excellent chapel choir. Plans are in progress for regular recitals in the next 12-18 months so there will be plenty of chances to hear it. And I'd be surprised if a recording doesn't happen once the instrument has settled in a bit.
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