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Richard Fairhurst

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Everything posted by Richard Fairhurst

  1. Just got a copy of this (from Amazon, after giving up on Blackwells ever having it in stock). I played Michael Bedford's Liebster Jesu this morning - a lovely, gentle piece. It does seem to have more American material than the earlier volumes, and of the "British tunes", a fair few aren't ones we sing regularly at our church. That said, on a quick play-through, David Bednall's Hyfrydol is striking, Malcolm Archer's All for Jesus is enjoyably rumbustious, and Kerensa Briggs's Gibbons Song 46 has an intriguing C20th French air to it. I like the look of Phillip Cooke's two pieces, too, though I worry that the sustained note clusters may not work too well on a digital organ. The introduction describes this volume as "the first in the series to address general, non-seasonal needs" so hopefully there'll be more.
  2. Bédard's Christmas pieces are lots of fun, particularly the 'Il est né' toccata: https://www.rscmshop.com/books/N0981/bedard-organ-works-for-christmas
  3. There's a fine arrangement of Ora Labora in the "Love Divine" hymn-anthem booklet published by the Church Music Society and OUP - we sang it for Harvest last week. It also includes Maurice Bevan's wonderful Corvedale ("There's a wideness...") and a Howells rarity, so a good buy all round, plus a (to my mind slightly unconvincing) Francis Jackson hymn. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/love-divine-9780193953697?cc=gb&lang=en&
  4. Maybe upload them to IMSLP, copyright permitting? It's the go-to site for out-of-copyright sheet music downloads, and would probably reach a much wider audience.
  5. There's a Prelude Solennel on Abebooks for £10...
  6. I once ate at a pub whose menu offered a selection of "Pennines". It took me a while to work out what they meant.
  7. I've always thought the Hereford solution rather brilliant: there's no admission charge for the cathedral, but there is for the Mappa Mundi. Everyone visiting for tourist purposes wants to see the Mappa Mundi so happily pays up, whereas those visiting a place of worship aren't asked to pay. Sadly not every cathedral has an additional world-class tourist attraction within its bounds...
  8. I'm presuming from your reference to "various book-selling websites" that you've seen the (expensive!) copy currently listed on Abebooks?
  9. The Bednall Evocation is lovely - I picked that up at the start of Advent and had a few appreciative comments after playing it one Sunday. I recently found the 'Freiburger Orgelbuch 2' in Blackwells. It's an album of some 86 pieces over 200 pages, from the 15th century to the present day, and with composers from Germany to the US. Most of all it's very well-chosen - there have been several times where I've picked over something and thought "wow, that's interesting". (This sort of album does tend to have either old warhorses or rightfully obscure pieces mostly chosen for their out-of-copyright status, but this is far from that.) It comes with a CD of 30 of the pieces. Not particularly cheap at £37ish, but worth it I think. Contents list etc.: https://www.carus-verlag.com/en/choir/new-releases/organ-music/freiburger-orgelbuch-2-music-for-worship-concert-use-and-teaching.html
  10. We've often had a "What are you playing for Christmas?" thread, and don't seem to have started one this year. So let's do it retrospectively - what did you play for Christmas this year? All fairly cheerful fare here: Cochereau's 'Gigue' from Suite de Danses for the main Christmas Eve Carols by Candelight, which is our busiest service of the year by a long chalk - a congregation of 570 this year in a town of 3000 people. Then Denis Bédard's variations on In Dulci Jubilo for midnight, and Marko Hakanpaa's very cheerful Adeste Fideles again for Christmas morning (as people liked it so much last year).
  11. With apologies for reviving a 10-year old thread... I thought it might be interesting to revive this in light of recent news stories. The BBC ran a TV report on Sunday discussing the increasing popularity of Choral Evensong. Attendance at "midweek services" - which is basically evensong - is apparently up 34% in the ten years since this thread was posted. Certainly in our village (well, officially a tiny town) church, the Choral Evensong which we've started doing every few months has rapidly become the second most popular service after the regular morning communion. And we're by no means the only church locally: you can piece together a very nice weekly calendar with all the nearby benefices that run occasional or monthly evensongs. So where do we go from here? How do we cement this? Are there any resources for the amateur organist and choir to help them start, develop and grow their evensongs? I'd be interested to know what people think.
  12. "...holding the position of music master at St Albans School, for which he composed the hymn tune to 'Alban, high in glory shining'. His 'Warwick School' was used in Public School Hymn Book with 'Onward, Christian soldiers'. His compositions include a Simple Communion Service in F (1959), a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G Minor, and organ works." (From Humphreys & Evans' Dictionary of Composers for the Church in Great Britain and Ireland.) The Evening Service is available from Banks: https://www.banksmusicpublications.co.uk/mixed-voices/four-voice-parts/magnificat--nunc-dimittis-97
  13. Thanks for that link. I was intrigued to read the background to the Makin Micro120, which was our previous instrument here in Charlbury - a horrible thing!
  14. Evensong at Christ Church Oxford yesterday concluded with Cochereau's marvellous Gigue from Suite de Danses, which I hadn't heard before. Here's a random YouTube performance... though it had percussion at ChCh!
  15. I've been exploring Jean Bouvard's book of 'Noels Traditionnels' - an interesting take on the old tradition of French organ noels with variations, not too challenging but with occasionally unpredictable harmonies. £20ish from here: https://www.prestomusic.com/sheet-music/products/7088440--noels-traditionnels-organ
  16. Sumsion's 'They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships'? Written for Repton Prep School, and a wonderful bit of word-painting.
  17. With Martin Cooke's imprecation to post more topics in mind... We usually have a thread to discuss what voluntaries everyone is playing for Christmas. Any novelties or old warhorses to share? Personally: I haven't decided on Christmas Eve Carols by Candelight or midnight yet. For Christmas morning I'm planning Marko Hakanpaa's delightfully frothy Adeste Fideles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7tchnZd3D4 And with the 23rd being a Sunday, I was thinking of Adolphus Hailstork's Veni Emmanuel for one last Advent blast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuI2vLoADus
  18. At Evensong yesterday we sang the wonderful hymn "Come, labour on"; the words are by Jane Borthwick from her book Thoughtful Hours. You might find some suitable texts there, although some are a little twee: https://archive.org/details/hours00bort (I should point out that the hymn was chosen for Harvest, and not because the Labour Party conference has just started...)
  19. A preliminary hymn list for the Revised English Hymnal has just been published: http://englishhymnal.getfreehosting.co.uk/English_Hymnal/REH_Contents.html It looks evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with (probably - tunes aren't listed, only first line) three Howells tunes and one Langlais. Eight Communion settings.
  20. Barenreiter have fairly recently published a really nice three-volume set of easy voluntaries called 'Sonnstags Orgel': https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/shop/product/details/BA9287/ . Some are manuals-only, some have fairly modest pedalling. It's become my default for pre-service noodling, but it has several pieces suitable for exit voluntaries too. The pieces cover a variety of styles right up to the present day, which maintains interest. I bought mine from Blackwells in Oxford so I presume it's readily available.
  21. The RSCM has just published a volume of the complete organ works of Herbert Sumsion, edited by Daniel Cook, who has also recorded them: https://www.rscmshop.com/herbert-sumsion-complete-organ-works-n1157.html I've just got a copy - a lovely volume with lots to get stuck into, not least the four Christmas Carol variations, the Toccata on University and the rambunctious Ceremonial March. Plenty of reflective pieces that would work well for service use too, such as the lovely Saraband and Interlude. There is slightly less in the book than on the recordings: the latter has four RVW and two Elgar transcriptions by Sumsion which haven't made it into the book. But at £25 for 170 pages it's not bad value for money.
  22. According to an article by Peter Aston (Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 99, 1972 - 1973): "Lastly, there are the liturgical works. These comprise a morning and an evening Service, an English Gloria 'composed at Mr. Peter Gunning's motion', and a Gloria and responses for the Communion Service. These liturgical pieces contain little of interest. All of them show signs of haste, and it is evident that Jeffreys approached these purely functional settings with little enthusiasm."
  23. A "choir edition" would be good too. I suspect the book could be halved in size if only those parts of the organ accompaniment necessary for following along were included. 'The first Nowell', for example, takes up six pages, but the choir only need to know the four-bar organ introduction, that the melody is SA in v4, TB in v5, and that there's a descant for the final refrain. If such a book were £8-£10 rather than the full-score £15, I and I suspect many others would have a better chance of getting funds from the PCC...
  24. In Blackwells yesterday I stumbled across the brand new Novello Book of Hymns: 50 hymn arrangements for SATB choir and organ, to be sung either as anthems or congregationally, edited by David Hill. I bought a copy and have only had the chance to briefly flick through it so far, but it looks very promising. http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/01125562/details.html
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