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Everything posted by Bevington

  1. Hi MJF, As far as editions are concerned, my H W Gray is one of those reprints that looks fuzzy and occasionally blurred - like a school photocopier at 4.30pm Friday... I am intrigued by your ideas about the A flats. In some ways they make good sense, but there is a part of me that taps into a sort of modality that Dupre's music seems to exude . . . and therefore I wonder if things should be equal - i.e. the A flats in bar 15 agree with each other and at the end of bar 28 a restored A flat to again continue the modal feel . . . what do you think?
  2. If anyone plays this fugue, I wonder whether you may have some ideas about wayward accidentals - there are some obvious misprints but one or two others are borderline. I use the H W Gray 1983 reprint of their 1940 edition. The fugue begins on page 30. In bar 15, there are A naturals indicated on the first beat. On the third beat the implication is that the LH plays an A natural to clash with a pedal A flat - certainly doesn't sound logical. However it seems that both could be possible - either A naturals or A flats, the latter sounding a little more in keeping. At the bottom of the next page (bar 28) the last note is implied as A natural ... but again an A flat makes good sense. Any ideas to convince me either way are welcome. My recording of Dupre playing it is too muddy too be clear!
  3. Certainly the Church has to be a worshipping community (and it IS veering dangerously off topic, but where are the fora for this sort of discussion?). Meaning no disrespect to a previous post, I look back over a number of years and see again and again how many of my choir men AND their families have made choices to worship elsewhere when a new vicar dumbs down everything, all for the sake of relevance and needding a 'new kind of music'. Four of my previous parishes ‘lost’ their music and entire choirs . . . and years later want it all back, but with less use of the organ! Choirmen can be strong minded people, but bring along young families to church who are then involved in church activities and so on. In some of my previous parishes clergy have upset the boat so much that when three choirmen threw up their hands in horror and left there was a large hole in the pews because their families went with them. In my own parish I am wrestling with the validity of preparing three worthy voluntaries every Sunday for tiny congregations, (no prizes for guessing who caused them to vote with their feet). Acoustics are great but what am I playing for? Saving our organ heritage is fine and to be commended - but given the number of fine organs that are used less and less in their church role, we are going to need a very large warehouse for them all!
  4. Good point, Patrick, and fair to say that the man who maintains the organ and will do the work on it has been Very Patient with changes of mind, suggested new designs and so on. You are probably aware of other non professional organists who like to fiddle for no good reason! There was some initial concern that this organ should have been left intact as a good example of a 1930s house organ. However by the time my brother-in-law had installed it in his house ten or more years ago, he had already made small alterations.... This time he wants it all done professionally and asked me what I would do if I had the above numbers of stops on each division. My first response was "What do you want to play on it?". He asked for a number of options, so I obliged as an armchair exercise. But yes, it could well be left alone,
  5. Dulciana was orginally on the Great. The Swell is limited to 7 stops.
  6. My brother-in-law is renovating his house and has decided (after years of fiddling) to have his house organ rebuilt and completed. (No, he is not a professional musician but high up in medical circles). So sit back and relax, pour a drink and get out your pencil and paper. The following is an extract from correspondence between us about the current organ; his ideas; and my first proposal. The organ was originally built for a small mansion by a reputable builder. Suggestions welcome! . . . As suggested I have written below what we have and the future plan so we can work out what exists and what is needed. Current specification: Great: Open Diapason 8 Clarabel 8 Clear Flute 4 Super Octave 2 Clarinet 8 Swell: Open Diapason 8 Liebliech Ged 8 (Pipes are really a stopped diapason) Gamba 8 Celeste 8 Flauto traverso 4 (Pipes are harmonic from middle C??) Piccolo (prepared on unit chest) Trumpet 8 Ped: Bourdon 16 Flute 8 (12 note extension from Bourdon) Open Diapasion 8 (Bottom 12 notes from Gt Open the rest from Ped Octave) Octave 4 (top 1.5 Octaves from Gt Superoctave. (Brother-in-laws) Proposal: Great: Open Diapason 8 Liebliech Ged 8 ( ex Sw) Princ 4 (ex Sw Open repitched) Flute Harmonique 4 (ex Sw) Super Octave 2 Sw: Clarabel Flute 8 (ex Great revoiced to be increase Harmonic development Gamba 8 (Revoiced/ Rescaled to make it a true?? Gamba ie increase the body of sound) Celeste 8 Gemshorn 4 (Need to be sourced) Flautina 2 (On unit chest? Need to be sourced) Sesq II (On unit chest? Need to be sourced) Trumpet 8 (Increase scale from Treble C up) Ped: Bourdon 16 Flute 8 (12 note extension from Bourdon) Open Diapasion 8 (Bottom 12 notes from Gt Open the rest from Ped Octave) Octave 4 (top 1.5 Octaves from Gt Superoctave. Some revoicing of this rank needed) So left over pipe work is: Dulciana 8 from original organ Clear flute 4 Clarinet 8 And my initial suggestion . . . Great: Open Diapason 8 Stopt Diapason 8 (fmr Lieblich Ged - Sw) Principal 4 Fifteenth 2 (fmr Superoctave) Corno di Bassetto 8 (fmr Clarinet opened up) Swell: Claribel Flute 8 Gamba 8 Voix Celeste 8 Gemshorn 4 Stopt flute 4 Sesquialtera II Trompette 8 Pedal: Bourdon 16 Bass Flute 8 Flute 4 (from 8') Choral Bass 4 Any ideas?
  7. Years ago I played some pieces by Boyvin, mentioned above, but have not seen my copy for ages - probably lost. So your mention of his name sparked some renewed interest. What do you make of this one though... http://www.loumy.org/B/Boyvin_Grand_Prelude.pdf
  8. Hello Sputnik, Another message has been sent, so hope this one gets through. Best, JOR
  9. Sorry, Mark, you did make it very clear that it is recordings of PHs compositions you are after. So a second try (and perhaps you are aware of these): 'Peter Hurford at St Albans' (ARGO 1975) includes him playing his own Suite "Laudate Dominum". I also have recordings that include the popular "Litany to the Holy Spirit" by various choirs, eg Ripon Cathedral c. 1980.
  10. Hi - I have two old ones but I imagine that you will already be aware of them: one is choral music by Maurice Greene with the St Albans Abbey Chor; and the other is organ music only, (St Albans) with Franck, Bossi etc.
  11. Unfortunately my internet connection disappeared not long after starting this post: there have been many interesting points of view provided by members since then. And of course to see things from the recording engineers' viewpoint is crucial. Close to the idea behind my initial concern over doing numerous takes and providing an audience with "one piece made of many" was a perhaps misinformed moral or ethical feeling about giving honest performances. It is interesting how old recordings can be caught in "time and place" whereas a modern CD perhaps avoids this. Years ago, like all tromba-happy teenagers, I began collecting LPs of choirs and organs. Although musical, my mother was less inclined to enjoy hours of such music turned up loudly(!), so I bought some headphones and began to hear all sorts of things up close. There is a track on an old Peterborough Cathedral choir recording with a quite obvious cough; another LP appears to have windows or something rattling when the 32 is used; and on yet another LP, my headphones allowed me to just catch a short burst of distant conversation during a few quiet bars that had not been picked up when the record was produced. And so on. All amusing in a way but the downside is that one is always ready for the interruption as a sort of feature of the performance - hence it loses the timelessness that some modern techniques can produce with extraneous sounds removed. It seems however that I should relax and allow myself to be 'taken' as is required!
  12. My musically well informed organ tuner has been encouraging me to make a CD of our organ. (His father has been a church organist and produces CDs, so maybe some extra influence there!). I have looked into various aspects, time required, expenses and so on. But I am concerned about editing and 'takes'. A local choral society paid very large sums of money to have a number of 'unsuitable chords' digitally retuned for a recent CD. In a neighbouring church just a few years ago the parish organist was somewhat baffled when he acted as page turner for a leading concert organist; who amongst other things, did 28 takes of a Bach Prelude and Fugue - so the CD has a number of pieces that are cobbled together from numerous 'takes', yet this organist is quite capable of presenting stunning concerts of difficult repertoire with never a note out of place. My friend cannot enjoy that CD because he knows how many tracks are made up from various takes. So it makes me wonder, if someone can pull off a top performance, when does one decide enough is enough? How many 'takes' in a recording session is fair, musically speaking? I am aware that we all strive for various levels of perfection within our ability, but how far should technology take over?
  13. Forgot to mention: would there be any possibilty of obtaining a copy of the recordings?
  14. Thanks, Sputnik. I have sent you a personal message which elaborates a little more on Fergus.
  15. Aren't there also some 'organ only' editions by G S Holmes? Published by Paxton I recall.
  16. Myron Roberts' "Improvisation on God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" is also an interesting piece - and like the Edmundson it's from the St Cecilia / H W Gray stable. An interesting treatment of the tune, some variations and ending in a brief toccata like section
  17. First up, I have used responsorial psalms on and off for about 16 years, but I rate them low on my Christmas List (!) so I admit that I have not sought out a great variety of resources. However, at morning services we still have the opportunity to use Anglican Chant, (and sometimes plainsong in Lent), but have also used the ones at the back of NEH. I alternate now, using the now quite old Gelineau Gradual, alongside Mayhew's 'New Psalms for Common Worship' and its cohort 'Sunday Psalms - Musical Settings for Common Worship' . These include nearly all the psalms you need, but are perhaps a little less 'strong' in tune for my liking than the NEH ones. Given the repetitive nature of the cantors parts from psalm to psalm, and the cringeworthy feel of some responses, (in the Mayhew vols), I also write my own - what that often means is just the response (using the existing cantor part) as I do not have a music progam that easily allows speech rhythm setting for the cantor. There is also the RSCM's Music for Common Worhsip/Music for Sunday Service' ed Harper, which has a variety of psalm styles but a fairly limited selection.
  18. PS - sorry for the typos - I have wrecked some RH fingers!!
  19. Well said, Patrick. And Fiffaro makes an important, and sadly apposite, point about internet security: this is now how the world is. But in view of some of the less charitable postings I wonder what happend to "I disagree entirely with what you say - but defend your right to say it"? MM is loquacious and whimsical - that's his style, and it is unfathomable to see how it could case resentment. It's a bit like Dickens: skip the bits that you don't need to read. After all, he has only and simply said that he did not care for a certain performers interpatation. So what? Vive la difference!
  20. Does anyone play the M E Bossi Scherzo in F? (op 49, nr 1). I am interested in the notation about four pages from the end (just before the opening theme returns) where there is a single ascending line of notes in the treble clef. My copy has the final three or so bars ending with alternating b flat / g sharp, but this does not "sit well with my ears". It simply sounds odd . . . (I use a Bardon edition - it's the bottom of p 10). Any suggestions?
  21. Interesting. I make use of the Sunday by Sunday magazine as I am responsible for choosing hymns at my church, but find less and less of the CMQ of interest to me. In fact RSCM appears quite dead in my area, too. What have you found about them (RSCM) to annoy you?
  22. There is a lovely - and postively ancient - recording of the Jackson Fugue played as a postlude at Kings by ... by... um, forgotten, but it's an old mono record. Can't lay my hands on it at the moment. Is the expat Healey Willan allowed? His Intro Passacaglia and Fugue in Eb minor is monumental and in 'British' style, although far more demanding than the sleek and evocative Alcock with its passacaglia theme reputedly by Dupre, so I am led to believe. W Lloyd Webber also wrote a fine and demanding Suite but perhaps in terms of appeal and depth not quite 'right up there ' with the greats.
  23. Thanks for the corrections, Peter. What do you make of bar 49 (Crescendo edition, so should be page 7, top system second bar). Going along with usual practice the Ds in the RH would of course be 'natural' despite the D# in previous bar and in the LH. My copy has D naturals, but I am not convinced . . .
  24. Well I think it's simply appalling! And yes, I know that organs take up space, never have enough of what you want, or too much of what you don't, need to fit changing requirements, or have been badly made and need fixing, and are so very expensive. When I took on my current position the organ had recently been fully restored - but for various reasons the fund raising had come to a complete standstill . . . and no-one told me about the approx 200,000 pounds still owing and the increasing interest that was not being paid until I innocently asked about the appeal one day. (All paid now!). It's a 1920s organ of 38 stops, only one two foot stop and two low pitched mixtures both with a 17th. But I don't crave for solutions to my specific tonal palette by planning to remedy its "faults" with digital additions, the increasing popularity of which I believe shows an alarming path. A combination organ is a compromise - neither one thing nor the other. Surely the integrity of an instument lies in what it has, its limitations, and what we do with the available resources? What other group of musicians other than organists do this to the very instrument they love and want others to love?
  25. I am not sure how "in depth" you need to be for your new organist interview, but for what it's worth the following is taken from my own experiences. Obviously keeping the congregation 'on side' is of utmost importance, for the future support of music, so someone who leads hymns well - rhythmically, accurately, musically - is a top priority. It is sometimes a good idea to have a sensible member of the congregation at an interview - just to ensure that the new person is aware of the congregations support and desire for good music to continue, and at a high standard. If you have an assistant organist, include him/her on an interview committee - an organist who has never had an assistant may need to learn how to use one without causing friction between personalties. Does the organist have control of the choir? If so, the treasurer may like to know about his skills at controlling music purchases, dealing with budgets for organ maintenance, concert promotion, etc. If he/she runs the choir then a chorister is also useful on a committee - not necessarily the best singer, but someone who is good at personalities, is co-operative and sensitive to the potential new organists' temperament. I think some sight reading is a fair request, and certainly - as suggested above - playing of some contrasting hymns. Some churches do all this quite casually with just the rector and one other to chat with an applicant and then make a decison based on very little information. Other places have extensive interviews with a small committee of different church personnel and clear indications of what is expected. Done well it can show the applicant that a high standard is expected and that the church takes its music seriously, and rightly expects the organist to give of his best. Of course, if possible, playing for a Sunday service and/or taking a choir rehearsal is a good opportunity to see what people can do.
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