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Denis O'Connor

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    The organs and organists of the Roman Catholic church in England.

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  1. S.L. asks "Does it really matter?" I think mis-information broadcast does matter. We are very pleased that the organ of the Albert Hall is getting a decent recognition after some time of being ignored by the BBC. It is a pity that presenters do not do their homework--they are professionals, after all!
  2. Many members of the forum will have listened to today's recital given by Peter Holder. It was fascinating to hear this organ (with over 9.000 stops, according to the announcer! ) being revealed in so many ways. I am writing to enquire (1) if anyone can make an informed comment on the sound engineering, and (2) if there is any CD recording which gives a faithful and accurate picture of the tonal resources of the instrument? Incidentally, the announcer did not suggest we were listening to an untouched Father Willis, as have some of her colleagues.
  3. I saw the programme "Antiques Road Trip" on August 26th. Featured was the Father Willis in the URC church in Marlow.
  4. Did anybody else see our member Bruce Buchanan's appearance on the antiques programme on TV ? He was questioned about the work of Father Willis. He even sported a bow tie-something usually associated with another member of the Willis family.
  5. There is a charming picture which purports to be A P F Boely at an ancient organ. Can anyone point me to a source whence a copy might be made? Many thanks.
  6. Thank you, Martin, for the clip. Thanks, also, Vox Humana for the correction.
  7. It would be very interesting to see other instances of performers in different roles. Whether this forum would agree or not might be a different matter. As David Briggs was a a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra, we shouldn't be too surprised at his skill on that instrument. I have long wished to see someone emulating J S Bach's feat of playing the violin whilst adding a bass on the organ pedal board. Perhaps a member of the forum could find a suitable video clip?
  8. I believe that Faure experienced difficulty with his hearing in later life. Upper frequencies sharpened and lower frequencies flattened.
  9. I contacted one of the RAH trustees and drew his attention to the inaccuracy as it appears on the RAH website.He put me in touch with a member of staff at the hall and she sent me aletter staing that the matter would be corrected..
  10. Further to my complaint to the BBC (which was not taken too seriously) I wrote to a trustee of the Albert Hall and received an acknowledgement plus a statement to the effect that my letter would be dealt with. On October 17th 2019 I got a very fulsome acknowledgement from the RAH and a promise that the website dealing with the organ would be revised and the BBC notified of the change. Well done RAH ! I hope we shall hear no more inaccurate statements about the organ broadcast by BBC.
  11. The recent broadcast of the Leipzig Gewandhaus described the Harrison and Harrison organ as a Henry Willis.I have submitted a complaint stating that this was inaccurate and we look the radio 3 for the highest standards. I am beginning to wonder if it matters at all!
  12. Good old BBC! They still refer to the instrument as a Father Willis. The announcer referred to T & F in D minor as the only genuine organ piece in his programme of transcriptions.Did it not start life as a violin piece ? I do not generally like transcriptions as a genre, but M. Latry certainly put the organ through its paces. The tuner is to be congratulated as everything seemed in first-class order.
  13. In the 50's or 60's,the BBC broadcast a series of 6 recitals each of which featured an inprovisation.I can only remember 2 names-Reginald Moore and Charles Spinks. Does any member of the Forum recall the programme and who improvised what? I think Charles Spinks improvised a Passacaglia.
  14. The original article appeared in Private Eye. There was a suggestion that expansion of the choir school was an empire- building exercise. I was pleased to see the response from members to my post. Church musicians have to fight their corner (usually) to get what is needed for the best musical standards, be it money for organ repairs or resisting attempts to introducing poor quality music. If, as the Daily Telegraph suggested, changes at the Cathedral would possibly have very serious effects on the standard of music because the suggested alterations might seem very difficult to manage without affecting rehearsal times etc.
  15. How many hours per week are members of residential choir schools allowed to sing ? An article in a popular satirical magazine suggested that plans for the expansion of facilities at Westminster cathedral choir school would impact on the number of hours the boys could sing each week. This presumably would include rehearsal time.
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