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Denis O'Connor

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About Denis O'Connor

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

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  1. I believe that Faure experienced difficulty with his hearing in later life. Upper frequencies sharpened and lower frequencies flattened.
  2. 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..
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. I am looking into getting an electric swell engine as the wind pressure available is not sufficient to work the existing machine. Any words of advice would be appreciated. The instrument in question has a detached console at the east end--the organ itself is in a west gallery..I was informed that the price of a well known American system was in the region of £2,000 before installation costs. Are there British or Continental alternatives at a competitive price?
  10. In my distant youth,the popular setting in Roman Catholic churches was that composed by the Abbe Stadler. Quite straightforward and just the right length to accompany the entrance procession of the bishop. The question of length is of liturgical importance since music in church should be tailored so as not to impede the flow of the service. One of the bishops of those far-off days turned round from the altar and gestured for the choir to shut up ;he may have muttered something to that effect but I can't be sure.
  11. Some years ago I objected to a comical mis-translation by the( then) presenter of The Early Music show.The objection was in the form of a littlle limerick. Shortly afterwards the presenter moved to Classic FM. On Sunday I heard an announcer state that the Albert Hall organ had 4,996 stops. It could well be that my poor hearing was at fault. Did any other member hear the recital broadcast on Sunday last? If the 'howler' was as stated,could any member of the Forum submit a suitable limerick for general consumption? I don't wish harm to the announcer but I was cross because he referred
  12. What are most probable plainchant bases for these compositions?
  13. Can anyone give me a guide to the composition of the 3-manual organ installed in Westminster Cathedral between 1903 and 1907? It was an instrument lent to the cathedral and then returned to the builders Norman&Beard. Was it broken up (recycled) for use in other instruments or did it have a new life in another setting?
  14. As the swell control topic seems to have been comprehensively covered,may I ask the members for any views on the use of composite substitutes for timber in the construction of windchests? I should imagine that a generation has passed since their use by some builders in this country. Is there any evidence to support their use or has time demonstrated that they are manifestly unreliable? Thank you.
  15. With relocation of various BBC departments inLondon,is there any information about various studio organs,especially the big Compton?
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