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Denis O'Connor

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. I believe Bruce Buchanan served an apprenticeship to Willis in the 1950's.Perhaps he could add to a very interesting discussion.
  4. Whilst listening to the recent Proms broadcast of the Poulenc Organ Concerto I heard an interesting remark. The announcer stated that the RAH organ boasted 1000 pipes. Has it been rebuilt again on the quiet with a very liberal amount of extension or did I not hear clearly want the man said? Perhaps one should not mention such trifling slips lest the apparent anti-organ departmentof the BBC gets even more vindictive!
  5. Senator Richards wrote a series of articles on mixtures and their history and development for the American Organist journal in1948. If anyone wants to have them they can. In the event of several applicants,the person placing the largest order from my collection of organ books( recently advertised in these august columns) will receive them.
  6. After 40 years of collecting I am now disposing of my library of books relating to the organ and its music.I did consider donating them to some worthy recipient- college or society-but decided against that.Rather than offer them to a dealer, I thought it better to approach persons with a known interest in the instrument. If any reader of this message wants details of the collection please contact me via the forum. i have bound copies of the first 45 volumes of The Organ journal,some bound copies of Organists' Review and many separate numbers of both these publications.The books cover all aspects of the organ and its music and are modestly priced with generous discounts for bulk purchases.
  7. With relocation of various BBC departments inLondon,is there any information about various studio organs,especially the big Compton?
  8. I did consider sending out a list but, as this would be very time-consuming,I decided against it.I thought anyone with a specific 'want' would be best served by just asking if the item were available. Incidentally,should anyone be wondering what sort of animal a "persion pot"might be,it is a typographical error and should have read "pension pot".
  9. Having reached a certain stage in my life,I am considering disposing of some of my organ library (not organ music).If any members have a particular gap in their shelves they would like to fill,let me know the title(s)and I may be able to help. I am not seeking to build up a persion pot so prices reasonable!
  10. If CTT would like, I can scan the article for him and transmit same. Let me know.
  11. Why does Malcolm Kemp come out so strongly against local organist associations? I can only speak of one of which I have personal experience. Admittedly the number of young members over the last decade or two has been very low. When we have had young members,they have been encouraged to play when on organ crawls and at least one has been generously subsidised in attending an Oundle course. To the best of my knowledge,no member has attempted to influence their organ playing;indeed, if any member attempted to act thus,they would be told to desist by other members. Such young members as we have had have generally got on well with their studies. Some have become professional musicians. Have any forum members any contrary evidence to present? It would be interesting to know!
  12. Dupre claimed to be a 'descendant'of Bach through Widor,Lemmens,Rink,Forkel and CPE. I think it went something like that.
  13. In 1899 John Watson Warman read a paper to the Royal Musical Association on his invention. I cannot access this article without paying an inordinately large sum of money to the commercial enterprise which controls access to the journal. Similarly, I cannot trace the patent via the internet. Could any member enlighten me as to the patent number or give a brief description of the mechanism? I would be most grateful.
  14. Could any contributors to this forum assist with information about Mr Warman? He is best known as author of a rather sprwaling book about the organ which, perhaps fortunately, only saw the publication of a small section. I am interested in substantiating the claim made on the title page that he was at one time organist of Quebec's Anglican cathedral. With such dates as can be established about his life, I presume he held the post in Quebec around 1880-1890. Any information about his musical activities, as opposed to his literary work .would be much appreciated.
  15. If I might be allowed to jump a century or so,I am wondering whether it is possible to access volumes of Musical Opinion from 19th&20th centuries? It would seem that there were very lively discussions carried out via the correspondence columns and interesting contributions from organists and organ builders. I have seen bound volumes of 19th century Musical Times and Musical Standard in bookshops but have never come across Musical Opinion in that format.
  16. At least it hasn't been designed with the need to be able to accompany Rumble in J flat canticle settings as its raison d'etre. Tastes in organ design have moved on since the many diapasoned scheme for the Sheldonian. Personally,I wait with interest to hear the new instrument. Never judge a book by its cover...
  17. The arrangement with the melody in the pedal at 4' pitch is in Flor Peeters' Ars Organi.
  18. Recently the RCO and The Organ arranged recitals given by young top performers at the RCO's examinations. This series of lunchtime recitals, given at St John's Methodist church in the centre of Gloucester, afforded young performers the chance to perform to Festival audiences. Admission to the recitals was free. This year there are but two organ recitals which form part of a series given by young instrumentalists.The recitalists are still RCO 'stars', but there is a £10 admission fee. Am I alone in feeling this this is an unfortunate step, or am I simply narked at having to pay £10 to hear an 'unknown' performer? Olivier Latry will soon be performing at Cirencester parish church and the admission to this recital will be a reasonable £12 to hear a world-class performer.
  19. Further to this thread, I also attended a London performance of Panis Vitae at the Central Hall Westminster.I purchased a copy of the score and I must confess that I found both unremarkable. There is an article about Dixon in The Organ which is very readable and gives a fascinating picture of the use of the organ in the liturgy of days of yore
  20. race As a guest I attended the centenary dinner of the RCO. When grace was said by a prominent cleric I only heard one person responding with a booming Amen. I believe it was Dixon's voice.
  21. If there were a guaranteed good home for the Cavaille Coll, in the UKalbeit in somewhere other than the UK,would it not be better to let it go somewhere where it would be truly appreciated rather than let it moulder?
  22. It certainly was not the first service I played for,nor even the several hundredth,but I did play Blaenwern for Cwm Rhondda with interesting results at one Sunday service.
  23. I understood that the assistant organist of the cathedral in question asked whether he might apply and was told that he could if he liked but could not be considered.
  24. Two recent gleanings which may be of general interest.I heard that a recent cathedral appointment was made following a criterion that the successful applicant had to be a cathedral organist. This is surely a vey odd policy: if it were to be generally adopted it would only be a matter of time before there were any eligible candidates left!. I believe that an outside body-employment consultants/headhunters-was employed to assist the cathedral in making their choice. In another diocese, the chair on a body appointing a diocesan organ adviser went on record as saying they did not want a candidate who would"rock the boat". Of all the qualities required in an organ adviser, I would have thought imaginative thinking,together with the ability to stick to one's beliefs,would have been a pre-requisite. You can't make omelettes without breaking eggs.
  25. As a very small contribution to the Compton thread,my neighbour, who worked for the Gloucester Aircraft Company.recalled meeting John Compton at the works during the war.Sadly she died some years ago so I am unable to ask her for any recollection she had of the man. Incidentally,there is a 7-rank Compton in St Peter's Catholic church in Gloucester recently restored by Nicholson with Dr John Rowntree as adviser. Dom Gregory Murray gave the opening recital.
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