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Denis O'Connor

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Everything posted by Denis O'Connor

  1. 'Can do if still required. Denis O'Connorr
  2. I am quite certain that the heavenly host will be singing Adeste Fideles-not "fidelis"
  3. Has The Organ really ceased publication ? There was a rumour to this effect some time back. A telephone call to the proprietor established that there was no truth in that story and the journal did appear. It would be a pity if this journal were to cease publication. Perhaps someone could give an authoritative answer?
  4. [According to the Rollin Smith book"The Aeolian Organ and its Music" ,the original contract was dated 17th July 1930 for a price of 18,460 dollars.A subsequent addition for August of the same year was an adjustable combination system for 900 dollars. Subsequent information shows a special carved case. The instrument was enlarged by Kilgen to IV/55 in 1938. Specification to be found in the American Organist for November 1938
  5. Do a search on "Eglise St Martin,Vertus,France"and you should get a link to a full description of the organ together with some fine photographs.
  6. Several years ago, whilst browsing an American bookseller's catalogue, I was intrigued to find a booklet published in Germany in 1945 which was a description of the organ in Liverpool cathedral. The author's name was Dr Thomas Moore. I find it quite amazing that a book about an English organ be published in Germany during the last year of WW2.The authorities at Liverpool were interested in having the book for their archive but were unable to shed any light on the author. There is a copy of the book in the OHS archive and they give the translator's name as Paul Smets who was a German writer on organ topics who died in 1961. Can anyone throw any light on the author?
  7. Having telephoned Musical Opinion(the parent company of The Organ) I am assured that the May number of the journal will appear,perhaps a little late,but the future of The Organ has the support of the publishers. There is a problem in that Dr Baker has retired from the editorship;judging by some of the members' contributions,I am sure there will be someone ready to take on the job.
  8. Didn't Nicolas Kynaston play the organ in a film which I saw on TV. I think it was a Ken Russell production and the music was a transcription of Sheep May Safely Graze. In the film the organ seemed to be a very basic one- manual and I wondered how he would solo the melody when it appeared. Thanks to the miracles of film production it sounded as though it was played on a larger instrument. Perhaps a very obscure version of tracker double touch was involved...
  9. In these un-liturgical times There's a number of musical crimes Chief among those Is to play with your toes Unsuitable nursery rhymes
  10. [The reason why there are no pipes seen on view in the Grand Organ screen at Westminster Cathedral is because the architectural style is Byzantine. As readers of ths forum well know, the Byzantine rite does not allow organs in its churches. I know that Byzantine liturgy is not the order of the day in Westminster Cathedral but respect for the style adopted precluded an organ on show. If you like you can blame Westminster Abbey because the cardinal archbishop of the day did not want a Gothic style building to compete with the place up the road. Although the present organ was not installed until a quarter of a century after the building opened, Bentley's architectural scheme was still respected '
  11. I have just checked the JSTOR website and they don't hold Musical Opinion,nor The Organ for that matter.
  12. As a keen collector of books and journals relating to the organ, I have long sought an opportunity to browse back numbers of Musical Opinion. I understand that before WW 2 there was often good debate in the columns of that publication,debate to which some of the leading lights in the organ world contributed. I have never seen such volumes advertised for sale or disposal. Do any members of this forum know where such volumes can be found? I don't really want to spend hours in the British Library (especially since it is a long way from Gloucester!) Any help would be appreciated.
  13. I had the pleasure of turning for a midday recital a few years back and thought this a splendid instrument in every way. I seem to remember that the museum staff expected the tuner and /or organist to wear gloves as they were handling an historic artefact! My recollection is that the recitalist certainly didn't wear gloves and that the curator would have got a suitably robust reply had he insisted.
  14. I hope no one replies in a positive sense to this request. Many organists lose out financially through the advent of electronic "aids" to worship. It is surely putting another nail in the coffin of the organ and its music if the CD player is allowed a place in churches in place of a real organ and a real organist. Incidentally, I saw a posting on an American forum relating the tale of a priest who had such a horrible machine in his church. During the celebration of Mass (Tridentine?) he had placed the remote control in his pocket and every time he struck his breast at the words" mea culpa,mea culpa,mea maxima culpa",he set off the device . Unfortunately he did not know how to use the control and the machine ground out several verses of each preset hymn every time he inadvertently activated the thing. Serve him right.
  15. As a younger man I attended the centenary RCO dinner at a location in London as a guest of an eminent organist. Dr Dixon impressed me on two counts: first the enormous earring and,secondly,the fact that he.as one of the few non-Anglicans present ,bellowed Amen after the Grace. An ecumenically-minded Roman Catholic before it became fashionable to be so! The rest of the assembly neither said( nor bellowed)anything.
  16. This is one of the best postings for some time. What a civilised country to have a TV station which devotes time to the really important things in life!
  17. Readers of a certain rather glossy mid-Atlantic journal devoted to organ and associated matters may have picked up in an advertisement for a new recording that one of our prominent Anglican cathedrals is housing a 5 manual organ by Father Willis. Considering the old boy shuffled off tnis mortal coil over a century ago,the cathedral authorities must be congratulated on concealing the existence of this large instrument with conspicuous success for such a long time. Are there any other 5-manual organs by this builder still waiting to be discovered?
  18. I am sorry to learn of the nasty message . If it is any consolation, I had a stop on the organ I was partly responsible for acquiring for our Catholic church,engraved with the name Orange Flute 2ft. Thus every time it is used an "Orange"contribution is added to our praise. I am a cradle catholic myself so i thought an ecumenical gesture.
  19. I went to hear it and was very impressed. For the recital I was sitting at the front of the chapel with my back to the organ and about 10 feet from it. I found it a very impressive instrument and Simon Preston put it through its paces quite thoroughly. The nearest thing I heard to a cipher was a note on a reed stop which came on at the beginning of a movement and was quickly silenced. This happened a couple of times. During the service of dedication and blessing of the organ , the instrument was heard to fine effect in the voluntaries played beforehand and in the accompaniments and final voluntary. I would certainly like to attend the open day on 24th February but am booked in for the BIOS day conference.
  20. Surely that should be "Salvete omnes"?
  21. Vis-a-vis cases that slide to allow access to the innards, I first met this feature in the orgue-du-choeur in the church of St Servan-sur-Mer. There is a 3 manual Cavaille Coll on the gallery and a little accompanimental organ at the east end. The large organ was recently rebuilt.
  22. Does anyone remember her Messiaen recorded at the Royal Festival Hall? Hardly the most favourable acoustic for this music. I think I have got some copies of the discs somewhere. I suppose they might have some value for a student of how to surmount obstacles or,perhaps,as a sonic guide to the RFH instrument.
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