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Michael Sullivan

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About Michael Sullivan

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  1. I tend to agree with you. An organ needs some METAL 16 ft pedal stops to give the pedal line definition especially where there is a large accoustic. I am also a believer in having a decent 32 ft FLUE, metal, which can underpin the whole organ, as at Blenheim Palace. Also an ordinary 32 ft FLUE can help considerably, especially when the Great organ is weak, in the middle, as at Ludlow, for example. Michael Sullivan.
  2. [quote name='MusingMuso' date='Mar 6 2007, 07:20pm I think I quite like "A Fugue of Organists" or perhaps even better, "A Loft of Organists." Loft as in lofty, seems somehow appropriate.....high-minded and remote. MM Excellent Colin, I like it - A Loft of Organists - ' high minded and remote' an excellent description which is actually an euphemism for what many would describe as: " Closeted within the cloistered precincts of their Cathedral and thus oblivious to the realities of the big wide world without" I hasten to add the above is applicable to only some of our Organists; but I can think of one or two whom that description fits like a seamless glove ! Yes - I like it "high minded and remote" A very polite way of saying things. Shall we adopt that collective noun ? A Loft of Organists. Michael.
  3. Collective Nouns for People I can't remember exactly under which subject I saw this but some were trying to find a collective noun for Organists. I can't really suggest anything better than what has already been suggested but I have a list of these Collective Nouns which may be of interest: A Bench of Bishops A Chapter of Canons A Charge of Curates An Ensemble of Musicians A Converting of Preachers A Prudence of Vicars A Pontifica of Prelates A Conclave of Cardinals A Discretion of Priests What name for Organists ? A Melody - A Cluster - A Gaggle - A Laughter - A Fellowship ? Regards Michael.
  4. Hello Mr Goldrick Tournemire. ? ! I heard a good joke the other day. What is the definition of a gentleman ? An Organist who can play Tournemire but doesn't. Regards Michael
  5. I Thought that some months ago I recall reading somewhere that a few pipes had been stolen from the parish church organ at Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire. I forget now where I read this. This is the old old organ from St Martins in the Fields Regards Michael Sullivan.
  6. I thought it was only 5 or 6 pipes from Christ Church Cathedral on the Grove at Tewkesbury. The local army were called in to errect them at the time. They have never ever spoken. For some reason the ridiculous convoluted wind system there prohibits this, as I understand it. An interesting story is connected with these. Michael Peterson was telling me that for some time they were stowed down the side of the south aisle, and one American lady came along and thought they were neolithic coffins. Americans, in general, are so gullible aren't they ? and not over blessed with grey matter. How could a body be squeezed into something only about 15" wide, if that. Regards M.S.
  7. Hello Ed, Glad you liked my little story. I don't want you to think that GT-B accompanied the Choir 'flat out' all the time, he most certainly did not. On occasions he might build the organ up, and I recall very well his calling to me for the Tuba on one or two occasions, and that would only be for the last chord. He certainly never drowned them, and, as I said, even with Full Organ the Choir always managed to soar above the organ. It was very exciting. By keeping the Trombas in a box he was better able to obtain his magnificent crescendo effects. M.S.
  8. Yes - I heard the great Sir George several times at Birmingham Town Hall, but as that was 30 years ago I can't comment about his playing - it certainly seemed very fine to me. He gave 1,000 recitals here, possibly one or two more. One of his party pieces, I recall, was Toccata in Ab major - Adolph Hesse which I rarely hear played these days. A great pity. Exhilarating and uplifting, and makes a welcome and refreshing change from the eternal Toccata from Widor 5 which is trotted out at every opportunity. Also, occasionally, on some Sundays I used to sit on the organ bench with him at the Temple Church, and could admire his sensitive accompaniment of his choir; even with the organ 'flat out' the Choir were soaring above it. (at that time I was working on the Railway ships at Dover and drove up to London in time for the service). What a superb organ that was then. (it still may be) I haven't heard the organ since his days, but some successive organist decided he knew better than Sir George and, I understand, had the great trombas unenclosed. Quite mind boggling. Regarding this I clearly remember the saga of these reeds as told to me by Sir George himself. He went up to Glen Tanar castle to try the organ before it was removed to the Temple Church and instructed Harrisons to make the reeds double power. When the organ was being errected in the church and Sir George was trying it, he then had to make a hurried call to Harrisons saying 'No no don't make the reeds double power, make them half power'. He had, as he said, failed to take into account the curtains, carpets and sofas etc in the room where the organ was. This is referred to in Jonathan Rennert's excellent, and highly readable biography about him, which Sir George kindly autographed for me in 1979. M.S. .
  9. That book may indeed be fascinating. I have a book about Parry called The Parrys of the Golden Vale - Anthony Boden which may indeed be an erudite work, and is geared towards the serious student, but I found it dreadfully boring ,and definitely not a book to take on holiday. M.S.
  10. Interesting Books. I possess a copy of the autobiography of Sir Frederick Bridge - A Westminster Pilgrim. Personally I don't think he was any great shakes as an Organist, especially as the great Edwin Lemare was next door at St Margarets, and the book is rather large to take on holiday at 360 pages, but, nevertheless I found it most interesting. Also there is the excellent biography of Guilaume Ormonde one time organist at Truro Cathedral. This is a small book and most entertaining. I have forgotten its exact name as I have presently lent it out. He was a very popular but decidedly eccentric character. He was always forgetting where he left his car, for instance. He also gave 3 years salary towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral organ, and that only amounted to £1500 in total. A great friend of his, now sadly died, Michael Peterson (Tewkesbury) gave me very many anecdotes about him. For example, he possessed at one time a large American car, and taking Michael out to lunch one day to a hotel in the town which was situated on a hill with a steep driveway, the car grounded fore and aft leaving the driving wheels spinning uselessly in the air ! An ideal little book to take on holiday. M.S.
  11. Hello, There are several ways of doing this. 1. The easiest way would be to use this newfangled invention ' the electric telling-bone' and speak with Kenneth Jones or one of his associates at his factory in Bray. Tel: 00 353 1 286 8930. Doubtless he will also send you some photos and it is a very photogenic organ. His firm have taken out a double page advert in the current edition of Organists Review, in which there are 4 colour photos of this instrument. He has moved it forward of the archway where I'm sure it now sounds very fine. Previously most of the divided casework was behind the archway. Why is it that organ builders, I wonder, particularly in less enlightened times, always 'shoved' their organs in positions where they couldn't speak properly, such as redundant broom cupboards ? or, as in this instance, behind a wall ? 2. You could contact the church or write to the organist. 3. You could look up this organ, as I have just done, in the NPOR register, and , surprise, surprise, the last entry was dated 2001. M.S.
  12. Good morning Parsfan, yes - Stephen speaks much common sense and has given exceptionally good advices I think on the matter of T.H. However, if I might say so, without wishing in any way to sound rude, your statement that you saw Beethoven 5 programmed and decided not to attend is rather infantile. What you should have done is to have attended anyway, listened to his virtuosic transcription of this work, and THEN written your comments; if you then still didn't like it you could have then written WHY you didn't like it. May I suggest that you obtain a dvd of T.H. Opening solo concert at Melbourne Town Hall on which his transcription of Beethoven 5 is included, and I shall be very surprised if you don't change your mind. For example, only last week, I attended an organ recital here which included Franck's Grand Piece Symphonique. I happen to think, and I'm a non organist, that this piece is tedious and overlong and, to me, somewhat boring, but I didn't say because that is being played I'm not attending. I thought I will try to listen to it, yet again, to see whether I can like it better. Incidentally I also had to endure Mozart's 'Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein' (figured chorale from The Magic flute). Almost a fate worse than death itself ! I did however buy this very same organist's new c.d. from La Madeleine in Paris of the works of Lefebure-Wely, and I have asked my French brother in law and sister to go along to hear him this Sunday in Monaco Cathedral where he will be playing a much more audience friendly programme. I have an organist friend of mine who formerly couldn't abide transcriptions, I insisted he accompany me to hear T.H. and he was immediately converted. The organ today is regarded by the concert going public in a very low light, and if SOME of the organ repertoire can be altered to make these recitals more exciting then I regard that as a very good thing. There isn't an overabundance of organ music that would come the heading of ' tuneful'. In fact, much of it reminds me of ' the tune the donkey died on'. Far too many people, mainly organists themselves, of course, regard the organ as a vehicle for playing only serious music, and this, I think, is totally wrong. Now, I am NOT saying that all organ recitals should be full of transcriptions, there has to be a balance. Organ recitals should be a mixture of that which is Educational and that which is Entertaining; the balance between the two being dependent upon the venue, the composition of the audience and a few other factors. I still maintain, and an ever increasing number of people are fast agreeing, that Thomas Heywood's playing is like a breath of fresh air through the organ world. M.S.
  13. You'll be able to hear this organ in a full recital next Sunday August 20th at 5pm by the living re-incarnation of the 20th century's greatest concert organist, Edwin Lemare, in the form of the Australian virtuoso THOMAS HEYWOOD. Maybe the Sunday afternoon recitals are not classed as FULL. I've never attended one. m.s.
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