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Mander Organs

Choir Man

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Everything posted by Choir Man

  1. How should a recitalist make an emotional connection with their audience? How can you create a sense of joy? A computer can play a piece perfectly via midi but I wouldn't want to go to a recital given by a computer. Likewise I haven't enjoyed some recitals that were note perfect (to my ears) given by an organist hidden away in an organ loft. One of the challenges for many organs is that the audience don't get to see the performer. Video relay can help but how many venues have a good enough projector to show a sharp bright image on a good sized screen with multiple cameras so you can see the hands and feet, but just as importantly the face of the recitalist? For me a good programme should blend familiar with the less well known and unknown and play to the strength of the instrument. A performer who lends their own interpretation to a well known work will help keep it interesting. (I think Olivier Latry's Bach To The Future album is brilliant). Finally it is a sad fact that nowadays many people have a shorter attention span than on years gone by. Couple that with the often uncomfortable seating found in churches could mean that some of the longer pieces of repertoire will have audiences shuffling in their seats. Some people say a recital should always contain some Bach, others don't like transcriptions. For me a good recital doesn't have to contain anything other than something that can make me sit up and say 'wow!'.
  2. Richard McVeigh's channel has been a favourite of mine. He's been keeping very busy, doing a full recital each week on top of three hours of hymn playing every Sunday afternoon. Richard is also very engaging with his audience, talking about the pieces he's playing and other matters relating to the organ (and cats). https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkdRXZZXDmLJM6XBnUpIoog/featured
  3. Looking at the diagram referenced above makes me think that with a side console you wouldn't need a roller board to spread the action from the width of the keyboard to the width of the chest, you just have different length track rods to reach from side to side of the chest. Combined with stop knobs above your head acting directly on the sliders, this would give a much simpler action.
  4. ...and without the organist... https://goo.gl/maps/tWjM3LFZeYn8d8ZA7 ...and inside the organ https://goo.gl/maps/cxdaMCJgiwURPHJJ6 A building worth exploring on Google as it seems the camera has been give "access all areas" including behind doors that are normally locked and on the roof.
  5. Just wondering how many church organists & DOMs have been put in furlough? My church furloughed the DOM back in March and he isn't expected to return until public services with hymn singing are approved.
  6. Cathedrals are both tourist attractions and places of worship. Personally I don't have a problem with paying to visit a tourist attraction and, as most cathedrals don't have a separate attraction as Hereford does, a general admission charge is appropriate so long as there is no suggestion of charging to enter for worship or private prayer.
  7. I have just discovered that Klais restored the organ of Maria Himmelfahrt in Niederschönenfeld. This has two keyboards on opposite sides of the case playing at different pitches... The organ is on a west gallery and which was originally divided and had a parish side and a nuns side. The keyboard on the parish side was used for congregational singing and was at a lower pitch. Whilst the keyboard round the back of the case was used for accompanying the nuns who sang form the gallery at higher pitch. To accommodate the challenges of playing different keys in non-equal temperament there were separate pipes for B flat and E flat to each manual, but the other pipes were shared. https://klais.de/m.php?sid=491
  8. Richard McVeigh recorded this recital in a deserted Arundel cathedral. His YouTube channel 'Beauty In Sound' has much to listen to as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6BO-mjQJas
  9. The chuch has two instruments. A French CC-style instrument on the west gallery by Gockel. The greatly enlarged Nelson instrumnet is in the south transept. Both organs are playable from the Nelson console
  10. Saint Fin Barres Cathedral are posting short Wednesday organ recital videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzD7qMSw3UgIH5R38xI8_9Q/videos An unique instrument with most of it in a pit to the players left - I wonder what it sounds like at the console?
  11. My church has successfully used zoom for the last 2 weeks and we love that it allows contribution from anyone and we have even had a number of guests with us from around the country. Various choir members have supported the singing in different ways - piano, viola & cello, unaccompanied. We haven't tried organ yet, but I think Colin has nailed it on the head in saying that the zoom platform is optimised for spoken voice. Steady continuous sounds will get treated as background 'noise' and tend to get filtered out, also auto-levelling will play havoc with your crescendos. My advice is to stick to the piano - so long as your congregation have a tune to follow they'll sing along.
  12. No audience at St John The Divine, but the recital went ahead anyway.
  13. Some beautiful playing as well as insight into Mendelssohn. The Göteborg International Organ Academy have quite a selection of videos that will help while away the hours stuck inside.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvDSFyfwV3d0Tp6r3xaM17w
  14. Fortunately my church building, which normally is unlocked in daylight hours, will remain open for private prayer (and organ practice). The rector will be livestreaming morning & evening prayer (said of course) from his study as there is no wifi or strong mobile signal in the church. All choir and other group activities have been suspended until Easter.
  15. I agree with much of what has been said before. As most of our organs are in churches, a lot hinges on the future of the church. Without getting into a debate about the future of the church I would like to focus on a few practical aspects that make it difficult for the development of new organists and new people that appreciate listening to the organ. Unfortunately the majority of organs are in churches and many churches are now locked making it difficult for anyone other than the regular organist to get in and play. And when they are open, practice opportunities may be limited with excuses such as ‘this is a place of worship’. On top of this, safeguarding issues add further stumbling blocks making it very difficult in some cases for young people to learn and practice in a church environment. Having said that, I think the organ (and the church) can still have a future, but this is reliant on all parties (church, clergy, organists & worshipers) wanting to make their building and its resources the centre of their community. My questions to all fellow forumites are as follows: Other than by having lessons (usually not cheap), how easy is it for someone to get practice time on your usual instruments either on a regular or occasional basis? How do we work together with the owners of our instruments to make the organ accessible for learners as well as well as listeners?
  16. Saturday 18 April 2020 has been designated National Organ Day. The Royal College of Organists is appealing to every building in the UK which houses an organ to open its doors on that day, allowing people to hear and explore the wealth of organs, large and small, to be found here. Further info at: https://www.rco.org.uk/NationalOrganDay.php How will forumites be supporting this?
  17. Not sure if they've done any concertos but the Scott Brothers Duo have arranged a number of pieces for organ and piano.
  18. One of the latest videos from the Royal Institution. This is from one of their 1989 Christmas Lectures:
  19. Worcester only has a single 32ft reed. There are two electronic 32ft flues provided from the digital organ in the nave. The intention is to reintroduce the currently silent 32ft pipes in the Hope Jones case when the nave/transept organ is realised.
  20. What would you do if you got a cipher on middle C? Lovely sounds from the St Paul's organ rebuilt by our hosts. Of course there wasn't really a cipher, but I do question the wisdom of sticking a pencil into the keyboard to hold down a note. What happens if the end breaks off and you have a small piece of highly conductive graphite rattling around in the electronics?
  21. Here's a few more I remembered, just to complete my contribution : St Andrews, Pump St, Worcester : https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03286 Sheffield City Hall: https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01130 King Edward VII School, Sheffield: https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01124
  22. St Olave, Hart Street, London https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00720
  23. The Organ Media Foundation tour of St Peter's, Ladue, Minnesota which was built by our hosts.
  24. Of course our hosts have already built a portable concert organ: https://mander-organs.com/the-flavour-conductor/
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