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About S_L

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    Advanced Member

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    16360 Le Tatre, FRANCE
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    I had a 'life' before this. I was a 'cellist! I studied with Pleeth and am the last English pupil of Pablo Casals.

    B.A. (M.A.) a 'double first'. Mus. B., M. Mus., M.Phil. and Ph. D. level research (RCM - Cambridge) and RCM/RAM Performer's and Teacher's Diplomas! I was lucky to be taught by and influenced by some of the most distinguished musicians of their day.

    Became an organist through necessity and a very part-time church musician about 40 years ago. I founded and ran a very busy and highly successful adult church choir. Nowadays I, very occasionally, accompany, and improvise on, the Plainsong of the day in Notre Dame d'Oberzine, Angouleme

    I have a number of publications to my name and have also been fortunate enough to have given concerts/recitals in some of Europe's most prestigious venues. I am now retired and live in the peace and quiet of a little French village. I no longer play for my living!

    Some members know who I am and are welcome to contact me via my website. If you want to contact me and don't have my website then you can do it via this board and I will always respond.

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  1. This is correct! I don't normally recommend Wikipedia but you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidoron
  2. To my knowledge the organ hasn't received any paint! And any work to be done on the organ would come from a different department from any work to be done in the cathedral. Perhaps the orgue de choeur is still there - but I couldn't see it - I shall ask, if I remember, on Sunday when I revisit. Your book sounds wonderful and I would love to read it! Choir boys distributing the 'bread' from baskets is outside of my experience and you are right, it is, now, totally forbidden to keep the sacred host for consumption at a later time. Bur 'Papa' appearing in Cassock and Surplice with a trombone to accompany a minor office is classic!!!
  3. Following the resignation of Martin Baker at Westminster Cathedral there is bound to be speculation and rumour as to what is to happen next. And so I give the 'Chapter & Verse' from the Diocese so that that speculation and rumour is kept to a minimum!!! From Archbishop's House: The Diocese of Westminster is undertaking a strategic review of the role of sacred music in the mission of Westminster Cathedral. In a statement issue this morning the Diocese states: The musical tradition of Westminster Cathedral, in its excellence, constitutes a crucial and powerful part of the mission of the Cathedral. The Choir of Westminster Cathedral is recognised as one of the finest in the world. Since its foundation in 1901 it has occupied a unique and enviable position at the forefront of English church music, famous both for its distinctive continental sound and its repertoire. The review will consider the steps needed to strengthen the role played by sacred music, as well as the structures and clarity of roles required for the continued development of the contribution of music to the mission of the Cathedral, within the network of relationships between the Cathedral, its Music Department and Westminster Cathedral Choir School. A panel has been appointed to undertake this review over the next eight to 10 weeks, which will be completed by early April 2020. Members of the panel bring experience, knowledge and deep interest in the role of Westminster Cathedral and its great musical tradition. Commenting on this announcement, Cardinal Nichols said: "In welcoming this strategic review of the role of sacred music in the mission of Westminster Cathedral, I thank most sincerely those who are going to conduct it. They do so with my full confidence. "Our musical heritage is precious and this strategic review is an opportunity to strengthen this heritage and look forward to the next ten years with confidence." In addition to consulting with a number of post holders and external experts members may wish to approach, the panel welcomes submissions from interested parties. These submissions should be made in writing by 17th February 2020, by email to strategicreview@rcdow.org.uk or by post to Strategic Review Panel, Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, London SW1P 1QN. Full Details of the Strategic Review can be found here: https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/38756 and: The Panel will receive written comments and submissions from any interested parties, until Monday 17th February 2020
  4. I can't answer that because I can't remember what it was like before!! The place, of course, is vast, it is enormous! And the restoration is hugely controversial! My first encounter with the restoration was when my daughter travelled to see me about four years ago, stopping at Chartres on her way down here. "English Heritage would have a fit!!" she said. And she is right. The choir looks totally amazing but I'm not sure it is in keeping with a medieval cathedral or with restoration techniques as understood in the UK. The external part of the choir, the stone carved scenes, are nearly finished and seem to be being painted rather than having the grim and dirt blasted off! I may be wrong here! Of course the French do paint on top of stone. I know of another 'World Heritage site' where the walls have been plastered and red lines painted on to simulate the edges of stone!! True - imagine English Heritage allowing this! As to the acoustics! The place is noisy. Dr. Colin has mentioned the very different attitude of continentals towards ecclesiastics. There are signs asking the public not to walk around during services but they are, largely, ignored! The Grande Messe is celebrated from the Nave Altar under the central space at the crossing. The choir sit in the choir. The orgue de Choeur which, of course, would traditionally accompany them, doesn't seem to exist any more. I remember pcnd, and if I have got this wrong I apologise to him, being quite vitriolic about the instrument. I think he described it as the worst instrument he had ever played! All accompaniment comes from the Grande Orgue which hangs high on the south wall of the nave just by the crossing. The organist sits inside the instrument. I can't imagine what, if anything, he can hear up there but he has an array of TV cameras to assist him. Even accompanying plainsong could be a problem and also hymns too without considerable expertise of the instrument and knowing the acoustics of the building. Accompanying, for instance, a Mozart Mass, would, I imagine, be next to impossible. Nothing in my musicianship tells me how it could be successfully done! For those interested there are a number of YouTube videos of Patrick Delabre, the titulaire, talking (in French!) and playing the instrument he has presided over since 1986. I return to my home on the 26th and have an invitation to spend the 'Grand Messe' in the tribune that morning. Perhaps I can better answer your question, somechap, then!
  5. I drove from my home to the UK and decided to do the long journey through France in two stages stopping at Chartres on the way. After a cheap hotel and an excellent meal we found ourselves in the Cathedral for the 'Grand Messe' at 11h00. Years ago I was there and attended both the Mass sung to Gregorian chant at 09h00 and the 11h00. It had been a pretty torrid experience and, in truth, I wasn't expecting that a lot had changed. Prior to the 11h00 Mass I had coffee with the titulaire opposite the cathedral and, just prior to 11h00, found myself in my usual place in church - on the left hand side about 6 rows from the front. There seemed to be hardly anyone there but it soon filled up. A procession of robed young people and adults made their way into the choir whilst Patrick Delabre improvised on the Grande orgue on the hymn 'Il est ne le Divin enfant' which began the celebration. The Bishop of Chartres celebrated. He is a very tall man and, complete with mitre must have been over eight feet tall!!! Clouds of smoke bellowed from the thurible and even the altar boys seemed to know what they were doing (all rather different from the last visit when my second son remarked that, had he been the celebrant, he would have "stuck his boot around that altar boys ****"!!!). The Bishop sang, slightly hesitantly and the choir of young people and adults, singing in four real parts, made a splendid sound - helped, of course, by an amazingly generous acoustic! The organ improvisations at the gospel procession (with alleluias fitting to the first line of the tune Forest Green!) and at the offertory, and during communion, were understated and totally amazing! I am used to wonderful improvisations from my time in Birmingham and these were equally as good. The Grande orgue sounded magnificent and accompanied the whole Mass. Seemingly the orgue de choeur, that I remember our member pcnd hated so much, has been removed during the renovations of the choir. And, at the end of Mass we had a French hymn to the tune Adeste fideles - complete with Willcocks descant that was thundered out by the top line of the choir! - followed by an improvisation on the tune! If you're passing I would recommend it! It's not an English cathedral - it's very French - but I came out of church feeling a lot better than when I went in!! What will I remember in six months time - the power of the descants and the organ improvisations - oh, and the eight foot tall Bishop!!!! http://orguesfrance.com/ChartresCathedrale.html
  6. At the risk of boring everyone but as a memory of a story told by the late David Drinkell, who, I'm sure we all miss on the boards, I give the much repeated story. 'The difference between an organist and a terrorist - you can negotiate with a terrorist!!!' And, from a tiny little village in the South West of France, 'Yuletide felicitations' to you Stanley and to all members of the board.
  7. Merbecke, I think, is beautiful and, just because it was written in 1550 doesn't mean that it isn't still appropriate. I've used it on the, very rare, occasions I have worked in the C of E. I find Dom Gregory Murray wearing, especially if you use all of it at once! I get fed up of hearing the same phrases over and over again. Is the Appleford a re-write of the Mass of Five Melodies? - in which case I suspect, and I don't know it, that it could, easily, become, like Dom Gregory, a little wearing! And your new Parish Priest? is it a request or a demand? There is a lot of good stuff out there (and a lot of drivel as well!) and it is worth buying some single copies and trying to educate your Priest with them? He may, very well, be wanting to use Appleford because it is all he knows! Have you thought of writing your own? I had a request, a few years ago, from a Parish in the West Midlands to write a setting "similar to Dom Gregory Murray" - in other words based on repeated phrases. I produced three settings, one major, one minor and the other modal which the parish use on alternative months, I think, with the one setting sans Gloria for use during Lent and Advent. Tell me I'm being arrogant, if you like, but I think what I produced was a good deal more musical that Dom Gregory! Do Parishes sing the same Mass setting week after week? I couldn't cope with that! Don't the congregation get bored with the same music week after week? I would!!
  8. Nothing spectacular I'm afraid but nothing spectacular to play on and I rarely play! Before Mass we observe silence and the Midnight began with the Nuns singing the introit Dominus dixit ad me accompanied by a very light organ!! The Mass setting was Mass IV, again lightly accompanied, Cunctipotens Genitor Deus with Credo III. During the offertory I played Bach Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ BWV697 (In Bach's time, in Leipzig, it was the hymn for the day) Afterwards I played the Daquin Noel X. The Mass of the day began with the Nuns singing the introit Puer Natus est nobis, again accompanied. The Mass setting was in French, written by one of the sisters and unaccompanied. The Creed was sung, again in French, to a setting by Naji Hakim and, during the offertory, the Nuns sang a French version of In Dulci Jubilo. After Mass, I played the Bach version BWV 608. As I said - I rarely play!! It was an interesting experience - for me and the good sisters!!!
  9. Oh dear!! Many apologies - I had forgotten about the other thread - and I made a contribution too! Must be getting old!!
  10. I used to know this church quite well and, trawling the Internet, I see they are having a new four manual Skrabi organ. I thought members might be interested and so the stop list I give below: PÉDALE (32 notes) Soubasse 32 Contrebasse 16 Principal 16 Bourdon 16 Prestant 8 Flûte 8 Octave 4 Contre Bombarde 32 Bombarde 16 Trompette 8 I: GRAND ORGUE (61 notes) Bourdon 16 Montre 8 Diapason 8 Bourdon 8 Flûte harmonique 8 Prestant 4 Flûte 4 Octave 2 Trompette 8 Clairon 4 Quinte 2 2/3 Fourniture IV Recit - Grand Orgue 16 Grand Orgue 16 Grand Orgue 4 Grand Orgue annulation 8 II: POSITIF (61 notes) Diapason 8 Bourdon 8 Rhorflûte 8 Viole de gambe 8 Voix céleste 8 Octave 4 Bourdon 4 Octave 2 Dulciane 8 Quinte 2 2/3 Tierce 1 3/5 Trémolo Positif Positif 16 Positif 4 Positif annulation 8 III: RÉCIT EXPRESSIF (61 notes) Bourdon 16 Diapason 8 Bourdon 8 Violoncelle 8 Voix angélique 8 Flûte ouverte 4 Nazard 2 2/3 Octavin 2 Hautbois 16 Trompette 8 Hautbois 8 Voix humaine 8 Clairon 4 Plein jeu IV Trémolo Récit Récit 16 Récit 4 Récit annulation 8 IV: BOMBARDE (61 notes) Flûte traversière 8 Flûte traversière 4 Trompette Pontificale 16 Trompette Pontificale 8 Trompette Pontificale 4 TIRASSES Tirasse Grand Orgue Tirasse Positif Tirasse Récit Expressif Tirasse Bombarde ACCOUPLEMENTS Positif - Grand Orgue Récit - Grand Orgue Bombarde - Grand Orgue Récit - Positif Bombarde - Positif Bombarde - Recit Grand Orgue - Bombarde ACCESSORIES Tutti I Tutti II Divisional pistons 1 - 10 General pistons 1 - 10 (to 999) Stepper Pedal divide
  11. Some of the phraseology in the write-up on he church website is interesting! ………………………. and all paid for by the local council - now that is clever! The church, I see, also boasts a high-quality 'toaster' as well as a 'Makin' analogue 'in store'!!!
  12. From the Pershore Abbey Weekly Bulletin - 27th October 2019 "A new Fratelli Ruffatti 3-manual pipe organ for Pershore Abbey It is with great pleasure that we announce that having satisfied all the faculty conditions, the contract between the PCC and Fratelli Ruffatti for the new organ was signed by the Revd. Claire Lording on 10 October. The organ, which is to replace the Bradford Computing Organ, will be built at the Ruffatti factory in Padua, Italy, shipped to the UK and transported to Pershore where it will be installed by their skilled craftsmen. Meantime there will be significant building works in the Abbey in preparation to receive the new organ and the whole build, installation and voicing of the organ will be completed within the next two years. The PCC …………………………………………………………………"
  13. In the UK, of C of E Cathedrals, neither Oxford (Christ Church) or Wells Cathedral have 32' stops - and Gloucester and Chichester only have 32' reeds. There may be others Neither St. Chad's Cathedral Birmingham or Clifton Cathedral have a 32' stop! I'm certain there are other RC cathedrals without!
  14. I saw the advert! It made it clear that Paul Dewhurst was leaving because of his commitments closer to the East coast and that Bridlington was a sensible move for him. It also said that prospective applicants were welcome to contact him to discuss the position - which shows a certain amount of transparency of behalf of the Leeds authorities. The current music list at Leeds is standard 'Cathedral type faire' with nothing to frighten a prospective applicant and they are advertising for Choral Scholars for the forthcoming academic year to sing three choral services a week. If we are indulging in gossip, and I'm not sure that is a good idea, I heard that the music at Leeds Minster was almost 'dead on its feet' at the end of the last regime and that the new Vicar was wise to be a 'new broom sweeping clean'! But, of course, it is only gossip on the grapevine!!!
  15. LOL - wonderful!! My builders start putting up the new guttering on Monday! Now I know what to do with those bits left over!!!
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