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Mander Organs


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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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    At one point my profile was quite extensive but, following some comments, I decided to delete it. Here is a 'cut down' version!

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

    B.Mus. - a 'first', Master's (M.A., M.Phil.) and Ph. D level research 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 30 years ago. I founded and ran a very busy and highly successful adult church choir.

    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 no longer play for my living!

    I enjoy this forum but I get frustrated sometimes with the pomposity of some members (and they with me!!!) and with the 'back of fag packet' organ designers!! Sometimes I make comments that infuriate members.

    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. S_L

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Undoubtedly Mr Tovey was the driving force behind the preservation of the instrument. Like David I wonder whether the 2001 additions scuppered the chances of any funding. I also have to say, and I speak from some experience that, I wonder about the quality of the 2001 work as well.
  2. S_L

    Death of a major Compton announced

    The previous post is taken from the Wolverhampton Express and Star. The first article from 2016, the second from December 2018! And with apologies for the poor copying!
  3. S_L

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Civic Hall organ to be relocated and restored to former glory Wolverhampton Civic Hall's historic organ is to be relocated and restored to it its former glory. The City of Wolverhampton Council plans have been approved by Historic England following months of discussions about the best way to preserve the heritage of the organ that dates back to 1938. The Grade II listed Civic Hall and Wulfrun Hall are undergoing a £14.4 million revamp to improve facilities. The organ sits in the roof of the Civic Hall and needs to be removed to enable better ventilation for fire safety and to make adjustments to the stage area in order to attract bigger shows to the venue. Renowned organ specialist and city organist, Steve Tovey, has been appointed to supervise the removal of the organ and find it a new location, with the hope it can remain in Wolverhampton. Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: "The Civic Hall organ is of historical significance and no doubt brings back fond memories for Wolverhampton residents. "We are delighted we have been able to find a solution that meets Historic England's requirements. "The Civic Hall is a nationally recognised and popular venue among UK audiences and the entertainment industry, and attracts very large audiences. "Increasing the size of the stage at the Civic Hall will enable it to accommodate bigger productions including tours which the region cannot currently attract. "There is huge potential for attracting new audiences from across the West Midlands to live events and music, festivals, the arts, culture and night life. "This in turn means even more visitors to Wolverhampton city centre and the wider sub region resulting in the creation of more jobs in the local economy." The organ, built by British firm John Compton and Company, boasts 6,241 pipes, which range from one and a half inches to 16 feet in height and are similar to that of a church organ. Tovey added: "I'm delighted I will be personally supervising the careful removal of this historical organ and ensuring it is safely stored until a suitable home can be found where it can be restored to its former glory." The first enabling phases of the building works at the Civic Halls have now been completed, including structural surveys and other investigations, asbestos removal and the renewal of fire alarm and emergency lighting systems, to enable the halls to re-open temporarily from the beginning of next month. Refurbishment work on the Civic Halls, including the removal of the organ, will continue in the New Year. released: Thursday 22 September, 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. December 4th - 2018 Plans to restore Wolverhampton's historic organ to its former glory scrapped Plans to restore Wolverhampton's historic organ to its former glory have been scrapped after council bosses refused to pay the £2 million revamp fees. More than 6,200 pipes of the organ, which dates back to 1938, will be 'disposed' of after Wolverhampton Council claimed proposals were 'no longer financially viable'. But the Labour-led council has since been blasted for failing to move the iconic organ from its home before work at the 80-year-old Civic Halls began. Leader of the opposition Councillor Wendy Thompson said: "If the organ was removed before the asbestos work, the organ would still be in a good condition "It's not just immensely disappointing, it's a sign of greater issues because it's now, yet again, another example of Wolverhampton Council not taking proper care of public money and assets. "I think many people in Wolverhampton care about history. I'm sure they will wish more care had been taken with it, and more thought." The council revealed plans to remove the organ from its home in the roof of the Grade II-listed Civic Hall two years ago. The organ, which was built by British firm John Compton and Company, needed to be moved to enable better ventilation for fire safety and increase stage space as part of the Civic Halls refurbishment. It has 6,241 pipes, which range from one-and-a-half inches to 16 feet in height. Further investigation during the works uncovered the pipes were in poor condition but now plans have had to be scrapped due to 'staggering' costs and no possibility of funding from the Heritage Lottery. Historic England has no objection on heritage grounds to dispose of the pipes, as approved by planning officials, the council said. But the council is reviewing options to preserve the organ console. Councillor John Reynolds, the council's cabinet member for city economy, said: "We are in the process of carrying out a sensitive refurbishment of Wolverhampton’s historic Civic Halls. “Working closely with Historic England, we have looked at all the options available to us with the organ but unfortunately this is the only one that makes financial sense and we are really disappointed we are unable to restore it. “The Civic Halls are internationally recognised and popular among UK audiences and the entertainment industry, attracting very large audiences. “Increasing the space above the stage at the Civic Hall will enable it to accommodate bigger productions including touring groups, which the region cannot currently attract. “There is huge potential for bringing new audiences from across the West Midlands to live events and music, festivals, the arts, culture and night life. “This in turn means even more visitors to Wolverhampton city centre and the wider sub-region resulting in the creation of more jobs in the local economy".
  4. S_L

    British Organ Going To Germany

    The church closed in 2011 but it is a Grade II listed building and the organ is part of the listing. Interesting that the organ may have been destroyed.
  5. S_L

    Jean Guillou

    I was in St. Eustache one Sunday morning, for Mass, quite a few years ago and Guillou improvised before and after, as well as during the offertory of the Mass. The 'Toccata' after Mass was a stunning piece of work, it was totally amazing. The music before the Mass was, at one point, the loudest noise I have ever heard. I thought the organ was going to jump off the back wall and attack me! Undoubtedly Jean Guillou was one of the most important teachers, organists and improvisers of his day but his music is not limited to organ works of which there are a huge number including seven organ concerti. There are three symphonies, two piano concerti, chamber music for all kinds of combinations. In total over 80 opus numbers! May he rest in peace.
  6. S_L

    Recitals for children

    Only five years!!! - A youngster!
  7. S_L

    Recitals for children

    Cross curricular links could involve you in huge amounts of time and work and this assumes that the youngsters teachers are supportive of the whole project. You don't say how old the 'audience' is. One thing is certain that they should have some experience of listening, performing, composing and reviewing. I think my only advice would be that the, you called it a recital, should involve the youngsters in lots of exciting musical activity rather than be, just, passive listeners! Hope it goes well.
  8. S_L

    Appointments 2

    It was in last weeks as well - as was a Senior Music Minister to succeed Noel Tredinnick at All Soul's Langham Place and a Director of Music at St. Margaret's Westminster..
  9. S_L

    Recitals for children

    Brilliant response John!
  10. S_L


    Franz Schmidt - a forgotten composer! My friend and ex colleague, the late Harold Truscott, was an authority on his music. If the Prelude and Fugue inspires you then try listening to other organ works - there are plenty of them! Or the one of the four Symphonies - No. 4 (A Requiem for my Daughter) is wonderful and is available, together with the other three on CD (L1 0122-2 034). Schmidt was a fine 'cellist but, surprisingly, there is no concerto for that instrument. He was also a very fine pianist and there is a Concerto for left hand. I think his lack of popularity was possibly, coloured by his, seemingly, support for the Nazi part. That, and the fact that he was, in his time, considered to be a little old-fashioned relying heavily on tonal counterpoint and heavy orchestration in the manner of Bruckner. The Cantata Deutsche Auferstehung (German Resurrection), his last work, was a setting of Nazi text. Hitler knew Schmidt and this piece was commissioned after the Anschluss. It was never finished by Schmidt but by Robert Wagner. At the same time he was working on a piece for the pianist Wittgenstein, of Jewish decent, which, possibly, indicates his lack of sympathy with the Nazi cause!
  11. S_L

    Buckfast Abbey

    And, if you were working yourself at that time - or just missed it - here it is:
  12. S_L

    The Queen's Speech

    And to Margaret Atkinson MBE, chair of the Huddersfield Choral Society - for services to church and community in Huddersfield
  13. S_L

    Appointments 2

    Colin Davey to be Organist and Director of Choirs at Wimborne Minster from March 2019.
  14. I also see that Skrabi have been instructed to produce a mechanical action organ for the Catholic Church in Barnsley, West Yorkshire. The organ is to be built in two stages and here is a link to the details on the Skrabi website. http://www.skrabl.co.uk/news-item.asp?NID=40
  15. S_L

    C.S. Lang - Organ Music

    I'm sure that quite a few colleagues have used C.S. Lang's Harmony at the Keyboard & Exercises in Score Reading. I have a copies somewhere! The 200 Tunes for sight-singing were also excellent and, in the 'good old days' when A level students needed to be able to do this I used it extensively. I have it in my mind somewhere that I have heard the Evening Service in B flat - but I can't think where that would have been and, whilst I have a huge collection of 'Mag & Nuncs' it doesn't seem to be amongst them. Some of Lang's music is published by Novello - an interesting list: http://www.musicsalesclassical.com/composer/works/881/0