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S_L

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About S_L

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    16360 Le Tatre, FRANCE
  • Interests
    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

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Sorry! I just thought that, seeing as other Cambridge college chapels and a couple of Cathedrals, had got a mention, I'd put a 'plug' in for my old alma mater!
  2. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    And, just so David doesn't feel he is monopolising the thread, here is one of the most famous sights in the country! I need say no more! - apart from perfect - architecturally totally perfect! http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05254
  3. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    And , talking of favourite buildings!! Christ Church Spitalfields is, I think, my favourite London church. In my days in London it lay almost derelict, saved, I think, by the sale of St. John's Smith Square which covered the funding of the roof replacement which, ultimately, saved the building. I've never been to church there, my preference is for 'slightly further up the candle' - St. Augustine's Kilburn or, for good local 'High Church' St Peter's London Docks! But I went into Christ Church to see the completed restoration and it is stunning, absolutely stunning! Bridge's organ has been magnificently restored to it's 1735 specification, by William Drake Ltd. in 2015. The case is 'out of this world'! More pictures and sound files here: http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=H00969
  4. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    Beverley is a bit 'out of the way' - thank goodness! Being 'out of the way' the building has survived 'modernising influences' of the Victorians and of others! I played my first 'cello continuo in there somewhere about 1965/6 when Peter Fletcher was Minster Organist. I think, on that occasion, Andrew Leach, now at Hessle Parish Church, was playing the organ. Over the years I played 'cello continuo dozens of times in there - sometimes in the freezing cold of an East Riding December winter!!! Peter Fletcher took me up to the organ console around the same time. It was a magnificent sight looking down into the choir and, despite being, so I was told, a considerable 'cellist, I knew then that I wanted to play the organ!!!! I've always thought the Arthur Hill organ case, viewed from the West End of the Minster was absolutely perfect and totally matching of the Snetzler case which stands beside it. One of my absolute favourite buildings! Pictures can be seen here! http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D06725 I'm sure someone more competent than I will load a picture - it doesn't seem to want me to load!
  5. S_L

    Composing SATB

    In my time at a major London Conservatoire I was lucky that I was taught, possibly, by the most distinguished teacher of my instrument in the country, let alone the college. VH is absolutely right, he was hardly ever there and I was left, usually with a vast amount of work to do, until he came back from teaching in Japan or the US or wherever. The 'upside' of it was that one summer he invited me to his home. I lived there for two months and had a lesson almost every day!! It was wonderful but I'm not sure whether it made up for the times I missed a lesson! As for fees. Students need to complain and they need to complain loudly. I have mentioned this student elsewhere but, a few years ago now, I had a telephone call from an ex-student of mine reading Music at a prestigious University. He had an orchestration to do and, to use his words, hadn't a clue where to start! We met, looked at the task in hand, and I starting asking questions about the music, what he could see, what he could hear, etc. Eventually I asked him if his Tutor hadn't been through this with him! He hadn't seen him for weeks and weeks, was hoping to and had rung me in panic as the orchestration was due to be handed in very soon. "They're only teaching here so that they can pursue their own research interests!" was his comment. There is some truth in this. He did his orchestration, didn't rock any boats by criticising the University for its lack of interest, care etc. - and got a first!! Was it worth the money? Possibly it was but, as far as I can see, he had a good case against the University - and I have heard this scenario over and over again and, particularly, at this University.
  6. S_L

    Wot, no organ music?

    I'm sure that you were making an official recording and, therefore, had the recitalist's permission to do so! How you get away from the extraneous noises of an audience I have no idea!
  7. S_L

    Wot, no organ music?

    I may have recounted this before here. If so, I apologise! I was in Chartres on August 15th some years ago. Solemn High Mass in the cathedral at 11h00 was packed. At 15h00 in the, overflowing, church down the road Vespers began with the chanting of the Psalms. Between the Psalms and the Magnificat the entire congregation processed through the city, with an enormous statue of Our Lady, to be greeted at the great doors of the Cathedral with a fanfare prior to the Magnificat being sung, in Latin, by, again, a packed congregation. I suppose Vespers finished about 16h30 and there was to be an organ recital at 17h00 given by Patrick Delabre, the Titulaire. I expected large numbers to leave and, some did leave but their places were taken by others and, by 17h00 the cathedral was, again, packed for his recital. It wasn't a recital of, particularly, 'mainstream faire' but, judging by the applause at the end, it was enjoyed by all present. The whole day was amazing and not something I could have imagined taking place in the UK. Some time ago I went to a recital in a 'civic' building on a large, well known instrument, given by a well-known player. There might have been twenty people present. At £5 a time it wouldn't have paid for the electricity, let alone the fee for the recitalist, the cost of opening the hall etc. ………………… and I don't have an answer to why it is so different!
  8. S_L

    Pipe Organ-free Zone

    I don't disagree with anything that 'Zimbelstern' has written. I came from a very 'ordinary' family, my mother had been offered a place at Girton but was unable to take it up because 'they couldn't afford it'!! And I was lucky in that the 'comprehensive' school I went to had an amazing music department, the rest of the school was pretty dreadful, that encouraged me to apply to the Junior RCM and eventually to Cambridge where I won a scholarship (not an organ scholarship I hesitate to add!). I spent part of my life as a schoolteacher and had a student of mine go up to Oxford to read music. He told me that, at that time, he was the only student in the faculty to have been educated in a comprehensive school. All the rest were from the private sector of education. I can't, in truth. make up my mind whether that is a dreadful condemnation of Oxford or the comprehensive system - or both! He got a first but the comment, from one of his peers at Oxford, "how did someone from a comprehensive school manage to gain a place here", he said was demoralising and typical of a system that he had hoped had disappeared.
  9. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    With ref. to my previous post: Hoar Cross http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=V00192
  10. S_L

    Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

    My apologies, I didn't see this post. No it doesn't include an improvised March & Fugue by Raymond Sunderland but it does include the following:. 1) Bridal Fanfare and March. - Raymond Sunderland - written for his daughter's marriage in 1972. 2) Legend Op. 141 - Karg-Elert 3) Chorale Improvisation "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" Op. 65 No. 5 - Karg- Elert 4) Chorale Improvisation "In Dulci jubilo' Op. 75 No. 2 - Karg-Elert 5) Chorale Improvisation "O welt, ich muss dich lassen" Op. 65 No. 21 - Karg-Elert 6) Chorale Prelude on "Urbs Hierusalem beata" - Healey Willan 7) Apostolic Symphony - Garth Edmundson The record, on the VISTA label (VPS 1006) was made in the evening of the 2nd of October 1972 after the rebuild of the Priory organ by Laycock and Bannister in 1967/68. Hope that helps.
  11. S_L

    Wedding Music - bridal processions

    Many thanks for that. The Diocese of San Diego wasn't where I was thinking of!! I have sent the above to a close friend who is VG to an English Diocese. It will be interesting to see whether the above is a 'local rule' or something from Rome.
  12. S_L

    Wedding Music - bridal processions

    I didn't know that and, whilst well away from it now, never encountered opposition to Wagner or Mendelssohn in twenty years of playing for weddings in the RC Church. I'd be interested to know where you got that from! I could make a guess!!! Some excellent suggestions there, Martin - I never thought of the Finzi Clarinet Bagatelles.
  13. S_L

    Easy Organ Pieces & leading a congregation?

    I thought the Chapel Choir contribution to 'the wedding' was absolutely first-class. The Tallis was beautifully sung and, whilst I can do without noises Rutter makes, it is a piece, totally appropriate to the occasion and beautifully crafted. I completely agree with the comments, made by VH, about the descant to Cwm Rhondda. The Gospel choir were outstanding as was the young 'cellist, from the RAM, playing Faure, von Paradis and an arrangement of Schubert. The choice of the Handel aria, for entrance music, I thought, was inspired and beautifully performed as was the Boyce Symphony. All in all a programme of appropriate, well-chosen music, beautifully performed, is my take on it all! And then there was the Preacher ................................................... Wow!
  14. S_L

    List of beautiful English Organs

    This picture came form the church website. The church of the Holy Angels, Hoar Cross - just north of Lichfield. A singularly beautiful church in the 'High Church' tradition. www.holyangels.co.uk/
  15. S_L

    York Minster

    You see - five posts and 46 miles and we are back home!!! David. Your 'bucket list' is interesting - have you thought of Bridlington and the magnificent village church organ at Rudston. Then there is the GDB at St. Martin's in Hull and a number of villages with beautiful, untouched F & A instruments. But I digress.........................!!!!
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