Jump to content
Mander Organs


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About S_L

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • 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! Studied with Pleeth and had masterclasses with 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 a, very part-time, church musician about 30 years ago.

    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 respond.

Recent Profile Visitors

5,435 profile views
  1. Organs on Google Street-view

    Thanks for posting those wonderful pictures of one of my all time favourite buildings - I have known Beverley Minster all my life. The late Peter Fletcher, the Minster organist, gave me my first 'cello lesson and I have played 'continuo' in there so many times (usually in the freezing cold!!!) And the pictures of the 'Crumbs Deli' reminds me of things that I miss about the UK - 'Hand raised Pork Pies with cranberry'!!!! Sorry to hijack your thread! - but Beverley Minster (and pork pies!!) means so much to me!!
  2. Well, Dr. Pykett, that statement will make you popular here! There are quite a number of 'Cathedral' musicians, who style themselves 'Dr', who have never studied to Doctorate level and who have been given an Honorary Doctorate from a local University to the Cathedral in which they have worked for years. Some would argue that it is deserved. I agree that it does debase the whole currency and meaning of academia - but it happens and this profession loves it!!!
  3. Hazel Davies

    I remember meeting both David and Hazel at Lincoln Cathedral years and years ago when the choir of Brecon Cathedral were doing a residency there. And I remember David telling me that he always thought Hazel was a much finer player than himself. I remember them as a lovely couple doing a hard job in not always easy circumstances. Hazel survived David by just over 18 months. May she, now, rest in peace.
  4. Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

    Welcome back MusingMuso - long time - no see!! St. Joseph's Bradford - interesting! I didn't know the Anneesens organ but I did know the instrument that followed it. It came from South Lane Methodist church in Hessle, near to Hull. It was a Hopkins of York instrument. South Lane sold it for £250! I can't remember much about the specification, but, looking at NPOR, it does seem to have dramatically changed. I remember a Double Open Diapason at 16' on the Great and two Open Diapasons at 8' - the larger of the two being far to big to accompany the average congregation. As a child the stop that thrilled me was the Swell Cornopean - one of the fiercest I have ever come across!! I had my very first organ lesson on that instrument at South Lane - from a chap called Geoff Lightfoot who was the church organist and no mean player! Sorry to hi-jack!
  5. Presumably the whole scheme was drawn up by the Master of the Choristers who works in the Cathedral every day, knows the building, the acoustics and has a vision of how the new organ should perform, in conjunction with a consultant, the organ builders and other cathedral authorities. I suspect there would not be an 'open cheque book' and, in the end, those bodies have to make a decision about what there is - and what there isn't!!
  6. That's right David. The 'little man' operating 'Oberwerk unenclosed' is, in fact, a hitchdown pedal! Lovely image!!!!
  7. Dupré - Le Chemin de la Croix

    Those were my thoughts exactly, Zimblestern! ................................. but there are other places other than Westminster Cathedral!
  8. Dupré - Le Chemin de la Croix

    'From the horses mouth' as it were! I did say that the pieces, which have the titles of the 'Stations', 'could' be preceded or followed by a Biblical reading - equally they could be interspersed by secular readings or by Claudel's 'Chemin de la Croix' which, of course, may lose some of it's power in translation. As for 'Protestant and generally monoglot Britain' - no comment!
  9. Dupré - Le Chemin de la Croix

    I haven't played it or heard it live but I have listened to it - a number of times. Each of the XIV 'Stations', of course, has a title and could be preceded or followed with the appropriate reading from the Bible. I think, in 'Messiaen-ic tradition', I would be tempted to have the readings after the music. There is a recording which precedes the whole work with the Plainsong 'Pange Lingua' and, at various points between the 'Stations' includes other Plainsong (Crucem tuam adoramus, Christus factus est, Popule meus, Stabat mater dolorosa). I quite like the idea of breaking up a performance, of this, with readings and with the relevant plainsong and, I suspect, when it was written in 1931, that was how it was performed.. I don't think I would be tempted to use polyphonic settings of the Plainsong texts! The whole package - Dupre - Readings - Plainsong - would make a rather wonderful meditation for Good Friday evening and, in my reckoning would last just over the hour - perfect! I wonder why it isn't heard in the UK!!
  10. St. Peter's, Rome

    ................... and it continues: "But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful." Thank you for the pointer towards the Ronald Ebrecht book - I shall look forward to reading it.
  11. St. Peter's, Rome

  12. St. Peter's, Rome

    I'm not sure I agree with either of the last two posters - I think I know where they are coming from and I can think of reasons why St. Peter's should have a monster organ but I speak from a certain amount of experience of having to produce music for a liturgy in the Basilica. What is the purpose of the organ? I presume, in a church, to accompany the liturgy - St. Peter's in Rome is not used for concerts! The heritage of the Catholic church in Italy is largely unaccompanied polyphony, the 'congregation' seem, even now, to be often spectators. And, of course, until the 2nd Vatican council this was the same worldwide. You went to Mass, the Priest said or sang the Mass, the choir sang the Propers, the Ordinary and the Common, accompanied or unaccompanied, and the people watched! Congregations in St. Peter's still do not 'join in' and, as Dr. Pykett has pointed out, there is a lack of 'stuffyness' about going to church in Rome, people come and go, the buildings are heaving and are noisy! This is not, and I am reminded of a thread about this very subject, a cathedral where, if he doesn't like the look of you, the verger will not let you into the choir for Evensong!! Where would you put a monster organ? Have you been in the place? Almost every nook and cranny is full of something, a fresco, statue, a painting, a sculpture! I just can't imagine! And, under Benoit XVI, who is a cultured man and a fine pianist, you might have stood a chance. JPII had no interest in music and the present pontiff seems to be the same. I know it is heresy to say it here but, and I always thought I would be the last person to say this, but I still think a high quality electronic with a first class speaker system that can be used in the Cathedral and outside in the square is the answer!
  13. St. Peter's, Rome

    Correct! Thank you, handsoff, it has come back to me now!!!
  14. St. Peter's, Rome

    I conducted in St. Peter's in Rome, just after Easter, in 1991 and, to put it mildly, it was a nightmare! The year before a Cathedral choir, local to my home, had visited Rome and I wrote to the, then, Master of the Choristers making enquiries of his experiences that might help me in our visit. He wrote me one of the most amusing letters I have ever received which basically said to be prepared for almost anything happening - including an over-enthusiastic Nun grabbing a microphone in the middle of a piece and singing Taize chants into it during our 'performance' . His, very firm, advice was not to choose anything which involved the use of the organ. I found the Basilica to be noisy, far worse than Notre Dame in Paris, and the sound just seemed to get lost in the acoustic. Quite what it sounded like down the Nave was impossible to find out with restrictions on when we could rehearse and, even, where I could move around the Basilica to listen to the rehearsal. In 2000 I visited Rome again, this time as a tourist. On the Sunday morning my late wife and I went to the Basilica for the morning Mass where I was asked to read the second reading in English. Standing under Bernini's Baldacchino, facing the main altar, whilst the choir were singing the Responsorial Psalm I could both see and hear the organ. It's sole purpose was to accompany the choir. There was no way it could accompany a congregation - even if they had wanted to join in! I was interested that Dave Harries used the term 'this most sacred place of worship'! Would that it were so, Dave. The behaviour of the Congregation, particularly in the presence of the Pontiff, is appalling, I was there last Easter, with constant chatter and cameras and phones continually being used. Tourists are, now, forbidden to walk around during a celebration but still the noise, in the acoustics of the Basilica is just incredible. In truth can't imagine how any builder could design an instrument that would cope with the building. Having said that I have at the back of my mind that there was, once, a scheme drawn up (was it by Ruffatti?) to put in a huge instrument - as we now know, it came to nothing! The letter , from the Association of Italian Organists, is couched in very colourful language. As far as I can see, and I do expect to be shot down for this, and for what it is used for, a high quality 'toaster' will serve he Basilica very well - or is that bordering on the realms of heresy?