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Everything posted by S_L

  1. I read on 'Slipped Disc' that Oliver Latry will not be playing at the Proms this year. His place seems to have been taken by Martin Baker who will play three Bach works interspersed by three improvisations. Also Andrew Davis (ex Kings Organ scholar), who is in mourning for the death of his wife, has pulled out.
  2. I'm grateful for that. Thank you, Darius.
  3. Darius. I have absolutely no idea! But that would be a solution - although it does say 'one pipe'! But on the subject of the POLYPHONE. I wonder if anyone has any diagrams/drawings/measurements of this - or can explain how it works. We are trying to get hold of one to measure it/take it apart etc. - but, so far, without success!.
  4. Just a little more on G.T. Pattman. He ordered, in 1916, a four manual, twenty seven stop, 'travelling organ'. The fourth manual was a piano. It cost him £3000. The specification is on NPOR. NPORView N04178 I can't find a picture of it though! The organ found its way into Durham School Chapel where it was rebuilt, in 1941 and 1987 by Harrison & Harrison and in 2007 by Henry Willis.
  5. I wonder if one of the names you are looking for is George Thomas Pattman FRCO. He was assistant at Peterbrough under Haydn Keeton and then, variously, at Scarbrough, Hessle, Bridlington Priory (where my maternal grandmother knew him) and St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow. He left Glasgow around 1916 and ordered, from Harrison & Harrison a large touring organ with which he toured musical halls and cinemas. He was organist of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in 1924/5 and, during WWII was, for a short time, organist of a church in Edgware. I remember my maternal grandmother talking about Pattman who died in 1961. She lived until 1992 and died at the age of 102.
  6. This is fascinating! Both of my grandmothers were pianists/organists. My maternal grandmother was, I think, one of the first women to hold the FRCO. She, rather, looked down her nose at my paternal grandmother who played the piano/organ, I can't discover which, for the silent movies. Despite 'just' being a 'theatre/cinema' player my paternal grandmother must have been quite formidable because she was employed, so I'm told, at the Alhambra in Bradford which, I think, was an important theatre/cinema in the North of England, in those days. Improvisation was her 'thing' and my maternal grandmother disapproved telling me that I should 'play what was on the copy' rather than making it up if I couldn't play it!! She saw no value in improvisation!! As those who know me will attest, I have been 'fudging' keyboard music I can't play for many years!!! I was lucky, I learnt skills from both of my grandmothers!!! I inherited vast amounts of music from both of these ladies and I wonder if, upstairs in the huge loft I have here, amidst the boxes and boxes of unopened stuff, there are any of the books that Darius mentions. If I'm feeling brave I'll attack these over the next few days and see what I can find. It could be an interesting experience.
  7. And the link? - or am I being thick!!!!
  8. Leeds!! I went to Balmforth's, of blessed memory, in Leeds, years and years ago, to buy a 'cello case for my David Techler 'cello. The 'cello was worth a fortune and I paid £35, a lot of money in those days, for a hard case. I don't think Balmforth's exists anymore and, now, every time I go to Leeds I get lost and there seems to be a new 'Ring Road' or motorway where I want to go! Or, perhaps, I'm just getting old! As forumites know, I don't comment on specifications on pieces of paper. but the Leeds rebuild, I suppose, looks exciting to those who do. But I do look forward to the opening Recital which, I suspect, will be a good deal more interesting than the recital given last time the organ was opened in 1972(?)!
  9. I have to say that I have a certain amount of sympathy with that scheme and I might, had I been in the business of producing music Sunday after Sunday with a competent choir, have gone down the same road. I have an ex-student of mine, now organist of a 1960's church considered to be architecturally important, and containing works of art/sculpture/glass of national significance and importance, who has inherited a very early 'hybrid' instrument. (for various reasons, at the moment, I can't name the church!). It has always been a disappointment - even from the first day, I suspect! (Interestingly, at the beginning, the church was given works of art/glass/sculpture to adorn the building but the organ seemed to get forgotten!) The 'hybrid', almost every time I have sat at it I feel that I have made a fool of myself, is just about on its last legs and, whilst there is money, there is not the interest or the will to spend £250/300k, or more, on the kind of instrument worthy of the architecture of this important building. Architecturally the building has nowhere to put a 2/3 manual pipe organ and, though totally beautiful, is a disaster, acoustically. Siting a pipe organ, even if there was a space, and hearing it around the building, would always be difficult. They, at this moment in time, are going down a similar route to that above. The early 'hybrid' is being removed - tomorrow!
  10. I've never found myself in a position where I had the opportunity or the will or felt the necessity to 'improve' an instrument and I have never been responsible for an 'historic' instrument. The first church where I was the custodian of the organ was in a rough area of a big city, a relatively large three manual instrument built by a good Durham firm (not H & H) that was in relatively good condition but was, just, too big for the church. The congregation was small, the choir was dying and, I suspect, the church went down a more evangelical route in order to attract more 'bums on seats'!! The instrument is still there, unaltered, and, now, not in good condition I'm told. The second instrument was in a bad way. The church was 'high' to say the least - 'smells and bells' in the extreme! And the organ was used purely to accompany the plainsong and the occasional hymn at Benediction which, to be honest, it did perfectly satisfactorily. There was no music before the Mass and I chose music for afterwards that the instrument, and me, could cope with. The local organists looked down their collective noses at it, and me for even being there! We didn't sing Coll Reg or Stanford - in C! - that wasn't a part of our tradition. The instrument worked Sunday by Sunday - just, and did its job and a local organ builder would come out if there was anything wrong. Eventually the church was taken over by another religious group, it wasn't what they needed, it went to a skip which, in truth, was probably the best place for it. The third instrument was put together by a local organ builder from a much larger, three manual, instrument which he had taken out of a another church, flogged off the bits that he thought would make him 'a few bob' and sold the rest, as a two manual, to the place were I was eventually appointed. This was a RC church, run by a religious order, in the days when they didn't need permission to 'improve' things. The Parish Priest was desperate to improve the quality of the music. The old organ, he was advised, was 'falling apart' (I suspect this wasn't entirely true) and he was 'sold a pup'!!! The organ ,despite being 'new' was terrible, you name it and it was wrong, and the organ builder, eventually, was given his marching orders! My brief was to build up the choir which I did - hugely successfully! But the organ was always a disappointment and totally inadequate for the demands of the choir and the church liturgy. There, probably, was money but the church was not large, the smallest the BBC had ever broadcast from, (there were eight 'different flavoured' Masses on a Sunday and 3000 people came through the doors every week) and there was no space to do anything The console, placed originally in totally the wrong place, became a little peripatetic but, apart from removing the most foul sounding Gt. Trumpet, we managed Sunday by Sunday. It's still there. The forty strong choir has since diminished and I suspect the instrument is now just about adequate for the needs of the liturgy although I do hear that work is being done on it - but I can't find what and by whom! I have a suspicion it is 'being improved'!! I suppose the point I am making is that, as a provider of music for liturgy, two of the instruments I have encountered have, despite their downfalls, just about done the job. The third, the latter, I wouldn't have known what to do with it - apart from consign it all to the skip and start again. And, given the rather small building, the lack of space etc. what would I have put in its place?
  11. That case, of course, originally contained a four manual, forty nine stop organ complete with a full Ped. including 32 sub Bourdon, four 16's and Reeds at 16 & 8, Gt. to Mixtures + Trumpet, Sw to Mixtures and reeds at 16, 8, 8, 4, a choir organ 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 4, 4, 2, and Clarionet and a four stop Solo including Tuba Mirabilis. When I played it, in around 1972, (The Vicar was Eric Dancy, his ashes buried outside the church at the East End. He made the most wonderful home-made soup I seem to remember), it had been significantly reduced but was still a big two manual. It was rebuilt in 1996, I think, with the funding coming from the organist. A new console, a new choir organ and some of the 'big stuff' reinstated. It's a big organ for a small village (Pop. 409), to say the least and I would imagine you have to be very careful registering. I'm told there is no longer an organist there! You're probably right Barry, definitely the result of several whims, I should say, but there's not as much as there was originally. The instrument, at Rudston, could, very easily, fit into another thread running at the moment! Good post, by the way, VH!
  12. I do look at British Pipe Organs occasionally but I don't 'do' facebook! What immediately strikes me is how civilised and polite we are on here compared to that site! I know that I've ruffled a few feathers here but I hope it has never got as bad as some of the comments I have read recently on there! Having said that I have noticed some really interesting threads. There was a brief one, albeit with inaccurate information I hesitate to add, on the organ in All Saints church Rudston in the East Riding of Yorkshire. An instrument I know well. And some excellent pictures of all kinds of fascinating instruments too!
  13. I did a quick tally late last night. And I think, on one side, that you are right. Of the 36 Cathedral DoM's, I was able to quickly look up, 17 went to Cambridge, 8 went to Oxford and 11 went to 'other places' - which were mostly London Conservatoires. I think that your being able to list three from 'ethnic minorities' and none, at the moment working in a Cathedral and me being able, without much thought, to list the number of female Cathedral DoM's is testament to the sad state of affairs. Darius. I don't have an answer and I don't know the questions to ask either. I don't think it is to do with the standard of music in our state schools, which is higher now, I suspect, than it has ever been - but it may be! Is it to do with the organ being seen as a stuffy, middle-class, public school domain? Is it the way we present it - or ourselves? Perhaps this all belongs in a new thread!! Time for me to be quiet - for a change!!
  14. I'm not sure that is a good idea. It's too complicated, too many different factors involved but something desperately needs doing about it!!. I'm the product of a state school followed by the RCM and Cambridge. I remember the college, in the late 60's, had a lot of students from state schools. Cambridge Music faculty less so. An ex-student of mine read Music at Oxford (and got a first!). At one point he told me that he was the only student in the faculty who had been to a state school. One product of the Public school system asked how he managed to get into Oxford from a state school as if it, almost, wasn't allowed! The fact that he was the only state school student in the faculty is either a terrible condemnation of state school music or of Oxford - and I'm not entirely sure which!!!
  15. Sorry Rowland - it was just an off the cuff comment at the end of a post. I didn't expect anyone to comment on it!!
  16. The Church in Wales is clearly doing better than its English counterpart - with 16% women as DoM - as opposed to 9.5% in England!! Considering that the female sex makes up 51% of the population I would suggest that neither are doing particularly well!!! Mind you, the same could be said of High Court Judges (W16, M91) and 'Circus Judges' (W87, M513)
  17. It is so good to see more and more ladies appointed to Cathedral positions. My own grandmother was a fine player and, and I may be wrong about this, was one of the first women to be appointed FRCO. Of course, in those days, ladies were barely allowed past the Chancel arch let alone in the exalted position of Master or the Choristers - or whatever!! Of the 43 (?) Church of England Cathedrals in England, even today, only four have ladies at the helm of the Music Department (Coventry, Guildford, Peterborough & Rochester) whilst, to my reckoning only four have female Assistants. One could go further and ask how many Cathedral's have a DoM who isn't product of a Public School - or Oxbridge - or from an 'Ethnic Minority' but, perhaps I better not go there!!!!
  18. Canon Abi Thompson "She graduated in Music at Kings College London and in Theology at Westcott House Cambridge. Abi holds both ABRSM Grade 8 Piano and ABRSM Grade 8 Singing and before ordination was a youth worker and freelance professional singer."
  19. Is it silent? I had the impression that some of it worked - I know there is an appeal!
  20. I like it! It reminds me of the definition of the Organist in that valuable little book 'How to bluff your way in music' "Organists are a strange race...................."
  21. LOL - a phrase I used on a number of occasions when acting as a visiting conductor of a choir - with an en chamade tenor - not so far away from you!!!
  22. That reminds me of the Gordon Reynolds story, I've told it here before but it's worth telling again, of the tenor, I think it was at Halifax Parish Church, who was having trouble with his line!! Some cocky organ scholar decided to help him out - on the Tuba! After the hymn, or whatever it was, the tenor leant over towards the organ and said, in a loud voice that everyone heard "If tha' does that a'gin, I'll break thi' bloody neck!!!!"
  23. As one who has experienced serious fire, first hand (I woke, at 04h00 one morning in February to see a raging fire at my house!) I can say how traumatic it is, standing, watching the fire people pouring gallons of water all over! But it is possessions/belongings that are destroyed - and insured - and can be, largely, replaced/rebuilt etc. Loss of life can never be replaced. I was safe and I am pleased to hear that there was no loss of life at Dobson's. A firm as distinguished as Dobson's, the work they did at St. Thomas' NY was wonderful and the organ at Merton College seems highly regarded in Oxford, will rebuild and come back.
  24. Just to muddy the waters a little! In France, apart from in April/May of last year when the churches were closed we have been allowed to sing. I find myself playing the organ for a Sung Mass, weekly, at the monastery at Echourgnac in Department 24. Up to last Sunday the congregation and the sisters were required to wear masks but, last Sunday the Sisters made a decision that, in future, they wouldn't wear masks. The congregation are required to sit on every other bench in the church and have to sanitize their hands on entry. The sign of peace has, thankfully, been 'put on hold' and communion is under one kind and received only in the hands.
  25. One final comment from me! I'm told that the Festival surrounding the new organ at St. Lawrence's church in York was a huge success with superb attendance at all events. Did any forumites make it to York for any event?
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