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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by S_L

  1. On the subject of Organ recitals, in the past ten years I suppose I have been to a few in this country and the UK! Two spring to mind. Both by ex-cathedral organists - who shall be nameless. The first was in a concert hall with about 20 people in the audience. The player played fistfuls of wrong notes, made no attempt to talk about the music he was playing and the programme notes were less than useless! It was dreary. The choice of music was dreary and it did absolutely nothing to endear anyone to go back again. The second was in a Parish church. It was quite full. The recitalist, as with the previous player, played fistfuls of wrong notes but he endeared himself to his audience with a 'good yarn' before each piece and it was a thoroughly enjoyable affair. And, on the subject of coughing! I remember sitting opposite Pau Casals when he was playing unaccompanied Bach. It was a wonderful experience and one that I will live with for a very long time. But at 'hairy' moments, if Casals ever had hairy moments, he would suck frenetically on his pipe!!
  2. Can I, with the greatest respect, Stanley, suggest that this is a fallacy - being an amateur, I mean!!!!!
  3. It's not only that - although, at a basic level, that does have something to do with it! It's a whole host of things - the programming of recitals, often the superior and 'stuffy' attitude of the small-town, or not so small-town provincial organist, the dreary playing that puts people off, the 'reputation' that some organists have lumbered us with!. And all of this, together with tedious music written for the instrument by 3rd rate composers or even 3rd rate music written by 1st rate composers!!! I could go on!!! I'm about to commit heresy but Bach organ music can be incredibly boring!! And then, every so often, you hear a performance that makes you sit up and listen and think - Wow!!! I have mentioned this performance before!!
  4. 'Even France'!!!! Organ Concerts in France are, in my experience, usually extremely well attended! Having said that, there may very well be organs in all the big Paris churches but out in the countryside it is a different story. Within 20 miles of my home there are only three or four instruments - all in good playing condition and all used every Sunday ! Who can we blame? - we could start by looking at ourselves!!!
  5. I've found two Impromptus by Walter Alcock. one in D and the other in D flat but I can't find the one in G. I did, however, watch the Daniel Cook performance. The music he is performing from looks interesting in that it has been cut out and stuck onto a much larger page, possibly for ease of performance. With one notable exception I have always found Cathedral organists hugely helpful in sourcing copies. Daniel Cook's website gives contact details. Why not drop him a line? Smashing little piece by the way!
  6. There is a copy of it here: https://imslp.simssa.ca/files/imglnks/usimg/4/47/IMSLP229788-SIBLEY1802.19503.0451-39087012035426op._129.pdf
  7. As you probably know, the BBC archive gives the full programme for Evensong - but, in true BBC fashion, omits naming the Voluntary.
  8. The 1940 specification is on NPOR. But the work, you mention, carried out in the 1960's isn't there. It's times like this when I think of the late David Drinkell - I bet he would have known the instrument and could fill you in!! I have some interest in the town hall in Middlesbrough. My late wife's great-grandfather, on her mother's side, George Hoskins, was the architect. NPOR gives a 57 stop, 4 manual originally built in 1911 by William Hill & Sons with work done in 1930 and, again, in 1970 by HNB. The survey of 2018 gives it 'in bad state of repair'.
  9. I'm used to IMO & FYI but SWMBO was a new one - and then I remembered Rumpole!!!!
  10. In the days when I was running a highly successful adult church choir we always took August off from singing on a Sunday and from choir practise on a Wednesday evening. On the last Sunday, at the end of July, we would have our 'Cathedral visit' usually to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool where we would sing the Solemn Mass, take the coach down to have lunch at the Adelphi and then back to sing Evening Prayer followed by a party in the grounds of the Community House in Liverpool. It was a lovely way to end the season and much enjoyed by all. It gave the choir an opportunity to sing in somewhere splendid, somewhere away from the dreadful acoustic of our tiny little Abbey, somewhere where they could hear how good they really were. August was spent, by me, firstly on holiday with the family and then tidying the choir room and music storage and then, usually a couple of days, upstairs in attics of Banks in York looking for interesting Music to keep the choir busy for the next year. (I always maintained that a choir that wasn't kept busy got bored - and might even start to argue!!!) Choir practices would start at the beginning of September. This was a large choir, 40 strong, and occasionally a member would decide, over the summer, to 'hang up their choir robe' for one reason or another. Hopefully new people would be welcomed and settle in to choir routine of Wednesday evening and Sunday morning practice followed by Solemn Mass, monthly Evening Prayer, plus social events of course but I always found the first couple of weeks, possibly the month, of September hard work! Sometimes very hard work. I'm now well away from it! Sometimes I miss it and, on the Sundays here in France when we weren't able to attend Mass, I did wonder quite what to do with my Sunday morning. I'm wondering how colleagues are spending their Sunday mornings (and their weekday evenings!)! How are your choir members spending their Sunday morning - and the night of choir practice? Have they realised that the garden, their other hobby, the family might have been missing out in the past? How are they, and you, preparing for a return to singing? A return to choir practice? Have you thought of 'calling it a day'? Have some of your choir thought of 'calling it a day'? What about the youngsters? How are they going to react to coming back to sing on a Tuesday and Friday evening (or whatever!) and a Sunday morning? Will they come back? What incentive are you going to put in place for them - and the adults? Is recruiting going to be more difficult? If it was hard work in the past is it a good time to start afresh? Will it be the same as before? Can it ever be the same as before? It's been a long time, nearly five months! I found it hard work after just a month away from it! I don't know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic for parish church music in the future. There used to be a US TV programme, broadcast in the UK, called, I think, 'Soap'. it always ended with the words "These and lot of other questions will be answered ..............................." I'd be interested to know what colleagues think!
  11. It would be very unusual if it did have a 32'. As far as Colleges, in Oxford, are concerned there are, and I stand to be corrected, only two colleges with 32' stops in their chapel organ. New College has a 32' Fagot and, I think, Harris Manchester College has an Acoustic Contra Bass 32' Cambridge college chapels are the same. There are 32' stops only at Kings (Double Open Wood & Double Ophicleide) and at St. John's (Subbass & Contra Trombone).
  12. S_L

    Fela Sowande

    Can't help you, I'm afraid with Jesu Olugbala but I have found, without much difficulty, recordings of you playing both the Pastourelle and K'a Mura! Delightful little miniatures!
  13. Yes, I can understand what you mean about your 1980 visit to Chartres. About the same time I paid a visit to Amiens Cathedral. It looked unkept, felt damp and looked rather neglected. I remember the visit well and I was most disappointed. They had built a nave altar which looked little better than an orange box, the choir was piled high with old chairs and there was dust everywhere! It needed a good clean! I spent six months as a student in Paris and the Sacre-Coeur was exactly the same. It was dark, dismal and smelt of damp and incense. (A lovely 'high church' combination!) About ten years later I re-visited Amiens and the transformation was amazing. The Cathedral felt bright and airy, the smell of damp had gone, there was a new Nave Altar and the whole cathedral had been cleaned. It was only about 10 years ago when I re-visited the Sacre-Coeur. Again the transformation was amazing. It smelt of floor polish and the layer of dust which had coated everything in sight had disappeared! Chartres is dark - it is the stained glass which, of course, is hugely impressive! The Cathedral itself, as a building, I think, is amazing with or without the restoration. I'm not convinced by the restoration but it is in the manner of the French. As I have said English Heritage' would have a fit!!! I also heard an organ recital there, given by Patrick Delabre, the Titulaire. I have to say that I didn't think the organ to be "less than impressive". I thought it sounded very fine in the hands of a man who has occupied his post since 1986. The orgue de choeur is another matter of course!
  14. My visit to Coventry, which I described as 'some time ago' must have been pre 2012 because I remember writing a letter of complaint to the, then, Dean, who was in post between 2001 and 2012, at the way my friend, an Anglican African Bishop, had been treated. His only retort was that they had to balance the books!!! It was a Friday because I remember that I returned, the following Monday, as a close friend of mine was giving the Monday organ lunchtime recital and I received a similar welcome. My friend told me that they had been officious with him, wanting money from him, when he arrived that morning to practise on the cathedral organ. I'm pleased to see that Coventry has had a change of heart over charging. I have looked at their website and their 'access guide' now makes no mention of charging.
  15. It isn't to do with logic - it's to do with the French mind!!! The swimming pool, on the roof of Notre Dame in Paris, was, believe it or not, a serious suggestion!! As I have said before, the French idea of renovation/reconstruction is very different from what 'English Heritage' would accept. Evidence Chartres Cathedral - no swimming pool but painted stone and marble totally out of keeping with a medieval cathedral!
  16. So were pew rents! Presumably used to keep the riff-raff out!!!
  17. I don't know the answer! But I think that I am opposed to having to pay to go into a cathedral and I know that quite a few cathedrals do charge. It has long been a custom that 'person's in Holy Orders' do not pay to enter a cathedral. I was at Coventry some time ago, visiting with a friend, an African Anglican Bishop. We arrived at the 'West' Door and were told, most officiously, that we had to pay the £8 entrance fee. When I pointed out, politely, that, it was the custom not to charge my friend, who was wearing episcopal dress, to enter, I was told "He's not one of ours!!" He was! - just the wrong colour! A contrast came at Norwich, a couple of days later, when we were welcomed with open arms, asked if we would like a guide and no mention was made of money! Not being a medieval cathedral I wonder what Coventry spend their money on - outreach perhaps or, perhaps, like Liverpool Met., they have problems with the design of the roof! Work has started on Notre Dame in Paris but it has been held up by the virus and by bickering over how to replace after the fire. One suggestion, I don't think it was serious, was to put a swimming pool on the roof!! Others want it replaced like for like. But the French idea of restoration, as I have said before, is very different from what 'English Heritage' would accept. Look at Chartres! The private individuals who volunteered vast sums of money have, I'm told, not entirely been forthcoming with the cash! I have my suspicions as to the Cathedral Roland is referring to! York, clearly, isn't so fortunate with its landholdings and investments. The state won't take the Cathedrals on and, I suspect, the Church Commissioners wouldn't be too happy about that either. I'm afraid it's a delicate matter, just like the rest of us, of balancing books. As I said, I don't know the answer! On a separate matter we, in France, are back to church on Sunday and have been for the past two Sundays. Everyone has to wear a mask and sit 1.5 metres away from the next person. Pews are cordoned off and there are signs were you can and can't sit. The sign of peace has, thankfully, disappeared (long may it continue to do so!) and Communion is given in one kind only, into the hands with the celebrant disinfecting his hands before distribution. The good sister's intonation, never wonderful, suffers behind the mask and I can't get used to joining in and not be able to project my voice! but it is good to be back.
  18. 'Google' is a useful tool!! https://www.worldcat.org/title/orb-and-sceptre-coronation-march-1953/oclc/5515715 - OUP would seem to be the people to contact. Failing that I notice that Christopher Herrick arranged McKie's arrangement and has recorded it. You might try him. His email is on his website.
  19. It was announced today that York Minster Prep School is to close at the end of this term. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-52912172 https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/education/yorks-minster-school-set-close-after-minster-suffers-catastrophic-loss-income-during-lockdwon-2873650 https://www.minsterfm.com/news/local/3116084/latest---minster-school-in-york-to-close/ This is from the Minster website: https://yorkminster.org/latest/the-chapter-of-york-announces-proposals-for-the-closure-of-the-minster-school/
  20. Yes!! Wow!! That is stunning, I think that's the word I want!! I'm not sure I could live with it though!!
  21. What a fascinating little book - a good read!!
  22. S_L


    Absolutely - and what a performance!!!
  23. S_L


    It is to my shame that I have to say that I find 'Matthew Passion' heavy going! I listened to 'John' on Good Friday - it was sublime!
  24. S_L


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P97d0Y8Hx_g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgDE3klkmtQ I'm sorry but the Netherlands Bach Society has told me what I always knew. I loved the following quote under the above recording! When eminent biologist and author Lewis Thomas was asked what message he would choose to send from Earth into outer space in the Voyager spacecraft, he answered, "I would send the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach." After a pause, he added, "But that would be boasting." .......................... and some of the performances of the choral works are just as good
  25. S_L


    I suppose that I am way behind with this but I have just come across the Netherlands 'All of Bach' project and there are some amazing performances. I found this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES7fN2lXWHU Some might criticise the tempi of the Prelude - personally I thought it to be superbly played.
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