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Posts posted by S_L


    Wonderful Rowland - where do you find this stuff from? Clearly something is lacking in my musical education!!!

    And, after that, comes the next version!! 

    One commentator enjoyed it so much they were thinking of having it for their wedding - which, for some of us, might be a slightly worrying thought!!!!

  2. 1 hour ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    We are rather straying from portable carillons to the real full-size ones in towers.  


    Apologies, that's probably my fault!!  'Erred and strayed like lost sheep' - it's what I do well!!!

  3. Washington Cathedral has a Carillon and it is played every Sunday usually by the Cathedral Carillonneur, Dr Edward Nassor. It is an integral part of the morning worship, the title of the piece, often an improvisation on the music for the first hymn, arranged by Dr. Nassor, is printed in the Order of Service, preceding the Organ Preludes, the Introit and the Processional Hymn.

    The Carillon is made up of 53 bells weighing 64 tons. The bells were cast by Taylors of Loughborough, dedicated in 1963 and are the third heaviest set in the world.

    The Cathedral bells, a ring of 10 in D have a tenor weighing 32 cwt. (not that large as far as 'ringing' bells go!) which were cast, also in 1963, by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. They are usually rung after the worship, often to a quarter peal. 

  4. 1 hour ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    The other thread was “Nosferatu 1922” and on that we were given the NPOR reference N04178 for this organ by none other than your goodself!  The organ, minus piano, is now in the chapel of Durham School.  NPOR discreetly states ‘Builders Unknown’ but there are clues to its Pattman provenance, which is actually stated, with the ‘drum roll’ percussion and ‘dulcitone (enclosed)’, not to mention the plethora of tubas!  An interesting and unusual organ in a school chapel!  If H&H archives are silent about it, surely its present location in Durham is significant.  I seem to remember that Laurence Elvin referred to it in his book ‘The Harrison Story’, naming it as one of theirs.

    NPOR adds ‘Further information, The Organ, 1950’.  Also more details in your post dated 20th July on the other thread: rebuilds by H&H and, most recently, Willis.

    Oh dear!! I must be losing it!! Yes, I remember now!! Thank you Rowland.

  5. I tried to find out something about this instrument and was, largely unsuccessful. There was some information and it is covered on another thread, posted reasonably recently, somewhere on here. But I can't remember in which thread!!

    From what I remember it was a four manual with one of the manuals being a piano. Apart from that I can't help.

    Pattman, who held the FRCO, was an interesting character. Born in 1875, he studied at Peterborough under Haydn Keeton,  was organist at Hessle Parish church in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1900 and quickly moved from there to Bridlington Priory where he held the post from 1901 to 1904. He then went to St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow for 12 years and then to London. The touring organ was ordered from Harrison & Harrison but no records seem to be available which surprises me. Pattman died in 1961.

    My maternal grandmother, who, herself, eventually held the FRCO was born at Etton and had organ lessons at Beverley Minster with J.H.N. Camidge but, before that, for a year, had lessons with Pattman at Bridlington. It appears that travel to Bridlington was an all day job! She went with the carrier, by horse and cart, the twelve miles to Driffield and then got the train to Bridlington returning in the evening. I don't know why she stopped lessons with Pattman. Perhaps the journey to Beverley was easier!

  6. 2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    I could be wrong, but I took S_L to be referring to the demise of the 5.55 recitals rather than demise of the organ under the strain of Volumina!  


    And, on the subject of Ligeti, can I recommend the very excellent book by my old colleague Richard Steinitz. An excellent read!

  7. 4 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    Elsewhere in that book I recall reading that Ralph Downes had categorically forbidden a visiting artist playing a work involving clenched fists!  

    The RFH audience sizes could be extraordinary in the early years. Even Lionel Rogg was nervous at his first recital to see an audience of 1,300.  A year later it was 1,600.  Helmut Walcha achieved similar figures.

    I don't think anyone played my piece in the RFH - at least, I hope not!!

    Yes. I remember those recitals - I was doing Post Grad. work at RCM - packed out they used to be - I wonder what went wrong!!!

  8. 2 hours ago, peterdoughty said:

    And something very out of the ordinary.


    Very Ligeti!! - which is not, exactly, that 'up to date'! - Volumina, mentioned in the clip, was written in 1961/62 - 60 years ago!!! And Ligeti has been dead for 15 years!!

    I didn't think it was, musically, particularly 'out of the ordinary' - or, perhaps it was, with an organist really using his instrument to experiment with different sound 'shapes'. I suppose that's, generally, not what organists are well-known for!!! 

    Some interesting sounds. I remember writing a piece, when I was a student, some ten years after Volumina', for organ, which involved playing with a gloved fist! - but that's another story - and the score is, hopefully, lost!!!

    Enjoyed the clip, by the way! Thanks for posting it!

  9. Does it really matter? So the presenter mixed up the words 'stop' and pipes'

    But, of course, nitpicking is what we are good at! Why not just celebrate that the BBC Proms featured an organ recital of quality given by a distinguished player. I notice that not one of the previous comments on the quality of a) the playing or b) the chosen repertoire.

    No wonder organists have such a bad reputation!!!

  10. 3 hours ago, Colin Pykett said:

    Thank you Tony, and also for your advice privately earlier this year about making youtube videos.  My camera, though good for pictures at resolutions up to full HD, is utterly hopeless for sound.  So I now record a separate high quality sound track on a Zoom machine as a WAV file and then marry it up post-production in a video editor using the time honoured syncing method of a handclap.  I've found the free version of VideoPad to be excellent, in fact unbelievably sophisticated for freeware even though it does not offer the full capabilities of the paid version.

    Sorry to bore everyone with this, though my excuse is that there might be some with similar interests. 

    The good Dr. Colin is back!!!

    .............................. and, as usual, I didn't understand a word of it ........................... Zoom Machine - WAV file - too complex for my simple mind!!!!

  11. On 19/08/2021 at 10:13, Barry Oakley said:
    On 20/08/2021 at 08:56, Barry Oakley said:

    "Twang and Bang" is simply drum kit and over-amplified electric guitars.

    Is there much "twang and bang" used in French churches?


    I don't know to be honest but let me tell you of an experience I did have!

    It was Good Friday, about five years ago and I went to the Liturgy in my local church. The celebration was in the evening which meant that people working, Good Friday is not a holiday in France, were able to attend. As always, I arrived very early. At the front there were a host of young people with guitars and other instruments - I don't remember a  drum kit! They were practising and it wasn't very good. I nearly walked out and came home but thought better of it. About ten minutes before the liturgy commenced the rehearsal stopped, the teenagers settled down in the pews at the front and the church became silent. The priest entered, in silence, prostrated, got up and read the collect and we heard the first reading. The Responsorial Psalm was accompanied by guitars and other instruments. The Response was sung in unison accompanied but the verse was chanted, SSAA - four parts, unaccompanied by the teenagers - and done very well indeed! The rest of the liturgy followed a similar pattern and a similar vein and, after a couple of hours, I came home with a sense of admiration and pleased with the liturgy that had unfolded.

    It occurred to me that the rehearsal I witnessed was exactly what a rehearsal was for - sorting out the bits that weren't very good to make them better. The music wouldn't have been what i would have chosen, it was, unashamedly, in a popular vein  but it was well done.

    In contrast I remember going to a Good Friday liturgy before I came to France. We were to be treated to Lotti Crucifixus, John of Portugal, Casals, Bruckner etc. - all the 'Good Friday classics' The music list looked very impressive, had been printed in a booklet for the Holy Week Liturgies, but was too difficult for the singers, was badly performed and I sat on edge all the way through!

    I'd rather have the 'twangies' - any day!!!




  12. On 19/08/2021 at 10:13, Barry Oakley said:

    Is there much "twang and bang" used in French churches?

    I'm not sure what you mean, although I have some idea, and what you are referring to!

    But if you are referring to the Mass setting I have written for the French church then I can assure you that it isn't 'twang and bang' in the slightest. The melodies are are in a sort of modal  'Plainsong' with an organ accompaniment based on chords often with missing 3rds or with 7ths and 9ths - and often in 'streams' - perhaps reminiscent of Debussy. 

    Tomorrow the music will be sung in a Cistercian Abbey by an Order of Enclosed Nuns, together with Nuns from a local Benedictine Abbey to celebrate St. Bernard of Clairvaux!

    Definitely not 'twang and bang'!! 

  13. 10 hours ago, John Robinson said:

    I'm afraid that is a perfectly possible future.  Churches are closing right left and centre these days as the number of people who still regard themselves as Christians diminishes.
    It is quite possible that eventually all we shall be left with will be cathedrals and a few ancient churches of historical interest.
    Those people who would find themselves without a local church would probably go to their nearest surviving church or cathedral which, in a way, would at least provide more support for those buildings - and organs of course - which still remain.

    Personally, of course I'd much prefer it if more people in this country took more of an interest in organ music, and I often wonder why the instrument benefits from so much more interest and following in places like the Netherlands and Germany than here in the UK.


    Are churches closing left, right and centre? I'm not so sure that they are! I live in France but the part of the country I come from has churches, and often ancient churches, in almost every village. The livings may be, very often, held in plurality and services may not be every week but the churches aren't closing and most of them, unlike French village churches, have organs in them which are used, frequently by willing amateur players doing their best! I'm told that attendance at the established church has increased, both at Christmas and Easter and also recently. People not normally seen in church are attending more regularly.

    As for an interest in organs. I sometimes think that we don't do ourselves any favours. Organ recitals are often dreary affairs with an emphasis on counterpoint. I'd like to see a better mix -  more recitals including those transcriptions of orchestral music that were so popular during the Victorian era!!  Many organists still perpetuate what they see to be 'good music' (whatever that means) in church. Choral Evensong - Stanford in C and the like! Middle-class attitudes - cassocks, surplices and academic hoods - and a rather superior attitude to their craft. (Within the past year i have visited three 'Greater churches' and been treated with a superior attitude and complete indifference by the resident 'titulaire' when I showed interest in the organ - as opposed to  two cathedrals where I was greeted with open arms!!!) The RSCM in one area I know put forward a scheme to learn the organ with no takers - simply because it was 'packaged' wrongly! There is interest out there but learning the organ and practising, and we have been here before, has often insurmountable difficulties. The sexual behaviour, also, of some clergy and some organists, and some high profile publicity, doesn't help our cause!

    What is different about Germany, the Netherlands (and France!)? I don't know. Village churches in France tend not to have organs but recitals in Cathedrals etc. are often very well attended and French audiences will happily listen to reams of Messiaen and the like! I have, recently, written a Mass setting, to be sung in French and sung 'by the people'. Playing it to a friend of mine in the UK, last week, he commented that he couldn't imagine the music being used in a church in the UK - it was 'too modern'! He could imagine the grumbles! And yet, the French congregation it was written for enjoy singing it!

    We've been here before. I don't know the answer but I do know that 'doom and gloom' and constant 'moaning' about how bad it is doesn't help! We need to be more positive, get up and get out there, and be more alive to the 21st century rather than living in the past!

    I'll now put my soap box away - and take cover!!!!

    Amazing - post number 800 - I didn't realise I'd been here that long!!!

  14. 8 hours ago, DaveHarries said:

    And here is a rendition of Widor's Toccata played on the organ of the Hevig Eleonora Church, Stockholm, Sweden. Organ IVP/181 by Grönlund (1976, 58 stops) and Allen Organ Company (2017, 123 stops). Very good talent in someone so young, especially playing it without the music.

    A YouTube search turns up a number of clips of her and I would say that she clearly has a bright future ahead of her in the organ world.


    The 'her' is a 'him'!!!

  15. Good to hear the Poulenc Concerto last night at the First Night of the Proms with Daniel Hyde giving a wonderful performance. And Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music, such beautiful serene music alongside Sibelius' mighty 2nd Symphony (the outside sections of the 3rd movement are a s*d to play and I don't think I have heard the finale crafted better in performance!!!) with a new work by James McMillan. 

    Good programming I thought!!

  16. 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. 

  17. 11 hours ago, DariusB said:

    I've seen the Bridlington one, but am none the wiser for that.  As Nicholsons rebuilt it I daresay they know how it works so I will ask them - and tell you if I find out anything interesting.

    I'm grateful for that. Thank you, Darius.

  18. 9 hours ago, DariusB said:

    What's the 'one pipe' 32' Bombarde?  Is it something like the polyphone at Bridlington Priory where one pipe plays a whole octave of notes?

    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!.

  19. 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. 

  20. 21 hours ago, DariusB said:

    I have heard (does anyone know if this is really true) that more than one Cathedral organist in the 1920s used to make extra cash by improvising in cinemas, but they always used an assumed name!

    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. 


  21. 2 hours ago, DariusB said:

     If improvising wasn't possible, there were 'stock books' published for cinema use of generic funny/romantic/scary music you could select (though I've never seen one). 

    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.




  22. 3 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    Can anyone identify the voluntary at the beginning of this service, please? Frustratingly, I can't quite read the title.

    Many thanks.

    And the link? - or am I being thick!!!!

  23. 9 hours ago, John Robinson said:

    Yes indeed.
    As far as I'm concerned, Leeds is the centre of the known universe!

    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(?)!

  24. 8 hours ago, OwenTurner said:

    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! 

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