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David Rogers

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About David Rogers

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  • Birthday 07/05/1934

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    http://sebastianbach.webs.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    West Country, UK, near Yeovil, Somerset
  • Interests
    Bach

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  1. For years we managed with Merbecke, the Addington Serice plus Dom Gregory Murray's setting of the Mass. After a long interregnum a new man arrived and brought with him Patrick Appleford's setting plus a request that we use it. I know what I think but I would be interested in the thoughts of fellow organists.
  2. Several years ago I accepted an organist post at a large village (it doesn’t matter where). Evensong was still sung and was manned by a team of four readers. The incumbent always attended but preferred to remain a member of the congregation which I found helpful. Over time the readers have either died or quit and like the green bottles only one is left. Maintaining a roster using visitors from another parish is not easy for the wardens. Congregations have declined steadily. Easter Sunday was the fewest we have ever known with numbers too embarrassing to cite. All signs are that evening services are continuing to die; that the people of the parish don’t want an evensong, nor does it have support from the relatively-new house-for-duty priest, who never comes. Many will say this is has been the pattern for decades. The loyal core want to continue, having struggled at great expense through a cold winter. Common Worship would be shouted down if I used the phrase. Those are the facts. At what stage does one say “enough”; and who should say it? Do any members have ideas or advice?
  3. A colleague once told this story. A new woman priest was appointed to his parish. She arrived in due course, introduced herself, and presented him with a set of numbers for her first service. He immediately recognized one of the hymns, passed the list back to her and said “I don’t play that”. End of story, really, and probably the end of their working relationship but one has to admire him for taking a stand. This raises the question of organists’ rights and whether or not they may withdraw their services? Fortunately, weak material from the 1970s-80s is less of an issue now. Enthusiasm for the ‘Shine’ thing obviously faded (It was voted the most disliked hymn in a BBC Radio 4 survey) though the Peace Channel and a few other horrors continue to do the rounds. Nevertheless, not all of us are fortunate:recently I had to play two Kendricks and a Beaumont in one service. I considered refusing but in the end suffered in silence. It took hours to ‘wash’ such musically offensive material from my memory.
  4. Greetings Musing Muso: I suppose one shouldn’t be surprised that your opening up of the subject of the Crystal Cathedral has resulted in a poor response so far. What an acoustic space. It’s comparable to the Albert Hall. After attending three services and two Pagents I claim a certain amount of first-hand experience. One of my visits required a 23 hour Greyhound bus journey south from Oregon. But the Ruffatti reeds almost made it worthwhile. The hey-day of course was in Frederick Swann’s fourteen year stint. Since then the music has gone down hill and included a suicide of one post-holder. But what a thrill to walk over the surrounding lawns at 8.30 on a Sunday morning and hear orchestra and choir rehearsing for the 9.30 service that is subsequently transmitted to 47 countries. Founder Pastor Robert Schuller as you imply was a special. The lowest manual has a stop named after his wife: an 8ft Arvella Sadly it is not a cathedral at all; it’s only a megachurch! Verdi6@talktalk.net
  5. You say: It would be interesting to know what Hymn Books are in use at the Churches of members of this board. Tempo Primo. Part answer to your query is "Far too many churches bought Hymns Old and New and are stuck with them" Replacement is not cheap, but without question Common Praise should be your aim. Get melody versions so that every member of the congregation has one even though they think they do not read music. This whole subject has already been dealt with but to sum it up may I quote from one of the respondents who gave a priceless answer. He wrote: We are stuck with Hymns Old and New (Anglican Edition). I have no hesitation in stating that it is an utterly dreadful book - with no redeeming features. Many texts have been butchered. In addition, the book is laid out in alphabetical order - not according to the liturgical calendar - despite also having an alphabetical index at the back. This is, quite simply, utterly dumb - and extremely annoying. It was chosen for our use in order that the committee who organise the regular Family Services could use it as a resource. In practice, they rarely touch it. There are, in this collection, one hundred and eighty-three 'songs' which, as far as I am concerned, should never have seen the light of day; this equates roughly to a third of the total. In my view, all copies of this book should be burned. My organ copy of HoN has already lost its cover*; in addition, the pages are sometimes hard to turn.) Another respondent wrote: "Perhaps that's because you've thrown it at the choir so often". A final thought: Each church member could buy an iPad then they could download 2,900 hymns from the Cyberhymnal. David Rogers
  6. Holy Horrors Sometime in 2004, BBC Radio 4 conducted a survey from a thousand people of their regular 8.10 am Sunday Worship audience. The aim was to identify which three hymns were most disliked. An interesting test is for a reader to jot down his or her pet hates before continuing. After doing so, I myself was slightly surprised at the result of the survey. ‘All things bright…..’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’ were at the top of the list. Royal Oak is a fine English folk song that deserves a good set of words and musically it surely cannot be faulted. W.H. Monk’s more familiar tune is not easy to sing well. There are many leaps and the chromatics call for careful tuning so it rarely gets the performance it deserves. The hymn’s text is shallow to the point of being untrue. All things are not beautiful and life is tough for many. True, the last verse preaches thankfulness but otherwise the theological content is nil. Could it be that congregations and respondents to the survey object to singing what is in effect a lie and for that reason they dislike the hymn? Sydney Carter’s well-known adaptation calls for a controlled, accented dance rhythm; it rarely gets it especially when it is included as one of the six ubiquitous wedding hymns that nowadays do the rounds. The message in Carter’s text, it seems, not to appeal to many. The inclusion of the ‘Shine’ thing in the list offers hope for public taste. Clearly this ditty showed itself for what it is: semi-literate, pseudo-pop coupled to and weak theology. Not surprisingly it hardly survived a decade. Sadly, though, thousands went crazy over it in the 1970s. I haven’t been asked to play it for years, so haven’t made use of the comment occasionally employed by one colleague who simply says: “I don’t play that”. Maybe we should say this more often. It’s worth noting that all three cited tunes use the verse-refrain format. Seven years on where do we stand? What are the current hates? Mutual agreement is unlikely but most would surely join me in condemning ‘The Peace Channel’ as among the worst pieces of versification since C. Frances Alexander mangled St Patrick’s Breastplate. Initially in the 1960s ‘Be Still’ was innocuous, but extreme repetition has certainly invoked contempt for me. Is this not the crux of the whole issue: that over-familiarity breeds not just indifference but real dislike unless the material has integrity? Those who select from our fine hymn-tune heritage have been responsible for unimaginative, over-repetition. The result is regrettable. David Rogers
  7. You wrote: Also, almost the entire works (not just organ)of J S Bach are available in Capella format at ....... How often does a casual remark turn out to be more important than the original topic. Thank you for the link http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de I didn't know of it but realise now what a remarkable facility they offer. To have access to all the scores of so many, if not all, the Bach oevres is something undreamed of even ten years ago. I'm having trouble opening up Cappella after downloading 5.1 (because of unknown files association), however. Any advice you cared to throw my way would be appreciated: David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net
  8. What software does everyone else use for writing music? I know there are a number of different packages out there, but what are your experiences? Of course Sibelius is very fine but it's possible for something to be too sophisticated (and it's costly). It doesn't surprise me that no one recommended to you Noteworthy Composer because that program seems little known but is well-established in America. I use it all the time. Their 'help' service is very fine. Any problem: just copy your file and mail it and a reply giving the answer will reach you within a few hours, day or night, it seems. You seek the facility to save as a PDF file. Noteworthy doesn't offer that but conversion within seconds via CutePDF.com is your answer. If you want to see samples and print out of my work using Noteworthy Composer, go to my site: http://sebastianbach.webs.com Page 9. I should mention that Noteworthy is completely free, though it seems there is an advanced version available for a small charge. Try it from : www.noteworthysoftware.com David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net
  9. Sorry you encountered difficulties. That file was indeed damaged so I have re-installed it. Here is a link to Virgil Fox's interpretation of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m66PBlJX4uA...feature=related There are several other performances by Fox of that piece available. Any further problems do let me know. DR
  10. You are quite right. The ties and beaming in the many “scotch snaps” of the Largo were untidy and I have corrected them. These copies were done with Noteworthy Composer, an American program which offers a fine help service via e-mail. But there is a price to be paid when a machine takes over such matters as beaming: a quill pen still has its merits! On the detail of accidentals that you raise, I submit we are in a grey area. Once applied, an accidental is surely valid for the remainder of the bar unless cancelled. A repeat of that accidental such as you request is nothing more than a sensible courtesy for forgetful players but not a requirement. Incidentally, what a superb Largo this is. I believe it works well on the organ. The copy of Bach’s own transcription of his E major violin concerto as the D major harpsichord concerto that I worked from (Dover Publications) had not been taken out by a previous library subscriber for fourteen years until I borrowed it. David Rogers
  11. You are right, of course, and I'm very grateful. DR
  12. Is it in bad taste to use the Forum to distribute details of one's website? I think it is, so the Web Master will probably remove this posting. On the other hand they say it takes up to two years for Google to 'notice' a new site however sensible and informative it is. The old adage about if you want something done, do it yourself, is very true. The thought of a professional designer putting together a website for me would be awful, so I sampled the various free do-it-yourself companies. www.webs.com proved very good and though it took several months, I built one. My subject is of course Bach, and almost nothing else. I titled it An All-Bach website. There are 91 graphics, some free downloads, a couple of complete trio sonata recordings and probably a thousand words. It was a satisfying experience honing the draft text and tracing errors. Several sites such as www.jsbach.org , www.classicalarchives.com or www.baroquemusic.org and few more are rich with material and ideas, but in my view the organ is poorly served. Finally, the address of my site. It is http://sebastianbach.webs.com . Good luck as you build yours. I shall be pleased to sample them. David Rogers
  13. Perhaps you've obtained Bärenreiter's edition of the Middelschulte works by now (at £29 per volume). A particularly interesting item in Volume 1V is Middelshulte’s arrangement of the Bach Chaconne which they claim was the first publication of the work. Hitherto, the earliest was thought to be by W.T.Best, sometime before 1897. His version can still be obtained from http://www.musicroom.com/ for £12.95 . Walter Henry Goss-Custard made a transcription during his period as organist of Liverpool Cathedral (1915-55) which Ian Tracey plays on his Priory DVD but the transcription has not been published and remains in manuscript in the cathedral archives. John Cook, sometime copyist for Vaughan Williams and Britten, before becoming organist of St Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario, issued his transcription in 1955. It also is is still available from http://www.musicroom.com/ for £15.95 . Ian Fantom made an arrangement in 2009 which sells for £9.95 . Sample pages may be viewed on his website http://http://www.ianfanton.me.uk/ My version is also available for £5.81. See http://organtranscriptions.webs.com David Rogers
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