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Clarabella

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About Clarabella

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  1. Non-members of the RCO might like to know that during the pandemic their entire online content is available free to anyone. You just have to register at https://i.rco.org.uk/ Lots of instructional videos, audio files, articles, papers etc on a wide range of organ/church music subjects
  2. That's assuming the 0.4 is correct in practice - I think a lot of church musicians actually put in more hours than they are paid for.
  3. If my arithmetic is correct the two jobs mentioned above work out at the equivalent of £47,500 and £35,000 full-time.
  4. I'm with Innate on the facsimiles - there is nothing to beat playing from the originals and these, like most 18C printed editions, are beautifully clear. Nothing against T to W in general though. (But does anyone else think 'Tallis to Wesley' sounds like part of a cricket commentary?)
  5. -You are not alone. I will be playing it on an organ too - in the absence of a bugle, I persuaded the Vicar that a live organ is preferable to a recorded bugle (keep music live!). Actually I think it sounds rather good on our trumpet stop (courtesy of our hosts). Strictly speaking it should be played in Bb, which I do, but nobody will notice or mind if it's in C. I always end service with so-called St Anne fugue as well as a nod to the hymn which we will have sung - does anyone else do that? Also before the service I often play Nimrod which goes quite well on the organ.
  6. The Daily Telegraph published an obituary (complete with photograph) last Wednesday
  7. A good party-piece. I've seen a similar thing on a viola (the orange being in the left hand of course, the viola held like a viol). It was slightly more subtle because instead of holding the fruit up at the beginning, the player said nothing, and the audience gradually started tittering as they noticed one by one.
  8. There is a verse anthem by Thomas Tomkins from Musica Deo Sacra which is headed 'for St George's Day' or similar: it is called Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke? Worth investigating (even if you're not a Tomkins fan like me). I thought the text was quite extraordinary - then after some years I found that it is from the Song of Songs. The edition on CPDL does not include the St George's reference, but it is clearly shown in the Bernard Rose edition in EECM.
  9. http://www.rcm.ac.uk/about/news/all/2017-11-16organ.aspx
  10. You are not alone. I must confess that I had never realised that 4 ft reeds do not go to the top without breaking back or turning into flues. I really must learn more about organ design and construction!
  11. Thank you for pointing this out! Will they ever stop tweaking? I see that FRCO score-reading is now G and F clefs but in five parts! I also see that the Certificate is being renamed 'Colleague Diploma'. Ugh!
  12. Pieces and test have always been separate sections, both of which had to be passed, even before the exams became modular. You had to pass both the tests and the pieces, or take the whole practical exam again. Now of course you can retake one half of the exam. But the principle remains the same - you can't fail the tests and make up for it by doing brilliantly in the pieces (or vice versa). The fact that the total marks available for tests are much less than for pieces does not affect this. You can however fail one test and make up for it in the others. It would be surprising if anyone failed an academic music degree for making a hash of keyboard skills, whereas RCO exams are essentially practical. However, Oxford and Cambridge music degrees are well-known for demanding high-level keyboard skills - not just for specialist keyboard players but for all students. That said, I would be surprised if they were up to FRCO standard. There must be someone on this forum with personal knowledge. With regard to Wolsey's comments: although the RCO exams have been tweaked about every ten years for as long as I can remember, I would suggest that the overall level of difficulty in keyboard skills has remained pretty much constant in both diplomas. Widening the discussion slightly, it is sometimes suggested that RCO keyboard skills are out of date or irrelevant. I think this is quite wrong, with the possible exception of FRCO score reading which requires playing from three different C clefs, rarely found these days apart from the Bach Gesellschaft. (Orchestral score-reading as mentioned by Wolsey might actually be more useful). Even as an ordinary parish organist, directing my choir from the piano or organ both in rehearsal and in services, I use all the skills every week. But I also see keyboard skills in general as rather like having to reverse around a corner to demonstrate your driving skills. Although you don't often need to do it, it shows that you have complete control of the vehicle.
  13. At St David's Cathedral in the 70s there was a 'do not disturb the driver whilst the vehicle is in motion' sign. I'm fairly sure it was a genuine sign removed (or salvaged) from a public bus. I'd love to know if it's still there. Perhaps someone knows.
  14. There is an obituary by David Ponsford here: http://www.cambridgeorganacademy.org/forthc.htm
  15. Many thanks for all the ideas. I've probably left it a bit late for this year, but I will look into them for the future.
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