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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by Clarabella

  1. 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?)

  2. -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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I couldn't find any previous discussion of this on the forum, so: can members suggest any Welsh or Welsh-themed organ music for 1st March? Those that spring to mind already are Mathias and Tomkins, plus Vaughan-Williams's Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes. (Rhosymedre is a little gem, the others less obviously so, but I might try out number three, Hyfrydol.)


    There are plenty of Welsh composers of course but I'm not aware of any others that wrote for the organ.


    Are there any other preludes on Welsh tunes (by composers of any nationality)?

  7. I am glad to hear that things are moving. I have pleasant memories from a visit a few years ago when I briefly played the fine chancel organ, and went up to the west gallery where the monster is housed. We got there by a very circuitous route which involved a cat-walk above the vaulting of the south aisle. The west organ is probably good therapy if you want to let off some steam (see photo of the console in the brochure linked above) but seems rather dated now, and this historic church deserves something more....well, historic, or historically informed. It was a freezing February and far as I remember the main body of the church has no heating. The best (and most historic) instrument in the building is probably the single-manual chamber organ in the Briefkapelle. I look forward to hearing of further developments.

  8. That depends who you think will want to go to organ recitals! I agree that the obvious core audience will find noon on a Sunday inconvenient, and it might be argued that it is more important to retain the existing audience than to find new ones. But I am a little uncomfortable with the assumption that organ recitals will be attended only by other organists and churchgoers. Besides the RAM Bach cantata series has, I understand, a well-established regular audience of music-lovers. The recitals you refer to seem to be part of that series, so it is to be hoped that the regular audience will go to those as well as the cantatas, attracted by the implied guarantee of high quality. I may even get to some myself.

  9. All Saints, Church Road, Warlingham, Surrey CR6 9NU


    (Small) William Hill organ


    Sunday 18 August at 6pm (one hour followed by refreshments)


    Michael Strange FRCO


    Stanley: Voluntary in A minor

    JS Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A, BWV 536

    Czerny: Prelude in A

    SS Wesley: Choral Song and Fugue

    Elgar: Vesper Voluntaries

    Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation

    Mathias: Processional


    FREE (retiring collection)



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