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David Surtees

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About David Surtees

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  • AJJ

  1. David Surtees

    Christmas music 2018

    Don’t have any services over Christmas, but yesterday took part in an informal concert at a friend’s church. My contributions were Buxtehude’s Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland, a jazzy setting of Angels we have heard on high by Gunther Martin Göttsche (which the audience loved), and Brahms’ Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.
  2. David Surtees

    Priory Records DVDs

    I heard Daniel give a recital at St Mary’ Edinburgh in the summer, and heeard him say then that he was very busy finishing off projects he had started while at Westminster, in addition to his duties in Durham. I guess this was one of those projects.
  3. David Surtees

    The organ in the chapel, King's College London

    I wasn’t born then, and I still think of the traditional counties as the correct designations.
  4. David Surtees

    Organ Scholarhips and Conservatoires

    Having just begun a music degree, as a mature student, I have noticed a wide range of musical knowledge amongst my fellow students. Grade 5 theory is required for admission, but some barely seem to be at that level. There is a wide range of playing abilities as well. I myself barely passed Grade 7 in the summer (though I did audition as a pianist before switching to organ as my principal study), while others have performance diplomas.
  5. David Surtees

    "THE" Toccata

    My condolences to you and your family. If that is what he wanted, then of course you have done the right thing. The musical choices you have are all very fine, and I’m sure a fitting way to remember your father. Incidentally I remember reading somewhere that the Toccata was originally written for a funeral, before Widor included it in his Symphony, but can find no source for it now, and have no idea if it is apocryphal.
  6. David Surtees

    Etymology of "Chrysoglott"

    Well, glotta (or glossa) is Greek for tongue. Don’t know about the first half of the word, but there are several words in English that begin chryso-, all with Greek origins and seemingly related to gems or precious metals.
  7. David Surtees

    Cathedral organ activity

    St Mary's Episcopal, Edinburgh is to be restored next year, also by Harrison's. They had an organ gala last night in celebration of the organ, but I wasn't able to make it.
  8. David Surtees

    Wedding Music - bridal processions

    I have had some rather strange requests for exit music, including Mendelssohn’s War March of the Priests. It makes a nice change to the wedding march. Also one couple wanted the theme tune to the A Team (that was a lot of fun to arrange for the organ). For entry music I’ve probably had Pachelbel more often than any other. For a couple who didn’t have anything in mind, but wanted something reflective for the entry of the bride, I chose Morning from Peer Gynt, which worked well.
  9. David Surtees

    Blind Listening Experiment

    This is very true. The best electronic organs should be indistinguishable from a recording of a pipe organ. There are various reasons why this is not quite true in practice, but some electronics do come very close. With YouTube videos, you have the added factor of compression to take into account, which makes it harder still to distinguish. It is a very different matter to compare the two in the flesh, as it were, and I have yet to come across an electronic that convinced me after prolonged listening.
  10. David Surtees

    Liturgical Music at the Chapel

    There are many collections of music suitable for such purposes. A particular favourite of mine is the three volume series published by Bärenreiter entitled Sonntagsorgel. The first volume contains mostly festive pieces which make great (mostly short) postludes. The second has meditative and pastoral pieces which work well as preludes and interludes during the service. And the final volume contains chorale-based works. Although these are from the German tradition, many of the tunes are of course well known in the English speaking world as well, and so work well here. Details of volume 1 can be found here, and the others by clicking on “related products”: https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/shop/product/details/BA9287/
  11. David Surtees

    Flamboyant showpieces

    A friend of mine recently introduced me to the music of René Louis Becker. The outer movements of his first sonata are certainly flamboyant. Here's the first movement, Preludium Festivum, played by Damin Spritzer: And here is the final toccata, played by Gert van Hoef: There is also a separate toccata, his opus 32, which is in a similar vein.
  12. David Surtees

    Flamboyant showpieces

    Well, the performance with the dancer is quite something. I'm led to believe that interpretive dance is all the rage as a form of worship in certain churches, though not the kind of churches that usually have pipe organs.
  13. David Surtees

    Prepared For

    The Great mixture on the Wordsworth and Makell organ in St Salvador's Episcopal Church, Dundee was prepared for in 1882, and finally installed by Harrison's in 1997: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00481 I'm sure someone will come up with a longer example, but 115 years slightly beats the Whitchurch organ mentioned above.
  14. David Surtees

    Flamboyant showpieces

    Thanks for sharing the Dienel. I love his chorale preludes, but have never come across this piece before. Definitely looks worth checking out.
  15. David Surtees

    Tracking down an organist

    For repairing scores, I tend to use book repair tape. This is clear plastic, but much thicker and stronger than regular sellotape, and supposedly of archival quality so won't damage the scores. I guess I will find out in a few decades whether this is true or not. As for interesting signatures on second music, I have a copy of a piece that used to belong to C.H. Trevor.
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