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David Surtees

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About David Surtees

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  1. What a fascinating piece. I've never come across it before, nor Porter Heaps, for that matter. Given that the organist James Welch is from Palo Alto, where Heaps lived in his retirement, it is entirely possible the piece has never been published, and Welch was given a copy personally by the composer.
  2. There was (possibly still is) an Aria by Rawsthorne published by Mayhew, but I don’t have a copy so not sure if it’s the same piece. Have never come across the Wachet Auf piece though.
  3. Surely the easiest programme depends on the organist, and how well the know each piece. If you had been playing a particular piece for years, and knew it inside out, surely you might find it easier than a technically less demanding piece, that was completely unknown.
  4. The Ahrend organ in the Reid Concert Hall at Edinburgh University is tuned to Werkmeister III, and is to my mind an incredibly versatile instrument. I once heard a performance of the Brahms fugue in Ab minor on it, which was fascinating and surprising, and really opened my ears to the possibility of playing 19th century music in an unequal temperament. Most of my practice is done on a toaster with a limited selection of historic temperaments, and I tend to leave it in Werkmeister, finding it to be more interesting than Kirnberger or Valotti, and more versatile than Meantone or Pythagorean (the other options). As far as piano tunings are concerned, there were some interesting comments in the obituary thread for Jean Guillou on this forum regarding Serge Cordier and his temperaments, which were designed for the piano, although translated to other instruments such as organs.
  5. Florence Price wrote a fairly significant body of organ works including a sonata and a suite (No. 1, although I don’t think there is a No. 2), as well as a host of smaller works. They are published by ClarNan editions, in four volumes edited by Calvert Johnson. Unfortunately ClarNan do not have a distributor in Europe, so their music has to be ordered from an American supplier, with associated exhorbitant postage costs. Other female composers worth checking out include the Swede Elfride Andrée, whose Symphony No. 1 is a masterpiece. Her Symphony No. 2 features a brass band as well as the organ, but is not quite up to the standard set by the first, in my opinion. Johanna Senfter was a pupil of Reger, and wrote several chorale preludes, clearly inspired by her teacher. Here is the Fantasie und Fuge über Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern:
  6. The French word Franck Riester used was « atteint », which implies the organ has been affected, or reached by the fire. “Achieved” is an odd translation in that context. Also just seen on social media: According to Mgr Benoist de Sinety, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Paris, the Notre-Dame organ is “practically completely destroyed.”
  7. As a lover of both organ music, and heavy metal, this amuses me greatly.
  8. The Paris firefighters are now reporting that the fire is lessening in intensity, and the building will be saved, according to France24. But there is, I imagine, little hope for anything inside.
  9. It would appear (2104 BST, 2204 Paris time) that the flames have returned to the North tower. The fire has been burning for over 3 hours now, and the firefighters are not certain to be able to stop the spread of the fire, according to French media.
  10. From the pictures on France24 at least one of the towers is in flames.
  11. I believe the new King’s Cambridge rebuild featured a pedal divide.
  12. The resources section of the RCO website, i.rco.org.uk has a vast array of teaching resources aimed at all levels. Although most of the material is only available to members, you can register for a guest account, which will enable you to see the range on offer.
  13. Completely off topic (sorry), but the French organist Charles Balayer, who is professor of Hammond at the Conservatoire in Toulouse, has written pieces that call for both instruments, such as this Jazz Litany, which features a rather interesting chamber organ:
  14. Thank you, for the extremely thorough replies. It seems the relationship between the two is not quite as simple as one being an arrangement of the other.
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