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David Surtees

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Posts posted by David Surtees

  1. 42 minutes ago, Contrabombarde said:

    As per my post that describes how I do page turns on my home practice organ (see photo earlier in this thread), you could potentially have two identical tablets (13 inch is an easier size to read music than the ubiquitous 10 inch). Put them next to each other on the stand, open the same score on both and set up a Bluetooth page turner (such as my beloved Donner, inexpensive and bombproof reliability). Then here's the clever bit, advance the right hand tablet by one page. Every time you then press the page turner, both tablets advance the score by one page, so you always have the latest page on the right and the previous page on the left. No more awkward page turns, and tricky passages that previously ran over a page turn go across the centre fold.

    The catch is you would need someone to press the page turner button unless you are playing at Kings College Cambridge Chapel which has a tablet page turn advance thumb piston. Trust me, every new organ should have one.

    There are some apps that will allow you to link two tablets together in just this way – I know forScore does (but only with the purchase of an extra Cue app). One acts as the master which connects to the pageturning device via bluetooth as well as controlling the slave. I don’t know if they use the method you describe for presenting the pages, or present them as if in a conventional bound copy, or even allow you the option to choose. 

  2. In his Conference address at the RCO winter conference last weekend, John Rutter suggested it was a pity the Beatles had never written a folk mass, and reckoned it would have been an improvement on many of the efforts which so often fall under that description.

  3. 6 hours ago, Buxtehude said:

    It's a great shame that the recent Schott volume has so many misprints and errors. It's otherwise a really good book with a variety of styles and levels of difficulty.



    Yes, a wonderful volume, but have wondered about misprints in it. I am learning the Presque Dansant by Erszebet Szönyi, and there is a passage where parallel octaves suddenly become 9ths for no apparent reason. It could be a misprint, but the style is such that 9ths don’t seem out of place either (it’s the fact that the passage starts in octaves that makes me question it). The fact that it is repeated later on in the piece identically suggests that it is intentional. 
    The original collection it is from is still in print from Editio Musica Budapest, so I should get a copy of that for confirmation. I’ve a mind to anyway, on the strength of that one movement. 

  4. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I love collecting hymnbooks, and must have somewhere near 50, though mostly English and French (with one Welsh). I assume from their titles that JKS is a Catholic hymnbook and SKS is Protestant. I wonder if there is any overlap between the tunes used? It would also be interesting to know if they sing any of the German and French tunes that we know.

    Do you know if the Hungarian Rieger is a subsidiary of the German firm, or a completely separate company?

  5. There is a Festival March by A.D. Miller in the Oxford Hymn Settings volume for Easter and Ascension. I haven’t actually played it, but looking at it, doesn’t appear too difficult (easier than the Guilmant anyway). It’s about half the length of the Guilmant, and looks quite fun, with sections in 5/8 and 7/8. It does, however, call for an En chamade Trompette, which you may not have available. 

  6. 1 hour ago, DaveHarries said:

    Ashley Grote did his excellent New Years Day recital from Norwich Cathedral with a camera in the organ loft. It is always good to see a view that, if you were in the Cathedral sitting in the Nave, you probably wouldn't get to see otherwise. I hope organists will continue with this once we are back to normal.


    I really enjoyed that recital. Since I watched it, YouTube keeps reminding me of other recitals at Norwich, but I haven’t found the time to watch any of them yet. 

    I know even before lockdown some churches had cameras set up so the audience could get a closer view of the player. They were probably the exception. Hopefully it becomes the norm from now on. 

  7. 2 minutes ago, Peter Allison said:

    Watching? As on You Tube... is there a link if it was

    Here is the link: 

    I haven’t got round to watching it yet, but I’ve enjoyed the other recitals in the series, all of which are still available on the St Paul’s YouTube channel. 

  8. I can’t say I have ever come across any of his hymns, but had a brief look through my hymnbooks to see what they were like. They were all entirely typical of what I might expect, and the only one that I thought was worth anything was "You are beneath me". His publishing was definitely a mixed bag, but he deserves credit for bringing the world the music of composers such as Nixon, Rawsthorne, and Tambling.  

  9. I’m sure there are many similar examples across the UK, but this caught my eye when browsing a local newspaper site: https://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/news/politics/council/landmark-falkirk-town-centre-church-become-flats-3108425

    The organ is only mentioned in passing, at the end, where it says, “The applicant must, however, submit a report about what will happen to the church’s organ and stained glass before development starts.”

    The organ in question is here (1905 II/P Norman & Beard): https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=G01785

  10. 2 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    I need to play this on the organ after a funeral soon. I have downloaded the score (from MusicNotes) and at first glance it all looks straightforward enough but there are places where the voice and trumpet parts meander around each other which could be tricky given that one might rather needs different timbres to represent the two 'voices,' and one's other hand and a foot are busy holding chords. Has anyone a undertaken or come across a 'proper' organ arrangement of this piece. I might be able to get away with it by playing the chords with my feet but I haven't attempted anything yet.

    Many thanks, in case you can help.

    I don’t know the piece, but you could possibly try playing the trumpet part in the pedals?

  11. Regarding the role of a DoM, I wonder whether it wouldn’t make more sense to separate the posts of DoM and Assistant from the rôles of organist and choir master. You could appoint one of each, and the most senior would be the Director of Music. 
    I don’t know if that would actually work in practice. 
    As an aside, are there any cathedrals currently running with only one member of staff (excluding temporary vacancies)? I know until Rachel Mahon’s appointment in 2018, Coventry were without an assistant (though have recently advertised for a replacement following her promotion).

  12. I order quite a lot from Forwoods. In fact got a delivery from them today. Their online catalogue isn’t quite as comprehensive as some other sites, but they are always happy to order anything even if it’s not listed. Delivery service is also excellent. Usually dispatch in stock items the same day by first class post, which is incredibly handy if you need something in a hurry. 

  13. Happy birthday Wayne! I’ve been fortunate to hear him live twice. Once at a Proms recital in 2008 (which he finished off with an improvisation on themes from Turangalîla), and more recently at the 25th anniversary recital for the Dunblane Cathedral Flentrop in 2015, an recital alternating Bach chorales with improvisations on the chorale themes. Both were extraordinary events.

  14. Barry Williams used to have such a list on his website, but that is no longer live. I’m pretty sure I have a copy of his list, buried on one of my hard drives, but haven’t been able to track it down yet.

  15. Thankyou all, for these interesting suggestions.

    23 hours ago, andrewm said:

    Two very straightforward pieces I’ve used before are James MacMillan’s White Note Paraphrase and then I have a guitar arrangement of Maxwell Davies’ Farewell to Stromness which works really well on organ. 

    I have the Macmillan, but have never had an opportunity to play it. This might be a good occasion. I’ve played Farewell to Stromness on the piano, but don’t seem to have a copy. I hadn’t thought to use another arrangement as a basis of an organ version, but could imagine it would be very effective. 

    22 hours ago, OwenTurner said:

    The Maxwell Davies 'Farewell to Stomness' is paired with 'Yesnaby Ground' in the piano book. Both transfer to organ well and are unlikely to frighten a congregation.

    If you would consider music pre-dating Burns and you are inclined to open the Fitzwilliam book on occasion this book has a few good pieces in it: Early Scottish Keyboard Music. Transcribed and edited by K. Elliott. Stainer and Bell

    I'd commend Tom Wilkinson's performance of the same Cull transcription, played at Paisley Abbey, available as an apparent filler on a CD of folksongs. If you have Spotify, I think this link will take you there

    Given it’s an online choir concert, not sure frightening a congregation is an issue, but it would be nice to have something fairly approachable. I love early music, but all the stuff I have at the moment is English. Thanks for that tip - I have ordered it, and will see if it arrives in time. (Should do, but Stainer and Bell seem to have a relatively long lead time on their music for some reason) I knew Tom Wilkinson had recorded the MacCunn, but don’t think I’ve heard his performance. I have the Kitchen CD, so it was interesting to compare the 2 versions. 

    9 hours ago, andrewm said:

    Another thought, simply because the composers were Scottish based would be pieces by Leighton or Hollins. 

    I love Leighton’s music, but have never got round to learning any of it. Similarly with Hollins - lots of lighter stuff that always goes down well. 

    8 hours ago, sjf1967 said:

    Maxwell Davies Reliqui Domum Meum is lovely, and very straightforward - manuals only.  There's also a lovely Veni Creator by him, and the Three Voluntaries on Scottish Hymn Tunes are not hard (but they are quite austere). The Macmillan Meditation is very much worth a look, likewise the Wedding Introit. And the slow mvt of the St Andrew's Suite is gorgeous. Most of his other pieces are on the continuum tricky - fiendish, although worth every bit of effort.

    I picked up a copy of the first two Maxwell Davies pieces a while ago, but don’t think I’d ever played them. I got them out this afternoon - and agree they are rather lovely. Wasn’t familiar with the Three Voluntaries though, but they sound interesting. Don’t have any of the Macmillan pieces but have heard all of them. The St Andrew’s Suite is recorded on one of Michael Harris’s CDs from St Giles. 

    4 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    New volume published by Banks of Scottish themes arranged for organ by Anthony Baldwin. Out now.

    I know Antony, so was aware this was coming out, but haven’t yet got a copy. 

    4 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    This is quite something, but I think I will file this alongside Hamish MacCunn, for a future occasion. I discovered a recording by Simon Nieminski, that definitely whetted my appetite. 

    4 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    ... sorry... and don't forget Highland Cathedral is not Scottish in origin. Christopher Tambling wrote a lot of organ music with a Scottish flavour, all of it published either by Mayhew or Dr Butz. I can narrow this down to a few favourites if you would like me to.

    Indeed it isn’t - but it’s been generally accepted by the Scottish people. I have several of Tambling’s volumes (though by no means all of his voluminous output), so will have a look through them to see if anything takes my fancy. 

  16. 18 minutes ago, DariusB said:

    Sorry I hadn't registered the 'two weeks' part - that was slightly unrealistic!  

    I didn’t specify a date, just assumed that everyone knows that Burns night is on the 25th January, which is probably an unfair assumption to make for most people outside of Scotland. 

  17. 9 minutes ago, DariusB said:

    If you're up for a challenge (and the organ is as well!), there's at least one arrangement of Hamish McCunn's Overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, one of which is listed on John Kitchen's CD from the Usher Hall.  Simon Lindley also plays one though I'm not sure if it's the same arranger.

    That is a bit longer than what I had in mind, and I don’t think I could learn it in two weeks, either. The arrangement John Kitchen plays is by the late Jeremy Cull, and published by Animus. Not sure the organ I have access to would be able to cope anyway - it is to all intents and purposes a decent sized two manual (though there is a choir division not currently in working order).

  18. I have been asked to contribute one or two pieces to an online concert to take place on Burns’ night, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of interesting music that might be worth considering. I have settings of Highland Cathedral by both Charles Callahan and Antony Baldwin, as well as several folk-song settings in various Mayhew anthologies. I’ve also noticed Robert Gower’s arrangement of Amy Beach’s Scottish Legend in The Oxford Book of Ceremonial Music for Organ, Book 2. (While vaguely familiar with the piano original, I have never played it). 

    What other pieces should I look at before making my choice?

  19. Indeed. I echo these sentiments. While it would be possible to move elsewhere, in doing so we would lose the vast accumulation of wisdom contained in past posts here, so I am glad this forum remains. 

  20. The piano itself will probably have some organ sounds, but they might not be very convincing. In my experience presets labelled something like “chapel organ” sound better than anything labelled “pipe organ”, as they’re usually based on just a diapason or a flute stop, whereas other sounds try to imitate a full organ and don’t do a very good job. It should be possible to attach an expression pedal to one of the pedal inputs of the piano. The Yamaha FC7 looks to fit the bill, but a third party one should also work. You could also add a midi pedal board to the MIDI in (or midify a discarded pedal board if he’s up for a bit of DIY and basic electronics)

    All this could be done without the need for Hauptwerk.
    But you could use it for Hauptwerk very easily too. (I don’t have any first hand experience due to not having a computer that would be up to it, though that will change when I upgrade my computer next month and I plan to put my old machine into use for HW) I don’t think the CP88 has a MIDI through port, which would be useful if you wanted to connect a second keyboard or a pedalboard, but not essential, you’d just need to make sure the midi interface used to connect to the computer had enough inputs for everything you wanted to connect. Also, with Hauptwerk a second keyboard wouldn’t be essential, as with 88 notes you could map different regions of the keyboard to different divisions of the organ. 

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