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Mander Organs

David Surtees

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Everything posted by David Surtees

  1. I believe the new King’s Cambridge rebuild featured a pedal divide.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
  4. 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.
  5. I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me regarding the origins of this piece, Shostakovich’s only work for organ. It is frequently described as an organ arrangement of the interlude from Lady Macbeth. But I have also heard that the piece was originally written for organ, as the theatre in Leningrad where it was premiered had an organ; and only subsequently orchestrated. Does anyone know which is true?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I wasn’t born then, and I still think of the traditional counties as the correct designations.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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/
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Thanks for sharing the Dienel. I love his chorale preludes, but have never come across this piece before. Definitely looks worth checking out.
  20. 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.
  21. This is also, it would seem, true for reprintings of the earlier volumes. The most recent volume I bought was volume 4, and it came without a CD and a little note informing the reader that as from 2018, the contents of the CDs would be available online instead. While it is good that this material is available freely online, it is, as you say, useful to have it on your hard drive.
  22. Having had a brief perusal of the introduction to the new volumes, (and kudos to Breitkopf for making them freely available online) I think I can understand the rationale behind the grouping. All the pieces that are deemed by the editors to be authentic are included. Given that only 3 pieces (one of which is a fragment) are relegated to the appendix, and one further available online (the other online items all appear to be alternative versions), this might appear to be a generous assessment of authenticity. As for the Neumeister chorales, it would appear that the decision to include them in with the rest rather than as a separate collection was taken to avoid given the impression that the collection (as opposed to the pieces it contains) is authentic. As far as the NBA is concernced, part of the reason the Neumeister chorales were published separately was they were not yet discovered when the series was begun.
  23. I've played two Conachers, and both are very fine musical instruments, in my opinion. This one, by Peter Conacher, was originally a cinema organ before being moved to a church: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R00300 It looks to be very similar to the one Tony Newnham mentions above, and is very versatile despite it's size. The second is by James Conacher: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R00130 It is even smaller, but produces a lovely sound. The non-standard pedalboard takes a bit of getting used to. It is a 25-note radiating concave board, but takes up about the same space as a 30 note would, with the result that the notes are very widely spaced, and you have to stretch to reach top C. One other strange feature about this organ is the trumpet stop, which must have been a later addition. It is accessed by a strange red button, centrally placed above the swell manual, and produces the vilest sound I have ever heard from an organ.
  24. The organ also acquired at this time the Tuba from Dunblane cathedral. NPOR suggests this was in c. 1985, but that can't be true as the Dunblane organ wasn't removed until 1989, so I suspect that this wasn't until the 1996 rebuild.
  25. I am glad to hear that volumes 9 and 10 are available. Being a fairly new organist, I took the decision to invest in the new edition instead of the NBA as I needed the relevant volumes. I have now collected all of the first 8 and look forward to adding the last two once they reach UK retailers.
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