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Mander Organs

Dafydd y Garreg Wen

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Everything posted by Dafydd y Garreg Wen

  1. Worth considering? https://www.usedorganmusic.com/forum/
  2. It is of course a royal *foundation*, as are many churches and institutions, and has very strong royal links, but that doesn’t mean the Crown owns it, as it owns (say) Windsor Castle. It belongs to the Church of England, but with a peculiar form of jurisdiction (“peculiar” in both senses of the word) that reflects its origins. The fact that the Queen is the Ordinary doesn’t mean she owns the Abbey, any more than the bishop of a diocese as Ordinary (i.e. the usual form of jurisdiction) owns any of the parish churches of that diocese. Likewise the Ordinaries of other non-royal peculiars. Being Ordinary doesn’t make a church your personal property: it simply means you are at the apex of the structure of governance.
  3. The American Guild of Organists seems to have argued successfully against local proposals to forbid organ use. Their advice is given here:https://www.agohq.org/wp-content/upl...Pipe-Organ.pdf
  4. The Queen does not own Westminster Abbey, any more than the Bishop of London owns S. Paul’s Cathedral (or any other church in her diocese). It is not the Queen’s personal private chapel. Being a royal peculiar simply means that it is exempt from the local bishop’s jurisdiction and the Queen is the ultimate authority there for matters of discipline etc. - matters which in a normal church are the responsibility of the bishop. It is owned (if it can be said to be owned by anyone) by the Church of England, just like the humblest parish church in the land.
  5. The ban remains, tho’ with helpful clarification about practice and maintenance. At least the Welsh bishops are arguing against it now: “Organs: Maintenance work to organs can now be undertaken. A pipe organ may be played for practice or maintenance purposes when the building is closed to the public. Organs (other than electronic) cannot at this time be played as part of public opening, services, marriages or funerals. We are lobbying for a change in this provision.” https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/
  6. Whilst public worship is now permitted in Wales the use of the organ is not. “You are advised only to play musical instruments that are not blown into. Playing organs which require air to be pushed through the mechanism should be avoided.“ https://gov.wales/guidance-marriages-and-civil-partnerships-coronavirus-html The Church in Wales bishops say: ”Welsh Government guidance also states that no blown instruments should be played; this includes organs (other than electronic organs). Another instrument such as a guitar or violin could be played. We are expecting guidance shortly on how organs can be maintained (including practising) under current restrictions and hope that playing may soon be possible.“ https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/cy/publications/liturgy/Memorial_Service/ No such restriction appears to be in place in England. The implication seems to be the passage of air into and out of the instrument could spread infected droplets around the building. How plausible is this?
  7. Thank you for the recommendation. It’s not a piece I know well. Had a recording (now mislaid ...) of Stephen Cleobury playing it at King’s. Surprising I haven’t at least had a hack through it now so many scores are available on line, for I am partial to a decent passacaglia. Possibly it was with vague memories of it that I had some hopes of the Marche and was thus the more disappointed. Then again, might merely have been a bad day when I looked at it. 🙂🙁
  8. Thank you for the information. The excitement mounts .... I was a bit put off Alcock by hacking through his Marche Triomphale a while ago. It struck me as jolly difficult, and not very grateful on the ear. If I put in the effort of learning it I doubted anyone would thank me for it, so time better deployed elsewhere. The G major Impromptu seems a more approachable and useful piece all round.
  9. Is the Bardon version published yet? When I looked the website said “in preparation”.
  10. I was looking for this a while ago on the strength of a reference in Hardwick’s British Organ Music of the Twentieth Century. Slightly frustrating that it’s out of copyright and as observed above two other impromptus by Alcock are easily available, but it has been reprinted by Fitzjohn Music Publication in A Walter Alcock Organ Album: https://www.impulse-music.co.uk/fitzjohnmusic/organ/
  11. Ha! Printed it off a while ago, haven’t got round to playing it. Perhaps the ghost of Harry Gabb is giving me a hint.
  12. American accents generally (regardless of sex) have more “twang” than British, that is the higher harmonics are more developed, which gives them more carrying power etc. This is why a party of Americans will seem so noisy. Combine that with the higher pitch of a woman’s voice and you get the sharpness and power you refer to (exactly the same phenomenon we’ve been discussing above in connexion with “strong” mixtures, perceived loudness, etc.).
  13. To quote Dr Pykett on another thread, “Why keep life simple when it can be made more difficult?” There are a fair number of people in the organ world for whom this would seem to be a guiding principle 🙄🙄
  14. Returning to the Whitlock ... the thing that always niggles is the slurring in bar 3. I’ve always taken it to be careless engraving, for it neither agrees with the way the theme is phrased elsewhere, nor seems to make musical sense. Or is there some subtlety here I’ve been missing ...?
  15. I’d forgotten the Lemare. Must dig it out. As Tony N. observes, not as tricky as it looks on the page (or sounds when described).
  16. Yes, it probably is harder than if one were playing on the Swell and were just extending the thumb down to play a note or series of notes (i.e. literally thumbing *down*). You’re trying to find your feet (as it were) on the Swell, having leaped up there with the leftmost part of your hand, at the same time as thumbing the F# on the Great, which makes it harder to ensure both notes sound at exactly the same time. It might help as a preliminary stage to practise some ordinary thumbing down first, to get the hang of one hand being on two manuals. Play a note (or two notes) on the Swell; whilst holding it/them add another note on the Great with the thumb. When that’s all right, start playing the thumb note at the same time as the other(s). Move on to the Whitlock leaping when you’ve mastered this. You might try treating the F# and C# sequentially too as a first step (adding an extra beat to allow this). Play the F# followed by the C# on the extra beat, and also C# first followed by the F#. When this is nice and easy, eliminate the extra beat and play the notes simultaneously as Whitlock wrote. You may find this helps - reculer pour mieux sauter. (I find this sort of thing works better if one keeps to a definite beat (granted that one is messing around with the number of beats in the bar) rather than just adding a vague bit of extra time.)
  17. Specifically in this instance, you play the tenor line on the Great as usual; but when you get to the antepenultimate bar you move your hand to the left to play the F# with your thumb (on the Great) just as normal, but at the same time you slant the hand so your fourth finger is in place to play tenor C# on the Swell; then you lower the hand/fingers so both keys are depressed simultaneously and the two notes sound together. In the next bar the fifth finger plays the B natural - you just have to remember to keep the thumb down on the F# key on the manual below whilst you change notes above. More complicated to describe than do!
  18. It’s called “thumbing down” and wasn’t uncommon in English organ music of Whitlock’s period: http://www.organbench.com/419797270/3950764/posting/ In essence, instead of extending the hand horizontally to play notes some distance apart on a single keyboard as one normally does, one stretches it vertically (diagonally) to play notes on two different keyboards. This one is a simple example, where only a single note has to be played by the thumb. It gets trickier when you have to play an actual line, but it’s not an especially difficult technique, once you’ve reprogrammed your mind to cope with playing on two parallel planes with the same hand, not just a single one. It does help if the keyboards aren’t too far apart of course ....
  19. Excellent. Thank you for very much for these pointers and links.
  20. Ah! You tantalise us ... but indeed ‘tis better to be warned (“for the most part fairly tricky ... a real pig to play”) before investing in the scores! Any Delplace or other discoveries of the non-tricky sort? The Aria does sound very fine and has whetted my appetite.
  21. There are those who would say that post-1750 this was true of the organ full stop ....
  22. Huzzah! One of my bugbears. Seems absurd to go to great trouble to have all the other instruments “authentic” and then use a box organ, something totally unknown at the period and often tonally inadequate (e.g. inaudible in larger choruses). Even more so when there’s an actual baroque organ standing a few feet away unused.
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