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Dafydd y Garreg Wen

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Everything posted by Dafydd y Garreg Wen

  1. Sorry, 2012: https://web.archive.org/web/20140624223131/http://organistpublications.co.uk/cgi-bin/downloads/Anniversaries for 2012.doc Website archived up until 2014 but the list stops with 2012: https://web.archive.org/web/20140323055229/http://www.organistpublications.co.uk/Index.html
  2. 2011 seems to be the last year: https://web.archive.org/web/20140624035204/http://organistpublications.co.uk/cgi-bin/downloads/Anniversaries for 2011.doc
  3. Thank you for these suggestions, all of which seem good ones, and which I shall explore. The current fitting is in working order. I’m inclining towards using thin aluminium sheet to make a shade, as it’s light and easy to cut. Very useful to have others’ thoughts to help get my mental machinery moving on this. One of the best things about this forum is that when one has a question (whether about repertoire, technique or more mundane things like this) the various suggestions help to reach the answer even when they do not provide it as such.
  4. Any recommendations for lighting a music desk? The organ in question has the console en fenêtre, so the music desk is about a foot back from the front of the case and there is thus a bit of “ceiling” to which the present light is attached. This is a fluorescent strip that sheds plenty of light onto the music, but also backwards into the player’s eyes. I was going to make a shield/reflector to address this problem, but since the bulb has now gone am thinking of replacing the unit with a LED one. I shall probably still have to make some sort of shield. Any thoughts? (I have looked into battery-operated strip lights to make installation simpler. As this organ is not used much, batteries wouldn’t need to be replaced too often. But these lights all seem to be designed for use in cupboards, so have a motion sensor to turn them off when not much is going on, a feature that could be a nuisance.)
  5. I happened to be consulting Williams about B.W.V. 531 and he notes that a manuscript of that work owned by W.H. Pachelbel c.1740 has “Segue l’Fuga un piu Largo”, which implies that there is not an exact relationship between the tempo of prelude and fugue. Of course, this is a different piece and the instruction does not (necessarily) originate with the composer or reflect his practice, but it comes from the right milieu (all those connexions between the Pachelbel and Bach families) and from within J.S. Bach’s lifetime.
  6. Part of the problem is that we use cathedrals for a purpose they weren’t designed for. They weren’t built in order to accommodate large congregations (and certainly not large congregations who are expected to sing with organ accompaniment). They were built large, not to be filled with lots of worshipping bodies, but for the same reason they were built beautifully - for the glorification of God. To the extent that their size served a practical purpose it was that of allowing the clergy to conduct the large-scale processions that were such an important part of worship before the Reformation whilst being sheltered from the the elements. If your brief was to design a building in which a large number of untrained people could sing hymns together with organ accompaniment you’d come up with something rather different. But these are the only large buildings we’ve got and we inherit from the Victorians the idea getting large (singing) congregations together in them; at the same time we want to continue choral worship in quire, and we want a single organ to cope with both. The circle can’t be squared, so it’s not surprise he results aren’t satisfactory.
  7. Fortunately here, in this part of rural Wales, things musical and ecclesiastical are reasonably healthy, and as near to normal as could be expected. Services every Sunday, apart from the recent hiatus (encompassing three Sundays). The Welsh organ ban was ridiculous, but it was rescinded in August. In the absence of singing, congregations seem to be taking more notice of and be more appreciative of organ music. The Welsh government has been very slow to allow choral singing, but that ban too has just been lifted, and our choir is raring to go. Tuners are working normally. Finances have been affected, but nothing we can’t cope with. The Church in Wales gave an 85% rebate on the Quota/Parish Share for the second and third quarters of the year, which was a great help. I’m less confident about the longer term (because of general trends, not the epidemic), but just at the moment things could be a lot worse.
  8. Thanks to the help of several kind persons (to whom my gratitude) I have now managed to obtain a copy of this piece, which I’ve been looking for for several years.
  9. The greatest one-that-got-away must be Renatus Harris’ scheme for S. Paul’s: http://www.stephenbicknell.org/3.6.17.php If something like this had been implemented (granted that Harris’ proposals are over the top), British organ building would have leaped forwards to a point it didn’t actually reach until the 1840s. With the S. Paul’s instrument as an example and model, pedals (inter alia) would surely have caught on much sooner. The course of musical history would have been very different.
  10. The thread about Arthur Wills put me in mind of Michael Howard’s Evocation (Salve Regina). Can anyone help me obtain a copy please? It was published by Oecumuse, but it is not among the titles that Geoffrey Atkinson of Fagus Music inherited from them. (I asked him a while ago - as someone mentioned on another thread recently, he is indeed a very helpful person.) Judging by the David Price recording I could probably reconstruct it myself, but I’m a bit lazy ....
  11. By contrast there are said to be over 5,000 towers with bells hung for full circle ringing, the indigenous tradition.
  12. There’s also Manchester Town Hall: https://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?DoveID=MANCHSTR+T
  13. As well as the Guildhall, there is another one in Hull, the 25 bell carillon at Holy Trinity: https://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?DoveID=KINGSTN2+-
  14. The quality of streamed videos on the British Pathé site (as on similar sites) is deliberately degraded. The original quality is “only available to customers licensing content for use outside of the home” (site FAQ).
  15. Thank you. That rather confirms my impression. The instrument I referred to does a good job at pushing out plenty of noise to support congregational singing, and the relatively resonant acoustics temper the sound in the body of the church. But playing it solo was rather unsatisfying. Not the subtlest of instruments!
  16. The Rushworth and Dreaper Apollo reed organ, which had electric blowing and a conventional pedal board (and draw stops), is worth a mention. http://tardis.dl.ac.uk/FreeReed/organ_book/node22.html The only one I’ve played makes quite a racket, but in a resonant building it’s a reasonably effective (and compact) substitute for a pipe organ. Having a pedal board was useful, but it was clearly in need of an overhaul. I recall playing the same instrument as a boy when it was in better condition - I doubt it had had any attention in the intervening years. I suppose the question would be whether the cost of renovation would be justified. (I think the church in question mostly uses an electronic keyboard nowadays ....)
  17. Assuming that the rest is in reasonable condition, it’s easy enough to undo a stapled volume, replace the cover with fresh card, and then sew it up: https://www.dartmouth.edu/library/preservation/repair/dartmouth-book-repair_manual_sewing-single-signature.pdf I finish off with self-adhesive linen tape (archival grade!) which reinforces the spine and protects the exposed thread on the outside: https://www.stix2.co.uk/product/self-adhesive-linen-tape/ If I’d known it was that easy I’d have started doing this years ago. Bound volumes are harder to tackle (whether traditionally done, or so-called perfect binding [ha ha - what a misnomer]), but as long as the text block is intact aren’t really that difficult. (Broken text blocks are another matter ....)
  18. Quite, especially as some of the pieces in that collection are actually quite difficult! And someone really looking for simple voluntaries would get a bit of a shock on acquiring the Album of S.V.
  19. Some of the weaker (but still perfectly acceptable) pieces in this series resemble written-down improvisations - but that’s fine because they give me ideas for my own improvising! I do so agree that the standard of the series is high - much better than similar volumes from other publishers (one in particular, whom I shall forbear to name).
  20. Yes, the Postlude is a good piece. As you observe, most of the music in that volume is solid stuff, but the title does its contents no favours. I once had a comment (when playing the Murrill as it happens) from a non-musician who was surprised I was using a collection with that title. He’d seen it near the organ and assumed it belonged to learner who had access for practice. It was too complicated to explain that the title was misleading; but I wondered after that whether I ought to cover the volume with brown paper if that was how people generally were going to react on seeing it!
  21. Possibly that you were good at it. Church musicians (singers as well as organists) don’t always give themselves enough credit for their sight reading skills - even amateurs of moderate ability take for granted (because it’s necessary and expected) a level that’s actually pretty high.
  22. Thank you. Just the sort of recommendations I was hoping for.
  23. Hear! Hear! The recital is an excellent initiative. Ad multos annos. A discussion of Dr Jackson’s organ works would useful. Because he is a prolific composer and his music takes some getting to know, it is hard to know where to start. As a result I don’t play much by him, which I regret. It’s not the sort of music that one can play through and say, “Ah, yes, I want to learn that.” It’s only after one has invested time and effort in learning that something clicks and one can really appreciate the strengths and beauties of a piece. So suggestions from those who play more of Dr Jackson’s oeuvre would be especially helpful.
  24. Favourite example of poor programming: the recital where all the pieces were in F major, apart from two, which were in ... (wait for it) ... D minor.
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