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Rowland Wateridge

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About Rowland Wateridge

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  1. I have the impression that this is an American recording. The singing doesn’t remotely match what I heard at the Masonic funeral mentioned above. It’s interesting that ‘St Oswald’ is (largely) used worldwide. When Martin first raised the subject, my memory went back more than 60 years with ‘St Oswald’ as the immediate answer. But for some reason ‘St Bees’ (also by Dykes) rang a bell. I now see from another video here that this is usually the tune for the Opening Ode.
  2. My only experience of a Masonic funeral evidenced singing of a very high order! I remember remarking to a colleague there that no one would know the first hymn (expecting the silence, apart from the organ, which happens in that kind of situation at weddings). But I could not have been more wrong. The brethren sang like a Welsh male voice choir, and very accurately it must be said.
  3. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question about improvement as I never heard the organ in the flesh before the work done by Ruffatti. But I went to a recital by James O’Donnell in February last year, almost on the eve of the first pandemic lockdown, and the instrument, matched by the playing, sounded superb.
  4. The only one I have encountered, slightly simpler - in D major, D (up to) G G (down to) F sharp. Perhaps, after the funeral, Martin Cooke will tell us which tune he played, and how he rose to the challenge of “so mote it be”!
  5. An organist whose playing has you on the edge of your seat, especially in the music of the French school and large Bach works like the Dorian Toccata and Fugue; his performance of that was the most gripping that I have ever experienced. His service accompaniments are a model and the improvisations thrilling. The lucky people of Lincoln have enjoyed this for a third of a century! Clearly the Lincoln Father Willis has been an inspiration, the perfect combination of instrument and player. I have always felt privileged to hear his playing at Lincoln. I hope that will still be possible and
  6. I am not a Mason, but I have played the Masonic Closing Ode “Now the evening shadows closing”. It is a short hymn in 8.7.8.7. metre, and I played it to J B Dykes’ “St Oswald” which suits the words very well. It is an evening hymn and not specifically a funeral ode, although it obviously lends itself to that. I understood that it was sung at the closing of every Lodge meeting. “So mote it be” translates simply as ‘Amen’.
  7. In spite of the limitations of listening on an iPad, it was a delight in present circumstances to be able to feel as though in the building hearing that wonderful organ. I think a revelation for me (and it has been said before by others) is how well César Franck sounds on the Schulze - and that was especially so in today’s performance by Graham Barber of ‘Pièce Héroique’.
  8. Sadly I missed it. Living in the Southern Province I watched the BBC televised Eucharist from Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop presiding. Mixed feelings about some of it; I thought the girls’ choir was impressive. David Newsholme directed and Adrian Bawtree played the organ. It was difficult to get any real impression of the organ from the sound quality of an ancient television. Adrian Bawtree certainly opened up the organ in the closing voluntary, Guilmant’s “Grand Choeur”, but in best BBC tradition this was faded out to a scene of someone preparing pastry with a rolling-pin! On
  9. The serpent which I mentioned is in a Hampshire village. There’s an anaconda in Edinburgh University’s Musical Instruments Collection. Although John Kitchen is in charge of the keyboard instruments in the Collection, I’m sure he must know it.
  10. Apologies for this digression. The extract of Charles Wild’s painting (water colour I think) “The Choir of the Cathedral of Amiens” should be of interest to S_L as the full painting shows a serpentist on both sides of the ‘choir’. The one on the left, on the north side in the illustrated extract, is playing: the other on the south side is not. A remarkable picture: a concelebrated Capitular High Mass in progress, green being the liturgical colour. I’m not sure that there is a choir, as such. The back row on both sides consists of the Canons in choir dress, I think, of rather more sobre ty
  11. That's heartening to know. Surely, of its kind and its generation, SGH organ has to be one of the finest (the finest?) anywhere.
  12. Apologies, hoist on my own petard! I wasn’t aware of David Briggs’ CD at SGH and have never encountered one. The organ has benefited from the loving ministrations and care of David Wells in recent years and, as I said, on its day can sound magnificent. It really ought to be a matter of national pride for this historic instrument to be fully restored. The old LP recorded by Caleb Jarvis demonstrates how we should be hearing it, and a fine varied programme highlighting its versatility in a variety of repertoire as well. I have a recollection of listening on radio, long ago, to a re-op
  13. Yes, John, but what about repertoire? I’m a bit doubtful about an organ already in the series being repeated, but don’t want to be contentious. Undoubtedly two very fine instruments and I would like to be able to hear both again in the flesh. Now rapidly approaching the age of 80, that could be difficult. I first heard York about 68 years ago, played by Francis Jackson, and still an unforgettable experience! Of course, I would have been shot down in flames if I had nominated Winchester!
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