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Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. Rowland Wateridge

    Henry Ley

    Thank you! As an afterthought it occurred to me that we must have heard it pronounced by precentors and Radio 3 presenters - the BBC used to be meticulous about these things. I gleaned very little about pronunciation when searching on Google, but discovered that HL’s pupils included Ralph Downes and Sir Thomas Armstrong, and that Psalm 138 was sung to HL’s chant in D at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010.
  2. Rowland Wateridge

    King's, Cambridge - Back Row

    Intriguing. Lay Clerks, if the term is used correctly, usually means singers in ‘New Foundation’ cathedrals, Canterbury, Durham, Ely, Peterborough, Rochester, Winchester etc. That would not be inconsistent for past members of Cambridge college choirs. One assumes that the current members calling themselves Lay Clerks are not Choral Scholars.
  3. Rowland Wateridge

    Henry Ley

    Well, he was a Devonian. I have never heard any other pronunciation than ‘Lee’, and I’m certain that was how Lionel Dakers pronounced it when recounting the tale about the baskets of wrong notes. sbarber49 (above) also seemed very certain. Paul Hodges will doubtless remember how it was pronounced by Sydney Watson and others at Christ Church.
  4. Rowland Wateridge

    Henry Ley

    Definitely Lee. It was said of him that he “could make an organ smoke”, and when playing the responses he accompanied the words “There is none other that fighteth for us ... “ using the pedal ophicleide. There’s an interesting entry in Watkins Shaw’s “The Succession of Organists” about his appointment as Organist of Christ Church Oxford while still an undergraduate - and much more. Lionel Dakers used to tell a story about HL’s impromptu visit to St George’s Windsor and playing unrehearsed some complex work which he hadn’t looked at for quite some time, at the conclusion of which he turned and said “And there were enough wrong notes to fill five baskets”! I can’t guarantee that I have recalled the number of baskets correctly, but I don’t think it was the full Biblical twelve.
  5. Rowland Wateridge

    Youtube

    Susi Jeans played Schmidt’s Toccata in her recital at the inauguration of the Royal Festival Hall organ in 1954. As I recall, the other performers were André Maréchal, Arnold Richardson, George Thalben-Ball and, of course, Ralph Downes. Another Schmidt expert is Peter Gould, formerly of Derby Cathedral. Some years ago he gave a memorable masterclass to the Winchester and District Association of Organists on Schmidt's organ music .
  6. Rowland Wateridge

    "THE" Toccata

    Daniel Moult is playing the complete Widor Symphonie V in this recital programme at St Andrew’s Church, Surbiton on Saturday 19th March at 7.30 pm. Admission is £10; free to under 16s and full-time students. The church is about a half-mile from Surbiton railway station. J S Bach: Toccata in F BWV 540 (i) W A Mozart: Three pieces from the ‘Londoner Skizzenbuch’ W A Mozart: Fantasia in F minor/major K594 Franz Liszt: “Resignazione” Camille Saint-Saëns: Prelude and Fugue in B Major Harvey Grace: “Resurgam” (Fantasy-Prelude) J S Bach (arr. Liszt): Introduction to Cantata 21 [BWV 21] Charles-Marie Widor: Symphonie V: (1) Allegro vivace (2) Allegro cantabile (3) Andantino quasi allegretto (4) Adagio (5) Toccata Daniel Moult is also leading a workshop for young student organists at the church the following day, Sunday 20th. For all details of both events, see the entry on organrecitals.com under 19th March.
  7. Rowland Wateridge

    The Queen's Speech

    The Winchester/ Southampton degree was conferred at a ceremony in Winchester Cathedral. Martin, in his doctoral robes, and Penny Neary were photographed afterwards outside their former home, No 10 The Close. MN and Francis Jackson both received their Lambeth DMus on the same day, 16th October 2012, from Archbishop Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace
  8. Rowland Wateridge

    The Queen's Speech

    Subject to correction, I think Martin Neary received an honorary Doctorate of Music from the nascent University of Winchester (degrees at that time validated by the University of Southampton).
  9. Rowland Wateridge

    Appointments 2

    I have heard today that pcnd5584 is playing at St Stephen’s Bournemouth, but was not told in what capacity. My informant said he is very happy there.
  10. Rowland Wateridge

    "THE" Toccata

    Again, I haven’t checked it out, but YouTube has a six minutes 59 seconds recording by Pierre Cocherea at Notre Dame (it states “1959 version”) - so there is something in this!
  11. Rowland Wateridge

    "THE" Toccata

    I tried to provide a link to Widor’s 1932 recording, with the question “Does this change your view?”, but I’m afraid I am not up to the technology. Although most people attribute Widor’s slow tempo to his advanced age (and other reasons) someone has perceptively commented that he recorded other works at around this same period with ‘conventional’ speeds, suggesting that, even allowing for such other factors as the acoustic at St Sulpice, the almost seven minutes was intentional. I seem to recall that Fernando Germani once said that movements from the organ symphonies shouldn’t be played out of their context. Is it, perhaps, possible that this movement, so often played in isolation, has come to be a kind of ‘show-piece’ - and isn’t played with the respect due to its composer - or as he intended it to be played? I haven’t checked it, but there is a modern recording on YouTube which claims a performance time of four minutes 58 seconds, two minutes and one second less than Widor’s! I don’t know whether the service in Durham Cathedral has yet taken place, but I am sure we all send best wishes to Peter Allison, and for the fitting tribute to his father in that wonderful place.
  12. Rowland Wateridge

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    No death-threats or personal venom, but I have certainly been put down several times on three Anglican websites making what I thought were reasoned and reasonable comments. Most surprising of all, to me, the brusqueness of a very senior churchman (I won’t say where - a Provost rather than a Dean) responding to my suggestion that Cardinal Newman’s hymn “Firmly I believe and truly” was a statement of faith consistent with the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds which Anglicans affirm. “Well it won’t be sung here” were his final words.
  13. Rowland Wateridge

    "THE" Toccata

    Listening to Widor’s own performance of the Toccata at St Sulpice (1932) at the age of 88, recorded by HMV and playable on YouTube is a revelation - the performance time 6 minutes 59 seconds! All kinds of reasons are advanced for this lengthy time: his age, tracker action, ‘primitive’ recording equipment, etc., etc. The result has tremendous dignity and grandeur.
  14. Rowland Wateridge

    Priory Records DVDs

    No apology needed. I realised that you were replying to Quentin Bellamy. I added my second post to clarify the chronology. Thank you for the link to the Organ Gallery series. I’m glad to see my memories of the participation of Francis Jackson and Flor Peeters confirmed. In all honesty I don’t now remember some of the others. It was a very distinguished series, and John Lade was a very perceptive host and interviewer.
  15. Rowland Wateridge

    Priory Records DVDs

    To be clear, that was Simon Preston’s televised performance from the RFH. I wasn’t aware of his present, sad situation or that of Peter Hurford.
  16. Rowland Wateridge

    Priory Records DVDs

    I remember Simon Preston in a TV programme very enthusiastically describing and playing the new and recently-installed Grant Degens and Bradbeer organ at New College, Oxford. That must have been around 1969 or 1970. I also have a vague memory of him in a televised recital from Westminster Abbey wearing, I think, suede shoes rather than conventional organ shoes! Very uncertain of this, but I think he might have played Liszt’s BACH. (Slightly off-subject, I heard him in recital at Westminster Abbey on my 21st birthday in 1962 - and we are both still here, and playing the organ, albeit in a very much humbler sphere in my case). Also in the 1970s there was a wonderful weekly radio series “Organ Gallery” in which John Lade visited an organ, usually in a cathedral, and had a conversation with the organist who demonstrated and spoke about the instrument. I think these were broadcast on Saturday afternoons. Two that I vividly remember were Francis Jackson at York saying that he preferred to play from the Quire console and liked the composition pedals which he had no desire to change in favour of toe pistons. He also explained that he had had the Great third diapason tuned sharp (or perhaps flat, I don’t now recall which), an idea which he had borrowed from the USA. In a programme from overseas, John Lade travelled to Mechelen to visit Flor Peeters. The organ was in the usual very lofty Continental west-end position. Flor Peeters explained that he accompanied the liturgy, improvised interludes and played voluntaries, but had absolutely no responsibility for the choir! Round about that time John Betjeman presented a radio series “Britain’s Cathedrals and their music” - a combination of his inimitable architectural descriptions and the music of the cathedral in question - both choral and organ. There was always one major solo organ piece. One that I particularly remember was Bach’s Fugue on the Magnificat played by Noel Rawsthorne at Liverpool. I think John Betjeman introduced it as Liverpool Cathedral’s “mighty Willis organ”. Subsequently LP records of some of these programmes were issued and sold under the BBC’s own label. Even earlier in my youth, possibly 1950s, the BBC used to broadcast an organ recital mid-morning on Sundays. Halcyon days!
  17. Rowland Wateridge

    Westminster Abbey

    This looks to be a lovely instrument. At the bottom of the web page (beneath Home) click on “Zurück” to find a wealth of modern and historic Dutch organs - along with two English invaders by Forster and Andrews and a much older Longman and Bates. I suspect that there are hundreds more Dutch organs on this website.
  18. Rowland Wateridge

    New Book on the Christian Müller Organ at Haarlem

    On the website page which John indicated, go to the ‘Details’ section and click the link ‘Vrienden van de Grote Kerk’ and the English version comes up as No 5. Then click ‘Bestellen’ for the order form. I guess you may have to open an account, but there are contact details and asking the question in English won’t be any problem.
  19. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    The fact that the Cathedral organist is one of the trustees is an optimistic sign. Everyone became very anxious about the long gestation period at the Cathedral, but the result was a triumph - and a generous donor was found!
  20. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    Yes, lottery money and/or a wealthy sponsor would doubtless help but, please, everyone, look at the website organfoundation.org.uk. There has been so much unnecessary speculation on this thread! The job is already in hand, and the website gives the proposed new specification (which does appear to be a restoration of the original Cavaillé-Coll). The trustees of the Manchester Cavaillé-Coll Organ Foundation include Simon Leach and Christopher Stokes. There is much more information on the website.
  21. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    Much debate here, but does anyone actually know what is happening at the Town Hall? The City Council were considering a proposal from The Manchester Cavaillé-Coll Organ Foundation last year for the organ’s restoration. The 2017 Kenneth Tickell organ in Manchester Cathedral is known as the ‘Stoller Organ’, named after the principal donor.
  22. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    At today’s date organrecitals.com lists 416 different organists giving recitals at 240 different UK venues, mostly in the winter months. The figures are larger at other times. There is no shortage of recitals or talented players in this country. Obviously audience sizes vary. Publicity is important but sometimes sadly lacking.
  23. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    I missed Peter Gunstone’s earlier post on 13th August 2014: “The Manchester Cavaillé-Coll Organ Trust has been established by Richard Lowe "to protect, restore and promote this unique musical instrument which contains more Cavaillé-Coll pipework than any other organ in the UK". https://www.facebook.com/groups/656785384416876/ The present state of play isn’t clear, but in 2017 the City Council were supportive of the project.
  24. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    Interestingly, Thomas Trotter’s opening recital on the new Kenneth Tickell organ at Manchester Cathedral was attended by the Lord Lieutenant and, seemingly, every mayor from Lancashire (and possibly beyond), all wearing their chains of office. Civic pride in the new organ was very evident. Of course there was a very hefty individual donation. Possible problems at Manchester Town Hall are that (presumably) the City Council owns the organ and, on that basis, would be the only body at present able to let the necessary contract for the organ’s restoration. All fund-raising would have to be subject to strict safeguards that the money wouldn't be used for other purposes. We are talking about very large amounts and, yes, accountants and lawyers would be involved! HM Revenue and Customs would want to know all the details. If it chose to do so, the City Council could set up a charitable trust which would safeguard the purposes and use of the funds and allow donors to make Gift Aid declarations. But the starting point is whether the City Council will go along with these ideas. They, in fact, are the people “in charge”.
  25. Rowland Wateridge

    Manchester Town Hall

    Contrabombarde is 100% correct about local authority funding. Leeds is a shining beacon. The lunchtime recitals there are free (voluntary donation), also with a free printed programme. The appointment of Darius Battiwalla as City Organist last year was an inspired decision - he plays a complete recital from memory, and happily works with his distinguished predecessor Simon Lindley who still contributes to the imaginative programmes. It’s a pity that the recitals at Leeds and Huddersfield Town Hall (also Birmingham TH) usually clash but, on other days, in Yorkshire there is Hull City Hall and, over the Pennines in Liverpool, St George’s Hall both providing regular lunchtime recitals on magnificent organs. It’s no secret that funding is a problem at Liverpool, and there is currently an appeal for restoration of the Father Willis/ HW III masterpiece - from which, nevertheless, Ian Tracey is still able to coax the most marvellous sounds!
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