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Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. Eventually tracked down on the YouTube thread of this very same Mander board, posted by MM on 25th June 2010. He began with the organ chamades from Esztergom, adding “I'm terribly sorry! This is the more refined version:- MM”, and then followed up with the carillon with organ, trumpet and pan pipes. I suggested this might be from a church in Vienna, but have since wondered whether it could be somewhere in the Netherlands. I think it’s a masterly piece of coordinated playing! I think the organist aloft has a CCTV link, but that’s all - like many an English cathedral organist, I suppose. It’s a rousing piece, but can sound quite elegant in some orchestral versions. Inevitably there are several Viennese recordings, and others include the Berlin Philharmonic and von Karajan.
  2. Fingers-crossed, here it is (Adnosad, take cover!). There may be an Ad to skip at the start. There are several organ versions of ‘Wien bleibt Wien’. https://youtu.be/s0VQHewtgdA
  3. Not at all. It’s interesting to hear of bells supplementing the specific liturgy of the day. I guess this might happen also in the Netherlands and other countries where carillons are prominent.
  4. No answer is possible to Adnosad … “Ears have they, and hear not” … The once in 80 years experience was beautiful as well as magical. We are rather straying from portable carillons to the real full-size ones in towers. USA yields a rich harvest, most universities having one or even more; the University of Michigan has two on campus, one of them among the largest anywhere and also by Taylor’s of Loughborough. Just along the street from Washington National Cathedral is another large one at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This features during the Mass there on great festivals with a peal immediately preceding and leading directly into ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’. Dr Robert Grogan is Carilloneur and Organist Emeritus.
  5. There’s something similar at Winchester Cathedral, although I have only heard it once (in my now 80 years). Back in the 1970s Raymond Daveluy from St Joseph’s Basilica Montreal gave a recital (incidentally, Martin Neary was somehow able to bring a host of international virtuoso recitalists to Winchester in that era) and, as a noted improviser, Daveluy was inevitably asked to extemporise. He was given a theme by Anthony Caesar, and we had an impressive 10 minutes of wonderful varied interpretations and playing. At the conclusion, the theme was repeated on the bells from the tower above. The effect was magical!
  6. Some years ago, it must have been in August 2000, with my local organists’ association on a visit to Geneva led by the late, and sadly early deceased, Martin Hall, we had the experience of hearing Lionel Rogg as both organist and carillonneur. The former was on the van den Heuvel at the Victoria Hall (Geneva named their principal concert hall in honour of the British Queen) and the carillon was the following day at St Peter’s Cathedral. Our visit coincided with the late Queen Mother’s 100th birthday, and we were instructed by Lionel Rogg to assemble outside the cathedral at 12 noon. Punctually he appeared at a very great height emerging on the roof of the cathedral from a door and entering another in the tower. He then played the British National Anthem and ‘Happy Birthday’, followed by combining them in an inverted fugue. Back to mobile carillons, not sure whether Adnosad would like it, but some time ago Musing Muso posted a video of a particularly complete, I thought rather impressive and substantial one (it would have required heavy lifting equipment to be portable), played with organ, trumpet and pan pipes - possibly from a Vienna Church. I have been unable to track it down. They played “Wien bleibt Wien”, a very catchy piece which the carillon seemed to suit well.
  7. You may know this already, but the National Pipe Organ Register is an invaluable source for locating organ specifications, locations, dates and details of builders in England, Wales and Scotland. Having said that, without further information I was not able to locate Pattman’s organ. I have read about it in odd places from time to time, but it had not ‘registered’ that it was still around, in the chapel of Durham School and listed under NPOR N04178. An invaluable tip for making searches on NPOR is to insert just a single word or place name, or the index number if known. That was how I located the Pattman organ. Obviously several hundreds of listings turn up for ‘London’ and you could be specific with a more local name like Southwark or Westminster. Or you can search for a church name if it is an unusual one - omit ‘Saint’ just the name like ‘Swithun’ or ‘Boniface’ as two examples. That will produce a limited number of results, and it is easy to select the right one. There are more tips on the NPOR home page, particularly for searches about organ builders.
  8. I don’t know about losing it, but we both have advancing age on our side (or at least that is true in my case, now octogenarian). I experimented with other online searches but failed, and would not have tracked this down without the NPOR number which, somehow, you must have found. Anyway, these details should be helpful for Niccolo.
  9. The other thread was “Nosferatu 1922” and on that we were given the NPOR reference N04178 for this organ by none other than your goodself! The organ, minus piano, is now in the chapel of Durham School. NPOR discreetly states ‘Builders Unknown’ but there are clues to its Pattman provenance, which is actually stated, with the ‘drum roll’ percussion and ‘dulcitone (enclosed)’, not to mention the plethora of tubas! An interesting and unusual organ in a school chapel! If H&H archives are silent about it, surely its present location in Durham is significant. I seem to remember that Laurence Elvin referred to it in his book ‘The Harrison Story’, naming it as one of theirs. NPOR adds ‘Further information, The Organ, 1950’. Also more details in your post dated 20th July on the other thread: rebuilds by H&H and, most recently, Willis.
  10. In answer, only, to your question about memorial music, “Be still my soul” (Sibelius Finlandia) seems popular and “Amazing Grace” in its various formats (not to everyone’s taste, I realise). There is some assistance in the service sheets for Ronald Reagan’s state funeral in Washington National Cathedral 2004 and the commemorative service for the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA held in our own St Paul’s Cathedral (as it happens, exactly ten years ago today on 11th September 2011), both accessible from Google. The Washington service contained a wealth of international organ music, but included these two pieces by American composers: “Just as I am” from Gospel Preludes by William Bolcomb, and ”The Peace may be exchanged” from Rubrics by Dan Locklair. “Be still my soul”’ was also included in the pre-service music at both Washington and St Paul’s, so that must rank fairly high, but perhaps we will get a reply from the US with more definite information. I’m sure there are plenty more.
  11. Several factors in their demise, I think: the RFH organ itself ageing, RD’s retirement and changed tastes? Interestingly in a group setting some years later, RD told us that if starting afresh things would now have been very different, not least the shape of the hall and its acoustics, and the organ would be tracker! He mentioned, with slight contempt in the tone of his voice, that some younger organists had refused to play the RFH organ as it wasn’t tracker! In earlier days it was looked on as a very great honour, probably the apogee for a young player, to perform there.
  12. In very much the way which Colin Pykett describes, an answer to this turned up today quite fortuitously on, of all places, the YouTube thread about the failed première of Ligeti’s ‘Volumina’ at the RFH in 1971. A BBC article is linked there with a close up photograph of the left stop-jamb which does, indeed, reveal a label directly under the pedal reed stops “Manual Basses”. From memory (to be checked) there is no reference to this on the NPOR specification other than the relevant stops being individually shown as derived. Having said this, I’m not sure that this is the same thing as Niccolo has described on the Mutin/ Cavaillé-Coll organ being discussed here.
  13. I could be wrong, but I took S_L to be referring to the demise of the 5.55 recitals rather than demise of the organ under the strain of Volumina! Thank you for that fascinating link to the BBC article. The history of the event and how the fault was rectified are dealt with more fully in the book, so I limited myself to the bare bones here. But also fascinating is the close up of the RFH left stop-jamb and the label, directly under the pedal reeds “Manual Basses” which confirms my recollection that Downes’ design carried down manual basses onto the pedal - this was discussed only just the other day on Niccolo Morandi’s thread about the Mutin/ Cavaillé-Coll “Unusual 77-Note Residence Organ”.
  14. In the fascinating book “Wednesdays at 5.55, Organ Recitals at the Royal Festival Hall” (W Harry Hoyle, Clontarf Press, 2018) it is related that the first performance there of Volumina by Xavier Darasse on 4th March 1971 did not proceed beyond the first chord - this had fused the organ’s ‘electrics’! The Times reported this as possibly “an Act of God”! Elsewhere in that book I recall reading that Ralph Downes had categorically forbidden a visiting artist playing a work involving clenched fists! Downes kept a tight rein on all performers, however distinguished, and they had to conform strictly to his house rules; repertoire had to be ‘approved’ and not duplicated or repeated in the same season; no smoking at the console - and a notice on the console to that effect! But it is said he was exceptionally kind and helpful to young, nervous players, and many of our leading organists had their ‘breakthrough’ debut at the RFH. The RFH audience sizes could be extraordinary in the early years. Even Lionel Rogg was nervous at his first recital to see an audience of 1,300. A year later it was 1,600. Helmut Walcha achieved similar figures.
  15. I’m pretty certain you have solved the mystery. ‘Folk Tune’ is dedicated to the memory of Delius so people’s instincts were sound about that link. I have only heard one other recorded performance by Anthony Wilson on YouTube. Agreed that Lindsay O’Neill’s is particularly fine. In fact, both performances are fine, albeit on different instruments.
  16. BBC Proms Organ Recital by Peter Holder Saturday 4th September Royal Albert Hall at 11.45 am. Programme: Meyerbeer, transcr. W. T. Best: Le prophète – Coronation March J S Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537 Widor: Symphony No. 5 – Allegro vivace (1st movt) Saint-Saens: Fantaisie No. 1 in E flat major Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ Proms aficionados will doubtless know about this already, but the RAH only announced it on organrecitals.com yesterday. Further details there.
  17. Unfortunately no link has come through. Can you please check this at your end.
  18. Weren’t sustainers a feature of HW III’s organs? - which is not to say other builders did not provide them. I can only speculate that the manual stop labels indicate that the higher pitch is the ‘unison’ throughout the manual compass, and the lower pitch indicates what is transferred to the pedal by means of the tirasses - but this is just a theory. How would people use the Grand-Orgue unison off, I wonder? We need Nigel Allcoat or one of our other French specialists to explain what is happening in this particular organ.
  19. Sorry you may have been put off by others’ (over?)-reactions. What you wrote made perfectly good sense, at least to me. I would have been interested to hear more about this unusual organ, and in particular the relationship of the extended manual compass to the pedals. Fellow Mander-board members: Niccolo Morandi may not read this. He appears to have removed his name from all previous threads as well as this one. In fact he may have left altogether as his profile is also deleted. Maybe we should be a little more welcoming to someone writing from overseas, but showing interest in English organ matters as well as other topics.
  20. Was the bottom octave ‘borrowed’ on the pedals? I recall Ralph Downes advocating that certain manual stops should be extended down to the pedal organ. Wasn’t this done at the RFH?
  21. I didn’t see the programme. Can you be a bit more specific, which one, in case it is repeated? I think you probably refer to Henry Willis 4, but I have to say that I have equally never seen a photograph of his father Henry Willis III or, indeed, Bruce Buchanan himself wearing other than a bow tie - a distinctive feature of all of them. There should be a title for this! Willis bow tie tradition, perhaps?
  22. Martin, The 10,000 house-church planting proposal wasn’t very well announced, and planning for it seemed non-existent. There has been some back-tracking in the face of considerable and understandable indignation by parish clergy. That the C of E has major problems isn’t in doubt, but this particular issue is very far from settled.
  23. I don’t know how many times I have said this before, but the recitals and recitalists with varied programmes are there. Very often small audiences are due to lack of publicity - hopeless mistakes made like flyers omitting the date and time or even the venue, or the event being announced the day before it is to happen - all true stories from a reliable source! S_L would enjoy Thomas Trotter’s offerings at Birmingham Town Hall for the type of mixed programmes which he advocates - see the current series advertised on http://www.organrecitals.com. At today’s date that site offers 140 recitals around the country and lists 313 organists playing these and later ones. What possible excuse for these grumbles from organists! I think John Robinson raises a separate point about lack of interest or active indifference to our instrument by non-organists, and that is less easy to answer. There has to be some way of changing things. Some local organists’ associations are making gallant efforts at grass-roots level to involve both the young and not so young. Courses like Oundle and the RCO and conservatoires are more aimed at future performers. Somehow audiences need to be attracted. Some years ago I persuaded two work colleagues to come with me to a lunchtime recital (not sure whether they were called concerts) in Winchester Cathedral, something which would never have occurred to them to do before. Afterwards one of them said “I had no idea an organ could sound like that”, and they both became regular members of the audience. Something which organists must tackle is their recital (should it be concert?) programmes being published in advance. Of course, it could be a two-edged sword: one consisting solely of Messiaen or Leighton (I have experienced both!) is highly likely to deter some, probably many, prospective audience members. Those composers have to be worked into wider programmes: ‘educating’ an audience may sound pompous, but that is what it is. Thomas Trotter is a past-master at doing this. Others include Ian Tracey, Gordon Stewart and Darius Battiwalla, to name just three.
  24. We are rather straying from Liverpool, but I am also guilty in the following. Before the Mander rebuild, I believe the Chichester organ had only 34 stops, surely the smallest of any English cathedral, and the cathedral is quite a substantial building. But the rebuilding (and enlargement) was very long overdue. Wasn’t it last worked on by Hele around 1905, and virtually unplayable towards the end? However, John Birch did make an impressive 45 recording on it in the 1960s Ryemuse series, which introduced short but well-played programmes recorded all around the country on organs and by organists, some no longer with us. Of the recorded organs which have been lost, Bath Abbey and Worcester Cathedral come to mind.
  25. The situation at St Peter’s is quite extraordinary, but as has been pointed out previously, congregational singing is almost non-existent there and it simply isn’t realistic to compare it even with its main English counterpart, Westminster Cathedral. I recall that after one televised mass, Pope Francis processed out to the Fugue in G minor (from BWV 542) performed by a group of brass players! As to the ‘opulence’ of the new digital organ, the point needs to be made, yet again, that it is a gift, so that, rather than need, dictated what it is. We now know that the donor, Peter Clark, was a citizen of Liverpool (and not the member of this discussion board of that name).
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