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Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. In one of the Trollope novels (Barchester Towers?) Mr Harding has to go to London and, finding he has time on his hands, visits Westminster Abbey, paying one penny “to view the aisles” (my best recollection, probably almost sixty years since I read this). There were modest admission charges in some cathedrals in the 19th century, sometimes, as you say, to view particular parts of the building. In the current debates I have never seen people objecting to paying to visit crypts or towers, for example.
  2. Doesn’t this emphasise the fragility of many cathedrals’ finances? There must be others in the same boat as York. I only know of one cathedral where it is said that money isn't a problem, although I suspect that their usually substantial income from investments and landholdings will have suffered in the present economic recession. The subject of cathedral admission charges is hotly debated and vigorously opposed by some people, and York Minster was singled out on that account by a hostile correspondent on the ‘Thinking Anglicans’ site a year or so ago. There’s no easy answer, especially in
  3. MUSIC FOR WHITSUNTIDE - Graham Barber’s “Organcast“ from St Bartholomew, Armley Bach, Reger, Dupré and Demessieux
  4. Sorry to be pedantic. Relying on the Nicholson description, the case is by George Gilbert Scott Junior (not Giles), son of the famous supreme Victorian architect of the same name, but always known as Sir Gilbert Scott. The Scott family interchanged their Christian names freely, and their denominational affiliation as well. I believe George Gilbert Scott Junior converted to Roman Catholicism, and his son Giles Gilbert Scott (grandson of Sir Gilbert) was a born Catholic. Giles Gilbert Scott was, of course, the architect of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and is buried there. A truly talented an
  5. I don't think that is a fair comparison to make. I don't want to hi-jack the York thread. Maybe we should start a new thread if any of this is considered contentious. Do you feel similarly about York, Canterbury and the other recent major cathedrals that I mentioned? I took a number of photographs 30 years ago when the interior of the Winchester organ was pristine. (It is, incidentally, a 'special' organ as the first one in its original form wholly by Father Willis, and in 1854 the first to have a Father Willis "full swell" and what were then the unique features of thumb pistons and
  6. I’m sure there must be another more appropriate thread to mention this, and with apologies to York, I have just read that an appeal has been launched to restore Winchester Cathedral’s Father Willis/ Harrison organ, NPOR N00289, last rebuilt and substantially enlarged by H&H in 1986/88 (Cathedral website: www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Organ-Fundraising-Appeal-Leaflet-Website-BROCHURE.pdf). Andrew Lumsden refers to the need for an MOT after more than 30 years of daily use. There is an accumulation of dust, reed resonators are said to be collapsing (the photograph
  7. When VH laid down his challenge, I have to admit that I scratched my head, and only one work immediately came to mind: Parry’s Fantasia and Fugue in G, very Bach-influenced, but definitely English, definitely organ and not orchestral. Of course there are others. Parry was a Bachian and almost contemporary with Max Reger who was clearly similarly influenced. Sadly, I think your two ‘provocative’ statements are correct, and true of both the parish church where I live (John Keble was Vicar, and has taken much of the blame for these things) and Winchester Cathedral six miles away where Sa
  8. Rather than divert people from enjoying the wonderful Dutch Bach organ videos on the YouTube thread, and as this was a special one-off concert by Jonathan Scott marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day, here is the video of his concert recorded on the 1895 T C Lewis organ at Albion Church, Ashton-under-Lyne. Jonathan has made other recordings here.
  9. These comments puzzle me, and this has been said before. In normal circumstances (which don't exist at present) there can never have been so many organ recitals on offer around the country, and some do take place on Sunday afternoons, notably at St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral in London. They also happen in some provincial and rural churches. Paul Carr, for example, regularly plays on Sunday afternoons. There are Sunday evenings at St Giles' Edinburgh, and one could go on. The London Cathedrals and Abbey feature visiting organists, some from abroad, as wel
  10. Thank you. It used to be a very prominent feature during “While shepherds watched” from King’s College, Cambridge.
  11. Thank you for that clarification. I understood Philip Moore to be referring to dissonance with the octave or sub octave coupler with the unison. Similarly, John Robinson's concern about excessive volume! I was thinking more on the lines of a solo line played in the tenor with solo sub-octave and unison-off. Would that not be useful?
  12. Well, judging by the printed specification they should act on the Tuba Mirabilis. I suppose there might be times when it would be more convenient to play at 16' (or 4') pitch with the unison-off.
  13. John, I think the crosses could be decoration on what appears to be a three-sided chest, and certainly not pipes. If you blow up the picture it shows that the chamades were decorated like the pipes in the main case, although it’s not possible to discern a pattern. In a book which I can’t access at present there is a print of a side-on engraving of the organ with the chamades pointing down the nave - the opposite of the effect at the west end of St Paul’s Cathedral. Surprisingly, a print of that same engraving was sold in an auction by Christie’s in my Hampshire village about 30 years ago, b
  14. This might be apocryphal, but I was told by an organist who came with a visiting choir at Winchester that he was asked by the choir to demonstrate the 32’ Contra Bombarde, fondly known locally as “Bertha”. He said that when he did so, the floor in the organ loft literally started to shake. I certainly remember a time when there was a noticeable acoustic rattle in one of the 32’ Open Woods. I haven’t heard it for a long time now, so somehow it was cured. It was a well-known phenomenon at the time and, although I haven’t checked the story with him, I was told that Colin Walsh on a visit impr
  15. And another in a small Hampshire village, Fair Oak, where the organ by George Sixsmith, a versatile instrument (of only four ranks, I think), has vertical glass swell shutters.
  16. Thank you. I was wondering in the case of Frank Bridge whether there were any clues, such as the dedicatee of the Three Pieces for Organ, whom he might have consulted. Currently I can't access my copy of John Henderson's invaluable Directory of Composers for Organ, but from an American website discovered that the dedicatee was another Henderson, Archibald Martin Henderson, who had studied in Berlin and held an organist's appointment in Glasgow from 1908 - three years after publication of the Three Pieces, just to complicate things. AMH was also conductor of the Glasgow University Choral Soc
  17. A further interesting diversion from the topic. How do non-organists adapt to composing and writing on three staves? Has someone written anything about this?
  18. Your PS is what I had assumed. Thank you for filling in the further picture.
  19. If one scrolls down nearly to the bottom, Fraser Gartshore didn’t recognise Norwich Cathedral, thinking it to be ‘a college’, but it’s clear that he and the website are largely orientated in Germany. I was intrigued that the opening YouTube video was from Salisbury Cathedral, and the rather critical comment (in German) about the playing, then discovering that this was on a ‘Hauptwerk’ realisation of Salisbury.
  20. Actually, searching his name on Google brings up seven pages, but not all entries are about him. At first, I wondered whether this was an April 1st thing - there was a splendid one last year, from Contrabombarde, if I remember correctly. But the other websites rule that out. From random dipping in the seven pages, his ‘core repertoire’ does seem rather unorthodox . . .
  21. Very interesting! Curved stop-jambs as in the former H&H console of Manchester Cathedral, and the RFH. Didn’t Ralph Downes specify some modification of the Manchester design for the RFH? I forget the details, and ‘Baroque Tricks’ is in store elsewhere and currently inaccessible. I wonder what was said in the brass plate above the music desk - perhaps information about the original organ and the circumstances of its restoration? More local knowledge needed! Also note the discreet swell-pedal position indicators just below the equally discreet builder’s plate under the music desk.
  22. His name is Fraser Gartshore, and he has a website telling more: frasergartshore.com. Among other things, this tells us that he hails from Scotland, but for 20 years has lived in Germany, and that cars are his other main interest. I must say that I thought some of his driving in the opening shots of the video was a bit hair-raising!
  23. As John Pemberton wrote the organ description in the programme note for Amphion, that information is definitive. The case, of oak with gilt pipes, was an in-house design by Philip H Selfe, principal partner in Forster & Andrews, who designed the organ also.
  24. About 20 years ago, I had an experience like this while playing for a service at a local church in Hampshire - a small, rather nice organ with detached console by George Sixsmith. Strange noises were coming from within the console and something was clearly moving. After the service, a screwdriver was produced and the console back panel removed. Out jumped the vicar’s cat, fortunately unscathed and, equally, no damage done to the console interior. I guess the action was on 12 volts, but there must have been the possibility of potential contact with 240 volts, so both the cat and the organ w
  25. I’m not sure whether he writes on here, but the organ’s curator John Pemberton is certain to know the answer - or perhaps one of our Hull expert members can provide this information. I have read that both the organ (in original form) and the case were designed by Philip H Selfe of Forster & Andrews, which would make the case an in-house design.
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