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Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. Angus Smart died during the morning of Maundy Thursday in hospital at Ross-on-Wye. He had recently suffered an accident requiring surgery in hospital at Hereford. At local levels, he had been Secretary and Treasurer of the North Hampshire Organists’ Association and, after retiring to live in Hereford where he was instrumental in inaugurating the Herefordshire Organists‘ Society, he had similar roles and was its Vice-President. He was also a member of the Worcestershire Organists’ Association and, formerly, of the Surrey Organists’ Association. He was admitted to Membership of the Orde
  2. There is an illustrated article "The Cathedral Organ Today" on the Cathedral's website (corkcathedrals.web.com). I could be wrong but my impression is that the organ is still partly in 'the pit', but the other changes described by S_L have happened. There is mention of "the full renovation of the pit" but without explanation of the nature of renovation. The 2011-13 re-build was by Trevor Crowe, and the enlarged organ increased the original 3012 pipes to over 4,500. It is now said to be the largest pipe organ in Ireland. The latest (2020) volume of the Pevsner 'Buildings of Ireland
  3. They were indeed a remarkable dynasty and, for quick reference, both have worthy biographies on Wikipedia. Freeman Dyson was born at Crowthorne Berkshire while his father George Dyson (later Sir George) was music master at Wellington College. Both moved to Winchester College as music master and scholar respectively and both contributed expertise in the two world wars albeit about the contrasting topics of hand grenades and bomber aircraft formation! It can be said that both were prodigies. George Dyson was the son of a blacksmith and a weaver from Halifax (on an American music publisher's w
  4. Her programme was of recorded music in many different genres, and lasted two hours. As stated above, it was a very varied range of music and performances. Very self-effacingly, Rachel Mahon only included one track of her own playing on the superlative H&H organ at Coventry Cathedral. Others may wish to expand on the repertoire which she chose, She also came across as a superb presenter with informed introductions and explanations of musical terms, and wide and well-rounded musical tastes. Congratulations to Coventry on appointing her.
  5. I only had the pleasure of hearing her once in a live performance when she gave the re-opening recital on the Royal Festival Hall organ in 2014. Very elegant, stylish and polished playing is the best that I can describe it. Her programme inevitably included Bach, her personal speciality Messiaen, a Mendelssohn Sonata and, most memorably, a wonderfully spiritual reading of Franck’s A minor Choral - also his musical last will and testament. RIP.
  6. Fantastic - it was, indeed. Virtuoso performances both by Catherine Ennis and the organ which seems to have transplanted so successfully to Orford from the Turner Sims Hall where I can never recall it sounding as wonderful as this. In its new home a worthy memorial to both Professor Evans who inspired it and Peter Collins who built it.
  7. Thank you both. Colin has summarised in this sentence what caused my question : as a non-physicist having only a vague recollection of nodes and anti-nodes from physics lessons more than 60 years ago, and distant memories also of diagrams of standing waves patterns.
  8. I asked the question as I harboured doubts that a pipe constructed in several sections with tongue and groove joints would possess the same characteristics as a 32’ pipe of full-length timber with joints only along its length. I wonder whether Colin Pykett has a view on this. One accepts that H&H must know what they are doing. It just struck me as an unusual innovation, particularly in such an important organ as Canterbury. It does have a very obvious advantage in being much easier to assemble and install on site, overcoming the kind of transport issues which faced William Hill at Birm
  9. They are of full length timber. I wonder whether there are any tonal implications in the resulting sound of 32’ wooden pipes joined in sections as at Canterbury (and, we are told, Leiden) by comparison with full length timber ones. I do now have a faint recollection of there being cast iron 32’ pipes at St George’s Hall. Awkward to make and awkward to install, I would have thought. Anyway, their present successors are very handsomely decorated and an impressive feature of the organ.
  10. Only this week, sitting in the audience at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, I was admiring the Father Willis metal Pedal 32’ Double Open Diapason which features so prominently in the case. I could not detect any visible joins in the largest pipes (nor any signs of sagging or buckling, and they are 165 years old). It would still be intriguing to know how they were transported to Liverpool in 1855. I have always assumed that they were made in London, or is it possible that Willis made them on site or in a nearby workshop? Does anyone know? That question equally applies to the full-length 32’ ope
  11. Henry Willis III, ever perceptive, speculated in correspondence who - from a number of different builders - would eventually get the contract, and correctly predicted that it would be Midmer-Losh.
  12. “I was glad”: Sacred Music by Stanford and Parry Carolyn Sampson and David Wilson-Johnson; The King’s Consort and Choir of The King’s Consort; Robert King Label: Vivat; Catalogue No: VIVAT101; Release Date: 4th Feb 2013; Length: 67 minutes I should have clarified: “King’s Consort” rather than King’s College.
  13. From this programme note by Chris Howell: “Stanford set the Evening Canticles nine times. That in F op.36 is, like those on the disc in B flat, A, G and C, the last part of a complete setting of the Morning, Communion and Evening Service. Also from a complete service is the very late (pub. 1923) setting in D. Of just the Evening Canticles there is the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis on Gregorian Tones op.98 and two very early settings in F (1872) and E flat (1873). Some of these works have not been recorded at all to date. However, the four on the King's disc are the only ones which have a
  14. Thank you for those details, MM. A sad story. It seems at least possible that H&H were able to rescue some of the surviving pipe-work, even if we can’t establish with certainty that the Vox Humana came from Holy Trinity.
  15. That is what I had always assumed. MM Can I use this as an excuse to divert to St George’s Chapel Windsor. The recent work by Nicholson’s revealed that a fair amount of pipework reused by H&H - including the Vox Humana - came from Keighley. Can you enlighten us about this? Concerning the VH, Jonathan Rees-Williams once related that Sidney Campbell had scoured the length and breadth of France for a perfect specimen which H&H were instructed to copy, but that hardly ties in with its coming from Keighley. Apologies for the diversion, but it would be good to know.
  16. Both were David Hill’s assistants at Winchester in the 1980s/90s.
  17. Yes, I agree with this approach both for the console label and what the public should be told on the website or in printed programmes. Of course, it potentially loses some prestige (although, regardless of what is being said here, I suspect for some people it will always be “the Father Willis”). But the same can be said of other originally FW organs around the country rebuilt by H&H, the first, I think, at Wells, then Gloucester among others. The H&H console label at Winchester lists everything from Henry Willis 1851/4 to the latest rebuild by H&H 1988 - including Hele’s a
  18. But how should the RAH organ be correctly described? Do the people at the RAH have a clear idea about what their website should say? Is the organ a Harrison, as John Mander seemed to suggest? (I thought he was being unnecessarily self-deprecating, as the Mander rebuild seemed to transform the instrument.) But isn't it a fact that the majority of the pipework is by Father Willis, albeit that the general opinion seems to be that H&H so transformed the instrument that it lost its essential Willis character. So, what do people think it should be called?
  19. You are, indeed, correct. With a musical reference at the end, I quote these extracts on the subject from Francis Bumpus: ”The next excitement is the distribution of the pain bénit, handed round by a capped and gowned verger, followed by a rather sulky-looking chorister, forming a procession of two. We all take a small piece. Some, I observe, eat it at once, first crossing themselves with it; others place it on the chair-ledge in front of them to take home afterwards ... ... All this time a very grand Offertorium - Lemmens’ Marche Triomphale - is played upon the great organ ... “
  20. This was bread distributed to the congregation at Mass. I’m about to leave to attend a funeral, but I will check my source and respond later.
  21. “Summer Holidays among the Glories of Northern France her Cathedrals and Churches”, London E T W Dennis & Sons Ltd, 1905; 243 pages and 110 photographic plates. There are some available from Amazon and eBay, and I suspect it would turn up in antiquarian bookshops. There are modern facsimiles, but I don’t know whether they include the photographs or, if they do, how well. As well as the Cathedrals and Churches, Bumpus paints a vivid picture of French rural life pre-WW I (I think, it’s mostly 19th Century). It’s certainly pre-motor age and, e.g., he travels by horse and carriage in
  22. A very interesting picture. Has the organ also received some ‘paint’? Some of the pipes now look as though they may be gilt, but it could be a lighting effect. S_L will doubtless be able to say. I’m sure I have seen a photograph which includes the “coal-bunker” Orgue de Choeur as mentioned by pcnd5584, but can’t currently track it down. I possess a book on the cathedrals of France by T Francis Bumpus (1905) which contains a chapter “A Sunday in Chartres”. In somewhat flowery language he describes “The silver pipes of the great organ, by and by to pour forth its voice in the sh
  23. Tony Newnham’s post reminds me of a splendid concert at Leeds Town Hall on 2nd October 2017, marking the 100th birthday of Francis Jackson that day. The performers were Darius Battiwalla, Simon Lindley and John Scott-Whiteley. The programme included Francis Jackson’s “Eclogue” for Organ and Piano (composed for the 1987 International Congress of Organists in Cambridge and dedicated to Philip Ledger) played by Darius Battiwalla, piano and Simon Lindley, organ. I remember that there was a thunder-storm - it didn’t mar the performance, but at one point Darius Battiwalla looked enquiringly h
  24. The Sowerbutts/ Dyson performance wasn’t in Winchester Cathedral which, at that time, possessed the ultimate Hele ‘fat flute’ - this was the Great “Doppel Flute” discarded much later in the major H&H 1986/88 rebuild. Tim Byram-Wigfield showed me one of the pipes, 2’ I think, which he kept as a souvenir trophy. It was of wood and, to the best of my recollection, square or possibly slightly rectangular in section (I think not triangular, although I can’t now be certain), with two mouths of course. To my layman’s eyes it looked well-made, but Tim related with a kind of shudder that this st
  25. Remarkable that Paul Morley should post the clip of the Rachmaninov No 2 Concerto. Until recently I had custody of the archives of my local Organists’ Association which included a report from the 1920s of the première performance in Winchester of a Rachmaninov Concerto (not certain which one) played by John Albert Sowerbutts, piano and Dr (later Sir) George Dyson, organ.
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