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Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. Franck’s 3rd Choral in A minor. His musical final testament. I recall Bernard Lagacé saying that it must always be accorded reverence. Felix Aprahamian likened the final page to the soul winging its way to heaven.
  2. We know that the Hill 32’ pipes for Sydney Town Hall (and doubtless the famous 64’) went by sea, lashed to the ship’s deck! I believe it was a sailing ship. But I have often wondered how the much earlier ones were transported - Birmingham Town Hall, 1834 and Winchester and St George’s Hall, as already mentioned 1850s, and both at just about the beginning of the railway age. The most visually prominent (and earliest?) that I know are the spectacular 32’ pedal Violone pipes standing on the floor of the south transept at Exeter Cathedral. I wrote this before reading Colin Pykett’s pos
  3. I thought there might be some significance in the dates: 1875 for Carlisle and 1876 for Salisbury. In that same decade Father Willis had built the Royal Albert Hall and Alexandra Palace organs with 32’ open metals. By then he had moved to the Rotunda Works in 1866, and all of these examples would have been made there. But that idea is disproved at an earlier date: 1855 St George’s Hall, Liverpool where FW provided Open Diapason 32’ wood and Open Diapason 32’ metal. I have often wondered how these huge pipes were transported. Can David Wyld assist? Some of our organist colleagues wi
  4. I don’t have any technical answer, and doubtless someone with organ building experience will enlighten us. Of the organs mentioned, the one I know best, and it is the earliest in date, is Winchester. In a print of it in its earliest incarnation at the Great Exhibition 1851 the 32’ pedal woods are very evident. They came, with about two-thirds of the Exhibition organ, to Winchester in 1854 when this organ, much larger than anything previously, was precariously perched on the roof of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre under the north tower arch - very much against the wishes of S S Wesley
  5. Indeed, and it’s worth reminding ourselves - so far as the C of E is concerned - from Canon B 20: 2. Where there is an organist, choirmaster or director of music the minister shall pay due heed to his advice and assistance in the choosing of chants, hymns, anthems, and other settings, and in the ordering of the music of the church; but at all times the final responsibility and decision in these matters rests with the minister. 3. It is the duty of the minister to ensure that only such chants, hymns, anthems, and other settings are chosen as are appropriate, both the wor
  6. It was interesting, if somewhat surprising, to see the amount of hybrid ‘second-hand’ pipework used in the H&H 1965 organ from elsewhere, including Ripon Cathedral, Hampstead, Belfast, ‘unknown’, pipes labelled ‘tibia’ and, intriguingly, several stops (including the Vox Humana) from Keighley - perhaps MM might be able to throw some light on the last. Usually people deprecate such things in a major organ, e.g., Henry Willis III has often been criticised (probably unfairly) for installing the former Lewis diapason chorus in the Dome at St Paul’s Cathedral. (This was done after war damage,
  7. Not really the subject of organ screens, but people have questioned the widespread blossoming of “Minsters” (also happening in the south and west of England, e.g., Croydon Minster and Plymouth Minster, to name just two). Here is the explanation from the present Archbishop of York: “The status of Minster is an honorific title bestowed on major churches of regional significance in the Church of England, to reflect their importance and contribution to the local communities they serve”. As mentioned in an earlier post, Leeds now has an Anglican diocesan bishop but no Anglican cathedral
  8. Definitely worth looking at NPOR E02082 for the photographs of the unusually fine case and information about the organ’s pedigree: essentially by George Sixsmith partly using a transplanted Binns from Peebles (the chamades, voiced by Nicholson’s, being later additions). I used to play a small organ by Sixsmith in the south of England which also had a striking modern pipe display. It was beautifully made, comfortable to play, and completely reliable.
  9. We discussed the subject of Minsters on a previous thread - it can’t have been that long ago - but I can’t track it down. Hull, and the Archbishop of York’s reason for designating it, was specifically mentioned. But in relation to Minsters, I don’t think it was ever a hard and fast rule that the origins of the church had to be monastic - I’m sure it’s a matter of usage. Unless I am mistaken, York, Lincoln and Southwell have never been monastic, but all are Minsters. In the case of Leeds PC I was under the impression that its ‘promotion’ to Minster was in recognition of the creation of the
  10. An interesting variant with fine detailed carving: Westminster Cathedral. For some reason I can’t reproduce a full-size colour photograph here. NPOR N18330 gives a glimpse of it in black and white.
  11. This is, indeed, a great shock. I recall Sir Stephen in another capacity. He was formerly Chairman of the IAO Benevolent Fund, and at the Annual Meeting of the Trustees and Board of Management one couldn’t fail to be impressed by his genuine concern and compassion for the Fund’s beneficiaries, whether suffering from ill-health or for those who had fallen on hard times. Under his Chairmanship grants were also made to assist students who were unable to afford tuition fees and for purchasing music. One could add to those his efficiency and courtesy in chairing the meetings. May he rest in pe
  12. I’m sure there was no mention of it in the original specification, but I suppose matching stop heads can be provided for both consoles. The absence of a 32’ Pedal flue was vigorously debated earlier on this thread. Paradoxically, the previous Downes/ Walker organ had one. There is a photograph on NPOR C00020 showing wooden pedal pipes of the former organ protruding into the aisle, but not excessively so, and they are no more obtrusive than those in the similar position at Hereford Cathedral - or the new Quire console and stairs at Canterbury Cathedral.
  13. As we have allowed liturgical music (the lovely Oldroyd improvisations) and chorale preludes, would it be considered too radical to include Max Reger’s ‘Benedictus’ and, from his Seven Pieces, ‘Pfingsten’. I heard a performance by Catherine Ennis of Pfingsten earlier this year which was simply ravishing! I agree that the Adagio from Vierne 3 is among his loveliest, and wonderfully evocative, music. Without checking, I’m sure we must have already covered ‘Berceuse’ for which the same can be said.
  14. Unless this has been done already, probably the best lines of enquiry would be (1) contemporary local newspaper reports, usually available in County record offices or archives (2) similar reports in Musical Opinion or possibly The Organ. (Musical Opinion’s archived reports involve subscription). A recital at Tenbury by Vierne surely would not have gone unreported. Since writing the above, there is an extensive and detailed article about Vierne in The Musical Times by Felix Aprahamian, but again, full access requires subscription. (These are the details: Felix Aprahamian, The Musical Ti
  15. Well, I don’t know whether this helps or not (or you may already know), but according to NPOR J Halmshaw & Sons were succeeded in 1912 by Frederick William Ebrall at 193 and 194 Camp Hill Birmingham, and there until 1923 (with an earlier address, from 1908, at Shrewsbury). NPOR have quoted the Directory of British Organ Builders references below: The DBOB reference for Halmshaw is 2374, and for Ebrall 5163. NPOR lists 15 organs for Ebrall. I haven’t carried out any analysis, but the firm of Halmshaw (with a longer history, of course) is very much more prolific with 78 listed.
  16. Angela Hewitt is a very distinguished pianist, and this latest award adds to her honours: OBE, and Companion of the Order of Canada (the highest rank of that Order). She has received many other international awards. Whilst her Bach piano recordings are famous, the extensive range of her repertoire includes Couperin and Messiaen. She is the daughter of a Yorkshire-born Canadian cathedral musician!
  17. Thank-you SomeChap for your considerable erudition. I am somewhat in awe! I suspected that there would be alternative interpretations, but not, perhaps, as complex and perceptive as these! In relation to Jesse, there is equally “the rod of Jesse”. I had assumed “Röselein” (or “Roeßlein”) to mean the Virgin Mary, but again, suspected that different spellings and inserted punctuation could be due to deliberate later editing, as you suggest. We are told by tiratutti that Christmas is the answer to the original question. I see no harm at all in playing the lovely Brahms CP in Adven
  18. Well, I can’t see any objection to Advent or Christmas, but I believe that in Germany the subject is a Christmas hymn, or even a carol as distinct from a chorale. As happens in other cases, the usual English translations of the words (19th century) do not correspond exactly to the 16th century German ones. There is an interesting take that In the original German title, “ein Ros” equals Old German “ein Reis” (der Spross = shoot, offshoot, sprig), not necessarily a rose (eine Rose), doubtless referring to a shoot from the stem of Jesse mentioned in the following line. I can’t offer any author
  19. There are very many. I’m sure MM and others can supply them. There is still the unsolved mystery of the pipes of the Chaire case at St George’s Windsor being removed for the annual Garter Service, but I’m fairly certain that was what we were told by Sir William Harris, although Roger Judd has no knowledge of this. He says that the front pipes are non-speaking wooden dummies. That might account for something in the National Record Office about temporary removal of ‘screens’ in the Quire on grand occasions, but following that up would be a major exercise. The intricacies (not to say q
  20. No, never! I was always a member of the congregation. This would have been in the early to mid 1960s, and probably could be more accurately dated by the work done by Willis on the Grand Organ. I have that illustration of the old Willis console mentioned by philipmgwright, but don’t seem to be able to reproduce it here - a matter of its size being too large. I thought the elaborate carvings were of wood. Isn’t there mention on an earlier thread that they have mysteriously disappeared? As an aside, Henry Willis III was a remarkable person who expected and got his own way, even over-rul
  21. Well, at that time (early-mid 1960s) the Wilis on Wheels was caseless and, it has to be said, not lovely to look at. As I recall, one side had a backing of plain black material, and the swell shutters were nakedly exposed at the opposite end to the console. As it was in use in place of the Grand Organ for a lengthy period it wasn't being wheeled, and to the best of my recollection was chocked up on blocks. It was in the same place as you describe, essentially below the north-east corner dome, and largely concealed by a domestic folding screen. Harry Gabb or Richard Popplewell would briefly
  22. Well, the Grand Orgue pre-dates Cavaillé-Coll by a couple of centuries! As I understand, it was the work of successive organ builders, and at least three of the names are familiar. It happens that Cavaillé-Coll wasn’t “called in” to work on it and, of course, there are other major French cathedral organs which aren’t by Cavaillé-Coll. There was a lengthy restoration after damage in World War II in which Rouen suffered grievously. What an amazing continuity of organists since 1383! The link tells us that the case dates from the late 17th century, and it also suffered in WW II. It is class
  23. There is one for sale on Amazon UK for £17 including postage. I guess it will go to whoever responds quickly! Rouen is not forgotten, and the link which SomeChap provided is very much worth looking at both for details of the Grand Orgue as well as the Orgue du Choeur. I recall reading many years ago in Marcel Dupré’s biography (autobiography ?) about his father’s Cavaillé-Coll house organ, but didn’t know that MD had donated it to Rouen Cathedral. From the specification it looks to be a lovely and versatile instrument - I suppose the closest equivalent in this country being the C-C/ Mut
  24. In lighter vein. I confess I have never been to one of these, but the Southampton Guildhall organ is a fine instrument and deserves to be better known. Thursday 14th November at 7.30 pm Donald Mackenzie at Southampton Guildhall Silent film accompaniment Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last” 1923 Further details on organrecitals.com
  25. When I wrote my earlier post I was away from home and relied entirely on memory about the ‘old’ Chichester organ. Having now checked the details, it did indeed have only 34 speaking stops, three manuals and pneumatic action - surely the smallest cathedral organ in the land in the second half of the twentieth century? My best recollection is that someone told me that John Birch paid for the Allen. That also struck me as being unlikely. This could have been mere gossip (it wasn’t said at Chichester as I haven’t been there for several years).
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