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Cornet IV

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  1. Perhaps it's as well that I did not compound the confusion by adding that my fondly-remembered cleric took his holidays walking in the Lütschinen valleys!
  2. Sadly, if your experience had been any wider, your conclusion would have remained substantially the same. I'm old enough to remember when the incumbent was an MA Oxbridge, could quote Euripides in the original and was thoroughly expert in the technicalities of Walschaert's valve gear. He bicycled in a fawn jacket to watch the village cricket and knew everyone. Usually the organ was a modest affair, recently affixed with a plaque from BOB but was valued for what is was and not regarded as an outmoded and unwanted financial expense. Regrettably, the tower bells often are viewed in the same
  3. I'm afraid that I cannot help with Phonak - I have no knowledge of the make. However, I can confirm the usefulness of Bluetooth connectivity. I use this specifically for telly watching where normal volume settings can be maintained for those also watching. This audio background provides "body" but the hearing aids contribute enhanced sound levels and the precision necessary to understand often poor diction and the missing higher frequencies. I easily can imagine that the Bluetooth feature would prove useful in other situations but my experience does not extend that far. In my view, h
  4. Indeed it is. Although I can't help being mindful of the changes of company fortune that have occurred since I last met Noel Mander at the inauguration of Cecil Clutton's house organ a lifetime ago.
  5. I met Jane several times through a mutual friend living in Pont Street. Apart from being an excellent organist, she was unusually attractive and good fun We ribbed her unmercifully after she did the page-turning for, I think. Ralph Downes, at the Albert Hall. In my view, the best recording of the Saint Saëns 3 still available is of her with the Paisley Cavaillé-Coll. A remarkable performance, particularly so when one considers that the orchestra and soloist were recorded at different times in different places. I'm sorry she's gone. (Edited by the moderator)
  6. This has little to with the thread topic but has reminded me of an incident many years ago when I was staying at the Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth which looks out onto the Stephans Dom. I was about to pitch into bed a bit after midnight when, through the opened window, wafted the Schubert B flat major Sonata from a piano somewhere within the hotel. The building was almost deserted but in one of the reception rooms I found a few retirees in their pyjamas and dressing gowns with a uniformed member of staff listening, spellbound, to the exquisite performance. The small audience rose to attention
  7. A while ago, I experienced a similar phase, although it was mercifully short-lived. In my case, I ascribed it to increasing laziness; I was losing enthusiasm for the discipline necessary to the performance of this musical genre. Romanticism can be just that and from a performer's point of view, a convenient disguise of shortcomings of technique. This view is likely to generate some flak but after more than 70 years of "restless" contrapuntalism, I'm probably too old to change. Besides, I'm not really enamoured of the large instruments generally associated with this stuff. Sadly, I'm m
  8. In my case, deafness (like so much else wrong) is a function of old age but was initiated by my time as a commercial pilot of piston-engined aircraft. I very much doubt that organ playing induces this condition - I think one would have to spend many continuous hours at a large and powerful instrument with constant pleno to induce any likelihood of hearing damage. My authority for suggesting this is that Virgil Fox retained his aural faculties unto the end. No brick bats, please!
  9. I think, to a degree, that as with other things, one generally gets what one pays for. I have had glasses prescribed and supplied by independent opticians and found the only significant difference between these and glasses from Boots, Specsavers et al, has been the substantial price differential.. However, with regard to my hearing aids, I have dealt only with an independent, registered/qualified audiologist, so cannot comment on the High Street element, but I'm told that these chains are able to offer their attractive prices through bulk ordering from one or two manufacturers and of co
  10. Me too. But I sometimes wonder about possible consequences of the radio signals passing from one device to the other and through the brain. However, given my age, this has to be an academic consideration and in any event, these pulses are of such short duration and low amplitude that it probably doesn't matter..
  11. I have found the usual amplifier tone controls - typically around 15dB lift/cut - to be insufficiently effective. Furthermore, they generally follow log curves and Baxandall principles which, in my situation, do not help at all; hence the pernicious graphic equaliser. But I've never noticed any "delay", except when an old film on that excellent Channel 81 on t' telly has lost its sync and wandered off. But I have yet to find a hearing aid that is able to determine that which I wish to hear and exclude that which I do not. There is a great deal of hype attached to this subject. Perhaps
  12. A bit off topic, I'm afraid. I'm as deaf as a post, partly because I'm 80 and largely because I spent too much time sandwiched between a pair of Pratt and Whitneys. I have to take organs as I find them - my aids despite being expensive, do not have speech/music or any other sophistication beyond a simple volume control. The digital program is biased towards the higher frequencies as a function of my aural "presbyopia" but the top half of a 4' is not good and I'm lucky if I can get as far as a break-back; any 2' rank is quite beyond me. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the loss of br
  13. At the publisher's request, I have been revising my biography. I reached the following passage and remembering Martin Cooke's plea, I wondered if it might conjure similar memories for others. This was during my first year in secondary education, so I must have been thirteen at the time. I sometimes was allowed to make my own choice of hymns. I would switch off the blower when the good Canon began his sermon but, concentrate as I might, I usually lost the plot fairly early on, so my mind wandered off to things of more immediate and temporal interest; things like the AJS Porcupine and how m
  14. Like others here, I did not know David Drinkell but I did enjoy his contributions to the forum. These characteristically were interesting, demonstrating a wealth of knowledge which he was happy to share with us. A sad loss.
  15. My immediate reaction to this was "Here, here!" No doubt an interesting undertaking in several disciplines but is music to be numbered within them? I suspected not. But then I thought of Walter Carlos. Were his contributions less valid because they were not realised on a Blanchet or Taskin? And Carlo Curley; surely his output was no less musical because it was not produced on a Schnitger or Trost? Does this Klais, despite having the appearance of some device for the manipulation of keyhole surgery and looking equally clinical, not have any less a capacity to conform to classical Org
  16. Well suspected - not my cuppa at all, although in fairness to RH-J, I associate him with double contra ophicleids or whatever, and I'm sure that he was much more than this. Nevertheless, it was a good thing Mark Twain didn't give up his day job! However, It was this sort of thinking against which the American "Arts and Crafts" gang are dedicated. Richards, Fowkes have been part of the Organ Reform Movement to which I referred earlier. To have been appointed to provide the instrument in "Handel's church" was a singular distinction. I do not know the organ but if it is as good as their interes
  17. Lots of interesting things . . . . Rowland, I have not visited the forum for a week or three, hence my tardy response to your comprehensive contribution. My apologies. Hook and Hastings are held in high regard in the States and at least one of their instruments will be featured in the annual conventions of the excellent Organ Historical Society. My last attendance of one of these was their fiftieth anniversary in 2006 at Saratoga Springs, upstate NY. There are myriad 19th century organ builders dotted throughout America but few are well known, mostly because of a small and local bus
  18. I lived there for a little longer than that but long before anyone had thought of the Rieger, so I missed that treat. I was stuck with the post-Victorian (from memory) Hill in the Cathedral (before the en chamade rank) on which I spent a few of my musically formative years - I was educated locally. By this time I had begun an appreciation of the Barok for which this instrument was far from ideal. As a "thank you" to my mentors who had so patiently nurtured me - perhaps Churchmouse remembers Robert Field-Dodgson - my last appearance there was in 1957 with the Buxtehude F major Toccata.. But
  19. This is good to know; I had half supposed that having become the property of a body not known for its interest in pipe organs or related music, it might have been sold or, worse, allowed to fall into disrepair. I am surprised however, that it has been enlarged - I felt that its resources were more than adequate for St Peter's and not in need of augmentation. My most recent experiences of London churches go back more than 50 years, so I'm hardly current with the contemporary scene. Indeed, this applies to English instruments generally. I have spent a fair proportion of my life living abroa
  20. It never occurred to me to take any offence. However, I am new here and know that some sites are touchy about such things; their sensibilities disturbed by my occasionally ill-disciplined participations. But if I might trespass further,. your reference to different topics has emboldened me to ask a further question. Perhaps it involves the elusive character of the "English" organ! When I lived in West London, I sometimes played Arthur Sullivan's old organ at St Peter's, Cranley Gardens. Who knows - the archetypal English composer well might have played an archetypal English instrument?
  21. With respect, I made no formal introduction of campanology; I mentioned it en passant by way of explaining how I was able to obtain access to a variety of instruments. I enjoy more intelligent thread drifts - they often can lead in directions of unexpected interest but I do understand that off-topic diversions usually are to be discouraged.
  22. Organists are reputed to incline towards the recondite, but tintinabulists are positively anorak! Of course they knew there were twelve bells; they probably could have quoted the weight of the tenor and recalled how many touches of Bristol Surprise Maximus they had rung. We certainly are a strange bunch. Fabian Stedman on the keyboard sounds a challenge - I have this vision of ghostly cries from the loft of "Bob" or "Single". But I remain confused about the definition of an "English" instrument. I mentioned the vox humana as it remains a stop fairly common in older instruments predatin
  23. I find several interesting things here. Perhaps I am alone in thinking that there are certain incompatibilities between nationalities of music and instruments. Apart from the afore-mentioned Franck pieces, I'm reminded of the wonderful recordings of the complete JSB works made by Lionel Rogg in the mid '60s. These were recorded on the excellent Metzler of the Großmunster*, Zurich which suited the works admirably. I still regard these performances as "definitive". However, much later Rogg did the same thing on the Silbermann at Arlesheim and I regard this collection as inferior on a num
  24. Rowland, thank you. I have been quite unaware of the "programmic" nature of this piece. Seen in the light of your comprehensive explanation, the work might be seen to gain dimensions of which I was unaware. Les Trois Chorals well may be the apogee of the French Romantic genre but I have to confess to a general lack of interest and practical experience in this repertoire, so I'm obliged to you for the insight. However, in my view, these and similar works - and I'm sure it's not my imagination - are best realised on Cavaillee-Colls. There seems to be an affinity here.. And; In all hones
  25. Ah - the a minor! I once made an embarrassingly ham-fisted rendition of this on Diane Bish's Ruffatti in Fort Lauderdale. It was painful. In fact, it was excruciating! Frankly, I have never really understood the piece; the toccata-like passages are interesting but for much of the time the work does not seem to have a direction or destination. Of course, this isn't my type of organ nor my musical preference, (although I do like the E major. Nr.1?) so perhaps my views are a bit unbalanced. Anyway, five decks is overkill for me. H&H have always made nice instruments in my experience of
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