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DariusB

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Everything posted by DariusB

  1. I wonder if it's not the same piece referred to here, as Volumina begins ffff, not with the blower crescendo (though it is meant to end with the blower turning off and gradual loss of wind). However I never had a score, but on my regular visits to Foyle's as a teenager I used to look at the score they had, so I may have remembered this incorrectly!
  2. Rather late, we've now announced the full series for Leeds Town Hall for 21-22. The first seven in the hall, then in the Cathedral while the work and organ rebuild takes place. You can see all the recitalists here; we start on September 13, live and online - https://www.leedstownhall.co.uk/concert-season/whats-on/?whatson-event-keyword-search=organ
  3. On IMSLP it says this is one of three pieces - has anyone managed to find the other two? Incidentally my own choice of luxuriant Adagio has to be Virgil Fox's arrangement of Komm Susser Tod but it's probably not a useful service piece, and ideally needs a change of registration on nearly every note...
  4. It was great - and the organ was well enough recorded to hear all the solo bits - in the past some of those have been completely inaudible on broadcast. Fantastic string playing in the Poulenc as well.
  5. I've always had a huge admiration for Nigel, an amazing musician, since he gave me some improvisation lessons as a student. That increased even more a few years ago when he was in the news for the principled stand he took as a magistrate. I'll look forward to watching this.
  6. I've seen the Bridlington one, but am none the wiser for that. As Nicholsons rebuilt it I daresay they know how it works so I will ask them - and tell you if I find out anything interesting.
  7. What's the 'one pipe' 32' Bombarde? Is it something like the polyphone at Bridlington Priory where one pipe plays a whole octave of notes?
  8. That is really interesting. It would definitely be worth a look, though it may be that if she was an improviser she wouldn't have needed the books. The attitude that doing this kind of thing was a bit embarrassing seems to have been common. I have heard (does anyone know if this is really true) that more than one Cathedral organist in the 1920s used to make extra cash by improvising in cinemas, but they always used an assumed name!
  9. I've played for this film many times but I'm not sure that what you're after exists. Few silent films without orchestral scores had written down piano/organ scores as they would usually be improvised. If improvising wasn't possible, there were 'stock books' published for cinema use of generic funny/romantic/scary music you could select (though I've never seen one). Or they would play selections from actual pieces of music - I've actually seen a performance on YouTube where someone accompanied Nosferatu with Reger op 127 (his longest piece) and various other massive Reger pieces - and it worked surprisingly well! Sorry that's not very helpful - I think what I'm saying is that rather than use your time chasing a possibly non-existent reduction, you might be better off putting something together from existing music (not necessarily Reger of course).
  10. Fantastic. Can't believe it's only had 30 views - I've put it on Twitter so maybe he'll get more of a following!
  11. Sorry for the technical problems yesterday - we are going to re-record all the presentations and contributions from Nicholsons and post them as a separate video this week.
  12. On the purpose of the Grand division - here's the reply I gave to John: This is not a ‘west Great’ of the kind Nicholson have done at Auckland or Llandaff. Its primary purpose - and how I expect it to be mostly used - is as part of the Great, to add much needed extra foundation tone as required or even more when necessary - in the same way that Hull City Hall for example has additional 8 4 and 2 principals on the Great at higher pressure. (The Great on its own has only two diapasons which is not much for an organ of this size - had we not gone down the 'Grand' route we would have added an extra, large Open to the Great). However I can certainly imagine that in repertoire where the second chorus needs to be much nearer in power to the primary one than is the case in most English organs, Reger for instance or even some French repertoire, that the Grand and Great could be split and the Great become secondary. I was impressed with how well this worked at Freemasons Hall with their new Grand division, which reinforces the existing Great very effectively but can also be used independently. As you might have guessed from the stop names, the reeds will also be quite different on the two divisions, the existing Great reeds being kept bright and fiery, and the new ones being rounder and fuller.
  13. I feel very fortunate that while some civic organists and their supporters have to deal with local authorities who are indifferent or even hostile, Leeds City Council has such a strong record in supporting music. (I also hugely appreciate Simon Lindley's role in this). They're one of the few councils still to have a dedicated music department and as well as the organ recitals they run free chamber concerts, brass band concerts etc all over the area as well as the International Concert Season. They seem to have a history of councillors who see the importance of music. On your point about getting their money back, they're establishing a stand-alone Trust specifically to raise money for the organ project, which being independent will be able to apply to charitable trusts etc as well as work with the Town Hall on fundraising - I think that's due to be announced in the next few weeks. My hope is that supporters of the series and of organ music will show their appreciation of this support from the council by giving generously!
  14. Perhaps we should draw a distinction between 'could' be improved and 'should' be improved. I might be custodian of, say a Father Willis, and feel that a certain stop should be louder, but if I had the opportunity to change it I wouldn't even consider doing so, as the unaltered instrument has integrity and should be left alone. But an organ that has already been altered and 'improved' many times over the years is different, even if you take the view that the alterations are part of the instrument's history and should be respected. I agree with you, and I have a great admiration for these instruments - the iconic ones should be left alone. But for every Coventry Cathedral, Brompton Oratory, St Alban's etc that are successful examples of that aesthetic, there are ten badly executed imitations that we all know only too well. That unfairly gives the whole period a bad name.
  15. Hi Andrew - The 32' Bourdon extension is just to provide the quietest 32' tone when used eg with the strings (it will be quietened a little as it's too strong at the moment). Its use at 10 2/3 pitch is more to reinforce the 32' Diapason - a little too quiet at the moment - which being the case pipes and relatively small scale, can't be strengthened much from its present level. We already have a 10 2/3 as a separate rank but it's very quiet and we'll gain space in the case by deriving this rank from the Bourdon instead. Incidentally for those who wish to attend the presentation on the 17th in person, the Town Hall box office is now up and running and you can get (free) tickets here https://www.leedstownhall.co.uk/whatson-event/meet-the-new-town-hall-organ/# The link for watching the event live on YouTube will also appear there.
  16. I'm sure that Nicholson's will be able to answer that question - but I can say that it already sounds much more like a trumpet than anything else, so it's probably not too much of a stretch.
  17. Not at all! We're relieved to finally have the contract signed. If you'd like to join us in real life or virtually on July 17 you can here all the history, rationale behind the project, and ask any questions - I'll be there with Andrew Caskie and James Atherton. Delighted that you approve (though I guess not everyone will!)
  18. I think you should definitely go there! I notice looking at my colleagues in professional orchestras that those of my generation are quite likely to be, like me, from state-school backgrounds, whereas the younger ones are much more likely to have been privately educated. The trend for organists is a more extreme reflection of that - the route of starting off playing the organ at your local church is increasingly rare, leaving the field to those lucky enough to be at schools which have organs. Hence the need for all the brilliant outreach programmes run by the RCO and places like the Diocese of Leeds which are valiantly trying to bridge the gap - and doing a fantastic job.
  19. As this was mentioned in another thread, I should mention that the event with the organ builders to present all the details of the rebuild that was due to take place after last Saturday's recital has had to be postponed until 17 July at 1pm. Apologies to those who had planned to attend. You can get free tickets on the Town Hall website to attend live, or it will be streamed on YouTube - here's the link for both: https://www.leedstownhall.co.uk/whatson-event/meet-the-new-town-hall-organ/?venue=771/ Then we can (finally) announce all the details. Last Saturday's recital did go ahead, if anyone would still like to watch it (we now have video as well, plus improved microphones) - Guilmant, Grainger (not CPE Bach as on the listing), Bach BWV537, and pieces by S S Wesley, Robin Walker, Eric Coates and Vierne.
  20. The complete recons Thank you! Members of the forum might like to know that complete details of the organ rebuild will be presented at a special event both live and online on June 26 at 1pm (preceded by a recital at 11am). I'll be giving a full presentation on the rebuild plans in conjunction with the organ builders, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions as well. Full details (and free tickets for those who want to attend in person) on the Town Hall website next week.
  21. I’ve recently listened to Graham B’s recording of this piece. It’s a fabulous work, well worth exploring - almost as big as the Symphony but on one hearing seems more structured and with a more accessible harmonic idiom.
  22. The most spectacular (and insane) piece for organ and orchestra (which would suit the RAH really well) is surely Khatchaturian Symphony no 3. Quite amusing comments below below the YouTube recording including 'is it even legal to write music this exciting' and 'pure musical carnage' (not sure if that's a compliment). Needs a huge orchestra including 12 trumpets. An amazing recording here - make sure the neighbours are out though... (disclosure - I was page turning for this!)
  23. Leeds Town Hall resuming concerts tomorrow - now with video streaming, new mics for the audio, and a live audience! First of the new summer recital series tomorrow at 11am, with Christopher Stokes from Manchester Cathedral playing Mendelssohn, Bach, Widor etc. These are to raise money for the organ reconstruction which we are planning to announce at an event on 26 June. Recital link: https://www.leedstownhall.co.uk/whatson-event/summer-organ-series-christopher-stokes/?venue=
  24. That raises interesting questions about perfect pitch and memory. I find that with slow pieces I'm effectively 'playing by ear' if I memorise, so the wrong pitch would definitely put me off. With fast complex pieces the memorisation is more mechanical so it might be less of a problem.
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