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Stanley Monkhouse

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About Stanley Monkhouse

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  1. Also on another thread: This will come as no surprise to anyone who has kept up with contemporary church politics and finances. The current situation and the likely immediate future make for very gloomy prospects for the church in general and cathedrals and choirs in particular, especially those away from major tourist trails. Think of Carlisle, Newcastle, Blackburn, Bradford, Ripon, Derby, Birmingham, Bury St Edmunds, Portsmouth, Truro. The life of a DOM for cathedrals without choral foundation or choir school must be hugely arduous: chorister recruitment, retention and nurturing, keeping cl
  2. I can shed no light, only add to the search for it. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has kept up with contemporary church politics and finances. The current situation and the likely immediate future make for very gloomy prospects for the church in general and cathedrals and choirs in particular, especially those away from major tourist trails. Think of Carlisle, Newcastle, Blackburn, Bradford, Ripon, Derby, Birmingham, Bury St Edmunds, Portsmouth, Truro. The life of a DOM for cathedrals without choral foundation or choir school must be hugely arduous: chorister recruitment, retentio
  3. Thank you all. I'll ponder the responses. I'm not sure that all my questions are answered, but I'm not sure they will ever be. Over the years, I've read that screen organs with soundboards running N-S project sound down the nave better than those with soundboards E-W. Where's the evidence? I've read about reflected sound as opposed to direct sound - which implies that the sound is predominately from a small area of the pipe circumference which might be so in flues but not reeds. I once read that the high pitched Great mixture at Durham introduced in Conrad Eden's day helped the sound to reach
  4. as you wish SL. I'm not paid! Anyhoo my points still stand.
  5. Well, Colin, I like amateur organists - usually for the right reasons. They - we (I am one) often know better than professionals how to control a congregation in hymns. It helps if you cut you teeth in Wesleyan chapels of course. What I particularly like about us is the usually uninhibited opinions that may not always reflect current ideology but nevertheless speak the plan unvarnished in substantial measure. Regarding the cliqueiness of the organ world - yes it is, and judging from the contributions on the British Organ Facebook page, the young ones are worse than the old ones. Less tolerant
  6. Way off topic warning: Wonderful performance of the b minor. The organist plays the acoustic as much as the music. Very proper. SL writes "Bach organ music can be incredibly boring". Indeed it can, and the b minor often is. The sectional nature of Buxtehude, Bruhns etc appeals to me more, and on the right instrument at the appropriate tempo, can be hair-raisingly exciting. Listen Plet Kee's Bruhns G major at Roskilde. How anyone can survive that without being turned to jelly I don't know(OK slight exaggeration but not much).
  7. John: "However, I too find a distinct benefit to my hearing loss ..." As I hint, there are several benefits, and not being "able" to hear what is said to me is more often than not a great blessing. SWMBO is deaf too, so it's really quite blissful. We send each other Facebook and email messages.
  8. John, my hearing deteriorates too, high frequencies esp, so women's voices are harder to hear, and those of many young people who speak as if they're on helium. Organ wise this has two unexpected consequences. (1) Although high tones disappear, screeching mixtures are almost painful. (2) isolated notes above about F42 (from CC) sound out of tune. But I'm going off topic. Just goes to show how subjective it all is and how we should take the opinions of others with barrowfuls of salt. Indeed, I sometimes think organ tonal "experts" should have a certificate of normal hearing, whatever nor
  9. Thank you Colin. Pre-Nicholson/Wood Southwell is interesting. Until 1970/1 the Great, with Pedal big stuff, was in the south nave triforium - presumably in part a recognition of the acoustic problem. In 70/71 the Great, much reduced in size, was squashed into the Caroe case on the screen leaving only pedal open woods and big reeds in the nave triforium. When accompanying a nave congregation (I speak from experience) only (almost) full Gt and Sw had any impact at all - and that not much, and the pedal reeds were overwhelming (the tuba - always a splendid stop at Southwell - had plenty impact, o
  10. Thank you Paul. I read that in Baroque Tricks too, but it doesn't explain what went on his mind. Nor does it help with the question of why if FW and RD felt them "unsuitable", AH did not. We shall never know.
  11. Thanks Colin. Now get to work on my supplemental questions in my response above to John Robinson. Please!
  12. Thank you, Mr White Rose Man, now tinged pink. I could add more! At Southwell, by no means high or wide, the old HNB organ on the screen was hopelessly inadequate in the nave, despite the Great then being on the west side and Swell shutters opening west. This was said to be part of the reason for the installation of the separate organ in the nave triforium. It was also said (Ken Beard I think) that the lantern swallowed up the sound. And yet the lantern at Southwell is puny compared to say that at Ripon where there is not the same problem. And at York and Lincoln the lanterns are gigantic, yet
  13. Where does sound come from in flue pipes? If the body, why are pipes planted with mouths uniformly orientated? Does it actually matter, or is it simply that it looks good to the tuner? Why does it matter in pulpitum organs which way soundboards are orientated: east-west (eg Lincoln, York, Ripon, Wells) or north-south (eg Gloucester and presumably new Manchester) - especially when sound bounces about in those large buildings? Does it matter where big pedal pipes are situated? Do sound waves of low notes behave differently from those of the rest of the compass? Taking Ripon as an examp
  14. Off topic warning! Over the last 20 years we've downsized a few times and moved back and forth across the Irish Sea. Now in a 3 up 2 down house there's no way I could keep what I once had. The policy I adopted was "have I played this in the last 20 years?" If the answer was no, the next question was "am I likely to in the next say 10?" (I'm 70). If no, out it went. Messiaen, Durufle, Liszr,, Reubke, and many more, all gone to good homes. I kept all Bach and Buxtehude however. Reger would have gone, but I've never knowingly played or possessed any. Vierne went: it's very bulky and all on IMSLP
  15. Here's something to provoke. The English organ tradition was ruined by at least two things: (1) the removal of organs to chancel dog kennels as a consequence of liturgical change wrought by the Oxford movement and the catholic revival; and (2) the need to accompany congregational singing, never really a part of CofE tradition until imported from Wesleyan influences, by organs in distant chancels of churches with dreadful acoustics (porous stone, too much wood, not enough height). Which composers wrote durable, quality music for such instruments? Erm, that's a hard one. Lots wrote lo
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