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Posts posted by Rcamp

  1. I hope that it is in order to post this here.


    My colleague has just contacted me to say that an electronic organ he is due to play next week for a big funeral has partly broken. The mains light comes on, but no sound comes out of the speakers. The churchwarden is an electrician, so all obvious possibilities have been exhausted. The company concerned (I do not know which) cannot send anyone until next Tuesday - and when told of the problem, said that they could not guarantee to fix it.


    Does anyone have any practical knowledge or experience (or knows of someone who does), and who could travel to Boscombe (Dorset) in the next few days, please?


    My colleague does not know the make of the electronic organ, I am afraid.


    Neither do I know what (if any) form of remuneration is on offer for anyone willing to help. Sorry - I have no connection with this church.


    If anyone has any suggestions, please contact me by PM. I may then be able to enquire regarding some kind of fee.


    Thank you.




    My suggestion is that someone (perhaps the church warden) might open the thing up and check if all the cables are seated correctly as well as all the various other bits and pieces like soundcards etc. If the console is functioning correctly the amplifier may be knackered. It may well have a headphone socket or some other sort of line out - worth seeing if any sound is coming from this outlet.


    Best I can do at a distance without knowing anything about the machine!

  2. ---------------------------------


    My God! I'm going to have to defend Cam Car for once.


    Even in America, opinions and reactions are sharply divided concerning two very distinctive playing styles; one of which is the extremely scholarly approach championed by E Power Biggs with the backing of the entire early-music academia and musical exponents of the historically informed school.


    The second style derives from German romantic influences, with what I term the expressionist syle of performing, which is not unrelated to the orchestral transcriptions of the organist/arranger/conductor Leopold Stokowski. (Think BWV565 and the film 'Fantasia').


    Divided opinion and reactions are not necessarily a bad thing; especially since both styles of playing have been around long enough for them to qualify for the title "historically informed".


    Earlier in this thread, I posted alink to a video of Xaver Varnus playing the Passacaglia in C minor by Bach, in which the expressionist style is very much in evidence, with quite kalaedoscopic changes of registration and counterpoint melodies highlighted with solo registers. It harks back to the Berlin school of romantic playing, and was taken to America by such as Middelschulte, who in turn taught Virgil Fox, who in turn taught Carlo Curley etc etc.


    To pull off an orchestrallly inspired organ-version of the music is no mean feat, and requires a great deal of careful study and meticulously planned execution. It also happens to work rather well on romantic German instruments and on American symphonic instruments, if the performer takes the trouble to get it right.


    Somewhere, I came across some fascinating sound clips and videos, and if I can find them, I'll tag them to this post.


    Poor Cam Car is the victim of this tradition, and sticking my neck out, I would suggest that he actually doesn't understand the music of Bach, and consequently misses any sense of simultaneously bringing expression to Bach's organ music while remaining faithful to the musical structure.


    At its best, the expressive style is very musical and comelling, and although I would never want to emulate it, I can be deeply moved by those who do it well, just as we can all be moved hearing Bach's '48' played on a Steinway concert grand by a master.


    So I don't think Cam Car is daft or immature in pursing the expressionist way, but he gets it very wrong much of the time.








    Believe it or not my preference is for the expressive Bach you talk about. Thats how I play it and I have no time for trying to make any organ sound like what I think Bach would have heard 300 years ago! The best performance of 543 I ever heard was by Carlo (even better than Virgil's!) and when it is played in the manner you describe it is wonderful. Most "historically informed" performances on neo baroque squeak boxes leave me cold.


    I think we both agree that Cam Car did not achieve anything wonderful and the opening of 540 (and most of the rest of the 2 recitals) only proved to me that he hasn't a clue. I dont think he is daft or immature for pursuing this style (far from it!) but his execution is, for me, immature and betrays the fact that, at 31, he has been doing it long enough to do better at it!



  3. As technically marvellous as Cam Car is supposed to be it is interesting that the straighter repertoire he played was as tad sloppy in places - there are many organists who could have given a more accurate and a more musical performance. Also any musician worth their salt would not have played out the wind as he did at one stage with the use of subs & supers and would have let HP reed pipes speak properly - no doubt this was his way of criticising the instrument which is obviously extremely unfair! Presumably he'll be pushing the BBC/Albert Hall to accommodate his new "electronic device" next time..........God help us!

    I yearned for fuller sounds and quite frankly when 540 started with enclosed 32 reed and strings I just laughed at the sheer unmusical sound and unsuitability for the music. Any idiot could come up with that - its not in any way clever - in fact its just daft and immature. As an exercise in extremely fast playing and demonstrating many combinations of stops and lots of registration changes I would give 10/10. For musicianship and actually selling the music to the listener, nul points!

  4. I had decided not to post anymore on this board and, indeed, wrote to JPM to tell him as such and to give my reasoning but this thread, possibly more than any other I have read, has annoyed me beyond measure, hence this post.


    Did JPM reply? When are you next deciding not to post again in this board? Smart arse I know but really...................

  5. I understand that the Allen Touring Organ is now in private ownership in the South of England ----- http://cdmnet.org/Ju...es/elec/cjc.htm


    AND http://uk.prweb.com/...rweb9096167.htm


    Could it be possible that the presence of this organ was requested by the one who took it on tour for many recitals?


    Carlo has not owned an organ for many years - at least an Allen touring one anyway. Allen would hire out an organ to any venue (that Carlo was performing at) which was described as his organ - of late its been a Quantum 370 (3M, 58 stops). Its this organ that will be used at his Memorial Service. I assume that they kept the same instrument for his own use each time although I am not sure whether it was exclusively for him!

    When I hosted him in 2001 I enquired about the cost of having the Allen but the cost was prohibitive due to it having to cross the Irish Sea - we hired a 4M Phoenix locally (at a fraction of the cost) which worked fantastically well and which he happened to rather enjoy, spending the entire afternoon playing it which I believe he would never do on an organ he didn't like.

  6. Details of the Memorial Service from Rev. Kenneth Crawford who is the Vicar of Pershore Abbey and was a close personal friend of CC.

    "We can announce, now, that Carlo's Memorial Service will be at Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire, on Friday, 26th October, 2012, at 2.30pm. At the end of the Service, we will inter Carlo's ashes in the Abbey's Memorial Garden. All are welcome to attend this Memorial Service which will be a thanksgiving for, and celebration of, his life. The choir Voces Assumptionis, directed by Alexander Crawford, will sing 'How Lovely are Thy Dwellings Fair' from Brahms' German Requiem and 'In Paradisum' from Durufle's Requiem. The hymns will be (in order) 'O Praise Ye the Lord', 'Abide with Me' (Carlo's favourite), 'The Day Thou Gavest' and 'Mine Eyes have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord'. The Allen Organ Company will provide Carlo's Touring Organ for the Service. Do come and celebrate Carlo's life with us on this day."

  7. On a slightly different tack, there is, of course, the excellent DVD produced jointly by the Elgar Birthplace & St Chad's College, Durham, in which James Lancelot gives a masterclass on the Sonata, and suggests re-workings of one or two 'awkward corners'. The disk is also worth buying for the fascinating discussion on the genesis of the work by Prof Jeremy Dibble, Relf Clark, James L and others - not to mention a visit to H&H's works. For me it's probably the best organ-related DVD to have appeared for years.







    Any idea where once can get a copy of third DVD? A brief Google has failed to assist!

  8. Why are you so sure? I know it was the TM or the RTs but my only real reason for thinking it was probably the TM is because of HM the Queen complaining about the royal trumpets on a previous occasion when John Scott played her out to the Grand Choeur Dialogue.


    My ears told me! The TM & RT's don't sound the same. The TM is hard to mistake for any other stop on that organ and indeed hard to mistake for any organ either

  9. Found this earlier: sounds splendid. It is the choir of St. Pauls Cathedral (London) singing "I Was Glad" on the occasion of the Queen's golden jubilee (1977?).






    1977 was the Silver one. This was the Golden one in 2002. Would love to see the 1977 one though!!

  10. Former St. Paul's Cathedral (pre 1977).....?


    Yes I recognised it straight away from old photos I have seen and theres no mistaking that music desk! It's quite bizarre really that this old console would be rigged up to some sort of digital gubbins (to my ear anyway) for this appearance. Surely a 3 or 4 manual Allen would have done just as well. Perhaps our host might know something about the use of the old Willis console and perhaps be able to tell us what happened to it?

  11. I was lucky in that none of my "firsts" were terribly big occasions and as such I cant really remember them in great detail. What I can remember is the first time I played publicly. I was about 13/14 and played 1 hymn (Ye choirs of new Jerusalem) at a Sunday evening service during the summer when there was no choir. It was a not so illustrious start to a not so illustrious career on the bench. Of course I was too young to be nervous - nerves appeared in my late teens and didn't really last too long.

    Of course over the years I have had made all the cock ups - extra verse missed over the page, playing the wrong hymn, playing the gradual hymn when its supposed to be the psalm, and most memorably playing a hymn in the wrong key (I was either a flat over or under - cant remember now), it was excruciatingly embarrassing at the time!!

  12. "Transitional phase" is an interesting spin on it! The new Master of the Choristers (they couldn't call it DoM as they made the last one redundant!) will have to start from scratch at St Anne's. There is currently a choir that could at best be described as being suitable for a medium size parish church. Only the Eucharist is sung to mainly unison Congregational type settings and no evensong. David Stevens is obviously a man who likes a challenge! Good luck to him, he will need some luck........

  13. Yes, Henry Willis took a chain saw to the Double Open Wood when they did the work on the organ. Nobody is quite sure why. Bits of it remained in the organ until we did the work in the 1980s, but literally just bits, not a single complete pipe.


    Madness!! Thanks John for the info

  14. Agree that the sound was not great, it rarely is! I don't understand why they don't set levels and leave the knobs alone! I have played into BBC mics many times and the organ usually sounds dreadful (usually too close) and choirs do not fare much better. I have been known to refuse to play down if some engineer says the organ is too loud and they move the mics always to the improvement of the sound as broadcast - have they not ears?!

  15. I really enjoyed this DVD enormously and IMHO is the best organ DVD I have seen and I think I have seen them all! Fantastic playing also - took my breath away and TT makes it look so easy - sickening really!


    One thing I didn't realise was that this organ used to have a 32' DOW which was removed!


    This from NPOR:


    1979 by unknown

    "the bottom 8 pipes of the Pedal 32' Open Wood removed, the latter to improve access"


    I think this is most regrettable (reminds me of Gloucester!) and I assume the pipes were destroyed? Does anyone know?

  16. I treated myself to a new record-deck this week, and almost the first things I placed on it were Francis Jackson playing the Great Cathedral recording from York, followed by Roger Fisher playing the Reubke from Chester.


    40+ years old, and with all the usual sound defects, I was STILL blown away by those performances.


    I know what I'm getting myself as a Christmas present!




    I have listened to the whole lot now (some twice) and the FJ recording is simply stunning in every way! I have listened to his Willan IP&F about 8 times over the last 2 weeks and am also blown away.......I had never heard it before.........stunning!

  17. Brethren... Our new organ is installed, but has arrived minus one essential: a mirror. I have asked for a price for the said mirror and am STAGGERED to be told that a console top mirror will be £450!!!! Cor blimey!! Think of a number!!! Do they really cost that much??? :lol: We only need 100 of them and we could have another new organ and still have change to buy a car and some fish and chips....



    Thats a lot! Probably best to find someone who is good at DIY, give them £40 and send them to B&Q! Just tell them what you want the player to see in the mirror!!

    How many of us have sat at a console and looked into a mirror to see nothing at all relevant to the service or conductor?

    I have even on one occasion looked in the console mirror and seen nothing but my own crotch - slightly off putting!!

  18. I'm just back from York Minster and they have 3 celestes - all sharp. I had limited preparation time for 7 services (2-3 hours all told) and didn't have time to become intimately acquainted with the beast but gleaned the following information from the tuners notebook during the sermon on Sunday afternoon.

    Swell Voix (4 beats/second), solo viol (2 beats/second) & swell diapason (3 beats/second).

    The swell diapason has recently been changed to beat 1 second faster than the previous 2 beats/second at Robert Sharpe's suggestion. I disliked it and went back to JSW's demo of this stop from his DVD when I got home - to my ears it needs to go back to 2 b/s!

    I didn't notice 4 b/s being too fast or 2 b/s being too slow so I assume it differs depending on all the factors mentioned by others above and is just a case of try it and see.

    Interestingly, it was confirmed to me that there is a rebuild in the offing there which surprised me after only 18 years since the last one. However it is obvious that the 1993 work was only a stop-gap (no pun intended!), removing some of the 60's spike, adding some much needed new colours and sorting some new pedal stops. The consoles are also clearly in need of modernisation - it took 10 mins of faffing to get the nave console swell pedals to speak to the boxes for example. The setter piston in the nave had broken off (I used a pencil to push it in) and the piston settings on each console are independent which to my mind is a huge drawback. And don't get me started about the quire console keys!!!

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