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Everything posted by lettheorganthunder

  1. Organs on the Isle of Man hmmm. There is a new organ in St George's Douglas by H&H. It's a bit of a sore point as it is not really big enough for the building. It replaces a Jardine with thick trombas. The swell and the great are similiar in volume and it seems voiced loudly to try and fill the building. When there's a good crowd in it is difficult to hear it at the back (this was clear at Miss Bates opening recital). The front case pipes seem to be too short too. It's a bit of a missed opportunity alas. The church were advised by professional organists but chose to ignore the advice. A pity !
  2. Anyone North of the Border know what has happened at Inverness Cathedral. They have the only scottish daily choir outside Edinburgh and have a new toaster with chamades. All seemed to be going well until recently. Now there is no choir and organist? Does anyone know what has been going on?
  3. I was under the impression that he met an unpleasant death whilst on a motorbike after a wire had been strung across the road. I may be wrong. I'll look it up.
  4. Gosh! People are up early this morning. York surely will be vacant when Philip retires in late 2008. A while off yet. However, I don't think the problem is the scraping of the barrel but that there are too many musicians and organists chasing too few jobs. There are a lot of good musicians around but not enough orchestras, opera houses choral foundations etc In continental Europe there are local schools of music in every sizeable town and local orchestras and opera houses to work in. With 77 or more opera houses in germany(population 80 million) and salaried organists posts there are many opportunities for well trained players and conductors. In UK (60 million) there are very limited opportunities, just 50 or so full time organ posts(paying mostly below the average graduate teacher rate), nothing much that pays at parish level, and only 4 full time opera houses. It's hardly suprising that MA is going to Winchester Coll as they'll probably pay him 48K,give him a house and he'll have decent holidays. Many cathedrals find it difficult to offer more than 25K and limited holidays. For a young man this is ok but for older organists past 40 with children to support the salary goes nowhere. A major cathedral north of Watford pays its organist 22K for 8 services a week and two choirs. My point is that opportunities are limited and will diminish as the church downsizes whilst there are more students than ever emerging from university. Something needs to be done, and in a society where serious music is under threat there's gonna be a problem. Apologies the post above went in before I'd corrected it for typos, punctuation....but you get the jist.
  5. Sunday I played: Wachet auf CP JS Bach Concerto in G Stanley Vater unser JS Bach Prelude in C 9/8 JS Bach Evening choral phyrgien Alain Climat Alain Concerto in d (i) to (iii) JS Bach Today (Babys Funeral) Andante in F Mozart Dialogue in G Hurford Prelude in Classic Style Gordon Young
  6. Did handel play your organ? No! But I've played his.
  7. Mr Archer is going to Winchester College to be Director of Chapel Music. I have this from the Head in writing this morning.
  8. To me the UK seem more interested in Robes and Hoods sometimes. What on earth are the presidential robes and description doing on the RCO website?) The C of E in particular has bred a dressing-up society which I think the RCO in the past has somewhat fueled. (Note picture of hoods but not people's faces in a major photograph on the Web site)
  9. I agree Nigel I must say your website is terrific, particulary the photos or organists away from the instrument and without ties. There seems to be a good mix of ages and wonderful surroundings.
  10. I endorse this comment. Honest, constructive criticism doesn't hurt anyone. NS <{POST_SNAPBACK}> I think some in the RCO are still smarting from the wounds inflicted by the Birmingham Fiasco. A few views expressed here aren't going to change the world, but I think most people would agree that all has not been well. The article in Private Eye drew peoples attention to the mess and I think a new direction is emerging. Despite David Saint's assertion that the RCO was not about buildings there was enormous enthusiasm for a building and an organ as it brought so many strands together. It promised a home and an organ of international quality at long last. What happened next was a calamity for the RCO. It is going to take time to recover, meanwhile all the members I know think that money, time and effort has been wasted. Some cynic said to me "O god, not Birmingham, it'll be the death of the RCO" I thought at the time "how could she say this?" It's understandable that people question what has been going on. The membership fee is high, the chief executive was paid well and then he left. The members however, are still there, and it is simply NOT good enough to suggest they resign if they don't like what has occurred. It is not a wise move to attempt to stiffle debate. Often it's best for people to have their say in order for things to move ahead. If the RCO had a lower subsciption rate, perhaps the value for money question would never have been raised. There is a too big a gap between what it once was, what it could be, and what it actually is.
  11. I agree John, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the link. When I was at school in the late 70's most of the pictures in books were in black and white, and it was a revelation to see the oppulent white and gold interiors of Bach's churches. Sound wise, we had the odd recording of Walcha and a few others to go on but little else. Today, thanks to John Whiteley we can see and hear these great instruments. It's a fantastic teaching aid and should be on every collectors shelf. JSW is not a player who has stood still, he is constantly refreshing his performance to take into account fresh insights and scholarship. He has played at York (with the most amazing psalm accompaniments)almost daily for I think 30 years and today runs the girls choir too. And he manages to record Bach with all the cameras, lights, helium balloons etc. Quite a bloke! But why the mysterious glasses? Definitely one for the Xmas stocking.
  12. A good friend of mine has the russian printed copy of the complete suite. Lots of gipsy dancing and a big glissando at the end of the toccata. The placing of the chords is different to the oup edition they're often up an octave and the piece is supersized quite a bit. Rawsthorne plays this russian version more or less (though nothing was ever less with Rawsthorne. ) My friend then produced the russian piano edition of it. The composer seems to be known as Georghi Mushella (stressed 2nd syllable) in Uzbekhistan. More to follow.
  13. The fact is the Organ world has been changing as the church has downsized. Massive downsizing is coming soon as the church becomes mission shaped. The role of the organ has diminished in many places and the nature of the music has changed. Add to this a changing cultural climate and things are not easy. What is more profound is the changing aesthetic of music itself. Nothing stands still and the days of quiet cathedrals and wall to wall Howells have given way to Sentamu's drums. The objection to instruments and music groups from so many organists was that they were producing music of low quality. Music needs to speak to people, worship songs and the like are very direct and have clear understandable moods that have gained a hold on peoples imagination. Every so often music changes and complexity gives way to more simple forms. Howells and much of the cathedral repertoire(and the great french schools of the belle epoque) are culminations of their aesthetical milieu and the future lies in reacting to them in radical ways. In 1600 composers steeped in polyphonic writing of the most beautiful kind were exploring the new simplistic direct music of monody, the change must have seemed radical(it was fairly gradual)to many and a loss of accumulated riches over time. The new style gave us the early baroque with adventorous harmonies and daring rythmic juxtapositions. By the time Bach hung up his spectacles he had seen music change from the complex rich style of the baroque to the new almost naive melodic style. And Bach was worried. So with pop music. It marked a new dimension in music and the simple instrumentation, tunes and easy harmonies are here to stay. People express themselves through pop music and relate to it as never before. We are now at the stage of gradual integration of styles timbres and instrumentation. Pop music is coming of age. To many, the electric guitars and drum kits added life and vitality to this years Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall. It united the generations without patronising them. It was a super show (and good to hear the brilliant fiery Peter Crompton at the keys). The aesthetics of ceremonial have changed, we must all take note and embrace the future or as organists see the instrument decline further into irrelevance. Now lets stand and sing hymn 445.......
  14. Well Mr Saint I left the RCO ten years ago after trying to return some library books I had borrowed. The secretary on the desk at Holborn was so rude, insisting I was not allowed to use the library and did not have permissions and was not a member. I can still hear her bellowing "Are you a member" and "the library is not open just to suit you" down the phone.... Mad, bad and dangerous to know as I was at the time, I left the office and went down the damp moss covered stairs in the churchyard into the dark hole that was the entrance to the library. The door opened and there was Robin Langley who welcomed me inside. "Not many people come down here" he said " Your'e the first one this week" I told him that was hardly surprising as the lady upstairs tells everyone it's closed. Shortly after. I failed to renew my membership and joined the Assosiation of Teachers and Lecturers instead. I was suprised to find that the ATL offerred various perks for less than the RCO subscription including free expert legal advice at the end of the phone and free legal representation in any professional disputes. The RCO could offer so much more to it's members than the odd newsheet. Is it not time to reorganise and become like the American Guild of Organists ? Offer support to members and be the substantial voice representing musicians in church by investigating disputes and providing a national database that offers a picture of the state of the organists art in this country. The College could have regional contacts and disseminate information of interest to musicians. It could unite with the other bodies and gain strength of purpose. The RCO needs to begin to listen to its members and engage with them in a meaningful way. Oh and by the way, does anyone enjoy taking exams on 3rd January ? Why not March, June and November like the Ass'd Board?
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