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Mander Organs

Shropshire Lad

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Everything posted by Shropshire Lad

  1. I played the Keble organ prior to it being revoiced and liked it a lot. Admittedly the excellent acoustic in the building helps. How has the revoicing changed the sound and is it an improvement (subjective I know)?
  2. Thanks for sharing this. I've just listened Ben Sheen's recital. The organ is just amazing. Listening to the Healey Willan, the Tuba Mirabilis (I presume) at 49:36 is fantastic and has a real similarity in tone to the one at York Minster as heard on Francis Jackson's definitive recording of this piece.
  3. Perhaps it should go in the Bridgewater Hall.....
  4. I'm presuming that Christopher Allsop is moving on to pastures new from Worcester Cathedral? Anybody know where yet? He'll be very much missed, the choir speak very highly of him. He's also a very underrated organist and hopefully we'll get to hear more of his playing in the future to show off his talents.
  5. I've heard the instrument on numerous occasions and your summary is a pretty fair assessment. There are many beautiful colours to the instrument as you say but the chorus seems to lack warmth and the tone gets harsher as the volume increases. Interestingly when I heard Dr Francis Jackson play what must have been one of his last recitals on the instrument, he seemed to get the best out of the instrument registration wise and his phrasing was still excellent. The new instrument caused much debate on this forum and judging by the lack of discussion since may have not quite captured the imagination as one would have hoped. I guess it's all down to personal taste. I was surprised to hear that some revoicing work had taken place at Keble College which I thought sounded really good right from the off although the acoustic in the building there is exceptional which no doubt helps. It will be interesting to see how the well new Tickell in Manchester Cathedral is thought of in years to come. On the subject of Worcester Cathedral, I wander if there is any progress in delivering a working Nave/ Transept instrument any time soon?
  6. I made a very long trip to Hull to hear the wonderful instrument in the City Hall last Thursday. I must admit it exceeded all my expectations. Beautiful choruses that blended well, an excellent English full swell and a dazzling array of colours of varying intensities and a full organ to blow out the cobwebs! This surely must rank as one of our finest civic instruments. Roy Massey showed off the organ with great aplomb with a varied programme which demonstrated all aspects of the instrument. Bearing in mind Dr Massey gives relatively few recitals these days I guess it speaks volumes of what he thinks of the organ as its a long journey to Hull for him. I must admit I have a real soft spot for hearing our more "senior" organists who still give recitals to a very high standard - age is only a number after all. I made a promise to myself to visit more instruments this year particularly "up north". I've targeted Ripon Cathedral next. Does anyone have any suggestions for any instruments worth hearing in Northern England (excluding the North West which I've visited extensively).
  7. Thanks for all your help folks.
  8. I'm rather partial to A Fantasy by Darke. Does anyone have any knowledge of where I can source the sheet music? I have the CD of a fine recording of Darke's music by Roger Fisher but the music is proving to be elusive.
  9. I'm rather partial to A Fantasy by Darke. Does anyone have any knowledge of where I can source the sheet music? I have the CD of a fine recording of Darke's music by Roger Fisher but the music is proving to be elusive.
  10. I'm presuming that the Manchester Cathedral organ is now up and running. Has anyone on the forum heard the instrument and able to offer any opinion? I can't see any recitals planned as yet but hoping there will be some in the near future.
  11. I wish I had heard the old instrument prior to its removal. It sounds very colourful from this recording.
  12. This is such sad news. John Scott was one of the very top organists in the world without a doubt. I heard him play two recitals at the RAH a few years back. I remember saying to my father who was with me that this was the best recital I had ever heard and that I doubted even then that it would ever be bettered. It still hasn't and I doubt it ever will. it was one of those rare moments you wish you could have captured. Condolences to all his family but the wonderful memories will remain.
  13. I too have read Dr Michael Smiths book and have found it to be a thoroughly disheartening read. I think there are certain lessons in life and careers that are not appreciated in his account: 1. Life is not fair. 2. You make your own luck. 3. Positive people generally progress further in their chosen careers. 4. You don't become a Cathedral organist to be rich! Point 4 I have some sympathy with in view of how much hard work and dedication is required to achieve such a position especially when I see how much some relatively modest sports people and entertainers earn however I refer back to point 1! I have absolutely no doubt as to Dr Smiths ability and in a way feel a little sad that he will look back at his own career with a lot of regret. In his defence, I guess that the attitude of the clergy must have been incredibly frustrating at times and after so many years would have doubtless made one very defensive and intolerant in equal measures. The book is an interesting insight as to why there are so many very fine organists around who have chosen different career paths outside of the traditional Cathedral route.
  14. It's interesting how tastes evolve. After much criticism of the neo-classical alterations made to many of the organs in the land with their "in your face mixtures" have things moved too much the other way? I know that the 4 rank great mixture at Hereford Cathedral was also toned down at the last rebuild. Prior to it being revoiced, it was bold at the console but for hymn leading the stop really cut it. It is not now as commanding in my view and means more use of the great reeds and less variety of options and tone for hymn playing. It will be interesting to see how history judges this current trend.
  15. When I go to a recital if I get charismatic playing by a charismatic performer playing a charismatic programme then I generally go home happy. Give me an Ian Tracey or Roy Massey recital any day over a young Oxbridge performer who can play immaculately but played in a dull way and presented with a lack of zest! A sweeping generalisation perhaps, but I’m sure you know what I mean. That is why I for one will miss Carlo Curley, a fine performer from a big personality. Cameron Carpenter is young and way out but with huge potential. No doubt he will fine tune his performances as he matures. The fact that there is much heated debate over CC means at least he is generating publicity for the organ. It has to be said organists as a whole are not the best at promoting their instrument. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
  16. I knew of an eccentric Irish Catholic priest who was an expert shot at clay pigeon shooting. He used to test new cartridges by shooting a hymn book and he would by all accounts judge the results by seeing which hymn number the shot penetrated to. This was a good 25 years ago and the Father is no longer in this life. I thought his behaviour was amusing and scandalous in equal measures at the time. These days, I’d just be amused. In fact he’d have a limitless supply of naff literature to take aim at!
  17. I went to his rectial last month at Worcester Cathedral which was first class. A lesson in dynamics, phrasing and use of colours. Made me realise just how good the new(ish) organ is. The Bairstow sonata sounded amazing.
  18. Brilliant News. I got TT's RAH CD which was electrifying and gets very well used. I always thought that our hosts made little mention of what work was carried out in the last rebuild but I think the organ at BTH sounds far more imposing since the rebuild. I don't know whether that is down to the work on the organ or the work in the hall as there seems to be less soft furnishings to deaden the sound now. I'm afraid that I find myself disappointed when I go to recitals at the Symphony Hall which to my ears is the poor relation to the old warrior!
  19. I think Michael Rhodes deserves great credit for all the work he puts in at Victoria Hall. Not only does he keep the fine organ in good order by intelligently ensuring that funds are spent on the upkeep of the instrument sometimes at the expense of tuning but he also gets top quality performers for the recitals. I saw Oliver Brett play a recital last year and he was the most impressive young organist I have heard live since I saw a young Huw Williams at Hereford Cathedral many years ago.
  20. This is a top notch organ. In any other town or city it would be well known. In the shadow of the other Liverpool organs but deserves to stand along side them. Mossley Hill
  21. I was wandering as to how well the voicing of the Parr Hall organ would work in Sheffield Cathedral as it will be coming from a softly furnished hall to a cathedral with acoustics at the opposite end of the scale. I remember GTB describing the challenges the voicing posed in his biography of the present Temple Church organ when it was installed. In fairness, they seemed to get the end result right of course!
  22. Anyone know why Holmer Church gave up the organ and whether any replacement has been installed or is planned? Herefordshire isn't exactly blessed with many fine instruments as it is!
  23. I am after advice on this. I'm looking for arrangements of any of the concerto's for organ only for the organist with modest resources and even more modest ability! Preferably manuals and pedals where possible. I'm not even sure whether such arrangements exist or not so any help is appreciated.
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