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John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. Yes, I have a copy of that video. The 'Willis brand of humour' to which you refer begins a bit earlier, at 6:30. I, too, found that very funny. Then there's the bit about the church organ 'which does not appear on their books', with the explanation of why!
  2. I'd like to echo that, if I may. On the other hand, I hadn't thought you were that old, John, going by the last time I saw you a few years ago!
  3. Is it? I had no idea! I assumed that it must be the same time and place, just a different viewpoint. Apologies.
  4. I wasn't aware of this. I have heard several Willis organs and can honestly say that they have all sounded excellent to me. In what way has Willis been open to condemnation, because I'm afraid I don't understand? Having said that, the Harrison ones are good too!
  5. Thanks. Certainly an impressive sound. If it is of any interest, I found this: which is the same performance, obviously filmed by someone in a more favourable positions (plus a bit extra at the beginning) which benefits from avoiding most of the annoying 'audience noise' where people can't shut up and just listen!
  6. Yes, a very good idea. This is what they do in my wife's choir's (Byrd Singers, Manchester) concerts, and it works very well.
  7. Yes. A logical solution, but how many places would do that. I'm sure most of the incumbents would much prefer everyone to face the altar (for some reason!), in fact I'm surprised that more don't ban organ recitals as being 'distracting'! Traditional pews could be a bit of a problem, though. I remember attending an organ recital at Haarlem many years ago. The seating consisted of individual chairs, most of which had been turned around to face west. The recital had already started when a couple of people entered (very quietly) and, as luck would have it, chose two chairs that were
  8. I agree. I'm not being flippant, I really am not, but where organs are on a gallery at the west end of the nave, why can't the seats (or even pews) be turned around. I should mention, I suppose, that as I am an atheist the organ is far more important to me than an altar. Perhaps a compromise, such as what is frequently found in the Netherlands: seating in the nave facing the middle aisle; side on to both altar and organ. In answer to your question, though, I suppose we usually only ever see the back of conductors!
  9. I wonder whether the lack of interest in organ recitals in this country is related to the rise of 'happy clappy music'!
  10. Somehow, I can't imagine that happening here, and it's not due to a lack of a federation of British organ builders. I'm afraid the organ world here will never have that status and support, not until far many more members of the general population become interested in the instrument and its music. If only the organ had the same number of aficionados as does football, we'd be world leaders in organ building (some would argue we already are!) and music.
  11. I'm afraid that this does not surprise me in the least. Some years ago I attended a recital at Cologne Cathedral and more recently at Passau Cathedral. In each case the building was packed, in fact in the case of Cologne people were sitting on camp chairs in the aisles. We're talking of thousands of organ music fans. In Britain you'd be very lucky to get a hundred, far less in some places.
  12. I assume that the alterations that are to take place in the York Minster organ will be to address the perceived problems of the organ not being strong enough to support the many people who can fill the nave. As Francis Jackson has said in the past, if the organ is made much louder to support congregations in the nave, it will be much too loud for the people in the chancel. Even if these forthcoming changes manage to achieve at least a partial solution, I maintain that a better strategy would be to add what was removed in (I think) 1900; a separate nave organ. More expensive, though, of
  13. I first saw that book at the local library about 40 years ago and enjoyed reading it. I have often thought about obtaining a copy but, of course, it is now out of print. Imagine my joy when I saw second hand copies available on your link. I have just bought a copy from Amazon for a little over £20. Thanks for the link!
  14. It would be nice to get back to York, just as soon as anyone is aware of what changes are planned to the organ. ?
  15. "The aim is to ensure the unique sound of the Minster’s organ is preserved, while restoring the grander, imposing qualities of the instrument which were altered during work in the 1960s." I wonder whether this implies the removal, in part or in whole, of the additions made by Dr Jackson at that time. These were to "make the instrument more musical" and included the insertion of several mutations absent beforehand. Even today, I believe that mutations are generally regarded as essential. On the other hand, I do hope that the (in)famous Tuba Mirabilis is not disposed of! A unique so
  16. Another one, which I am fortunate to possess, is one LP in a set of five: OR-EX 71 featuring pieces by Fischer, Froberger, Kerll, Muffatt and Kolb. Very helpfully, it includes detailed registration information for each of those pieces.
  17. 'Oktavered' or perhaps 'octavered': I think are good explanatory terms! I expect to see them in the next edition of the OED.
  18. When we were married in 1987 my wife-to-be came in to Charpentier's Te Deum, which I had requested. Only a small parish church in Bradford, but the organist was excellent. We couldn't afford a trumpeter as well, thougn.
  19. If true, I think that's nasty. Perhaps it is the same people who are trying to snatch Gibraltar from our hands. They won't get it!
  20. I'm pleased for the nuns. Hopefully, the organ was restored to good condition!
  21. Yes, I too find Weingarten a fascinating organ. A couple of other interesting things about it are that whereas most of the instrument is played by tracker action (which must be quite complicated in layout), the Kronwerk section is connected to the Oberwerk by (presumably lead) conduits. The other thing that comes to mind is that there is one rank of pipes, I think a Vox Humana in the Rückpositiv, that is made of ivory. Not too many of them around these days, I'm sure!
  22. I believe that some British universities have now adopted the title of 'Associate Professor' in place of the traditional 'Reader' appointment, perhaps because it sounds more important! I think that British adoption of American terms and language is increasing, no doubt because of the influence of American TV programmes and films and, of course, the Internet. How long before our honours classifications are replaced by 'Cum Laude', 'Magna Cum Laude' and 'Summa Cum Laude', I wonder?
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