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Peter Clark

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Everything posted by Peter Clark

  1. An interesting new organ; I came across this accidentally! http://www.stpetersmusic.btinternet.co.uk/ Peter
  2. I find that "loud" = "fast" and "soft" ="slow down" with a lot of Catholic congregations. I do however think there is a tension between trying to reflect in one's playing the mood of the words and providing sufficient support for the congregation. In the hymn "Dear Lord and Father" for example, the verses about the "Sabbath rest by Galilee" and the "still dews of quietness" must be allowed to contrast with the final verse which speaks (temporarily) of earthquake wind and fire, at which point I generally go full organ and coming right down at the end for the calm after the storm. In accompanying settings in most cases the Gloria and Sanctus will require more power than the Kyrie or Angus Dei (assuming that you are trying to encoiurage your congregation to join in with the choir in these). Best Peter
  3. Ocumuse publised a suite by Nigel Gaze called "Christmas in Brandenburg" - various carols rendered in the style of JSB. I don't know it it is in print any more, nor do I know what happened to Oecumuse. Any ideas, folks? (I used to be on BB's panel of reviewers). Peter
  4. Yes, good and bad! It is from his 1965 (?)recording That Was The Year That Was, a much more political collection than the stuff he did in the late 50s. It contains such immortal lines as "Ave Maria, gee it's good to see ya"!
  5. quote name='Jeremy Ewen' date='Dec 5 2006, 09:37 PM' post='17352'] A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service. Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation? JE Many years ago I played a disguised (I hope) version of "They can't take that away from me" at an ordination. I also found myself almost unaccountably playing around with "When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbing along" during an episcopal visit. This year's midnight mass will probably end with Widor - it seems to be a St Peter's tradition now, but I think I'll put in Sleigh Ride as well sometime soon - complete with Zimbelstern!. Best Peter
  6. Thanks Andrew a very worthwhile link. I shall be guided by this quote: "During Advent, the playing of the organ and other musical instruments as well as the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation that reflects the character of this season, but does not anticipate the full joy of Christmas itself. " (my emphasis) Best to all Peter
  7. I had always thought that voluntaries were "banned" in Advent (as in Lent) and being extremely lazy I had always taken advantage of this proscription - until this year when I have decided to play, as a token gesture, the Bach Advent chorale preludes from Orgelbuchlien (with the addition of Wachet Auf for Advent 3). Best wishes Peter
  8. Can I add my thanks to Manders' people for getting us up and running again. Thanks Peter
  9. How Great Thou Art is in fact heretical - look at the bit about "sent him to die". This is a completely erroneous misreading of the purpose of the incarnation. BTW Hail Gladdening Light is one of my favourites too. Glorious on a summer evening, with the sun streaming though the stained glass windows and an almost embarrasingly exaggerated rall on the last line "therefore in all the world"....! Peter
  10. A latter in the current issue of OR claims that the three least popular hymns seem to be All Things Bright and Beautiful, Lord of the Dance and Shine Jesus Shine. However, none of these, not even the Kendrick, approaches the depths reached by I Watch the Sunrise, a hymn devoid of any musical and theological content. It seems I have to play it for 9 out of 10 funeral services, and I cannot work out why. Any thoughts? Are there any hymns that drop below the Sunrise Scale? Regards Peter
  11. Just last week I was accompanying the psalm and for verse 2 instead of drawing a soft swell 8', I drew the 16' basson instead. I carried on as if this is exactly what I had intended to do. Has anybody any similar experiences, and what, if any, is the best way to cope with them? Regards Peter
  12. Yes, I've just discovered Jamie Cullum. Excellent, IMHO! Peter
  13. Q. What's the difference between an organist and a terrorist? A. You can negotiate with a terrorist. An old joke which we've all heard a few times no doubt, but what about the other "joke" often inflicted on organosts. How many of us have had to suffer the "have you been playing with your organ today", or variations on it, while trying to enjoy a quiet post-service pint (I assume I'm not alone in following this custom!)? The sad thing is, that eveybody who makes this crack seems to assume that they are the first person to have thought of it. Regards Peter
  14. A favourite of mine is Mass of the City by Richard Proulx. Anybody here know/use it? It needs a competent choir and organist with a conductor. Peter
  15. In the open ing do youn play (pedals) G G C D E flat (as my edition demands) or G B flat C D Eflat... I also have similar concerns about the D major when, in the bar a couple before the end I play a pedal b rather than the indicated f#.
  16. Sorry for my two ghost posts - I hit the send button accidentally. But on the Walker subject, has anybody found the double-touch canceller any use? I playwd in Llantarnam Abbry a couple of years ago with the sadly-missed Dom Alan Rees and was actually happy to discover that the canceller on the Walker organ there (same vintage) wasn't working! But there again I've never played a Walker with drawstops.
  17. # Agreed. I played a lovely Walker extension built in, I think, the late 60s, in Holy Trinity, Dockhead in South London which was more than capable of most of the repetoire; one recital I gave included Buxtehude, Bach (565) and the Reger Dankpsalm as well as Messiaen's Apparition.... I understand it has now been neglegted, but there is also a deligfhtful Mander 1 manual with pedals (only coupled no dedicated stops) in St Ann's, Kingston Hill. This is a small church so might be worth a look. Peter
  18. Well actually we had to do no fund rasing at all as the organ was a gift from Lady Moira Hodge in memory of her late husband Sir Julian, the financiar and philanthropist. They were married in St Peter's, and though living in Jersey they always maintained an interest in the parish, and Cardiff in general. After Sir Julian died, Lady Hodge wanted a Requiem Mass celebrated at St Peter's which we did. She said that she wanted to have a memorial to her husband in the church and since the old organ (Shakell and Thompson 2 manual) was gettiong past it it was decided that a new instrument be installed. And thus it was. The parish however did have to fund the reinforcement work to the organ gallery. The only advice I can offer therefore is: seek out wealthy widows! Incidentally, we considered a number of options before hitting on Spaeth. We even looked at the possibility of a "combi" instrument and I was sent up to the midlands to hear Carlo Curley demonstrate a Collins/Allen organ which, to be fair, sounded as reasonable as an organ could in factory surroundings. But I think the Spaeth was the wiser choice!
  19. Andrew, is it still the 2 manual Brindley & Foster? I played there for a year or so in the early 80s.
  20. Not I Paul: in the late 60s I had just started grammar school (and thus learning the organ)! Peter
  21. I should have done this last week I suppose but hadn't seen this thread. Peter Clark,organist and choirmaster St Peter's Roath Cardiff, where the new Spaeth organ has just been installed. I started the piano at 6 and the organ at 12 (my school had its own instrument) and later studied with Harry Bramma at Southwark Cathedral. Went to Cardiff University where I read Theology and Religious Studies, getting a BA and an MPhil, and specialising in Zoroastrianism but continuing to play the organ throughout all this flurry of academic activity. I was a lecturer in Religious Studies (in Wolverhampton, Chester and Cardiff). Musically, I am pretty catholic - wasn't it Duke Ellington who said that "there are only two kinds of music - good and bad"? So my CD rack is home to Messiean, Bach, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Langlais, Frank Zappa, Beethoven, Chopin, Faure, Maxwell Davis, Spirogyra, Reginald Dixon, Berg.... I made a study of Langlais a few years ago, trying to catologue the many plainsong and plainchant themes he used in his organ works. I still possess a letter he wrote to me encouraging me in this. And of course as theology was part of my academic discipline, I find Messiean a particularly gratifying source of study. Regards to all....
  22. I have just joined this forum; I am the organist ad choirmaster at St Peter's, Cardiff, where the new Spaeth organ has been installed. There are a few teething problems inevitably, such as cyphers appearing randomly, a swell tremulant which engages itself from time to time with no prompting from the player, and now the manuals have to be taken back to Switzerland for adjustment, but it is an excellent instrument. If anyone is in, or is passing through, ot is near Cardiff and wish to play the organ please e-mail me. Peter Clark PS but not next week because that's when the manuals go back. By the way. I found Hans Spaeth and his team charming people. Before they went back to Switzerland my partner Jane and I took Hans and a couple of them out for a beer and a game of pool. We won.
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