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Ronald Shillingford

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About Ronald Shillingford

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  1. Playing from memory is something only very gifted musicians could do. I am able to play some of the Mendelsohn Organ Sonats from memory and a few pieces by Widor. Everything else would require the score if not only to trust my fingering footing and registration changes. I heard Darius Battiwalla this week at Birmingham Townhall and what a first rate player he is too. He played all his programme from memory which consisted of the introduction passagalia & fuge by Healey Wilan. Most organist's would run a mile when they see the score with all those flats in it lol he also played the C
  2. In the final encore Pomp & cirumstance no.4 the organ didn't go out of tune. Thomas had been using the sequencer for most of his Recital this piston can be dangerous as depending on which order the stops were set to come on u can go back to a PP setting which explains why the organ might of sounded out of tune on the closing chords. Fortunately Thomas press another piston to revert to the full organ so it didn't really spoil the encore that much. Even concert organists like Simon Preston have got themselves into a awkward moment lol.
  3. I attended both the evensong and Recital of this weekend. The organ sounded magnificent at both events. I will give Thomas Trotter praise as he took the time and trouble to demonstrate the various divisions of the Organ throughout his recital in a light hearted approach. If I I do have one quirky reservation it would be u really need to go right into the Quire to hear the Organ. When I attended the recital I had a seat nr the crossing opp the transept Organ and I found the Organ is rather subtle . I can see why the Cathedral really needs three organs. The real test will be whether th
  4. Simon Preston was always the greatest Organist i ever heard play when I first heard him at the Abbey in the 80's. It's hard to believe his reached 70 lol long may you continue to inspired us with your Organ playing.
  5. Having now heard the recent BBC Broadcast of Choral Evensong from here a few days ago I am delighted to hear the new Kenneth Tickell organ. His firm has done a good job considering they don't normally build Organs with electric Action as proposed to a direct mechanical action. Tonally it develops well in this rather dull acoustic. The full Swell was a revelation and the Mixtures I am glad to say are not too harsh and shout at u lol. The Tuba as well is very sucessfull . All in all it's quite a gutsy sound which is what I like to hear. The only thing thats misssing unfortunately
  6. There is a God up there lol The current instrument was always very poor and a hotchpotch of pipe work from different periods. The organ Case and console was not pleasing to look at. The Nicholson will be a major improvement to the musical life of this Cathedral.
  7. I was in Worcester over the weekend and decided to call in and my friend Keith hearnshaw was playing the Rodgers Organ for evensong. Have to say the Rodgers certainly packs some punch and filled the Nave with sound very well. Now to the new Kenneth Tickell Organs. Can't really comment yet as I haven't heard the instrument but the cases look magnificent and almost reminds me of another Westminster Abbey although the design is not quite the same. As I under stand the 32's are not available until the building of the Transpet Organ. Nobody has explain why this case is being sited on the othe
  8. At a recent meeting in my local Birmingham organist's Association our president gave an address having just been elected. And one of the things that came back to me while he was talking was the notion that live music is cheap in Churches. He is right of course this couldn't be further from the truth when we as Organist's see how badly Congregations behave in Church. I had to bite my tongue Easter Sunday morning having just played for a high Catholic Mass and wrestled with a larger Congregation then usual. The noise and chatter was appalling. Have u notice it dosen't matter how lo
  9. Have to say Briggs is at his best in this Recording . Stupendous majesty and awe. The arresting opening bars in the Vierne just sent shivers down my spine. I like the reeds in this Organ they just have the right amount of attack and bite without being too overblown more likely in some of our English instruments. I can't get enough of this CD !
  10. A few weeks ago here in Birmingham I attended a Musical Oratory which is a service of Music, Readings and prayer in regard to Cardinal Newman. The guest Organist for the Evening seated at the four manual Nicholson Organ was Dr Francis Jackson. Francis is a living legend and a testament to us that he has this incredible energy and drive to continue to blow us all away with his Organ Playing. We were not disappointed. Franics began with the Cesar Franck Fantasie in A with it's parasian like writing bold textures and majestic chords. Then we heard the Bach BWV Wedge Prelude followe
  11. I cannot see how any of this can be achieved. I have been Organist at a Catholic Church for some years now. I play for the usual Sunday Services and feast days etc 50 wks of the year. I am lucky to get 2 wks off and even then thats not without it's problems. My biggest problem is finding someone else who is competent to play while I am away. I fully endorsed what has been said about Organist's rights of Employment. But won't these Vicars just sacked u s all and used some other style of worship ? I can see it happening already there has been a dumbing down of Church Music for some ye
  12. Grande piece Symphonique Ian Tracey Simply mind blowing and a rare chance to hear the Widor 4th Symphony recorded in full. Toccata incandescent Joseph Nolan at the Organ of Coventry Cathedral Joseph's playing of The exciting Toccata By Jean Guillou just blew me away. This guy clearly knows how to communicate a performance depsite the fact its difficult music requiring someone with sound Organ Techninque. David Coram at the organ of Romsey Abbey. Only just bought this CD a few days ago but its a real gem. My favourite tracks are the Bach trio on Alein gott The Franck B mnor Chorale
  13. U might be interested to know that the Organ is currently being rebuilt by Nicholson. However, is anyone familiar with the history of this Organ ? I have never heard it played myself.
  14. Ok Douglas. Well I am one of the five Organists that play in Birmingham Crematoria. There are three Crems that they owned. The Organists work as Self-employed servants we are paid less then eleven pounds per service each day. The rate we are paid is set by the local authority and not the Funeral Director. I have been working in this role for 10 yrs now and the pay is abysmal. Information as to pay is always from the local authority who determine the rate. We are all professionally trained Organists we have tried to push for the ISM Rate but they were having none of it. Accordin
  15. I did notice two Organs in the Church and yes one was a Electronic. But I really couldnt tell it was the Electronic they were using for the Hymn Jerusalem.
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