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Jeremy Jones

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Everything posted by Jeremy Jones

  1. Alas, I have never made the pilgrimage to Coventry to hear moosic made on this highly regarded organ. If it sounds 'in the flesh' anything remotely close to Wayne Marshall's stunning HMV Classics recording then it is definitely worth a hear, even if it doesn't have a nice brassy Tuba.
  2. I note no one has mentioned the Marcussen in Tonbridge School Chapel. I have not heard this instrument in the flesh but it seems to be a very highly thought of organ and on CD sounds impressive. Equally, the Klais at Bath Abbey would seem to merit inclusion, even if it is a bit of a Marmite organ, with people either loving or hating it. It is a pity that the names of Harrisons, Manders and Nicholson seem to be noticeable absent. I think from the starting point of 1980 until relatively recent, domestically our organ builders were going through a bit of a purple patch, not exactly producing top notch distinctive organs (St John's College, Cambridge, anyone?) but also because the most prestigious contracts were going to oversees builders. However, I think we could be at the beginning of a golden age for domestic organ building - Worcester Cathedral (Tickell and Nicholson organs), Llandaff Cathedral (Nicholson), Glenalmond College (Harrisons) to name just a few.
  3. Ralph Downes - a lovely man but somewhat misguided at times. Of his magnus opus at the RFH, I read in the new edition of GRAMOPHONE that the remainder of the organ is unlikely to be installed until 2011. Can this really be true?
  4. An interesting and unexpected appointment - not one of the usual suspects. Strange that there's still no news about the vacancy at St Paul's, though maybe not surprising. In a recent interview, John Scott said what a pleasure it was to be working in New York in an environment free from politics - that could have been a contributing factor in his successor bailing out after such a short time.
  5. Fittest? I'd say she's not fit fur purpose. Pity her the scary Mum though. Bring back the Piper, I say!
  6. Oooh yes!!! This was my first organ LP and what really got me hooked on the instrument BIG TIME! Oh for some enterprising soul to reissue it on CD on licence from EMI. One can but dream.
  7. I think I have most if not all of the series so far. A small handful have for me been disappointing, due to repertoire that I did not like (Worcester, Birmingham, Coventry) or an organ that just did not seem very special (Newcastle). Otherwise, they have all been uniformly good with a handful of exceptional quality (Winchester, Truro, Ely). Curiously, I found Andrew Lumsden at Lichfield somewhat pedestrian sounding but the subsequent Regent CD made there with Philip Scriven (Piping Hot) is a huge favourite of mine that is often to be found spinning in my CD player. The series seems to have run out of steam of late, but I hope this is only temporary, and that it will be full speed ahead at Cole Towers in due course.
  8. Want a haircut? Or a moostache? Check out Wolfs Barber Shop Mine's a handlebar!
  9. The Father Willis in St Dominic's Priory, Belsize Park is indeed a wonderful instrument. If you are intending to attend any of the recitals Alan has listed, I would recommend you go along in the Spring/Summer months rather than in the Autumn or Winter. The last time I attended a recital there when Martin Stacey was playing, it was actually colder inside the church than outside and by the end of the recital for most members of the audience the onset of hypothermia had begun!
  10. I agree that the Choral from the Deuxieme Symphonie (my mistake!) does eventually come to a wonderful climax. However, I maintain that it is not an ideal piece for a voluntary since by the time the wonderful climax duly arrives, you will find that the congregation has already left the building and the organist is simply playing for his/her own aggrandisement. There is nothing inherently wrong with that - I am sure organists are all guilty of doing this sometimes - but surely it is not what a voluntary is intended for? Or am I being naive?
  11. Listening on analogue FM stereo, I didn't notice any clattering by the organ which I thought was recorded quite distantly. I would imagine those who have more high spec listening gear were more distracted. A good CE I thought, though the Vierne at the end (Symphonie III) did not seem to sit very well with what had gone before and was not exactly something to send the congregation out with a spring in their step. Bit ponderous really.
  12. I certainly still remember that evening, if not praps for the right reasons. I came up to London with a group from Bristol and we were late so found seats right at the back of the Cathedral. Anyone who knows WC will know that is probably not the safest place to sit for an hour or so of Messiaen, however well played! Nonetheless, a memorable occasion.
  13. Steaming, eh? Praps it was a bit too hot for you to handle, eh Voh???
  14. I caught the last 25 mins of the first(?) Choral Evensong on Radio 3 to be broadcast in its new Sunday slot, in this case live from Ely Cathedral. As someone who never gets to hear the broadcast on Wednesday afternoons, I actually welcome the new slot, although not if the trebles are as raw and screechy as was the case on Sunday. However, it was worth enduring for what was a stunning voluntary, the opening Allegro from Widor's 6th Symphony. The Beeb made no indication as to whether Paul Trepte or Jonathan Lilley was playing, but it was riveting stuff. What also became clear was that despite Harrisons supposed back to basics rebuild of a few years ago, the organ still very much retains the capacity to breathe fire and sound pretty idiomatic in the French repertoire.
  15. Unfortunately I found this to be equally uninspiring. I note what Barry says and would hope to make the pilgrimage from the 'smoke' to the East Riding in the not too distant future to hear a visitng recitalist.
  16. I have in the past few days suddenly found myself under siege with 4 new CD recordings of British organs landing on my doormat, with 3 out of 4 IMHO really rather worth splurging out on. CARLISLE CATHEDRAL / JOHN ROBINSON (PRIORY) Howells, Lloyd Webber, Bridge, Ireland, Whitlock, Healey Willan (IP&F) and the Elgar Organ Sonata I loved this CD of an organ I had not heard before. JR is a former John's Organ Scholar and it shows in the quality of his playing for someone so disgustingly young and talented. Of the organ, it has a notably bright Great chorus and what sounds like a huge Tuba. Only a 32ft reed would appear to be lacking. CLIFTON COLLEGE, BRISTOL / ADRIAN PARTINGTON (PRIORY) Volume 3 of the Complete Organ Works of Basil Harwood I may as well declare an interest here as I learnt to play the organ on this 4m Harrison and spent nearly 5 happy years playing it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it spoilt me for everything else that came after. The CD is a faithful reproduction of the organ (a Cynic here once said some unflattering things about this organ, so should probably steer clear) but listening to a whole CD of Harwood music wasn't the chore I was expecting. The only downer here is the CD booklet where the specification given is the original 1911 one (42 stops) and not as it is today (46 stops): http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00255 BEVERLEY MINSTER / COLIN WRIGHT (PRIORY) Thomas Adams, Matthias Hawdon, Matthew Camidge, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, Dyson, John Cook, Francis Jackson, Gwilym Beechey, Alan Spedding To be honest I found myself yawning quite a lot when listening to this CD. The music is not particularly distinguished and the organ doesn't really get to stretch its legs until the last few items. In the early works, the registrations are also a little bland. CAIRD HALL, DUNDEE / TIM BYRAM-WIGFIELD (DELPHIAN) Organ Works by Alfred Hollins including Concert Overtures in C major, C minor and F minor A real cracker of a CD on this 1923 Harrison, their first concert organ. I am very much a fan of Hollins' organ music and the organ sounds a real gem, very much echt-Arthur Harrison. Amazing to think that the same organ builders went from this to the Royal Festival Hall in only 30 years, although their organ in Bristol's Colston Hall also built around the same time as the RFH is a more reliable indicator that not so much had changed in the intervening years. Well worth getting.
  17. I must admit to having been a mite disappointed with Volume 2. It could have done with being made on a wider variety of organs, rather than concentrating on one or two albeit distunguished instruments. I also came away with the impression that in some instances JSW was filmed playing to pre-recorded tracks. What you could see him playing and what you could hear were't always necessarily in synch. Or maybe I've just been watching too much Songs of Praise, where it is common practice.
  18. Jeremy Jones


    And, getting back to the point in hand, that would explain why Llandaff have gone for a traditional English organ rather than something more eclectic that might well be a brilliant recital instrument, but not much kop in coping with its daily bread, i.e. the accompaniment of choral evensong. One would hazard a guess that Nicholsons were chosen because they are the 'local' organ builders, rather than because they produce the finest work, or am I being obtuse?
  19. Me too! Still, thought it worth a punt!
  20. It would seem that maybe our cathedrals are starting to go down the route commonly found in France, where the titulaire organist and Choir master are essentially regarded as equals (am I right about this?). It makes sense, as there only a small number of disgustingly talented musicians around who are both superb organists and choir masters. As for the rest, being mere mortals, they tend to be either good at one or the other.
  21. It could just be my one-tracked mind, but I think Barry is being just a teeny weeny bit naughty!
  22. The 1881 Gray & Davison organ at Rock in Northumberland which Harrisons recently restored had an unusual alternative system to the Swell pedal for controlling the Swell box shutters: the organists bench had a backrest which was able to pivot and operate the shutters. Not sure whether this is still in use. More information on NPOR: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N04159
  23. Ah, so it's all front and no back. Looks like its been pumped full of steroids.
  24. I have just read through all your list of complaints in one sitting. My God, what a lot of pedants you all are. What about the call of mother nature? During the time when I was an organist for hire in London, the lack of an accessible toilet in churches was for me the ultimate bugbear. They were usually located in the (locked) vestry and could be on the moon for all the use they were. One of the reasons I gave the whole shebang up was that I got fed up with having to resort to finding the nearest bush to procure relief. Elongated O's? Screaming babies? Bwyan ? Taking a breath before insteaf of after 'Born'? I'm beginning to pity the poor put upon clergy! Get a life!
  25. I am grateful for Kevin for taking the opportunity to reply to my posting. However, what Kevin omits to mention is that works by the composers mentioned are spread over a number of recitals and stand shoulder to shoulder with music by other composers to which the word 'obscure' must surely have been invented to describe them: 24 October - Adalberto Guzzini, Graham Hunter, Harold East, Henry Hudson, Dick Koomans 4 November - Hummel, Bach, Richard Hall, Durufle 23 January - Bach, Denis ApIvor, Vaughan Williams, Harold East, Jongen 30 January - Bach, Michael Short, Howells 20 February - Bach, Widor, Eben, Howells, Leighton 4 April - Iain Shaw, David Nield May 1 - Thierry Pallesco, Paul Fisher, Reger Note the odd one out - 20 February - when Peter Yardley-Jones, the Organ Scholar, is given his head with what looks on paper an attractive programme. Kevin has carved a niche for himself as an organ recitalist who champions contemporary music, and that is to his credit and to be applauded. It just seems a shame that his recitals are monopolising such a romantically inclined instrument as that in the Memorial Chapel in Glasgow with works suitable for an organ of more recent vintage and disposition. With such a diverse discography, Kevin could never be accused of being a one-trick pony! However, I have found Kevin or his record company's bent for recording on chilly Marcussen organs a bit of a turn-off. Not so the Organ Explosion recordings, both of which lounge in my CD library. As for the Storm CD, well again my main complaint here is the Blackburn organ, which I do not like. Had that CD been recorded on the Glasgow organ, Gary Cole would have been richer by £13.50. Mention of recording the Glasgow organ, are there any plans in the pipeline to burn a CD or two?
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