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Jeremy Jones

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Everything posted by Jeremy Jones

  1. I would never advocate closing our borders to external influences - without the exchange of ideas the industry would stagnate. All I am calling for is a level playing field. When we in the UK are more familiar with the current output of a Marcussen (Tonbridge, Bridgewater Hall), Klais (Symphony Hall, St Lawrence Jewry, Bath Abbey) or a Letourneau (Tower of London, Selwyn College) than a Mander (St Peter's, St Albans and ???) or a Harrisons (St George's, Douglas, IOM and ???), then only someone with their head in the sand could believe that the situation in the UK today is a healthy one. Is a level playing field such a lot to ask for?
  2. An interesting subject to get the brain working in a somnolant August: Jules Grison - Toccata in F C S Lang - Tuba Tune Norman Cocker - Tuba Tune and if they are allowed, one hit 'organ' wonders by composers who excelled in other areas of the repertoire: Frank Martin - Passacaille Nielsen - Commotio Britten - Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria Ives - Variations on 'America'
  3. Ian Hare should be added to the list of Kings Organ Scholars. Ian went up to Kings in 1968 and has held posts at Cartmel Priory and Carlisle Cathedral. He is currently Director of Music at Crosthwaite Church, Keswick. More details about Ian can be found here.
  4. Come on, that's not very fair! We have had solo recitals from DGW in Autumn 2005, Simon Preston in June, David Goode at the Proms this Sunday, and John Scott on 25 October whose programme will be: Wagner: Prelude to ‘Die Meistersinger’ (transcribed E.H. Lemare) Handel: Concerto in G (Op.4, No. 1) Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in C minor BMV 537 Liszt: Fantasia and Fugue on BACH (transcribed by J. Guillou) Prokofiev: Toccata (transcribed by J. Guillou) Grainger: Handel in the Strand (arranged by W. Stockmeier) Bossi: Scherzo Reubke: Sonata on the 94th Psalm Plus there's the annual Organ Gala with John Birch. Stephen Disley and the RPO, the next one being on Sunday 3 June 2007. No one can say the RAH are neglecting the wonderful monstrosity that is the RAH organ, can they?
  5. With all due respect, David has made my point for me. English firms exist almost solely off the back of exports because they can't get a UK job for love nor money because they're all going to the Kuhns, Klais, Frobenius, Marcussens, Letourneaus, Aubertins and Golls of this world. A measure of how bad things have got here is when we all get so excited about Manders or Harrisons actually building a brand new organ in this country for St Peter's Church, St Albans and Glenalmond College. These are rare events and yet by no stretch of the imagination can they be classed as significant instruments, unlike the two to be built for Worcester by Tickell and Nicholsons, which will be.
  6. This is not something unique to the new OR regime. A few years ago following a review of Paul Trepte's splendid Regent Records recording of the re-imagined Ely organ, I had a letter published in the next edition of OR in which I suggested that since the mag had the name 'Review' in its title, part of its remit should surely be to review new and restored instruments. To no avail, however, although this might have had something to do with my letter being overlooked by that below mine, a blazing ripost from Arthur Wills who took the poor reviewer of the Regent Ely CD to task for daring to suggest that Wills 1975 revisions were somewhat eccentric and that the recent Harrison rebuild had rectified much of the damage!
  7. I would echo delvin146's sentiments. The Kuhn specification for Jesus College looks on paper like it will be a typically English instrument, i.e. the English stop names. There is a saying: "Why keep a dog and bark yourself" and one could add a new one along the lines of: "Why specify an English organ and get the Germans/Swiss/Danish (delete as appropriate) to build it?" I'm sure the Swiss organ builders Kuhn make very fine instruments - I mean, they even have a philosophy but one does wonder whether an English organ-builder of the quality of Tickell, Mander or Harrisons were considered and if Kuhn were able to undercut them.
  8. No, I would agree. As an Oundle student I was able to spend an hour or two at both Robinson and the pre-Flentrop Catz and them both to be delightful instruments. I must say I also preferred the pre-Mander St John's organ, nasty square pistons notwithstanding. No one seems to have mentioned the small Binns in Queens, which although I have only heard on CD, sounds like a lovely instrument.
  9. This reminds me of the time when I was a member of that sub-species, the teenager, and had popped into Westminster Abbey on a Sunday evening for the organ recital. I found myself chatting to a somewhat distracted young man hopping from one foot to the other, and told him I was a budding young organist. His interest in me immediately increased 100% and shortly afterwards I found myself up in the Abbey organ loft turning the pages for what turned out to be the Abbey's organ scholar (I have no idea now as to who it was), his page turner having failed to materalise. It made me realise how important a page turner can be - get it right and no one but the organist will even be aware you exist. However, get it wrong and the merde will well and truly come down on your head!
  10. Some of the comments about Wells seem just a teeny weeny bit OTT and apocalyptic. Wells does have its problems - it is a screen organ that needs to service both the Quire and the Nave, but doesn't have the necessary resources to do so. Like Truro it has a big Tuba and matching 16ft pedal reed, wheras a smaller 16ft and corresponding 32ft reed would probably would underpin the tutti better - Wells is certainly big enough to make the lack of a 32ft reed a notable omission. But as I have said elsewhere, despite the 1970s work, if you close your eyes and just listen, it is still essentially a Willis organ, and one that should be retained. The suggestion that we could soon be talking of this instrument in the past tense is risible.
  11. Putting the King's list together involved a bit of Googling and Benjamin Bayl's name did crop up in connection with recitals etc in Sydney, so you are probably right. I agree with Vox that the lists for St John's Cambridge and Christchurch Oxford contain just as illustrious a group of organists - by the way I think you can add Jonathan Vaughn, now at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, to the St John's list. Post Oxbridge organ scholarship, it is interesting how the holders of the Sub-Organist posts at both Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey have proved to be the pre-curser of either becoming a Cathedral Organist or illustrious concert career: WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL James Lancelot Timothy Byram-Wigfield Stephen Farr Philip Scriven David Dunnett WESTMINSTER ABBEY Robert Quinney Andrew Lumsden Simon Preston Christopher Herrick Martin Baker Andrew Reid Harry Bicket Stephen Cleobury
  12. I have a liking for compiling lists, and over the weekend, at a loose end, I put together a list of the King's College Cambridge Organ Scholars over the past 30-40 years. With a few exceptiops, where your response may well be to ask: "Where are they now?", it really does read as a veritable Who's Who of the organ world in the UK, and is a remarkable testament to the consistent quality of organists that Stephen Cleobury and before him Philip Ledger and David Willcocks have produced out of the King's conveyor belt. Oliver Brett Tom Winpenny Ashley Grote Benjamin Bayl Thomas Williamson Robert Quinney James Vivian David Goode Christopher Hughes Peter Barley Richard Farnes Stephen Layton David Briggs Thomas Trotter James Lancelot John Butt Francis Grier Simon Preston Andrew Davis No doubt I have probably missed out a few - there is no such list on the web that I could find.
  13. Gramophone magazine reports that Prof Ian Tracey set down a follow-up recording to his Chandos CD 'Bombarde' in June on the Liverpool Cathedral organ. Due for release in 2007 and featuring works by Tournemire, Durufle, Saint-Saens and Franck, the disc is provisionally titled 'Son of Bombarde'!
  14. It could be worse. You could have had stop tablets between manuals a la Rothwell - see GTB at the Temple Church console: http://www.boychoirs.org/temple/temple004.html
  15. Vox assumes the stop knobs are reachable, and maybe they are if you have the arms of an Orang-Utan!
  16. "The end is nigh" may not be far off the mark. Has anyone seen what Priory Records have recently started flogging: NO ORGAN, NO ORGANIST, NO CHOIR, NO PROBLEM! Over 140 Popular Hymns on 6 CDs for Congregational use by Churches of all denominations Oh, all right, the bit about "no problem" is my tongue in cheek addition. On their website it says: "These CDs are played on a proper pipe organ (The Organ of St Paul's, Wimbledon Park, London, organist, Suzanne Brodie) and not a contrived and dull sounding electronic instrument." The good news is that according to NPOR the organ began life in 1889 as a small 2 manual Hill, the bad news is that is was rebuilt and considerably enlarged by the late and sometimes unlamented West Country firm, Percy Daniel, in 1959 and 1975: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N17327
  17. Well, I only bought my copy of the CD, which includes the performance of Carillon de Phwoar here about 2 weeks ago.
  18. The 1970s RAH recordings were reissued on a Classics for Pleasure Silver Doubles 2CD set in 1997 (this also includes some Bach Kynaston recorded on the Rieger at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol). I think it is nla but for the moment it looks like you can still obtain a copy at Amazon.co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000003...glance&n=229816 plus there are some soundclips available.
  19. Norf-West London, actually. I also agree with Roffensis about the Kynaston - I think this was the first recording I ever heard of CdeW on a marvellous EMI Miles of Music cassette that was made up of excerpts from the EMI Great Cathedral Organ series. I just remember thinking, wow, what an organ, and what un-organ like sounds he was producing at the opening of the work. That EMI cassette also has a wonder Ives Variations on America played by Christopher Dearnley at St Paul's. Unfortunately neither performance were included in the 4 volumes Amphion produced a few years ago, so these are nla.
  20. Vierne's Carillon de Westminster from his 24 Pieces de Fantaisie has become so ubiquitous these days that I think we sometimes take it fior granted and forget just what a superb work it is. To rectify matters, may I direct you to a CD by Olivier Latry on BNL recorded at Notre-Dame that includes the CdW. This CdW really made me sit up. It's not that it's got all the sizzle one would expect from ND - it has. No, what make this performance amazing is the way Olivier Latry takes such joy in really throwing in the kitchin sink, bath tub, you name it, in the final pages that blaze with a white-hot flame. It really is a case of Carillon de Phwoar!!!
  21. No one has so far mentioned the the fine Arthur Harrison organ in the Caird Hall in Dundee which, I believe, was built in collaboration with the blind organist/composer Alfred Hollins. I know what has been said about judging an instrument purely on the basis of hearing a recording (Chris Nickol on Priory), but even so this does sound like a fine instrument. I believe they are putting on a handful of summer recitals during August and September and that a new CD has recently been made there by Delphian Records featuring Tim Wyram-Bigfield playing music by Hollins.
  22. I must admit that Manchester has a lot going for it. I regularly take the train up from London to hear the BBC Philharmonic or the Halle under Mark Elder and really like the city centre. Unlike Birmingham, Liverpool or Leeds, it really is a city for walking, although to be avoided on Friday and Saturday nights when groups of young men and women can be seen hunting in packs. A few more instruments in the locality, by the way, just to gild the lilly: 1985 WALKER ORGAN IN BOLTON TOWN HALL http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00527 CAVAILLE-COLL ORGAN AT THE PARR HALL, WARRINGTON (FOR NOW...) http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01653 1921 HARRISON ORGAN IN ST THOMAS'S CHURCH, LEIGH http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=G00085 RENN/HARRISON ORGAN IN ALL SAINTS, STAND http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R00073
  23. Theo-retically the England manager could play the Psalm Preludes, but it should be recalled that he picked them solely on the recommendation of a blind Frenchman without ever having heard or let alone played them. But lets not kid ourselves - we all know they are going to remain unused on the bench. No, what England really needs is a new manager with some Symphonie-Passion to Sortie out the mess left behind by the turnip/swede (sorry - not very good on my veg) and really give it some Wely.
  24. That is such an over-reaction - are you Thierry Henry in disguise? There is clearly only one way to punish such cynicism and that is to flourish a red card!
  25. A Man of Kent or a Kentish Man? Doesn't it depend on which side of the River Medway you were born? Now then, excuse me guvnor while I sweep this soot of of my ears and clean my dirty London hands. At least I'm not stuck deep south - I'm a north of the river kinda guy. Right, where were we? Oh yes! Liverpool - City of Culture. No, seriously. Richard is banging the drum for his local patch, but this one-eyed viewpoint just opens the argument up for everyone to claim that their town or city has a number of fine historic organs too. To quote Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal football manager: "Every man thinks his wife is the most beautiful...." The truth of the matter is that if you are looking for the places with the best collection of organs as potential home for the RCO, then you have to consider Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and of course, dirty old London. Richard's claim for Liverpool has just as much merit as any of the above, though I am doubtful whether the local authority is one of the more enlightened and supportive ones, plus the factor that Liverpool isn't exactly flush with money.
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