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handsoff

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About handsoff

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Interests
    Playing the organ, listening to organ music both live and recorded, railways, photography, walking, swimming, cooking and eating, driving (1969 Morris Minor amongst others) and keeping my wife in the manner to which she has become accustomed. That means that I took very early retirement and she still works!

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  1. ... and what stunning playing throughout. The organ sounds absolutely magnificent. Thank you for sharing so much of the rebuilding process with us. I look forward to 1) a long weekend in York for Mrs H and me and 2) a recording when all has settled down.
  2. I have a copy of the SGH disc which I bought from Priory using the service by which they produce a CD to order for a customer. It took a couple of weeks, cost a bit more than usual and the insert and sleeve notes are photocopies but the sound quality is excellent as is always the case with Priory. The organ sounds magnificent if a little short of breath at times and the CD is a welcome addition to my collection. it might be worth checking to find out if Priory still offer this service - I didn't know that they did but contacted them to ask if they perhaps had any copies of the disc in a d
  3. Oh gosh. I used to play that in the school chapel after morning assembly the late 1960s. {Possibly not quite so well or using such a good arrangement...} Themes from the Magic Roundabout used to feature on occasions. I don't think that the Head would have known what the Magic Roundabout was or even what a TV might have been.
  4. I had a similar issue last year. The strip light with an incandescent filament failed but our churchwarden who owns several holiday cottages came up with an LED strip light used as a shaving/make-up light for a bathroom fixture. A simple changeover was made as the old fitting was simply plugged in behind the desk and already linked to the blower switch. A rectangular shade was made for a couple of pounds by a motor engineer who had the appropriate metal bending tool. This was screwed in place and that was that.
  5. I find it strange that anyone could actively hate the organ in St John's; is this an actual quote from Andrew Nethsingha or was something more moderate expressed, as one might expect from such a professional musician, and embellished within the rumour? I have heard the organ in the flesh on several occasions and always found it an exciting instrument, and in my youth was peeved when the firing squad was emasculated. I listened to the Advent Carol service on Sunday last and found the playing of the final hymn (possibly my favourite hymn tune) and the JSB voluntary especially thrilling. It
  6. That was marvellous entertainment on a cold and foggy day. It was good to see and hear some of our lesser-known organs. Neat editing too...
  7. When I started at the local grammar school one of the rules was that every text book had to be covered with brown paper. My parents must have bought miles of the stuff from the huge roll in The Midlands Educational store. This habit became so ingrained that whenever I bought a new music book it was covered and while most have lost the brown outer coating I still have one as so treated in 1969. This image shows it on the desk of my keyboard with the neat lettering applied by my sister and defaced with my own addition of the volume number. Now I don't bother and don't mind if the cong
  8. I am a big fan of last verse reharmonisations for some hymns and still use them, in a gentle fashion, in my small village church with 15 in the congregation and no choir. I think they were more popular some years ago than today and it was quite usual to hear them in the "Wednesday 4 o'clock". It's much less common these days which I regret. The sound of a large organ thundering out a good juicy alternative harmony is quite thrilling. On the other hand I don't much like descants, now much more prevalent, with some exceptions such as Andrew Fletcher's Verdi-esque "Ark the Erald" and some of Sir
  9. One of the curates from our benefice is being ordained at Gloucester Cathedral at 10.15 this Sunday. The service is being streamed live and I'm sure that the organ will play a prominent part. Links are available from the first page of the Diocesan website - or directly through Youtube and Facebook. https://www.gloucester.anglican.org/2020/ordinations-2020/
  10. There is a sign available to buy with the following: Correct Punctuation Saves Lives "Let's eat Grandma"
  11. I was talking to friend recently whose children had been learning about the octopus during lockdown. They had been told that the plural should be Octopi (sic) or it was allowable to use octopussies. He disliked the latter as it sounds messy and suggested that they use the former. I suggested that the correct plural should really be octopodes as the name is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinised form of the Greek word oktopous. I too shall order a copy of the book to help preserve my reputation for grammatical pedantry. I think of it as simply being correc
  12. I often play one or two Hymn Miniatures by Rebecca Groom te Velde which are very effective and not difficult. In Volume 1 I especially like Picardy and St Anne although all 28 pieces are worthwhile.
  13. ...but they are found in buildings 'where there would have been proficient , sophisticated and sensitive musician-singers'. Or naughty choirboys 😀
  14. I absolutely agree that the Symphony Hall acoustics are first rate. The organ has some lovely individual registers and the full Swell Organ is impressive but the tutti needs, in my very humble opinion, a bit more oomph in the choruses, both flue and reed. The pedal Contrabombarde could do with more power to better match the full organ sound or perhaps there should have been two 32' reeds, as in the Town Hall, to avoid compromise. One stop for an impressive effect with less than full organ for use with choirs and orchestras and another for loosening the plaster with everything drawn in solo org
  15. The French Horn on the Symphony Hall organ is one of the best reed stops I have heard anywhere. It is absolutely beautiful particularly when the shutters are closed which give an ethereal effect which is a hair raiser. The organ itself is not one of my favourites by any means. It seems to need the chamades to produce any real volume and the bottom end appears, to me at least, to be lacking in power with the full organ. I much prefer the one just along the way in the Town Hall. I once mentioned this to Andrew Fletcher (my DoM at St Mary's Warwick) after a recital at the Town Hall and he s
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