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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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/
  4. There is a sign available to buy with the following: Correct Punctuation Saves Lives "Let's eat Grandma"
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. ...but they are found in buildings 'where there would have been proficient , sophisticated and sensitive musician-singers'. Or naughty choirboys 😀
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. I too have registered with the new forum and add my thanks to Steve for providing the facility and will also be happy to help fund within reason any migration of old material.
  11. I too would appreciate keeping the format close to the current one and add my thanks to Steve for the offer. Some years I used to look at the Radio 3 forum as a non-registered guest but didn't like it a great deal due largely to what I felt to be an unpleasant atmosphere created by one or two of the elder statesman there. If any costs are ever involved with keeping this forum going I'm sure that regular posters could afford a few pounds per year each with any excess perhaps going to the NPOR.
  12. I've just listened through the 2nd tier system in my study (NAD 3225PE amp + Wharfedale 505.2 speakers) and thought that the organ sounded pretty damn good. The trumpet is very convincing but, as often seems to be the case, the bass notes less so due, I suppose to the much smaller volume of air being shifted around than would be in a real organ. I stand to be corrected by those whose technical knowledge outweighs mine. Not difficult... Perhaps the Tickell needs tuning along with other basic maintenance work that simply could not have been done in recent times.
  13. handsoff

    Room 101

    John's final sentence is exactly the point. Human tastes in all things are entirely subjective and opinions are just that; opinions. It was recently said in another thread that Dupre's music was, to paraphrase, mostly poor and shouldn't be played at public recitals. A personal opinion and one with which I strongly disagree but nonetheless as valid an opinion as anyone else's. Most organists I know don't like the first movement of Vierne 1 but I simply love it; brooding, dark and hugely atmospheric, and part of a cohesive symphony. One could ask 50 organists for their thoughts on any piec
  14. Umm, the photo on the album sleeve is very fetching... It wasn't such an early purchase as I thought being released in 1976 and was the first LP recording of the new Walker organ in Blackburn Cathedral. The disc I now have was my second version - I remember now that I bought a second copy after my first was in less than good condition. The sound quality, the organ and of course the playing is wonderful.
  15. i'm very sad to hear this news. Jane Parker-Smith's recording released on LP from Blackburn Cathedral was one of my early purchases and was played almost to destruction on a Dansette stereo unit with a tracking weight probably measured in ounces. I shall dig out the disc later today and raise a glass to her memory.
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