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Everything posted by DouglasCorr

  1. Unison Off is to be used when one desires the ultimate pianissimo effect .
  2. Well then, what did you all think about the RFH Gala concert/broadcast?? It was a complete sell out and dispite all the acoustically absorbing audience the organ did sound generally much better than in the previous Hall with its dead acoustics. I wonder how much revoicing was necessary to fit in with changed absorbencies of the new Hall? The loud pedal reeds seem to have returned more to their original "French" sound - and much better too - no more smooth English tromboney sounds! But what about the programme?? It couldn't have been more badly chosen?? Fancy starting without an organ solo - however effective organ and brass can sometimes be? And what about all the transcriptions??? I thought the Liszt sounds much better on the piano and transcribing it for organ achieves nothing except to show that a sustaining pedal can be left out (to some extent?!) - who really wants to hear this sort of thing? I won't say anything about the Mendelssohn transcriptions - OK in small doses for some people I suppose? I thought the two world premiers helped to demonstrate the diversity of the use of the organ, although I have to say I'm not bothered if I ever hear them again. So we were only left with 3 true organ pieces by Bach, Franck and Dupre - I was pleased to hear how these sounded on the restored organ. But I'm not sure really what the Franck: Fantaisie in A really has to offer, perhaps a first step towards romantic organ composition, but why bother with it in what should have been a landmark concert - if Frank has to be played why not one of the three chorales??
  3. Oscar and anyone else who may be interested. I have a set of notes from Flor Peeters in 1965 covering The composer and his compositions (a short esssay covering some of his major works) List of organ works List of recordings List of organ publications Unfortunately the lists do not include the detailed contents. Then, if you wish, send me your e mail through the message board and I will send you these as an attachment.
  4. There are some striking pendants (!!!) on the side of the new Goetze Gwynn case in Odiham.
  5. and there's Tom Bowling....!
  6. Last week I attended the Festival of St Cecilia Service at Westminster Abbey in aid of the Musician's Benevolent Fund. The final hymn was "Ye watchers and ye holy ones". I was very much moved by an extra verse that they have added (as verse 4) (written by the Rev Graeme Napier) - "Thou monarch blest of great renown, thou who dost wear the victor's crown; Alleluia, Alleluia. O great Confessor, sainted king, O holy Edward with us sing, Alleluia." On leaving I asked the Dean about this, and he kindly explained that it had been written for a special occasion, but now they were inclined to use it more often to commemorate the Abbey's Saint. I wonder if there are many other special verses have been composed for similar reasons e.g. for use at Canterbury, St Albans, St Davids?
  7. This is really a terrible thing to happen. The extent of the cuts seem to me rather like panic. It is difficult, but not impossible to raise large sums of money these days. They have only to look to St Davids and consider the amount of money raised there over the last few years for various items - the new Cloister, the Shrine, the Pilgrim Centre and the recent new organ! There is a petition to sign here http://savellandaffchoir.weebly.com/index.html
  8. I'm confused about the tune in A&M revised by Walford Davies for the carol "O little town of Bethlehem...". Here this is called Wengen and it is quite different to the other Walford Davies tune called "Christmas Carol" found in e.g. Songs of Praise, Common Praise and that we are generally fimilar with these days. However if one explores YouTube you will find that the names Christmas Carol and Wengen are used for the same tune (Christmas Carol). They also appear confused in the Wikipedia entry too. Does anyone know what is going on? As an aside, does anyone sing the A&M Rev Wengen tune these days?
  9. I notice there are some interesting recitals http://www.ram.ac.uk/events?event_id=1400 but at 12 noon on Sunday. Can anyone think of a worse time for an organ recital???
  10. I agree, the present Organ publication I feel is more of transient interest and generally lacks the scholarly approach of the original The Organ. However whatever the depth of scholarship and literary skill of the authors in the original or current Organ, whenever it comes describing how an organ sounds it can never be communicated exactly to the reader. What is needed are recordings to illustrate the articles. These can be provided with present day technology. Perhaps a quarterly magasine with a CD, or have the whole thing published on line with the necessary links to recordings. It is fairly futile to read descriptions of organ tone - there is no universal vocabulary that is understood by all.
  11. In the performance.... hmmmm - Considering how non legato most of this is played I was really shocked that the three repeated pedal c's at the end were almost joined together!!
  12. I would image that showing the C-C film in Warrington might help to educate people so that they could understand the value of the Parr Hall C-C organ. This was indeed a constructive suggestion.
  13. I thought this collection provided an excellent background to understanding how 19th century French organ music should sound. But I must say I have been surprised that no one wanted to chat about this sooner on these pages. David - if you look carefully you will notice that some of the descriptive commmentary is provided with the speaker seated in Farnborough Abbey (I imagine that these were extra bits needed to complete parts of the discussion not adequately covered in the original on site filming), and as a backgorund to some discussion on Napoleon 3 there is also a short shot of Napoleon 3rd's tomb in Farnborough Abbey.
  14. This is a fine tribute on "The Organist Entertains" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mk1y7 only 2 days left!!
  15. Things now seem to be going from bad to worse. I recently enquired when the organ would be going back into the concert hall and I received the reply that they were not sure whether it would be going back! I think that this eventuality would be a serious musical loss - the recitals there were quite well attended - the organ made a respectable sound, appreciated by many fine players, despite the lack of reverberation. This would be a very sad end to Professor Evans notable achievement.
  16. It was interesting for me to be at St Pauls last Thursday as on the previous Sunday I had been at the Grand Recital in St Sulpice to mark the 150th anniversary of the installation of the Cavaille Coll organ. I thought that S-V C-C made St Pauls speak with as French a voice as possible, with conspicuous use of the chancel reeds - but St Pauls has such a refined English sound there are definite limits as to how far it can go in a French direction IMO. The Dome choruses provided the basis of her performance of Boëllmann's Suite Gothique. It was a performance vastly acoustically scaled up from what we are used to hearing. In effect the Chancel organ became the "Swell" and the Dome became the "Great". I think it was the Solo strings that made such an impact in the Prière (such a relief compared to hearing the usual feeble English strings). PS at the end of the Saint Sulpice recital Daniel Roth provided an improvisation on themes of his own choice in a "Rhapsodie, évocation de la tradition musicale de Saint-Sulpice" where bits of Lefébre-Wely (including the Machine â Grèle) stood side by side with extracts from Dupré and others!!
  17. Last Sunday I went to this year's opening recital at Farnborough Abbey given by the organist Neil Wright. As usual, despite an interior temperature that would make a freezer seem like an oven, I fell into a reverie, luxuriating in the Cavaille Coll sounds and wonderful acoustics. At the end of the programme there was an improvisation on submitted themes. Two themes were provided- the Grainger Country Gardens and a strange chromatic theme that I did not recognise. In fact I couldn't even remember the second theme! Which is an important point. An improvisation is of is nature only intended to be heard once, as it is created. So if the listener can't remember the theme, then it doesn't matter what the organist does, however clever and entertaining it may be. Clearly the improvisation themes need to be memorable, as well as being inspiring to the organist and without any trivial, distracting and inappropriate associations. As it happened Neil Wright's improvisation was dignified and inspired - bits of Country Gardens came and went, but chromatic developments inspired by the second theme seemed to dominate the memorable performance. However as I couldn't remember the chromatic theme the logic of the development passed me by (ah, anyway there was still the Cavaille Coll sound.... )
  18. Yesterday's magnificent recital at St Paul's Cathedral by Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin was concluded, as one might have expected, with an improvisation on submitted themes. When I read this in the programme I thought - I hope the themes are not trivial ones. But sure enough they were: The Archer's signature tune and Teddy Bears picnic, both of which are quite long as well as being stupid in this context. Naturally astonishing music was spontaneously produced, but how much better would it have been if the themes had had some intrinsic musical value? I think about 50% of the times I've heard improvisation on submitted themes in the UK they have been really silly themes, of no musical value. Reducing the improvisation to an extremely clever circus trick like feat. I'm sure that masters of improvisation such as Tournemire would have regarded this as a mockery of his skill and stormed off. I think those who suggest themes should make their selection from short themes or fragments of themes from the great composers or from church music (e.g. hymn tunes). I wonder what other Message Boarders think?
  19. Wow!! 3 minutes 30 seconds!! Must be the shortest Mass on record!! Barely enough time to swing a censer!!
  20. Yes, well observed. But is Ysenda Maxtone Graham a real person's name? A clever musical anagram perhaps "eden hymn song ...?" er... now I'm stuck???
  21. But don't forget the cost of your gym membership subscriptions vide- http://mander-organs-forum.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/3407-hymns-appear-to-be-getting-heavier/
  22. Clearly you are driving for a Pseuds Corner position - so what about a Contrapunctus of organists?
  23. I had to accompany a Communion Service in Welsh once. One hymn had 6 verses and I just lost count and couldn't work out what was being sung. Fortunately I had noticed in earlier hymns that someone in the congregation snapped their hymn book shut well before the end of the last verse! Saved by the snap!!
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