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Jonathan Lane

Organs On Screen (not The Screen!)

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In the TV film Goodnight Mr. Tom, John Thaw played the Organ in the village church. The film was set in wartime, but the Organ in question looked very 20th century to me! Anybody know which church it was?

 

Regards to all

 

John

 

 

Yes! I posed this very question here in December, and found out that the church is at Turville in Oxfordshire.

 

You may notice a similarity between the church and organ in 'Goodnight Mr. Tom' and those in 'The Vicar of Dibley' - because they're one and the same place.

 

Steve

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Saturday afternoon the film 'Hilary and Jacky' was on tv here.

 

Funny: Jacqueline was going to play a cello concerto in Berlin, and she was sitting on a sort of cello-soloist-stage in front of the orchestra in .....

 

St. Georges Hall, Liverpool.

 

Unmistakeble because of that organ behind her ...

 

 

B)

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Not exactly an organ, but one of the "pieces" that accompany the programme listings on Sky TV sounds to me to have a (?)synthesized vocal ostinato that sounds like the word "Kyrie" repeated five times going up a minor scale from the tonic. Am I right? Was this specially composed or is it part of a pop "Mass" ?

 

It sounds very Karl Jenkins to me....

 

Peter

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Artemis 81.

 

There was a lot of footage of Liverpool Cathedral. I remember a lot of close up shots of an organ console being played, but I don't remember it being a 5 decker.

 

The well known "popular" musician Gordon Sumner was in the film.

 

The show is available on DVD

 

A quick google came up with this http://www.davidrudkin.com/html/tv/artemis.html apparently it was Southwell - but no mention of the organist

 

Rudkrin's website gives the following: "Organ Passacaglia by Gordon Crosse"

 

Does this help?

 

Peter

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Last night on Batman, the guest villian, The Minstrel, had, in his lair, what appeared to be a one rank three manual organ with about 40 drawstops!

 

(Please don't ask why I was watching Batman!)

 

Peter

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Last night on Batman, the guest villian, The Minstrel, had, in his lair, what appeared to be a one rank three manual organ with about 40 drawstops!

 

(Please don't ask why I was watching Batman!)

 

Peter

 

We won't, what was the episode called?

 

Jonathan

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Can anyone tell me the church/organ used in the 1956 film Sailor Beware ! Whilst waiting for the bride to arrive, the organist is seen having a crafty fag at the (horseshoe) console, playing Jesu, Joy on a seemingly endless loop.

 

I've looked at the Organs on Film website but it's not listed.

 

Thanks

 

curiously,

 

H

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Can anyone tell me the church/organ used in the 1956 film Sailor Beware ! Whilst waiting for the bride to arrive, the organist is seen having a crafty fag at the (horseshoe) console, playing Jesu, Joy on a seemingly endless loop.

 

I've looked at the Organs on Film website but it's not listed.

 

Thanks

 

curiously,

 

H

 

I'll do some checking, a distant relative was in the film. It is currently on 4 on Demand.

 

Jonathan

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Can anyone tell me the church/organ used in the 1956 film Sailor Beware ! Whilst waiting for the bride to arrive, the organist is seen having a crafty fag at the (horseshoe) console, playing Jesu, Joy on a seemingly endless loop.

 

I've looked at the Organs on Film website but it's not listed.

 

Thanks

 

curiously,

 

H

 

The church appears to be Christ Church West Ealing (from the notice board outside), which is now known as Christ the Saviour. It had an 1840 Walker, which has been rebuilt three times since, all by Walker, most recently in 1990. NPOR link here.

 

Jonathan

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

Unless I've missed it, nobody has mentioned Lease of Life, 1954 (I think), Robert Donat as a vicar, Denholm Elliott as the local 'cathedral' organist. Actually a stunning Beverley Minster, with Elliott at the Beverley organ console. A lovely film that made quite an impression on me when I first saw it in the 1960s.

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Unless I've missed it, nobody has mentioned Lease of Life, 1954 (I think), Robert Donat as a vicar, Denholm Elliott as the local 'cathedral' organist. Actually a stunning Beverley Minster, with Elliott at the Beverley organ console. A lovely film that made quite an impression on me when I first saw it in the 1960s.

 

I think I mentioned it right back at the beginning, and excellent film, with a lot of good shots of Beverley Minster, and the village church of Lund, just up the road from Beverley, although I'm not so aware of the organ being used much there. Its a long time since I've seen it, its on betamax, must dig it out. Shows of the Beverley organ well. Another relative of mine was in this one, as a schoolboy, he was at Beverley Grammar School, and they were used for some of the school scenes, needless to say, he didn't go into the business, so is unknown, unlike the previously mentioned one! I'm trying to remember what Denholme Elliott 'plays', I know he plays the C minor prelude (BWV546), but can't remember what else.

 

Jonathan

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At the NFT last night I saw Powell & Pressburger's wonderful 'A Matter of Life & Death' (1946).

 

The music is by Allan Grey, and the 'court' scenes contain some improv on a large-sounding instrument (hefty diaps, tubas etc.) in a spacious acoustic. Does anyone happen to know which instrument this was? The usual film sites (imdb etc.) aren't very illuminating.

 

Cheers.

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I was watching episode 4 (or was it 5?) of The Jewel in The Crown on dvd the other evening, which is the one with the wedding of Teddy and Susan. No organ I'm afraid but when the couple & chief guests retire to the vesty to sign the register there's a rather splendid rendition of what sounds like a Handel march being played on a harmonium. The standard of playing is far beyond what would be likely in the context of the episode. Anyone know what the piece is and who was the player?

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Guest Roffensis

There was a film including someone doing Vierne III Ist movement at Croyland Abbey.

 

Another interesting snippet is Bach being mangled in "The Innocents", the Deborah Kerr film. One can hear the glorious strains of a very fine Organist from outside in the churchyard as it were.

 

R

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There was a film including someone doing Vierne III Ist movement at Croyland Abbey.

 

R

 

Dear Roffensis,

 

Have you any evidence for this?

 

The organ is 12 stops - all 8' & 4' (although a mixture recently replaced the dolce).

 

I still don't believe your earlier posting about a recording of Reubke on it. Did you ever manage to get any more information on that one? (I did PM you.)

 

Stephen Barber

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Guest Roffensis
Dear Roffensis,

 

Have you any evidence for this?

 

The organ is 12 stops - all 8' & 4' (although a mixture recently replaced the dolce).

 

I still don't believe your earlier posting about a recording of Reubke on it. Did you ever manage to get any more information on that one? (I did PM you.)

 

Stephen Barber

 

 

No, but apparently there were two LPs done at the same time in this series. The first was Croyland, the other was another "Spectacular", this time from Thorney Abbey. According to my source that had Ad Nos on it, and a couple of Tuba Tunes, but my collegue does not know the label.

 

R

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No, but apparently there were two LPs done at the same time in this series. The first was Croyland, the other was another "Spectacular", this time from Thorney Abbey. According to my source that had Ad Nos on it, and a couple of Tuba Tunes, but my collegue does not know the label.

 

R

 

No, sorry, Roffensis. No "Organ Spectacular" could ever have been recorded in Croyland Abbey.

 

You couldn't play a tuba tune in Thorney Abbey (a very fine Bevington/Hill, fairly recently restored). You could play a Keraulophon Tune, or a [swell] Cornopean Tune or a Cremona Tune. Which do you think?

 

I'm afraid your colleague is having a laugh.

 

Stephen Barber

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It seems that organs can crop up in what appear at first to be unlikely scenarios. Recently I found myself watching an ITV feature film about the serial killer John George Haigh, who flourished, if that is 'le mot juste', just after the Second World War. He had discovered a novel way of disposing of his victims, id. est., by letting them luxuriate in what the press called an acid bath.

 

It is difficult for we organists and choirmasters, who lead quite blameless lives, filled with the doing of good works for our fellow men and women, to realise that there was at least one musician out there who seemed to gain satisfaction from slaying those around him more or less at random. Are there any more similarly motivated characters known about by others on the forum?

 

What part does an organ play in this grim tale? Haigh was brought up by strict parents who were Plymouth Brethren, but who allowed him to take up a choristership at Wakefield Cathedral. One account of his life suggests that he may even have become, briefly, an articled pupil to the organist, Joseph Hardy, (presumably - see Wikipedia) and there is a fine shot of the impressive 5 manual Compton console with the small child playing the youthful Haigh 'attempting' BWV 565 - what else?

 

“A is for Acid” - is the film title; I thought it was very well done, with Martin Clunes, ever reliable, as the eponymous anti-hero.

 

David Harrison

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A Canterbury Tale (Although supposed to be at Canterbury actually filmed in St. Albans, as Canterbury's organ had been dismantled) - 1944

 

I remember seeing this...I think they used the sound of St Albans organ, but the pics are of Canterbury...including those of the organ console when it was in its loft over the choir stalls pre 1948.

 

There was a tv drama tv (perhaps BBC1)in the 70's or 80's which featured an organist. I can't remember much other than it seemed to have some doomsday senario. The organist in question would not play the Bach T and F in D minor because it had some special qualities. When he did in a recital, the place started to collapse. I don't recall the entire plot, but remember a mobile console? possibly for the final scenes. I do hope someone else remembers it as I must have been about 10 at the time!

 

The TV Drama you mention may be the same one I often remember, but possibly not. I vividly remember a drama which included quite a lot of organ music and there was a huge organ console (but I think no pipes were ever seen) at the back of a fairly small church. It was utterly surreal and I'm sure the console certainly didn't belong to the church's own organ. The organist was very stereotypical and quite 'mad professor' with longish hair. Another thing I remember was the lead pattern changing in the windows. I hadn't been playing the organ long at the time, this drama was almost enough to frighten me away from the instrument!

 

On a different note (excuse pun) I remember seening a Mander Denham organ with it's characteristic case on a film some time ago. I think it was a 70s comedy, possibly a Carry On but that sort of style.

 

John R

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Guest Cynic
The TV Drama you mention may be the same one I often remember, but possibly not. I vividly remember a drama which included quite a lot of organ music and there was a huge organ console (but I think no pipes were ever seen) at the back of a fairly small church. It was utterly surreal and I'm sure the console certainly didn't belong to the church's own organ. The organist was very stereotypical and quite 'mad professor' with longish hair. Another thing I remember was the lead pattern changing in the windows. I hadn't been playing the organ long at the time, this drama was almost enough to frighten me away from the instrument!

 

On a different note (excuse pun) I remember seening a Mander Denham organ with it's characteristic case on a film some time ago. I think it was a 70s comedy, possibly a Carry On but that sort of style.

 

John R

 

 

Talking of surreal, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is seen playing an organ - or at least a keyboard instrument that makes organ sounds - in the second film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He never switches the blower off, it seems, since at one point he is seen sleeping next to the two (curved!) manuals and William Turner (Orlando Bloom) causes him to move slightly and a note goes off.

 

I like the curved manuals idea - something of that kind would accommodate me rather more comfortably than straight ones. Mind you, thinking on, the sharps would get narrower towards the front, which might cause my plump fingers to get trapped.

 

Why is it that when organs are heard in horror films it's always the same registration, viz full to mixtures with a 16' reed? Is it a coincidence that this is the identical registration used virtually every year for virtually every congregational hymn in the Kings College Cambridge Carol broadcast?

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The TV Drama you mention may be the same one I often remember, but possibly not. I vividly remember a drama which included quite a lot of organ music and there was a huge organ console (but I think no pipes were ever seen) at the back of a fairly small church. It was utterly surreal and I'm sure the console certainly didn't belong to the church's own organ. The organist was very stereotypical and quite 'mad professor' with longish hair. Another thing I remember was the lead pattern changing in the windows. I hadn't been playing the organ long at the time, this drama was almost enough to frighten me away from the instrument!

 

 

John R

 

Following my post above in reply to a post about the 1981 BBC programme Artemis 8 1, I decided to buy this apprantly cult but never repeated programme on DVD. I've just played part of it and it is indeed the one I remember. I've amazed myself with how much detail I remembered about the first organ scene. The DVD has an optional commentry by the writer and (I think) the producer or director plus a film expert. One of the commentators actually states that the earlier organ (obviously a four manual a Willis) is that of the Great Hall of Birmingham university. We see the console and hear the organ although the film is cleverly done to make it seem as if the console is behind a red cutain under the tower in a village church. The church is somewhere near Southwold in Suffolk but has a fictional name in the film.

 

The second location where we see and hear an organ is Southwell Minster. The detached tab console is played. One commentator on the DVD says the organist who actually performed the music and is also seen playing live at Southall in the long shots (& wearing a wig) is Peter Dickenson. The final item is a piece by Gordon Crosse based on a twelve note theme provided by the writer. The theme is a distortion of the Brahms Ab minor fugue heard on the earlier organ above.

 

John R

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Has anyone seen Elizabeth (with Cate Blanchett, director Shekhar Kapur) 1998?

The coronation takes place in York Minster, and its obviously filmed there, but they have managed to get rid of the organ on the screen :rolleyes:

Was it good photoshopping? Or was it not filmed in York Minster?

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Following my previous reply to a post about the 1981 BBC programme Artemis 8 1, I decided to buy this apprantly cult but never repeated programme on DVD. I've just played part of it and it is indeed the one I remember. I've amazed myself with how much detail I remembered about the first organ scene. The DVD has an optional commentry by the writer and (I think) the producer or director plus a film expert. One of the commentators actually states that the earlier organ (obviously a four manual a Willis) is that of the Great Hall of Birmingham university. We see the console and hear the organ although the film is cleverly done to make it seem as if the console is behind a red cutain under the tower in a village church. The church is somewhere near Southwold in Suffolk but has a fictional name in the film.

 

The second location where we see and hear an organ is Southwell Minster. The detached tab console is played. One commentator on the DVD says the organist who actually performed the music and is also seen playing live at Southall in the long shots (& wearing a wig) is Peter Dickenson. The final item is a piece by Gordon Crosse based on a twelve note theme provided by the writer. The theme is a distortion of the Brahms Ab minor fugue heard on the earlier organ above.

 

John R

 

I've now seen more of the DVD (not all, it is three hours long!). Anyone who enjoys being slighly' freaked out' should consider Artemis.8.1 if anyone asks them what they'd like for Xmas, even if just to watch the sections featuring pipe organs. The Brahms A flat minor fugue will never take on the same meaning again! Even just thinking about that fugue over the years has often reminded me of my first viewing of this BBC programme in 1981 probably because I was just getting to know that fugue around that time. It is thanks to an earlier post on this thread (and it's availability on DVD) that I got to see this programme again.

 

John R

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I have just been watching the hokum war film, The Eagle has Landed. German commandos arrive at a Norfolk village (actually Mapledurham in Oxfordshire) to kidnap Winston Churchill. One of the commandos with a spare moment in the church starts to play the organ. There's a comment about Bach, but it seems that he was playing the film's theme. He returns to the organ later as the Americans storm the church, ignoring the old advice that one shouldn't shoot an organist who is doing his best.

 

The exterior of the church is real, but the interior was a set which isn't a close copy of the real interior, and the 'organ' looks rather like a fake. I wish that I had recorded it so that I could go back and watch the organ scenes again more carefully.

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