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Neil Crawford

Birmingham Town Hall Organ

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Maybe we should ask the Webmaster if it would be possible for us to load musical files somewhere in order we can share them.

 

I am afraid this would not be possible on this site because of Performing Rights Society (PRS) implications.

 

John Pike Mander

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In any event, Simon Preston's DG recording of the Liszt and Reubke, recorded at Westminster Abbey after the 1982 restoration but before the Bombarde section was added in 1987, has for many years now been deleted and there are no plans to re-release it. I was fortunate enough to successfully bid for a copy of the CD at an on-line auction, although I had to pay a small fortunate to oubid others.

 

The changes wrought on the instrument, other than the new Bombarde section, undoubtedly improved the instrument. The 32ft reed now has some fire in its belly and the Great Trombas slimmed down to true chorus reeds.

 

All is needed now is a few new CDs to document this for those who cannot hear the instrument live. Unfortunately, since the addition of the Bombarde section, there have to my knowledge only been two recordings of the organ made - by Jane Watts in 1988 (Priory) and Andrew Lumsden in 1991 (Guild), the latter long since deleted.

 

Jeremy Jones

London

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I have the Jane Watts recording. It is OK, but there are one or two unexplained silences between the Dupre Variations sur un Noel. Certainly too long for registration changes on an organ so well-equipped with registration aids.

 

As far as I can remember, the organ sounds quite good.

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'All is needed now is a few new CDs to document this for those who cannot hear the instrument live.'

 

The two Psalms of David CDs on the Virgin label are absolutely stunning. This is was recorded when Martin Neary was still Organist & Master of the Choristers and Andrew Lumsden Sub Organist.

 

They demonstrate the organ extremely well and Andrew Lumsden as an outstanding colourist. I find several of the Priory psalm series quite unresponsive as to the playing and singing. The Abbey series is something else.

 

Yes- there also seem to be no Westminster Abbey Choral CDs of late. Another policy of the incumbent Dean? :unsure:

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Yes, it would be good to have some new recordings of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral - the most recent CD I have of this superb instrument is David Hill's recording of Vierne (2me Symphonie and Les Angelus, I think).

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I believe before he left Westminster Cathedral to take up his current post as Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey, Robert Quinney made a couple of recordings on the Henry Willis III Grand Organ for Signum Records. They have not yet been released.

 

Jeremy Jones

London

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Simon Preston's Lizst recordings weren't made at the Abbey; they were on the Compton in Hull City Hall.

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Indeed they were; however, since there is a large colour photograph of Simon Preston seated at the H&H console of the Abbey organ on the record sleeve, the mistake is understandable. (Yes, I know that Hull CIty Hall organ is credited in white type in the lower r.h. corner of the sleeve...) :P

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Guest Roffensis
I am afraid this would not be possible on this site because of Performing Rights Society (PRS) implications.

 

John Pike Mander

 

Yes of course, that's obvious. On the same note, what members do privately by email is entirely their own business, I have several hundred recording i am always happy to loan out........

Richard

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Guest Roffensis
This recording is from 1985....Two years before:

 

Reubke: Organ Sonata the 94th Psalm

 

Liszt: Fantasia and fugue on "Ad nos"

 

Simon Preston

 

Deutsche Grammophon 415 139-2

 

A gem ! H & H's Tuba interventions in these pages are something quite unusual for continental ears, while the Trombas mixed with Diapason choruses sustain the majority of the music's lenght. An original, legitimate organ style.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

I think I am right in saying that the CD in question is actually the old classic Argo recordings of Reubke (Westminster Abbey) and Ad Nos (Hull CityHall). Preston did do a further disc of the Abbey organ,all Widor 5 and Vierne Carillon. He did not record anything else there beyond that as far as I know....... The old Reubke is excellent. Roger Fisher playing at Chester is also excellent and on a par. Chester also sounds equally superb. Fisher returned to Chester a short while ago and again recorded the Reubke(!), and again gives another stunning reading of it but to me, the earlier EMI one still reigns supreme. I also heard Fisher play it at St Georges Hall, Liverpool in 1980, when the organ had been overhauled. If there is a true master of this work it is he. As to the Ad Nos, Peter le Huray also did a good recording of this on Saga, in 1967 at Salisbury. To sit and listen to a relatively laid back but very musical approach with none of the sheer warhorse treatment it usually gets is a revelation.

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I think I am right in saying that the CD in question is actually the old classic Argo recordings of Reubke (Westminster Abbey) and Ad Nos (Hull CityHall). Preston did do a further disc of the Abbey organ,all Widor 5 and Vierne Carillon. He did not record anything else there beyond that as far as I know....... The old Reubke is excellent.  Roger Fisher playing at Chester is also excellent and on a par.  Chester also sounds equally superb.  Fisher returned to Chester a short while ago and again recorded the Reubke(!), and again gives another stunning reading of it but to me, the earlier EMI one still reigns supreme.  I also heard Fisher play it at St Georges Hall, Liverpool in 1980, when the organ had been overhauled. If there is a true master of this work it is he. As to the Ad Nos, Peter le Huray also did a good recording of this on Saga, in 1967 at Salisbury. To sit and listen to a relatively laid back but very musical approach with none of the sheer warhorse treatment it usually gets is a revelation.

 

To clear up the misconceptions that seem to be floating about Simon Preston has recorded both the Reubke Sonata and the Liszt twice. The first time was in the 1960's when the Reubke was played at the Abbey and the Liszt at Hull City Hall. The second time they were recorded together at the Abbey (Deutsche Gramophone 415 139 - 1 (1985) at least that is the date on the back of the CD case which I have beside me. The recording dates are given as September 1983 (Reubke) and March 1984 (Liszt).. These dates antedate the Bombarde reeds do they not ?

 

Apart from Bach, the Liszt and Reubke seem to be some of the few pieces that people get to record more than once. Thus in addition to Roger Fisher with the Reubke, there is Nicolas Kynaston with the Liszt (Albert Hall , and Ingolstadt Munster) as also Jane Parker-Smith (St Francois de Salles in Philadelphia and also Ingolstadt, though I am not sure of that - it is certainly somewhere in central Europe).

 

I was interested to learn about the Le Hurray recording of the Liszt of the existence of which I was unaware : I have his performance of the Reubke and Liszt's Weinen, Klagen recorded at Salisburybut the surface noise on the Saga recording is so bad (no matter what cleaning techniques are used) that it is difficult to appreciate the performace through the background - or perhaps more accurately foreground - noise. With the vogue for reissuing "historic performances" on record perhaps we could start a campaign to get some classic past performances reissued ? One I would like to have on CD is the Chorzempa performance of the Ad Nos at the De Doelen concert Hall in Rotterdam. Any one else got suggestions ? We could perhaps persuade Neil Collier at Priory to add additional strings to his bow, now he has broken the ice with the Michael Woodward series, and the Ryemuse EPs collection.

 

Brian Childs

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Yes - I too have managed to acquire a copy of the Liszt at Salisbury, played by the late Peter G. le Huray. The playing is indeed superb and the organ sounds wonderful.

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To clear up the misconceptions that seem to be floating about Simon Preston has recorded both the Reubke Sonata and the Liszt twice. The first time was in the 1960's when the Reubke was played at the Abbey and the Liszt at Hull City Hall. The second time they were recorded together at the Abbey (Deutsche Gramophone 415 139 - 1 (1985) at least that is the date on the back of the CD case which I have beside me. The recording dates are given as September 1983 (Reubke) and March 1984 (Liszt).. These dates antedate the Bombarde reeds do they not ?

 

Apart from Bach, the Liszt and Reubke seem to be some of the few pieces that people get to record more than once. Thus in addition to Roger Fisher with the Reubke, there is Nicolas Kynaston with the Liszt (Albert Hall , and Ingolstadt Munster)  as also  Jane Parker-Smith (St Francois de Salles in Philadelphia and also Ingolstadt, though I am not sure of that - it is certainly somewhere in central Europe).

 

I was interested to learn about the Le Hurray recording of the Liszt of the existence of which I was unaware : I have his performance of the Reubke and Liszt's Weinen, Klagen recorded at Salisburybut the surface noise on the Saga recording is so bad (no matter what cleaning techniques are used) that it is difficult to appreciate the performace through the background - or perhaps more accurately foreground - noise. With the vogue for reissuing "historic performances" on record perhaps we could start a campaign to get some classic past performances reissued ? One I would like to have on CD is the Chorzempa performance of the Ad Nos at the De Doelen concert Hall in Rotterdam. Any one else got suggestions ? We could perhaps persuade Neil Collier at Priory to add additional strings to his bow, now he has broken the ice with the Michael Woodward series, and the Ryemuse EPs collection.

 

Brian Childs

 

 

Thanks for that, very interesting about the Preston. Yes Peter le Huray did two Saga records at Salisbury, and fortuntately my copy at least of the Ad Nos is perfect, rare for saga issues which were generally horrendous!......it's a gem.

Neil Collier did reissue a fair bit off the old Ryemuse EPs, and also located the entire Vista back catalogue that the late Michael Smythe did. That includes a whole wealth of Fisher at Chester, Wicks at Canterbury, Jarvis at St Georges Hall, Graham Steed playing Dupre including both his Symphonies at Westminster (gold dust) but What happened I don't fully know, but it would be good to see at least some of those gems back out. Cantoris did issue a record of Lincoln from Vista on their own label. Fortunately I held onto my turntable (a good one at that) and with it all my old vinyl, as I knew it would probably never see light of day. The saga issues were also located but nothing has ever been done of those. One remembers a superb recording of Wicks at St Pauls doing Messiaen Nativite, and the Huray records are both classics. Not to mention Hurford at St Albans and others. A great loss.

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Thanks for that, very interesting about the Preston. Yes Peter le Huray did two Saga records at Salisbury, and fortuntately my copy at least of the Ad Nos is perfect, rare for saga issues which were generally horrendous!......it's a gem.

Neil Collier did reissue a fair bit off the old Ryemuse EPs, and also located the entire Vista back catalogue that the late Michael Smythe did. That includes a whole wealth of Fisher at Chester, Wicks at Canterbury, Jarvis at St Georges Hall, Graham Steed playing Dupre including both his Symphonies at Westminster (gold dust) but What happened I don't fully know, but it would be good to see at least some of those gems back out. Cantoris did issue a record of Lincoln from Vista on their own label. Fortunately I held onto my turntable (a good one at that) and with it all my old vinyl, as I knew it would probably never see light of day. The saga issues were also located but nothing has ever been done of those. One remembers a superb recording of Wicks at St Pauls doing Messiaen Nativite, and the Huray records are both classics. Not to mention Hurford at St Albans and others. A great loss.

 

Thank you for the information Richard. I am astounded I missed the Le Hurray Liszt at the time (I have the other items you mention) since being a student the 10 bob (50p for the benefit of any younger readers) that Saga LPs cost was about all my pocket would stretch to. Though funnily enough I never did buy Wills playing Vierne 3.

 

Michael Smythe and I started to correspond just after the first batch of the English Organ Collection LPs (RCAs short lived response to the Great Cathedral Organ Series ) were issued and continued until his untimely death. I still have the letters. I started by writing to query the wisdom of the first batch of 5 releases containing 2 versions of both BWV565 and the Widor Toccata - Roger Fisher at Chester and Edward Fry at All Saints' Clifton - and in his reply Michael very tactfully pointed out that he was not responsible for the Fry recording and had had no idea that RCA intended to issue it ! Despite this we remained in amicable contact for the rest of his life. It would be super to have some of that stuff available in the more convenient CD format. In addition to the ones you mention there was Frederick Rimmer at Glasgow University's Bute Hall and Philip Dore playing Mendelssohn at Ampleforth. But what unissued treasures might there be ?

 

Another label from that time was CRMS. I believe they were responsible for the original Kynaston recording of the AD Nos at the Albert Hall though it was issued on the Phillips Fourfront label. I heard Kynaston perform the Ad Nos in Beverley Minster with a friend who proclaimed the performance to be "better than Preston". So that recording should certainly be a candidate for restoration to the catalogue. There were also some very fine recordings by the late lamented Brian Runnett which they did: it would be nice for a new generation to be introduced to just how fine a player he was . It might also demonstrate that it is possible to make sense of Reger on an English organ.

 

I have on another thread on this site related some tales told to me of the Lincoln Organ which tend to be on the disparaging side but I have always been impressed by Lincoln on record. I have a couple of Cantoris CDs of Lincoln - popular repertoire played by Philip Marshall after he had retired and presumably

made with at least half an eye to gift shop sales. They did a couple from Ripon too, including at least one with the obligatory D mi and Widor 5 Toccata.

 

I am starting to ramble and should shut up.

 

All the best,

 

Brian Childs

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To clear up the misconceptions that seem to be floating about Simon Preston has recorded both the Reubke Sonata and the Liszt twice. The first time was in the 1960's when the Reubke was played at the Abbey and the Liszt at Hull City Hall. The second time they were recorded together at the Abbey (Deutsche Gramophone 415 139 - 1 (1985) at least that is the date on the back of the CD case which I have beside me. The recording dates are given as September 1983 (Reubke) and March 1984 (Liszt).. These dates antedate the Bombarde reeds do they not ?

 

Apart from Bach, the Liszt and Reubke seem to be some of the few pieces that people get to record more than once. Thus in addition to Roger Fisher with the Reubke, there is Nicolas Kynaston with the Liszt (Albert Hall , and Ingolstadt Munster)  as also  Jane Parker-Smith (St Francois de Salles in Philadelphia and also Ingolstadt, though I am not sure of that - it is certainly somewhere in central Europe).

 

I was interested to learn about the Le Hurray recording of the Liszt of the existence of which I was unaware : I have his performance of the Reubke and Liszt's Weinen, Klagen recorded at Salisburybut the surface noise on the Saga recording is so bad (no matter what cleaning techniques are used) that it is difficult to appreciate the performace through the background - or perhaps more accurately foreground - noise. With the vogue for reissuing "historic performances" on record perhaps we could start a campaign to get some classic past performances reissued ? One I would like to have on CD is the Chorzempa performance of the Ad Nos at the De Doelen concert Hall in Rotterdam. Any one else got suggestions ? We could perhaps persuade Neil Collier at Priory to add additional strings to his bow, now he has broken the ice with the Michael Woodward series, and the Ryemuse EPs collection.

 

Brian Childs

 

The 1985 Preston Reubke/Liszt CD from Westminster Abbey is currently being auctioned on eBay. At the time of writing there have been 22 bids, the highest being £45! :D Bids close tomorrow.

 

Any takers?

 

Graham Powell

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The 1985 Preston Reubke/Liszt CD from Westminster Abbey is currently being auctioned on eBay. At the time of writing there have been 22 bids, the highest being £45!  :D Bids close tomorrow.

 

Any takers?

 

Graham Powell

 

Well, I'll preciously keep mine!

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
Likewise - I found mine on an obscure website last year after years of searching.

 

£6 including postage & packing! :D

 

Graham

 

Yes I saw that, it might be good but not at that price unless a anorak collector methinks :o . it does turn up though, I picked up the Nativite from WA/ Preston, and it is also good, but that's another that goes for ridiculously high prices. I note the ebay one has apparently some surface marks as well...... ;):o

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Yes I saw that, it might be good but not at that price unless a anorak collector methinks :lol: . it does turn up though, I picked up the Nativite from WA/ Preston, and it is also good, but that's another that goes for ridiculously high prices. I note the ebay one has apparently some surface marks as well...... :blink:  :lol:

 

The winning bid was £85 :o:lol: Surely some kind of record? (No pun intended.......)

 

Graham

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