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Lt. Col. George Dixon And Cecil Clutton


gazman
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A thought provoking question Pierre! - something that Dr David Wylde could shed more light on perhaps - he is on here sometimes.

 

AJJ

 

A question already over here.

We are busy with the next one: what to do with the neo-baroque organs ?

A main issue is how to avoid the massacre which is pending -as always-

because there are many good such organs that must be kept.

The same for "néo-classique", eclectic organs from 1935 to 1970; we are

busy on my forum to help protect them (Gonzalez etc).

 

Pierre

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Does anyone have any biographical information about Lt. Col. George Dixon?

 

NS

 

There was an article a year or so ago in a BIOS Journal (which I think was by Relf Clark) which had some details - I am sure that there has been another but can't remember where it was.

 

AJJ

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While looking for something else, I came across this, which might be pertinent to the current discussion (or not)

 

Clutton and Dixon's book "The Organ, it's Tonal Structure and Registration" is available on line

 

To download (14MB PDF)

 

http://ia331319.us.archive.org/2/items/org...tr017814mbp.pdf

 

or

 

To read on-line

 

http://www.openlibrary.org/details/organitstonalstr017814mbp

 

 

Pat

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  • 13 years later...

I, of course, knew Sam Clutton well and worked with him on occasion, a few times directly, but mostly indirectly on jobs that were being done mainly by my father and Ian Bell. I attended the first recital on his house organ after its completion. I had some run-ins with him as well. He was the consultant for the Pembroke College Cambridge reconstruction and we nearly came to blows over some aspects of that work. Some battles I won, but mostly he won, largely supported by my father and probably Ian Bell as well. But to give you some idea of how the project developed from his initial ideas to the realisation, his original vision was to build a three manual organ with an English Great Organ and German Rückpositiv and a French Récit. To his credit he did accept the argument that here was an instance where an attempt could be made to recreate a large late 17th century organ for a church. The result has flaws, many of them of my making, but it was the first attempt and I think it has stood the test of time to some degree. As I said at the time, my hope was that we might be able to place a marker buoy from which to sail and there was no claim that we had reached the harbour.

He was of course of strong character, to quite some degree self-opinionated; how many of us are not? But he could be made to listen on occasion and did so attentively. He listened to Christopher Dearnley during the St Paul's rebuild and I happen to think that this collaborative effort involving the two of them as well as my father and Ian Bell has stood the test of time, dare I say rather better than a number of other similar projects of about the same time.

It is so easy to dismiss his influences and contributions to English organs and organ building with the benefit of hindsight. It is equally easy to forget his generosity of knowledge (and by no means only in the field of organs). But in spite of the fact we crossed swords, and occasionally quite bitterly, I am boundlessly thankful that I knew the man as well as I did and that I met him as often as I did. He was without doubt somebody who one could learn from. All you needed to do was to apply some discreet panning and ordering to allow the nuggets to reveal themselves in the swirling water of the pan and you had something to refer to and treasure for the rest of your life.

He was a larger than life character, generous to a fault, entertaining beyond measure (and remains so for those who can be bothered to read his contributions The Organ and other publications). One might question his influences now, but you who do so now so vociferously, I would suggest you look carefully at your own contributions to the British Organ. Very few of us (me included!) could or can offer such a wide and entertaining contribution to Britain as did he, and the world would have been the poorer then and now without him.

JPM

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There were several articles on Clutton published in the Summer 1991 Bulletin of the Vintage Sports Car Club, including the address by Lord Palumbo at his memorial service in St Paul's, covering his extensive interests outside and inside the world of music.  It's well worth reading for those who would like more information on his life.

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The VSCC has confirmed I can post a scan here, provided that the source is acknowledged (VSCC Bulletin, Summer 1991) and that it's noted that the material remains VSCC copyright and should not be otherwise used or distributed without permission.  Unfortunately the file size at good resolution is just over 20 MB so way too big to attach.  If you would like a copy please email me : bryan dot mo at btinternet dot com (dot = . and at = @ to put off the spam robots).

Back issues are likely to still be available at £3 + postage but the library is closed at present.

This is the cover, captioned "Prescott May 1950. Sam Clutton takes a firm grasp (Guy Griffiths)".  The car is his 1908 GP Itala.

VSCC_Bul_1991_Summer_SamClutton_cover_a.jpg

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Many thanks to BAM for obtaining and sharing these VSCC articles about Sam Clutton.

All paint a memorable picture of this colourful multifaceted personality who was so much more than a fellow researcher to Dixon and Niland in our organ world. 
Following Bruce Buchanan’s most informative essay on HW III in BIOS Journal,is it not time for study of other personalities and landmark projects which held sway in mid 20th century?

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