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Marvellous New Case At Wimborne Minster


Charles Wooler
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May I be the first to congratulate PCND on the delightful new case on the Wimborne Organ: it hides those chamades which I know some will be thankful for. :P What an improvement: and a wise move may I say. I'm not anticipating a prompt response from PCND though: I suspect that Sherborne CID are currently interrogating him!

 

Charles

 

(PS OR Pg 47 if you haven't seen it yet!)

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May I be the first to congratulate PCND on the delightful new case on the Wimborne Organ: it hides those chamades which I know some will be thankful for. :P What an improvement: and a wise move may I say. I'm not anticipating a prompt response from PCND though: I suspect that Sherborne CID are currently interrogating him!

 

Charles

 

(PS OR Pg 47 if you haven't seen it yet!)

 

 

You beat me to it! This sort of thing would not have happened in O.R. a couple of years ago would it. Such an elementary mistake!

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You beat me to it! This sort of thing would not have happened in O.R. a couple of years ago would it. Such an elementary mistake!

 

I strongly suspect that the people (Paul Hale, Roger Fisher, Kevin Bowyer et al.) who were previously the back bone of OR knew their stuff so well, that proof reading was hardly necessary as they didn't make that kind of mistake in the first place. All you need to do is read the editorial this month where we are let into the revelation that the Editor Sarah Beedle has (until recently) never had an organ lesson. Now she has had one. I don't understand the logic behind this: would a journal such as Brain Surgery and Cranial Phlebotomy Monthly be edited by an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist? OK so I'm being deliberately controversial on that most recent point, but why does it not seem to matter to the IAO that the largest magazine on organs in the UK and the flagship publication of the IAO is largely the responsibility of people that don't play?

 

I used to look forward to each edition of OR prior to its relaunch: I'm not entirely sure I do now. Previously I found it used to be thoroughly written with interesting photos, detailed stop lists and reviews galore of organs that you didn't know existed (even the CD reviews often had long sections devoted to the instrument that they were played on and they're history). Now I find that this "broad brush" approach where issues are currently themed means that a superficiality has crept in, often because, it seems to me, the chosen theme is somewhat obscure and hence the editors are struggling to fill the requisite number of pages for that issue. Surely it would be far better to have fewer, better researched/written articles of this nature. Does any one else share my views.

 

I was under the impression (and please correct me if I'm mistaken) that part of the relaunch was to make the magazine less elitist and more approachable. Which leads me to two final points, before I end my rant for the day. Surely a magazine dedicated to the organ is by definition elitest: by that I mean it is only ever going to appeal to current organists and lovers of organ music, it will never inspire people to go and seeking out organ music and listening to it avidly. Only the organ and its music itself can do that. Secondly, when I started reading OR I was about 13, unable to play much beyond Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary (badly, very badly) was pretty much tone deaf, unable to carry a tune in a bucket, had no sense of rhythmn and scant knowledge of any music theory. That fact is that OR as was rivetted me. I was not interested in every article- much of it went over my head, but because of the language which I didn't understand and because of mentions of people and instruments I didn't know about, I felt compelled to read more and to find out more. I suppose that is what I'm driving at: OR is no longer a challenging read. Why therefore should we accept a watered down version?

 

Charles

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May I be the first to congratulate PCND on the delightful new case on the Wimborne Organ: it hides those chamades which I know some will be thankful for. :P What an improvement: and a wise move may I say. I'm not anticipating a prompt response from PCND though: I suspect that Sherborne CID are currently interrogating him!

 

Charles

 

(PS OR Pg 47 if you haven't seen it yet!)

 

Oh Dear.....................!

 

AJJ

 

PS Mind you PCND has gained a 'Chair' organ so it all can't be bad

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

Does any one else share my views.

 

Yes most certainly. It dumbed down, it became vague and some of its subjects more esoteric. It is now less toothsome and more frothy. I've stopped getting it. There's more info available on this board. Perhaps the music publishing discussion elsewhere on these boards is relevant here - the unwillingness of publishing firms to accept the implications of the web.

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My copy hasn't arrived yet, so most intrigued.

 

However, I think some of the criticisms outlined above are rather out of order and unfair. I know there were some teething problems, but I think they are getting it right. Anyone else agree?

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My copy hasn't arrived yet, so most intrigued.

 

However, I think some of the criticisms outlined above are rather out of order and unfair. I know there were some teething problems, but I think they are getting it right. Anyone else agree?

 

 

I think it is perfectly possible to be both hard-working and sincere and still miss the point by miles. When the management decided to give O.R. a professional new look they lost a seriously large amount of expertise and what might best be described as an 'seriously well-informed enthusiast' approach. Things are notably more academic than they were, the print is larger (always a bad sign) and certain things that were always there aren't any more. I was (like Charles) very disappointed to see the loss of Kevin Bowyer, who both writes and plays superbly...some of the best commentaries on new or recherche music over the years have come from him - along with a lot of laughs.

 

Rather unwisely (I thought) Richard Popple asked me what I thought some months ago....so I told him. He said that they had ditched such things as specifications of organs on CD because nobody was interested in them. I think that (and every edition's keen but ignorant* editorial) says it all. I was interested to learn from at least one significant name (mentioned in a long list of advisers) that he had never once been asked to advise; his name has simply been listed to give some gravitas to the enterprise, or so one would guess. And no, I will not be applying for the vacant deputy editor position.

 

Why have I not written an angry letter for publication? Well, it's still a good magazine, even if it has dropped about 20% in my estimation. That and, let's be honest, it has been very kind to me over the years.

 

 

*This is not a term of abuse, a mere statement of fact. So is: Charles, I agree with you.

 

 

[edited 10.11.07]

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May I be the first to congratulate PCND on the delightful new case on the Wimborne Organ: it hides those chamades which I know some will be thankful for. :P What an improvement: and a wise move may I say. I'm not anticipating a prompt response from PCND though: I suspect that Sherborne CID are currently interrogating him!

 

Charles

 

(PS OR Pg 47 if you haven't seen it yet!)

 

 

Cell 1684

HM Prison

Brixton

Coldharbour Lane

LONDON SE1

 

As I write this, I am sitting in a rather small room, playing cards with a gentleman called Scar-something - I did not quite catch what he said. He seems to be a most helpful sort; he has offered to get me some paintings by a chap called Le Roy Neiman; apparently he is 'big in the States'.

 

He has also asked me to help him with something tonight - I think he mentioned a funnel, or perhaps a tunnel.

 

I must say that some people are not very friendly here. There is a chap in some kind of uniform who has a nice dog (a German Shepherd) who keeps walking past our room and shouting at everyone. Really, I cannot imagine why he allows himself to get so worked-up; he will have a heart attack if he is not careful.

 

Then there is a rather unsavoury character a few rooms away who has told me that because I am new here, I have to buy his dinner for the next three weeks. Well, we shall have to see about that. I happened to mention about the organ which had 'mysteriously' appeared in my church, and he said something about a fence. I really was not sure what he was talking about - I have a perfectly good garden fence which a chap made for me a few years ago. In any case, I cannot see how I could make one using bits of an organ. Clearly the fellow is deranged.

 

Still, the room is nicely, if a little institutionally, decorated in olive green. And I do have quite a lively companion at the moment.

 

Oh hang on - some chap with a black cap and some long-handled implement in a sack has just turned up . Be right back....

 

 

 

 

 

Considering that I supplied (to order) photographs of the Minster organ* (several of which were somewhat sharper in resolution than that at Sherborne), I am surprised that this mistake was made....

 

DOH!!!

 

:P

 

(* None of which were used.)

 

They have just told me that I will be allowed out on good behaviour tomorrow - providing that I re-instate the instrument in the abbey by tea-time tomorrow....

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ITo change the subject: Have you noticed the slightly insidious ommission of vital information usually given to facilitate ordering of new music and CDs? I refer to publishers' details which were always there before.

 

I think it is still there but at the start of the particular review section.

 

AJJ

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I think it is still there but at the start of the particular review section.

 

AJJ

 

 

Another weird thing in the current issue, but certainly cannot blame anyone at O.R for this (in the current or previous management team): Anyone spotted the very strange pedal and manual compass of the 3 manual drawstop console in the Allen "organ" advert????

I wouldn't normally have had the time to notice anything so detailed as this, but I had a spare hour whilst waiting in the car for my daughter - and had the foresight to take my freshly delivered copy of the mag with me!

 

Finally, in my opinion, the mag is not what it was - I was saddened with the first "new" edition, and continue to be less than happy with the content each time I receive a new issue through the post.

 

Richard

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Cell 1684

HM Prison

Brixton

Coldharbour Lane

LONDON SE1

 

Oh hang on - some chap with a black cap and some long-handled implement in a sack has just turned up.

 

Maybe it's one of your chamades!

 

Very funny post. Thanks PCND! :P

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Another weird thing in the current issue, but certainly cannot blame anyone at O.R for this (in the current or previous management team): Anyone spotted the very strange pedal and manual compass of the 3 manual drawstop console in the Allen "organ" advert????

 

Richard

 

 

The photo has obviously been flipped horizontally - it makes sense if you mentally flip it back. If this is not the case, I agree with you. Ostensibly it boasts manuals F to E 61 notes and pedals A to E 32 notes. Even so, I'm not buying one, not even for the purple sharps. Actually these may be ideally suited to blend in stylishly with a certain kind of player's performing attire....

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The photo has obviously been flipped horizontally - it makes sense if you mentally flip it back. If this is not the case, I agree with you. Ostensibly it boasts manuals F to E 61 notes and pedals A to E 32 notes. Even so, I'm not buying one, not even for the purple sharps. Actually these may be ideally suited to blend in stylishly with a certain kind of player's performing attire....

 

Yes, it's been like that in The Organ Magazine for ages, at one time there were two photos of toasters with odd-looking low As on the pedal!

 

Easily done though - there's a geography text book at school that's had the same treatment resulting in Big Ben being at the wrong end of parliament.

All the stops are the wrong sides of a picture of the Notre Dame console in one of the Cochereau CDs, and again the manuals look wrong.

 

Either I have too much time on my hands or I'm drawn to noticing these things!!

P.

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And no, I will not be applying for the vacant deputy editor position.

Is it vacant? No hint of this in the credits at the back of the magazine.

 

I do agree with Charles and others. Bring back the old format. It hit the right level for me and if it so happened that none of the articles interested me (unlikely, given that it was crammed with information), then at least there was bound to be interesting things in the very comprehensive reviews section. I've never been a fan of themed issues in any journal. Perhaps it might work in a monthly publication, but if it's a quarterly journal and you're not interested in the issue that's just arrived, three months gives you plenty of time to ponder whether you have spent your money wisely.

 

As Charles mentions, the old magazine did have the capacity to inspire. I am not sure the new one does.

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Is it vacant? No hint of this in the credits at the back of the magazine.

 

 

There's a large panel about it at the bottom of page 103.

You could sensibly go for it!

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Oh yes, so there is! (Excuse: I never bother reading white print on a dark background.)

 

Hmm. Sounds too much like hard work to me.

 

Not that this is why I won't be applying, but please note that they aren't prepared to pay for this work.

Considering how much that magazine must make by way of regular subscribers and plentiful adverts........

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The photo has obviously been flipped horizontally

I've been wondering for a while what the effect would be if one were to do this on one of those live projection screens at a recital. Presumably the musically trained would experience some kind of weird effect from watching an ascending scale while hearing a descending one?

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As my copy still hasn't arrived, what does it say on page 103?

That it will shortly become vacant. Voluntary, but small honorarium. Working from home with a laptop using Quark (training given). Attend meetings of Editors and Editorial Panel in B'ham, awareness/knowledge of the organ and organ world required but no need to be a qualified organist.

 

PS I think the reviews section is still pretty comprehensive isn't it?

Reviews in current issue:

16 CDs

11 items of organ music

28 items of choral music

1 book

 

Reviews in the Feb 1999 issue (picked out at random)

62 CDs (42 organ, 20 choral)

44 items of organ music

36 items of choral music

6 books

 

I rest my case!

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Reviews in current issue:

16 CDs

11 items of organ music

28 items of choral music

1 book

 

Reviews in the Feb 1999 issue (picked out at random)

62 CDs (42 organ, 20 choral)

44 items of organ music

36 items of choral music

6 books

 

I rest my case!

 

 

Q.E.D.

Very well put, if I may say so.

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I think it is still there but at the start of the particular review section.

 

AJJ

 

 

 

Alastair, you are quite correct. I'm sorry I missed this; I withdraw my complaint and have edited it out of my earlier posting.

Derrett goofs again!

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I've been wondering for a while what the effect would be if one were to do this on one of those live projection screens at a recital. Presumably the musically trained would experience some kind of weird effect from watching an ascending scale while hearing a descending one?

 

That's exactly what happened for those sitting in the choir stalls behind the big screen used at David Briggs' opening recital at Emmanuel, Wylde Green a few years ago. And a few of them noticed too! :blink:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Does any one else share my views.

 

Absolutely. I took OR for several decades, since a teenager myself, and was always fascinated by the variety of information in each issue, organ specifications fascinate me, as did much more, and to be fair the approach taken by the previous editors never seemed in the least bit amateur, just well informed and informative. In fact, I looked forward to it so much, as I knew I would have three good months of reading and re-reading the material, and then delving into past issues as the years go by. I took a few issues after the change, and still see it courtesy of a friend, and I am very disappointed. It really does no longer provide what I need, so I did not renew my subscription. And I won't until it returns to the better times of the past. I have to disagree with Paul, when he says it has dropped 20% (I know it has been very good to you over the years!), but I feel it has dropped to 20% of its original quality. I'm sure the current editors are doing a very professional job, but they have failed to connect with me, and that means I have no desire to read their magazine.

 

Jonathan :(

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