Jump to content
Mander Organs
Peter Clark

Great Cathedral Organ Series - Emi

Recommended Posts

After a Sung Vespers in my parish church last evening (Lancing College cond. Neil Cox - excellent) I got to discussing with a collegue the series of LPs put out by EMI in the 60s/70s, and we were trying to remember who played what. We came up with the following -

 

Caterbury Cathedral - Allan Wicks

Westminster Cathedral - Nicholas Kynaston

Blenheim Palace - Nicholas Danby

Westminster Abbey - Simon Preston (?)

Chester Cathedral - Roger Fisher

 

Can anyone fill in any gaps?

 

 

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After a Sung Vespers in my parish church last evening (Lancing College cond. Neil Cox - excellent) I got to discussing with a collegue the series of LPs put out by EMI in the 60s/70s, and we were trying to remember who played what. We came up with the following -

 

Caterbury Cathedral - Allan Wicks

Westminster Cathedral - Nicholas Kynaston

Blenheim Palace - Nicholas Danby

Westminster Abbey - Simon Preston (?)

Chester Cathedral - Roger Fisher

 

Can anyone fill in any gaps?

Peter

 

Well... there was...

Durham - Conrad Eden

Exeter - Lionel Dakers

St Paul's - Christopher Dearnley

Liverpool - Noel Rawsthorne

Gloucester - Herbert Sumsion

Llandaff - Robert Joyce ?

York - Francis Jackson

Temple - George Thalben Ball ?

Norwich - Heathcote Statham ?

Canterbury - Alan Wicks

Hereford - Melville Cook

Worcester - Christopher Robinson

Lincoln - Philip Marshall

Coventry - David Lepine

St Giles' Edinburgh - Herrick Bunney

Westminster Abbey - Douglas Guest - (not Simon Preston)

 

Mmm - now I'm thinking about it, the ones with question marks may not have been in that series - I'm trying to remember who was on The King of Instruments but they may not all have come from that series - actually, perhaps none of them did.

 

You could always have a look for the Amphion-recordings website site - Martin Monckman has reissued selections from this series - I believe there may be four different selections now. It would be quite interesting to try to list what was on each of the original LPs!

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen the complete series at a friends, both in stereo amd mono. The only piece that amphion could not re issue was the Elgar Sonata at Gloucester because EMI in there wisom had already re issued it and knew what a historical recording it was,,,, or so I have been informed reliably

regards

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These sometimes come up for sale on ebay. I had not reailsed until last year that there was a No 19 from Chester - Roger Fisher. This contains the Reubke 94 th psalm Sonata which was so highly praised on this board. The other 18 were:

1. Liverpool- Rawsthorne

2. York Minster - Jackson

3. Westminster Abbey - Douglas Guest

4. Gloucester - Sumsion

5. Coventry - David Lepine

6. Exeter - Dakers (there was a rumour afterwards that not all the notes on this record were played by him!!!)

7. St Giles Edinburgh - Bunney

8. Llandaff - Robert Joyce

9. Durham - Eden

10. Hereford - Melville Cook

11. Salisbury - Dearnley

12. Norwich - Statham

13. Ely - Wills

14. Worcester - Robinson

15. Westminster Cath - Kynaston

16. Canterbury - Wicks

17. St Paul's Cath, London - Dearnley (the only person to play on two)

18. Lincoln Minster - Philip Marshall

and 19 Chester.

 

Were there any more? I suppose there should have been 42 [edited from 23] for all the English Anglican Cathedrals (+ Westminster Abbey, Llandaff & St Giles Edinburgh). I was brought up on these and they were regular listening after Sunday Lunch. I must have played them rather loud as my Father, failing to attract my attention by calling me in my bedroom from the bottom of the stairs, went into the garage and turned off the electricity to the house!

PJW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thre is a recording of Derek Cantrell playing the organ of Manchester Cathedral, from the 60s/early 70s, though I coudn't swear to the fact that it is part of the 'GCO' series (at least one copy survives - it's in my loft). This disc could be the only opportunity left to hear this instrument's Tuba Magna (the one which inspired Norman Cocker), as the rank was displaced when the chancel console wes re-errected on the screen in 1979. The enclosed Orchestral Tuba that remains is, whilst a noble sound, IMHO nowhere nearly vulgar enough!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
St Paul's Cath, London - Dearnley (the only person to play on two)

Does anyone happen to know what Christopher Dearnley played on the SALISBURY recording other than the Saint-Saens Rhapsodie in D flat which has been reissued by Amphion?

Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone is interested in starting or adding to a collection,Coventry, Canterbury and York are all for sale on ebay now. Canerbury has T&F in D minor, Mendelssohn Sonata 1 + Williamson Sitwell Epitaphs and Ridout, Seven Last Words played by Alan Wicks - the T&F was reissued by EMI a long time ago with the Sumsion recording of the Elgar that someone else has referred to. York has Nares Intro & Fuge, Wesley Air and Gavotte, Bossi Scherzo, Cocker Tuba Tune, Jackson Diversion on the Mixtures and the Willan IP&F. Can't see what was on the Coventry disc.

Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone happen to know what Christopher Dearnley played on the SALISBURY recording other than the Saint-Saens Rhapsodie in D flat which has been reissued by Amphion?

The Salisbury one (in my hand) has:

 

Franck - Choral No 1 in E

Saint-Saens - Fantaisie in Db

Nielsen - Commotio

 

As most of the cover is taken up by the organ spec, the sleeve note only talks about Commotio.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Salisbury one (in my hand) has:

 

Franck - Choral No 1 in E

Saint-Saens - Fantaisie in Db

Nielsen - Commotio

 

As most of the cover is taken up by the organ spec, the sleeve note only talks about Commotio.

 

Paul

 

Thanks, Paul for your swift response. Commotio was a favourite of CHD's. He played it in his (only?) Royal Festival Hall recital in about 68/69 and it was also in the programme for the recital he gave at St Paul's a month or two before he died. Not a favourite piece of mine, I have to confess.

Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen the complete series at a friends, both in stereo amd mono. The only piece that amphion could not re issue was the Elgar Sonata at Gloucester because EMI in there wisom had already re issued it and knew what a historical recording it was,,,, or so I have been informed reliably

regards

Peter

 

Top marks to EMI for including Sumsion's 1965 performance of the Elgar Sonata on their re-issue of Elgar's Sacred Music - surely one of the finest interpretations on disc. A big rolling sound, beautifully judged tempi and phrasing combined with masterly control of the instrument, despite the lack (by present-day standards) of sophisticated playing aids. And that wonderfully unregulated honking GG on the Pedal Ophicleide standing out from the ensemble.....

 

The whole CD is a memorable record of a bygone era (and of two instruments gone for ever). The amazingly pure, homogeneous sound of the treble line is a particular joy, as are Harry Bramma's bright, muscular organ accompaniments in the bigger pieces such as the Te Deum.

 

JS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thre is a recording of Derek Cantrell playing the organ of Manchester Cathedral, from the 60s/early 70s, though I coudn't swear to the fact that it is part of the 'GCO' series (at least one copy survives - it's in my loft). This disc could be the only opportunity left to hear this instrument's Tuba Magna (the one which inspired Norman Cocker), as the rank was displaced when the chancel console wes re-errected on the screen in 1979. The enclosed Orchestral Tuba that remains is, whilst a noble sound, IMHO nowhere nearly vulgar enough!!

 

 

=======================

 

 

I have a fairly enormous collection of LP's etc., and I certainly have an EP recording (little record travelling at 33 1/3 rpm), of Derek Cantrell playing the Lidon "Sonata para Trompetta Real" which, I think, must have used the big Tuba.

 

I can never understand why they changed that organ, because it was always suitably enormous for what is after all, quite a small building, and consequently, the organ never suffered from dullness due to the relatively small acoustic.

 

Another triumph of fashion over common-sense, and the loss of the big Tuba actually deprives us of hearing what the Cocker "Tuba Tune" actually sounded like on the organ for which it was written.

 

Manchester has done terrible things to its organs over the years, whether it be the Town Hall or the Wurlitzer organs which once resided in the two big cinemas; only one of which is currently to be heard.........in Stockport.

 

As a pop and sports venue, Manchester is of course wonderful.

 

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If anyone is interested in starting or adding to a collection,Coventry, Canterbury and York are all for sale on ebay now. Canerbury has T&F in D minor, Mendelssohn Sonata 1 + Williamson Sitwell Epitaphs and Ridout, Seven Last Words played by Alan Wicks - the T&F was reissued by EMI a long time ago with the Sumsion recording of the Elgar that someone else has referred to. York has Nares Intro & Fuge, Wesley Air and Gavotte, Bossi Scherzo, Cocker Tuba Tune, Jackson Diversion on the Mixtures and the Willan IP&F. Can't see what was on the Coventry disc.

Martin.

 

 

=========================

 

 

David Lepine, at Coventry Cathedral, recorded the following:-

 

Bach CP "In Dulci Jubilo" BWV729 and BWV608

Buxtehude Passacaglia in D minor

Liszt - BACH

Walond - Cornet Voluntary in G

Flor Peeters - "Herders, hy is gebooren"

Langlais - Hymne d'actions de grace _ Te Deum

Scarlatti - Organ Sonata no.288

Sweelinck - Mein Junges Leben

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
These sometimes come up for sale on ebay. I had not reailsed until last year that there was a No 19 from Chester - Roger Fisher. This contains the Reubke 94 th psalm Sonata which was so highly praised on this board. The other 18 were:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
=========================

David Lepine, at Coventry Cathedral, recorded the following:-

 

Bach CP "In Dulci Jubilo" BWV729 and BWV608

Buxtehude Passacaglia in D minor

Liszt - BACH

Walond - Cornet Voluntary in G

Flor Peeters - "Herders, hy is gebooren"

Langlais - Hymne d'actions de grace _ Te Deum

Scarlatti - Organ Sonata no.288

Sweelinck - Mein Junges Leben

 

MM

 

I'd forgotten I had this LP, and seem to remember that it was utterly delightful. I must dig it out again. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
These sometimes come up for sale on ebay. I had not reailsed until last year that there was a No 19 from Chester - Roger Fisher. This contains the Reubke 94 th psalm Sonata which was so highly praised on this board. The other 18 were:

 

 

=============================

 

 

It's amazing, but even the mention of Roger Fisher playing the Reubke from Chester had the hairs standing out on the back of my neck!

 

The IAO congress in Chester, 1971, is ETCHED on my memory for that one work alone, when we heard a stupendous organist, playing stupendous music on what is a stupendous organ. He was also on stupendous form, having recorded the work for EMI the same year.

 

If I were to isolate the greatest performance of music I have ever heard live, then this would have to share top-spot with Francis Jackson playing the "St Anne" at Leeds, and Germani playing Reger at the same place.

 

It's amazing to think how music can have such a powerful impact, that even mention of a performance can leave one gasping for breath 37 years later.

 

I also recall not speaking to anyone for almost two hours after the Roger Fisher performance, so stunned I was.

 

I think I shall choose this work for my funeral.....at least people will know where I'm going!

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd forgotten I had this LP, and seem to remember that it was utterly delightful. I must dig it out again Thanks!

 

 

=======================

 

I agree. It was never the most virtuosic recital, but it was one of the most listener friendly of the whole series, played on a fine new organ at the time.

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Top marks to EMI for including Sumsion's 1965 performance of the Elgar Sonata on their re-issue of Elgar's Sacred Music - surely one of the finest interpretations on disc. A big rolling sound, beautifully judged tempi and phrasing combined with masterly control of the instrument, despite the lack (by present-day standards) of sophisticated playing aids. And that wonderfully unregulated honking GG on the Pedal Ophicleide standing out from the ensemble.....

 

The whole CD is a memorable record of a bygone era (and of two instruments gone for ever). The amazingly pure, homogeneous sound of the treble line is a particular joy, as are Harry Bramma's bright, muscular organ accompaniments in the bigger pieces such as the Te Deum.

 

JS

 

 

=========================

 

I have the re-issue in LP form, but I don't recall ever having listened to it.

 

If it's that good, I shall have to give it a whirl.

 

I suppose I must have an absolutely pristine example.

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
=============================

It's amazing, but even the mention of Roger Fisher playing the Reubke from Chester had the hairs standing out on the back of my neck!

 

The IAO congress in Chester, 1971, is ETCHED on my memory for that one work alone, when we heard a stupendous organist, playing stupendous music on what is a stupendous organ. He was also on stupendous form, having recorded the work for EMI the same year.

 

I, too, have vivid memories of Roger Fisher playing the Reubke when he gave a recital at Holy Rude, Stirling, back in (I think) 1971 or 1972. He arrived at about 10am on the morning of the recital and spent the next 6 hours going through his program which, of course, included the Reubke. I was page turning for him and got a running commentary on his interpretation of the work (along with quite a few other anecdotes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
=======================

 

Manchester has done terrible things to its organs over the years...

 

Oh yes! I'm sure that you are aware of:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N02080

 

still standing derelict above a nightclub, but quite possibly saveable.

 

Also:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N02068

 

an instrument whose historical significance was at the least of equal Gt George St Chapel.

 

...to mention but two... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thre is a recording of Derek Cantrell playing the organ of Manchester Cathedral, from the 60s/early 70s, though I coudn't swear to the fact that it is part of the 'GCO' series (at least one copy survives - it's in my loft). This disc could be the only opportunity left to hear this instrument's Tuba Magna (the one which inspired Norman Cocker), as the rank was displaced when the chancel console wes re-errected on the screen in 1979. The enclosed Orchestral Tuba that remains is, whilst a noble sound, IMHO nowhere nearly vulgar enough!!

Forgive me, but I had always understood Cocker's TT to have been inspired by the (civilised) tuba at Cork Cathedral, not the Manchester honker (which could be heard from platform 16 at Victoria Station). It was still an act of vandalism to have discarded it tho IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coincidentally, Rob Cowan has just played Francis Jackson's 1964 York Minster recording of the Norman Cocker on R3. I love it! It was on the 2nd organ LP I ever bought (and wore out with my Dansette stereo) - The "King of Instruments" compilation back in about 1967/8.

 

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Forgive me, but I had always understood Cocker's TT to have been inspired by the (civilised) tuba at Cork Cathedral, not the Manchester honker (which could be heard from platform 16 at Victoria Station). It was still an act of vandalism to have discarded it tho IMHO.

 

The organ of Cork Cathedral is in need of a thorough restoration. I did not try the Tuba, so I have no idea what it sounds like. However, I can see little merit in keeping this organ in its current position - under the floor of the quire and the north transept (which was excavated to a depth of around fiteen or sixteen feet in order to accommodate the instrument). Whilst there is a large opening, the general effect is rather muffled and a little distant. The quiet solo reeds were somewhat out of tune, with a number of notes 'off'. I found the mixtures to be disappointing, to achieve any brilliance (I am not talking about 'broken glass, here'), it was necessary to use the Swell octave coupler - which then upset the tonal balance, such as it was. There is also another example of a manual quint (5 1/3ft.) for which I found little use, since there is an adequate Double Open Diapason on the G.O.

 

There was a little resonance in this small building. (However, it has been well designed, so that it appears to be on a larger scale than it actually is. The nave, whilst lofty, is very narrow, yet slightly reminiscent of Nôtre-Dame de Paris.)

 

When Walkers' rebuilt the instrument, they used the shell of the old Hele console (or was it even the Hill console?) and simply inserted new stop jambs, keys and pedals, as far as I can recall. The console and action are now rather tired and worn.

 

There was talk of a rebuild; the organ builder helpfully pointed-out that there was plenty of room further under the quire. However, I hope that when this organ is rebuilt, sense will prevail and it will be lifted from its subterranean enclosure and placed where it can speak clearly into the building. Since most of the walls are covered in mosaics, I should have thought that some could have been covered up - there would still be plenty of others to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
=======================

I have a fairly enormous collection of LP's etc., and I certainly have an EP recording (little record travelling at 33 1/3 rpm), of Derek Cantrell playing the Lidon "Sonata para Trompetta Real" which, I think, must have used the big Tuba.

 

It was on the Ryemuse label. Priory reissued a sort of 'greatest hits' double CD from the Ryemuse series a few years ago. Is that the best piece on the whole LP? I know there were other considerations when doing the transfers, eg timings and the quality of the original. I bought the set as it had one of the very few surviving recordings of one of the other instruments in the set. Having just looked through again, there are qute a few organs on the set that one doesn't hear today in the form they were in then: Worcester, Tewkesbury, Malvern, Bath, Christchurch, Llandaff (soon to be), Portsmouth to name but a few.

 

Anyone else have this set? Highlight for me in the playing is the Guest/Howells track.

 

PS I note that since I last played the CD on the computer, someone has upated the Gracenote database to include the CD now. Anyone here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...