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Music Shops In London


nachthorn
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Going to London tomorrow for the day. Are there any particular music shops that people can recommend for organ and choral music? I'm especially keen on those specialising in second-hand music, mostly because I'm cheap, but also because I love the challenge of finding unexpected bargains :)

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Guest Cynic
Going to London tomorrow for the day. Are there any particular music shops that people can recommend for organ and choral music? I'm especially keen on those specialising in second-hand music, mostly because I'm cheap, but also because I love the challenge of finding unexpected bargains :)

 

I don't know about second-hand - I always patronize Roger Molyneux (formerly Roger Firth) you'll find him with a search engine - but for new sheet music I find Foyles, Charing Cross Road (West side, just down from Tottenham Court Road tube station) very good. They have stacks of stuff you'll not see elsewhere and they don't often go through re-pricing it all!

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"Travis and Emery" (?spelling)-near Foyles on Charing Cross Rd (as mentioned by Cynic) - "worth the detour". Just down from Foyles on the opposite side you will find Cecil Court, a small street of shops selling antiques and other collectables. Also there is said shop stacked with books about music and scores for all instuments, mainly seconhand but some new books aswell. Always a stopping point for me!

 

F-W

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"Travis and Emery" (?spelling)-near Foyles on Charing Cross Rd (as mentioned by Cynic) - "worth the detour". Just down from Foyles on the opposite side you will find Cecil Court, a small street of shops selling antiques and other collectables. Also there is said shop stacked with books about music and scores for all instuments, mainly seconhand but some new books aswell. Always a stopping point for me!

 

F-W

I'll second FW's recommendation. I came across this shop by chance when killing a couple of hours the week before last ahead of going to see the South African rendition of The Magic Flute (orchestra comprising of various maimbas!) athe the Duke of York. There were 4 or 5 decent size folders of fairly eclectic organ music to flick through, and stacks of music for other instruments + voice.

 

You'll recognise the street 'cos there's a very posh ballet outfitters on the corner. I tried to persuade Mrs Sq. to go in and ask to try on a tutu whilst maintaining a straight face. She declined.

 

Sq.

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New music only, but I find Chappell's to have a very good selection. Located on Wardour Street (off Oxford Street between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road). Foyles is nearby too so its quite easy to take in them both.

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I don't know about second-hand - I always patronize Roger Molyneux (formerly Roger Firth) you'll find him with a search engine - but for new sheet music I find Foyles, Charing Cross Road (West side, just down from Tottenham Court Road tube station) very good. They have stacks of stuff you'll not see elsewhere and they don't often go through re-pricing it all!

 

Foyles isn't as good as it was now they've done it up, its lost all its Dickensian charm, piles of dusty music, often priced in pounds, shillings, and pence (well almost), however, it is still the most comprehensive music shop in London, plus lots of other books too, you can often spend weeks there!

 

Jonathan

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Foyles isn't as good as it was now they've done it up, its lost all its Dickensian charm...

 

Humph. Dickensian yes, charm no. The old Foyles was a chaotic, miserable nightmare. You couldn't ring them up - the phones were never answered. Everything was in the wrong place. The staff were treated appallingly - temporary staff (the majority) were sacked just before the limit for employment rights kicked in, and were placed in departments away from their area of expertise in case they stole stuff. And do you remember the arrangements for paying?The cashiers occupied little boxes like the alcohol booths in Utah hotel lobbies, because ordinary staff weren't allowed to handle money. To pay you had to queue up for a chit, queue up for a cashier, and queue up again for your purchase. The lift reached only certain floors. The shop is so infinitely better these days that it is unrecognisable.

 

In the quest for second-hand music, there is a shop called Archive in Bell Street, Marylebone (near Edgware Road tube) . It is the sort of establishment which the book-runners used to call a 'silverfish special', but it has a lot of stock. Austin Sherlaw-Johnson (on the internet) is good (and cheap).

 

Paul

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Humph. Dickensian yes, charm no. The old Foyles was a chaotic, miserable nightmare.

Your description certainly brings back some memories! It is better now - though the last time I was there the sheet music in the draws was still dog-eared. Inevitable, I suppose, but they really shouldn't expect people to pay full price for tatty copies.

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but they really shouldn't expect people to pay full price for tatty copies.

Depends if the full price was still 2/6. When Russell Acott in Oxford closed up a few years ago, I did find some music there that I fancied that was still priced in LSD.

 

Paul

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Many years ago there was an excellent second-hand music shop called Reeves in Norbury SW16, but I am not sure if it is still there. There was also a shop called Jennings in nearby Streatham which sold second hand music alongside second hand pulp fiction and, I seem to recall, second hand copies of Playboy (which, naturally, I avoided leafing through, my mind even in those days always set on higher things).

 

Peter

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Guest Barry Williams

Alas, Reeves and Jennings are both gone - more is the pity.

 

I recall being told of a certain recital in a well known place in London many years ago where certain of the unmarried clerical personages present had copies of the utterly unmentionable second-hand magazine Mr Clark mentioned. I cannot recall the details, of course, but I was told that the recitalist was featured therein. ('Staple in the navel' I was told. No doubt someone will one day explain this arcane terminology.)

 

Barry Williams

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Thanks for the recommendations. Travis and Emery was well stocked, although the organ section amounted to no more than two or three dozen books, largely Novello Bach editions. Archive Secondhand on Bell St. was, as described, absolutely stuffed with music, with no more than the gentlest sorting applied to the shelves, boxes, sacks and filing cabinets full of scores. Once again, though, there were only a few dozen organ scores on show (although who knows what was lurking in the stacks of boxes?).

 

I also went to a recital by Catherine Ennis at St. Lawrence Jewry. The playing was very good (Handel, Bach, Yamanouchi, Ravel, Vierne), but the Klais didn't impress me at all. Fairly bland in counterpoint, and the pleno had a uncomfortable tendency to howl in chords. What do others think?

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Guest Cynic
Thanks for the recommendations. Travis and Emery was well stocked, although the organ section amounted to no more than two or three dozen books, largely Novello Bach editions. Archive Secondhand on Bell St. was, as described, absolutely stuffed with music, with no more than the gentlest sorting applied to the shelves, boxes, sacks and filing cabinets full of scores. Once again, though, there were only a few dozen organ scores on show (although who knows what was lurking in the stacks of boxes?).

 

I also went to a recital by Catherine Ennis at St. Lawrence Jewry. The playing was very good (Handel, Bach, Yamanouchi, Ravel, Vierne), but the Klais didn't impress me at all. Fairly bland in counterpoint, and the pleno had a uncomfortable tendency to howl in chords. What do others think?

 

 

I don't like the reeds on that organ in that acoustic. I don't know whether this is exactly agreeing with you or not.

The former 1950s Mander instrument was nothing special, but the reeds were far more (musically) useful than the new Klais ones IMHO.

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No use re London but we were in Norwich the other week and I found two music shops with a good selection of organ music - especially the one down near the Art College (can't remember the name - St Georges??) - there's also a rather good CD shop just near the City Hall. We had not been there for a while - Mrs AJJ did her degree there so we went back for a nose around - lots going on!

 

AJJ

 

PS Allegro Music gets everything I want - even the odd out of the way stuff.

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