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Mander Organs
David Thornton

Inspirational Lps

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Headcase - glad to see you included that Andre Isoir at St Sernin, also one of my first LPs and it opened my eyes to French organs, never looked back! I heard Roger Fisher play before I bothered to buy any organ LPs but my first of his was Rheinberger 7 and 8, wonderful, never reissued as far as I know although he's recorded no 8 more recently.

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Despite my nascent calvity, I am not quite old enough to answer this question literally, since I started off with CDs right away (around 1983).

 

Crumbs....I hadn't even begun collecting LPs by then!!! ;)

 

However, I do still have a head of very thick hair (as confirmed by my barber who complains about how it hurts him to use his scissors on me). I think it's only thick as a possible continuation of the properties of my head.... :lol:

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Durham for the lot – especially the Arthur Milner.

Would this be his Prelude on a Theme of Palestrina by any chance? What a gorgeous little piece that is.

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First Post!

 

GCOS did it for me as well: particularly Cooke at Hereford and Dearnley at St Paul's (though I have always disliked the Ives Variations). Top of them all for me was Allan Wicks at Canterbury. His performance of the Ridout Seven Last Words turned me on to modern organ music - so much so that I learned to play it myself.

 

Many years ago (too many!) I went to the Organists' Congress in St Andrews and chatted to Dr Wicks about that recording. He joked that he had a 'Bach arr. Stravinski' thing in his head when he performed it. He also confessed that he'd never planned to take the final movement of the Mendelssohn F Minor Sonata at that breakneck pace that he did, but once started, he pressed on and, luckily, Brian Culverhouse caught it in one. I'm glad he did: I don't recall hearing a better performance.

 

I, too, have the Wicks 'La Nativite' at St Paul's on the Saga record and it's a truly awful pressing, almost obscuring a monumental performance. Maybe if I beg Amphion enough they'll do a CD....

 

Oh, the nostalgia.

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Gosh - what memories have come flooding back!

 

Bach (and Widor Toccata!) played by Ralph Downes at the Festival Hall (Pye Golden Guinea) - I remember listening to the Toccata in F for the first time and being completely overwhelmed. And playing it again and again.

 

Bach played by Michael Schneider in Schleswig Cathedral on the Marble Arch label. (In fact I've just brought it down from the loft and am listening to it again - wonderful (to my ears) gimmick-free playing, without mannered rubati. Does anyone know anything about the organ? I wish this was on CD - my LP (well used) sounds dreadful on my cheap turntable!

 

The James Dalton recording from Queen's College, as already mentioned.

 

Arthur Wills playing Vierne 3 in Ely Cathedral on Saga.

 

"French Organ Music of the Late Romantic Period" played by Saorgin, Raynaud and Darasse at St Sernin (on the Turnabout label). My first experience of the French organ sound.

 

Hymns and Organ voluntaries from the Temple Church - absolutely wonderful hymn accompanying by Thalben-Ball plus some of the hymn variations (published as, I think, 113 Hymn Variations). I love the Temple Church hymns - no-one now phrases hymns so musically.

 

Stephen Barber

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Bach (and Widor Toccata!) played by Ralph Downes at the Festival Hall (Pye Golden Guinea) - I remember listening to the Toccata in F for the first time and being completely overwhelmed. And playing it again and again.

 

Ah, yes, the one with the Sei gegruesset variations. Must dig that out again and have a listen!

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Ah, yes, the one with the Sei gegruesset variations. Must dig that out again and have a listen!

 

Sei Gegrusset is on the Amphion Centenary Tribute CD (taken from Festival Hall and Oratory recordings). I wish they'd put the Toccata in F on as well. Of course, I'd probably be very disappointed if I heard it again.

 

Stephen Barber

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My first organ LP was King of Instruments – EMI must have sold quite a few of those!

 

My teacher at the time (1971) had a music room that contained two grand pianos, a three manual organ and a huge (as I remember it) stereo system. I was very impressed when he put the King of Instruments LP on the stereo and then sat down at the organ and played along with Nicolas Kynaston’s recording of Carillon de Westminster.

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"My first organ LP was King of Instruments – EMI must have sold quite a few of those!"

 

My dad had this, I was hooked at the age of about 7. Also has the Jackson/Cocker on it. And Lionel Rogg playing BuxWV 149 at the Royal Festival Hall, this really fascinated me I think.

 

"Nicolas Kynaston’s recording of Carillon de Westminster."

 

..is one of the slowest recordings I think but it is extraordinary. My dad also had one of the Kynaston LPs mentioned before (Royal Albert Hall), which I also listented to a lot.

 

Nice that the 'old' Alkmaar recordings have been mentioned a lot. I have several of the Walcha LPs and also the Germani recording mentioned. I suspect FG wasn't so comfortable playing that organ! I remember the Fugues have a tendency to get faster. My copy is in quite poor condition, unfortunately.

 

There is now an organ-lover in Alkmaar who is putting together an entire collection of all the commerical recordings of the organs in the Grote Kerk. There is a lot of material, much of it unknown. There is even an LP made by an organist called Piet Kiel jnr of only English Voluntaries, (early 1970s I think).

 

Andrea Marcon told me that he was obsessed with Walcha's Alkmaar recordings as a child in Italy, it was his dream to play the organ in Alkmaar. Now he plays there quite often. :)

 

Bazuin

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

Various things:

To Vox Humana

Prelude by Arthur Milner on Durham GCOS. This is, I think, available on the Amphion CD. First of three pieces: prelude, Siciliano and Ricercare. Not as far as I know on a theme of anyone, but I've lived long in ignorance of many things. A stirring piece anyway, and not too difficult, thanks be to God.

 

To Stephen Barber

The organ in Schleswig Cathedral is a rather nice Marcussen in an elegant case.

http://www.schleswiger-domorgel.de

I played it few years back on a truly inspirational tour by train that took in Norden, Rendsburg (Christkirche, beautiful spitzflöte), Meldorf (Marcussen 3 man), Schleswig (Marcussen 3 man), Neuenfelde and Stralsund Marienkirche. That trip kind-of spoilt me for organ crawling, and it's just as well because now I can't afford it. Playing at Norden and Stralsund are memories that I will take to my grave.

 

Anyway, the organist at Schleswig was very welcoming (as were they all, but pre-arranged). I'm afraid I can't remember much about the stoplist except that it was Sw, Gt, Ruck, ped had 32 reed, all very versatile and yet another lovely Spitzflöte. How do they do that?

 

Sorry, this ramble has departed from the topic.

 

SM

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To Vox Humana

Prelude by Arthur Milner on Durham GCOS. This is, I think, available on the Amphion CD. First of three pieces: prelude, Siciliano and Ricercare. Not as far as I know on a theme of anyone, but I've lived long in ignorance of many things. A stirring piece anyway, and not too difficult, thanks be to God.

Thanks. That will be a different piece, then, to the one I was thinking of.

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Nice that the 'old' Alkmaar recordings have been mentioned a lot. I have several of the Walcha LPs

 

My very first LP was Walcha's Alkmaar recording of Bach's Toccatas and Fugues on the Archive label.

 

I was still at primary school and remember buying a copy of 565 and preparing 'my version' of it on the piano which I played during one the school assemblies. I've still got the LP, but the copy of the music is long gone.

 

As a child I didn't particularly care for either the Dorian Fugue or the F major Fugue (and still don't play either).

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As a child I didn't particularly care for either the Dorian Fugue or the F major Fugue (and still don't play either).

 

I guess you care much more for the Dorian nowadays! One of the finest fugues ever written for the organ.....

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The organ in Schleswig Cathedral is a rather nice Marcussen in an elegant case.

http://www.schleswiger-domorgel.de

 

I'm afraid I can't remember much about the stoplist except that it was Sw, Gt, Ruck, ped had 32 reed, all very versatile and yet another lovely Spitzflöte. How do they do that?

 

Thanks for the information. The 32' gets an outing at the end of the St Anne Fugue.

 

The Dorian Fugue took a long time to grow on me too - I wonder if it's because Schneider didn't play it (just the Toccata) on his LP. It is certainly a wonderful fugue, though.

 

[speaking of Bach Fugues: can anyone tell me how to play bar 59 of the "Wedge"? (The bar with the first semiquavers in it.) My fingers get in a tangle. unless I play the LH semiquavers on another manual.]

 

Stephen Barber

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"Nicolas Kynaston’s recording of Carillon de Westminster."

 

..is one of the slowest recordings I think but it is extraordinary.

Bazuin

 

I hadn't realised how slow it was, but presumably the acoustic in Westminster Catherdral is a factor. Out of interest Ive looked at the timings of some other recordings.

 

Soloist ---------- Number -------------------- Timing

Ropek ------------ Supraphon 50621 F ----------- 6.01

Durufle ---------- Erato 2564 60593-2 ---------- 6.16

Herrick ---------- Hyperion CDA 67612 ---------- 6.28

S Preston -------- DG 413 438-2 ---------------- 6.43

Butt ------------- Delphian DCD 34032 ---------- 6.46

Morelle ---------- Quantum dQM 7004 ------------ 6.46

Hakim ------------ EMI 5 72272 2 --------------- 6.58

Kynaston --------- HMV SEOM 4 ------------------ 7.15

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Ben van Oosten (DG Gold: MDG 316 0847-2) is also on the slow side at 7:11. It sounds absolutely right to me.

 

Michael Hoppe (St Severin, Aachen-Eilendorf) gets through it in 6:13. It's a very fine performance, but too fast for my taste.

 

I have four recordings of my own live performances (made by others and presented to me after the event) which show that generally I like to take around 6:50. One, however, weighs in at a very leisurely 7:20. I've just had a listen to it for the first time in years (I knew I'd regret it: masochism is no fun on your own. :rolleyes:) Anyway, once I'd got over the initial shock and settled into the speed the tempo seemed fine. All of which suggests to me what we all surely already know: the speed doesn't really matter that much; it's the momentum that counts. I've not heard the Kynaston recording, but I wouldn't mind betting that that's what makes it a winner.

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It was The Kings of Instruments for me - for those who don't know this LP, it was a sampler taken from a range of organ recordings by EMI. Side 2 was the corker - Karg-Elert from Rawsthorne at Liverpool, Purcell Old 100th from Thalben-Ball at the Temple, Boellmann Toccata from Blenheim with Danby, the Cocker from FJ at YM and then a great perfrmance of the BWV 565 from Allan Wicks at Canterbury.

 

I know that Francis Jackson’s recording of Cocker’s Tuba Tune resurfaced on CD from Amphion. However, I’ve recently noticed that it is also available on a Chandos budget CD called “Pipes of splendour”. Does anyone know if this is the original EMI recording re-licensed to Chandos, or if it is a different, newer, recording?

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I know that Francis Jackson’s recording of Cocker’s Tuba Tune resurfaced on CD from Amphion. However, I’ve recently noticed that it is also available on a Chandos budget CD called “Pipes of splendour”. Does anyone know if this is the original EMI recording re-licensed to Chandos, or if it is a different, newer, recording?

 

I think it's a different recording - there's a distinct lack of 32' pedal reed at the end... :rolleyes: ...but still a worthwhile buy at the bargain price of about a fiver...

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I think it's a different recording - there's a distinct lack of 32' pedal reed at the end... B) ...but still a worthwhile buy at the bargain price of about a fiver...

 

It is indeed a different recording done by Brian Culverhouse for Chandos in 1974 which first saw the light of day so far as I can trace on Polydor Select 2460 225.

 

Right next to it on my shelves was my copy of English Organ Music 1690 -1790 (CBS 61495) by Piet Kiel Jr mentioned in an earlier post. I have always assumed that the surname was a misprint for Kee which slipped by the proof reader - the bigger the type the easier it is not to notice and the more embarrassing when somebody else does !! Does anyone actually know ? The cover picture is a very nice reproduction from Canaletto's "View of the Thames from Richmond House" - almost worth the price in its own right.

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"Right next to it on my shelves was my copy of English Organ Music 1690 -1790 (CBS 61495) by Piet Kiel Jr mentioned in an earlier post. I have always assumed that the surname was a misprint for Kee which slipped by the proof reader - the bigger the type the easier it is not to notice and the more embarrassing when somebody else does !! Does anyone actually know ? "

 

Piet Kiel jnr is indeed a completely different person from Piet Kee. I have a colleague who has a certificate from an organ competition he took part in as a child on his wall, which carries the signature of Mr Kiel jnr. He was born in 1937 (10 years younger than Piet Kee!). I think he is primarily known for conducting choirs.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

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I think it's a different recording - there's a distinct lack of 32' pedal reed at the end... B) ...but still a worthwhile buy at the bargain price of about a fiver...

 

Yes, the later recording (which I received as a favourite 15th birthday present!) happened (I think) in the period after the upheavals of restoration to the minster in the early 1970's, prior to the 32' reed being resited in the South Transept from its former home in the North Choir Aisle c. 1978/79. Thus being inactive at that time.

Various parts of the organ had needed to come out for the work on the Central Tower including the sections within the screen (Solo & Pedal). During the this time the main case was enveloped in what was effectively a huge plastic bag, but according to Dr.Jackson had surprisingly little effect on the egress of sound.

 

Best Wishes

PL

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