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I must admit that Manchester has a lot going for it. I regularly take the train up from London to hear the BBC Philharmonic or the Halle under Mark Elder and really like the city centre. Unlike Birmingham, Liverpool or Leeds, it really is a city for walking, although to be avoided on Friday and Saturday nights when groups of young men and women can be seen hunting in packs.

 

A few more instruments in the locality, by the way, just to gild the lilly:

 

1985 WALKER ORGAN IN BOLTON TOWN HALL

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00527

 

CAVAILLE-COLL ORGAN AT THE PARR HALL, WARRINGTON (FOR NOW...)

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01653

 

1921 HARRISON ORGAN IN ST THOMAS'S CHURCH, LEIGH

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=G00085

 

RENN/HARRISON ORGAN IN ALL SAINTS, STAND

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R00073

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I must admit that Manchester has a lot going for it. I regularly take the train up from London to hear the BBC Philharmonic or the Halle under Mark Elder and really like the city centre. Unlike Birmingham, Liverpool or Leeds, it really is a city for walking, although to be avoided on Friday and Saturday nights when groups of young men and women can be seen hunting in packs.

 

A few more instruments in the locality, by the way, just to gild the lilly:

 

1985 WALKER ORGAN IN BOLTON TOWN HALL

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00527

 

CAVAILLE-COLL ORGAN AT THE PARR HALL, WARRINGTON (FOR NOW...)

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01653

 

1921 HARRISON ORGAN IN ST THOMAS'S CHURCH, LEIGH

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=G00085

 

RENN/HARRISON ORGAN IN ALL SAINTS, STAND

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R00073

 

 

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

 

 

Let's not forget the Hope-Jones Museum run by the LTOT, who also have a 4-manual Wurlitzer in storage, just waiting for a SUITABLE VENUE.

 

"And now, for your entertainment and felicitous approval ladies and gentlemen, we present, in concert, our fascicle of fascinating, fantastic, fuguecent, fleet-footed fellows and finalists in this year's FRCO awards."

 

MM

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Hi

 

How about that for service - the survey of the C-C in it's original form was only added to NPOR (by me) last Friday!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

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

 

The organ at Manchester Town Hall is not in pristine condition and is seldom used, after lunch-time recitals stopped a while ago (2004?).

 

I'm sorry to disappoint those who think it is an unaltered Cavaille-Coll, because this is not the case.

 

I've played this organ a few times, and the character of the instrument is a strange crtoss-breed of French and English ideas, and the culprit who must take responsibility for that is T C Lewis (which may have then fallen into the Willis controlled era?)

 

The original organ was enlarged by Cavaille-Coll, with the addition of a Solo Organ, but in the subsequent Lewis rebuild, there were changes which included an Echo Organ (complete with Viole Mixture....suggesting the Willis influence). More importantly, Tubas slipped into the specification.

 

I have never found the reeds on this organ remotely Cavaille-Coll in character, and I often wonder if the original reeds were not revoiced throughout the instrument?

 

That stated, I suspect that this IS an instrument which can be restored back from whence it came, but the Town Hall is hardly a large concert-hall, unlike many others. It amounts to a large school type of assembly-hall, which does limit the potential of this instrument and makes a large audience almost an impossibility.

 

In many ways, I feel that Manchester missed an opportunity with the Bridgewater Hall, because with the right sort of design-acoustic, the town hall organ would have been quite an attraction if it had been fully restored and installed in the B.H.

 

It is very difficult to see from where the will to spend money on the TH organ might yet emerge, and yet, some of the public projects have been quite spectacular and Manchester is probably the most interesting and vibrant city outside London.

 

At least, for the present time, the organ is safe even if it is not played or heard often.

 

 

MM

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Is the big Lewis at Albion URC still safe? I had heard a rumour which I hope is untrue.

 

 

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

 

Oh dear!

 

Easily the most architecturally superb building in the URC camp, with easily the best organ in more or less unspoiled condition.

 

The combination is just magnificent.

 

MM

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

 

The organ at Manchester Town Hall is not in pristine condition and is seldom used, after lunch-time recitals stopped a while ago (2004?).

 

I'm sorry to disappoint those who think it is an unaltered Cavaille-Coll, because this is not the case.

 

I've played this organ a few times, and the character of the instrument is a strange crtoss-breed of French and English ideas, and the culprit who must take responsibility for that is T C Lewis (which may have then fallen into the Willis controlled era?)

 

The original organ was enlarged by Cavaille-Coll, with the addition of a Solo Organ, but in the subsequent Lewis rebuild, there were changes which included an Echo Organ (complete with Viole Mixture....suggesting the Willis influence). More importantly, Tubas slipped into the specification.

 

I have never found the reeds on this organ remotely Cavaille-Coll in character, and I often wonder if the original reeds were not revoiced throughout the instrument?

 

That stated, I suspect that this IS an instrument which can be restored back from whence it came, but the Town Hall is hardly a large concert-hall, unlike many others. It amounts to a large school type of assembly-hall, which does limit the potential of this instrument and makes a large audience almost an impossibility.

 

In many ways, I feel that Manchester missed an opportunity with the Bridgewater Hall, because with the right sort of design-acoustic, the town hall organ would have been quite an attraction if it had been fully restored and installed in the B.H.

 

It is very difficult to see from where the will to spend money on the TH organ might yet emerge, and yet, some of the public projects have been quite spectacular and Manchester is probably the most interesting and vibrant city outside London. 

 

At least, for the present time, the organ is safe even if it is not played or heard often.

MM

The Manchester Town Hall rebuild was completed by Lewis & Co. Ltd (as they had been known since 1884) in 1913, some six years before the "tie-up" with the Willis firm. Old man T.C. Lewis (away from the firm from c.1898) had, therefore, no responsibility in this scheme. The two Tubas formed part of the Cavaille-Coll six stop Solo division of 1893.

Revoicing, of a surpressive nature, was not confined to the reedwork alone. Together with the various additions, the scheme as realised appears to have resulted, as MM suggests, in a very "uneasy"

tonal alliance, yet it would be difficult to think of any builder who, at that time, would have been any less invasive.

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The Manchester Town Hall rebuild was completed  by Lewis & Co. Ltd (as they had been known since 1884) in 1913, some six years before the "tie-up" with the Willis firm. Old man T.C. Lewis (away from the firm from c.1898) had, therefore, no responsibility in this scheme. The two Tubas formed part of the Cavaille-Coll six stop Solo division of 1893.

Revoicing, of a surpressive nature, was not confined to the reedwork alone. Together with the various additions, the scheme as realised appears to have resulted, as MM suggests, in a very "uneasy"

tonal alliance, yet it would be difficult to think of any builder who, at that time, would have been any less invasive.

 

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

 

This is very interesting.

 

I wonder if I may prevail upon "Gross Geigen" to furnish a little more information....I don't know enough about this instrument I'm afraid.

 

Is GG actually suggesting that Cavaille-Coll did the revoicing and actually made Tubas, or am I geting this wrong, and that it could actually have been whoever it was that represented the T C Lewis name at the time at was rebuilt?

 

I never get the feeling that the pedal reeds are especially "French," and yet, due to relatively small space into which the organ speaks, this may have been quite deliberate from the outset.

 

Let's face it, I know almost nothing about the history of this instrument!!

 

:huh:

 

MM

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

 

This is very interesting.

 

I wonder if I may prevail upon "Gross Geigen" to furnish a little more information....I don't know enough about this instrument I'm afraid.

 

Is GG actually suggesting that Cavaille-Coll did the revoicing and actually made Tubas, or am I geting this wrong, and that it could actually have been whoever it was that represented the T C Lewis name at the time at was rebuilt?

 

I never get the feeling that the pedal reeds are especially "French," and yet, due to relatively small space into which the organ speaks, this may have been quite deliberate from the outset.

 

Let's face it, I know almost nothing about the history of this instrument!!

 

:huh:

 

MM

The Tubas were part of the Solo division which Cavaille-Coll added in 1893, and revoiced by Lewis & Co's reed voicer (possibly Tunks if he was still there) in 1913.

There has quite recently been talk of a possible restoration of the instrument to either the 1877 or 1893 design, although as yet there hasn't been much progress.

I gather there are some who wish the instrument to be preserved in its current form.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

[i'm fascinated by the present discussion of the C-C at Manchester which I played and much enjoyed some twenty or so years ago) but to return this topic to it's original subject ........................................]

 

The RCO

A few days ago I posted a pretty provocative diatribe on this subject, prompted by the latest developments and the lack of proper information to explain them. Before I posted here, I e-mailed the RCO directly asking for more information. Because their answer (when it eventually came) was in the form of a lengthy telephone call, I cannot cut and paste some of it here but will do my best to give a fair account of how things stand. There must be plenty of people who visit this site who would like to know (as I did) exactly what is going on.

 

Staffing

From their website and from such mailings as RCO News it appears that the RCO has at least fifteen salaried members of staff. Unlike the old days, where such things were made clear (Hon.Sec. etc.) it is currently impossible to tell who is actually giving their time and who is drawing a salary. I understand that (contrary to appearances) there are four salaried staff working the equvalent of three full-time employees. I feel obliged to set the record straight here.

 

Finances

The College's obligations seem very substantial, and while there are some reserves and an ostensibly large income, such matters as examinations have been running at a loss for a very long time. Efforts have been made to solve this problem. Interestingly (or perhaps significantly) the gap has been narrowed recently at the same time that there have been several changes 'at the top'.

 

Acommodation

Quite apart from the difficulties experienced at Holborn and the cost of renting anywhere half-decent in Central London, there was genuine enthusiasm amongst some senior representatives of the College and several inducements to move to Birmingham - promises of grants and set-up money. Visions of everything at last being in one place, especially the library stock which had been suffering at Holborn spurred them on. As we all know now, the commitments got out of hand and I understand that other funding was not quite so firm and reliable as it appeared. While the staff were working in Birmingham (in their single room) I understand that barely anyone ever called by on College business. This prompted the question:

If all we're doing at the home base is office work, why not let the workers carry on their tasks from home and save the rent money? Putting all thoughts of Del Boy and Rodney aside, this is (in fact) what they're doing.

 

Speaking personally, I would love the RCO to have a proper base once again. The ideal solution (long term) ought to allow the trustees and the Council to be able to meet without having to hire a room and for that superb library to be truly accessible instead of (frankly) on someone else's turf and presuming on someone else's goodwill. Their ideal home would have a respectable instrument fit for examination purposes where courses could be running on a regular basis. I suppose the question is: where is there a suitable cheap space? My best thought was 'The Churches Conservation Trust' who own several buildings all over the country. They adopt and restore churches that have no continuing diocesan use but are considered so historically/architecturally valuable that they cannot be simply sold or knocked down. They are always looking for appropriate tenants. As things stand, and after such an upheaval as the few surviving high-ups of the RCO have had to go through in the last year, I don't think anyone will currently go for anything that smells like a firm commitment for some while... but long term?

 

As to other my moans, I hope that the representative with whom I discussed all this took it on board that asking questions and bringing up the subject reflects a desire for action and/or information and not a desire to mock or to pull this slightly tottering edifice down! I'm both truly sorry that things have got like this and grateful that I'm not responsible. Good luck to those that are!

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Thanks for the info and your committment to the NPOR, Tony. I think you forgot the stops of the Grand Orgue and is it really Vox Humaine on the Positif?

 

Cheers,

 

Michael

 

Hi

 

It's possible that there are errors (and missing stops) - the survey hasn't been checked and finalised yet. If it had been an update of an existing survey, you wouldn't be able to access it on te public site until the checking is finished. I'll be revisiting it today - hopefully be this evening it will be correct to the information that we have.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Roffensis
===============

 

This is very interesting.

 

I wonder if I may prevail upon "Gross Geigen" to furnish a little more information....I don't know enough about this instrument I'm afraid.

 

Is GG actually suggesting that Cavaille-Coll did the revoicing and actually made Tubas, or am I geting this wrong, and that it could actually have been whoever it was that represented the T C Lewis name at the time at was rebuilt?

 

I never get the feeling that the pedal reeds are especially "French," and yet, due to relatively small space into which the organ speaks, this may have been quite deliberate from the outset.

 

Let's face it, I know almost nothing about the history of this instrument!!

 

:huh:

 

MM

 

The organ was drastically altered tonally, and although there is something of the old effect there perhaps, it is very heavily cutained by the dreadful treatment it has suffered post CC. Having played it myself, I can vouch that it can make an exciting sound ( not English or French, it doesn't know what it is) , and really needs a historical rebuiild, with all the later accretions being removed as well as the (unreliable) action, and very tacky console which lives in the broom cupboard under the organ, and is wheeled out for the Organist Entertains. Perhaps the saddest aspect of it all is the dreadful music that is nowadays played upon it, and that in itself shows how unmusical those in authority in Manchester are.

 

 

Richard

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The organ was drastically altered tonally, and although there is something of the old effect there perhaps, it is very heavily cutained by the dreadful treatment it has suffered post CC. Having played it myself, I can vouch that it can make an exciting sound ( not English or French, it doesn't know what it is) , and really needs a historical rebuiild, with all the later accretions being removed as well as the (unreliable) action, and very tacky console which lives in the broom cupboard under the organ, and is wheeled out for the Organist Entertains. Perhaps the saddest aspect of it all is the dreadful music that is nowadays played upon it, and that in itself shows how unmusical those in authority in Manchester are.

Richard

My own suspicion is that there weren't very many firms interested in taking on the contract of rebuilding a C-C instrument, although it was undoubtedly a potentially lucrative project. The Lewis firm had received C-C's endorsement ("...my closest disciples etc....") some decades earlier, so it seems reasonable to assume they might have been approached from the outset. Apart from the additions and the reed re-voicing, they were asked to "remove the Gamba tone" from the fluework. I've only heard the instrument on Radio 3, about 20 years ago, in a recital given by Stephen Cleobury. I don't have any distinguishing memory of how it sounded, so the comments from those who have played it are all the more interesting. The use of wooden resonators for their new 32ft Bombarde seems uncharacteristic of Lewis & Co., yet they would no doubt be beautifully made.

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The RCO

 

There must be plenty of people who visit this site who would like to know (as I did) exactly what is going on.

 

Staffing

 

I understand that (contrary to appearances) there are four salaried staff working the equvalent of three full-time employees. I feel obliged to set the record straight here.

 

Finances

 

The College's obligations seem very substantial

 

Acommodation

 

As we all know now, the commitments got out of hand

 

I understand that barely anyone ever called by on College business. This prompted the question:

 

If all we're doing at the home base is office work, why not let the workers carry on their tasks from home

 

Speaking personally, I would love the RCO to have a proper base once again

 

Their ideal home would have a respectable instrument fit for examination purposes

 

I don't think anyone will currently go for anything that smells like a firm commitment for some while... but long term?

 

 

I'm both truly sorry that things have got like this and grateful that I'm not responsible. Good luck to those that are!

 

 

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

 

I'm not quite sure why a previous attempt at this reply has not appeared on the board, but if it duplicates, my apologies.

 

I've cut and pasted what I regard as salient points in Paul's post.

 

When I first started working in insolvency and asset management some years ago, I got an early lesson in the roots of insolvnecy and poor business practice.

 

My "mentor" was a brilliant man who, apart from being legally on the ball, was eccentric enough to be a major collector of model railways and a political agent for a certain well known organist.

 

We travelled to a medium size business which he believed were in difficulties, and before venturing over the threshold, he stopped and took stock of what he could see externally. Then turning to me, he said, "Ah! Now this is a failing enterprise! Notice the immaculate car-park full of shiny new cars, the director's sports cars, the manicured plants, classy entrance lobby and the company flag on the roof. Their costs are out of control!"

 

He was proven right!

 

Failing companies are also almost always autocratic in their style of management, where no-one listens to the good advice of others and common sense is in short supply.

 

The Maxwell Group was a classic example of this, allied to the fact that the main man gambled £1,000,000 PER DAY on the roulette wheels, and ended up in debt to the tune of £3,000,000,000.

 

I am not for one minute suggesting that the RCO is run like this, or that people don't know what they are doing. I would suggest however, that there is evidence of SOME of the above failings; not least in the desire to have a shiny new continental organ and an imposing premises, as a reflection on the status of the college.

 

"Business discipline" should apply to any undertaking, and the RCO is no exception.

 

I still harbour the view that the RCO has the best chance of survival and potential growth if it is incorporated into some other etsablished educational body. This may mean relinquishing some degree of absolute control, and may even result in certain changes of future policy and direction, but that could also be a window of real opportunity if handled correctly, in partnership with others.

 

Would it be unthinkable (purely as an example) to have the RCO incorporated into a college such as the RNCM in Manchester?

 

Nice premises, a shiny new organ, a concert hall and all the musical facilities one could wish for......and REAL MUSICIANS around every corner to boot.

 

The only thing it wouldn't be is the organist's equivalent to the RAC club or the Atheneum.

 

Is that such a bad thing?

 

MM

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The point is MM, that they did pull back from overcomitting themselves. I think the true proof of the pudding will come when they decide what to do _next_ ...

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The point is MM, that they did pull back from overcomitting themselves. I think the true proof of the pudding will come when they decide what to do _next_ ...

 

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

 

Indeed, even if that isn't the point I was making!

 

MM

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Guest Lee Blick
Would it be unthinkable (purely as an example) to have the RCO incorporated into a college such as the RNCM in Manchester?

 

Nice premises, a shiny new organ, a concert hall and all the musical facilities one could wish for......and REAL MUSICIANS around every corner to boot.

 

The only thing it wouldn't be is the organist's equivalent to the RAC club or the Atheneum

 

The problem I have with the RCO being incorporated into a music college or university is the perception that the organisation will emphasise the academic principles even more. Not all organists (if many) are interested in gaining the certificates and diplomas.

 

If you insist on the 'real musicians' tag you would be excluding a lot more more people and will only perpetuate the institution as being male, white, middle-class. Fine, if all you want is an old boy's network then if that is the case it no longer deserves having a Royal Charter imho.

 

MM, you mentioned organisations such as the RAC but there are millions of car drivers out there, the pool for organists is tiny in comparison. To be so exclusive would probably drive it out of existence.

 

I think it would be a mistake for the RCO pull the drawbridge up and go for the academia option. The organisation needs to be far more pro-active developing organ-playing at the grassroots level, not just relying on the church base (which is ever decreasing) but to extend activities to developing organ-playing in schools much more than it does now and encouraging people to play the organ at home, such as they do the piano or keyboard, making the classical organ as much a 'secular' instrument just as much as a church instrument. Perhaps this could be focused towards organs and organists in secular places such as town/city/concert/museum venues.

 

It could be an opportunity for the RCO to liase with digital and pipe organ builders to set up studios similar to rehearsal studios/piano schools where people could learn together as well as individually. People learning on these instruments then may wish to purchase one for their home. I believe that is where the future could lie and in turn it could provide more organists into the local churches again.

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The problem I have with the RCO being incorporated into a music college or university is the perception that the organisation will emphasise the academic principles even more.
I don't think that need automatically follow. It need only be a postal address. The RCO would want to - indeed would have to - maintain its own, individual image and persona. That might be easier in a university than with the RNCM. The main problem with collocation would probably be that of easy access for members; that would need to be sorted.

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The problem I have with the RCO being incorporated into a music college or university is the perception that the organisation will emphasise the academic principles even more.  Not all organists (if many) are interested in gaining the certificates and diplomas.

 

If you insist on the 'real musicians' tag you would be excluding a lot more more people and will only perpetuate the institution as being male, white, middle-class.  Fine, if all you want is an old boy's network then if that is the case it no longer deserves having a Royal Charter imho.

 

MM, you mentioned organisations such as the RAC but there are millions of car drivers out there, the pool for organists is tiny in comparison.  To be so exclusive would probably drive it out of existence.

 

I think it would be a mistake for the RCO pull the drawbridge up and go for the academia option.  The organisation needs to be far more pro-active developing organ-playing at the grassroots level, not just relying on the church base (which is ever decreasing) but to extend activities to developing organ-playing in schools much more than it does now and encouraging people to play the organ at home, such as they do the piano or keyboard, making the classical organ as much a 'secular' instrument just as much as a church instrument.  Perhaps this could be focused towards organs and organists in secular places such as town/city/concert/museum venues.

 

It could be an opportunity for the RCO to liase with digital and pipe organ builders to set up studios similar to rehearsal studios/piano schools where people could learn together as well as individually.  People learning on these instruments then may wish to purchase one for their home.  I believe that is where the future could lie and in turn it could provide more organists into the local churches again.

 

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

 

A good response Lee, and I think this is why I emphasised the sense of "challenge" which such a move might entail. To be absolutely honest, I'm not quite sure what the FRCO diploma is all about, unless it's really about organists being extremely isolated and impossibly academic. The performance side of things is matched by other organisations and institutions.

 

I can't help but think that the "academic" approach of score-reading, C-clefs and writing an "instant fugue" is being awkward for the sake of it, and merely creating an academic hurdle which has only limited practical value.

 

Wouldn't it be far better to concentrate on the nuances of interpretation or informed historic performance practise?

 

As for outreach, I really cannot think of anything better than real live performances of organ-music presented in a major music college such as the RNCM, LCM or RAM. Put it another way, even Manchester knew the name of Petr Eben long before most organists did, and there is (I believe) a bust of the man at the RNCM, where he was honorary composer (or somesuch) for some time.

 

I suppose the question which needs to be asked, is whether the RCO is primarily an academic institution or a performing institution; which is not to say that organists cannot be both, as many Oxbridge organ-scholars have demonstrated so powerfully.

 

The niggling doubt I have, is whether the RCO could ever really foster the talents of people such as Jane Parker Smith, or the wild virtuosity of a Wayne Marshall, with all his other skills as an improviser and jazz musician.

 

Perhaps it is just a little bit "sad" that the RCO have to make the most outstanding performers "Honorary Fellows" in what, to me at least, looks awfully like a face-saving exercise when non-fellows show the FRCO graduates just how it should be done.

 

To my certain knwoledge, no-one has ever yet devised a test for genius, and that applies just as much to organ-playing and academia as it does to mathematics.

 

I shall refrain from slurring the memory of a great musician who hapened to be a magnificent choral-trainer, by naming names, but there WAS a certain cathedral organist I knew, who could barely stagger through the first three variations on "Mein Junges Leben" by Sweelinck; yet he was hideously well qualified and held the FRCO diploma.

 

At least, if the RCO was associated with a major music college, then it would be taking the first important steps towards reaching out to a largely secular world of music; with wonderful opportunities available to INCLUDE the organ rather than EXCLUDE it in national music-making.

 

Incidentally Lee, the RAC club has nothing to so with the great motoring public. It is a very exclusive and very expensive club, to which one becomes an invited member. The President is, or at least was, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, and the drinks don't come cheap!!

 

The Atheneum Club is just as exclusive, but has a better wine-cellar!

 

MM

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

 

A good response Lee, and I think this is why I emphasised the sense of "challenge" which such a move might entail. To be absolutely honest, I'm not quite sure what the FRCO diploma is all about, unless it's really about organists being extremely isolated and impossibly academic. The performance side of things is matched by other organisations and institutions.

 

I can't help but think that the "academic" approach of score-reading, C-clefs and writing an "instant fugue" is being awkward for the sake of it, and merely creating an academic hurdle which has only limited practical value.

 

Wouldn't it be far better to concentrate on the nuances of interpretation or informed historic performance practise?

 

As for outreach, I really cannot think of anything better than real live performances of organ-music presented in a major music college such as the RNCM, LCM or RAM.  Put it another way, even Manchester knew the name of Petr Eben long before most organists did, and there is (I believe) a bust of the man at the RNCM, where he was honorary composer (or somesuch)  for some time.

 

I suppose the question which needs to be asked, is whether the RCO is primarily an academic institution or a performing institution; which is not to say that organists cannot be both, as many Oxbridge organ-scholars have demonstrated so powerfully.

 

The niggling doubt I have, is whether the RCO could ever really foster the talents of people such as Jane Parker Smith, or the wild virtuosity of a Wayne Marshall, with all his other skills as an improviser and jazz musician.

 

Perhaps it is just a little bit "sad" that the RCO have to make the most outstanding performers "Honorary Fellows" in what, to me at least, looks awfully like a face-saving exercise when non-fellows show the FRCO graduates just how it should be done.

 

To my certain knwoledge, no-one has ever yet devised a test for genius, and that applies just as much to organ-playing and academia as it does to mathematics.

 

I shall refrain from slurring the memory of a great musician who hapened to be a magnificent choral-trainer, by naming names, but there WAS a certain cathedral organist I knew, who could barely stagger through the first three variations on "Mein Junges Leben" by Sweelinck; yet he was hideously well qualified and held the FRCO diploma.

 

At least, if the RCO was associated with a major music college, then it would be taking the first important steps towards reaching out to a largely secular world of music; with wonderful opportunities available to INCLUDE the organ rather than EXCLUDE it in national music-making.

 

Incidentally Lee, the RAC club has nothing to so with the great motoring public. It is a very exclusive and very expensive club, to which one becomes an invited member. The President is, or at least was, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, and the drinks don't come cheap!!

 

The Atheneum Club is just as exclusive, but has a better wine-cellar!

 

MM

Well, this is what Schumann thought about some of these questions - http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1368793

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
================

Did they make him an honorary FRCO?

 

:D

 

MM

 

'Can of worms' alert!

A complete list of those who have received honorary FRCOs published here would make for very interesting reading, believe me. The big question is why so many great names either did not see fit to attempt the challenge or failed in their attempts.

 

To take your comment more seriously, I don't think that Schumann actually played the organ at all. Put it this way, if he did there is no record of the fact. However, it is quite certain that he knew and admired several organists and went so far as to teach himself to play the pedals. He had several practice pianos at the Leipzig Conservatoire fitted with pedalboards while he was employed there. The fruits of this are well-known, viz.

 

for Piano with Pedals - Six Studies in Canon Form (1845) Four Sketches (1846)

for Organ - Six Fugues on B.A.C.H. (1845)

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'Can of worms' alert!

A complete list of those who have received honorary FRCOs published here would make for very interesting reading, believe me. The big question is why so many great names either did not see fit to attempt the challenge or failed in their attempts.

 

To take your comment more seriously, I don't think that Schumann actually played the organ at all. Put it this way, if he did there is no record of the fact.  However, it is quite certain that he knew and admired several organists and went so far as to teach himself to play the pedals.  He had several practice pianos at the Leipzig Conservatoire fitted with pedalboards while he was employed there.  The fruits of this are well-known, viz.

 

for Piano with Pedals - Six Studies in Canon Form (1845)  Four Sketches (1846)

for Organ - Six Fugues on B.A.C.H. (1845)

 

 

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

 

 

 

The nice thing about NOT being involved in professional music anymore, is that one can be completely impartial and, at the same time, have not the slightest fear of what anyone may say or think.

 

As I used to eat worms as a small child.............(especially tasty when they're muddy)....myabe we could just take a little peek and then slam the lid shut again.

 

Does anyone know which of these "random ten great organists" was

a) A non RCO anything

:D an Hon FRCO

c) FRCO by examination

d) An ARCO

 

1. G D Cunningham

 

2. Reginald Goss-Custard

 

3. Edwin Lemare

 

4. George Thalben-Ball

 

5. Simon Preston

 

6. Jane Parker-Smith

 

7. Nicholas Kynaston

 

8. Quentin Maclean

 

9. Peter Hurford

 

10.Wayne Marshall

 

I don't know most of the answers, but I think the results may be interesting.

 

;)

 

MM

 

 

;)

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Guest Barry Oakley
===========================

The nice thing about NOT being involved in professional music anymore, is that one can be completely impartial and, at the same time, have not the slightest fear of what anyone may say or think.

 

As I used to eat worms as a small child.............(especially tasty when they're muddy)....myabe we could just take a little peek and then slam the lid shut again.

 

Does anyone know which of these "random ten great organists" was

a) A non RCO anything

:D an Hon FRCO

c) FRCO by examination

d) An ARCO

 

1.  G D Cunningham

 

2.  Reginald Goss-Custard

 

3.  Edwin Lemare

 

4.  George Thalben-Ball

 

5.  Simon Preston

 

6.  Jane Parker-Smith

 

7.  Nicholas Kynaston

 

8.  Quentin Maclean

 

9.  Peter Hurford

 

10.Wayne Marshall

 

I don't know most of the answers, but I think the results may be interesting.

 

;)

 

MM

;)

 

Sorry, can't help you with any accurate answers, but I'm pretty sure JP-S is a non FRCO and I have a hunch about Simon Preston. But of all people, an Oxford Don, now deceased, once said to me that if you have talent you do not need qualifications.

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Mr. Marshall and Dr. Hurford OBE are FRCO.

Mr. Kynaston and Mr. Preston OBE are HonFRCO.

As for most of the rest, they are RIP.

 

 

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

 

 

Dear or alive, they are certainly names to conjure with, plus quite a few more I can think of.

 

However, for our delectation, here are the results to my own question:-

 

G D Cunningham FRCO

Reginald Goss-Custard FRCO

 

3. Edwin Lemare FRCO

 

4. George Thalben-Ball FRCO

 

5. Simon Preston - No

 

6. Jane Parker-Smith _Hon FRCO

 

7. Nicholas Kynaston - Hon FRCO

 

8. Quentin Maclean No, but gave RCO recital. Taught by Straube/Reger

 

9. Peter Hurford FRCO

 

10.Wayne Marshall - No?

 

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

 

Additionally, the following were awared Hon.FRCO

 

Nicolas Kynaston Hon FRCO

Susan Landale BMus, Hon FRCO

Lionel Rogg Hon DMus, Hon FRCO

Patrick Russill MA, Hon RAM, Hon FRCO

David Titterington MA, Hon DMus, Hon FRCO, Hon ARAM

Alfred Hollins Hon FRCO

Sir Thomas Armstrong Hon FRCO

Gillian Weir Hon FRCO

Conrad Eden Hon FRCO

Sir David Lumsden Hon FRCO

Gordon Stewart Hon FRCO

Piet Kee Hon FRCO

Jiri Ropek Hon FRCO

Petr Eben Hon FRCO

 

Of course, if one is a politician:- ;)

 

 

Sir Edward Heath MP

 

 

Member, Independent Commission on International Development Issues, 1977-1979. Member Council, Royal College of Music, 1961-1970; Chairman, London Symphony Orchestra Trust, 1963-1970; Vice-President, Bach Choir, 1970-; President, European Community Youth Orchestra, 1977-1980; Hon. Mem., LSO, 1974-; has made orchestral recordings. Smith­Mundt Fellowship, USA, 1953; Vis. Fellow, Nuffield Coll., Oxford, 1962-1970, Hon. Fellow, 1970; Chubb Fellow, Yale, 1975; Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth Coll., 1980. Lectures: Cyril Foster Meml, Oxford, 1965; Godkin, Harvard, 1966; Montagu Burton, Leeds, 1976; Edge, Princeton, 1976; Romanes, Oxford, 1976; Ishizaka, Japan, 1979; Felix Neubergh, Gothenburg, 1979, 10th STC Communication, London, 1980, Noel Buxton, Univ. of Essex, 1980; Alastair Buchan Meml, London, 1980; Hoover, Univ. of Strathclyde, 1980; Stanton Griffis Disting., Cornell Univ., 1981; Edwin Stevens, RSM, 1981; William Temple, York, 1981; City of London, Chartered Insce Inst., 1982; John Findley Green, Westminster Coll., Missouri, 1982; Mizuno, Tokyo, 1982; ITT European, Brussels, 1982; Bruce Meml, Keele Univ., 1982; Gaitskell, Univ. of Nottingham, 1983; Trinity Univ., San Antonio, 1983; lect. to mark opening Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, NZ, 1983; Bridge Meml, Guildhall, 1984; David R. Calhoun Jr Meml, Washington Univ., St Louis, 1984; Corbishley Meml, RSA, 1984; John Rogers Meml, Llandudno, 1985; George Woodcock, Univ. of Leicester, 1985; RIIA, 1985; John F. Kennedy Meml, Oxford, 1986; Edward Boyle Meml, RSA, 1988. Deroy Prof., Univ. of Michigan, 1990. Liveryman, Goldsmiths' Co., 1966; Hon. Freeman, Musicians' Co., 1973. Hon. FRCM; Hon. FRCO; Hon. Fellow, Royal Canadian Coll. of Organists. Hon. DCL: Oxon, 1971; Kent, 1985; Hon. DTech Bradford, 1971; Hon. LLD Westminster Coll., Salt Lake City, 1975; Dr hc Univ. of Paris, Sorbonne, 1976; Hon. Dr of Public Admin, Wesleyan Coll., Macon, Ga, 1981; Hon. DL Westminster Coll., Fulton, Missouri, 1982; Hon. HLD Bellarmine Coll., Kentucky, 1994; DUniv Open, 1997. Charlemagne Prize, 1963; Estes J. Kefauver Prize 1971; Stresseman Gold Medal, 1971; Freiherr Von Stein Foundn Prize, 1972; Gold Medal of City of Paris, 1978; World Humanity Award, 1980; Gold Medal, European Parlt, 1981; Gold Medal, Fondation du Mérite

Européen, 1994. Grand Cross, Order of Merit (Germany), 1993; Grand Cross, Order of Liberty and Unity (Latin America), 1994; Order of the Aztec Eagle (Mexico), 1994. Winner, Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race, 1969; Captain: Britain's Admiral's Cup Team, 1971, 1979; Britain's Sardinia Cup Team, 1980.

 

Way to go!

 

:D

 

MM

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