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Worcester Cathedral, 04th & 05th October


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Hi,

 

As many of us on here may know, the weekend of 04th & 05th October sees the dedication of the new organ at Worcester Cathedral with services under the direction of Adrian Lucas (O&MoC and member of this forum). As this will be next weekend I thought I would do a roll-call out of curiosity and see:

 

a. who is going

B. where from

c. what parts of the weekend you are going to

 

It would be nice if a few members were to go and we could then make a small gathering after the service. Anyway, I will start.

 

Dave

 

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

 

Roll Call

01. Dave Harries, Bristol (Saturday Evensong, Sunday Eucharist)

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Unfortunately I shall not be able to attend - Sunday is Harvest here (and my boss is away all day); Saturday I am teaching until around 13:00 and then I have a friend visiting in the afternoon.

 

However, to those who are going, have a good time - and tell us all about it when you return.

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C'mon, you're surely familiar with Gordon Reynolds's "Snug Eucharist, Choral Matings and Evensnog" aren't you?! ;):o

Contender for best service typo ever:

 

Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face,

Her would I touch and handle things unseen...

 

From a service sheet 'somewhere in Cheshire' a few years ago.

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In french too there are some college's songs that err in the

most unexpected places.

 

For example: "J'ai reçu le Dieu vivant"

 

sometimes becomes: " J'ai reçu le vieux divan "

 

Etc. Of course there are some less politically correct versions.

 

Pierre

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Sorry not to be able to make any of it, despite living there for most of the last decade. Although an exeat here, we actually have visitors coming down from Worcs. for the weekend (clearly not organists!)

 

Am however, looking forward to the CD. Who engineered the recording and where did you find the best place for the mics?

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Contender for best service typo ever:

 

Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face,

Her would I touch and handle things unseen...

 

From a service sheet 'somewhere in Cheshire' a few years ago.

 

I recall a BBC interview many years ago when someone quoted seeing a poster for "Come Ye Sons Of Art Away" with a letter and inter-word space misaligned... ;)

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Somewhat off the original topic I recall another quote from Gordon Reynolds that tempo rubato is a device used by tenors to draw attention to themselves during the mating season. ;)

 

Malcolm Kemp

 

There's a whole double spread of misprints in the Daily Mail today (no, a mean an article on it, rather than lots of misprints, that would be the Guardian).

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The late organist of one of our east country Cathedrals, for whom I was organ scholar back in the 70s used to relate a tale (one of very many), of a spoonerism he once made during a pre-evensong boys' practice - psalm 85, vs 10; relating to what 'righteousness and Keith' did to each other! :o

 

Needless to say, Psalm 85 never got fully rehearsed after that.

 

DT

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I attended both the evensong and Recital of this weekend. The organ sounded magnificent at both events. I will give Thomas Trotter praise as he took the time and trouble to demonstrate the various divisions of the Organ throughout his recital in a light hearted approach. If I I do have one quirky reservation it would be u really need to go right into the Quire to hear the Organ. When I attended the recital I had a seat nr the crossing opp the transept Organ and I found the Organ is rather subtle . I can see why the Cathedral really needs three organs. The real test will be whether the Nicholson Transpet Organ will play in time with the Tickell organ without a undue delay.

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For Evensong I was sitting on Decani, just below the console (second row back), and had the chance to hear the organ - and, significantly, the choir, in fine detail. In fact the Bach T,A,F in C at the end of the service was thrilling*, as was the singing during the service, with everything being done in excellent style - for me the particular highlights being the Stanford ND in A, and the anthem. It was good to hear the girls with the boys making an exciting sound in that space.

 

The recital was one of TT's ever exciting tours de force. I agree that his exposition of the organ was very well worth hearing, even for an organist, but it must have been very gratifying for the non-organist local cathedral community. Given the number of young people there, I also hope that it might have recruited some interest amongst them in finding out more about the organ as an instrument of music, and perhaps in seeking to become a player - I applaud very much the use of time in the recital in this way.

 

Mrs DRD, not an organist, but a professional viola player, was also very interested and appreciative of the recital, especially of TT's musicality in negotating a new and complex intrument to make light of any difficulites and produce a satisfying result - especially in the two exacting transcriptions, which had all the fire and verve of orchestral performance.

 

I for one am glad and appreciative that the instrument is capable of subtlety alongside power and might. I was sitting, for the recital, at the foot of the steps in the crossing, on the north side, just below the projection screen.

 

TT certianly gave the instrument a "workout", and it took it all magnificently. (Though did I detect a certain element of tuning maladjustment creep in towards the end of the Elgar P&C Nr.4?) I was very impressed with the action repeat capability, and I'd be fascinated to find out the exact IP addresses of elements of the action!

 

I'm so glad that, not only did I spot Adrian's notice of this event on here in time, but that we were also scheduled to be in Warwick for the Friday and Saturday, and so could make the journey to Worcester with little trouble.

 

Mrs DRD and I were still talking about the concert, and TT's stunning pedal technique, on our journey back to north Cumbria, just completed.

 

(* and with, as far as I could see, the entire congregation sitting in silence to listen until the end.)

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The 10:30am Eucharist at Worcester today, 05th October, was this:

 

Hymns: 332, 161, 131, 203

Setting: St. Wulfstan Mass (Lucas) - première

Motet: O sacrum convivium (Messiaen)

Preacher: The Dean

Psalm: 80, vs. 8-16

Organ Voluntary: Symphonie VI, 1st movement (CM Widor)

 

A very good service with some excellent music (thanks Adrian!) and an interesting sermon from the Dean on organs, which started with an amusing list of "reasons not to build a new organ"! The Dean also made reference to St. Wulfstan and the old saxon cathedral of St. Oswald as well as Wulfstan's remark, when the old saxon cathedral was being demolished, that "we are tearing down the work of saints, thinking pompously that we can do better".

 

It was noticeable that the electronic (which is still in situ) was used during the service but it wasn't hard to work out which sounds were coming from which organ. After the Widor (superb) I had a wonder around the cathedral (which I hadn't been to in more than a decade) and then went to the Chapter House for some refreshment and managed to chat with Adrian Lucas and John Norman (learnt from the former that Thomas Trotter had been in the congregation this morning) and congratulated Adrian on his composing. Copies of the CD were on sale (purchased one). Have it on now and it sounds great.

 

Overall verdict: 10/10 all round.

 

Dave

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Mrs DT and myself attended both evensong and TT's recital and thoroughly enjoyed both events.

Adrian had told us that up near the sanctuary steps was a good place to hear, so we sat on Can. for evensong and Dec. for the recital.

TT's recital was exceptional, as expected, we've had a real buzz about it since!

Adrian's choir sounded extremely good, particularly in the very demanding anthem.

The organ exceeded our expectations in every way; I thoroughly agree with the previous posters.

We must make the effort to go to Worcester more often!

 

DT

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I also attended the recital.

 

Thomas Trotter was superb as always. He is a very unpretentious person and I was very impressed with his thorough tour and explanation of the organ and his commentary on the pieces he played. It really made the concert accessible and entertaining to those who don't have the familiarity with the instrument that perhaps we do.

 

As for the organ itself, Thomas Trotter's demonstration showed the sheer quality of the individual stops and timbres of the instrument. It is very fine in tone, very well balanced and has a real warmth to the ensemble.

 

I have one slight reservation though. We were sitting just by the pipework in the Quire and I just didn't get the impression of power on Full Organ that I was hoping for. It didn't have any gravitas in the lower range and didn't move me as much as I would have liked when it was being played loudly. The people who attended with me all made the same comments as well. Perhaps it is a little too subtle? I don't know.

 

I also noticed that the top end was going out of tune on the final two pieces, particularly the Elgar encore. I don't know if it was the temperature changes in the Cathedral on the night or something more complex, but it was there.

 

Adrian's CD shows the organ off extremely well and makes great use of what I think is its finest feature - that wonderful collection of superb individual stops and colours.

 

So overall, a great night and a lovely instrument. Just a little concerned about a lack of power and gravitas.

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This is not intended to oppose anyone's opinion in any way, but I would like to say that in my view, from personal hearing, it is a very fine instrument. Personally, I was satisfied with the power and might it displayed, and I am very impressed as well with its blend between the two cases, and its clarity of speech, particularly in some of the quieter stops. I believe it is a very worthy instrument for a great cathedral, it will be interesting to hear the total effect when the next phases are completed - but already there is an instrument of music in situ.

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I also attended the recital.

 

Thomas Trotter was superb as always. He is a very unpretentious person and I was very impressed with his thorough tour and explanation of the organ and his commentary on the pieces he played. It really made the concert accessible and entertaining to those who don't have the familiarity with the instrument that perhaps we do.

 

As for the organ itself, Thomas Trotter's demonstration showed the sheer quality of the individual stops and timbres of the instrument. It is very fine in tone, very well balanced and has a real warmth to the ensemble.

 

I have one slight reservation though. We were sitting just by the pipework in the Quire and I just didn't get the impression of power on Full Organ that I was hoping for. It didn't have any gravitas in the lower range and didn't move me as much as I would have liked when it was being played loudly. The people who attended with me all made the same comments as well. Perhaps it is a little too subtle? I don't know.

 

I also noticed that the top end was going out of tune on the final two pieces, particularly the Elgar encore. I don't know if it was the temperature changes in the Cathedral on the night or something more complex, but it was there.

 

Adrian's CD shows the organ off extremely well and makes great use of what I think is its finest feature - that wonderful collection of superb individual stops and colours.

 

So overall, a great night and a lovely instrument. Just a little concerned about a lack of power and gravitas.

 

 

 

 

In the final encore Pomp & cirumstance no.4 the organ didn't go out of tune. Thomas had been using the sequencer for most of his Recital this piston can be dangerous as depending on which order the stops were set to come on u can go back to a PP setting which explains why the organ might of sounded out of tune on the closing chords. Fortunately Thomas press another piston to revert to the full organ so it didn't really spoil the encore that much. Even concert organists like Simon Preston have got themselves into a awkward moment lol.

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