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Henry Willis

'the Organ' - Gone

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I heard only this morning that 'The Organ' magazine has finally gone. Apparently the company under which it was produced has had "longstanding financial difficulties" (edited!) and there are indeed creditors - did anyone else have any knowledge of this?

 

DW

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Guest Cynic
I heard only this morning that 'The Organ' magazine has finally gone. Apparently the company under which it was produced is bankrupt and there are indeed creditors - did anyone else have any knowledge of this?

 

DW

 

 

How very sad. This periodical deserved to be continued and I had hoped that with the (fairly) new editor it would have regained some ground. I continually read and re-read my copies of The Organ and will always be grateful for the encouragement and information that I always received from this magazine, whether as a young obsessive or a middle-aged and fairly unbalanced practitioner.

 

I suppose there is no chance that anyone could buy out the right to the title and continue it, if necessary in a modified form? Anyone out there want to be a sugar-daddy, I'd love to edit such a magazine and would do this (if necessary) very much on the cheap. There will always be advertisers, and I'm sure there is enough of an established readership.

 

Perhaps this is unhelpful in harking back, but I will not miss regular reviews of Handel Opera. I do believe I know why these appeared in the magazine, but they were (to me at least) somewhat immaterial and inappropriate. Likewise reviewers of the quality that were perennially suggesting that the music of Cesar Franck (to name but one) was not worth recording.

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

I agree: how sad. There was a time when I could just about quote word for word from articles, and I still recall the excitement of reading how grand the chorus work at Ampleforth Abbey sounded after a fanfare on the Trompetta Argentea. Oh dear. The arguments and vitriol in some of those issues, particularly surrounding St Simon, Southsea, were great fun and very educational. Everything nowadays seems very bland. You used to be able to tell who had (re)built an organ just by looking at a few stop names. Not so now: a kind of politically correct uniformity prevails (some honourable exceptions of course). And, while I'm on this ramble, I read fairly recently how Walkers mixtures of the 1960s (Liverpool Met, Carlisle, Ampleforth, York etc) were inappropriate or too high pitched or whatever. Well maybe they were but my goodness they were exciting in a kind of visceral sense that seems to have disappeared as they have been toned down. Or maybe my hearing has changed. Enough of this: I have a wedding to go to.

 

I shall say a requiem for 'The Organ'. May it rise in glory, as Paul suggests.

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I've only started taking the magazine within the past twelve months and have greatly

enjoyed reading the issues I've received since then. This is the first I have heard of it.

 

I've just checked and the website is still live and makes no mention of the demise.

 

 

Malcolm

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Paul seems to have it right I think: the new Editor (David Baker) had made several rafts of changes which really had transformed the appearance and, possibly most importantly, the standard of proof reading! However, he has resigned and I am told that there is a possibility that the individual magazines within the 'group' are for sale - so Paul, you may get your wish after all!

 

However, be careful what you wish for: you may get it!

 

DW

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I've just checked and the website is still live and makes no mention of the demise.

 

Malcolm

 

I suppose that that is sensible if they are hoping to keep this title going and to sell it on etc..

 

Let's hope that a suitable buyer can be found and that it doesn't just get swallowed up by one of the other periodicals groups.

 

DW

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I heard only this morning that 'The Organ' magazine has finally gone. Apparently the company under which it was produced has had "longstanding financial difficulties" (edited!) and there are indeed creditors - did anyone else have any knowledge of this?

 

DW

 

Hi

 

I hope not, as my subscription still has a couple of issues to run!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Cynic
Everything nowadays seems very bland. You used to be able to tell who had (re)built an organ just by looking at a few stop names. Not so now: a kind of politically correct uniformity prevails (some honourable exceptions of course). And, while I'm on this ramble, I read fairly recently how Walkers mixtures of the 1960s (Liverpool Met, Carlisle, Ampleforth, York etc) were inappropriate or too high pitched or whatever. Well maybe they were but my goodness they were exciting in a kind of visceral sense that seems to have disappeared as they have been toned down. Or maybe my hearing has changed. Enough of this: I have a wedding to go to.

 

 

Some very interesting and pertinent remarks here.

 

What seems to have completely disappeared, and what made for such interesting reading, is regular contributors (who knew quite a lot about organs) writing them up including descriptions of how they actually handle, how well their designs work etc. without fear or favour and without the writer ostensibly having any link with the firm or the designer responsible. These days if there are articles about new organs at all, they frequently come from either the people responsible for them, or (how tactfully can I put this) by people summarising the achievement on paper. I know, for instance, of an article which was written by a well-known authority (a friend of mine) where the guy hadn't visited the actual instrument in the actual building at all. To be fair to him, in no place in the article does it say that he did, it just seems a bit of a short-cut to me, the sort of thing some hack journalist might do, not the real McCoy.

 

To follow up your remarks on the efficacy of 1960s/70s voicing, you are quite right. These sounds may have set a few teeth on edge in their day, but these are instruments with a real character and what one might call courage. You mention Liverpool Met, IMHO the voicing there is still extremely special and used intelligently, those sounds have a beauty all their own. As Pierre sometimes reminds us, we need to keep examples of each period and style of organ-building - those Walker jobs of the 1960s are works of art, even if high-minded professionals since have condemned them or berated them for their rather utilitarian construction 'behind the scenes'. I'll never forget the glee with which someone once told me in lurid detail how the Walker in Merton College Chapel, Oxford is built on what amounts to Dexion shelving - there's no 'proper' timber building frame at all!.

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I suppose that that is sensible if they are hoping to keep this title going and to sell it on etc..

 

Let's hope that a suitable buyer can be found and that it doesn't just get swallowed up by one of the other periodicals groups.

 

DW

 

Maybe this is the time for a philanthropist or group of them (I'm sure someone out there can enlighten us to the collective noun!) got together and did something. The future might of course be only online, which can be much cheaper to run, no printing, posting, etc. I would be glad to help on something like this, and with someone of Paul's experience and knowledge as editor it would, I am sure, have a large readership!

 

Jonathan :rolleyes:

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that it would be nice to have an organ magazine which was free of items about choirs or choir training.... We have CHOIR and organ and we have endless items about choirs in Organists' Review,

 

but to have a magazine free from anything to do with choirs.....

 

....now that would be good!

 

HEE HEE! :rolleyes:

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

I gave up on 'The Organ' some time ago. I gave up on 'Choir and Organ' for reasons that have been rehearsed by others elsewhere. I gave up on 'Organists Review' when a few years ago it started to preach at me. What I would like to see is an organ magazine (1) with articles about instruments that have been visited, and played, and lstened to in the flesh, by people who do not have a vested interest in their installation or upkeep; (2) whose contributors are prepared to be controversial, challenging sacred cows when necessary; (3) that considers both liturgical and purely organic-musical needs; (4) that has a wide range of contributors, established and (at present) unknown; (5) that treats electronic organs seriously; (6) that is well edited; (7) that is free of articles/reviews about choirs and choral music and other non-organic matters; (8) that is interested in mechanics and construction as much as, but no more than, sound. A journal, in fact, for its makers, players and lovers. I like editing, within reason. Can anything be done?

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Paul seems to have it right I think: the new Editor (David Baker) had made several rafts of changes which really had transformed the appearance and, possibly most importantly, the standard of proof reading! However, he has resigned and I am told that there is a possibility that the individual magazines within the 'group' are for sale - so Paul, you may get your wish after all!

 

However, be careful what you wish for: you may get it!

 

DW

It's not only The Organ from which he is retiring: http://www.marjon.ac.uk/aboutmarjon/newsan...e_15630_en.html

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I gave up on 'The Organ' some time ago. I gave up on 'Choir and Organ' for reasons that have been rehearsed by others elsewhere. I gave up on 'Organists Review' when a few years ago it started to preach at me. What I would like to see is an organ magazine (1) with articles about instruments that have been visited, and played, and lstened to in the flesh, by people who do not have a vested interest in their installation or upkeep; (2) whose contributors are prepared to be controversial, challenging sacred cows when necessary; (3) that considers both liturgical and purely organic-musical needs; (4) that has a wide range of contributors, established and (at present) unknown; (5) that treats electronic organs seriously; (6) that is well edited; (7) that is free of articles/reviews about choirs and choral music and other non-organic matters; (8) that is interested in mechanics and construction as much as, but no more than, sound. A journal, in fact, for its makers, players and lovers. I like editing, within reason. Can anything be done?

 

Now I'd buy that!

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"(1) with articles about instruments that have been visited, and played, and lstened to in the flesh, by people who do not have a vested interest in their installation or upkeep; (2) whose contributors are prepared to be controversial, challenging sacred cows when necessary; (3) that considers both liturgical and purely organic-musical needs; (4) that has a wide range of contributors, established and (at present) unknown; (5) that treats electronic organs seriously; (6) that is well edited; (7) that is free of articles/reviews about choirs and choral music and other non-organic matters; (8) that is interested in mechanics and construction as much as, but no more than, sound. A journal, in fact, for its makers, players and lovers."

(Quote)

 

This is about the definition of this forum, isn't it ?

Not only "The organ" is gone: it's the paper that is "going".

 

Pierre

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I suppose that that is sensible if they are hoping to keep this title going and to sell it on etc..

 

Let's hope that a suitable buyer can be found and that it doesn't just get swallowed up by one of the other periodicals groups.

 

DW

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This is about the definition of this forum, isn't it ?

Not only "The organ" is gone: it's the paper that is "going".

 

Pierre

 

I take your point, but sometimes it's nice to have a tangible reference for something which is why I still have CD's and not MP3's or 'downloads'. I have reference books going back to a third edition of Thomas Elliston's "Organs & Tuning - a practical handbook for organists", to which I still refer.

 

By the way, it was printed in 1898.

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I take your point, but sometimes it's nice to have a tangible reference for something which is why I still have CD's and not MP3's or 'downloads'. I have reference books going back to a third edition of Thomas Elliston's "Organs & Tuning - a practical handbook for organists", to which I still refer.

 

By the way, it was printed in 1898.

 

Of course ! here too there are still some papers, books, CDs, Lps...

But I also use a "Pdf creator" program, so that I can print anything I want under

a not too heavy standard, and make files of it.

 

Pierre

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Having telephoned Musical Opinion(the parent company of The Organ) I am assured that the May number of the journal will appear,perhaps a little late,but the future of The Organ has the support of the publishers. There is a problem in that Dr Baker has retired from the editorship;judging by some of the members' contributions,I am sure there will be someone ready to take on the job.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Having telephoned Musical Opinion(the parent company of The Organ) I am assured that the May number of the journal will appear,perhaps a little late,but the future of The Organ has the support of the publishers. There is a problem in that Dr Baker has retired from the editorship;judging by some of the members' contributions,I am sure there will be someone ready to take on the job.

:)

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Having telephoned Musical Opinion(the parent company of The Organ) I am assured that the May number of the journal will appear,perhaps a little late,but the future of The Organ has the support of the publishers. There is a problem in that Dr Baker has retired from the editorship;judging by some of the members' contributions,I am sure there will be someone ready to take on the job.

 

Any chance of using a smaller typeface, please?

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I take your point, but sometimes it's nice to have a tangible reference for something which is why I still have CD's and not MP3's or 'downloads'. I have reference books going back to a third edition of Thomas Elliston's "Organs & Tuning - a practical handbook for organists", to which I still refer.

 

By the way, it was printed in 1898.

 

Hi

 

I thoroughly agree - I dislike reading books, journals etc off screen. (I have to because certain things that I'm interested in either aren't available in hard-copy, or the subscription cost is prohibitive). I too have a number of reference books and back copies of journals - including "The Organ" which is about 70% complete from issue 1 to date. My oldest book currently is "The Pedal Organ" by Thomas Casson (1911 reprint - 1st published 1905) - picked up for next to nothing in a second-hand bookshop.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I have just telephoned The Organ and been told the company has been sold the next issue will be at the end of May. I am wondering whose bought the company and who will edit the magazine does anyone have any information on this? The web site has not been updated to show any new information.

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