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Wakefield Cathedral Choral Evensong


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I quite liked the tune to the last hymn, but I'm not sure it quite fitted the words. 'O my Saviour lifted' is a pretty reflective, solemn hymn, and the tune seemed rather bright to me, almost in contrast to the words, and the repeat of the last verse with descant was a little odd. I wonder if you could set it to anything else. Who was it composed by - someone from Wakefield I assume?

 

I can't say I enjoyed the canticles much and indeed skipped through them. The introit was rather good though.

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I enjoyed the service and thought that the organ, especially the Swell, sounded marvellous. It's a Compton, n'est ce pas?

Indeed it is, a good solid one at that and not as well known as some. I also found the music dept there very friendly.

 

AJS

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I quite liked the tune to the last hymn, but I'm not sure it quite fitted the words. 'O my Saviour lifted' is a pretty reflective, solemn hymn, and the tune seemed rather bright to me, almost in contrast to the words, and the repeat of the last verse with descant was a little odd. I wonder if you could set it to anything else. Who was it composed by - someone from Wakefield I assume?

 

I can't say I enjoyed the canticles much and indeed skipped through them. The introit was rather good though.

 

I understand "Carharrack" is by Jonathan Beilby himself.

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I enjoyed the service and thought that the organ, especially the Swell, sounded marvellous. It's a Compton, n'est ce pas?

 

 

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

 

I wasn't able to hear the Radio 3 broadcast from Wakefield until to-day (Sunday), but as always, the standard was high.

 

Jonathan Bielby seems to have been there since the cathedral had electric-lighting installed, but he certainly has achieved great things there. (35 years as ODM?)

 

Regarding the organ, it really is a fine sounding instrument, in spite of working against all the odds. I recall going into the organ-chamber with the previous ODM, and he showed me what there was inside. I was expecting much, much more considering the volume of sound.

 

What I find remarkable about this instrument, is its sheer effectiveness in the rather nicely resonant building. Considering that it is buried away in the North Aisle, (save for the Choir Organ re-installed in the lovely Pearson case in the Choir). Much of the organ is below ground level, and by far the biggest department is the Swell, based on the pipes of the previous instrument; last re-built by Abbott & Smith of Leeds.

 

People may say what they will about John Compton, but I can honestly say that I've never heard a bad one, and as Henry Willis 3 used to point out, the art of being a good organ-builder is to get consistently good results. (He suggested that Hope-Jones was, for that reason, a very good organ-builder).

 

In some ways, the organ at Wakefield is the most "American" of our cathedral organs. Lots of derivation and extension of course, but also, quite high pressures throughout. I recall a recital played there by Jane Parker-Smith, and it was just wonderful; the organ certainly not disappointing in any way, even when she played the Durufle Toccata quite brilliantly.

 

As one of the last remaining Compton cathedral organs which remain very close to what was created, I genuinely love this instrument. It's a fine example of what Compton could do at his very best....and that massive 5-manual console is so, so comfortable to play.

 

MM

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

 

I wasn't able to hear the Radio 3 broadcast from Wakefield until to-day (Sunday), but as always, the standard was high.

 

Jonathan Bielby seems to have been there since the cathedral had electric-lighting installed, but he certainly has achieved great things there. (35 years as ODM?)

 

Regarding the organ, it really is a fine sounding instrument, in spite of working against all the odds. I recall going into the organ-chamber with the previous ODM, and he showed me what there was inside. I was expecting much, much more considering the volume of sound.

 

What I find remarkable about this instrument, is its sheer effectiveness in the rather nicely resonant building. Considering that it is buried away in the North Aisle, (save for the Choir Organ re-installed in the lovely Pearson case in the Choir). Much of the organ is below ground level, and by far the biggest department is the Swell, based on the pipes of the previous instrument; last re-built by Abbott & Smith of Leeds.

 

People may say what they will about John Compton, but I can honestly say that I've never heard a bad one, and as Henry Willis 3 used to point out, the art of being a good organ-builder is to get consistently good results. (He suggested that Hope-Jones was, for that reason, a very good organ-builder).

 

In some ways, the organ at Wakefield is the most "American" of our cathedral organs. Lots of derivation and extension of course, but also, quite high pressures throughout. I recall a recital played there by Jane Parker-Smith, and it was just wonderful; the organ certainly not disappointing in any way, even when she played the Durufle Toccata quite brilliantly.

 

As one of the last remaining Compton cathedral organs which remain very close to what was created, I genuinely love this instrument. It's a fine example of what Compton could do at his very best....and that massive 5-manual console is so, so comfortable to play.

 

MM

 

You are absolutely correct about John Compton (and his r/h man Jimmy Taylor). I, too, have never heard a bad one. I rate Compton as something of a genius.

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

 

I wasn't able to hear the Radio 3 broadcast from Wakefield until to-day (Sunday), but as always, the standard was high.

 

Jonathan Bielby seems to have been there since the cathedral had electric-lighting installed, but he certainly has achieved great things there. (35 years as ODM?)

 

Regarding the organ, it really is a fine sounding instrument, in spite of working against all the odds. I recall going into the organ-chamber with the previous ODM, and he showed me what there was inside. I was expecting much, much more considering the volume of sound.

 

What I find remarkable about this instrument, is its sheer effectiveness in the rather nicely resonant building. Considering that it is buried away in the North Aisle, (save for the Choir Organ re-installed in the lovely Pearson case in the Choir). Much of the organ is below ground level, and by far the biggest department is the Swell, based on the pipes of the previous instrument; last re-built by Abbott & Smith of Leeds.

 

People may say what they will about John Compton, but I can honestly say that I've never heard a bad one, and as Henry Willis 3 used to point out, the art of being a good organ-builder is to get consistently good results. (He suggested that Hope-Jones was, for that reason, a very good organ-builder).

 

In some ways, the organ at Wakefield is the most "American" of our cathedral organs. Lots of derivation and extension of course, but also, quite high pressures throughout. I recall a recital played there by Jane Parker-Smith, and it was just wonderful; the organ certainly not disappointing in any way, even when she played the Durufle Toccata quite brilliantly.

 

As one of the last remaining Compton cathedral organs which remain very close to what was created, I genuinely love this instrument. It's a fine example of what Compton could do at his very best....and that massive 5-manual console is so, so comfortable to play.

 

MM

 

You are absolutely correct about John Compton (and his r/h man Jimmy Taylor). I, too, have never heard a bad one. I rate Compton as something of a genius.

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You are absolutely correct about John Compton (and his r/h man Jimmy Taylor). I, too, have never heard a bad one. I rate Compton as something of a genius.

 

 

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

 

And isn't it refreshig to know that genius is not necessarily fashionable?

 

MM

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I may be an old cynic, but I would have thought that maybe genius is necessarily not fashionable?

 

Regards to all

 

John

 

 

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

 

 

Quite so! Although a genius could be quite a snappy dresser, presumably.

 

Words can be such fun, which always draws me to Alan Bennett.

 

"They have a love of....words.....spoken in that reverential tone; which is somehow......Welsh."

(The history boys)

 

:)

 

MM

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  • 1 month later...
Jonathan Bielby seems to have been there since the cathedral had electric-lighting installed, but he certainly has achieved great things there. (35 years as ODM?)

From the Wakefield Cathedral website:

 

LEADING CHURCH MUSICIAN RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS

 

One of the country’s leading church musicians will step down as Organist and Director of Music at Wakefield Cathedral after shaping its worship and cultural life for 40 years. Jonathan Bielby retires from the post on Easter Sunday and on Saturday 27 March a special service was held in the cathedral to mark his achievements and to say thanks for all he has done. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, presided at the service which also saw the return of many other bishops, clergy, past choristers and friends from across the UK and beyond. The preacher was the former Archbishop of York and former Wakefield Bishop, Dr David Hope.

 

http://www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/Music/music.html

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From the Wakefield Cathedral website:

 

LEADING CHURCH MUSICIAN RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS

 

One of the country’s leading church musicians will step down as Organist and Director of Music at Wakefield Cathedral after shaping its worship and cultural life for 40 years. Jonathan Bielby retires from the post on Easter Sunday and on Saturday 27 March a special service was held in the cathedral to mark his achievements and to say thanks for all he has done. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, presided at the service which also saw the return of many other bishops, clergy, past choristers and friends from across the UK and beyond. The preacher was the former Archbishop of York and former Wakefield Bishop, Dr David Hope.

 

http://www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/Music/music.html

 

Does anyone know who takes over?

 

A

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Does anyone know who takes over?

 

A

On the Cathedral website at http://www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/Music...html#musicstaff Thomas Moore Assistant DoM since 2002 is shown as Acting DoM from April 2010, and Daniel Justin Organ Scholar since 2008 as Acting Assistant DoM from April 2010. I guess that permanent appointments for September are planned.

 

 

RAC

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From the Wakefield Cathedral website:

 

LEADING CHURCH MUSICIAN RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS

 

One of the country’s leading church musicians will step down as Organist and Director of Music at Wakefield Cathedral after shaping its worship and cultural life for 40 years. Jonathan Bielby retires from the post on Easter Sunday and on Saturday 27 March a special service was held in the cathedral to mark his achievements and to say thanks for all he has done. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, presided at the service which also saw the return of many other bishops, clergy, past choristers and friends from across the UK and beyond. The preacher was the former Archbishop of York and former Wakefield Bishop, Dr David Hope.

 

http://www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/Music/music.html

 

 

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

 

 

I wonder if 40 years isn't something of a record; though it probably isn't.

 

The nice thing about Jonathan is the fact that he established a pleasant niche for himself in Wakefield, and yet, he never succumbed to the temptation of merely maintaining the status quo. He really pushed the musical boundaries, and of course, involved others in that too. A good organist who served as Borough Organist to Kirklees for some time at Huddersfield TH, I suspect that he will be best remembered as a superb choirmaster.

 

Certainly, he did a lot for the music at Wakefield Cathedral, and rather nicely, he kept the character of the Compton Organ intact when the time came for it to be re-built; still an object lesson in how to build a successful extension instrument.

 

Always pleasant, always modest, Jonathan was and is a real achiever, but quietly so.

 

Amusingly, Jonathan possibly wasn't aware of the fact that he had a double. I recall striding up to this poor chap in Leeds Station and greeting him warmly. He was also called Jonathan by some fluke, which made it all the more bizzare, as our somewhat difficult intercourse unfolded. It soon became clear that either Jonathan Bielby had lost the power of memory, or this chap was not he.

 

Anyway, he turned out to be an insurance investigator from Croydon.

 

MM

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Indeed, David Gedge (Brecon) has the edge - 41yrs, however, Frederick Wadely (Carlisle) clocked up 50 years!

A

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

I don't know why I find this so amusing....the idea of being stuck in Carlisle for 50 years, with half a cathedral.

 

Didn't they have buses? Were the roads not tarmacadam?

 

It got even more amusing to me, when I realised that the nearest cathedrals, (as a carrier pigeon would fly), are possibly Durham, (55 miles),Newcastle (53 miles), Glasgow (85 miles), and Ripon (77 miles).....all a considerable distance.

 

Only Glasgow was on a direct rail-link.

 

I'm probably going mad slowly.

 

MM

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Has a new organist/DoM been appointed or announced at Wakefield has anyone heard? I was slightly surprised to see that the assistant has been appointed acting organist when they've know for so long that JB would be leaving.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aren't they about to revamp the cathedral?

 

I'll have to check this out, but it may have a bearing on things.

 

MM

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A quick browse of the web-site of Wakefield Cathedral <www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk> possibly holds some clues to any future appointment, which can be better understood by clicking on "The future."

 

I hesitate to suggest that it is strong on concept but weak on detail, or perhaps an example of corporate micro-management and impossibly ambitious "mission statements."

 

There are lots of fashionable buzz-words, but it seems to come down to the fact that there is a desire to be all things to all men (and women of course), a willingness to punch holes through the medieval walls of the cathedral, rip up the medieval floor, attach a modern extension and create a sort of civic space for the community.

 

As for the mission statement concerning "Music & Worship," I suspect that it would take a miracle man (or woman of course), to even begin to fulfil all the varioues aspects of proposed service music, which will apparently include "traditional" as well as Taizé, Celtic, cantatas, jazz (etc) and would involve the Director of Music whizzing around the Diocese to schools and churches.

 

I shall say no more lest I become political!

 

MM

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A quick browse of the web-site of Wakefield Cathedral <www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk> possibly holds some clues to any future appointment, which can be better understood by clicking on "The future."

 

I hesitate to suggest that it is strong on concept but weak on detail, or perhaps an example of corporate micro-management and impossibly ambitious "mission statements."

 

There are lots of fashionable buzz-words, but it seems to come down to the fact that there is a desire to be all things to all men (and women of course), a willingness to punch holes through the medieval walls of the cathedral, rip up the medieval floor, attach a modern extension and create a sort of civic space for the community.

 

As for the mission statement concerning "Music & Worship," I suspect that it would take a miracle man (or woman of course), to even begin to fulfil all the varioues aspects of proposed service music, which will apparently include "traditional" as well as Taizé, Celtic, cantatas, jazz (etc) and would involve the Director of Music whizzing around the Diocese to schools and churches.

 

I shall say no more lest I become political!

 

MM

 

Hi

 

Sounds like the DoM role is intended to be more like that of the Diocesan DoM in the Leeds RC diocese, which is paying dividends in choral recruitment. And, IMHO, there should be space for other styles of worship in our Cathedrals, alongside (emphatically NOT instead of) traditional Anglican.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Sounds like the DoM role is intended to be more like that of the Diocesan DoM in the Leeds RC diocese, which is paying dividends in choral recruitment. And, IMHO, there should be space for other styles of worship in our Cathedrals, alongside (emphatically NOT instead of) traditional Anglican.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

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

 

 

Well, this is a moot point, because nothing would probably improve on the original concept as it stands.

 

I'm a great believer in NEW concepts of worship, but I have absolutely no time for that which seeks to wrap an old body in new clothes, or was it new wine and old bottles? No matter.

 

I'm afraid that I am the complete revolutionary, and I would start by hacking away at Prayer Books, Psalters and quite a lot of the Bible.

 

When "olde tyme" religion collpases, (which it probably will), perhaps the churches can then re-invent themselves, but not before they re-discover radical theology once more.

 

 

MM (The iconoclast)

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

 

 

Well, this is a moot point, because nothing would probably improve on the original concept as it stands.

 

I'm a great believer in NEW concepts of worship, but I have absolutely no time for that which seeks to wrap an old body in new clothes, or was it new wine and old bottles? No matter.

 

I'm afraid that I am the complete revolutionary, and I would start by hacking away at Prayer Books, Psalters and quite a lot of the Bible.

 

When "olde tyme" religion collpases, (which it probably will), perhaps the churches can then re-invent themselves, but not before they re-discover radical theology once more.

 

 

MM (The iconoclast)

 

 

Maybe it's not the old tyme religion that needs to collapse.....

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