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Stanley Vann


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I didn't know Stanley Vann personally, but my words, it was a truly wonderful experience to hear the choir that he trained at Peterborough Cathedral.

 

I suspect that it is a sad day; more for the manner of his death than anything else, but I think I am more inclined to rejoice his wonderfully long and fulfilled life.

 

RIP

 

 

MM

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Sad indeed, the few times I met him, some 20 years ago, and the subsequent correspondence I had with him showed him to be a real gentleman of the old school (and a fine choir trainer too, I have a broadcast Peterborough did in 1976 in the van at the moment, truly magical singing, especially the psalms.)

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I see the author notes that Vann "played the cathedral organ only infrequently and had a poor opinion of its quality".

I have never heard the Peterborough organ in the flesh, and whilst the case is admired this is the first time I have seen a criticism about the organ generally. Is Vann out of step here or did he prefer the more muddier sounds that were fashionable pre 1954?

 

PJW

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  • 2 weeks later...
I see the author notes that Vann "played the cathedral organ only infrequently and had a poor opinion of its quality".

I have never heard the Peterborough organ in the flesh, and whilst the case is admired this is the first time I have seen a criticism about the organ generally. Is Vann out of step here or did he prefer the more muddier sounds that were fashionable pre 1954?

PJW

 

I have never heard him say that even when I was a chorister. He used to bemoan the fact that it was sharp (compared to concert pitch) and so he obtained a 'chamber organ' for use with orchestras (this has long since been replaced). A past Precentor used to love to hear Stanley play and accompany the psalms. He used to find effects on the organ other people did not, especially when improvising.

 

Before the 1980/1 rebuild the few pistons could not adjusted (save for ONE on each department) although the tuner could do so. If Stanley played for a service (and I was with him once or twice when he did) he would go through the pistons to check what as on them as he was unfamiliar with them once they had been made more 'spiky' by my organ teacher soon after his arrival as assistant.

 

Granted the old cathedral organ had some weird stops (a 32' on the Great for example) and the old Choir dept. was of limited use but I am surprised that he reported as having had a low opinion of it. Perhaps this has come from whoever the journalist spoke to. Of course in the decade or 2 leading up to the 1st rebuild it was held together with string and chewing gum - one got the impression.

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At last! A month after SV's death, The Times has finally gotten around to running an obit.

 

Does anyone play any of Stanley Vann's music? I've got a few things that I had from Barry Brunton - (where DID he get to?) - but although I reappraise them when I'm going through my stuff from time to time, I somehow never fancy them.

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Does anyone play any of Stanley Vann's music?

I play his "A Tender Spiritual" which I found in a Kevin Mayhew volume (Service Music for Organ) which I picked up on eBay for reasons I still haven't really fathomed. It's an absolute gem and as simple as they come.

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Does anyone play any of Stanley Vann's music? I've got a few things that I had from Barry Brunton - (where DID he get to?) - but although I reappraise them when I'm going through my stuff from time to time, I somehow never fancy them.

I play Fêtes (which he dedicated to me), Sarabande for a Wake (from the Kenneth Leighton Memorial Album), a very beautiful Pavane and Versets on Jesu dulcedo cordium

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