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The Organist Entertains


handsoff

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Come on, this forum is intended to promote the ORGAN, that to my mind being principally the classical pipe organ, with a nodding deference occasionally to the fact that the theatre organ has pipes.

 

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I agree with much of what you wrote, but the term "organ" covers a multitude of sins, a very exclusive and inclusive repertoire, a fascinating history which has included "special effect" music, combination inctruments, brilliant performers who could switch between the classcial and light repertoires, and from a technical point of view, a type of construction around the turn of the last century which revolutionised organ-building.

 

At random, I can think of a few key names and titles:-

 

Weingarten Abbey - drums, thunder, carillons and bells/ cymbelsterns/cuckoo stops

 

The organ/harpsichord combination instrument/ pipe organs with harmonium sections etc

 

Percussion instruments included on concert organs by Father Willis/John Compton/ H,N & B etc

 

Street organs/fair organs/dance organs/cafe organs/ automata/barrel organs/ punch-card mechanisms derived from the (18th century) Jaquard loom....the list is long.

 

Organ builders involved in theatre organs.....Compton/ H,N & B/Moller/ J W Walker/ Willis/ Binns, Fitton & Haley/ Conacher...again a very long list.

 

Performers: Dr Toothill (Bridlington Priory), Quentin Maclean (studied with Reger/Straube), Reginald Foort FRCO, Reginald New FRCO, Sidney Torch (BBC arranger/conductor), Osborne Peasgood (Westminster Abbey), Norman Cocker (Manchester Cathedral), Percy Whitlock, Reginald Porter-Brown....again a VERY long list, and that's before you leave these shores.

 

Like it or lump it, "the classical organ" cannot, by definition, be an entirely exclusive category.

 

Do violinists, pianists or trumpet players try to hide from the fact that these instruments are used by "pop" and "jazz" musicians?

 

Just because Oldham lost its theatre organ to Yorkshire, that's no reason to go into denial. :)

 

MM

 

 

PS: Nearly forgot to include theatre organ performances by Edwin Lemare, Gerald Moore and Marcel Dupre.

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As I have said before I have never seen the programme, but my Sunday papers were full of it ! very annoying when you are not interested.

I won't mention the name, but I understand that the said lady did not do very well. I still question that if she has been a professional musician for over 20 years, why she would suddenly need to air her talents on a talent show presumably intended for recently discovered people who wish to become involved in show business ?

Apparently the programme attracted 18 million viewers, no wonder no-one goes out anymore on a Saturday night, couch potatoes comes to mind is that right ? The reason that the music halls and many cinemas and theatres went out of business.?

Promise not to mention the subject again.

Colin Richell.

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I am just mystified at the idea that the only measure of worth of something is its immediate popularity. Are you saying that something that was popular, and therefore (I suppose) worthwhile, in the past becomes less worthwhile if something else eclipses its popularity? This would be a triumph of short-term thinking worthy of a typical government!

 

Paul

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No, I didn't say any of that. I just said that the less popular was also worthwhile and loved by some, if not always many.

 

Following your logic, there would only be one television station, one model and colour of car on the road, one type of tree and one thing on the menu in one chain of identical pubs. Even Communism presented more choice than that.

 

This is not the first time you have indicated that this forum doesn't meet with your approval so I hope you will soon find somewhere more appropriate to air your views.

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I think, H, that we have sufficient evidence to support the view that Carrick does not possess the grace and tact to voice his or her disagreements with other forum members in a civilised fashion. We organists (and other valued contibutors here) will inevitably collide on certain issues but I have always found that when this happens it happens with courtesy, sensitivity and in a spirit of mutualy supportive friendship.

 

I think that this thread should either be locked, or that Carrick should withdraw from the discussion board - or perhaps be withdrawn. And given his or her asterisked expletives, not to mention his or her overall offensive tone, I am surprised that the latter has not yet happened.

 

Peter

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

 

 

 

What a superb mispelling......it says so much about the person who wrote it.

 

 

MM

 

Brilliant! I missed that one first time round. It couldn't be more appropriate could it...

I second the idea that we persuade this "chap" to say something nasty about Nicholson then watch what happens!

At first I was getting a little irritated by this, but so long as we don't take him seriously I think he will probably get bored with us (after all, we are stuffy old organists, tho I do own up to watching X-Factor and BGT!).

Best wishes to all!

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Brilliant! I missed that one first time round. It couldn't be more appropriate could it...

I second the idea that we persuade this "chap" to say something nasty about Nicholson then watch what happens!

At first I was getting a little irritated by this, but so long as we don't take him seriously I think he will probably get bored with us (after all, we are stuffy old organists, tho I do own up to watching X-Factor and BGT!).

Best wishes to all!

 

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I think we should keep him (her?) as a mascot, like those angry looking pit-bulls so popular with the BNP. I find myself grinning at the replies, like it were some guilty pleasure.

 

We could invite him (her?) to Organists' Association meetings to liven things up.

 

MM

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And him, that other poncy one who used an apostrophe correctly a minute ago.

 

 

I reckon that Carrick bloke has hacked into Hecklephones' account (note the incorrect usage of apostrophe).......I have also just noticed the lovely coincidence of the title of this thread........is he an organist?

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I reckon that Carrick bloke has hacked into Hecklephones' account (note the incorrect usage of apostrophe).......I have also just noticed the lovely coincidence of the title of this thread........is he an organist?

 

I don't think we've ever had a proper one of these. We had that American chap with the nine million rank extension organs spread over six counties, and there was also that guy who once said a swell box wasn't quite as good as it should have been. And the A.Palace stuff got pretty heated.

 

Happy times.

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carrick has been suspended.

 

Sorry for the delay in attending to this - the alerts were relayed to me after I had gone out to a beekeeping evening class, and I have only just got home.

 

Will clean up the worst on this thread and look at it again to do the rest in the morning.

 

Moderator, Mander Organs

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carrick has been suspended.

 

Sorry for the delay in attending to this - the alerts were relayed to me after I had gone out to a beekeeping evening class, and I have only just got home.

 

Will clean up the worst on this thread and look at it again to do the rest in the morning.

 

Moderator, Mander Organs

 

I will not be alone in wishing your good self the most heartfelt thanks. There is no place here for inane comment and obscene language!

 

CP

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Thank goodness for that. I finished my second bag of popcorn ages ago and was finding the whole affair very tedious. Throwing obscene tantrums because no one agrees your blinkered view of the world has no place on this forum - or anywhere else, come to that.

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Thank goodness for that. I finished my second bag of popcorn ages ago and was finding the whole affair very tedious. Throwing obscene tantrums because no one agrees your blinkered view of the world has no place on this forum - or anywhere else, come to that.

 

 

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It's hideously late, (or early), but the kitten decided to wake me up for a play fight and some food. It is now fed and going back to sleep.

 

However,getting back to the topic heading, I wonder how many people listened to Nigel Ogden last night?

 

What a treat!

 

Not only did we hear the astonishing Hectror Olivera playing a very large theatre-organ (42 ranks), we also heard Roger Fisher playing film music from Hull City Hall,and making full use of the big trumpet. All very dramatic.

 

John Giacci was good with music from a Fred Astaire film, but for me, (and presumably most others who listened), it was American virtuoso Jelani Eddington who once again stole the show, with an absolutely scintillating dual transcription of one of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos,in which he played the orchestral part on the organ and also the solo piano part; presumably added later.

 

Richard Hills, as ever, contributed a very sensitive and musical transcription, playing another big American instrument rather well.

 

Until now, I have always regarded the skill of Quentin Maclean, back in the 1930's, as being the ultimate in big orchestral/piano transcription with his Grieg A-minor Piano Concerto, but I think he has now been surpassed by Jelani Eddington. Some of the orchestral transcribing sounded very complex and really rather faithful to the original score.....no mean feat.

 

For anyone who enjoys transcription playing on the proper instrument designed to do it, this is a programme to hear again and again for as long as it is available on Radio 2's listen again facility.

 

Well done Nigel Ogden and the Beeb.

 

MM

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

 

 

It's hideously late, (or early), but the kitten decided to wake me up for a play fight and some food. It is now fed and going back to sleep.

 

However,getting back to the topic heading, I wonder how many people listened to Nigel Ogden last night?

 

What a treat!

 

Not only did we hear the astonishing Hectror Olivera playing a very large theatre-organ (42 ranks), we also heard Roger Fisher playing film music from Hull City Hall,and making full use of the big trumpet. All very dramatic.

 

John Giacci was good with music from a Fred Astaire film, but for me, (and presumably most others who listened), it was American virtuoso Jelani Eddington who once again stole the show, with an absolutely scintillating dual transcription of one of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos,in which he played the orchestral part on the organ and also the solo piano part; presumably added later.

 

Richard Hills, as ever, contributed a very sensitive and musical transcription, playing another big American instrument rather well.

 

Until now, I have always regarded the skill of Quentin Maclean, back in the 1930's, as being the ultimate in big orchestral/piano transcription with his Grieg A-minor Piano Concerto, but I think he has now been surpassed by Jelani Eddington. Some of the orchestral transcribing sounded very complex and really rather faithful to the original score.....no mean feat.

 

For anyone who enjoys transcription playing on the proper instrument designed to do it, this is a programme to hear again and again for as long as it is available on Radio 2's listen again facility.

 

Well done Nigel Ogden and the Beeb.

 

MM

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I missed the programme last night but I am listening to BBC radio I player whilst reading this message and I agree that it was a very entertaining programme. The Hull City organ sounded absoulutely great.

This thread has gone very quiet recently !!

Colin Richell.

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I missed the programme last night but I am listening to BBC radio I player whilst reading this message and I agree that it was a very entertaining programme. The Hull City organ sounded absoulutely great.

This thread has gone very quiet recently !!

Colin Richell.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry to bring up the same subject, but today in The Daily Mail Ephrain Hardcastle !! wrote that in BGT there was a spectular magic act called The David and Karen illusionist duo, who the producers loved and the four judges were impressed with their performance in the semi-finals, and I quote the remainder of the article " But Simon Cowell chose to put through the bizarre, old-hat organist Jean Martyn instead".

It was felt that the duo had a good chance of winning !

C'est La Vie !

Colin Richell.

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Sorry to bring up the same subject, but today in The Daily Mail Ephrain Hardcastle !! wrote that in BGT there was a spectular magic act called The David and Karen illusionist duo, who the producers loved and the four judges were impressed with their performance in the semi-finals, and I quote the remainder of the article " But Simon Cowell chose to put through the bizarre, old-hat organist Jean Martyn instead".

It was felt that the duo had a good chance of winning !

C'est La Vie !

Colin Richell.

 

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Poor Jean Martyn; she's taken quite a bit of flak, so I shan't comment further other than to state that she does play other things in very different styles.

 

 

I can't help but think that everything comes down to quality. If you listen to a player-roll of Edwin Lemare, it just sparkles across what is now the best part of a century, and the appeal is immediate.

 

 

Similarly, the old recordings of Thalben-Ball, Cunningham and the Goss-Custard brother (1930's ?), are as fresh to-day as they ever were, such wass the musicianship and virtuosity, which somehow transcend the limitations of the audio equipment of the day.

 

 

Returning again to the Radio 2 programme, Tuesday night, I have listened twice again, and it is the sheer quality of the performances which make me sit up and take notice, and it's very sad that the percpetion of the organ, as both a classical instrument and an entertainment instrument, is that of something boring and"old-hat" to quote the critic. It's a very sad situation indeed.

 

Apart from the fine performances, two things struck me about Tuesday's programme on Radio 2. The first was the use of part of an original film sound-track, which took me back tothe days of my youth, when cinemas were very full and the sound was always in mono, with lots of pops and crackles. When the organ cracks in, with those marvellous Moller diaphones, you can easily imagine a whole cinema shaking. What a spoectacular difference in sound quality, and Hector Olivera reminds us of that. It must have been quite sensational in its day.

 

 

The other thing was the Jelani Eddington Piano Concerto no.2 by Rachmaninov, because I have never heard a big Midmer-Losh concert organ recorded well. Previously, I had only heard dreadful old recordings of Atlantic City, but the organ used by Jelani Eddington was not just orchestral, it was uncannily so, in a way I have never heard previously anywhere in the world.

 

It's when you hear something as good as this, that you can understand the popularity of the organ when these instruments were built.

 

And yes, didn't the Hull City Hall organ give a good account of itself?

 

I suspect that both the Orchestral Trumpet and the Tuba are used together, because the 16ft Tuba is heard barking away like a Cavaille-Coll Bombarde on acid......it is a tremdously powerful reed, as is the whole full organ. It took me back to the days when I practised there, and attended most of the regular recitals when Peter Goodman was in harness as City Organist.

 

 

 

MM

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

 

 

 

And yes, didn't the Hull City Hall organ give a good account of itself?

 

I suspect that both the Orchestral Trumpet and the Tuba are used together, because the 16ft Tuba is heard barking away like a Cavaille-Coll Bombarde on acid......it is a tremdously powerful reed, as is the whole full organ. It took me back to the days when I practised there, and attended most of the regular recitals when Peter Goodman was in harness as City Organist.

 

 

 

MM

 

and T.T. gave it a good outinglast sat, when it was the the "Centenery concert"

for those that did not go, he played

concert overture in C hollins

1st movement from widors 5th

ettrick banks judith weir

P & F on bach liszt

princess elizabeth march coates

canzona and scherzetto whitlock

paganini variations G.T.B.

scherzo and war march mendelsohn

and a little ditty, called the "Typewriter"

 

and was his usual best

Peter

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Does anyone remember a theatre organist by the name of Denis Coleman (the spelling of Denis is correct)

I understand he played on the Gaumont circuit years ago.

 

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I overlooked this with all the excitement, but I came across the following obituary, which is very, very interesting.

 

He was obviously VERY multi-talented, and of that generation who could turn their hands (and feet) to most things musical. I'm just surprised that I've never heard the name, yet I lived very close to the area in which he worked and the choir he founded.

 

The link is here:-

 

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/2976

 

 

 

MM

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  • 4 weeks later...

As the title of this thread is "The Organist entertains" I mention that on BBC I player today I listened to last night's programme, which featured Jean Martyn who apparently was on BGT which I have never seen.

I have to say that Jean's playing did nothing for me at all, and I guess she is no better or worse than any other organist around these days.

Jean did mention that she loved the Tower organ, and we heard her play a small piece on this instrument, but she is no Reginald Dixon !

She seemed to be a very nice person.

The great news is that next week the programme will feature Carlo Curly, and that will not be missed for anything !

Colin Richell.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are times when Nigel Ogden excels himself, and I thoroughly enjoyed this week's programme with Carlo Curley.

I particuarly enjoyed listening to Carlo and some great music, and it made me realise that I am correct in suggesting that he is one of our greatest recitalists, although I accept that everyone who subscribes to this discussion Board will not agree.

I was delighted that Carlo mentioned his Ally Pally concerts when he played the Allen organ and persuaded thousands of people to attend the Sunday afternoon concerts.(I was there) In the 1970's. He also mentioned the great acoustics. Unfortunately Carlo did not mention his recent concert in the Ally Pally Theatre, but I know how happy he was to return to the Palace even if it was not in The Great Hall.

Well done Nigel and Curley.

Colin Richell

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There are times when Nigel Ogden excels himself, and I thoroughly enjoyed this week's programme with Carlo Curley.

I particuarly enjoyed listening to Carlo and some great music, and it made me realise that I am correct in suggesting that he is one of our greatest recitalists, although I accept that everyone who subscribes to this discussion Board will not agree.

I was delighted that Carlo mentioned his Ally Pally concerts when he played the Allen organ and persuaded thousands of people to attend the Sunday afternoon concerts.(I was there) In the 1970's. He also mentioned the great acoustics. Unfortunately Carlo did not mention his recent concert in the Ally Pally Theatre, but I know how happy he was to return to the Palace even if it was not in The Great Hall.

Well done Nigel and Carlo.

Colin Richell

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