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Little Organ Book ed Martin Neary


Peter Clark
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This newly published volume attracted a very favourable review in Choir and Organ (but has not yet received a notice in OR though I am sure it shall) , and, at its very reasonable price (not to mention the cause which it will support) I was prompted to order a copy from Musicroom, though it hasn't arrived yet. However, I have heard two of the items on the web: Bluesday by Iain Farrington and Carnival by Thomas Hewitt-Jones, both very impressive. With 9 other contributions by, among others, John Rutter and James MacMillan, this comes in at less than £1.00 a piece.

 

Has anyone else got this album yet, and if so what is the verdict?

 

Peter

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Guest Cynic
This newly published volume attracted a very favourable review in Choir and Organ (but has not yet received a notice in OR though I am sure it shall) , and, at its very reasonable price (not to mention the cause which it will support) I was prompted to order a copy from Musicroom, though it hasn't arrived yet. However, I have heard two of the items on the web: Bluesday by Iain Farrington and Carnival by Thomas Hewitt-Jones, both very impressive. With 9 other contributions by, among others, John Rutter and James MacMillan, this comes in at less than £1.00 a piece.

 

Has anyone else got this album yet, and if so what is the verdict?

 

Peter

 

 

I had sight of an early copy having been asked to review it for The Organ Club Journal. Reviewing is good because you get to keep the copy for nothing!

It's an excellent compilation (very fairly priced) which I can thoroughly recommend to everyone here. Having come across so many such books where only one or two pieces were actually worth playing, here I would reckon virtually every piece to be of use; much of the book is near enough sight-readable, too.

 

I only managed to find one piece to moan about, a short Stainer item which has been rather poorly edited by comparison with the rest.

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I got a copy via Amazon - it arrived (seemingly) almost as I had entered the financial transaction on my PC - amazing! 'Lots of good stuff and obviously catching on as the Thoma Hewitt Jones Carnival seems to be on the programme for the Organ Club AGM recital in a week or so. None of it is fiendishly difficult - I'm playing the Rutter tomorrow before Choral Evensong and have not done much on it. Following 'Cynic's' review in the Organ Club Journal - a very minor registration typo - there is a Solo Reed mentioned at the start of the Rutter which, if you follow the registration, never actually gets used.

 

A

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I got a copy via Amazon - it arrived (seemingly) almost as I had entered the financial transaction on my PC - amazing! 'Lots of good stuff and obviously catching on as the Thoma Hewitt Jones Carnival seems to be on the programme for the Organ Club AGM recital in a week or so. None of it is fiendishly difficult - I'm playing the Rutter tomorrow before Choral Evensong and have not done much on it. Following 'Cynic's' review in the Organ Club Journal - a very minor registration typo - there is a Solo Reed mentioned at the start of the Rutter which, if you follow the registration, never actually gets used.

 

A

 

I can report a misprint in Philip Moore's Paean. Comparing the opening 2 bars with similar ones later in the piece suggested that the left hand triads in bars 1 & 2 (C# E G#) were a third too high, Martin Neary replied . . .

 

You are absolutely right, and Novellos are correcting this.

 

The error seems to have crept in after the final proof - most baffling. the opening left hand chords should be A C# E.

 

Thank you so much for letting me know. I do hope you enjoy the collection, nonetheless.

 

RAC

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Guest Cynic
I got a copy via Amazon - it arrived (seemingly) almost as I had entered the financial transaction on my PC - amazing! 'Lots of good stuff and obviously catching on as the Thoma Hewitt Jones Carnival seems to be on the programme for the Organ Club AGM recital in a week or so. None of it is fiendishly difficult - I'm playing the Rutter tomorrow before Choral Evensong and have not done much on it. Following 'Cynic's' review in the Organ Club Journal - a very minor registration typo - there is a Solo Reed mentioned at the start of the Rutter which, if you follow the registration, never actually gets used.

 

A

 

* with respect, there was quite a bit more to criticise than that!

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Yes, lots of perfectly good pieces. Personally I didn't find any of the modern pieces very inspiring. I love the Howells and the Rutter piece is lovely. I will certainly also play the Bridge (although I will use 16ft pedal tone, contrary to the editor's comments - just as I do in Vierne's Pièces en Style Libre). I don't know what to make of the Macmillan.

 

There is so much wonderful music that I still haven't learnt, or haven't played for 30 years, that I don't want to spend time learning music which seems to me to be a bit "run of the mill".

 

What do people think of the new Oxford Books of Service music? I bought all 6, since many of them have exam pieces in. Quite a lot of very good pieces, some of which I have enjoyed playing. The interludes, especially, are very short, and I don't think much of the specially commissioned pieces. I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't more editorial comment.

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Paul is your review available online? I tried to find it.

 

RAC thanks for pointing out the error (and the gracious response to you from Martin Neary).

 

I am expecting my copy Monday if postal schedules indicated are to be trusted and will post again when I have had the chance to play through the book.

 

Peter

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I would imagine that the Howells piece, the opening of which is pictured on the above link, is actually an arrangement of his unpublished 1918 piece of this title for violin and piano. Can anyone confirm this?

Sometimes my stupidity beggars my own belief, let alone anyone else's. I actually have a recording of the violin and piano piece! It is not the same as the organ piece. A kind correspondent informs me that the latter bears the legend 'Lydney, Gloucestershire, 4th December 1913', so it predates the Cradle Song for violin and piano.

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My copy is now with me and I have looked through it; I have started work on the Iain Farrington piece Bluesday which is certainly evocative and atmospheric ("smoky" to cite C&O's review). In fact this is the main reason for my buying the book in the first place. The Macmillan left me too a bit non-plussed, and even Rutter's contribution, two pages of consecutive fifths with a plainsong melody underneath didn't (at first playing) do much for me. But the book is certainly worth the money.

 

 

Peter

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