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Excellent Vierne from Lincoln


jackaubrey
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Colin Walsh's reading of Allegro from Symphony no.2 is outstanding and the organ, as always, sounds magnificent.

 

It surprises me that more people do not enthuse more about this combination of instrument and player. Having worked with and learnt on the Lincoln organ I can vouch for it's versatility and in the hands of the right player both liturgy and repertoire come off exceedingly well. OK, the sound tails off quite soon going down the nave but the 8' and 4' tubas with 32' reed (somewhat in the manner of an orchestral timpani in effect) can be used to control a flagging congregation and in the quire the 'surround sound' can be spine chilling - especially the Swell unleashed from next to nothing in an appropriate psalm etc. Quiet sounds and combinations are limitless with the Choir stops especially having great presence. I could go on for ever but do get hold of the Priory DVD and have a look for yourselves! The choir is really top notch too.

 

A

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Not just instrument and player, but for me the building as well.

 

Around 12 months ago, I was searching for a Cathedral Evensong to visit on a Saturday night on the way back from somewhere or other and picked Lincoln. Despite having been there before, I had forgotten just how magnificent a building it is. I greatly enjoyed the music (it was also at this service that I fell in love - so to speak - with the Howells' 'Gloucester Service', which I now think is certainly his greatest setting and possibly the best ever written - depending upon my mood!), and ended up in the pub with Colin Walsh afterwards! Since then I have returned reasonably regularly for Evensong (being just an hour's train ride from Nottingham), mostly on Saturdays.

 

I guess that the organ doesn't travel well into the Nave, as is the case at many of our larger Cathedrals, but in the Quire the effect is superb and there surely isn't anyone who knows the instrument better than Colin Walsh. The choir are excellent as well (both boys and girls), and altogether I find worshipping at Lincoln to be a wonderful experience.

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It surprises me that more people do not enthuse more about this combination of instrument and player.

 

It was very similar when Colin was assistant at Salisbury....loads of French repertoire after the services and amazing registrations. The Lincoln and Salisbury instruments are close in spec and voicing and listening earlier reminded me so much of his playing during his Salisbury days.

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If you get a chance, listen to the organ voluntary from Lincoln in this weeks Choral Evensong.

 

Colin Walsh's reading of Allegro from Symphony no.2 is outstanding and the organ, as always, sounds magnificent.

 

I have a very critical hi-fi system and I thought CW's registration was exceedingly muddy, given the super Willis he has at his disposal. I heard him live at Hull City Hall one Friday lunchtime many years ago and considered his registration lacked for clarity.

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I have a very critical hi-fi system and I thought CW's registration was exceedingly muddy, given the super Willis he has at his disposal. I heard him live at Hull City Hall one Friday lunchtime many years ago and considered his registration lacked for clarity.

 

I have not only a very' critical' rig but hyper critical ears: you're wrong. Not only is it not lacking clarity but it is entirely faithful to the requirements of the piece.

 

However, as usual the BBC has succeeded in screwing up whatever it can in the way of achieving any sense of balance: someone is constantly 'fiddling' - listen to the rapid fader operation in the first few notes and then the dropping of the level at about 56' (obviously worried that we might actually get some representative volume!).

 

DW :lol:

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I have not only a very' critical' rig but hyper critical ears: you're wrong. Not only is it not lacking clarity but it is entirely faithful to the requirements of the piece.

 

However, as usual the BBC has succeeded in screwing up whatever it can in the way of achieving any sense of balance: someone is constantly 'fiddling' - listen to the rapid fader operation in the first few notes and then the dropping of the level at about 56' (obviously worried that we might actually get some representative volume!).

 

DW :lol:

It's oh so easy to take a pop at professionals who work their socks off to bring you a wealth of high quality entertainment for the princely sum of £145 a year. Would you rather have had the signal hit the limiter as it made its way through a transmission network that is no longer part of the BBC? There is very little time to set these programmes up and quite likely no full rehearsal.

 

I think the guys and girls do a very good job and I wish they weren't criticised by those who do not take into account the circumstances on the day and expect recording studio quality done entirely "off the cuff".

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We know that a radio broadcast is a compromise, and I'm not concerned with the quality of the choir or precentor at Lincoln - there are other boards to discuss that. I was transfixed by the peformance, the outstanding musicianship of the organist and the thrilling sound of the organ in his hands.

 

As a school Director of Music, the keyboard I play most these days is on the computer: hearing playing of this calibre is inspirational and I will have to get Colin in for a masterclass with my four organ students.

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It's oh so easy to take a pop at professionals who work their socks off to bring you a wealth of high quality entertainment for the princely sum of £145 a year. Would you rather have had the signal hit the limiter as it made its way through a transmission network that is no longer part of the BBC? There is very little time to set these programmes up and quite likely no full rehearsal.

 

I think the guys and girls do a very good job and I wish they weren't criticised by those who do not take into account the circumstances on the day and expect recording studio quality done entirely "off the cuff".

 

 

You mean, surely, £145 x 5,000,000 = £720,000,000 - a snip!

 

As someone who has worked in a professional capacity in the field and witnessed dozens of times the 'circumstances' on the day and the lack of attention paid to what many would say are "details", I feel qualified to criticize. I do not ask for studio-quality, merely a realistic balance - which doesn't usually form a part of the BBC repertoire.

 

Rehearsals? A sound test is always done - or at least paid lip service - and I would like to think that the fact that Lincoln has been broadcast at least twenty times over the years might lead someone to keep some notes?

 

To get this point back on to the original track: Colin's performance was exemplary, The organ, however badly recorded, sounded grand and the registration was certainly not muddy or lacking clarity as was stated earlier.

 

DW

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You mean, surely, £145 x 5,000,000 = £720,000,000 - a snip!

 

As someone who has worked in a professional capacity in the field and witnessed dozens of times the 'circumstances' on the day and the lack of attention paid to what many would say are "details", I feel qualified to criticize. I do not ask for studio-quality, merely a realistic balance - which doesn't usually form a part of the BBC repertoire.

 

Rehearsals? A sound test is always done - or at least paid lip service - and I would like to think that the fact that Lincoln has been broadcast at least twenty times over the years might lead someone to keep some notes?

 

To get this point back on to the original track: Colin's performance was exemplary, The organ, however badly recorded, sounded grand and the registration was certainly not muddy or lacking clarity as was stated earlier.

 

DW

You know exactly what I mean about the licence fee, so your comment is sheer cynicism, as are your snide remarks about the lack of skill in "BBC Repertoire".

 

If you have, like me, spent your career as a broadcast professional - and I was not aware of you working for the BBC - then your remarks are even more unreasonable than I first thought.

 

To suggest that the Vierne, the least important part of the entire broadcast, can be successfully balanced at the end of the transmission, with just a sound test and old notes from previous visits to the Cathedral, shows a lack of understanding on your part.

 

In terms of the performance, I think we can agree that it was pretty good.

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You know exactly what I mean about the licence fee, so your comment is sheer cynicism, as are your snide remarks about the lack of skill in "BBC Repertoire".

 

If you have, like me, spent your career as a broadcast professional - and I was not aware of you working for the BBC - then your remarks are even more unreasonable than I first thought.

 

To suggest that the Vierne, the least important part of the entire broadcast, can be successfully balanced at the end of the transmission, with just a sound test and old notes from previous visits to the Cathedral, shows a lack of understanding on your part.

 

In terms of the performance, I think we can agree that it was pretty good.

 

My remarks are not cynical or snide, they are in response to your suggestion that this is somehow done on a shoe-string - it isn't. The financial resources made to the BBC are substantial. The implication that all working on these broadcasts are dedicated professionals working against the odds is not really the experience that those of us who have been around for a long time would recognize. The selection process (if it could ever be called that) for getting onto crew is laughable and basically down to patronage, which means that unless you already know someone 'in' you don't get in. It's hardly a recipe for getting the best in the field.

 

The general standard of broadcasts from cathedrals and especially of organs is - and I am certainly not alone in thinking this - generally very poor.

 

Your stance is predictable given your comment above and you are not aware of my working FOR the BBC as I never have. However I have worked WITH the BBC (and other broadcasting systems) as well as carrying out recordings of organs not only for Mirabilis Records (which was my own label) but also for releases on Chandos, Conifer and Calcante among others. My participation in broadcast evensongs over thirty years as a Lay-Clerk or deputy has not produced any experience which has shewn me to be wrong in my view of how it is done, on the day.

 

Now, to get back to the point, again, I am gratified that you think the performance of the Vierne, however unimportant (with which many on this list would also disagree) was "pretty good".

 

DW

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You know exactly what I mean about the licence fee, so your comment is sheer cynicism, as are your snide remarks about the lack of skill in "BBC Repertoire".

 

If you have, like me, spent your career as a broadcast professional - and I was not aware of you working for the BBC - then your remarks are even more unreasonable than I first thought.

 

To suggest that the Vierne, the least important part of the entire broadcast, can be successfully balanced at the end of the transmission, with just a sound test and old notes from previous visits to the Cathedral, shows a lack of understanding on your part.

 

In terms of the performance, I think we can agree that it was pretty good.

 

 

The expression "pretty good" is not to be used with a prince such as Colin Walsh.

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It's oh so easy to take a pop at professionals who work their socks off to bring you a wealth of high quality entertainment for the princely sum of £145 a year. Would you rather have had the signal hit the limiter as it made its way through a transmission network that is no longer part of the BBC? There is very little time to set these programmes up and quite likely no full rehearsal.

 

I think the guys and girls do a very good job and I wish they weren't criticised by those who do not take into account the circumstances on the day and expect recording studio quality done entirely "off the cuff".

 

 

I have listened with care and special interest to the broadcast. I think that sound of the choir is captured nicely. The Vierne was surely recorded with the same mic set-up. The constant fiddling with the knobs by the engineers is a bit sick making. Let's make it clear what's at work here: one of our greatest cathedral organs, one of our finest artist/organists playing music that he understands intimately, laid waste by recording techs that could care less.

 

The comments made by others here re: muddiness and lack of clarity, display a complete lack of understanding of the French organ tradition. Within limits (and there are ALWAYS exceptions) the registration "is what it is." It is an orchestration and one simply doesn’t make free with the composer's indications. Colin Walsh's playing is a model of clarity and of thrilling, romantic expression. IT IS THE RECORDING that mars the performance.

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I too thought the excellent Vierne poorly miced as was the organ in CW's excellently orchestrated accompaniments to the psalms, Brahms and hymns.

 

I am sure that had the Brahms been accompanied by orchestra, rather than organ, far greater care would have been taken to ensure that the accompaniment was given proper clarity in the overall mix.

 

I have heard the Lincoln organ many times and could never describe it as sounding "muddy"!

 

mpk

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My participation in broadcast evensongs over thirty years as a Lay-Clerk or deputy has not produced any experience which has shewn me to be wrong in my view of how it is done, on the day.

Since you are not prepared to believe you can ever be wrong, there is little further to be said...

 

For those who think I underestimate Colin Walsh, I don't.

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I too thought the excellent Vierne poorly miced as was the organ in CW's excellently orchestrated accompaniments to the psalms, Brahms and hymns.

 

I am sure that had the Brahms been accompanied by orchestra, rather than organ, far greater care would have been taken to ensure that the accompaniment was given proper clarity in the overall mix.

 

I have heard the Lincoln organ many times and could never describe it as sounding "muddy"!

 

mpk

 

'Agree totally - the techno types didn't seem to be ready for whoever or whatever was about to need a mic. Starts seemed not to be anticipated and 'broadcast' choir balance was variable. 'Just as well the music was so very good - shame though!

 

A

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Since you are not prepared to believe you can ever be wrong, there is little further to be said...

 

This is not about me believing that I can never be wrong: the statement which you made in an earlier post is sufficient to demonstrate a mentality:

 

 

"To suggest the the Vierne, the least important part of the broadcast........."

 

But thank you for the ad hominem comments.

 

DW

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This is not about me believing that I can never be wrong: the statement which you made in an earlier post is sufficient to demonstrate a mentality:

 

 

"To suggest the the Vierne, the least important part of the broadcast........."

 

But thank you for the ad hominem comments.

 

DW

It was a Divine Service of Worship. For me, that was and always will be the most important thing. The closing voluntary, however grand, is secondary.

 

And yes, that is my "mentality" as you so charmingly put it.

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It was a Divine Service of Worship. For me, that was and always will be the most important thing. The closing voluntary, however grand, is secondary.

 

And yes, that is my "mentality" as you so charmingly put it.

 

 

IF we are going to go down that route, the music is an integral part of that worship, not secondary.

 

To quote Sir Edward Bairstow during a similar disagreement with Dean Milner White ..

 

"Music is the Saviour of religion".

 

DW

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'Agree totally - the techno types didn't seem to be ready for whoever or whatever was about to need a mic. Starts seemed not to be anticipated and 'broadcast' choir balance was variable. 'Just as well the music was so very good - shame though!

 

A

I accept that the broadcast in question was a bit shaky operationally. What I objected to in Dr Wyld's response was that this was typical of the BBC screwing up musical balance. In general, I believe the technical and operational standard is pretty high.

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I accept that the broadcast in question was a bit shaky operationally. What I objected to in Dr Wyld's response was that this was typical of the BBC screwing up musical balance. In general, I believe the technical and operational standard is pretty high.

 

 

As far as accepting is concerned, I accept that Dr. Wyld was spot on in his comments. I object to the insincere scrable to find a cloak to drape oneself in "Divine Worship." Oh, please.

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As far as accepting is concerned, I accept that Dr. Wyld was spot on in his comments. I object to the insincere scrable to find a cloak to drape oneself in "Divine Worship." Oh, please.

And I object to you saying that the technicians didn't care, when you are in no position to know. I will say no more on the subject.

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And I object to you saying that the technicians didn't care, when you are in no position to know. I will say no more on the subject.

 

So let it be written ! So let it be done !

 

Assuming that the techs actually DO care, based on the very inconsistent result, one can only conclude that either incompetence or the boogey man is to blame.

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