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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I had in the post today a copy of Taking Stock by humphrey Clucas.  What a really good read it  was really amusing some of what he writes.  I wonder what other Organist's think of his rather lucid accounts of the bitchy Choral world.  Some of what he writes could be libelous.



After reading a couple of reviews I decided not to purchase. Having read your comments, however, this little book now sounds irresistible! No offence, but are you on a retainer to 'develop sales'?


More opinions would help - anyone else read it?

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Guest Roffensis

Having the vinyl makes me in no hurry to bother with the CD. The Brompton is horribly closely miked, and the RFH Bach is boring, more clinical and academic than anything I have ever heard. The RFH Widor Toccata goes extremely well with the Bach one might add. There are a lot of Alpha/Saga records that one would wish to see reissued before either of these gems! :D

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I have read Taking Stock. To be honest, some of it is pretty dull i.e. the chapters on the author's involvement with poetry and cricket. But don't let that put off buying the book as the chapter on his time as Lay Clerk at Westminster Abbey is easily worth the price on its own. Clucas was at the Abbey during Martin Neary's time there and gives a pretty much warts and all account of the trouble and strife that occurred during and after his reign. It's dynamite!


Clucas's experiences as a volunteer at Guildford and Winchester and as a Choral Scholar at King's College, Cambridge during David Willcock's tenure also make for interesting reading. At Winchester, he tells the story about James Lancelot who was sub-organist at the time. Lancelot's playing was so meticulous that the choir nearly went into meltdown when he made - shock horror - 2 mistakes during a Choral Evensong.


I bought the book on the strength of a recommendation made in The Times by Richard Morrison, himself an organist, who said it was his book of 2005.

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O, just found this while using Google....



Taking stock: The first sixty years


Humphrey Clucas



192 pages ISBN 0-95504470-0-5



The author of these memoirs spent the last ten years of his working life as a Lay Vicar of Westminster Abbey; he sang at Princess Diana’s funeral and gives an insider’s account of the events surrounding the dismissal of Martin Neary, Organist and Master of the Choristers, in 1998. He writes, too, about his time as a choral scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, and with the choirs of Winchester and Guildford Cathedrals. His chapter on composing explains the genesis of his well-known Responses.



He has also been a poet, translator and the author of a book on A E Houseman. He taught English for twenty-seven years and has a life-long love of cricket. He writes with peerception and humour about a great number of people. He writes, as he says, to preserve things - and to try and make sense of it all.



This fascinating book will be available from mid-October. To order, please send a cheque for £9.99 (made out to HUMPHREY CLUCAS) to:



The Lewin Press

19 Norman Road




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Guest Roffensis

Is it age related? Please oh wise one, reveal to me the truths of life!....how old do you have to be to start doing crazy things like this? I had another birthday yesterday, the battered teabags in oil were lovely....see what I mean? :rolleyes:


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