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Martin Cooke

Caleb Simper

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I can hardly believe I'm asking this but does anyone know where I might obtain a copy of his 'Silver Clarion' March? I believe it is available for piano as well as the organ. Any pointers gratefully received. [i had never played, nor even come across, a solitary piece by this chap, who was born not a million miles from where I live in Wiltshire, until today when I was playing at a church celebrating its Victorian heritage. Prior to this, I had been given several volumes of his music only a few weeks ago which I had never expected to have a use for. You never know!!]

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Hi

 

Simper's organ music is, I think, underated. It's not great music, but it's tuneful - and usually pretty easy to play. I have a number of the volumes of voluntarys "for organ, Harmonium or American Organ" - and they sometimes get an airing when I need something suitably vintage and (near) sight-readable. I don't recall seeing the piece you mention in them though. I'll try & have a look later today.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I'm bound to say I agree - everything in its place and a place for everything, and all that! His music was ideal yesterday and, as you say, Tony, it is eminently sight-readable. Perhaps there will be a resurgence of interest - a bit like happened with Lefébure-Wély a decade or two ago. If you had time for quick browse through your volumes that would be marvellous. I have volumes 1, 6-10 and 11 - not in those.

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In my last month as organist to a hospital chapel near Tunbridge Wells, I did a bit of clearing up in the organ loft and found a volume by Simper amongst a pile of music underneath one of the tiered choir stalls up there. It had probably sat down there for about 40 years (judging by dates written on the music).

 

I left it there but next time I am back there I will have a look in it to see if this piece in contained therein. The British library might be worth a try in the meantime.

 

Tim

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I have been asked to post the following by Roland Wateridge on this topic:

 

Dear Mr Mander

I have no means of communicating with Martin Cooke and Vox Angelica, but to save them further fruitless searches for this work in albums or other collections, my researches indicate that it was one of hundreds by Simper which were published separately and individually.

It was available from Amazon UK, but their website indicates "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." But, helpfully, they give clues which might track it down elsewhere. The publisher is given as Weekes & Co (1888) and there is a reference (which I am afraid means nothing to me) "ASIN: B0000D39UL".

I wonder if you would kindly pass this on.

Yours sincerely

Rowland Wateridge

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I remember reading some while ago that he remains something of a feted personality in his former Devon stamping ground near Barnstaple and they sometimes arrange musical tributes to him. I can't recall the source of this information now, which was fairly detailed, but there is a web page here which might provide some leads:

 

http://www.devonlive.com/forgotten-caleb-scores-hit/story-11838618-detail/story.html

 

Good luck!

 

CEP

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Mmm... many thanks for the suggestions and thoughts on this. The piano version belongs in a volume called School and Gymnasium Marches and there is a copy available in the USA but I don't think it's really worth the trouble in the end, and, really, there are thousands of other pieces of music more worthy of my attention. Perhaps one ought to be clearing the decks for all those new Orgelbüchlein preludes that will soon be appearing!

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