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Martin Cooke

Priory Records DVDs

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Priory have announced the availability of their new Westminster Abbey DVD which Daniel Cook features in. Interesting that he has come back to do this, or perhaps he had started it before he left. Anyway, it looks like an excellent programme and it's firmly on my Christmas list. I have all the Priory DVDs and I wonder what others have made of them. I have found some of the organ tours a bit stilted - nobody better than Ian Tracey on the very first one and Simon Johnson at St Paul's - and some of the choices of music a bit weird. I do have an affinity to St Paul's but I think that, so far, at any rate, it is the best of all of them. By the way, you can see and hear a snippet from WA on the Priory website - Daniel Cook plays the Dignity and Impudence March.

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And as a follow through to the above... I wonder what we would like to see filmed next? I'm hoping for Truro and then a new one of Canterbury when the new organ has settled down in a year or two's time.

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1 hour ago, Martin Cooke said:

And as a follow through to the above... I wonder what we would like to see filmed next? I'm hoping for Truro and then a new one of Canterbury when the new organ has settled down in a year or two's time.

I'd definitely like to see Southwark included.

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I have a few of them, and was really pleased to see the one featuring the city of my birth,¬† Durham Cathedral, and a close personal friend of the family, James Lancelot ūüėČ

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13 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

Priory have announced the availability of their new Westminster Abbey DVD which Daniel Cook features in. Interesting that he has come back to do this, or perhaps he had started it before he left. Anyway, it looks like an excellent programme and it's firmly on my Christmas list. I have all the Priory DVDs and I wonder what others have made of them. I have found some of the organ tours a bit stilted - nobody better than Ian Tracey on the very first one and Simon Johnson at St Paul's - and some of the choices of music a bit weird. I do have an affinity to St Paul's but I think that, so far, at any rate, it is the best of all of them. By the way, you can see and hear a snippet from WA on the Priory website - Daniel Cook plays the Dignity and Impudence March.

I, too, have all 14 of the prior(sorry!) Priory DVDs.  My trouble and strife keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, to which I can never think of any sensible reply (socks and handkerchieves now bursting out of my drawers) so this latest DVD has come as a godsend.

As well as enjoying listening to the music, I have found these DVDs particularly interesting as a means of comparing several organs with regard to their tonal attributes and (as a non-organist) further enlightening myself as to the characteristics of different stops.  This latter point is most easily accomplished by listening to the 'introduction to the organ' sections, in which some individual stops are demonstrated.

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Hi

So far I've only got 4 or 5 of the Priory DVD's.  I find them very interesting and intend to buy some more in the future.

The section on the Norwich Cathedral DVD where David Dunnett demonstrates how he plays one of the pieces is a masterclass in organ control.

Every Blessing

Tony

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I have all of the DVDs and also the Regent DVDS and I'm looking forward to receiving the new Westminster Abbey recording in the next few days or so.

I've just about given up buying organ CDs because I have so many of them that I'll never get to listen to them all unless I have organ CDs playing 24/7/365!  But I simply can't resist the DVDs because they provide much more that is of interest to me. 

What organ would I like to see recorded?  Richard Hills at the Guildhall, Southampton would be BRILLIANT!   Perhaps Westminster Cathedral?  And yes some of the recent rebuilds would be great.

Many years ago Simon Preston did a couple of TV programmes including one on the Royal Festival Hall organ (now that would be an interesting one to record a DVD on), but I have never been able to find a trace of it subsequently.  Does anyone remember anything about his TV programmes?

 

  

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On 08/12/2018 at 20:33, quentinbellamy said:

But I simply can't resist the DVDs because they provide much more that is of interest to me. 

What organ would I like to see recorded?

Yes, I know.  I'm being greedy.  But how about some foreign organs for a change?

Sorry, Priory! 

Edited:  I'm afraid I added my text to Quentinbellamy's quote!  Sorry.

Edited by John Robinson

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I remember Simon Preston in a TV programme very enthusiastically describing and playing the new and recently-installed Grant Degens and Bradbeer organ at New College, Oxford.  That must have been around 1969 or 1970.  I also have a vague memory of him in a televised recital from Westminster Abbey wearing, I think, suede shoes rather than conventional organ shoes!  Very uncertain of this, but I think he might have played Liszt’s BACH.  (Slightly off-subject, I heard him in recital at Westminster Abbey on my 21st birthday in 1962 - and we are both still here, and playing the organ, albeit in a very much humbler sphere in my case).

Also in the 1970s there was a wonderful weekly radio series ‚ÄúOrgan Gallery‚ÄĚ in which John Lade visited an organ, usually in a cathedral, and had a conversation with the organist who demonstrated and spoke about the instrument. ¬†I think these were broadcast on Saturday afternoons. ¬†Two that I vividly remember were Francis Jackson at York saying that he preferred to¬†play from the Quire console and liked the composition pedals which he¬†had no desire to change in favour of toe pistons. ¬†He also explained that he had had the Great third diapason tuned sharp (or perhaps flat, I don‚Äôt now recall which), an idea which he had borrowed from the USA. ¬†In a¬†programme from overseas, John Lade travelled to Mechelen to visit Flor Peeters. ¬†The organ was in the usual very lofty Continental west-end position. ¬†Flor Peeters explained that he accompanied the liturgy,¬†improvised interludes and played voluntaries, but had absolutely no responsibility for the choir!

Round about that¬†time John Betjeman presented a radio series ‚ÄúBritain‚Äôs Cathedrals and their music‚ÄĚ - a combination of his inimitable architectural descriptions and the music of the cathedral in question - both ¬†choral and organ. ¬†There was always one major solo organ piece. ¬†One that I particularly remember was Bach‚Äôs Fugue on the Magnificat played by Noel Rawsthorne¬†at Liverpool. ¬†I think John Betjeman¬†introduced it as Liverpool Cathedral‚Äôs ‚Äúmighty Willis organ‚ÄĚ. ¬†Subsequently¬†LP records of some of these programmes were¬†issued and sold under the BBC‚Äôs own label.

Even earlier in my youth, possibly 1950s, the BBC used to broadcast an organ recital mid-morning on Sundays.  

Halcyon days!

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I remember the programme. It was called A Thousand Instruments, and a search of the Radio Times database shows that it was first broadcast in 1975, and repeated in June 1976. As I write this, I feel saddened that both Simon Preston and Peter Hurford (my teacher) are shadows of their former selves, both being cared for in nursing homes where they are suffering from the effects of dementia.

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I think there have been crossed wires - apologies. My reply was addressed to Quentin Bellamy. I have been unable to trace Simon Preston's New College TV appearance in the Radio Times archive, but Organ Gallery is certainly there. The archive is a truly fascinating resource.

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No apology needed.  I realised that you were replying to Quentin Bellamy.  I added my second post to clarify the chronology.

Thank you for the link to the Organ Gallery series.  I’m glad to see my memories of the participation of Francis Jackson and Flor Peeters confirmed.  In all honesty I don’t now remember some of the others.  It was a very distinguished series, and John Lade was a very perceptive host and interviewer.

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7 hours ago, wolsey said:

I feel saddened that both Simon Preston and Peter Hurford (my teacher) are shadows of their former selves, both being cared for in nursing homes where they are suffering from the effects of dementia.

Two of the really great players/scholars of the 20th century!

I have, slight, and very different recollections of both. Of Peter Hurford giving an extraordinary recital/masterclass on the GDB in St. Martin's Hull and of Simon Preston giving a recital on the York Monster and making liberal use of the Tuba Mirabilis.

I know a church that, rightly, prays for those who are sick and also adds 'and for those who care for them'! Your post, wolsey, has made me very sad!

 

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Hi

I too remember the Organ Gallery R3 series - I think I may still have some that I recorded off-air on cassette.

Every Blessing

Tony

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On 06/12/2018 at 09:30, Martin Cooke said:

Priory have announced the availability of their new Westminster Abbey DVD which Daniel Cook features in. Interesting that he has come back to do this, or perhaps he had started it before he left. 

I heard Daniel give a recital at St Mary’ Edinburgh in the summer, and heeard him say then that he was very busy finishing off projects he had started while at Westminster, in addition to his duties in Durham. I guess this was one of those projects. 

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