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Martin Cooke

1956 OUP - A Christmas Album

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This follows on from my recent post about the Geoffrey Bush Carillon. Last night I sought out this album and although I have owned it since 1976, I have never done more than play the pieces through - in so far as I am able! 

The music is very largely by people we all know of - Thiman, Campbell, Jackson, Armstrong Gibbs... then there is the Geoffrey Bush piece which I am going to use this year. But the album opens with an Improvisation on The First Nowell by CPP Burton and I couldn't help wondering who he was. 

What a sad a tragic tale it is. So, he was Claud Peter Primrose Burton with what I have always rather regarded as the 'full works' in terms of cathedral organist qualifications - MA, BMus, FRCO (CHM) - St John's College, Oxford, in Burton's case. (I know a lot of people regard the Cambridge MusB hood as pretty unsurpassable, but the Oxford BMus hood - lilac with fur, is a stunner - and rareky seen these days.) **

From 1949 to 1957 he was Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Alban's Abbey, succeeding Meredith Davies who had been there for just two years. It turns out that he drowned in the act of rescuing a chorister who was in trouble in the swimming pool at Hemel Hampstead. The chorister survived, but it turned out that Burton was suffering from TB - (unbeknownst to him) - and his lungs collapsed as he dived into the pool resulting in him drowning. 

It seems he also wrote a Communion Setting in F - I think I've heard of Burton in F! - but I can't find anything else by him.

I wonder if anyone plays the piece  or, indeed, anything else from this album. But what a dreadful turn of events. (He was succeeded at St Albans by Peter Hurford.) 

** What has happened to the Oxford and Cambridge BMus/MusB degree? My observations tell me that folk who stay on after their first degree these days seem to end up with MPhil, MSt, and MMus variously at O and C. Are the BMus degrees still awarded? 

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2 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

** What has happened to the Oxford and Cambridge BMus/MusB degree? My observations tell me that folk who stay on after their first degree these days seem to end up with MPhil, MSt, and MMus variously at O and C. Are the BMus degrees still awarded? 

As far as Cambridge is concerned, the MusB was suspended in 2011. A quick Google at Oxford University pages suggests that the BMus is no longer awarded there either.

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15 hours ago, wolsey said:

As far as Cambridge is concerned, the MusB was suspended in 2011. A quick Google at Oxford University pages suggests that the BMus is no longer awarded there either.

What a pity... well, from the hood point of view! Thanks for the info, Wolsey.

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22 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

It seems he also wrote a Communion Setting in F - I think I've heard of Burton in F! - but I can't find anything else by him.

"...holding the position of music master at St Albans School, for which he composed the hymn tune to 'Alban, high in glory shining'. His 'Warwick School' was used in Public School Hymn Book with 'Onward, Christian soldiers'. His compositions include a Simple Communion Service in F (1959), a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G Minor, and organ works."

(From Humphreys & Evans' Dictionary of Composers for the Church in Great Britain and Ireland.)

The Evening Service is available from Banks: https://www.banksmusicpublications.co.uk/mixed-voices/four-voice-parts/magnificat--nunc-dimittis-97

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There is a bit about Burton in the most recent booklet about music and organs at St Albans.

A

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On 14/10/2019 at 16:28, wolsey said:

As far as Cambridge is concerned, the MusB was suspended in 2011

 

Together with the, now abandoned ARCM. it makes some of us feel a little 'put out to grass!!!!

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On 15/10/2019 at 16:45, S_L said:

 

Together with the, now abandoned ARCM. it makes some of us feel a little 'put out to grass!!!!

The ARCM diploma has been retired....?

That's a shame. The hood is quite nice, really.

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