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York Minster organ blessing


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4 hours ago, S_L said:

I wonder how many forumites listened to Evensong this evening from York Minster.

Beautifully sung - and ending with the Cocker Tuba Tune!!

Here it is:

LIVE: Choral Evensong and the Installation of Honorary Canons - YouTube 

I did.  Is the Tuba Mirabilis rather brighter than before, or is it my imagination - or the recording, of course?
Although the image during the Cocker was from the Chancel, I assume that the sound was recorded from the Nave side.

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I don't know to be honest John. It was, certainly, loud!

My late wife used to tell me of an organ recital she went to in the Minster, given by a well-known, and still alive, distinguished organist. She sat, in her innocence on the front row of the Nave only to go home with a ringing in her ears as he made, to say the least, liberal use of the Tuba Mirabilis. This would be around 1962/3 - she would have been 10 or 11 years old!! My only experience of York Minster is playing annually 'cello continuo in there for Matthew/John Passion/Messiah etc. - usually with FJ conducting although I did take a choir to sing Evensong in the 1980's and, yes, slightly to my annoyance because I didn't think it was particularly appropriate for a Saturday evensong, my organist played the Cocker Tuba Tune afterwards!!!

I think it is a disgusting piece of music - but great fun!!!

 

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12 hours ago, S_L said:

I don't know to be honest John. It was, certainly, loud!

My late wife used to tell me of an organ recital she went to in the Minster, given by a well-known, and still alive, distinguished organist. She sat, in her innocence on the front row of the Nave only to go home with a ringing in her ears as he made, to say the least, liberal use of the Tuba Mirabilis. This would be around 1962/3 - she would have been 10 or 11 years old!! My only experience of York Minster is playing annually 'cello continuo in there for Matthew/John Passion/Messiah etc. - usually with FJ conducting although I did take a choir to sing Evensong in the 1980's and, yes, slightly to my annoyance because I didn't think it was particularly appropriate for a Saturday evensong, my organist played the Cocker Tuba Tune afterwards!!!

I think it is a disgusting piece of music - but great fun!!!

 

Marge (my wife - not her real name) loves it (as do I), and she is certainly not a lover of organ music!

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A Google search for recordings of ‘Tuba Tune’ results in an astonishing number, 13 pages of listings, possibly more as I did not delve further.  Performances on some surprising instruments (and by surprising performers!) are included. What I was searching for was the remote possibility of a recorded performance by Cocker himself.  It would be revealing to know how he played this piece.  Does anyone know if one exists?  

As mentioned on an earlier thread, a couple of years ago Darius Battiwalla gave a performance at Leeds Town Hall which was a revelation - instead of the somewhat jaunty ‘fairground’ character of many (dare I say ‘usual’) performances which doubtless have resulted in the ‘vulgar’ epithet, his interpretation imparted a dignity, even grandeur, to this work - obviously a matter of interpretation and, very much, measured tempos.  Tuba Tune acquired a new stature in that performance.

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I have always enjoyed the Tuba Tune since first hearing FJ's recording of it on an early LP acquisition. I developed huge respect for it and organists able to play it properly from Simon Johnson's narrated performance on the Priory DVD recorded in St Paul's cathedral.

 

 

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6 hours ago, SomeChap said:

I keep meaning to get around to making a simplified version of the Cocker as a Tierce en Taille, with lots of lovely ornamentation and notes inégales ...

 

I never thought of that! - and it would work too!

 

3 hours ago, handsoff said:

I have always enjoyed the Tuba Tune since first hearing FJ's recording of it on an early LP acquisition. 

I had that recording too and always enjoyed it!

It doesn't alter what I think of the piece though!!!!

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12 minutes ago, S_L said:

I never thought of that! - and it would work too!

 

I had that recording too and always enjoyed it!

It doesn't alter what I think of the piece though!!!!

Oh dear, the Tuba sounds awful in that recording!

By coincidence, the Cocker was the voluntary at Canterbury's evensong on Saturday or Sunday... but it sounded as though the new Ophicleide stop might have been used instead of a Tuba. It didn't come over as well as the York performance (because of distance from the microphone, I suspect) despite a couple of tuning issues.

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I can confirm that the voluntary at Canterbury was not played on the new Ophicleide stop, but rather on the ordinary Tuba.  My wife and I visit our twin boys, who are choristers, and attend services there regularly.  The new Ophicleide is fine in the nave, and ear splitting in the choir - very unpleasant to listen to at close quarters.  The old Tubas are in a box now and are much further east.   I've heard the Cocker at Canterbury before, and this was disappointing in comparison...

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1 hour ago, Martin Cooke said:

Oh dear, the Tuba sounds awful in that recording!

 

Oh yes it was dreadful and the whole rank seemed to be completely unregulated! But very exciting to an 11 year old whose only experience of a reed stop was a distinctly dodgy and asthmatic Oboe going just to tenor C...

(I still quite enjoy the old FJ recording though!)

 

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46 minutes ago, handsoff said:

Oh yes it was dreadful and the whole rank seemed to be completely unregulated! But very exciting to an 11 year old whose only experience of a reed stop was a distinctly dodgy and asthmatic Oboe going just to tenor C...

(I still quite enjoy the old FJ recording though!)

 

I still have the old FJ recording on vinyl. It makes an occasional appearance and with quite a useful speaker set-up can be quite interesting.

Definitely impressed by the performance the other day. I agree it does sound a little brighter than before. One or two notes in the lower registers were a little bit 'off' but I don't really mind this at all. Adds to the character. Must be the cold weather tickling those reed tongues.

 

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19 hours ago, contraviolone said:

I still have the old FJ recording on vinyl. It makes an occasional appearance and with quite a useful speaker set-up can be quite interesting.

Definitely impressed by the performance the other day. I agree it does sound a little brighter than before. One or two notes in the lower registers were a little bit 'off' but I don't really mind this at all. Adds to the character. Must be the cold weather tickling those reed tongues.

 

Is this the same recording by FJ that was used on 'The King of Instruments', or did FJ record it twice? I don't remember the Tuba sounding so unregulated, but my 'fi' was hardly 'hi' in those days. I just lay on the floor in front of my mother's mono record player.

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This brings back memories. Back in 1976 I spent a few months filling-in playing the organ in what is now Harare Cathedral. I played the Cocker one morning after the Sunday Eacharist, and as I finished two of the choir men came to the console to tell me that they'd been in Cocker's choir at Manchester.

Fortunately, they didn't make any invidious comparisons!

Ian

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6 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

Is this the same recording by FJ that was used on 'The King of Instruments', or did FJ record it twice?

I have two recordings he made - I don't have the source of this one to hand, but the other (in which the Tuba is properly regulated) is from the EMI Great Cathedral Organs series recorded by Brian Culverhouse (and recently collected in a CD box).

Paul

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