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Guest Andrew Butler
There you are, you see. What did I tell you?  :unsure: :unsure:

 

I imagine Andrew only twigged because of his former Bristol connections.

 

Indeed - plus a very "sad" habit of reading lists of RCO members in the Yearbooks(inc Fellows, VH!!) :)

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I know someone who was also an organ scholar there - I believe he inherited Campbell's clavichord - he also talks of Campbell with great affection etc.
I know who you mean. As far as I know Campbell was always kind to his organ scholars - he always spoke about them kindly. But he could also be downright difficult to anyone who got on the wrong side of him. You had to tread warily.

 

When I first arrived we always seemed to be doing short services by post-Tudor composers such as Boyce and Arnold. He soon dropped a number of them (or at least put them on far less frequently) and it was ages before I discovered that it was because I had passed some comment about finding them uninspiring. I felt really embarrassed since it was the last thing I'd intended, but I think he had wanted to make sure I was happy in the job. At the other end of the scale I was once sufficiently untactful to make a disparaging comment about the sentimentality of a piece of Guilmant he was playing. He took high umbrage and I hardly got a civil word out of him for two or three weeks. I'm sure I deserved it, ungrateful tyke that I was!

 

On one occasion someone asked him whether the story was true that he had once ripped up his copy of an anthem and walked out in the middle of a service. It's something I would never have dared ask and I half expected an explosion. But Campbell's reply was quite matter-of-fact: "I've done it twice: once at Canterbury and once here".

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Little Story I had:

 

Every now and again, the Sunday school (or Children's Church as it is known, in fairly well-heeled Twyford) come up to the front at the end of the service after communion to show what they've been upto behind the sound proofed doors. One day, they had been writing prayers to thank God for all he had created and done for us. It was Christian Aid week and we had been praying for people suffering from drought. I will never forget one of the prayers one little boy of 7 came up with:

 

"Dear God, Thank you for the gift of water ... so I can sail my yacht. Amen"

 

How our Vicar kept his composure, I will never know. The congregation cooed nicely. I nearly fell off the bench and there were almost tears of laughter in the vestry afterwards.

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I can always tell how much our vicar likes the anthem by the manner of its announcement. The words "Stainer" and "Wesley" seem to be very hard to pronounce, Stainer with a degree of contempt, Wesley as a pronounced and elongated sigh of despair.

 

We have occasionally had a visiting preacher who seems to have difficulty with composers - The Lord is King, by Boy-cie, for example. Maarrrr-leeeene!

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On the message you want to link to, click the message number (top right) and save the link displayed (e.g. Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard).  Then when composing a messge, click the button labelled "http://" and paste the saved URL into the box that opens (e.g. Ctrl-V), and in the next box put the text you want to appear for the link (e.g. "this message").

 

Paul

 

Alternatively, just click the 'Reply' button beolw the message which you wish to quote. When the new message-box appears, the quoted message will be included at the start. One can decide exactly what it is desirable to quote and simply delete the rest.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I know who you mean. As far as I know Campbell was always kind to his organ scholars - he always spoke about them kindly. But he could also be downright difficult to anyone who got on the wrong side of him. You had to tread warily.

 

When I first arrived we always seemed to be doing short services by post-Tudor composers such as Boyce and Arnold. He soon dropped a number of them (or at least put them on far less frequently) and it was ages before I discovered that it was because I had passed some comment about finding them uninspiring. I felt really embarrassed since it was the last thing I'd intended, but I think he had wanted to make sure I was happy in the job. At the other end of the scale I was once sufficiently untactful to make a disparaging comment about the sentimentality of a piece of Guilmant he was playing. He took high umbrage and I hardly got a civil word out of him for two or three weeks. I'm sure I deserved it, ungrateful tyke that I was!

 

On one occasion someone asked him whether the story was true that he had once ripped up his copy of an anthem and walked out in the middle of a service. It's something I would never have dared ask and I half expected an explosion. But Campbell's reply was quite matter-of-fact: "I've done it twice: once at Canterbury and once here".

 

 

There are some fascinating anecdotes about Sidney Campbell in David Gedge's recent autobiography. I can recommend this tome* (in particular) for the insights it gives into a (nearly) fogotten world. The stories about Campbell alone are worth the purchase price - I ask: how did he get away with it?!

 

*A Country Cathedral Organist Looks Back - David Gedge 2005 ISBN 1-84394-168-6

published by Serendipity, First Floor, 37/39 Victoria Road, Darlington

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There are some fascinating anecdotes about Sidney Campbell in David Gedge's recent autobiography.  I can recommend this tome* (in particular) for the insights it gives into a (nearly) fogotten world. The stories about Campbell alone are worth the purchase price - I ask: how did he get away with it?!

 

*A Country Cathedral Organist Looks Back - David Gedge  2005 ISBN 1-84394-168-6

published by Serendipity, First Floor, 37/39 Victoria Road, Darlington

Well, I got a copy - and a very good read it is too. I particularly loved the image of Campbell entertaining the boys during the psalms at Southwark by grinning, poking out his false teeth and waving at them with both hands while continuing to accompany in harmony on the pedals alone. I can just imagine him doing that!

 

Another Campbellism (while rehearsing the evening canticles): "Don't sing 'mAgnify'. Sing it as you'd say it: 'megnify'."

 

I was sorry to read that plans were apparently afoot to oust him from St George's just before he died. Does anyone know any of the background to this? (By PM if need be.)

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  • 2 months later...
There are some fascinating anecdotes about Sidney Campbell in David Gedge's recent autobiography.  I can recommend this tome* (in particular) for the insights it gives into a (nearly) fogotten world. The stories about Campbell alone are worth the purchase price - I ask: how did he get away with it?!

 

*A Country Cathedral Organist Looks Back - David Gedge  2005 ISBN 1-84394-168-6

published by Serendipity, First Floor, 37/39 Victoria Road, Darlington

This is about as off-topic as it is possible to get. I was saddened to stumble across this. Any recent news?

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Guest Barry Oakley
This is about as off-topic as it is possible to get. I was saddened to stumble across this. Any recent news?

 

I was sorry to learn of the illness (I hope temporary) which has afflicted David Gedge, probably the UK's longest-serving cathedral master of music. I never met him, but way back had some lengthy 'phone conversations with him about the Brecon organ shortly after Percy Daniel had completed some major work on it. He immediately struck me as an extremely nice man. Some will perhaps know that he was a boy chorister (Southwark) who sang at the Queen's coronation service. I wish him well in his recovery.

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This is about as off-topic as it is possible to get. I was saddened to stumble across this. Any recent news?

 

 

==================

 

Oh dear! That is so terribly upsetting.

 

David gedge is an absolute gem of a human-being, and whilst he wouldn't know me from Adam, I can honestly say that he is one of the five nicest people I have ever met in my life; one of the others being Gladys Ayelward.

 

His tenure at Selby Abbey was during happier times, when people were nice to each other.

 

When I last met David and his wife in Brecon Cathedral, they seemed to have taken that sheer loveliness and warm humanity with them to Wales.

 

Of one thing I am sure, there will be many who will love and support him when he most needs it.

 

:D

 

MM

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I happened to telephone his wife the day he was due out of hospital. At the time he was improving and she seemed hopeful for a good recovery. I regret to say that I have not yet telephoned again to see how he is doing currently.

 

I did hear that he has decided to call it a day at the cathedral, though - having been in charge of the music since about 1966.

 

I too add my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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I was born in Brecon and was one of Hazel Gedge's first piano pupils when they moved there, so have known the family for many years. I spoke to the Dean of the Cathedral this afternoon, who told me that he is steadily improving, but still hasn't got much use of his left arm. He told me that David did announce his retirement..... but not yet!

 

Stubborn lot, organists!

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I was born in Brecon and was one of Hazel Gedge's first piano pupils when they moved there, so have known the family for many years. I spoke to the Dean of the Cathedral this afternoon, who told me that he is steadily improving, but still hasn't got much use of his left arm. He told me that David did announce his retirement..... but not yet!

 

Stubborn lot, organists!

 

Many years ago, I used to tune the organ in Kidwelly Parish Church in South Wales. The verger, a Mr Davies, a most kindly man towards organ tuners, was very proud of his daughter, Hazel who was a very fine organist.

 

Hazel went on to marry David Gedge and whilst I have met David and Hazel on a couple of occasions, it was only fleetingly and I doubt if they would even remember me - I am proud to have known Hazel's father.

 

I wish David a very speedy return to health and my best wishes to them both.

 

FF

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I can always tell how much our vicar likes the anthem by the manner of its announcement. The words "Stainer" and "Wesley" seem to be very hard to pronounce, Stainer with a degree of contempt, Wesley as a pronounced and elongated sigh of despair.

 

And how would a work by Scheidt be greeted, d'you think ?

 

H :blink:

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Guest delvin146

I can always tell how much our vicar likes the anthem by the manner of its announcement. The words "Stainer" and "Wesley" seem to be very hard to pronounce, Stainer with a degree of contempt, Wesley as a pronounced and elongated sigh of despair.

 

And how would a work by Scheidt be greeted, d'you think ?

 

H :blink:

 

probably with very lavatorial tenor tone

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I can always tell how much our vicar likes the anthem by the manner of its announcement. The words "Stainer" and "Wesley" seem to be very hard to pronounce, Stainer with a degree of contempt, Wesley as a pronounced and elongated sigh of despair.

 

And how would a work by Scheidt be greeted, d'you think ?

 

H :lol:

 

....or Crotch :blink:

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....or Crotch  :blink:

 

At a recital I once heard an eminent organist, keeping a very straight face, calmly announce. "I am now going to play some Scheidt". The only people it seemed to have any effect on was the Vicar and myself. We could not look at each other for the rest of the evening without starting to laugh. The music wasn't that bad either.

 

FF :lol:

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At a recital I once heard an eminent organist, keeping a very straight face, calmly announce. "I am now going to play some Scheidt". The only people it seemed to have any effect on was the Vicar and myself. We could not look at each other for the rest of the evening without starting to laugh. The music wasn't that bad either.

 

FF  B)

 

 

====================

 

Better still when preceded by a piece of Bull.

 

You MUST believe that it was an inadvertent slip, when I talked to one recital audience and said, "Well, so much for the Bull, now what about the Scheidt?"

 

B)

 

MM

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Guest Andrew Butler

Last Sunday, Evensong in village church, no choir, hymns, Ferial responses, and mag & Nunc from Parish Psalter regularly sung by congregation of 10/15 on average. Psalm always "said" antiphonally.

 

On this occasion, long 1st reading followed by (new) Rector's announcement - we will SING Psalm 72 vv.1-7. I had Mag turned up ready. Frantically found Ps 72 and played over chant (familiar one luckily). All went well until, frantically sight-reading the pointing I realized we were on v.7 and I should have gone to the 2nd half of the chant!

 

Er.....what would you have done at this point.....?

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  • 3 months later...
On one occasion someone asked him whether the story was true that he had once ripped up his copy of an anthem and walked out in the middle of a service. It's something I would never have dared ask and I half expected an explosion. But Campbell's reply was quite matter-of-fact: "I've done it twice: once at Canterbury and once here".

 

In fact I had it from Sidney himself that it had also happened at Ely. One of the weekday 'standby' anthems was a piece entitled "I will arise" by Robert Creyghton. Usually SSC would put this one down when he was away and it would be rehearsed and directed by the assistant (possibly Dr Wills - I don't know). It seems likely that whoever it was preferred to conduct the piece in 4 rather than the 2 indicated; Campbell was, presumably, unable to rehearse the piece beforehand and began it in 2, assuming . . . . The trebles were fine but altos, tenors and basses quickly found themselves in a parallel universe and despite several restarts were unable to rescue the disaster. Campbell turned to the precentor, growled "we've had the anthem", tore up the music, scattered it as the hoar frost twixt the choir stalls and walked out. Apparently the bishop was present and asked SSC afterwards," What happened in the anthem?" "Nothing," was SSC's succint and factually accurate reply.

 

David Harrison

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

Just seen the funniest ever comment in a tuner's book while playing for a funeral......

 

"Stop called voix celeste sounds as though it is a little bit out of tune with all the others"

 

Oh dear! :lol:

 

:lol:

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