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New OUP publications


Martin Cooke
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Has anyone any thoughts or comments about the latest crop of organ music publications from OUP?

I'm thinking of:

Elegy for the Time of Change - Robert Harris. You can hear this here.

Celebration - John Rutter - You can hear and see this at 43.37 here. It is a memorial piece for Richard Shephard and was conceived as a sort of organ finale to a Missa Brevis for York.

Organ Music of Gerre Hancock

And thinking of OUP... the article in Organists' Review this month has caused me to dig out all my Modern Organ Music albums from the 60s and 70s but so far, I haven't felt moved to tackle anything new, despite it being an incredibly positive, well-written and encouraging article!

As things stand, I play the Mathias and (most of) the Preston in Volume 1. I don't enjoy the Leighton Paean  enough to give it the time it would warrant, which just leaves the Mushel in Volume 2 - (which I had anyway!) - and Volume 3 is beyond my scope and leaves me pretty flat. In the Easy volumes, I don't regularly play anything except the Mathias Chorale, but I have played the Leighton Fanfare in the past and also the Peter Racine Fricker Trio. 

In general, these OR articles that help us revisit the past are very good. Kevin Bowyer's contributions are lightly and humorously written and his, this quarter, commends to us the Scherzo from Flor Peeters' Suite Modale

 

 

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On 16/02/2022 at 10:50, Martin Cooke said:

And thinking of OUP... the article in Organists' Review this month has caused me to dig out all my Modern Organ Music albums from the 60s and 70s but so far, I haven't felt moved to tackle anything new, despite it being an incredibly positive, well-written and encouraging article!

As things stand, I play the Mathias and (most of) the Preston in Volume 1. I don't enjoy the Leighton Paean  enough to give it the time it would warrant, which just leaves the Mushel in Volume 2 - (which I had anyway!) - and Volume 3 is beyond my scope and leaves me pretty flat. In the Easy volumes, I don't regularly play anything except the Mathias Chorale, but I have played the Leighton Fanfare in the past and also the Peter Racine Fricker Trio. 

Hadn’t realised there was a third volume of Modern Organ Music! Haven’t seen the O.R. article yet but the Mathias, Preston, Leighton and Mushel rather stand out from the crowd - never been tempted by the rest, but perhaps board members have recommendations from among them ….

I only have the second Easy volume. The Lord Interlude seems pretty pointless, but the other four pieces are useful. I’m not usually a fan of Ridout but his perky Scherzo is an exception. The Drayton Pavane reminds me of Vaughan Williams’ Job; pity he hasn’t written much organ music - his website lists three other works (apparently unpublished) among “selected” compositions:

https://www.pauldraytoncomposer.com/selected-works/

The only other Ridout piece that ever caught my attention was Jacob and the Angel - another work that, as far I can see, has never been published (in its solo organ version at least).

 

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On 16/02/2022 at 11:50, Martin Cooke said:

Celebration - John Rutter - You can hear and see this at 43.37 here. It is a memorial piece for Richard Shephard and was conceived as a sort of organ finale to a Missa Brevis for York.

Your link opens the Twitter account of Ben Morris … His playing of Rutter’s Celebration can be heard here (and here are a couple of sample pages from the score).

BTW: Thank you for pointing out that a recording of this piece already exists. Hearing how it sounds is really helpful in terms of making a purchasing decision.

M

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1 hour ago, Dafydd y Garreg Wen said:

I only have the second Easy volume. The Lord Interlude seems pretty pointless, but the other four pieces are useful. I’m not usually a fan of Ridout but his perky Scherzo is an exception. The Drayton Pavane reminds me of Vaughan Williams’ Job; pity he hasn’t written much organ music - his website lists three other works (apparently unpublished) among “selected” compositions:

https://www.pauldraytoncomposer.com/selected-works/

The only other Ridout piece that ever caught my attention was Jacob and the Angel - another work that, as far I can see, has never been published (in its solo organ version at least).

 

Dafydd, that's actually a different 'easy' volume from OUP, but I agree with you about it. The Drayton is a very characterful and unusual piece worthy of attention. This is the volume with the Rutter Toccata in Seven in it, if I remember correctly. Much of his Canticle of a Rose is worth playing and is very effective and colourful and there are also some very exciting dances that were published by Chappell in the 70s. 

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5 hours ago, Dafydd y Garreg Wen said:

The only other Ridout piece that ever caught my attention . . .

Have you not come across The Seven Last Words

It was recorded on an LP by Allan Wicks at Canterbury (there is a good 1998 one on CD by Kevin Bowyer) and I regard it as one of the most important British organ works of the 20th century.

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16 hours ago, Dafydd y Garreg Wen said:

I did say it was the second volume!

I see O.U.P. now sell both first and second combined into a single volume.

It really doesn't matter but there are two lots of two albums with the word 'easy' in the title. 'Easy Modern Organ Music' in two volumes, and 'An Easy Album for Organ' which was followed later with 'A Second Easy Album for Organ', which is the one with the Drayton, Rutter, Ridout, Lord etc contributions. 

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7 hours ago, oscar_rook said:

Happily Allan Wicks October 1968 recording of Ridout's Seven Last Words was reissued on the complete "Great Cathedral Organ Series" set by Warner/EMI in 2011.

Happily, indeed – and thank you, oscar_rook. To which recording I have just most happily listened. I’d forgotten how well it transferred. Looked for this CD in the wrong place. It was in the correct place !

Whilst on holiday in Kent, I was introduced to this work by Mr Wicks, after Evensong at the Cathedral. He was most gracious to this young lad who’d approached him out of the blue and gave me a quick ‘sound tour’ of the instrument from the console. My poor father, who neither liked the sound of organs, nor modern high-art music, waited below.

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22 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

It really doesn't matter but there are two lots of two albums with the word 'easy' in the title. 'Easy Modern Organ Music' in two volumes, and 'An Easy Album for Organ' which was followed later with 'A Second Easy Album for Organ', which is the one with the Drayton, Rutter, Ridout, Lord etc contributions. 

Thank you for the clarification. You’re absolutely right. I must never have looked at the cover very closely, because all these years, having only one of the four, I’ve been thinking that what I had was the second volume of E.M.O.M.!!

I originally bought it because a choir member was fond of Rutter, so I thought she might appreciate the toccata. I then found the other pieces worthwhile.

O.U.P. albums of that era are very confusing - so many similar titles - though they contain some good music

Thank you (and to John F.) for the Ridout recommendations.

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