Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

RIP Simon Preston CBE


Recommended Posts

A reliable source has reported on Facebook the death last Friday of Simon Preston CBE. He was 83, and had been suffering for some years from dementia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Such a sad piece of news and sad that such an outstanding musician should be smitten with dementia. I particularly remember his outstanding recital on the organ of Hull City Hall; it was so long ago I cannot remember the year. Shortly afterwards he made an LP recording of the organ. Indeed, RIP Simon.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been expecting this for some time now.   He was pretty much one of the survivors of the Old Skool.

I am just able to remember being taken to Kings when he was organ scholar, and recollecting his playing of Piece Heroique.    Bought his album recorded from the same place soon after.

Only recently purchased off t`net  his recording of Hindermith, Well worth the wait!

Will dig out his Kings EP of Franck`s  PF&V ( the one with the magnificent cover  photo of him looking like a model for a Sirdar knitting pattern!   )

A most excellent performer/musician.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the 'giants' of the organ world of the 20th century. Organ Scholar at Kings, Master of the Music at Westminster Abbey, he was hugely influential as a player and authority on all matters pertaining to the organ.

In this Easter season I wonder how many times his Alleluyas has had an outing! I remember a particularly fine performance given by a friend, after the morning Gottesdienst, in the Klosterkirche in Barsinghausen, near to Hanover on a modern, German, tracker action, box of whistles that you only had to look at and it screamed at you - loudly! The piece made quite an impact!

Requiem Aeternam dona eis Domine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard him "live" only once, when he played the Reubke Sonata on the 94th Psalm at the RAH Proms in the early 1980s - an event never to be forgotten.  Also saw him at Evensong in Westminster Abbey back in the day.  I guess like many aspiring organists in the 1960s and 70s for me he was a great source of inspiration and greatly revered, and somehow, like Dr Francis Jackson he was always there in the background of my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 16/05/2022 at 06:44, Andrew Butler said:

Last time I heard him was at Rochester Cathedral in the late 1980s when he gave the opening recital after the rebuild. 

Then I must have been there (since I worked there at the time), but don’t remember the occasion (though I do of course remember the rebuild).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Simon Preston was the first organist to become famous nationally while still (only) organ scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, such was the impact of his accompaniment of the Nine Lessons and Carols services several years running.  Unlike some others here I never met him.  I recall a BBC television programme from New College, Oxford (would such a thing happen now?) when he played and spoke enthusiastically about the new Grant Degens and Bradbeer organ.  I heard him once ‘live’ and I can date it accurately to 1962 - on my 21st birthday! - when he gave a recital at Westminster Abbey.  There were probably other times, but that remains firmly in my memory.  May he rest in peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, DHM said:

Then I must been there (since I worked there at the time), but don’t remember the occasion (though I do of course remember the rebuild).

All I remember is that he opened with BWV 593 and I was staggered at the articulation of the opening chords - I had always felt that I over-articulated them, but realised then that I actually under-articulated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Andrew Butler said:

By paying?!

Yes!! unless Dafydd y Garreg Wen knows another way!

If you live in, for instance, Kent, and you buy the Times it costs you whatever per day. I read it most days 'online' and it costs me less than £10 per month - about 30p per day - good value I say!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s not as easy as it used to be, but there are still ways of getting free access to most newspaper sites if all you want is an occasional article.

Church Times obit here:

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2022/27-may3-june/gazette/obituaries/obituary-simon-preston

“transformed the medieval cathedral choir” made me smile. Gives the impression that the members had been there since the Middle Ages. Perhaps they had ….

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 29/05/2022 at 08:46, S_L said:

Yes!! unless Dafydd y Garreg Wen knows another way!

If you live in, for instance, Kent, and you buy the Times it costs you whatever per day. I read it most days 'online' and it costs me less than £10 per month - about 30p per day - good value I say!

Oh absolutely - I have an online subscription to the Charente Libre.  

I have no desire to read The Times though 🙄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Andrew Butler said:

Oh absolutely - I have an online subscription to the Charente Libre.  

Since, unfortunately, featuring in Charente Libre just over 12 months ago I haven't seen a copy!

I thought, my the very nature of the title, that it was free! The dictionary gives the word  subscription as "an arrangement to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever the Dutch version of franglais is, you can get caught out with "free" there as well. The Vrije Universitieit Amsterdam, the Free University of Amsterdam, is not free because it costs nothing, otherwise it would be kostenloos or gratis instead of vrij, but is free of religious dogma or attachment to religious denomination. Until relatively recently in the Netherlands it really mattered which Christian denomination you belonged to, in private as well as professional life. However, the university is still a Christian foundation, and each public event such as a degree ceremony begins and ends with the declaration "Onze hulp is in de naam van de Heer - Our help is in the name of the Lord". These are usually held in the Aula, which houses the uncompromising Couperin organ, an instrument which would be much better known and effective if it were not in a lecture room with practically no reverberation. A great pity.

Sorry, almost an irrelevant quip in the comments for a fine organist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear - steaming a little astern of the fleet again as I have only just noticed this thread.

I was fortunate to meet Simon Preston on several occasions and found him an engaging personality; we were almost the same age. I was pleased to introduce him to the three-decker Byfield at St Mary's, Rotherhithe a long time ago - this must have been in the early 'sixties for I remember that Charles Purpart was organist at the time. This was not long after Noel Mander had performed a thorough overhaul and returned some of the specification to the eighteenth century original. 

Preston had a large influence in the recital world but sadly was unheard in recent years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...