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Simon Preston At The Rah

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Just wondered if anyone else heard Simon Preston at the RAH last night, and if so what they thought.

 

Could anyone identify the encore?

 

Cheers,

 

Matthew

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Just wondered if anyone else heard Simon Preston at the RAH last night, and if so what they thought.

 

Could anyone identify the encore?

 

Cheers,

 

Matthew

 

Well I thoroughly enjoyed it - although I wasn't expecting so much tibia, vox and trem! (at least I thought I heard tibias, but it seems there aren't any on that organ!)

 

No idea about the encore.

 

Also, where was the Schmitt toccata?

 

JJK

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Well I thoroughly enjoyed it - although I wasn't expecting so much tibia, vox and trem! (at least I thought I heard tibias, but it seems there aren't any on that organ!)

 

No idea about the encore.

 

Also, where was the Schmitt toccata?

 

JJK

 

I loved it. And great to hear such a kaleidescopic tour of the instrument. Very well-planned programme: serious German first-half, then some real town-hall stuff, followed by something epic.

 

The Schmidt was replaced by the Gershwin, noted on the RAH website a couple of months ago. A good move, I think.

 

Without wishing to raise hackles, tho' there is much good music outside London, not many other places on the planet where I could hear a superlative Figaro (under Colin Davis) on Wed, Simon Preston on a leviathan Edwardian marvel on Fri, and the Palestrina mag primi toni (sung by the finest choir in the world?) at West Cath on Sunday. Just for starters... :D (Particularly as I'm one of those curious people who doesn't drive a car...)

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Without wishing to raise hackles, tho' there is much good music outside London, not many other places on the planet where I could hear a superlative Figaro (under Colin Davis) on Wed, Simon Preston on a leviathan Edwardian marvel on Fri, and the Palestrina mag primi toni (sung by the finest choir in the world?) at West Cath on Sunday. Just for starters...  :D (Particularly as I'm one of those curious people who doesn't drive a car...)

 

We are indeed lucky - and it was great to hear an unusual programme so well suited to the organ - but I wouldn't want to detract from the rest of the country. I was in Liverpool last weekend and went to a recital by Ian Tracey. Now that organ is in a class of its own, and I believe is not equalled by anything in London. And Ian Tracey was on superb form - player, building and instrument all fitted each other perfectly.

 

JJK

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We are indeed lucky - and it was great to hear an unusual programme so well suited to the organ - but I wouldn't want to detract from the rest of the country. I was in Liverpool last weekend and went to a recital by Ian Tracey. Now that organ is in a class of its own, and I believe is not equalled by anything in London. And Ian Tracey was on superb form - player, building and instrument all fitted each other perfectly.

 

JJK

 

No, I was being a bit provocative. :D Tho' my point was really about the amount of really world-class music in a small area, in such concentrated quantities!

 

The Liverpool organ is a marvel, but I do feel it's been tinkered with of late. I reckon HWIII's best work is Westminster Cathedral, myself.

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The Liverpool organ is a marvel, but I do feel it's been tinkered with of late. I reckon HWIII's best work is Westminster Cathedral, myself.

 

You should come try mine if you want original HWIII. It's had 2 changes since it was built in '56, both done by HWIII - a Claribel swapped out for a Gedeckt and a Vox Humana for a Cymbel Mixture. Other than, it's as it was built, complete with infinite swell & gradation pedals and ancient EM Skinner divisional piston electrics, etc. If you're ever down this way, do come try it...

 

http://www.laudachoir.org/organ/Specification.html

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The Liverpool organ is a marvel, but I do feel it's been tinkered with of late. I reckon HWIII's best work is Westminster Cathedral, myself.

 

Has it? I know it had a positive section added in the 60s and some minor tweaks when Harrisons restored it in 70s. And the addition of th Trompette Militaire (which I wasn't so impressed with, although that may have been due to where I was sitting). But has the original character of the instrument changed much? (Not doubting you, I just don't know!)

 

I agree that WC is very fine - but for me LC had that bit more grandeur, and is obviously on a bigger scale in a bigger building.

 

JJK

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Other than, it's as it was built, complete with infinite swell & gradation pedals and ancient EM Skinner divisional piston electrics, etc.

 

Not many of those swell mechanisms still in use, I guess (Liverpool was the only one I was aware of). How do you find it? To me it sounds an excellent idea but, not having tried one, I wonder how easy it is to master in practice.

 

JJK

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Not many of those swell mechanisms still in use, I guess (Liverpool was the only one I was aware of). How do you find it? To me it sounds an excellent idea but, not having tried one, I wonder how easy it is to master in practice.

 

JJK

 

It's a bit odd, because despite gauges, you don't really know where the shutters are when playing (unless you want to keep glancing down to your left). Once you get used to the instrument, though, they're quite good - very easy to get a very slow and smooth crescendo/decrescendo.

 

Talking to David Wyld of Willis earlier in the week, he implied that there a couple of other churches that still have them, plus Liverpool.

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Talking to David Wyld of Willis earlier in the week, he implied that there a couple of other churches that still have them, plus Liverpool.

 

I hope the remaining few will be kept. Inconvenient for visiting organists I know, but I suspect they do allow an extra degree of expression for those familiar with them - quite apart from the historic interest.

 

JJK

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I hope the remaining few will be kept. Inconvenient for visiting organists I know, but I suspect they do allow an extra degree of expression for those familiar with them - quite apart from the historic interest.

 

JJK

 

I'm not sure that they do offer any extra expression, just different. Given the choice, I'd rather have a balanced pedal, but the ISG's are fine by me. Of more concern is the general crescendo pedal in the same bank as the 2 swell pedals - no switch to turn it off - I've only once caught it by mistake, but I've heard other visitors swearing at it when they think they're going for a big opening of the swell box on swell strings, and end up with full organ instead! It's nice having these little indicator lights progress upwards though, rather like some sort of warp drive indicator.

 

I came in to play the other day and found that the lady that had been in to practice for a funeral had resolutely shut both boxes (on a very hot day - gee, thanks!), but left the general crescendo as wide open as possible. (The general cresc pedal behaves like a normal balanced pedal, the other 2 are sprung - I guess she thought she was leaving the box open :-) )

 

Another oddity is the full organ foot switch - I'd expect this to be somewhere in the vicinity of the right hand end of the pedal board, like a "32ft reed" switch. Nope, it's on the left hand side of the swell boxes, very high up, so that you can't see it when playing. Weird place for it.

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No, I was being a bit provocative.  :D Tho' my point was really about the amount of really world-class music in a small area, in such concentrated quantities!

 

The Liverpool organ is a marvel, but I do feel it's been tinkered with of late. I reckon HWIII's best work is Westminster Cathedral, myself.

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No, I was being a bit provocative.  :D Tho' my point was really about the amount of really world-class music in a small area, in such concentrated quantities!

 

The Liverpool organ is a marvel, but I do feel it's been tinkered with of late. I reckon HWIII's best work is Westminster Cathedral, myself.

Did the "tinkering" not start between 1958-1960 when the pipework of the original unenclosed Choir department was replaced? Was this carried out at Rawsthorne's instigation, I wonder?

Does replacement of soundboards, as carried out for the Westminster Cathedral Choir and Solo divisions in 1984, count as "tinkering"?

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I enjoyed the Preston recital. Thought that the presentation was well done with the case effectively lit. Only trouble was that with the lights down you couldn't read the programme during the boring bits. The programme was well produced with a spec. I would have sacrificed the Gershwin and SKE for a full length serious work.I couldn't quite see the point of the Gershwin and it seemed to me that SP managed to obscure the melody of 'Swanee' by the accomp !! It would have been preferable to hear something French in the prg such as the SP by Dupre which is in the Preston repertoire. The attendance was respectable. John Scott provides the next recital on Oct 25th. I agree about the Palestrina at WC. Also a fine performance of Bairstow's 'Blessed City'. Shame about the rather solemn setting of 'Salve Regina' that now ends Vespers. Excellent recital by Martin Baker. The curiosity was Andrew Sampson's arrangement of the first movement of Mozart 40. I thought that without the orchestration it sounded a bit tedious as repeat followed repeat.

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Guest Roffensis

 

Has it? I know it had a positive section added in the 60s and some minor tweaks when Harrisons restored it in 70s. And the addition of th Trompette Militaire (which I wasn't so impressed with, although that may have been due to where I was sitting). But has the original character of the instrument changed much? (Not doubting you, I just don't know!)

 

I agree that WC is very fine - but for me LC had that bit more grandeur, and is obviously on a bigger scale in a bigger building.

 

JJK

 

As everywhere, rumours abound, but the ones often repeated are..... extensive tinkerings with various WPs throughout, not just of the Tuba (supposedly now on 37 inches), but of mixtures with altered breaks, the Magna itself cut down and no longer 16 foot resonators and also remade extensively, and various other meddlings. How much of this is true I don't know, but I can tell you I have heard these tales from various sources and was horrified. Moreover, to me the organ does sound different from the ealry 1970s when I first heard it, and I don't mean the positive.

:blink::o:(

R

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As everywhere, rumours abound, but the ones often repeated are..... extensive tinkerings with various WPs throughout, not just of the Tuba (supposedly now on 37 inches), but of mixtures with altered breaks, the Magna itself cut down and no longer 16 foot resonators and also remade extensively, and various other meddlings. How much of this is true I don't know, but I can tell you I have heard these tales from various sources and was horrified. Moreover,  to me the organ does sound different from the ealry 1970s when I first heard it, and I don't mean the positive.

:blink:  :o  :(

R

 

 

Aarrggh....... where were the Cathedrals Advisory Committee? :o

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We are indeed lucky - and it was great to hear an unusual programme so well suited to the organ - but I wouldn't want to detract from the rest of the country. I was in Liverpool last weekend and went to a recital by Ian Tracey. Now that organ is in a class of its own, and I believe is not equalled by anything in London. And Ian Tracey was on superb form - player, building and instrument all fitted each other perfectly.

 

JJK

 

Indeed - I heard him last August BH Monday - his playing was absolutely first-rate, the organ was stunning ...

 

... if only I had not had quite so much to drink in the pub' afterwards. Although, even here, there were compensations - Ian was an extremely nice chap, who seemed very pleased to meet a lowly parish church organist.

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Indeed - I heard him last August BH Monday - his playing was absolutely first-rate, the organ was stunning ...

 

... if only I had not had quite so much to drink in the pub' afterwards. Although, even here, there were compensations - Ian was an extremely nice chap, who seemed very pleased to meet a lowly parish church organist.

 

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

 

I met Ian first when he was 17 and wearing "Doc Martins" for his recital.

 

I liked him then, and I like him now.....totally unphased, entirely approachable, good fun and not in the least bit neurotic.

 

He's a gem turned national treasure.

 

MM

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Indeed - I heard him last August BH Monday - his playing was absolutely first-rate, the organ was stunning ...

 

... if only I had not had quite so much to drink in the pub' afterwards. Although, even here, there were compensations - Ian was an extremely nice chap, who seemed very pleased to meet a lowly parish church organist.

 

Yes, I also found Ian very friendly and approachable. The recital last week was very relaxed, and I think the music benefited from this. It certainly made me want to go back to hear more - I think his next recital is 21 Oct. Maybe I'll ask him about the rumoured "adjustments" to the organ!

 

JJK

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Must be about time for it to have a rebuild in the next five years or so?

 

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

 

I'm not too sure about that, but perhaps just a few extra pipes wouldn't go amiss.

 

I wonder if that Korean businessman still visits Liverpool?

 

:blink:

 

MM

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

 

I'm not too sure about that, but perhaps just a few extra pipes wouldn't go amiss.

 

I wonder if that Korean businessman still visits Liverpool?

 

:blink:

 

MM

 

I believe there is a cleaning/overhaul due.

 

Extra pipes are needed to put RAH back in its place :( - and I did hear rumours about installation of some of the originally-planned west/corona sections :o

 

JJK

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John Scott provides the next recital on Oct 25th.

The next RAH organ recital is an Organ Prom on Sunday 6th August at 4.00 pm that is being given by David Goode. The progamme is:

 

Mozart: Fantasy in F minor for mechanical organ, K608

Shostakovich: 'The Gadfly' - Credo; The Cathedral Service

Gliere: Fugue on a Russian Christmas Song

Glazunov: Fantasy, Op.110

Böhm: Chorale Prelude on 'Vater unser im Himmelreich'

J S Bach: Chorale Prelude on 'Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot', BWV678

Liszt: Fantasia and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam'

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