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D Quentin Bellamy

Royal College Of Organists

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Dude, the cost of the ABRSM FRSM diploma examination is £525 which for a 1.5hr exam with two examiners and somebody to mark a 5000 word essay submitted about three months before the practical. This is an organisation that does hundreds of thousands of exams a year so even they don't offer economies of scale. FRCO looks cheap in comparison!

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Dude, the cost of the ABRSM FRSM diploma examination is £525 which for a 1.5hr exam with two examiners and somebody to mark a 5000 word essay submitted about three months before the practical. This is an organisation that does hundreds of thousands of exams a year so even they don't offer economies of scale. FRCO looks cheap in comparison!

Where are the exam centres? :lol:

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They visit you..... I suppose one pays for such a bespoke service :lol: (saying that, LRSM is about £375 and DipABRSM is about £150, and they visit you too - exams are a bit shorter and there's no need to mark prior submissions...)

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Whereas in the US, you record your recital at a local venue, under exam conditions and supervised by a local 'proctor' (eg FRCO?), and it is then assessed anonymously by the examiners.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
They visit you..... I suppose one pays for such a bespoke service ;) (saying that, LRSM is about £375 and DipABRSM is about £150, and they visit you too - exams are a bit shorter and there's no need to mark prior submissions...)

 

 

I think this scale of fees may have something to do with keeping (how-shall-we-say) 'frivolous' entries to a minimum.

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Guest Lee Blick
I think this scale of fees may have something to do with keeping (how-shall-we-say) 'frivolous' entries to a minimum.

 

The more I find out about the RCO, the attitudes of it's officers and representatives, the more I am led to believe that this is an organisation existing for those who are of a similar mindset. Not that in itself bothers me, but what does bother me is the lack of an infrastructure nationally at the grassroots level. How are organists at parish level ever going to aspire to the level of the RCO, with few opportunities or assistance. It is fine if you are attached to a major parish church or have the financial means.

 

Having local examination centres is only the tip of the iceberg is as far as rejuvenating organ playing at local level.

 

What I would like to see is survey or project to find out what resources (or the lack of resources) there are locally, how many churches are short of organists and to come out of it, some sort of strategy, perhaps with the RCO working with other organisations to put down some firm foundations for the future.

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.... and talk about the first thing that pops up, perhaps?

 

 

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

 

Oh no, ho ho!

 

We're back to Lapp dancing again.

 

Will this subject never come to a Finnish?

 

;)

 

MM

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-----------------------------------------

 

 

I'm sorry, but as any informed business analyst knows, Santa lives in Finland and drives a Subaru Impreza WRC Turbo.

 

"Rudolfus rubrinasis" was pensioned off three years ago, and now lives in an animal sanctuary outside Helsinki, whilst most of the toy-production has now relocated to mainland China, with worldwide distribution being handled by DHL.

Even the Santa hotline is now in India, and a few Polish migrants, posing as Finns and wearing silly fur hats with ear flaps, now man the Santa theme-park. As nobody in the rest of the world understands Finnish, and even the Finns struggle to understand each other, the use of the Polish language is not regarded as a particular handicap.

 

This left behind a number of highly disgruntled elfs, who immediately formed a trade-union of some stature, (but not a lot), on which the board-members and shareholders of the 'Santa International Enterprises Corporation" look down.

 

Subsequent to the last meeting of the shareholders, not only was the sleigh auctioned off on e-bay, but also the attractive red and white garments formerly worn by Santa. The curent whereabout of these garments is unknown, even though they were snapped up by a e-bayer somewhere in the UK.

 

The world of the Grotto,it seems, like that of the organ loft, is not a happy one at the present time.

 

MM

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-----------------------------------------

I'm sorry, but as any informed business analyst knows, Santa lives in Finland and drives a Subaru Impreza WRC Turbo.

 

"Rudolfus rubrinasis" was pensioned off three years ago, and now lives in an animal sanctuary outside Helsinki, whilst most of the toy-production has now relocated to mainland China, with worldwide distribution being handled by DHL.

Even the Santa hotline is now in India, and a few Polish migrants, posing as Finns and wearing silly fur hats with ear flaps, now man the Santa theme-park. As nobody in the rest of the world understands Finnish, and even the Finns struggle to understand each other, the use of the Polish language is not regarded as a particular handicap.

 

This left behind a number of highly disgruntled elfs, who immediately formed a trade-union of some stature, (but not a lot), on which the board-members and shareholders of the 'Santa International Enterprises Corporation" look down.

 

Subsequent to the last meeting of the shareholders, not only was the sleigh auctioned off on e-bay, but also the attractive red and white garments formerly worn by Santa. The curent whereabout of these garments is unknown, even though they were snapped up by a e-bayer somewhere in the UK.

 

The world of the Grotto,it seems, like that of the organ loft, is not a happy one at the present time.

 

MM

Why do people always have to lead these discussions off at stupid tangents? Maybe the issues don't matter to some people, but to others they are of the greatest professional importance. If this thread is constantly hijacked then it will be little wonder if people at the RCO take no notice.

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Subsequent to the last meeting of the shareholders, not only was the sleigh auctioned off on e-bay, but also the attractive red and white garments formerly worn by Santa. The curent whereabout of these garments is unknown, even though they were snapped up by a e-bayer somewhere in the UK.

Although, as you say, the whereabouts of the garments is unknown, it seems highly likely, as hinted several posts ago, that they reside in a peripatetic and highly elusive suitcase which has been impossible to pinpoint since it left its last known residence in a West Midlands city located at no very great remove from the organ that must not be named.

 

(Sorry, Quentin. Guilty as charged. In defence I would suggest that if the RCO is at all interested in our practical suggestions they are quite capable of picking the serious points out of this thread)

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.

As to Quentin Maclean never having held achurch post in this country,he was at one time assistant organist at Westminster Cathedral

 

I stand corrected. I knew he had a connection there but didn't realise that he was actually assistant. I am only really familiar with his career from 1920 onwards during which his reputation was built on his performances on the concert platform and in the cinema, marking his rise as a household name - as it was possibly for an organist to become in those days. Since he was interned in Germany during the First World War, I'd conclude that his tenure at the cathedral was relatively short, between 1918 and 1920.

 

He is certainly remembered chiefly as a concert and cinema organist rather than as a cathedral organist who later turned to lighter music. The opposite is true of Norman Cocker who is most often thought of as organist at Manchester Cathedral who also played cinema organs - perhaps Cocker did it for financial reasons, whereas Maclean did it because he enjoyed it? He certainly coulnd't have chain-smoked in the loft at Westminster as he did in the pit at Shepherds Bush Pavilion!

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Guest Lee Blick
Why do people always have to lead these discussions off at stupid tangents? Maybe the issues don't matter to some people, but to others they are of the greatest professional importance. If this thread is constantly hijacked then it will be little wonder if people at the RCO take no notice.

 

Oh, give over. :lol:

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Guest Lee Blick

thats better. For a moment I thought you were one of them in their high organ lofts :lol:

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I stand corrected. I knew he had a connection there but didn't realise that he was actually assistant. I am only really familiar with his career from 1920 onwards during which his reputation was built on his performances on the concert platform and in the cinema, marking his rise as a household name - as it was possibly for an organist to become in those days. Since he was interned in Germany during the First World War, I'd conclude that his tenure at the cathedral was relatively short, between 1918 and 1920.

 

He is certainly remembered chiefly as a concert and cinema organist rather than as a cathedral organist who later turned to lighter music. The opposite is true of Norman Cocker who is most often thought of as organist at Manchester Cathedral who also played cinema organs - perhaps Cocker did it for financial reasons, whereas Maclean did it because he enjoyed it? He certainly coulnd't have chain-smoked in the loft at Westminster as he did in the pit at Shepherds Bush Pavilion!

 

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

 

 

I have no doubt but that the RCO thread will continue in good time, but it seems to have died a death for the moment, if only because we've been discussing it for so long, and now find ourselves chewing the fat.

 

The fact that Quentin Maclean was an RCO recitalist gives us a tentative link as we divert.

 

Quentin Maclean was the son of Alec Maclean, known by the title "the God of Scarborough" in musical circles; for he was the resident conductor of the Spa Orchestra, which enjoyed a considerable reputation: possibly on a par with Bournemouth.

 

At quite an early age, young Maclean had lessons from C S Terry, the organist of Wesminster Cathedral, which suggests that Quentin was at a boarding school in, or around London at the time. Alec Maclean and C S Terry were good friends, and it was possibly for this reason that Quentin Maclean ended up as assistant organist at Westminster Cathedral.

 

At a time when the RCO foundation was very strong indeed, and certainly on a par with anything else in the world, it is therefore all the more surprising that Quentin Maclean should be sent off to Leipzig to study music. However, this is what happened, and in the process, he came into contact with both Max Reger (composition) and Carl Straube (performance).

 

Carl Straube was known as "the maker of organists" in his homeland, being noted for his colossal technique and prodigious sight-reading ability. It is said that Reger composed most of his organ-music for Carl Straube, and part of that involved the challenge that Reger couldn't write a piece of organ music which he, (Straube) couldn't play. Try as he may, Reger never managed to write anythung which Carl Straube couldn't play.

 

Straube was extremely influential: not just in his home country, but also in America, where he advised that Middelschulte should go. Straube was also close to the viurtuoso pianist, Busoni: the contrapuntl style of Straube especially admired by all.

 

So it is possibly true to suggest that the young Maclean was taught by two of the very finest musical minds of the early 20th century.

 

Thus, after a period as a young prisoner of war, Maclean returned to England: his great talent recognised very quickly.

 

If Quentin Maclean stands out among theatre organists of his day, then it possibly owes much the fact that Maclean wasa superbly trained classical-organist, who played the theatre-organ in a very "organistic" manner: unlike so many of his contemporaries, who played in a more pianistic style. To listen to one of the old organ recordings, is to hear Maclean freely adapt both organ and piano style in equal measure.

 

Apart from Sidney Torch and Reginald Foort, Qunetin Maclean was certainly the best known and most respected of the theatre organists.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
thats better.  For a moment I thought you were one of them in their high organ lofts  :lol:

 

 

Shhh..!

He's a vicar - didn't you read his early postings?

Could be one of the decent ones, of course.

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

I have no doubt but that the RCO thread will continue in good time, but it seems to have died a death for the moment, if only because we've been discussing it for so long, and now find ourselves chewing the fat.

 

The fact that Quentin Maclean was an RCO recitalist gives us a tentative link as we divert.

 

Quentin Maclean was the son of Alec Maclean, known by the title "the God of Scarborough" in musical circles; for he was the resident conductor of the Spa Orchestra, which enjoyed a considerable reputation: possibly on a par with Bournemouth.

 

At quite an early age, young Maclean had lessons from C S Terry, the organist of Wesminster Cathedral, which suggests that Quentin was at a boarding school in, or around London at the time. Alec Maclean and C S Terry were good friends, and it was possibly for this reason that Quentin Maclean ended up as assistant organist at Westminster Cathedral.

 

SNIP!!!

Sorry to be pendantic, but isn't is R R Terry not C S Terry?? (Richard Runciman Terry - who wrote that tune to Praise to the Holiest in the height - can't remember the name of it - but it's a good tune!) :lol:

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Sorry to be pendantic, but isn't is R R Terry not C S Terry??  (Richard Runciman Terry - who wrote that tune to Praise to the Holiest in the height - can't remember the name of it - but it's a good tune!) :lol:

Highwood NEH 320

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Sorry to be pendantic, but isn't is R R Terry not C S Terry??  (Richard Runciman Terry - who wrote that tune to Praise to the Holiest in the height - can't remember the name of it - but it's a good tune!) ;)

 

 

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

 

Absolutely right!

 

I should have known better, but anyway, I went back to the notes of a lecture I gave at Bradford University some years ago, and refreshed my memory.

 

Quentin Stuart Morvaren Maclean (1896-1962) was born in London: his father being Alexandre Morvaren Maclean ("the God of Scarborough") who conducted the Spa Orchestra, Scarborough, and elevated it to high status as one of the finest to be heard at the seaside resorts.

 

Thus, Quentin Maclean was not only born in London, he lived there with his family and took lessons with Richard R Terry at Westminster Cathedral. Presumably (?) Aleck Maclean must have either relocated to Scarborough, or spent the summer months there.

 

In any event, Aleck Maclean was a fairly prolific composer, and his works (especially operatic works) were not only well known in England, but also in Germany apparently.

 

Aleck Maclean's father was the British light-music composer Charles Donald Maclean(1843-1916)

 

Some of the significant works written by Quentin Maclean after his studies in Leipzig with Straube and Reger, include the following:-

 

Piano Trio (1937) - d.1937

 

Trio Ricercare (1954) - d.1954

 

Stabat Mater

 

Marche Selennelle, for organ

 

Organ Concerto? (First performed by George Thalben-Ball?)

 

 

It should also be mentioned that Quentin Maclean was not only invited to play an RCO recital, he also gave the first British performance of the Hindemith Organ Concerto. Quentin Maclean also had, as his assistant theatre organist, Sidney Torch; the doyen of light music conductors, who with the late William Davies, established that very long running BBC institution, "Friday night is music night."

Although Torch more or less went into denial about his early days as a theatre organist, it was characteristic of the man that when the day came for him to retire from music, he did it in style, taking hold of his baton and greaking it in half; laying it on the music stand and departing the BBC concert orchestra with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, that was my last concert."

 

Fascinatingly, in retirement, Torch showed little interest in music; keeping his grand piano locked and unplayed, in spite of the fact that he was a true virtuoso pianist. He explained, "Music was my business, and when I retired, I retired from music."

 

In his most recent CD release, Simon Preston plays the restored organ at the Royal Albert Hall (splendidly carried out by out hosts, Mander Organs); the title of the CD being "Organ Restored."

 

Interviewed about the recording, Simon Preston (a non FRCO!) included the following:-

 

"In America the traditions of theatre organ playing are still kept very much alive. As a child I remember playing two very old records over and over again on a wind-up portable gramophone - the sort that had wooden needles which you had to keep sharpening.

 

The first was George Thalben-Ball playing The Ride of the Valkyries on the Alexandra Palace organ, and the other - equally favourite - was Quentin MacLean playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on the organ in the Odeon Marble Arch."

Simon Preston then reveals a "trade-secret" which has puzzled many of us for years:-

 

"At the age of five I could not work out how Quentin MacLean did the opening glissando in Rhapsody in Blue; apparently he used the Siren stop - useful for Cops and Robbers chases in the silent movies - switched the organ on and, when the wind went into the bellows, it produced this very smooth glissando up to the top E flat!"

 

(I love that little throw-away line, "At the age of 5, I could not work out....." :lol: )

 

So desparately trying to keep this thread on-topic, the above information links the names of Maclean and Simon Preston (as non-FRCO holders), and further links them to others who obviously were not, namely: Carl Straube, Max Reger and Paul Hindemith.

 

Presumably, (I know I shouldn't presume anything), Sir George Thalben-Ball was an FRCO, but what about R R Terry?

 

There we are Quentin....back on topic.....and I know what Santa's going to be sending me this Christmas!

 

(Just when you think these thread are wandering off-topic, they come back to haunt you!)

 

:lol:

 

MM

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

 

Absolutely right!

 

I should have known better, but anyway, I went back to the notes of a lecture I gave at Bradford University some years ago, and refreshed my memory.

 

Quentin Stuart Morvaren Maclean (1896-1962) was born in London: his father being Alexandre Morvaren Maclean ("the God of Scarborough") who conducted the Spa Orchestra, Scarborough, and elevated it to high status as one of the finest to be heard at the seaside resorts.

 

Thus, Quentin Maclean was not only born in London, he lived there with his family and took lessons with Richard R Terry at Westminster Cathedral. Presumably (?) Aleck Maclean must have either relocated to Scarborough, or spent the summer months there.

 

In any event, Aleck Maclean was a fairly prolific composer, and his works (especially operatic works) were not only well known in England, but also in Germany apparently.

 

Aleck Maclean's father was the British light-music composer Charles Donald  Maclean(1843-1916)

 

Some of the significant works written by Quentin Maclean after his studies in Leipzig with Straube and Reger, include the following:-

 

Piano Trio (1937) - d.1937

 

Trio Ricercare (1954) - d.1954

 

Stabat Mater

 

Marche Selennelle, for organ

 

Organ Concerto?  (First performed by George Thalben-Ball?)

It should also be mentioned that Quentin Maclean was not only invited to play an RCO recital, he also gave the first British performance of the Hindemith Organ Concerto. Quentin Maclean also had, as his assistant theatre organist, Sidney Torch; the doyen of light music conductors, who with the late William Davies, established that very long running BBC institution, "Friday night is music night."

Although Torch more or less went into denial about his early days as a theatre organist, it was characteristic of the man that when the day came for him to retire from music, he did it in style, taking hold of his baton and greaking it in half; laying it on the music stand and departing the BBC concert orchestra with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, that was my last concert."

 

Fascinatingly, in retirement, Torch showed little interest in music; keeping his grand piano locked and unplayed, in spite of the fact that he was a true virtuoso pianist. He explained, "Music was my business, and when I retired, I retired from music."

 

In his most recent CD release, Simon Preston plays the restored organ at the Royal Albert Hall (splendidly carried out by out hosts, Mander Organs); the title of the CD being "Organ Restored."

 

Interviewed about the recording, Simon Preston (a non FRCO!) included the following:-

 

"In America the traditions of theatre organ playing are still kept very much alive. As a child I remember playing two very old records over and over again on a wind-up portable gramophone - the sort that had wooden needles which you had to keep sharpening.

 

The first was George Thalben-Ball playing The Ride of the Valkyries on the Alexandra Palace organ, and the other - equally favourite - was Quentin MacLean playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on the organ in the Odeon Marble Arch."

Simon Preston then reveals a "trade-secret" which has puzzled many of us for years:-

 

"At the age of five I could not work out how Quentin MacLean did the opening glissando in Rhapsody in Blue; apparently he used the Siren stop - useful for Cops and Robbers chases in the silent movies - switched the organ on and, when the wind went into the bellows, it produced this very smooth glissando up to the top E flat!"

 

(I love that little throw-away line, "At the age of 5, I could not work out....." :lol: )

 

So desparately trying to keep this thread on-topic, the above information links the names of Maclean and Simon Preston (as non-FRCO holders), and further links them to others who obviously were not, namely: Carl Straube, Max Reger and Paul Hindemith.

 

Presumably, (I know I shouldn't presume anything), Sir George Thalben-Ball was an FRCO, but what about R R Terry?

 

There we are Quentin....back on topic.....and I know what Santa's going to be sending me this Christmas!

 

(Just when you think these thread are wandering off-topic, they come back to haunt you!)

 

:lol:

 

MM

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