Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

The Ubiquitous Organist


Peter Clark
 Share

Recommended Posts

Some of these recent broadcasts of Songs of Praise have been pretty dull, and yesterday's from Thaxted was luke warm to say the least. However there was one moment of interest for me and that was film of the famous(?) Red Vicar, Conrad Noel at the High Altar. What was the organ music accompanying the film? None other than the Reubke!

 

Such fun, and VERY impressive. (shame about the hymn singing!) :huh:

 

There are lots of organ pipes in that church, but there was no console shot - perhaps the filthy-dirty keys shown in the previous week's broadcast from St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London, put them off for life. It kind of puts one in mind of a conscientious mother's warning to wear clean underwear lest you should be knocked down by a bus. In this case, dear organist, remember to clean your keys lest the BBC should arrive to record Songs of Praise.

 

Hi

 

Thaxted actually has 2 pipe organs. One is an 1836 3 manual by Lincoln - see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N18436 That's the case in the North Transept that appeared in the background of one of the shots around the Morris Dance sequence (and just what was that doing in church?). This organ is almost untouched - a real historic treasure. It was recently got working to some extend and recordings are on the NPOR web site as part of the Historic Organ Sound Archive. I understand that the church have just decied to start fundraising for a historic restoration of this instrument, which is one of the oldest church organs of it's type left virtually untouched.

 

The other organ is at the West End - the pipework was visible in a number of the long shots down the Nave. It's a small single manual using G.P. England pipework and assembled by onetime local fim Cedric Arnold - see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D02744.

 

That was the instrument used for the broadcast. I did get a glimpse of the console (but only because I knew where to look) - it was positioned at the rear of the Nave just behind the singers on the South side with the player facing East - you could just see the back of the console & the music rest and organist in one of the long shots. (I knew where to look because we used to live about 15 miles from Thaxted, and I've been in the church a couple of times).

 

I suspect the background organ music on the archive film was dubbed, rather than being played on either of the Thaxted organs.

 

As you may have noticed in the broadcast, there was plenty of space left empty - Thaxted church is huge in relation to the population of the town.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Similarly most scenes that take place in or near monasteries have some ridiculously tuneless chanting going on as if monks had nothing better to do all day but sing "Ah Ah Ah" to each other.

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

 

As the current TV advert for a certain planetary chocolate bar seems to bear out.....

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
ah, well, maybe everybody's got a toaster these days? :D

 

. Don't recall much organ music in Morse, though.

 

 

I watched the episode Service for all the Dead last night; it is largerly set in a parish church where murders and suicides occur on a fairly rergular basis. It included nearly the whole of the JSB A minor prelude as well as a snatch of what I think was the Num Komm (the slow one) from the 18. At one point in the episode the church choir is singing Locus Iste (Bruckner) and you can clearly see the Peter's edition copies they ae singing from. Which choir though?

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read in a book about the "Morse" programmes that the exterior shots of the church were filmed in Bray (presumbly near the studios) but it does not say whether the interior shots were of an actual church (wouldn't it be marvellous to have a church which did still look like that!!) or whether it was a studio "mock-up". It doesn't say which choir was singing. Perhaps it was one of the Oxford college choirs earning a bit of extra cash.

 

I think Morse was one of those people - rather like Inspector Barnaby of Midsommer Murders - who one should avoid. His very presence in an area seems to provoke multiple murders.

 

Malcolm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read in a book about the "Morse" programmes that the exterior shots of the church were filmed in Bray (presumbly near the studios) but it does not say whether the interior shots were of an actual church (wouldn't it be marvellous to have a church which did still look like that!!) or whether it was a studio "mock-up". It doesn't say which choir was singing. Perhaps it was one of the Oxford college choirs earning a bit of extra cash.

 

I think Morse was one of those people - rather like Inspector Barnaby of Midsommer Murders - who one should avoid. His very presence in an area seems to provoke multiple murders.

 

Malcolm

'

 

The church in this episode seemed particularly OTT decor-wise, even for the highest of Anglo-Catholic buildings; but back to the music - I suppose there must be a way of finding out who played the organ, which choir was singing and so on. I am reminded of the Barchester series of about 12 years ago when the actor playing the choir conductor, Donald Plesance, waved hios arms about in a totally amateurish way while the real conductor was hidden from the cameras. And I don't kmow which choir that was, either!

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched the episode Service for all the Dead last night; it is largerly set in a parish church where murders and suicides occur on a fairly rergular basis. It included nearly the whole of the JSB A minor prelude as well as a snatch of what I think was the Num Komm (the slow one) from the 18. At one point in the episode the church choir is singing Locus Iste (Bruckner) and you can clearly see the Peter's edition copies they ae singing from. Which choir though?

 

Peter

I suppose then that there is at least a chance that the choir filmed was actually the one singing. Wasn't there a film made at the end of the sixties which at one point showed a student orchestra from Bristol University (conducted by Nigel Davison), but with the sound a professional orchestra dubbed over them? (DHM?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read in a book about the "Morse" programmes that the exterior shots of the church were filmed in Bray (presumbly near the studios) but it does not say whether the interior shots were of an actual church (wouldn't it be marvellous to have a church which did still look like that!!) or whether it was a studio "mock-up". It doesn't say which choir was singing. Perhaps it was one of the Oxford college choirs earning a bit of extra cash.

 

I think Morse was one of those people - rather like Inspector Barnaby of Midsommer Murders - who one should avoid. His very presence in an area seems to provoke multiple murders.

 

Malcolm

 

Hi

 

the magazine that accompanied the DVD series a couple of years ago implies that all the church scenes were filmed in that location.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose then that there is at least a chance that the choir filmed was actually the one singing. Wasn't there a film made at the end of the sixties which at one point showed a student orchestra from Bristol University (conducted by Nigel Davison), but with the sound a professional orchestra dubbed over them? (DHM?)

The main London-based fixers for film and tv session work generally won't book their top players for in-vision filming - the money isn't good enough and it's incredibly tedious work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose then that there is at least a chance that the choir filmed was actually the one singing. Wasn't there a film made at the end of the sixties which at one point showed a student orchestra from Bristol University (conducted by Nigel Davison), but with the sound a professional orchestra dubbed over them? (DHM?)

Doesn't ring any bells with me, but then I wasn't an orchestral player, so wouldn't have gotten involved anyway.

I don't remember anybody mentioning it, but it was 40+ years ago!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
In the episode Day of the Devil one character, Canon Humphrey Appleton (Richard "Pie inthe Sky" Griffiths), seems to be an organist. Can't remember what he played though.

 

Peter

 

Didn't Nicolas Kynaston play the organ in a film which I saw on TV. I think it was a Ken Russell production and the music was a transcription of Sheep May Safely Graze. In the film the organ seemed to be a very basic one- manual and I wondered how he would solo the melody when it appeared. Thanks to the miracles of film production it sounded as though it was played on a larger instrument. Perhaps a very obscure version of tracker double touch was involved...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was also an organ featured in the BBC series Jam and Jerusalem, which I believe is the parish church of North Tawton in Devon. It was rather badly (yet humorously) played by the elderly church organist (Joanna Lumley) on a number of occasions throughout the series, one such example below:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_SzRzXMak - at 4:10

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...