Home / Issues / Winter 2018-19. 386

17th Century 18th Century Organs All Saints Hastings Andreas Dreibrodt Andreas Willscher Anniversaries in 2024 Antonin Dvorak Aspire Classical Organs Axel Rouff Axel Ruoff Bach Bishops organ restoration Bishops organs Bloomsury Organ Day British Organ Music of the last Half-Century - 1970-2020 Bruckner Carson Cooma Cavaillé-Coll Charles Pearce (1905) Charles Stowe Charles Stowe (1905) Charles W. Pearce Charles William Pearce Christmas Carols City of London organ Cornelis Witthoefft César Franck Dr Brian Hick Dr Iain Quinn Dr Michal Szostak Dvorak Dvorak organ D’Arcy Trinkwon Felix Woyrsch Francis Routh Franz Liszt Franz Rieger organs French organ building in the 19th Century Frédéric Chopin Gebrüder Rieger Günter Lade Henry Hackett herbert howells Organ music Historic London organs Howard Blake Ian Venables improvisation Jan Lehtola Jan Luxembourg Jeanne Demessieux Johann Gottlob Meinert Johannus organs John Colins John Collins Kenneth Shenton Lark reviews London Organ Louis Marchand Makin Organs Margaret Phillips Medieval organ costings Michal Szostak Newton Tony Notre Dame de Paris organ Obituary Olivier Latry Organ Anniversaries in 2022 Organ Day in Bloomsbury Organist Margaret Phillips organistr organ works Percy Whitlock Peter Dickinson Regent Records Robert Matthew-Walker Short term organ hires Sir Henry Walford Davies St Alphage Burnt Oak St Andrews’ St Edmund the King Church London St Mellitus RC Church Stroud Green St Paul’s Cathedral Tom Winpenny Warren R. Johnson organist Yangchen Lin & Jerry Ng

Current Issue

Winter 2018-19. 386

The French Symphonic Organs – instruments as inspiration for the performer

Michal Szostak

From the point of view of aesthetics, as a science dealing with the so-called aesthetic situation, inspiration is an inseparable element of the initial phase of the aesthetic situation, which includes the artist (creator), creative process, work of art, the recipient, the process of art perception and aesthetic values. Inspiration (from Latin noun ‘inspiratio’ = inspiration and Latin verb ‘inspirare’ = blow in) is an encouragement to action, especially in man’s creative work.  It involves stimulating the creative process of the artist to perform a specific work of art. The opposite of inspiration is discouragement, demotivation, weakening the spirit. The phenomenon of inspiration (and “deinspiration”) can be considered as an ephemeral temporary situation (coincidence) and as a long-term process (e.g. an inspiring place).

From the point of view of the performer, sources (factors) that can be an inspiration I divide into external (objective) to the performer and internal (subjective) to the performer.

External sources of inspiration include: a) the instrument; b) interior acoustics; c) listeners (their number, their potential level of perception of a work of art); d) circumstances (concert, liturgical: great and solemn ceremony or modest morning service); e) history of the place and the characters with connected places; f) epoch-fashion-style; g) musical theme; h) musical form. WITH FULL SPECIFICATIONS

Dr Donald Hunt

Dr Brian Hick recalls a fine Elgarian

It seemed almost fitting that Donald Hunt, who spent so much of his life working with and for the Three Choirs Festival, should die on the last day of the 2018 celebrations, the Fourth of August. The concluding performance of Brahms’s German Requiem was dedicated to his memory, though it was for his many outstanding Elgar performances that he will be remembered across the three cathedral cities.

He had a direct link to Edward Elgar through his teacher and mentor Herbert Sumsion, who had been the composer’s close friend and musical confidant. “This is the way Elgar would do it,” Sumsion would say, quietly but confidently.

As Master of Choristers and Organist at Worcester Cathedral from 1975, he organised eight Three Choirs Festivals and was disappointed when retirement in 1996 meant he would no longer be able to use his many skills and sensitive experience performing Elgar at what many saw as the key Elgar meeting of the year. However his enthusiasm was not depleted and he moved on swiftly to become principal of the Elgar School of Music for a decade and then its musical adviser until 2010.

The Hastings Recitals - Thirtieth Series 2018

Patrick Cox-Smith

Hastings and its surrounding 1066 country is steeped in history with the annual All Saints organ recitals on the twenty-five speaking stop original Father Willis continuing to contribute to the legend. There are now so many stories of recitalists with distinctive memories of playing here on past occasions that a diminutive musical history could almost be written in its own right. On the opening night, the effervescent Daniel Moult added to these thoughts, regaling a large and enthusiastic audience with memories of his first Hastings recital performance as a sixteen-year-old student, having just sat his GCSE examinations, then in their infancy. Fast  forward many years and a rapt gathering enjoyed a bright interpretation of the Bach/Liszt Cantata 21 Introduction and Fugue with the great chorus to mixture once again sparkling in the generous All Saints acoustics. Mozart and the popular K608 F minor Fantasia followed and was registered with variety, demonstrating the delicate eight ft. flutes contrasted with the bite of full organ that always seems to belie the relatively small resources of this instrument – it is hard to appreciate that a 16 ft. reed does not exist on manuals or pedals, such is the cohesiveness and depth of the full coupled chorus.

A Letter from Sir Henry Wood

We recently received the following email from one of our readers with the accompanying attachment. We are grateful to Mr Wyse for permission to publish his communication, and would welcome any further information or comments on the subject from readers.

To The Organ:

Some years ago, in an antiques centre, I came across a letter of July 1937 from Henry Wood to Thomas Hewitt in connection with the lowering of the pitch of the organ at Alexandra Palace.

I think it might be of interest to some of your readers, with its added references to the organ at St Georges Hall, Liverpool and the loss of the Crystal Palace.

The letter clearly highlights the problems of organ pitch vis-à-vis that of orchestral or brass band instruments and the consequent problems of combining them in performance.

I attach a copy of the letter.

Barrie Wyse

An Organ in Memory of John Scott

John Panning

The sudden death of John Scott, at the age of 59, was a grievous loss to church music on both sides of the Atlantic. At the time of his death he was organist and choirmaster of St Thomas’ Church on Fifth Avenue in New York, whilst maintaining an active career as an international concert performer and recording artist. The recently-completed Miller-Scott Dobson organ in the Church has been named in his honour, and we are pleased to publish this background account of the instrument, by the Vice-President and Tondal Director of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, in tribute to an artist acclaimed as “the premier English organist of his generation.”

Lovers of church music have long made St Thomas’s Church Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan’s Midtown, a place of pilgrimage. Within its landmark Gothic Revival walls, the parish has forged a unique musical perspective, combining a high Anglican choral tradition with organs of French inspiration, a musical practice that strongly informed the tonal design of the Miller-Scott Dobson recently completed Opus 93. WITH FULL SPECIFICATION

Don't forget to ask for your complimentary copy today!

Why not try Musical Opinion too?

Front cover of the Musical Opinion Magazine Autumn 2023.
Front cover of the Musical Opinion Magazine Winter 2022.
Front cover of the Musical Opinion Magazine Summer 2023.

In continuous production since 1877 our sister publication Musical Opinion is the longest serving continually published classical music magazine in the world. Published quarterly the magazine features fascinating articles, news, views, reviews and previews from the world of classical music.