Viscount Organs http://viscountorgans.net The UK's leading Digital Church Organ specialist Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:20:23 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 The Move to Vimeo http://viscountorgans.net/the-move-to-vimeo/ http://viscountorgans.net/the-move-to-vimeo/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11:05:36 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8822 In the last weeks before Christmas I have been listening to the previews of Hymn of the Month and the Regent Classic Tutorial videos. To speed up the process of review the files are sometimes ‘compressed’ by the various delivery systems in differing ways and I have been conscious for the first time of how this data reduction can degrade the quality of the reproduction I am listening to.

I have as well recently upgraded the speaker system attached to my PC and use an active set of speakers made by Logitech. They cost about £35.00 but really do deliver a good quality sound.

Logitech PC speakersAs we strive for and achieve, especially with ‘Physis’-based organs, an ever improving digital recreation of a pipe organ this experience spurred me on to ensure that as far as possible we lose very little of the original recorded quality in what ends up at your end of the internet connection.

As a result we have moved a lot of our previously published material to Vimeo where as I understand it the bit rates are allowed to be considerably higher than on YouTube. All future internet published video material will now be delivered on Vimeo.

If there is, as no doubt there will be, a better way of ensuring that these reach you with as little data reduction as possible before you listen to them then we will work out how to do that as well.

Being able to hear this does partly depend on what speakers or headphones you finally listen with. Take my tip and spoil yourself with a good set of speakers or headphones to add to your PC! You’ll then be able to hear our organs in all their glory.

If you’d like to watch our first edition of our hymn of the month for 2017 on Vimeo, click here to read the blog and watch the video.

Do tell us what you think!

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Recital St Mary Witney Saturday 28th January at 7pm http://viscountorgans.net/recital-st-mary-witney-saturday-28th-january-at-7pm/ http://viscountorgans.net/recital-st-mary-witney-saturday-28th-january-at-7pm/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:30:51 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8749 An Organ Recital given by Francis Rumsey will take place on Saturday 28th January 2017 at 7pm in aid of the St Mary’s roof restoration fund.

Francis Rumsey is the organist at St Mary Witney. As well as an accomplished player Francis is an audio engineer and former professor who will illustrate the programme with interesting information about the pieces and their composers.

The programme will consist of both traditional organ pieces and transcriptions covering a variety of tuneful styles. For further programme details read below and for a story of the organ restoration carried out a couple of years ago CLICK HERE.

Raise the roof St Mary

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[Hymn of the Month] We Three Kings http://viscountorgans.net/we-three-kings/ http://viscountorgans.net/we-three-kings/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 14:28:45 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8400 The first tune of this year’s Hymn of the Month series is the famous hymn “We Three Kings”. It is also commonly known as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” or “The Quest of the Magi”, and is a Christmas carol written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. (1820 – 1891). Hopkins wrote the words and music to the hymn as part of a Christmas pageant in New York for his nieces and nephews. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns and Songs in 1863.

Hopkins was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,john_henry_hopkins_jr the son of John Henry Hopkins, an Episcopal bishop from Dublin. Young John Henry graduated from the University of Vermont in 1839. He started his professional career working as a reporter in New York City while also studying law. However, it seemed that he soon settled on a different career path when he enrolled at General Theological Seminary in New York City. He graduated in 1850 and the very same year he was ordained a deacon. In 1853 he founded the publication Church Journal and served as its editor until 1868. It was during this period that he wrote “We Three Kings” (1857). He was ordained a priest in 1872 and later became rector of Trinity Church. He died at a friend’s home near Hudson, New York, August 14, 1891.

It could be said that John Henry Hopkins Jr. was a bit of a one-hit-wonder as he is really most famous for writing this Christmas carol. However, it is worth a mention that he was a man of many talents and also wrote other carols, hymns and songs. His most important musical publication was his collection, Carols, Hymns and Songs (1863-1887). In addition to being a composer he was also a writer and poet, and edited numerous articles and books.

This hymn is most appropriate for Epiphany, and may be one of the first songs to come to mind about the story of the magi in Matthew 2. There are five stanzas and a refrain. The opening stanza is about the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem. The next three stanzas elaborate on the meaning of each of the 3 gifts, while the final stanza is a celebration that Christ has come. Many versions of this song have been composed and it remains a popular Christmas carol around the world.

This is played on a custom built Envoy 23-S, which is a very popular church instrument.

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on an instrument based on our  Envoy 23-S. A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 23 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. The standard 23-S organ has a 30 note pedal board while the instrument in the film has a 32 note board. For more information have a look at the specifications here.

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RCO Academy: “The Conservatoire Experience” http://viscountorgans.net/rco-academy-the-conservatoire-experience-11-feb-17/ http://viscountorgans.net/rco-academy-the-conservatoire-experience-11-feb-17/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:22:26 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8698 This will be of interest to all teenage organists! This is a one-day programme on 11 February 2017 to pursue their organ playing through higher education.

The British Conservatoires – The Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music, Trinity College of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – set the standard for organists to develop their performing skills to the highest levels as part of a degree course. All feature teachers who are at the top of their game in the competitive world of professional music-making, coupled with fabulous facilities and opportunities.

You will be hosted by Henry Fairs (Head of Organ, Birmingham Conservatoire) with help from Daniel Moult (Birmingham’s Associate Head of Organ) and James Parsons  (RCO Academy and visiting tutor at Birmingham) at the Birmingham Conservatoire. You enjoy:

  • hands-on tuition through classes taught by Henry, Dan and James
  • recitals by Birmingham Conservatoire organ students; AND the chance to meet and chat to them
  • hearing the latest about Birmingham’s brand-new, state-of-the-art conservatoire building and its organ facilities (opening September 2017)

Here’s a virtual tour of the conservatoire building:


You can read more by going to the RCO website here (where you can book online).

During the programme, you will also have the opportunity to play:

Pricing for the day is £40 for RCO Student members and £45 for all other full time students. (More information here).

Image credit: Taken from Birmingham Town Hall website.

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Our Range of Organ Speakers http://viscountorgans.net/organ-speakers/ http://viscountorgans.net/organ-speakers/#respond Sat, 07 Jan 2017 05:00:32 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8297 With our organ audio management recently extended to be able to spread the stops over 28 independent audio channels plus bass we have extraordinary flexibility to manage sound delivery in your church or concert hall and so we have invested in developing speaker cabinets acoustically tuned to optimise the sound for individual stop families.

speakers-4As you see from the pictures within this blog these speaker cabinets are multi directional in the HF range projecting sound in two planes at 90 degrees to each other. This is of great assistance where the speaker enclosure is of limited size as even then the listener is hearing direct and indirect sound, which combines to give a more credible and pleasing effect. The multi-directional feature of the loudspeaker enables audio energy to be radiated in a more diffused fashion, improving the blend between the loudspeakers and building acoustic, thereby delivering a more natural tonal character of the organ

speaker-view-of-drivers-with-dimensions_640

Multi Purpose Speaker with Dimension

Additionally the cabinets have been tuned to be most sympathetic to the sound of the organ voice they seek to reproduce. Reeds need greater power across a wide range of frequencies especially as pitch rises, so a loudspeaker has been developed to emulate the “en-chamade” effect and directionality of these bold stops by the use of a controlled dispersion high frequency drive unit. String tones on the other hand require subtle clarity at much lower power levels resulting in a model of loudspeaker with wide dispersion and smooth overall response.speaker-box_320

With 28 channels available and the ability to send any stop to any one or more of the 28 channels we are now more able to select speaker cabinets to match the voices they will handle and so establish the most realistic yet voicing of any digital pipe organ.

If you are considering a digital organ for your church or concert hall and want the very best result possible you really have to explore a Viscount Physical Modelling instrument, matched now with an unrivaled range of specialist speakers to deliver the full excitement of instruments only previously achieved with real pipes.

To view all our organ speaker options click on THIS LINK

 

 

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Organ Hire for Bury St Edmunds Organ Day http://viscountorgans.net/organ-hire-st-edmundsbury-cathedral/ http://viscountorgans.net/organ-hire-st-edmundsbury-cathedral/#respond Mon, 12 Dec 2016 04:36:58 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8025 As ever, we do enjoy a challenge and generally it comes in the direction of SOS organ hires. We received a call from James Thomas the Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He was up against it and at very short notice needed to hire an organ for an event in the choir school which was happening within 3 days (on Saturday…his call came in on the Wednesday before).

Teaching session

Dr Gordon Stewart in a teaching session with our organ in place

It seems that confirmation of arrangements made with another company had got overlooked and the organ that was thought to be hired was no longer available. We were pleased to be able to help on this occasion and ensure that the choir school went ahead as planned. James was relieved and the attendees were none the wiser.

Organ hire seems to be a growing part of our activity and we currently have seven instruments out for the most part covering pipe organ rebuilds. These recently include:-

  • Manchester Cathedral
  • St Mary’s Ware
  • St Brides Fleet Street
  • Llandaff Cathedral
  • St Mary’s Findon
  • Dean Close School
  • St Peter – ad -Vincula Coggeshall
  • St Paul’s Brighton
  • St Leonard’s Hastings
  • Holy Saviour Church Tynemouth
  • St Mary’s Reigate

We also provide instruments for weddings funerals and concerts where pipe organs are not available or just not up to the particular service repertoire that has been requested.

This emergency request was one we just had to fulfil. We are desperately short of organists in the UK and any opportunity to encourage more musicians onto the bench needs support. This course was being given by the well known organist Dr Gordon Stewart who you see in the picture above.

So by Friday lunchtime we had our 2 manual Envoy 35-F installed in the choir school and the event could proceed. As you see it was a wonderful sunny afternoon. The sun shines on the righteous who in this case were also church musicians!

The sun shines in

The sun shines in

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Diary of a page turner | The Willis at Oxford Town Hall http://viscountorgans.net/diary-of-a-page-turner-the-willis-at-oxford-town-hall/ http://viscountorgans.net/diary-of-a-page-turner-the-willis-at-oxford-town-hall/#respond Sat, 10 Dec 2016 05:00:25 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8281 This post is part of a series where I share some of my world travels, which my love for organs has taken me. I help friends, associates and fellow organ lovers with projects that mean I get to see new and old organs in gorgeous settings and really experiment with this instrument.

Those of you who have read my earlier blogs in this series will recall that they all have been for CD recordings. On this occasion I was turning and registering for a live concert which is altogether a more pressured challenge, especially at the Oxford Town Hall organ where one needs the additional skill of a tightrope walker.

The Willis Organ

The Willis built in 1897 has 4 manuals but just a single thumb piston which after about 3 seconds of holding in pneumatically brings out Great to Pedal. So it is of no practical use at all! The organist can get at 8 combination pedal levers (4 Swell and 4 Great) that are of some help but as the swell shutter ‘lever’ is so awkward, requiring a toe to be got under it to move it up to close the box, it takes full concentration to do that. As pulling up with the right foot is not a comfortable movement whilst trying to push down with the left the use of these levers is fraught with challenge. This a really good example of an instrument that could benefit from the addition of modern playing aids. Yes of course it would ‘change the experience’ but it would make life at the console for the unassisted organist a joy, and the page turner would not mind either!

willis-organ-4-manuals And so at this organ much of the registration is left to the page turner, but here is the additional difficulty. The organ bench is just 6 inches away from the terrace edge with a drop of about 2 ft down to the next level so moving from side to side requires a crab like gate to ensure you do not fall backwards into thin air. It must be a strange sight to the audience as the assistant shuffles from left to right, sometimes at speed, trying to adjust the stops and turn the pages as well. Happily it went quite well and only on one occasion did some loose papers fly off the music desk as all this pantomime was in progress.

willis-pedal-board-and-setter-leverswillis-organ-left-and-right-jambsConcert Time

I was there to help Francis Rumsey get through the lunchtime concert which is part of a monthly series the town hall put on. I was there many years ago to page turn and today there still remains a rather quaint flavour to these concerts. The seating is set up against a series of trestle tables (picture below) where the audience is expected, as many indeed do, to eat their picnic lunches. A great urn of coffee sits on a trolley at the rear of the ballroom where a selection of biscuits is also provided all of which is included in the £5 entrance fee. Were it not for the refreshments one might think the room was set up as an overflow for the examination schools and any minute a cohort of gowned students would appear to sit a demanding test paper.

oxford-town-hall_640I imagine these concerts have gone on in this same way for many decades, genteel respectful quiet attendance broken only by the occasional clink of a spoon stirring the coffee or a knife cutting a home made sandwich with a 5 minute interval at half time to refresh the coffee cups. So typically Oxford!

attentive-audience_640The Programme

The programmes for these events err on the lighter side of the repertoire and Francis’s selection fitted this and the magnificent organ well. This is a delightful Willis with magnificent fiery reeds that were his signature and a Tuba (although the stop head says Tromba) on the Solo that would part your hair.

Francis started with a charming Handel Organ Concerto, No 2 in B flat, a light hearted dancing piece exploiting the contrast of flutes and principals available on all 3 main manuals. No registration work there for the page turner, so a nice gentle warm up for both musician and assistant.

Next an arrangement of the Tchaikovsky Polonaise from Eugene Onegin got feet tapping and introduced the audience of about 50 or so to the Willis reeds and brought my crab like side shuffle into play.

Next I was introduced to a new piece, the Introduction and Passacaglia by Alcock. By a strange twist of fate his great grand daughter lives in Witney and she was present in the audience.

alcock-scoreA short interval followed and the concert continued with the Mozart Fantasia in F minor, in places horribly difficult as it was written for a mechanical clock that clearly had at least 3 hands as at times 15 fingers are needed to play all the notes. The conclusion was one of my favourites the finale from Guilmant’s first organ sonata which is a real corker of a piece. Guilmant’s organ output is immense and happily much of it is not too difficult. I use it a lot pre and post services as it even works well on the rather poor single manual instruments in the churches where I play on Sundays, when I can’t think of an excuse to pass the joy of trying to get a good tune out of the rather old and badly maintained village pipe organs at my disposal. But that is another story that I can bore you on at length in a future blog.

By the way you may have seen Francis delivering our You Tube films that explain all the features on the Viscount Physis organs. If you have not yet had a look you can find them here.

Francis is a man of precision and the concert concluded at about 2 minutes to one o’clock. Perfect timing and so off to the White Horse on the Broad for a well earned pie and a pint!

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[Hymn of the Month] God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen http://viscountorgans.net/god-rest-ye-merry-gentlemen/ http://viscountorgans.net/god-rest-ye-merry-gentlemen/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:18:43 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8104 Our final tune in this year’s series is befittingly the old English traditional Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”. The composer is unknown but there are records of it being sung within the Christian Church since the 15th century. The hymn was first put into print in 1760 but made available to a wider audience when William B. Sandy included a version of it in his publication Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833). It has since been added to various hymnals and carol books.

“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” is written with an upbeat melody and speaking of the birth of Jesus in joyful terms. During the 15th century most religious songs were quite sombre and dark and offered little inspiration or joy so this song may have shocked church leaders but it certainly inspired the people. Crossing the ocean to both Europe and America, the carol later became a favourite throughout the Christian world and it is still sung in much the same way as it was hundreds of years ago.Christmas flora with gold bauble decorations, holly, ivy and winter greenery.

In many respects, this is a deeply misunderstood carol. Part of the problem is punctuation, and part of the problem is the use of archaic words, specifically “rest” and “merry”. The word Rest means to keep or make and the adjective Merry had a wider meaning of prosperous, pleasant or joyful in early modern English. The sentence could possibly be rewritten as “God give you peace, gentlemen” or “God grant you joy, gentle ones”.

The song was famously referred to in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. In the below paragraph from the classic book, Ebenezer Scrooge chases away a Christmas caroller as he tries to sing the song in front of his house; “…at the first sound of ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’ Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost”. With this we leave you to hopefully have a slightly less adventurous Christmas than Scrooge and may it instead be Joyful, Peaceful and bring you lots of Happiness!

This is played on our Envoy 35-F , which is a very popular church instrument.

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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Three Organs of York http://viscountorgans.net/three-organs-of-york/ http://viscountorgans.net/three-organs-of-york/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:04:39 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8143 Towards the end of September we were making another DVD in Selby Abbey and staying near York so it was too good an opportunity to pass by visiting some of the very fine churches in the city. Also never having played York Minster it seemed an ideal time to see if we could have some time on the Minster organ and to my very great delight a private hour was available after prayer on Monday evening.

York Minster

The anticipation of being allowed to play on such a large instrument in a huge acoustic is impossible to exaggerate. A very special privilege indeed. Arriving at the west door as instructed at 5.30pm you will imagine my dismay to find it firmly shut and no amount of knocking caught anybodies attention. So a smart sprint round to the south side with heart racing was rewarded with the signs of a door through which people were leaving and which it was possible to slip in. Great relief all round.

 

A few minutes later we were met by assistant organist Jeremy and guided up the stairs to the loft console. I had been advised that playing the organ was more interesting from the nave console and so after a few minutes experiencing the full drama of the loft console, contemplating the many great and good that had made the very same climb, an offer to explore the instrument from the nave was taken up.

David Mason, York Minster

York Minster Loft Jamb

The nave console duplicates exactly the loft console and sits on a massive plinth that is initially a little disconcerting as it moves very gently from side to side. The first challenge is just where to begin exploring such a large array of voices and with time limited I expect most would do what I did and rely on the pistons as set. With of course a detailed listen to the three tubas available! Imagine that luxury, with the big tuba on a scale that might suit a small cruise liner as its fog horn. The Cocker Tuba tune could have been written for it! With all this an hour passes very quickly!

York Minster, Nave console

The other abiding memory will be the acoustic. As an average player I was delighted how the building helps cover up the lack of legato touch and slips that I will inevitably make. I initially felt more accomplished but you soon realise that putting the musicality into performance in the space requires infinitely better technique than at first is apparent. What a great evening out. Thank you all for the opportunity to experience the wonderful Minster and its Organ.

Our next two visits were arranged by Maxamillion Elliot who was turning the pages for our DVD recording. Max is researching the organ makers of York in the 17 and 18 hundreds, apparently a time where there were over 40 different organ builders in the city. He is also the organist at St Olaves which boasts the next largest organ in York after the Minster and which we visited next. The current St Olave’s dates from the 1460 rebuilding of an earlier church on the site.

St Olave's Church

St Olave's Church Organ

This too is a Walker instrument from 1907 so very much the same era as the core of the Minster organ. Max is a very enthusiastic organist and while St Olave’s instrument is in good condition there are plans to improve and extend the versatility the instrument brings to the choral works performed at St Olave’s. As you see this is a nice 3 manual instrument with versatility improved with some sub/super octave couplers allowing some stops to be used at different pitch with the unison off feature.

Our final visit was to All Saints North Street which is renowned for its medieval glass windows. These are truly magnificent as is much of the church woodwork some of which was sadly lost in a fire that damaged the east end of the south aisle. You can see a wooden angel badly blackened by fire in the roof structure where the fire was finally stopped before taking the full extent of the south aisle.

All Saints Church

The organ here is a sweet 2 manual freestanding tracker instrument at the rear of the church recently built by Principal Pipe Organs of York. It speaks well into the building and is perhaps a little unusual as it is fitted with a cymbelstern.

Image of York, courtesy of: davidionut / 123RF Stock Photo

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[Hymn of the Month] Thaxted by Gustav Holst http://viscountorgans.net/thaxted-gustav-holst/ http://viscountorgans.net/thaxted-gustav-holst/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 10:15:03 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8084 This month’s hymn tune, Thaxted, is taken from the middle section of “Jupiter”, one of the seven movements in the orchestral suite “The Planets” by Gustav Theodore Holst (1874 –1934). Holst adapted the theme from Jupiter to suit the patriotic poem “I Vow to Thee, my Country”, by Cecil Spring-Rice (1859–1918), which honours the soldiers who died during World War I. The hymn tune was named after Thaxted the English village in Essex, where Holst resided for a large portion of his later life.

Gustav Holst ComposerHolst was an English composer and teacher born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. With at least one professional musician in each of the previous three generations on his father’s side, some might say he was destined to follow the same path. Holst was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School between 1886 and 1891 and it was also around this time he started composing piano pieces, organ voluntaries, songs and anthems. After spending a few months in Oxford studying he was accepted into Royal College of Music and moved to London. Unable to support himself by his compositions he played the trombone professionally. Later he became a teacher and was a pioneer in music education for women at St Paul’s Girls’ School, where he taught from 1905 until his death in 1934.

Holst’s distinctive style was the product of many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss being most crucial early in his development. He is really best known for The Planets but also composed a large number of other works across a range of genres. From its premiere to the present day, this suite has been ever popular and influential as well as widely performed in different settings. For example, the music has frequently been used for sporting events as an instrumental or as a song with alternative lyrics, for example the Rugby World Cup anthem “World in Union” first sung in 1991 by Kiri te Kanawa.

Thaxted was also a favourite hymn with Princess Diana and was sung at her wedding and sadly also later at her funeral.

This is played on our Envoy 35-F , which is a very popular church instrument.

 

 

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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My turn on the newly restored Willis Pipe Organ http://viscountorgans.net/my-turn-on-the-newly-restored-willis-pipe-organ/ http://viscountorgans.net/my-turn-on-the-newly-restored-willis-pipe-organ/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:21:45 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8126 I had great fun playing the newly restored Willis organ at St Mary & St Giles in Stony Stratford in September this year.

The organ has just had a £250,000 major overhaul by F H Browne & Sons which included adding 4 stops that had been prepared for, but never made, and also replacing a 16 ft Waldhorn that had been stolen in 1962 when the organ was in St Georges Church in Edinburgh for whom it was originally made. The restoration work also included the manufacture of 2 new pipe cases, the organ sitting in chambers on the north and south side of the west end with console on the gallery in between.

Willis Organ JambsIt is a great credit to the local community that such a huge sum was raised to restore the organ with a substantial part of the funding coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Part of HLF grant aid often depends upon the community benefit that will be derived from the project. I am really pleased in this case to see that this will come from use of the pipe organ as part of a general musicals education programme, but with a specific mission to bring the pipe organ to the attention of youngsters and also make it available for anybody to play (subject to reasonable care).

So here is a sadly all too rare location where the doors are wide open to players in great contrast to the attitude I so often met as a youngster (a long time ago now!) which was – KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR ORGAN! To take advantage of this lovely instrument you can book a visit at visits@musicforallsmsg.org. Donations of £5.00 per hour are requested which is a tiny amount to contribute for the use of such a comprehensive and historic instrument.

Willis Organ Rocker Tabs

Willis was known for the fiery style of his reeds and this instrument is no exception to that tradition. So if you are interested in playing, or want to use the instrument for teaching, or just curious as to what makes a fine organ, the Willis at St Giles is a good place to start the journey.

There is also a festival once a year so keep an eye out for that in September 2017. To keep in touch with events at St Giles visit www.musicforallsmsg.org.

Willis Organ Spec

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Lyle Kirk Greenock Sunday October 23rd at 3.00pm http://viscountorgans.net/lyle-kirk-greenock-sunday-october-23rd-at-3-00pm/ http://viscountorgans.net/lyle-kirk-greenock-sunday-october-23rd-at-3-00pm/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:36:19 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8120 Regent Classic jpeg 1Local musician John Bell is giving another recital on our custom built 3 manual Regent installed by Soundtech Classical Organs of Irvine in Lyle Kirk.
John will present a jaunty programme of music including Lefebure-Wely Sortie in E flat and Penguins Playtime by Ogden. John will also play the great Bacha D minor Toccata and Fugue plus other works by Camidge, June Nixon and Noel Rawsthorne.

 

Our instrument has been installed in the pipe organ case which required removal of the pipe organ keyboards. Otherwise the instrument remains intact and we hope in years to come the church may find the energy and money to see  the instrument restored. Meanwhile a very fine player who was struggling against overwhelming problems with the pipe organ can once again contribute properly to the worship and musical life of the church.

Please do go and support John. You will be delighted by his playing and our instrument will do a very good job as well!

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[Hymn of the Month] Darwall’s 148th by John Darwall http://viscountorgans.net/darwall148-john-darwall/ http://viscountorgans.net/darwall148-john-darwall/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 15:42:00 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8077 Darwall’s 148th or simply Darwall as it is sometimes known is the tune featured this month. The is an especially confident and optimistic tune with the resounding ascent of the final line, was composed by Reverend John Darwall (1731–1789). It was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William’s New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts.

Mystery silhouette of John DarwallDarwall was an English clergyman, composer and poet born in the little village of Haughton in Staffordshire. He first attended Manchester Grammar School, and then at age 14 he was accepted to Brasenose College at Oxford University, where he graduated in 1756. First he became a curate and then later appointed Vicar of St. Matthew’s Parish in Walsall, where he lived the rest of his life until he died in December 1789.

Darwall wrote many of the tunes for the New Version of the Psalms of David by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady (or Tate and Brady as they commonly referred to). However, he is really best known for his setting of Psalm 148, which is most often sung to the words “Rejoice the Lord is King” (Charles Wesley) or “Ye holy angels bright” (Richard Baxter). Otherwise an accomplished amateur musician, he also wrote hymns and poetry regularly published in “The Gentleman’s Magazine” – which was a modern (for its time) monthly digest of news and commentary on any topic that educated the public.

It appears that there is no known portrait image of Darwall hence the use of a silhouette in this post. Perhaps you know of one? If you do please let us know so we can fill this gap of historical information.

This is played on our Envoy 35-F , which is a very popular church instrument.

 

 

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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Hidden Heroes of the Organ World http://viscountorgans.net/hidden-heroes-of-the-organ-world/ http://viscountorgans.net/hidden-heroes-of-the-organ-world/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:32:11 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=7996 Recently, while I was setting up a blog post on the Regent Classic web site to promote the 6 recitals that Joseph Nolan will play for us this year, I remembered that I must get them listed on www.organrecitals.com and this got me thinking.

Management of web sites as they grow gets ever more time consuming and complex. Keeping them up to date is a burden and people expect a real time platform to be just that in a way that printed publications are forgiven. So the sheer enormity of the task that faces Stephen Smith, who runs the site, suddenly came home to me. And this is a job that he does at his own expense and for no commercial reward.

There are in many walks of life very generous and quiet individuals who just get on with a task because it needs to be done and they are totally absorbed by the interest they serve. Stephen is one such person.

No one can doubt that the world of organ music needs its champions to draw attention to the fabulous instruments we have, the musicians that play them and the music written for them. Past names such as Carlo Curley and Virgil Fox come to mind as perhaps today a little controversially does Cameron Carpenter. (He is pictured below, from his Instagram account, showing some youngsters his dazzling custom organ.)

With Michael last night in Newport News! Everyone’s invited to see the organ when there’s time, but especially the young ones.

A photo posted by Cameron Carpenter (@cameronorganist) on

The front of house heroes are easy to list but what of the back stage crew? Raising the profile of the art, be it playing, restoring teaching or building has never been more important and I am sure there are more people like Stephen out there getting quietly on with a valuable job who deserve our thanks and recognition.

So I thought for starters you should know a little more about Stephen and the web site.

The birth of Organrecitals.com

The list of concerts now known as organrecitals.com dates back to 2002 when it started life as ophicleide.org

It started as a list of recitals Stephen wanted to go to. Computers were commonplace by then and it seemed logical to keep his list online, rather than in a paper diary – which he was prone to lose. It meant he could look at the list when away from home and, also, people could see what recitals he was thinking of going to. Quite quickly some organists took exception to their concerts not being on the list! Stephen therefore started including all the concerts he was told about and secretly marked the ones that he intended to go to. He still uses that secret mark today. By 2004, he had received a number of complaints saying it was difficult to spell “ophicleide” and, as a result, the site became organrecitals.com

The format of entries – venue details on the left, organist info on the right, and a picture of the venue in the middle – was established early on, as was the colour-coding for days.

Organrecital.com

Snapshot of the page listing for Organists

Organrecitals.com

Snapshot of recital listings

Coloured bands denoting recitals starting the morning, at lunchtime, etc. came later. Other features have come and gone, e.g. links to CDs were ditched because he was spending too much time adding new ones and checking for/deleting out-of-date ones.

The day to day running

Running the site is mainly a one-man show but about twice-a-year when he gets stumped by something-or-other he calls upon my technical adviser, Stephen Walmsley, whose programming experience he acknowledges is light years ahead. Stephen W showed him how to automate the site in 2005. Until that point, he had been creating the content longhand, as it were and, frankly, it was driving him to distraction. It now takes mere seconds to list a recital and have it displayed on all of the appropriate pages (instead of having to write it for each of those pages). Setting things up for a venue that hasn’t previously appeared on the site takes about half-an-hour – but once it’s done, it doesn’t need to be done again.

Some interesting numbers

Here are some fascinating number facts for you which Stephen has been formally recording since April 2005:

  • almost 1,700 venues have been listed on the site
  • 3,000-plus organists have been featured performers
  • 39,000 recitals have been played
  • 4,000 concerts per year are listed
  • and around 1.5 million of its pages are viewed annually.

The site, quite understandably, is now “part of the organ establishment” and thanks to the energy and skill Stephen has put into this project, (just because he wanted to), many people have a fountain of information at their finger tips. So perhaps the next challenge will be to add in the rest of the world when Stephen can find a few more spare hours.

What else does Stephen get up to?

Stephen is also well-known as the author of two comprehensive books, totalling more than 600 pages, about the seven-manual Atlantic City Convention Hall organ. He has also penned dozens of articles on that subject for various organ journals and is the instrument’s Honorary Curator In Perpetuity.

Do you know anybody who also quietly does do much for the organ world and deserves a huge thank you? And we do thank you Stephen – for all that you do!

Who else do you know that adds so much of their time to contribute to the Organ World and rarely gets the recognition? Comment below, drop me an email or message me on Facebook.

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RCO Academy – a half-term treat for young organists http://viscountorgans.net/rco-academy-a-half-term-treat-for-young-organists/ http://viscountorgans.net/rco-academy-a-half-term-treat-for-young-organists/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:33:07 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=6072 The RCO Academy are running courses from Friday 28 Oct to Sunday 30 October (in the Autumn half term) for young organists and pianists. These are generously supported by The GMC Trust, The Williams Church Music Trust and The William Haddon Charitable Foundation.

There are two courses to choose from:

“Find your feet” 

This is for early steps in organ playing and ideal for youngsters between 8 and 15 years old. (Organists and pianists wanting to try playing the organ).

“Build your skills”

For teenage organists, grades 5 to 8, designed to build style and technique.

The course price includes:

  • friendly, fun residential course – fully checked and qualified pastoral staff
  • Youth Hostel (YHA) accommodation in central Edinburgh
  • inspired hands-on tuition in small classes, playing simply fabulous pipe organs all over the City
  • perform in Student Concert at St Andrews and St George’s West— get feedback and DVD souvenir
  • time out!
  • make music—make friends—a brilliant half-term break in a beautiful, lively city!

For more information on bursaries available, as well as easy online booking facility go to: RCO Academy Half-term Courses page or email James Parsons directly to find out more.

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Willis Pipe Organ Festival 8 to 11 September 2016 http://viscountorgans.net/willis-pipe-organ-festival-8-to-11-september-2016/ http://viscountorgans.net/willis-pipe-organ-festival-8-to-11-september-2016/#respond Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:52:32 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8041

We are pleased to share with you the details of this special Festival which will celebrate the Willis Pipe Organ being fully restored after a decade of fundraising. This is the fourth Willis Pipe Organ Festival – the first three were part of fundraising efforts for the full restoration of the organ.

After a total of £250,000 later, the organ is finally fully refurbished, in glorious voice and, most importantly, ready to be played!

Our very own Jonathan Kingston is the Festival Director and he says what makes this such a special instrument and this particular festival so historic, is that:

“The Henry Willis’s family firm is to organ building what Rolls-Royce is to cars. Henry Willis organs grace buildings such as Hereford, Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedral. The Willis legacy is internationally know to be without equal – crafted from the highest quality materials and boldly yet beautifully voiced, creating a delightful sound for both performer and listener.”

Willis Pipe Organ

Willis Pipe Organ

What does the festival entail?

There are three very special evening events – organ pops, silent movie and masterworks – plus free daytime talks, workshops and recitals. There’s something for everyone in the Festival programme. Bring the family and find out more about this very special pipe organ.

Where is the Festival taking place?

In the historic coaching town of Stony Stratford, in the northern part of Milton Keynes.

The organ concerts themselves will be held at St Mary’s & St Gile’s Church, Church Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes. Download a leaflet with the full programme details here > Willis Organ Festival Leaflet 2016, or find out more on the Music For All website.

The Highlights:

  • Open Church with Photo Exhibition – Thursday 8th, Friday 9th, Sunday 11th Sept
  • Lunchtime Recital (FREE) – Friday 9th – played by organ scholar Jacob Collins
  • Workshop ‘Beginner’s Guide to the Organ’ (FREE) – Friday 9th Sept
  • Organ Pops (Showpiece) by Jonathan Kingston – Tickets £10 – Friday 9th Sept
  • Workshop ‘Family Jam’ (FREE) – Saturday 10th Sept
  • Teddy Bear’s Picnic Family Concert (FREE) – Saturday 10th Sept
  • Silent Movie – Tickets £7 – Saturday 10th Sept. Donald MacKenzie playing the Odeon Cinema Organ
  • Sunday morning Mass – all welcome
  • ‘Get to know our Willis’ – FREE Talk on Sunday 11th Sept
  • ‘Hands on our Willis’ – FREE drop in to try it yourself – Sunday 11th Sept
  • Sunday Night Masterworks – Concert at £10 a ticket with Roger Sayer playing

Booking and Parking information

Please read all the programme information to see which events need booking and which need tickets >Willis Organ Festival Leaflet 2016. There is ample local free parking in Stony Stratford, just go to www.stonystratford.co.uk to look for a map of the town and car parks. For more information please contact events@musicforallsmsg.org.

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[Hymn of the Month] Golden Sheaves by Sir Arthur Sullivan http://viscountorgans.net/golden-sheaves-arthur-sullivan/ http://viscountorgans.net/golden-sheaves-arthur-sullivan/#respond Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:35:34 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=8033 Sir Albert Sulliivan

Sir Arthur Sullivan, image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Our tune this month is Golden Sheaves, composed by the very popular man of his time (and ours) Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900). Sullivan was a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) and an English composer. William Chatterton Dix (1837 – 1898) wrote the words to “To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise” that accompanies this tune.

Sullivan is the musician part of the Gilbert and Sullivan duo who formed a partnership that can be compared to Tim Rice and Lloyd Webber of their era. Gilbert’s lyrics were made to shine when combined with Sullivan’s music and their collaboration resulted in great operatic pieces such as “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

Sullivan wrote his first composition at the age of eight but really began to flourish under the training of the Reverend Thomas Helmore, master of the choristers at Chapel Royal. Helmore encouraged the young Sullivan’s composing talent and arranged for one of his pieces, “O Israel”, to be published in 1855, Sullivan’s first published work. To add to his early accolades in 1856, the Royal Academy of Music awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship to the then 14-year-old Sullivan, allowing him to study first at the Academy and then in Germany, at the Leipzig Conservatoire.

Sullivan went on to complete works that included 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous hymns and other church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. The best known of his hymns and songs include “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “The Lost Chord” which he wrote while at the bedside of his dying brother, Fred. Sullivan was knighted for his contributions to music in 1883.

This is played on our Envoy 35-F , which is a very popular church instrument.

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jonathan plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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The RCO Organ Scholar Experience http://viscountorgans.net/the-rco-organ-scholar-experience/ http://viscountorgans.net/the-rco-organ-scholar-experience/#respond Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:31:24 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=7930 On a magnificent summer day in late July the RCO had invited a group of supporters to join them at a lunchtime reception in Trinity College to observe part of the ‘Organ Scholar Experience’ course taking place over 5 days at various colleges and also nearby Ely Cathedral.

We gathered near midday in ‘the old kitchens’ a short walk across the main court (that’s quadrangles to those of us that went to the other place) from the main entrance. Trinity main court (pictured below) is famous as the location of the race against the college clock portrayed in the film Chariots of Fire although this strangely was filmed in Eton College. Many have tried to run the 341 metres around the court in the 43 seconds that it takes to strike 12 o’clock but only two people are believed to have actually completed the run in the time.

Trinity Court

This day was too hot to consider jogging it so I made my way to the old kitchens only to bump into past RCO President and my old organ teacher Catherine Ennis. She was leaving the men’s room as I was entering where upon I received a small lecture to check the signage more carefully. A rare occasion when I could be certain my teacher was wrong and her mistake recognised as Catherine checked the signage on leaving the facilities. One up to the boys!

A convivial group from far and wide met for a light lunch and update on RCO news. This year’s course was attended by over 40 students, a near record number which was encouraging. Many from overseas and some were returning students much closer to university entrance.

RCO Organ Scholar Experience Guests

After lunch we moved to the chapel for a recital on the college chapel organ (pictured below, view from the west).

Trinity Organ, viewed from the west

Trinity Organ, viewed from the west

The original instrument was built by the famous ‘Father’ Smith in 1694 and 1706.  Over the years many alterations were made, until in 1913 an almost totally new organ was built, on a massive scale.

In 1975 the Swiss firm Metzler Söhne completed the present mechanical-action instrument based on the surviving pipework, and within the original cases, of the 1694 and 1706 ‘Father’ Smith organs.  The 42-rank instrument is remarkable for its meticulous craftsmanship and durability.

Trinity Organ, viewed from the East

Trinity Organ, viewed from the East. Isn’t it gorgeous!?

On this very hot day the tuning was far from perfect and a challenge to Tom Bell our recitalist. After attempting use of full organ in the opening Bach which at times sounded as played on several temperaments at once, a far more restrained use of stops had to be employed for all the remaining pieces.

Tom Bell, RCO Scholar Programme

It is a great credit to Tom that in near 30 degrees in the loft he stayed the course. Organists are clearly made of sterling stuff!

Tom Bell, organist

Tom Bell, our sterling organist

Afterwards I moved next door to St John’s –  to observe an improvisation master class. I have played St Johns many years ago so I knew what to expect. I have to confess the sound of a magnificent warm English voiced instrument was a comforting and welcome joy after the rather brasher tones of the continental voicing of the Trinity organ. So a class concentrating on hymn tune improvisation, such a vital skill for any church musician on the rich pallet of St John’s, was a joy.

St Johns College Organ

St Johns College Organ

Cambridge on a warm bright summers day is a joy. To be able to enjoy the quiet and tranquil inner spaces of courts and chapels is a very special privilege especially so when one knows they will be filled with organ music. A really lovely day out.

Thank you to RCO for the invitation. Let’s do the same in Oxford next year!?

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[Hymn of the Month] Blaenwern by William Penfro Rowlands http://viscountorgans.net/hymn-of-the-month-blaenwern-by-william-penfro-rowlands/ http://viscountorgans.net/hymn-of-the-month-blaenwern-by-william-penfro-rowlands/#respond Mon, 01 Aug 2016 12:12:41 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=7692 William Penfro RowlandsWhen choosing the hymn tunes for this first series of ‘Hymn of the Month’ I was determined that we should have at least a couple of ‘Welsh’ ones and Bleanwern is as good an example as you can find. Composed by William Penfro Rowlands (1860–1937), during the Welsh revival of 1904–1905. William is pictured here and you clearly see a man of simple neat elegance which I think this tune reflects.

Named after Blaenwern Farm near Tufton, Pembrokeshire, where Rowlands sent his son to stay with friends of the family to convalesce as it was thought the fresh air would assist his recovery presumably from TB, he named the tune in honour of them. This magnificently confident and uplifting tune rich in harmony has come to be used as the prevalent setting for the hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, a favourite for weddings and funerals alike. Perhaps it also reflects upon the thanks he felt for the return to health of his son.

Such is the power of this tune that we could not resist using both organs at our disposal so you will hear one verse on the Viscount, one on the pipe organ and a final verse where they sing this wonderful tune out together.

This played on our Envoy 35-F which is a very popular church instrument. Our organist for this edition is Jonathan Kingston and he is joined on the pipe organ of St John’s Harpenden by our managing director Jeremy Meager. We can now confirm that this was also the venue for much of the organ music used in our quiz. 

More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background

Jonathan KingstonJonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.

Jonathan’s Work With Viscount

Jonathan works with us as our very own inhouse organist – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. His playing features on the current promotional DVD material for Viscount, and he would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on jonkingston@hotmail.co.uk.

More About Jeremy’s Background

Jeremy Meager

Jeremy Meager is my business partner and talented organ player in his own rights. He has been classical organ trainer, having studied the instrument since his days as a Chorister in St Albans Abbey.

He later studied with Harry Bramma at Southwark Cathedral and at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He holds the ARCO and LRSM Diplomas. He went on to become an expert in the understanding of digital church organs, working for many years with brand leader Allen Organs and later as Technical Director of Makin Organs, now known as Church Organ World.

More About the Organ Being Played In This Demonstration

Jeremy plays this piece on our very own Envoy 35-F A ‘Physical Modelling’ based instrument with 35 stops in a real wood veneer cabinet. It  has a huge internal library allowing the user to create 4 totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic.   It benefits from a full compliment of divisional thumb pistons and additional toe pistons. This organ also has a full 32 note pedal. For more information have a look at its specifications here.

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The Aldington War Memorial http://viscountorgans.net/the-new-aldington-war-memorial/ http://viscountorgans.net/the-new-aldington-war-memorial/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 11:49:54 +0000 http://viscountorgans.net/?p=7857 Andrew at workThose of you who are regular Facebook browsers may well have seen the request go out for a suitable instrument for this recent outdoor service to commemorate the opening of the new Aldington War Memorial. There was no immediate local response so we decided to help out  organist Andrew Butler, and arrange for our Cantorum VI to be couriered to his home.

Local resident David Hughes has just completed a 66 year mission to erect a memorial for the 50 villagers that lost their lives in the two World Wars.

Andrew is a familiar Facebook Friend of ours, so we felt it appropriate that we should make a small contribution to this special ceremony.

Viscount Organs Cantorum VI You can see Andrew here playing the Cantorum VI (top left) which was connected to a external speakers via an amplifier and by all accounts did a very good job. Andrew is in a tent but as you can see, from the picture below, the sun came out for this service, a rare occurrence so far this summer.

Aldington War Memorial

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