Easter 2024

15 September 2008
Bull, John - composer, train

It may interest you to know that English organist and composer John Bull was reincarnated 200 years after his death as a steam locomotive.

Musicologists often point to his apparent foreknowledge of this occurrence: the fancy "Choo-choo" in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

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12 September 2008
world - sung throughout the civilized

September 12 marks the birth of English organist and composer Caleb Simper who was wildly popular a few years back.

Over five million copies had been sold by the 1920s and a few remain in print today, though Simper's musical style has long since fallen from fashion.

"Caleb Simper"

A stunning performance of Simper's King of King's from Australia:

[link to video updated 6 July 2009]

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10 September 2008
down under - less thunder

More weird news from the cathedral in Sydney:

THE organist of St Andrew's Cathedral has been asked to tone down his loud musical flourishes at the end of Sunday services because members of the congregation have complained they cannot hear themselves think.

The organist's repertoire is now limited to quiet, slow-paced hymns and recessionals following the intervention of cathedral staff three weeks ago. The move has left some fans of traditional church music wondering about the future role of organ and choral music at Australia's oldest cathedral. But officials deny the cathedral's choir had also been banned from processing down the aisle during Sunday services to save time.

Morris, Linda. "Changes not music to purists' ears." Sydney Morning Herald 8 Sept 2008.

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05 September 2008
Garrett, George - Music Director at St. John's College, Cambridge (1857-1897)

You might have heard of Andrew Nethsingha, the new Director of Music of the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge. And you might know that his predecessor was David Hill. And you might own a couple CDs by David's predecessor Christopher Robinson. And from there, you probably know the name George Guest since he held the post for a mere 40 years. Robin Orr, Guests's predecessor, wrote quite a bit and you might have some of his music in your choir's library.

But what about before that? Cyril Rootham? Who's that? George Garrett? He doesn't even have a Wikipedia page!

(Until now.)

I love succession boxes, and Garrett boxes.

Mus.D. gown of George Mursell Garrett
c. 1867. Cream (decorated with floral design) and red silk. A label inside reads 'R. Buttress & Co Ltd' and bears the name 'Robin Orr'. This gown belonged to George Mursell Garrett (Mus.B. 1857, Mus.D. 1867), Organist of St John’s College 1857-97, and University Organist 1873-97. From Garrett the gown passed to Cyril Bradley Rootham (BA 1897, College Organist 1901-38) and from Rootham to Robin Orr (Mus.B. 1932, College Organist 1938-51).
Given by Mrs Doris Orr, April 2008. Garrett box.

And I thought my cassock smelled bad.


01 September 2008
Bach, J. S. - 1724 manuscript, missing page found

A double-sided page of an organ part written by J. S. Bach has been found.



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The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




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