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Topic: Sunday hymn, with GCPO: Vaughan Williams' DOWN AMPNEY

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  1. #1
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    Sunday hymn, with GCPO: Vaughan Williams' DOWN AMPNEY

    The well-loved hymn tune DOWN AMPNEY is one of the original hymn tunes composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as if his editing (with Percy Dearmer) and reharmonizing of a vast percentage of the 1906 English Hymnal weren't landmark enough. A conservator of folk tunes and obscure melodies, which he turned into orchestral suites and hymn tunes, his ideal was the tune which upon hearing it for the first time it was as if you'd always known it. His own tunes have that same quality (for example, SINE NOMINE, KING'S WESTON).

    The voices in the recording are the Korg trebles-and-men as my followership is geared toward a cathedral sound, and the instrumentation is all Garritan. I use GPO4 organ voices in the mix as foundations, along with a large set of voices cherry-picked from the GCPO library. I have three system braces in the score to mimic a two-manual console with Great, Swell and Pedal, and there are channel changers in the score to simulate piston action.

    This is being written at the request of a young and gifted organist; the score is not yet finished...i'm mulling whether to make one passage in the descant verse into unisons.

    http://hymndescants.org/hymn-descants/down-ampney

  2. #2

    Re: Sunday hymn, with GCPO: Vaughan Williams' DOWN AMPNEY

    I cannot comment on the quality, but I love this piece as presented. BTW, nice church on the photo, but it certainly hasn't that huge amount of reverb as in the music. It is more like Westminster Abbey - where I at the age of 13 had the change to play a piece of Bach on that marvellous organ under supervision of Sir William MacCay (never knew the right spelling and it was as long, long time ago). It may seem a fairy tale, but at that time my father and I were on a tour with the choir he was a member of. On that same tour I learned drinking whisky, just a zip and hated it. After the concert we were invited by this very Sir William.

    Raymond

  3. #3
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    Re: Sunday hymn, with GCPO: Vaughan Williams' DOWN AMPNEY

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    nice church on the photo, but it certainly hasn't that huge amount of reverb as in the music. It is more like Westminster Abbey

    Raymond
    Indeed, the rendering is intended to sound like a mid-size cathedral, shrine or oratory. (I'm not so grandiose as to model Westminster or Cologne, though I know at least one of my descants has been sung at least once at Westminster.) The building pictured is that of the village of Down Ampney, birthplace of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the tune's composer, but these arrangements are certainly written for a good instrument in a sufficient space. The GCPO instruments are all on the small side (compared to the one Westminster or St. John the Divine), but with well-designed specifications, and I regard them as good demonstrations of what an instrument of 20 or 25 stops can achieve. And as every cathedral organist will tell you, the most important stop combination is the 2' stone wall coupled to a 32' vaulted roof.
    Last edited by passagio; 08-28-2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: I can spell. I just can't type.

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