Playing for Pershore High School’s Christmas Services this week had an added note of interest. In August, the organist Carlo Curley died, aged only 59. I spent a few days with him some years ago when he was demonstrating, to a deputation from Pershore Abbey, the first ever custom built hybrid pipe-cum-digital organ in Trono in Sweden. He was a warm and funny character, a flamboyant and exceptionally gifted organist and musician and I count myself privileged to have known him and to have been called “Treasure Balls ” by him!
With about 15 minutes of practice time before the hoards arrived for the service, I did the usual thing of making sure all the stops were cancelled and gingerly pulled out one quiet one. POW!!! Huge noise!! I pressed the cancel button again. With NO stops pulled out, the organ was still making a very loud sound. So I phoned a friend…Mike, the Abbey organist.
The organ has a “crescendo” pedal – something I’ve only very vaguely heard about. It adds and builds up sounds as you push it forwards which somebody had done and left it full on. It takes no account of how many stops are pulled out – or not! Once that was silenced, I was able to tame The Beast and thoroughly enjoy myself.