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  2. Only if you were alive 1979-82. MM
  3. Indeed, but such use requires careful registration. It is an organ which can whisper or roar.....and boy, can it roar!
  4. I firmly believe that after the organ is fully restored it will be more than a treat. Apart from Hull citizens, few have heard the Minster organ as it has never been commercially recorded in either vinyl or CD format. I hope that will be rectified eventually. And given the promising new acoustic it could eclipse the City Hall. Living as I now do some 130 miles away from Hull, attending recitals there is, sadly, hardly a practical consideration. Many years ago I quite regularly attended first-class recitals given by Peter Goodman, then City Organist. But I suppose the most memorable of them all was the 1951 opening recital given by Norman Strafford and Fernando Germani.
  5. Barry: I’m only four years behind you, but I have visited the Minster when some of the re-ordering was in progress. I haven’t heard the organ but noted that it is laid out very generously and, of course, had a close look at the console. MM mentioned Southampton Guildhall (which I have played in a very small way on a private visit) and that also has the Compton illuminated touch stops. Actually it’s another very fine instrument, although not really the subject here. As you doubtless know, Hull City Hall has been in the hands of the builders, but recitals there are now resuming on Wednesday 2nd October (Philip Rushforth from Chester Cathedral), and then on the first Wednesday of every month at 12.30 pm. For the benefit of others, they last a full one-hour and the bargain price is £4.50 including a printed programme.
  6. I admit to being quite fanatical about the work of Compton in Hull, particularly at the City Hall where as a young boy I was privileged to see (and hear) some of the work taking place in 1950 under Jimmy Taylor’s direction and who I got to know. But from a sentimental aspect I am particularly fond of the lovely organ in what is now Hull Minster and where I became a boy chorister in 1949. This organ was completed just before the outbreak of WWII. The Minster organ, I understand, was a project on which John Compton himself actually worked. It was much the brainchild of Norman Strafford, then organist and master of choristers and also consultant for the City Hall masterpiece in 1950-1951. Slightly earlier, 1948, Strafford also had a hand in the Compton rebuild at Bridlington Priory. Eighty years have now passed since the Minster organ was completed. Apart from periodic tunings and some repairs, the organ has essentially remained untouched, simply gathering the grime of time and understandable wear and tear having taken place. In recent years much has been happening at Hull Minster. Gone are its substantial oak pews forming the seating in the central nave; a new stone nave floor has been laid and gone too is the presence of any nave carpeting. Already there is evidence of an exciting acoustic into which the eventually restored organ will speak. At now just turned 82, I hope I’m still around to once again witness the glorious sound of this beautiful F&A/Compton.
  7. A friend and I had a "lock in" at City Hall, for a couple of hours. Just 2 of us with a digital recorder.... happy days
  8. Last week
  9. I didn't know that you played for degree congregations at Hull - perhaps we do know each other after all!!
  10. The Southampton Compton was used for the continuo in a Messiah when I was there in the late ‘70s. It worked very well! A
  11. Getting to grips with the City Hall organ was always an ordeal when it came to degree congregations and such, but what an organ! Totally revoiced by Compton's, I regard it as their greatest masterpiece, and Jimmy Taylor's in particular. It makes a fascinating foil to the other really great Compton at Southampton Guildhall, which has all the 1930's weight and infinite means of expression. "Rock crushing" is not a malign description, for that was the style back in the day. However, the City Hall organ at Hull, with considerable brightness and chorus integrity, really anticipated the reform movement in Britain, and the organ at the Festival Hall in particular. With an infinitely finer acoustic than the RFH, the City Hall was always going to sound better in the stalls. What a difference a decade and a half can make! Southampton was 1937.....Hull around 1952 if I recall without checking. MM
  12. I'm beginning to think that John may be quite a common name.
  13. Nothing wrong with pedantry - or an interest in non-organ subjects! But, according to Wikipedia (not infallible, but in this case quoting a local author), the Perth St John is John the Baptist. As one ‘wooed’ by the Hull City Hall organ at the IAO Organfest a couple (?) of years ago, I have returned several times, also making a visit to Beverley Minster, the most wonderful church - quite the equal of many cathedrals, and finer than some - also having an organ to match. Selby, another beautiful venue and fine organ, is outside that 12-miles radius mentioned by MM (so is Bridlington), but very easily reached from Hull (or, indeed, by direct train from London with the excellent Hull Trains).
  14. Sorry to be pedantic but strangely Beverley Minster isn’t dedicated to St. John of Beverley despite the fact his tomb is there and was a site of pilgrimage, it is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and St Martin of Tours. As a chorister at the Minster we would travel to the small village of Harpham on the way to Bridlington every year on St John of Beverley’s feast day to sing evensong as that church in his birthplace was dedicated to him. I believe there is another church somewhere in Northumberland dedicated to him and I remember being told a story as a chorister about the St John in St Johnstone (as in the football team in Perth) being St John of Beverley but I’m not sure of the truth in that!
  15. Hi Some of the devices are already used for stop control, etc. by users of Hauptwerk & other pipe organ simulators, and since they output (or can be persuaded to output) the relevant MIDI commands it should be possible to interface them with a pipe organ that has MIDI facilities including MIDI inputs, but I see little point. Why would I want to play an organ from a piano keyboard when the proper console is there. I can think of a couple of possible scenarios, but it's not something I'd want to do regularly. It's a strange feeling playing organ sounds from a weighted piano keyboard! Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean that it's a good idea to actually do it! Every Blessing Tony
  16. A good party-piece. I've seen a similar thing on a viola (the orange being in the left hand of course, the viola held like a viol). It was slightly more subtle because instead of holding the fruit up at the beginning, the player said nothing, and the audience gradually started tittering as they noticed one by one.
  17. " ... I'm not suggesting the traditional console's days are numbered ... " I'm sure much of what you suggest could be done fairly readily in principle. But in practice I have yet to see what I would class as a 'cheap' organ console which would appeal to a wide enough range of customers (i.e. players). Even at the bottom end of the market, the stripped-down skeleton designs offered by turnkey suppliers of virtual pipe organs are still pretty expensive. You can easily exceed the £10k-plus mark without hardly thinking about it. And that certainly wouldn't cover motorised (or perhaps even non-motorised) stop controls, only touch screens. This is no criticism because they are usually made to order since the market is so small, they must needs use keyboards of reasonable quality, plus they require standard pedal boards and all the other things an organist expects to find. And they need to look the part in the sense of being moderately attractive as a piece of furniture. So I do wonder whether the traditional organ console will ever really disappear as long as the organ (pipe or digital) exists at all. Costs can only be brought down to rock bottom if you are content with a couple of cheap plastic MIDI controller keyboards balanced on a pile of books sitting on the dining table, with a manky umpteenth-hand pedal board shoved underneath. Don't laugh, I've seen them, as no doubt have others who might read this. It's one way to go, especially if you are at the early experimental stage of things. But I doubt it would be a solution which would offer satisfaction to most players. But, as you said, we digress ...
  18. ... hmm, I'm even wondering, assuming the wifi connection carries a MIDI-compatible data protocol, whether pipe organs might start to be played on a regular basis from arbitrary consumer MIDI controllers. Perhaps organ builders (or even third parties) could provide cheap portable wireless control boards for stops / combinations, which you simply prop up next to your clavinova? You could even integrate a score/pdf reader app on your tablet computer (OK, iPad!), having hot-spots in the score which link directly to registration changes when tapped, set up offline and ready to use when you get to church. I'm not suggesting the traditional console's days are numbered, but as e-books complement paper editions, so diverging control paradigms could help the organ evolve, and allow non-organists to play organs much more easily. Sorry, I've gone off-topic ...
  19. Yes, surely JC would have used them if they'd been available; they're cheap, easy to source, come in a range of shades of white and brightness, energy efficient and (above all) very reliable. I wonder, with LEDs for stop indicators and music-desk lighting, cheap low-power embedded computers for key/stop/whatever control and wifi for data transfer, is the truly wireless, battery-powered console a realistic possibility now?
  20. Absolutely!! What a splendid idea!
  21. Beverley Minster is dedicated to St John of Beverley. St Mary's is further into the town and near Beverley Bar, an ancient entrance gate into the town. It has a fine 4-manual organ, a mixture of T C Lewis and Forster & Andrews workmanship.
  22. That's the one! Isn't the Minster St.John? MM
  23. I was recently able to have a quick blast at Derby Cathedral, the first time I've seen let alone played a 'luminous console', and it was very comfortable and well planned. But a number of the lamps had failed and replacements are apparently very difficult to source, so LEDs are surely a sensible update.
  24. In 'Baroque Tricks' (Ch. 6), Ralph Downes recounts that the instrument was refurbished by Fritz Abend (the original voicer) in 1949 - 50 and the Sesquialtera added. The pipes were made by H&H and voiced by Abend. NPOR shows the work as 1950 and presumably the Sesquialtera was later either changed or just re-named to the Tertian. https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12713
  25. It’s the best news I’ve received for a long time. I believe there will be some very minor tonal changes and perhaps some duplexing. But the fully restored result will be much as it is today. The full console restoration will incorporate a computer-based control system, replacing the 80-year-old Compton system and possibly LED’s replacing the tungsten bulbs in the Compton illuminated stopheads. It will also be placed on a moveable platform. I’ve often thought that Hull and venues in its immediate surrounding townships, Beverley and Bridlington, could form the basis for an international or European organ festival. With regard to Beverley, I think you mean St Mary’s, MM?
  26. Wonderful news! There's a wonderful basis on which to work, including the "battleship" Forster & Andrews parts, as well as Compton's renowned quality. I hope they don't specify major tonal-changes, because this is one of the last untouched Compton re-builds, and contains, for instance, reeds voiced by the legendary Billy Jones. I can't think of many areas, other than Liverpool and Bristol, where so many stupendous organs can be heard in a 12 mile radius....City Hall, the Minster, St John's Beverley, Beverley Minster. Also, Bridlington isn't far away. Not only that, they are all so different in character. No matter who gets the job, I somehow doubt that it will be another 80 years before the next rebuild is due! MM
  27. It is now reliably reported that quotations are being sought for the complete restoration of the Hull Minster Forster & Andrews/John Compton organ, requests having gone to the "UK's three main organ builders."
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