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  3. ....Or they could have dispensed with one (or both) of the 32ft. reeds, and installed twelve pipes in the 32ft. octave, to extend the Bourdon downwards. Or, they could have retained the previous perfectly serviceable 32ft. Sub Bass, from the Downes?walker instrument.
  4. I have played this instrument (as left by H&H) several times, both for services and a lunch-time concert. I must admit that I rather liked it as it was. I also wonder whether the incumbent organists may come to regret the use of a high gloss finish on the new jamb-plates. The propensity for unwanted reflections from the console lights and background lighting may be both visually distracting and confusing when trying to read the stop-heads.
  5. I can't comment on Nicholson's work because I haven't heard it, but I used to know the organ very well indeed half a century ago, back in the days when it was still quite new. It has had one or two things done to it over the years since its designer, Sidney Scholfield Campbell, died in 1974. At some stage the composition of the Great Mixture was changed and, although I believe that Jonathan Rees-Williams intended to return it to its original state, I do not know whether this was ever done. Also, I wonder whether the Solo trumpets were revoiced at some stage: there is a YouTube video in which they don't quite match my recollection.* In any case, they have been 'done' now. The original Orchestral Trumpet and Great Mixture can be heard in this performance by John Porter of Campbell's 'Impromptu' from his Canterbury Improvisations. As the specification loudly proclaims, it is an eclectic organ. SSC believed in clarity of tone. Any suggestion of tonal mud was anathema to him. What mattered to him above all was the music. Musical lines and phrases were what he wanted to hear, not mushy effects (which is why he disliked Howells's music). The Windsor organ reflected this aesthetic. It's versatility was nigh on miraculous. You could play literally any repertoire effectively and could approximate at least vaguely almost any registration specified (though I never did discover a way of faking a Voce Umana for elevation toccatas). It particularly excelled in German Baroque music. The Great and Pedal diapason choruses to Mixtures were perfectly adequate for Bach fugues and if you wanted a bit more sparkle and incisiveness you could add in the Positive Principal and Cymbal and the small Pedal reeds at 16', 8', and 4'. Of course it wasn't perfect. The Swell mutations didn't quite cut it in Tierce en taille movements. They made a valiant effort, but their placing on the Swell was perhaps a compromise too far in that repertoire. On the other hand this allowed SSC to use them as solo colours in the psalms - and maybe that was always his intention. Swings and roundabouts. The Great Cornet, which I was given to understand was cobbled together from sundry left-overs, did not gel well. It sounded too much like a Mixture rather than a unified pitch. I'm quite surprised that, apparently, it still survives in its original state. The Solo 8' Cor de Nuit was an indifferent stop (I was told that some of its pipes had once been an Open Diapason), so I can well understand why that has been replaced. I note that the Positive flues have all been revoiced. They were very '60s and full of chiff (has the revoicing eliminated that?), but it was a very characterful section with well-voiced, colourful stops. I am unimpressed by the discarding of the Great Blockflute in favour of an Octave Quint and the substitution of the 4' flute with an harmonic one. The original flute chorus didn't speak with the incisiveness that the Positive stops did, but couldn't that have been addressed somehow? The substitutions are a distinct departure from Campbell's concept. The Pedal 32' flue was voiced quietly enough to balance the Swell Echo Gamba + Voix Celeste. It did so magically, but the volume could have been upped a little without detriment and I see that that has now been done – but why on earth replace the Swell stops with a Dulciana and Vox Angelica? If they are the usual, anaemic type SSC would surely have had something acerbic to say about that! The Swell Mixture was an odd stop. Its value was that it acted like a Plein Jeu when partnered with the French-style chorus reeds, but it didn't sound well without them. I can understand why it has been rehashed, but I wonder how much of the French flavour in the original Full Swell still survives. Because of the Great reeds, Full Organ sounded fairly English. If you wanted it to sound French you added the Solo trumpets, because the Orchestral Clarion had French shallots and proclaimed the fact very excitingly. The Orchestral Trumpet had English shallots, but it still had plenty of fire. These two reeds were balanced deliberately with a view to being usable in Full Organ without obliterating the fluework. If raising their pressure has spoiled this balance I would be most disappointed, but I am sure those involved will have been careful about this. Certainly there were times when one felt that the 8' trumpet could have done with a little more 'oomph', but it was never intended to be a Tuba and the compromise worked well enough. One of the most impressive things about the organ was the independence of its Pedal department, which is why it is the largest division on the organ. The diapason and flute choruses balanced their counterparts on the Great and indeed the Pedal was completely independent of the Great at all dynamic levels. The Great to Pedal coupler was never, ever drawn. Conversely, the Gt and Ped. Combs coupler was never pushed in - and woe betide any visiting organist who left it so! SSC had set up the Great and Pedal pistons so that each one balanced its partner perfectly. You still had to use the Sw. to Ped. when Sw. to Gt was drawn, but in those pre-sequencer days it made dynamic changes so much simpler because you didn't have to be forever jabbing at the Gt to Ped. reversibles in addition to the Pedal combs. If you wanted to go suddenly to a quiet Swell, you simply hit Gt or Ped 1 and there were your Pedal stops (I think Ped. 1 was the 16' Quintadena + Dulcianas 16' and 8', but my memory is very hazy). I was roundly warned never to use the Gt to Ped. since doing so would make the bass line over-prominent. All SSC's organists knew this, including John Porter (who in his organ scholar days had helped SSC set up the pistons), but I'm not sure how long it remained understood after John died – certainly there are later recordings where you can hear clearly that the coupler is in use. Compare these to the tracks on Porter's excellent Priory recording. Incumbents will always tweak their organs and what they do is certainly none of my business. I think it was this organ that, when new, prompted some criticism in The Organ from organists scandalised that it didn't have a 16' Open Wood – how can it possibly be proper 'cathedral'-type organ without one etc., etc. Ditto the Tuba. Of course they had completely missed the point. That was exactly the sort of organ Dr Campbell didn't want. He was aiming for - and H&H gave him – much greater versatility, an organ with fullness, clarity and ample pizzazz. But it does sound its very best at the console (because that's exactly what the good doctor ordered!) No doubt the day will come when someone insists on adding that Open Wood, but maybe space considerations will save it from that ignominy. As you can tell, I think that any attempt to mould SSC's instrument into something more 'symphonic' would be misguided, but, like I said, it's nothing to do with me. * According to an article in The Organ, April 1966, by Sumner and Campbell, the Solo reeds were originally on 9 in. pressure, but Roger Judd, in his book on the Windsor organs, states that in 2002 they were on 8 in. Campbell also says that the Swell was on 41/2 in., whereas by 2002 it seems that the fluework (only) had been reduced to 3 & 7/8. These two sources record other minor discrepancies in the pressures, but the 1966 ones look as if they were rounded so I don't know how much, if anything, was really altered.
  6. In fairness, the mechanical action is rather heavy (when coupled) - presumably partly because it has to turn through 45°, after it leaves the console. In addition, the upstairs console now has a considerable number of registers 'missing', which are only playable from the mobile Nave console.
  7. Absolutely, Colin. There appears to be a paucity of manual reed stops, for one thing - and too many octave couplers. The scheme is rather odd in several respects. I appreciate the constraints on both volume and height, but what a pity that the site of the former instrument could not be utilised. This had more height and room available.
  8. Thank you both very much indeed. I think I may have the Hinrichsen book (in the loft) but I'm going to see if I can make my own arrangement based on the solution David reports from AMT.
  9. Nicolas Haigh appointed as Associate Organist at St. Thomas, New York. https://www.saintthomaschurch.org/2019/12/12/nicolas-haigh-appointed-associate-organist-of-saint-thomas-church/
  10. There’s also a version by Anne Marsden Thomas that does just that in the Oxford Service Music for Organ, manuals and pedals Book 1. Her solution is a da capo, then a 3 bar coda after bar 8.
  11. As might be apparent from some earlier posts and writings elsewhere, I'm deeply interested in temperament myself, though would not like to be seen to be too strongly wedded to either equal temperament on the one hand or unequal temperaments on the other. It isn't a monochrome situation, at least to me, as both camps have their pros and cons. But having said that, I feel some quite basic practical issues get swept under the carpet in the white heat of the debate, not only on this forum but just about everywhere. The first issue I'll mention is to do with history and how ET came to be so dominant (ha, ha ... ). A major factor which caused ET to emerge as a force to be reckoned with out of the increasingly sophisticated mathematical and musical developments of the post-Renaissance era was simply because lutes, viols and similar instruments such as guitars were fretted. These had to be tuned in ET - no ifs or buts. Why? Because with fretted instruments, the pitch of a note produced by a stopped string must obviously be the same as that of an adjacent open string which is supposed to be tuned to the same note. Otherwise the instrument would be out of tune with itself and would be useless for musical purposes. The only temperament which can satisfy this practical criterion over all possible intervals and melodic sequences involving more than a single string is ET (maybe think about it for a bit if you're unsure ... ). A way round this for unequally-tuned string instruments is to make the frets curved rather than straight, but these are about as common as keyboard instruments with split sharps or many more than 12 semitones to the octave, so we can safely ignore them here. Consequently, with today's interests in early music in which lutes and viols figure prominently, together with the importance of classical and (much more importantly from a mass audience viewpoint) electric guitar, it is unthinkable that the other instruments which are often required to form ensembles with them can be tuned other than to ET either. Then there is that 'instrument' called the human voice. Consider someone, or a choir, singing the following sequence of notes: C, up a 5th to G, then down a 4th to D, then up a 5th to A, then down a 4th to E, then down a 3rd back to C. If all these intervals were to be perfect (i.e. if played simultaneously there would be no beat), the two Cs will be out of tune by over a fifth of a semitone (the Syntonic comma, to use the conventional arcane argot)! This is sometimes called Huygens's Paradox, though it wasn't paradoxical to him because he understood the maths behind it. This note sequence is not unique, incidentally, as the problem can arise with others. But continuing with this example for now, suppose also that the voice(s) start off in tune with an organ, say, which then leaves them unaccompanied until the final C when it comes in again. Bang - the tuning discrepancy will be embarrassingly awful, because the organ's two Cs will obviously be the same whereas those of the singers will not. In practice the only reason this does not happen (well, hopefully not very often ... ) is because good singers have a strong enough musical memory of the exact pitches they should be singing when unaccompanied. One reason for the development of this acoustic memory is that they have grown up in a largely ET culture and musical environment. But if the organ accompanying them were to be tuned to some unequal temperament, the singers and their conductor would need to have the most exquisitely acute ears regarding pitch to avoid being publicly humiliated. There are lots of similar practical issues similar to these which need to be taken into account when choice of temperament is up for discussion, but I've already probably said more than enough so will leave it there for now.
  12. There is an interesting article on Nicholsons website here all about the considerable amount of work that they have been doing at St George's over the autumn. Some of the most interesting stuff is revealed by clicking on the Specification tab which reveals an annotated spec with details of their work. I don't know the instrument at all ,and have only heard it in the flesh once. It is, to my mind, amazing how much has been done in a comparatively short time.
  13. Last week
  14. The experience of the orchestra playing at the Nice International Piano Competition accompanying concertos was that ,members of the orchestra came up to me in pleasant surprise saying that it was the first time they'd played with piano and found the piano and the orchestra playing at the same pitch. And the pianists liked the sound. So I believe there to be substance in your assertion. And never throughout the varied repertoire of that concert was the unequal tuning at all unpleasant no matter which key was in use. At the other end of the musical spectrum with saxophone - Best wishes David P
  15. I'm sure I've read other threads on here regarding unequal temperament before, but I think here is as good as any. What I find hard to believe is that unequal temperament is not employed more widely in organs. Perhaps not concert room organs which are required to work with orchestras and many other instruments, but why not churches and cathedrals. How often do we see cathedral instruments being used with orchestras? Surely, it is far more usual - normal, in fact - for them to be used with choirs. I'd go so far as to say that a cathedral organ retuned in an unequal temperament like Kellner would not even be noticed as any different by most people, whereas many are likely to find that they like the sound in preference to how it was.
  16. Hello David - Only slightly related to your topic, but you should read "Grand Obsessions" if you haven't already. A great read based on a true story that has more than a twist related to tuning temperaments (I don't want to spoil it for you).
  17. With apologies for reviving a 10-year old thread... I thought it might be interesting to revive this in light of recent news stories. The BBC ran a TV report on Sunday discussing the increasing popularity of Choral Evensong. Attendance at "midweek services" - which is basically evensong - is apparently up 34% in the ten years since this thread was posted. Certainly in our village (well, officially a tiny town) church, the Choral Evensong which we've started doing every few months has rapidly become the second most popular service after the regular morning communion. And we're by no means the only church locally: you can piece together a very nice weekly calendar with all the nearby benefices that run occasional or monthly evensongs. So where do we go from here? How do we cement this? Are there any resources for the amateur organist and choir to help them start, develop and grow their evensongs? I'd be interested to know what people think.
  18. It's a Hinrichsen publication (it says No. 355 on the cover). It has the first movement of the Pastorella, the Jig Fugue, and the Fugue on a theme of Corelli. Ian
  19. Apologies for raising an old thread - but in the lack of responses on the thread concerning Mander's use of unequal temperament the Cranleigh organ is important - as are others that Manders have built using Kellner, Young or other mild unequal temperament. In recent years I have given focus to piano tuning and developed an implementation of unequal temperament, Kellner, which is capable of universal application on all pianos. It's been a privilege to have been able to study a number of historic instruments from the Colt Collection and formerly Finchcocks, and these have given me an insight into the tonal structure of the ancient instrument from which we can benefit in our approach to the modern. The one thing that the temperament does is to enable the piano to resonate. It gets louder, and sweeter. Of course this can't be demonstrated electronically but if anyone would like to experiment then Pianoteq from https://www.modartt.com/ provides useful facilties, even though the sound from a real instrument is more complex. It gives a useful idea of contrasts of still and moving that the temperament gives. In research on tuning matters I've found electronic sound-laboratory facilities to be very helpful. Yesterday a friend came round for some experiments and I mentioned that last week I'd demonstrated the opening to the Couperin Mass in St Maximin style, and then put the demonstration into equal temperament and the bite of the music was lost. The subject of Cranleigh came up and he said that he'd done one of the early recitals there. He said that as a result of the temperament the organ sounded bigger than it is. He then said that he'd played it since its conversion into equal temperament and that now it merely sounds ordinary. What a temperament with many perfect fifths is doing is to allow sympathetic vibrations which build in the resonance of the building. This is an important part of how an instrument fits into an acoustic space. The pure thirds and pure fifths produce beat frequencies which reinforce the bass note and the harmonics of bass notes fall onto notes of the scale up above. So the whole sound is mutually supportive. If Cranleigh can be converted back to the unequal temperament it was built in, perhaps future curators of the instrument might valuably consider returning the instrument to its original tuning. Best wishes David P.
  20. Somewhere, I am (reasonably) convinced that I have seen an arrangement of the first section of this that tweaks the music back to F major so that it doesn't end in the dominant to lead into section 2. Can anybody point me in the right direction for this, please? It's not that I can't play section 2 or 3 (though 3 needs a bit of work) it's all a matter of time before a service. Many thanks in case you can help. (I worry that I may be thinking of a different piece of well known music entirely which in some arrangement or other prevents closure other than in the tonic).
  21. Not really the subject of organ screens, but people have questioned the widespread blossoming of “Minsters” (also happening in the south and west of England, e.g., Croydon Minster and Plymouth Minster, to name just two). Here is the explanation from the present Archbishop of York: “The status of Minster is an honorific title bestowed on major churches of regional significance in the Church of England, to reflect their importance and contribution to the local communities they serve”. As mentioned in an earlier post, Leeds now has an Anglican diocesan bishop but no Anglican cathedral in the city of Leeds itself. The Minster’s designation appears to reflect that fact without going as far as calling it the pro-Cathedral. It is, of course, also a major church of regional significance.
  22. I apologies if this may be a bit controversial as this thread is meant to be focused on tracker organs not extension organs but I remember seeing an extension organ that was built for a private home by an American organ builder called Kegg. The reason why I want to mention this organ is although it's not mechanical I think this organ does have an ideal specification and the size of the instrument is not to big. http://www.keggorgan.com/ProjectDetail.cfm?yJNum=167
  23. My wife's top-end hearing aids have effective limiters to prevent over-amplification of loud noises (which could damage her eardrums). These are good enough that they do not cause problems or interfere with intelligibility in normal use, even in the music program.
  24. Personally I would compare digital organs to microwave ovens rather than toasters as I think their was some skepticism towards this appliance. I remember an old TV series called Pie in the Sky starring Richard Griffiths about a detective who dreams of retiring from the police force to run his own restaurant. In some of the early episodes I recall Henry Crabbe being quite critical of microwave ovens. I faintly remember a scene in a restaurant or cafe where Henry complimented the owner for launch who replied with a thank you and then mentioned that he was thinking of getting a microwave oven. Henry then went into this long about how it would down grade the place and would then start finding all sorts of riffraff coming in through the door.
  25. Me too. But I sometimes wonder about possible consequences of the radio signals passing from one device to the other and through the brain. However, given my age, this has to be an academic consideration and in any event, these pulses are of such short duration and low amplitude that it probably doesn't matter..
  26. An interesting phenomenon exists whereby one can 'turn down one's own ears' physically when bombarded by loud sounds. I'm not sure how I achieve this, though I believe it involves tensing muscles attached to the auditory ossicles which, in turn, moderates their movement when transmitting sound from the eardrum to the oval window in the cochlea. I can't even explain how to do this, but I think it can happen involuntarily when we hear particularly loud sounds. On the other hand, I have learnt how to do this voluntarily and I'm sure I'm not alone. However, I also turn my hearing aids down (left ear button) if the ambient sound is generally too loud, or up (right ear button) if I can't quite hear something clearly.
  27. I have found the usual amplifier tone controls - typically around 15dB lift/cut - to be insufficiently effective. Furthermore, they generally follow log curves and Baxandall principles which, in my situation, do not help at all; hence the pernicious graphic equaliser. But I've never noticed any "delay", except when an old film on that excellent Channel 81 on t' telly has lost its sync and wandered off. But I have yet to find a hearing aid that is able to determine that which I wish to hear and exclude that which I do not. There is a great deal of hype attached to this subject. Perhaps one has to make the distinction between severe hearing loss and just the need for a bit of sound reinforcement. In the latter case, I imagine the High Street chains offer an adequate level of service but I agree, for those of us more severely afflicted, the benefits to be had from the help of a qualified audiologist having sophisticated diagnostic equipment are substantial. Sadly, none of this support comes cheaply but if one needs to use aids 16 hours a day, as has been suggested, almost any price is worth the improved quality of life which they bring. For me, to be able to hear the wonders of drawing additional high-pitched ranks as one approaches the last arpeggiaic summit of the F major Toccata (540) is something beyond bliss - not to mention the relief of others exasperated with constant "pardons?" and "what did you say?" However, I do take exception to mine having to be sent to Poland for their not-infrequent and invariably expensive repairs.
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