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  1. Today
  2. Vox Humana

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    I have this pinned to my tool bar, where it takes next to no room and is easy to access. I find it useful, although I have memorised the ASCII codes for the most common characters and find that method the quickest of all, if limited by what passes for my memory..
  3. Rowland Wateridge

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    Using an iPad it’s even easier. Holding any letter character on the on-screen keyboard brings up all the accents and symbols one can possibly need, e.g., for e or E there are seven options including é in Dupré and for u or U five options including the Umlaut in Orgelbüchlein. Having pressed the character, whether upper or lower case, you simply slide your finger to the accent or symbol you want to get the result instantly - but there must be continuous contact with the screen. It won’t work with two separate touches. When you are used to it, it is simplicity itself.
  4. Tony Newnham

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    There are a few short cuts for producing accented characters, especially in MS Word. I find the easiest solution is a Windows accessory called "Character Map", which seems to be available on all PC's. That allows you to copy & paste all manner of special characters, and will show aa code for many. Every Blessing Tony
  5. pwhodges

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    On a PC you can type any character if you know its value in the Unicode table (and it will appear if your font contains it); but of course remembering enough codes is rather a problem - there are about 110,000 at present! Standard instructions for umlauts on PC or Mac are summarised on this page: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/misc/typingumlauts.html However, on my PCs I use a small program called WizKey which uses simple mnemonic combinations to get a wide range of characters used in European languages; the idea is similar to how the Norsk Data terminals I used in the mid-1980s worked, though that used a special key: https://antibody-software.com/web/software/software/wizkey-makes-it-easy-to-type-accented-and-other-special-unicode-characters/ On British (not American) PC keyboards it is handy to know that acute accents can be typed simply by holding the "Alt Gr" key while typing the vowel concerned. But sometimes I just Google the word without the accent and copy and paste from a search result that has the accents in! Paul
  6. Yesterday
  7. Cornet IV

    Can we all try a bit harder?

    Martin, I know none of these pieces other than the Buxtehude, but I am interested in knowing how you generated the Umlaut. I'm really too old for these technical things but feel I should try.
  8. Last week
  9. timothyguntrip

    Conacher - how good were they?

    There is a very fine Conacher at St.Mary's in Frittenden, Kent, moved a few years ago from the south chancel to the north aisle. Details here.
  10. Colin Pykett

    Death of a major Compton announced

    A detailed post regarding the organ has appeared on another forum: https://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,2231.msg10035.html#msg10035
  11. S_L

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Undoubtedly Mr Tovey was the driving force behind the preservation of the instrument. Like David I wonder whether the 2001 additions scuppered the chances of any funding. I also have to say, and I speak from some experience that, I wonder about the quality of the 2001 work as well.
  12. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    I think another, and possibly major, factor was Mr Tovey’s sad death at the very time he was about to oversee the removal of the organ, hoping to find, in his words, “a suitable home ... where it can be restored to its former glory.”
  13. David Drinkell

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Looking at the details in NPOR, I wonder if the enlargements and enhancements which took place in 2001 might have scuppered the chances of Lottery funding. Adding another forty or so speaking stops is quite a change, even though the original Compton scheme remained untouched underneath it all. I wouldn't presume to criticize the work, which seems imaginative, and I didn't know the instrument personally.
  14. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Thank you for that contribution which brings back balance to the debate as far as local authorities are concerned. They come in for a lot of stick (which sometimes can be deserved), but they have a huge diversity of functions and responsibilities far beyond the examples which you quote, and in addition to budgetary limits they have to work within a complex and strict legal framework. Practically every aspect of local government work is the subject of one or more separate statutes.
  15. Contrabombarde

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Without wishing to wade into political debate, I work for a local authority and therefore can comment directly on some aspects of the financial challenges facing many councils. Local authorities have a legal obligation to "break even"; therefore far from "losing sleep" at the prospect of the bottom line turning red, senior officers could potentially go to prison for financial mismanagement of a council so not sticking to budget is not an option. Furthermore councils have statutory responsibilities such as providing care to elderly people or children in care and the cost of doing so is rising rapidly for a variety of reasons (more people living longer in frail health, affordability of paying a living wage , fewer foreign workers available to work in low-paid jobs. Much council funding comes mainly from three sources - council tax, business rates and government grants. A further sting is that the government grant is in the process of being phased out whilst councils are only allowed to increase council tax by a few percent per year unless they hold a referendum of their residents to authorise a higher increase - and I'm not aware of any council ever going down that route as the result would be a foregone conclusion. A legal obligation not to overspend the budget, combined with shrinking income and growing social care needs, is at the heart of the dilemma facing councils when asked to find millions of pounds for something like restoring a pipe organ that will be very expensive and highly unlikely to turn any profit (and difficult to demonstrate how it might turn any profit), even though one might see how restoring a run-down civic hall into a function suite for instance could eventually turn a profit. That is why many councils appear so uninterested in saving their organ heritage - there simply is not the money in the public purse and under such circumstances restorations will need to funded through alternative means. The National Lottery appears to have shown no interest. Maybe they didn't consider a Compton to be as worthy a musical instrument as perhaps a Schulze or Father Willis. Perhaps the removal (in 1939) of the Wolverhampton organ's Melatone and the addition 20 years ago of several ranks of Wurlitzer tibias (which I would have thought could have commanded a high price) meant it wasn't in a sufifciently original condition. The point of making these comments is neither to have a dig at Wolverhampton council or the Government that is reducing councils' funding so much as to point out why an organ like this hasn't been able to be rescued. What can organ lovers do about it, in terms of overcoming the problems mentioned? (i) what can we do to stimulate enough interest in pipe organs to make new and restored installations pay for themselves in demand from concert-goers or other music lovers? (ii) rather than hoping the local council or National Lottery will pay for a new or restored organ, what other sources of funding for major projects can we turn to? Realistically where else could funding have come from to have saved (either in situ or through transplantation) this organ, especially given its size and the fact that it is somewhat unique being a hybrid classical-theatre organ? (iii) organbuilding is a vital and highly skilled profession, but if it is in danger of becoming unaffordable for all but a few organisations to be able to commission a major new organ or major restoration, how can the profession adapt to make organ building and restoration more affordable so that unachievably huge sums of money do not have to be raised to commission or save an organ?
  16. Philip J Wells

    Recitals for children

    Not sure the text will be readable as I have had to reduce the size for it to load.
  17. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Some of your points are valid. In his first post above, Contrabombarde said that National Lottery funding was not available implying that it had been explored. I have the impression, but hope I may be wrong, that retention of the organ within the Civic Halls was never part of the plans. We recently discussed the not dissimilar scenario of the BBC’s planned move to Olympic Park from Maida Vale - interestingly also potentially involving a Compton organ - and, thus far, no indication that there is to be an organ at Olympic Park.. In answer to your point about local authority highway terminology, LA officers tend to use in everyday communications the language of the Highways Act 1980 (and other legislation) in which ‘footway’ and ‘carriageway’ have defined meanings. A ‘footway’ is an entirely different animal from a ‘footpath’. ‘Bridleway’, ‘cycle path’ or ‘cycle way’ and ‘rights of way’ similarly all have distinct statutory meanings. ’Sidewalk’ isn’t proper English usage! It’s American (and possibly Australian, although not certain about the latter).
  18. Colin Pykett

    Death of a major Compton announced

    That's a very good point. There's also a deeper implication in that a properly-chosen 'expert consultant' who is committed to the project, works hard and has enough experience and the right networks can personally facilitate the granting of HLF money. Like David and others on the forum, I know of other cases where Dr McVicker has done exactly the same thing. As to local councils and they way they husband their resources, both cash and assets, I'm not convinced they necessarily come up with optimum solutions despite loud and constant bleats to the affirmative. On the one hand they are hamstrung by their Victorian bureaucratic roots - who else these days still calls pavements/sidewalks 'footways' and roads 'carriageways', or sends an entire planning sub-committee out in a bus to look at an ordinary tree in someone's garden (this actually happened to me!). I doubt their operating mandate handed down from central government would allow them to do much about this. On the other hand, and like all public sector organisations, they probably do not lose as much sleep as their opposite numbers in the private sector who can face sudden wipeout if the bottom line turns red. So their financial imperatives are different when it comes to husbandry of assets such as a civic hall organ. I wonder if a simple fiscal comparison was done to at least see whether it would have been more economic to have advertised the organ for sale and removal prior to the work on the hall, compared with what actually happened? If so, it would be interesting to see the figures. If not, why not? It could have been done on a couple of sheets of paper in a day or two by someone in the finance and accounts department. Maybe I ought to submit a FOI request asking why my tree was apparently so much more important and worthy of preservation than the Wolverhampton Compton ... CEP
  19. David Drinkell

    Death of a major Compton announced

    I wonder if they tried the Lottery Fund. It came up with the money for a first class Harrison restoration of the organ in Moot Hall, Colchester, where they retained an expert consultant in the person of Bill McVicker.
  20. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Newspaper articles aren’t always a completely reliable source, but the two posted above by S-L indicate a somewhat different picture. The removal of the organ was part of the scheme for upgrading the venue. The budget was the not inconsiderable sum of £14.4 million. It’s by no means clear that the Council was ever committed to spending £2 million on the restoration of the organ. Mr Tovey’s brief was to supervise “the removal of the organ and find it a new location, with the hope it can remain in Wolverhampton.“ His own quoted words were “I'm delighted I will be personally supervising the careful removal of this historical organ and ensuring it is safely stored until a suitable home can be found where it can be restored to its former glory." Sadly, Mr Tovey died during 2016. It is stated that by 26th September 2016 “The first enabling phases of the building works at the Civic Halls have now been completed, including structural surveys and other investigations, asbestos removal” ... etc. From that one cannot say whether the asbestos had been removed or was something which the structural survey identified as yet needing to be done. You are absolutely right about the parlous state of local government finances - practically everywhere. Equally, what you say about a potential purchaser is, I am sure, perfectly valid. In circumstances like these, “a reasonable offer” might have been a quite nominal sum which would only have had to satisfy the District Auditor. But the other difficulties you mention would remain.
  21. Contrabombarde

    Death of a major Compton announced

    To be fair to Wolverhampton Council, when you are having to make savings of £45 million next year compared to this year, and when you are around £1 billion in debt, nothing short of a cast-iron guarantee that spending £2 million restoring their civic organ would more than pay for itself through additional ticket sales at organ recitals and other events where it was being used would have been a strong enough reason to have saved the instrument. How many of us would have been able to provide such assurance? Furthermore, the difficulties confronting Warrington and Manchester councils who know they have gold plated organ treasures (two large Cavaille-Coll organs) yet both are in a precarious position financially and are struggling to know how to preserve their organs, should be a warning that something of arguably less historic value - a giant, modified Compton organ that is trying to be both theatre organ and classical organ - is unlikely to be considered worthy of salvaging by the accountants. If Wolverhampton Council had decided that on its merits it should be sold as a going concern, what prospect would there be that someone would come along, offer a reasonable price for it, pay for the dismantling, and re-erect it elsewhere? Just how much demand would there be for such an instrument, what would a reasonable offer look like to the Council for the pipework, and what would it cost to relocate? The answers to that might also explain its unfortunate demise.
  22. pwhodges

    Death of a major Compton announced

    The obvious one is simply philistinism. Paul
  23. Colin Pykett

    Death of a major Compton announced

    On the face of it the contrast with the Colston Hall at Bristol could not be greater. As we all know, they have an imaginative scheme to maintain the building as a major musical venue, with the organ included as part of the plans. Are there any obvious reasons in principle why this could not have been done at Wolverhampton? CEP
  24. Christine Jose Rigby

    Death of a major Compton announced

    'Two Borough Organists have served Wolverhampton at the Civic Hall, Arnold Richardson (1938--1973) and Steve Tovey (1991--2016), the latter becoming City Organist in 2001. Prior to Steve being appointed organist, the organ was destined for the scrapheap after making no profit to the hall for many years. Steve turned this around when he proved that it could be profitable by holding theatre organ concerts on the organ, which subsidise the classical organ concerts'.
  25. Earlier
  26. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    Thank you for this. I searched in vain for a demonstration of the organ in classical mode.
  27. Christine Jose Rigby

    Death of a major Compton announced

  28. Rowland Wateridge

    Death of a major Compton announced

    This must be in the post-2001 format with theatre organ additions. The 2001 additions included Wurlitzer and Conacher pipework, (some of the latter subsequently replaced) according to NPOR R0070, percussions and grand piano! The original number of speaking stops increased from 81 to 125. Presumably everything has gone? Can anyone with local knowledge tell us more? Arnold Richardson mentioned above was a classical organist of distinction. It was at his invitation that Messiaen gave the first complete performance in England of “La Nativité du Signeur” in 1938 at St Alban, Holborn where Richardson was organist before being appointed to Wolverhampton in that same year.
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