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  1. Yesterday
  2. Thank you Martin for Andrew Lucas' account of the use of the royal Trumpets. I never said that they Royal Trumpets were banned! I said that Her Majesty was 'a little taken aback' and that a request was made that they weren't used when she was underneath them - which is, in effect, what Andrew wrote.
  3. This is what Andrew Lucas said last time it came up: I'd just like to clarify this a little because otherwise the tales get exaggerated with the re-telling. The problem with the Queen and the St Paul's organ's Royal Trumpets is more to do with fanfares in general than the organ stops per se. Rather than have trumpets blasting her ears every time she walks through a doorway the Queen prefers any fanfare to happen before she walks through the doors. The Royal Trumpets are extremely loud, especially when you are standing underneath them. On many occasions I've seen people jump or w
  4. Didn't Andrew Lucas give a first-hand account somewhere on this Forum? Ian
  5. I am reliably told that the first time 'herself' heard the Royal Trumpets she was somewhat taken aback by the noise they made and the 'old Duke' was a little more forthright about them!!! I'm also told that a request came, from 'Buck house' that they be not used when the two, aforesaid mentioned persons are directly underneath them!!! Only gossip of course but it's a good story with, I understand, an element of truth!
  6. Last week
  7. Yes, relating this to York Minster (sorry to drag the discussion back to that subject!) I believe I may have suggested somewhere further back in this thread that the best solution for the 'nave problem' at York would be the addition of a separate nave organ rather than, or perhaps in addition to, increasing the power of the main organ. Of course, unlike the French system, the two organs should be playable from the same console. Obviously, this would be a reversal of the French system in that the 'grande orgue' would be the one on the pulpitum and would also support the choir, whilst the
  8. I expect most of us could only dream at the thought of a home practice pipe organ. I know very few people who have done that and I do wonder about the logistics - not just the upfront cost (especially if new) but the cost of transporting and assembly if you every moved house, not to mention whether you would need to strengthen your floor to take the weight, or soundproof the house to avoid upsetting your neighbours. Then of course there's the maintenance. Small redundant church organs are quite plentiful - for instance on the BIOS website - but tend to be much taller than the typical living ro
  9. The West End diapason chorus does not work all that well. It comes across as being rather disembodied and vague. You know there is something going on when being used but the overall effect is indistinct. If memory serves it is placed south side of the nave gallery, this in itself doesn't really help either. The solution of course is a large West End organ on a gallery speaking directly down the nave, but that isn't going to happen. The Royal Trumpets are rarely used. The effect in the Dome is of course much better, if a little one sided. All the Dome section is squeezed into the NE Dome g
  10. Martin, The time-lag problem at St Paul’s is for the organist (or some of them) between the Chancel organ and the West End organ. John Scott said he had great difficulty adjusting to it, whereas he said his assistant (Andrew Lucas?) mastered it easily. At Winchester the relevant time lag is due to the organ being so distant from everyone, and I recall congregation synchronisation problems in the time of Alwyn Surplice, which is now long ago. My ‘suggestion’, with qualifications, would give Winchester the equivalent support at the west end comparable to St Paul’s - but no possibility
  11. Very interesting, Rowland - I'm afraid I'm not as familiar with Winchester as I ought to be, living only 25 miles distant, but I have played there twice - once during a 'lock in' with James Lancelot, and on a subsequent occasion when I played for a visiting choir with whom I was touring the area for a week in about 1977, so before the addition of the nave organ. I have been to a couple of Royal Choral Society concerts there more recently, but a 'proper' visit is long overdue. I hadn't realised the time lag with the West Organ caused issues for the congregation at St Paul's. Is this a regu
  12. Thank you, Martin. Intriguing! I could not open a link on Paul Hale’s website, and on further attempts can’t even open that! This thread started in York Minster, moved to Canterbury and I make no apology for repeating myself about Winchester which, on the whole, has not been treated very kindly by some people on earlier threads. I’m not clear whether Paul Hale is referring to relocating the existing nave organ or further enlargement of the instrument by the addition of a new division. If the latter, we would be talking of entering the realms of more than 90 speaking stops. Having kno
  13. For checking out if you have time and are looking for worthwhile organ websites: One of our forumites, Paul Tindall runs an excellent Facebook site called British Pipe Organs - something to read there every day - full of interest and not afraid of being a bit controversial - it's here. Gary Owens (GO Organ Builders) also has a very interesting FB site - again, well worth keeping an eye on... here. Lance Foy - the excellent west-country organ builder has another FB page about his work and projects. That's here. A great family business this with Mrs Julie Foy and their son Chris
  14. Thanks Rowland - I remember you commenting long these lines before, now. On Paul Hale's website, he says he's been advising on the possible positioning of a nave organ. (And that list of other organs [not Norwich, Bristol or Chester] is also taken from his list of 'current projects'.) I think Norwich is on H&H's list as well. Chester's website says they're fundraising, but they have been for a while. Not sure where things have reached with Bristol.
  15. Perhaps a pedantic point to make, Canterbury, Winchester and Durham, to name just three, were all monastic cathedrals before Henry VIII’s reforms. There would have been no congregational participation on either side of the pulpitum and organ accompaniment would have been very limited. Winchester is a good case in point of what is expected of the organ in a vast building. When the Father Willis was first put in for Samuel Sebastian Wesley in 1854 (and I’m sure he - not the Dean and Chapter - did the promoting at which he was highly adept, getting donations from, among many others, Quee
  16. Part of the problem is that we use cathedrals for a purpose they weren’t designed for. They weren’t built in order to accommodate large congregations (and certainly not large congregations who are expected to sing with organ accompaniment). They were built large, not to be filled with lots of worshipping bodies, but for the same reason they were built beautifully - for the glorification of God. To the extent that their size served a practical purpose it was that of allowing the clergy to conduct the large-scale processions that were such an important part of worship before the Reformation whil
  17. I think I have read from a horse's mouth at Canterbury that the recent rebuild/renewal/augmentation of the chancel organ was meant to be just that and that it wasn't felt that the needs posed by worship in the nave could be fully met by one instrument. As I understand it, the wish is for there to be a new and substantial organ in the nave to complement the chancel organ. I haven't heard the 'new' organ in the flesh, but what I hear over the airwaves albeit in a very limited way, and having read the details, has left me with a very good impression. However, the organ is only having to acc
  18. Yes - I'm not quite sure what the video was designed to tell me - apart from the French tend to have, in their cathedrals, two organs, le grande orgue at the west End and the orgue de choeur in the choir. Despite this seemingly preponderance of organs, the French don't have strong choral tradition. I'll be willing to bet that, prior to the Widor you post from the cathedral in Nancy the noises that preceded it at Holy Mass were a little grim. I've been in a very well-known Paris church on a Sunday morning attempting to sing Credo III, accompanied, antiphonally, by the two organs (and two organi
  19. Indeed. The ongoing conundrum of balancing the needs of a strong choral tradition in the quire and the wider needs within large cathedral spaces. Perhaps the French have the best idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=913NA4Axyiw
  20. I believe that a similar decision has been taken regarding the York organ. This has been described as now returning to the 1930s Harrison and Harrison voicing of the instrument for Bairstow which, I understand, was rather more powerful than the post-1960 voicing. Clearly, prior to the work presently being done on the organ, it has been rather lacking in power down the nave and that problem is, I believe, being addressed. That's all to the good, and I am looking forward to hearing the improvements. However, I wonder how this will affect how the organ sounds in the choir. Will it be too
  21. It goes without saying the location of the pipework is not ideal, placed as it is either side of the chancel high up in the triforia. This of course was the same before, but despite the drawbacks of the instrument in its previous specification, a degree of balance could be achieved if a careful choice of registration was used to support the choir. Of what I have heard so far the effect of the new instrument is certainly quite powerful. It illustrates the characteristic bold voicing of the principal chorus which again will need careful handling. I'm not sure why Harrisons have gone down t
  22. Perhaps you would like to tell us more!!!
  23. Yes. Under 'MIsc/onsite install' / Sept 2020, there are dozens of photographs of the interior showing just about everything there is!
  24. I remain a bit unconvinced with regard to the work at Canterbury.
  25. Yes, there is plenty to see on the H&H website under Gallery. Looks a cracking job as has been the case at Canterbury.
  26. .............. believe that the restoration is coming along nicely.
  27. Ouch, I hadn't realised they'd pulled it, thanks for the update. I'll correct my post.
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