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Mander Organs

Tony Newnham

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Everything posted by Tony Newnham

  1. Hi My home digital has a range of temperaments - but I'm never sure what's the most appropriate for a particular piece. I'm currently working on a C.P.E. Bach Sonata, and there's one particular passage that sounds very strange in ET (And no - it's not due to wrong notes!). It's an interesting area to study - if I ever have time & inclination. Every Blessing Tony
  2. Hi There are Hammond Organs adverts in "The Organ" magazine from many years ago mentioning the Canterbury Cathedral installation. If I have time & feel up to going upstairs I'll try and look them out and see what date they were published. Every Blessing Tony
  3. Hi Having in the past played the Rye Wurlitzer a number of times for the school carol concert, I can vouch for the fact that theatre organs - with suitable registration (and you do need sometimes to think outside the box) can work effectively for "serious" repertoire. I've even heard the (in)famous Widor Toccata played on the Rye Wurlitzer by Nigel Spooner F.R.C.O. I enjoy playing theatre organ when I get the chance, which isn't very often. Every Blessing Tony
  4. Hi Reading the previous few comments, firstly, was it Jack Davies' firm that developed a hybrid part pipe part electronic back in the day? Secondly, there was an electronic organ firm called "Livingstone-Burge". I've come across a handful of their instruments back in the day, but I'm not sure where they fit into the general history of such instruments. Every Blessing Tony
  5. Hi The Early Music Shop in Saltaire stocks (or at least used to stock) modern reproductions of the Serpent. Also, of course, there are a handful of organs that have stops called Serpent - the one I've played is Blackburn Cathedral. Every Blessing Tony
  6. Hi The introduction of robed chancel based choirs (and hence organs close to the chancel) in English Parish Churches was in the main a result of the Oxford Movement in the 1800's, prior to that, the West Gallery was the common place for musicians (West Gallery Bands), choirs, and in the churches that had such things, organs. The organ history of many churches includes the removal of the organ from the West Gallery to a chancel chamber or one of the transepts. Every Blessing Tony
  7. Hi Interesting to read Ian's comments about the introduction of organs in Victorian churches. There were other significant influences, notably the Oxford Movement which encouraged a return to medieval ways of doing things in church (as interpreted by themselves!), aided by the Cambridge Camden Society on the architectural side. Part of the move to introduce organs was to bring music more under control of the incumbent - contemporary reports indicate that things got rather rowdy at times. An organ meant that the Incumbent only had to deal with one player (often his wife or the local school master). Harmoniums and other reed organs were common, and 2 manual & pedal organs were (and are) far from universal. At one time I played regularly for weddings & funerals in a rural benefice in Essex, of the 5 churches I got to, only 1 had a 2 manual organ, and that only had a TC swell, there were 3 single manual & pedal jobs - one a GG compass complete with a 13 note GG pedalboard, and the other was a single manual no pedal electronic. Another church in the group had a reed organ, but I never got to play there. The study of the how the English church changed in the Victorian era is fascinating (I chose to study this period of church history as part of my theological training). The 2 volumes of "The Victorian Church" by Owen Chadwick deals in some depth with this period and its complexities. On the organ history front, I have the 2 books mentioned above on my shelves, along with some individual histories of organ builders and so on, but given the sheer number of builders operating in that period of very rapid church growth, no one volume can hope to cover the whole ground. The Victorian era not only saw existing church buildings wanting organs because it was fashionable to sack the West Gallery band and get an organ, there was also a very significant amount of new church building, both within the Church of England, especially in the ever-growing industrial cities, and also thousands of free churches of various denominations, many of which wanted an organ of some sort. The era saw an organ-building boom! Every Blessing Tony
  8. Hi Thanks for the comment John, I have seen some of Keith Emerson's performances. I also like Rick Wakeman - another classically trained musician. A few years back he recorded a CD on the Lincoln Cathedral Organ, and has used pipe organ on a number of his recordings over the years. At one time he toured with a 2 rank extension organ built IIRC by our hosts here. Every Blessing Tony
  9. Hi I guess all organ builders had good and bad instruments - and don't forget ideas of what makes a good organ have changed over the years! I've not come across more than a few Conachers and they've all been OK, and indeed, one of my favourite small organs is the Conacher in Steeple Bumpstead Congregational Church in Essex, see NPOR http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N13335 Every Blessing Tony
  10. Talking of playing more than one organ of more than one type, how about this. I guess the "theatre organ" is a digital though:- Every Blessing Tony
  11. Hi My current main headphones are Sennheiser HD 289 Pro. I've had them a couple of years now. Good, balanced sound and reasonable isolation from external noises. I have a few other sets of 'phones about the place by Sennheiser & Audi-Technica. Every Blessing Tony
  12. Thanks MM I would agree that the Canterbury Compton was probably pipes. Interesting to know that they tried the remote organ idea more than once. Every Blessing Tony
  13. Hammond mentioned Canterbury Cathedral in some of their adverts in the post-war years, when they were advertising regularly in "The Organ". Not sure about the 1960's era - I'd have to dig out my back issues and check, and that's not going to happen at present. Bear in mind that, IIRC, the early 1960's was prior to the building of the Nave organ, so perhaps the presence of an electronic in the Nave isn't such as surprise, especially if the then organist had one available!
  14. Hi MM I'd not heard of that in relation to Canterbury Cathedral, but Elvin mentions a similar arrangement at Salford Cathedral in "Pipes and Actions", quoting an item from Musical Opinion in 1938. Perhaps you could let us know the source of this information. Every Blessing Tony
  15. The Book "The Classical Organ in Britain 1955-1974 (which is vol 1 of 3 covering up to 1990) might be a good place to start. It's written by Rowntree & Brennan, published by Positive Press. The entries are in size order, so you'd need to skim through the whole book to find the earliest (unless there's anything in the introduction) - I've not got time to do that at present. Also, they are very strict in what's included - non-tracker pedal actions are excluded for example (but not electric stop action). Grant, Deagan & Bradbeer were probably the first firm to go almost down the neo-baroque route, but even there, their early organs were electric action, and often included extension (perhaps inevitable with ex-Compton men in key positions!) "Twenty-One Years of Organ Building" Forsythe-Grant contains a listing. On another note, I've recently got hold of photo-copies of Compton-Makin brochures from the early 1970's if they're any use.
  16. Hi I thought the light console was dreamt up by Fred Bentham of Strand Electrics (at the time probably the major UK manufacturer of stage lighting equipment) and he went to Compton for the technical skills to make it happen. Certainly that's what it says in his book on stage lighting that I often borrowed from our local library back in the day. In a modified, less flamboyant layout, the light console continnued in production for a while.
  17. Hi A slightly unusual request. Some time ago I wrote (or to be accurate, improvised a lot) os short pieces to introduce a series of sermons on the 7 Churches of Revelation. As part of the introduction to no.1 I used bell sounds (from a keyboard) for something that sounded vaguely like change ringing on 7 bells. I'm re-visiting the sermons, so thought I'd take the opportunity to revisit my short compositions, so, does anyone have any pointers to a suitable short change-ringing pattern for 7 bells that ends in rounds? For what it's worth, the original rrecording I did is on Soundcloud at - and you'll soon hear why it needs re-working! (The other pieces are also on Soundcloud. Thanks in anticipation Every Blessing Tony
  18. 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
  19. Hi Received the following e-mail yesterday:- " A Fond Farewell from Allegro Music! After just over 34 years in business, Allegro Music is closing its music retail doors to the general public on Friday 8th February 2019 We will be continuing our production of archive reprints on behalf of Oxford University Press, ABRSM and Schott & Co Ltd, but we will no longer supply in-print sheet music from any publisher. Our organ stock has moved to: ChurchOrganWorld Sovereign House 30 Manchester Road Shaw OL2 7DE Tel: 01706 888 100 Email: music@churchorganworld.co.uk www.churchorganworld.co.uk" The end of an era! Every Blessing Tony
  20. Hi Last night's carol service - at which I ended up leading & preaching as well as playing - is the last "big" service for me this year. We're not having anything at church on Christmas Eve, and just a simple service C\christmas Morning. Last night was a little fraught due to various illnesses leading to late changes in readers (& preacher!). Musically it went fairly well with our normal mix of traditional carols plus a handful of "worship" songs. Wishing forum members a happy & blessed Christmas. Tony
  21. Thanks to Fiffaro (David) for his encouragement. Sadly, the hospital in Coventry has a very poor wi-fi system, and an even more unreliable mobile signal. I did try & keep up with various things in the first few weeks, but gave up just before my surgery was due - and I was feeling rather ill. I'm eventually catching up - still some lingering discomfort from the surgery & I'm still getting rather tired - the surgeon told me that recovery would be a long process, and it seems he was right! Every Blessing Tony
  22. Hi I too remember the Organ Gallery R3 series - I think I may still have some that I recorded off-air on cassette. Every Blessing Tony
  23. Hi The only thing I've decided on definitely is Guillmant's Introduction and Variations on a Polish Carol to end the 2 carol services (in different churches) that I'm playing for. My recent illness means that I'm rather rusty and trying to get playing techniques sorted out. I've no service on Christmas Eve this year, and Christmas Day tends to be a short, informal affair, which should be easy enough to find suitable music for. Every Blessing Tony
  24. Hi I agree the forum has been rather slow of late (except when I look this morning!). I'm one of the moderators of another organ forum, and that's been even slower than here - I guess a lot of organists are busy with Christmas service preparations, etc. At least I have an excuse for not posting much recently - I've rather ill, ended up in hospital for 11 weeks, including major surgery - the surgeon said it would take a long time to recover from, and he wasn't joking! I've only got 2 carol services (one in another church that doesn't have a regular organist) and Christmas Day to worry about this year. As to the retention of hand blowing, I was grateful for that feature when we had a power cut during a wedding that I was playing for. I've also played a couple of organs that only have hand blowing - there's a quick demo of one of them (mobile phone recording) on my You Tube channel - . The organ dates from 1851 and is probably the earliest example of John Laycock's work (before the Laycock & Bannister firm was established). The organ has been in Cowling Hill Baptist since 1873, being originally built for Glusburn Baptist. Every Blessing Tony
  25. Hi So far I've only got 4 or 5 of the Priory DVD's. I find them very interesting and intend to buy some more in the future. The section on the Norwich Cathedral DVD where David Dunnett demonstrates how he plays one of the pieces is a masterclass in organ control. Every Blessing Tony
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