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Tony Newnham

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Everything posted by Tony Newnham

  1. Hi I'm all for toleration of others preferences. I have no problem with, for example, our local Anglican church which still has a choir - and a pretty competent one at that - and I enjoy the times when I get to preach there. If a church can genuinely fill a "niche" market with one form of worship, then well and good, but the reality for many in these days of shrinking congregations is a more blended form of worship - which incidentally can be very challenging for the musicians! - is the way to go. After all, worship is (or at least should be) an attitude of mind. We come to church to worship Almighty God, not to be entertained by the beautiul (or otherwise) music. (Although if we are "entertained", so much the better). I am quite happy to worship any any context - High Anglican, Charasmatic, or anything "in between". Every Blessing Tony
  2. Hi Sorry, but no way can I agree with this sort of statement. Who said chuerch music MUST only be accompanied by the organ? What right have we to tell people that their form of worship is not acceptable? Yes, there is a place for the organ in churches in the 21st century - but it is not the only valid musical instrument - and "traditional" worship (whatever that phrase means) is not the only sort of worship that's acceptable to God. This is the sort of intollerant comment that's caused much of the anti-organ feeling in some churches. Every Blessing Tony
  3. Hi It is a gem - although probably not as flexible as your chamber organ. Details are on NPOR at E00285 - and the history that we know is traceable by following the links. We have the original Keraulophon pipes (except one that's gone missing!) in storage - now in the organ, beneath the reservoir, after we rescued them from a box in the cellar. I shall be trying for grants as soon as I get time to sort out who to ask and get the relevant paperwork. Unfortunately, the organ has been altered too much to merit an Historic Organ Certificate. The casework is also very attractive (see picture on NPOR) in Walnut veneer, with some elaborate carving. I think the organ may possibly be an early example of JohnLaycock's work - the console is very similar to that on the organ at Cowling Hill Baptist Church - but there is no evidence one way or the other - not even inside the windchest (I'm told). Once the action has been overhauled, reservoir either patched or re-leathered, and the pipework cleaned and regulated, it will be a very nice - and useable - organ. Every Blessing Tony
  4. Hi Yes - it's insteresting trying to balance the pros and cons of the various options. We date the organ as c.1850 - the stop list is certainly not typical of older English chamber organs. The long compass began to be superceeded in the mid.1850's - the pedal board is C-compass (although it's possible this was a later addition or replacement) The extra 1/2-octave in the bass does add considerable depth to the sound - especially as the pedals operate at 16ft pitch down to the lowG,(then jump back an octave). We will not be re-instating the Stopped Diapason - but I do hope to be able to get the Keraulophon back in - I've still got to convince my organist - but since I play the organ more often than he does these days, I think my views will prevail! Now all we need is the money - and a couple more quotes from organ builders for the work! Any donations gratefully received!!!! Every Blessing Tony
  5. Hi Pierre The Keraulophom is treble only. It's actually unusual to find a British organ of this age that doesn't have a Stopped Diapason (or perhaps a Clarabella) throughout the compass, along with an Open Diap and a softer rank. (Indeed, in Early English music, Stopped and Open Diapasons 8ft together is a very common registration). I'm not too worried about wind pressure - I know this can be sorted and the pipes re-voiced accordingly - but my point is that, whatever we do, there is no sure way of determining from the organ as it now stands just what the original pressure was. An organ builder could make an educated guess from the pipework cut-ups, etc - but there is no actual proof. The question of stop replacements is also an issue. Neither myself, nor our organist would want to remove the fifteenth (althoguh it does need re-voicing to blend better with the rest of the pipework), but he likes the 4ft Flute (indeed, hed removed the Keraulophon pipes and inserted the flute) whereas I find it a very poor stop (it came from an organ on a much higher wind pressure - it has a huge cut-up) and rarely use it, whereas, because when I play, it's usually with the music group, a string-toned rank would be very useful. Even if we wanted to add another stop, there's no room in the case, nor space for another stop knob on the console - and anyway, I think that we shouldn't be making alterations for the sake of it. I sometimes wonder about restoration as it's practiced - when, as at Reading Town Hall, the pitch was raised, making it difficult to use the organ with a modern symphony orchestra! The whole area is fraught with problems! I would love to see our organ fully restored to its original state,as a historic excercise it would be very interesting, - it won't happen though, because we couldn't house it, and nor would it fulfill some of the requirements we have for it. Every Blessing Tony
  6. Hi I'm very pleased to hear that this church was able to reconcile heritage issues with their current needs - that's fine if it works. SOmetimes it's not so easy. In my own church, we have a c.1850 chamber organ - unknown builder, but with a long-compass manual (down to GG), 30 note straight, flat pedalboard CC-f1 (set-up as a return coupler). Some of the pipework has been replaced over the years - including one complete rank (a Keraulophon) which is now a 4ft Flute (the only flute on the instrument). We also suspect that the 15th displaced something else, possibly a Stopped Diapason, somewhen during the instrument's history, also someone has added a tremulant and electric blowing. The pitch has been lowered to A=440, and the case cut down to get the instrument into the present building. The question of how far we go in terms of restoration (as oppossed to just overhaul/repair) is far from straightforward. For example, do we revert to the higher pitch (and if so, how do we determine what it was from altered/replaced pipework)? If we do that (which would be correct restoration practice) we then have an organ which cannot easily be used with other instruments - something that we do most Sundays. Do we, speculatively, remove the 15th and replace it with a Stopped Diapason? If we do this, the organ would not have the clarity to lead congregational singing without significant revoicing of the Principal 4ft. Do we retain the 4ft Flute (which is not really suitable, pipe-work wise), or do we repace it with a better rank? Or do we re-instate the Keraulophon (we have all but one of the pipes - recsued from a box in the cellar? Should we re-instate the foot blower - this would mean re-making some parts? What do we do about wind pressure (the bellows weights are unlikely to be the originals). What about the tremulant - at present controlled by an extremely Heath-Robinson method? What about the pipes that have been replaced? Do we retain what's there, or replace them with new that better matches in scale the existing? And that's without even thinking about the case - there's no way it can be returned to its original height in the present room anyway! These are all practical questions that we need to answer in the next few months, as fundraising has started for a much-needed overhaul. This is the reality of the heritage dichotomy in a church with ever-changing requirements. At least I think I've persuaded the treasurer away from suggesting an electronic replacement - although even that has some attractions in terms of a more flexible instrument (but not in terms of ultimate sound, or life expectancy)! The, of course, there's the issues of cost - a major problem for a small church. The organ's stop list is:- Stopped Diapason Bass (GG- Dulciana 8 (treble) Open Diapason 8 (Treble) Principal 4 (throughout) Fifteenth 2 (throughout) Flute 4 (Treble - on the Keraulophon slide) Every Blessing Tony
  7. Hi Pierre Sorry if you thought I was "getting at " you - my comments were general. I have mixed feelings about the heritage issues. I agree that it's important to retain our heritage - but on the other hand, the Church is not a museum, it's a living, changing organisation. This leads to all sorts of dicotomies! Every Blessing Tony
  8. Hi I think we are in danger of missing the point! HOW we worship God isn't really that important - it's the fact that we worship - and the attitude of the worshippers that really matter. Given the will to be open minded, God can be worshipped equally well in a Choral Evensong and a contemporary, full-on "Praise and Worship" setting! (And I'm happy to worship in either). There are grave dangers in trying to insist that our own personal taste is the only appropriate worship music! Every Blessing Tony
  9. Hi If I had a choir, I would use them - but not all the time! With care, some contemporary music can work chorally - other pieces are more suited to solo singers leading. Mixed services do work - given care in planning, and an open-minded congregation. As I said before, I have limited experience of traditional liturgical worship, but I have heard contemporary music used well. The main reason that music groups are anti-organ, in my experience, is the intransigent attitude of many organists! The danger of seperate services is that you end up with effectively 2 groups that have nothing incommon, except using the same building - and I don't think that's helpful in the Body of Christ - but we're straying into theology rather than organ matters! Every Blessing Tony
  10. Hi I agree - but then some hymns are pretty trite as well! Look at any old hymnbook - and see what's fallen by the wayside. There are some very well-written and challenging worship songs out there - and they are the ones that will survive. The dross will, eventually, fall by the wayside (but, most likely be replaced by another mix of good and bad!) Also, as you're obviously aware, stylistic criteria is different for different musical genres. Every Blessing Tony
  11. Hi It can fit - if the context is right - and it's hardly "contemporary" any more! OTOH, if it's just put in to try and be trendy, it won't work. In my service planning, I sometimes find that, to fit with the theme, readings, etc., I've chosen all traditional hymns - sometimes it'll be all contemporary - but most times it's a mix of both. Liturgical services are a different matter - and much will depend on the expectations of the congregation. As I see it, choral evensong is based in a very traditional mould - and I would expect mainly traditional Anglican music - just as our "traditional" communion service at Heaton Baptist Church uses probably 95% hymns from the hymn book. Every Blessing Tony
  12. Hi In my experience, if the music is fully intergrated into the service, the whole act of worship has a unity - and varying styles work well together. In some ways, it's no different to combining plainsong with, say, an anthem by William Matthias. I still play for services quite frequently - these days usually with our "music group" - and I will use whatever (keyboard) instrument best suits the particular item, in the context of the particular service - sometimes organ, sometimes piano or electronic keyboards. It's not necessarily the musical style that gives an act of worship its integrity. Every Blessing Tony
  13. I do not advocate scrapping the old and replacing with the new - it seems to me that the better way - for most churches anyway - is a blending of styles. The real challenge is that whatever we do needs to be done well. In my view, the organ still has a very real role to play, both for traditional elements, and also as part of musical ensembles for leading more contemporary worship styles. Every Blessing Tony
  14. And also (dare I say it on this list?) encompassing other non-traditional styles of music. EVery Blessing Tony
  15. So I should hope! There's no need for worshippers to suffer - and I hope that we clergy have a role! Every Blessing Tony
  16. SHould be interesting. Are there any more details/plans yet? Every Blessing Tony
  17. Oh dear - I'd better watch out for abductors!! Every Blessing Tony (Baptist Minister)
  18. Thanks Bill - I'll keep it in mind. At present I'm not likely to be down that way until Nov/Dec/Jan depending on when we do our Christmas visit to Mum & Dad. Every Blessing Tony
  19. A few minutes on the NPOR web site (www.bios.org.uk/npor), looking for organs with a Historic Organs Certificate (HOC) will find a number of contenders. Most of the major instruments in Cathedrals, etc. have been changed so much over the years that they can't really be called "historic". Every Blessing Tony
  20. Yes - the sound of the one in Shoreham was quite good - but the action response coupled with pipes at one end of the church and the console at the other wasn't so clever. I've also come across a single manual plus pedal 2-rank extension job by them - in SOuthwick Community Church (details on NPOR). I don't know what the current state of it is, as they've just built a new building. The plan was to re-instate the organ, but I don't know if that's actually happened. Every Blessing Tony
  21. Hi Still with Osmonds - but to change the topic slightly - I learned to play mainly on a 2 manual extension job of theirs in St. Giles, Kingston Buci, Sussex (I remember it being installed). It made some reasonable sounds - considering the amount of extension - but it put me off detahced consoles and non-tracker action for life! I was just wondering how many similar instruments they made (there are a couple of 1 m extension organs elsewhere in Sussex), and how they compare to the Walker positifs of the same era. (1960's) Every Blessing Tony
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