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Mander Organs

Tony Newnham

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Everything posted by Tony Newnham

  1. Hi I strrongly suspect that BBC news coverage of such events is determined more by the availability of camera crews. Also, it's essential to let media know about events - don't expect them to pick things up, send a press release well in advance - then at least you might have a small chance of some coverage. Every Blessing Tony
  2. Hi Probably because the information NPOR was given differs from what's actually on the stops! A common problem.
  3. Thanks for letting us know. Coincidentally, our local Organists' Association visited an organ that he has recently rebuilt yesterday - an originally 3 rank Compton Miniatura which he has rebuilt with some minor tonal changes to the Great chorus, and the addition of an unenclosed Trumpet. The instrument, at Bablake School, Coventry (not yet on NPOR) makes a fine sound in the school hall. In contrast, our second visit, just down the road, was another Miniatura - this one an untouched 4 rank version. Quite a contrast in sound, despite a basically similar stop list, but again a very good sound and and instrument that fills the church with sound when required, yet has some pleasant quiet sounds - and all from 4 ranks of pipes. If the recordings are OK, I'll be posting some clips on You Tube in the next few days.
  4. Hi Coincidentally, I've just finished re-reading "Baroque Tricks". The fact is the RFH organ is what it is. Any other builder would have faced the same problems as Downes & H&H in building something in the acoustic of the building. It was intended really as an experiment I suspect. It is what it is. Put it in a resonant acoustic and I suspect it would sound foul - Downes remarks on the difference in sounds of the pipes in the moderately reverberant area where H&H had set up a voicing machine and in the organ itself, so pipes voiced for the hall won't work effectively elsewhere. Maybe Compton would have done something that worked fairly well, given their reputation for dealing with difficult situations - but then, they installed a temporary electronic in the RFH before the pipe organ was ready, and - even allowing for the limitations of the technology of the era - no one says it was a success. It's perhaps nice to speculate, but in reality the player has to make the best of thee organ that (s)he is playing. Every Blessing Tony
  5. Hi The IBO run a redundant organ listing on their website, which is perhaps the ideal central listing for such instruments - but when we were looking to dispose of the c.1820 chamber organ from Heaton Baptist when the church closed, we had no enquiries from there at all - and that was for a historic instrument that had been fully restored by a major UK firm less than 10 years previously. The Methodist Church also have a listing scheme, and the Heaton organ was listed there and drew a few enquiries, but only 2 from the UK - both from organ builders who were concerned that it was not just destroyed. In the end it went to Australia- to a training scheme for young potential church musicians. Incidentally, it took an organ builder just 1/2 day to dismantle and pack the organ (5 stops). It's the restoration & reinstallation that takes the time. As to electronic substitutes, I don't think church authorities always consider the potential life-span of the instrument - and Hauptwerk and other similar systems running on ordinary computers are a real worry - we all know how long a typical computer lasts! Every Blessing Tony
  6. Hi Although there have been many more examples in the last couple of decades, Nave organs are nothing new! St James, Edgbaston (now long redundant and closed) had a Nave organ installed in 1891! The work, along with some additions & revoicing of the main organ was done by Nicholsons. The main organ was in a South chancel chamber, and was a reasonably sized 3 manual, having been moved to the chancel from the West End by Henry Jones, the original builder, in 1886 - 9 years after it was built. The Nave organ was elevated at the head of the South Nave aisle - and on a very convoluted tracker action! Playable from Great or Choir, the stop list was:- Double Diapason Bass 16 Double Diapason Treble 16 Large Open 8 Small Open 8 Clarabella 8 Principal 4 Harmonic Flute 4 Trumpet 8 Spare slide When I knew the instrument in the 1970's. the Nave disvision was all but unplayable, so I can't really coment on its effectiveness (the main organ wasn't far behind, but we did manage to make it useable). Full stop list on NPOR at N07334 Perhaps such departments are not as new a phenomenon as we might think! Every Blessing Tony
  7. I remember my organ teacher mentioning that she was playing the woodwind parts in an ensemble performance - can't remember what or where at this distance of time! Early theatre organs (and Harmoniums) were often used as part of a small orchestra, and there's some comments on this in instruction books of the period. One for Harmonium covers this exact area (sorry, the title escapes me at present) and George Toothill's book on playing theatre organ also makes mention of the subject. In the reed organ world, such instruments were often part of the palm court orchestras and similar enselmbles of the day. I'd be interested to know how much pipe organs have been (and are) involved in such ensembles. ​In more recent times, some of us use (or have used) pipe organs as part of church music groups, although in all of this, the problem of pipe organ pitch shifting with temperature can be an issue, as can the fact that many older organs are not tuned to A=440Hz.
  8. Hi The NPOR lists around 35,000 organs that are or have been installed in the UK - and it's fr from comprehensive in some geographical areas and denominations - I'd think the 120,000 is a significant underestimate! Every Blessing Tony
  9. Hi I came across this instrument by Gilks when doing some NPOR updates. St Andrew, Edburton, West Sussex 1mp Stops:- Diapason Gedackt Coulers:- Pedal 16ft Manual 16ft Manual 8ft Manual 4ft Manual 2 2/3ft Manual 2ft This reminds me of the stop lists of certain early electronic organs! Strange beast. Every Blessing Tony
  10. Please send NPOR the details - plus those of any earlier organs. We are aware that NPOR is missing info on some RC churches (among other denominations), but are reliant on users to let us know! Every Blessing Tony
  11. Hi If I'm thinking about the same device, it functions virtually as a reversible piston would, except you push down one end for on & the other for off. Every Blessing Tony
  12. The joys of the jobbing organist! Even pipe organs, as we know well, can be problematic. One wedding I played for was in a church that rarely used its pipe organ - to the extent that water could be heard bubbling in the pneumatic action. Swell had loads of missing notes (but strangely, worked OK via the Swell to Choir coupler - so the lower manual served as Swell throughout the servicce). The real issue though was during the first hymn, when everything started sounding thin & unbalanced. I discovered that the lowest 2 octaves of both Great Diapasons had stopped working (both on off-note chests), leaving a quiet stop as the only Great 8ft. Not as bad as a cyther on the pedal Bombarde that I once heard - droning through half the final hymn and the closing prayers of a service until the reservoir emptied! Glad I wasn't playing that time! Hope it all goes well and the orgn is fixed for tomorrow. Every Blessing Tony
  13. Hi I once had a guest organist come to play the single manual, 5 stop unenclosed chamber organ in my last church. The first questions was "where's the swell pedal". Every Blessing Tony
  14. Hi The small organ I acquired to rebuild at home (sadly, an aborted project) had a rank labelled "Stopped Diapason" - aside from the lowest octave, it was nothing of the sort, consiting of open wooden pipes - Clarabellla would be a more accurate description. Stops labelled "Stop Diapason & Clarabella" are also found - a stopped bass with open pipes in the treble. I guess it was part of the transition away from the early English organ to the Victorian/Edwardian style of instrument. Every Blessing Tony
  15. Hi Love the swell pedal story David - when we were at Heaton Baptist (c,1820 Chamber Organ) a visiting organist's first question was "Where's the swell pedal" - she was somewhat surprised when I said there wasn't one! There are a handful of UK organs with half-draw stops - I've come across a few on NPOR - but not (yet) played one. It may be possible to use a half draw on some stops (with mechanical stop action) to provide a celeste effect - but the position of the stop knob is critical, and the effect will probably only really be useable across a limited compass. Andrew Teague (former organist of Bradford Cathedral) used this technique to good effect on the aforementiond Heaton organ at the re-opening recital after its restoration by Willis'. Every Blessing Tony
  16. Congratulations. Enjoy the new challenges. Every Blessing Tony
  17. The adverts subsidise the cost of the magazine! There have been a few installations by American organ builders in recent years - maybe they think it's an untapped market for them? Personally, aside from Choir & Organ, which also covers the American organ scene, I've not seen many US organ builder ads (other than digitals) in either Organists' Review or The Organ. It also operates in reverse - I'm pretty sure than some UK organ builders advertise in the USA - and our hosts here have (had?) a US presence for several years. Every Blessing Tony
  18. Harmonium UK 2016 September 10th & 11th provide an opportunity for musicians & enthusiasts to explore the wonderful world of the Harmonium. The event, under the auspices of the Reed Organ Society will include concerts, demonstrations, and exhibition of historic material and artefacts, talks, and more. The venue for the events is Hammerwood Park, a stately home in the idyllic Sussex countryside near East Grinstead in East Sussex. Hammerwood Park was built in 1792 by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764 - 1820), architect of the White House and US Capitol Building in Washington D.C., and many others. Hammerwood is close to Gatwick Airport and the Channel Ports and Channel Tunnel (and there is a heliport close by!). Closest railway station is East Grinstead. There are many hotels and B&B options within easy reach. The event runs from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. Day visitors are welcome. Advance booking is essential for the conference, but, space allowing, the concerts on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon will be open to the public. Further information from:- revtonynewnham@gmail.com (please give an e-mail address if possible). Rev Tony Newnham (Reed Organ Society UK Representative) 32 Juliet Drive RUGBY CV22 6LY Web sites: Reed Organ Society http://www.reedsoc.org/ Hammerwood Park http://hammerwoodpark.co.uk/
  19. Hi I've seen descriptions of a couple of extension organs where the stops on both manuals are the same - including one, if my memory is correct, built as a touring organ for Rick Wakeman by our hosts here. It certainly makes some sense if the organist(s) are prepared to understand the concept and not try and make it perform like a conventional 2 manual instrument. Every Blessing Tony
  20. Hi You include use for blended worship - this raises a couple of questions. Firstly, the location of other musicians in the church - a West End organ with band/choir at the other end of the Nave is always going to be problematical in terms of balance, and also possiby sightlines. Also, as is well knwon, the pitch of a pipe organ shifts significantly with temperture, so unless the church is consitently heated to the same temperature, tuning, especially with brass & wooding, can become a big problem. Maybe, if money really isn't an object, put in a West End organ to make the best use of the existing case, and in an appropriate style, and do something else at the other end of the building. Maybe even a digital - the one advantage of which is that the tuning is stable. The real starting point though has got to be the more detailed musical aspirations of the Parish. Every Blessing Tony
  21. Even some of the organ groupes on Facebook have been quieter than usual - there have been a few posts on "Organ Matters", but otherwise, everywhere is pretty quiet - just one of those things. Maybe everyone is busy frantically trying to get Christmas repertoire sorted & practiced! Every Blessing Tony
  22. VERY SAD Pit they weren't restored properly.
  23. Wish I was still in the area Peter. David is well worth hearing. Every Blessing Tony
  24. Hi This Thursday (8th October) I'm giving a lunchtime recital on the Willis organ of St Michael the Archangel, Retford. Programme is:- Rondeau (from Abdelazer) (Henry Purcell arr. Christopher Morris) Prière à Notre-Dame (from Gothic Suite) Leon Boëlmann Andante Semplice (Eric Tomlinson) Short Prelude & Fugue in D minor BWV 554 (J.S. Bach (attrib) Lied ohne Worte (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Transcribed by Maurizio Machella) Variations on “Happy Land” (George Shearing) Introductory Voluntary & Fugues (James Nares 1715-1783) Faith (Duncan Macleod) Every Blessing Tony
  25. Well said Philip As one of the editors who has been unable to do much recently, I find it frustrating (a house move with all the sorting out that entails, plus retirement and my wife being largely out of action for 6 months due to a very badly broken arm), not to mention my own health issues. I'm hoping to get back into some sort of routine shortly. Please keep information coming to NPOR. We will get to it eventually Every Blessing Tony
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