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Mander Organs

Chris Woollard

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About Chris Woollard

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  • Birthday 04/11/53

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  • Location
    University of Greenwich
  • Interests
    House organs in particular.<br />
  1. Polishing your Principles

    I did try the Gundel Putz, just a little. Has made quite an improvement and now I think best to leave things as they are. I am sure a professional could do more.
  2. Piano moving- off topic!

    You could also simply phone Fletcher and Newman on 01732 886555
  3. Piano moving- off topic!

    As mad organist suggests, try the following : http://www.heckscher.co.uk/upright-safety-castors/
  4. Movable Positive

    Jeff, I have completed the job now and everything has worked out fine. Using very substantial castors plus the heavy plywood base has certainly worked. It was a two person job of course and I am pleased to get it over with just before I retire rather than waiting any longer. Fortunately my floor is concrete and poses no flexing problems at all. The organ was dismantled for the move onto the platform, there being no safe way to simply raise it. It moves very smoothly.
  5. Movable Positive

    I have managed to source eight very heavy duty fixed castors (using roller bearings) easily capable of carrying the load so I am going to construct a thick plywood trolly base using these. Delignit is available readily at this size but that is probably going overboard. I also have to make two smaller and lighter trolleys to hold two concert grand actions the primary requirement being an absolutely level bed - but that is another story.
  6. Movable Positive

    Colin, The floor is poured concrete so no problem there probably. I do not know the weight of the case or chest but both required two strong men to move into place.
  7. Movable Positive

    My house organ has a positive division measuring approximately 2m wide by 1m deep by 1.4m high. It comprises a heavy outer case containing display pipes which are connected by conveyances to the wind chest, upon which the remaining pipes stand internally. The wind chest is not directly connected to the outer case but simply sits within it. The positive is positioned against a wall which makes direct access for tuning from the rear impossible. The action is direct electric to a slider chest. It has its own small blower installed within the case. Does anyone know of a roller system which could take the considerable weight of this assembly and make possible movement at least 18" or so forwards so that tuning from the rear becomes possible. Raising the height a few inches would not matter at all.
  8. North German Organ, Gothenburg.

    May I ask how you found the touch on this organ. Was it heavy and deep with a real feel of inertia, or something to the contrary.
  9. RFH Symposium

    Dame Gillian was presented with the invitation to perform as a surprise. Not sure about that but she was wearing attractive dress shoes with very pointed fronts. Perhaps she felt heels were safer. Following the performance she was presented with a huge cake to celebrate fifty recitals at the RFH. Dame Gillian then reflected that the number was in fact some 56. I also would have appreciated a conclusion to the paper on pipe scales, especially why the pyramid shaped scaling was chosen. Perhaps this is simply not known.
  10. RFH Symposium

    What a pleasure yesterday to hear Professor Lionel Rogg and Dame Gillian Weir play once more. The concluding recital by Margaret Phillips was spectacular. There was mention of the return of regular recitals. The live video tour of the organ interior was a really good idea. Large screen live video presentations are readily possible these days. Could be used as a way to present the artist hidden up in the loft to the audience far more often. When will the RAH follow by treating its magnificent instrument with some degree of seriousness and exploiting it on behalf of the public.
  11. On the evening of May 10th Donald MacKenzie, resident organist of the Odeon Leicester Square, accompanied two silent film classics on the dual Mander organs of this wonderfully intimate cathedral, this event being part of the first centenary festival. The evening was quite magnificent, a real tour de force display of the art of the cinema organist. The colours and dynamic range employed supported the film perfectly, by far the most accomplished film organ performance I have attended in a great while. The organs themselves proved superb for this type of music making. These days projection at such events is very easy to set up and worked very well on the evening. I wish other great churches would follow suit - we have the instruments and the talent. The cathedral staff were fantastic also. Donald played from the console of the chancel organ, where the screen was erected. Having such fine organs in front of and behind the audience was fully exploited. Best night I have had at the movies for years.
  12. Polishing your Principles

    Never heard of washing pipes in beer, better not drink what comes off. I did hear of E. Power Biggs toasting the then new Busch-Reisinger museum organ with champagne poured from a pipe though.
  13. Polishing your Principles

    On a recent trip to Germany, my hosts gave me a couple of tubes of "Gundel-Putz" which is what they use to polish their prestant pipes. My organ uses the 4 & 2ft. Principal's as display pipes also, I believe they are 70% tin. Over the years they have gone a little dull and it would be nice to restore their sheen - but only if safe to do so. Is there a safe way of going about this (I would say leave the mouth area completely alone) or is the risk simply too great. Nothing wrong with them musically.
  14. Organ Air Conditioning

    The Dominic Gwynn article is excellent, thank you Colin for posting the link. The little organ I tried had a new form of blower which supplied wind at an absolutely constant pressure no matter what the wind demand. I believe to save space in the design no reservoir being required. I did get to play a recent organ inspired by very old instruments which was hand blown with a deliberately unsteady wind, large wedge bellows with nothing else to steady the wind. The flue stops of this organ were indeed somewhat out of tune with each other (there was an electric blower option) but the flexible wind masked this effectively producing a rather different sound. Very interesting for early music apart from the pedal reed which was simply too loud. Looks like I will have to try some form of room temperature control also. I would not be surprised if open toe voicing accentuates the problem as very tiny changes in dimensions between lower lip and languid change the voicing.
  15. Organ Air Conditioning

    I very recently visited friends living in central Germany who happen to have a very nice house organ of 11 stops resident in their largest room. Certainly a splendid instrument. Very high quality pipe work. Playing it is a delight. Germans tend to be very green indeed so I was a little surprised to see a rather large air conditioning unit installed in that room only. This is simply there for the organ. Before this they had only a very nice Steinway B with no special provision other than a humidifier for extreme winter weather. The organ apparently demanded the air conditioner, but not for continual use. They seem to play mostly on weekends and so during hot weather week days the organ gets hot. On weekends the A/C brings the temperature of that room down to a nominal 22 degrees. Is this a sensible way to stop organs from turning into a giant celeste during extreme weather. I must admit I have a similar problem at home. Has anyone observed similar provisions, for organs small or large. Is this a standard provision for concert organs.
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