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father-willis

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About father-willis

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  1. Norman & Beard Question

    I was desperately trying to remember where this one was and by chance came across it just now! It's not on the great division - to answer the original question - but unusual non-the-less. I think the instrument was listed as redundant a little while ago: I don't know what, if anything, has happened to it. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01505
  2. Music for Inductions

    Ummmmm....ah....well.....yes...no...maybe...! The Euphonium was added in 1901 as something to back-up the great and be a reed for that division (originally the Tuba Mirabilis was on 8" wind and was supposed to be the final addition to full organ - it wasn't a fog-horn! and has always been enclosed). The Euph. pipes are high up in the chamber behind the wall on the other side of which the great organ is placed. The pipes are noted in the shop book to be of thick plain metal. They are on the same pressure as the tuba (raised to 10" c.1921) and are the same scale with harmonic trebles. It was called Euphonium from the outset but the pipes are marked 'Horn' and since the '50s rebuild have been called Tromba, but it really is nothing like a tromba, thank goodness! How much, if any, revoicing has been done is unknown but it does have a perculiar sonority. An article was written in the 1940s by the, then, assistant organist, Herbert Byard mentioning that this stop was somewhat unusual, clear and not cloying with large chords being very clear when played he likened it to aHarrison small tuba/tromba....I think! I'll see if there's anything else about it. Does anyone know of any other Euphonia?
  3. Music for Inductions

    Ha! Wonderful to be intriguing. It's no secret, in fact it's far better more people know so that they can come along (although Canada is a little far away). All Saints', Cheltenham. Where Gustav Holst was Baptised and grew up, wrote some very early organ pieces, and his father, Adolphe von Holst was married and was first organist. Anyone is very welcome to join us or visit the very fine Grade I church (John Middleton) and play the organ.
  4. Music for Inductions

    That's fascinating. Do tell more; PM me if you'd like!
  5. Music for Inductions

    Well, if it is, there will be far fewer people attending and before that happens there will alomost certainly be a battle or two from members of the congregation, choir and, not least, the D of Mus! We are probably the only church in the area to offer a mass setting and motet, with a fully choral evensing every week! F-W
  6. Music for Inductions

    Thanks to all for the suggestions. I still haven't seen anything concerning the service (which is on Jan 22nd!) but I have learned (3rd hand) that there will be no anthem; just hymns - six of them! Christ triumphant, ever reigning - Great The Lord's my shepherd I'll not want - Not sure I know it (Stuart Townend setting) Be thou my vision - Oh dear, not again! O thou who camest from above - Great I The Lord of sea and sky - Oh no! Let us build a house where love can dwell - What? I don't suppose anyone has an outragious version of 'I the Lord of sea and sky'? We don't have it often, it's not that kind of place. But when we do I'm afraid it's orchestral reeds, nothing above 4' and all the tremulants with chords of added anythings galore! Some love it, the choir think it's hilarious! And what is the last one...?? Anyone have a copy they wouldn't mind scanning please? F-W
  7. Music for Inductions

    Dear all, Following on from the Credo settings I wonder if m'learned friends out there have any suggestions for music for an Induction service? We have a new team rector coming at the end of January. Suggestions for organ music, but more especially choral, would be welcome. It may be that we have to have choir members from the other churches and therefore will limit our contribution but for now any suggestions are welcome! Happy New Year to all! F-W
  8. Haydn Trumpet Concerto

    I don't suppose anyone has an arrangement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto for organ which they would be willing to scan for me or know of an arrangement available swiftly? I need it for a wedding on Friday(!). F-W
  9. New console Notre Dame de Paris

    St Mary's Pz is indeed a whopper - far too big for the church. In Oxford it was free-standing on the stone choir screen in a large building. It moved to Pz and was placed on a west gallery the sound being reflected down into a - not small but - much smaller building. The result is very unsatisfactory. So much to use but you dare not! The stock-piled pipework came from up the road. St Paul's church had closed in 2000 and the Robson/Hele organ was partly dismantled and there was the idea of replacing some of the 'Oxford' pipework with that from St Pauls' to help make the organ a little more useful. The, then, assistant organist subsequently moved and nothing happened. Whether the stored pipes are still in the galley at St Mary's, I do not know. The old organ in St Mary's was magnificent or perhaps aristocratic would better describe it. It had gentle majesty. Yes a few extra bits would have been nice and the choir organ never received the intended enclosure. The Diapasons rich, warm and round: the Stopped Diapsaons wonderfully 'Old World' and the pedal Trombone was one of my favourites - rich, incisive, clear - all that could be required. St John's Pz is very good. I played it a great deal before the rebuild and it was always a joy, apart from, perhaps, the slightly sluggish pneumatic action. I also played a lot on and quite enjoyed St Paul's Pz. Unfortunately the organ stood in it's own chamber with not very large openings through rather massice Cornish granite walls which made it rather distant. Given a more open position this could have been very good indeed. The great Trumpet was splashy and free and the choir reed quite correctly engraved, 'Clarionet et Bassoon 8' it having a true bassoon bass octave. This too had a rustic charm. St Paul's had an interesting history. St Mary's (church) had been rebuilt in 1835 and was typical of the period as an auditory church (galleries on three sides) though the building is quite lofty and presents a majestic outline high on the headland (this being the origin of the town's name form the Cornish 'Pen Sans' meaning Holy Headland...the land of Saints, St john the Baptist' head on a charger being the - old - Borough Arms and he being the patron Saint of the town) above Penzance with a very fine tower (and all in granite). Henry Batten was the vicar (actually the Perpetual Curate at that time, but that is more history!) and was/must have been at the fore-front of the religious revival - the Oxford Movement. He had St Paul's built as a private chapel and held 'High' services there with a robed choir. It was noted for miles and miles around and was only the third church in the C of E to revive the Christmas Midnight Mass (the others being, I think, Margaret Street in London and St Hilda's Leeds). So 'advanced' as it was that 'The Times' sent a special correspondent down to the midnight service - and that before anything like a significant railway service! The Methodist chapel just up the road from St Mary's has a 'collision' organ. Parts of their own old Walker and most of the 1867 Bryceson organ from St John's Hall (The Town Hall). That was, again, before a properly integrated railway system ran all through to Pz; was then the largest organ in Cornwall and opened by W T Best. Regretably it had been dismantled at some time (during the war or shortly afterwards?) and stored in the cellars. The then organist of Chapel Street* Wesleyan Chapel, Hugh Branwell, a local wealthy business man offered a pitiful amount for it and it was 'let go'! Then the Sweetland Organ Company of Bath rebuilt the two organs together in two 'cases', perhaps boxes would better describe them, in the chapel gallery controlled by a console between. In recent years Lance Foy has cleaned and done some other work to this organ including turning some of the 16' Violones around so that the very fine stencil desgin can now be seen. (It is my secret wish to, firstly become immensely rich, and then return the grand old Bryceson to the Town Hall!). *Chapel Street itself is not named after the Weslyan Methodist Chapel but firstly after St Mary's 'Chapel' as it was until 1870 when it bacmae a sepearate parish the church of Madron being the ancient mother Church of the district and before the Reformation an for some time after was actually called 'Our lady Street'. Father-Willis (Cornishman in exile!).
  10. A fantastic project about to get underway in Yorkshire

    This got me thinking. We have a B & F here in Cheltenham, http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N07458 I'll see if I can get in to see it sometime soon. (Also should be getting into the Town Hall in the next few days, http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N07449 'rubbished' by quite a few but i am beginnig to think otherwise). F-W
  11. Rushworth & Dreaper - 1930s

    Yes and no. I live in Cheltenham and have played the organ in the Town Hall but only with orchestra in choral works which provide for organ backing/filling out. I didn't have much time to try it out in any detail but I can't say that I found anything 'wrong' with it apart from a couple of notes not playing, one on either of the Gt Diapasons. The pneumatic action works well enough but will require attention in the not too distant future. In fact it made rather a good sound, quite powerful and rich. It is well laid out in a very spacious area raised up behind the choral seating and designed, so it is said, by Sir H Brewer of Gloucester Cathedral. The only disadvantage, as I gather, is that the sound doesn't realy penetrate tha hall that well. 'High and lifted up' it might be but it and the choir seats are in a kind of alcove behind a somewhat lower arch. In front of the arch there is a stage area for and orchestra (a more recent addition, I think). I have permission to go into the Town Hall and play the organ (just to make sure it gets used) whenever the hall is not in use but finding a time when I am able, when the hall is open but not in use seems almost impossible! Hooray for a well used Town Hall if not fur a well used organ. F-W
  12. Liszt

    I wonder if anyone can help? As it is a Liszt anniversary year I thought I would learn something else by him. I already play the P + F on 'BACH', the Db 'consolation' and a few other trifles. So I have decided to learn the 'Ad nos'. I have the 'Universal' edition but have discovered already a couple of clear misprints. Those that play it; what is the best or most authoritative edition? Having listened to a couple of recordings there are differences in the notes as well as interpretation. Help! F-W
  13. Redundant Organ available

    [sorry, 'father.willis', no redundant 32' stops. ] Ha! never mind. thank you for keeping it in mind though. F-W
  14. T C Lewis & Thomas Hill

    As noted above on the 'Grove' the wind pressures are recorded as: The Organ, no.141 Volume XXXVI page 17 Great Flues 4.5" Great Reeds 8" Swell Flues 5" Swell Reeds 8" Choir All 4" Solo Flues 6" Solo Reeds 16" Pedal Flues 5" Pedal Reeds 16" But there must be some confusion here. Perhaps H. Stubbington is recording what the pressures would be in the completed/combined organs. I remember talk about some wind pressures with John Budgen when I helped put in the replacement tuba on the Milton/apse solo. That rank came from the Norman & Beard organ of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate and is quite a bit bigger in scale than the Grove specimen. I never heard the Grove tuba in the apse division but when the N&B one went in (around 1987/8) some commented that it actually sounded better than the other. Perhaps this was because the scale was bigger and was made for a similar pressure. I'm pretty sure that the Milton/apse tuba was on 16" wind and that of the Grove was lower (12") and so Walkers had indeed revoiced it in 1948 and moved the rank up one pipe, to allow for the different pitch, making a new bottom C pipe. Thus the Grove tuba as it is now does not sound as M & Th left it. I can't find an older piece recording the Grove wind pressures but in the recent publication, 'Tewkesbury Abbey. The Abbey Organs' of 2008 by Nicholas Plumley the original Grove pressures are given as: Great flues 3 1/2" - 4" Great reeds 5 3/4" Swell flues 3 1/2" Swell reeds 5 3/4" Choir 3 1/2" Solo flues 3 1/2" Solo reeds 12" Pedal flues - various Pedal reeds 12" This is almost certainly what I remember. Is any body in contact with John Budgen, he seemed to know the instrument inside-out? F-W
  15. T C Lewis & Thomas Hill

    Tewkesbury is very much a case in point. Carlton Michell deliberately designed the organ now known as The Grove to combine Lewis-style fluework and Willis-style reeds - i.e. both musical thrills contained within one (relatively small) specification. Well, yes and no! I think that the official guide to the organs does/did say something like this; that the Grove organ possessed Schulze style diapasons and Willis type reeds. I'm not entirely sure where this came from (I did know but have forgotten and I can't find the reference easily at the moment) but it could have been Clutton & Niland. Having lived with this instrument almost daily for about three years some time ago I must say that I was never convinced that the reeds were anything like Willis in style. Then comes along one Stephen Bicknell and puts us all right! In his book, 'The History of the English Organ' he has a chapter headed, 'Progressive Trends 1880 - 1900'. I will quote him from p. 289, 'This instrument (ie the 'Grove') has an importance out of all proportion to the short-lived company which built it. Its position in the development of the English organ has been somewhat misrepresented in the past, hence it must be described here in more detail. Most have accepted the easily grasped idea that it contains a 'Schulze-type diapason chorus' coupled with 'Willis-type reeds': this is not the case. The principals are indeed bold and bright, and the mixtures have no tierces; however, they are derived from the work of Lewis (and are thus already one remove from the work of Schulze) but are treated with a combination of breadth and boldness that has moved away from Lewis's dry and academic style. However, the choruses are backed up by an astonishing variety of soft and solo stops, quite unlike the simple families of gedacts, harmonic flutes and gentle strings known to Lewis (and, indeed, to Willis): the development of new imitative string tone and exotic innovations such as the Zauberflote (a stopped pipe overblowing to the second harmonic, and therefore of three times the normal length) are characteristic. The chorus reeds (voiced by W J Northcott) are also derived from Lewis's practice: despite his reputation for using low pressures, he also developed his own style of high-pressure reed voicing, which appeared at St Peter Eaton SSquare and in his concert organs. The Grove Organ reeds, are the antithesis of the techniques developed by Vincent Willis. The quality of the result is outstanding: the organ is at once more colourful and more dynamic than anything before it, and the success of the overall result suggests a very confident hand. It's a great read (!) and worth re-reading many times to digest. With regard to the English romantic organ and its use there are, of course, always interesting exceptions or deviations and puzzles. I'm sure that eminent persons here are correct in stating that mixtures were only ever used with reeds drawn. But my organ http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=R01807 (and not entirely correct here!) was built in 1887 with no great reeds at all http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N07450. True there was an enclosed tube which could have been considered and used as a reed, but this was quite far from the great organ and could only really have been for climaxes. So here, the organist must have used the great chorus as 16 - mixture; at least on occasion when the swell reeds were not in action. A fascinating period! F-W
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