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Mander Organs

David Thornton

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Everything posted by David Thornton

  1. No, I like it too. I've got it on an EP from Coventry Cathedral played by David Lepine. I played it for an exam many years ago and still give it a dusting-down occasionally. DT
  2. As one who got the organ bug early on, I wanted to run before I could walk; I guess many of you did also. From about the age of 11 I started collecting organ recordings, a number of which were played to death during my teens. Performances were memorised in every nuance, scores purchased and the easier bits learned, the harder bits simplified if possible or just omitted. The music shop said I'd never play them, my organ teacher just stuck to the exam grade pieces, but I still presevered! So, here are my top 5 inspirational LPs from my dim and distant youth: Crown Imperial, from Westminster Abbey/Simon Preston Great Cathedral Organ Series - York Minster/Francis Jackson Great Cathedral Organ Series - Hereford/Melville Cook 2 Bach LPs from Gross Munster, Zurich, played by Andre Marchal (performances well ahead of their time in the mid 60s) I also loved many of the Rymuse EP series, in particular York and Liverpool. I've still got them all, and quite a few more, but wouldn't dream of playing them now (I'm ashamed to say that I sold the turntable a few years ago). So, what turned you on to the organ in your early years?
  3. I heard St. Sernin about 4 years ago, someone rather good was practicing so we sat and walked around the Basilica for about an hour. The player used mostly quiet to mezzo combinations, up to full Recit and most of the Grande, but not the big Pedale or Grande reeds. The thing that impressed me the most was the pervasive nature of the sound, quiet combinations and single stops just filled the whole church regardless of where you were stood. The Grande Flute Harmonique was so solid it felt like you could reach out and touch the sound. You don't get that at St. Sulpice, even less so at Notre Dame, you do however get it at Chartres! We've visited St. Ouen but didn't have any opportunity to hear the organ - the Abbey is absolutely vast! We will definitely be returning to hear it some time.
  4. I was brought up on recitals here from about 1967 during my teens, the last time I heard it was playing myself during my student days - a long time ago so memories are a bit hazy. Then, it was as Nicholsons left it, not Sixsmiths. The acoustics are really dire, probably worse that I remember as it's carpeted now, the church was also pretty full last night which was nice to see. I felt sorry for Geoffrey and Roger considering what they were up against. The wind pressures have been raised back to the Binns' originals, all previously solid pannelled parts of the case have been replaced with rather nice open fretwork panels, much organ material at lower levels has gone and the space above the Swell box utilised better. So, more sound gets out and I thought it sounded less brittle and more integrated than I remembered. However, IMO David's 'House Style' of registration did not suit a small church with dry acoustics - too much use of manual doubles/sub-octave couplers/acoustic 32s/thick and loud combinations. I've heard him do this to good effect at Blackburn and Liverpool but would have prefered less dense texture in this acoustic. Also, we didn't hear all the quite solo-type registers by anymeans. It looks like a proper job and I'm sure the church has got good VFM. Go and hear it for yourself. DT
  5. A day in Palma last week found us attending a recital by Michel Bouvard on a newly finished organ by Grenzing. This was one of a week's series of recitals by Peter Planyavsky, Josep Griner (Spain), Bouvard, Michal Novenko (Prague), and our very own Martin Baker. I would have liked to have heard some of the other recitals, but it being a family holiday!!!! I gather that the organ was only finished this year, it's not on Grenzing's web site yet. It would appear to be a rebuild around material from 1771 by Jordi Bosch, featuring 57 speaking stops. 3 manuals - Iberian 'Orgue Major' (Great) and 'Cadireta (Chair), and a French Swell, the pedal includes a 32 Bombarda. The Great includes 9 reeds! It looks superb and makes a really thrilling sound in a large, resonant but clear acoustic. We heard P&F in D by Bach, a transcription of some Mendelssohn piano variations, Chorale No.2 by Franck, a set of variations by Michel Bouvard's father, and Dieu Parmi Nous by Messiaen. I you're going to Majorca, look this one up DT
  6. David Briggs is re-opening St Mary's Clitheroe this Thursday, 5th June after yet another rebuild. The recital is preceded by a talk by Roger Fisher (consultant) and Geoffrey Coffin (Principal Pipe Organs) at 7.00. No idea what David's playing, but it's sure to include at least 1 improvisation. DT
  7. Quite a few people have recommended the Edirol R-09. A few colleagues have bought these and rated them very highly, but they get much better results with an external stereo condenser microphone such as the Rode NT4 X/Y. This is basically a standard condenser mic with 2 electrets set at 90 degrees, they aren't cheap - about £200, but well worth adding in the future. Our LEA supplier 'Dawsons Music' was doing a package of Edirol, Rode, Mini boom mic stand, and decent headphones for £445. DT
  8. Been there, heard it! On the way back from the Dordogne last August we paid a visit as part of a long-term plan to see all the Cathedrals of France. We arrived on a Sunday in time for the 11.00 mass not expecting the new organ to be used, but, the lights came on and the doors slowly opened. A lady organist competently accompanied the mass from a modest 2 manual in the choir, whilst we heard an unknown Bach Chorale Prelude after the Gospel, an improvisation during the offertory and Bach's Fantasia in G at the end (not played particularly well!) on the Quoirin. What we heard of the organ sounded very good and I intend to return to hear it properly some time in the future. I guess that it hadn't been played at services much before, most of the departing congregation stood looking up to the organ at the end then watched to doors close. The organ was formally dedicated in September, followed by 5 recitals by noted French organists including: Leguay, Escaich, Pincemaille, Isoir and Lecaudey. It certainly looks stunning in the building, the photos don't do it justice at all If you visit the web site http://orgues.evreux.free.fr/ you can hear substantial tracks from Lecaudey's recital: Mozart Fantasie in F, Franck Chorale No.2, Reubke fugue. DT
  9. Thanks for that, I'll put these 2 dates in my diary. DT
  10. Did anyone go to Colin Walsh's re-opening recital last Saturday? Unfortunately I had a family engagement so couldn't make it. If you are not aware, this is an original Willis 11, 4 manual job which the present Willis company have just restored, see their web site for some excellent photos http://www.willis-organs.com/port_general.html. It's an instrument I've known about for many years, but never got around to visiting. Anyone know what it sounds like, who plays it, what the music's like there, the pictures look really good. DT
  11. Greetings from a new member My most recent magic moment was last October on a long-weekend visit to Paris which included a recital by Daniel Roth at St Sulpice, the 11.00 o'clock at the Madeline, the afternoon audition at Notre Dame, followed by a quick dash to St Eustache for their audition. We arrived at St Eustache just as the first piece was finishing - a modern suite unknown to myself, but featuring some pretty big trompettes. The main fare was Grande Piece Symphonique, it was an absolutely rivetting performance by a young un-heard-of Parisian organist, as we arrived the daylight was just starting to go, by the end of the performance the church was in total darkness apart from a single light in the sanctuary - the atmosphere was amazing! Clarity, weight of tone (particulary 32ft), multi levels of volume, beautiful solo registers. Fine as the other experiences of the weekend were, this was one of my most memorable organ expriences. Do go and hear it! DT
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