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Mander Organs


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About bam

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/04/1956

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    Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire

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  1. I was recently able to have a quick blast at Derby Cathedral, the first time I've seen let alone played a 'luminous console', and it was very comfortable and well planned. But a number of the lamps had failed and replacements are apparently very difficult to source, so LEDs are surely a sensible update.
  2. In 'Baroque Tricks' (Ch. 6), Ralph Downes recounts that the instrument was refurbished by Fritz Abend (the original voicer) in 1949 - 50 and the Sesquialtera added. The pipes were made by H&H and voiced by Abend. NPOR shows the work as 1950 and presumably the Sesquialtera was later either changed or just re-named to the Tertian. https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12713
  3. S&B run a very efficient 'reprint to order' service for out of print items. Email them at: https://stainer.co.uk/category/archives/
  4. A friend recently mentioned that he had lessons while a student on the large HWIII in St Mary's, Southampton. Some web surfing at lunchtime turned up this...... https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/4-may/news/uk/southampton-church-will-change-its-spots-to-attract-a-student-congregation
  5. The title is 'The House of Brindley'. Musical Opinion Ltd [and The Organ] Shirley Hawke musicalopinion@btinternet.com Subscriptions / Accounts Tel: +44 (0)1424-855544 Fax: +44 (0)1424-863686
  6. There was quite a nice rebuild in St Peter's, Rugby, now SS Peter and John, and completed with the Choir from the Holy Trinity F&A (https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=F00073). I was recently told that the PVC covered cable installed by KD connecting the console to the pipes is still in good working order, in contrast to the vulcanised cables used by Walker. Apparently two local Walkers (St Matthew and the URC/Presbyterian, neither still extant) suffered badly because the vulcanised insulation broke down and let in the damp, causing short circuits.
  7. In 'An Organ Builder Looks Back', John Budgen tells the story of how H&H released All Saints, Clifton (Bristol) from the contract to build their new organ as the organist wanted a modern tracker instrument. The replacement for the Harrison destroyed in the Blitz was built by Walker in 1967. I guess it didn't make 'The Classical Organ in Britain' because it has EP action to the Pedal. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03822
  8. I played the old Rugby School Chapel organ (N&B / Walker) a few times when I was at school at Lawrence Sheriff down the road and it was really good - great choruses, wonderful full Swell, lots of quiet accompaniment stuff and the luxury of enclosed and unenclosed Choir sections. All the pipes were in a chamber north of the choir and it was a bit underpowered. Martin Jackson, our music master, used the Tuba as a chorus reed at the annual carol service and it was by no means overpowering with 600+ boys singing strongly. The Great Trumpet didn't make much impact at all. Unfortunately it got thoroughly cooked by the central heating system and was apparently pretty well unplayable by the time it was dismantled. Roderick Elms made a recording in 1985 on Gemini LRS138 of music by Whitlock, which I think was only available on cassette. The Trumpet was rescued by Peter Lock and installed at St Peter's, Rugby, where it is said to work well. I went to the opening recital of the Jones with Martin and was rather disappointed with almost everything except the power, and particularly some of the reeds which really did sound like quacking ducks. There were some odd noises from its innards, reinforcing the opinion that opening recitals shouldn't be booked until an organ has had time to settle down. The new casework, bringing pipework out of the chamber, was a good idea and fits in well. Nicholson have also done work on the Jones at Tewkesbury: http://www.nicholsonorgans.co.uk/portfolio/tewkesbury-abbey-milton-organ/gallery/completed-projects-recent/
  9. I hesitate to say it's beautiful, but it's certainly a beautifully made piece of furniture, with intricate fretwork: the former Apsley House Willis now in Whitchurch Methodist church: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D02223
  10. It is true: most people can't tell the difference, certainly on a brief encounter. It was brought home to me a few months ago after evensong at Winslow. Their rather nice 3m Bevington finally died quite spectacularly during the first hymn of special service about two years ago when Bishop Steven Croft was preaching and since then they have been using a temporary electronic. A couple who both used to sing with the Bach Choir could not tell it was not the pipe organ. I found the temporary electronic in use at Buckfast quite convincing while played quietly. What really gave it away (as also at Winslow) was the use of the Crescendo pedal as a volume control, which is a most un-pipe organ like effect - but most will not notice. With time, a lot of people continue to not notice, but the more discerning start to find the electronic sound does begin to jar. I was curious at the statement in the blind listening test that a pipe organ will last 100 years. A robustly built, fully mechanical instrument should surely have a much longer working life than that, if it is saved from poor quality interventions and the whims of fashion. There was also no mention of the possibility of obtaining a suitable redundant organ rather than a new electronic.
  11. This is the builder's plate at St Mary and St Giles, Stony Stratford:
  12. One of my favourite modern cases is that of the Nigel Church instrument previously in Hucknall Parish Church, then Sedbergh School and now Ss. Peter and Paul RC Church, Lincoln. What's inside is jolly good as well - a great sound and a crisp touch:
  13. bam


    I hope the BBC isn't hiring its announcers from the local Job Centre! But to be fair, it could just have been a momentary slip, like the (possibly) apocryphal story of the Third Programme announcer who said "the next piece is called The Bum of the Flightle Bee". It happens to all of us.
  14. bam


    Nicholas Kynaston's 'Great Organ Music' LP was one which originally got me hooked on the organ. It was re-released on CD in 1995 - I was going to write 'a few years ago' but checked the CD insert..... The programmes the RAH produced for the series of recitals in the years after the restoration were accurate and informative. The Sunday Organ Prom was repeated yesterday afternoon on Radio 3 from 2 - 3pm and by chance I was listening - yes, it's a Father Willis with 9,999 stops! I enjoyed the performance a lot.
  15. bam


    After the RAH Organ Day on 15 May, I received a message from the RAH asking for feedback. Amongst other things, I replied that there were quite a few 'howlers' in the programme, not least that the emphasis on the organ being a Father Willis was simply wrong - that the case and about 2/3 of the pipes are Willis, about 1/3 of the pipes and the console are H&H, the tonal picture is H&H with Mander tweaks and one stop, and mechanically it's a Mander. Perhaps this is just considered too difficult for the general public and that inaccurate generalisations are necessary? (2/3 and 1/3 are generalisations.....). It can sound fantastic - Clive Driskell-Smith's performance of the Allegro from Widor VI at the post-restoration seminar sticks in my mind. On 15 May, I thought Olivier Latry was superb, but although there was huge technical skill showed in the rest of the evening, I just didn't enjoy it very much.
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