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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by bam

  1. I hope that instrument remains in good voice - it was rather good when I knew it in the 1970s. 

    The Bucks OA will be visiting Linslade and Leighton Buzzard parish churches in the afternoon.

    There is a plan to have ''open console' at Stony Stratford parish church in the morning.


  2. Newcastle City Hall apparently has a full length 32' Open Wood.

    In his monograph on the H&H in All Saints, Maidenhead, Relf Clark comments on transport arrangements for the organs, all quite a logistical exercise.


  3. I was roped into playing for the Whitchurch and Hardwick carol service for the first time this year so played the 'Short Eight' g minor prelude - something fairly bomb proof that worked on the Hardwick one manual.  With the luxury of two manuals, Buxtehude 'Puer Natus in Bethlehem' after Midnight Mass (thunder out the last verse of 'O Come', then rock the baby to sleep) and Buxtehude 'In Dulci Jubilo' on Christmas morning.


  4. Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on Radio 3 describing it as a 'Father Willis' instrument if that is now the line the RAH is taking, however inaccurate it may be.

    From what has been written, about 80% of the pipes and the case are Father Willis; the sound picture, the console and about 20% of the pipes are Harrison; and the mechanism, one stop and some tonal tweaks are Mander.  The programme for the the 2018 organ concert was titled 'Grand Organ Celebration' and describing it as a 'Grand Organ' could hardly be more accurate.

    I've dug out Ian Bell's article in the November 2004 'Organists' Review' and there's an interesting paragraph which mentions that HWIII was very keen to get the contract.

  5. 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.

  6. 3 hours ago, Matej Kubes said:

    I was wondering if anyone could point me to a place where I can subsribe to/order this book. I have found this email address theorgan@hotmail.co.uk in another thread on Mander Forums. I have not received any reply thus far. Anyone knows if this is the valid email?

    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

  7. 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.


  8. 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.



  9. 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:





  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. On 07/08/2018 at 23:53, David Drinkell said:

    I suppose that Willis did something to it following the merger of the two firms shortly after the Great War.  The firm was known as Henry Willis & Sons and Lewis & Co for a few years to satisfy a legal nicety.  The 1925 Willis at St. Magnus Cathedral has "W&L" on the bellows weights - I have one (which was lying about inside, not nicked off one of the reservoirs!) which I use as a paper-weight. The merger meant that Willis, who had lost his own factory, gained the large and palatial Lewis works on Ferndale Road - only to lose that in the Blitz.

    This is the builder's plate at St Mary and St Giles, Stony Stratford:



  12. 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.


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