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Everything posted by bam

  1. There's an annual organ concert/recital at Aylesbury Methodist Church, always by a big name (or names - last year it was the Scott Brothers) which regularly attracts an audience of 200+. I organised a composite recital titled "Four Local Organists" (including me) last year to raise funds for a top clean of our Porritt and we got a very appreciative audience of nearly 60 - pretty good for a country church. A comment afterwards from a non-church goer and non-organist was how nice it was not to hear "just hymns". To return to the original subject of this thread, it's good to know the two BBC Comptons are maintained and in regular use, but it would be great to hear a broadcast of them in solo use.
  2. David Hales passed away last week. An old friend from Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby, he was organ scholar at University College, Durham 1977 -78. After graduating he furthered his studies at the Guildhall before settling in Cairo and making a successful career at the Conservatoire and Opera Company. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/33/370194/Arts--Culture/Music/Egyptbased-British-pianist-and-vocal-coach-David-H.aspx
  3. One of Francis' CDs (in fact a double CD) is available from Crocodile Music: https://www.crocodilemusic.com/cd/36/ His sleeve notes are fascinating, but especially about the mixtures on the Thuringian organs, which often include the tierce: a reedy sound without reeds.
  4. A few years ago I had a go on the Skrabl practice organ then in a house adjacent to Saffron Walden parish church and it was very nice to play - comfortable and with a beautiful touch. I believe it is now in the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook.
  5. 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.
  6. If you type out an order form, take a photo of it and attach it to a forum post as a JPG, we could print it out and post it to you with a cheque. No middle men involved!
  7. Buxtehude: In Dulci Jubilo (BuxWV 197), Puer Natus in Bethlehem (BuxWV 217) and Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland (BuxWV 211) are three of my favourites.
  8. I've recently found a copy of 'Three Pieces' second hand. There's a performance of 'Festival' on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbsmbI2V6Dw Does anyone recall an LP recording, probably from the late 1960s, on a British organ? I suspect it may have been Exeter Cathedral but my memory may be playing tricks.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. .
  11. I will always be grateful to David for pointing me (via a Forum post) to the Musescore software, which has been invaluable in letting me produce playable versions of 'guitar hymns' and more recently a couple of scores for the village choir.
  12. The 80% / 20% split comes from Ian Bell's articles in some old programmes (June 2004 and October 2006) where he wrote that H&H added 2000 additional pipes. I wonder if his book on he instrument, mentioned in the OR article, will see the light of day?
  13. 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.
  14. I've posted this in another thread, but to reiterate, the RAH website makes no mention of the H&H rebuild on its organ page and refers to the "Henry Willis" organ with its 9999 pipes: https://www.royalalberthall.com/about-the-hall/our-history/explore-our-history/building/henry-willis-organ/
  15. Curiously the RAH website carries no mention of the H&H rebuild and also quotes 9999 pipes: https://www.royalalberthall.com/about-the-hall/our-history/explore-our-history/building/henry-willis-organ/
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. S&B run a very efficient 'reprint to order' service for out of print items. Email them at: https://stainer.co.uk/category/archives/
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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/
  24. 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
  25. 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 but long ailing 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.
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