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About swalmsley

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  1. I would respectfully disagree with the notion that HW has "better sound" than the (free) GrandOrgue. I've tried both, with the same sample sets, and to my ears there is no difference. They are each, after all, little more than massively parallel audio file players. The perceived SQ is much more a function of the sample set chosen, and some of the best sounding - and also the associated free demos - work with either player.
  2. IMO, the later wooden 32' extension to the CC Bombarde 16' is no great loss. I think it sat at the sides of the main case, which space is now to be opened up in the return to the original layout. 32' reeds on CC organs were pretty rare beasts, especially on mid-sized instruments such as MTH, so from a "faithful restoration" point of view it's hard to argue. On the other hand, a CC chorus underpinned by a CC-style 32' is perhaps one of the most spectacular sounds achieved in organbuilding, and one which vanished from this country when the Sheffield organ burnt. There are a mere two po
  3. I think that's being a little harsh. I interpret the spec as being that of the foundation of a straight concert organ on a very grand scale, with liberal use of extension in the (many) secondary divisions, for solo, imitative, cinematic, and special effects. In this it is quite different from a normal "theatre" style instrument. Notwithstanding this, it is also fair to say that extension is used rather more heavily in the pedal divisions than is normally the case for a concert organ.
  4. Having been fortunate to see inside it, I feel it cannot be described as anything other than a great - even monumental - feat of organbuilding. The grand excesses of the tonal scheme will not be to the personal taste of everyone, but I find they make a lot of sense within the context, which is - to say the least - unusual. Dare I even suggest it, but to my ears the 64' makes a definite musical contribution to several of the tracks of the 1998 CD.
  5. The spec is visible under the "Adopt a Pipe" page. https://www.svatovitskevarhany.com/en/pipe-adoption
  6. I have heard that claim before, from multiple sources. It irritates me because it is, by whatever measure is chosen, plainly wrong. http://die-orgelsite.de/ The number of three manual organs, in Europe, which have a greater number of ranks, stretches well into double figures. There even exists one three manual organ which, by the same measure, is over 40% larger.
  7. However, the 1.4m capital figure is stated as including an endowment. Depending on whether they're planning to fund just organ maintenance or also other costs with the endowment income, and whether it's planned to be a perpetuity or a progressive withdrawal of principal, the endowment could be the greater portion of the capital. So the restoration costs, allowing for the size differential of 50 stops vs 37 stops, could be comparable with Bedford. On a related point, I found it amusing to use the effects of compound inflation to adjust the original cost of Bedford - as stated in the NPOR
  8. https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/coventry-churchs-amazing-project-to-house-grade-1-listed-organ-from-manchester-in-citys-oldest-rooms/
  9. In the mid 90's Anthony Bogdan was kind enough to allow me to practice regularly on this organ. It was indeed very fine, and very loud. The Gt chorus in particular was very bright and crisp in a way that one does not usually associate with H&H of this period. The TP action was a joy to play, with immediate response, and worked perfectly, although it was attended-to by the organbuilder. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=G00085 Interestingly, the other large local parish church - Leigh St Mary - has an earlier H&H rebuild with an almost identical stoplist. However the tho
  10. The BBC R3 recording of the inaugural recital is available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095qhsk I'll resist the temptation to opine based only on a recording, made in a rather challenging acoustic. However, most interesting is what TT says - or, indeed, does not say - during the interview.
  11. Tangential, maybe, but for me hearing the Wanamaker organ in the building offered no extra insight into its tonal qualities or grandeur over that evident on the fabulous and readily available Keith Chapman/Peter Conte recordings. In short - the lavish sweeping orchestral, string and crescendo effects are remarkable - if not unique - but there the distinction ends. Looking closer to home, however, there is the much smaller organ, of a similar vintage, in a school chapel in Suffolk, which for me offers a more compelling illustration of the possibilities of "blank cheque" organbuilding. The q
  12. Since 2006 RoHS legislation in the EU has mandated lead-free electronics with the effect that operational lifetimes are greatly reduced. Over the next few years we will likely see the impact of this in organs, both electronic and electronic-actioned, and it may well be that pre-2006 will start to be seen as a lost "golden age" where electronics service lifetimes were able to exceed 10, 15 or even 20 years. As has been pointed out, a single decade is really nothing in the context of a pipe organ - little more than the "settling-down" period, and indeed is also nothing in the context of simi
  13. As to Colin Pykett's interesting question, I think the nature of the beast enables an experimental, rather than experience-based approach to "voicing" or "room integration". With a pipe organ, fundamental decisions which have to be made early in the design process cannot be easily (or economically) undone; parameters such as layout, pipe scaling, windchest planting. Later, in the voicing process, one can always shave a sliver from the lips, but not put it back. With a few exceptions, mostly at the smaller end of the spectrum, a pipe organ builder is forced to build a specific organ for a speci
  14. Completely agree - eclipses John Scott's for me, and that's saying something! There is also the fine Reubke performance on the other side of the LP, which has the mastery of TT's later recording (on the same organ) but is more emotionally wrought, especially in the conclusion. Rather suits the work I think. The organ is of course a well-worn vehicle for large scale German romantic music but acquits itself surprisingly well in the Elgar, helped of course by the infamous acoustics; one hardly misses the massed ranks of diapasons and rounded reed tone.
  15. I imagine that even at today's prices this buys quite a lot of organ: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-cathedral-church-celebrating-25-7200728
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