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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by AJJ

  1. The organs I play on Sundays in our group parish are all of the small Victorian ‘village’ type (and none the worse for that) and the space we have at home would not have fitted a pipe organ of any complexity. Furthermore I would not have been happy with just a couple of 8’ and 4’ flues however lovely the mechanical action might have been. Keeping in mind also the rest of my family (and neighbours) i opted for a digital. It is however compact in nature, as comprehensive as I need tonally but with no gimics. and above all it does very little else than a pipe organ of comparable size can do. It has some really good sounds and interestingly I do not tire of playing it for extended lengths of time. It means that I can practice in the warm without problems that seem to be encountered re security and insurance from getting church keys these days and if necessary shut the volume right down or use headphones. Above all I am able to keep my technique up to a standard I am happy with. 


  2. 18 hours ago, pcnd5584 said:


    Nice! I would however like a 2’ on the Swell and as someone mentioned above, a Gamba 8’ or suchlike on the Great  might be nice too. A not too narrow Sesquialtera II and 2’ Fifteenth on the Choir would also broaden resources as would a 4’ Fifteenth on the Pedal. Maybe a Cornet V from TG on the Solo to go with the big reed? Is this yours PCND? I seem to have lost the thread...or plot...or something!


  3. 1 hour ago, Vox Humana said:

    I may be reading this incorrectly, but it comes over as a tad arrogant - or at the very least smug. (Perhaps it's the use of the word 'snowflakes', which can be liberally applied to whichever point of view you don't currently agree with.)

    Their stance is indicative of quite a few on quite a few topics these days. Almost passive agressive!


  4. 42 minutes ago, Martin Cooke said:

    A very interesting and, for me,  pertinent, post by handsoff and reply from Colin. I know it's all theoretical but I would be keen to take up both of Colin's ideas - swap in a 4ft flute for the Claribel, and consider what might be more useful than a Dulciana - possibly a delicate Twelfth or a Nineteenth. But I would also want to do something about the pedal organ so that it had a 30 note board with complete Bourdon. Is that physically possible in cases like this where there is only a small pedalboard? Would it have to be on electric action?? I say 'pertinent' because a local instrument is very like this, by William Hill. Tonally, it is beautiful, but it would be so much more versatile and useful for teaching and learning if it had a 'proper' pedal board. What thoughts?

    Interestingly, having played ‘village’ type instruments such as this regularly for the last 20 years or so the last thing I would probably do to a 19th Century 1 manual would be to over tinker tonally. To add full compass mutations would probably be of less use than more full compass variety of tone. I do have problems, however with odd compass or strangely aligned pedalboards. In fact one such that I visit is to all intents and purposes useless unless I want to play sustained drones etc. being so short compass and out of alignment. I mostly play manuals only there.


  5. The late Colin Norvall from Frome in Somerset did a considerable amount of work on Halmshaw some years ago. I am not sure how comprehensive this is but his widow Valerie might be able to assist you. PM me if I can help by putting you in touch.


  6. SL hits many nails nicely on the head regarding music in schools in his comments above. Somehow I have arrived at my 40th year of teaching Music in schools and I would agree whole heartedly with much he comments on the subject. The organ as far as the sort of students I teach are concerned is a musical instrument just like any other the only thing being that they can not put it in a case to carry home, practice on anywhere easily accessible or get involved with ‘social’ musical activity that does not involve church work. Furthermore it is hard to escape the fact that some in the so called organ world do themselves no good by cultivating a mystique around the instrument and its music which is largely and mercifully missing elsewhere.  

    All the instrumental and tutors where I work have a healthy uptake of students the majority of whom participate in group activities in and out of school as well as ‘doing their own thing’. Moreover the tutors are adaptive to what makes the students ‘tick’ musically and are appreciated for this. If I were their age again I would not in the slightest be attracted for instance to a recent local organ concert performed by a reasonably well known player that consisted of a Vierne Symphonie, some Brahms Chorale Preludes and some lesser titbits etc. However, following a composing workshop with some of the GCSE students many then attended a concert of contemporary pieces by the workshop leader. Incidentally a similar lot sat through a whole opera having spent a day with the singers and producers finding out what they would be hearing etc. They need to be encouraged and to enthused not just somehow blamed for doing what they love and not what others think might be good for them. If a prospective organ student turns up at a local church and hears general musical dullness from someone who has ‘over protective console syndrome’ then they will be likely put off for ever. This happened not long ago to someone I know of at a church with a local reputation for good music making! After all they can also go to a Prom. and hear for example Jess Gillam doing wonders with her Saxophone and hear something that could conceivably set them off to try to do similar.

    it is in all our hands whether there are up and coming young players for the future, Latry by all accounts filled the RAH healthily and this is great but it would be interesting to see a breakdown of age etc. for those attending. Likewise it was interesting to see the number on various social media outlets who were upset by this concert being on a Sunday morning re their church commitments. It would also be interesting to see how many in the audience were also church goers.


  7. 11 hours ago, P DeVile said:

    It is one of the most successful transplants I know of. All credit to Graeme Kay and the Orford organ project team who doggedly hung onto the idea despite DAC 'involvement'..

    The Collins sounds wonderful in that room - I'm sure the Peter Collins would be really happy that it sings. Total credit to Ian Carter and his team at Cousans, who have made this lovely instrument work well and sound stunning.



    Totally in agreement! The organ is still the same one I first encountered 40 plus years ago but mechanically and tonally polished so to speak. It proves a point now that a decent action with decent voicing can make music sound good. OK it can not cope with too much high Romanticism but much of the classical and early repertoire works well and anything later requiring clear lines, warm foundations and characterful voices likewise. 


  8. Last week I spent a happy hour playing the Collins at Orford and was mightily impressed. The sound is much more refined than it was when it was in Southampton and indeed the revoicing for the new acoustic has been most successful with former rough edges now lovingly smoothed so to speak. The new action is also all that one could wish for and the new balanced expression pedal and shutters enclosing the Brustwerk an added bonus. 

  9. From personal experience one has to take care with ‘all things to all people’ stoplists that what one actually needs to play actual repertoire does actually work. As an example I recently played a comprehensive two manual where everything ‘looked’ splendid but in fact nothing on the Great was quiet enough to accompany the Swell Oboe or 8’, 4’, 2 2/3 & 1 3/5 combination. The Swell Mixture was also too high to be used properly in choral accompaniment and also sounded decidedly weird coupled down to the Pedals in combination. Likewise deviously fiendishly put together stoplists can often often defeat their own purpose namely to play music or accompany liturgy...speaking as a frequent inventor of such in my misspent youth!

  10. Great - Make 4’ Flute ‘harmonic’, add 12th 2 2/3.

    Swell - Change 2’ to Flageolet, add 15.19.22 Mixture, add Cornopean 8, add Vox Humana 8’ add Clarion 4.

    Choir - Add Dulciana 8’, add Larigot 1 1/3 and maybe even enclose.

    Pedal - Add Violone 16’, add Flute 8’, take 4’ from Mixture and make independent 15th, add Contra Bassoon 32’.

    Couplers - Add Bombarde to Swell

    i don’t usually do these things......


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