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HarmonicsV

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Posts posted by HarmonicsV

  1. I wonder if anyone can solve a quick mystery! Having read somewhere that FJ's favourite own composition was his Impromptu for Bairstow's 70th birthday, I sought it out on itunes. There appear to be two pieces with the same or a similar name - the one recorded by John Scott Whiteley is the piece I was expecting from what I remember of the score in the York Organ Album. However, there is a second piece called Impromptu for Edward Bairstow's 70th on a recording by FJ which is not the same piece at all. I don't suppose that FJ wrote two different Impromptus for EB - could anyone have a quick listen to the snippet on their itunes account and tell me what the piece is on the FJ recording that may incorrectly be labelled Impromptu for EB? Sorry, I've made this sound laborious.

    Martin

     

    I think there's an error on the digital format of the FJ album - the same mis-labelling of the track in question occurs on Spotify. (But off hand I can't remember which piece this actually is!)

     

    The Impromptu is definitely the piece played by JSW in Sheffield City Hall.

  2. I cite Cynic on another thread:

     

    "There was huge surprise when Marcel Dupre first played Bach in London - and the surprise? It was because Dupre was heard to draw the whole Diapason chorus to Mixture and didn't have any reeds on to 'cover' the mixture! It is a fact that organ-builders of the time may not have voiced their Mixtures for use with only fluework at all!! Puts your typical Willis 17-19-22 into context, doesn't it?"

     

    (Quote)

     

    And it provides the opportunity for a new thread about the influence of Dupré, worldwide,

    upon some neo-baroque ideas that were a mistake as far as the baroque organ is concerned.

     

    1)- When Dupré registred that way in London, one may wonder if those upper ranks were

    in tune, not filled with dust etc. As Cynic pointed out, even provided with a fine Lewis organ,

    the organists seldom used anything above 4'...In the french romantic repertoire, there

    is no mention of any Mixture at all up to the Widor's 10th Symphony (Romane) !

    Cavaillé-Coll organs had Mixtures, though. Fournitures, Cymbales, Cornets, Carillons,

    Progressions harmoniques, Mutations ranks (Notre-Dame Paris, Septièmes included),

    he built them all, and often took them over while rebuilding ancient organs.

     

    2) The way Dupré used the Mixtures is an idiosyncratic, specifically french one; I seriously doubt

    Bach registred that way. It goes back to the french organ of the 18th century, with its strictly codified

    "Plein-jeu".

     

    3)- Such a thing did not exist elsewhere at the same epoch. It is thrilling to hear Michel Chapuis,

    on a belgian Baroque organ which pre-dates the french influence here, draw the Mixture, the Sesquialter,

    and the Cornet, all togheter, and then end up with the Trompette added !

    The same is of course true with the orggans in central Germany, with the notable exception of the

    frenchified Silbermann organs (why do you think the neo-baroque opinion leaders knew only them among

    the dozens of baroque organ builders in that area?)

     

    So it might be interesting to gather here the deeds and sayings of Dupré in Britain about that matter, so that

    we could grasp his influence upon the evolution of the organ-design there.

     

    Pierre

     

    On a related point, the famous AH/Col. Dixon organ at Whitehaven (1904), destroyed in 1971 by fire, boasted a four rank Harmonics on the great (17.19.21.22), but no reeds...

     

    Does this mean that the swell reeds and/or solo tubas were expected to be added to the Great, or is this a possible example of an 'exposed' mixture? (And is this where G. Donald Harrison got the idea?)

  3. I haven't come across a Celestial division before. Can anyone enlighten me as to why they are called this and why they exist. This is in particular relation to this instrument in Newcastle.

     

    Thanks

     

    This monster has a Celestial Organ, but I guess much depends upon your definition of 'celestial', and on your idea of heaven! (A pedal Ophicleide? Yum!) The key characteristic seems to be remoteness from the main instrument - usually high up in a tower/dome etc, so that the sound descends from on high.

     

    http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/StBartholomewEpis.html

  4. For those who can't access the Facebook links: the deed is now done - virtually overnight, before anyone could do anything about it - and the organ is no more. One or more other churches wanted it, but weren't allowed to see or hear it in time. It hasn't been used or maintained for some time. The Priest has bought an electric keyboard. 300 parishioners donated funds for organ, hundreds of children donated pipes, and the organ builder (formerly, but no longer, organist of said church) donated his labour, apparently intending it to be his "showroom" instrument.

     

    I'm afraid I don't belong to Facebook, so can't see this. Is there another way we can verify this dreadful tale? I'd recommend board members write to the Pastor, his ordinary & the Congregation for Divine Worship: Palazzo delle Congregazioni, 00193 Roma, Piazza Pio XII, 10.

     

    It might be worth quoting the following, from Sacrosanctum Concillium, the document of Vatican II dealing with liturgy & worship: 'The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up men's minds to God and higher things.'

  5. Personally, no. Whilst there are others here who know the instrument better, I can at least speak from the standpoint of having played and heard it on many occasions. In any case, the tonal work carried out in the last few years almost entirely involved additions (as opposed to alterations). The new work is very much in the spirit of the existing instrument and supplies elements which I always felt were missing (the 32ft. range of the Pedal Organ, for example - Downes often seemed to avoid specifying 32ft. reeds).

     

    The pipework has been well voiced (in the case of the 32ft. Bombarde, re-voiced) to complement the older ranks. I am delighted that a Trompette Harmonique has at long last been added. Whilst the tutti could not be said to lack excitement, this instrument (to my ears) needed an extra [reed] element, in order to balance the comparatively high proportion of mixture-work. *

     

     

     

    * It is interesting to note that after the cathedral organ was taken back into service following the rebuild, the Rodgers electronic organ which had been in use during the refurbishment had seemed even brighter with regard to upperwork. However, I did feel that when playing it the electronic did not appear to respond to the acoustics as well as the pipe organ.

     

    Thanks for this - reassuring, & good to have the view of someone who has played the instrument.

     

    R3 seems to have a knack of making so many instruments (& choirs too, for that matter) sound less attractive in broadcasts of Choral Evensong than in the flesh. Perhaps they're out of practice when it comes to recording organs...

  6. The nave mics were for the Three Choirs festival only, I suspect. The organ and choirs for the broadcast were mic'd from the Quire. Agree entirely re your comments about the new party horn. A magnificent sound but not overpowering. Particularly beautiful in the tenor register.

     

    Best wishes

     

    Ian

     

    I've never heard this instrument in the flesh, but thought it sounded glorious in David Titterington's recording of La Nativite (Hyperion), recorded around 1986.

     

    Listening to the odd broadcast, including this one, since then, would anyone else agree that the tonal scheme seems to have rather lost its integrity...? :D

  7. I've been having a think about what sort of organ I would build in St. Peters and NPOR and the excellent page on church website (http://www.stpetersnottingham.org/music/organ.htm) provides a lot of information and photos.

     

    NPOR gives the specification of the original 1812 organ here: http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=C00952 and its subsequent ... development...

    I note the organ is by Lincoln and aspertions are cast whether the case is in fact by Snetzler. I rather suspect the Keraulaphon on the pre-1863 specification is a later addition.

     

    Layout

     

    The Great Organ would be in the "Snetzler" case, facing west in the North Transept, all of it forward of the arch, for which it may be necessary to deepen the case (I suspect this case has already been hacked about and probably only the frontage survives). Speaking west, finally fully released into the main body of the church, with a full chorus from 16' to mixture (the large quint mixture could reach into the 16 foot series in the treble), it would be the principal division to accompany the congregation - the 16' tone would support the men's voices as they sing down an octave. The Great case would not have a back, allowing the divisions behind it to speak through the Great Organ into the main body of the church, but we would need to accept the Great Organ would be the dominant force.

     

    Immediately behind the Great case, in the chamber, would be the small pedal soundboard at slightly lower level. This would still allow the Pedal Trumpet 8 and Principal 8 to get the space they need to give the pedal line some definition. More pedal upperwork could be specified if there is space and the appetite for it. The larger pedal ranks would be along the north wall of the chamber but not tucked in behind the swell box. From there they should be able to get round the corner into the building, as benefits long wavelength notes, but without blocking the Swell Organ.

     

    The Swell Organ would be behind/east of the small pedal chest at a higher level, speaking west over the tops of the small Pedal and Great organs as much as possible to get the sound out. This would to enable it to speak out behind the Great Organ in the traditional British manner and colour the Great Organ for variety of tone accompanying the hymns and assist in the build up in the traditional manner. I have kept the Swell organ as small as possible so the box can be as compact as possible without crowding the planting to encourage good projection. In addition, the acoustics of the organ chamber will need to be made as good as possible to get the sound out - such things as a soft wood ceiling and soft porous plaster might need careful redecoration or covering.

     

    Although the Swell Organ would point west, the swell box would also have shutters facing north, into the chancel through the North chancel arch. In front of it, in and in front of the arch, the Choir Organ would occupy a new case, speaking south into the chancel to accompany the choir. The Choir Organ would have plenty of foundation and 4' tone to accompany the choir without overwelming it and acts as a miniature Great Organ, with the Swell Organ behind it.

     

    There would be passage boards between the Great Organ and Small Pedal Organ soundboards, in front of the swell box and down the south side of the swell box to get access to the Choir Organ.

     

    The Great organ is based on the 1812 specification and the nature of the organ would be what if a first rate Victorian builder like Hill had rebuilt the Lincoln organ in about 1860 into a comprehensive 3 manual town church organ:

     

    Great Organ

     

    1. Double Diapason 16 (stopped bass, maybe an open treble - maybe not unlike an Aubertin Portunal)

    2. Open Diapason 8

    3. Stopped Diapason 8

    4. Principal 4

    5. Flute 4

    6. Twelfth 3

    7. Fifteenth 2

    8. Sesquialtera III (17.19.22, 12.15.17)

    9. Mixture IV (19.22.26.29)

    10. Trumpet 8

    11. Clarion 4

     

    Swell Organ

     

    12. Bourdon 16

    13. Open Diapason 8

    14. Stopped Diapason 8 (CB for Gambe)

    15. Gambe 8 Tc

    16. Voix Celestes 8 Tc

    17. Principal 4

    18. Mixture IV (15.19.22.26)

    19. Fagotto 16

    20. Cornopean 8

    21. Oboe 8

     

    Choir Organ

     

    22. Open Diapason 8 (in case prospect, maybe to tenor G if space precludes a full bass)

    23. Keraulophon 8 (maybe to tenor C if space is limited)

    24. Gedeckt 8 (common bass)

    25. Gemshorn 4

    26. Suabe Flute 4

    27. Piccolo 2

    28. Clarinet 8

     

    Pedal Organ

     

    29. Grand Open Diapason 16

    30. Violone 16

    31. Bourdon (s) 16

    32. Quint 12

    33. Principal (s) 8

    34. Trombone 16

    35. Trumpet (s) 8

     

    Pedal pipes marked (s) are on the small Pedal Organ soundboard.

     

    Swell to Great

    Swell to Choir

    Choir to Great

    Swell to Pedal

    Great to Pedal

    Choir to Pedal

     

    Registration aids as appropriate - if it is EP action, I would suggest 1-6 Divisionals and generals with stepper, with unlimited memory; if the action is to be fully mechanical I would suggest 1-4 composition pedals to the Great and Swell organs, with a reverser for Great to Pedal and Pedal Trombone.

     

    I wondered if it was worth putting the Clarinet on to the Great Organ in this case. As the Great Organ would not have a role accompanying the Choir, it could be better used for the typical solo voices for choral accompaniment.

     

    If a high-pressure party horn is deemed vital, it could be put either above or in front of the small pedal organ, if there is space, playable from the Choir Organ keys. I do not think a Great Reeds on Choir transfer or making the Great Reeds available on the Choir Organ for solo purposes would be appropriate on this organ.

     

    I would suggest this scheme could do all the proposed organ can do, for about 2/3 of the stops. It would be very fine for Baroque music as well as Romantic and modern music - there is the potential to perform much of the French Classical school. Although one really needs the real thing to do it authentically (and many modern eclectic instruments fall short), this organ should be able to muster a Plein Jeu avec Pedale de Trompette, Grand Plein Jeu and Petit Plein Jeu, Grand Jeu, dialogue sur le Cromorne et Cornet (using the Great Sesquialtera - not authentic but it should work), Basse et Dessus de Trompette, etc. Bach chorales and choral partitas shouldn't be an issue either - the 4' pedal reed can be achieved using the Great Clarion and there should be a good chorus for the Preludes and Fugues. The French Romantic and German Romantic schools shouldn't be out of the question and it should be a natural at the English schools of music. With the large, west-facing Great Organ, it would be well-placed to accompany the congregation and the north-facing Choir Organ should be able to dispatch its choral accompanimental duties with aplomb. In addition, it would be a pesuasive and flexible recital instrument.

     

    My main concern with this organ would be what to do with the action - with 2 divisions facing west and another facing south, there could be some difficult action runs for at least one of the divisions and such is the distance in the organ that the actions might end up heavy and spongey if the action is mechanical. A pneumatic or electro-pneumatic action might be a more pragmatic choice.

     

    The only other fly in the onitment is that such an organ would cost in the region £600,000-£700,000...

     

     

    Beautiful - who would you ask to build it... :o

  8. "I don't know whether others had already heard about this commission - if so, apologies. I'm afraid I'm dismayed at the impending arrival of yet another Euro-organ, when so many characterful native instruments lie neglected in redundant buildings..."

     

    I think it's a shame to mix these two issues up. I wholeheartedly agree with your point about rehousing - this is one of the biggest issues facing Britain's (still) disappearing organ heritage. Seemingly the IBO are having considerable success in re-housing instruments from their online list incidentally. On the other hand, if a new organ is to be built then commissioning it from Flentrop is certainly not to be regretted - this is a world-class organ builder with the most important restoration portfolio in the world. If you need convincing go to Chelsea - probably the best new organ built in London since the war (although Grosvenor is also very fine).

     

    But aren't these issues necessarily related - unless you're going to do as suggested below, and re-house an old instrument together with every new commission?

     

    "To be honest, what annoys most about this contract, is the underlying assumption (?) that a teaching instrument needs to be of a particular type, aesthetic and quality."

     

    Organs of particular types and aesthetics are undoubtedly better for teaching particular types and aesthetics of organ literature because they encourage the successful application of the techniques associated with said types and aesthetics. I hope it's fair to say that even in this country, where a student's contact with historic organs is necessarily limited, there is a general assumption that the one-size-fits-all organ technique is a thing of the past. Intruments with specific characteristics, specific playing techniques (whether the application of what Vogel calls the 'structured legato', or paired fingerings or even a student understanding how Sauer 'programmed' a Walze in order that he/she successfully register Reger) and the literature itself are all highly interdependent.

     

    Of course I don't doubt some of this - but when did you last see a Sauer-style instrument, to use your example, installed in an Oxbridge chapel? My point is that a single style of instrument (which by its very nature is a modern hybrid) is being touted as particularly desirable for teaching. Since students will end-up playing a variety of instruments, most (?) of which will not be classical in style, and will not have mechanical action, what's wrong with learning to play idiomatically on, say, an EP-action instrument? After all, it's not as if the experience of foreign organs is limited to gentlemen like Cecil Clutton in these days of Easyjet...

     

    "Is it thought that English builders can't/didn't produce instruments of a high tonal & mechanical calibre? Do all recent installations prove that continental builders can/do?"

     

    No, of course not. But Chelsea proves that Flentrop CAN produce an organ of the highest tonal and mechanical calibre. (Their work in Holland and elsewhere suggests that they do so consistently).

     

    I'm sure the Chelsea organ is wonderful, but it looks as though the SS contract was signed quite some time before there was any evidence of what the SW3 organ might sound like...

     

    "I suppose the Flentrop flue sound is actually more-or-less what Ralph Downes was aiming for"

     

    Perhaps - Ralph Downes had extensive contact with Dirk Flentrop. But DF's organ building ideals were firmly neo-baroque - Flentrop haven't built organs like that for more than 30 years now. Downes was quite happy to embrace open toes and nick-free languids. This doesn't really have anything to do with the present Flentrop style which is firmly based on their almost-daily contact with well-preserved pre-1800 organs of the first order. The winding systems they use (almost always wedge bellows) play an important role in the sound character.

     

    I think a broader issue, which underlies much of what's written here, is that organists are in danger of being educated exclusively as period specialists. Do organs like these encourage contemporary/experimental composers, I wonder?

     

    Bazuin

  9. This on the Taylor & Boody website:

     

    http://www.taylorandboody.com/opus_pages/o...cification.html

     

    Looks interesting (and it's certainly not a box organ with a schwimmer), but I'm not sure quite what it is... There are some fanciful names but it's not clear what school of organ this really belongs to. It's not an early English chamber organ (think Smith, his descedants or earlier) and it's not really of any other school - Italian, Flemish, or otherwise. The closest it looks to me is of the later Dutch "cabinet" organs of the 18th and 19th century, normally made for domestic use but the stop names and style of the case are not typical and these organs are hardly Renaissance in their nature. However, T&B are wonderful builders, the spec is rather clever and I'm sure the results will be magical.

     

    The chapel looks rather small from the photos on the college website. How big is it? If it's as small as it looks, is it really the place for a 30 stop, 3 manual organ?

     

    Your post made me dig out some Flentrop records yesterday evening! And listening to Holy Name Chicago, Dunblane & Eton I find you're quite right. A really beautiful sound - definitely post-neo-Classical, and far removed from the screeching heard from other continental builders' machines in intimate English churches. I suppose the Flentrop flue sound is actually more-or-less what Ralph Downes was aiming for - but I'd say that's the only sense in which it's English, mixture compositions notwithstanding!

     

    The T&B will indeed be wonderful, but I quite agree that the Chapel (which I don't know either) seems too intimate for a 30-stop Flentrop.

    To be honest, what annoys most about this contract, is the underlying assumption (?) that a teaching instrument needs to be of a particular type, aesthetic and quality. Is it thought that English builders can't/didn't produce instruments of a high tonal & mechanical calibre? Do all recent installations prove that continental builders can/do?

     

    But perhaps it's down to funding - a new organ needs to be sufficiently different from the old one to justify the expense...?

  10. Idly browsing, I found this on the website of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge:

     

    The College has recently commissioned a new chamber organ from Taylor & Boody (for arrival in 2011), which will be of an elaborate Renaissance/early Baroque design with 7 stops tuned to an historical temperament at A=415, while the main organ will soon be replaced by a 30-stop, three manual instrument by the Dutch firm Flentrop (c.2015).

     

    I don't know whether others had already heard about this commission - if so, apologies. I'm afraid I'm dismayed at the impending arrival of yet another Euro-organ, when so many characterful native instruments lie neglected in redundant buildings...

  11. How about Bach & Buxtehude? The Komm Heiliger Geist settings are gorgeous, quite apart from the big Fantasia which kicks off the Eighteen. And then there are the Komm Gott Schopfer settings.

     

    And the Messiaen Messe de la Pentecote is worth working up to... ;-)

     

    I'd second the vote for Palestrina's Dum Complerentur - Peter Maxwell Davies has one too, if you're so inclined...

  12. As I write we are almost an hour into the church's third most important day of the year, yet I always feel that Pentecost leaves me feeling that there isn't much suitably festive music for the occasion.

     

    Choir pieces first then - well our collection of books hasn't much to offer really - NCAB presents Attwood's Come, Holy Ghost, Sterndale Bennett's God is a spirit, Tallis's If ye love me and Tye's O Holy Spirit, Lord of grace, as I remember. We have attempted the first three in previous years, and God is a spirit is the choice this year as we needed something unaccompanied. However, none of them strike me as particularly festive, even if all four are nice enough - should we be doing somewhat more to mark this important occasion in the church's year?

     

    Then to organ music - in this case, unlike Easter, I'm aware there's an abundance of settings, preludes and variations around Veni something Spiritus, but is there anything which is seasonal but also celebratory and festive (and not too difficult for a mere mortal)? What am I missing out on? Not having access to anything seasonal, I stuck the Gigout Grand Chouer Dialogue down for the post-service voluntary, because it is loud and festive. I'm wondering if I can do better though, without stretching to something like the Durufle.

     

    Even with hymns, I struggle to think of more than three or four inspiring Pentecost hymns, somewhat in contrast to Easter. Lots of churches seem to use 'O thou who camest from above' as a recessional - one of my favourite three hymns of all time, but I'm not convinced it works at the end of a main morning service (it might at Evensong). As the one responsible for choosing the hymns, I always use 'Shine Jesus Shine' as the recessional for Pentecost, because

    a ) Its as good as Kendrick gets

    b ) It satisfies the vicar's request to include a mix of modern and traditional (or rather, 30 years old and older still)

    c ) Its a damn good romp and a fine way to finish a service

     

    This has turned into something of a lament to which I suspect there isn't an answer, but after the euphoria of Easter I always feel Pentecost gets a raw deal in so many ways, musically being one of them.

     

    How about Bach & Buxtehude? The Komm Heiliger Geist settings are gorgeous, quite apart from the big Fantasia which kicks off the Eighteen.

     

    And the Messiaen Messe de la Pentecote is worth working up to... ;-)

     

    I'd second the vote for Palestrina's Dum Complerentur - Peter Maxwell Davies has one too, if you're so inclined...

  13. I'm just making my way through this week's R3 broadcast on iPlayer, and was intrigued to hear the dismissal come immediately at the conclusion of the office. This is probably correct, because Evening Prayer itself finishes after the collects I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong I'm sure), but most places do reserve the dismissal for the very end of the service. Is the practice adopted by Magdalen common?

     

    As to the rest of the service, it largely depends if you like Stanford I guess! I do sometimes think that the R3 broadcasts include rather more repertoire from off the beaten track than they might and so it was nice to hear some familiar pieces sung well. All the Stanford evening services are lovely in their own way, and fully deserve to be heard. I do also like the anthem 'O for a closer walk with God' a lot and the organ Postlude is a good romp too.

     

    They were in rather a hurry though, weren't they...?

  14. Not strictly on topic, but the additions made to the 1969 Holtkamp in the Paul Recital Hall at the Julliard in 2002 are an interesting barometer of changing fashions:

     

    http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/Juil...ampPaulHall2002

     

    What seems not to change though, is the capacity for eminent organists to mutilate the integrity of instruments in their care! (I haven't heard this organ though, and it may sound a whole lot better following its 'improvements', I suppose. But the console too!!!)

     

    Does anyone remember that fashion for tacking neo-barock positives onto romantic organs...? ;)

  15. 'just seemed like the usual heavy Arthur Harrison instrument'

     

    I'm sure this is just the kind of support the fundraising team in Newcastle were hoping for from the 'organ world'... :blink:

     

    OK - I'm biased, but this is the largest unaltered Harrison concert organ in high Edwardian style extant - the RAH being a mixture of Willis, Harrison & Mander.

     

    Certainly one or two of the others you allude to are fine instruments (!), but I'm talking about real conviction of style and aesthetic integrity - I'd include the RFH in this category, but I notice you didn't mention London. :P

  16. I had meant to start another thread with this but....does the reverse of the above apply too - how does this work in a building of considerable size when one's normal expectation could be for something with twice the resources.. or more. There is a lot of talk about instruments being too large for their situation - can an organ builder/designer underestimate?

     

    A

     

    Others will correct me, but I'm sure Ralph Downes mentions (in 'Baroque Tricks') that the Great Rohrflute (?) of this organ has all the presence in the Nave of the old Walker Tuba. I think the implication is that this is not a compliment to either instrument.

     

    Perhaps this instrument might be described as small but assertively voiced...?

  17. Probably the best answer is to rhyme it with 'mind' and 'find', although, it sounds odd. As a matter of interest, does anyone know if 'wind' has been pronounced to rhyme with 'mind' and 'find' in any British dialect in times past?

     

    Regarding the theme of carols that irritate, I find the words of 'Adam lay ybounden' quite offensive. That anyone should think that the woes and miseries of the world for thousands of years can be justified by Mary being Queen of Heaven (if indeed there is any such title - it's not in my Bible!) is quite extraordinary.

     

    Regards to all

     

    John

     

    Could we stick to organs?

     

    Quite a few readers of/occasional contributors to this board are Catholics, and some of us are even guilty of being Theologians. ;-)

     

    So when it comes to 'offensive'...

  18. Why??????????????????????

     

    Where were the British builders in all of this?

     

    Unbelievable!

     

    Not sure about that. Judged purely on recordings, Americans seem to be building some absolutely superlative instruments along what might be called post-neo-baroque lines: Fisk, Brombaugh, Taylor & Boody, Paul Fritts etc. etc.

     

    And then there are some pretty impressive post-romantic/orchestral instruments from the likes of Dobson, Schoenstein et al.

     

    I've just acquired the George Ritchie Bach set on Raven, all played on modern American organs: quite stunning.

     

    To my ears, they make the imported Euro-organs of the last twenty years sound very dreary...

  19. I'm always intrigued to see what repertoire (both organ and choral) interests other people on this board, so here's a poser - pick the music for your ideal Evensong service! That is to say, the music which you would include in a service encompassing your favourites.

     

    You can choose (some or all of) the following:

     

    Opening Voluntary

    Introit

    Responses

    Office Hymn

    Psalm

    Canticles

    1 or 2 Anthems

    Two Further Hymns

    Concluding Voluntary

     

    Since this is designed to just find out what people like, then it is not limited by seasons - so you can mix music from Christmas, Easter, or whichever part of the year you want!

     

    I would post mine, but I haven't fully decided yet - I will add it in due course.

     

    Dupre: Souvenir (Sept Pieces)

    Tallis: Audivi Vocem de Caelo

    Responses: Leighton

    Psalm 37: Gauntlett, Stanford, Watson

    Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling (NO descant!)

    Magdalen College Service: Leighton

    Byrd: O Lord, Turn Thy Wrath

    Dupre: Le Monde dans L'attente du Sauveur

     

    The prevailing weather should be wet; the minister would not, apart from the intercessions, use any words not prescribed by the BCP. He should especially not begin "Good afternoon, and welcome to this blah blah blah..." :rolleyes:

  20. I am rather pleased that Cynic broke ranks and tried to turn the discussion to the most beautiful stop you know, because he was only saying out loud what I was privately thinking. Isn't it a bit adolescent to compare stops on the basis of 'mine is bigger than yours' ? As musicians, shouldn't we have outgrown this ? Shouldn't we be more concerned with beauty than with force ?

     

     

    I certainly see what you're getting at, and quite agree about the beauty of single stops, but actually music's about lots of things - beauty is only one of them. (Any kind of film music/opera which tried to convey only beauty would be very tedious...)

     

    In another thread, someone mentioned a quote of Gordon Reynolds (?), reminding the organist not to forget that (s)he was once the small child down in the stalls whose toes clenched as full swell came shining through the great diapasons. (Apologies if I've mangled this!) A player who completely eschews all vulgarity, and performs only the most elevated pieces with immaculate taste won't attract the young or the Radio 2 audience (no condescension intended!) to the organ in the first place.

     

    I think some of the hostility aimed at the Traditional Edwardian Tuba comes from a lack of understanding of its intended uses, and of the Edwardian style of playing. Francis Jackson somewhere mentions Bairstow's use of the tuba to solo the tenor line, in the style of orchestral trombones. FJ does this with great aplomb towards the end of the Stanford Postlude in D - and I've never heard this done by modern players. An important part of the tuba's role was also to augment the pedal line, rather than to swamp the manual choruses.

  21. This might be the Ralph Downes designed 2 manual JW Walker organ of 1965 in the Carmelite Church, Kensington (aka Church of Our Lady of Victories and St Simon Stock). The previous church, called Our Lady of Victories at 235a High St - with a 3 manual Bryceson organ, was destroyed in WW2.

     

    I recall Walker's advertisement, published when the instrument was new, had a headline like "Widor and Guilmant were there..."

    Details of the Walker organ:

     

    Details of the Bryceson organ:

     

    Oscar

     

    No, 'fraid not. The Carmelite Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel & St Simon Stock, is in Kensington Church Street. John McCarthy directed the music here for forty years, with singers from his various 'Ambrosian' groups.

     

    Our Lady of Victories is in the High Street, and a separate parish church.

     

    Both churches were built in the 1950s to replace 19th century buildings destroyed in the blitz.

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