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Everything posted by wolsey

  1. Although an increasing number of organs, virtual, digital or otherwise, can now be found in our living room or study, it is disappointing that the question of reasonably priced dedicated console music-desk lamps has not yet been addressed. There are some attractive examples available in the USA such as the Ektralamp or those in the UK sourced by Renatus - but at eye-watering three-figure prices; the cheapest contender, the Jahn Music Stand Light 54** series can only be bought for a sum of just over £100. Does anyone know of anything better priced?
  2. I first heard this work - and two other Chorale Fantasias - ages ago on Graham Barber's 1987 recording from Truro Cathedral (Priory PRCD 226) - sadly now deleted.
  3. He's playing what's indicated in the score - but with both hands on the same manual.
  4. This is because the text of the psalm (122) incorporates the acclamations "Vivat Regina...! Vivat Rex...!" with which the Queen's Scholars of Westminster School traditionally greet the entrance of the monarch at a coronation. This interpolation was a notable innovation at the time of its composition, but who's to say whether it was a brainwave on Parry's part or an idea suggested by someone else? If I remember correctly, Jeremy Dibble's edition for the RSCM (2002) gives Parry's 1902 version of the 'vivats' in the editorial notes - a useful template for the future. Parry biographer Professor Dibble thinks it was probably Gordon Jacob.
  5. A 'Google' search shows that this has been discussed on other organ forums in years gone by (2007 and 2009). In one forum, a poster, Vox Humana (the same one as on here?) wrote: According to Marie-Claire, this is actually what Jehan said: "Bernard Gavoty recalls the way Jehan told him the piece should be played: ...When you play this piece, you must create the impression of an ardent conjuration. Prayer is not a lament, but an overpowering tornado flattening everything in its way. It's also an obsession: you must fill men's ears with it - and God's ears too! If at the end you don't feel wrung out, it means you've neither understood it nor played it as I want it played. Keep to a tempo as fast as clarity will permit. Don't worry about the rapid chords in the left hand near the end. At the right speed that passage is unplayable. But rubato isn't out of the question, and it's really better to "botch" it a bit than play at a speed which would deform my Litanies."
  6. wolsey


    I should advise that the music is still in copyright. I bought my own archive copy in 2005, and see that an archive copy can be obtained from http://www.fullermus...atno=MV00001879 and from other online sources.
  7. Sir George Martin and Sir George Martin. One of them was organist of St Paul's Cathedral and arranged Elgar's Imperial March for organ; the other produced records and arranged the music for Eleanor Rigby for double-string quartet.
  8. Roy Massey would always refer to the former Dean of Hereford (The Very Revd. Robert Willis) as 'Father Willis'.
  9. The composer's youngest sister plays B flats, not double flats.
  10. I was sitting under the Dome on Tuesday morning, and am pretty convinced it was.
  11. I don't want to spin out this thread unnecessarily, but looking again at the 'reservoir key', is HW3 correct, or am I missing something? Surely No 1 reservoir should read: "No 1 - (Under Solo) Chancel North side 10" & Solo Swell engine 10"
  12. wolsey


    This has been discussed before on the 'old' forum. David Willcocks', David Lumsden's and Philip Ledger's knighthoods arose from their services to music in their positions as conservatoire Principals, rather than their services as cathedral musicians - which they undoubtedly were. The last knighthood was surely to George Thalben-Ball, while the last organist to achieve a comparable honour (for services to music as an organist) was Dame Gillian Weir. Dame is the female equivalent of a knighthood in the British honours system.
  13. I emailed Ian Bell who was responsible for the Mander work in the 1970s. John Pike Mander had also mentioned the question of the swell wind pressure to him, and Ian has the following points to add to the information provided by JPM in post 12 above. He writes: As is usual with anything that Willis worked on during the time of HWIII, several of the Cs were adorned with printed paper labels recording name, pitch and pressure, which was what first alerted us to the fact that things were not as we expected. The pressure on the labels was 4 1/2 inches, but when measured it turned out to be a bit less, at 4 3/8. The reason that we checked this early was that the Swell Mixture, which remained cone-tuned, was in a very bad state with several dumb pipes, so it was brought to the shop, repaired, and fitted with slides as soon as we took the organ on, a couple of years before it was rebuilt, and checked for length and speech on the wind. The 1872 work at St Paul's always had some aspects which were not pursued or repeated elsewhere (such as the Hautboy being on the reed pressure, and the half-length 16ft reed)). Most of the published material suggests that the Great and Swell pressures were 3 1/2 and 7 which were the usual HW practice (though not without exceptions, especially in the mid/late 1880s where some, such as Canterbury and Truro, had fluework on 4). I did not believe this was an exception, and was inclined to guess that this was raised either when the organ was moved to, or back from the nave, in 1925-1930; or perhaps more likely when it was roughly dismantled and reassembled after WWII. However the published recording of wind-pressures in organs is often erratic, sometimes because the builder either works from memory or deliberately misleads the writers (especially with some very high pressures which everyone knows have never been what they were claimed to be), and sometimes because the voicers changed pressures on site which never found their way back into the file. There are very few detailed lists of pressures for St Pauls, which HWIII simply bracketed in print as from 3 1/2 to 30 inches - neither of which were in fact accurate. But John Bumpus, in his Organs and Organists of St Pauls, 1891 (which can be read online), lists the pressures in some detail and gives the Gt and Sw as 3 1/2 and 6, which are probably wrong - but who is to say? It might have been re-jigged to what were by then standard Willis pressures, in 1897-1900. He also notes the other thing which was relevant to the question, which is that the two Choir reeds were higher than the rest of the Choir - the flues being shown as 2 1/2, and the reeds 3 1/2. What I had forgotten in talking to John on Monday was that we found when we dismantled the organ that the Choir was 2 3/4, but the reed pallets (no longer feeding reeds by then) were fed from the Swell low -pressure reservoir, in wooden trunking, and clearly had always been so. In 1949 Willis III replaced the Choir reeds with upperwork, and also added three more stops (mutations and a Trumpet) on a Pitman chest, which was also taken off the Swell flues - and the pressure for these is noted in his published material at that time, and thereafter, as being 4 1/2. So for what it is worth we can infer that by 1949, deliberately or not, the Swell flues were on a nominal 4 1/2. Either way, this was not altered at the Mander rebuild - though some other pressures were, and the Hautboy was brought onto the flue pressure.
  14. But David Wyld says in post 10 above: There is a works copy (typed) specification in no 17. file (from 1st Jan 1970 - 31st Dec 1970) of the work done in 1960 which shews the pressure retained at 3 1/2" - the last time that Willis did any work, so it couldn't have been changed between then and the rebuilding. Does this not mean, then, that attention should be focussed (as John Erskine says in post 13) on the twelve years from 1960 to 1972?
  15. The mystery continues. My Mander contact messaged me earlier today: "I had to look it up! According to our wind pressure chart, the Swell fluework (inc Vox Humana and Hautboy) are on 4 3/8". I will try and find out if that is how we found it in 1972."
  16. Ashfield's Wikipedia entry says "In the late 1960s, relations between clergy and musicians in the Church of England became increasingly strained over the question of fees and salaries. Ashfield represented the Royal College of Organists, working initially in partnership with William Cole, of the Associated Board and Gerald Knight, director of the Royal School of Church Music, he helped to provide a series of recommendations. However, following delays in their acceptance, Ashfield unilaterally produced his own suggested set of fees. Subsequently championed by The Church Times, the Ashfield Scale, as it became known, stayed in vogue throughout the decade." The source of this information could be his The Times obituary.
  17. It looks excellent. The Dupré 'Esquisses No 1 and No 2' are really the second and third though; the first was published separately posthumously.
  18. I've also often played this by ear as well, and it's available on YouTube. Could I just add one or two differences (in red) to Martin's excellent harmony scheme above: Unison Bs G major triads E major B major B flat F major C major G major Repeated unison Ds B flat triplets F major triplets C major triplets B major Ab major with 7th Three ascending chords of E flat major (Ic; I; Ic) Two A major chords constituting a 4-3 suspension (D- C sharp) between them D major organ then leads from unison D in contrary motion to G major for start of Nat Anthem. I would also endorse the Willcocks arrangement/descant which we tend to do instead of the Jacobs.
  19. A Church Times staff reporter writes in today's issue that the Master of the Song School is to take legal action against the Rector and the DCC for unfair dismissal and defamation. One assumes that this report of the facts is not hearsay.
  20. They look similar to T C Lewis's key-touches. Stephen D Smith writes here (http://www.organreci...warkpistons.php) that they took the form of ivory rectangles (measuring approximately 3/8" high, 3/8" wide, 6/8" deep) located at the back of the keyboard associated with the stops they affected (unlike pistons, which are located below their keyboard). Also, key-touches were pressed down (whereas pistons are pushed in) and, for this reason, they were more usually operated by the fingers (rather than by the thumbs, as in the case of pistons). Key-touches can still be seen on the Lewis instruments at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, and Saint Luke's Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. The ones in the picture above look different though, and there's quite a large number of them in view of the small number of stop-keys which are apparent.
  21. Having conducted the work with a choral society some years ago, I found that the editions by Mason Martens or Paul Everett (OUP) are reliable and equally recommended. Avoid Ricordi.
  22. I was there too, and recognised the faces of many friends who had come from far and wide. We heard excellent playing on an instrument superbly restored by the Mander team.
  23. I'd be interested to know who, precisely, was Gwen's double in the playing of the Brahms Fugue in A flat minor. I learned it decades ago for a diploma, and it's not a piece an actress can accurately mime. The double was clearly playing the right notes - and in the right order.
  24. wolsey


    Peter King discusses the 1997 rebuild at Bath at http://peterking.org...h_organ_18.html , and essays some thought-provoking ideas at http://peterking.org..._organs_21.html
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