Jump to content
Mander Organs

David Drinkell

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About David Drinkell

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/12/1955

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Fredericton Cathedral, New Brunswick
  • Interests
    Choral and organ music, food, wine and restaurants, architecture (especially old churches and Charles Rennie Macintosh), the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway....

Recent Profile Visitors

11,070 profile views
  1. John Compton

    The specification in Sumner is odd - I cannot recall a Compton organ actually being built to a scheme like that. Ian Bell's fascinating Compton article a few years back in the BIOS Reporter diminishes, even perhaps demolishes the commonly-accepted idea that extended ranks need a lot of special treatment. He maintained that, provided the voicer was careful about the upper and lower octaves, nothing particularly out-of-the-ordinary was required. As he, and others point out, what lets down extension so often is the fact that it could be used by less-skilled practitioners to provide cheap, instruments using any old pipe-work that might be available and a standard of workmanship which might not stand the test of time. Compton's organs were well-made and the voicing (particularly, I've always thought, of the reeds) of high quality regardless of the use or otherwise of extension.
  2. Festal responses

    Regarding Clucas, he states in his autobiography that his Responses were composed for a competition arranged by David Willcocks (a previous one was for a Jubilate which I think was won by Simon Preston) and that as the deadline approached he was torn between finishing them and going punting. He says that Willcocks was both surprised and pleased at the result and arranged for Oxford to publish the set. Forgive the lack of precision in the above. I'm in Kirkwall right now - playing for my father-in-law's funeral in St. Magnus Cathedral tomorrow - and so not able to refer to the actual volume in question!
  3. John Compton

    Roger Fisher's house organ (a remarkable iinstrument http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D08060 ) has a derived tierce, partly in order to give students an idea of how tierce combinations should sound. It works pretty well in solo combinations, particularly (as observed earlier) with the Tremulant. As an example of a really vile extended tierce in a chorus mixture, this one takes some beating http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01379.
  4. Ornamentation in Bach’s “O Mensch bewein”

    The Novello edition (I think by Walter Emery) feels right to me, but it's all a matter of preference.
  5. Hewins Organ Builder, Stratford-upon-Avon

    I think I goofed in spelling - it should be "Whinfield". Not only the console, but also the specification points to Whinfield, so it seems to me that the whole instrument is the result of a rebuild in the early years of last century. Other examples of Whinfield/Nicholson organs can be found on NPOR, including Claines (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03776) and Malvern (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=J00212). The latter is still there and has an Historic Organs Certificate and pictures of the console. I can't imagine that the present Nicholson firm would have re-used an old Whinfield console. The complications would have been considerable. Four bob for practice would certainly have been a lot all those years ago, unless you spent the whole day there!
  6. John Compton

    Charlie Smethurst, the Manchester organ-builder, used to tune his mixtures and mutations to the tempered scale on the grounds that they would then not fight with the other stops (he also stopped off some upper notes of the mixtures at Belfast Cathedral to save having to tune them). Smethurst did a lot of work in Northern Ireland, especially during the Troubles when a lot of firms were chary of going there. He liked the place and, in fact, retired to Dunmurry (a suburb of Belfast), where the parish church not only has one of his organs but a stained glass window in memoriam.
  7. John Compton

    Colin Washtell built an organ which used to stand in Reach Church, Cambridgeshire, where he was churchwarden. It was an extension job with three ranks (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00202) and was replaced by another instrument installed by Peter Collins a little over twenty years ago. He also rebuilt the organ at Burwell and may have worked on other instruments in the area. At Swaffham Prior, next to Reach , there are two churches next to each other in the same churchyard. St. Mary's has a one-manual by Miller of Cambridge, but for some years an electronic organ designed and built by Colin Washtell was also in the church. I played it once and it was pretty good for its time - about the same sort of tone quality as a Compton Electrone. It may still be there. The Reach organ was interesting, with a somewhat neo-classical stop-list and an unusual console in which the stops were push-buttons which lit up. There was indeed a firm called Electrophonic Organs. They advertised in "The Organ".
  8. Hewins Organ Builder, Stratford-upon-Avon

    From the specification and the picture of the console, it looks as though this one was rebuilt by Nicholson in the early years of the 20th century when Arthur Winfield owned the company. NPOR does not mention this, but the console is a give-away (as is the spec). Thus - not a representative scheme for Hewins, although interesting in itself (Winfield's organs ternded to sound a good deal more impressive than their specifications would suggest).
  9. Festal responses

    So it appears that most foundations had their own Use, or at least their own variant. The Dublin set would accord with that - presumably they are in Jebb (I've never looked), unless they post-date him and are by someone like Sir Robert Stewart (who taught Stanford). Jebb was a Prebendary of Limerick. I wonder if they had their own Use also. A lot of Irish cathedrals maintained a choral foundation of some sort until the Disestablishment in 1871. Upon reflection, it seems logical that there were settings peculiar to individual foundations, since the sharing of them would be difficult unless they were published in some collection like Boyce's or, indeed, Jebb's. I suppose a modern parallel is to be found in these computer-savvy days in the fact that most foundations have their own pointing for the psalms!
  10. Festal responses

    St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, had a set which they used all the time - pretty boring stuff in my opinion, but quite well-known in the Church of Ireland through having appeared in festival service books.
  11. Eighteenth century English voluntaries: filling in harmonies

    It's 'horses for courses" - it all depends on the instrument and the occasion. There are times and organs where an "authentic" performance might not have the presence it deserves and an arrangement could put the music over to best effect. There are, of course, arrangements and arrangements. Oxford's versions of The Trumpet Voluntary, "Purcell's" Trumpet Tune (that's by Clarke too, I believe) and Stanley's Trumpet Tune by Willcocks, Hurford and I can't remember the other one have their place. Henry Ley's "Two Trumpet Tunes and an Air" remain popular with some players in the right place and there is a set of Purcell arrangements by Drummond Wolff which one encounters quite often over here. And what does one do with the Handel Concerti when playing without other instruments? There are lots of arrangements, besides the straight versions and one has to interpret as best one can. I tend to use the Hinrichsen version and do varying amounts of re-arranging as I go along, but I'd do it differently on a Snetzler than on a Casavant!
  12. English Voluntaries for the Corno Stop

    The Responses are fun - more so if you double dot like mad and go a bit overboard with the underlay. I have an arrangement of the Lord's Prayer put together from the Responses which I originally encountered at Chester Cathedral and tarted up a bit more. Date-wise, there's not much else in the Responses line as late as that - Ebdon's, perhaps, which are ok in Lent.
  13. Eighteenth century English voluntaries: filling in harmonies

    The organ referred to is the Byfield chamber organ which was in the Finchcocks Collection in Kent (the collection was sold off in 2015 when the owners retired). Of all the instruments at Finchcocks, this made the deepest impression on me. The chorus was broad and singing - a big sound although not excessively loud. It was a complete contrast to the steely brilliance of a Snetzler (e.g. St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, City of London or John Wesley's House, Bristol) or, indeed, the Avery chamber organ in the same collection, which was a good deal less full-sounding. It gave me food for thought about whether this was the sort of organ upon which Handel played his concerti (I've never met the "Handel" organ at Great Packington) and also how different it was from the continuo organs which lurk around the quires of most great churches these days, beautiful though many of them are.
  14. S.S. Wesley's Choral Song and Fugue

    Thank you very much! Most interesting. I will download and study it, as well as consulting the thread you mention.
  15. S.S. Wesley's Choral Song and Fugue

    The current threads on pre-pedal English organ music reminds me that I have often wondered what the Choral Song ("Steamship Wesley sails again" as Gordon Reynolds put it) looks like in an authentic edition. The one published by Novello is a transcription of a transcription, having been edited and thinned-out by (I think) Watkins Shaw from an earlier version.