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David Drinkell

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  1. In reference to the Hull Minster thread, St. Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale is one of the smallest minsters and is a beautiful church in idyllic surroundings, with a nice little organ, originally by Abbott & Smith. The stop list these days is given by NPOR as: Great: Open Diapason, Stopped Diapason, Geigen Principal, Block Flute Swell: Lieblich Gedact, Salicional, Gemshorn, Oboe Pedal: Bourdon Usual couplers, plus Swell Octave and Swell Octave to Great When I played it in about 1970, the Great had Open, Wald Flute, Dulciana and Harmonic Flute 4, and the Swell Geigen, Lieblich Gedeckt, Gamba, Gemshorn and Oboe. I wonder if one register has been omitted on the NPOR list. Temple Moore restored the church, so may have designed the case.
  2. The word comes from the same root as 'monastery' and was used widely in Anglo Saxon times to denote a church served by a community (not necessarily of monks - sometimes of secular clergy). Sometimes, either in early days or later, the name was applied to an important church in a very large diocese which was to some extent a pro-cathedral. The modern custom of designating certain large churches in towns which are not cathedral cities is, I think, rather a nice one. Some cathedrals are alternately known as minsters - Southwell, Ripon and Lincoln for example. According to Francis Jackson, York is not, strictly speaking, a minster, but the term came into use because "York Cathedral" sounded awkward with its double "K" sound in the middle. Not all minsters are big - one of the smallest and most charming is Kirkdale Minster, in the Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire, which is of Saxon foundation (the nave remains from that period). Cue for another entry on the Beautiful English Organs thread....
  3. I think it's the largest in terms of cubic capacity, but St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth (now also a Minster) has a larger floor area. Both have ailing Comptons which will hopefully be restored very soon.
  4. Shades of the scheduling of "Come ye faithful" - Thatcher on one cathedral list (I think it was Southwark) on General Election day some years ago.
  5. Since you're at Harrow, see if you can find a copy of the Public School Hymnbook, edited by C.S. Lang. There are some interesting texts in there which are not in other books. Other possible hymnal sources are the Cambridge Hymnal, Songs of Priase and Songs of Sion (although some of the contents of the latter are guaranteed to bring a smile to the lips for all the wrong reasons). For one of the finest English religious poets, try George Herbert, or on a lighter note, maybe John Betjeman.
  6. Quite right! They are all City of London churches, except that St. Mary, Aldermanbury was transported and rebuilt at Fulton, Missouri, where our hosts provided a new organ. Here are the stop-lists: All Hallows, London Wall http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17610 A very pleasant Hill residence organ, slightly modified and installed by Noel Mander in 1962, in a neat little church by George Dance. When I called in there some years ago, the building appeared to be mostly in use as an office and library, but now it's occupied by a charismatic congregation and charity. The organ is still there. St. Martin, Ludgate http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01538 One of the least spoiled interiors in the City, having escaped the Blitz. The organ is by Bates, whose workshop was nearby, with minimal alteration by Lewis & Co (they transposed Bates's 16' Double Dulciana to 8'). Noel Mander restored it in 1956 - an early example of his work in this field. I gave my first ever organ recital on this organ in 1970, and a second one shared with Martin Cooke, who is a regular on this forum (thank you for introducing me to Ireland's "Alla Marcia"!). St. Mary Woolnoth http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17712 An excellent small three manual Hill which deserves to be better known. The picture shows the west end case (perhaps by Dallam or maybe Father Smith), which contains only the Choir Viole and Vox Humana, both apparently modelled on Hope Jones patterns - very odd for Hill. The rest of the organ is at the east end in a plain but acceptable case by Hill. St. Stephen, Walbrook http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00250 A glorious George England case. I was at the opening recital in 1970 when the famous Hill organ was rebuilt (I thought Walkers did it, but the recitalist was Joanna Fraser so it was probably HN&B) and subsequently gave a recital there myself as part of the Organ Club's Silver Jubilee year in 1976 (I remember getting the key from Chad Varah in the Samaritans office in the crypt). Hill, Norman & Beard later supplied a new console and transmission. St. Mary at Hill http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E00332 A landmark Hill organ of 1848 with the "German" compass. HN&B provided a new positive-style Choir organ in 1971, and I played there shortly afterwards. The organ was badly damaged in a fire, but in 2002 our hosts restored it to its original state. St. Mary Aldermanbury In 1940, as a young fire-watcher, Noel Mander watched this church burn. In 1969, he was commissioned to build a new organ when the church was transplanted to the USA. He incorporated two ranks of pipes and a case front by George England from St. Mary's, Woolwich. Great: Open Diapason, Stopt Diapason, Principal, Nason Flute, Twelfth, Fifteenth, Tierce, Fourniture IV, Mounted Cornet V Swell: Gedeckt, Salicional, Celeste, Principal, Chimeny Flute, Octave 2, Larigot, Cymbale IV, Cromorne 16. Trumpet, Clarion. Tremulant Pedal: Subbass, Principal 8, Bass Flute, Gemshorn 4, Mixture III, Fagott 16 St. Mary le Bow http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E01717 Rothwell had the care of the organ in the church before the Blitz and Rushworth's inherited the remains which they incorporated in the organ which they built for the restored church in 1964. It was not a very distinguished instrument, although it sounded decent enough in the building, and its best feature was the fine case designed by John Hayward (he also designed the stained glass) as part of Laurence King's restoration. It was not until 2010 that the church got the organ it deserved, when Kenneth Tickell built a large two manual in the existing case.
  7. A Quiz. If you get one of them, you will probably be able to find them all. Be warned - one is a bit of a cheat! Answers tomorrow.....
  8. The Frampton organ looks as though the front pipes were decorated when it was built, but at Bromley they were painted when Bishops' restored the organ in the sixties - hence my surmise about the Shenton connection. Frampton looks to be a particularly fine example of stencilling.
  9. I guess that in many respects I'm guilty as charged, having expanded the "English" bit to include other parts of the British Isles, posting organs that are not by English builders, flagrantly ignoring suggestions to avoid newer instruments, etc. "Beautiful", I suppose, is a subjective term and what may appear beautiful to me may not be so to others. What this thread has highlighted, I think, is that there are a lot more good-looking instruments in Britain than we might have thought. There are a lot of boring pipe-racks in Europe and North America, too. Again being subjective, I don't care for the "stainless steel" style that seems to be popular in Europe, or the number of modern cases with whole rows of pipes arranged so that their tops make a horizontal line, or that big blue Fisk in Japan (Rikkyo Gakuin) which looks to me like a cross between something pressed out of plastic sheet and a half-sucked boiled sweet. But who am I to judge, especially from mere photographs? On the other hand, Grenzing's cases at Brussels Cathedral look fabulous to me.... "Organ" as applied to electronic instruments: a tricky question. I always used to use the term "electrone" but that's archaic and really applies only to Comptons (which were decent enough specimens in their day). A friend of mine over here, a well-known recitalist, is an agent for a well-known make (no names, no pack drill, either of the agent or the firm) and refers to them as "appliances", and a lot of people use the term "toasters', both of which are hardly polite. In North America, folk tend to say "pipe organ" when referring to the real thing. I suppose that if one thinks of the name as denoting the function of the instrument, then "organ" is as good as we will get. More pictures, beautiful or not according to taste, but in any case showing imagination and a little bit out of the ordinary. Andrew Hayden, writing in "Choir and Organ" (May/June 2015) describes the collaboration between the East Anglian-based artist Jack Shenton and John Budgen of Bishop & Son (Ipswich). This resulted in about a dozen instruments in which colour added interest to existing case-work. Andrew highlights Thorpe Morieux and East Bergholt, as well as an original Shenton case design at Rattlesden which unfortunately never received its intended colour scheme. I knew the instruments but I didn't know about Jack Shenton until I read the article. I can't find a picture of Rattlesden online, but the church is worth a visit in any case. Thorpe Morieux is in the same benefice and is not far away. The organ is an original J.C. Bishop of 1840 which came to roost here in 1968 after various peregrinations. It is the first thing you see as you enter the church, being on the north wall opposite the south door, and it looks extremely well. The picture is from Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches site, but there is another on NPOR. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00320 At East Bergholt, right in the middle of "Constable Country", the church is one of Suffolk's best (which is saying a great deal), but lacks a tower. Round the back is a unique bell-cage containing the world's heaviest ring of five (tenor 25cwt), which are rung in the English fashion but without ropes and wheels. You push the bell over and catch it as it comes up. Highly dangerous, really, but when I was a teenage bell-ringer, you could get a ring on them if the ringing-captain was in the right mood. I don't know if I'd dare to risk it now, but I did then. The 1897 Bishop organ in the church came from a Presbyterian church in Gravesend in 1966, replacing a Hammond, and has since been slightly enlarged. Shenton designed a scheme of colouring for the two cases, which is certainly effective: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00281 One might not want to do this sort of thing everywhere, but it seems to work here. After reading Andrew's piece, I wondered if the 1867 Walker organ at Great Bromley in Essex had received Jack Shenton's attention also. it has an absolutely plain and typical pipe-rack front, but the pipes are painted alternately blue and gold. Again, one wouldn't want to see this everywhere but I think it's effective in this case. The organ itself is a very fine little job, giving a lot more than its five stops would suggest, although it's a pity that it lacks a Pedal bourdon. The church is a probably the finest in this part of Essex. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01721 Referring to the Escomb organ which Damian illustrates a couple of items before this, I played this one about five years ago and it is indeed a beautiful little job, perfectly suited to the Saxon church where it resides.
  10. On a "respectable" (for want of a better word) electronic, the general crescendo pedal would work in the same way as on a pipe organ - after all, such instruments are designed to imitate pipe organs in every respect. In other words, it would add stops one by one. Where the general crescendo is, in my opinion, unsatisfactory, is that it starts with the softest stops and adds others gradually, but without taking off those stops which may be superfluous at a given level of volume. For example, if you have Great to Fifteenth and make a crescendo via the general crescendo pedal, you will get all the unison flutes, strings, etc, which are on the earlier stages, thus cloying the texture and wasting wind. Some modern instruments may have a means of programming the general crescendo, but most don't. For that reason, I very rarely use the device - I reckon I can count on the fingers of one hand the pieces where I find it useful. The effect is probably better on North American romantic organs (Skinners, for example) where there are more ways to build up and reduce than is usually the case on British instruments, but I still don't like to be bound by what has been set up on the pedal, and I think that they have had an adverse effect on many organists over here, making them lazy in registration.
  11. In connection with the current Blind Listening thread, this is the rather good case of the Bevington at Winslow: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09648
  12. The crescendo pedal effect is an interesting point. Over here, most organs have them and some organists seem to use them as a matter of course rather than registering by hand. By extension of this practice, I've noticed that the same players tend to draw more stops than I would think advisable (all the 8' flues, for example) rather than being selective. A further point, especially with Allen organs, is that the rather smooth and silky sound would seem to be conceived with the dead acoustic of many cushioned and carpeted North American churches in mind. With regard to the Winslow instrument, its electrification in the sixties might in retrospect seem to have been unfortunate. Looking it up, I see that it has a nice case, which I have added to the Beautiful English Organs thread.
  13. Quite right, too! It looks gorgeous, and (like the Petersham job), the scheme looks to be able to facilitate all sorts of music.
  14. Here's one I would very much like to visit - Petersham, Surrey, by the Swiss builder St. Martin. A handsome case which stylistically appears to be very fitting for its surroundings, shoe-horned into place rather like a number of jobs I encountered on visits to Norway. The scheme is very clever indeed. Some might argue that the cost of a third manual and a second swell-box might be better spent on extra speaking stops, but a little thought reveals the tremendous potential available. On paper, there's not much that it won't do. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=P00563 The same firm built the organ at Girton College, Cambridge. Spread over four manuals, it displays a similar versatility. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R00476
  15. Two beautiful new organs in England, although not by English builders. The chamber organ in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, by Taylor & Boody of Staunton, Virginia. Their choral services include a weekly Vespers in Latin (including the lessons), for which this organ is specifically planned. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=K01237 And the Aubertin in King's Hall, University of Newcastle.
  16. Forgive my rabbiting on - it's a public holiday in Canada and I can't summon up the energy to do anything useful.... Having mentioned Cockayne Hatley, not far away, Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, has a very decent little Hill organ in an Italianate case. The pub across the road is (or was) excellent for lunch, too. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00788
  17. An oddity met with occasionally is an interesting organ case with no organ. At Rushbrooke Church, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, a nineteenth century squire, Colonel Rushbrooke, recycled panels from Rushbrooke Hall (an amazing Tudor mansion, demolished without permission in 1961) and elsewhere to create an interior like a college chapel, complete with organ case at the west end. He also carved a set of King Henry VIII arms, which are placed over the chancel arch and have fooled a number of writers into thinking they are genuine (and therefore unique). There has never been a pipe organ, and the church is served by a reed organ. If you're in the area, the Rushbrooke Arms on the Bury road is a good place for lunch. At Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire, the local squire was also the incumbent - the Revd. Sir Henry Cockayne Cust. He acquired a set of richly carved choir stalls from a church in Belgium and also an elaborate organ case which is in the west gallery. It once contained a barrel organ but is now empty. St. Conan's Kirk, on the shore of Loch Awe in Argyllshire, was built by Walter Campbell, a rich self-taught architect, at the turn of the last century, and is a stunning fantasy kirk incorporating all sorts of styles. There is an organ case in the west gallery and, weirdest of all, a couple of smaller cases in front of it, suspended form the ceiling like chandeliers. Again, no organ. I don't know of anything else quite like it - it needs to be seen to be believed. Finally, St. Lawrence, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, had an 18th century makeover including an organ case at the west end. It contained an organ at one time, but this was disposed of and a Rushworth & Dreaper "Apollo" reed organ served the church for many years. I have a feeling that a proper organ has since been built in the old case, but I don't know if this is true. There are lots of pictures of the church on the web, but I couldn't find one showing the organ case - a pity, because it's a fine piece of work.
  18. Are you inferring that I have a big nose? LOL. Wissington (pronounced and sometimes spelt Wiston), Suffolk is a little Norman church on the Essex border. Although it retains many ancient features, including wall paintings, it had an early Victorian make-over, with neo-Norman furnishings and a Gray barrel-organ with its front pipes contained within a neo-Norman arch with dog-tooth ornament. The barrel-organ is still used, but Roger Pulham built a finger organ in 1970. Both can be seen in the picture: Barrel Organ: Open Diapason, Dulciana, Principal, Fifteenth Finger Organ: Open Diapason, Stopped Diapason, Principal, Fifteenth
  19. I think most people see the grinning monkey here, and at All Hallows, Twickenham and St. Clement's, Eastcheap.
  20. I knew of your "parenthood" and I'm glad you've written. It's entirely possible that if I saw the organ in the flesh, as it were, I would change my opinion, especially about the pipe-shades, but I haven't played anywhere in Barnet since Harry Coles (of Southwark, blessed memory and convoluted correspondence) was organist on that rather nice little Walker Positive at St. Mark's. I was on an Organ Club visit in the early seventies, just after Peter Collins had installed his new organ at St. John's Presbyterian Church (as it then was). They were looking for an organist at the time and I think our member Jim Inglis took it on. We also (I think) heard you at the Parish Church, visited a newly rebuilt HN&B at St. James and the Father Willis at St. John the Evangelist. Thinking of wide cases, Wells-Kennedy at St. Michael's RC Church, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanaugh, produced a very fine instrument and Chris Gordon-Wells designed a most effective case in traditional style. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D08045
  21. There is an old Suffolk rhyme: "Shotley Church without a steeple, Drunken parson, wicked people." The church presents an interesting view, moored like an old ship on its little rise, tower capped off at nave roof level. Inside, there is a very fine hammer-beam roof and a most unusual chancel in classical style from the time of King George II. The organ was supplied by Godball of Ipswich - he kept a music shop on the Cornhill and supplied organs, but did not build them. NPOR attributes it to Flight, or Flight and Robson, which I didn't know. It has a good, but scruffy case. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D05613
  22. I came across this one when looking for something else. Hugh Russell built an organ for St. Runwald's, Colchester, in 1806. St. Runwald's stood in the middle of the High Street and was demolished in 1878 to improve traffic flow (although to drive down Colchester High Street today would make one wonder if it did any good). The organ went to Pattiswick Church, where I remember playing it. It had been rather hacked about to fit in a chamber, but was intact tonally. Pattiswick Church was closed and converted to a residence and the organ was restored by John Budgen in St. Clement's, Thurrock, which had been made redundant and refurbished as an arts centre. It stands in the middle of the chancel facing west and looks very pretty, as anyone who has seen the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (more specifically, the funeral scene) will know. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01293
  23. I guess that's a problem with screen organs which have only one speaking front. Maurice Forsyth-Grant mentioned ("Twenty One Years of Organ Building") that he personally paid for the front pipes at Oxford to be of tin. There was presumably no chance of a "back front" as well. especially as the case was designed to project the sound forwards. Hexham Abbey suffers similarly.
  24. A contrasting pair in Suffolk - first the Bryceson barrel organ at Shelland, restored by our hosts in 1956 and the only barrel organ in England to be the only instrument in the church and thus used at all services. Subsequent work included the making by John Budgen of a new barrel with extra tunes, one of which (if memory serves me rightly) was "Shine, Jesus, shine". http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00263 And here is one of our host's "Denham" organs, at Buxhall. Two ranks extended, beautiful little case, and it sounds extremely well. This is the only Denham organ of which I have personal experience, but I'm sure there must be others around. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N13285
  25. To get back to historic instruments, St. Adamnan's Episcopal Church, Duror-in-Appin, Argyll, has what was always said to be Snetzler, although by the time I got round to trying it about 45 years ago, this claim was generally disputed. However, more recent investigation seems to prove that not only is it substantially by Snetzler, but a fair amount of the pipes are by Father Smith. It is probably the oldest church organ in Scotland. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00114
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