Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

David Drinkell

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by David Drinkell

  1. If we're talking about "modern" organs, this one has aroused more controversy than most, but I think it's superb, both tonally and visually. No need, probably to say where it is.... http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=V00430
  2. Brundish is certainly worth a visit, as this picture shows. The church is not the easiest to find, being down a lane, but will repay the effort. It was considerably smartened up a few years ago, at around the time the organ was put in, and is a fine example of what happens when people take an interest in their parish church. The organ was new in 2010. It might contain some historic pipes from elsewhere, but I'm not sure.
  3. I believe the organ is much admired, but I've never cared for the case. I think it's too wide, there are too many pipes in the centre tower and flats, the pipe shades look crude and the enormous space between the the console and the horizontal trumpet doesn't do anything for the balance. However, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong.
  4. Peter Bumstead is another Suffolk organ maker, as well as being a professionally qualified musician. He trained with Bishop & Son in Ipswich and has gained a well-deserved reputation for historic restorations. In 2010, he built this organ for Brundish, Suffolk, and designed a case which is simple but very effective and owes more than a little to the Cambridge school (the Suttons, Osmond Fisher et al): http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=K00988 At Snape, Suffolk, Peter Bumstead built a new organ in the west gallery, in a case with pipe-shades inspired by the reed-beds in the river which runs between the church and the Maltings Concert Hall. The effect is magical..... http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E00092 His magnum opus to date (as far as I know) is at Harlton, Cambridgeshire. Osmond Fisher was incumbent here and brought the organ which he had designed in 1846 for a previous parish, endowing it with the rents from a cottage next to the church (Organ Cottage is still there). For 140 years, it stood in the north aisle of the nave, looking utterly charming, but tonally it was inadequate (Open, Stopped, Principal, Flute). In 2009, Peter Bumstead built a new organ, incorporating the old one, together with pipes from the same period acquired from Haslingfield Church when the latter acquired the organ from Ely Parish Church. The new organ has three manuals, a most ingenious and effective Old English type scheme, and looks stunning in a new west gallery. I consider this to be a land-mark in organ design, containing so much within a small scheme, while being a refreshing interpretation of a national style. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=M00001
  5. I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the work of the Suffolk organ-builder Roger Pulham. He also trained as an architect and his organs are noted, not only for their tone and well-balanced tracker actions, but also for their fine traditional cases. Langham, Essex (I knew its predecessor quite well, but I haven't got round to playing this one yet): http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D02908 Burnham Norton, Norfolk: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09043 Chelmondiston, Suffolk - the church was destroyed by a V2 rocket during World War II and rebuilt in the fifties. It contains some notable stained glass, a full set of embroidered kneelers and a handsome little organ by Pulham. The picture is from http://www.starorgansofbritain.co.uk/images_counties/Suffolk/suffolk_temp_files/ http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09041 Dunwich, Suffolk, was one of the biggest and most important ports on the east coast, and had at least ten churches, but coastal erosion has virtually destroyed it ( the first big storm surge was in 1286). The last of the old churches went over the cliff early in the twentieth century. Dunwich is now a tiny village with a small 19th century church and a famous chip shop. The church used to have a rather nondescript one manual organ, but in 1992 Roger Pulham built a new organ based on the remains of one he made eight years earlier for Hazelwood School, which had been severely damaged in the "hurricane" of 1987> http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=J00113 Roger Pulham has also constructed a number of small box organs which have replaced toasters and harmonia in Suffolk churches, such as Monewden and Gipping. If you're ever in Suffolk, you should visit Gipping, a tiny church built as the private chapel for the Tyrrell family. A complete essay in East Anglian Perpendicular on a miniature scale, with box-pews and fragments of medieval glass. The organ sits comfortably in the chancel and seems to be an ideal solution for small churches such as this. It can be seen in one of the pictures in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches website. http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/gipping.htm
  6. If you private message me, I have made a transcription of this that I can send you. Let me know whether or not you have Sibelius.
  7. Regarding the Lang Tuba Tune, the middle section has repeat marks half-way through. Lang's organ at Christ's Hospital has a west end section including a big Tuba played from the fifth manual and I think that perhaps he had in mind the effect of alternating between east and west. For those of us who lack the luxury of having a Tuba at both ends (as it were), I feel that it's better to omit the middle repeat marks and just play the whole page twice. Just a thought....
  8. "A Trumpet Minuet" by Alfred Hollins is a must when considering this sort of piece. Less difficult than Cocker, more difficult than Lang - there are one or two tricky moments, but generally it's not frightening. https://imslp.org/wiki/A_Trumpet_Minuet_(Hollins%2C_Alfred Percy Whitlock's "Fanfare" from "Four Extemporizations" is a fine piece (a favourite of Ian Tracey's for showing off the party-horn at Liverpool), although not as easy to play as it might at first appear. https://imslp.org/wiki/4_Extemporizations_(Whitlock%2C_Percy_William Percy was keen on his Tuba and cheerful noises in general, and the "Paean" from "Five Short Pieces" is another worth trying. https://imslp.org/wiki/5_Short_Pieces_(Whitlock%2C_Percy_William In the two Whitlock collections, you should also play the gorgeous quiet pieces, "Fidelis" and "Folk Tune". Blasting away on the Tuba is fun, but one shouldn't indulge to excess, and the softer combinations are nearly always among the most beautiful on any instrument. Thinking about Trumpet Tunes of the Jeremiah Clark type, there are a lot of these, with editions presenting either the original for manuals only or various transcriptions which will appeal to different tastes (or not, as the case may be). John Stanley's Trumpet Tune is a good one: https://imslp.org/wiki/Suite_for_Organ_(Stanley%2C_John And Henry Ley's arrangement of "Two Trumpet Tunes and an Air" seems to be back in fashion if, indeed, it was ever completely out of it. It seems that the first Trumpet Tune ("Cheer, boys, cheer, me mother wants the mangle") is, like Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary, actually by Jeremiah Clark. The second Trumpet Tune is "called the Cebell". I had often wondered what a Cebell was and when I finally got round to looking it up found that it was "a type of trumpet tune", which left me no more enlightened than I was before.
  9. Three Great Organists take on the Widor….
  10. A Sackful of Shakings, as Bernard Edmonds would say. St. John on Bethnal Green, London, assembled from a variety of sources by Rest Cartwright & Son in 1950. I think that the firm was at that time owned by Ivor Davies, a rather mercurial character who had been a tuner for Hill, Norman & Beard but got the sack when he was caught cleaning one of their organs on his own account. Thereafter, he did various organ jobs, composed and played (I have a feeling he was FRCO), and (not least) gave Noel Mander his first employment in organ building. A rather interesting case, I think.... http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R00941 Bradfield Combust, Suffolk (there are three Bradfields neighbouring each other - the other two are St. George and St. Clare - Combust got its name because it suffered a serious fire in the Middle Ages). A decent old Bevington with a solid but handsome case. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01210 Brent Pelham, Cambridgeshire. A similar style of Gothick, but more elaborate. Assembled by Miller of Cambridge, and restored by Peter de Vile a few years ago. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14035 Bristol, St. Thomas - lovely Harris case, the organ last rebuilt by HN&B in 1955. The church has been closed for a good few years now - I don't know if the organ is still there. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R01251 Bristol, Christ Church, City. Another Harris case, and the church is open and going strong. I never got to play this one when I was student in Bristol, although I rang the bells, which were not highly renowned for their musicality ("The Bells of Heaven go ting-a-ling-a-ling, but Christ Church bells go boink"). http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E00237 Chichester Cathedral - Hill case, much historic pipe-work. The rebuild, by our hosts, is much admired. I haven't played it, although I did have a go on the Allen that did duty for several years before the rebuild. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N15562 Crimplesham, Norfolk - John Eagles (London) c.1860, restored by Holmes & Swift. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00072
  11. Returning to Holdich, he did a lot of work, as has been mentioned, in Norfolk. Here are a few pretty little jobs: Irstead - Open and Stopped Diapasons plus Principal and a pleasant Gothick case. Great Massingham - a fine chorus up to mixture. Nothing startling about the case, but it has nicely painted front pipes and some rather unusual carved details to the panelling. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06298 Terrington St. John - a large church (although dwarfed by its neighbour, Terrington St. Clement, which is bigger than some cathedrals and has an enormous detached tower, but only a rather dull Rest Cartwright organ), but a well-spoken and down-to-earth diapason chorus to fill it, enclosed in a typical Holdich case. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06696 West Walton - not much to look at again, but interesting because it is (probably dubiously) reputed to contain some Father Smith pipes and also because was replaced in 1975 with a three-manual Willis III rebuild from a church in Sheffield, but was not removed (despite having been sold) and was subsequently properly restored when its successor proved to be less long-lasting. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06770
  12. A variation on Martin's suggestion regarding the Orgelbüchlein. Allan Wicks used to recommend playing the prelude, then the chorale, then the prelude again. You can download Whitlock scores from IMSLP. I suppose that at least one reason for extempore playing before chapel is that an extemporisation can be curtailed or lengthened as required, whereas as set piece has a definite length. Also, especially in a school, the noise level might not be conducive to playing something quiet.
  13. Point taken - one can't be too sentimental when an instrument has a job to do. I looked at the Hull Minster website and it certainly appears to have come up well after the recent re-ordering. Maybe, in a building of that size, there would be room to display the Compton console as a piece of history. Regarding the instrument itself, I've always been impressed by Compton reeds, in fact it's the quality of voicing that makes Comptons the epitome of extension work. The danger with extension, and electric action in general, is that it made it so easy for less gifted builders to take short cuts and turn out work that may have looked impressive but failed to come up to expectations or to remain reliable for very long. With Compton, the quality always seems to have been there. The luminous consoles had only a fairly brief vogue (Yarmouth Minster, where they installed the large Hill from St. Mary, The Boltons, Kensington, in 1960 had draw-stops but luminous touches under the music desk for the couplers. Liverpool Cathedral had the same for a while - I wonder if the Compton patent was used. Boris Ord was keen on Compton-style luminous touches for Kings, but Arthur Harrison talked him out of the idea, although the draw-stops had double-touch cancelling on the Compton patent). Comptons' turned out some very handsome draw-stop consoles for their later jobs, such as Bangor Cathedral (1953): And, of course, Wakefield: which also has a fine old case: and another, by Pearson, in the Quire: To go off on a slight tangent, the Compton style had a number of imitators, including Conacher and, to an extent, Rutt, but there was a very definite Compton clone by Rushworth & Dreaper at South Norwood Methodist Church. This organ, slightly modified, is now at Holy Spirit, Southsea. Has anyone here any experience of what it's like? http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12482
  14. The Murrill edition suggests where some cuts might be made if necessary, but I've never had cause to investigate or use them. I don't know about Gower, but I do suggest one modification to the Murrill realisation, which is to replace his "dum,da,DA" rhythm for the main theme with Walton's original "da-dum,da DA" - if you see what I mean. You need a relaxed wrist to do it, and it might not work on a slow pneumatic action, but I think it's an improvement.
  15. Redland Park Congregational Church, Bristol (now URC) lost its Father Willis organ during the Blitz, but they acquired another one from a church in St. John's Wood which was installed by Percy Daniel. It was always a four manual at Redland, and it was much celebrated for its 32' reed. The church, while cheerfully admitting that it's a lot more organ than it needs, is rather proud of it and keeps adding to it (including a Great Mixture, which , oddly, didn't figure in the original installation, although it had one at St. John's Wood - I think it went to the Swell when the organ was installed in Bristol). Note the Daniel trademark of a Contra Bourdon, which in this case goes down to bottom F (G was more usual) with only 5 notes produced acoustically. Although it's so big, it fits the building very well. No case to speak of, but here is the console: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00259
  16. Still Great Western - I can't recall if we've had Bristol Cathedral on this thread yet, but here it is. A fabulous organ for accompanying the choral foundation, especially in the psalms (it was worth the trot down Park Street to hear Clifford Harker going a-whoring after their own inventions on the twenty-first evening). Our hosts added an extra mixture to the Great, to give some edge when accompanying a full nave (Clifford said you had to play an octave up with doubles on to lead a big hymn). http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04989 Just down the river - the view from my window in Clifton Wood Crescent when I was a student: Brunel's "Great Britain" (the tower behind is St. Paul's, Bedminster, home to a decent enough three manual rebuild by Percy Daniel - nothing outstanding but the BBC found it a useful church for broadcasting) :
  17. Possibly not so off-topic, as organists tend to like steam locomotives and I quoted three organs from Paddington, a Great Western Castle class locomotive:
  18. And, on Paddington Green, the church of St. Mary, with its lovely case by Peter Collins and organ to match: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08963
  19. St. Mary Magdalene, Paddington - another fine Compton. The case is nothing to look at, but it has another luminous console. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17436 However, in the crypt, there is a nice little Casson positive with a gorgeous case by Comper: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04959
  20. St. Luke's, Chelsea, widely claimed in 1932 to be "Downside come to town", and certainly one of Compton's most famous jobs. The case dates from 1824 (with obvious add-ons at the sides. I see from NPOR that there is now a two-manual console at the east end. When I played there, there was only the original Compton console and that was at the east end in the gallery above the choir-stalls - quite a long way from the pipes. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00750
  21. A fine picture - thank you! I hope that, when the time comes, there will be a straightforward restoration, including the Compton console with its luminous stop-heads. This organ was always reckoned to be one of Compton's finest rebuilds and it deserves careful treatment. It's amazing how durable Compton's work could be. His actions could still be working well after more than fifty years. I believe Downside is running on a lot of original components after 87 years (Roger Taylor deserves much credit for looking after it). Here's the console at Hull, battered but still going:
  22. Can't get it here at 4.14 (8.14 British)pm.
  23. Thanks to ptindall for information about the current whereabouts of the ex-Birch organ. John - I also remember the Father Willis at Halstead. Like you, I played it before the latest additions were made, but it was still grand then, nevertheless. At the other end of the town, Holy Trinity has a good three-manual Binns, although this one is trumped by the magnificent example up the road at Haverhill. Stephen - I had forgotten about Easton-on-the-Hill, a real text-book vintage Holdich, and with a (now unique?) "Dumb Organist", a barrel playing mechanism that one slots into position over the keys. Here it is: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03476
  24. That's wonderful! Congratulations! Can I come and have a go on it next time I'm over in those parts?
  25. Thanks, John - it looks very well, having been (apparently) moved (or returned) to the gallery. BBE's picture shows it to the side of the chancel. When you were in Colchester, did you ever play the Holdich at Birch? It was a very fine example in a decent Gothick case, restored by our hosts. Unfortunately, the church was declared redundant some years ago and is now in a terrible state (a disgrace - one of Teulon's best jobs), but the organ was moved, I know not where.
  • Create New...