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About harfo32

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  • Location
    Mount Olympus, Greece
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    Music, Organs, Painting, Writing, Railways, Canals, Travel, Good Food, Socialising.
  1. Absolutely! There may be some of you out there who have Maurice Forsyth-Grant's "21 years in Organ Building" in which he describes a visit we made to the organ in Notre Dame, Paris. The organ builder was in attendance, I sat at the console, he pressed the Full Organ piston and said "Jouez!" So I did. The Cathedral was filled with tourists walking around making that hubble and bubble of sound that crowds in vast numbers make. I played the Purcell March - when I stopped the silence was deafening! My God! What a sound! What an occasion! What a memory! John Foss
  2. St Benet Fink in Tottenham, North London is another small but outstanding example of Fr. Willis's work. I played it about 40 years ago. The stop list and other information can be found on the N P O R. Another organ in that part of the world which is/was of more than passing interest was in a rather strange church - the "Cathedral of the Good Shepherd" in Stamford Hill. The gargoyles on the exterior of the church are also worthy of comment. Both these instruments had that wonderful singing quality which makes playing them an endless pleasure. John Foss
  3. The G D & B organ dates back to the time when I was DofM at St. Thomas's. I was also a director of Grant Degens & Bradbeer. There was a 1 manual 5 stop (?) tracker action by J W Walker - quite a vintage instrument, but the organist of St Martin's wanted something to rival the Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in St Thomas's. The idea underlying St Martin's was to have a Principal rank for each department: 8' on the Pedal, 4 then 2 on the keyboards. Also a flute and a reed. There were 3 ranks : Rohr Flute 16, 8, 4 2, Principal 4 & 2 and a Rohr Schalmei at 16,8 + 4 (I think!) We trie
  4. Mmm. The stop knobs say "Tromba" - and that dates back to the 1915 rebuild, maybe 1923 Additions? I don't think much has been done since then. When is a Tromba not a Tromba? When it is a rehabilitated Father Willis Trumpet? I would be interested to know the source of your information - The Harrison Story perhaps? There are not many people still around from 1915 or 23 - even fewer who would have worked on the organ! As far as Tony Newham's comment re the designation of the organ as IV or III on NPOR, my comment was by way of a rhetorical question to which it is difficult to produce a defini
  5. Musing Muso said "So, I hate Trombas!" Oh dear, what a shame! Although there should be a connection between the name and sound of a stop, this is by no means always the case. The Tromba on the Solo of the Father Willis organ in Oxford Town Hall is a glorious sound. There are good and bad Trombas, and some in between. This is of course, true of any stop. I have come across some less than perfect Dulcianas, whilst others have an infinity of uses, as can also be said of Hohl Flutes. The H & H organ in St Augustine's Kilburn was a rebuild in 1915 of an 1871 Father Willis. This has Tromba
  6. I spent the day not so long ago at St Mary of Eton, Hackney, which pre-dated St Mary's Woodford - in fact the newly appointed incumbent there, Alan Pigott, greeted me on the steps of the church with the programme of the recital I had played at the opening in 1965, 40 years previously. It was a nostalgic moment. It was after visiting St Mary of Eton that Sir David Lumsden (he was not "Sir" David then!) opted for G D & B as his choice of organ builder for New College. SME is in need of a little love and care - but it is still in overall sound condition and eminently playable. The Churc
  7. They do! Mark Quarmby was in London in the summer with the choir of St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney - and I am sure it would not have been Mark you heard as he is an extremely accomplished accompanist - but he certainly accompanied the Sydney cathedral choir - he sent me some photographs and a letter telling me about his visit. He did say that there are "guidelines" on what should be played - and appropriate volume levels! The main problem with the organ is lack of focus, but this can be overcome in recordings by careful placing of the microphones. John Foss www.organsandorganistsonline.co
  8. It must be a question of taste. I think Glouceter Cathedral is a magnificent sound! I wish there were a few more organs suited to the French Romantic repertoire around. Listen to it in the hands of David M Patrick if you want to hear it at its best! JohnFoss
  9. Quite by chance I have just added a post about the Schumann Sketch in F minor played by Colin Mitchell on the 4 manual Arthur Harrison Organ in the Parish Church, Halifax, England. An instrument well suited to this composition and a vivid performance. It can be heard on www.organsandorganistsonline.com in the members area (Admission free!) Look for the word "more" which is the magic entrance to the downloads page - you can choose by composer or organist from the drop down menu bar at the top. John Foss
  10. You can hear the organ of Halifax Parish Church on Organs and Organists Online - a very fine performance by Colin Mitchell of the Schumann Sketch in F minor. I had forgotten what a magnificent sound this organ has - I have just listened to it again! Scintillating mixture work - The 17ths have been taken out . http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/ It also has beautiful Diapasons and fascinating quiet solo reeds - a 16 Cor Anglais, and 8' Clarinet and Orchestral Oboe. John Foss
  11. Grant Degens and Bradbeer were an organ building firm ahead of their time in the sense that they were not following any English organ building trend at that time. I think that John Pike Mander's post on the topic is spot on. "It IS an important instrument .....It is an organ of immense character and if you start tinkering with it, you won't get anywhere" I don't think that even Noel Mander built any tracker instruments of any size prior to 1970 - though Corpus Christi College, Cambridge was originally to have been Tracker Action. But please correct me on this if I am wrong! I am sure someone
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