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Mander Organs

MusingMuso

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Everything posted by MusingMuso

  1. Something I overlooked when releasing the Compton tome, was to pay tribute to all those (some no longer with us) who contributed so much. Even tiny bIts of information have been useful in building up the narrative and gaining an insight into the Compton company and its achievements. So to all who have tirelessly followed what must have been the longest thread in the history of the Mander Discussion Forum, a very heartfelt Thank You. MM
  2. I've just reminded myself.....if that is possible..... that there is a rather nice Piano/Organ concerto thingy, written by Flor Peeters, which I've never heard live. It was recorded many moons ago by Ron Perrin and his wife Mary (piano)....probably at Ripon when he was there. I think I've got the LP somewhere. It isn't in the stratosphere technique wise, and it's well worth looking at it. I have the music as well........somewhere. 😕 MM
  3. I also recall a recital by Jane Parker-Smith at Leeds Town Hall, during a massive storm. Simon Lindley greeted me at the door and said, "Sorry about the heavy wind obbligato!" MM
  4. For all the transcriptionistas out there, THIS is how to do it! One console.....a few different instruments....one heck of a technique. You could also listen to this while eating a Pizza, but I digress,
  5. You were beaten to the draw. I've re-listed it again. I go out to the shops and come back to a scene of chaos. The demand is far higher than I anticipated, I'm afraid.
  6. Someone really messed it up, by bidding higher than the Buy it now price, which means that it has to run as an auction for the next 5 days. However, not to be outsmarted, I've listed it again slightly differently (which circumnavigates the rules of e-bay ). Just search for COMPTON ORGANS. However, there is a further problem, in that a whole paragraph is missing on p126 (I wonder if anyone has noticed?) What I'm doing is burning a new CD and sending that out, and hopefully, I can send out replacements for those who have already got the disc. (Quite an expensive file error!) If
  7. Here's another fine organ and a good organ work to enjoy. Hungary once again!
  8. I'm very pleased to be able to say that I DO know a bit about Polish Organs ( as well as Czech ones) because I spent about a year gathering evidence for a talk I gave about the Eastern Eurpean organ world. I knew nothing when I began, but the more I learned, the more delighted I was by what I discovered. I only covered three countries....Poland, Czech Rep., and Hungary....more than enough for a lifetime. It isn't just the organs; fine as they often are. It's also the music, and especially music being written in Hungary, where a really fine organ scene has emerged in a single generation,
  9. There's no real mystery to the demise of the Compton firm. Jimmy Taylor died, and he had more or less run the company until 1957 or 1958 (I forget which without checking). The very profitable cinema organ market was dead in the water by that time, and they never really adapted until it was too late and other companies (J W Walker, H,N & B were embracing the new classical style). I suspect that when J I Taylor died, the financial director Eric Broad (as well as other directors) obviously saw the electronic market as the more profitable option. The appointment of Arthur Lord (an ABC cine
  10. Compton's were so organised, they could install a 10 ranks cinema organ in just two weeks! Standardised "modules" were at the heart of their success, and made organ-building a VERY profitable undertaking. Unless the aim is to build a neo-classical, bespoke tracker-action instrument, there's much to be learned from "modular" methods of manufacture and construction. MM
  11. I wouldn't want to question that statement....it's too early and I never argue before tea-time. However, I think it was probably the "Augmentum" organ that went down that path, though I may be wrong. Interestingly, when I was very young, I went to the Liverpool IAO Congress, and we were invited both the Willis works and the Rushworth & Dreaper works, at just about the time that R & D had taken over the Compton organ-building interests. They had a small 'model' organ of thir own, which clearly owed a lot to the Miniaturas, but without the gorgwous casework. Although not quite Arp Schn
  12. Great craftsmanship and sound engineering principles are always handed down; father to son or masters to apprentices. It's what built Britain and the rest of Europe, and I quite agree, it IS beautiful and moving to inspect and admire. I recall my brother telling me a "craft story", of a quite elderly blast-furnace man, who took him up to the top of a smelt. My borther was armed with a spectrometer, but the old man just kept spitting on the smelt; briefly raising his protective face shield. My brother watched his instrument, and announced that the smelt was ready to tap, but the old man said, "
  13. We're so used to big scale Open Woods at 32ft, we tend to forget that the great hall-churches allow sound to bloom and develop, and even a failry subtle 32ft metal open makes its presence felt down in the body of the church, due to the unrestricted werkprinzip layout. Nothing at Haarlem shouts or dominates.....it sings like no other I can bring to mind. Furthermore, none of the sound has to crawl around the Swell Box, find a suitable arch through which to escape and then aisles in which to get lost. Like the famous lager, the Bavo-orgel is "probably" still the best in the world, but it has
  14. How very kind of you to give the book the thumbs up. I could probably fill a large truck with the material on the cutting-room floor. Everything which is in the book has at least two or more sources of reliable information, but not necessairly from readily available documented sources.....this has been the 'devil' in trying to set it all out and present it as a reliable whole. However, it was the late Stephen Bicknell who first drew my attention to John Compton's love (obsession?) of tonal synthesis and harmonic build-up, and long before the Bournemouth Pavilion organ, he had in his wor
  15. How, I wonder, does a modular organ differ from the idea of a unit extension organ? Crawl around any purpose-built Compton organ (not the Muggle variety, where old organs have been re-built) and you would find separate pipe units of almost identical construction, placed in neat rows, side by side. It doesn't take much imagination to see how such separate units could be placed on wheels, and rolled around to create almost anything you want. I think I would call such an instrument "L'Orgue de Lego". Let's see if I can find a photograph....... Each of the units has its own wind-supply o
  16. I love theatre organs when they're played well and I have been known to dabble myself. No, what I was referring to was being caught out by the volume of sales in such a short time. I would expect the theatre/cinema organ enthusiasts to be the main market for anything Compton. It's been quite a task getting them all out. Now I have to get another batch duplicated. I think I'm now down to 8 left in the box, and that works out at 42 CD's moved in just 9 days. The "Oh dear" comment was a sigh of self pity. MM
  17. Harrison's of that vintage always sound the same! 😎 I've heard some delightful stories about the British travelling organs, owned by Pattman and Reginald Foort. I think it was Pattman who used British Rail, and on numerous occasions, the organ console would arrive, with most of the pipework, but sometimes the Swell (or some other) division would be stranded in Crewe or somewhere. I know that Foort had a small fleet of trucks, so perhaps he was forewarned of the problems with railways. As Oscar Wylde may have said, "To lose one pipe is indeed unfortunate, but to lose eleven is downright
  18. Well, certain people have used Polyphones in new organs; including Walter Holtkamp at St Paul's, Cleveland, who travelled over to see John Compton. Also, they only went down to low EEEE, because JC realised that very low pitch definition is almost impossible with wooden 32ft basses, and playing bottom E for all the lowest 5 notes made little difference. With a metal rank or 32ft reed, the harmonics make that idea redundant, and off the top of my head, I can't think of any 32ft polyphone metal ranks. We may sneer at Diaphones these days, but they fit into small spaces and can be tamed to jus
  19. Oh dear! The theatre organ people have got wind of it. What started as a "tester" is becoming a cottage industry, with 35 copies moved in a single week! I geuinely thought that the first batch would probably be enough for 6 months, but I shall have to order another 50 this next week. 😲 MM
  20. Thanks for the kind comments. From the writing/marketing/publishing point of view, it's important to get the belence right, between things that are topical, things that are technical and things that are musical. I hope I've achieved that balance, to create a readabe whole and tell an interesting story which can appeal to amateur and professional alike. Not an easy task!
  21. I don't do mornings very much! There's one on e-bay as I write. Best of luck MM
  22. My distinct impression of John Compton is that of a quiet, rather reclusive workaholic. There is evidence....lots of it. It was Compton himself who wrote about tonal experiments going back to 1896. Somewhere, I came across a reference to the voicing shop, and a rank of pipes being out of tune, because JC had been in there experimenting with different temperaments late into the night. There is a patent for an enharmonic organ Compton wrote about a Tibia rank he created......"I made and remade the pipes many times" Then there are the 32ft cubes, based on the Ocarina and Helmholt
  23. Barry, the relays would almost certainly have been designed by A H Midgley initially, even though he left the Compton company in 1937. The man was a complete genius with all things electrical, and had done design work in telephone systems at GEC. By the time he became a director of the Compton firm (and poured a lot of cash into the company) he was probably worth (in to-day's money) many millions of pounds, having helped found CAV, which became CAV-Lucas Industries.
  24. The evidence is quite compelling Colin. For a start, John Compton's work attracted a lot of interest, even while he was very young. Stephen Bicknell suggested that Compton was experimenting with extreme harmonics even in the 1890's, and while at Brindley's, he was already a voicer and finisher, which covers the period 1898 to 1902 or so. At that time, Brindley's were startiing to introduce more "orchestral" sounds, while retaining good, solid chorus-work. It is very likely, that Compton had a hand in the big 4-manual replacement organ for the one dstroyed by fire at Pietermaritzburg Town Ha
  25. I couldn't agree more. F & A were wonderfully made instruments, but not exactly thrilling tonally, even if they never sound at all bad. I've always regarded the idea of F & A being "disciples of Schulze" as a bit of a joke. Charles Brindley was infinitely better at it! It is known, that both the Minster organ and the City Hall organ in Hull, were revoiced substantially when re-built by Compton, and W C Jones was certainly involved in some of the reeds, if not all of them. I forget who the voicer was at Compton's when they did Hull City Hall, but he did say to an organ enthusia
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