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D Quentin Bellamy

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Everything posted by D Quentin Bellamy

  1. So are we saying that the RCO is a lost cause? Ach shame.... (as they say in SA)
  2. I wonder why a reputable firm of organ builders would have any reservation in dealing with a cinema organ. HNB were pretty reputable so far as I know, and so was John Compton. So what happened. Is it that the necessary skills are now no longer available? If it is a question of snobbery versus dosh, I'd go for the dosh anytime!!
  3. I guess that the cost of the Carillon far outweighed the cost of the organ at Marble Arch??
  4. The burning question which remains is how much to restore a ruined 36 rank Christie pipe organ. Wonder if it's a task that Manders would take on..... Q
  5. Hi I had the spec changed on mine. I shifted the Clarinet to the Positive, (lost the 1' Sifflote which I had really no use for). Also had a Clarion 4' added to the Great in place of the Clarinet. Wyvern were able to do that at the planning stage, and they were really very obliging and kind in every way. I have queried them on the Clarinet on the Great thing as I do think that it is a mistake on the Toccata, and it was interesting that at the time I made my order for the organ (earlier this year), they told me that someone else had just said the same thing. I also opted for the midi extra voice sounds so it can be very orchestral and theatrical! And I sold most of my CDs on Ebay in order to help with the purchase cost. I've just been beavering away at the Bach F minor P & F and it is such fun! (Would be even better fun if I could play all the right notes in the right order.)
  6. Oopsie... This email refers to the instrument I found via a link on the Phoenix site to the new orgueaphone in Leeds RC Cathedral.... (will now run away and blush)
  7. Aha an interesting mixture/mix-up of stop names. Some fairly standard British names and others from all over the place. So what is this organ? Seems to me that it could be neither one thing nor another. I once had an Electrophonic Organ built by Lewis York of Southampton in the 1970s and that was a real mish-mash of stop names.... still, I guess it's what ever lights yer fire!
  8. Hi I have a Wyvern Toccata III smiling at me from the other end of my study and its a joy. I guess that I can see that a small tracker pipe organ would enable a disciplined approach to practice, but additional light and shade does make for a lot of enjoyment too... I don't own the house where we live so putting a pipe organ in is not really possible. I am inclined to think that one would have to go a long way to beat the Wyvern sound -- especially at the price!
  9. Yeah... but how many actually connect to a Carillon -- ie bells in a tower ??
  10. Thinking of the Regal Marble Arch and its Carillon, do we know of other organs linked to bells? I know that the Hazel Wright organ at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California is so linked. Are there (m)any more?
  11. I think that it was in about 1966 that the Regal Marble Arch was demolished, and just prior to its demise the 36 rank Hill Norman & Beard "Christie" organ designed by Quentin Maclean was removed into storage. It has remained in that state in a trailer (I gather located in a barn) in Cornwall ever since. I am sure that this situation has just about driven a generation of theatre organ fans crazy ! Apparently its owner who never succeeded in doing anything with his container of bits was (probably for quite reasonable reasons) not keen to encourage all manner of theatre organ anoraks to his home, but now he has died and the Marble Arch organ has re-surfaced (as it were). Whilst it is restorable, its condition is far from good, and the photographs of it reveal that there is a considerable amount of restoration work required that would keep many organ builders busy for many months. There are a number of photographs of it in its present state - it will most certainly need its keyboards re-building! The organ apparently wasn't a great success in the cinema in spite of its great size, but it has recorded well - particularly by Sidney Torch. So far as the future is concerned, of course the issue with it its size. With organ preservation societies up and down the land struggling to find venues in which to re-install various Wurlitzers (and two homeless four manual instruments spring readily to mind), a 1920s orchestral pipe organ I guess will stand little chance short of a miracle and someone with a huge bank balance. (It included a 44 bell carillon in its spec which created such a noise that an injunction was issued forbidding or at least severely restricting its use!) The present state of the Marble Arch Christie can be seen via the yahoo group UKTheatreOrgans which is moderated by Peter Hammond. For those interested in such things I have definitely found this to be far and away the best theatre organ group on the net. Q - who along with many theatre organ nuts is hopeful of a miracle!
  12. Don't know the answer to that one, but did note that Maestro Kelsall had complained to the tuner/technician that the depth of touch was insufficient. The tuner commented that the depth of touch before the note sounds should be about the same as the thickness of a key ivory. Of course with my glorious Wyvern and its plastic keys, I am none the wiser...
  13. So to come back to topic, I wonder how long a set of Mander key contacts would last were they to be installed on the Wurlitzer!
  14. The said grand piano (mothballed) makes an appearance in the same dvd whilst just above it on a shelf on the wall is a black box of about the same size as a dvd player which is the "new" piano. Can't help wondering why it was necessary to dispense with the original grand piano.... it always looked so impressive on the stage and gave the punters something else to look at!
  15. There was nothing on telly tonight, in spite of there being about 100 channels of drivel on Sky, so I decided to make a dvd night of it. Half way through the evening the new dvd vcr died a death so I had to sort that out and revert to the former dvd player ... but enough of that... The dvd I was watching was one of Phil Kelsall at the Wurlitzer of the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Not my favourite player or organ, but couldn't resist the temptation of adding to the dvd library of organ stuff. Half way through the recording the Wurlitzer console is shown in a state of advance undress, sans keyboards, and the organ builder, talking to the good Mr Kelsall, happened to comment that the key contacts were being replaced. He mentioned that the last time they were replaced was "three years ago" and that they are completely worn out!! Now I know that organ gets plenty of use - more than most cathedral organs, (in fact I think it gets quite a hammering for a 70 year old organ); but three years of key contact life???? (remembering that the Ballroom is closed during the off season months). Three years could then perhaps be more accurately 20 months or so.... Could this be a world record????
  16. Aha... so the hostility to dear ol' CC is not universal even on this distinguished forum. Was it not dear Virgil who observed (of New York organ recitals) that as the fugue subjects came in one by one, so the audience members left two by two..... Methinks that as a musical instrument, the organ needs every friend it can get, and CC is a veritable apostle bringing GOOD NEWS that (like a good funeral) it needn't be dire and deadly. Only thing is, we don't seem to see much of Olrac these days here in the frozen wastelands of the north....
  17. Curious.... since there is no mention of the work on the console on either the Harrison website or the Abbey's website, are we to assume (living in the frozen wastelands of the north) that the whole thing is merely a rumour??
  18. Golly gee!!! What has Carlo been up to lately to deserve his name so taken in vain on this forum....???
  19. Do we assume that the Abbey now has its console back in place? Haven't seen any reference to this on the H&H site.
  20. I once played a note on the tuba stop on the four manual console in the east end. It took quite a while for the sound to arrive. Guess I can say I've played the organ at Westminster Cathedral!!!
  21. A moment of idle speculation caused me to wonder what would have been the result had the Royal Albert Hall been built in the 1920s or 30s. I wonder if we would have had Willis, or would Midmer-Losh have been brought over from America....
  22. Our OA was established in 1996 and quickly membership reached 100+. But now we are finding that whilst membership remains high, attendence at the meetings has declined to the extent that at the last two meetings attendence was eight and four respectively. At Committee I have mentioned that there is a tendency to advertise a meeting in the monthly newsletter [as being an evening in the company of] "a famous William Hill organ" or "an interesting Conachar organ". How many organs can be interesting and if they are interesting then why are they interesting? In the early days we visited a Norman & Beard organ in a large chapel. Before the meeting I researched some of the history of that firm and started the evening with a talk about their activities at the turn of the 20th century, together with a discussion of the character of the instrument that we were viewing, after which came an open console session followed by tea and biscuits. Our Association has its share of folks who dominate the console some with their Lefebure Wely books of trash, and others with their lengthy Franck Chorales. The basic ground rule was that we are not here to comment on people's playing abilities, and that if criticism should ever arise, that would be the time to close shop. We also had a strict "chucking out" policy -- the meeting was declared over by 9.30pm and people left promptly, in order that people such as keyholders would not be kept waiting around. It was good in the early days, but it seems that the group has run out of steam and now finds itself in terminal decline. Is it worth soldiering on? Or is there any shame in recognising that all groups have their day, after which comes closure.
  23. I thought David Wells was looking after this organ.
  24. That the job is being done in phases is most likely Hobson's choice! I don't think that organ comes high on the spending priority list of Liverpool City Council, and from what I gather, it has been very hard work to get any money to spend on it. I note with interest the choice of Nicholson. Are we to assume that its maintenance has passed into new hands? dqb
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