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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by sotto

  1. Obituary in today's Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/register/jane-parker-smith-obituary-qnjvh7fd3 You may be amused and/or annoyed by the reference to Allen organ in the Alexandra Palace!
  2. Whilst social distancing at home I've been watching the latest series of "Outlander" which includes scenes in what looked like a large, and rather fine, American church with a large organ split across matching cases on either side of the quire. With a little bit of research it transpires that these scenes were filmed in Thomas Coats Memorial (Baptist) Church in Paisley, Scotland and the organ is a largely unspoilt 1890 4-manual Hill.https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12481 The church has recently ceased to be used as a place of public worship and is now a for hire venue for weddings, concerts etc.. I wonder if anyone knows what state the organ is currently in and what plans there may be for its future?
  3. I think you mean "Triforium", not "Transept"!
  4. Well really it would depend on the liturgical date/season, but for a generic service how about: Prelude: Improvisation or Howells Siciliano for a High Ceremony Introit: We wait for thy loving kindness - McKie Responses: Rose Psalm 91 (Bairstow in E flat) Canticles: Howells St Paul Anthem: For lo, I raise up - Stanford Voluntary: Carillon-Sortie - Mulet
  5. I recently bought a CD recording entitled "The gate of heaven" by the choir of New College Oxford, given the quirkiness of the organ its pretty good, the choir are excellent but none of the tracks are accompanied by organ scholars. I was aware that Kings, Cambridge have an assistant Director of Music although, given that Christopher Robinson stepped in to help out after Stephen Cleobury's unfortunate accident its very unclear what their responsibilities are, but for one of the major Oxford colleges to make a recording without allowing their organ scholar or scholars anywhere near the instrument I find shocking. Having done a little research it appears that is is now common practice for the leading choral oxbridge colleges to have an assistant organist above the organ scholars. When and why did this become considered as necessary? Surely it undermines and devalues the position of the organ scholar.
  6. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/gaudis-sagrada-familia-given-stradivarius-organ-for-crypt-to-replace-original-destroyed-in-civil-war-c3ctsjq8r
  7. One reason that some organists and pianists are not good at watching conductors is that it does not form a natural part of their development and training. Piano is essentially a solitary instrument that you practice alone and unconducted. By contrast if you learn an orchestral instrument from quite an early stage you are likely to be in some form of ensemble if not a full blown orchestra where watching and following the conductor's beat is an essential skill and discipline. You can not get by with staring rigidly at your music and playing the right notes, you quickly learn to constantly switch your vision from the music on the stand to the conductor in much the same way that you flick your focus to and from the rear-view mirror when learning to drive. For anyone wishing to gain more experience of accompanying a choir I would suggest contacting your local organists association asking them to notify their members of your availability. I would jump at the chance if a reasonably competent person willing to learn and improve made themself available in my local area.
  8. Britten - Rejoice in the Lamb Britten - Hymn to St Peter Bairstow - Blessed city, heavenly salem Durufle - Requiem (challenging for choir & organist!)
  9. We use the Elgar at St Mary's, Charlton Kings it's very tuneful and dead easy! I've also played it on a live Sunday morning service radio broadcast many years ago and, I think, sung it at Worcester County Cricket club's New Road ground!
  10. "The World Of Kings" was one of the first LPs I ever bought, but strangely does not include the tracks you mention. I have it on my lap as I'm typing this, I've checked in case of memory failure! My record includes movements from Vivaldi's Gloria, Zadock the Priest, the Allegri Miserere with Roy Goodman as treble soloist and This Is The Record Of John with Simon Preston at the organ. Playing the record for the first time was almost a life changing experience. I was unfamiliar with most of the music and had never heard a choir sound that good. In modern parlance it blew me away. A few years later a bought a box set called, I think, The Glory of Kings, which included Vaughan Williams Mass in G Minor (my reason for buying it) and The Western Wind Mass. All wonderful performances.
  11. I tried, and failed, to find a website for EOS through Google. How would I go about buying a copy from you or finding what else you have available?
  12. I accompanied a choral concert in this church a few years ago and have to say it was a very poor instrument with no redeeming features. I'm not a fan of Viscount organs but would find it hard to criticise the church for persuing the digital option in this instance.
  13. I was a student in Worcester from 1976-80, an organ pupil of Paul Trepte, and a member and regular accomanist of the cathedral voluntary choir. Your comments are unrecognisable to me. I attended cathedral services more or less daily for 4 or more years and never once came away feeling that my ears had been assaulted. There is no doubt that, prior to the Woods-Wordsworth emasculation, full swell was very powerful, but the cathedral organists (and their pupils ) were well aware of that and used discretion. The "old" quire organ was nowhere near as powerful/loud as the organs in nearby Bath Abbey or St Mary Redcliffe. My daughter heard me rehearsing a voluntary in Worcester, on more or less full organ, with no comment or complaint, but in Bath Abbey she clapped her hands to her ears and said "Oh daddy stop it".
  14. sotto

    Radio Paris

    I have to confess to not knowing what some of these stops are, the Suavial on the GO for example, and the Meditation of the Positiv. The scheme seems OTT to me, four 16's on the recit?
  15. Amazing, how many organists does a cathedral really need, surely not four. How many hours a day are the pour dears working? A few years ago we were all being told that the cathedral tradition was under threat from lack of funds. That was when a cathedral organist and assistant did everything. Now we have sub-assistants, vocal coaches, organ scholars, music secretaries or administrators, nannies for the boys.....
  16. Why is the quintfluit described as 3' when the hazard is 2 2/3? Is there a difference, if so, what interval does a 3' stop produce above the equivalent 8' ? I struggle to see the point of the salicional.
  17. The link to the organ appeal web site is not working ATM, my request was for a simpler summary of what is proposed.
  18. Paul Derrett has the old 5-manual Tewkesbury Abbey Walker console for his house organ project, not sure how many manuals are in use
  19. Great Dulciana 8, closely followed by Great Gamba 8.
  20. I'm both surprised and delighted to see that Mander Organs are likely to be restoring/overhauling this instrument in the near future. Delighted, because, as a former Director of Music at St. Michael's, who was also married in this church, the church and its organ hold a soft spot in my heart. Surprised in several ways. Firstly that the organ has lasted this long. I was DOM sometime around the mud or late 1980s, the organ was in a very bad way then. It failed completely, as it happens through a fairly minor electrical fault, on Easter Sunday one of the years that I was there which concentrated minds on the idea that some action was needed. The PCC were, on my recommendations, prepared to pay for expert advice, we had quotes from Mark Venning of H&H, Frank Fowler of HNB, Peter Collins and Bishops who maintained the organ at that time. Part of the brief that I gave them was to beef up the choir organ, which was the only division that spoke into the nave, to improve the support of congregational singing. I returned to my native Gloucestershire before the project came to fruition, but at that date both H&H and HNB were regarded as prohibitively expensive, Peter Collins was not interested unless we would consider redesigning the whole instrument with tracker action, and so Bishops, who at that time had recently restored the Grove organ in Tewkesbury Abbey to some acclaim were seen as the only realistic contender. If I'm entirely honest I always found the organ to be a bit of a damp squib, one of those instruments that looks good on paper but disappoints in reality. I lived with it for 2 years during which it never excited or inspired me, it will need considerable development to make it an instrument of any character. I've visited the organ appeal website but, strangely, this give me little impression of what is planned. I'm hoping our hosts will elarborate...
  21. I don't want to incur the wrath of our hosts, but in the example of my own church which, sadly, disposed of its 3-manual Hill organ back in the 1960s, we replaced an ageing Makin organ with a state of the art digital instrument from a different supplier 11 years ago. In cost terms the equivalent pipe organ would have been at least 15 times more expensive, more than that I suspect if our hosts or their north-eastern competitors had been engaged. Now, don't get me wrong, I wish my church had retained its Hill organ all those years ago, and I would much prefer a new Mander or H&H pipe organ in its place as opposed to an electronic substitute. But for many parishes, with no generous benefactor or grant schemes to call upon, it's difficult to justify spending perhaps £350,000 - £500,000+ on a pipe organ when you can get an instrument which meets every need for £25,0000 - £35,000. For most parishes even this smaller sum is still a considerable financial outlay. Even allowing for inflation, we would most likely need to replace our electronic instrument at least 10 times before it's cost, ignoring tuning and maintenance costs on a pipe organ, caught up with the cost of a similar pipe organ. If you take the shelf life of an electronic as 20 years, that means we need to compare costs against a pipe organ over 200 years. Even with modern tracker actions I don't think the economics add up. In my local area our two major churches are Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. The Abbey organ is a fine instrument as restored, comparatively recently by Kenneth Jones with a largely tracker action, but it has not lasted well. The tracker action may be holding up but the piston action is not, it's condition is frankly poor for its age. The cathedral instrument is, of course, a different beast, it's no secret that I'm not an admirer. But, whatever your view of the tonal qualities of the 1969 HNB rebuild in terms if reliability it was not great and the organ has needed a lot of attention, and expense, since then to keep it playable.
  22. This is not an objective view. An electronic instrument will last for at least as long as most pipe organs go between needing restoration and or cleaning. The replacement cost of the "toaster" is likely to be less that the equivalent maintenance cost of a pipe instrument. If financial considerations are all that matter, digital instruments win hands down, if aesthetics and sound quality come into it that's a different discussion.
  23. I was first choice accompanist (and sometimes conductor) of the RSCM Midlands and South West Cathedral Singers for a period of about 12 years during which time I had the privilege of playing in virtually every major church or cathedral within an area deliminated by Lichfield, Brecon, St David's, Truro and Romsey and Wells. One thing that really annoys me is the increasing trend for visiting organists to be expected or required to practice at unsocial hours. At Gloucester or Wells for example you might be offered an hour of unrestricted practice at 9:30am, not terribly helpful if you're travelling some distance and evensong is at 5:15pm. Even less helpful if your hoping to travel by coach with a choir arriving at, perhaps 2:30. But visiting organists are merely preparing for the day's worship which is of secondary importance to guided tours which bring in revenue. Am I alone in thinking this is wrong, it always makes me think of Christ overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple. To answer the question more directly, I will generally start by trying out a few solo sounds, comparing different flutes for example. Then I will explore the divisional channels for the one that most closely matches my own standard crescendo. If that happens to be an unlocked channel I may make some tweaks for personal preference, otherwise I will stick with it. When time allows, which is king of outside the original question, I will always make use of available general channels and programme the stepper system.
  24. I know Pershore Abbey well having conducted many choral and orchestral concerts there. I played the old Walker 3-manual for a BBC recording many years ago and have played the Bradford organ many times. I've also rung the bells at the abbey. As one who suffers from vertigo even making it into the ringing platform was a challenge. The tower does sway during ringing, it's a pretty unique experience all round. There is indeed a free standing one manual pipe organ located in the south west corner of the abbey. Whether it is playable or ever used I cannot say and I have no idea of its maker or specification.
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