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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by ajsphead

  1. I have to be a little careful as I have seen some of the keyboard technique used, thinking particularly of the rotation of the wrist to use the back of the fingers, in some indigenous sub continental keyboard playing with the instrument that looks and sounds like an accordion but I think may be called a melodion. This however is a comment on technique, not on peace, transcendental meditation, hypnotism or other forms of meditation, all of which I would have thought were utterly impossible with that noise going on. Maybe I display a lack of understanding, maybe I have yet to discern the difference between music and noise. I offer this as an alternative, antidote, whatever, to the use of loud registrations. I also offer it as a demonstration of the talent from younger organists in the US, refreshingly avoiding the need to adopt the style of the latest incarnation of CC.
  2. The difficulty I have is that there are so many fluffed notes that I don't know what he intended to play to be able to pass further comment. I would take issue with the youtube poster in only one respect though. He uses the word enjoy.
  3. An 1/8th length 32' will add nothing but a rattle. If that fits with the tonal concept of the instrument - lots of fractional length reeds etc - then fine, it could be deemed appropriate. If not then try 1/4 length plus derivations/ independent ranks to create an harmonics along the lines of Friedrich's suggestion which makes a great deal of sense to me.
  4. Use a light smearing of vaseline. There shouldn't be any gaps between the leather and stopper. If there are, either the stopper is the wrong way around or it needs releathering.
  5. MDF also blunts your tools very quickly. It does have its place, swell box construction for instance, but it is very heavy for its surface area. There is also something which is just "not very nice about it". Marine ply is stable, but it depends on the cut and the quality. I think we went through an experimental phase trying out new materials and it's hard to find an improvement over properly cut and seasoned timber for stability, lightness consistency and so on. You also have to be careful to be aware of materials that respond to climate in different ways, or not at all in the case of aluminium for example. The two often do not mix and can give unreliability. Often these days, the problem is getting properly seasoned timber. The argument is often biased towards inert versus 'natural' and which is preferable as both can be succesful if done properly. We tend to be more conservative now, but if done correctly then the argument for success becomes more debatable. The issues of the past were often hung on the material rather than the execution unfairly as it was easier to criticise being "different". There were however some howlers like wire trackers that were never going to work.We do live and learn but can have a natural tendency to go backwards rather than forwards and be rather insular although technology and cost are associated.
  6. I've managed to find a liturgical use use for 4 of the 5 movements. Only "The chase" defeated me. Keep the tempi up and there's a nice bounce to the first movement, and a good melodic line to the second and fourth. If it helps, there's a years old recording from St David's Hall which I found very helpful.
  7. Fluorescence by Paul Patterson is 4 minutes of good fun. Never seem to hear it unless I play it.
  8. The same recording inspired me to dig it out. Can't say I still have the old cassette tape it was recorded on though. I'd have to agree about the type of audience and the right programming. It's because of those things that I thought it such a shame not to have found it performed anywhere. Despite its episodic nature I think it hangs together very well and it does have some marvellous moments in it, loud, soft and in between.
  9. I haven't found anyone tackling 'Hymne aux memoires heroiques' by Jean-Jacques Grunenwald as part of the Alain celebrations. Indeed I have heard it very infrequently and am not sure why it's been missed off the radar so completely.
  10. It does come as quite a shock when you're first faced with the new Missal. I agree that the way some of the language used is rather ugly and doesn't lend itself to memory. There is some tautology which I don't think follows the biblical treatment of repetition as a tool to make a point. I believe it has been changed because the Fathers have gone back to the original texts and have found them wanting in translation, presumably with the hindsight of a greater scholarly understanding than that of earlier translators. 'Good will' which MM mentions above I think is one of these instances, however it would not surprise me to find out that 'good will' in early times meant something different to its meaning now. I am no scholar in these matters. The advantage of a more poetic approach is that it can be more easily committed to memory which many would regard as a devotional aid. We have a passingly acceptable set of notes to sing the new setting too, I forget who's responsible for them but I know that other parishes struggle. As music can also help to commit words to memory it feels like we are in a horse and stable door situation. Doubtless it will change and hopefully improve, but there has been a startling lack of communication from the front to explain why. Not everyone reads the publications where this discussion has been taking place and it can therefore seem like change for the sake of it.
  11. This depends on so many things, so I don't think there is a rule as such. Length of pipes and relative scale and position on the soundboard are the only really limiting factors. There are some which I know that defy logic but work beautifully, so it is a suck it and see. Many examples I have encountered are tuned too fast in the middle compasses and sound 'bent'. Others are not speeded up enough in the treble and then don't add anything eg with octave couplers. My rule of thumb is that they should shimmer and once you have a technique for achieving that, by and large it works across the board except for the excessively scaled stops or those with bad planting about which there is very little you can do when tuning.
  12. I don't feel particularly comfortable with it either but your post got me thinking. In what way is it irreverent ? If we regard it as an abuse of the human body with the biblical understanding of what that means, then surely all smoking would be irreverent: maybe we should see it that way? It could also fall into the category of hat wearing in church. In some Christian circles it is frowned upon, yet the Jews and Muslems propound its necessity and we worship the same God.
  13. Tis indeed, but a very nice place to be nonetheless.
  14. Whilst I take Ian's point completely about touch and learning the notes, I'd still rather do that on a lone Stopped Diapason that a suck blow reed organ. With imagination I could get into the style and concept, but I'd soon tire of taking the lead role in 'Cesar Franck the movie'. Sorry, vile noise.
  15. I'd tend to err on the side of what Colin is suggesting. Without seeing the instrument and hearing it, it's all a degree of supposition but there's something about what I'm reading which says tread lightly. Get a close assessment of what's there. 1840's pipework and mechanism is fairly easy to identify compared to, say, Hill 1870's, so I don't reckon it would be a hard job. You can see enough evidence to guide you with what has been changed over time, some of which might be with good reason, or a fad response. Concentrate on good winding, good action, good soundboards then good layout if it's a problem. In terms of sounds, it looks close to OK on paper. If it turns out to be 1840's, in principle untouched, then do go carefully, you're not dealing with easy come, easy go, stuff here. I could possibly countenance completion of the Swell basses outside the box if no space inside. A pedal Bourdon 16 and Principal 8. Much beyond that, as Colin has suggested, is totally out of proportion. You might find that your money needs to be spent on the winding and soundboards to put them in the best condition. If not, save yourself a whole hill of money that doesn't need to be spent on the organ rebuild, and put it into a maintenance fund.
  16. The manual chorus reeds at Bath are unchanged from when HN&B left it and a mighty fine set of reeds they are too. Would totally disagree about the Gt Open. It doesn't bear any tonal resemblance to anything Herbert Norman would have produced. It's exactly right for the building, anything bigger would be big, and anything smaller would be small.
  17. Dance of the sugar plum fairy, or surely one of the many eating and drinking songs from Carmina Burana.
  18. I could be very terse and say that I wouldn't expect to find it in a register of pipe organs. Not that it has any electronic stops, but I hope you follow. Did mi best with it guvnor.
  19. But who, when translating from one language to another would keep the word order of the former language?
  20. Does the phrase 'Now thank we all our God...' actually make sense. It's possible, if tortuous, with commas (please note use of commas), but I have seen it written many times without.
  21. Maybe I was just having a bad day, but Wymondham seemed too hard and loud for the building which is why I said I didn't much care for it. I was also careful to say that I didn't totally dislike Warwick. Actually I have no real problem with the Transept organ at all. Some other favourites would be St. Mary's Southampton if only it was all up together, and I don't know how the Hill in All Saints Hove hasn't got a mention yet. Likewise All Hallows Gospel Oak. I'd also have to give a mention to Farm St, and the oratory which for me at least, really works. I can also mention one I particularly disliked, and apologies to any here who may know it and think differently, but the Catholic Church in Kingswinford has one of the most ill conceived, badly constructed and miserable little instruments I have yet encountered. AJS
  22. I've often thought about the concept of a restoration of a pre-war Compton, looking at it in terms of historic restoration and associated funding. What would you do with the stop/reverser action units ? AJS
  23. Some ones we've not mentioned so far. St John's Duncan Terrace - one of the best JWW 60's jobs Ampleforth Abbey where Trombas and neo baroque work in the same instrument St German's Cardiff, a lovely Hill/Willis mentioned in the recital thread by Peter Clark. There are a few I wouldn't give house room to IMHO, although others might disagree. Wymondham Abbey St Mark's Swindon, ex Clifton Pro Cathedral if I recall correctly Monmouth PC 2/3 rds of St Mary's Warwick Crediton PC are the ones that immediately come to mind.
  24. I have had epiphonal moments at Norwich. It really must depend on who's playing it. Have not experienced St Albans post rebuild, so it looks like I ought to. AJS
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