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J Maslen

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Everything posted by J Maslen

  1. I have to say I don't quite understand the dislike of Mozart. I agree that some of his music is great fun but of no great merit, but surely the last few symphonies are far better than that? Counterpoint? Try the final movement of his 41st. Melody? I'm not as clever as many of you here, but he could and often did write melodies that are of melting beauty - the slow mvt of the Clarinet concerto springs to mind, but there are many others. Beethoven also - the 5th and 7th symphonies are among my favourites; you can keep the 9th, especially the bombastic and overblown final movement. Brahms is one
  2. Not really double standards, surely. The O & C is in a leadership role - the child is learning. Regards to all John
  3. And why is an Octave on the Great Organ 4ft and on the Pedal 8ft? Surely the stop names alone indicate that the basic pitch of the Pedal is 16ft. The comments about the pitch in Bach are, I feel, irrelevant. One can always find an exception to any rule. Regards to all John
  4. If you want a performance, yes. But we are not talking about performance - we're talking about worship. I, as a committed Christian as well as a not very expert Organist, would far prefer to have a competent but not expert Christian leading worship than an expert non-believer performing. With regard to the original question, the important matters to me with regard to church music are: 1) It doesn't matter what instrument is playing, but whoever plays it should be able to do so musically, rhythmically, and without too many mistakes. One of the problems, musically speaking, with some mus
  5. Interesting question. All of these, but there is also that little bit of 'magic' that is instantly recognisable, but impossible to define. Two examples. 'Messiah'. Sargent. Large choir, large orchestra, RAH Organ, orchestration greatly modified from Handel's original. Authentic? No way. Thrilling? Most certainly. The passion, the conviction, the 'guts' were all there, and I am glad to have heard such playing and singing. By contrast some of the recorded perfomance I've heard (and not just of the Messiah, either) sound as if the conductor has a train to catch and simply wants to get the
  6. Herbert and H. John Norman, 'The Organ Today', p157. After a description of the construction they say 'These harmonic pipe lengths are only from Tenor - Middle C upwards, the bass being of plain length, high cut up pipes simulating the tone well enough at the matching point'. There is also a description of the HF variants - the Concert Flute, Flauto Traverso, Zauberflote. and Harmonic Claribel, the latter being of wood. The point has already been made that these pipes would be very large for their pitch, and as the tone is indistiguishable from an open pipe in the bass registers the ad
  7. page 12. (The quote is slightly different, but the substance is essentially the same.)[/font] Thanks for that - I can't find my booklet on the Exeter job and was working from memory. This was Wells Cathedral; Sir F.A. G. Ouseley entreated FHW to retain the Samuel Green pipe-work and voicing. As you suggest, Willis contrived to 'mislay' the letter containing this request. And for this - I couldn't remember which Organ was involved. This is a shame - undulants and mild strings are so useful in providing that slightly-indefinable quality - 'atmosphere' - for example, at the end of
  8. Surely that is the risk with all change. When steam trains were introduced they were seen to give swift, easy and relatively inexpensive transport compared to stage coaches, canals, or shanks' pony. When cameras wers first available they were big, expensive, cumbersome, and needed a whole range of chemicals, plates and expertise to make them work. Roll film changed all that, making it easier for all to own and use a camera, and with more general ownership came reduced price of both equipment and film. The limited number of pictures on early cameras was corrected by 35mm, taking not just 8 or
  9. I have no way of knowing if this is true; it was told to me many years ago by an ex-colleague whom I no longer see, so I can't verify the details, but here goes. Elgar was conducting a rehearsal of the 'Dream' in the RAH. When it came to 'Praise to the holiest' he stopped the performers after a few moments and asked the Organist to 'make more noise'. They started again. Once more, Sir Edward stopped proceedings after a few moments and asked 'Mr Organist' to 'make more noise'. Off they went for the third time, only to be stopped again. 'Mr Organist, do you have a Tuba on that thing?
  10. As with any stop, it depends on what else is available on the same manual, and how it is voiced. On top of 8', 4' and 2' flutes it might have a purpose providing the blend was right. It seems to me, though, that mixtures need to be rather louder than the name would imply; Organs are expensive, and to include stops with little or no use seems rather wasteful. Regards to all John
  11. ... amen to all of that. Great to be back - thanks. Regards to all John
  12. It depends. If you are talking about a recital, then the choice is yours, depending on whether or not you can defend your choice on musical or historical grounds. If you are talking about a voluntary, it would depend on the piece. Some are rather long, and you could finish up playing to an empty church, with the verger / warden / vicar jangling his keys, waiting to go home! That's my (amateur) opinion, anyway. The professionals may not agree. Regards to all John
  13. In the TV film Goodnight Mr. Tom, John Thaw played the Organ in the village church. The film was set in wartime, but the Organ in question looked very 20th century to me! Anybody know which church it was? Regards to all John
  14. Turning out attention to the sliders, (our Secondary Valve Machine) these could be virtually eliminated by the use of simple sleeve valves; all of which (61 of them) could be connected to a single activating rod, and perhaps set in the upper-boards vertically, for ease of construction and subequent access. In fact, every sleeve valve (or perhaps rotary valve) could be of identical size and contruction (maybe a selection of standard sizes); the main variation being in the port-size at the outflow leading to the seperately constructed toe-boards on which the pipes would sit; that paeticular comp
  15. Adjustable height pedals sounds like a good idea, but how could a tracker action be designed to allow it? Electric action - easy; mechanical - not so easy. I'm also fairly tall at around 6', and have found some instruments where the clearance between the underside of the lowest manual and the pedals was agonisingly uncomfortable. Raising the stool doesn't always help, even if the stool is adjustable which many aren't, because then my knees get jammed under the afforementioned lowest manual. Can't win! Regards to all John
  16. With regard to the same stop name being used at two different pitches on the same manual - do I recall wrongly, or was there a Leiblich Gedact at both 8ft and 4ft pitches on the old RCO Organ? A friend who took his ARCO on the instrument commented to me that he got confused and drew the wrong one - I think. Anyone know if my memory is correct? Regards to all John
  17. I have a recording of psalms, mostly by St. Johns Cambridge, including the Stanford setting of 150. In the last section (Let everything that hath breath Praise the Lord) the Zimbelstern is very effectively used - together with just about every other stop by the sound of it! And I have been led to believe that some JSB Chorale Preludes are suitable, though I don't know which. Perhaps some of our more erudite members could help? Regards to all John
  18. If the 8' is loud enough not to be totally dominated, the Swell Salicional and Principal make an unusual solo. I used to play a 2 row Daniels where this worked well, but on the present instrument the Salicional is too quiet for it to work properly. Also, on the first instrument, the Great Dulciana sounded well with the 4' flute as a solo. When I first worked in 'the trade', the tuner I was working with used to say that a Viola and Clarinet worked as an Orchestral Oboe (he had been trained by Rutt, whose Viola stops were quite keen, and fairly loud), and that an Orchestral Oboe worked as a
  19. This topic had a thorough airing some time ago, and ended leaving a nasty taste in the mouth as the correspondence became rather heated, as it shows signs of doing again. Please, gents all, can we give it a rest? It seems perfectly clear that this instrument is, regrettably but not surprisingly, not going to be restored to its former glory. So RIP AP organ - may you live in the memories of those fortunate enough to have heard you in your heyday. The rest of us will have to make do with old recordings which can never do justice to you. It's very sad, but life goes on, and there are many more
  20. I do. We have no permanent Vicar/Priest in Charge at present, and the wardens have enough on their plate, so it's down to me. We also have a visiting Organist once a month, and he chooses the hymns he wishes to play. Saves me a job, though I don't always agree with what he's chosen! Regards to all John
  21. That has nothing to do with sound "disappearing into the ether" of the lantern at Liverpool, but to do with the way circular structures focus and reflect sound; whether working in the vertical plane or the horizontal plane. MM At the time that the Liverpool Met. job was being built, I was working as a tuners boy for Walkers. We had cause to visit the works in Ruislip, where the tuner went to visit Denys Thurlow, who had recently finished the horizontal trumpets for Liverpool. He (DT) had quite a chat with my boss, and told of the time when the instrument was first switched on. App
  22. Fair enough - working, as I do, in a shopping centre, SHOPPERS (well, many of them) annoy me intensely, but we'll let that pass. In my previous reply I omitted (through haste) one thing that annoys and puzzles in equal measure. Why is it that those who arrange Carol services are apparently incapable of leaving 'Silent Night' alone? Why is it that this particular piece attracts so much attention from those who love to set carols for choral singing? The results may be great fun to sing, but the essence of this carol, for me, is its simplicity. After all, it was written, legend has it, to be
  23. Well, go on then - I'd buy a copy! I won't list all my pet hates - they are too much along the lines of 'Those who think they know it all are very irritating to those of us who do...'! Pointless repetition of facile words rates high, music played so loud that it deafens, or so softly as not to accompany properly, or so fast that clarity and form is lost, or so slowly that boredom sets in - all annoy. My real ire, though, is reserved for politicians - don't get me started! Regards to all. John
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