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Everything posted by MichaelDavidson

  1. Another video of Hakim improvising at La Trinite in 2005 just showed up.
  2. This excerpt from John Eliot Gardiner's "Bach Cantata Pilgrimage" shows him visiting the Thomaskirche and discussing the new organ with Ullrich Bohme. Unfortunately for those of us who are linguistically challenged it turns out that Sir John speaks what sounds (to me, at least) like very fluent German ...
  3. The 1879 Willis in St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh acquired 'second touch' in 1897 thanks to Hope Jones. See E01407 for details. Not sure how long it lasted - NPOR doesn't list any work between a 1901 "cleaning" by Norman & Beard and the 1929 Arthur Harrison rebuild, but I seem to remember having been told that the Hope Jones action didn't last that long ...
  4. Someone has uploaded more than 50 versions of BWV 578 (the "little" fugue in g minor) (and, no, I haven't listened to all of them ...)
  5. Dupre playing the F major toccata at St Sulpice in 1961 and I just listened to this for the first time and, to be honest, I don't quite know what to make of it. It is just so different from what I am used to.
  6. Here is his contact information
  7. One some instruments even this isn't possible. I can think of at least one electro-pneumatic instrument which had horizontal swell shutters that were not balanced and which closed whenever the instrument was turned off. If you left the swell pedals in the "open" position when turning the instrument off all that happened was that you were rewarded with an almighty crashing sound as all three swell boxes slammed shut ...
  8. The young American organist Joseph Ripka at St Sulpice:
  9. Played at a speed that would leave even Ton Koopman out of breath, but without any of Koopman's flair ...
  10. Here is the first part of a documentary about organ building including brief remarks from several organ builders - I recognised Sebastian Gluck of New York and, of course, John Mander - not sure who the others were.
  11. On some instruments another "unintended consequence" of having the great reeds available on the choir is the opportunity (an opportunity which, I hasten to add, I would never take ...) to use the choir octave and sub-octave couplers with the great reeds and then couple the result back to the great ... (OK, I admit it - I did do it - once - just once ...)
  12. BWV 545 on the Aubertin at Saessolsheim
  13. There was an article in Choir and Organ a few years ago in which John Kitchen mentioned having learned one of the big Dupre works (can't remember with certainty which one, but I *think* it may have been the Symphonie Passion) on just such an instrument.
  14. I think that it would probably have to be the Prelude & Fugue in A minor BWV 543, although the C minor Passacaglia and several of the Trio Sonatas would also be very close to the top of the list.
  15. I don't think that this improvisation by Olivier Latry has been posted here yet ...
  16. Virgil Fox apparently also found it necessary to do this in at least one of his recordings of the piece.
  17. It is indeed hard to imagine what Wicks could have done to a 1908 Hinners that would have improved it. On hearing that Wicks has been anywhere near an instrument one tends to expect the worst - conversion to their "direct electric" action and the addition of numerous chimes, bells, whistles and electronic voices all controlled from a five manual console with more stop knobs and pistons than the original instrument had pipes. Plus, of course, a deafening "heraldic trumpet" en chamade for the bigger jobs ...
  18. While it must be almost 25 years since I last heard it, my memory of the Arthur Wills recording is that it was taken at speed that was somewhere between "stately" and "ponderous". I also seem to recall a recording by Michael Austin from Birmingham Town Hall which was taken at a somewhat faster pace.
  19. Actually this sounds exactly right. The "Scudamore" organs originated with the Rev. John Baron, vicar of Upton Scudamore, who came up with a design for a small inexpensive instrument to be installed in his church. This led to requests from incumbents of other small churches and Baron designed a series of small 2, 3 and 4 stop instruments which were initially build by Nelson Hall. Around 1858 Henry Willis commercialised the idea and started building small instruments based on Baron's designs. Laurence Elvin's book, "Forster and Andrews, Their Barrel, Chamber and Small Church Organs", contains a copy of Willis's prospectus for the "Scudamore Organs", which came in two basic models - the "Upton" and the "Douglas" and had a variety of specifications ranging from the most basic: Open Diapason, metal from Gamut G to f3 in alt. Stopped Diapason, wood, from CC to FF# to the most elaborate: Open Diapason 8 Stopped Diapason or Dulciana 8 Principal 4 Fifteenth 2 According to Willis's prospectus (which, I think, dates from 1862) approximately 200 of these instruments had been built since 1858 although I suppose that it is possible that those numbers were inflated.
  20. You listen to both - and when either one says that it is time to go, it is time to go ...
  21. I may be mistaken, but I thought that the context in which I originally heard this was a discussion of Stephen Cleobury's sense of humour and that he had made these remarks as a joke to see if anyone would actually take it seriously (which, apparently, some people did ...)
  22. Here is another example (at about 1:58): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=NpkXKcmOE9Y
  23. I believe that the central spire of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh is 270 ...
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