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Posts posted by MikeK

  1. Anyone know what is happening here? The church has been 'adopted' by HT Brompton & my spy tells me there are organ pipes stored in the south aisle. 
    Let's hope that the long awaited rebuild of this Willis 111 is underway. 
    I have a soft spot for this organ, having had lessons here from D Cecil Williams, which culminated in me taking up music professionally in the late 1960s

  2. 17 hours ago, David Pinnegar said:

    With regard to Bach on Harpsichord, even the Harpsichord can sing in ways in which modern pianists don't understand and in addition complex harpsichords which are able to bring more variation to the music are expensive to maintain and as a result I suspect rather out of fashion in much modern performance. Alexandra Kremakova is a performer I like a lot - 


     is a piece where the tuning gives us landmarks to add interest to the sound. Modern tuning may well be why the music has become boring for so many.

    Here she is playing Dowland on piano https://youtu.be/xW0NLciHGNU?t=309

    Here's Scarlatti on both harpsichord and piano for comparison, although not the rather better harpsichord in the recording above, and the piano not best in tune on account of blazing heat and temperature change - 

    Best wishes

    David P

    An interesting topic, but am I alone in thinking it is posted on the wrong forum. or is it being suggested that when playing Bach the organ should be tuned in a similar way to that suggested by David?  The piano in the church where I play can be tuned in about an hour, whereas the organ takes almost 2 days!

  3. This topic was covered in a topic started on 5 Feb. 2017. Since then I have been using a pair of Resound Linx 2. 961 aids. They were not cheap but are a vast improvement on the nhs ones I was originally prescribed. As has already been mentioned, what is suitable for speech is unlikely be suitable for music, particularly the organ.  It is possible to adjust the settings to suit via an iphone & then save both these & the location,   this is about as good as it gets! They are not perfect but at least the organ no longer sounds like a badly out-of-tune fairground one!

  4. I seem to remember seeing a demonstration of an app that enabled the organ to be tuned single handed. It also allowed the player to check balances etc. away from the console by controlling the playback facility. 

    With Facetime  I wonder if I could work from home?!

  5. 4 hours ago, philipmgwright said:

    Organist at St Mary le Boltons was David Lang

    Article describing the new organ - The Organ no 157 July 1960 makes interesting reading about Lang’s thinking moulded by Flor Peeters and the details he suggested to the builders .

    David Lang was indeed the Organist of St Mary the Boltons. I was assistant organist there in the 1960's whilst studying at one of the London music colleges. The organ was a revelation to me  as I had not experienced another instrument like it up to then.  it took no prisoners & demanded very clean articulation, every mistake & fudge was obvious, just what an organ student needed!  The detached console was placed immediately in front of the expressive box with it's glass shutters & the choir sat to the right of the console, so everything was 'immediate.'

    I understood from David that this organ was the last to be built by Compton & Johnie Degens. The schamei stop was certainly there in my time, & I would have thought the substitution of an oboe would not have been in keeping with the rest of the tonal scheme.


  6. I always find it difficult to understand why incumbents do not choose there own hymns,  preferring to leave it to someone else to do this. Hymns should be chosen to comment on or expand the theme set by the readings, sermon etc. Without this continuity they become merely 'gap fillers' & often irrelevant to the rest of the service imho.  I would like to think that  there is some discussion between interested parties when hymns are chosen, but in my experience this rarely happens.  Perhaps playing in one of our 'dissenters' churches has spoilt me!  Am I out of touch with what happens in the 2 mainstream establishments?

  7. A dulciana on the G O  of a 2 manual  is useful as an accompaniment to a swell oboe or other suitable solo stop.

    On the instrument I am responsible for I have had the C O dulciana tuned sharp to beat against the violin diapason. It also works well coupled up to the S O & used with the viol d' orchestra. Other combinations are available!

  8. Not just village organs!  As well as a humidifier plant we have 3 large seed trays filled with water under the main frame of a 4 manual organ. The church heating is maintained at 22deg. at the weekend & reduced a couple of degrees during the week. This used to play havoc with sliders sticking but since the addition of the trays we have had no problems at all. I got some funny looks though when I placed them in the organ chamber & was then seen carrying several full water cans!

  9. After over 60 years of playing the organ I have probably made more than my fair share of c****ps, but two in partcular stand out!


    I was playing for the annual civic service in a large south coast church with an equally large organ, complete down to 32' reed. The console was equipped with a general crescendo pedal & a 'blind' tuttii piston, both showing only a small light when on, no stop knobs actually moved After finishing my processional voluntary with the gen cresc. fully open, followed by the tutti piston which added tuba, octave couplers & kitchen sink, I closed the gen.cresc. pedal, pressed the gen. cancel piston but forgot to reverse the tuttii piston,- for some strange reason this was not cancelled when the gen. cancel piston was used;- you've guessed it,- playing over the first hymn on full organ was not appreciated by his Worship the Mayor, & the Chief Constable reached for his whistle!! I've only done it the once!


    The second was really not my fault, your Honour! After a successful rehearsal for evensong in a well known Cathedral in this part of the world, I started to play the choir in for the start of the service when I realised all the piston settings had lost their memory, & any piston seemed to randomly bring out any stop. What was meant to be a quiet ethereal sound, using swell celeste etc. turned out to be a hurricane on full swell! By nature I am a lazy player & rely more than I should on console aids,- playing for a full choral service with only hand registration put me out of my comfort zone! It turned out that the 'memory ' bank was kept live via the aid of a car battery when the organ was 'off' & someone had disconnected the supply to the charger in order to use the socket. (This was in the very early days of memory chips) It was just my luck to be the person playing when the battery gave up it's last volt!

  10. My audiologist has suggested that I share my problem with fellow board members to see if anyone has experienced the problem I am having in coping with a mild hearing loss.


    I have been supplied with nhs hearing aids which help well with most situations but are unable to deal with music, particularly organ music. I have had the aids 'tweaked' about 5 times so far, with no real success & I am therefore thinking of going down the 'private' route. Before I do, I wondered whether anyone has any recommendations or experience of high-end hearing aids they are willing to pass on. The particular problem I am experiencing is an 'out-of tuneness' best described as making the organ sound like a badly out-of tune fairground instrument. A similar effect can be created by turning the 'chorus' effect up to maximum on an electronic instrument. Listening to recorded music sounds as though it is being shaken around in a tin!


    Before spending a lot of money I wondered if any fellow organists can offer me some tips?



  11. Lacking a quiet 4' reed on the pedal organ, I find the solo unison off useful in coupling the horn or orch. oboe down, ie solo-ped, solo octave +unison off, horn. My short legs do not allow me to play an octave higher in order to reach the dusty extreme of the pedal top octave with ease! Also the Sw. 16' L. Bourdon + 8' L. gedacht + unison off + octave provide a useful 8 & 4 flute combination, there being no 4' flute on the swell.

  12. Members who new him will be saddened by the news that Chris Manners died suddenly, earlier today. Chris was for many years the Managing Director of Percy Daniels and organist of All Saints Church, Weston Super Mare.

    May he rest in peace.

  13. Sounds like Redland Park URC. A fine, fun-to-play organ. I hope it feels better soon.

    You are indeed correct!


    Thank you to those members who have responded with help, and as a result I have been able to speak to Vic Hackworthy.

    The main problem seems to have been the failure of 2 zener diodes but what caused one to fail & then another 2 days later remains a mystery. Further problems have now emerged with the general cancel piston & Gt.& Ped Combs Coupled, but at least the organ is now playable!

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