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Everything posted by MikeK

  1. Many years ago, probably in the late 50's or early 60's when I lived in Southampton I remember going to a performance of Messiah at the Guildhall when my teacher, Cecil Williams had to use the theatre organ console as there had been a fire in the concert one. The sight of him sat at the monstrous horseshoe console is still etched in my mind some 50+ years later! M
  2. This topic was aired in February 2009. I can report that the MDF soundboard for the new Great mixture at Redland Park URC in 1990 is still in excellent condition. The tuning rarely moves & the whole unit has never needed any attention.
  3. I too have a soft spot for St Mary's Southampton, but have not heard or played it for over 45 years! I was a pupil of and assistant to, D. Cecil Williams when the organ was still being 'run-in.' Does anyone know how much of it is playable these days? I do remember the enclosed 32 reed, something it had in common with another organ I consider should be in any top ten,- St Mary Redcliffe. MK
  4. The person you are referring to is David Lang, now retired & living in York. I had the pleasure of being his assistant at the Boltons in the mid-60's. I remember the organ as being most un-Compton like, very in-your-face & taking no prisoners! Just what a young music student used to playing a large Willis III in a very resonant building needed! I believe David was at that time a lecturer at Roehampton Teacher Training College & also a part-time teacher at the RCO. He was also a fine organist.
  5. MikeK


    All Saints, Weston -Super-Mare
  6. MikeK


    The change to conventional drawstops was more likely the result of difficulty in finding suitable replacement bulbs!
  7. Pcnd5584 makes an interesting point about the placement of couplers; I agree with his suggestion that they should be placed with the department which th My preference is for the inter-manual & pedal couplers to be placed on the left jamb, along with the swell & pedal departments., as an earlier contributer pointed out, it is more likely that the left hand can be freed to select stops. If the swell to great, choir to great & solo to great couplers are placed under the great stops it is quite a stretch for the left hand, particularly if like me, you are not blessed with long a
  8. How about this? http://www.youtube.com/user/aocvideo#p/u/0/D5HT70kiduM
  9. Nigel,please do not leave just because certain members consider it important how certain stops are spelt! I am sure most of us have more important things to worry about! One of the things that drew me to the organ many years ago was the fact that no two instruments are alike, and that includes the names given to describe stops. If I play an organ with a stop named Tromba, trombe trombi etc. the only assumption I make is that it is probably not a quiet reed! I don't give a tinker's cuss how it is spelt, my ears will tell me all I need to know. Now, how do I spell Gedackt ;- am I bovvered!!
  10. I was a pupil of Cecil Williams in the early 1960's, later becoming his assistant at St Mary's. I do not remember him as having a Doctorate though, perhaps we was awarded it after my time there. my memories of him have become a bit faded over the years but I remember him as a stern but good teacher. His influence led me to take up music professionally & we remained good friends until his death, indeed he played the organ for my wedding in1966. He did insist on choosing all the music though! I remember the organ in St. Mary's with great affection & Cecil took great pride in demonstrat
  11. Redland Park, Bristol has solo, swell, choir,- left to right.
  12. Having 3 swell 8' reeds, including an oboe, is a bit of a luxury! I suspect the Horn has been re-voiced at some point in the past as it is very similar to the Cornopean, the main difference being that it is a little rounder in tone & louder. It's availability on the solo is very useful, both as a solo reed & coupled down to the pedal in 8' or 4' pitch. The cornopean is likewise available on the choir & is as you describe, more of a trumpet, if a little quieter.
  13. We try and keep the water away from the organ! Apart from perhaps some of the metal pipework, the rest of the instrument would not take kindly to the stuff. Best kept for the occasional whisky! Seriously, for some strange reason the specification did not include a mixture on the Great when it was enlarged to 4 manuals & installed in the church in 1957. This omission was corrected in 1991 when a completely new 3 rank mixture & mdf soundboard etc. was installed whilst the organ was being rebuilt. Since then it has performed flawlessly & always remains remarkably in tune, despite
  14. When a new soundboard was made for the new Great mixture at Redland Park Church, Bristol in 1990 it was constructed of MDF. This has proved to be extremely stable & trouble-free.
  15. A rather sweeping statement, I fear! One of the great attractions of the organ, as far as I am concerned is that no two instruments are alike. What works on one organ may well sound most unmusical on another. I have played instruments where adding the tuba in the right'musical' place has been appropriate & others where adding a so-called chorus reed has had the opposite effect. 'Horses for courses'! The bottom line must surely be,- will it enhance the musical experience? If George did draw the Tuba at the end of the Widor at Saturday's Evensong at Worcester, I for one thought it appropr
  16. Hi Simon, This sounds a great idea! Please count me + wife in for 25 March Mike
  17. Whilst not directly 'on theme', I remember playing for a funeral at my regular church a few years ago where the family objected to paying my usual fee. They felt it was most unfeeling & wrong for me to charge for my services, so much so that they wrote to the local Bishop! He was highly amused as the church in question is URC! I would also add that the family concerned were unknown to the minister & congregation! I eventually got my fee!
  18. Hi Adrian, Please count me in for 31/01/09, what great idea! I should have some spare seats if anyone wishes to share expenses from Nth. Somerset. Mike
  19. My point was that I have enjoyed following the progress at Worcester, having played both the Bradford & pipe organs on several occasions in the past. Therefore when I look at the postings under Worcester Cathedral, that is what I hope to find! There might be a place for discussions on how many tubas Salchester Abbey has but this topic is surely not the place for them. If contributors have 'run out of useful things to say...' then stop! I attended Evensong last Sunday afternoon & was ortunate enough to hear the new instrument being demonstrated by the Cathedral Assistant. Despite
  20. Please may we return to the forum topic, I find this thread re. likes & dislikes rather childish in a topic that Adrian has otherwise made so informative. If you must continue, why not start a new topic?
  21. My experience tells me this is indeed the case, the time delay increases with the distance the department is situated from the console. This also affects the relative volume of these departments, one has only to draw the pedal bourdon to find it swamping anything but the loudest stops, although closing the door alongside the console helps restore an apparent balance for the player! However, down below in the nave everything is sorted out by the glorious acoustics. A case for a detached console?!
  22. To return to the thread! Bristol is indeed blessed with an abundance of 4 deckers, as well as the 4 already mentioned there is another in Redland Park URC, close to both Clifton College and Clifton Cathedral. Originally by Father Willis it is a magnificent instrument, unfortunately placed in a building with almost no acoustic merit. As to which instrument is the best my vote goes for the H & H in St Mary Redcliffe. I have played them all and each does the job it was intended to do well. The Anglican Cathedral organ however is definitely one to be listened to rather than played, it takes
  23. Re. my earlier posting; I did of course mean All Souls Church ,Langham Place & not All Saints Portland Place! Another senior moment!
  24. I have been following the postings with interest,- I was a pupil of Cecil Williams in the early 1960's and also assistant organist for a while. He was responsible for me taking up music professionally so I have fond memories of my time there. I would love the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with the instrument. It would no doubt bring back memories, some of which I probably would prefer to forget,- blind 'full organ' pistons to name but one! I seem to remember Cecil Williams saying that he was heavily influenced in his tonal design of the instrument by the organ in All Saint's, Portland
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