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  1. What you say is quite correct when cornet and reeds are from the same stable, but such a register is at odds stylistically with 7” pressure 1903 Walker reeds (partly “pepperpot” tops) and 15” pressure brilliantly-toned Trombas 8 and 4. Both sets require no treble support.
  2. Hello Sean, the Choir Cymbal was taken away in 1993. The Choir Organ speaks to the east, being positioned above the screen console tribune (although it is effective, gently, to the west especially now the interior is less crowded with basses blocking the sound). There is no lack of brilliance in the sound of the Great chorus in the building and you are welcome to visit to hear it all. The reinstated Mixture V on the Great has the following composition: c1 15 19 22 26 29 f#19 12 15 19 22 26 f#31 8 12 15 19 22 c37 5 8 12 15 19 g#45 1 5 8 12 15 though of course a set of numbers on a screen are nothing without consideration of the scale and relative brilliance of the individual pipes and the tonal finishing in the space.
  3. Yes, in the Demessieux Te Deum before the service (all the pre-service music is on the stream). The next level down is the Tromba, then the enclosed Tuba. With the west shutters, Posaunes and Swell reeds are joint fourth place.
  4. It’s all about a slowly-built climax. Liturgically, we are on a journey to Easter with today being the third Sunday in Lent. The organ was blessed before its first contribution to worship (in the Kyrie) and can then be heard in several of its limitless layers of colour in various improvisations as the liturgy progresses. Not too much too soon, and just right for the day. The big party, liturgically, is on Easter Day, when the organ will be dedicated by the Archbishop at Evensong and its contributions will be telling and celebratory. Between now and then, there will be the chance to hear it gradually revealing its multiple layers of colour within the liturgy. We then will move to an inaugural series of recitals where everything will be shown off in its full magnificence. You can hear some more layers during Evensong this afternoon here. After so long without the instrument, we are enjoying the journey of its return.
  5. Hello Rowland, thank you for your query. In such a situation, one would simply play the solo in the tenor register. Bairstow was fond of this in hymns, and used his left hand for it. Richard Lloyd also did similar in Durham, and I’m sure there were/are many others. Effective with a large congregation as it supports the melody at male voice pitch.
  6. Hello John, and other readers. In answer to your question, the Mirabilis will not be affected by the solo octave couplers in the restored organ. The pedal divide has a fifth Solo Octave to Pedal coupler above the divide point, in addition to the standard four manuals to pedal ones, and this will affect the Mirabilis for when a tune in the middle of the compass on that stop is desired to be played by the right foot. Incidentally, the other Solo stops, when played through this pedal divide coupler and with additionally Solo Octave and Unison Off drawn, will play at double octave. i.e. Orchestral Oboe, Octave, Unison Off and pedal divide Solo Octave to Pedal will sound on the pedals above the divide point at 2’ pitch.
  7. Board members may be interested in the opportunity to acquire a part of the Minster organ from the north and south facades. www.Givergy.uk/yorkminsterorganpipeauction
  8. Not yet, John. I will mention this to Francis when i next have an opportunity.
  9. Peter, thank you for this. There is extensive Bairstow correspondence in the organ archive here. On particular thing he was of a mind about was the use of combination pedals rather than the H&H foot pistons which by 1930 were more usual. The Leeds console had combination pedals too, I believe. Here is a letter about this:
  10. That’s right, John. The same arrangement persisted after 1993 when the name was changed to Diapason Celeste. In more recent years, the tuning has been reversed with the VD rank being the undulating one, and the OD tuned normally. This will be the arrangement in the restored organ.
  11. I’m not sure that it was intended to be an imitation as such, but the name would imply the Italian influence. I’m not certain exactly when it was first tuned in this manner and whether it preceded Arthur Wills’ Fiffaro at Ely. There won’t be any half-draw option. The hierarchy of the reeds mentioned in my earlier post is as heard to the west. To the east, the Tuba Mirabilis is much further down the list as it is ultra-directional in its projection westwards. It’s an interesting question about #5 with the new west shutters; my guess is that #4 and #5 will be closer than they were before the dismantling.
  12. Hello John and thank you for your questions. The Walker 1903 scheme provided two Diapasons on the Swell. The Open Diapason (standing on the lower pressure soundboard) was in fact the Hill Great Open Diapason No 1. In its new position inside the Swell, it was of great beauty and effective also as a solo stop. Bairstow is known to have enjoyed its use as such with the tremulant which is certainly most effective in the acoustic. The Violin Diapason stood on the higher pressure soundboard (which also served the strings as well as the reeds); it is a brighter sound. At some point in the 1960s/70s, Dr Jackson had the former stop tuned flat to undulate with the Violin Diapason. The stop was then renamed Voce Umana. It was then not possible to use it as a solo stop with the tremulant. In the 1993 work, this arrangement was retained but the stop was renamed again as Diapason Celeste. A few years ago, these two stops were reversed in their tuning (although the stop names remained unchanged). The Hill Open Diapason (but labelled Violin Diapason) was tuned normally (allowing the solo effect with tremulant once again to be available) and the Walker Violin Diapason (but labelled Diapason Celeste) became the undulating rank. This arrangement was most effective. In the restored scheme, we wanted to retain this characteristic effect but find a way of naming the stops which sat more happily with the aesthetic of the organ. We therefore decided simply to retain the 1931 nomenclature of Open Diapason and Violin Diapason but make the latter stop plural - Violin Diapasons - and arrange for it to work both stops together on the single drawstop. The plural together with the violin suggests the undulating effect. There are no additional pipes. I hope this explains the thinking behind this. With regard to the display pipes, the north and south fronts are all to be new but decorated exactly as before and will all speak again. In the east and west fronts, around two thirds will once again speak; some of these will be restored and some renewed (where restoration is not possible) and decorated identically. The speaking pipes in the east front will include the parts of the Pedal Violone and Choir Open Diapason; in the west, parts of the Great Double Open Diapason; in the south, parts of the Great Open Diapasons II, III & IV; and in the north, parts of the Pedal Violone and Principal. A visit will be further discussed in eighteen months or so.
  13. Good to hear about your nephew, Dave. I hope he’s having a great time. What a wonderful opportunity for him! Yes, Consecrations are normally about two hours long and this one was a double one, of course. The Archbishop is a brilliant supporter of the Minster Choir (whose front row of choristers was missing of course this time, being half-term). He wrote the psalm in question though I’m not sure if there is a significant amount of other music written by him.
  14. How lovely to hear all of this, MM! The cycle trip is quite something at 14: fantastic. FJ inspired so many. His performances of the St Anne attract universal admiration, and your comments about the late Carlo remind us all of that sad loss both of a performer and an advocate of the instrument. As to York’s organ, I can see that no further discussion will be useful until you visit when it’s back! I wish it wasn’t so long to wait.
  15. Thank you, Dave. And congratulations to the new bishops. I was sorry to be absent for this particular Consecration which fell during our (one-week-later-than-most) half-term.
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