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Mander Organs


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About pwhodges

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  • Birthday 02/08/1946

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  1. I have no objection to Bach on a piano. He himself showed that the timbre of the instruments his music was played on was not necessarily the prime consideration. Of course, it's possible to play Bach very badly indeed on a piano - but then I've heard some pretty bad harpsichord playing as well. And further, when I was growing up many harpsichords were also very foreign to what Bach would have heard. As an illustration of how style and musicality are separate issues, I like to point people at an old Saga recording of Handel's Eight 'Great' Harpsichord Suites, played by Christopher Wood. The instrument is apparently a Dolmetsch, but sounds heavy and dull, and the playing is full of exaggerated contrasts, both of tone and speed - and yet, I enjoy it because it clearly demonstrates real enthusiasm for and enjoyment of the music. (Seven of the eight suites can be downloaded here, where the write-up is considerably politer than mine!)
  2. He had the (nearly new) Tickell organ at Keble revoiced by Ruffatti shortly after he arrived there. Oh, and alumni of Gonville and Caius (such as my son) often refer to it as "Caius" alone. Paul
  3. This reminds me of that "chopsticks"-type tune which we used to play at school on the black notes by rolling a clenched fist. Paul
  4. The editor of BBC Music Magazine is an organist and enthusiast, so it doesn't do too badly in there. Paul
  5. Remember all that money pledged by billionaires towards the repairs? No comment Paul
  6. Apparently a much bigger collapse was closer than we might have imagined, according to this piece in the New York Times. Though actually, the main point seems to be why there was a delay in the initial reporting (an employee sent to check went to the Sacristy to check for fire instead of to the Cathedral, for instance).
  7. From the Hauptwerk FAQ: This is simply using MIDI from the iPad, of course.
  8. Presumably the swell pedals at the sides are for the registrants to operate? Paul
  9. The idea that better keys means worse keys is obvious, but is it necessarily true? In terms of simple maths, of course it is. But consider the opening of David's post above in which he remarks (with a brief explanation) that the ET third is especially discordant - more so than a slightly wider third. This opens the possibility that a "worse" key may have "more acceptable" errors. Paul
  10. Heh! I once played that instrument for a christening. It was not an experience I wished to repeat. Paul
  11. AbeBooks has a number; the cheapest is barely £10 including shipping from the USA: Copies at AbeBooks
  12. Just for the record (I have no connection with it), I recently happened on a CD of organ music by female composers - played by a women as well: From the American company, Raven CDs: "Music She Wrote"
  13. Some before/after views of the cathedral (with a slider to move between them): http://m.nouvelobs.com/societe/20190419.OBS3029/avant-apres-notre-dame-sous-toutes-ses-coutures.html# Paul
  14. In what sense were the organs of, say, Father Smith and Renatus Harris not "fully fledged, independent" instruments? Sure, they were smaller than the largest organs of the mainland continent, and suited to a somewhat different repertoire, but those are hardly the defining factors, I'd say.
  15. I have a recording of Bach's Art of Fugue played on three chamber organs whose specifications add up to a typical modest two manual and pedal classical organ. The group was the Ensemble Wolfgang von Karajan, headed by the conductor's brother. I bought the original LP release in 1966; but when looking for the link above to a CD release, I came across a review of Herbert von Karajan's 1944 recording of the work with a string orchestra which contained the following fascinating bit of gossip: Paul
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