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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by pwhodges

  1. My wife's top-end hearing aids have effective limiters to prevent over-amplification of loud noises (which could damage her eardrums). These are good enough that they do not cause problems or interfere with intelligibility in normal use, even in the music program.
  2. The pedal does have a couple of harmonics of 32' though, which would give gravitas in louder registrations - though not that quiet purring that some English organs are so good at. I remember the old organ at Ch Ch Oxford being a good example; but the present organ there also has no 32' (but it's much smaller than that Klais). Paul
  3. Bartok Bluebeard's Castle? The organ is required for the climax at the fifth door, but what's more can't be omitted because it also has a four-bar solo near the end. The other problem there is the matter of whether the opera house has a grand organ anyway... The Solo Alto part in Bruckner's Te Deum is also very bad value on a per-note basis. Paul
  4. My son, now a pianist, briefly also played the organ. He learnt on the Rieger at Christ Church, Oxford, and a local chamber organ. When I took him to Winchester College at the age of 12 for a pre-application visit during which he got to show off his skills, he was sat at the organ in the chapel - the one prior to our hosts' provision, a Normal & Beard of 1908 at the west end with the console in the choir. He had not been warned about the delay, I suspect - certainly had never had a chance to experience it. As he launched into a bit of Bach, a look of sheer horror appeared on his face, but he managed to keep going and finished in more-or-less good order - at which point he burst into tears! He did subsequently return and got a music scholarship. Paul
  5. I'm struck by how similar (on paper) this is to the Willis/H&H organ of Christ Church Cathedral (pre-Rieger...), which was a fine accompaniment instrument. Most obvious differences are that Oxford had tierce mixtures, and less 16-ft reed tone on manuals (Gt had 8, 4 reeds, and Sw had Double Oboe). Oxford also had a couple of harmonic flutes, a 16 ft on the Choir, a heavy OD... Paul
  6. My wife's are also currently Phonak - and they have a music program; it's a bit more complex than some because she has very delicate eardrums and requires a limiter as well to prevent physical damage. Previously she had been using Siemens, and before that Resound (they were the ones that first convinced her that throwing money at the problem was actually worth while).
  7. My wife has top-end hearing aids, and has kept near the best available for a couple of decades now. With each update she finds that she can hear more things that she was previously unable to hear; with her latest she has started hearing birdsong which previously she could not. She has always enjoyed music, and is conscious that her newer hearing aids have helped her appreciation of it. Paul
  8. 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!)
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. The editor of BBC Music Magazine is an organist and enthusiast, so it doesn't do too badly in there. Paul
  12. Remember all that money pledged by billionaires towards the repairs? No comment Paul
  13. 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).
  14. From the Hauptwerk FAQ: This is simply using MIDI from the iPad, of course.
  15. Presumably the swell pedals at the sides are for the registrants to operate? Paul
  16. 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
  17. Heh! I once played that instrument for a christening. It was not an experience I wished to repeat. Paul
  18. AbeBooks has a number; the cheapest is barely £10 including shipping from the USA: Copies at AbeBooks
  19. 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"
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. There was a Hammond in the nave at Canterbury by the end of the time I was at school there (1960-65), and even then, as a teenager knowing nothing in particular about organs, I found its sound oppressive and uncomfortable. Paul
  24. The requirements also include coherent casework - which is why Mander's 1966 organ for Cecil Clutton is not included. The oldest British organ listed is a 1964 four stop (8842) organ by Arnold, Williamson and Hyatt for the RC Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Romford. The next few included are by R H Walker (1965, St Martin's College, Lancaster), Harrison and Harrison (1966, RCM, London), T Robbins (1967, Kingsnorth, Kent), Grant Degens and Bradbeer (1967, St Ann's, Nottingham, 1968, West Brompton), Mander (1968, St Michael Paternoster Royal, London), P D Collins (1968, Shellingford), R Yates (1969, Dartington). Paul
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