Jump to content
Mander Organs


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About petergunstone

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Oxford, UK
  1. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    I understand that the inaugural recital, given by Thomas Trotter, will be on Thursday, September 14. Looking forward to it!
  2. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    Manchester Cathedral: Stoller Organ to be played for the first time on Easter Day http://www.manchestercathedral.org/news/498/the-stoller-organ-to-be-played-for-the-first-time-on-easter-day
  3. St James, Piccadilly

    They have a plan, and appreciate the history of the instrument, but need to fund raise: http://www.sjp.org.uk/restoration-project.html http://www.sjp.org.uk/the-organ.html The Rector, Rev Lucy Winkett, is perhaps one of the best-known priest-musician-theologians, and a former Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral: http://www.sjp.org.uk/lucywinkett.html Her first book, Our Sound is our Wound, was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book in 2010, is an excellent meditation on sound and spirituality: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherhowse/7224326/Hearing-alarms-listening-for-angels.html For a quick introduction, see:
  4. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    The new Tickell organ in Manchester cathedral has been visually unveiled. It looks stunning! Pictures on the cathedral's and organ builder's Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/pg/ManchesterCathedral/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1077448075650009 https://www.facebook.com/Kenneth-Tickell-Organ-Builders-1423049941244123/?fref=ts which also includes a statement from Pippa Tickell: I grew up in Manchester and whilst I was fond of the old organ, the idea of a new organ on the pulpitum has been around since I began playing the organ as as teenager. I can't wait to see and hear it 'in person'. Congratulations to all involved, not least Christopher Stokes without whose vision and patience this would not have come about.
  5. Nave Booster Organs

    We attended the excellent Advent Procession at Durham Cathedral this evening: the combined drama of liturgy, movement, darkness/light, and of course music was most effective and moving. Clearly a great deal of skilful preparation had gone in, so big thanks to the cathedral team. However, the limitations of the wonderful Willis/Harrison organ as an instrument to lead congregational singing in the nave seemed significant to me. Even though we were sited less than half-way down the nave, the ensemble problems between the organ/choir and congregation were noticeable. Deployment of the tubas at various pitches on the melody line also did little to help bring the congregation together. Whilst I am not accustomed to nave services at Durham, being a newcomer, and I probably am more sensitive to this matter than others, it does seem to me that the provision of a nave organ could make a positive contribution here.
  6. Canterbury Cathedral & Manchester Cathedral, New organs

    Local news article on the Manchester Cathedral Tickell installation: http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/news/revealed-manchester-cathedrals-new-25m-organ
  7. "A man from Cardiff, Wales, has completed his personal challenge to play music on the UK's 94 cathedral organs." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-36917448 Well, I do admire his achievement, and am - of course - envious of his experience. Undoubtedly, some of the UK's cathedrals do possess very fine instruments, many of which I haven't had the privilege of presiding over. But not all do. His aim of playing all cathedral organs got me thinking. Indeed, there are many finer instruments in other buildings, but in buildings of lesser status. Of course, the 'Great European Organs' series visited Armley, Norwood, and Cullercoats, but buildings of significant ecclesiastical and municipal status dominated that series. Perhaps this was because it was a series of recordings of organs 'great' rather than 'small'. I daresay this was pragmatic - a 'Small European Organs' series might command an even lesser niche of the organ music market. Some questions for discussion: 1. Are we happily addicted to the 'sturm und drang' of 'grand' organs in equally 'grand' acoustics? Should we be happily addicted to this? If the organ as an artistic genre is truly an instrument on which we can 'make music', should we not seek to elevate the status of smaller examples? Or is it simply that the larger, grander instruments are indeed the finest examples of their creators work? 2. As has been commented elsewhere on this forum, rebuilds of large-ish organs tend to ensure that the usual complement of curtain shakers, etc., is attained. But is this a tragic mistake? Are we emphasising one musical manifestation of the organ over another, and setting a grander par of organ music than does justice to our tradition? And what lies behind all of this? 3. And what about a series of 'Obscure European Organs'? Which organs would be on your list, and why? What would you programme there that the grand organs don't do justice to in the same way? With interest, Pete
  8. Appointments 2

    It is interesting that the goals are somewhat open-ended as well. It seems to me that this is more of a pioneering role than many such jobs, in which the person appointed will have a degree of freedom to determine how the musical life of Leeds Minister is developed. I think that this would be a great opportunity for someone with creative energy to invest - there are a good facilities (generous song room, music library, good organ), an established community of loyal singers and instrumentalists, and lots of potential in the area: schools, universities, the College of Music...if I were not starting ordination training, I'd be applying. I'll watch for the appointment with interest.
  9. Hooglandse Kerk, Leiden

    32ft Double Open Wood now installed! Some great photos on the FB page. It seems to be of a narrower scale than some of the more visible UK examples.
  10. Trinity College Oxford

    Chapel restoration including organ overhaul by Peter Collins Ltd. See http://www.trinity.ox.ac.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Chapel-Guide-WEBSITE1.pdf for further details
  11. Christ Church Oxford

    Apologies, I meant the nave furniture, ie the stalls to the west of the crossing, where the choir normally sing from.
  12. Christ Church Oxford

    There is a greater question lurking behind this that concerns: 1) the functionality of the building for the varying degrees of congregations it hosts; and 2) the related question of the musical suitability of different spaces. 1) in its current form, the space is awful for large congregations. Whilst there is an excellent sense of community in the sections with collegiate layout, the sight lines are very poor, and more widely the sense of disconnection far exceeds anything else. The location of the organ doesn't help, in my view, it blocking the sense of draw towards the High Altar from the west doors. It's success as an accompaniment all instrument is, in my opinion, down to the skilled and judicious deployment of its resources by the organists. 2) Undoubtedly, the area east of the crossing is superior for singing. Having occasionally depped both for choir services in the Victorian 'West Quire' (ie Nave) adjacent to the Rieger, and concerts performed from near the High Altar, the latter outstrips the former as a suitable space for choral music. Inevitably, the building has twin roles: college chapel, diocesan cathedral. Leaving the East Quire as is, a radical clearing of the West Quire/Nave (perhaps including the organ), along with a move of the choir into the East Quire would bring about marked improvements in both 1) and 2). This would bring about the following layout options: A. Small/medium 'Collegiate' Services & chamber concerts use the East Quire B. Larger services/concerts led from either the crossing or High Altar using the West Quire & Nave: this would benefit from better acoustics and sight lines. C. More flexible layout using the large North Transept & Nave for services/concerts of varying sizes. Etc... What one would do about the provision of organs I don't know. Perhaps an east choir organ, the Rieger being pushed west a little more as the Grand Organ? It is a tricky building. These are just thoughts which would take a bold Dean & Chapter to propose and implement. The Dean is certainly bold...
  13. Alexander Technique for organists

    Thanks for flagging this. I would love to hear readers' reviews, as and when. A sketchy memory: 15 years ago, during my postgraduate performance studies at the RNCM, we had the opportunity of a taster Alexander Technique session. This included basic, generalised class observations and exercises, and the opportunity for brief individual consultations. Mine were on the Hradetsky organ in the concert hall, and then in a fine harpsichord by Michael Johnson. The Alexander Technician observed me playing each briefly, and asked to what extent one could change the instruments relative to the player's position. When I described the essential absence of any such possibility, apart from bench height, and went on to describe some of the challenges of other such instruments, it was clear from her resigned response that she didn't have any experience of organs & harpsichords, and that she thought that I had no hope in terms of developing a good posture etc. I wonder if others have received tuition from an Alexander Technician who specialise in organ/keyboard instruments?
  14. Magdalen College, Oxford

    It was installed in St Edward's School, Oxford. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04484 I note that Phoenix Organs installed an instrument in St Edward's School in 2008 http://www.phoenixorgans.co.uk/installations-2008/st-edwards-school-oxford.html There is a view of the rear of the former organ case in Magdalene College Chapel on NPOR http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N11119&Number=1
  15. Magdalen College, Oxford

    From http://www.mander-organs.com/portfolio/magdalenc.html