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About riddler67

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  1. We have just used the two fanfares (into O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald) in our recent carol services. OUP have recently republished a set of 8 carols with brass accompaniment plus the two fanfares, all using the Willcocks CFC arrangements. ISBN-10: 0-19-380446-8. They're marvellously effective, though it has been hard to persuade Ian Crabbe that the use of brass adds to, rather than detracts from, the sound of the Beckerath... I suspect that using both fanfares was slightly OTT, but they're both so well written I found it hard to choose between them. I had anarchy on my ha
  2. The topic header does say this week, so apologies for mentioning my saddest moment to date which did occur some 20 odd years ago. I managed to fall off the bench at Grossmunster Zurich while playing the opening of Purcell's Bell Anthem - leaning over to reach the top manual (which I think is an enclosed positiv or something sim???) - the pure Ionian tonality became somewhat compromised by Ligettian clusters. While I did recover, the effect on the soloists due to be singing the opening verse was more prolonged - not one of them managed the entry, merely a few gasps of poorly retained mirth dr
  3. With huge apologies for being decidedly unseasonal... I'm looking ahead to Christmas programming and am trying to track down a descant with last verse re-harmonisation for Lo He Comes (Helmsley). I know there are lots out there, but I've got one in mind that I heard maybe 4 or 5 years ago on Songs of Praise that completely blew me away. The thing that made it so awesome was a totally unexpected key shift in the Allelulias section - assuming the hymn is in G, normally the chord under the first Allelulia would be D major. The one I'm after had something like a chord of F major at this po
  4. I can't remember where or how Jon Lord trained, but as I've mentioned in a previous post on another thread he's a highly competent organist and composer. In the very early 70s he was responsible for the (in)famous "Concerto for Group & Orchestra" which was premiered by Deep Purple with Malcom Arnold conducting one of the big London Orchestras, can't remember which one. Although the actual musical material is certainly an acquired taste, the compositional and arranging skills on display are impressive. Not like the McCartney "Liverpool Oratorio" or the recent Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd)
  5. It's extraordinary how The Ketchup Song has become an accepted part of my musical diet after prologed exposure to it in the car: it's my 5 year old's favourite. The chromatic descent from the tonic through major and minor sevenths to added sixth (as in the underlying harmony to My Funny Valentine) is always a winner. Speaking as someone whose career has spanned the traditional church organ scene and the rock/pop world, I do think that rockers like Rick Wakeman (and Jon Lord of Deep Purple) are inspirational musicians. Wakeman is developing arthritis in his fingers now, but his dexterity
  6. This is an Open Invitation to any interested organ enthusiasts to come to Marlborough on Saturday 24 February 2007 to meet, play and explore our Beckerath. I suggest that we meet in the College Chapel at 2.00pm. I am happy to provide more detailed directions/instructions if required. If you would like to join us I would be grateful if you could contact me on tjwr@marlboroughcollege.org so that I can get an idea of numbers. I hope that this can be a friendly, interesting day. No doubt it will provoke reactions and opinions, but I would be grateful if we could keep the day non-combati
  7. I take it you've never met our Bursar???! To ask for one new organ was risky, to ask for two would have been ill-advised, rash, dare one say lunacy? Of course I see where you're coming from - and, as much discussion on this board has borne out, in a PERFECT world compromise would not be necessary. It was good to read your detailed analysis of this genre of organ building - Rolf Miehl was at great pains to remind us of R von B's time in France and of his homage to Schnitger. Our swell is aurally very French (obviously it is on paper, but you need to hear it) and our positiv uses Schnitge
  8. We drew up the stop list in consulatation with Wendelin Eberle of Rieger and Rolf Miehl of Beckerath. Paul Hale came on board as an advisor when the local authority started taking an interest! And brilliant he was too. The whole integrity thing is, course, a lengthy and worthy debate - no doubt it's been much discussed on this board, which I as a relative newcomer won't have seen or engaged in. My personal opinion is that it IS possible to blend the different styles of organ building, and, as I said in the post which started this thread I'd like to think we have managed to do th
  9. Hi Friedrich. The Flute Allemande - don't know if it's an invention of Rolf Miehl's from Beckerath, I certainly wouldn't claim to be an expert on stop/rank history. We heard it on his instrument in Wichita and thought it delightful - the original idea was to have a 16' bourdon on the swell but we were trying to avoid having duplicate versions of the same stop at different octaves and Rolf suggested this. I asked him to define this stop for you, so here goes: The bottom octave is stopped wood, a bit like a bourdon but with a higher cut-up, from tenor C upwards it's metal, more like a
  10. Was surprised to read this as our stop shafts are very definitely wood, a very light beech I think. The console may not be to everybody's taste (and isn't the world a better place for difference of opinion!) but it definitely blends well into our pseudo late Gothic building and oozes quality. The Heuss pistons will no doubt cause further debate - no doubt about it they're small. But I've been practising on the organ for a few days now and haven't yet missed a piston: not what I was expecting I have to be honest. We're fortunate in that Beckerath are using us as a showcase instrument an
  11. I agree - I was always rather surprised that Priory chose to record this series at Marlborough. Of course the acoustic is ideal, but the old organ sound was indeed leaden, particularly lacking sweetness, clarity and delicacy on the great and swell and decent chorus reeds on the great and pedal. But you're onto a bit of a loser when your great reeds are enclosed in the solo box in a separate part of the organ from the rest of the division! I think that a Board Open Day would be an excellent idea and will discuss this further with Ian Crabbe, our College Organist.
  12. I'm sure you'll be unsurprised to learn that the console was obliged to be in dark oak to blend in with the existing panelling around it - grade 1 listing and all that, we were given an unequivocal lack of choice in the matter by the local council! Although it does indeed like lighter in real life the overall look is darker than expected due to Beckerath's one and only error - ommitting to tell Heuss, the console manufacture, to reverse the keys from their usual expectation to white naturals/black sharps. However it so happens that none of the organists here could care less so we were happy
  13. The organ is still in a chamber on the north wall - suggestions that we move to the West End gallery were greeted with derision by the governing body (additional cost of a new case adding almost a third to the overall price). But of course the new instrument has been designed properly to speak out from its intended space. The HN&B was a revamp and enlargement of the orginal F&A which was at the West End and was indeed stuffed rather unceremoniously into the new space through necessity. The clarity with which the new instrument speaks around the Chapel is extraordinary (and a relief!)
  14. As the Canterbury debate moves onwards and the well-documented and arguably still present "division" between European and British organ builders comes to the fore again, I thought you all might be interested in some info about our new Beckerath. We invited tenders from many builders, British and European, with a firm belief that it must be possible to get the best of all worlds in one instrument, without it sounding idiotic! I firmly believe that this Beckerath will help to bridge the Euro-divide - it has a warmth and a Britishness to it and a fiercely French swell (which of course means tha
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