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caskie

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  1. Scotland has some good civic organs. The three best are undoubtedly Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow, the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Caird Hall in Dundee. Kelvingrove in Glasgow is home to a 1901 III/48 TC Lewis instrument in unaltered condition and a glorious acoustic. It was restored by Manders in 1989 and has just been cleaned by the same firm while the hall has been closed for building restoration work (it re-opened a fortnight ago). Kelvingrove NPOR The Usher Hall in Edinburgh is home to a 1914 IV/63 Norman & Beard organ in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic. It was restored by Harrisons in 2003 and is used frequently - there are almost weekly lunchtime concerts attracting several hundred, and there are a few major evening recitals a year. John Kitchen is the city organist. Usher Hall NPOR The Caird Hall in Dundee is home to a 1923 III/50 Harrison & Harrison concert organ, again in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic. It was designed by Alfred Hollins, and was restored by Harrisons in 1992 and is used a good bit. Stuart Muir is the city organist there. Caird Hall NPOR There is an early Father Willis, much altered by Willis III in Aberdeen's Music Hall. Andrew Caskie
  2. This reminds me of the "abbreviated" Full Swell at St Bees Priory in West Cumbria (III/36 1899 Father Willis; 1906/31/49/58 Harrison & Harrison). More details at St Bees Priory organ The organ was designed by Col. George Dixon, who wrote in 1932: "Now we come to the most remarkable feature of the whole organ. The full swell piston draws contra posaune 16ft., cornopean 8ft., clarion 4ft., flageolet 2ft., and mixture 12 19 22: but five speaking stops, and there are no couplers. This wonderful full swell effect has deceived many, yet it scarcely could be improved upon. The oboe, when drawn, cannot be heard unless it be out of tune, and the addition of the open and gemshorn is inappreciable. The thrill is, of course, due to the splendour of the reeds, and the admirable blend of the mixture: a result which the builder knew so well how to obtain." Willis thought that the Swell 16' Contra Posaune was the finest he ever made. It is certainly a remarkable instrument. Andrew Caskie
  3. The organ at the parish church in Egremont, Cumbria, has had a substantial digital addition to the existing pipework. While I've never played it, I gather that there is a dial on the console to make fine adjustments to the pitch of the digital section in order to ensure that it's in tune with the pipes, and not causing a giant celeste effect. Perhaps such a facility is needed more for upperwork than for 32' pedal stops. However, I've never seen or heard it! Andrew Caskie
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