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Mander Organs

Martin Owen

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About Martin Owen

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  • Birthday 16/01/48

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  1. Keble College, Oxford

    Not sure I can enlighten you as to the rationale. Matthew said that he wanted to make the organ brighter, though perhaps that might be the only concern you expressed. I thought it was a very clever and artistic instrument as it was. However, anything in that acoustic sounds good, even the former electronic. Martin
  2. Keble College, Oxford

    Perhaps users aren't aware that most of the organ has been re-voiced in the last few weeks by Ruffatti. The DOM, Matthew Martin, last week told me in detail what has been done. I look forward to hearing it now, wonderful though it was before. Martin
  3. New organ for Cambridge

    Does anyone have specification details of the new Sidney Sussex organ? I can't find it on their website. Those I know who have heard or played it say it is fantastic. David Titterington echoes their sentiments in telling me that is beautifully voiced for the chapel. Martin
  4. Brindley & Foster Book

    Good news indeed. Brindley was a very good organ builder though sadly little of his work remains in original condition. It will be good to learn more about him and his instruments and I will order a copy. Thank you, David, for notifying us and thank you too for showing members of The Organ Club over your factory last week. We greatly enjoyed it and it was good to meet you. Martin Owen
  5. Peterborough

    I couldn't agree more with both Sotto Voce and Innate. Indeed, I attended Robert Qunney's installation as Director of Music and an electronic was used as the organ's blower had broken down! Martin
  6. I was privileged to be asked to the Dedication of the new Mander organ in the Lady Chapel of Westminster Abbey yesterday evening. For those who don't know, the organ was commissioned by The City of London as a gift to Her Majesty to mark her jubilee and for the last few months it has been in the Mansion House. The Queen (in the person of The Earl of Wessex) has presented it to The Abbey and after the Dedication James O'Donnell gave a brief recital to demonstrate its considerable versatility. It sounds very good indeed in its new, somewhat more sympathetic, setting. Hopefully there will be some recitals on it in the not too distant future.
  7. Peterborough

    For those who can't wait until 29th November to hear Robert Quinney play they should attend his opening recital on the newly completed organ at Llandaff Cathedral at 19.30 on Friday, 8th November. The programme should show of this remarkable instrument brilliantly let alone his incredible virtuosity.
  8. RAM - new organ

    The new organ at the RAM is now fully installed. The first recital was given this last Monday by both students from the RAM and distinguished recitalists, such as Susan Landale and Clive Driskill-Smith. It sounds very fine indeed and whilst clearly inspired as a symphonic instrument it handled the classical repertoire extremely convincingly. From the computer generated image that had been published I had had reservations about how it would look in the Edwardian Duke's Hall. However, it fits in perfectly, largely helped by exquisite proportions, the use of light maple wood for the case and what coloured decoration there is being derived from that used elsewhere in the Hall. Two organist at the reception following the recital, who had both been inside the instrument, said that the workmanship was of the very highest standard and the instrument beautifully finished. Although during the concert the instrument was used with a solo trumpet and also a brass band it would be interesting to see how it stands up to battling with or against a full orchestra. I also wonder whether the lack of a 32ft flue might then become apparent. As wil be seen from the RAM website there are a number of opportunities to hear it between now and December.
  9. Edinburgh

    I have read all of this with great interest because I, too, was on the Organ Club visit to Edinburgh in May this year and was astounded at the shear quantity of interesting and distinguished instruments in that City and its environs. However, if time (and family) only allow for a visit to one organ I would unhesitatingly suggest it should be that in Reid Memorial Parish Church, West Savile Terrace, EH9 3HY. This is an extraordinary instrument (as is the Church) and not at all what I had expected of Rushworth and Dreaper. Whereas the Stirling organ has been tampered with this is exactly as it was built in 1930, though the Church wasn't opened until 1932. It sings - there is no other word for it - into a large and acoustically sympathetic space. So good is the voicing that, although the only mutations on it are Sesquialtera,19,22, on the Swell and Octave Quint on the Great one would be forgiven for thinking that there are a multitude of mixtures. the French Horn on the Solo - there is no Choir Organ - is the finest I have ever heard. Colin Menzies, who arranged the tour and wrote the very detailed and informative notes about both the buildings and the instruments in them, also made the point that when Rushworths were good they could be very good indeed. Furthermore, he noted that the Edinburgh branch, which built this organ, was almost an autonomous company from that in Liverpool.
  10. Hoxne Organs and Benjamin Britten

    I find this fascinating. I went to a performance in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral of Britten's Burning Fiery Furnace in 1967 in the presence of the composer and I believe one was used then. I notice from the internet that there is one in St Lawrence's Church, Caterham, Surrey.
  11. The recital mentioned above at St Stephen's, Rochester Row in London on the transplanted Binns is, I believe, on Wednesday, 25th April not the 5th as stated. Martin
  12. New CD of the 1723 Jordan organ at St George's Southall

    I couldn't agree more with Malcolm's comments and am listening to William Whitehead's excellent new CD recorded on the organ there. Martin
  13. Recitals

    James O'Donnell with the YMSO orchestra in Symphony for Orchestra and Organ by Francois-Joseph Fetis. Also Overture Prince Igor Borodin and Brahms Symphony No 2. 7.30. Wednesday, 21st September at St John'd Smith Square, London SW1.
  14. Awkward Organs

    I know that this post is about awkward organs but Cynic's comments about the comfort of HNB consoles is worth supporting. Probably the most comfortable instrument I have ever played is the one they built in 1967 in the chapel of my old school, Ellesmere College. Harrison and Harrison consoles are also usually extremely comfortable, well at least for someone of my height and stature! Martin Owen
  15. Awkward Organs

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