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Ian Ball

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About Ian Ball

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    Worcester, UK

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  1. Likewise - apologies for misinformation. Was going from a conversation with Michel Gaillard in my pigeon French!
  2. Bernard Aubertin has made a speciality of fractional length reeds, with cylindrical resonators and leathered shallots, which produce strong, stable notes with lots of fundamental. They take up very little room. There are several examples at 32' pitch. Can't recall whether they are 1/4 or 1/8 length, but they sound superb!
  3. Go and play it. A stupendously good instrument, hugely improved by the (not-so-recent) rebuild. And, for my personal taste, more pleasurable to hear and play than Coventry, and more versatile.
  4. Although, these days, both firms are making luscious post-Romantic style instruments rather successfully. Had the privilege of hearing the new Musikverein Rieger on Sunday (Hindemith 2nd Organ Concerto and Strauss Alpine Symphony). Magnificent, although not the steadiest wind, nor sufficient 32' flue fundamental to support Strauss' Alpine Symphony. Nevertheless, some beautifully classy 'new' colours (i.e. back to the '20s) and light years away from Clifton, Christ Church, Smith Square and The High Kirk, beautiful and classy though they can be. And the mobile console... my my. Mirror finish, ebonised casework like a Steinway. Burr [something] wooden stop jambs and beautiful, ergonomic, Austro-German stop-key arrangement. I'm sure Rieger or Klais would do a wonderful job at Kings today, funds permitting. But then, so could the bigger British builders, after their recent experiences restoring instruments of a similar vintage (not just in the UK) without neo-classical dogma kicking them in the ribs.
  5. Forgive me. I didn't realise you were also qualified in cut'n'paste.
  6. Alternatively, you can talk to an employment lawyer. Send me a PM. Most of the above is completely wrong.
  7. Absolutely electrifying. A musician who plays with his ears. Loved it.
  8. Hear hear. One simply wants an adequate bass to the manual stops when accompanying. Balanced independent choruses are not only completely irrelevant but undesirable, since one accompanies a cathedral choir by using the organ like a giant one-manual, perhaps leaving one keyboard free for uncoupled solo effects occasionally. Even that might be a rare thing, since an enclosed Solo division will usefully be coupled down for many things. So, one might be moving mainly between Swell and Choir (with So and Sw coupled to Ch) most of the time, with solos played on the Gt flutes or diapasons. Or one couples everything to the Great, sans Great stops (since jumping from Choir to Swell is a pain) leaving the Solo free for clarinets and harmonic flutes, or 'squeak & growl' in the psalms (16' Cor Anglais, Gamba, [Clarinet] & 4' Flute with right hand up an octave, left hand down an octave etc etc). That leaves wriggle room to thicken the stew with softer Great stops when the choir sings more lustily. The most important things to find when practising on a cathedral organ, are the 'fake' effects and to get the hang of reaching such combinations by the most efficient route, since setting up generals for a psalm or anthem is both time consuming and restricting. For example, 'diapasons with full swell' might only be Stopped Diapason and 4' Principal (unenclosed somewhere) plus Swell 8, 8, 4, 2, Oboe, Double Trumpet, if the Swell 2' and unenclosed 4' have sufficient harmonics. Why 'fake'? Well, any more stops and it might sound too muddy or blow the choir away. But I digress. If pedal upperwork (by which I mean anything other than an 8' Bass Flute) is any good, it will have been voiced to balance the Great upperwork, which is seldom used under a choir. One needs six pedal stops, at most: rumble, mf bass, p bass, [pp bass], helicopters (32 & 16). Conveniently placed Great to Pedal and Choir to Pedal pistons are essential. Then, if the rest of the organ is well voiced (bearing in mind the size constraints of this particular challenge), pedal upperwork is again pretty redundant. Bach is perfectly convincing at Truro using the Great 16' to Mixture chorus coupled down to the Pedal Violone, Bourdon and Octave: 10 stops. Perhaps plus Ophicleide (but not Open Wood) and Great reeds in the right piece. Because the chorus is well voiced, the treble sings, the bass has definition, but the middle voices can still be heard. My ideal small cathedral organ exists in several forms already so doesn't need reinventing: Truro, Blackburn, Malvern Priory immediately spring to mind. I'm sure there are several smaller parish church organs which would do the job perfectly well. As Dr Who once said (after filming in Wells Cathedral) the organ is more of a mixing desk than a musical instrument - this is absolutely right, especially when playing symphonically, which is precisely what one is doing when accompanying Anglican liturgy on a typical Anglican cathedral organ.
  9. No - that's in the left hand
  10. Blackburn Cathedral Lunchtime Organ Recital Wednesday 2 November, 2011 at 1.00 pm IAN BALL (Worcester) IN MEMORIAM Music for Reformation Day, All Saints & All Souls J.S. Bach: Ricercare à 6 (from The Musical Offering) arr. Jean Guillou Maurice Duruflé: Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’ALAIN Ferencz Liszt: Funérailles (from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses) arr. Kynaston David Briggs: Attende Domine (from Le Tombeau de Duruflé) Naji Hakim: Gershwinesca Admission free; retiring collection
  11. Thank you. I couldn't have replied better myself to such a condescending and largely irrelevant post, and I certainly have no intention of justifying my opinion or posting my CV on this forum. But by way of postscript, one should not assume that the Clifton Cathedral organ is 'adequate' for the building (depending on your definition), or that it stood a chance of ever being so. It was the best the Diocese could afford at the time, and is an improvement on the original intentions of the Diocese and architect. Like the BH organ, it is intrinsically a fine instrument, but the circumstances surrounding its installation are completely different. As MM says, there is a lot you need to know. However, is it unreasonable to assume (and I accept that I have made an assumption) that acoustician, architect, organ consultant and contractors communicate, in circumstances where comparable projects have not provoked such a flood of criticism and controversy? Or perhaps I have misunderstood. Perhaps MM could clarify whether he is implying that it is simply not possible to build an organ appropriate to the client's needs, in a space like Bridgewater Hall? Off to enjoy the rest of my evening sucking eggs (cheeky wink).
  12. Oh. Forgive me. I must remember to blame the engine next time I drive an under-powered 'family' car, or blame insufficient RAM next time I use a slow computer being sold for gaming.
  13. Remember to turn your hi-hi up to 11. You don't want the neighbours complaining that the BH organ is too quiet.
  14. St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh: Great Stopped Diapason.
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