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Phil Cowlin

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  1. This is exactly the reason I'm asking, I live in Birchanger and have first hand experience. A very good friend of mine who's a far better organist than me played for a wedding when I couldn't do it. Within an hour of the wedding finishing (he lives 45 minutes drive away!) I received an email describing the organ as a little gem, it was just like climbing in to a Paris organ loft. To say he was excited was an understatement! The strings are quite definitely French in sound, and the voicing of the trombone adds a Fench reed rasp to the pedal section that makes full organ sound really wonderful. The most wonderful thing about the organ is it's in as near as possible original condition from when Gern built it. At the moment the pistons don't work. The mechaism is under the seat and I've spoken to the tuner about getting the pistons working - he's suggested that there should be work done on the pedal board as well, so we need to find £10,000 or thereabouts. I'm in discussion with the Church Wardens over this and we'll see how things turn out. It's a real privilege to be involved with this organ, and while I live in the village I'm going to enjoy playing it! Phil
  2. Can anyone shed some light on the history of Auguste Gern? As I understand things, he was works superintendent for Cavaille Coll, he came to UK to work on some CC commissions, then the Franco Prussian war broke out and, being a descendant of Berlin, he couldn't return home, nor could he return to France to work, so he stayed in the UK and set up his own organ works. I would appreciate any pointers on where I could find further information about Gern, and books or studies etc. that are published about him. I've tried Googling him and not a lot turns up. Many thanks in advance for any information offered. Phil
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