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Mander Organs


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Posts posted by Phoneuma

  1. Darius - I’m not sure you have the answer for this but I was a little puzzled attending a couple of orchestral concerts over the last year (Also Sprach and something else which had an organ part). Both times a toaster was used. Is the Town Hall organ perhaps not at concert pitch or might there be another reason? It seemed unusual the first time and I wasn’t sure of any reason.

  2. ‘On the subject of Angela H*witt she is highly commercially promoted and has achieved a name thereby. It doesn't mean that I admire her playing. I've heard her play Mendelssohn as if it were Prokofiev as well as the Haydn Variations in F Minor. As soon as I hear a pianist play those variations on an equally tempered modern piano I conclude that they don't know much about the music. Likewise pianists who are willing to play the 48 on an equally tempered modern instrument.’

    I’d maybe suggest that yours is a minority view regarding her abilities. Leipzig (and do look up the signatories to that award) think otherwise. This is the eternal problem with HIPP and related movements  - it polarises opinion,entrenches views and ultimately achieves not much at all in musical terms. Mission creep on a grand scale.

  3. By sheer coincidence today this was awarded - 

    ‘In 2020, the City of Leipzig Bach Medal will for the first time be awarded to a woman: the Canadian pianist globally acclaimed for her interpretations of Bach and for her Bach tours, Angela Hewitt.’

    Might this be ‘that Canadian woman’ referred to in an earlier post? It seems that Leipzig holds Bach played in a modern concert grand, tuned to Equal Temperament in very high regard.......

  4. What terrible news. I’m sure we’ve all had an interesting conversation with David on this forum and I myself spent a very informative evening at the H&H in Christ Church Skipton four years ago when he was over in the UK for a family occasion. He relished the instrument and rather put me on the spot when he asked me to ‘play something’ as he wandered around listening intently to the organ. I needn’t have worried, he was very complementary and I left with my nerves intact.

    A sad loss and a very friendly, interested and well-connected musician. 

  5. 52 minutes ago, Peter Allison said:

    He is VERY particular about recording  him though. I made a midnight recording of him playing just 4 pieces, many years ago... But when I have asked him if I can record him in recital, he always says no, nicely of course. As he thinks that if he knows someone is recording, then he is "playing to the mics". I kind of get that, but at the same time it  tends to be a generation thing, going buy all the U Tubes videos and other social media items

    Good for him - I’d suggest it’s perfectly in order for him to turn down any request to record any public recitals. This seems to be, or at least was, particularly common a few years back when I attended a few recitals in the north with, on occasion, more than one set of devices recording the concerts. Whether or not permission had been sought (and, I know it hadn’t in more than one case) I found it a very off- putting practice. This simply wouldn’t happen in, say, the Wigmore Hall or the RFH so why should it be considered acceptable at organ recitals. It appeared to me that it was nothing more than some sort of trophy-hunting and very disrespectful to the performer (and, I’m assuming, in clear breach of intellectual property rights). 

  6. Might I suggest this excellent book as possible holiday reading on far flung beaches? I’m on my second read through and it’s no less riveting than the first time. The link below is not a buying plug, it’s available from all sorts of outlets including the Brazilian bank-robbers......

    As many on here also look after and nurture choirs it’s a fascinating history, written by someone with extensive knowledge of recordings from way back. The synopsis should whet your appetites.

    Very heartily recommended and it sweeps all kinds of misconceptions and myths firmly under the carpet.


  7. 2 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

     You are right, though, about performing from memory: it always produces better music.  I heard the other day that it was Clara Schumann who started that practice.  If more organists did it maybe, just maybe, the instrument might be held in better regard. Then again, who am I kidding?

    You’re not kidding anyone Vox! I’m completely in agreement with this and I see no real reason why organists should not play from memory. It frees the performance, you don’t need a page turner, it looks much more professional. There’s everything to gain. I wouldn’t expect it in the daily offices of course but a public recital, well that would most certainly raise the status. 

  8. ‘6 manuals is just an absurdity for so few pipes, and if that translates into (61 X 6) + 32 = 398, it means that there are just 4.1 pipes per available note.’

    I’m not sure that the 6 manuals are just for this new choir organ MM!

    Looking at the Klais site the new console. also controls the west gallery Marcussen organ and a couple of other divisions (Altar and something else). 



  9. ‘The conversion of the Cranleigh instrument to equal temperament was a travesty and a significant loss to the musical world.’

    Really? I’m sure there must have been sound reasons for this change. I might here recall an experience with this temperament switch and why it sometimes has to be done.

    Some years ago when in Braunau,Austria,  I had a few hours on a fantastic Metzler instrument. As you may know Metzler specialise in historic reconstructions and this instrument was probably the finest thing I’ve ever played. No playing aids, straight pedalboard and you could hardly reach the stops. I got chatting to the Kantor and, surprise surprise, he’d requested a complete retune to ET! They’d had to use an electronic organ for the holy hymns, it was that bad. He said it was almost unusable beforehand save for arcane early German stuff in about 4 keys. I think that Metzler were a bit miffed about it all really but it was outstandingly good, the most beautiful flutes and the principal chorus was stunning. 

    His main point was that it was in a working church and not a museum, I think he had a perfectly reasonable point and I’m sure that neither he or I would consider it a travesty. 

  10. 9 hours ago, innate said:

    Are you not remotely interested in how music would have or might have sounded to our favourite composers before Equal Temperament was adopted? 

    I’m not, no. Maybe something I can’t really appreciate, in the same way that HIPP does absolutely nothing at all for me (but let’s steer well clear of that debate please!). 

    It’s a question of taste and personal preference and maybe I lack a bit of the former and made bad choices in the latter but that’s how it is and I see no reason to be persuaded otherwise.

    There is most certainly a great deal of learning and research into both topics and I’d be the last one to attempt to stifle or repudiate any of this scholarship. It remains up to the listener, in the end, to decide what is or is not to their own preference. 

  11. 10 hours ago, Zimbelstern said:

    Am I the only member of this Forum who does not feel any enthusiasm for unequal temperament? I’m afraid I can’t work up great excitement for pure thirds and fifths. It seems to me that Bach regarded well tempered  tuning as a great improvement over what had gone before ((I know it may not be quite the same as equal temperament). And I’ve never been able to understand how it relates to the intervals produced by other instruments, such as strings, or wind, the tuning of which is not fixed, as well as by voices. I’d be fascinated to see some statistical research into the precise intervals sung by choirs performing unaccompanied, say, a motet by Palestrina. 

    You are not alone Zimbelstern! Whilst this is a very interesting and illuminating discussion here I have no interest at all in the actual sound of other temperaments. Each to their own of course and by all means keep up the debate but I thought I’d let Zimbelstern know he has allies!

  12. 4 hours ago, MusoMusing said:

    It can't be too difficult to play a few octave, surely?

    MM - running away in terror!

    Pleased to see this resurrected. It’s  quite something MM! Worth looking up Waldsassen and the word ‘relics’..... I’ll leave that for interested parties to discover for themselves.

  13. I suppose it depends how much you want to pay. However, I've been through far too many in the past few years and narrowed it down to my current ones, B and O H6 (not wireless by the way). Some might say that B and O are lifestyle products but that's not my experience with these and I was initially very dubious until I tried them in a shop. Very comfortable, completely covers the ear and there's no sound bleeding out for everyone else. I did have, like Colin Pykett,  a pair of Sennheisser HD650s and I really couldn't get on with them. For the price they weren't that well built and always felt loose, maybe I have small ears but it's always a bit of a subjective game here. They also bled a noticeable amount of sound out for others to enjoy (!), a consequence of open back design. Tried some Oppos (now no longer made) but they were heavy and eventually settled on the B and O's which have the performance of the Senns. and Oppos but at least half the price. Home use only with these though, I just use cheap and cheerful Sony's for trains and travel. The B and O's also have cable inputs on either ear which can e a boon. Sound quality is superb for me but that's always subjective and Hi-Fi is full of snake oil and voodoo claims.

  14. I didn’t realise it had been there before. Isn’t it a thing of wonder! I played it a number of times and came away thinking it was one of the most comfortable and ergonomic consoles that Walkers ever made. Everything was easy to find, accessible, great line of sight and so smooth in operation with those elephant tusk stop controls.It lasted a very long time indeed.

    And you could see the choir over it - something impossible with the new console which looks plain ugly to my mind. No idea what you’d do with it but I’m drooling over those photos. 

    Shame to see it languishing but it does look well cared for.

  15. On 06/01/2019 at 17:14, David Drinkell said:

    I remember about fifty years ago thinking that "Exurgat Deus" from the "Laudate Dominum" suite was the last word in flashy modern organ music (a performance by Rodney Tomkins, then teaching me at Colchester Royal Grammar School, on the marvellous organ at Walsingham still comes to mind).  Since then, I've played the whole suite from time to time and certain movements rather a lot. "Meditation" was definitely on the Ass Board list for one of the lower grades - I remember a chorister at Belfast playing it.

    David, I’ve sent a pm regarding RT which I’m sure you’ll find of interest.


  16. On 17/02/2019 at 13:33, MusoMusing said:

    Considering the fact that I have been writing the Compton story for what feels like decades (now finally coming to a conclusion) this leaves a serious hole in that story and that history, but I will make sure that it contains as many details as possible of this wanton destruction, so that future generations will know the truth and be able to draw their own conclusions.


    Ooh - this is tantalising. Do tell us more!



  17. Another one tempted back into the fold! For various reasons I took a break and It’s great to see some really interesting discussions unfolding now. I’ll be joining in the discussions as and when.

    In the meantime might David Drinkell and Martin Cooke check their pm’s? I’ve replied, very belatedly to some messages and, possibly like many, one has to get into the habit. I noticed it’s 3 years since my last post, doesn’t time fly?!

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