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Paul_H

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  1. Just back from Ian Tracey's superb recital at Bridlington Priory. It was announced at the beginning of the performance that Michael Smith, organist and master of the choristers, is retiring at Christmas after 32 years in the post. A sad loss to the Priory but hopefully his soon-to-be-announced successor will carry on the fantastic work he's been doing. At least he/she will be inheriting a superb organ in very fine voice indeed.
  2. Listening to Steve Lamacq's show on BBC6Music today, an interesting story about a stolen pipe from York Minster's organ. It's made it onto the BBC News website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-49495317 You'd have thought they would have missed it! --Paul H
  3. I can possibly shed a little light on some of this. Back in 1989, Michael Smith and I spent some time crawling around the innards of the Priory organ as part of its 100th anniversary commemoration - a lot of photographs and a back-of-church display ensued. The Soubasse 32ft was definitely a Compton polyphone, at the time it was laid horizontally on the ground floor beneath the reservoirs. The Double Grosse Flote 32ft was in fact large scale stopped 16ft wood pipes. I think they were second hand; they were (and possibly still are) located immediately behind the display pipes in the Sanctuary. Incidentally some of the middle flat of Sanctuary display pipes were the bottom octave of the Solo Contra Dulciana 16ft. The big Anneessens windchest was indeed a traditional slider windchest. It was split, with action motors at both ends and two sets of underaction. The 1967 Great upperwork was on unit chests between the main windchest and the front display pipes in the Choir, which themselves formed parts of Open II / III and Double Open 16. I think (although it's before my time!) that a lot of the Compton extension-work was on unit chests above the main chest; in 1989, Open I and the solo Tromba were mounted on platforms above. The Anneessens 32ft CT was on a strange chest near the north wall (the large Pedal flues were behind). It was basically the bottom octave of 32ft, 16ft and 8ft reeds, C and C# sides (C was to the west), and went in the order 32, 16, 8... and then bizarrely the bottom octave of the 4ft flute (stopped metal pipes). Quite odd to see these little pipes sharing space with the monsters! To say the organ was a maze inside was an understatement. Wherever you looked, something was stuffed somewhere. It was amazing that it worked as well as it did for so long. I've attached a pic of the east end of part of the main Anneessens chest - somewhere I've got my notes on which rank is which. And for those interested further, there's a selection of other pics on my Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtual_pkh/albums/72157594250160915 - I've more if anyone's interested! Paul H
  4. I studied at what was then Holy Trinity back in the 1980's with Desmond Swinburne. The organ was something of a nightmare even then; the Compton luminous touches were temperamental, some refusing to light up (although the stops were active), others glowing dimly to start with and gradually brightening after a few minutes. It was a charming instrument but a nightmare to learn on. After a while Desmond acquired the old extension organ from (IIRC) Hymers College and had it installed in the front room of his house on Lairgate in Beverley where lessons continued, aided no end by supplies of warmth and coffee. Sadly I never did make it as an organist but between Trinity and Bridlington (where I had keys to practice) I had a lot of fun and gained a tremendous interest in the internal "gubbins" which continues today. Hull Minster is quite different inside now, it's hosted the Hull Beer Festival for the past few years and is a very popular venue for that particular event! I doubt if Sundays will ever be as well attended though. Hope the organ gets the funds it deserves, deep down it's a fine instrument.
  5. Google Translate, for all its faults, has a pretty good stab at it, or at least the beginning; it makes heavy work of the second sentence though: "Should be played with romantic registration, please voix celeste el. like. The solo summit can be advantageously oktavered."
  6. That's a shame if true, as you say free reeds are quite rare these days. Bridlington's a fascinating organ, although (and I say this without disparaging Nicholson's in any way) for this listener it seems to have lost something in the rebuild. Although the 1967 Great upperwork was a bit inappropriate (screaming away just behind the front pipes in the choir) the overall balance of the rest of the organ was superb. In particular, the way the main chest ran east-west for most of the length of the organ gave the Great & Positive a wonderful sense of "spaciousness" which seems to be missing now. I haven't seen the innards since the rebuild but I'm guessing the new soundboards are nothing like the same size. Completely off topic (sort of) but if anyone's interested, a young man by the name of Antoine Anneessens has a Youtube channel - he's a budding organist and is the great-great-grandson of Charles Anneessens the organ builder. Thank you for the replies. Paul H
  7. Hi all, First post on this fascinating board. Just wondering if anyone who's well-up on the organ at Bridlington Priory can help with a quick technical question? The original Anneessens specification (1889) notes that there was a "Clarinet Onches Libres" on (if I recall) the Choir. Is the current Solo Clarinet the same free-reed Anneessens clarinet, or did it disappear in one of the pre-Nicholson rebuilds? Some years ago Michael Smith (organist) and I spent ages surveying the pipework and photographing the innards for the organ's 100th birthday, but neither of us dared ascend to the Solo box - the access was via a home-made ladder propped up against the pillar adjacent to the front of the Swell box, clambering on top of the box and then up another ladder to the Solo in the triforium. Getting on top of the Swell box looked bad, getting back down again would have been hair-raising. So, we never answered the question back then. On a later occasion I lent my camera to the Nicholson's tuner who kindly took some photos but for some reason the film jammed (this is pre-digital) and they're all on the same frame :-( If anyone's interested in some of the pics I took, they're on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtual_pkh/albums/72157594250160915 - pretty sure it doesn't look like that inside now! Thanks Paul H
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