Jump to content
Mander Organs

Rowland Wateridge

Members
  • Content Count

    160
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. I would never want to be without a stopped diapason. For 20 odd years I played a small early 19th century chamber organ with ‘modern’ additions. Admittedly in a tiny church, the SD was a staple stop and combined well with the (divided) open diapason. The upperwork additions simply didn’t work with the original material. Sadly, this little organ has now gone, replaced by a Wyvern digital. The combination of stopped diapason and open diapason still works well on the Wyvern, but, unsurprisingly, it is the one combination which isn’t included in the pre-set pistons. I find that with all the electronic gadgetry, I’m still hand registering 95% of the time. (In case people wonder, I don’t have any facility to adjust the piston settings - there are four of us, and we share one locked channel.)
  2. A reminder that Noel Rawsthorne’s ashes are to be interred in the North Choir aisle at Liverpool Cathedral, alongside those of his predecessor Harry Goss-Custard, during Evensong tomorrow, Saturday 19th October at 3.00 pm. The service will be followed immediately by Ian Tracey giving the 93rd Anniversary organ recital. This is the programme: Felix Mendelssohn (arr. Goss-Custard): Overture ‘The Hebrides’ Noel Rawsthorne (1929-2019): Aria in E flat Phantasie “Wachet auf” i. Introduction ii. Trio with melody in the Tenor iii. Aria with melody in the Soprano iv. Pedal solo v. Introduction, pedal cadenza and free fantasia Ian Tracey: Aria ‘In Memoriam Noel Rawsthorne’ Felix Mendelssohn (arr. Goss-Custard): Scherzo from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Flor Peeters: ‘Lied Symphony’ (Op. 66) Lied to the Ocean Lied to the Desert Lied to the Flowers Lied to the Mountains Lied to the Sun
  3. I don’t know what the position was in 1907/8, but this is the current C of E Canon B 42.2 which might provide a possible clue: 2. Authorized forms of service may be said or sung in Latin in the following places - Provincial Convocations Chapels and other public places in university colleges and halls University churches The colleges of Westminster, Winchester and Eton Such other places of religious and sound learning as custom allows or the bishop or other the Ordinary may permit
  4. This somewhat late post is prompted by hearing a superlative performance in Latin at Lincoln Cathedral just over a week ago. I can’t offer any thoughts on VH’s original question, but the Winchester connection is surely established by the dedication to Dr Edward Sweeting, Music Master and College Organist from 1901 to 1924.
  5. I’m afraid it doesn’t answer the question, but according to the following, from a German source, the fugue was added very significantly later - 15 years: “This movement, which opens Sonata No. 3 for organ, originated in 1829, when Mendelssohn composed an organ piece for the wedding of his sister Fanny. He wrote home and asked his family to look for the piece, but the work was never found. Thus the opening movement of Sonata No. 3 is what Mendelssohn remembered of the wedding music for his sister written fifteen years earlier. He expanded the wedding movement into a sweeping double fugue with the chorale “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir” sounding in the pedal part.” From another source we are told that Mendelssohn’s health began to fail in 1844; that must have been around the time of composing the Sonata - a possible but totally speculative explanation of “Aus tiefer Not”. Fanny and Mendelssohn both died three years later in 1847.
  6. Indeed. I first heard him at the Minster around 1952 or 1953 when he had already been in post for seven years. Still an indelible memory 66 years later, and high in the shortlist of life’s experiences.
  7. I didn't meet David Drinkell, but think S_L has perfectly summed up the feelings of all of us.
  8. Well, it would be good to have authoritative answers, but there are possible clues in SC’s photographs. Using usual numberings the key slip beneath manual I seems to be solid. In the key cheek at each end there is possibly a recessed thumb-piston type button in wood, unless this is purely decorative carving (I don’t think they are replicated in the key cheeks above, but can’t be certain). The key slips for manuals II and III are in three sections with shorter lengths at the treble and bass ends. All this can only be speculative. I think we are on stronger ground looking at the pedals and the hi-tech registration setter and sequencer. There are > and < foot levers suggesting advance and retard. The couplers are obvious. To the right of the swell pedal and the > lever are levers labelled A, B and C which I suspect control memory channels (or are they ventils?). All of this could be shot down by someone with inside knowledge and, as you say, Stephen Farr could doubtless solve the mysteries! P.S. I haven’t been able to find anything about this on Metzler’s website. Stop controls might still be mechanical for hand-registration, but Metzler must have introduced slider solenoids for the new combination and sequencer systems. Urgent clarification from ‘someone in the know’ is needed.
  9. For some reason I cannot access the German orgelsite! I don’t think we need to get over-excited about organ statistics - one finds exaggerated claims about numbers of pipes and numbers of ranks, the latter, I think, due to not knowing the extent of mixture compositions and any borrowing. Anyway, as a Southerner who goes to Leeds Town Hall when I can, it certainly is a fine organ, and I’m very intrigued by DariusB saying a propos 81 stops on three manuals “we hope it won’t be for much longer ...”
  10. No names - no pack-drill! I have visited an organbuilder’s workshop (now closed) where one wall was covered with original builders’ plates - mostly ivory or porcelain - which they removed from the organs they had worked on. It’s a bit untidy, but we now have two current threads largely on the same subject - see also “Tuning at the Albert Hall”,
  11. Well, yes, it’s entirely understandable that HW III was keen to get the contract. The organ was built by his grandfather and HW III always strongly promoted the Willis tradition, and wasn’t afraid of adding his own stamp on FW organs, e.g., at Salisbury Cathedral and St George’s Hall Liverpool, as just two examples. I’m very interested in the statistics which you quote. In terms of number of speaking stops, H&H increased the size of the organ in 1933 from 110 to 149 which roughly equates to 26% being additional. I had always assumed that the majority of the pipework was still by FW, but unsure to what extent it might have been revoiced by H&H. As observed earlier, in spite of his own distinguished work, John Mander considers this to be a Harrison organ!
  12. There has been some duplication of this subject, so I will follow bam’s lead by repeating here the post I made in response to his on the ‘Nuts and Bolts’ thread “Albert HallI inaccuracies - again”: One can’t say that the original work of Henry Willis was totally expunged by the first re-build and massive enlargement by H&H. The present appearance of the case is entirely due to him. How much, if any, of the original pipe work remained without re-voicing by H&H is unknown by me. John Mander equally considers it to be a Harrison organ (see the “Tuning at the RAH” thread) and, very modestly I felt, did not add Mander’s name to the builder’s plate. This may be entirely apocryphal, but I have some vague recollection that Willis (which by then would have been HW III) ‘disowned’ the organ after the H&H work. Agreed that the BBC and the RAH descriptions are misleading. In my local cathedral (not difficult to guess which) the builder’s plate states: Henry Willis 1851/4, Henry Willis & Sons 1897, Additions Hele & Co 1905, Harrison & Harrison 1938 and 1988. I would have thought that something similar to this would have been appropriate at the RAH, and I would definitely include Mander’s name. After their work on the organ (however conservative John Mander claimed it to be), it was immediately obvious that they achieved a significant and dramatic improvement.
  13. One can’t say that the original work of Henry Willis was totally expunged by the first re-build and massive enlargement by H&H. The present appearance of the case is entirely due to him. How much, if any, of the original pipe work remained without re-voicing by H&H is unknown by me. John Mander equally considers it to be a Harrison organ (see the “Tuning at the RAH” thread) and, very modestly I felt, did not add Mander’s name to the builder’s plate. This may be entirely apocryphal, but I have some vague recollection that Willis (which by then would have been HW III) ‘disowned’ the organ after the H&H work. Agreed that the BBC and the RAH descriptions are misleading. In my local cathedral (not difficult to guess which) the builder’s plate states: Henry Willis 1851/4, Henry Willis & Sons 1897, Additions Hele & Co 1905, Harrison & Harrison 1938 and 1988. I would have thought that something similar to this would have been appropriate at the RAH, and I would definitely include Mander’s name. After their work on the organ (however conservative John Mander claimed it to be), it was immediately obvious that they achieved a significant and dramatic improvement.
  14. When I asked David Dunnett in Norwich some time last year what was planned, he replied with a twinkle in his eye “We are going for a three-manual electronic”! A great organist with a great sense of humour. As Wolsey says, we must wait and see. H&H already have a lot of other work in hand.
  15. Well, if I am lucky to live to hear the results of the latest restoration, I will have heard the Minster organ in three of its incarnations. The first time was about 65 years ago - FJ playing and the introduction of the 32’ Sackbut was like an explosion! (It wasn’t Widor V Toccata). It’s a fine organ in its accompanimental role - there are sounds of real beauty - the ‘neo-Baroquery’ didn’t change those. On that subject, I remember reading an amusing comment by Henry Willis III - talking about mixtures - referring to Francis Jackson as “one of the bright boys”!
  16. I was referring to my own straying rather than yours! I gather that the RFH organ possibly isn’t a favourite? It will always be controversial, but I think the 5.55 recitals there introduced the organ repertoire to a whole generation who might otherwise have never encountered it. Of course, you could argue that this was limited to people who happened to be in London, or who worked there - although London has a huge catchment area. For these reasons, I think the RFH was a source for good. Three players at random - Helmut Walcha, Francis Jackson and Noel Rawsthorne all spread the gospel of organ music in their different styles at those recitals.
  17. But wasn’t Wolverhampton a case of murder, rather than death from natural causes? I don’t know Sheffield City Hall, or whether there is a potential audience for organ performances. But I clearly remember the Royal Festival Hall with its virtually dead acoustic and large audiences at the ‘Wednesday at 5.55’ recitals. They had enormous influence for good - agreed there is a world of difference between the RFH organ and any by Henry Willis III. I am bold enough to suggest that both can be very fine. I ought to add apologies to York Minster - an organ I admire enormously. We have rather strayed from York.
  18. Dave: I’m out of touch with the present St Mary’s. This was/ is the Parish Church of Southampton. Before WW II it had a Father Willis organ and was a handsome mediaeval church with a tall spire - which was a landmark for mariners, and had a peal of bells that inspired the song “The bells of St Mary’s”. The liturgy was traditional C of E in the principal Civic church. Heathcote Statham was organist here before moving to Norwich Cathedral and, somewhat later, Richard Marlow before Trinity College, Cambridge. When I was last at St Mary’s it tended towards ‘High Church’ so these reports about recent developments have come as something of a surprise. There was a period when St Mary’s became stranded in a newer and largely non-Christian ethnic community, and the dwindling congregation was shipped in from outside its immediate area. Apparently there has been a renaissance in a different tradition - not to our taste, possibly - but in itself a welcome fact for the church. Like Bristol, Southampton and neighbouring Portsmouth suffered devastating bombing in WW II, and the church was left a shell apart from the spire. Most agree that the post-war re-build was, put politely, uninspired. Henry Willis III provided the new organ when organbuilding was suffering from all kinds of difficulties and restraints, and was able to incorporate some Father Willis pipework from elsewhere (Stirling, Scotland, I think, although not certain). Within those limitations he produced a fine eclectic instrument, but I gather it now needs a lot of money spent on it - a familiar scenario.
  19. During the Forum’s quieter periods one discovers threads from 10 or 15 years ago, still with interesting and topical material. I have just gleaned the fact that the rebuilds (or restorations) at St Alban’s Abbey and St Mary Redcliffe both involved asbestos removal (although not in the instrument itself at St Albans). Pierre Lauwers (very much missed for his seemingly universal organ knowledge and input) joined the discussion with the Belgian experience and perspective, even arguing for retention of asbestos where totally contained as the inner filling of the walls of swell boxes where there was no risk of escape and contamination. I think it is generally agreed that the asbestos excuse at Wolverhampton was spurious.
  20. Barry: I’m only four years behind you, but I have visited the Minster when some of the re-ordering was in progress. I haven’t heard the organ but noted that it is laid out very generously and, of course, had a close look at the console. MM mentioned Southampton Guildhall (which I have played in a very small way on a private visit) and that also has the Compton illuminated touch stops. Actually it’s another very fine instrument, although not really the subject here. As you doubtless know, Hull City Hall has been in the hands of the builders, but recitals there are now resuming on Wednesday 2nd October (Philip Rushforth from Chester Cathedral), and then on the first Wednesday of every month at 12.30 pm. For the benefit of others, they last a full one-hour and the bargain price is £4.50 including a printed programme.
  21. Nothing wrong with pedantry - or an interest in non-organ subjects! But, according to Wikipedia (not infallible, but in this case quoting a local author), the Perth St John is John the Baptist. As one ‘wooed’ by the Hull City Hall organ at the IAO Organfest a couple (?) of years ago, I have returned several times, also making a visit to Beverley Minster, the most wonderful church - quite the equal of many cathedrals, and finer than some - also having an organ to match. Selby, another beautiful venue and fine organ, is outside that 12-miles radius mentioned by MM (so is Bridlington), but very easily reached from Hull (or, indeed, by direct train from London with the excellent Hull Trains).
  22. I respectfully suggest that her ‘main claim to fame’ is that Catherine Ennis is a highly accomplished and distinguished organist.
  23. I suspect it might involve having two separate pallets to feed a single pipe - by no means unique - but complicated with consoles and trackers at right-angles. Presumably the bellows shown in the ‘mock-up’ will not be on public view.
  24. Like others here unable to go to hear Olivier Latry ‘live’ at the RAH, compensation came today in a wonderful recital by Philippe Lefebrve at Selby Abbey. I was not the only long-distance traveller there. Philippe Lefebrve spoke very movingly about César Franck as the father of the modern French organ school before what I can only describe as a moving and reverential performance of the A minor Choral. Vierne, Dupré and Duruflé somehow gained a new dimension played on this thoroughly English organ. The improvisation on two themes from John Scott Whiteley defied my powers of description, but I think the two themes were interposed in a gradual crescendo to a toccata followed by a quiet fugal introduction to a second even more tremendous toccata - altogether twenty minutes. We were witnessing and hearing a great artist with absolute mastery of the instrument. And far from being redundant while the Grand Orgue is unplayable, we were told that the Notre Dame organists would play for the Cathedral’s services being held in other churches - so, whilst not exactly ‘business as normal’, keeping the Notre Dame tradition alive.
  25. Sorry to keep dwelling on this point, but there can never have been such riches in terms of numbers of organ recitals (concerts, if you prefer, for lighter programmes). Including the recital just announced at St Michael and All Angels, Exeter, there are twenty recitals taking place around the country on Wednesday of this week, six of them in cathedrals. It’s inevitable that weekday lunchtime recitals cannot attract the largest audiences, but many are well-attended. I have known 600 for Thomas Trotter at Birmingham Town Hall and on one occasion, a couple of years ago, people were actually standing in the top tier of the gallery. And, to plug the point yet again, publicity is crucial.
×
×
  • Create New...