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Mander Organs

Rowland Wateridge

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Everything posted by Rowland Wateridge

  1. I’m not certain about this, but I think Hele added nine stops at Chichester to Hill’s 25 - an amazingly conservative cathedral organ even at that date.
  2. Someone, I forget who, told me that the Allen belonged personally to John Birch, and he certainly seemed to have a fondness for it. His reign at Chichester lasted from 1958 to 1982. The Allen stayed in the Cathedral, I believe moved to the west end, and was occasionally played with orchestra and for choral festivals after the 1984/86 Mander rebuild of the pipe organ. Before the rebuild the Hill organ (in its fine Arthur Hill case) was in poor shape and disused, although John Birch had earlier made a memorable recording on it on the Ryemuse label. I think it was England’s smallest cathedral
  3. When Colin Pykett started this thread, one name stood out: András Schiff, but VH beat me to it. There were two others, both, I suspect, potentially controversial: Glenn Gould and Myra Hess, respectively famous for their performances of the Goldberg Variations and ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’, and pianistically very contrasting. I believe Glenn Gould never used the piano’s sustaining pedal. Famous for his ‘noises off’, I found his playing of the Goldberg Variations entirely convincing. Myra Hess, of course, played with an almost supreme legato in ‘Jesu, Joy’. Didn’t the artistry in
  4. I expect someone more expert about John Compton (MM ?) will be able to fill in technical details, but the ‘Compton Cube’ - sometimes several of them - were a feature of Compton’s organs, and were made by them. The technology would be familiar to most UK organ builders, (even if not something they have made or would ever consider being likely to make). I’m sure Niccolo Morandi is right that that these would be both expensive and bulky. I’m certain there are other more practical alternatives in a house organ. Southampton Guildhall possesses a Compton stop similar to the one described b
  5. VH: I think we have 'nailed it' - at least from the year 1662! From the Act of Uniformity of Charles II, 1662: "XIV. Proviso for reading the Prayers in Latin in Colleges, &c. "Provided alwaies that it shall and may be lawfull to use the Morning and Evening Prayer and all other Prayers and Service prescribed in and by the said Booke in the Chappells or other publique places of the respective Colledges and Halls in both the Universities in the Colledges of Westminster Winchester and Eaton and in the Convocations of the Clergies of either Province in Latine Any thing in this Ac
  6. I only have 'standard' NHS hearing aids, but I experience the same problems described by John Robinson and John Carter. It has been said to me (slightly maliciously, I felt), "You only hear what you want to hear". I can honestly say, in my case, that this is totally untrue. But I can understand that people may get a mistaken perception. Like other misfortunes in life, the problems of deafness are not always understood by non-sufferers.
  7. I don’t want to appear to be monopolising posting on here today, but this brought back a memory of a TV documentary many years ago in which András Schiff said that he wished he could have heard Bach play the organ, “that would have been really something” (or similar words - I can’t vouch for 100% accuracy, but that was the gist.)
  8. Ian Tracey played Noel Rawsthorne’s Choral Phantasie on “Wachet auf” at Liverpool Cathedral in the Anniversary Recital yesterday following Evensong and interment of Noel’s ashes alongside those of his predecessor Harry Goss-Custard - a very moving occasion. Although their structures differ, I feel that Noel Rawsthorne paid more than a passing nod to Reger, especially in the opening and final movements of this five-movement work.
  9. 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
  10. 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. Introducti
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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 w
  14. 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.
  15. I didn't meet David Drinkell, but think S_L has perfectly summed up the feelings of all of us.
  16. 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
  17. 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 ...”
  18. 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”,
  19. 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, b
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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”!
  24. 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 o
  25. 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 rathe
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