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Mander Organs


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About OwenTurner

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  1. There was a copy on the shelves of Preston town library in the late 80s! I think someone had written in fingerings in blue biro though, but that have been Murrill's Crown Imperial. Looks like they still have it, despite the music library room now being a computer room and most of the shelves in the whole place being replaced by coffee tables and potted (I almost put "pot"; I don't things have degraded quite to that extent.... yet) plants. See here: https://capitadiscovery.co.uk/lancashire/items/16582?resultsUri=https%3A%2F%2Fcapitadiscovery.co.uk%2Flancashire%2Fitems%3Fquery%3Dwilliam%2Bwalton%2Borb How you'd get at it I don't know. Other good town library stocks would no doubt have it, nearer to you.
  2. The death has been announced of Jack Longstaff aged 98. https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/announcements/deaths/deaths/18368735.THOMAS_JACK_LONGSTAFF/ There is also an an article in The Times. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jack-longstaff-98-inspiring-blackburn-music-head-0d9btdljd I believe he was a Turpin prize winner at FRCO and held appointments at Leeds Parish, Bowden, Stand, Preston Parish Churches and Blackburn St James and more. I knew him as a school pupil and remember him as an intellectual who knew his subject to a depth none of the other teachers did of theirs. He had a great influence in his geographical area and took those with talent to incredible levels. For those not up to his standards the experience was different and based on fear of an often violent temper. I was myself borderline on being good enough material for him; in fact I was refused the option of taking music at A level, though the harmony drilled into me allowed me to pass that component of an OU diploma 20 years later, skipping all the teaching and going straight to exam. The conscripted school choir of about 200 voices gave annual oratorio performances with a stunning massed treble line. Despite remembering him as a figure of fear, I gained a lot from knowing him as I’m sure others did.
  3. Thanks to Stanley for the reality check. I suppose my objectivity to the quality of this organ might be a result of knowing it whilst young. However compared with other big parish church instruments I’ve known, I’d still put it as top quartile. Probably it depends what our benchmarks are. If I were to compare it with say Dunblane Cath, Preston Parish or Swansea Parish, all of which I’ve known, it’s better than the last two.
  4. I'm quite shocked to see that this church is under threat, if not promise, of closure. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/fife/1186640/exclusive-cradle-of-reformation-st-andrews-church-to-be-sold-off-as-surplus-to-requirements/ Its organ is a very fine, well mannered Harrison with obvious influence from St Albans Abbey, and a killer floating reed division. It was rebuilt at a cost of about 135k, rather than the 50k mentioned in the article not too long ago (NPOR says 2008). I believe that some of it was originally voiced by WC Jones. https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00533 I can't imagine that Church of England or Church of Wales would treat a town main parish church, without building defects, in such a way.
  5. Coincidentally I stumbled into this picture this evening https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/photographs/item/york-minster---the-stone-screen/610492/viewer#?#viewer&c=&m=&s=&cv=&manifest=https%3A%2F%2Fcollections.st-andrews.ac.uk%2F610492%2Fmanifest&xywh=-901%2C-195%2C8786%2C3895 which shows west end chamades quite clearly. I would presume this photo to be from the late 19th century. There are a few other interesting old organ photos in this collection. https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/search/?query=organ&collection=uofsa-web-sc-photo&profile=_default&form=grid&start_rank=101&num_ranks=50
  6. https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09017 A nice little Collins at Lancaster Univ has perspex vertical ones, the whole thing enclosed. Mr Google won’t find me a picture.
  7. yes indeed, thanks to P DeVile for digging this out!
  8. With the mention of accordian you remind me of something I heard on Radio 3 in what must have been a few weeks before Christmas in 1988 or 1989 which was an accordian (or it could have been some other squeeze-box) player playing the sortie 'vent de la spirit' from Messiaen Pentecote. It was amazing. I've tried to find it as a recording a few times since but unsuccessfully. Does anyone recognise it from this description and who was playing, etc? Now I'm thinking, I remember Messiaen himself playing one of the big Bach P&Fs, perhaps G 541 but my memory isn't secure, on the radio a year or two earlier than that. This was fairly straight until near the end when a chord was held much much longer than written and notes were slowly added, the timbre morphed and he added a sort of cadenza in his style, reverting back to the Bach and taking it to conclusion. Does anyone know of Messiaen playing Bach recordings?
  9. It is all to do with familiarity I believe. She remembers all too clearly what she learnt on when young, and having accepted that as “right” feels that anything else is “wrong”. My point is that I am confident that she is an extreme case but there must (or could) be a bit of this in everyone (or some people). I remember another situation where discussions with other first year members of a university chapel choir encountering the tonal palette of a chiffy mutation rich tracker organ for the first time, as their accompaniment, felt quite strongly that it was wrong due to not sounding like a Harrison or Walker or whatever they grew up hearing. I remember a deputation asking for less use of the tierce! I’m going off topic with timbre but, as my first contribution to this thread, I believe that key familiarity affects those with perfect pitch.
  10. Not at all. She sings in equal temperament and plays the cello in equal temperament too! In fact it was commented on in her grade 8 cello mark sheet I am told. I tuned the home piano in recent weeks and I've not laid the equal temperament scale quite perfectly and that isn't going down too well despite it being having been horribly out previously and is so nearly right.
  11. Also you need to factor in perfect pitch and familiarity. My wife has perfect pitch and cannot cope with attending a parish church near us where the originally Hill organ is a bit sharp to normal A 440. She also cannot stand me playing hymns in keys other than those she first knew. Tuning my spinet a bit flat makes the tone less brittle but she can only stand that if I go a full semi-tone and even then when I play pieces she hasn't known at other pitches (which is luckily rarely contentious as she lives in the Liszt world of pianism).
  12. Hmm, disconnecting pitch from frequency is a bit courageous. Did the chapter on the Earth being flat include anything to do with reverberation effects when you get to the edge of the world and there's nothing for sound to bounce off? I feel this book is confusing brilliance with pitch, where brilliance is upper partials. In the case of a swell shutting the impact on the higher pitches is inevitably greater than the lower so you will lose some power at the upper, but the pitch of a note is surely the same. Perhaps we need to consider "Shrodinger's Swell Box" as a theorical physics challenge; though the cat would probably create too much destruction to the pipes and action. I've just ordered a second hand copy of the book of ebay.
  13. I remember a time when a very sensitive large tracker instrument I knew was due its first rebuild and, having not played or heard it for a number of years before, I could detect a flattening on key release on the Great (inevitably most used and worn) particularly on wider flues which I would presume to need more wind. My theory is that the pallets were slightly suffocating the pipes as opposed to shutting them dead and caused an audible drop in wind pressure while still slightly speaking. The observation went away after rebuild, which had no tonal or action modifications. I think a lot more musical and scientific attention is given at the pluck than the release. I presume we've all been fascinated by the effects of shuttting off the wind while holding a big chord? If some pipes are inherently slower to cease, and those are the bigger ones, and we know the higher frequencies drop out acoustically first over distance, that would leave the big boomers as the last sound standing. Too much conjecture in there for one logic jump of course.
  14. I think a Butts is a medieval archery field. In St Andrews there is a “Butts Wynd” which is all the more amusing before you realise wynd should be pronounced “wined”.
  15. 2009 newspaper article "A FUNDRAISING drive to pay for the restoration of one of the finest pipe organs in the UK will be launched tomorrow." https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/funds-drive-restore-unique-coats-2611428 See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxhorn for more on Saxhorn. Note the conical bore which would put it into the mellower brass instruments, the brighter ones having cylindrical bores (compare a cornet (single rank, not a quintet of parallel players [joke]) with a trumpet). There must be someone in this forum who has played it? I've also stumbled on this: "Con Spirito! CD £11.00 Recorded in Autumn 2015, Matt Edwards plays the historic four manual Hill pipe organ of Thomas Coats Memorial" here: http://www.mattedwards.org.uk/, so it must have been in decent playing condition very recently.
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