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Everything posted by OwenTurner

  1. Please carry on! My view and opinion of this forum is that there is a high level of pedantry, blunt opinion and joking. However I also belIeve that contributors are well meaning and supportive and that that might not always come across. As for uninteresting posts, that really depends on what people find interesting, and I’m sure that opinions would be divided on how interesting most topics here are.
  2. Perhaps others would like to be aware of a biography of E. H. Warrell? I saw a review of it http://drmarcsblog.marcrochester.com/2021/06/a-forgotten-life-remembered.html?m=1 I’ve found out where to source a copy and have been been told it’s short print run and sold out. I’ve been added to the waiting list for next run. Contact chriswarrell@talktalk.net to get added to his list.
  3. Looks like a ladder might have positioned to change a lightbulb or place a microphone? (Are those microphones on the casework in the photograph?) Perhaps someone didn’t realise that organ pipes are softer than cast iron drainpipes in terms of ladder resting. It would have held the ladder until the climber was a few rungs up, then slipped. Force directly proportional the weight of the person plus ladder and the cosine of the angle of ladder…
  4. I've stumbled into a very entertaining and interesting talk by Nigel Allcoat, telling his life story. I would recommend it. and
  5. You probably know this recording already. Obviously you can’t tell absolute loudness from a record but I remember being stunned by this sound world first time I heard it. https://www.discogs.com/Francis-Chapelet-Orgues-Historiques-Espagne-Trujillo-Covarrubias/release/3337391 Greyfriars Edinburgh shouted well when new. Not heard it for decades and I believe it’s a challenge to keep it all working.
  6. My flabber is well and truly gasted. What an extraordinary specification (2005/2016). It ought to be strong enough to lead a congregation you’d think….. in the next parish.
  7. I did chuckle at the "nailing to the pedalboard" comment - thanks for that. I can name three examples where good and ambitious choirs thriving in suburban areas have tired of their previously deemed adequate organ and redirected the funds that might ordinarily have been spent on a wash, valet and a minor tinker or two, being 30 years or so since last rebuild, to an electronic with a specification at least times the one of the pipe organ. The most extreme of these three is https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=S00098 compared to http://broughtonparish.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Organ-Spec.pdf. I should confess to not having heard the electronic but my memory of hearing the Ainscough was that it did the job well enough. If the spec of that electronic was pipes then there'd hardly be room for a pulpit in that building never mind a choir. The other two places are St Paul Sketty Swansea where I spent a spell as assistant, and Cuthbert's Darwen. Both were worthy of being rebuilt with a few swap outs, in my opinion.
  8. I think there is also a need for a contrast between ‘need’ and ‘would benefit from’ in some schemes and fundraising. I’ve seen several schemes where additions which are exciting though arguably not strictly necessary are presented as essential to a fundraising committee. In a construction project anyone can see which aspects could be tamed down but in an organ rebuild it is not very transparent to the layperson. For clarity I am absolutely not thinking of Leeds here but of a couple of major church jobs.
  9. Fantastic to see a major contract go to Nicholson. I was wondering how it was funded and found a few news articles. Very impressive that the council are so supportive even though they expect to be paid back from fundraising. I don’t think I’ve heard of this approach before. I’m sure it leaves the council with some risk. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/people/leeds-town-halls-historic-organ-to-get-ps18m-of-restoration-work-3254806?amp
  10. Thanks to Martin and Rowland for the informative responses to my question.
  11. Are Harrison’s getting all the big jobs these days? It seems that way. Does anyone know any large projects going elsewhere? Great that Harrison’s are successful but monopolies are generally dangerous. Do we know who got the Leeds Town Hall contract yet? Smaller firms have done good work on big rebuilds previously.
  12. I don’t feel completely comfortable watching a funeral on line but this one came up amongst the feed of events from Chester.
  13. Just pointing out that there's an interesting small organ on Ebay at the moment. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324678766126?hash=item4b985cce2e:g:yeoAAOSwv-ZaS7QZ It being in Italy is a drawback to visiting it and transporting it. There's a link to a video of it playing and I can't say I like the reed in the Couperin and it is more top heavy than would suit a small room. Swapping a couple of ranks out could make a difference and turn it into something very good.
  14. I heard the most raucous football crowd “singing” on the radio news this evening. So unfair. I’m sure there is less risk in matins but probably fewer votes and less chance of civil disobedience.
  15. Obvious I’m sure but have you thought about pinching one off the top note or another you might play less? I used to own a spinet with a gradually reducing compass until I got round to sourcing spares.
  16. I believe a “gong” has precedent as a novelty stop. Perhaps that might be something more aspirational and realistic. It might possibly open up “gongs for cash” which might be something that could get publicity, eg “we failed to get our dedicated long serving civic organist recognised in the honours for a gong so we bought one for the organ in recognition.” I think I’ve seen somewhere that a cymbelstern can be added for under £5k but I might be mistaken.
  17. I’m sure that you are looking for recordings, but If this was to play, having a quick look at the Liszt piano transcription, it looks reasonable to adapt to organ with a bit of time and a lot of pencil; some movements more than others.
  18. Hi Stephen, I have listened to it and I really enjoyed it. Not entirely what I expected, but then I don't think I've heard much Macmillan other than a couple of choral items. Not a comment on your performance at all but it did remind me to go back to a review by Marc Rochester, whose writing I have often found entertaining and illuminating, about a performance of the St Andrews' Suite. See particularly the reply from Eddie McGuire. http://drmarcsblog.marcrochester.com/2013/07/silly-endings.html?m=1.
  19. Stephen, did your recording get released? If so what did you play and where can it be obtained?
  20. Huddersfield Town Hall moves from Gordon Stewart to David Pipe.
  21. Initially answering your question in a way which is no help at all to your context! I knew the last but one organ from Selwyn well in its new location post 1990. It is now in Younger Hall St Andrews University. It is a 1975 Harrison. It had a really awkward tracker action on it initially. The keyboards bounced up and down when you played and you had to hit the notes very firmly from above. To date its great is the only keyboard that has drawn my blood! When the organ was reassembled it needed a modification to the swell key action to avoid an obstacle at the back of the chamber it pushes back into. Sandy Edmonstone replaced the sw action, which then turned out much more refined than the great even though with longer more complex runs. The great and pedal actions were renewed based on this revelation and it became a responsive instrument. The voicing is a bit harsh, being low pressure un-nicked and the reeds were unpleasant but have since been replaced. I believe Harrison were not in their comfort zone with it at the time of building. A very good value result for what it cost to acquire and rebuild. Too small for its venue though can just about lead a full house on full organ, but a good practice instrument in an empty hall. A second point would be to suggest you also consider St Andrews, as a plan B perhaps. 30 years since I left but last time I was aware languages and history were strong departments. There is no music department which can give a non specialist less competition! There are three, soon to be four I believe, pipe organs. There are two chapels and a good choir with choral and organ scholarships. The Hradetzky 4/40 isn’t to everyone’s taste but it certainly takes no prisoners when it comes to technique so is a great learning experience whatever you think of it. There is small Walker in the second chapel an Andrew Pennells era 2/9 which is very responsive and a delight. I’ve mentioned the third already. The fourth is a historic Lewis recently acquired, to be (perhaps it has already been) installed by Willis to a new concert hall.
  22. My day job is in business software. In that, tracking use by feature is a key measure of success and relevance of the various functionality. I doubt it has been done before but it ought to be possible to design either electronic or sophisticated electrical action instruments to record usage by key, stop and pipe; perhaps by iteration and note sustain length. I think that could be fascinating data to digest.
  23. I had lessons on an organ where the pedal board ended at F from a teacher who had had a lot of pupils over the years which he took to diploma level. Nothing I played over-ran and he didn't remember ever missing it. What sort of players and repertoire will come to this organ? Top flight recitalists or best endeavour amateurs? I've also encountered slightly reduced manuals and I can only remember one instance of a player being caught short when I page turned (I think in some Jackson). Short compass mounted cornets were more likely to create melodic gaps to the uninformed. Unlikely I'd even be in a position of influence, but if money was short when commisssioning a new organ I'd seriously consider robbing a couple of notes of top end to fund another rank.
  24. Seeing not many posts for a few days, here goes... The most entertaining organ recital I have ever attended was in Leeds Town Hall in 1991 or 1992. I select the word entertaining in the true sense; not the most moving nor the most profound but certainly the most entertainment. I was working in Leeds city centre at the time and I got into the habit of turning up when I could, sometimes without checking the programme. There was usually a visiting cathedral organist or RCO council member type on the bill. Anyway this week it was a theatre organist called Arnold Loxam (RIP). The place was unprecedently full with an audience who sometimes sang along and swayed to his tunes. Once I got over the initial culture shock it was fabulous fun.
  25. I used to know a chap who made a wage of hiring out Hammond organs for gigs. He complained that he had to replace a lot of keys due to excitable tribute acts based on that precedent. I am sure replacing a broken key isn't an easy job, but gets easier with repetition!
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