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Everything posted by OwenTurner

  1. Wow, thanks Tony for such an informative response and a link which in turn opens up lots of other links which give me plenty to digest. I’ll post back once I’ve read it all and see if my conclusions pass muster.
  2. I bet I'll stand corrected by people with better knowledge of the topic, but isn't there a rule that if your institution changes academic dress you should wear the dress that was current at the date of your graduation ceremony? I'm sure I remember this when the university of Wales split out (and my hood lost its shot silk and became cheaper but I needed to stay with the expensive one) and I think it applies to the CNAA qualifications too, though in those cases the institutions changed so this one is probably different.
  3. I realised, only this week, that I have had an unfair perspective of harmoniums. Dissecting this, I am annoyed with myself because I have judged them on a very limited experience of poor instruments (or instruments in poor condition) played badly; the very same perspective as the ordinary person in the street (or perhaps church) might have of the pipe organ! Anyway, spotting the Scott Brothers' home concerts such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS3t-xzVGqc as well as stumbling into some recordings on Spotify of Joris Verdin, playing Franck and others, have made me consider getting hold
  4. All straight forward at Southwark. Peter Wright retired. https://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/9902
  5. I didn’t know there was a piano version. Who publishes it? Does it work, is it worthy, as a piano piece?
  6. Would the Walker 1986 organ in Bolton Town Hall (an insurance funded new instrument after a fire) be the last new civic instrument by a British builder? I seem to remember comment that it was disappointing, but I can’t remember the source or reasons. Can anyone enlighten? St David’s Hall Cardiff has had well known problems too.
  7. Very interesting, thanks S_L. I've never heard of this before. Does it really work? In my experience of the Hammond and its equal temperament 2 2/3, 1 3/5 ad 1 1/3 drawbars I don't think it does. Does it work here or is the ear and brain forever trying to bend it into what it ought to be?, a bit like practising on an out of tune keyboard instrument.
  8. Yes great news indeed. Here’s hoping that a good number of the old firm’s workforce can find suitable roles here or elsewhere. For me, if I ever find the spare cash, floor space and obtain spouse permission to commission a modest house organ, I am firmly committed to buy British and I’d urge others to seriously consider the same. Some continental builders are probably cheaper but, in my opinion, we need to support our own firms wherever we can.
  9. Hi Andrew It is on another thread but this is the link you are missing: https://www.houndscroft.co.uk/organ-forum/
  10. Having seen multiple situations of companies in administration professionally, the outcome generally comes down to some very blunt almost obvious financial factors including debt, assets, revenue opportunities, cost base and who might buy a going concern. All of those can only very difficult for a builder of new organs or significant rebuilds in the current climate unless they had a stack of long contracts on the books before this pandemic situation. It is probably less financially acute for those dominated by tuning rounds and regular small maintenance. The revenue streams are inevitably domi
  11. 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%3Dwillia
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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=A
  15. 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=_def
  16. 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.
  17. yes indeed, thanks to P DeVile for digging this out!
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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).
  22. 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 challeng
  23. 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 mo
  24. 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”.
  25. 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
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