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peterdoughty

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  1. I didn't see a link there, but went hunting and found this page on St Pauls' website which links to some documents. I do love the nerdy stuff, specially the cathedral plans! Items 61-64 on page 20 of the appendices are interesting - seems to suggest the organ is permanently but minimally miked. Is that for their own use or the BBC/broadcast I wonder? Good that it's in H&H's capable hands, too.
  2. I think this link refers - it's not a very technical explanation of what exactly happened in the electrical system or what was needed to fix it though! (I've hunted through a couple of CD booklets because I remembered reading something similar, and found it: Gillian Weir relays a separate story about one of her performances of Camillieri's Missa Mundi causing the organ's fuses to blow 'in one venerable English cathedral,' although luckily her recorded performance of it, in the RFH, didn't suffer the same fate!
  3. And something very out of the ordinary.
  4. Let it be said right away that I'm no organ expert, a very amateur onetime player but a devoted listener. I'm also a very occasional audience member in the RAH when I can make it over for the odd Prom. That said: 1. The sound engineering of this particular Prom seemed marginally better to my ears than in the past, but I was wearing headphones for it where usually I listen through speakers. The big Solo orchestral reeds were identifiable but very toned down. Some of the Pedal sounded very forward indeed, and the Great flues seemed equally big compared to the rest. (However, as more knowledgeable members have mentioned, not just in this thread but in others in the past, there is really no 'one sound' to the instrument even when you sit in the hall itself. I was seated in the stalls in approximately the 9 o'clock position for a performance of the Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica in 1994 and the instrument's supposedly fortissimo entry in the Landscape movement was underwhelming. I was in the 6 o'clock position in a loggia box at the back of the stalls when Cameron Carpenter performed (after the restoration) and it was very impressive but rather unfocused. You could hear that yes, that was the Tuba Mirabilis, and yes those were the big Solo reeds, but there wasn't much real fire, nor much real immediate presence from the Pedal. However, I was in the circle (level 3, just below the gallery at the very top) in the 7-8 o'clock position for a performance of The Planets, and the immediacy and clarity, oh my goodness. The entries in Mars were like hot coals, and the big glissando in Uranus was simply devastating. I got a huge and physically shocking impression of the big reeds and mixtures all at once there, and lots of people in the vicinity physically reacted to the volume, so it wasn't just me. In the quieter movements, the pp Pedal entries were present, and had focus and gravity. All that said, I've no idea where it's best to sit, or whether there is such a place in fact. 2. I have Christopher Herrick's Organ Fireworks II, which is great but recorded long before the restoration. The Tuba Mirabilis has one notable outing, during which it sounds like the microphone must have been bang in front of the pipes themselves. The big Solo orchestral reeds aren't really big here, but the quieter stops are well explored. Simon Preston's post-restoration CD, to my ears, has some of the problems you get as a listener in the hall but I think does seem realistic. Gillian Weir's CD on Priory was the first post-restoration recording and while Gramophone made much of its undoubted musicality, I felt the recording was a disappointment, very distant, and although you knew the big reeds from their timbre, they were underwhelming in impact. Much use of the volume control was needed. Again, important to say that this isn't a criticism of Priory. They use one microphone I think, and they were doing their best with where they could place it. For my money, Thomas Trotter's Grand Organ Prom disc is the clear winner so far in terms of organ sound alone, and I think they must have miked it in several locations around the hall because the different divisions are really well represented, clear, focused and musical. You won't hear it like that in person, I think! I'll stop blathering now! Edit: links to the CDs mentioned... https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA66258 https://signumrecords.com/product/royal-albert-hall/SIGCD084/ https://www.prioryrecords.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2134 https://www.regent-records.co.uk/product_details_215.htm
  5. I came across this clip while searching for more about this story I've encountered in the Guardian. Unfortunately, not much detail available in NPOR but there's an informative page here.
  6. I can't see any other way to contact them than by the 4 numbers and 2 email addresses given on their site and there are further details of personnel via Companies House. There's no twitter account, but Anthony Hall appears to be a member of the Facebook British Pipe Organs group, if that's any help?
  7. Because it's nearly the weekend, I hope nobody will mind a bit of frivolity, so with fingers crossed... 🤞 The Wave Organ in San Francisco (info, video) The Singing Ringing Tree near Burnley (info, video) The Bamboo Organ (no actual street view unfortunately, but still plenty of photos to peruse) in Las Piñas, Philippines (info, video) The Heldenorgel in Kufstein, Austrian Tyrol (info, video, and another) The John Cage Organ in St Burchardi, Halberstadt (info) The Giant's Organ at the Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site, Northern Ireland
  8. My goodness. The mind boggles! I pay for access to Martin Doering's excellent Die Orgelseite and there are excellent high-resolution photo galleries including some very 'creative' cases and pipe displays... And back to the RAH - 90.4% tin - certainly a surprise to me when I read that! I wonder how bright and/or shiny the facade would have looked in its virgin state... In other news, I've sent a tweet to the Royal Albert Hall to ask whether they've any repair plans. Not a sausage in response, not even a 'thanks for your question' message. 🙄
  9. St Anne's Cathedral here in Belfast. And a much smaller instrument inside an interesting-looking church I've never actually been in myself!
  10. I've always heard that they're the Great Contra Violone (but there's also one mention that I've seen online which suggests that the facade is actually made up of a mixture of that and the Pedal Double Open Diapason - see here). Unfortunately, there's no word anywhere via google regarding the composition of the pipe metal... but there is an interesting previous thread on this very forum that I've just found here!
  11. Thank you for this interesting info, Robert. I've also posted about this on the British Pipe Organs group on Facebook, and Michael Blighton and others have chipped into the conversation. Summary: when Mander did the restoration, the Hall authorities balked at what would have been the astronomical cost of removing the 32' front pipes from the case and/or hall for repair. Two firms had quoted to repair them, and both said they'd ideally have preferred to replace the pipes with new ones. The feet and mouths had already started to collapse, so instead, they were all fitted with large steel braces at the back to stop them collapsing further, and the matter was left there! Such a shame more couldn't have been done, but you have to cope with the funds available, I suppose.
  12. As far as Katie Derham's virtuosity comment is concerned, I completely take the point that the organ writing probably isn't exactly taxing for an experienced performer, but it's certainly something I'd be very proud indeed myself to even get right, let alone musically. Plus, it's a very public BBC primetime pat on the back for an instrument which needs a lot of equally public encouragement in the UK, so I'm inclined to be gentle on that score. Where I'm less inclined to be gentle is in terms of the physical treatment the RAH organ appears to be getting these days. Did anyone else watching on TV notice these damaged feet in the pedal tower - particularly the one on the left?! What on earth happened? It looks in need of swift corrective attention. By the way, I really enjoyed Martin Baker's matinee today also, and wished I'd been there to hear it in person.
  13. I did some googling and turned up this Facebook thread which contains a couple of potentially helpful photos... https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/122306631156014/permalink/3086060881447226/ And also this: http://www.organstops.org/c/Cubus.html
  14. Here is our pedalling violinist with something faster this time...
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