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John Robinson

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Posts posted by John Robinson

  1. 1 hour ago, Martin Cooke said:

    Did we hear the Tuba Mirabilis at any point? There were definite tuba-ings in the pre-service music but was that the famous stop?

    I doubt it!  I think that must have been one of the enclosed tubas.

  2. 8 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

    Sadly I missed it.  Living in the Southern Province I watched the BBC televised Eucharist from Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop presiding.  Mixed feelings about some of it; I thought the girls’ choir was impressive.  David Newsholme directed and Andrew Bawtree played the organ.  It was difficult to get any real impression of the organ from the sound quality of an ancient television.  Andrew Bawtree certainly opened up the organ in the closing voluntary, Guilmant’s “Grand Choeur”, but in best BBC tradition this was faded out to a scene of someone preparing pastry with a rolling-pin!  One realises that time schedules come into play, but this seemed unnecessarily insensitive.

    I get the impression that, unfortunately, the BBC are not exactly great fans of the organ!

  3. 9 hours ago, swalmsley said:

    Based on today's Festal Eucharist, admittedly only via YouTube, I have to say the rebuild sounds to be a triumphant success! The distinctive sound of that organ is still very much in evidence, but there is just more of everything, especially as the choruses build! Congratulations to all involved on a clever plan very well executed!

    Yes, I watched that (on YouTube) earlier today and I completely agree that the organ sounded wonderful.  I was especially impressed with the Swell which sounded particularly clear, presumably because of the new shutters on the west side of the box (assuming that the sounds were recorded from the nave!).

    I'm looking forward to listening to the evensong and dedication of the organ when I have time, probably tomorrow.

    Congratulations to Harrisons and, of course, to Robert Sharpe who no doubt led the decisions on the rebuilding of the instrument.  I have suggested elsewhere that I thought it sad that the organ had lost its Cornet and Sesquialtera, but I now realise my mistake and that it really doesn't need either of those two voices.

    One day, hopefully, I shall have the opportunity to hear it in 'real life', when I shall possibly have the opportunity to hear ALL FOUR or the 32' stops (one at a time, of course) and which cannot possibly demonstrate properly their voices even on my hi-fi system!

  4. 1 hour ago, Martin Cooke said:

    I am tempted to say either Canterbury or York Minster - (but failing either of those for some reason or another) - St Paul's Cathedral... and Widor Symphony 6 or Dupré Prelude and Fugue in B major. 

    And if Priory were to do one more DVD... I'd like a new one for Canterbury or York.

    I agree about York or Canterbury.
    Yes, Priory have done both before (I have both), but of course since then both organs have been rebuilt/'done up', so they are likely to sound quite different.

  5. 14 hours ago, Andrew Butler said:

    It had been built for the church in 1957 using second-hand pipework. It was all enclosed apart from the bottom 12 of the Bourdon. The fluework was good, but the reed unit didn't blend awfully well - might have had there been a Mixture though. Looking at how it was laid out in the house, I don't know if anything was still enclosed. The spec was as follows in the church, with ranks shown as ABCD


    Open Diapason  8 A

    Stopped Diapason 8 B

    Principal 4 B

    Flute 4 B

    Twelfth 2.2/3 B

    Fifteenth 2 A


    Open Diapason 8 A

    Salicional 8 C

    Lieblich (sic) 8 B

    Gemshorn 4 A

    Salicet 4 C

    Nazard 2.2/3 B

    Horn 8 D

    Clarion 4 D


    Bourdon 16 (From B)

    Bass Flute 8 B

    3 usual couplers

    3 pistons to Gt/Ped  3 to Sw  Thumb and Toe Reversers for Gt/P

    Piston setter board, and ventil switches for each rank


    I was never quite sure of the logic behind the Swell Nazard - I was too young at the time to have thought of using it with the Salicional as a synthetic Oboe!

    Looking at the picture, the only things visible seem to be the pipes from the stopped wood rank 'B'
    If anything was enclosed (in the house) I imagine it might have been the 'C' rank (strings) or the reeds, though I can't see any sign of a swell pedal in the photo.

  6. 13 hours ago, sbarber49 said:

    See Andrew Butler's post in this thread on 4th March. He gives the specification of the 4 rank extension organ as it was in the church where it came from.

    NPORView N03855


    This link might get you to the Facebook page:

    British Pipe Organs : Anyone want to buy a house in Bristol with a working pipe organ built into the structure | Facebook


    Thanks.  I assume all four ranks as listed were set up in the house as and where they could be fitted!

    A principal, a flute, a string and a reed.  What more could one ask for?

  7. 8 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

    I have seen the organ given its NPOR identification somewhere on line. I can't find it now but am reasonably confident that if you were to have a quick trawl through this site - https://www.facebook.com/groups/355269498442029/?fref=mentions - I think you'd find it... and lots of other interesting stuff besides - a great and very busy site.

    Thanks.  I've had a quick look through the site (and have visited several times before), but nothing yet apart from a different house organ which has been recently removed.  I'm pretty sure it's a different one anyway.  I may have a better look again later.

  8. 53 minutes ago, sbarber49 said:

    Now sold - but sadly the organ is probably going to be removed.

    'Eccentric' Bristol house with built-in pipe organ is sold - BBC News

    A strange layout and, looking at it, rather difficult to reach at least some of the pipes for tuning.

    A shame that the new owner wants to ditch the organ.  It would be nice to hear that it's up for sale, though.  I wonder what the specification might be.

  9. 15 hours ago, S_L said:

    I'm sure you are being funny John but, if you're not - I wouldn't bother - because you will be desperately disappointed - musically anyway! And I speak as one who did leave the Church of England  and succeeded to Rome!  It was a long time ago and, before anyone makes assumptions, it, most certainly, wasn't over the Ordination of women!!!!


    I was indeed being funny, as I am an atheist and highly unlikely to join either the RC church or the CofE!
    Strange, I suppose, that someone so interested in organs is not in the least bit religious.

  10. 6 hours ago, Choir Man said:

    "The organ’s primary role, however, has been to enhance the daily services of the cathedral, fulfilling the mandate of Vatican II, which stated that ‘[the] pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendour to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things’. Capable of providing gentle aid to prayer or a brassy fanfare for a civic procession, it can accompany anything from a solo chorister to an orchestra and a congregation of thousands."

    That's the first time I have heard of that.  Bearing in mind how many CofE churches are now going all 'happy clappy', I may decide to become a Roman Catholic!

  11. 5 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

    The honours system has long been utterly devalued by cronyism, such that it is impossible without inside knowledge to distinguish the genuinely deserving (of which I'm happy to count Wayne Marshall as one) from the rest.  I have personally known civil servants who were recommend for, and given, gongs for doing nothing more than their routine jobs, simply out of favouritism.  These were only minor gongs, to be sure, but that simply reflects the circles in which I revolved, ever decreasingly.  I have absolutely no doubt that, at least where political service is concerned, the same principles apply right to the top of the tree.

    I have heard it claimed that the process of devaluation began when Harold Wilson gave gongs to the Beatles and that it was a deliberate Socialist policy. I have no idea about that, but it does rather seem that, outside the mutual back-rubbing cliques, gongs are very much weighted towards those held in high, popular esteem. Indeed, we now have a system for public nomination. Sadly, the talent in our organ lofts is of no interest to most of the public and not regarded as of national importance, so they no longer get a look-in.  Perhaps you can't have it both ways.  The more you give gongs to those who are not well known publicly, the more you may be accused of cronyism.

    I would happily abolish the whole system. It wouldn't damage my lifestyle.

    Excellent post!

    I don't really take much interest in who has been awarded this and who has been awarded that, but I'd hazard a guess that if examined closely it would demonstrate more than just an element of Londoncentricism!
    As for the peerage and the House of Lords, I see it these days as nothing more than a free and comfortable retirement home for politicians and their cronies.

  12. 15 hours ago, Vox Humana said:


    It reminds me of the time one of our local Methodist churches was having a make-over. The builders advised ditching the speakers of the antiquated II/P Allen boopbox, assuring one of the stewards that the church's sound system could cope with the organ perfectly well.  Needless to say the steward didn't seek the organist's advice, but agreed on the spot. The church has been regretting it ever since. (I appreciate that Contrebombarde's situation was an emergency.)

    Yes.  Two completely different types of speaker system of course.

  13. On 09/01/2021 at 22:07, Contrabombarde said:

    The"box" is at its simplest merely a MIDI to USB converter cable such as Roland/Edirol UM1 costing around £20. A cheap laptop should allow you to play Grand Orgue or j-organ freeware or Hauptwerk if you want to pay for better sound. Plug keyboard into laptop via MIDI to USB adaptor, configure the software and away you go. For a multikeyboard professional setup you would want something fancier though.

    I once literally had to do it on the fly when our church's electronic organ conked out in the afternoon of the Nine Lessons and Carols, installing HW onto a spare laptop and plugging the church's sound system into the laptop headphone socket.. Everyone commented on how much better the organ sounded tgan usual!

    That reminds me of the lady sitting next to me at the first recital on the new Manchester Cathedral organ, who asked me where the speakers were.

  14. 6 hours ago, SlowOrg said:

    There are also cheaper, similar options which I would consider, especially if I didn't have a proper organ console. First there is Organteq, but of course one shouldn't forget about GrandOrgue which is totally free! I would probably try one of these first.


    Thank you SlowOrg.
    Can I assume that these (once uploaded on to a computer) can be used with any keyboard having a MIDI function?

    I'll pass these suggestions on.

  15. A friend of ours is thinking about buying a Yamaha CP88 with a view to him 'relearning the piano'.  He is also interested in possibly looking at learning to play the pipe organ.
    I see that the unit he is thinking about includes MIDI in and out, and I am wondering whether I should mention Hauptwerk as a possible add-on.
    I know little about Hauptwerk other than the fact that some organists use it in their homes as a practice instrument.
    I assume that it is a matter of buying a 'box' of some sort and that this can be connected, via MIDI, to any electric keyboard.  Is this true?  Assuming this is a viable option, can anyone offer any further advice, please?
    Of course, there are limitations: a single 88 note keyboard, no pedal board, no swell pedal, etc.

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