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Mander Organs

John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. I don't suppose anyone here attended, but the organ was very impressive. I have never heard it played flat out as tonight, in both the Grande Choeur Dialogue and the Vierne Mass. I think it would have been more than adequate in a middle-sized cathedral. The toaster was nowhere by comparison. Oh, and the choir was OK as well!
  2. Thank you Martin. Corrected now. Some would say that I live in the past!
  3. May I please provide details of a forthcoming choir and organ recital by the William Byrd Singers at 7.30pm on Saturday 29th February 2020 at Christ Church, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2DZ. Conductor: Keith Orrell, organists: Richard Lea and Robert Woods. Tickets: £12, £10 (concessions), £5 (students), available online (www.eventbrite.co.uk), or at the door (although these events are usually very well attended!) Eugène Gigout: Grande Chœur Dialogué from Six Pieces d’Orgue (2 organs – RL RW) Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine (with organ – RW) Joubert: Pro pace motets Libera pleben O tristia secla priora Solus ad victimam Joubert: Prelude on ‘Picardy’ Op. 55 (with organ – RL) Clausen: In pace Vierne: Messe Solennelle Op 16 (2 organs – RL RW) Kyrie eleison Gloria in excelsis Deo Sanctus Benedictus Agnus Dei (Although it is advertised as featuring two organs, it is actually one organ (details on NPOR) and a toaster!)
  4. Still quite narrow. I'll have a look for my booklet tomorrow when I have more time.
  5. I seem to recall from a booklet I can't lay my hands on right now, that the 32' Praestant is of a relatively narrow scale, the bottom C of 235mm (9.25") diameter if I recall, which seems very narrow comparatively speaking. I must have another look for the booklet to check my facts.
  6. Exactly. I have recorded some of my favourite organ LPs on to minidisc for exactly that reason, but also for the convenience of being able to listen to them in bed (you can't easily play LPs in bed) - listening using headphones, of course, so as not to disturb Marge!
  7. Yes, I can believe it! I really hope that they begin making these again (though I doubt it) because if and when my Minidisc turns its toes up I shall desperately want to replace it. Perhaps, if it does pack up, a repair might be possible.
  8. Just my four penn'orth, but I have a Sony Minidisc which I find perfectly good. I understand from reviews, etc, that it isn't exactly hi-fi, but with my high-frequency hearing loss (discussed elsewhere) I can honestly say that I can't hear the difference (using good headphones) to my hi-fi system with four-way speakers! It's also far better than my old tape cassette player (now ditched) which medium, I have to say, has always been hopeless what with low quality reproduction, tapes stretching and getting tangled up.
  9. I'm pleased to see that Leeds seems to be a forward looking city with regard to the organ, what with this, the proposed alterations and additions to the Town Hall organ and the continuation of free lunchtime recitals there as well.
  10. Our last vestige of hope? Yes, certainly the Christian church is dying out in this country and some believe that the organ may die out with it. On the other hand, we still have concert hall organs which appear to attract some sort of audience and, of course, we still have cathedrals and Oxbridge colleges in which organ music is still heard. In fact, there must be still some support as both Canterbury and York cathedrals are presently having their organs rebuilt (per a thread on this web site!). To be perfectly honest, as an atheist, churches being closed down doesn't concern me too much, accepting that they are closing because people appear not to want them. That sort of sounds fair. Sad, though, that organs are also disappearing locally. So what is the answer? I'd like to think that if the Dutch can do what they're doing, perhaps we can. Unfortunately, I can't think how we'd go about that. When a primary teacher, I did attempt to instil some sort of early interest in the organ among my charges. I have no idea how successful or otherwise I was.
  11. Sadly, I have never had the opportunity to directly compare a 32' Wood with a 32' Metal, but I had assumed that the metal pipes would have more harmonic development than the wood ones, giving the metal ones more 'drive' as you describe it, and the wood pipes possibly being more weighty and 'foundational'. I'd be interested to know whether or not that is, in fact, the case.
  12. Yes, unfortunately I have never been able to develop the necessary skills to play. If a genie should ever offer me three wishes, one of them would be that I was able to play the organ well. I have not yet considered the other two! My Christmas music consisted, this year, of only two sources: the King's Nine Lessons and Carols and a CD of their Christmas music. I was pleased to find that their standard of music has remained, under their new musical director, as excellent as it was under the distinguished Stephen Cleobury.
  13. King Jesus Hath a Garden Quittez Pasteurs (No, I didn't play them. I'm not an organist. I enjoyed listening to them. I'm very good at listening!)
  14. That's interesting, and it prompts me to ask whether coupling a more local division to a remote one might help with this sort of thing. Perhaps attempting to pay more attention to the local sound might help with 'ignoring' the slightly delayed remote sound. I should point out that I am not an organist, so please don't be afraid to point it out if I am talking a load of tripe!
  15. As with most things, it is a good idea to compare different options. Many hearing aid outlets offer a trial period (mine did, anyway - Boots) and, presumably, you can try a pair here, try a different brand elsewhere, and so on. To be honest, I didn't though. I went with the first pair - Phonak, but on reflection perhaps I should have tried different ones.
  16. I'm sure I've read other threads on here regarding unequal temperament before, but I think here is as good as any. What I find hard to believe is that unequal temperament is not employed more widely in organs. Perhaps not concert room organs which are required to work with orchestras and many other instruments, but why not churches and cathedrals. How often do we see cathedral instruments being used with orchestras? Surely, it is far more usual - normal, in fact - for them to be used with choirs. I'd go so far as to say that a cathedral organ retuned in an unequal temperament like Kellner would not even be noticed as any different by most people, whereas many are likely to find that they like the sound in preference to how it was.
  17. An interesting phenomenon exists whereby one can 'turn down one's own ears' physically when bombarded by loud sounds. I'm not sure how I achieve this, though I believe it involves tensing muscles attached to the auditory ossicles which, in turn, moderates their movement when transmitting sound from the eardrum to the oval window in the cochlea. I can't even explain how to do this, but I think it can happen involuntarily when we hear particularly loud sounds. On the other hand, I have learnt how to do this voluntarily and I'm sure I'm not alone. However, I also turn my hearing aids down (left ear button) if the ambient sound is generally too loud, or up (right ear button) if I can't quite hear something clearly.
  18. I didn't know about that. I assume that the main door was originally facing the adjacent Princess Road. The main entrance is now at the south-east (liturgical) corner of the building. Very fortunate compensation payment, I'm sure readily accepted! (Marge has asked me to recommend their choral concerts at the church - The William Byrd Singers!)
  19. I'm afraid I haven't heard, or even seen, the toasters! The only organ used in the concerts I have attended has been the pipe organ. I can't speak for services, though.
  20. Not a cathedral, but the church where my wife sings: Christ Church, West Didsbury, Manchester, enjoys an organ of 43 stops including three Chamades, a 32' Bourdon and a surprisingly effective digital 32' reed. Not a bad collection compared to some cathedrals, considering this is only a small parish church. I have never been particularly enamoured of electronic additions to otherwise completely straight organs, but this one has made me think again. I think the church (and choir) are very lucky to have such an instrument. I suppose it all comes down to available funding, though.
  21. Sound advice, if you'll pardon the pun. Fortunately, my (expensive) hearing aids are very good, with one exception: I hear people chatting at the back of the room more effectively than my wife sitting opposite me! Unfortunately, the audiologist can no offer a solution. I paid a lot of money for my hearing aids and there's no way I'm going to leave them in a drawer. On the other hand, my old NHS hearing aids do sit in a drawer on the off chance that I need them in the case of necessary repair to my private ones, which has happened some time ago. When the six year guarantee runs out and a repair becomes necessary at cost, depending upon the cost, I may decide to revert to the NHS aids. Regarding your initial, more important point, I can honestly say that I have not noticed any latency with these hearing aids and I assume that they being near to top-end models (or they were when I bought them) that they would employ the signal processing you describe. Perhaps I'm lucky! I presume that in the absence of any scientific test equipment, I can gain some sort of evidence by relating the sound I hear from the television to the movement of lips on the screen! I have also done this without hearing aids for comparison. Interesting post. Thank you.
  22. Darius, thank you for this additional information. I do think the projected alterations/additions sound excellent choices. The Solo with a Vox Humana (my favourite - perhaps I'm a bit odd!), a dominating Grand Chorus with, presumably, six or seven independent stops (rather than an all-in-one stop as at Liverpool), the Positive remaining where it is and with (from my own experiences) a surprisingly direct sound rather like a 17th century Rückpositiv, and above all a full-length 32' reed - no doubt a big improvement on the underpowered (my own opinion only) existing half-length reed. I look forward to the work eventually being completed and shall make sure that I undertake the trip across the Pennines to listen to the (hopefully) opening recital. I'll even drag along my long-suffering wife. Please let us know when that will be, won't you?
  23. I for one am very grateful to you for this information. I believe we (I say 'we', although I no longer live in God's County) are very lucky to have such an excellent instrument, especially at the time when it seems that interest in the organ is dwindling and instruments continue to be replaced by electronic substitutes or scrapped completely. I think that we are also fortunate that work is to be done to improve and/or extend the instrument. I should be particularly interested to learn of the proposed alterations and improvements to the organ as and when these become available, and would ask if you might kindly provide such details on this forum. In the meantime may I ask you whether, in view of the addition of a fourth manual, the stops of this new division will be taken from the existing ones or be new additions? Also, is the enclosed fourth manual division to be sited above the Swell or located elsewhere? Thank you again.
  24. Well it used to be. Haven't they changed it to Leeds Minster now? It seems to be trendy to adopt the title 'Minster' these days for some reason!
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