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John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. I agree with all of yours, Vox Humana. I remember whilst introducing my class to the organ at the local church (sadly I cannot find time for this any more, as it is not in my official curriculum) the vicar, who had come in to supervise - I don't think I was fully trusted - pronounced it as 'Jemshorn'. I felt certain he was wrong but, of course, I was too polite to say anything. Thanks for confirming my belief. Another one, by the organist of a large church near to my home, was Larigot pronounced 'Larizho' - the 'zh' being the French 'j' sound. Again, I was sure it should be a hard 'g' (and silent 't', of course) but, as a non-player, I deferred to his superior knowledge. Much later I asked a native French student, who was on foreign exchange at my school, and she confirmed my correct pronunciation. Personally, I feel that foreign names of organ stops should be pronounced as they would be in the language of origin, or as near as possible - I agree that umlauts are difficult for some. John
  2. As I said, many of these combinations will not be practical. Nevertheless, over a thousand possible sounds (even if some are rather unconventional!) from only ten stops is, in my opinion, quite amazing. John
  3. I once went to the trouble of working out a formula for the number of possible combinations of organ stops, and still use this as part of a mathematical investigation at school: (2 to the power 'n') - 1, where 'n' is the number of stops. (Sorry, I can't do superscript here!). Of course, many combinations will not be practical, but it certainly gives one an idea of the unbelievable number of combinations possible on even a moderately-sized instrument (1023 on a ten-stop organ, for example, and this excludes bass/treble divided stops). Try it out (on a calculator) and see what I mean! John
  4. You are quite right about the scale and how one can be misled. Certainly, when looking at pictures of the Liverpool organ, the 32' pipes look positively tiny in that vast space; when seeing them 'in the flesh', however, things are brought back into perspective! I was basing my estimate of York not only on the assumption that the pipes in the towers (admittedly non-speaking) were of 16' speaking (or non-speaking!) length, but also after close scrutiny of several photographs and basing my estimates on known dimensions (such as the height of the screen being 24', etc.). On the same basis, I would estimate the case to be about 20' wide and 16' deep; this seems large enough to accommodate the Great and Swell (and, of course, the Choir is in the sticky-out bit to the east). Incidentally, should it turn out that the bottom pipes are stopped/mitred/Haskelled, I would feel it a shame that these non-speaking display pipes are not utilised as sound producers. Surely this would be possible, even if they had to be replaced or re-made. I wonder whether they once were speaking pipes, perhaps when the case was first made c.1829. I, too, shall be most interested to learn the truth when Richard returns. John
  5. Thanks for your reply, Josh. The Pedal 16' Diapason is in the south aisle, so it's unlikely that the Great 16' Diapason is there as well. However, there are other Pedal open 16' pipes within the screen and it is quite possible that it is in there with them - electric action would permit that, of course. I still have my doubts, however, as I would have thought that they would want to keep the pipes alongside the other Great stops. Still a mystery then, at least for the time being! John
  6. Many thanks, Vox. That did it. And after all my messing about in 'My Controls' - how simple! I can't think how it came to be changed in the first place: the wonders of electrickery, no doubt! John
  7. Is it just my computer, or is the layout of posts different now? Yesterday I was able to view individual posts in a thread in order of posting. Today, within each thread, all the posts seem to be listed in a sort of tree diagram. Is this an 'improvement'? Personally, I preferred the old system. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!' John
  8. A question for Richard McVeigh. I have been thinking, which I do occasionally(!), and have come up with a question with regard to an interest of mine - namely, how does one efficiently accommodate the contents of an organ. At York Minster, the Great Organ includes a 16' Open Diapason. Bearing in mind that the display pipes in the main case are non-speaking, and the height of the case (less the towers) must be about 13' by my reckoning, where are the bottom pipes of this stop? Presumably, they are on, or adjacent to the Great chests, yet they do not protrude above the top of the case. Is this a stopped bass, or mitred, or even Haskelled? I address my question to Richard as, presumably, he is familiar with this organ. However, if anyone else has the answer I should be very grateful for your help. John
  9. No, I thought I couldn't see you, going by your photographs on this forum. Your presence would have augmented the audience to 101! I always feel a little embarrassed when foreign organists perform in this country, as they must be accustomed to having larger audiences back home. How strange! You will most certainly find it where I described, unless someone has nicked it in the meantime. It does look as if it has been there since the stalls were re-made. If the Minster police arrest it, could I have it - finders keepers! No, really, if it made an appearance in my house it would provide serious grounds for divorce. The organ sounded fine, as far as I could tell. As the last couple of pieces were French, this probably enhanced the appropriateness of the sound! John
  10. I'm sure you are being over-modest, Richard. We enjoyed tonight's recital, and I'm grateful for your bringing it to my attention. Just as a matter of interest, we sat in the row in front of the canons' stalls on the decani side, behind the Crown Prince of Burma (!) and the recitalist's wife. Once ensconced, we could not help but notice a small box immeditately in front of us and, being of a naturally inquisitive nature, I found it to be unlocked and proceeded to open it. Within, I found a two octave keyboard and soon realised that this was a small harmonium of sorts. I was tempted to join in the recital, but decided not to on two counts: (i) it looked as if it was about to fall apart, and (ii) I can't play! Did you know about this? Presumably its function would have been to provide a pitch note for unaccompanied choral services. John
  11. Thank you Richard. I have just talked 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' into going to tomorrow's recital. I would really like to see 'The Grand Old Man' (FJ), but we are going on holiday to Ireland the next day. I'll also try to talk her into coming to see your good self as well, but that may be pushing it a bit! John
  12. Ah, I see. I shall immediately change my icon to purple. Purple = embarrassed! John
  13. Well, no. I am red because I am currently logged in (obviously!). However, Pierre is red and he is not logged in, according to the list at the bottom of the page. Pierre should be GREY! (Nothing personal, Pierre). That has got me thinking. The idea of having different colours could indicate all sorts of things (determined by choice of buttons at log-in?): red = angry, green = happy, blue = sad, yellow = jaundiced, grey = tired (I think I would be grey most of the time), etc. Others would then know how best to respond to authors' comments. Hey, the more I think about it, the more this idea is growing on me. John
  14. I confess that I have been 'visiting', although for the most innocent of reasons: I have been trying to work out why the little icon in front of members' names on posts is sometimes in colour and at other times grey. I still haven't worked it out. Perhaps some members are regarded as more colourful than others? I'm sure it's something quite simple and that I'm just being a bit thick. John
  15. My wife is trying to get me a copy of the Liverpool DVD as a 'surprise' birthday present. Unfortunately, word has reached my ears that, although she e-mailed the order when the DVD was first advertised in OR, she has not yet received any acknowledgement. That must be a couple of weeks or more. How do I tell her to ring Priory and nag them into dealing with it without revealing that I know about it? John
  16. Yes. At the base of each of the four pillars at the crossing is a glass case. In each is found a preserved skeleton, presumably of some dignitary, resplendent in their sunday best outfits. If I remember correctly, they are in various different poses. Could be quite atmospheric alone at night. By the way, without looking up the specification I think the Trinity organ is 4 man., the Holy Ghost organ is 2 man. and the Marien organ at the west end 4 or 5 man. John
  17. Been having early nights over the last few days, but back to normal now, Insha Allah! Thanks, Manders people, for getting this back in order. John
  18. Three, now, surely. An excellent arrangement of two Baroque instruments in juxtaposition - ideal for duets - and a new 'Romantic' at the west end. By the way, when I visited Ottobeuren I found the contents of the glass cases in the crossing rather scary. John
  19. Hear, hear. Not that I am ever likely to be a recipient, of course! In this politically correct age I am not sure what meaning these 'honours' have any more. When I read of some of the people to whom they are awarded, and for what reasons, I really do question their value. I am very pleased that Francis Jackson has been awarded the CBE (although a life peerage, never mind a knighthood, may have been more appropriate!) However of far more importance, in my humble opinion, is the high esteem in which he is held by many ordinary people whose lives have been enriched by his work and influence. Long may he continue to benefit the organ world. John
  20. He has my vote! Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I can't help but feel that had he been the incumbent at a southern/London establishment things would have been different. I am sure that the 'powers that be' (in London) are blissfully unaware of the existence of anything between the Home Counties and the Scottish border. John
  21. Your polished bench brings to mind the occasion when Gillian Weir performed at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester a couple of years ago. An overenthusiastic cleaner had brought the bench to a highly polished shine, not realising the consequences. DGW did not, as I recall, slide off: that would have been most unseemly. Instead, a blanket was hastily found which seemed to help somewhat. Her Liszt, incidentally, was superb. (No, not a pun, she did play Liszt.) John
  22. I know this may sound silly, as my CD player is supposedly incapable of reproducing anything below 20Hz, but the Vox Balenae 64' (at least that is what I am assuming is making the ground shake) at Cologne Cathedral sounds very effective at the beginning of track 7 (Strauss) on Motette MOT13254. Incidentally, Klais proposed adding a Donner 64' - a resultant reed - to Altenberg Cathedral. I'd be interested to hear whether this has actually been built and, if so, whether it works: I have never heard of a resultant reed before. John
  23. No way! That would have been Leila (? spelling ? name) - the 'cavegirl' from way back. Mind you, she's probably past her 'sell by date' by now. Still, memories... John
  24. Cologne Cathedral has a Pedal to Solo (IV man) on the Transept Organ. I'm not sure how this would be used, unless by organists without legs? John
  25. Yes, I have it too - we must be of a similar age! I agree about the York 32' reed. It certainly makes itself felt, at least on that recording. I wonder what it must have sounded like before it was relegated to the south transept! John
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