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John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. Exactly the same thing that happened at York Minster in 1829, with the exception that the organ which was destroyed in that case was by Blythe (1803) and ?bits of Bernard Smith (1691), and the case by Dallam. The original choir stalls went as well.
  2. Yes. Nonsense. I mentioned elsewhere on this forum that I have been watching weekly organ recitals from Cologne Cathedral on YouTube. I think it has now been five, and each is by a different organist. There has been quite a wide range of composers and few, if any, of the more hackneyed pieces. I am fortunate to be able to watch this on our large TV set with a good sound system, using a Firestick. Incidentally, the cathedral appears to be well populated for these recitals, though sensible 'distancing' is applied. If Cologne can do it, why can't Wales? Silly over-reaction, I suppose.
  3. I have never heard anything so ridiculous.
  4. Just an aside, but I was at that event when a nice lady asked me where the speakers are!
  5. Not wishing to be intentionally disagreeing, but I love the Reubke sonata. One of my favourite pieces. As I understand it, he died before his time and had he lived for longer I'm sure he would have produced many more brilliant pieces. As for Widor, he wrote an excellent mass. Again, one of my favourites. Still, as they say, there's no accounting for taste!
  6. I find it sad that organs don't seem to deserve much public following in this country. Certainly not to compare with Germany and the Netherlands, or even France. Who can we blame? Well, the public, I suppose?
  7. I agree about the Cologne Cathedral organ, with which I have had a long-term interest, and it does produce an excellent sound. On that matter, there is a broadcast on Facebook tomorrow and weekly thereafter at 1845. Excellent close-ups of the player in action, of course! https://www.domradio.de/web-tv/orgelfeierstunde-drittes-konzert I watch these on Facebook using Amazon Firestick on our TV with good quality sound, though it should be possible to do it on a computer. Incidentally, it states 2000, but that is 1900 our time of course! EDIT: My apologies. I have just 'tuned in' to watch this evening's recital and find that it actually starts bang on 1900 (our time).
  8. Indeed. I'm pleased to hear that many found the presence, even the existence! of an organist fascinating. That is one of the reasons I mentioned it. I shouldn't be surprised to hear that some are not even aware of an organist, believing that the organ is a machine which plays itself, just like their HiFi at home! I always found the story of the famous organist W. T. Best amusing when, awaiting his prompt to play a town hall organ, the mayor announced to the audience that "The organ will now play", remained in his seat and when a questioning look from the mayor was forthcoming said, "Damn the organ, let it play!" I personally believe that the organist should be visible to the congregation (assuming s/he is willing!), just as everyone else on the 'stage' is. It might even result in the general public in this country taking more interest in the organ especially as, if the organ had as much public following here as in, say, Germany and the Netherlands, we might find that fewer organs in churches are being scrapped!
  9. A couple of interesting things occur to me here, not knowing anything about the Hexham instrument. Perhaps someone can help. Is it possible that the 'back' (the chancel side) of the organ is mainly covered up for a very good reason? That the organ, being so close to the choir stalls, might be too powerful here unless attenuated by the use of these boards, yet unobstructed at the nave side where a more powerful sound is needed. (Or perhaps the chancel and choir stalls are never actually used.) My other question, completely unrelated to this particular organ though brought to mind by the picture, concerns the common practice of providing a curtain to 'hide' the organist from view. Is this done for the organist's benefit, if s/he is a 'reserved' sort of person, or to avoid the congregation being aware of his/her presence as a distraction from the religious side of things? Hopefully, the curtain can be slid to one side if a recital is taking place!
  10. Very sad news, not only for the organ world as a whole, but also... I used to fancy her.😍
  11. Haha! I'll suggest that to 'Marge'! Fortunately, she has very good hearing so I don't find I have to repeat myself at all. On the other hand, she does... quite a lot. In fairness to her, though, she doesn't often become too angry with me!
  12. An interesting point. Actually, I find that my hearing aids help generally in attempting to correct my loss of high frequency perception and in many situations I am quite happy with things. However, when listening to Priory DVD demonstrations of various organs and specific stops, especially 2' and higher, above a certain point on the keyboard the sound completely disappears. I am sure that is due not to an inferior sound system, which mine is not, but due entirely to my ears. I'm sure a point must arise where, however good the hearing aids, a sound cannot be amplified when the ear is completely unable to perceive that frequency level. Conversely, when watching the television news, using the same sound system, I am quite repelled by the sharpness and power of some ladies' voices, especially American ones for some reason. However, I too find a distinct benefit to my hearing loss. As my father before me often did, I can justifiably claim that I hadn't heard something which I actually heard but didn't want to hear!
  13. It is indeed an impressive organ, though I'm surprised that it doesn't have a single 32' stop.
  14. Absolutely no apologies needed! I found your explanations both interesting and enlightening and I agree with them entirely. I might add that I respect and enjoy the benefit of your far greater knowledge of the subject. I have heard for myself that organs with relatively low wind pressure can be at least as 'loud' as the high-pressure ones which held sway in this country in the early 20th century. There are far more important factors in play: location within the building, the building itself, the use of strong mixtures, etc, etc. My personal preference has always been for a brighter sound, especially since my hearing has begun to deteriorate!
  15. Still pristine and unadulterated white despite my present location, I assure you! Yes, of course, I'm sure that stone roofs carry the sound of an organ better than wooden roofs which, I'm sure, must absorb much of the higher harmonics.
  16. What an excellent post! I am almost certain that the majority of the sound from a flue pipe comes from the mouth (though I stand to be corrected!), I'd be very interested to hear responses from more knowledgeable members to the several other questions. I do hope you receive a comprehensive list of answers!
  17. We visited a cathedral 'darn sarf' last year and were pleased to see that they didn't demand anything. Instead, they politely asked if anyone would like to contribute and suggested a suitable amount. From what I could see, everyone coughed up without question. Even I paid up perfectly willingly despite being, like you Tony, a 'tight-fisted Yorkshireman'! (Sorry.) Needless to say, I thought it far more friendly to do things that way than demand a set admission fee and I wonder whether the overall income might be higher when asking politely. 'Demanding' certainly rubs up many people the wrong way, myself included.
  18. Good heavens! It looks a bit like that Disney thing in America.
  19. Very interesting. Thank you.
  20. Haha! I can't remember to whom Ian Tracey was alluding, but probably the same man.
  21. Thank you. Whilst I agree that the York organ needed some changes to make it more powerful and able to project down the nave, I do like the idea of a wide tonal palette in an organ. Perhaps that is of secondary importance in the accompaniment of services, although I'm sure it must be useful in psalms, for example, and certainly in organ recitals. Of the losses of mutations from the York organ, I feel that the Cornet is perhaps the one I'd most like to keep. The Sesquialtera perhaps less so, and its replacement by the Harmonics might compensate to an extent depending on the sound of the latter stop. The Larigot is probably the least important and the use of the Nazard with the 16' on the Choir might possibly produce a similar solo voice, although the Larigot being such a small stop might have found space somewhere in the instrument! I suppose I must sound like Ian Tracey's 'knackered cart horse' - always wanting another stop.
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