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Mander Organs

John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. Skilfully dragging this thread back to its original intent(!), I suspect that the advent of the RFH organ may have influenced Francis Jackson (of whom I have the greatest respect) to have the York Minster organ altered (by Walkers in around 1960) to be more akin to the neo-Baroque sound. This, of course, is presently being restored by Harrisons to revert to the sort of instrument they worked on in around 1917 and 1930. To misquote Francis Jackson, the York organ changes 'chameleon-like' to suit the differing tastes of the time.
  2. I don't doubt it, but I wonder whether that was anything to do with all the loud sounds (films, television, heavy traffic, aircraft, pop music, bingo callers!, etc.) to which we are all subjected these days.
  3. I have absolutely no evidence to support this, but in my opinion the answer is quite simple: education. I was lucky. My interest in the organ began (I think) at junior school at a Christmas church service, in which one of our own teachers played the organ. Presumably, the regular organist was unavailable. I was even more lucky at grammar school where our music master was the local cathedral organist, so we received more than our fair share of organ music. Unfortunately, I believe that most schools in those days did not take much interest in the organ and, moreover, I suspect t
  4. I thought it sounded quite direct, to say the sounds were coming from the triforium, though I don't know where the microphone was placed.
  5. Yes, so I understand. Still, there's no reason they can't contribute if they want to. After all, the RC Church makes regular use of the cathedral... AND the organ!
  6. They seem as believable and trustworthy as our politicians! I suppose the Roman Catholic Church might chip in then? I'm sure they can afford it.
  7. If the device could be connected to the page turner via Bluetooth (or similar) the user wouldn't look ridiculous, assuming that the device can be enclosed in the mouth. Who knows, in the not-too-distant future we might see such connections being possible using electrical signals directly from the brain! Sorry. I'm getting silly now.
  8. If that turns out not to be possible, perhaps we should ask ourselves is there is any part of the organist's body not occupied in playing or registration changes. Before any untoward suggestions are considered, what crossed my mind was a small tube including a pressure sensor inserted in the organists mouth: blow to turn page; suck to turn back a page. No, I'm being serious!
  9. Just to add my four penn'orth, I do agree with the Larigot as I have always seen the Choir organ (in modern organs) as a 'colour' division to supplement the usual Great and Swell (and Solo, but in a different way). I'd go further, though, and add a Septime 1 1/7' as well, and even a 1'! I have to disagree with enclosing the Choir, though.
  10. Thanks Adrian. I can certainly appreciate that 'the Well' can be used for stand-alone services (and, incidentally, would have liked the projected nave bridge organ to have been built as originally intended). However, I still doubt its usefulness as an overflow area for large congregations. The very interesting book I have detailing the design and building of that great cathedral explains that that was the original intention for its addition as the building progressed. However, I feel that it would have been better made to be on the same level as the central space for the reasons I gav
  11. Apologies for straying off-topic, but when I last attended a recital there the central space was fairly full but nowhere near to capacity, although I'm sure it is sometimes though. What I'd really like to know is how often the nave (beyond the bridge) is occupied, either for recitals or services. Certainly, there is capacity for enormous numbers if the whole building were to be used, nave and possibly chancel included, but I wonder whether the nave is really surplus to requirements in practice. Has anyone here had first-hand experience of the nave being occupied? As I understand it
  12. Yes, of course. Come to think of it, my visit was much later than the Willis era.
  13. I remember when I enjoyed a visit some years ago to the Willis premises in Liverpool seeing a couple of old cars, possibly Rolls Royce, proudly displayed in one side of the factory. Perhaps that might have given Willis the idea. Perhaps the fuel gauges came from those very cars!
  14. Yes indeed, both Canterbury and York. To be able to hear high quality recordings of both, both 'before' and 'after', would be very interesting and enlightening. Of course, I haven't forgotten Robert Sharpe's kind offer. Personally, I wouldn't want to actually play the organ - I'd embarrass myself! But to be able to hear individual stops and combinations of stops demonstrated would be very interesting indeed.
  15. It could provide a tremulant effect if not properly pasted down!
  16. That instrument on ebay looks a very attractive proposition, certainly for £250, although I'm sure the offers will have become much higher 'nearer the time'. In common with many other such items on ebay, though, it would have been helpful to have had a little more information. Still, I'd be tempted despite it being at the other end of the country.
  17. Thanks for that information, MM. Yes, the 32' harmonics at Gloucester Cathedral do sound very effective in creating a 32' tone, going by the Priory DVD in which the organist demonstrates them. Of course, I have only heard them on my TV's sound system.
  18. Sorry to resurrect this thread, but if the new Canterbury Cathedral organ is to be recorded, I'd really like to see a similar thing done with the new York Minster organ after Harrisons have finished their work.
  19. Yes, that was the problem I mentioned on Tuesday. Did Compton, in improving Hodges' idea, manage to overcome to any extent this disadvantage, other than the use of a separate pipe for each two notes of course?
  20. On the subject of polyphones, I have just happened across a small passage in Sumner which mentions that one Dr Edward Hodges, organist of St James's, Bristol "devised polyphonic pedal pipes, an example of which was shown by Ducci in his organ at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and later were perfected and used by John Compton in recent years." Hodges described these pipes (in the Quarterly Musical Magazine and review of 1827) as "on the flute principle ... in one of the sides of the pipe, apertures are cut, near which pallets or stoppers are affixed so as to cover or close them tightly", a
  21. Absolutely. And the bi-phonic option would be even better and nearer to the conventional type of stop. This, of course, is only for the bottom octave, presumably, and the rest would be conventional pipes.
  22. Hahahaha! That poor girl! How useful such a stop might be for when congregations' singing goes off-key.
  23. My grovelling apologies. I meant to write DIAPHONES and not POLYPHONES, the former being what was under discussion. It was late and I was tired (that's my excuse anyway)! Of course, these are two completely different animals. Whereas I think that diaphones could be very useful in respect of the sounds they can produce, I'm afraid I'm no fan of polyphones which I regard as a cheap substitute. They must be tantamount to producing a rank of conventional pipes, each of exactly the same diameter/scale, in which case the sound would become increasingly more foundational as the notes p
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