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John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. I completely agree that we should have confidence in our own organ pedigree, but does that mean that we can't still take in some ideas from other national organ styles? I have heard the 1993 York Minster organ, both on recordings and live, and I feel that it still sounded completely 'English', at least to my ears! As I have mentioned earlier in this thread, I welcome the changes presently being made by Harrisons and am sure that there will be noticeable improvements, especially with regard to power and projection. However, I'd still have liked it to retain some of the voices being lost. The Cornet, for example, would surely not be out of character as cornets have been a feature of English organs for centuries.
  2. My advice would be simply to examine some existing scale plans to gauge typical space requirements for different stops. Of course, organ builders are expert at knowing how to squeeze things into limited spaces, but if you err on the side of generosity of space I think you'd be on safe ground!
  3. Although I have absolutely no qualifications or practical experience in organ design, it is one of my favourite 'hobbies' to design organs. Diagrammatically, I use an old, but still very workable installation of TurboCAD for detailed and accurately to scale projects, and also Photoshop Elements for less accurate attempts but with the advantage of modifying already published plans. I don't go so far as to include every single pipe and such things as electrical cabling, etc., but the basic layout of display pipes, wind chests, building frames and case work are more or less within my capabilities. Of course, written stop lists and the like are relatively easy!
  4. More likely 'worship groups'! Though not necessarily on the gallery.
  5. If the worst should happen and this church (along with others) is forced to close, perhaps the least we can hope for is for the organ to be bought by another church or organisation (quite likely abroad!) and consequently saved.
  6. Sadly, I agree. I have been to many organ recitals where I feel sad at the apparent lack of public interest, going by the size of the audience. I may have mentioned before that I attended a recital in Cologne Cathedral several years ago when the place was literally packed, many having brought along camping chairs to sit in the aisles as the pews were full. And, if I recall, that was a recital mainly of Messaien!
  7. Well that makes perfect sense to me! Thank you. Interesting, though, that Cappel was in equal temperament.
  8. How very interesting. Clever use of different octave couplers to make full use of the available stops. I wasn't aware of the 'Pedal Divide Solo Octave to Pedal' coupler until now. The more I hear about this organ, the more fascinating it becomes. Thank you.
  9. According to the 2020 Harrison specification, the Solo will include octave, unison off and sub-octave couplers, though it doesn't state whether or not the Tuba Mirabilis will be affected by these. I think if it were to be so, it would produce a devastating sound. I'm sure Robert Sharpe could clarify matters.
  10. Yes, I have had an interest in the development of the York Minster organ for many years. I remember reading somewhere that Francis Jackson described the instrument as changing 'chameleon-like' over the years to accommodate current tastes. Francis, of course, added a number of mutations (Cornet, Sesquialtera, Nazard, Tierce, Larigot) during his tenure, only two of which remain in the current rebuild which I think is a shame. Of course, we can't keep adding more and more stops into a limited amount of space and the additions and alterations being done by Harrisons at the moment will be, I think, a great advantage in making the instrument more assertive especially when being used with a full nave. I particularly like the addition of a second 32' reed in the Pedal and a Harmonics mixture in the Great. When all is completed, I very much hope that Priory might be persuaded to produce a second DVD/BD of the York Minster organ, which would provide an interesting comparison of the new with the old (a copy of which I already have, of course).
  11. I believe that such photos need to be viewed using a special apparatus such that the left picture is viewed by the left eye and the right with the right. I am able to cross my eyes to view such pictures, but the two would have to be exchanged side to side. I might try that using Photoshop when I have a few minutes.
  12. Interesting. I wonder what the boxes with crosses underneath the pipes are. At first, I thought they might be wood pipes, but that would be pointless.
  13. Thanks for this. We were there in March last year and, of course, visited St Stephan's. I wondered at the time, looking at the no-longer-functioning console, what the rebuild might turn out like. It does look like the previous organ facade but, reading the information provided, the contents seem to have been enlarged and the description of the internal layout is particularly interesting. I, too, look forward to hearing it at some time in the future.
  14. Yes, I enjoyed that. I thought the sound was really quite good even on my laptop speakers. A good choice of music, too, which should please most.
  15. Quite unusual and, yes, beautiful.
  16. NPOR states that in 1979 the bottom 8 pipes were removed 'to improve access'.
  17. 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!
  18. Thank you Martin. Corrected now. Some would say that I live in the past!
  19. 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!)
  20. Still quite narrow. I'll have a look for my booklet tomorrow when I have more time.
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
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