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Mander Organs

CT_Worcester

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About CT_Worcester

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  1. I have just caught up with this thread. Sumsion's pacing of the second movement is, for me, just perfect - spacious and lyrical. Everyone else I have heard it plays it as if they have a train to catch. I don't think it is true to say that Dr Sumsion never set foot in the Cathedral after the new organ was installed. I'm pretty sure he was there at the opening recital in 1971. The last time I saw him was in the Cathedral during Three Choirs' week in 1980. As far as I know, he was on excellent terms with John Sanders, whose baby the HN&B organ was - at least I never heard otherwise during the years I was living near Gloucester. As to Elgar's choral music, I've never heard anything as electrifying as the 1969 Worcester recording of Give unto the Lord, with Christopher Robin at the wheel.
  2. I remember when I studied harmony in France years ago they insisted on the soprano, alto and tenor C-clefs being used. No idea whether this is still current.
  3. Well, this introduces the point, doesn't it, that there are any number of Victorian cases that are absolutely hideous, despite the decoration of the pipes. Durham Cathedral is a good example: when I looked through the calendar celebrating the centenary of the H&H 1905 rebuild, I was astonished at the beautiful workmanship that went into those cases. But the result is still far from pleasing. You only have to look at pictures of the old Smith cases (fortunately not completely lost) in their original position, to see the beauty of what was lost in the Victorian restoration. If you look at the simlar arrangements of front pipes at Salisbury and St Mary Redcliffe (both undecorated), you can see that the Durham cases are not much better, for all the wonderful decoration. (Love the sound of the Durham organ, by the way - James Lancelot's recording of Messiaen's La Nativité and L'Ascension is a complete joy.) A really beautiful Victorian case - with painted pipes - is at Hanbury Parish Church in Worcestershire. NPOR says it's a Nicholson organ, but the case could have been designed by somebody like Bodley - it's very reminiscent of some of his other work.
  4. Gloucester Cathedral is one of the better-known examples of decorated pipes. Most of the display pipes are (i) painted, and (ii) speaking, the main exception being the gilded display pipes in the chaire case which are, in fact, made of wood. Both East and West fronts are decorated in this way. The pipe shades on the West front are painted as well, rather than carved. As is well documented elsewhere, the chaire case was dated (by Rev F.W Sutton) as 1579, and the main case (by Thomas Harris) - I think - 1665 or 6. Both cases were extensively restored in 1971 at the time of the HN&B rebuild. http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/gallery/...nicholson.shtml
  5. A favourite read from my childhood was William Mayne's 'A Swarm in May'. The story was set in a fictional cathedral (but based on Gloucester). The character of the headmaster, Mr Ardent, was reputedly based on Clive Pare, one-time precentor of the Cathedral and headmaster of the King's School.
  6. When I saw the specification, it reminded me of a Vowles organ in St Barnabas, Gloucester (2 manuals, but similar preponderance of 8ft ranks, two heavy reeds, and no upperwork to speak of), and the recording confirms the impression to a large extent. It's absolutely years since I played the St Barnabas organ, but I did not find it a rewarding instrument to play. A three-decker by Vowles at Holy Trinity, Bath was a much more satisfactory organ (when I last played it 25+ years ago), but, again, the reeds tended to swamp everything. One is tempted to say the CHS organ is worth preserving just because it is an EM Skinner, but I should be struggling otherwise. To the suggestions already made about repertoire (Howells, Whitlock, Rheinberger, Reger), I would add 'orchestral transcriptions'. Henry
  7. I may be way off the mark here, but I think John Scott's recording of the piece at St Paul's is nearer 100 dotted crotchets pm than 67, even in so resonant a building as that. Haven't listened to the piece for while, however. Henry
  8. I don't know why builders include the tuba in the 'tutti'. I remember hearing a fine improvisation at Hereford Cathedral ruined when the final peroration was swamped by the tuba, which was either the last stage of the general crescendo, or on the 'tutti' piston. I think heavy users should be made to provide credit card details before being able to draw the tuba and solo to great; either that, or agree to undergo therapy!
  9. I should like to add my thanks to Adrian and Chris for a memorable and most enjoyable day. Thanks also to David Morrison for giving us access to the library, and the fascinating documentation relating to the organs of the Cathedral. I'm ashamed to admit that it, in all my years in Worcester, it was my first visit to the library! It was a great pleasure to meet some of my fellow board members and hear them play, and to hear the range of music that the Tickell organ is able to handle in a very musical and convincing way; a delight, also, to hear the choir in such fine voice! As readers of previous posts will be aware, I was fond of the old organ, having grown up with it, but I am very happy to admit that the installation of the new instrument brings to a close a very doubtful century in the history of the Cathedral's organs. Favourite wish? To hear the Elgar Sonata no. 1 in the Cathedral, on an instrument that can finally do it justice! Henry
  10. I attended a magnificent recital by David Sanger at the Town Hall last night. It was the first time I have heard the organ since the hall re-opened. I must say the old girl was in terrific voice, though, sadly, the audience fell short of the usual numbers of Birmingham organ enthusiasts. I know that the changes made in 2007 were not extensive, but it seemed to me that the organ had more 'presence' in the hall than formerly, and the choruses, right up to full organ with bombarde division, were impressive. Maybe the refurb of the hall has given it a more sympathetic acoustic: I always felt the sound fell a bit flat formerly. The programme was as follows: J.S. Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fugue Mendelssohn Andante in D, with Variations Franck Grande Pièce Symphonique Bingham Roulade Schumann Four Sketches for Pedal-Piano Vierne Tempo di Scherzo, Largetto & Final (From Symphony No 5 in A minor) There was an encore - Leo Sowerby's 'Carillion', which showed off the new Whitechapel bells to great effect. What particularly struck me about the recital was the way in which a British 19th-century town hall organ can deal with the French romantic repertoire in a thoroughly authentic way - as another member of the audience put it, "He got sounds out of the organ that I've never heard before!"
  11. Adrian, could you count me in also for the 31st? Many thanks. Henry Cairns-Terry
  12. Barry is right. At the FD level, no VAT charged, but the FD suffers VAT on his cost inputs. FD's typically recover 15% or so of their input VAT overall, as some supplies they make are taxable, eg flowers etc. I've checked the Exempt Schedule, and the VAT exemption for Burials and Cremations is very restrictive - it only covers disposal of the remains of the dead / making arrangements for... I'm glad to see DHM is being careful to declare his crem fees. HMRC had a purge on these a few years ago and it was found that a lot of doctors had missed crem fees off their tax returns. Has DHM thought of going for a Flat Rate Scheme - reduces effective rate of VAT that has to be paid?
  13. Further to some earlier discussions on this thread about the Hope-Jones organ at Worcester Cathedral, here is an essay by Colin Pykett entitel Elgar's Organ Sonata and the Organs at Worcester Cathedral. I don't think this has been referred to before in these pages.
  14. I must be about ten pages behind with this fascinating thread... I remember the tuba profunda well from my days as a schoolboy attending Cathedral services, which I did both pre- and post the H&H rebuild. It and the 8ft extension were extraordinarily loud, probably too loud for general use. Harry Bramma would normally couple down the solo bombarde 16, eg in the Vierne Carillion, where it provided a very effective moto perpetuo. The tuba profunda was wonderful for congregational accompaniment - no rousing final verse was complete without a thunderous bass line! Incidentally, I always understood that the diaphones were not working by the seventies - I seem to remember Colin Beswick telling me they had not worked for several years. The Great Cathedral Organs recording (which I also have) was made in, I think, 1969, and it sounds to me like the tuba profunda that CR used in the Mendelssohn Sonata no. 3. That piece also features the solo orchestral trumpet - a scorching stop which I don't think survived the 1972 rebuild, at least, not in its original form. The double-tongued tuba was used for the reprise at the end of the first movement of the Mendelssohn. Like Captain Foulenough, it was asked to leave... After 1972, the Solo was effective as a bombarde division - you got caught in the cross-fire if you were in the crossing when full organ was playing, as I once was for a memorable performance of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony!
  15. I remember seeing a piece in an old edition of "The Organ" from fifty years or so ago on the C-C / Mutin scheme. The specification was listed, and read much as you might expect. There was also a photo of a scale model of the organ - a very fine-looking and ornate case with at least two 32' towers. It was not clear from the article where the organ was to go. From what I recall, the project did get some way, and funds were raised; they were ultimately diverted to pay for repairs to the fabric. So AC-C's dearest wish remained unrealised.
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