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Colin Harvey

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Everything posted by Colin Harvey

  1. Yes, Basilica is one of my favourites too! I've yet to try Rosa Mystica but I'll put it on the list. I see Prinknash Abbey do small boxes of incense for home use too.
  2. I have to admit to being a bit of a closet pyromanic too. I suggest these suppliers if you want the full authentic church incense experience: http://www.prinknashabbey.org/Incense.htm You can burn the charcoal tablets on a pile of sand or small pieces of gravel in a saucer. Hours of fun for the budding pyromanic. Enjoy!
  3. I've used the Mayhew Essential Book of Wedding Music for years. It's good. It's properly bound (the pages are sewn in, not just stuck in) and it's a practical size. It stays open (after suitable massaging) and has withstood a lot of use (including lots of travel) over the 9 or 10 years I've had it. It's still in very good condition - no rips or tears anywhere and the binding has shown no weaknesses. There's good selection of pieces and they're generally good arrangements - especially the Noel Rawsthorne arrangements. There are not too many arrangements by Colin Hand, either. Having also seen the Oxford Book of Wedding Music, I would say that the Mayhew book is more practical - the Oxford book tends to assume you'll always have 3 manuals and a Tuba. Good examples of these are the Mendelssohn Wedding March and the Bridal March. The Mayhew arrangements are slightly simpler but scale up well to large instruments - the Oxford arrangements start to pose difficult issues when you try to scale them down to a smaller instrument and require more thought to realise. Frequently, I don't want to think too much when playing for a wedding - best to keep things simple! Maybe the thing to do is get both and decide which one you prefer.
  4. I have a recording of this organ - Jean Costa playing Franck. It's a fabulous instrument. I don't think the recording is commercially available these days.
  5. Then I will have to hear it with my own ears as it would be equally foolish to unquestioningly believe everything that is said about it. So you'll have to put that recording up...
  6. I have heard it said that the organ of St.Joseph's (RC) Church, Ingrow is one of the best in Britain. There is even a source to prove it: http://www.knowhere.co.uk/Keighley/West-Yo...nfo/favbuilding So how could anyone possibly refute that it should not be mentioned in the same breath as St Barts Armley with a source like that? This surely must be recorded on the NPOR: http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N07254 I would be interested to hear a recording of the Reubke Sonata on this organ. I wonder if Musing Muso would be good enough to provide one? I am sure it would be all most interesting.
  7. I constantly have to remind myself the Internet is no place for idle chit-chat...
  8. I find Pachebel's Canon is quite a common choice for the entrance of the Bride these days. I use ... the Kevin Mayhew Wedding Collection for Organ (manuals and pedals). Although I steal myself to say it, it's actually a pretty good book - the Noel Rawsthorne transcriptions and many of the others are very good. Overally, I think the arrangements are generally slightly more straightforward than those in the Oxford Book of Wedding music and there's a good choice (including the Grand March from Aida and Wedding Day at Trolhagen) which suits me just fine. When I play the Pachelbel Canon to herald the entrance of the Bride, I start with the first 2 or 3 trio-texture variations over the ground bass on an 8' Open Diapason on each manual with the Pedal Bourdon and 8' Principal. I find it's best to play them as a trio as this creates the right sort of idiomatic texture for this music. I'm very lucky to have an organ with matching (and very lovely) Open Diapasons on both manuals, with a matching 8' Pedal Principal, and it's always a pleasure to use them in this manner. I then make a huge cut to the last 2 variations, which are 3 or 4 parts on the manuals, adding the Principal for a bit of brightness and sense of climax. It gives a good impression of the piece and is about the right length for our church nave, as well as being quite satisfying. I find it is possible to make some pretty huge cuts in this piece successfully as it is just a series of variations over a ground bass. When I started, I thought this piece was unsuited to the entrance of the bride because of the build-up but now I think it is pretty satisfying.
  9. JvO is renowned world wide for sticking to 1 registration through a prelude or a fugue movement and not changing manuals - he is renowned as one of the apostles for this approach in Bach. Listen to any of his Bach series recordings (especially the Wedge Fugue BWV548 and the G Minor Fugue BWV542) and read his notes in the booklets, go to any of his recitals (I most recently heard him play in Oxford in May/June this year). I'm not sure where you've heard Bach played recently in Holland. Last time I was in Holland (for the Schnitger Festival and Competition at Alkmaar in 2009), none of the finalists in the competition changed registration or manuals during the Bach Passacagilia. During none of the other recitals did an organist change manuals or registration during a Bach prelude or fugue movement, or a chorale prelude.
  10. MM, Read what I wrote carefully and you'll see I can be pretty accurate. Of course it starts at the Martinikerk - that is why I wrote "this video turns into a performance..."
  11. This video turns into a performance of Bach's Piece d'Orgue, skillfully cut between 3 Gottfried Silbermann organs, played by M.C.Alain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f3NxiQPFHU Interesting for 2 reasons: 1. The Dresden Hofkirche instrument relies on the pedal reed alone to balence against the Great Organ chorus, without a coupler. This is worth bearing in mind in relation to the discussion on independant pedal upperwork for Bach elsewhere on this forum. Usually the Silbermanns would not have a pedal coupler for an organ of 16.8.16 (those that do are usually later additions) - they would expect the (usually very forthright) pedal reed to carry the line by itself. 2. The similarity in sound between these 3 organs - they are almost identical, the difference being in the acoustic and the recording. This rather belies Peter William's assertion in his book The European Organ 1450-1850 that Gottfried Silbermann scaled and voiced differently for different buildings, citing the difference between the Georgenkirche and the Marienkirche as an example. A friend who had made the same pilgrimage said he was amazed how similar these 2 organs were - identical pipework, finished pretty much identically, in 2 very different buildings. Well folks, you can now make the comparison between these organs for yourself now - prepare to be astonished!
  12. I remember Stephen Bicknell visited the Trost organs in Thuringia and on his return even he privately raised serious concerns about Trost's sanity. He wrote a couple of very good articles about the Trost organs in Choir & Organ, which I would recommend to everyone to get a good understanding of these organs. The mixtures are indeed bizzare in Trost organs, even by the standards of the day. The chorus mixtures invariably include Tierces, in the 4' series in the bass but breaking back to the 16' series in the treble - yes - you'll find a 3 1/5 tierce in the Great mixture of even quite a modest 2 manual Trost. Then there are the many varied - and sometimes extremely bizzare - 8 foot stops. Things like double flutes, consisting of a single pipe divided into 2 stopped speaking parts, weird and fanciful strings and reeds. The boots of the reeds are very distinctive, with a wooden bottom half riveted onto a metal top half, with a wooden block (why?). Even the rack posts are turned and decorated into fanciful patterns that make most chess pieces look plain and simple in comparison. The key and stop actions are generally tangled and not straightforward. One gets the impression that they were a bit of an afterthought and Trost just fitted them in as he could. This means that the actions of Trost organs are usually not the best and often feel spongy and remote. However, it would be wrong to critise Trost's organs and write them off just for their strange mixtures and difficult key actions. What is immediately clear is the obsessive detail that Trost put into each of his organs, frequently spending many years fussing over all the details (I think the town council at Waltershausen had to take legal action against Trost after he was still working on the organ 4 years after its due completion date). His organs work because of the extremely high craftsmanship Trost put in and his obssessive attention to detail, normally at the expense of more pressing concerns. There really aren't any other organs built to this level of detail anywhere else in the world and because of this, Trost deserves a special place in the Pantheon of distinguished organ builders. So these organs really are worthy of special attention and the purpose of a visit (not just "worthy of a detour"), however much we may doubt the sanity of their creator. Pierre - thanks for the link to Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam - yes, absolutely right to make the point one doesn't need Schreinendwerk for rapid tempis (although it is perhaps a bit too hurried in this performance). What a wonderful piece. That 16' Quintatoen is a little star!
  13. "Beautiful - who would you ask to build it... " Oh, that's easy: Me (after about 10 years learning the craft and establishing a workshop that could build such an organ) "Prices could be lowered when re-using material (there's enough at hand, or it will travel to Holland ;-)) " The cost saving of re-using old materials isn't that great. Old pipes will need to be cleaned and restored and re-regulated too. This eats into the cost of making new pipes. The re-cycled pipes may not be ideal for purpose either, being of different scales, different finishing and constructions - so the risk is the organ ends up being a mongrel, of little musicial quality (which is not the idea). The majority of the costs of a new organ aren't in the pipes but the rest of the organ. For a project like this and a cursory glance at the photos of the current organ, I'd say you need an entirely new design internally - new frame, wind system, actions, new soundboards, new casework to the north arch, new console and the old case will need restoration too.
  14. I've been having a think about what sort of organ I would build in St. Peters and NPOR and the excellent page on church website (http://www.stpetersnottingham.org/music/organ.htm) provides a lot of information and photos. NPOR gives the specification of the original 1812 organ here: http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=C00952 and its subsequent ... development... I note the organ is by Lincoln and aspertions are cast whether the case is in fact by Snetzler. I rather suspect the Keraulaphon on the pre-1863 specification is a later addition. Layout The Great Organ would be in the "Snetzler" case, facing west in the North Transept, all of it forward of the arch, for which it may be necessary to deepen the case (I suspect this case has already been hacked about and probably only the frontage survives). Speaking west, finally fully released into the main body of the church, with a full chorus from 16' to mixture (the large quint mixture could reach into the 16 foot series in the treble), it would be the principal division to accompany the congregation - the 16' tone would support the men's voices as they sing down an octave. The Great case would not have a back, allowing the divisions behind it to speak through the Great Organ into the main body of the church, but we would need to accept the Great Organ would be the dominant force. Immediately behind the Great case, in the chamber, would be the small pedal soundboard at slightly lower level. This would still allow the Pedal Trumpet 8 and Principal 8 to get the space they need to give the pedal line some definition. More pedal upperwork could be specified if there is space and the appetite for it. The larger pedal ranks would be along the north wall of the chamber but not tucked in behind the swell box. From there they should be able to get round the corner into the building, as benefits long wavelength notes, but without blocking the Swell Organ. The Swell Organ would be behind/east of the small pedal chest at a higher level, speaking west over the tops of the small Pedal and Great organs as much as possible to get the sound out. This would to enable it to speak out behind the Great Organ in the traditional British manner and colour the Great Organ for variety of tone accompanying the hymns and assist in the build up in the traditional manner. I have kept the Swell organ as small as possible so the box can be as compact as possible without crowding the planting to encourage good projection. In addition, the acoustics of the organ chamber will need to be made as good as possible to get the sound out - such things as a soft wood ceiling and soft porous plaster might need careful redecoration or covering. Although the Swell Organ would point west, the swell box would also have shutters facing north, into the chancel through the North chancel arch. In front of it, in and in front of the arch, the Choir Organ would occupy a new case, speaking south into the chancel to accompany the choir. The Choir Organ would have plenty of foundation and 4' tone to accompany the choir without overwelming it and acts as a miniature Great Organ, with the Swell Organ behind it. There would be passage boards between the Great Organ and Small Pedal Organ soundboards, in front of the swell box and down the south side of the swell box to get access to the Choir Organ. The Great organ is based on the 1812 specification and the nature of the organ would be what if a first rate Victorian builder like Hill had rebuilt the Lincoln organ in about 1860 into a comprehensive 3 manual town church organ: Great Organ 1. Double Diapason 16 (stopped bass, maybe an open treble - maybe not unlike an Aubertin Portunal) 2. Open Diapason 8 3. Stopped Diapason 8 4. Principal 4 5. Flute 4 6. Twelfth 3 7. Fifteenth 2 8. Sesquialtera III (17.19.22, 12.15.17) 9. Mixture IV (19.22.26.29) 10. Trumpet 8 11. Clarion 4 Swell Organ 12. Bourdon 16 13. Open Diapason 8 14. Stopped Diapason 8 (CB for Gambe) 15. Gambe 8 Tc 16. Voix Celestes 8 Tc 17. Principal 4 18. Mixture IV (15.19.22.26) 19. Fagotto 16 20. Cornopean 8 21. Oboe 8 Choir Organ 22. Open Diapason 8 (in case prospect, maybe to tenor G if space precludes a full bass) 23. Keraulophon 8 (maybe to tenor C if space is limited) 24. Gedeckt 8 (common bass) 25. Gemshorn 4 26. Suabe Flute 4 27. Piccolo 2 28. Clarinet 8 Pedal Organ 29. Grand Open Diapason 16 30. Violone 16 31. Bourdon (s) 16 32. Quint 12 33. Principal (s) 8 34. Trombone 16 35. Trumpet (s) 8 Pedal pipes marked (s) are on the small Pedal Organ soundboard. Swell to Great Swell to Choir Choir to Great Swell to Pedal Great to Pedal Choir to Pedal Registration aids as appropriate - if it is EP action, I would suggest 1-6 Divisionals and generals with stepper, with unlimited memory; if the action is to be fully mechanical I would suggest 1-4 composition pedals to the Great and Swell organs, with a reverser for Great to Pedal and Pedal Trombone. I wondered if it was worth putting the Clarinet on to the Great Organ in this case. As the Great Organ would not have a role accompanying the Choir, it could be better used for the typical solo voices for choral accompaniment. If a high-pressure party horn is deemed vital, it could be put either above or in front of the small pedal organ, if there is space, playable from the Choir Organ keys. I do not think a Great Reeds on Choir transfer or making the Great Reeds available on the Choir Organ for solo purposes would be appropriate on this organ. I would suggest this scheme could do all the proposed organ can do, for about 2/3 of the stops. It would be very fine for Baroque music as well as Romantic and modern music - there is the potential to perform much of the French Classical school. Although one really needs the real thing to do it authentically (and many modern eclectic instruments fall short), this organ should be able to muster a Plein Jeu avec Pedale de Trompette, Grand Plein Jeu and Petit Plein Jeu, Grand Jeu, dialogue sur le Cromorne et Cornet (using the Great Sesquialtera - not authentic but it should work), Basse et Dessus de Trompette, etc. Bach chorales and choral partitas shouldn't be an issue either - the 4' pedal reed can be achieved using the Great Clarion and there should be a good chorus for the Preludes and Fugues. The French Romantic and German Romantic schools shouldn't be out of the question and it should be a natural at the English schools of music. With the large, west-facing Great Organ, it would be well-placed to accompany the congregation and the north-facing Choir Organ should be able to dispatch its choral accompanimental duties with aplomb. In addition, it would be a pesuasive and flexible recital instrument. My main concern with this organ would be what to do with the action - with 2 divisions facing west and another facing south, there could be some difficult action runs for at least one of the divisions and such is the distance in the organ that the actions might end up heavy and spongey if the action is mechanical. A pneumatic or electro-pneumatic action might be a more pragmatic choice. The only other fly in the onitment is that such an organ would cost in the region £600,000-£700,000...
  15. Yes, I noticed the alternative stop facility. I noticed there are also alternatives for the real pipe stops as well and I presume these alternatives are electric. I know one of the contributors does work installing electronic simulation organs and showed me how he selects samples of stops and adjusts them to work so the electronic works and sounds properly. On the other hand, I think there's a danger of giving these tools to somebody who doesn't know what they're doing - the results could "interesting" to say the least!
  16. I find I sympathise with St Peters, with some reservations. It's clear that St Peter's has many of the issues which are common in UK churches with their organs. The first common issue is that it's clear their organ has lost its way through numerous rebuilds and even if it were restored properly it would still continue to be a poor instrument. Although their present organ is evidently unworthy of restoration, it is clear there are elements of the organ that deserve to be retained and the church has a duty of custodianship so that these features may be enjoyed by future generations. I would have liked to have read more about the Snetzler organ in the report and how came in to being at St Peters as I think this lends extra interest and weight to the project. Reading between the lines, I believe they are trying to say the current chamber is too small or inappropriate to host an organ of the size they think is necessary for the building and they cannot find an acceptable alternative location for the organ. Again, all three of these issues are very common in the UK. So I can see the logic of their solution, although they have omitted to mention some important disbenefits with their proposal: 1. Electronic simulation organs are temporary solutions, with a life of about 20 years before major work is required. The best arguments for an electronic organ acknowledge that they are ephemeral solutions and the long-term strategy is for a pipe organ. 2. A hybrid organ will require the same renewal schedules as a simulation organ. What will happen to the pipe elements of these instruments when they are renewed? And what will people think of a Spitz Principal in 20 years time? Such a stop is already 30 years out of date! Will the pipework of such an instrument be of that high quality that it'll deserve retention? 3. People above have already outlined the technical and musical problems of merging pipes and speakers – the difference in the way the sound propagates, tuning and that the sounds don't really blend. Next to real pipes (whatever their provenance), the shortcomings of electronic simulations are painfully obvious, even to the uninitiated. This only grows as the speakers age, the amplifiers lose their grip and the sounds become more and more "electronic". So the musicians may find themselves relying more and more on the real pipe parts of the instrument. 4. The maintenance of the organ will require the same maintenance schedule as a pipe organ, plus the same service agreement with the electronic supplier – so it's not going to be the cheapest organ to maintain. 5. I'm sure a hybrid organ can cope with a Sunday morning accompanying hymns and anthems but I don't see how it will fulfill the church's further aspirations. This proposed instrument does not have enough musical integrity to make itself a persuasive musical instrument in its own right. Concert halls spend a lot of money on the finest concert grand pianos for piano concerts and recitals and they don't use top-end clavinovas. I think that when the initial interest and excitement dies down, I'm not sure this organ will support a long-term recital series. 6. The specification of the proposed organ is extremely odd. 52 stops and no Great Reeds? Is this a G.Donald Harrison influence? What is a 4' Rohr Schamei doing on a Pedal Organ in 2010? The pairing of a Claribella (sic) and a Koppel Flute on the Great Organ? No Tierce on a Choir Organ that has all the other fractions? Is a Krummhorn on the Choir Organ really typical of the English Parish Church Organ they wish to emulate? Or that useful for choral accompaniment? I could go on… my point is that this specification is truly eclectic but lacks any sense of musical integrity or purpose behind it. Musically, it has the same lack of direction of the organ it replaces. So I wish them well – they have a difficult situation but I wish I was less ambivalent about their proposed solution. I would have preferred to see a proposal that uses the best features of the old organ more sensitively and to better advantage to create a musical instrument with a clear sense of purpose and direction. Only by doing that would St Peters have a chance of providing themselves with an organ that can fully realise the profile they intend for it.
  17. I use it all the time...
  18. I don't play for funerals that often but I played the Parry Chorale Preludes on "Eventide" and "St.Cross" from Set 2 at a funeral recently. Both are very appropriate - Eventide is very obvious while St.Cross has the sub-title "O come and mourn with me awhile" and has great emotional depth and power. Brahms chorale preludes - I've used "O Gott, du Frommer Gott", which I thought was especially powerful. Bach Chorale preludes - there are so many to choose from, from Orgelbuchlein, the 18 and Clavierubung III. Don't forget the Chorale Partitas either. One I'm particularly keen on right now is "Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf" from Orgelbuchlein. Sweelinck "Mein Junges Leben" - especially poignient for someone who dies before their time. Howells Master Tallis's Testament Reger Benedictus, Op 59/9. Elgar - Chanson de matin I thought long and hard about playing "Nun Dankett alle Gott" by Karg-Elert at a recent funeral and I didn't play it in the end - I was a bit worried some people might mis-interpret it.
  19. Thanks for that playlist link MM. I'm just remembering how fabulous those reeds are on those organs. So rich, so lyrical and so expressive. And really sensitive - I found (to my frustration) you really need to know how to play to get them to sound like that. Getting the best of those reeds means you really need to understand how the organ breathes and how your touch affects it. I agree it's very feasible and worthwhile to play Reger on a large, well-found British organ, although sadly most of the recorded performances of Reger on these organs I've heard tends to fall into the "bombastic but empty" camp. I find it's fascinating and very instructive to see Reger being played on a Sauer by people like Henrico and Heinz Wunderlich. Tonally, the Sauers seem to have a depth and 3 dimensional quality to their sound that I haven't found in any British organs I've heard. It's not just that they can be loud and magnificent, it's that there's a depth and airiness to the majestic sound that's unique to these organs. Listen to the Berliner Dom on a really good sound system and you'll hear what I'm talking about - the effect is very subtle though and passes many by. These organ;s subtle quality isn't about loudness but depth, richness and grandeur of sound. It's also surprising how clear their sound is too - all those massed 8 foot stops don't seem to muddy the aural waters at all...
  20. I hope you don't mind if I post another, very interesting (and IMNSHO a very fine) performance of the Reger Toccata in D minor Op.59: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZzQzrVJhfw There's more on the website in the commentary.
  21. I hope you don't mind me picking up these points as I'm not sure it is fair or accurate to say that the RCO have mis-managed their funds. At the time they pulled out of the Curzon Street project, they citied the reasons that the project would put them under too much financial pressure in the future if they were to continue and that in the interests of the future of the organisation, the prudent thing was to stop the project and come up with alternative office space arrangements. Those of us who have experience of business will know that one of the hardest things to do is to stop a project if it looks like it is going to overburden the organisation financially - for starters, it can be difficult to spot in not-for-profit organisation and it is exetremely difficult to stop a project an organisation believes is central to its core mission and future, notwithstanding how the U-turn will look externally. I admire the RCO because I know how difficult that decision must have been and they did something very brave. What is wrong with using alternative working arrangements, like home working, to conduct their business? Such working arrangements are becoming more and more accepted in the working world these days - the cost benefits are clear and modern technology has a huge impact - and the RCO is ahead of the curve on this. I'm not aware of any evidence that the RCO have mis-managed their funds. The danger of saying - or even implying - that they have, in public (like on an Internet forum), without any real evidence to back it up, is that it is technically an act of defamation... Of course, the choice of whether to be a member of the RCO is a purely personal choice - whether you feel you want to support its mission or whether you feel you get good value and services for your membership subscription. Some people will look at it from the more self-centred "what do I get for my money" perspective, while others will view it from the more altruistic reason that they want to support the organisation in its mission and aims, whether or not they get much back from it for themselves.
  22. I've been doing a little bit of research on this organ, which leads me to think that the "Bombarde en Chamade" is in fact NOT en Chamade at all but a conventional, hooded, trumpet placed facing into Quite on the north side of the screen case immediately behind the curtain. I'm also led to think this stop takes up a single slide on a 2 stop 1916 Harrison & Harrison soundboard which was originally home to the 12'' (later 15'') high pressure Great Reeds and supplanted in 1993 for a 4 stop soundboard for the Great reeds on 7'' pressure. I think I am right to say that the Great and Swell sounboards still run East-West, with the Swell box on the north side of the case, Great Organ to the south - so I guess some would conclude the principal divisions of this organ speak south! Yes, the metal rolling equipment used by Hill in 1833 is really quite remarkable - and of course, the invention has been used ever since to curve metal for funnels, boilers, etc - one wonders what the Victorians would have done without it!
  23. "Organs of particular types and aesthetics are undoubtedly better for teaching particular types and aesthetics of organ literature because they encourage the successful application of the techniques associated with said types and aesthetics" Yes, agreed. Unfortunately, despite much recent investment, there are very few new organs in Cambridge that are convincing examples of organs of particular types and aesthetics. There's Kings, which is one of the ultimate late Symphonic English Romantic organs by H&H. I like Pembroke too, which I think still has something to say as an honest and principled reconstruction of an organ in the early English style, from which much was learnt and it's an engaging musical experience to play and listen to. Then what? So many of the recent organs - Emmanuel, Selwyn, Kats, Caius, Jesus, Robinson - are all modern eclectic instruments. Some of them may pay lip service to some historic style of building but none of them are really convincing examples of any recognised school of organbuilding, with faithful attention paid to construction methods, design, voicing, consoles and finishing. This isn't to say they're bad organs - they're not. But if a centre of education and research excellence like Cambridge, with a world-class reputation, can't provide the opportunities for historical research into varied organ building practices in their many chapels and halls, uncovering historical, musical and social insights in the process, then where in the UK can? The opportunities for principled historical research have been overlooked - or simply not recognised - alongside the opportunities to provide world-class facilities for their education programmes. There are some fine brains in the organ world that have much to offer and gain by being involved with such projects and collaborating with such organisations. When we look at what what places like Gothenburg and the American institutions have achieved (and the consequent benefits to the North American and Continental organ building and organ playing world), then it seems there is an opportunity that the UK institutions have just not grasped yet. "Is it thought that English builders can't/didn't produce instruments of a high tonal & mechanical calibre? Do all recent installations prove that continental builders can/do?" I think if they had the opportunities as described above, then this concern would evaporate - I think these opportunities would give the opportunity for British builders to raise their game and fully realise the potential some individuals and firms clearly have. But while they remain fully commercial concerns making largely eclectic instruments for clients that simply want to play as many different styles of music as is possible - but rarely providing the necessary opportunities for collaboration and research to make these organs as convincing as possible - then what chance do they have? While I know many places in the UK are now making more and more study trips abroad and this is great, I think many of our students and organ scholars would benefit from having access to historical reconstructions of organs on their doorsteps, for teaching, practice and performance. Just to illustrate my point: Why isn't there, say, a Silbermann copy of the Georgenkirke, Rötha or a Treutmann organ in one of the Oxbridge chapels - Georgenkircke is a small, intimate building with much wood pannelling, not unlike some of the chapels. How about a reconstruction Sauer somewhere? Wouldn't it be exciting and of great benefit to British Organ building and the organ worlds if, say, Manders and H&H had collaborated to build such an organ, partnered with academic research at, say, Cambridge and the RAM, with detailed survey trips abroad and careful research into construction processes. This instrument could have also supported academic and musicological research into performance practices, the music written for such instruments, their use, with musicians from both the UK and abroad for Symposia to discuss the results. Bazuin's example of modern music written for historic instruments is just one example of the products that can flower from such projects and the results trickle down into the real world, as seen in some of the supremely fine players who play with real musical insight and organs that are built by people like Fritts, Richards Fowkes, Van Eeken and Flentrop. We can argue that these things have already been done. But we always need to train new builders and new organists and continuing such projects into the future gives each generation the opportunity to fully engage with the heritage of their professional sphere and to learn from it, building on the insights of previous generations.
  24. This on the Taylor & Boody website: http://www.taylorandboody.com/opus_pages/o...cification.html Looks interesting (and it's certainly not a box organ with a schwimmer), but I'm not sure quite what it is... There are some fanciful names but it's not clear what school of organ this really belongs to. It's not an early English chamber organ (think Smith, his descedants or earlier) and it's not really of any other school - Italian, Flemish, or otherwise. The closest it looks to me is of the later Dutch "cabinet" organs of the 18th and 19th century, normally made for domestic use but the stop names and style of the case are not typical and these organs are hardly Renaissance in their nature. However, T&B are wonderful builders, the spec is rather clever and I'm sure the results will be magical. The chapel looks rather small from the photos on the college website. How big is it? If it's as small as it looks, is it really the place for a 30 stop, 3 manual organ?
  25. I've heard good reports of the latest Flentrop at Chelsea. I doubt we're talking about another large, anodyne, or merely eccentric euro-organ but something of real musical and artistic value and subltety. I've heard the Chelsea Flentrop is refined and "English" but still inbued with a good deal of character and musical interest - and I'm not talking about chiff and stratospherically high mixtures, which is sometimes mistakenly described as such by the neo-classicists. Rather to the contrary, I understand the latest Flentrops are voiced with nearly zero starting transient - more like a Victorian organ, and with relatively low-pitched mixtures - I think Dunblane and Eton School Hall Great mixtures both reach into the 16 foot series in the treble, which no English builder has dared to do in living memory - I don't believe even St. Ignatius has 16' mixtures on the manual divisions. I rather suspect it's a case of the Dutch speaking English better than the English... The Taylor and Boody sounds interesting too - there are not enough of these types of organ on these shores. I just hope we're talking about a proper organ here, not another box organ with a schwimmer wind supply. What sort of style are we talking here? I was very impressed with an 18th century Italian Positivo style instrument I heard and played last summer, which was about 6 stops in 1/4 comma meantone temperament. I'm dieing to see somebody build a Renaissance style instrument with an F-compass and meantone temperament on these shores. Something in the Italian mould, or taking its cues from the Choir Organ at the Laurenskerk in Alkmaar would be very exciting.
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