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P DeVile

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Posts posted by P DeVile

  1. On 18/08/2020 at 12:05, headcase said:

    In later years, Deane organ builders identified that the action valves exhausting the Swell power-motors were too small, choking their response


    Another issue with the Swell being audibly slow at the console was because of where it was in the chamber. I was assistant to HNBs MD, Frank Fowler in the London office for 14 months and Dudley Holroyd (who was a great musician etc but could also be a tad awkward...) was convinced that this was due to badly adjusted actions. Frank thought otherwise and so we both went there and hung a microphone in the Swell connected to a small amplifier and headphones. When playing the organ normally, the swell was a fraction behind the great but when he put the headphones on, there was hardly any delay. Headcase will correct me but I think the swell box was behind the arch but the great under or in front. 

  2. 9 hours ago, Contrabombarde said:

    And what do organ builders recommend to clean and disinfect surfaces with?

    A small amount of Methylated spirits on a cloth is sufficient to wipe over keys and stop knobs but never soak them.


  3. I was told that the critics loved the Liszt recording but someone said that of course the Albert Hall organ should never be used for Bach. She responded by including the St Anne P and F in her next LP. I have digitised (is that a word??) and put it here: 


  4. I bought one of her LPs at a recital she gave in 1978 which she signed.

    'Jennifer Bate plays Liszt at the Royal Albert Hall' which I absolutely loved, especially her totally bonkers performance of Ad Nos which to my delight found on youtube a bit earlier today:



  5. Thank you Darius. My wife and I were in there on 23rd November singing in Elgar's The Kingdom - a combined choir concert with us in Cambridge University Symphony Chorus and the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra - David Hill conducting. My first visit to Leeds for many many years. The organ was used in typical Elgar style - to underpin - and was lovely and warm and concert pitch!

    We did a return match concert in Ely Cathedral last Saturday and the organ was very flat - hardly surprising as it was terribly cold! The concert was dedicated to our former conductor Sir Stephen Cleobury.



  6. David Poulter (formerly DOM at Chester, Coventry and Liverpool Cathedrals) is giving a recital in St Mary's Saffron Walden on Saturday (5th) at 19:30. Free admission with retiring collection.

    He will be playing works by Cook, Bach, Whitlock, Elgar, Saint-Saëns, Reger, Rawsthorne and Cochereau.


    Best wishes



  7. It is one of the most successful transplants I know of. All credit to Graeme Kay and the Orford organ project team who doggedly hung onto the idea despite DAC 'involvement'..

    The Collins sounds wonderful in that room - I'm sure the Peter Collins would be really happy that it sings. Total credit to Ian Carter and his team at Cousans, who have made this lovely instrument work well and sound stunning.



  8. I've been in the church today and - wait for it - played it! To be fair, I played my one hymn tune very badly but it does sound absolutely fabulous. Ian and co are busy putting in the final touches and it will be used for the first service on Sunday, with the installation on Easter Day. All very exciting!


  9. Here in Saffron Walden we have an annual ‘Organ outreach’ concert aimed at kids from 6-8yr olds (but adults love it too…)


    We were able to use (with permission) the Birmingham Symphony Hall organ video - which is excellent: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yZWZI3f61EY 


    Our organists played various pieces including one pretending to be a tourist and while the ‘compare’ was talking, mooched up the church in disguise to the chamber organ and played a note (the kids fell about laughing) then more and did a duet with the main organ of the Hornpipe Humoresque.


    It ended with both organists duetting on the main organ the theme of The Incredibles.


    It is so important that young ones are shown about organs.


    I find it heartbreaking as an organ builder that so few people are going into the craft - much of it due to the Blair government encouraging teenagers stay on at school and then on to university, when they really want to get out there, like I did. I’ve been doing this now for coming on 42 years and when I retire, who do I pass it on to?


    Sorry for the soapbox but arrrgh.



  10. 2 hours ago, OmegaConsort said:

    I took my choir to sing an evensong in Hatfield House Chapel a couple of years ago. The (Willis) organ in the chapel still works but is in very poor condition. The organ in the long hall was restored a few years ago; I think by Mander. We had string accompaniment in the chapel that evening and sang music by Gibbons, Byrd, Tallis and Purcell. A most enjoyable occasion!

    The organ that you say is in the Summer Drawing room is in fact in the Long Gallery and is exquisite. It is on wheels so one can push it away from the wall to get in to tune it. The problem then is pushing it back again as the floor is very slippery! The chapel organ is very fine but in quite a state now sadly.

  11. 8 minutes ago, Zimbelstern said:

    Sorry to disagree, but having seen the video I think it looks awful. It’s totally out of keeping with the building, partly because of its position on one side of the back of the church. Having said that, what I can see of the other organ is just as bad. I think it would be better to remove both instruments and start again with an organ designed specifically for that church, both acoustically and aesthetically.

    I therefore suggest that you visit the church so you can see, and more importantly feel the situation. This is a church which has been handed an instrument on a plate which will enhance the worship and also the secular side of the place. I have rarely seen a village church which is so alive and which puts on wonderful concerts. These choral concerts have, each time so far had to be accompanied by a toaster because the 6 stop 2 manual is not suitable.

    I can show you several organs which I care for which are not right for the building and which have been there forever and look out of place.

    The organ they are hoping to be installed is costing a tenth of the value of its worth. It is a no brainer to me, so saying that they should ditch both and start again is frankly absurd.


  12. Having spent the past few days in Orford, I thought that I could do a video of the inside of the church which may show the size of it. Despite my rather dodgy camerawork, I think that it shows what the internal dimensions are like and how the Collins organ looks. How anyone can possibly say that it looks too big for the building is frankly absurd. What do you think?

    By the way, I have no professional interest in this project - just simply that I have a love for the village and surrounding area!


  13. Quick update. In this month's Orford Church magazine it says the following:

    Meanwhile, at its Ipswich meeting on Friday 9th February, the Diocesan Advisory Committee turned down our application for a faculty to install the organ in St Bartholomew's Church as being simply too big, despite having requested two mock-ups (each costing several thousand pounds) to determine best position, either in the northwest corner or in front of the tower. It is now open to the PCC to appeal to the Diocesan Chancellor who is a London barrister.

    The Collins organ looks fine where it is and will be of huge benefit.




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