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Tim Rogerson

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About Tim Rogerson

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  1. According to the leaflet about the organ dating from 1990 .. "All of the soundboards and internal mechanism were new - as was more than half of the pipework. All that was retained from the old organ was the best of the pipework and the 1685 case-fronts, now arranged side by side in the two adjoining bays of the North Choir aisle. The Gothic Choir 'case' of 1860 was removed, but stored in the hope that it might one day screen a remote Echo or Nave section. It remains in the bottom of the organ today" Later in the same document (written by Ian Bell, but incorporating information from previous publications by Hubert Hunt, Clifford Harker and Malcolm Archer) we are told that "pipework by Renatus Harris survives only in the display pipes, which form the bases (sic) of the two smaller Great Diapasons and the small Principal; parts of the Great and Choir Stopped Diapasons are probably by Seede. All other pipework is Vowles or later". The writers also suggest that one of the reasons that the organ is "tonally quite superb" arises from the need to "balance the new work to (sic) the more restrained old pipework, retained from the earlier organs.." This confirms the comment, but doesn't really add much detail ........
  2. This is pretty much par for the course at Winchester. The "Nave organ" is really just a Bombarde section, which happens to be closer to the nave than the rest of the organ. I'm fairly certain that the Hele Bombardes are placed behind it, and these are the reeds which are heard reasonably well in the nave. I've played for a couple of services when the nave was about 2/3 full and the advice then was to use Full Sw & almost full Gt throughout and to chose various combinations of Nave Mixture & Trumpet for variety. I've also sat in a number of different places in the nave for services and can confirm that the ability of the organ to offer any sort of lead to large congregations only worsens the further down the nave you go. Some years ago I sat in the north transept for the Carol Service at York Minster (the only free seats 80 minutes before the start of the service) and noted a similar effect there - only when the large Tuba was drawn was there any real lead from the organ. At Winchester, a real Nave Organ, placed (say) in the 5th bay (working from the east) would improve matters considerably - the Nave is used most weeks for the two morning services. The regular Mattins congregation (which is a similar size to that at the Eucharist) somehow manages to join in singing the Venite and either the Te Deum or Jubilate each week - the choir sings in Unison to try to provide a lead. At very large services, members of the congregation tend to time their singing on the arrival of the sound of the Open Wood, rather than paying any attention to any conducting that might be offered for the choir.
  3. New English Hymnal hymn 49 tune 1 is called "Wessex" - a fine tune by Alwyn Surplice for "Brightest and Best".
  4. 32' Compton Diaphones are still in existence at Downside (32' Great Bass - seemingly just the bottom octave is a Diaphone, the rest is an Open Wood) and Southapton Guildhall (32' Contra Bass) Both of these also have a Polyphonic 32', which seems to have been Compton's preferred 32' flue solution. I played the Southampton instrument a couple of years ago but didn't specifically look into the state of the 32' octave of the Diaphone. Most of the loud stops on the organ were working then, so I guess it is probably still functioning.
  5. It is possible to "try this at home" (or at your local church). Draw a "full" combination on at every manual except one and draw full pedal. On the other manual draw a 16' or 8' flute (preferably one containing lots of fundamental and very little harmonic development). Play a chord of C major with the right hand and pedals on the loud combinations (feet on octave Cs for best effect) and then play Tenor E G, Bb and the D, E, F above those with the left hand on the flute (this assumes that the flute is 16' - if it's 8', everything goes down the octave). You should hear something akin to a soft 32' reed. Obviously the notes can be transposed into other keys as necessary and it is no substitute for a real 32'. But there are occasions when the technique can be used effectively. Curiously Compton put a V rank "Harmonics of 32' on the organ of Hull City Hall even though there already was (and still is) a fine 32' reed. Other places with these devices are Derby Cathedral (called Contra Trombone); Wolverhampton Civic Hall and Downside, where the stop was called Baryphone! According to Laurence Elvin (in "Pipes and Actions") it consisted of a violone at 16' pitch, flutes at 8 , 4 and 5+2/3' and "Harmonics" of which no further details are given, but which almost certainly included flutes at 17 19 21b (from 32').
  6. On the Tierce mixtures theme, an organist friend once commented on how strong the Tierce Mixtures at Beverley Minster were (on hearing the organ for the first time during a recital - and since its most recent rebuild when all Tierce ranks were removed from the Chorus mixtures). I pointed out that there were no Tierce mixtures left - the sounds were those created by the (predominantly) 18th Century Snetzler pipework, which produces a strong fifth harmonic and sounds as if a Tierce is drawn - and quite glorious it is!
  7. Picking up the original theme .... I don't think that anyone has mentioned the Willis organ at St Martin on the Hill in Scarborough, Yorkshire, which is almost "untouched". I am told that it was installed by FHW when he had a little "spare time" in between working on some of the big jobs he was doing at the time and was never really finished (a few "prepared for" stops). In 1928, it seems that a few minor changes were made, the choir organ was enclosed and balanced swell pedals were fitted. In 1974, JWW changed the Swell TP action to EP, but left the Floating lever on the Great. 10 years later they added the Ophicleide. Around 2000-2001 Principal Pipe Organs did a full restoration with the intention of getting the instrument back to how it might have been in 1890 had FHW finished it (i.e. original actions and prepared for stops added). The current specification is: Ped: Wood, Violone, Bdn, Oct, Cello, Ophicleide - TP action Ch: Viol, Dulc, Claribel, Gedact, Flutes 4' & 2', Corno di Bassetto - Tracker Gt: Dble, I, II, Claribel, Pr, Fl Harm, 12th, 15th, III, 16, 8, 4 - Floating lever Sw: Bdn, Diap, Gedact, Salic, Vox Ang, 4', 2', III, 16, 8, 8, 4, Vox H - TP action Usual 5 couplers (no Sw/Ch) plus Sw Oct + Suboct and separate Sw Oct + Sub Oct to Gt 7 fixed combination pedals (4 Gt+Ped 3 Sw) and no thumb pistons - mechanical drawstop action. I came across this instrument when I gave a recital on it just after it was rebuilt - I included Franck's Chorale III and Howells' Master Tallis' Testament, both of which required much thought about registration (given the lack of playing aids and the physical effort to get full great down to a couple of stops using the combination pedals). I recall that the sound was very rich and (typically) reed dominated. The church itself, designed by Bodley, is worth a visit (for those of us who like Victorian Architecture). Curiously, the FHW organ replaced an earlier instrument built by Harrison (just the one in those days) - I wonder whether this was the only time that FHW replaced a Harrison instrument!
  8. Try www.bios.org.uk and search by place "Kingston upon Hull" and then find Holy Trinity - the 1939 version. There is an old picture of the Console and the full specification including ventils.
  9. There is actually a little more extension than noted above. From memory the main extensions are: The Great Diapason referred to above as No 1 and available at 8' 4' & 2', is actually No 2. No 1 (which is huge!) appears on the Great only at 8' pitch, but also on the Bombarde (playable on the choir) at 16' 8' & 4' pitches, as well as at 16' and 4' pitches on the pedal - the bottom octave is a diaphone. The Choir Dulciana is a unit rank, which appears on that manual at virtually every pitch from 16' to mixture as well as on the Great at 8' & 4' pitches and on the Pedal at 16' & 8'. The Swell Fagotto appears at 16' & 8' pitches on the Swell, Pedal and Great, whilst the Solo Clarinet is available at 16' & 8' on the Solo and Pedal and at 8' on the Choir. There is a Posaune rank, which is available at 16' & 8' pitches on the Great and Bombarde and at 16' pitch on the pedal, whilst the Solo Tuba 8' & 4' is duplexed to the Bombarde and is extended to 16' on the pedal. The VI rank pedal mixture and the IV rank Bombarde Furniture are derived from other stops, whilst the II rank Great Cymbale and the IV rank Bombarde Cymbale are from the same pipes. In his rebuild, Compton effectively took a fine (but inadequate) Forster and Andrews organ and added a few extensions, did some revoicing and replaced a few ranks to make a much more versatile and effective organ controlled by a mangeable and comfotable console. Several slightly curious features of the Forster & Andrews organ remain - both Vox Angelica and Voix Celeste on the Swell, the Pedal Quint (10 2/3) and Great Quint 5 1/3, four independent 16' Bourdon ranks (Pedal, Great, Choir, Swell (which also appears on the Pedal) and Gamba stops on both the Great and Choir I played the organ occasionally in the 1990's and most recently in summer of 2002, when it was in a very poor state. Neither the Fagotto nor Cymbale ranks nor the 32' Polyphone were working. Several notes of the Tuba and Diapason I ranks were speaking badly or not at all, and the piston system operated on a seemingly more random basis than ever before - the facility to adjust pistons at the console ceased to operate many years ago. If it all worked the organ would be very fine. The biggest tonal deficiencies are that the Diapason I rank does not really blend with anything except its own extensions and the reeds, whilst the mixture work is typical of its period, (which means that the main Great IV rank mixture, in partcular, is very small). It seems that the Church Authorities might now be serious about doing something about the organ (and the music offered in the Church) - hopefully the unique characteristics of the instrument will be preserved and the available funds will be directed towards making it work properly.
  10. I was in the hall for the BBC CO prom (Saint Saens Organ Symphony) and thought that the Great was dominant, so perhaps the microphones are giving an accurate "picture". Dame Gillian Weir played a Messian encore, which confirmed that the Swell and Solo organs are distant. But what a sound in the final movement of the Saint Saens!!
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