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Philip J Wells

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Everything posted by Philip J Wells

  1. There are pictures of the polyphones at Bridlington and Christchurch Priory on the NPOR.
  2. I wonder why people always think of compromising the top note. We did very well for years without a bottom C sharp!
  3. Martin Renshaw in his 2018 book the 'ABC of a medieval church' has a paragraph on 'Acoustic jars' in his section on chancel acoustics. Apparently in some places large acoustic clay jars were placed either under the choir stalls or in side walls high above the singers. Examples cited include Lyddington in Rutland, St Clement's in Sandwich and Leeds in Kent near a priory and a royal castle. Their purpose has been much discussed but they are found in buildings 'where there would have been proficient , sophisticated and sensitive musician-singers'.
  4. The 'picture' of the French Romantic positive organ above reminds me of an article in 'Organ Building' Volume Fourteen (2014) published by the IBO. Titled 'Monsieur Debierre's Polyphone Organ' , John Rowntree introduces the 1922 Le Mintier and Gloton organ (1919 successors to L Debierre) now in the Catholic Church of SS Peter and Paul Yeadon, Leeds, while Geoffrey Griffiths (organ builder from Portsmouth) explores the rejuvenation of this wonder of a bygone age. There are several colour pictures including two of the polyphones (and two weighted fly pallets built into the bottom of a wooden pipe fed from two pipe feet).
  5. I think you will find that the author of that Bracebridge text on a facebook thread has since admitted that he made the whole thing up.
  6. This is not the only Christmas tree organ as I recall pictures on the internet of two either side of the chancel of a church at the front of the nave. Unfortunately, I can not remember the name of the church!
  7. The sloping top to the 6 manual console should stop the flower arrangers in their tracks. However, I note the seating arrangements provide for two nice pot plants / palms on either side of the organist so all is not lost!
  8. I am sorry to hear of this. I first saw her play at Reading Town Hall (possibly in the early 1970's?). Earnest Davey of HN&B had tuned the organ before her recital but called in on the day she was trying things out and asked whether any notes needed to be adjusted. She came out with a request that Earnest had never heard before or since in his long tuning career. Would you polish the pedals for me, which he did! When later on we saw her footwork we understood why. A wonderful recital.
  9. Not sure the text will be readable as I have had to reduce the size for it to load.
  10. In addition to the LP of many excerpts from the event (which I still have) some time later there was an EP issued of just The Storm (which I think I still have).
  11. I am reminded of the 1966 'organ In Sanity and Madness' in the RAH and the Miniconcerto by John McCabe for 485 penny whistles, percussion and organ. Plastic recorders were sold beforehand to members of the audience but under David Willcock's training we were told there was not much melodic interest! Maybe your young audience could all participate in a rhythmic way on percussion instruments. [NB We ended with Humpty Dumpty and his False Relations (12 variations) but that required a lot more resources than would be readily available to you. ]
  12. The Great Bromley Walker organ of 1867 pictured above with pipes alternately blue and gold is not the only one they produced around this time. Near me in Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire there is a Walker of 1866 with the same basic colouring but enhanced with stencilling over the top. Maybe this was a Walker design option (or maybe Great Bromley was repainted?) http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05709
  13. Those readers interested in finding out more about Holdich are referred to Rodney Matthews 'A Reluctant Convert - The Life and Times of G M Holdich: Organ Builder' published in 2013 by 'At the Sign of the Pipe'.
  14. The Bates chamber organ at Inworth, Essex is interesting in having stops at right angles to the keys. There is another example of this on a chamber organ by an unknown hand in Pendock, Worcs only this time they are split three on either side. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03356
  15. Gloucestershire, Standish has an instrument on a west gallery designed by Dykes Bower in memory of Revd Andrew Freeman, that great photographer of organs. There are not many small two manual organs with a 32ft flue on the pedals! http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05780 [A larger picture is on the NPOR link; I seem to be out of my allotted upload quota.]
  16. It seems we have an allowance of 500k for attachments, so depending on what you have uploaded already will restrict what is left. I had to abandon uploading two pictures recently as I did not enough space left. I wish all websites dealing with pictures (especially the NPOR) worked like Facebook which automatically downsizes them.
  17. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=P00753 Hampshire, Monk Sherborne, All Saints. Bodley case; he worked here between 1887-9 so I suspect the case was designed somewhere around 1887. As F.H. Sutton did not die until March 1888 and was known to work with Bodley on organ case design, I suspect his involvement here, especially as the single manual and pedal organ was built by Wordsworth.
  18. The case at St Andrew the Less, Barnwell, Cambridge (referred to above) is an important case. It dates from 1856 and was designed by the Revd John Gibson. Part of its importance lies in the fact that the central embossed pipe is the first surviving modern example, completed one year before that in Sir John Sutton's organ originally at West Tofts (now missing). This means Gibson reintroduced embossed pipes to Britain, something not seen after the seventeenth century. The Barnwell organ is apparently now thought to be the work of George Dawson in 1856, not Miller, whose organ building business was not established until 1858, although he is believed to have had a music business before. A newspaper advertisement proves the 1858 date, some two years later than had been thought. Dawson is criticised for poor workmanship; I think erroneously . His assembly work in 1857 on the West Tofts organ was the subject to a change in fashion. The 1881 work by Miller was to change the short octave compass on the old lower manual for a conventional keyboard and to add a short compass Swell to provide for variety in the service. A newspaper cutting makes this clear. THE ORGAN - A special service was held at the parish Church on Tuesday evening, to celebrate the re-opening of the organ, which has been rebuilt by Mr. Miller of Cambridge. The old organ, built about 20 years ago by Mr. Dawson, of Cambridge, was a small one, and of peculiar construction, the lower octave of the bass being as is called “short octaves,” some of the large pipes being wanting, because they could not be got into the case. This defect has now been remedied. The interior mechanism is entirely new. All the old pipes have been retained, the number of stops has been increased, and so arranged as to form swell and great organs. The old case has been enlarged and further ornamented, but its old shape has been retained. The wall at the back has been cut away so as to admit of the larger pipes and the octave of pedal pipes, and a new horizontal bellows has been added. The old organ was sufficiently large to conduct the musical portion of the service, but the new instrument has the advantage of giving the organist a better opportunity of displaying his musical abilities. In tone and power the new organ surpasses the old. A large congregation were present, as were several of the neighbouring clergy. The prayers were intoned by the Rector, the Rev. Prebendary Sutton. The Rev. A.F. Sutton, the eldest son of the Rector, read the first lesson. An excellent appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. R. White, Rector of Little Bardfield, from the text “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is to come.” The anthem was Sir Gore Ouseley’s, “From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same.” At the close of the service Mr. H. Morgan, the organist, played a selection of music, and ably showed the capabilities of the instrument. I think work elsewhere may have been deemed necessary to increase the pedal compass or add a pedal stop. A re-appraisal of Dawson is needed. The church at Vijvekapelle, near Bruges in Belgium (mentioned above) was built between 1865 and 1867 with Jean de Bethune as its architect. The organ by Hooghuys is in a case which was built in Bethune’s workshops and was probably mostly designed by him, although it has been suggested that the case was made after an old Dutch model. Sir John Sutton is known to have been involved but Hillary Davidson has pointed out the similarity of some parts of the case (the cornice, and the mass of flat pinnacles above it) to that in St Andrew the Less, Cambridge, (since dated to 1856 and attributed to Gibson) and this also has been pointed out above). He might also have noted the closely carved pipe shades and the provision of wing doors. The two cases have characteristics that the Revd John Gibson was later to use in his 1876 organ at King’s Stanley along with features of the Kiedrich organ case. Might Gibson have been involved with Sutton in the case design at Vijvekapelle? The Great Bardfield case by Miller has recently been dated to 1878 (which is considerably later than had been previously thought). It replaced an organ of 1841 by Russell. I think I read somewhere that the 'side wings' are even later.
  19. Gloucestershire, King's Stanley, St George's church. Organ designed by the Revd John Gibson and built, by Thomas Liddiatt in 1876 as his Opus 1, with the second manual added in 1895 in memory of Gibson.
  20. Christchurch Priory is (or was) also horizontal above the south nave. There is a picture of mine on the NPOR showing this http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D06714
  21. Re Transept division. Anyone know where in the building this is? North East or South East Transepts (ie nearer the main altar)? Are the areas north and south of the steps at the front of the Nave also known as transepts?
  22. There seem to be a couple of typo's on the Solo stops. Concert Flute should be 4ft and Piccolo Harmonique 2ft, I think.
  23. I expect you have already tried an NPOR search as I did without success. [i used the name of the builder, set the in-between dates (so as not to get HN&B ) and then the Tierce stop and then searched]. It actually shows that the recording of specifications could be improved. When there is only one record which gives the latest spec it is often difficult to work out what the original spec was. However, as a resource based on voluntary effort I think we would all miss it if it was not there.
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