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SomeChap

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  1. ... hmm, I'm even wondering, assuming the wifi connection carries a MIDI-compatible data protocol, whether pipe organs might start to be played on a regular basis from arbitrary consumer MIDI controllers. Perhaps organ builders (or even third parties) could provide cheap portable wireless control boards for stops / combinations, which you simply prop up next to your clavinova? You could even integrate a score/pdf reader app on your tablet computer (OK, iPad!), having hot-spots in the score which link directly to registration changes when tapped, set up offline and ready to use when you get to church. I'm not suggesting the traditional console's days are numbered, but as e-books complement paper editions, so diverging control paradigms could help the organ evolve, and allow non-organists to play organs much more easily. Sorry, I've gone off-topic ...
  2. Yes, surely JC would have used them if they'd been available; they're cheap, easy to source, come in a range of shades of white and brightness, energy efficient and (above all) very reliable. I wonder, with LEDs for stop indicators and music-desk lighting, cheap low-power embedded computers for key/stop/whatever control and wifi for data transfer, is the truly wireless, battery-powered console a realistic possibility now?
  3. Hmm, the last posting that was primarily about Notre Dame was from last Thursday! We are a discursive lot! Thanks to SlovOrg for the link to M Cattiaux's facebook page. Re. the C-C console and mechanism: as I understand it, the stop-list has changed a lot since it was last in use (addition of 18-stop Resonance Expressive, loss of Recit chorus work, addition of Recit classique, loss of G-O Bassons (did they go to the Resonance?), Transfer of Clicquot Trompettes 16,8,4 from Solo to G-O (replaced by mixture-work), addition of chamades duplexed all over the place etc.), so it would definitely need re-modelling to a greater or lesser extent. The key actions are presumably now electro-pneumatic (though presumably the transmission between the console and the organ could in theory be down-graded from fancy-pants electronic to plain old direct electric) and the stop action is presumably electro-magnetic, so C-C's mechanism would all need to be replaced inside the console. It might therefore not make much sense to re-instate the C-C playing aids. Also looking at this picture there doesn't seem to be much room for thumb pistons between the keyboards - surely they would be missed! Basically you'd be rebuilding the console from scratch, but keeping the keys and the external woodwork. My feeling is that this is more of an act of historic vandalism than keeping the C-C console where it is now. I would guess that something along these lines was the reason why the old console wasn't recommissioned in 2012 when the all-new flashy modern console was built (which I rather like btw!). I wonder why they don't have a second console downstairs like at St-Eustache? It's surely perfectly possible technically? As it is, the organists have use the self-recording features in order to hear the organ from downstairs. I speak in the present tense as if the organ were still in use today! We can dream ...
  4. Many thanks to all for updates. It makes sense for there to be an English language source of the latest news on this organ, and this might as well be it. Does M Cattiaux 'do' social media?
  5. A similar but more detailed update from Vincent Dubois: https://www.lalettredumusicien.fr/s/articles/6024_0_vincent-dubois-le-grand-orgue-de-notre-dame-de-paris-est-un-miracule
  6. And according to europe1.fr : EXCLUSIVE https://www.europe1.fr/societe/exclusif-lorgue-principal-de-notre-dame-de-paris-miraculeusement-preserve-rien-na-brule-rien-na-fondu-3892910 Under the disemboweled roof of Notre-Dame de Paris were hundreds of masterful, historical and priceless works. In what state are they today, after the terrible fire that devastated the cathedral on Monday night? Particularly the huge Grand Organ, with some pipes dating back to the 15th century. In exclusive Europe 1 Tuesday, Laurent Prades, steward of the interior heritage of Notre-Dame de Paris, has provided reassuring information. "The big organ was not touched at all except that it was very dusty, but it did not take a single drop of water. It took soot and dust, so it is totally unusable, but nothing has burned, nothing has melted, "he assures Europe 1. As for the second organ, used daily and located in the choir, "it was copiously watered (by the fire hoses), to preserve the 18th century choir stalls that are just below." Today, with firefighters, architects and curators, M Prades is carrying out a comprehensive survey in the devastated building "to note the major architectural disorders, the things that must be stored away in the coming hours in case of further collapse".
  7. There was an interview with Johann Vexo (who was playing the organ when the fire broke out) on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning. You can listen here (starting about 2h 10 mins in): https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00045kf Quick transcription because the recording will drop off the bbc website before long; apologies for typos: Johann Vexo was in the cathedral when the fire broke out. He was playing for Mass at 6:15pm. During the gospel the fire alarm rang, and everyone wondered what it was, as it was the first time they'd heard it. JV stayed 20 mins and the cathedral was empty, and didn't see any fire or smoke until he got home, through his window. He then went back, but is was too terrible to watch and he couldn't stay more than a few minutes. He had his colleagues on the phone and they felt the same. There is no official information on the state of the organ, it's too early. The building is very weak. As far as they know this morning the main organ might be preserved but 'we have to speak very wisely'. He describes the grand organ as 'the most famous instrument in the world; it was absolutely stunning, gorgeous. We dont have any words to describe it because it was just a wonderful experience every time. Even when we knew the organ well, every time we came back it was such a privilege to play. We don't know what will happen in the coming weeks, it's impossible to know when we might play one of them again.'
  8. An interior view from (very approximately) an hour ago. I think there is some hope, but only time will tell. Kyrie Eleison.
  9. According to the church website, installation started a fortnight ago (see time-lapse video!). The church has christened the organ 'Anna Magdalena', which I think is a lovely touch. I wonder, are any other organs of members' acquaintance given names, like boats are? I've never come across the idea before.
  10. Thanks for posting; this is fun and certain corners do sound like Bach. It looks to me like they've not told it about 'the rules' at all - parallel fifths, smooth part writing etc; clearly they've just let the machine do its thing and hoover up the training set without supervising it. I like how open-minded it is though; I let it have several goes at the first line of Eisenach and although every try had something awful in it, it came up with certain perfectly viable harmonies I'd never thought of before. I can see it actually being useful for that when re-harmonising hymn last verses! I know google are evil, but they are bloomin' clever too.
  11. Some more Hurford for Ash Wednesday; I've just heard this piece played in St Paul's Cathedral. Erbarm' dich mein BWV721
  12. What a wonderful, idiosyncratic and visionary project! Best wishes to the Bass family; they are going to have something really special when it's all done. I've only had 2 mins to skim their website but will have a proper look later and will watch with interest. Do ping us here with any updates.
  13. Thank you for the inside information about Nottingham, Philip. I do apologise if my enthusiasm for the new combinations at Trinity Cambridge (unintentionally) implied a criticism of the music programme at Nottingham (or at Oundle); I hear nothing but good things about it. No doubt the Marcussen is difficult to work with as you describe in detail, not least because of its position in the building. I did mean it when I said that the Marcusen was an interesting comparison to the recently-enhanced Metzler at Trinity; as a generation of organists we inherit a stock of often excellent but difficult instruments from the late twentieth century and I don't blame anyone for finding a creative solution to their custodianship. My intention was to express support for Trinity's approach of making their great but difficult organ viable for perhaps another decade or so.
  14. The Nottingham Marcussen is an interesting comparison; it has also been used for a wide range of choral repertoire sung by an excellent mixed adult choir. Like the Metzler, it has no playing aids. It also (don't forget) has a 8' string stop on the 4' Brustwerk, which has folding doors and a 16' reed (albeit a fractional length one); that Brustwerk is as close to a Swell as you can get in that style and format. In recent years most choral services in Nottingham PC have been accompanied on a big 4-manual toaster (bristling with pistons I presume), not on the Marcussen. The Oundle Frobenius was also being supplemented by an electronic for accompanimental use when I was last there about 10 years ago. Are there others? Thank goodness for the new pistons at Trinity!
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