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Mander Organs


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About SomeChap

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  1. Big organs in small cases?

    Just a quick note to say thanks to Sprondel for a helpful and informative post. I was not aware of Lynn Dobson's casework portfolio (other than Merton Coll Ox) and it is very varied. I have also struggled in vain in the past to find the two very fine and famous Stephen Bicknell rants you've linked, so have bookmarked them now!
  2. Most bizarre specifications?

    God's own county provides a couple more bonkers ones to chew on. Most obvious is the post-fire Hill monster once to be found in York Minster, with ten 4ft Principals on the great, and three 32ft flues. Imagine the mushy celeste effects! http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03908 Very obscure but even more chin-scratching is the Binns at Kirk Hammerton: only 15 stops, but it has recently acquired an Oboe-Quint at 5 1/3 on the Swell. No, me neither. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E00648
  3. Half-draw stops

    I think what I'd most like to know is: in what way is a 1/2 draw stop better than providing two separate knobs? So far we have one vote for 'taking up less room at the console'. Perhaps it also takes up less room on the soundboard if two separate sliders can be avoided? I've never played an organ with 1/2 draw-ers but I've got a feeling they might be a bit fiddly in practice? G&G have been mentioned, but Orgues St-Martin use them a lot as well. How do you know when you've correctly managed to pull a stop 1/2 way out (as opposed to 2/5 or 5/8, both of which presumably count as 'close but no cigar')? I can think of one organ where the draw stops were so stiff that the organists had to grow massive biceps for psalm playing; that instrument did not have any 1/2 draw-ers but maybe it would have been a bonus not to have to heave out the quint and tierce separately? Otherwise I'm at a loss... thanks in advance!
  4. Mount St Bernards, Leicester

    Thanks for updates all. It looks like it might be possible to get in contact with the organ builder Stefan HeiƟ via facebook (he's also the mayor of Vohringen!) so i'll let you know what I learn that way...
  5. Mount St Bernards, Leicester

    Ah, thankyou very much. Looks like a detached console then, so electric action...
  6. Mount St Bernards, Leicester

    Ps. All I can find is a tiny peak on the Abey's facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/120322257677/photos/pb.120322257677.-2207520000.1441895160./10153856567917678/?type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-fra3-1.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-xfa1%2Ft31.0-8%2F11088600_10153856567917678_1264972384476839104_o.jpg&smallsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-fra3-1.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-xfa1%2Ft31.0-8%2Fs960x960%2F11088600_10153856567917678_1264972384476839104_o.jpg&size=1365%2C2048&fbid=10153856567917678 (compare with npor: http://npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N04584&Number=1 ) This leaflet gives a few hints: http://www.stmarysgrantham.org.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=r3JBS-TGsMM%3d&tabid=120
  7. Does anyone on this forum know anything about the organ imported in 2014 from Munich to Mount St Bernard, the Cistercian Abbey in Leicestershire? Someone I know plays there occasionally but has struggled with it, and I felt as though I ought to be able to give some advice as to repertoire,registration etc. I didn't want to press him for details, but I wondered if I could help him more by knowing what he's up against! I'm guessing it's a neo-baroque job because one complaint was that there's no Swell pedal, but don't know any more than that. Google not much good and NPOR not updated yet - any other leads much appreciated! SC
  8. Oh yes, more please! Is this part of a bigger project?
  9. Parables

    Britten Cantata Misericordiam is also based on the Good Samaritan. Might be too hard though and too big for what you had in mind (25 mins, big Tenor solo, strings)? The only other thing that comes to mind is Egressus Jesus by Giaches de Wert, which isn't a parable but is a gospel passage containing the verbal teaching of Jesus to the Canaanite woman whose daughter was possessed by a demon. (Matthew 15:21).
  10. Definition of a tracker action

    1. Re. Controlling the touch on tracker actions. I agree that rather too much has been made of this over the last thirty years or so. Particularly in fast music on a large organ, conscious control of pipe-speech is largely unattainable (and, on a return-on-effort basis, probably not worth the bother if it was achievable, given how subtle the effect is). On the other hand, when playing (say) a slow chorale obligato on a small tracker instrument on a single stop with the pipes physically near to the keys, I am definitely aware of the effect of touch on pipe speech; I will instictively begin and release certain notes more gently or more quickly according to the colour, attack or legato effect I feel the line needs. This is quite a specific instance though, and it's not a technique - it just happens naturally. More generally I think tracker action often does make an audible contribution to the pipe-speech, but it's not as a result of conscious control by the player, more that the motivic shapes (and technical demands) of the music cause the player to involuntarily change the way they play each note (eg. because some fingers are naturally stronger than others), thus incidentally causing variations in the way the pipes speak. The reason I think this is a result of my experiments with the Hauptwerk organ software - I actually notice the absence of variation in the way the pipes speak (eg. particularly during trills and ornaments). [back on subject:] 2 Re. Tracker + Electric couplers: I would personally regard this as a tracker organ, but with a bit of cheating going on! ;-) 3. Re. Tracker + Mechanical couplers. Generally this comes under point 1 - there's probably not much benefit of the varied touch on the coupled manual, though on a smaller organ you may still hear nuances coming from the pipes of the primary manual. It depends on the organ, the coupling mechanism, the pipe voicing, the music being played etc.
  11. St Peter Port Guernsey

    I take it this is no good??: http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N10255
  12. Hymns appear to be getting heavier!

    "In fact, coming to think of it, I busk most things these days." A wonderful comment; what I particularly like about it is that many illustrious names from history would nod in agreement - old Bach, Mozart*, pretty much any French organist/composer you care to mention etc ... Raul Prieto Ramirez, one of the best players around, had no formal early education in music; he just busked from a very early age; and studied formally much later. It's done him no harm at all of course. One of my friends (not a musician) asked me what instrument I'd recommend his son to learn; I answered 'anything where he can just sit down and play when he feels like it, not needing other musicians to play with, not needing a score, just let his fingers follow where his mind wonders'. We agreed either guitar or piano (probably a dabble at both); having seen so many ex-orchestral players who never pick their instruments up any more and get no pleasure out of the time they invested learning to play, I'm convinced it's the best way. SC * eg, some of the violin sonatas had no written piano part until well after the first performance - Mozart tried to fool the audience by playing from a blank piece of manuscript! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_Sonata_No._32_(Mozart)

    Sorry, 'Civil War' was a bit sensationalist, wasn't it! I think when the final printings of the new missal come through, they'll have much more musical notation embedded in them than has been the case before. With some luck this might increase the amount of chant heard at mass. The new texts sound much better chanted - particularly the collects and prefaces. Did anyone hear the Radio 4 broadcast from OLEM in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago?

    MM, I think you're imagining the translation process a little more prosaically than it occurred in reality! The reality is that the current text is the result of a thirty-year 'civil war' between various factions of the Catholic church. The translation itself was pretty easy once the squabbling had been calmed; eventually the Vatican cut through all the guff you're imagining by insisting on completely literal renditions, and that's why a lot of people don't like the text. I think there's the beginnings of a flame war in this thread, which it would be best to avoid. The full story of the genesis of these translations is thirty years of church politics, and doesn't make for very edifying reading.
  15. Let's have a riot part deux

    A couple I'm surprised not to have seen yet ... :: St Bee's priory :: Boston PC :: Farnborough Abbey I should say I've not actually heard any of these in the flesh, only that I'd expect them to have come up by now! They're all thoroughbreds with good reputations. Agree? Disagree? SC