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Mander Organs

Adrian Gunning

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Everything posted by Adrian Gunning

  1. I have played this piece for years and a d natural sounds ok to me. Adding a d flat just makes it sound wrong now! It is just what you are used to hearing I suppose. It is all over in a flash in any case.
  2. St John the Evangelist RC Church, Duncan Terrace Islington, London N1 8AL 2009 Organ Series ‘B. A. C. H.’ James O’Donnell (Organist & Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey) Saturday 26th September at 7.30pm L Marchand Grand Dialogue in C (3ème Livre d’Orgue,1696) J S Bach Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659 O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig BWV 656 Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 665 R Schumann Fugue I from Sechs Fugen über den Namen Bach Op 60 F Liszt Prelude and fugue on the name BACH L Vierne Clair de lune J Alain Deuxième fantaisie M Duruflé Toccata (from Suite, Op 5) Buses: 4, 19, 30, 38, 43, 56, 73, 205 Angel Northern Line Admission free, retiring collection Gallery Organ by J W Walker & Sons 1963 (BIOS certificated)
  3. ...''Also, when the tutti was used the power was there, but in a startlingly 'unforced' way....'' The reason Ralph Downes always produced a good unforced Tutti was because he had musical ears, and had the Tutti set to a combination which was preselected, and not able to be altered by the player. The Tutti was made adjustable once the new combination system was installed a few years back, after the console's refurbishment when Simon Preston opened it. This led to players adding as many stops as they could not realising that the tonal balance was being disturbed. RD was very strick about what, and what should not be used in the Full organ. While on the subject of the RFH: When I heard virtually every recital on it during the mid 70's to its silencing, I found huge pleasure from hearing it. Not only did I learn vast chunks of repertoire from hearing these recitals, but found it easy to judge those that could play well or in some cases not. The acoustic though dry, meant you could hear ALL the notes and not just a heavy open wood or reeds covering the plenum like fog. I found it a very musical sound and I long for the day when it returns. There simply is no other instrument in London where you can hear French classical music played to some degree of authenticity with French reeds, or hear organ music in a comfortable seat on full view of the player. After all this is a concert hall not a cathedral or church.
  4. I well remember the GDB organ before all its guts were removed, and I can tell you it was FAR more exciting than what you hear now. Unfortunately the Great Cornet was replaced with another of smaller scale, and has lost all the zing and attack that it used to have. Yes it might be better to acompany on, but for solo recitals it has lost SO much! Please restore it back. I too love(d) this organ. Adrian Gunning
  5. Thank you William for posting this. Hopefully it will answer peoples questions. What is the latest over the 'monogram' ?!!!
  6. The RFH and Gloucester organs are unique and should be treated as such. Adding octave couplers as at Gloucester (to produce more 'thrill' and flexibility) would have made Ralph Downes foam at the mouth! He balanced the choruses the way he wanted them. It is interesting to note that the octave couplers at the RFH do not affect all the stops! He realised the effect this would have on the mixtures and their balance in the chorus. The reeds are wonderful and should be left as they are. We need more organs with French reeds in the country not less then we have already! What the RFH needs is a better acoustic; this is obvious to us all. The way to achieve this is another story. It would transform the organ sound and improve the bottom end of the registers a great deal, while helping the upper harmonics to blend more. I'm sure Downes would approve of this, with some reservations. If only he was still with us.... to guide H & H. The most important thing about his instruments was the fact that they sounded MUSICAL and did not kill the music. Anything with heavy pressure and unclear muddy voicing was not part of the equation. All the stops had to blend together to produce a beautiful musical singing quality; and they did where the acoustic allowed them. What is upper most is the MUSIC and delivering this in a MUSICAL way like a professional singer or any instrumentalist would on stage. I have just returned from France where I attended an organ course. The Aubertin organ (restored by) was one of the most beautifully voiced I know for French Classical music. Wonderful choruses and exciting French reeds (low pressure naturally), but the best stop on the organ was the acoustic! Call it what you like, eclectic or not........ the RFH and Gloucester should remain as statements of their period. Don't fiddle with them.
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