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Everything posted by davidh

  1. I acquired a Tascam a while ago, and after reading the small paper 'get started' guide and the large download manual, it all seemed very complicated, so I started using it straight out of the box, and the results have always been very good. There are a lot of bells and whistles for those who like that sort of thing, but most of us can happily ignore them. Audacity is fairly easy, with most options best left alone. When I have wanted to analyse the detailed sounds of some pipes it is far from adequate, but I haven't found any better free software.
  2. Uniformly excellent? With each new release they seem to have reached the peak of excellence - and next time they surpass it.
  3. Last year Folo Paril told me of the problems that he had synchronising with singers, given the distance and the finite speed of sound. He told me that his negative delay system hadn’t worked well as he had hoped. He now has a far better arrangement, a detached wireless console which allows him to sit almost among his choir. Folo is never satisfied, and now, listening to the organ where he can hear it better, he is aware that the pipes in the treble speak sooner than the ones in the bass. He thought about the design of the pallets, aware that their perimeter was more important than their
  4. This needed to be debatted.
  5. There is the legendary story of the gents toilet in a certain music school where someone wrote "What do you think of Stainer's Crucifixion" and someone else replied underneath, "It would be a good idea".
  6. Colin Pykett recommended a Zoom recorder and he mentioned that similar devices are available from Tascam. I go on annual organ tours with the same group of people, a few of whom have very high-spec recorders, but several have Zooms and Tascams. I bought a Tascam DR-05, currently about £85, and had little time to play with it before the last trip, and certainly no time to work through the extensive options in the manual, so I just did the minimum amount of set-up, put it on a camera tripod and set it to record. I am very pleased with the results. It is easy to transfer them to a PC where t
  7. There may be many other sites, but I often listen to http://orgelradio.eu/ in spite of the commercials appearing between some pieces. It offers a good selection of music from CDs and has a 24-hour programme announced in advance. There is also http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/ with 2-hour programmes, each devoted to a specific topic. I would be interested to hear of any other similar sites.
  8. Folo Paril told me of a problem that he has just solved. He often has to accompany the church’s favourite soprano, but, as he is high up in the organ loft and she is almost at the other end of the church, it is difficult to provide a sensitive and responsive accompaniment. There is a perceptible delay before the sounds of the organ reach her and the same delay before her voice is heard back in the organ loft. His first attempted solution was CCTV and the almost instaneous response of an old analogue system might have helped, but modern digital systems respond too slowly. Folo eliminated the
  9. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soissons_Cathedral which has a brief mention and further links.
  10. Thank you for those suggestions. I'm sure that a modern continuo organ would be very effective, and its compact format would not be obtrusive. Is that format a recent invention, or were there much earlier instruments like these? The Lorenzo da Pavia organ, 3.20 m high, would not be so convenient - and there were to be two such organs. The illustrations of early instruments that I have seen are far from compact. What compass would be necessary? Without checking the whole score, I know that the bass goes down to at least DD, and while a chittarone might play the lower notes, there are oc
  11. Monteverdi's opera Orfeo requires a large variety of accompanying instruments. Much of the score is melody + figured bass, with the continuo players left to realise the notes. Among the instruments are "two organs of wood" and a regal. Does anyone have any information of what these organs might have been, and perhaps even a link to an online source with an illustration of anything similar, please?
  12. In many Dutch churches there are raised galleries for the notables. I assumed that they were to provided so that the occupants could see and hear the preacher better. Now I see that they were put in the "sweet spots" for the organ. I propose that UK churches with good organs should build similar galleries so that those musically inclined could share the best recording microphone position.
  13. I am very sad to hear of the death of John S Smith. My aunts, who were his neighbours, introduced me to him just after his father died and they thought that he would appreciate some company. At our first meeting in his home, about 1957, he played the adagio from BWV564 on his reed organ - and on that instrument it sounded very well. At that time I had only heard transcriptions, hymns and rather sentimental pieces on the organ, but John introduced me to Buxtehude and Couperin which sounded very strange until I quickly became hooked on "real" organ music. I went with him to Hove Town Hall just
  14. Oscar Wilde is credited with saying,"Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best". He was probably quoting from an old notice which said: Non occidete pulsator organum; ut optimum faciat. ( Pray you do not shoot the organist for he doeth his best )
  15. ... and also at http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/apr/08/peter-williams-obituary
  16. At present there are no satisfactory substitutes for 32’ and 64’organ pipes, but they require a lot of space and a lot of money. Folo Paril recently suggested a new approach. It is well known that inhaling helium (now considered risky) raises the pitch of the voice. It follows that heavier gases will produce lower pitches from physical systems of identical size. He proposes organ pipes sounding in atmospheres of Xenon or Sulfur Hexafluoride. The speed of sound in air is 343m/s, in Xenon it is 169m/s and in SF6 it is 134m/s. He is currently researching other gases with even lower speeds of
  17. A great loss to the musical world. His "Life of Bach" had the merits of being brief, scholarly, offering new hypotheses and very readable. For we organists there is nothing else comparable to his book "The Organ Works of Bach". I still remember with great pleasure a piece which he wrote for Early Music, about 40 years ago, entitled, "A toccata and fugue in D minor for organ by J. S. Bach" in which he questioned every part or the title. "Toccata AND FUGUE"; no other pieces of that time had that title, "Toccata" was enough as it would automatically end with a fugue", "In D minor"; there is
  18. That seems like a fair price. Clavichord touch is very different from that of pianos and organs as the key is connected to the string for as long as it sounds, so finger pressure affects pitch, and even allows for "bebung" (vibrato). If a key is not depressed firmly it can chatter as the tangent hits the string. The positive aspect is that the player has far more control, but the downside is that it is much harder to learn the appropriate touch. Morley instruments are designed to make things easier for the pianist, but at the expensive of being less sensitive to touch than instruments whic
  19. davidh

    All of Bach

    See my post of 23rd August 2014 David
  20. After working my way through several DVDs and newly arrived CDs I went back to http://www.musicarel...faultOrgel.aspx for another fix. Alas, the site seems to have completely changed and the "organ channel" no longer seems to exist. Does anyone know what has happened to it, and whether it continues on another link?
  21. A fine performance on a very beautiful organ. Music gained a lot when equal temperament became the standard, but this shows how much was lost when meantone tuning was abandoned.
  22. O tempora, o mores! Have they no ears? How can you tune a choir to sing at the same pitch as the organ?
  23. Curious. Pitch changes with temperature, to a very small amount because thermal expansion makes the pipes longer, but to a much larger extent because the speed of sound in air changes. Surely the same factors will affect the tuning of the brass and woodwind instruments to a similar extent. Pianos and electronics (if present, heaven help us) won't move in the same way, and nor will the organ's reeds where the pitch is largely determined by the vibration of the reed, with the air column having a smaller contribution.
  24. There is a fine trailer for Bernard Foccruelle's recording of the complete works of Matthias Weckman (alias Weckmann) here. The booklet and other details, including samples, can be seen here http://www.outhere-music.com/en/albums/complete-organ-works-ric-348 There are details of his other recordings at http://www.outhere-music.com/fr/artistes/bernard-foccroulle
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