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Everything posted by JohnR

  1. I can come up with information on both organs, and did so on 17th May 2015 on the previous page. The only update is that the Broadcasting House Radio Theatre Compton console is now in store in the Reading area together with all sorts of other equipment that was moved there due to lack of space. This was after TV and The World Service moved there and Henry Wood House also closed. The Maida Vale organ's future is also in question as the BBC don't want to take it with them when the whole Maida Vale operation moves to the Docklands.
  2. I may be able to find one for you. I have removed three CMTS systems in over the last couple of years and it may be that one or more of them used this card type. I don't have any of the parts myself but I know who has and will see what I can do. I wondered if you're absolutely sure this card is the cause of the symptom? I ask because I assume you've not had one to put in and try. Regards, John R
  3. I have heard that there was a plan to remove the existing Positive division in the chancel (the only completely new division when the organ was installed at Guildford) and replace it with a more romantic division. This plan has since been reversed and the Positive division is now to remain as it is. The tonal aspect of the rest of the organ is also to remain pretty much the same. John R
  4. You're basically right Martin. I don't know much about what is intended other than that the chancel division is going to be replaced. Slightly ironically, this division was refurbished by the Shepherd brothers (of Edgware) just a few years ago. This part of the present organ contains the most recent pipework. I think it was new when the rest of the organ went to the cathedral in the early sixties. John R
  5. The St. Georges hall organ was a large Compton cinema organ and was sadly destroyed in WWII. The two surviving organs are also Comptons but not cinema organs. They both have Compton's luminous touch tab system for stop selection. The Broadcasting House organ is really a concert organ and has 33 ranks. It is indeed installed in a very tight space at the front of the Radio Theatre, formerly called the Concert Hall. The chamber is less than 2 metres deep which makes things very difficult even though it is quite wide and high. The organ has many windchests as only a small number are used for more than one rank and some ranks require an extra chest to complete the compass at the bass end. Broadcasting House was vastly altered internally a few years ago as part of the West End project and the cable connecting the console would have had to have been disconnected and reconnected. It was therefore decided that it would be a good time to fit a new control system requiring only a simple data connection. For reasons of cost the new system did not replace the note relays in the organ. Now that the console was easily detachable the BBC decided to keep it in a store room downstairs and get it to the studio using the piano lift when required. This idea sadly hasn't worked well. The organ has also suffered some ruptures of the leatherwork on a couple of the many wind regulators which are inside the windchests on this organ (the incoming air being distributed to all chests at 19 inches water gauge). These are due to be repaired in the coming months. The Maida Vale Studio 1 organ has 11 ranks and is used regularly. This studio is the home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the organ is used when rehearsing a work that includes an organ part. An electrical short and resulting burn in the original console cable in the late 1990s caused the BBC to take the decision to have just enough electronic control gear installed (on the grounds of cost and time) to replace this cable with a data link. More recently, this new equipment has been expanded to form a complete system to replace the original relay type equipment which had become very problematic. This organ is generally in very good condition and sounds excellent. Although this organ has only 11 ranks one of these is a four rank Pedal Cornet (counted as 1 of the 11) There is no Celeste or Oboe rank mainly because the organ was designed mainly to play along with an Orchestra so it was felt that the absence of these sorts of tone wouldn't matter. John R
  6. I remember an anthem by John Tavener but can't remember the title or any of the text. I think it has two parts with a constant interval between them for most of the earlier section with no accompaniment. This is followed by a loud chord on the organ. The anthem then takes a different musical style. No searching on Youtube has helped me find it. Can anyone tell me what it is? I'm sure it was by Tavener. John R
  7. I would agree with Innate above as a first attempt. Sibelius is a hugely demanding piece of software for most computers. Quite a few processess take place as soon as the software is opened so any computer not in a fit state is going to take time over that, if it ever does open it.
  8. You say 'on top of that etc,' after mentioning St. Edmondsbury, but this organ does itself have I think about 2,000 pipes from the former organ (or perhaps the former incarnation of the present organ?). Most of the pedal basses, the great upperwork and a substantial part of the swell aren't new. Also, the lovely solo strings have been kept. Also some of the choir is from the former choir and discarded positive divisions. John R
  9. ..........and sadly the BBC would rather broadcast one of these three organists than any other.
  10. Following my question, yes I was told it was the old St. Paul's console so we all agree on that. I'd long thought that a bit of clever filming allowed the console shots to be done at a separate location from those in the body of the church. However I now realise that because this actual console wasn't in use when the programme was made then it was probably taken to the church (without putting an organ out of action) and reconstructed to allowed this whole section to be filmed together. The odd notes played by the professor at the beginning are not real organ sounds, they're an electronic organ or synthesizer played separately so obviously any stops and keys could have been used on the console for miming purposes. The Brahms Fugue was played on a real organ but mimed to on the film. The church is at Charsfiled in Suffolk (where by coincidence there is an organ builder) and does indeed have a very small instrument on the gallery. The whole film was supposed to be very surreal so the idea of an apparantly huge console in a small parish church all helped this impression. Someone involved in this film must have had some dialogue with a significant person in the organ world to end up using the St.Paul's console. Also, parts 12 and 13 are on Youtube and the Southwell MInster organ is played live. There are also shots of the inside of Liverpool Cathedral including the bell chamber, but not the organ. I remember parts of the film when it was broadcast (and never repeated) so am pleased it's been released on DVD.
  11. This clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcTozKPJ6A is from a mammoth but very strange episode of BBCs Play For Today from 1981 called Artemis 81, which lasted 3 hours. It has already been discussed before in this topic. Can anyone tell where the console is from? It hasn't been in used for many years but a friend of mine recoginsed it. I'll give the answer in a few days. The professor in the clip gives an interesting interpretation of part of the Brahms A minor Fugue being played.
  12. It's a shame Kimber Allen weren't of more help as I would have thought they could have at least mentioned Vic Hackworthy. He ran Dedham Organ Systems (formerly Christie Music Transmission Systems) which operated under KA's roof in it's later years. KA are still making what I believe is more or less the Dedham design although I know it's being redesigned. Vic is retired and is presently in Australia for 6 month although he is happy about being called with techincal enquiries. Please PM me for his details. If you can describe the fault symptoms I may be able to help.
  13. That all seems perfectly reasonable to me MM. I do agree with what you say. I'm pleased to say that the BBC decided to leave the original equpment in the Maida Vale instrument for people to see even though it's obviously disconnected.
  14. It's clear that there are some diehard 'electromechanical' enthusiats here! Please however bear in mind that the exisitng equipment at Maida Vale was not performing as needed because it was more badly worn than on most Comptons of similar age and needed replacing with something. Also, there was a desire for general pistons and more than one memory level which the existing action couldn't provide. The organ has been very frequently used for many years, not just by the BBC orchestras but also by enthusiastic members of the BBC club organ society who have sometimes played it for a few hours at a time over may years. The relays had been given much loving care and attention but had got to the point where no amount of work got around the problem of frequent missing notes. People who play the organ regularly commented on how clean and fast the attack was since the electronic control went in. In fact it became evident just how fast Compton's chest action is. Although the Compton relays are a clever design they have a disadvantage when compared to convetional switchstack relays. This being that they rely on parts having to move every time a note is played. If the armatures for different notes don't move at the same speed then there is differential delay among the different notes of a chord.
  15. This is an appropriate thread for me. I love the Guilhall Southhampton Compton and Lady Gaga. Taking of the lady, the first few notes of 'Poker Face' sound quite effective when belted out on the pedal of a decent pipe organ. On the subject of Compton organs I'm pleased to tell the board that the BBC Maida Vale Compton is in fine form having had the poorly performing original mechanical relays controlling the coupling, luminous stop toggling and pistons swapped for new technology. Although rather smaller than the Southampton organ it is hard to believe it only has 11 ranks of pipes.
  16. Thank you for that. That may be useful next time. John R
  17. I now have someone who is able to play for the service mentioned. Thanks, John
  18. Is it considered acceptable to put an appeal on this site for an organist for my local church in East Anglia for this Sunday? Only hymns. Decent fee. H & B 1907 organ with fine case. I wouldn't want to put details of location until I get any impression from responses that this request is acceptable on this site. Thanks, John R
  19. I remember some years ago my organ teacher telling me that Celestes on smaller country church organs were very much more likely to be flat than sharp. At the same time he said larger organs typically had the Celestes correctly tuned sharp. My experience is that he seems to be right. John R
  20. I had the pleasure of working with David on a few occassions. He was the first person to involve me in the field of cinema organs and was very accomodating of my limited knowledge of their differences to church type instruments. He'll certainly be much missed in the cinema organ community. John R
  21. I well remember a rope system there that included a device to limit the speed. Somehow, I don't remember seeing it on my last visit there. It was certainly a good idea as the only route to the console from the top of the spiral staircase stairway was right through the organ. The console is still a distance from the top of the stairway(as neither has really moved in the recent work) so there would still be good reason for the rope system now. John R
  22. The console is in more or less the same place now as it was before. The difference now is that the organ now has a proper choir (& nave) case so the new console is formed into this. The old console was detached in terms of construction but was placed between a simple arrangement of functioning display pipes. I twice played the former incarnation of the organ for small services and have to admit to finding my fear of heights rather trying on me. Varying factors seemed to contribute to my feeling. One being that I had to look up at quite an angle to see the TV monitor (which showed a shot from a camera looking right down) and the other being that my assistant seemed to be keen on opening the little doors in the overhanging surround behind the playing area. When these were open the vast distance to the floor could be seen while actually sitting on the stool! I'll be interested to see what you think of the present arrangement. Almost all the reeds are new apart from the Walker Oboe on the Swell. A lot of the better old fluework has been retained including most of the pedal basses. A lovely pair of strings on the Solo have been retained. There are also two ranks from the 17th & 18th centuries still there. John R
  23. Yes the Buxhall organ is still there and tends to be obscured by the chancel/nave wall as it's so slim. It's got two ranks and about eight stops. It fills the church with sound quite well and I feel it's better for service playing than many of the straight organs in that area. I find the tone to be rather thin but there's plenty of brightness. I once played both the Buxhall organ and the Cousans 'Premier' organ at Worlington church also in Suffolk in the same weeked. It felt rather appropriate as both these models appear side by side in a pair of photos in Sumner's organ book! John R
  24. I wonder if Enya has ever tried the organ. She makes me go weak at the knees.
  25. I don't know much about these instruments but have noticed that they seem to stay in tune rather well, even if there are other problems. A church in my sister's group of parishes managed to sell their harmonium on ebay for over £400. I'd said they may be lucky to get over £50 for it so was very pleased for them if a little embarassed. Many pipe organs on ebay would do well to fetch £400. John R
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