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Mander Organs


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About handsoff

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    Playing the organ, listening to organ music both live and recorded, railways, photography, walking, swimming, cooking and eating, driving (1969 Morris Minor amongst others) and keeping my wife in the manner to which she has become accustomed. That means that I took very early retirement and she still works!

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  1. I too have registered with the new forum and add my thanks to Steve for providing the facility and will also be happy to help fund within reason any migration of old material.
  2. I too would appreciate keeping the format close to the current one and add my thanks to Steve for the offer. Some years I used to look at the Radio 3 forum as a non-registered guest but didn't like it a great deal due largely to what I felt to be an unpleasant atmosphere created by one or two of the elder statesman there. If any costs are ever involved with keeping this forum going I'm sure that regular posters could afford a few pounds per year each with any excess perhaps going to the NPOR.
  3. I've just listened through the 2nd tier system in my study (NAD 3225PE amp + Wharfedale 505.2 speakers) and thought that the organ sounded pretty damn good. The trumpet is very convincing but, as often seems to be the case, the bass notes less so due, I suppose to the much smaller volume of air being shifted around than would be in a real organ. I stand to be corrected by those whose technical knowledge outweighs mine. Not difficult... Perhaps the Tickell needs tuning along with other basic maintenance work that simply could not have been done in recent times.
  4. handsoff

    Room 101

    John's final sentence is exactly the point. Human tastes in all things are entirely subjective and opinions are just that; opinions. It was recently said in another thread that Dupre's music was, to paraphrase, mostly poor and shouldn't be played at public recitals. A personal opinion and one with which I strongly disagree but nonetheless as valid an opinion as anyone else's. Most organists I know don't like the first movement of Vierne 1 but I simply love it; brooding, dark and hugely atmospheric, and part of a cohesive symphony. One could ask 50 organists for their thoughts on any piece and probably get 51 opinions. It's a very interesting discussion though. PS I'm not fond of that toccata by JSB but the fugue is, in my opinion, thrilling.
  5. Umm, the photo on the album sleeve is very fetching... It wasn't such an early purchase as I thought being released in 1976 and was the first LP recording of the new Walker organ in Blackburn Cathedral. The disc I now have was my second version - I remember now that I bought a second copy after my first was in less than good condition. The sound quality, the organ and of course the playing is wonderful.
  6. i'm very sad to hear this news. Jane Parker-Smith's recording released on LP from Blackburn Cathedral was one of my early purchases and was played almost to destruction on a Dansette stereo unit with a tracking weight probably measured in ounces. I shall dig out the disc later today and raise a glass to her memory.
  7. Thank you Rowland. I went to the village in question this morning to buy vegetables from the churchwarden's farm's tiny farm shop, operated on an honesty box basis. He was there putting out cabbages he'd just cut and we had a long chat about the whole thing. He says that the rector clearly has to put out just the official messages but that he thinks there will be room for local pragmatism. He is the sole keyholder for the church (there's only one anyway, a massive iron thing virtually requiring a wheelbarrow to move it) and I can have it, let myself in, lock the door and sanitise my hands before and after playing. The mobile phone issue is tricky as the signal in the village is very variable and inside the church with its lead roof and yard-thick 13th century stone there is an effective radio wave-free zone. Even the BBC can't penetrate very well - I took a portable radio in once to try it and a lot of moving around and standing on things was needed to find Radio 4. I shall have a word with the rector next week and see what we can sort out. The organ is ancient, fragile, of poor and doubtful heritage and near the end of its life but I like it... On a brighter note work is currently ongoing in Stratford-upon-Avon's Guild Chapel where Geoffrey Coffin is completing work to make the fixed console moveable so that the player can be seen during recitals. It's a good job that it was fixed when I played there whilst at school. The Head would not have approved of my reading material for use between hymns; usually a copy of Angling Times or the Railway Magazine.
  8. I have received a communication , part of which is pasted here, from my rector. Our benefice will open 1 of the 4 churches for private prayer for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon with booking required and with a note of those attending been kept for Test and Trace purposes. Small funerals will be allowed but no organist or singing will be permitted and graveside services will be encouraged. The lone working requirement risk assessment seems an awful faff for village churches usually kept locked and I shan't bother applying for permission. In fact, I suspect that the end of my playing career may be within sight. CAN ORGANISTS ENTER CHURCH BUILDINGS FOR ORGAN PRACTICE AND MAINTENANCE? Yes, from 13 June this is allowed under government guidance. Organists must get permission to enter the building from the incumbent or Church Warden, and their access must be coordinated with those responsible for cleaning. If the organist will be on their own in the building then a lone working assessment should be done. An example can be found online.*** *** https://www.ecclesiastical.com/documents/lone-working.pdf
  9. Only if you can find some vodka that is => 70% ABV! ( and if you can.....🙀) as 40% isn't strong to kill the virus. I should have thought that a pack of antibacterial wet-wipes would do the trick on the organ. We've been using them to wipe down the handles on shop baskets and trollies and the alcohol in them dried very quickly and wouldn't, I should think, damage stop knobs and keys. As they say, try on an inconspicuous area first. I've passed the note above (for which thank you) to my rector and hope to be allowed into the 3 churches at which I play soon. As I'm the only one to play the organs there won't be an issue for others.
  10. Thank you Mike K, that is very useful and has answered my query. None of "my" organs is large or mechanically complex.
  11. I've been thinking about this too. I have a Casio keyboard at home and have been practising, or to be more accurate, playing through various pieces just to keep my fingers supple. Pedalling is ignored! My thought is that muscle memory will kick in when we are allowed back into a church to get going properly and things will get to normal in this respect at least fairly quickly. I do wonder about this restriction though while stressing that I am complying fully. I am a keyholder to two of the three churches at which I play regularly and could thus guarantee that no-one would be be able to access the buildings if I were to go in by using an old iron latch inside the doors to lock up behind me. I do also wonder about the health of organs, especially large and complex instruments, that are being left for extended periods. Is there a derogation for places such as our cathedrals where the organist may live nearby and can access the organ without using public access? Places such as St Paul's can be entered from the other side of the road via a tunnel into the crypt which would allow an organist to enter and leave safely and to play the organ for its well-being in safety (and without vacuum cleaner accompaniment) and I'm sure that others have a similar arrangement.
  12. There was, during last summer, a busker playing an accordion near the RSC theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon usually playing what I took to be arrangements of Romanian folk songs. He was very accomplished and I usually stopped to listen for a few minutes on the way home from the the gym and made a contribution. One Friday the sound was different and sounded very similar to the sort of improvised toccata that one might expect in a French cathedral after High Mass. I listened, somewhat spellbound, until he finished and then asked what he had been playing. He indicated with broken English and hand gestures that it came from his head into his fingers while he played. He was clearly a real musician and had improvised a well structured and impressive piece of music, far better than I, and I suspect many others, could ever manage. It was gratifying that he usually had a decent audience who showed their appreciation.
  13. Thank you to all who have replied and especially to Colin for his lucid explanation. I am glad I'm not alone in experiencing or perhaps noticing the apparent pitch change. The idea of a a trompe l'oreille is fascinating but no more difficult to understand or accept than the ocular version. At least I haven't, to use an old Warwickshire phrase, "gone all yampy"!
  14. This is quite possibly going to make me sound a bit daft, but that's fine and has been said before! When listening to recorded music from a building with a long reverberation period I have noticed that after a long and loud chord has been released the pitch of the notes appears to sharpen very slightly as the echo dies away. This isn't particular to any organ, music or building and is independent of the type of media on which the music is played. I can't come up with a rational reason as to why this might be the case and A level physics is too far in the past to help. Am I hearing things?
  15. Sorry, I should have specified that it is the C of E. I had 5 booked in the near future...
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