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Mander Organ Builders Forum


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Everything posted by handsoff

  1. I recall hearing a particularly over-audible tenor in a choir as being "en-chamade".
  2. Is not the traditional replacement for a broken fan belt a ladies' stocking? 🤯
  3. Oh yes it was dreadful and the whole rank seemed to be completely unregulated! But very exciting to an 11 year old whose only experience of a reed stop was a distinctly dodgy and asthmatic Oboe going just to tenor C... (I still quite enjoy the old FJ recording though!)
  4. I have always enjoyed the Tuba Tune since first hearing FJ's recording of it on an early LP acquisition. I developed huge respect for it and organists able to play it properly from Simon Johnson's narrated performance on the Priory DVD recorded in St Paul's cathedral.
  5. ... and what stunning playing throughout. The organ sounds absolutely magnificent. Thank you for sharing so much of the rebuilding process with us. I look forward to 1) a long weekend in York for Mrs H and me and 2) a recording when all has settled down.
  6. I have a copy of the SGH disc which I bought from Priory using the service by which they produce a CD to order for a customer. It took a couple of weeks, cost a bit more than usual and the insert and sleeve notes are photocopies but the sound quality is excellent as is always the case with Priory. The organ sounds magnificent if a little short of breath at times and the CD is a welcome addition to my collection. it might be worth checking to find out if Priory still offer this service - I didn't know that they did but contacted them to ask if they perhaps had any copies of the disc in a drawer somewhere. Their response was very kind and helpful.
  7. Oh gosh. I used to play that in the school chapel after morning assembly the late 1960s. {Possibly not quite so well or using such a good arrangement...} Themes from the Magic Roundabout used to feature on occasions. I don't think that the Head would have known what the Magic Roundabout was or even what a TV might have been.
  8. I had a similar issue last year. The strip light with an incandescent filament failed but our churchwarden who owns several holiday cottages came up with an LED strip light used as a shaving/make-up light for a bathroom fixture. A simple changeover was made as the old fitting was simply plugged in behind the desk and already linked to the blower switch. A rectangular shade was made for a couple of pounds by a motor engineer who had the appropriate metal bending tool. This was screwed in place and that was that.
  9. I find it strange that anyone could actively hate the organ in St John's; is this an actual quote from Andrew Nethsingha or was something more moderate expressed, as one might expect from such a professional musician, and embellished within the rumour? I have heard the organ in the flesh on several occasions and always found it an exciting instrument, and in my youth was peeved when the firing squad was emasculated. I listened to the Advent Carol service on Sunday last and found the playing of the final hymn (possibly my favourite hymn tune) and the JSB voluntary especially thrilling. It was good to hear the beautiful chamber organ in the Gibbons verse anthem. The lack of an audience enhanced the acoustics. It's available on BBC Sounds.
  10. That was marvellous entertainment on a cold and foggy day. It was good to see and hear some of our lesser-known organs. Neat editing too...
  11. When I started at the local grammar school one of the rules was that every text book had to be covered with brown paper. My parents must have bought miles of the stuff from the huge roll in The Midlands Educational store. This habit became so ingrained that whenever I bought a new music book it was covered and while most have lost the brown outer coating I still have one as so treated in 1969. This image shows it on the desk of my keyboard with the neat lettering applied by my sister and defaced with my own addition of the volume number. Now I don't bother and don't mind if the congregation see the title announcing that I'm sometimes playing from an Easy Compendium for Beginners!
  12. I am a big fan of last verse reharmonisations for some hymns and still use them, in a gentle fashion, in my small village church with 15 in the congregation and no choir. I think they were more popular some years ago than today and it was quite usual to hear them in the "Wednesday 4 o'clock". It's much less common these days which I regret. The sound of a large organ thundering out a good juicy alternative harmony is quite thrilling. On the other hand I don't much like descants, now much more prevalent, with some exceptions such as Andrew Fletcher's Verdi-esque "Ark the Erald" and some of Sir David Willcocks's offerings. When I was much younger and before the realisation dawned (on others) than my talent wasn't equal to my ambition I spent 4 days on a residential RSCM accompaniment course at Addington Palace during which much of the third day was spent being tutored in mucking about with harmonies, both in hymns and psalms, all of which experience was used in various churches thereafter. I was thinking about psalms the other day and concluded that I would struggle to remember how to use the pointing so long has it been... Sorry for another off-topic post. And so to YouTube...
  13. One of the curates from our benefice is being ordained at Gloucester Cathedral at 10.15 this Sunday. The service is being streamed live and I'm sure that the organ will play a prominent part. Links are available from the first page of the Diocesan website - or directly through Youtube and Facebook. https://www.gloucester.anglican.org/2020/ordinations-2020/
  14. There is a sign available to buy with the following: Correct Punctuation Saves Lives "Let's eat Grandma"
  15. I was talking to friend recently whose children had been learning about the octopus during lockdown. They had been told that the plural should be Octopi (sic) or it was allowable to use octopussies. He disliked the latter as it sounds messy and suggested that they use the former. I suggested that the correct plural should really be octopodes as the name is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinised form of the Greek word oktopous. I too shall order a copy of the book to help preserve my reputation for grammatical pedantry. I think of it as simply being correct. ☺️ E&OE
  16. I often play one or two Hymn Miniatures by Rebecca Groom te Velde which are very effective and not difficult. In Volume 1 I especially like Picardy and St Anne although all 28 pieces are worthwhile.
  17. ...but they are found in buildings 'where there would have been proficient , sophisticated and sensitive musician-singers'. Or naughty choirboys 😀
  18. I absolutely agree that the Symphony Hall acoustics are first rate. The organ has some lovely individual registers and the full Swell Organ is impressive but the tutti needs, in my very humble opinion, a bit more oomph in the choruses, both flue and reed. The pedal Contrabombarde could do with more power to better match the full organ sound or perhaps there should have been two 32' reeds, as in the Town Hall, to avoid compromise. One stop for an impressive effect with less than full organ for use with choirs and orchestras and another for loosening the plaster with everything drawn in solo organ music. Money clearly wasn't an issue when the hall was built and the design could have incorporated space for an additional set of pipes. What might have been... I still wish that Cavaillé-Coll had built his design for Rome. 😋
  19. The French Horn on the Symphony Hall organ is one of the best reed stops I have heard anywhere. It is absolutely beautiful particularly when the shutters are closed which give an ethereal effect which is a hair raiser. The organ itself is not one of my favourites by any means. It seems to need the chamades to produce any real volume and the bottom end appears, to me at least, to be lacking in power with the full organ. I much prefer the one just along the way in the Town Hall. I once mentioned this to Andrew Fletcher (my DoM at St Mary's Warwick) after a recital at the Town Hall and he said words to the effect that he wouldn't be too bothered if he wasn't asked to play the Symphony Hall organ again but would miss the Town Hall organ terribly if he couldn't play it.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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