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About nfortin

  • Birthday 28/08/1958

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    Cheltenham, UK

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  1. We were rehearsing Stanford in F evening canticles on Friday when one of my choristers noticed that on the front cover of our copies it says 'In the key of F with the greater third'. I have to admit that, when asked, I had no idea what 'with the greater third' means. Is it just a different way of saying "F major"?
  2. Thanks indeed to Adrian for organising and hosting this event, and to Christopher for his gifted and enthusiatic contribution too. There can be no doubt that Worcester now has a superb 4-manual organ in the quire with a range of colour well beyond its predecessor. Although very much an english cathedral organ, during the demonstrations it was hard to believe we were not in France, the Durufle in particular seemed to have an ideal instrument. For me the highlight of the demonstration was without doubt the wonderful duet version of "The Ride of the Valkyries", which had to be heard to be believed. I didn't hang around after lunch as I had a conflict of interests which drew me back to Cheltenham, but enjoyed the morning very much. Regular and long term readers will know that I was very critical of the decision to scrap the old organ, I'm not going to go back over that - its irrelevant know, but also sceptical about the choice of builder for its replacement. I have to say its a triumph. I'm very happy to admit I was wrong This is a superb instrument, probably one of the finest in the country, superbly designed and executed for the job in hand. I may even prefer it to Hereford, and thats quite a statement from me. Well done Adrian and very well done indeed Kenneth Tickell Best wishes all, probably my last post under this user name, althought I suspect a few of you have worked out my new identity, Neil
  3. I hope the moderators will allow this personal request. My new, anonymous, identity on this discussion board is now validated and ready for use, I'm sure I will be posting soon. I'm sure that I will not be able to resist the odd comment on such subjects as my local cathedral organ that will give me away soon enough, but in view of recent events I'd prefer it if you don't give the game away by including my real name in your reply, however provacative I may have been. If you choose to PM me with an "is that you" type of message I will reply honestly. Regards to all, and looking forward to meeting some of you at Worcester (although I doubt if I will have the nerve to actually play anything), Neil
  4. I don't want to say too much, other than in the words of Gilbert "Things are seldom what they seem". Bye all.
  5. I still instinctively feel that it is to some extent cowardly to hide behind an alias. However, it is now time for nfortin to say "Au Reviore". I intend to continue to contribute to discussions under a new name, I'm sure the odd comment on pet topics will soon identify me to regulars!
  6. Ah yes, I recognise this situation as being much more common than the other. Actually I'm not sure how you could ruin a perfectly good organ so as to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively. If it doesn't do these things in a normal parish church or cathedral setting it can't possibly be a perfectly good organ in the first place, at best a good organ but unfit for purpose. A large number of decent, but rarely pefectly good, organs were ruined in 1970s and 80s by the addition of foul, unblending mixtures with the aim of "providing more upperwork". It seems more likely that the intention here was to improve the instruments' ability to play repertoire than anything to do with either congregation or choir (although that may not alway have been how it was justified to the PCC or chapter at the time).
  7. Chavenage House, just outside Tetbury in Gloucestershire, has been used as a location for a number of films and television episodes. It has a 7-stop chamber organ in a gallery above the great hall. I don't recall ever seeing it played, but it certainly appeared visually in "The Mysertious Affair at Styles", one of the earlier of the David Suchet "Poirot" series. Details of the organ are on NPOR, photos of the organ in situ in the great hall gallery can be found on the Chavenage House Interior Photos page.
  8. Others have previously commented on the difference between Wyvern's custom build and stock models. My own experience is with custom built. All aspects of the instrument, including console layout, comfort, keyboard touch, and of source, sound, are of absolute top quality. Since this instrument was installed we have seen the church become a venue of choice for the best independent chamber choirs in this area.
  9. My church choir sang weekend services in Worcester earlier this year. Work was still in progress on the Quire organ and as a result the Quire was out of use for the whole weekend. Sunday services were (with the "Father Rodgers") in the nave, but as a result of a concert in the nave on the Saturday we were banished to the Lady Chapel. The organ in the Lady Chapel is a small Tickell chamber organ of, perhaps, 4 stops (I'm sure Adrian can correct or perhaps supply more details). I picked mainly unaccompanied music, but the range of sounds that our organist Darren Hogg enticed out of this instrument were just magnificent.
  10. I'm surprised noone has mentioned the 16' flute at Gloucester - is it an open stop, I believe so but could be wrong. Anyway its an absolute gem. Probably the best stop on the instrument.
  11. Well I know its not what our hosts want us to be discussing, but I don't think our 3M Wyvern-Pheonix could be bettered. Only Copeman-Hart came close - at literally double the price.
  12. Its a very easy walk, straight along the High Street, from Foregate Street to the Cathedral, 10 minutes would be more than enough. Those (north-south) mainline trains that stop at Worcester, and most dont stop between Cheltenham and Birmingham, only stop at Shrub Hill, which is a little more out of the way. Its not that long a walk into the centre but its not such an easy route if you don't know where you're going, so a bus or taxi from Shrub Hill is probably a better option if you've no local knowledge. Worcester is by any standards a small city, suggestions of 1 hour traffic delays seem unlikely to me, although I would agree that its not the easiest city for parking. Signposting is no better or worse than most places, I would suggest that finding your way into and out of a car park for Birmingham Cathedral is somewhat more of a challenge. Beware of the small car public park near to the Edgar Tower (at the perimeter of the cathedral green). Its about £8 for a full day, but the ticket machine requires you to put in your registration number first. If you get this wrong it takes (and keeps) your money but issues no ticket. My offer of a lift from Cheltenham station for anyone travelling up from further south still stands
  13. Not directly relevant really, I haven't come across any of his organ music but did attend a touring production of his opera "The Lighthouse" here in Cheltenham some years ago. I member this as being a splendid piece.
  14. Its impossbile to say without access to the instrument. I can never be sure, for example, whether Gt 2 should be a small open diapason or 8 & 4' flutes as this depends so much on the character of the individual instrument. Similarly the thorny issue as to whether one should combine flutes and principals must be judged by ear and not on paper. In terms of the swell much discussion revolves around whether the oboe should come on before or after the mixture, again I find it impossible to make a hard and fast rule, on my own instrument I am constantly resetting Sw4 depending upon the repertoire. In terms of the specific quoted specification, I find the cluttonesque presence of the Flageolet 2' as the only 2' on the swell peculiar. Surely one would want to add a fifteenth after the principal. I also agonise over the correct setting of Sw1. Personally I'm somewhat over fond of celestes and so tend towards 8' flute, +2 strings (tuned and undulating) on Sw1, but also can see the merits of 8' flute + 8' straight string, or 8' strings without the flute. Here again it comes down to judging the particular instrument in the building. Sw 2 is also an interesting setting, on some organs (particularly Willis) 8' Flute + 8' String (non-undulating) + 4' flute is a magical combination, on others substituting the 8' open diapason for the string works much better. In terms of general pistons it depends entirely on how many channels are available and what you with to achieve. On my (digital) instrument I set channel 1 for service and hymn playing and this approximates to a general crescendo (though not to full organ which is for very rare occasions). All other channels are for specific purposes and would be of no generalised significance. Having said all that, on paper, given your specification, I would predict in advance:- Gt1: Stopt Diap 8 Gt2: Stopt Diap 8, Harm Fl 4 Gt3: Open Diap 8, Stopt Diap 8, Principal 4 Gt4: Open Diap 8, Stopt Diap 8, Principal 4, Fifteenth 2 Gt5: Open Diap 8, Stopt Diap 8, Principal 4, Fifteenth 2, Mixture IV Gt6: Open Diap 8, Stopt Diap 8, Principal 4, Fifteenth 2, Mixture IV, Trumpet 8 Sw1: Chimney Flute 8, Echo Gamba 8 Sw2: Chimney Fulte 8, Echo Gamba 8, Wald Flute 4 Sw3: Open Diap 8, Principal 4 Sw4: Open Diap 8, Principal 4, Flageolet 2, Oboe 8 Sw5: Open Diap 8, Principal 4, Flageolet 2, Mixture IV, Cornopean 8 Sw6: Open Diap 8, Principal 4, Flageolet 2, Mixture IV, Contra Fagotto 16, Cornopean 8
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