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Posts posted by DouglasCorr

  1. I have just come back from the Orford Organ Festival. This included recitals by Paul Hale and Bernard Haas (almost completely from memory!) and organ with choir and orchestra with Catherine Ennis. When the organ was in the Turner Sims Concert Hall, where the reverberation was negligible when an audience was present, the organ allowed much music from the Barock era to be played satisfactorily with appropriate tone colours and balance; it was most satisfying sound yet one could not describe it as beautiful. St Bartholomew's church Orford's interior is both wide and lofty and provides a few seconds reverberation, even when there are over a hundred people in the church. This transforms the sound of the organ into one which is memorably beautiful! Perhaps one might argue that Peter Collins would have voiced the organ differently if this church had been its original home; however Cousans  have done an excellent job in restoring the organ to life once more! 

  2. On 07/04/2019 at 09:29, DouglasCorr said:

    Allan Wicks showed me their electronic organ around 1974 I’m pretty sure it was a Hammond.

    Allan Wicks also said that it sounded all right for playing trio sonatas rather than large scale pieces

  3. 23 hours ago, Mark Harmer said:


    I did a few lunchtime recitals on the organ .......

    Turner Sims organ - lunchtime organ recital Feb 3, 1978

    Although I'm sad to read about what befell it, I do hope it lives again in its new home.

    2 hours ago, Mark Harmer said:

    When I started this topic I never expected it to come to such a sad and undeserved end. And it was too upsetting to see the photographs of the organ being dismantled.


    Thanks Mark for providing the short recording of your recital - what an exciting and interesting sound! I don't know of any recordings of the Turner Sims organ. (Although there is the Regent Records CD "from Chamber to Chantry" that features several other Peter Collins organs.)

    When I was deciding to buy my own organ from Peter Collins I spent a few hour at the Turner Sims; and had the pleasure to meet Prof Evans, who I think was the driving force behind the acquisition of the instrument.

  4. .....Organs voiced without treble ascendant foundations strike me as feeble in the French repertoire, just for starters. I could name a couple of much-admired instruments whose foundations have zero lyric impact, but I'm afraid that there would be a chorus of protests.


    Karl Watson,

    Staten Island, NY USA

    This is a very important comment. Without this (i.e. volume increasing with increased pitch) much of Widor sounds completely boring and lifeless. But I'm not so sure that it is helpful with Bach.

  5. This is sad news indeed. At St Albans in July I was so sorry that Peter had been unable to present his new organ for the Festival due to illness. Peter had unlimited enthusiasm, energy, knowledge and vision in all things to do with organs. He was a most interesting speaker. In the early days of the St Albans Organ Festival I was so impressed by the small organs he displayed that I ordered a small instrument from him -it produces such a refined and elegant sound that I still enjoy 35 years on. At the time I ordered this I remember playing on other recent organs of his- at the Turner Sims Concert Hall and St Mary's Paddington Green. He had boundless enthusiasm for both of these - however I remember that at St Mary's the features he most commented on were the fiery wooden urns on the top of the case! Over the years every time I met him he had a new enthusiasm -high purity lead pipes, cases with resonant panels, light weight pallets.... Although many of his organs leant towards the north European classical organ, he was enthusiastic about many English builders, and he told me that he thought the sound of the organ in St Sulpice was incomparably fine.

  6. 20 or 30 years ago- I remember going to a talk by Arthur Wills in which he explained how the rebuild had put the organ back towards its original sound. I asked how he could say that when the Great 32ft had been removed. It was clearly an unwanted question and I received a short and fuzzy reply - which I unfortunately don't remember. It is interesting how one person's improvement is another person's vandalism.....


    I'd be surprised if there were a CCTV at that date and I can't imagine that the back of Boris's head looked very precise at that distance from the console. I wonder how far ahead of the choir he needed to play.

    I'm sure that Kings would have done the full spectrum of accompanied services before CCTVs appeared. CCTV would be too big and expensive before the 1980's, however a loudspeaker in an organ loft would be feasible. There was such an arrangement at Ely in the 70s for services in the nave, I don't know if Kings ever had any similar arrangements.

    It would be interesting to consider what the impact of CCTV is on the modern cathedral repertoire.

  8. This afternoon I thought I would take a look at Carols from Kings on the iPlayer before it vanished. To my surprise and delight there were two additional progammes about Kings (on the iPlayer with about 19 days left) - one about the first TV carol broadcast in 1954 and the other a documentary on these broadcasts over the last 60 years. This post is to suggest that many of you may be upset if you miss these programms as I nearly did. There is too much to write about here - but I'm sure you will be enchanted by the 1954 service from an almost forgotten era - the voices, haircuts, tempi, conducting with just a finger and much more....


  9. Colin - I thought your paper about acoustic basses very interesting - at school we had an acoustic bass 32ft and I always thought that it only "worked" on the bottom few notes - anyway your analysis it very convincing.


    I thought I would try out some of my own analysis using Fourier Transforms, but I no longer have the research software that MOD once provided me with- however I am pleased to find that in this day and age everything is already done for you on the computer - try adding your own mixtures of tones together e.g. 100Hz + 150Hz http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=play+100Hz+tone+%2B+150Hz+tone+ in the power spectrum you can see that there is no power below 100Hz i.e. no "difference note" (although the speaker option didn't work for me). You can synthesise whatever you like!!! Have fun folks!!! :lol:

  10. I've been aware of this issue for years, and it should apply pretty much to any non-unison mixture rank or mutation when combined with chords in Equal Temperament. What I don’t understand is why the "naturally tuned" mutations and mixtures in organs clash with ET and the naturally occurring harmonics in, say, orchestral clarinets don’t cause such a problem. I know orchestras don't play in exact ET but it must be quite close. Also clarinets play chamber music with ET pianos. I appreciate that a skilled clarinettist may adjust the tuning of individual notes to "fit" the tuning of other instruments but they can’t, surely, adjust the tuning of the (prominent) partials sounding the 12th and 17th independently of the fundamental, can they?

    This is an interesting point- and leads to questions like should chords played on a Quintadena (which has a prominant 12th) sound conspicuously out of tune in ET?? I don't think they do in my experience!

  11. I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but there is an orchestrated version of Elgar's organ sonata. Which was recorded by Vernon Handley. I well remember a recital by the late Carlo Curley who, in his conversation to the audience, said that he hadn't really got on well with the Sonata until he had heard the orchestrated version - then he realised that "organists tend to play the work too stiffly".


    Do, please, tell more. As I was not there I cannot easily imagine why this was very amusing. Maybe it was the way she told it, but I would have expected nothing less from almost any performer on the professional circuit, at least in Britain, for reasons we all surely know very well.

    Dame Gillian said that she had read that Bach had some sort of overshoes made to enable him to use his heels in playing.

  13. I agree; Harrison's presentation was very well presented and the video tour of the organ interior was a splendid idea.


    The concluding recital was very interesting, particularly in the Sweelink variations, as it demonstrated a number of the quieter stops. I hope we can hear more of these quieter stops in the future.


    It was also very amusing that Dame Gillian Weir came down on the side of manual changes and the use of heels in Bach. I was astonished too that she mentioned that she had been drawn into conversation with Susi Jeans about whether or not Bach wrote the G min Fantasia because Susi Jeans said exactly the same thing to me once, when I visited Cumberland Lodge for one of her music weeks!


    I did find however the talk on pipe scales somewhat hard to take in and, as in Downes' book, there was no conclusion on the types of scales that are desirable and how and why these would be affected be the buildings acoustical properties.

  14. I've tried several times on different days and have had the same problem.. :(

    The BIOS link to buy the RFH book is now working - looking forward to my copy arriving!



    Has anyone else here experienced any similar problems - or have I missed something obvious? (Or is the BIOS site having temporary software problems?)

    I've tried several times on different days and have had the same problem.. :(

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