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I would agree in this instance. I recall that you have posted this clip before. On a small one-clavier instrument, this may work. Personally I would still prefer a small-scale Trompette; presumably infrequent tuning and maintenance would preclude this in such a situation.

Personally, I still cannot see anything particularly offensive about a fairly high-pitched well-made (and -voiced) mixture in a large, resonant building.

 

As I wrote, the 4ft. reed must have had some new pipework. Unless W, W & Co. simply melted down the old H&H reed resonators.

 

Well, for a quiet chorale prelude this may suffice (although I should wish to slow down the tremulant). However, in chorus work this would not do at all.

I believe both the 8' and 4' reeds were entirely new. I was told at the time that the pipes of the old trombas were collapsing under their own weight.

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Of course this Mixture is out of tune.

The organ has just been restarted after more than one Century of neglect...

Noch Fragen/ Nog vragen/ Noch fréég'n/ other questions? :lol:

 

(By the way, the specifications of this Mixture is exactly the same as with the Riga

Harmonia aetherea you hear in Karg Elert. But that one is in the Fernwerk)

 

Pierre

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Of course this Mixture is out of tune.

The organ has just been restarted after more than one Century of neglect...

Noch Fragen/ Nog vragen/ Noch fréég'n/ other questions? ;)

 

 

Pierre

 

Well, only that, if it has just been taken back into use, could it not have been tuned for the recital, first?

 

B)

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Well, only that, if it has just been taken back into use, could it not have been tuned for the recital, first?

 

;)

 

Gerhard Walcker had just three days:

 

"Wir haben hier drei Tage die Intonation etwas aus der Versenkung geholt, wobei besonders Aeoline, Mixtur und Octave klanglich bearbeitet werden mussten für das anstehende Konzert am 4.November."

 

....Those three stops did not speak at all and had to be revoiced, three days also before that recital.

And he was alone...

 

Pierre

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I would like to come back on this one:

 

"The old organ has now gone - whether to Stratford upon Avon or wherever - let's just congratulate..."

(Quote)

 

This has philosophical and ethical implications: "The past is the past, let us look forward,

the things must go on", etc.

 

Let us imagine I cross the Chunnel (no more with a C 50 Honda Step-through Motorcycle like in the 70's,

but rather with a big car), overspeed in your street, and ride over a member of your family.

Would you be content with an explanation like "Oh, he/she belongs to the past" ?

A bit short, oder ?

 

The question is not about the "merits", "achievements", "mistakes" of Smith, Jones, Vandelpimperzeel,

Dubois or Van Kattebak, but the place of any human being in the society and the history.

 

-Are we ever more clever than the previous generations ?

 

-Has one generation more "rights" than the previous and -quite important question nowadays- the following ones ?

 

-Is what I think "good" or "wrong" automatically "good" or "wrong" for everyone ? Will it still be

thinked of that way in 50/100 years ?

 

-What will our descendants think of our deeds in 50 years ? On what grounds will we be judged ?

 

About the last point, I often surprise when I tell organists here we, the "beginning neo-romantics", shall be judged

according to what we shall do to the neo-baroque organs....But the History is absolutely clear about it: we like the

Cavaillé-Coll, Walcker et al. organs. But we regret, at the same time, the baroque organs which were destroyed;

it would have been interesting to build less romantic organs while keeping a number of baroque ones intact.

As a result we would have had more of both kept up to us.

 

So: What is our place really ?

 

Some links:

 

-Halas only in french, a text from an extraordinary french builder, Laurent Plet, who is a reference

with restoration matters:

 

http://lplet.club.fr/textes/amemh.htm

 

A reference Website about Heritage matters:

 

http://www.international.icomos.org/home.htm

 

The Venice charter:

 

http://www.international.icomos.org/charters/venice_e.htm

 

Pierre

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I would like to come back on this one:

 

"The old organ has now gone - whether to Stratford upon Avon or wherever - let's just congratulate..."

(Quote)

 

This has philosophical and ethical implications: "The past is the past, let us look forward,

the things must go on", etc.

 

Pierre

 

 

As ever Pierre I see your point - set out very succinctly. But the fact is that there is a splendid new instrument sitting in Worcester Cathedral (which possibly in another 100 years others could be having a similar discussion about) - it has been designed by those who will be using it (for the time being at least) and by those who have experience of planning such matters. The relevant authorities who allow for such things to happen have allowed the project to go through (and they are often the hardest to please - numerous examples can be quoted of failed attempts but this is not the place to air these) and presumably the old material has been removed in an acceptable manner too - certainly I have not heard to the contrary. Throughout the process Adrian L. has been generous and open at all stages of the building work and has also answered questions as they have been put to him. As one of our senior cathedral musicians I would find it very hard to accuse him of leading an instance of philosophical or ethical vandalism!

 

Having for the last nearly 20 years had 'second hand' experience of the planning and conservation issues relating to a World Heritage Georgian city not a million miles from where we live I have come across many of your arguments in different guises. Similarly here the fact remains though that in the middle of the above city sits a brand new spa resource which kicked up many of your points made above when it was being planned (and ok went miles over budget too) but is now quite a splendid part of the 'cityscape'. And to play devils advocate there is also a splendid Klais organ less than half a mile from the above new Spa that replaced something that from the 'total' musical point of view could only be described as dodgy (however good parts of it were to - play with hands and feet sounding at different synchronations on pipework assembled in a very haphazard way is not musical however anyone views the ethics of the matter)!

 

As to riding up our road in your car - if ever you do please drop in for a chat first but I am not quite sure that your argument here quite fits the Worcester discussion - running someone over is not really the same as a considered approach to a musical need is it?

 

AJJ :blink:

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" But the fact is that there is a splendid new instrument sitting in Worcester Cathedral "

(Quote)

 

The fact, it is that the first reports are encouraging. That is indeed good news.

 

"presumably the old material has been removed in an acceptable manner too "

(Quote)

 

About this we know nothing.

 

"Throughout the process Adrian L. has been generous and open at all stages of the building work and has also answered questions as they have been put to him. "

(Quote)

 

Indeed, and this is an example of transparency to be followed.

 

"I would find it very hard to accuse him of being at the front of an instance considered (or otherwise) vandalism!"

(Quote)

 

Let us avoid mixing different matters. As I said, the problem is not the deeds of the individuals.

Such cases have happened quite often; it is a question that needs to be seen with some "hauteur de vue".

I "accuse" nobody; I question an attitude of mind, which belongs to us all, within our own epoch.

I have no interest, in my forest, in social games.

 

 

The very same case happened in Brussels Cathedral. Here, too, it is necessary to deal with each

thing seperately.

The new organ is excellent and its builder became a friend. He is a member of my forum.

But I still pretend to get rid of the old organ was an huge mistake.

 

If I heard the new W. organ, it is quite possible I would prefer it to the previous one.

Why not ?

But this is a completely different matter.

 

"As to riding up our road in your car - if ever you do please drop in for a chat first but I am not quite sure that your argument here quite fits the Worcester discussion - running someone over is not really the same as a considered approach to a musical need is it?"

(Quote)

 

No panic, I decidedly prefer gentle Mopeds... :blink:

I deal not with musical needs here, but Heritage.

 

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis

All these postmortems are pretty pointless, and who can predict opinions in 50 or 100 years. I see no real value in the new W organ being so well documented other than from a historical point of view. In terms of opinions, really who cares?

 

My own concern was (and I mean was..... I am past caring about organs by and large....) that there has always been a history of alterations and removals almost everywhere, and that no governing body sees any organ safe unless 500 years old and full of woodworm. There are no bodies in place to protect organs otherwise. Just advice. So, why worry?

 

My other view would be simply that historical material is not necessarily a reason for retention. The real proof comes from its musical use, its appropriateness now. This applies to trigger swells, old Byfields you name it. We do not actually look after our organs very well at all as a nation, nor are we very musical. We reap.

 

Negative? Very!! :blink:

 

R

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Guest Cynic
Consider thoughts thoroughly provoked! When you come to hear Worcester come and see the spa too...and the Klais.

 

A :blink::) :)

 

Not wanting to be rude, or argue with you Alastair, but why do you think Pierre would be at all interested in the Klais? They have plenty of organs that sound exactly like this sur le continent! The prime reason he is a member of our forum in English is that he appreciates our style of organ! We build (or rather, our forbears have built) romantic organs par excellence; the UK tradition is unusual and to be relished for what it is.

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Not wanting to be rude, or argue with you Alastair, but why do you think Pierre would be at all interested in the Klais? They have plenty of organs that sound exactly like this sur le continent! The prime reason he is a member of our forum in English is that he appreciates our style of organ! We build (or rather, our forbears have built) romantic organs par excellence; the UK tradition is unusual and to be relished for what it is.

 

There is a large ammount of N&B and HN&B pipework still there - to preserve this was part of the rationale of the Klais work. Whether they succeded or not is another matter but it could be suggested that there is more genuine 'English Romantic-ness' around in Bath than in Worcester. I could not possibly comment however.....! Also...I try to avoid the 'theirs and ours' - having an eye and an ear for good music on a fine instrument mostly allows me enthuse about whatever. I can get as much pleasure from Kings College Cambridge as from St John's College Oxford. I know what you mean though Paul and I was being ever so slightly tongue in cheek!

 

AJJ :blink:

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Guest Roffensis
Consider thoughts thoroughly provoked! When you come to hear Worcester come and see the spa too...and the Klais.

 

A :) :) :)

 

 

on a slight detour, and given I never heard the old pre 72 Bath organ, there are a few points to make about it perhaps. As it was until the HNB rebuild of 1972, I understand it was a particularly fine Hill, and that the 1972 work was praised very highly, even if some of the work would not be done with todays more enlightened attitudes. :blink: The point I make is that in 1972 it was the Bees Knees. Simply wonderful darling. The booklet on it tells us just how good it really was. Better believe it!!

 

Despite this, Klais got the contract for the last rebuild, and reused very much of the old pipework, buidling around it. I have to say that it does sound in some ways radically different from it's old self, but also very recognisable still. And it can give a good impression of its old self too. Sad to reflect that it took a foreign builder to actually do this, and I think successfully. I know not why it was given to a firm outside the UK, but certainly the core was respected, and not condemned. It was not suddenly confined to the skip, suddenly seen as some irredeemable heap as so many English organs have been. So yes, I would go to the spa, and I would go to hear it. I love it.

 

R

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Cynic gets the point; as we have, in the Kristus Koning kerk of Antwerpen,

one of the very first "néo-classique" organ by Klais (1932), with 75 stops,

we do not need to pay the tunnel fare...But true british organs we have none

-be them romantic or baroque, save the Dallams in Brittany, which were built

after the french style-.

And yes, it is possible continental builders might be quite interested with british

organs, and would respect them anyway.

This is even true for the organists, always bound to the fashion; smooth, dark tones

are coming in vogue rapidly.

 

By Klais they foresaw all that since the 70's. In his book "Überlegungen zur Orgeldisposition,

Theorie und Praxis aus der Orgelwerkstatt",

(Verlag das Musikinstrument, Frankfurt/a/M., 1973) Hans-Gerd Klais, while describing

the modern organ of the time, did not fear to display a deep understanding, and respect,

for the late-romantic style.

He even was the author to whom we are indebted for having described, the first,

the "Abschwächungsprinzip" as opposed to the "Werkprinzip". This tonal structure

was behind every organ design since Bach's time -already- up to the 30's.

After all, the Klais firm started with late-romantic organs.

 

So we need not wonder if we see continental builders restore or rebuild british organs

with respect.

But yours can do at least as well, if asked for ! there are examples. See the Portfolio section

here...

 

What is "the most british" ? Are there more "british" organs than others ? I think this would

be impossible to tell.

Is Armley a british organ ? Theoretically, it is not. But Schulze was so influential that much that

came after him in the UK (Binns, Lewis...) took some accents over. So it is somewhere "british upside down".

Willis is another world, H&H still another, Worcester another still. But none of them you'd find

any trace on the continent.

So if you break them down, we all shall miss them. This is the reason I am here.

 

Pierre

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So if you break them down, we all shall miss them. This is the reason I am here.

 

Pierre

 

And we'd probably be the worse off if you did not remind us every so often of our responsibilities!

 

AJJ :blink:

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....We also have another, 1935 Klais in the Sint-Salvator Cathedral of Brugge:

 

http://home.euphonynet.be/kathedraalconcerten/orgel.htm

 

(The specification is the last one, at the bottom of the page).

 

Alastair, maybe a Voodoo version of the flemish "Vogelpik", featuring

a copy of my little self would be useful:

 

http://idolina.free.fr/images/Sociologie/voodoo-doll.jpg

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Pierre

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been sitting at this keyboard for a few minutes trying to think what to say about the new Worcester Organ after hearing DGW's recital today....

 

Will "stunning" sum it up sufficiently?

 

[One could start going into detail about the Swell strings, the flutes, the reeds, the beauty of the cases, the split-second timing by the régistrant and of course the quality of the playing etc but I won't.]

 

It was just a experience I should have hated to miss. And I've nearly forgotten about spending 90 minutes in the the hardest chair in Worcestershire!

 

P

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I've been sitting at this keyboard for a few minutes trying to think what to say about the new Worcester Organ after hearing DGW's recital today....

 

Will "stunning" sum it up sufficiently?

 

[One could start going into detail about the Swell strings, the flutes, the reeds, the beauty of the cases, the split-second timing by the régistrant and of course the quality of the playing etc but I won't.]

 

It was just a experience I should have hated to miss. And I've nearly forgotten about spending 90 minutes in the the hardest chair in Worcestershire!

 

P

 

Where were you sitting. We took Adrian's advice and sat at the top of the raked seating. What an experience!

 

Jonathan

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Where were you sitting. We took Adrian's advice and sat at the top of the raked seating. What an experience!

 

Jonathan

 

I was in the front row, south side, right by the tomb of King John - it was quite a strange experience to watch a TV screen over such an edifice!

 

I'm now looking forward to Choral Evensong on Sunday. Sadly, we're having guests over for lunch so won't be able to go in person but I shall try to escape for an hour...[edit:....which is lucky, as it was recorded on Thursday B) ]

 

Peter

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Where were you sitting. We took Adrian's advice and sat at the top of the raked seating. What an experience!

 

Jonathan

 

How good to read this. Do you think we could stop arguing now?

 

The whole Worcester discussion boils down to a very simple matter:

- when it comes to a discussion about the replacement of an organ, somebody has to make a value judgement. And somebody else is going to think he is wrong.

 

But if nobody ever took the risk, there'd never be any new organs.

 

Congratulations to our twinned cathedral!

 

Barry

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"somebody has to make a value judgement"

 

(Quote)

 

Who ?

 

(Would I permit myself to do so, there would obtain some slight problems in many places.

But I suppose there are "better" human beings, Confer Nietzsche)

 

Pierre

 

That is exactly the point. But somebody has to do it. It is strange that some decisions are simply taken for granted; here on the continent it is almost always safe to say, "Hey! Let's restore the organ to its original condition!" (even if there's hardly anything left of it, and what there is has been changed beyond recognition, and if the reasons for which it was altered in the first place are perfectly plain). Noncontroversial. But saying; let's chuck it out and start again, or, let's electrify the action, or even, let's just leave it the way it is, these require more courage, maybe more insight, and certainly more willingness to go out on a limb.

 

It's horses for courses. We know all about your fondness for the Worcester organ, and we can understand it, and maybe go along with it a certain way. But lots of other people thought it was dreadful, and those people have had their way. Perhaps they were wrong, but perhaps not. Who's to say? And anyway - the deed is done.

 

B

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