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Worcester Cathedral

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Will there be 2 consoles with one operating both instruments?

There will be a fixed Quire console which will play Quire and Transept.

 

Until the Nave spec if fixed, other arrangements are fluid, but we expect a movable console which will operate Nave and Transept. It is possible that this will also be able to work all three sections (in a basic way) for major services when the complete Cathedral is full.

 

A

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Guest Lee Blick

May I ask, why the old Worcester organ had a brick swell-box? Are there other organ with odd fabrications. I know there is that weird organ in Oxford which looks as if it was made out of plexiglass but I would be interested in hearing of others.

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Are there other organ with odd fabrications. I know there is that weird organ in Oxford which looks as if it was made out of plexiglass but I would be interested in hearing of others.

 

The organ at Kingston parish church has see through swell shutters. I’m not sure what they’re made out of. It’s not an instrument I’m particularly fond of, but I’m sure there are others who think it’s great.

 

Here's a picture

 

B)

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May I ask, why the old Worcester organ had a brick swell-box?

I believe it was one of Hope-Jones brilliant ideas for the ultimate "closed box" effect. He also had other ideas including an organ built in concrete chambers underground with the sound conveyed up through tubes....see this website which includes a picture!

 

The process of demolition at Worcester caused so much dust that we had to evacuate, taking evensong into the Chapter House for a week. A team of pneumatic drills fought with brick and steel girders which penetrated the roof vaults. Eventually, it came down with the added help of an A-10 tankbuster and laser-guided bombs... Still, the extraordinary thing is that the floor (Victorian tiling etc) on both sides was almost entirely undamaged and the newly-revealed rear of the misericords shows us the original colour of the woodwork. Lovely!

 

A

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Guest Cynic
May I ask, why the old Worcester organ had a brick swell-box? Are there other organ with odd fabrications. I know there is that weird organ in Oxford which looks as if it was made out of plexiglass but I would be interested in hearing of others.

 

 

Not a swellbox, but on page 108 of Baroque Tricks with the Organ Builders, Ralph Downes tells of the Positive organ at Buckfast Abbey which had to have a temporary wall built around it in order to restrict the sound - it was emphatically too loud and could not softened by any other means!

 

I cannot say whether this wall/partition is still there, but this seems likely since (I think) the organ has not been radicially rebuilt since that time.

 

Swellboxes made of two thicknesses of hardboard (without anything but a simple softwood frame between them) were common at one point. The two enclosed divisions of the Apse organ at Tewkesbury Abbey (J.W.Walker 1948) consisted of two swell fronts, a 'spare' Norman chamber and just such a very thin wall down the middle. The effect was surprisingly good.

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May I ask, why the old Worcester organ had a brick swell-box? Are there other organ with odd fabrications. I know there is that weird organ in Oxford which looks as if it was made out of plexiglass but I would be interested in hearing of others.

 

Which organ is that: the New college Oxford with the glass swell shutters or the new and exciting Mathew Copley organ?

 

PJW

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Guest Lee Blick

Yes the Copley. I am all for innovation in organ design btw. B)

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Guest Lee Blick

Sorry but that doesn't look all that innovative to me. It looks flimsy enough to be a dunk tank where the contents are likely to empty on to the unfortunate player below any minute soon. :(

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Sorry but that doesn't look all that innovative to me. It looks flimsy enough to be a dunk tank where the contents are likely to empty on to the unfortunate player below any minute soon. :(

Surely, this comes from the house of David Blaine... :o

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All the pipework has gone to Nicholson's in Malvern.

 

Adrian,

 

Can you give any indication what is to be done with the pipework? I had an email from John Norman at the cathedral some time ago and he suggested that a church overseas may be making use of it.

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Can you give any indication what is to be done with the pipework?

 

I'm afraid I am not aware. I would suggest a quick call to Nicholsons if there are requests in this area.

 

A

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May I offer my thanks to all those readers who have sent private messages of support over recent days. It is much appreciated.

 

Adrian

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Regarding the new organ, the organ spec. actually looks very well worked out. I notice the 2 two foot registers on the Great, so that there is a chorus of Diapasons and also Flutes, the latter which are varied. There are also two "twelfths"....one actually a Nasard. Also a Gamba. I notice also that it isn't "spiked up" with mixturework.

 

As I said, the spec looks really very good to me, I was actually very pleasantly surprised. I also like the shallow cases, which will certainly not spoil the architecure.

 

Richard.

It was clear to us that, within a very restricted space, we needed a very versatile instrument which would accompany well, be full of colour and variety, yet also be able to tackle a whole range of solo repertoire.

 

From a personal perspective, I have many times bemoaned the lack of proper flute choruses on a whole host of cathedral organs - I find these particularly useful when finding colourful and appropriate sounds to accompany the choir. Frequent 8 & 4 ranks are OK, but a good Nazard and 2' flute offer a whole extra range in this area and simple, bold colours are much more useful than the occasional, rather insipid, thinly scaled flutes that you might find on many Choir manuals.

 

I am also all too aware that, on well-built choruses, there is little need for rank upon rank of mixtures. If the organ has both flute and principal choruses, the Fifteenth can have a silvery quality that almost shines like a mixture anyway...then the mixture itself does the rest.

 

I love a good Gamba! I watched Dennis Thurlow back in 1994 when he voiced the old Nicholson Swell Gamba at Portsmouth and made a stop sing with incredible warmth and personality.... It stuck in my mind and has not gone away.

 

As to the casework, I hope shortly to have some pictures of the new arches which have been opened up in the Triforium...watch this space!

 

A

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Adrian,

 

Whatever I may think of the destruction of the old instrument, the specification of the new organ is certainly interesting and looks generally to be well-balanced.

 

I have some questions:

 

Is the size of the Solo Organ dictated by lack of space in the triforium?

 

Are the Pedal reeds still to be housed in the (re-located) transept case, or will they be in the triforium? In addition, will these consist of new pipe-work, or the 1972 H&H rank, revoiced?

 

One omission which I found a little surprising was the lack of a 16p reed on the GO. I do remember that the old instrument lost its Contra Tromba in 1978, but it did have the 16p Bombard on the Solo, which did fill the gap between the 8p Posaune and the Pedal reeds - particularly the 32p. There can sometimes be a tonal 'gap' on organs with no strong unenclosed 16p reed, but which have a 32p Pedal reed - for example, St. Peter's, Bournemouth and, to a lesser extent, Chichester Cathedral. Is this due again to a lack of space?

 

However, there are many points in which, on paper, the scheme scores points over several other recent stop-lists (by a variety of builders). I agree with you regarding a good Gamba. I had our GO Dulciana replaced some years ago by a second-hand Gamba (which was carried down to C1 in open metal pipes). I have never regretted the change, and the stop is used in quite literally every service.

 

I also note the wealth of flutes of differeing types. I am pleased to see a Harmonic Flute on the Solo - it is good to see these stops returning to favour.

 

One small regret is that there is no possibility of obtaining flutes at 8p, 2 2/3p and 1p. My own instrument has this on the Positive and the effect is quite beautiful - and particularly useful at Christmas.

 

I would be interested to learn the intervals of the mixtures at C1 (and, if available, the scheme of breaks) please.

 

I was further wondering if you had considered adding a transfer stop Choir and GO Exchange (which would be made to reverse the order of the two lowest claviers - and their divisional pistons). This would render such things as the latter part of the Prélude from Duruflé's Suite more easily playable.

 

The last point - no Pedal Divide?

 

:rolleyes:

 

Sean

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One omission which I found a little surprising was the lack of a 16p reed on the GO. I do remember that the old instrument lost its Contra Tromba in 1978, but it did have the 16p Bombard on the Solo, which did fill the gap between the 8p Posaune and the Pedal reeds - particularly the 32p. There can sometimes be a tonal 'gap' on organs with no strong unenclosed 16p reed, but which have a 32p Pedal reed - for example, St. Peter's, Bournemouth and, to a lesser extent, Chichester Cathedral. Is this due again to a lack of space?

 

However, there are many points in which, on paper, the scheme scores points over several other recent stop-lists (by a variety of builders). I agree with you regarding a good Gamba. I had our GO Dulciana replaced some years ago by a second-hand Gamba (which was carried down to C1 in open metal pipes). I have never regretted the change, and the stop is used in quite literally every service.

 

I also note the wealth of flutes of differeing types. I am pleased to see a Harmonic Flute on the Solo - it is good to see these stops returning to favour.

 

One small regret is that there is no possibility of obtaining flutes at 8p, 2 2/3p and 1p. My own instrument has this on the Positive and the effect is quite beautiful - and particularly useful at Christmas.

 

I would be interested to learn the intervals of the mixtures at C1 (and, if available, the scheme of breaks) please.

 

I was further wondering if you had considered adding a transfer stop Choir and GO Exchange (which would be made to reverse the order of the two lowest claviers - and their divisional pistons). This would render such things as the latter part of the Prélude from Duruflé's Suite more easily playable.

 

The last point - no Pedal Divide?

 

:rolleyes:

 

Sean

 

Aha, I see M. pcnd would like custard, cream and ice cream with his apple pie (or should that be tarte aux pommes?)! On paper, the menu looks very tempting, though I too am a little surprised that there is no double reed on the GO. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

 

JC

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Guest Barry Williams
Oh no, we're back to puddings again! But the lack of a 16' reed is a good point. St Albans will be adding one to the GO in the upcoming revisions. Clearly the gap needs filling and I wonder if the same applies here? Problems of space? The horizontal approach may solve this, but even pcnd would draw the line here? :rolleyes:

 

 

On the matter of sixteen foot reeds, Portsmouth Cathedral had one added to the Swell in 1998, apparently as an afterthought - or possibly as a musical necessity for a cathedral.

 

Barry Williams

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Oh no, we're back to puddings again! But the lack of a 16' reed is a good point. St Albans will be adding one to the GO in the upcoming revisions. Clearly the gap needs filling and I wonder if the same applies here? Problems of space? The horizontal approach may solve this, but even pcnd would draw the line here? :rolleyes:

 

 

I agree, Mark, GO 16' reed can be most useful.

 

By the way, St Albans organ has had a 16' GO reed since 1962. The additions are to be 8 and 4' chorus reeds.

 

Cheers

 

Alistair

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Oh no, we're back to puddings again! But the lack of a 16' reed is a good point. St Albans will be adding one to the GO in the upcoming revisions. Clearly the gap needs filling and I wonder if the same applies here? Problems of space? The horizontal approach may solve this, but even pcnd would draw the line here? :rolleyes:

St. Albans already has a 16ft Great reed (since 1962) - 8 & 4 ft reeds are being supplied in the forthcoming scheme of work.

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Guest Cynic
On the matter of sixteen foot reeds, Portsmouth Cathedral had one added to the Swell in 1998, apparently as an afterthought - or possibly as a musical necessity for a cathedral.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

What actually happened (I believe) is more complicated than that.

Portsmouth Cathedral were given grants to adopt and improve a redundant John Nicholson organ, (I think) originally built for Manchester Cathedral. They were thus obliged to respect the original chests and there was not considered room for either a 16' reed or a Celeste in the swell when the scheme was approved. Like Barry above, I believe that these two stops are a necessity in all but the very tiniest cathedral organ.

 

These stops were provided later, somewhat less officially I think. Indeed, I believe that two blank stopknobs are/were around just in case 'experts' come visiting. I have seen both these blanks, and the engraved ones on consecutive trips some decent while after the organ was finished. Both times there were pipes behind them (as it were).

 

I very much approve of the Portsmouth organ and can fully understand why Adrian Lucas, having enjoyed a most fruitful collaboration with Nicholsons there, might want to set up another organ after the same pattern.

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"...there are three empty spaces..."

 

Actually, only two (unless you count where the console used to be, as the South Transept case is very much still with us, though inoperative at present.

 

I've added some new photos, including some taken just today of the South Transept case which is still there in all its glory.

 

There are also new views of the North and South chambers where the triforium arches have been pierced.

 

Hope these are of interest!

 

A

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Is the size of the Solo Organ dictated by lack of space in the triforium?

Very much so - as you will see from my most recent photos, space is at a premium.

Are the Pedal reeds still to be housed in the (re-located) transept case, or will they be in the triforium? In addition, will these consist of new pipe-work, or the 1972 H&H rank, revoiced?

The pedal department will be entirely in the South Quire case, with the exception of the two 32' flues which will be offered as part of the Transept division once that is complete. I know that Kenneth Tickell is concerned that the organ may sound a little lacking in bottom until that phase of the work is completed, and I am sure we will have some sympathy with him in that regard. In our building, this has always been a concern and there are just so few spaces where there is available height for such pipes.

One omission which I found a little surprising was the lack of a 16p reed on the GO. I do remember that the old instrument lost its Contra Tromba in 1978, but it did have the 16p Bombard on the Solo, which did fill the gap between the 8p Posaune and the Pedal reeds - particularly the 32p. There can sometimes be a tonal 'gap' on organs with no strong unenclosed 16p reed, but which have a 32p Pedal reed - for example, St. Peter's, Bournemouth and, to a lesser extent, Chichester Cathedral. Is this due again to a lack of space?

It would be lovely to have a 16' reed, but there is just not the space for it. What we lose in this area, we gain in terms of one instrument in one place.

One small regret is that there is no possibility of obtaining flutes at 8p, 2 2/3p and 1p. My own instrument has this on the Positive and the effect is quite beautiful - and particularly useful at Christmas.

There are always extra things we should want....!!!

I would be interested to learn the intervals of the mixtures at C1 (and, if available, the scheme of breaks) please.

I don't yet have the final details here. Will let you know in due course.

I was further wondering if you had considered adding a transfer stop Choir and GO Exchange (which would be made to reverse the order of the two lowest claviers - and their divisional pistons). This would render such things as the latter part of the Prélude from Duruflé's Suite more easily playable.

No. While I understand the benefits here....in fact the Rodgers has this and we use it a lot....we want to make this an instrument that just comes straight off the page...what you see is what you get!!

The last point - no Pedal Divide?

No thanks. Not really my scene....I have big hands and use those where others like to use all four feet instead :lol:

 

Hope that's of interest.

 

A

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I have big hands and use those where others like to use all four feet instead :lol:

 

So you don't need something like

?

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So you don't need something like
?

Ho Ho....and I wondered what that video was going to contain!!!

 

A

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