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Worcester Cathedral

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Guest Lee Blick

Love the new pictures. The little crowns on the top of the pipes are a little camp. I haven't seen that on pipes before. Is it unique? :lol: Why is the Transept organ being moved to the North Transept?

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Love the new pictures. The little crowns on the top of the pipes are a little camp. I haven't seen that on pipes before. Is it unique? :lol: Why is the Transept organ being moved to the North Transept?

I don't know if they are unique, but they have earned the case the nickname "The Mississippi Steam Boat" for obvious reasons!

 

The Transept organ is to be moved to the North Transept (forward from the back wall) to provide an accompanimental instrument for activities under the tower and at the East end of the Nave. It was originally designed for the North Transept where it would be nicely lit by the sun as it passed around the South side. BUT...the Earl of Dudley, who gave the money for the organ, did not like the donor of the South Transept window and had the case built large enough to obscure most of the window....and contributing to our lack of light in the building....

 

Enough said??

 

A

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Mr Lucas

Thanks for taking and sharing the pictures with us. I'm not experienced in looking at Cathedral roof spaces and others have already commented that there is a lack of space which we can perhaps now appreciate for ourselves. If the Boxes and pipework are to be so far back under the roof are you at all worried that all the sound is going to stay up at that level and not get out properly for the choir (and organist) to hear many feet down below?

PJW

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Mr Lucas

Thanks for taking and sharing the pictures with us. I'm not experienced in looking at Cathedral roof spaces and others have already commented that there is a lack of space which we can perhaps now appreciate for ourselves. If the Boxes and pipework are to be so far back under the roof are you at all worried that all the sound is going to stay up at that level and not get out properly for the choir (and organist) to hear many feet down below?

PJW

Philip,

 

Bear in mind firstly that Great and Pedal will be in cases out in front of the arches. Choir, Swell and Solo boxes will be right up behind the arcading and we do not foresee a problem in this regard. The Quire area is actuall quite small and it will not have to do much in the way of projection to succeed. That said, I have every confidence that Ken will ensure plenty of openness for these stops behind the arches. Having heard a trial chord of principals that he brought over some time back, I am expecting an organ that will really sing around the building!

 

A

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Having heard a trial chord of principals that he brought over some time back, I am expecting an organ that will really sing around the building!

 

 

Adrian

Many thanks for the reply.

I was present at the IBO day at Cheltenham Ladies College recently when Mr Tickell remarked that their acoustic space absorbed sound and needed big scales for his new organ there. He then went on to say the same pipes at Worcester would have been much too loud. Lets hope you get what you are expecting in this exciting project.

Philip

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Love the new pictures. The little crowns on the top of the pipes are a little camp. I haven't seen that on pipes before. Is it unique? :lol: Why is the Transept organ being moved to the North Transept?

There are similar crowns at Exeter College, Oxford dating from the 1860's

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There are similar crowns at Exeter College, Oxford dating from the 1860's

You can see them here (they're a bit fuzzy - the photo was not taken to show them).

 

Paul

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Guest Cynic
You can see them here (they're a bit fuzzy - the photo was not taken to show them).

 

Paul

 

Off at a tangent a bit...

but why at Exeter College did they give the wooden pipes that Ikea motif instead of some quasi-Victorian decoration?

 

[Just thinking, you know.]

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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 was counting the console as the third space! Well spotted though!

Richard

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but why at Exeter College did they give the wooden pipes that Ikea motif instead of some quasi-Victorian decoration?

I would guess so that they stand apart from the Hill casework and thereby don't obscure its proportions. Actually, I think they just look tacky.

 

Paul

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Guest Cynic
I would guess so that they stand apart from the Hill casework and thereby don't obscure its proportions. Actually, I think they just look tacky.

 

Paul

 

 

Yes, I'd go with 'tacky'.

 

The main case might be Hill decorated pipes, but the case/front shape isn't the original one, I'm fairly sure.

Ditto the wrought ironwork, which actually came from the former organ in New College Chapel. This was acquired and reused when HN&B rebuilt the Exeter College College organ in the 1960s.

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the case/front shape isn't the original one, I'm fairly sure. Ditto the wrought ironwork, which actually came from the former organ in New College Chapel. This was acquired and reused when HN&B rebuilt the Exeter College College organ in the 1960s.

I didn't realise that; I hadn't been in there before I turned pages for the re-opening recital (Paul Morgan - then organ scholar at Christ Church).

 

Paul

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He then went on to say the same pipes at Worcester would have been much too loud. Lets hope you get what you are expecting in this exciting project.

Those were the very same pipes! Ken takes great care in trying things out in-situ. I think we have all had experiences of hearing organs in buildings to which they were not well attuned....I believe - please correct me if I am wrong - when the Beckerath at Clare Cambridge was first installed it was way too loud for the chapel. Similarly, I believe (though I have not heard it myself) the organ in the Bridgewater Hall Manchester is not powerful enough for the building.

 

I had the privilege of hearing part of the Cheltenham organ in Ken's works in Northampton last Summer and it seemed very fruity indeed. I am looking forward to hearing the same in their final position at the opening recital next weekend at CLC, though I am expecting a great deal of sound absorption there. I have also heard his instrument in Lower Chapel at Eton College which is a truly awful acoustic, yet the organ sounds amazing given that. I am sure in the Cathedral, it will be much easier than either of those...

 

A

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Yes, I'd go with 'tacky'.

 

The main case might be Hill decorated pipes, but the case/front shape isn't the original one, I'm fairly sure.

Ditto the wrought ironwork, which actually came from the former organ in New College Chapel. This was acquired and reused when HN&B rebuilt the Exeter College College organ in the 1960s.

As I understand it the case pipes are Hill and are in their third position in the Chapel (all at the west end):

1 Initially just in front of the arcade (with the crowns) with a two manual organ behind.

2 Moved foward and upward in 1968 with the console below (moved from the top of the spiral staircase) and a new hole cut in the stonework, surrounded by ironwork from the old New College organ.

3. Lowered as part of the JWW instrument of 1993.

 

There always were 16' bourdons to the side - they were just much less obvious (behind more grillwork) before.

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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!!

 

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

 

 

Thank you for the information, Adrian.

 

Naturally, I am interested in any further information and progress - and, of course, photographs. The new pictures of the South Transept case are excellent. The angels: are you sure they are dusty - or is it dandruff?

 

I appreciate your points regarding lack of space in the triforium, however, surely you would have room for a Choir to Pub stop....?

:P

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You can see them here (they're a bit fuzzy - the photo was not taken to show them).

 

Paul

 

The crowns on the pipe-tops:

 

The Victorians in general had a bit of a thing about naked pipe-tops ...

 

... and naked piano legs ...

 

 

... and pictures of naked fat women whose pores exuded a great deal of sweat ... :lol:

 

As I understand it the case pipes are Hill and are in their third position in the Chapel (all at the west end):

1 Initially just in front of the arcade (with the crowns) with a two manual organ behind.

2 Moved foward and upward in 1968 with the console below (moved from the top of the spiral staircase) and a new hole cut in the stonework, surrounded by ironwork from the old New College organ.

3. Lowered as part of the JWW instrument of 1993.

 

There always were 16' bourdons to the side - they were just much less obvious (behind more grillwork) before.

 

I would like to know why Walkers thought that it was a good idea considerably to lower the impost. I have played the new instrument only once (so, listen carefully....) and I managed to hit my head on the damn thing at least twice, whilst getting on and off the wench.

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I managed to hit my head on the damn thing at least twice, whilst getting on and off the wench.
Well if you must bounce around so vigorously...

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Well if you must bounce around so vigorously...

 

 

Oh God - it was supposed to read 'bench'. Obviously I am tired this morning.

 

I am probably still traumatised by the thought of all those fat, sweaty, Victorian women portrayed in those daguerreotypes....

 

And, no - I do not possess any. (Daguerreotypes, not fat women.)

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The Victorians in general had a bit of a thing about naked pipe-tops ...

 

... and naked piano legs ...

I've been told that the naked piano legs thing is a myth. Yes, the Victorians made covers for piano legs but they were to protect the beautiful wood from accidental knocks, not the moral rectitude of the observer. I have done no research on this and no less a mind than Tom Stoppard's has repeated the myth, but myth I believe it to be. :unsure:

 

Michael

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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? :unsure:

 

Actually at St Albans we do have a 16' reed on the Great. Curiously, we just don't have 8' and 4' ones (well, of the more sociable, chorus type), so these are what we are adding.

 

(Apologies - I now see this repeats information given by others).

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So, are Adrian and Andrew related? I don't keep up on these things, so apologies for being dumb.

Not that we're aware of.... :unsure:

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