Jump to content
Mander Organs
Lucasorg

Worcester Cathedral

Recommended Posts

(is that RHJ's ghost?)

I think they're sandbags for aural protection.

 

(Sorry don't mean to start everyone off again!)

 

Thanks for drawing our attention to this super photo though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had a thought, did anyone see the tv proggrame of Tangerine Dream playing a concert in a cathedral, I do not know where but it was quite a while ago

Regards

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adrian, one quick question:

 

Am I correct in thinking that you had stated that the new console for the quire organ will be sited in the south choir aisle? If so, will it be in a loft and in which direction will the player face?

 

Are you able to discuss any features of its design? For example, will the stop jambs be of light or dark wood? What type of draw-stop will be utilised and do you yet have details of the number of pistons and accessories?

 

My apologies, that is six questions.

 

Any information will be eagerly recieved.

 

Thank you.

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[font=ArialAm I correct in thinking that you had stated that the new console for the quire organ will be sited in the south choir aisle? If so, will it be in a loft and in which direction will the player face?

Hi Sean,

 

The Console is to go in the South Quire aisle in a new loft whose designs I have not yet seen, though they have been commissioned. The Console will have the player facing East at a height such that the player will have direct hearing of the choir, but not so high as to intrude on the visual lines too much.

 

Are you able to discuss any features of its design? For example, will the stop jambs be of light or dark wood? What type of draw-stop will be utilised and do you yet have details of the number of pistons and accessories?

 

We have just about finalised the drawings of stop and piston layout, though I don't have in front of me at the moment all the finer details of your other questions. Expect 8 pistons plus cancel per manual as well as a number of reversibles. We have also made provision for generals to control the Transept division when it comes online and other goodies....still a little work to do before all becomes finally settled.

 

Hope that's useful.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Sean,

 

The Console is to go in the South Quire aisle in a new loft whose designs I have not yet seen, though they have been commissioned. The Console will have the player facing East at a height such that the player will have direct hearing of the choir, but not so high as to intrude on the visual lines too much.

We have just about finalised the drawings of stop and piston layout, though I don't have in front of me at the moment all the finer details of your other questions. Expect 8 pistons plus cancel per manual as well as a number of reversibles. We have also made provision for generals to control the Transept division when it comes online and other goodies....still a little work to do before all becomes finally settled.

 

Hope that's useful.

 

A

 

Thank you, Adrian - this is interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expect 8 pistons plus cancel per manual ......

 

Aah - nice to see a Willis idea in use, notwithstanding all the years that many stressed the complete unimportance of a "0" piston on each manual

 

:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Expect 8 pistons plus cancel per manual ......

 

Aah - nice to see a Willis idea in use, notwithstanding all the years that many stressed the complete unimportance of a "0" piston on each manual

 

:lol:

 

However, it would be interesting to learn how often these are used. The divisional cancel thumb pistons at Exeter Cathedral are literally never used (unless possibly by the odd recitalist).

 

I have played a number of organs which include this piston (Exeter, Coventry and Truro cathedrals, for example) and I wonder if it could perhaps be included in the 'most pointless accessory' list. Certainly the only time I have ever used one, was in Messiaen's Transports de Joie, in order to cancel all GO stops, the better to facilitate a particularly awkward semiquaver alternating chord pattern. To be honest, it was almost as easy to press GO piston one and to push in the 8p flute, or Stopped Diapason.

 

The other point against such pistons is that they are, in the case of H&H consoles positioned where one would instinctively look to press Great to Pedal reversible, and on 'Willis' consoles where one would expect to find the first divisional piston. In any case, I believe that I am correct in stating that those at Truro are wired-in to the capture system and, as such, are technically adjustable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, it would be interesting to learn how often these are used. The divisional cancel thumb pistons at Exeter Cathedral are literally never used (unless possibly by the odd recitalist).

 

I have played a number of organs which include this piston (Exeter, Coventry and Truro cathedrals, for example) and I wonder if it could perhaps be included in the 'most pointless accessory' list. Certainly the only time I have ever used one, was in Messiaen's Transports de Joie, in order to cancel all GO stops, the better to facilitate a particularly awkward semiquaver alternating chord pattern. To be honest, it was almost as easy to press GO piston one and to push in the 8p flute, or Stopped Diapason.

 

The other point against such pistons is that they are, in the case of H&H consoles positioned where one would instinctively look to press Great to Pedal reversible, and on 'Willis' consoles where one would expect to find the first divisional piston. In any case, I believe that I am correct in stating that those at Truro are wired-in to the capture system and, as such, are technically adjustable.

 

I use mine a fair amount, not least because the general cancel is uselessly slow. :lol:

 

I use the choir 0 a lot - I have 1-4 setup for general accmpt, 5 (Corno di Bassetto) & 6 (Orchestral Oboe) for solos, which means that if I want to use other solo stops, it's handy to be able to hit 0, then hand draw what I want, rather than cancel a whole pile of stuff by hand.

 

Sniff. Only 5 services left for me on this lovely old girl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use mine a fair amount, not least because the general cancel is uselessly slow. :lol:

 

I use the choir 0 a lot - I have 1-4 setup for general accmpt, 5 (Corno di Bassetto) & 6 (Orchestral Oboe) for solos, which means that if I want to use other solo stops, it's handy to be able to hit 0, then hand draw what I want, rather than cancel a whole pile of stuff by hand.

 

Sniff. Only 5 services left for me on this lovely old girl.

 

Oh - so you did decide to leave, Adrian. To where are you moving, if I might ask?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use mine a fair amount, not least because the general cancel is uselessly slow. :lol:

 

I use the choir 0 a lot - I have 1-4 setup for general accmpt, 5 (Corno di Bassetto) & 6 (Orchestral Oboe) for solos, which means that if I want to use other solo stops, it's handy to be able to hit 0, then hand draw what I want, rather than cancel a whole pile of stuff by hand.

 

Sniff. Only 5 services left for me on this lovely old girl.

 

I used the Gt 0 quite a lot. The Willis "accessory list" is mightily impressive - reversible tremolo pistons in the right place for when doing a solo, for instance - but I still fail to see the point of Doubles On/Off and Pedal On/Off rocker switches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dear Mr Lucas,

 

Just to ask you, have you ever heard "Instructions for Angels" by Mike Oldfield (electric Guitar) and David Bedford on the organ at Worcester? It's on CD, I have it, it's actually really good. Very effective!

 

Not everyday you would hear an electric Guitar in Worcester Cathedral!!!

 

I just wondered if you know it!

Best,

 

Richard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used the Gt 0 quite a lot. The Willis "accessory list" is mightily impressive - reversible tremolo pistons in the right place for when doing a solo, for instance - but I still fail to see the point of Doubles On/Off and Pedal On/Off rocker switches.

 

Pedal On/Off - pointless

 

The doubles, I've never used, but it could, I guess be used musically.

 

Oh - so you did decide to leave, Adrian. To where are you moving, if I might ask?

 

Boldre, in the New Forest. Small church, crappy old 80's toaster (Copeman Hart), great vicar, choir of around 30ish, with kids. A growing church too. Fortunately someone has offered a grant to get the toaster updated. Still not the same as a mighty HWIII.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, it would be interesting to learn how often these are used. The divisional cancel thumb pistons at Exeter Cathedral are literally never used (unless possibly by the odd recitalist).

Both Christopher and I have experience of making good use of these - why else would we ask for them?

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes - I found the following on Wikipedia:

 

"Rick Wakeman of British progressive rock group Yes also used pipe organ to excellent effect in a number of the group's albums (including "Close To The Edge" and "Going For The One"). Wakeman has also used pipe organ in his solo pieces such as "Jane Seymour" from The Six Wives Of Henry VIII and "Judas Iscariot" from Criminal Record. Even more recently, he has recorded an entire album of organ pieces - "Rick Wakeman at Lincoln Cathedral"."

 

Graham

 

Re. Rick Wakeman...try this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCAvpxkIBIs

 

It doesn't really get anywhere, but is interesting.

 

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Pierre and others, just dropped in again, reading about pistons...

I want to state that there is VERY GREAT DEMAND for divisional cancels - it is when you're improvising!!

During my studies in Vienna, in a cellar room of the academy there was an abandoned 3m console by Rieger-Jägerndorf (now Czech Republic, then Hungaro-Austrian Monarchy), tubular pneumatic. It had divisional cancels, though situated within the rank of rocker tablets of the normal stop controls. The cancel tablets were named "Zerstörer" - "Destroyer!"

You all know that divisional stop controls are nearly unknown in organs of the German speaking regions. I was so happy to find such devices in Altenberg Cathedral (Klais, IV/80+, twin consoles), where I had a concert...

 

Regarding improvisation, general pistons ("Setzer") always call for the well thought-out preparation of a "take over" manual [which keeps its registration from one combination to the next], if you want to have seamless changes. With the years, I learned to prepare such combinations, and to recommend them to students, but how much better are divisionals! The large Beckerath in Hamburg St Petri has been recently refurbished, and it got divisional controls after English models, due to the interest the current DOM pays to anglican music. Whereever I get influence to coming builds/rebuilds of larger instruments, I ask my colleagues to think about divisional controls... On my Hauptwerk "Flight Simulator" with its St Anne's Moseley mock-up, I discovered divisional crescendo switches for the first time. Probably useless for written music, but - on larger instruments - maybe of large potential for improvisation, and certainly not only in historizing ones, related to any neo-romantic style... Are such switches typical for English EP instruments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Pierre and others, just dropped in again, reading about pistons...

I want to state that there is VERY GREAT DEMAND for divisional cancels - it is when you're improvising!!

 

DJB managed perfectly well at Gloucester without them, Cochereau did not have them (as far as I can remember) and, for that matter, I do not have them. On a Sunday, I improvise in various styles - often on as many as eight occasions during the day, if sorties are included. Personally, I have never felt the need for them! Hand registration, eight divisional pistons, eight general pistons and a few different memory levels have, to-date proven quite satisfactory.

 

Regarding improvisation, general pistons ("Setzer") always call for the well thought-out preparation of a "take over" manual [which keeps its registration from one combination to the next], if you want to have seamless changes. With the years, I learned to prepare such combinations, and to recommend them to students, but how much better are divisionals! The large Beckerath in Hamburg St Petri has been recently refurbished, and it got divisional controls after English models, due to the interest the current DOM pays to anglican music. Whereever I get influence to coming builds/rebuilds of larger instruments, I ask my colleagues to think about divisional controls... On my Hauptwerk "Flight Simulator" with its St Anne's Moseley mock-up, I discovered divisional crescendo switches for the first time. Probably useless for written music, but - on larger instruments - maybe of large potential for improvisation, and certainly not only in historizing ones, related to any neo-romantic style... Are such switches typical for English EP instruments?

 

Certainly general pistons are useful; but I still do not understand why German organ builders make them with such an unnecessarily complicated layout. Why bother with providing two or three little switches to each stop key, just to have two or three general combinations - why not simply provide one setter piston and between eight and sixteen general pistons - possibly with divisional pistons, too? I have played a number of organs in Germany, including those in the cathedrals of Bamberg and Bonn. In the case of the latter, I found the console to be over-complicated from the point of view of stop control.

 

However, I agree with you regarding divisional pistons - I am interested to note that you suggest these to your colleagues. I understand that German organists play their organs differently to English organists - for example, their type of choral accompaniment generallyrequires a different approach to the English 'cathedral' style (for want of a better word). I realise that this is a generalisation but I think that there is some truth in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...................... but I still do not understand why German organ builders make them with such an unnecessarily complicated layout. Why bother with providing two or three little switches to each stop key, just to have two or three general combinations

 

I once came across a Danish instrument with two complete sets of stop tabs - one on each side of the console for two general combinations - possibly a record?

 

AJJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once came across a Danish instrument with two complete sets of stop tabs - one on each side of the console for two general combinations - possibly a record?

 

AJJ

 

St Marien Lübeck, the large Kemper V/101, has two identical stop jambs (right term?), I mean, the complete stop controls are on the left and duplicated on the right side of the console

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DJB managed perfectly well at Gloucester without them, Cochereau did not have them (as far as I can remember) and, for that matter, I do not have them. On a Sunday, I improvise in various styles - often on as many as eight occasions during the day, if sorties are included. Personally, I have never felt the need for them! Hand registration, eight divisional pistons, eight general pistons and a few different memory levels have, to-date proven quite satisfactory.

 

Yeah. DJB - David Briggs? He was consulted regarding the pistons for that Hamburg-Beckerath refurbishment! Cochereau - he did have appels, didn't he? I mean, every divisional help is useful, and a cancel facilitates major registration changes on a division, which could not be foreseen. That's why I like them for Impro.

 

Certainly general pistons are useful; but I still do not understand why German organ builders make them with such an unnecessarily complicated layout. Why bother with providing two or three little switches to each stop key, just to have two or three general combinations - why not simply provide one setter piston and between eight and sixteen general pistons - possibly with divisional pistons, too? I have played a number of organs in Germany, including those in the cathedrals of Bamberg and Bonn. In the case of the latter, I found the console to be over-complicated from the point of view of stop control.

That is true for the older instruments. But since approx. 20 years, in new organs you will only find the anglo-american system as you described it just above. But note, there is one advantage of the old mini toggle switches - you could CHANGE a registration, which is not active. Requires a flexible mind, sure... Therefore I also like "prolongements" as available on some Cavaillé-Colls and Walckers, and also coming up again occasionally on new instruments (switch with "solenoids off" function)

 

I understand that German organists play their organs differently to English organists - for example, their type of choral accompaniment generallyrequires a different approach to the English 'cathedral' style (for want of a better word). I realise that this is a generalisation but I think that there is some truth in it.

but there are more and more fellows here (like me...) that realize, that the finest form of congregational singing is that following anglican high church tradition! I often take out my "Carols from King's" DVD, my CDs from Westminster Abbey with hymns and psalms, and was never touched by church music that much as when I attended a eucharist and mattins there...

So let's watch for the advent of divisional pistons on the continent :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DJB managed perfectly well at Gloucester without them, Cochereau did not have them (as far as I can remember) and, for that matter, I do not have them. On a Sunday, I improvise in various styles - often on as many as eight occasions during the day, if sorties are included. Personally, I have never felt the need for them! Hand registration, eight divisional pistons, eight general pistons and a few different memory levels have, to-date proven quite satisfactory.

Certainly general pistons are useful; but I still do not understand why German organ builders make them with such an unnecessarily complicated layout. Why bother with providing two or three little switches to each stop key, just to have two or three general combinations - why not simply provide one setter piston and between eight and sixteen general pistons - possibly with divisional pistons, too?

However, I agree with you regarding divisional pistons - I am interested to note that you suggest these to your colleagues. I understand that German organists play their organs differently to English organists - for example, their type of choral accompaniment generallyrequires a different approach to the English 'cathedral' style (for want of a better word). I realise that this is a generalisation but I think that there is some truth in it.

 

These "free combinations" haven't benn used for years - in fact, English and American builders used them too, but the fact that they looked different obscures the fact. Or have you never played an organ with little "soldiers" in a drawer next to the organ, or complicated setters, Rushworth style, in a cupboard behind the console? If not, it's possibly because the English update their consoles all the time, whereas Germans like to restore the consoles to their stone-age condition. Setter buttons as we know them only really became universal when solid state technology started to be affordable. Most builders over here now equip their instruments with the ubiquitous Heuss stuff, which starts with stepper and 4 000 generals. 10 years ago, having 64 was really a lot. May I ask how old you are, Sean? :lol:

 

As to your second question, Germany does not actually have a tradition of accompanied choral music at all, unless ccompanied by orchestra, of course. Or continuo.

 

Cheers

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Setter buttons as we know them only really became universal when solid state technology started to be affordable.

 

I have a setter button on a 1950's console, which uses 1930's Skinner technology to do this, albeit quite slowly and not particularly reliably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a setter button on a 1950's console, which uses 1930's Skinner technology to do this, albeit quite slowly and not particularly reliably.

 

Nor was it 30 years ago!

 

AJJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah. DJB - David Briggs? He was consulted regarding the pistons for that Hamburg-Beckerath refurbishment! Cochereau - he did have appels, didn't he? I mean, every divisional help is useful, and a cancel facilitates major registration changes on a division, which could not be foreseen. That's why I like them for Impro.

 

DJB - yes, but it does not look as if he recommended divisional cancels - I am all in favour of what has been done to the Hamburg Beckerath instrument. Cochereau had six pistons to each department, eight general pistons, six particulières, four coupler pistons and a number of other pistons, which I have never seen listed. There were, in addition, 'six small switches [which] also made possible, according to the whim of the organist, the combining of all or part of the piston combinations on six generals'.

 

Your comment regarding 'a cancel facilitates major registration changes on a division' - so do divisional pistons. It is not necessary firstly to cancel all stops on a division in an English instrument, before selecting a new registration. I can, if I wish, change instantly from a solitary flute to the full GO; or, I can change from fonds 16p, 8p and 4p to a Plein Jeu. Again, I can change from all the reeds and cornet to 8p and 4p flutes - all without the need of a divisional cancel. I must confess that I am unable to appreciate what a divisional cancel can do that is so useful. Aside from one short passage in Transports de Joie, I have never wished to cancel an entire department.

 

I would be interested to hear further as to why you find this accessory so useful in improvisation - not because I am being obtuse, simply because I cannot see why an intermediate stage of no stops between one particular registration and another is necessary.

 

That is true for the older instruments. But since approx. 20 years, in new organs you will only find the anglo-american system as you described it just above. But note, there is one advantage of the old mini toggle switches - you could CHANGE a registration, which is not active. Requires a flexible mind, sure... Therefore I also like "prolongements" as available on some Cavaillé-Colls and Walckers, and also coming up again occasionally on new instruments (switch with "solenoids off" function)

but there are more and more fellows here (like me...) that realize, that the finest form of congregational singing is that following anglican high church tradition! I often take out my "Carols from King's" DVD, my CDs from Westminster Abbey with hymns and psalms, and was never touched by church music that much as when I attended a eucharist and mattins there...

So let's watch for the advent of divisional pistons on the continent :lol:

 

I note with interest your comment above, although I had the pleasure of accompanying some fine congregational singing in a church in Nürnberg a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a setter button on a 1950's console, which uses 1930's Skinner technology to do this, albeit quite slowly and not particularly reliably.
I have struggled many times with the Compton system where, if you take your foot off the setter piston too quickly, the wires get trapped in the notches. This means you may pass through some surprising, even innovative, combinations on your way to the next setup.

I do favour the idea of being able to set up a new combination "blind" on the drawstops - or stop keys - and then call it up on a single "go" piston, especially where there is a registration assistant.

I grew up with second touch cancelling, which is a real help once you have mastered it. This skill is readily achieved by cancelling everything, except the 5 rank Cymbale, at the critical moment - for the second time!

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or have you never played an organ with little "soldiers" in a drawer next to the organ, or complicated setters, Rushworth style, in a cupboard behind the console?

Cheers

Barry

 

Except that this is not quite the same, Barry!

 

In 1965, H&H installed a new piston system on the organ of Exeter Cathedral. There were two black panels with a few hundred miniature circular switches, which could be pulled (or pushed) into one of three positions. As you say, R&D (and JWWW - and probably many other builders) provided these piston-setter panels. Walkers (and occasionally R&D) often placed them behind the music desk, which was less than practical if one wished to change combinations during a service.

 

However, I do not regard these in the same category as a system which places three or four switches immediately adjacent to each stop or stop key, simply to operate two or three free combinations. For one thing, I find that such consoles look incredibly messy and for another, it is surely more conveninet to group all the switches on a panel in its own small cupboard beside the console if, of course, there is room.

 

As to your second question, Germany does not actually have a tradition of accompanied choral music at all, unless ccompanied by orchestra, of course. Or continuo.

 

Cheers

Barry

 

This I realise; I was attempting to explain that I was aware that German organists did not normally require their instruments to provide for kaleidoscopic changes of registration, 'colour' Psalms or stir the soul of the listener during Stanford's For lo, I raise up - for example. However, the time at which point I had to go to play for a full practice at the Minster was rapidly approaching and so I had little time to think about the details of the post.

 

:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...