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Ronald Shillingford

Bristol Cathedral Organ

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Did anyone else wonder how comes the Organ was so noisy following the recent broadcast on Sunday ? I know its a old organ but the incessantly clatter of the actions in the Jackson in G and concluding organ Voluntary was a distraction and detracted from what I was trying to enjoy. I understand the Organ is no longer in the Care of Manders and I have a recording on the priory label just after the organ was renovated with the canticles sung by the choir on the direction of previous director of Music. And theres nothing like what i am hearing now.

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Listening on analogue FM stereo, I didn't notice any clattering by the organ which I thought was recorded quite distantly. I would imagine those who have more high spec listening gear were more distracted. A good CE I thought, though the Vierne at the end (Symphonie III) did not seem to sit very well with what had gone before and was not exactly something to send the congregation out with a spring in their step. Bit ponderous really.

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Listening on analogue FM stereo, I didn't notice any clattering by the organ which I thought was recorded quite distantly. I would imagine those who have more high spec listening gear were more distracted. A good CE I thought, though the Vierne at the end (Symphonie III) did not seem to sit very well with what had gone before and was not exactly something to send the congregation out with a spring in their step. Bit ponderous really.

The action is very noisy and has frequently been criticised both here and on Orgue-I.

 

Perhaps the concluding voluntary was chosen bearing in mind the fact that we're in Lent.

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Perhaps the concluding voluntary was chosen bearing in mind the fact that we're in Lent.

 

Indeed - it was actually the Choral, the second movement from Vierne's Deuxième Symphonie pour Orgue, which I must admit, is a particular favourite. I intend to include it as a volunatry at the Minster during Lent. Whilst it may not be a bright or light piece, the build-up to the climax (about a page and a half before the end) is stunning - it is as if the great west doors of Nôtre-Dame have been flung open, and the sunlight has flooded in. The ending is, in my view, one of the most sublime conclusions in the repertoire, on the tutti. It is also the movement with which I chose to end the programme on my own CD; I regard it as a welcome change from the usual toccata or similar movement, which often seems to be chosen as the final piece on a CD, these days.

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The action is very noisy and has frequently been criticised both here and on Orgue-I.

 

Perhaps the concluding voluntary was chosen bearing in mind the fact that we're in Lent.

 

 

===========================

 

 

Does this mean that the Vierne "Scherzo" from the 6th Symphony would sound like "River Dance?"

 

How very interesting! ;)

 

 

MM

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Indeed - it was actually the Choral, the second movement from Vierne's Deuxième Symphonie pour Orgue, which I must admit, is a prticular favourite. I intend to include it as a volunatry at the Minster during Lent. Whilst it may not be a bright or light piece, the build-up to the climax (about a page and a half before the end) is stunning - it is as if the great west doors of Nôtre-Dame have been flung open, and the sunlight has flooded in. The ending is, in my view, one of the most sublime conclusions in the repertoire, on the tutti. It is also the movement with which I chose to end the programme on my own CD; I regard it as a welcome change from the usual toccata or similar movement, which often seems to be chosen as the final piece on a CD, these days.

Agree its a great piece. Given the action 'foibles' (eg runs in the touch boxes that make certain major 3rds continue to sound when one note is released - notably Sw mid F and A, but also a couple on the Gt - and a very slow middle G) one wonders whether this piece was chosen because it avoids them all ...and why not -its a glorious sound

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I agree that the Choral from the Deuxieme Symphonie (my mistake!) does eventually come to a wonderful climax. However, I maintain that it is not an ideal piece for a voluntary since by the time the wonderful climax duly arrives, you will find that the congregation has already left the building and the organist is simply playing for his/her own aggrandisement. There is nothing inherently wrong with that - I am sure organists are all guilty of doing this sometimes - but surely it is not what a voluntary is intended for? Or am I being naive?

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I agree that the Choral from the Deuxieme Symphonie (my mistake!) does eventually come to a wonderful climax. However, I maintain that it is not an ideal piece for a voluntary since by the time the wonderful climax duly arrives, you will find that the congregation has already left the building and the organist is simply playing for his/her own aggrandisement. There is nothing inherently wrong with that - I am sure organists are all guilty of doing this sometimes - but surely it is not what a voluntary is intended for? Or am I being naive?

 

In any church, cathedral or college chapel I have attended recently, the more musical will stay until the voluntary is finished, no matter how long it lasts. We had the Reubke Sonata at York Minster the other week.

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

The congregation have to remain silent during a broadcast voluntary, so can't see a problem with this choice.

 

I recall being present during a recording from Bristol some years ago (in the days when the Beeb used to record the Tuesday Evensong for later transmission then do a live broadcast on the Wednesday) During the voluntary, played by Martin Schellenberg, a member of the congregation dropped a metal spectacle case, and in trying to retrieve it fell off his chair, knocking the chair over in the process. The voluntary had to be re-recorded, and the gentleman in question was persuaded to stay at home and listen on Wednesday!!

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Listening on analogue FM stereo, I didn't notice any clattering by the organ

I was listening on my hi-fi's DAB radio at home (only due to a late lunch otherwise I would have been there without fail) and I didn't notice any either.

 

Thought the music was generally good and the anthem was interesting. I had never heard of Philip Wilby (the composer of the anthem "The Earth is the Lord's) but I think he is the husband of the precentor. Sounded good to me.

 

Does this mean that the Vierne "Scherzo" from the 6th Symphony would sound like "River Dance?"

 

How very interesting! :)

RiverDance are comming to Bristol in June: my Mother and I already have our tickets (£33.50 each) so if I hear the Scherzo from Vierne's 6th before I go to the performance of RD then I will have a chance for comparison! LOL. :lol:

 

Dave

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I hear the Bristol organ on a weekly basis and very fine it is too. I have never noticed the problems with the action that have been mentioned. Thinking that my normal position lurking near the back might flatter the sound, I went into the choir yesterday to listen to the final voluntary. I still heard no odd noises and I can only guess there must have been a microphone in a very odd place. Even so, my not bad tuner and stereo system didn't pick up anything during the broadcast.

By the way, there was a guest choir singing at the morning service of the day of the broadcast. A consequence of moving CE to Sunday?

PS I remember hearing Fernando Germani as a schoolboy in Glasgow and being blown away (almost literally) by the Reubke sonata.

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