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biggestelk

St Pauls' 'refurbishment'.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
the monument has been changed altered to suit the moment

 

what i am saying is that it will change according to the money power and moments of future times

 

 

 

There have been tinkerings since 1977, so steve b. is correct in his theory. It is certain that there will be other tinkerings too.

 

The reason for this is unusual: St.Paul's Casthedral received a very large legacy relatively recently. It was earmarked specifically for the organ with a requirement that it be regularly spent!

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maybe the next generation will be less enthralled with statues and monuments and be more interested in pipe organs and musical instuuments
The current generation over this side of the Atlantic is very interested in organs as musical instruments, Steve. The previous generation was too. That is precisely why many of us distrust sprawling monsters and another reason why we don't see too many of the excesses seen in America where money gets the better of taste. Make no mistake: for all its noble sound, I'm afraid Washington Cathedral's organ is a hotch-potch. I mean, what's with the Brustwerk and Positiv? What have they got to do with the rest of the organ? And you can't even hear the thing accurately at the console. The Pedal sounds louder in the nave, the Solo quieter and so on.

 

But WC is coherent compared to that monstrosity in the First Congregational Church, Los Angeles. That thing wasn't designed: it just sprawled itself over the building. Anyone can adopt the blunderbuss approach to organ building if they've got the money.

 

Organists ought to be suspicious of playing by remote control. No other musician would dream of it. Oh, I know the more stops you have, the more you can wow the masses with lots of effects. Organists are never happier than when they're pulling knobs, are they? It takes their minds off the business of actually making music. Well, some of them...

 

Sorry for the rant. It's not meant personally, Steve. It's an old hobby-horse of mine and no one has to agree with me.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
im bragging but i can take any pipoe organ and i ahve and make a silk purse out of a sows ear

 

just let me at it

 

Dear Steve,

I'd love to suggest some organs I know for your specialist attention and unique gifts!! Sows ears... wegottem too.

 

P.

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Excellent questions indeed!

 

You'll find all the answers in William-Leslie Sumner's "The organ....its principles of construction and use". This is an excellent author, but from his time. He explained

how "such things" had to be "enlightened"; this said, as scholars we had hundred times

more radical ones on the continent at that epoch.

 

A high pressure stop had to be removed because it was high pressure; no question

please, this is the law...The builders were not asked for their own toughts!

 

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Unfortunately, I cannot attempt to answer all of your questions, because I simply do not know enough of the history. However, I understand from all accounts I have read that the Altar division you referred to was inaudible. Why spend the money to restore it, or worst still, why spend the money on trying to make the division audible, which could have proved to be an exercise in futility and, therefore, a waste of money? I believe the pipework is still there and the soundboard, just disconnected.

 

I don't believe Williss III made any attempt to pass off the diapason chorus in the southeast quarter gallery as his own, new work. It was Lewis pipework salvaged from a church that was bombed in WWII. Its scaling was insufficient for the Cathedral, but demonstrated the accoustic qualities of the various quarterdomes in projecting sound across the dome and a good way down the length of the nave - something the Chancel Organ could never do and hope to lead a congregation. The Mander Dome Diapasons were scaled and voiced for the job they were required to do.

 

Although my son thinks I'm a dinosaur, I wasn't around in 1872 or 1900 and neither, I suspect, were you, so who are we to say that Willis ruined a perfectedly good Chancel Organ that he had built?

 

As I said, I am unable to answer your other questions. The only thing I would say about the North Choir organ is that if an organist does not like it, he or she is free not to use it. While some of the stops on that division appear on paper to be out of whack with the rest of the Chancel Division, I believe it is voiced sympathetically with the rest of the Chancel Organ. But, as John Mander pointed out, much earlier in this growing thread, the original idea was for a Positive division. And one can well imagine it would have been very much along neo-classical lines and entirely inappropriate. But the then organist, Christopher Dearnley, was quite clear about it needing to be a North Choir division and steered Mander away from going fully-down the neo classical route that so many organ builders chose to do in the 1970s. I believe it was an attempt to make the Chancel Organ more versatile to take account of choral music written in the second half of the 20th Century and is, perhaps akin, to the lengthening of bridges and general loudening of violins in the late 19th Century, to meet the demands of new orchestral repertoire. At least it did not replace anything else. The space it occupies was occuppied by the old console The position of the old console made it impossible for an organist to hear the instrument.

 

I once read somewhere that when Willis first built the Chancel Organ, he had seriously underestimated the vastness of the St Paul accoustic and had to voice and louden the pipework on site to its limit. Interestingly, if I remember correctly, the bottom C of the biggest Dome 8ft Diapason has a circumfrence only an inch wider than the bottom C of the Gt large 8ft Open. This, to me, seems to suggest that there is something about the accoustic property of the northeast quarter dome that throws sound out much more readily than the Chancel, allowing for a comparatively modest scaling of the Dome Chorus compared with the Great Chancel Diapason chorus. But John Mander is, naturally, much better qualified to answer that question. I am only going on a vague memory of an essay written by Ian Bell, which I read probably 20 years ago.

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Dear Steve, these would-be laws were edicted by the Orgelbewegung's Scholars,

teachers consultants etc.

These guys were extremely mighty. I had a strong discussion with one teacher

in Belgium in 1980, with the result I did not enter any church from that day up

to 2005.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Yes Steve.

 

As Jack Bethards says, you are lucky in the United States.

If you had tried to work in Belgium, you should have had to

obey! I did not, I paid the price.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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