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deadsheepstew

Grant, Degens And Bradbeer...

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Please don't spread this around, but I have played Alain's "Litanies" and the Vierne "Berceuse" on the neo-baroque organ I play; to good effect. I did, in fact, play a big Reger work for a recital once.

 

I reckon that, with a minimum bribe of £20,000, I could just about play a Howells "Psalm Prelude" on this instrument. (Don't ask which one, because they all sound much the same to me).

 

I would have to rest afterwards of course: perhaps even vanish for a while.

 

MM

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Sorry - but it already happened. Latest occasion was the Lent programme of this year's "Neuenfelder Orgelmusiken". But it was just one of the small chorale preludes. Dynamic variation was achieved by moving the voices one by one from one manual to the other (coupled), and some minor registration changes... Already Alain, Vierne and other "banned" composers have been presented with good effect, though mostly smaller pieces.

And why? The instrument is not completely baroque, at the moment, so to keep audience and players happy, the programmes introduce also younger epoques of music. When restored closer to its original state, the fascination of 17c music will be sufficient enough...

And Piet Kee recorded a whole disk of Hindemith and Reger on the Bavo (Chandos CHAN 9097) - two registration assistants are credited and they certainly achieve very effective sounds. I did hear that Franck has been played successfully too.

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And Piet Kee recorded a whole disk of Hindemith and Reger on the Bavo (Chandos CHAN 9097) - two registration assistants are credited and they certainly achieve very effective sounds.
I have that disc and excellent it is too. He almost manages the impossible feat of making Reger sound like music! :lol:

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For me, St Bavo belongs to the very few instruments, who have taught me following:

 

(For the question, what to play on it,)

It is not important, which style an organ has. Just its quality is the question.

 

I mentioned elsewhere the jury concert of the improvisation contest in 2007: David Briggs made the organ sound like one of the better french symphonic ones... and Daniel Roth could have done it, too (because of its versatility), but playing after Briggs, he was so wise and nice to change his concept completely, and continued the concert in a very different style.

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For me, St Bavo belongs to the very few instruments, who have taught me following:

 

(For the question, what to play on it,)

It is not important, which style an organ has. Just its quality is the question.

 

I mentioned elsewhere the jury concert of the improvisation contest in 2007: David Briggs made the organ sound like one of the better french symphonic ones... and Daniel Roth could have done it, too (because of its versatility), but playing after Briggs, he was so wise and nice to change his concept completely, and continued the concert in a very different style.

 

 

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

 

 

What absolutely fascinates me, is the tonal similarity between the Bavo organ, and the Thomas Hill organ at Sydney Town Hall; both great organs of the world.

 

If ever there was a case for the recreation of the romantic British organ, this is it, without having to go the way of cloning Arthur Harrison/George-Dixon or Willis 3.

 

Now if they built a smaller version of THAT at Leiden, I may be tempted to forsake the boat and the ice-cream.

 

:lol:

 

MM

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

What absolutely fascinates me, is the tonal similarity between the Bavo organ, and the Thomas Hill organ at Sydney Town Hall; both great organs of the world.

 

If ever there was a case for the recreation of the romantic British organ, this is it, without having to go the way of cloning Arthur Harrison/George-Dixon or Willis 3.

 

Now if they built a smaller version of THAT at Leiden, I may be tempted to forsake the boat and the ice-cream.

 

B)

 

MM

Unfortunately, I have only heard St Bavo in recordings, so I'm not in a position to comment directly on the comparison. However, I have a little familiarity with the Sydney Town Hall instrument, and totally agree that it should be considered one of the "great organs of the world".

 

While MM necessarily speaks of it in the context of "recreation of the romantic British organ", in so many ways it transcends "mere" romanticism. Most particularly, its Great and Swell diapason choruses are essentially very classical: each is well balanced within itself, and very clear. (Correct me if I'm wrong, MM, but herein, I expect, lies the basis of your comparison.) Certainly, there is a vast gulf between the Great and the Swell - something that has occasionally been cited as a deficiency - but the fact that the Sydney City Organist since 1978, Robert Ampt, has never, or at least very rarely, let a recital pass without at least one Bach work, is surely a testament to the quality of the choruses and their overall utility in contrapuntal music. From memory, they speak on 3 1/2" pressure (except perhaps the Great no. 1, which I think is on the same pressure as the reeds), and the tone is not forced in any way. While some of the chorus mixture ranks are somewhat on the fluty side - which, from my limited knowledge of other broadly contemporaneous Hill organs, may not be uncommon - they are yet quite brilliant, and cap the choruses perfectly.

 

Yes, if I could have a smaller version of the STH where I am now, I'd be a very happy man indeed. Who wouldn't?

 

Rgds

MJF

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By the way, was it Schweitzer who described Bach's Toccata & Fugue in F as having "monotonous grandeur", or some such? Whatever ... For me, the toccata is quite wonderful, but needs a grand instrument to do it full justice. In that context, while I'm quite sure that St Bavo and a few other places would provide as good a vehicle for it, I somehow don't think anything could actually better the STH. How often have you found yourself playing, only to feel your hair standing on end with the sheer exhilaration of the sound? (And I don't mean through the quality of the playing ...)

 

Rgds,

MJF

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After much talk on various threads (though I can't find one when I want one) about the emasculation of New College and the disappearance of some squeakies, I am pleased to report the following facts to the assembled company -

 

1) The None is firmly in place

2) The whole is tuned to a mild unequal temperament

3) The top rank of the Teint is still missing

4) The Chamade is terrific, best I have heard

5) The Pedal Nachthorn 2 is one of the most outstanding sounds I have encountered, followed closely by the Gt Spitzflute 8

6) The whole thing is wonderful

 

It may not be the kind of instrument you'd want to play all repertoire on, and I'd dearly love to have heard it before its revoicing, but I was staggered at the explosion of colour and how musically it was all handled. I'm very grateful to the organ scholar and Dr H for allowing me and a friend a couple of hours on it this afternoon.

 

I well remember the GDB organ before all its guts were removed, and I can tell you it was FAR more exciting than what you hear now. Unfortunately the Great Cornet was replaced with another of smaller scale, and has lost all the zing and attack that it used to have. Yes it might be better to acompany on, but for solo recitals it has lost SO much! Please restore it back. I too love(d) this organ.

Adrian Gunning

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I well remember the GDB organ before all its guts were removed, and I can tell you it was FAR more exciting than what you hear now. Unfortunately the Great Cornet was replaced with another of smaller scale, and has lost all the zing and attack that it used to have. Yes it might be better to acompany on, but for solo recitals it has lost SO much! Please restore it back. I too love(d) this organ.

Adrian Gunning

Thank you. That certainly chimes with what I surmised above and my very hazy recollections. I should dig out the Hurford Bach discs. Had the organ already been altered at all when he made these?

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Guest Cynic
Thank you. That certainly chimes with what I surmised above and my very hazy recollections. I should dig out the Hurford Bach discs. Had the organ already been altered at all when he made these?

 

 

No.

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When the New College organ was still quite new, I heard a rumour that the plate-glass swell shutters were replaced with perspex ones after they had shattered a couple of times. Was there any truth in this or was it just idle gossip? The college's web page about the organ says they are glass.

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When the New College organ was still quite new, I heard a rumour that the plate-glass swell shutters were replaced with perspex ones after they had shattered a couple of times. Was there any truth in this or was it just idle gossip? The college's web page about the organ says they are glass.

 

I had also heard this - although in the version I was given, apparently they had fallen and shattered all over the Trompeta Real.

 

Hmmm....

 

B)

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Guest Cynic
I had also heard this - although in the version I was given, apparently they had fallen and shattered all over the Trompeta Real.

 

Hmmm....

 

B)

 

I don't know about the Trompeta, but I'd heard a version which said that one broke while Dame Gillian Weir was playing.

 

Either way, it must have been very worrying indeed. Knowing the (extremely) healthy state of Maurice Forsyth-Grant's bank balance, I imagine the best possible toughened glass was then immediately found to replace the lot. I can't believe that the same thing happened more than once. Think what today's specialist claim lawyers would do with such a case!

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Guest Barry Williams

The incident concerning the glass Swell shutters occured when Peter Le Huray was playing the organ. He was rather violent with the Swell pedal and a shutter came out and broke. A shard of glass cut his nose quite badly. There was broken glass over the horizontal reed pipes.

 

Subsequently the shutters were replaced with laminated glass which was, apparently, safer. However, although this all occured out of term time, shortly afterwards an important recital (with many 'romantic' request items for a conference) had to be performed without the assistance of a Swell box.

 

Barry Williams

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The incident concerning the glass Swell shutters occured when Peter Le Huray was playing the organ. He was rather violent with the Swell pedal and a shutter came out and broke. A shard of glass cut his nose quite badly. There was broken glass over the horizontal reed pipes.

 

Subsequently the shutters were replaced with laminated glass which was, apparently, safer. However, although this all occured out of term time, shortly afterwards an important recital (with many 'romantic' request items for a conference) had to be performed without the assistance of a Swell box.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

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

 

 

I'm suprised that they didn't use plexiglass rather than actual glass, but of course, laminated glass is very safe, in that it may crack but not disintegrate.

 

The probem with glass, I find, is the difference in tone as compared to wooden shutters. Glass shutters tend to reflect high frequencies more, and on the rare occasions that I've come across them, I've noticed a musical difference.

 

I'm sure that a company like Pilkingtons would have the perfect answer to almost any problem of safety; and they could probably provide shutters which cleaned themselves.

 

MM

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Guest Roffensis
Most people I have these conversations with think that New College is an utterly appalling musical instrument with little or no artistic value. This goes for players and builders.

 

I, however, am completely in love with it, or at least the idea of it. I think it is a magnificently brave and thoughtful wake-up call to the organ world which is generally successful as long as you don't play Rheinberger or Howells on it.

 

I keep hearing rumours that terrible things are to be done to it, that the temperament keeps changing, the None is going to turn into a Dulciana, and stuff like that.

 

I was interested to see, in this atmosphere of organ reform and responsible restoration, what people would do to New College?

 

 

Burn it.

 

LOL!!

 

R

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Burn it.

 

LOL!!

 

R

 

Amaï zeg efkes.....May I suggest to burn an organ might be like to burn books ?

And what kind of people do burn books ?

Just a thought...

 

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
Amaï zeg efkes.....May I suggest to burn an organ might be like to burn books ?

And what kind of people do burn books ?

Just a thought...

 

Pierre

 

The existence of this organ must go some way to make one think twice today...

 

It's interesting as a sound.

 

But for Anglican music?..... It never convinced me. A very hard and tiring sound.

 

 

Horses for courses I guess.

 

 

R

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Interesting sounds have a right to stay, do they please us or not, do

they suit or today's needs or not. Like books we do not share the ideas

they promote.

I'm the first to criticize the discarding of those post-romantic "canticle bins"

that disturb the career planning of conformist, competition-driven "top" players,

eager to play God in destroying all things that do not conform to their preconceptions; but then

the others styles must be handled the same way if we want to remain logical.

Let them live, so that our grand-grand childrens may happen to know the most

differing designs and thinkings that existed on a hands-on basis; otherwise, we condemn

them to have to try them again. This is just so that we wasted 75 years in the 20th century.

Pierre

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Amaï zeg efkes.....May I suggest to burn an organ might be like to burn books ?

And what kind of people do burn books ?

Just a thought...

 

Pierre

 

Hi

 

I can think of organs that are/were so poorly built that the best thing to happen would be a nasty accident with a gallon of parrafin and a box of matches! But that's not a comment on tonal designb (although one of them was a c.1900 small English organ that had a few Barouque sounds grafted on.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Of course there are poorly built organs; but then, nobody needs to

put them on fire, they will compost themselves without human intervention,

isn't it ?

It is when we need one week of hard work to dispose of an organ, or even

for a single division of an organ, that we should question ourselves: aren't we

like the guys who burn books ?

 

Pierre

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Does anyone know if recitals are still given on this instrument? I cannot find details of any. Listening during Evensong is, of course, wonderful but I would love to hear it as a solo instrument for an hour or so.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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Does anyone know if recitals are still given on this instrument? I cannot find details of any. Listening during Evensong is, of course, wonderful but I would love to hear it as a solo instrument for an hour or so.

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

You could try a PM to 'Justadad' - I believe that his son is now Organ Scholar there.

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You could try a PM to 'Justadad' - I believe that his son is now Organ Scholar there.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I have since been in touch with New College and the very helpful Chapel Administrator tells me that the Assistant Organist is planning a couple of "big recitals" very soon, so I will keep an eye open and let you know. It should also be advertised on one of the NC websites.

 

Mark

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