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Mander Organs

If Only........


DaveHarries

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One that has always eluded me is Durham Cathedral. I've been trying for years and haven't even been allowed to see the console.

 

I dont know whether this would work or not............One of the men in the choir there is a very good friend of mine. He has been there a few years, and if he were to have a quiet word with JL, maybe, just maybe you might get a go??

 

Richard

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Guest Cynic
One that has always eluded me is Durham Cathedral. I've been trying for years and haven't even been allowed to see the console.

 

I dont know whether this would work or not............One of the men in the choir there is a very good friend of mine. He has been there a few years, and if he were to have a quiet word with JL, maybe, just maybe you might get a go??

 

Richard

 

Not a Rant!

 

Don't worry, there are enough decent organs where there does not seem to be a problem.

It was merely a slightly sad statement of fact.

 

Interestingly when The Organ Club visited a few years ago, nobody got a look or a play.

I think they thought we might break it. This was certainly Mark Venning's best explanation, because I asked him!

 

I would suggest that although cathedrals may be worried that amateurs may outstay their welcome when afforded a brief opportunity to 'try the organ', or even if they became a cause of embarassment for a few minutes, it is worth bearing in mind that folks like The Organ Club are exactly those who in the normal run of things can be expected to stump up when there's an appeal, buy the CDs when they're brought out and attend recitals when they are within striking distance.

 

I don't think that the organ world (even those in high-up positions) need fear amateurs/anoraks, they should be glad we're around. If it wasn't for a fair-sized army of dedicated (non-professional) lovers of the organ, things would be in an even worse situation than they are now!

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Bristol is probably possible - unless things have changed greatly.

 

Nôtre-Dame de Paris: this seems to be one of the most heavily guarded instruments in the world.... Good luck.

 

S. Sernin, Toulouse: Contact me by PM - I have one indirect contact who might be willing to help.

 

S. Sulpice - I am not sure. Daniel Roth may be approachable. I think that I have an email address for him. As for S. Ouen, Rouen - perhaps someone else here has a contact for this venue. If you do, can you also let me know, please. I would like to play it too.

 

I managed to get time on SMR Bristol - 'just emailed the (then) DOM - Andrew Kirk the present DOM is also President of the Bristol & District Organist's Association - you can get his email via their site. (Just up the road this is also quite easy to get on as long as the console is out - 'had a very enjoyable couple of hours there - give them a ring - they are anxious to have it played and kept high profile.) I also got a viewing but not a playing at St Sulpice - following the morning Mass - Daniel Roth 'entertains' folk at the console - he is very hospitable and will respond to an email also. One day I might try Rouen but we have only just mastered the traffic system en route for the S. of France - we haven't done stopping yet!

 

AJJ

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A tale is told in West Yorkshire of an Organists' Association trip that included Durham Cathedral. Only FRCOs were allowed up to the organ loft, and only those who were cathedral organists were allowed to play. This was in Conrad Eden's time.

 

I managed to get on briefly when I was up there as page turner for a visiting organist. When I arrived, he was already upstairs and the vergers were very snotty about unlocking the door to let me up to the organ loft; I had to be quite insistent!

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Guest Barry Williams

Interestingly when The Organ Club visited a few years ago, nobody got a look or a play.

 

This may be because at one time the Organ Club used to stop people playing proper pieces. Years ago 'console stewards' were appointed, with stop watches. When the allotted two minutes were up the stops were pushed in and the player moved off the console, irrespective of the quality or stage of the performance. This was clearly disturbing to visitors on the floor of the churches and would not have been suitable for a cathedral open to visitors. Things may be different now, but then the club members seemed only interested in the 32 feet stops, Celestes and the Tuba This is fine for an Organ Club visit, but not the sort of thing one could have in a church open to the public. A number of places now insist that visiting organists' associations play complete pieces and do not improvise, suggesting music that does not require frequent stop changes. All of this is perfectly understandable.

 

Barry Williams

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Barry.

 

I must defend the Organ Club, it doesn't work like that these days. Two weeks ago we were here in Chester (and North Wales) and the usual courtesies applied. We had permission for an hour on Chester Cathedral, this during Bank Holiday week, and amongst our players was Cynic - need I say more?

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A tale is told in West Yorkshire of an Organists' Association trip that included Durham Cathedral. Only FRCOs were allowed up to the organ loft, and only those who were cathedral organists were allowed to play. This was in Conrad Eden's time.

 

I managed to get on briefly when I was up there as page turner for a visiting organist. When I arrived, he was already upstairs and the vergers were very snotty about unlocking the door to let me up to the organ loft; I had to be quite insistent!

 

 

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

 

 

It was worse than this actually!

 

"We" (my membership lapsed long ago) turned up at Durham, having travelled 100 miles or so, and made for the cathedral. When "we" got there, Conrad Eden decided that he couldn't spare the time, and more or less told us to go away.

 

Keith Rhodes, then O & C at Bradford Cathedral, came to the rescue, by suggesting that he, as a cathedral organist, might be permitted to demonstrate the organ; during which time, Conrad Eden sloped off somewhere.

 

The minute he disapperared, we swarmed en-masse to the organ-console.....usual Harrison, but a bit bigger......and a few of us played without the boss finding out.

 

Conrad Eden then made a grumpy return after about half an hour, and Keith Rhodes memorably thanked him for "his kind hospitality" and assured him "that the members of the Durham Association would be accorded a similar level of hospitality should they wish to visit Bradford."

 

It was a fairly awful outing, and to be absolutely honest, the highlight was a visit to the Harrison works.

 

Anyway, Durham is a great roaring beast of a thing, so I didn't feel too deprived.

 

MM

 

Not a Rant!

 

 

I don't think that the organ world (even those in high-up positions) need fear amateurs/anoraks, they should be glad we're around. If it wasn't for a fair-sized army of dedicated (non-professional) lovers of the organ, things would be in an even worse situation than they are now!

 

 

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

 

 

Ah! You obviously never heard Horace Augustus play the organ.....before your time, I suspect.

 

Let's put it this way, if Horace had been a campanologist, he'd have been called Quasemodo, but I musn't spoil my story of "The Lancashire Organ Crawl" by saying too much; save to say that Horace features strongly in this hilarious, more or less true story.

 

MM

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Guest Barry Williams
Barry.

 

I must defend the Organ Club, it doesn't work like that these days. Two weeks ago we were here in Chester (and North Wales) and the usual courtesies applied. We had permission for an hour on Chester Cathedral, this during Bank Holiday week, and amongst our players was Cynic - need I say more?

 

 

Thank you. I am delighted to hear that the bad ways have passed.

 

Barry Williams

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Dear Father Patrick,

you forgot to say that

 

Paul Hale is giving a recital upon it tomorrow (Wednesday 20th June) at 7.30pm with free admission, wine and cheese.

 

I realise that St.Mary's Abertillery is a long way for many of our friends to go, but I add my recommendation for what it's worth. The church is blessed with a large Vowles (seriously good romantic voicing) and a large acoustic. There have been several additions to the organ over recent years so it can make some less-than-Vowles sounds in an impressive way too.

 

P.

 

I didn't repeat the publicity because I had already put it on the Recitals thread. The recital was superb - everything sounded at its best, and Paul got an astonishingly wide and magical palette of sound from the old lady. He's a real gentleman and a fine organist.

 

It makes me proud to have custody of such a fine (and increasingly rare, in this part of the world) instrument, and privileged to be able to cross the lawn to play it of an evening. B)

 

Next appointment is a Lunchtime Hog Roast on Sunday 9th September, followed by a (mellow?) afternoon recital from Paul Derrett. :unsure:

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Barry.

 

I must defend the Organ Club, it doesn't work like that these days. Two weeks ago we were here in Chester (and North Wales) and the usual courtesies applied. We had permission for an hour on Chester Cathedral, this during Bank Holiday week, and amongst our players was Cynic - need I say more?

 

How was the organ? Did it behave?

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Guest Cynic
How was the organ? Did it behave?

 

 

The organ was great, as usual.

We were treated to a totally virtuosic and blood-curdlingly sinister/passionate rendering of The Reubke from the great Mr.Fisher at a public recital first.

 

Actually, one little thing did annoy. There is still a stop labelled Great to Pedal Pistons at the bottom of the Great jamb which operates not Great to Pedal Pistons (as one might intelligently assume) but a Great Double Open Diapason. A bit of a sneaky surprise for the unwary!

 

Since this change was made while Roger F. was still in post, I am not a little surprised that the knob has still not been re-engraved, several years later!

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I find it fascinating that Ottobeuren Abbey has not been mentioned (both instruments divine, but would plump for the Dreifaltigkeitsorgel)

 

Ingolstadt Munster

 

St. Ouen, Rouen

 

(For a UK instrument I would probably pick Coventry Cathedral)

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I find it fascinating that Ottobeuren Abbey has not been mentioned (both instruments divine, but would plump for the Dreifaltigkeitsorgel)

 

Three, now, surely. An excellent arrangement of two Baroque instruments in juxtaposition - ideal for duets - and a new 'Romantic' at the west end.

 

By the way, when I visited Ottobeuren I found the contents of the glass cases in the crossing rather scary.

 

John

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  • 2 weeks later...
Three, now, surely. An excellent arrangement of two Baroque instruments in juxtaposition - ideal for duets - and a new 'Romantic' at the west end.

 

By the way, when I visited Ottobeuren I found the contents of the glass cases in the crossing rather scary.

 

John

 

Apologies for my ignorance - I have not visited the Abbey, and am only aware of the organs through Ton Koopman's (IMO excellent) Bach recordings. In addition, perhaps now is not the time to admit that when I first glanced at the word "Dreifaltigkeit" in relation to the organ there, I thought, did'nt I, that it meant that it had three manuals!

 

Anyway, those glass cases sound intriguing...

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Apologies for my ignorance - I have not visited the Abbey, and am only aware of the organs through Ton Koopman's (IMO excellent) Bach recordings. In addition, perhaps now is not the time to admit that when I first glanced at the word "Dreifaltigkeit" in relation to the organ there, I thought, did'nt I, that it meant that it had three manuals!

 

Anyway, those glass cases sound intriguing...

 

Yes. At the base of each of the four pillars at the crossing is a glass case. In each is found a preserved skeleton, presumably of some dignitary, resplendent in their sunday best outfits. If I remember correctly, they are in various different poses. Could be quite atmospheric alone at night.

 

By the way, without looking up the specification I think the Trinity organ is 4 man., the Holy Ghost organ is 2 man. and the Marien organ at the west end 4 or 5 man.

 

John

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By the way, without looking up the specification I think the Trinity organ is 4 man., the Holy Ghost organ is 2 man. and the Marien organ at the west end 4 or 5 man.

I think you are right.

 

Spec of the Dreifaltigskeitorgel here, with some photos linked here. The console pictured on this page is presumably the Marienorgel.

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