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Cirencester Pc


OmegaConsort
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I notice that the Cirencester organ is to be rebuilt and enlarged to 4 manuals and 60+ stops by Harrison's this year. I just looked at the planned specification on their website - new stops are marked with an asterisk. On the solo, there is a new Tuba and, it seems a new chamade.

I wonder whether this is a mistake or if they are replacing the existing royal trumpet rank?

Anyone know?

 

Best wishes

Richard

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Thanks for that, I've been waiting with interest for some time for details of the plans for Cirencester. The organ, in its present form, is a real damp squib, so H&H will have their work cut out to make a good instrument out of it.

 

It really is an extraordinary proposal, bucking the trend in this day and age, to be extending an organ to this extent. Two new 32's for example, and so many other new ranks. I very much hope that the new chamade will be entirely new as the existing royal trumpet is, to my ears, one of the least musical stops I've ever encountered.

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Guest Cynic

 

 

The scheme is a fair one which I am sure H&H will make a good job of, though (to be unkind) it looks as if someone sat down and said,

'We'd better add everything we can think of just to be on the safe side!'

but (to me) it raises the prime question: where will they fit all that?

 

The present organ already looks very bulky, and there's not much additional space. Indeed, about the only solution would be to take the floorspace behind the present instrument where the choir currently robes. This church holds the highest possible architectural listing, so I'm interested to see how they solve this problem.... maybe go up and up, skyscraper/Ruby School Chapel style. This would have knock-on effects as regards the tuning.

 

I am also interested to know who drew up the scheme. David Ponsford wanted a new organ at least ten years ago, but I doubt whether this sort of thing would have been his choice.

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This sounds very much as though things have now firmed up. As I understood it a while ago there was talk of a 2nd mobile console in the Nave to augment the new 4 M console on the North side of the choir, (this was also spoken of for Gloucester Cath) the choir organ being resited from the North Aisle into the main case, and the Great and Solo reeds coming out from the main organ and going in a new case up on the wall at the front of the South Aisle. The church was also to be reordered with nave altar etc. and one reason for the delay has been that all the building repair work had not been carried out. I had always thought that a solution with a west end and a chancel organ such as at Chelmsford Cathedral might have worked well here but then I have never been to any service in the building so might be completely mistaken. It might have meant that the current case (if it would have fitted) could have looked splendid on a gallery at the west end after all it seems that money is no object here! If the organ overflows the current position and mostly fills the current old chapel space will it be the only organ with a toilet in it?

PJW

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If the organ overflows the current position and mostly fills the current old chapel space will it be the only organ with a toilet in it?

PJW

 

Nope, Rotterdam Laurenskerk has one (and a sort of salon with a piano in it) ...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, as former Organist at Cirencester, I'll add a few things!

 

The scheme about to be put into place by H+H is very much watered down from the original hair brained scheme drawn up by the previous music "regime". The plan was for a huge 5 manual job with over 100 stops, including a section over the South door, amongst other things. (my predecessor was formerly organ scholar at Liverpool!!).

 

Luckily, Ian Bell made them see sense and an organ committee decided on the present scheme. I hasten to add at this point that the music staff although consulted, were not privy to the discussions of the committee, not involved in the final choice of builder. One organ builder declined to quote as he found the job would not be practicable for him, due to distance.

 

The present Royal Trumpet is going in the bin, to answer one question.

 

My assistant at the time (now D of M) suggested the idea of a divided pedal stop which has been included.

 

We did discuss the idea of a second console. Even with a new console on the North side of the quire, the player will not hear the organ to the full extent. A second (nave) console was quoted for but for financial reasons, the idea was abandoned.

 

The 32's are going down to full length.

 

The majority of the pipework is going behind the South aisle arch (on the quire side) but there is to be a new case on the arch in the South aisle.

The choir haven't robed in the area behind the organ for years. In fact, the choir vestry and robing area is on the first floor of the "Town Hall" (the rather ornate South porch).

 

A disabled toilet was built in a corner of the (present) organ chamber - perhaps the most expensive toilet in the Cotswolds (costing some £45,000 !!!) Immaculate casing (with in built cupboards for vestments / servers robes).................not entirely "bog standard"?!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The organ should have been taken out in 2002 but due to the church of England moving like a mighty tortoise, the organ has had to wait until the rest of the church restoration plan was in place, including ripping up the existing floor to install underfloor heating, then fitting stone slabs instead.

 

The project will be well worth waiting for. I know that H+H will do a superb job and that it will be well worth the wait.

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I am also interested to know who drew up the scheme. David Ponsford wanted a new organ at least ten years ago, but I doubt whether this sort of thing would have been his choice.

 

 

I understand that the Ponsford scheme was for a modern tracker at the West end and to replace the choir with a professional quartet or double quartet! - Not sure if this is actually true or not!!

 

NS

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We did discuss the idea of a second console. Even with a new console on the North side of the quire, the player will not hear the organ to the full extent.

 

A point I raised some months ago, but I can't remember the context... It may not be practicable to take the player to the optimum listening position, but with modern audio technology, it should be possible to take the listening position to the player. Many recording artistes listen to a mix rather than relying on what they hear in the studio. The idea may be a bit too revolutionary for some, but is perhaps worth a try in a difficult location.

JC

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Guest Cynic
Well, as former Organist at Cirencester, I'll add a few things!

 

The scheme about to be put into place by H+H is very much watered down from the original hair brained scheme drawn up by the previous music "regime". The plan was for a huge 5 manual job with over 100 stops, including a section over the South door, amongst other things. (my predecessor was formerly organ scholar at Liverpool!!).

 

Luckily, Ian Bell made them see sense and an organ committee decided on the present scheme. I hasten to add at this point that the music staff although consulted, were not privy to the discussions of the committee, not involved in the final choice of builder. One organ builder declined to quote as he found the job would not be practicable for him, due to distance.

 

The present Royal Trumpet is going in the bin, to answer one question.

 

My assistant at the time (now D of M) suggested the idea of a divided pedal stop which has been included.

 

We did discuss the idea of a second console. Even with a new console on the North side of the quire, the player will not hear the organ to the full extent. A second (nave) console was quoted for but for financial reasons, the idea was abandoned.

 

The 32's are going down to full length.

 

The majority of the pipework is going behind the South aisle arch (on the quire side) but there is to be a new case on the arch in the South aisle.

The choir haven't robed in the area behind the organ for years. In fact, the choir vestry and robing area is on the first floor of the "Town Hall" (the rather ornate South porch).

 

A disabled toilet was built in a corner of the (present) organ chamber - perhaps the most expensive toilet in the Cotswolds (costing some £45,000 !!!) Immaculate casing (with in built cupboards for vestments / servers robes).................not entirely "bog standard"?!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The organ should have been taken out in 2002 but due to the church of England moving like a mighty tortoise, the organ has had to wait until the rest of the church restoration plan was in place, including ripping up the existing floor to install underfloor heating, then fitting stone slabs instead.

 

The project will be well worth waiting for. I know that H+H will do a superb job and that it will be well worth the wait.

 

 

Thanks, Neil, for this most interesting explanation.

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