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Carlo Curley's Touring Organ From The 1970's


OmegaConsort

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I have just "happened" upon an interesting site - for those of you who might like to take a look, it is http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/schemes/elec/index.htm - it lists in great detail some early and very large pipeless organs such as the compton in the Festival Hall (pre-Harrison) and Carlo Curley's monster Allen organ which was used in the Alexandra Palace for those amazing gala concerts (I remember 300+ people stamping their feet to the Gigue fugue!!). At the bottom of the really wierd specification for this instrument, it says it is now in "private ownership in the South of England". Does anyone know where it is?

Also, I mentioned the RFH Compton organ - that was news to me; I'd always assumed that before the H&H there wasn't an organ! What happened to the Compton? Does anyone know?

 

Best wishes

 

Richard Harrison

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I have just "happened" upon an interesting site - for those of you who might like to take a look, it is http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/schemes/elec/index.htm - it lists in great detail some early and very large pipeless organs such as the compton in the Festival Hall (pre-Harrison) and Carlo Curley's monster Allen organ which was used in the Alexandra Palace for those amazing gala concerts (I remember 300+ people stamping their feet to the Gigue fugue!!). At the bottom of the really wierd specification for this instrument, it says it is now in "private ownership in the South of England". Does anyone know where it is?

Also, I mentioned the RFH Compton organ - that was news to me; I'd always assumed that before the H&H there wasn't an organ! What happened to the Compton? Does anyone know?

 

Best wishes

 

Richard Harrison

There is a fairly ancient Allen in the Chapel of Sutton Valence School in Kent (just south of Maidstone) which is said to have been previously used as a touring organ by Carlo Curley. Possibly the same one?

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There is a private collector somewhere in Kent (a friend of mine did tell me where it is as he's been , but i can't remember where it is or indeed who told me) who collects old organs and pianos. He is also a friend of Carlo Curleys. (this collection is open to the public, with people free to have a supervised play) Anyway my friend told me that he was once visiting, also being a friend of the 'curator' when Carlo turned up and gave an impromptu 20 minute recital... not featuring dupre or Sinfonia to cantata 29!!

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The Free Trade Hall Organ, Manchester is on sale here

 

You can see Virgil Fox Black Beauty being played here. The sound is quite weedy compared to today's digital organs

 

Off topic - sorry (LB's fault!) but I really enjoyed this.

 

AJJ

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  • 2 weeks later...
One of the very few truly stunning pieces for organ and orchestra which really works, in my opinion.

 

 

Richard is correct when he refers to the very successful Carlo Curley concerts on the Allen organ at Ally Pally when the Great Hall was packed. This proves that with a high profile recitalist the punters will attend concerts at a building which many people think is inaccesible.

The attendances at subsequent concerts with the partially rebuild Willis are dismal, and I am not sure whether Carlo would be prepared to play the Willis in its present condition, but the organ needs him.

We need to persuade Carlo to return with his touring organ, to ascertain whether attendances of more than 50 or 60 people can be attained, and this will happen when the new lessees of the Palace sign the relevant contract.

Colin Richell

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One of the very few truly stunning pieces for organ and orchestra which really works, in my opinion.

 

 

Richard is correct when he refers to the very successful Carlo Curley concerts on the Allen organ at Ally Pally when the Great Hall was packed. This proves that with a high profile recitalist the punters will attend concerts at a building which many people think is inaccesible.

The attendances at subsequent concerts with the partially rebuild Willis are dismal, and I am not sure whether Carlo would be prepared to play the Willis in its present condition, but the organ needs him.

We need to persuade Carlo to return with his touring organ, to ascertain whether attendances of more than 50 or 60 people can be attained, and this will happen when the new lessees of the Palace sign the relevant contract.

Colin Richell

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