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The playing is fine - but I find this Vox Humana to be too quiet - and lacking the 'edge' which I would desire when playing this piece.

 

As I said, this is the "remote" kind.

You may prefer this one, original Clicquot:

 

http://perso.orange.fr/organ-au-logis/Musi...SNSGJBVoxHu.mp3

 

Pierre

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The playing is fine - but I find this Vox Humana to be too quiet - and lacking the 'edge' which I would desire when playing this piece. It is more the type of stop which I would associate with a cinema organ. The foundations also appear to lack 'bloom' and that slight aural transparency which is so apparent on the genuine 'French Four.'

 

To be honest, I prefer the recording which Maurice Clerc made at S. Sernin, Toulouse.

 

 

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

 

 

Two things:-

 

Cinema Organ Vox Humanas can be very different. The American ones are excellent, as American reeds often are, but there is a world of difference between those of Wurlitzer, Kimball, Moller etc etc.

 

Anyone ever heard the Vox Humana of the Newberry Memorial at Yale, by Skinner?

 

Simply gorgeous!

 

For an object lesson in how to make a good Vox Humana, I can't help but think that the best I've stumbled across (purely on recordings), which ISN'T by Cavaille-Coll, is the one at Olomouc in the Czech Republic, by Reiger-Kloss.

 

Odd though it may be, it seems to be one of those stops of which there are very few really good examples, and whilst no great French enthusiast, I DO LOVE a good Cavaille-Coll Voix Humaine.

 

MM

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I've yet to hear a better "advertisement" for a (in this case Swell) Vox Humana (and a sypathetically-adjusted "Tremolo") than Colin Walsh's two landmark (in my view!!) recordings at Salisbury for Priory on the early 1980's. CW clearly relishes its deployment in the Langlais' "Breve" and "Medievale" Suites, and the Tournemire "Ave maris stella" and "Victimae Paschali" improvisations. I have seen a couple of "Father" Willis organs possessing a Swell Vox Humana, sitting in a rack-board that has actually been "pricked out" for a three-rank mixture.

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Euh, dear MM,

 

"Anyone ever heard the Vox Humana of the Newberry Memorial at Yale, by Skinner?"

(Quote)

 

I linked above......Precisely to that one.....

 

Pierre

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

 

 

We obviously share the same perfect taste!

 

The whole organ is fine, but the orchestral reeds are just wonderful.

 

Was ever a more expressive instrument built?

 

Even aye, as a baroque enthusiast, can be moved by this beautiful instrument.

 

MM

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"Even aye, as a baroque enthusiast, can be moved by this beautiful instrument"

(Quote)

 

Like myself, a late-romantic addicted, can be moved by things like the Aa-Kerk organ,

Angermünde, Waltershausen, Ghent, Longueville, Dôle, Poitiers (etc!)...

Besides the chapels and their quarrels, we should be able to recognize beauty

anywhere it may be (that is, in all styles, since there are gems to be find

in all areas and periods!)

 

Pierre

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The Vox Humana on the Milton organ at Tewkesbury isn't half bad either (as I found out today :huh:).

 

 

It's an old Norman and Beard stop, I believe.

Like the Tuba, it came from Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, W2.

 

[be careful when you use these...the so-called Echo Division and Tuba are far louder in the building than they sound at the console! They were once well-boxed in.... not any more!]

 

When the Milton was completed (Apse etc. added) in 1948/9, to save money they borrowed four ranks of pipes from The Grove which was then out of action with no prospect of full restoration and/or enlargement as planned. When The Grove was restored in the 1980s by John Budgen, these stops had to go back. It was discovered that (amongst other things) The Tuba had been revoiced by Walkers... this does not seem to have been a great problem, but it's a pity.

 

When two Flutes had to be returned to The Grove Great, The Apse Solo was left without essential parts of its chorus, and (taking pity on them) I donated two ranks by Bishop and Son from Broomwood Methodist Church, Clapham Common. I was delighted when these were kept by Kenneth Jones in the recent rebuild; they are now on the Great. I did not have a VH or a Tuba in my stock at the time and (I think) Walker's maintenance man found and installed these as a favour for the late Michael Peterson (great man).

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It's an old Norman and Beard stop, I believe.

Like the Tuba, it came from Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, W2.

 

[be careful when you use these...the so-called Echo Division and Tuba are far louder in the building than they sound at the console! They were once well-boxed in.... not any more!]

 

When the Milton was completed (Apse etc. added) in 1948/9, to save money they borrowed four ranks of pipes from The Grove which was then out of action with no prospect of full restoration and/or enlargement as planned. When The Grove was restored in the 1980s by John Budgen, these stops had to go back. It was discovered that (amongst other things) The Tuba had been revoiced by Walkers... this does not seem to have been a great problem, but it's a pity.

 

When two Flutes had to be returned to The Grove Great, The Apse Solo was left without essential parts of its chorus, and (taking pity on them) I donated two ranks by Bishop and Son from Broomwood Methodist Church, Clapham Common. I was delighted when these were kept by Kenneth Jones in the recent rebuild; they are now on the Great. I did not have a VH or a Tuba in my stock at the time and (I think) Walker's maintenance man found and installed these as a favour for the late Michael Peterson (great man).

 

 

I didn't know that the Vox Humana came from Lancaster Gate. I was at the Abbey from 1986-9 and knew the "Milton" -as it was then- very well. At that stage the great reeds did not work and there was no tuba or VH. The "Grove" organ had indeed been pillaged and the four ranks used in the Milton were, Tuba, Voix Humaine, Harmonic Flute, Flute Octaviante. As Paul says these were returned to the Grove when it was restored in 1980. The tuba also had a new CC pipe-it having been transposed when it moved to the Milton (the Grove is almost 1/2tone sharp to modern pitch).

 

Some work was done to the Gt reed chest and they were playable/tolerable-I can't remember who did this work. I think it was the chap who came from Bristol and looked after the cathedarl there at the time (Cawston?) and he must have been Walkers local man.

 

I remember being told by Richard (Dick) Chorley (former asst. org. to H Stubbington and choir man) that when the Grove was restored and stops returned that Michael Peterson got hold of some second hand pipes to fill the gaps. However there was still no tuba or VH. The tuba pipes did indeed come from Christ Church, Lancaster Gate and iI remember them arriving and being laind out on the transept floor below the apse division and spending that day with the organ tuner, Dick and john Blecher hoisting them up and setting them into there place of the apse-just dehind the display pipes and in front of the solo&echo shutters. They were/are of large scale! Comments were made at the time as to how successful the tuba sounded. Some saying that it was actually better than the old Grove tuba in that place! I believe the wind was 16". But there was no VH at that time-I wonder where it came from??

 

One interesting point about the Grove organ (mighty beast that it is) is that on the solo organ there is a stop called Violoncello 8, and this had two ranks of pipes per note stopped wood and open metal. There is now, and has been for some time, only one metal rank and there is space where the wooden rank used to stand. What happened to it? I don't know what happened to it, but I remeber rummaging through old papers and cuttings in the muniments room as it was then (now a chapel over the sacristy) and finding some odd bits of information concerning the oprgans and/or music of the abbey which I placed in the music store (formerly the room beneath the console(s) loft. there was a leaflet with a picture of the grove organ taken from the ground looking up towards the consloe-and therefore the solo dept- and there is clearly seen the TWO ranks of pipes for the violoncello. I can't remember the date!! Possibly 1930s/40s.

 

 

I hope that adds something useful. Who can solve the mystery of the missing wooden rank...??

 

Cameron

(F-W)

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Total Off-Topic continues....

 

 

Dear FW,

I'm 100% sure it wasn't Tony Cawston. The actual tuner's name escapes me (though the initials JP come to mind), but when the Milton console came to me, I was especially asked if I could free up a particular stopkey which was to be given to him. I also gifted a few of the spares (mounted on little oak plates) to Messrs.Peterson, Belcher and Chorley. I should explain, the fact that there were spares was because provisional Grove and Milton organs both had their own Great to Pedal, Swell to Great etc. stopkeys.

 

As to the missing flue rank from the Solo 'cello, my money would be on this stop being 'temporarily' borrowed to the Apse like the other four ranks. This was a time of acute post-war shortages and anything like that that could have been re-used definitely was. When the old Milton came apart I carted away some of the chests including the former Swell soundboard. This was already in its second home, it started life in a Lewis organ (Christ Church, Ealing, I think) which had earlier been rebuilt by JWW. The (old) Milton Great reeds (although they could sound quite good) were a real heap of junk, and the pipes stood on another heap of junk. Face it, these guys did the best they could with the stuff that was to hand.

 

Whatever abuse could be heaped upon this job (as Stephen Bicknell and others have done) I still thought it sounded magical.

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Absolutely! The old Milton was great. It did look a bit odd on paper-but it worked! For accompaniment using just the sw, gt & pd in the case was ideal, all the sounds you needed at just the right level: it was truly magical.

 

They were indeed hard times and I understand that the "insides" were-to put it lightly- a mess. I beleive also that the sw and gt depts were on the wrong sides ie the sw was on the west side and the gt on the east of the case (as it looked to the north) because it had been planned that it would return to the north side of the choir as a "front" to the grove and the massive project that never materialised and so the dept planning would have been "right" but there were objections form "Gloucester" and the project floundered (fortunately?).

 

I'm glad to hear that some of it went to a good home. Did you save the 2 man console? that too was a delight to play on.

 

All best

 

F-W

 

PS there was also, in the little room under the loft, 1/2 wooden blocks which had survived from the Willis ped Trombone (later replaced [Price?] with a Bourdon 16). Are they still around?

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  • 9 months later...
And to extend that argument, chefs would do better always to use powdered eggs and milk since neither of these could contain harmful bacteria.

Come on!!! For anyone to seriously suggest that an electronic reed is preferable to a real one.....sorry but IMHO this standpoint has totally lost it!

 

Electronic organs are getting better, electronic sounds can be entrancing but neither are real sounds in the way that any conventional instrument or the human voice make musical sounds. Their sound is not 'in the room'; it is pushed into the room via loudspeakers. Electronic organs are in many cases a very acceptable replacement/substitute for the real thing however they are not themselves the real thing.

 

Would you go to a theatre to watch a computer generated performance? Would you be happy for opera companies to use backing tapes as some Musicals have done? Would you treat your honoured guest to alcohol-free wines and lagers and pretend that these are the real thing? They are a damn sight closer to real drinks than electronic sounds are to pipes. This is not margerine and butter, this is someone advising us that we would be better off substituting engine oil for either.

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And to extend that argument, chefs would do better always to use powdered eggs and milk since neither of these could contain harmful bacteria.

Come on!!! For anyone to seriously suggest that an electronic reed is preferable to a real one.....sorry but IMHO this standpoint has totally lost it!

 

Electronic organs are getting better, electronic sounds can be entrancing but neither are real sounds in the way that any conventional instrument or the human voice make musical sounds. Their sound is not 'in the room'; it is pushed into the room via loudspeakers. Electronic organs are in many cases a very acceptable replacement/substitute for the real thing however they are not themselves the real thing.

 

Would you go to a theatre to watch a computer generated performance? Would you be happy for opera companies to use backing tapes as some Musicals have done? Would you treat your honoured guest to alcohol-free wines and lagers and pretend that these are the real thing? They are a damn sight closer to real drinks than electronic sounds are to pipes. This is not margerine and butter, this is someone advising us that we would be better off substituting engine oil for either.

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Don't you just hate it when a subject pops up again after an absence, and it corresponds to someone's board-name?

 

With fear and trepidation, I was expecting terrible news or a forthcoming memorial service.

 

The death of Father Willis I could cope with....the original one that is....not the current one: you know what I mean.

 

Boris Johnson would be proud!

 

MM

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Hmm, overpriced and yet still cheap?

 

Have to say though, that according to my wife, my digital delight is in fact a wholly acceptable substitute for a IIIP/42 in the living room.

 

 

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

 

 

Blow up dolls are another over-inflated substitute, so I'm told.

 

I've never heard anyone complain about them.....or admit to owning one, for that matter.

 

:P

 

MM

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