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St Paul's Cathedral Console


Guest Hector5

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Guest Hector5

A friend has just emailed me a photo of the new console for St Paul's Cathedral and I have to say that it's a rather big beastie and obviously it looks like a duplicate of the main console, but still, why so big, with acres of wood work above the console (looks like at least a foot and a half of decor) Is this console to be used for services, and if so, how is the player expected to communicate with choir etc????? On one hand I can understand the need for a duplicate console, but was this not a chance to perhaps produce something less - well, bulky............... I'd be interested to hear other opinions from those who had a chance to see the console and close quarters, and also perhaps to learn the raison d'etre of the St Paul's Cathedral musicians.

 

Hector

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Hello Hector,

Could you provide a link to the photo of the new console? It would be interesting to see it. I suspect that the reasons for its sumptious build quality would relate to the architecture around it - St Paul's is that kind of building, and something perhaps more plain and simple might look out of place?

Best wishes

Richard

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One would guess that it has everything to do with the scale of this very heroic building and very little to do with the practical. After all, the present console is much larger than it need be. Something modest might just look ridiculous in that space.

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I visited and thought it actually looked rather more compact than the main console. As expected - very fine workmanship - everything seemed very much where it should be etc. 'Nicely inclined 5th manual - 'can't remember whether the other console has this or not - the only time I played it was just after it was rebuilt in 1973/4.

 

AJJ

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The console is indeed based on the existing console and was designed by the architects. Actually, apart from the woodwork of the cornice it really isn't any larger than it needs to be. It was felt that the console should not be compacted in any way and that in layout it should be as close to the existing one as possible so that there was no difference in playing from one to the other. The capture system will be common to both, so the organists can practice on one console even if they are actually going to play on the other. As to contact with the choir, it will also have CCTV of course, again common to the existing console.

 

John Pike Mander

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The console is indeed based on the existing console and was designed by the architects. Actually, apart from the woodwork of the cornice it really isn't any larger than it needs to be. It was felt that the console should not be compacted in any way and that in layout it should be as close to the existing one as possible so that there was no difference in playing from one to the other. The capture system will be common to both, so the organists can practice on one console even if they are actually going to play on the other. As to contact with the choir, it will also have CCTV of course, again common to the existing console.

 

John Pike Mander

 

All eminently sensible.

Dear Mr.Mander, to save a long drive for those of us beyond the pale, is there a photograph that might be posted somewhere?

 

Many thanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Here are some Photos if anyone is interested.

 

http://gallery.mac.com/iain22#gallery

 

all the best

 

Iain

 

 

Thankyou for posting these, Ian - most impressive.

I remain slightly puzzled that such a handsome piece of work has not so far warranted a place on the 'main' part of this website!

(Far) lesser firms have 'trumpeted' their (far lesser) achievements from the rooftops. The internet is such a good shop-window, these days.

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Brilliant - thanks for posting these. So - what is that blank stop in the dome reeds section, then?

Martin

 

I have a feeling this was aired recently elsewhere on this board - 'can't remember where though. I am not sure whether any final answer to the question was forthcoming - rather a 'wish list' and possible reporting of more concrete suggestions.

 

AJJ

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know if Huw Williams is on the move? I have seen an entry on the Organ Recitals website which gives notice of a December recital at SPC and credits Huw as being located in 'Philadelphia, USA'.

 

Does anyone have any updates on how the restoration is progressing. The dome division was not being used at a recent service I attended. I wonder if there is much more to do?

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Have the Father Willis Dome tubas been replaced? and if so, why? Of all the variations of this dreaded species of English organ stop, the 16.8.4 Willis tubas of 1900 were the best I've heard, and were generally celebrated as such. No doubt they will be trumpeted in the Celebrity recitals later this year: I'll reserve judgement till then.

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* Could Mr Mander fill us in on the background to this news?? *

 

Thank you

 

I have just looked at the photographs and there is just one blank stop head, yet the newsletter shows Tubas at 16 and 8 have been or are being added in 2008. Please Mr Mander can you tell us please?

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I have just looked at the photographs and there is just one blank stop head, yet the newsletter shows Tubas at 16 and 8 have been or are being added in 2008. Please Mr Mander can you tell us please?

 

There is, indeed, a blank stop knob, but the new tubas (as reported on the St Paul's website) - Double Tuba 16, Tuba 8 and Clarion 4, appear just to be replacing the (?1898?) pipework in the dome by the same names - they aren't extras. I don't think we're any the wiser about the spare stop knob despite it being aired on this board previously. It's clearly one of the organ world's best kept secrets!

Martin.

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See this. I'm pretty sure there are some other changes to couplers and transfers - eg Swell Reeds on Solo, Swell Reeds on Pedal, the dividing up of the West srection into reeds and chorus transferrable separately to the Solo and the Great, Great on/to Choir (??) and the Vth combinations coupled to the Great combinations. I don't recall seeing these before but I may be wrong.
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