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Father Henry Willis's Greatest Hits

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Here's another one for you!...Francis Jackson/York Minster on either Alpha, or saga (beautifully pressed....), in 1964. Take a walk back in time and revel in the very closely miked Tuba, it's hilarious!!!

[

 

"Twentieth Century British Organ Music" with FJ performing his Toccata, Chorale and Fugue and a Fanfare , not the one in G now generally called the Archbishop's Fanfare ?] I bought that in York in a shop in Micklegate in about 1970.

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Another one was of Murray Somerville playing at New College Oxford, a piece for organ and electronic something or other, anyhow, this had the 16 foot bourdon recorded with a mike dropped down a pipe. Apparently a pure 16 tone was required. :lol: This intrigued me as the pipe will have been stoppered!!?? :blink: Anyway, a most untinteresting sound resulted, rather like a hoover, and hardly worth such effort. That came out on Abbey, and waxes lyrical on my shelf still. I'm just too lazy to check it out!!

 

IS THAT "CHECK" OR "CHUCK" , RICHARD ? I SHARE YOUR VIEW OF PRELUDE FOR ORGAN AND TAPE BY ONE RICHARD STEWART. IF YOU LOOK AT THE SLEEVE, AS I HAVE JUST DONE, TWO MATTERS OF NOTE ARE MURRAY SOMERVILLE'S APPALLING TASTE IN TROUSERS.( DID WE REALLY DRESS LIKE THAT THEN ?) AND THE NAME OF THE PRODUCTION ASSISTANT - ONE PAUL HALE !

Regarding Herricks St Pauls, I well recall a friend playing this to me (even though I had my own copy and still do) and saying "ooh it just doesn't sound like that now" referring to Manders rebuild in the 70s. This was the cause of many arguments over that, he an armchair listener, revelling in the fire and brassiness of it. Despite me pointing out constantly that it never has sounded like that record ever, he was not convinced. So, me being the usual crafty whatname, found a record of Dearnley playing Boelmann on the restored organ.

 

THAT WOULD BE THE RECORDING OF THE WHOLE SUITE RECORDED BY MICHAEL WOODWARD, SO IT MIGHT COME OUT ON PRIORY. IF MY MEMORY IS RIGHT THE BOELLMAN IS ALL ON THE CHANCEL EXCEPT FOR THE 32' CONTRA VIOLONE ADDED AT THE END

 

Just the chancel I might add..... I said "this was done before, you can tell".... :lol: anyhow he said "ah yes, you CAN tell" etc etc. So....more revelling about this glorious Willis that was, me reaching for the Gin for sanity.

 

EXCELLENT IDEA. I USE SINGLE MALTS FOR THE SAME PURPOSE.

 

I then announced "well it B... well isn't, its as it is now" and that shut him up big style. But the thing is how people get carried away about such issues. I often heard St Pauls before the 70s rebuild, and it has very many more strings to it's bow now. No arguing that one. I even had to suffer comments about the "glorious" :lol: SE quarter gallery Lewis pipes as being Manna from heaven, 916 pipes no less. Pity they were opened right up and screamed, not to mention one being starkly aware exactly where the racket was coming from, in a way that today with the new Diapason chorus it's not as easy to tell.

 

And it all blends. Another gem from St. Pauls is E Power Biggs doing Medelssohn sonatas......any takers!? The Tubas sound wonderful!!!!!!!

 

DOES THIS REALLY EXIST RICHARD / I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IT !

regards,

 

Brian Childs

 

Yes the trousers are quite charming aren't they, and check out the shoes!! it all matches the pose,in itself quite remarkably like a Cathedral organist we all know!!! I'm afraid the E Power Biggs record does indeed exist, it's on an American record, Columbia Masterworks, MS 6087, in full 360 degree sound. I think it is from about 1965 odd. Sonatas 1 and 6 in more overdrive. There's a nice picture of the dome to look at while you listen and imagine yourself sitting in the cathedral. One sonata to side each, so you can guess the speeds.....If you want a copy let me know by email, I shall be delighted to enlighten you further!!!!

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On the other hand, is there really any merit (or musicality) in being able to obliterate the rest of the instrument with single notes on a tuba which may sound as if it were donated by the Merchant Navy?

 

Merit and musicality may not necessarily point to the same answer here. It could plausibly be argued that a solo tuba, like a town cryer, needs to be able to be heard over the surrounding bable. And in small doses the impact of such a stop can be undeniably exciting. Perhaps it is one of those experiences in life which we intellectually know we should not like, but secretly do ? Personally, I think a little goes a long way and such a stop would not be high on my list of  essentials, but where they already exist in large organs whose  players have other options at their disposal their removal would be wanton vandalism. I instance the Tuba Mirabilis at York and (though very different in tone) the Fanfare Trumpet on the Ulster Hall organ in Belfast.

 

BAC

 

I see you managed to quote my post, without quoting my post, as it were!

 

Personally, I am not a secret tuba fancier - or an overt one, for that matter....

 

However, it is interesting to note that these days the York Tuba Mirabilis now at least sounds even in timbre and power. This is due to the re-balancing caried out some years ago, by Phil Burbeck. As installed by H&H, the tuba was extremely uneven. This was because the tuner, in order to gain access to one side (might have been the C# side) closed all the tuning slots, because he kept getting caught on them! Phil Burbeck (with one of our choirmen holding notes) subsequently adjusted all pipes for evenness of timbre and power. He also did some other re-balancing, notably to the GO chorus, which apparently resulted in a rather better, more cohesive sound.

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I see you managed to quote my post, without quoting my post, as it were!

 

Personally, I am not a secret tuba fancier - or an overt one, for that matter....

 

However, it is interesting to note that these days the York Tuba Mirabilis now at least sounds even in timbre and power. This is due to the re-balancing caried out some years ago, by Phil Burbeck. As installed by H&H, the tuba was extremely uneven. This was because the tuner, in order to gain access to one side (might have been the C# side) closed all the tuning slots, because he kept getting caught on them! Phil Burbeck (with one of our choirmen holding notes) subsequently adjusted all pipes for evenness of timbre and power. He also did some other re-balancing, notably to the GO chorus, which apparently resulted in a rather better, more cohesive sound.

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....I have a problem with some Priory releases that preserve the dynamic range of the organ from pp-fff - in most domestic settings, that means constant adjustments to the volume control to hear the soft passages above the ambient noise (traffic, etc), or being nearly deafened with the loud bits.  There is a particular problem with divided organs - there often will not be one place that does every part of the instrument justice.

 

Tony

 

I think that this is preferable to the alternative, which would be, presumably, that all tracks are equalised so that everything comes out at the same volume. Yes, the former method does mean that it is occasionally necessary to adjust the volume. However, surely this is more likely to be a fair reflection of the effect of the instrument as heard live.

 

In an organ recording which I have just made, the microphone was placed in one position for the entire recording (diagonally opposite the case). Whilst the microphone was raised a few feet, the resulting sound is a pretty true representation of the instrument in its surroundings.

 

There are one or two moments on the recording where I use the softest stop on the Swell Organ with the box closed. Yes, it is very quiet - but it is also very quiet in the building. It does create a slight problem if one is listening in a car; however, that part of the track lasts only for a few seconds. At the opposite end of the scale, the disc concludes with the Choral from Vierne's Second Symphony - the tutti being employed for the last few chords. Again, it is comparatively loud on the CD (at a reasonable volume); once again, in the building the effect of the tutti is also quite shattering in various places.

 

Some food for thought. :blink:

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I think that this is preferable to the alternative, which would be, presumably, that all tracks are equalised so that everything comes out at the same volume. Yes, the former method does mean that it is occasionally necessary to adjust the volume. However, surely this is more likely to be a fair reflection of the effect of the instrument heard live.

 

In an organ recording which I have just made, the microphone was placed in one position for the entire recording (diagonally opposite the case). Whilst the microphone was raised a few feet, the resulting sound is a pretty true representation of the instrument in its surroundings.

 

There are one or two moments on the recording where I use the softest stop on the Swell Organ with the box closed. Yes, it is very quiet - but it is also very quiet in the building. It does create a slight problem if one is listening in a car; however, that part of the track lasts only for a few seconds. At the opposite end of the scale, the disc concludes with the Choral from Vierne's Second Symphony - the tutti being employed for the last few chords. Again, it is comparatively loud on the CD (at a reasonable volume); once again, in the building the effect of the tutti is also quite shattering in various places.

 

Some food for thought. :blink:

 

Hi

 

Having spent a number of years producing radio programmes, I know a bit about recording, and it is possible to reduce the dynamic range of a recording to manageable proportions - indeed, until the advent of CD, it was essential if the quiet sounds were not to be overwhelmed in the background noise of CD - and even analogue tape hiss.

 

I also agree that a short period of quiet music is acceptable - but constant switching between very quiet and very loud can become irritating!

 

To a large extent, the approach that the recordist takes is governed by the final audience of the product - a recording for the general entertainment market will be approached in a different way to a purist, documentary-type recording for the enthusiast (which I prefer on the odd occaisions when I've got time to just sit and listen) - although traffic noise outside is a bit of a problem here.

 

Like many other things, it's a matter of choosing the approipriate compromises.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Having spent a number of years producing radio programmes, I know a bit about recording, and it is possible to reduce the dynamic range of a recording to manageable proportions - indeed, until the advent of CD, it was essential if the quiet sounds were not to be overwhelmed in the background noise of CD - and even analogue tape hiss.

 

I also agree that a short period of quiet music is acceptable - but constant switching between very quiet and very loud can become irritating!

 

To a large extent, the approach that the recordist takes is governed by the final audience of the product - a recording for the general entertainment market will be approached in a different way to a purist, documentary-type recording for the enthusiast (which I prefer on the odd occaisions when I've got time to just sit and listen) - although traffic noise outside is a bit of a problem here.

 

Like many other things, it's a matter of choosing the approipriate compromises.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

It would really be quite impossible to record and actually reproduce for example the huge dynamic range of Liverpool Cathedral Organ (that will never happen), so some form of reduction must generally take place? Given this organ well exceeds 120 db and is downright terrifying at close quarters as if the floor is coming up let alone the vault disintegrating, CDs just do not have that range, and it clarifies that point perfectly. What I do find irritating is needless little tweaks, and the old BBC boradcasts were notriously bad at raising flutes to almost tuba power in extended passages, where you could hear the ambient noise increaing with the balance engineers finger!! With the advent of DAB this is less of a problem, but I have noticed some tweaking even now. Certainly smaller organs could be left as they are, and often cathedral organs do not reach such measures as Liverpool. It all comes down to compromise, both in recording technique and reproduction limitations. I concerted my loft and have my hi fi there, with two subwoofers, and it sounds great, but still not the real thing!!! Choirs do not escape either, soloists pushed up front etc. You still find a sudden crescendo cut back even now with most broadcasts. So much for DAB with "0 error" settings. Hmm!!!

All best,

Richard.

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I don't remember of the Liverpool Cathedral's organ as that powerfull.

(120 db -did they replace even more soft stops with more biting items,

this times an horizontal Airbus engine?-). Indeed, a french baroque organ

like St-Maximin du Var seems to be louder.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers

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I don't remember of the Liverpool Cathedral's organ as that powerfull.

(120 db -did they replace even more soft stops with more biting items,

this times an horizontal Airbus engine?-). Indeed, a french baroque organ

like St-Maximin du Var seems to be louder.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers

 

It depends how its played. It can be alarmingly shattering, but what its musical virtue is is open to debate. Loud to me is just loud. I personally prefer Chester, down the road from here, and get far more pleasure listening to a smaller but concise organ than a large organ in overdrive. A firm favourite has always been been Chichester also. It wont scare you half to death but is very musical and a joy to hear. There is a wealth of smaller organs in England that just never get heard of, and that I find very sad indeed, and on the recording front we are continually battered with the usual potboiler selections of organs which after a while just become monotnous. I have recently had a nice clear out of some CDs I just never play, it's amazing what you can hoard for that rainy day that never comes.....I recommend this to anyone, it's really quite uplifting to see them go on ebay for a song!!!!!!!

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It would really be quite impossible to record and actually reproduce for example the huge dynamic range of Liverpool Cathedral Organ (that will never happen), so some form of reduction must generally take place? Given this organ well exceeds 120 db and is downright terrifying at close quarters as if the floor is coming up let alone the vault disintegrating, CDs just do not have that range, and it clarifies that point perfectly. What I do find irritating is needless little tweaks, and the old BBC boradcasts were notriously bad at raising flutes to almost tuba power in extended passages, where you could hear the ambient noise increaing with the balance engineers finger!! With the advent of DAB this is less of a problem, but I have noticed some tweaking even now. Certainly smaller organs could be left as they are, and often cathedral organs do not reach such measures as Liverpool. It all comes down to compromise, both in recording technique and reproduction limitations. I concerted my loft and have my hi fi there, with two subwoofers, and it sounds great, but still not the real thing!!! Choirs do not escape either, soloists pushed up front etc. You still find a sudden crescendo cut back even now with most broadcasts. So much for DAB with "0 error" settings. Hmm!!!

All best,

Richard.

 

Hi

 

Actually it is now possible to record a 120dB dynamic range - IIRC 24bit digital recording will come pretty cloes if no actually get there.  The problem then is finding microphones & pre-amps that will actually handle that range - and reproducing it would be an even bigger problem!

 

In defence of my sound balancer colleagues in broadcasting, the brief is entertainment for the "average" listener - and these days that's usually someone listening in the car - hence dynamic range reduction is still very much needed - and the experts can do it virtually inaudibly.  Bear in mind, too, that the main BBC radio chanels are still broadcast on FM (around 50dB max. dynamic range) - and they certainly don't have the budget for seperate mixes for the various output streams.  (Radio 3 for instance is on FM, DAB, Freeview and the Sky sattelite - plus internet streams!)  The there's the problems of "Optimod" type processors on most broadcast channels - automatic compressors that the balance engineer has no control over - aimed at keeping the "average" punter happy.

 

You may be interested to know that even the BBC4 Proms broadcasts used the Radio 3 sound mix (cost saving) - although the BBC1/2 transmissions are seperarely mixed to match the pictures.  At present, my colleagues in the Institute of Broadcast Sound (some of whom work for the BBC) tell me that the best audio quality for radio 3 is on the Sky Sattelite - a reasonable data rate, and no extra processing.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I don't remember of the Liverpool Cathedral's organ as that powerfull.

(120 db -did they replace even more soft stops with more biting items,

this times an horizontal Airbus engine?-). Indeed, a french baroque organ

like St-Maximin du Var seems to be louder.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers

 

A set of 8' Party Horns (AKA The Trompette Militaire) on 50" wind pressure was added a few years ago. Trust me, you do not want to be under the Corona Gallery when this stop is being played with Sub & Super drawn. The effect is absolutley frightening.

 

The Tuba Magna also now operates on a full 50" wind pressure, rather than the lack lustre 37ish he had operated on for so long.

 

For those that haven't seen them, an image link from Danny Bishops site:

 

trompettecorona.jpg

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A set of 8' Party Horns (AKA The Trompette Militaire) on 50" wind pressure was added a few years ago. Trust me, you do not want to be under the Corona Gallery when this stop is being played with Sub & Super drawn. The effect is absolutley frightening.

 

The Tuba Magna also now operates on a full 50" wind pressure, rather than the lack lustre 37ish he had operated on for so long.

(Quote)

 

Well, this wasn't done yet when I visited. I'd rather have the Dulciana chorus

back, tough...

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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A set of 8' Party Horns (AKA The Trompette Militaire) on 50" wind pressure was added a few years ago. Trust me, you do not want to be under the Corona Gallery when this stop is being played with Sub & Super drawn. The effect is absolutley frightening.

 

The Tuba Magna also now operates on a full 50" wind pressure, rather than the lack lustre 37ish he had operated on for so long.

(Quote)

 

Well, this wasn't done yet when I visited. I'd rather have the Dulciana chorus

back, tough...

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

There are some very mixed responses to this stop. Some love it :lol: , others hate it :blink: . It is a Militaire, but in that acoustic does not come over as one, and it does not resemble St Pauls for example. In Liverpool with its very thick "rolling" ,and even ponderous reverberation, it sounds very much a Tuba. I don't consider it was needed at all, given the Magna. Liverpool's Willis has always been an enigma, and it always will be. There is not a sound like it anywhere, and this new stop was actually planned for the original spec, which following war damage was curtailed, with no west end organ, or corona section etc. The central space certainly amplifies the Militaire, and I think it is ok for special effects. The organ is due for major restoration work as is St.Georges Hall. :lol:

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The organ is due for major restoration work as is St.Georges Hall. biggrin.gif

 

(Quote)

 

Aïe aïe aïe..... I hope there are no "enhancements" projects!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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The organ is due for major restoration work as is St.Georges Hall. biggrin.gif

 

(Quote)

 

Aïe aïe aïe..... I hope there are no "enhancements" projects!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

No Ian Tracey has his head screwed on and would not allow anything to be altered. He's the ultimate conservationist. I only wish there were more cathedral organists/choirmasters like him. He is also one of the very few indeed to have his choir singing in a proper traditional English tone, none of this modern thin and reedy "Continental" (?!) tone with bad diction. :blink:

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The organ is due for major restoration work as is St.Georges Hall. biggrin.gif

 

(Quote)

 

Aïe aïe aïe..... I hope there are no "enhancements" projects!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

But what about a completion project , Pierre ? The organ as originally conceived was to have had everything that is there now PLUS

 

An Echo Division 23 stops, 19 manual and 4 pedal including a carillon to tenor C. That will not please PNCD.

 

A Corona Section enclosed 11 stops, 9 manual and 2 pedal

 

A West End Section 30 stops, Great 9, Swell 11 , Pedal 9 and the Trompette Militaire which was originally intended for the West End and not its present location

 

A Central Space Accompanimental Section

16 stops , 6 Great, 7 Swell, 3 Pedal

 

These divisions would have made the organ far and away the biggest organ in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe. (And before anyone else points this out , I will readily admit that size (ie number of stops) is no more a virtue in itself than volume - the ability for a solo reed to drown out full organ. I like the possibilities which large organs provide for good players but fully acknowledge that size also multiplies the opportunities for abuse !)

 

As originally conceived the organ would have had a further 80 projected stops of which only one, the Trompette Militaire, (and that not located where it was originally intended to go) has ever materialised since the organ assumed its final form. For details see pages 468-480 of WL Sumner "The Organ" 4th ed 1973. Of course there is no realistic prospect of this work being done as originally conceived: the cost of the additions would equate to the cost of a major new organ of substantial size but I seem to remember reading somewhere an interview with Ian Tracey in which he did moot the possibility of adding some west end trumpets . Perhaps Richard can keep us posted on how the thinking is progressing?

 

A west end chorus of LOW PRESSURE chamades might be an interesting addition, albeit not authentic. Personally, if I had the money, I would donate the carillon. But since I do not, all those driven to apoplexy by the very thought, can calm down for the moment. All they have to worry about is someone else with the same vulgar tastes AND money. Put like that perhaps they should worry.

 

Regards to all.

 

Brian Childs

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But what about a completion project , Pierre ? The organ as originally conceived was to have had everything that is there now PLUS

 

An Echo Division 23 stops, 19 manual and 4 pedal including a carillon to tenor C. That will not please PNCD.

 

A Corona Section  enclosed 11 stops, 9 manual and 2 pedal

 

A West End Section 30 stops, Great 9, Swell 11 , Pedal 9 and the Trompette Militaire which was originally intended for the West End and not its present location

 

A Central Space Accompanimental Section

16 stops , 6 Great, 7 Swell, 3 Pedal

 

These divisions would have  made the organ  far and away the biggest organ in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe. (And before anyone else points this out , I will readily admit that size (ie number of stops) is no more a virtue in itself than volume - the ability for a solo reed to drown out full organ. I like the possibilities which large organs provide for good players but fully acknowledge that size also multiplies the opportunities for abuse !)

 

As originally conceived the organ would have had a further 80 projected stops of which only one, the Trompette Militaire, (and that not located where it was originally intended to go) has ever materialised since the organ assumed its final form. For details see pages 468-480 of WL Sumner "The Organ" 4th ed 1973. Of course there is no realistic prospect of this work being done as originally conceived: the cost of the additions would equate to the cost of a major new organ of substantial size but I seem to remember reading somewhere an interview with Ian Tracey in which he did moot the possibility of adding some west end trumpets . Perhaps Richard can keep us posted on how the thinking is progressing?

 

A west end chorus of LOW PRESSURE chamades might be an interesting addition, albeit not authentic. Personally, if I had the money, I would donate the carillon. But since I do not, all those driven to apoplexy by the very thought, can calm down for the moment. All they have to worry about is someone else with the same vulgar tastes AND money. Put like that perhaps they should worry.

 

Regards to all.

 

Brian Childs

 

 

I was never convinced of the need for such a huge organ as the original, and feel the current is well enough. To hear that from the west end is to hear a very grand sound indeed. That would be compromised by additions further west. To me, it all comes down to what we see as Liverpool Cathedral. Despite having an internal floor area of 104,000 square feet, it actually is really quite modest and short internally, a little over 400 feet. The central space is lower than St Pauls and York, and indeed the width accross the transepts is far narrower than even many lesser cathedrals. The width of the cental space, with no aisles present is also incredibly narrow. By contrast Canterbury and Ely are vastly longer, at 518 and 537 feet respectively. Rochester is 324, and is ranked one one of our smaller cathedrals. The reverberation is exceeded by Canterbury (nave alone, chairs out) and others. So, if we are to announce the building as in some way unique we are not being quite true to dimensions or fact. The 104 feet tower arches are of course as unique as the bounce within the central space, something to reckon with.The almost physical "pull" of the building when played from the central mobile console, is not easy. But I think that ,given the almost obsolete and detached "well" masquerading as a nave (far lower also than the main floor!!!), the shorter length from nave bridge to east wall than even Rochester, and the fact that the organ carries so incredibly well in the building , we do not need more organ there. The building has evolved, with many faults in design that were never resolved, and bits of organ dotted about are a antiquated ideal that will probably and hopefully never be realised. It would be difficult to justify that on maintenance cost alone. On musical grounds it would resort to gimmickry, architecturally it could well be a mess, sonically downright unpleasant, and worse of all, the whole thing open to abuse.

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I was never convinced of the need for such a huge organ as the original, and feel the current is well enough. To hear that from the west end is to hear a very grand sound indeed. That would be compromised by additions further west. To me, it all comes down to what we see as Liverpool Cathedral. Despite having an internal floor area of 104,000 square feet, it actually is really quite modest and short internally, a little over 400 feet. The central space is lower than St Pauls and York, and indeed the width accross the transepts is far narrower than even many lesser cathedrals. The width of the cental space, with no aisles present is also incredibly narrow. By contrast Canterbury and Ely are vastly longer, at 518 and 537 feet respectively. Rochester is 324, and is ranked one one of our smaller cathedrals. The reverberation is exceeded by Canterbury (nave alone, chairs out) and others. So, if we are to announce the building as in some way unique we are not being quite true to dimensions or fact. The 104 feet tower arches are of course as unique as the bounce within the central space, something to reckon with.The almost physical "pull" of the building when played from the central mobile console, is not easy. But I think that ,given the almost obsolete and detached "well" masquerading as a nave (far lower also than the main floor!!!), the shorter length from nave bridge to east wall than even Rochester, and the fact that the organ carries so incredibly well in the building , we do not need more organ there. The building has evolved, with many faults in design that were never resolved, and bits of organ dotted about are a antiquated ideal that will probably and hopefully never be realised. It would be difficult to justify that on maintenance cost alone. On musical grounds it would resort to gimmickry, architecturally it could well be a mess, sonically downright unpleasant, and worse of all, the whole thing open to abuse.

 

 

 

I hardly think you need to worry Richard. No one would seriously contemplate the initial capital outlay, plus the considerable addition to maintenance expenses to which you quite properly draw attention. Furthermore, experience with an organ which exists in a building which is completed certainly provides a legitimate reason for rethinking a design dreamt up on paper for a space which was still largely a building site. So the West End and Central Space Sections may now be completely surplus to requirements .Having conceded all that, an ethereal or echo division high up in the central tower would provide additional opportunities for QUIET effects !! (You see I can turn my mind to issues other than who has the loudest tuba and biggest scaled 32 ft pedal reed !) This looks in a quite different direction from more power and merely contemplates the possibility of installing a few more stops in a location where one, the Trompette Militaire, is already located, and hence in a location to which the tuner already has to venture. Of course, I recognise that one logical possibility consequent on the fact that opinion about the new stop is strongly divided would be a decision to get rid of it, though this does seem rather wasteful and rather lacking in gratitude to those who provided the funds to instal it in the first place.

 

On a simple question of fact, my understanding has always been that the Trompette Militaire was on 36" WP. I suppose I might have dreamt this, or has the pressure been raised since the stop was installed ?

 

I believe that there also exists a division of opinion on the efficacy of the Tuba Magna and that there are those who claim that the Bombarde Tuba Chorus are adequate in themselves and finer stops ? Does anyone know the opinion of Noel Rawsthorne on this question?

 

I have not heard the Cathedral Organ live for some time. In the old days I made a point of calling in to the building on the way to and from the ferry, but nowadays the budget airlines mean that only the rich travel that way! And anyway it now docks on the other side of the river. I also miss eating dinner in the Berni Inn overlooking the Pier Head before wandering around to get on the ship.

 

Best wishes,

 

Brian Childs

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I have been fortunate to hear the Liverpool organ twice recently in recitals by Malcolm Archer and Andrew Nethsingha. Archer's recital ended with the Vierne Carillon de Westminster and despite sitting at the back, the sheer power of the instrument in the final bars as he brought on pretty much everything bar the Tuba Magna and Trompette Militaire was simply overwhelming and like nothing I had experienced before. Such power really does need to be handled with care. I can't recall any of Andrew Nethsingha's actual programme, but this time other facets of the instrument were on display. I was enchanted by the multitude of different quiet effects Andrew continually drew from the instrument, and equally shattered by the use of the Trompette Militaire in the Corona Gallery. I could quite happily go through the rest of my life never hearing this stop used again. Whether its the voicing or its location, but this is just one very loud and raucous organ stop, and not very musical.

 

On the related topic of recording organs, I have a number of CDs of the organ in St Paul's Cathedral. Probably the best played is John Scott's second volume of works by Marcel Dupre (Passion Symphony. Symphony No. 2 etc) but no account seems to have been made for domestic listening. In order to hear the programme properly you need to sound balance turned up quite a bit, but at one or two key moments will find yourselves catapaulted out of your seat when John Scott really does pull all the stops out (including the West End Trumpets) to shattering effect, both on the stereo system, and indeed your nerves!

 

Jeremy Jones

London

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Sorry, I think this post was originally about Father Willis the 1st's greatest hits. Why hasn't Reading Town Hall been mentioned yet.

 

I have to say that I don't think Lincoln Cathedral (very fine organ) sounds very at home playing Bach - like many Willises - you need some reeds drawn before you add the mixtures... It was his last cathedral organ and, while well done, is more conservative in its feel than his earlier organs.

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you need some reeds drawn before you add the mixtures...

(Quote)

 

This is the very signature of nearly all romantic organs,

save some very original ones (Lewis, Schulze).

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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No Ian Tracey has his head screwed on and would not allow anything to be altered. He's the ultimate conservationist. I only wish there were more cathedral organists/choirmasters like him. He is also one of the very few indeed to have his choir singing in a proper traditional English tone, none of this modern thin and reedy "Continental" (?!) tone with bad diction. :P

 

Umm....you may wish to keep your eyes on the nave bridge over the next few months. Oh, and you probably should buy a hat - one with really thick ear-flaps. :D

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Guest Roffensis
Umm....you may wish to keep your eyes on the nave bridge over the next few months. Oh, and you probably should buy a hat - one with really thick ear-flaps. :P

 

 

I shall be delighted to keep my eyes firmly on the nave bridge if something with proper pipework goes up there, rather than the current washing machine installed there on its final rinse. Twin tubs do have their sell by date, and I expect to see a fitting skip outrside the west door.....

 

v :D:P .

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Guest Roffensis
I have been fortunate to hear the Liverpool organ twice recently in recitals by Malcolm Archer and Andrew Nethsingha. Archer's recital ended with the Vierne Carillon de Westminster and despite sitting at the back, the sheer power of the instrument in the final bars as he brought on pretty much everything bar the Tuba Magna and Trompette Militaire was simply overwhelming and like nothing I had experienced before. Such power really does need to be handled with care. I can't recall any of Andrew Nethsingha's actual programme, but this time other facets of the instrument were on display. I was enchanted by the multitude of different quiet effects Andrew continually drew from the instrument, and equally shattered by the use of the Trompette Militaire in the Corona Gallery. I could quite happily go through the rest of my life never hearing this stop used again. Whether its the voicing or its location, but this is just one very loud and raucous organ stop, and not very musical.

 

On the related topic of recording organs, I have a number of CDs of the organ in St Paul's Cathedral. Probably the best played is John Scott's second volume of works by Marcel Dupre (Passion Symphony. Symphony No. 2 etc) but no account seems to have been made for domestic listening. In order to hear the programme properly you need to sound balance turned up quite a bit, but at one or two key moments will find yourselves catapaulted out of your seat when John Scott really does pull all the stops out (including the West End Trumpets) to shattering effect, both on the stereo system, and indeed your nerves!

 

Jeremy Jones

London

 

Yep, good stuff. I also like the Dearnley Romantic Organ Music on Mottette as well, pretty obscure stuff and the organ in fine fettle. I often have that on.

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A set of 8' Party Horns (AKA The Trompette Militaire) on 50" wind pressure was added a few years ago. Trust me, you do not want to be under the Corona Gallery when  this stop is being played with Sub & Super drawn. The effect is absolutley frightening.

 

The Tuba Magna also now operates on a full 50" wind pressure, rather than the lack lustre 37ish he had operated on for so long.

 

For those that haven't seen them, an image link from Danny Bishops site:

 

trompettecorona.jpg

 

Hey Magna - welcome!

 

Interesting gratuitous shot of scary naked organ pipes....

 

To be honest, I do not think that I would wish to be in the same building when Ian uses the party-horns.... :D The ones on my own instrument are quite enough - perhaps one day you will actually get to hear them live!

 

The Bombarde reeds at Oxford are also quite exciting - sorry you missed them this year....grrrrr.... :P

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