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Here's A Queer One!


Guest Hector5
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Guest Hector5

While surfing in the blasted rain (yes it rains in France too!) I discovered that the Harrison organ at the West London Synagogue is being restored by the French organ builder Daniel Kern of Strasbourg. I think this extraordinary and will be interested in the results. The photos on the website show the organ in various states of 'dismantlisation'. This rather leads me to think about other off-beam choices of organ builders to do (or have done) various jobs.

 

I had the privilege of sitting up in the organ gallery in Dijon Cathedral yesterday during the Saturday evening mass, and was painfully aware that this really was not a 'French' sounding organ. Ok Riepp had a major hand in the pipework - but a later builder, Gerhard Schmid restored the organ in 1996. I think that the French rationale was that Schmid understood the Riepp concept so he therefore got the job, but the reality seems that the organ has gained a really Germanic slant. The Recit - a big division, sporting Flute Harmoniques promises much, but comes over a thin, and with a really over-prominent Clairon and ultra-brittle Mixtures, which I have only really heard on the modern German instruments (well 1970-1980s ones). In short, I was really disappointed with the organ, and it appears clear that the restorer somewhat missed the mark. The console is neither fish now fowl - with chunky drawknobs with mechanical/electric action, and the sequencer operated from a mini cash register which is drawn out by one of the chunky knobs. In saying this, my nearest large town (Beaune) has a Formitelli restoration of another Rieppe instrument - a really uncomfortable console with Positiv knobs behind you, and the rest of the stops - well, all over the place.

 

Comments?????

 

Hector

 

 

P.S. Many thanks to all of you who provided me with places to visit in Paris. Mrs Hector is now back in the UK, and I'm off to Paris on Tuesday, then Rouen - ahhhhhhhhh blisssssssssssssss!!!!!

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While surfing in the blasted rain (yes it rains in France too!) I discovered that the Harrison organ at the West London Synagogue is being restored by the French organ builder Daniel Kern of Strasbourg. I think this extraordinary and will be interested in the results. The photos on the website show the organ in various states of 'dismantlisation'. This rather leads me to think about other off-beam choices of organ builders to do (or have done) various jobs.

 

 

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

 

The most obvious apparent mismatch that I know of, was when Norman & Beard rebuilt the Schulze at Doncaster.

 

However, not only did they respect everything that Schulze had done, they actually improved the reeds no end. Schulze reeds were always a bit pedestrian, and Norman & Beard reeds were not. So what resulted from this, was an organ with magnificent German fluework, and some rather good chorus reeds plus a Tuba.

 

Dare I suggest that the organ was better afterwards?

 

I actually think that it may well have been.

 

MM

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Guest Cynic
While surfing in the blasted rain (yes it rains in France too!) I discovered that the Harrison organ at the West London Synagogue is being restored by the French organ builder Daniel Kern of Strasbourg. I think this extraordinary and will be interested in the results. The photos on the website show the organ in various states of 'dismantlisation'.

 

 

I don't think he'll mind me passing on this information, but also interesting, the adviser on the restoration scheme for The West London Synagogue is our good friend (fellow Forum guru and Harrison enthusiast) Pierre Lauwers!

 

I have been told that Kerns approached H&H for professional help in one significant area, so guess what response they got!

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Guest Barry Williams

"I have been told that Kerns approached H&H for professional help in one significant area, so guess what response they got!"

 

Please enlighten us.

 

Barry Williams

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"I have been told that Kerns approached H&H for professional help in one significant area, so guess what response they got!"

 

Please enlighten us.

 

Barry Williams

 

This does not matter !

 

Only one thing does: that this organ sounds like Arthur Harrison left it. Period...

(Paul, I may have helped somewhat, but no more!)

Pierre

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