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Devon And Cornwall

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You know, that's not a bad idea. After all, it is basically a Romantic organ with a (sort of) Baroque specification.

 

That's tongue-in-cheek, by the way - but only slightly.

 

I think I'm with David on this. Oh the fun you could have accompanying plainsong on it - or Anglican chant for that matter.

 

I don't think the locals were terribly happy about the fate of their village shop either - bought, closed down and left empty for some years - and nor were my distant relatives (one of whom is still going) awfully impressed with having to leave their houses to make room for development (in the late 70's), which then stood empty and derelict with the front wall knocked down (I can clearly remember as a child standing before them looking at the 1950's decor) before being turned into yet another gift shoppe.

Fastbuck Abbey?

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Oh the fun you could have accompanying plainsong on it - or Anglican chant for that matter.

 

Absolutely. Remember Briggs accompanying R3 choral evensong on it a couple of summers back?

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Fastbuck Abbey?

 

:unsure:

 

Joking aside, of course the main purpose of that organ IS to accompany plainsong.

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As a boy, just after the unpleasantness with the Germans, I sang in the choir of All Saints Falmouth and the organ there is apparently well thought of. I don't play and my enjoyment of the organ is just listening to the music, but I was wondering if any of the forum members have any experience of it and their opinions if so. It's a 1894 Hele, Speechly did an overhaul in 1926, and Roger Yates revoiced and enlarged it in 1950, there was a further restoration by Lance Foy in 1980 and he still looks after it. I understand he is doing some work on it at present. I know all this as I have just bought a CD of the instrument, recorded for back of the church sales, so it's all easy listening. Any opinions would be welcome.

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Deeper into Cornwall, the organ at St Buryan Parish Church is, IMHO, one of the nicest instruments in Cornwall. Two manual, fairly heavy tracker. I can't remember who the builder is. The organ in St Mary's Penzance is well worth a visit. The creme de la creme of course is the Father Willis in Truro Cathedral. Fellow list member John Sheppard (in Camborne) is more qualified than I am to advise on which Cornish organs are worth hearing! - Any suggestions, John?!!

 

NS

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As a boy, just after the unpleasantness with the Germans, I sang in the choir of All Saints Falmouth and the organ there is apparently well thought of. I don't play and my enjoyment of the organ is just listening to the music, but I was wondering if any of the forum members have any experience of it and their opinions if so. It's a 1894 Hele, Speechly did an overhaul in 1926, and Roger Yates revoiced and enlarged it in 1950, there was a further restoration by Lance Foy in 1980 and he still looks after it. I understand he is doing some work on it at present. I know all this as I have just bought a CD of the instrument, recorded for back of the church sales, so it's all easy listening. Any opinions would be welcome.

 

 

If you look at the NPOR entry for this church, there appears to be a discrepancy: here. ('Specification superseded'.)

 

Then look here. It now seems that there is a three-rank extension instrument by Hele & Co. in the building - with no mention of the previous organ. I have a vague recollection that there may have been a fire at this church at some point in the last few years. Does anyone know if this actually happened?

 

I played the old instrument at some point in the mid-1990s and rememeber that it was a fine sound, if a little antiquated with regard to the console.

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... The organ in St Mary's Penzance is well worth a visit. ...

 

If you like your organs to be very loud and almost entirely lacking in subtlety.

 

... The creme de la creme of course is the Father Willis in Truro Cathedral. ...

 

NS

 

I suppose that this is probably true - even if Willis is not one's favourite builder. However, if the three-clavier Nicholson/Yates organ formerly in Saint Michael's Church, Newquay still existed, I would have chosen this over Truro without hesitation.

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If you look at the NPOR entry for this church, there appears to be a discrepancy: here. ('Specification superseded'.)

 

Then look here. It now seems that there is a three-rank extension instrument by Hele & Co. in the building - with no mention of the previous organ. I have a vague recollection that there may have been a fire at this church at some point in the last few years. Does anyone know if this actually happened?

 

I played the old instrument at some point in the mid-1990s and rememeber that it was a fine sound, if a little antiquated with regard to the console.

 

See this for more information:- http://www.allsaintsfalmouth.co.uk/?p=84/Church%20Organ

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St John's Bridgetown, Totnes deserves far more of a plug. If you want gentle and musical speech this is the place to go.

 

Yes, indeed. :unsure:

 

St Mary's in the town has a 3m Willis restored by the same builder.

 

2m Willis. Third manual added by Ivey(?). The whole organ is voiced very loud for the church.

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2m Willis. Third manual added by Ivey(?). The whole organ is voiced very loud for the church.

Yes, the Choir is by Ivey. It isn't bad, either. At least it's not insipid like some Choir Organs I have encountered and it fits the Willis pipework adequately. Having played it last Saturday I would not agree that it is "very loud" for the church. That never occurred to me. I would concede that it is "ample"; but it's certainly not oppressive. The worst thing about it is that awful case. If an organ case is supposed to prepare you for the sound you are about to hear, then this one surely belongs to an extension organ, not a Father Willis. Perhaps if they got rid of the white paint...

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The whole organ is voiced very loud for the church.

 

I would strongly take issue with that too. It's just not been tamed at any point during its life.

 

The Choir Piccolo is a new stop, and one where extreme pains were taken to copy Willis voicing methods.

 

This organ contains the largest rollerboard you are ever likely to see. Oh, and this one is equal temperament, because it apparently always was - such an unusual thing at the time of its construction that it merited a mention in the local newspaper.

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All Saints Falmouth again, pcnd5584 - I think that the All Saints website is more accurate than NPOR, which does seem a strange entry. If anyone wants further details or to visit I recommend they contact the organist who is mentioned on the website, he seems very keen, but lives in St Just, some distance from Falmouth.

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All Saints Falmouth again, pcnd5584 - I think that the All Saints website is more accurate than NPOR, which does seem a strange entry. If anyone wants further details or to visit I recommend they contact the organist who is mentioned on the website, he seems very keen, but lives in St Just, some distance from Falmouth.

 

Thank you for this.

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This organ contains the largest rollerboard you are ever likely to see.

 

Chislehurst, Christ Church would take some beating...a Vincent Willis organ placed at centrally at the west end of the church, Great above the console, Solo behind the Great and the Swell offset to the treble end by a 14ft 6" rollerboard. Stood on its end in the workshop, it was the same height as a double-decker bus !

 

H

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I would strongly take issue with that too. It's just not been tamed at any point during its life.

 

Each to their own! :unsure:

 

Having grown up with St. Mary's as my parish church throughout my early and teenage years, and having not only played it many times but having heard it at numerous concerts and services, I still maintain that it is very loud in the church. The player at the console is not aware of this, though.

 

My understanding - although I'm happy to be corrected as I'm only going on hearsay from a local organist who has known it for many years - is that when it was moved from the west gallery and crammed into the north transept, it was found to be inadequate in volume in its new position. In order to improve matters it was revoiced and loudened (Willis III?) and a new Large Open Diapason added to the Great to try and increase its power. When it was restored to the west gallery, the Large Open Diapason was removed and a new Mixture inserted in its place, but no other tonal alterations were made apart from the addition of the Piccolo which replaced another register on the Choir, and the organ was left as loud as it was when it was previously revoiced.

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Each to their own! :unsure:

 

Having grown up with St. Mary's as my parish church throughout my early and teenage years, and having not only played it many times but having heard it at numerous concerts and services, I still maintain that it is very loud in the church. The player at the console is not aware of this, though.

 

My understanding - although I'm happy to be corrected as I'm only going on hearsay from a local organist who has known it for many years - is that when it was moved from the west gallery and crammed into the north transept, it was found to be inadequate in volume in its new position. In order to improve matters it was revoiced and loudened (Willis III?) and a new Large Open Diapason added to the Great to try and increase its power. When it was restored to the west gallery, the Large Open Diapason was removed and a new Mixture inserted in its place, but no other tonal alterations were made apart from the addition of the Piccolo which replaced another register on the Choir, and the organ was left as loud as it was when it was previously revoiced.

 

I believe that in all aspects of the voicing close attention was paid to surviving Father Willis material to the minutest detail, i.e. the hundredth of a millimetre. I think there are very few instances in this world where you could possibly be more certain that the organ now sounds as close as anyone could ever know to its original conception.

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Having grown up with St. Mary's as my parish church throughout my early and teenage years, and having not only played it many times but having heard it at numerous concerts and services, I still maintain that it is very loud in the church.

Fair enough. You obviously know it well.

 

I believe that in all aspects of the voicing close attention was paid to surviving Father Willis material to the minutest detail, i.e. the hundredth of a millimetre. I think there are very few instances in this world where you could possibly be more certain that the organ now sounds as close as anyone could ever know to its original conception.

...which is a fair comment, considering that Willis factory-built his organs to set scales (or so I am told). The Totnes instrument was installed in a mere two weeks. FHW himself apparently gave the opening recital.

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There's an intriguing little 14 stop three (!) manual dating from 1790 in the chapel at St Michael's Mount near Penzance, which itself is well worth a visit. But you have to choose your repertoire carefully as the keyboards are non-standard, Great long compass, and a short compass Swell.

 

Contrabombarde

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This information has been helpful.

Together with four others I helped organise a trip of one week.

34 people travelled with us from Winchester to Lands End and all sorts of places in between.

 

We went to Cubert and found it to be a beautiful place and dito organ.

I had the chance to play it for a few minutes and found that I didn't want to stop playing.

 

To see a foto-report see this link:

 

If it's ok with you all I might trouble you again with a question for info because we will be planning a trip to the region of York, Liverpool next year.

 

Anita Bos

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