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Pierre Lauwers

Herbert Howells Registration

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@ Mr Cox: I meant I included New Zealand with the areas where H.H. is still known

and played, of course.

 

"it is with reeds that players will find difficulty."

(Quote)

 

Absolutely. The soft passages will be fine on any german romantic organ -not on

french ones, though, that lack seriously of a sufficient number of soft stops-; the

problem are the Climaxes.

Either the reeds are not strong enough (german organs), either they are too crude

by far (french organ). Howells on a Cavaillé-Coll should be very, very questionnable

("PWAAAAPPP!!!"), i.e., transform accent into shouts.

 

Pierre

 

I can, I think, put it more simply than that.

 

Because the prime use of a big romantic 'English' organ (say 1900-1930) is the accompaniment of voices, every rank in one of our 'traditional' organs is voiced with consciously limited harmonics. No rank strides through, blend is paramount. Thus, the finest accompanimental organs are often those by H&H which can be dull as solo instruments; they lack the fire of a late Victorian Willis or Walker. You could still get a wonderful full organ sound, but this relies upon such stops as Clarions, Harmonics V etc.

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Yes; now if you write music for it, you will bring life into this smooth mass,

have it on the move.

On the other hand, I know french Trompette stops that are delightfull....One

note at at time. But never try a chord with them !

 

Ancient composers wrote music which was perfect for a mean-tone temperament.

With an equal temperament, this music lacks precisely that: fire !

 

There is a strong intimacy between the music and the instrument it was written for.

This shows with H. Howells as with all others composers who were players themselves.

 

Other data available ?

 

Pierre

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Awer watt bedeitet datt ? Ech konnt sinnen ausse d'bachter de Kuppe reed'n,

damatt woert'n ons noch ni' auss d'n Kaff gereed, seg efkes... :P

 

Peter

 

Mein Gott, Gustav - wat is denn düt? Plattdütsch??

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Mein Gott, Gustav - wat is denn düt? Plattdütsch??

 

Fast korrekt.

This is an incredible -from abroad- mixture of flemish, frankisch (the first deriving

from the second originally) and german dialect of the Köln area (Ripuarisch).

Still there ?

Academic name: Maasfrankisch.

We name it "d'Platt".

Of course not understood in the Netherlands save in the Limburg (close by), it

is as idiosyncratic as Howell's music.

 

Pierre

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Fast korrekt.

This is an incredible -from abroad- mixture of flemish, frankisch (the first deriving

from the second originally) and german dialect of the Köln area (Ripuarisch).

Still there ?

Academic name: Maasfrankisch.

We name it "d'Platt".

Of course not understood in the Netherlands save in the Limburg (close by), it

is as idiosyncratic as Howell's music.

 

Pierre

 

Ah, "Low German". I remember being on a German exchange a number of years back and having to try to communicate with an elderly grandma.

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Ah, "Low German". I remember being on a German exchange a number of years back and having to try to communicate with an elderly grandma".

 

You would have got the same results anywhere in Belgium; french and dutch

are both imported languages here. Nobody spoke them, but rather about

15 local languages, belonging to the following groups: Oïl, flemish,

Moselfrankisch (today fortunately preserved, as it is the official language

in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, whose exemplary action resulted in

a splendid written version!), Maasfrankisch, champenois and ripuarisch.

So we know what diversity is here, and the utmost importance to keep

and protect it -after having punished generations of pupils for having

"spoken in dialect"-.

 

It is exactly the same with the organs. After having destroyed 99% of

all the work done since the Renaissance, we commence to understand

an organ good nor in Bach nor in Franck can also be worthwhile...

 

Pierre

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I know that I haven't travelled anything like as widely in Europe as others here, but I think while soft fluework and some choruses abroad could readily do justice to Howells/Parry/Stanford/Vaughan Williams et al, I think it is with reeds that players will find difficulty. Members of this forum will remember what trouble Barry Jordan took to have a proper English Tuba for his wonderful new organ at Magdeburg, something virtually unknown outside the English-speaking world, but there are other rare reed effects necessary too.

 

 

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

 

 

I can go along with the registration Paul mentions; which tallies with what I would do by and large.

 

As for Tubas being "virtually unknown outside the English-speaking world" I think I must disagree. Quite a number of newer organs in Poland seem to have Tubas; some of them remarkably powerful ones.

 

MM

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I know that I haven't travelled anything like as widely in Europe as others here, but I think while soft fluework and some choruses abroad could readily do justice to Howells/Parry/Stanford/Vaughan Williams et al, I think it is with reeds that players will find difficulty. Members of this forum will remember what trouble Barry Jordan took to have a proper English Tuba for his wonderful new organ at Magdeburg, something virtually unknown outside the English-speaking world, but there are other rare reed effects necessary too.

 

One tradition over here is the concept of Oboes that blend, even subsume themselves into 8' and 4' principals. I remember being told that the voicer who was responsible for the tonal finishing at St.Paul's Cathedral when the four-manual Father Willis in the Chancel was being restored by Manders (?1977) had three separate attempts to get the Swell Oboe sufficiently smooth for the late Christopher Dearnley before he was happy with it.

 

The registration schemes referred to earlier as 'Dark Arts' quite often rely on a smooth (seriously-well-blending) Oboe. The build up, starting with strings, of course, adds other 8's (not always removing the Celeste in the early stages). 4' flutes may well be added before principals, but often before the Fifteenth would come the Swell Oboe. Therefore, when another 8' reed is added on the way towards Full Swell, reed tone is already part of the aural mix. Therefore, with a good swell-box one could go from Swell 888442Oboe (with or without Mixture or 16' flue) straight to the Full Swell Piston (shutting the box immediately as one did so) and there would be little appreciable difference downstairs, enabling the swell to be opened gradually over the next page or two of music, with the effect of greatly increased excitement as well as volume.

 

The Mixture was considered essential to Full Swell, as was (in particular) the 16' reed. Mind you, these mixtures were not particularly high pitched, a 2' would be the top rank from Treble C if not earlier.

 

Hope this tallies with other folks' method/memory!

Absolutely. I always have an Oboe on the Sw pistons before the 2', except on the new Glos organ, where the 2' was deliberately voiced NOT to work with the Oboe, I believe. Indeed, several romantic organs had their Swell Oboe removed in favour of some silly high-pitched thing, thus depriving the chorus of an essential foundation stop.

 

As we can hear from recordings of the old Gloucester organ, the Fifteenths were gloriously particularly bright Willis types, so rich in harmonics that a Mixture was hardly needed. The old Swell to 15th plus Oboe at Glos was a peerless sound.

 

As for using mixtures before the big reeds, surely Swell 8842ObMixt was the standard penultimate piston setting on traditional cathedral organs, even if there wasn't a tierce in the mixture? Does anyone know what Sumsion had set up at Glos?

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I know that I haven't travelled anything like as widely in Europe as others here, but I think while soft fluework and some choruses abroad could readily do justice to Howells/Parry/Stanford/Vaughan Williams et al, I think it is with reeds that players will find difficulty. Members of this forum will remember what trouble Barry Jordan took to have a proper English Tuba for his wonderful new organ at Magdeburg, something virtually unknown outside the English-speaking world, but there are other rare reed effects necessary too.

 

One tradition over here is the concept of Oboes that blend, even subsume themselves into 8' and 4' principals. I remember being told that the voicer who was responsible for the tonal finishing at St.Paul's Cathedral when the four-manual Father Willis in the Chancel was being restored by Manders (?1977) had three separate attempts to get the Swell Oboe sufficiently smooth for the late Christopher Dearnley before he was happy with it.

 

The registration schemes referred to earlier as 'Dark Arts' quite often rely on a smooth (seriously-well-blending) Oboe. The build up, starting with strings, of course, adds other 8's (not always removing the Celeste in the early stages). 4' flutes may well be added before principals, but often before the Fifteenth would come the Swell Oboe. Therefore, when another 8' reed is added on the way towards Full Swell, reed tone is already part of the aural mix. Therefore, with a good swell-box one could go from Swell 888442Oboe (with or without Mixture or 16' flue) straight to the Full Swell Piston (shutting the box immediately as one did so) and there would be little appreciable difference downstairs, enabling the swell to be opened gradually over the next page or two of music, with the effect of greatly increased excitement as well as volume.

 

The Mixture was considered essential to Full Swell, as was (in particular) the 16' reed. Mind you, these mixtures were not particularly high pitched, a 2' would be the top rank from Treble C if not earlier.

 

Hope this tallies with other folks' method/memory!

Absolutely spot on, with just a few items:

  • Many smaller Victorian organs don't have a Sw 16' reed but do have an Oboe and Trumpet. I feel the Swell Oboe and 8' Trumpet should never be sacrificed at the altar of a 16' swell reed, otherwise a vital component of the build-up of full swell is lost. The build up is more important than the outright full swell - in practice, the swell oboe gets a lot more use than the 16' reed! Quite often on pnematic Victorian organs not quite large enough for a 16' swell reed, there will be a sub-octave coupler, which I usually find is quite a reasonable compromise. Quite often there will be a 16' Bourdon before a 16' reed, especially on Walkers, which is quite an interesting feature converse to assertions for 16' swell reeds.
  • 4' swell flutes - yes, totally agree! A very useful stop in practice.
  • Oboes certainly got smoother and creamier over time - by the 1920s they were ultra-refined so I'm not surprised about the story of Christopher Dearnley and his Swell Oboe at St Pauls!

Certainly, I think the Cavaille-Coll Recits can get away with English romantics, although the Recit effect is a bit different, with a more reed-dominated bass and flue-dominated treble. Also the Grande Orgue and Pedal reeds are rather different, too! The German Romantic swells generally go up to a 2' and quiet reed, so can do the bit upto 888442Oboe but compromises have to creep after that. Although Reger seems to ask for seamless crescendos to full organ all the time. Actually, I guess on a German organ, it would probably be 88888888442Klarinette and the reed will be a bit more gutteral than a 1920s Willis III Oboe but so long as people are prepared to accept "This is a German Romantic Organ doing English Romantic Music", they should be happy enough, although something relying on very subtle colour and sense of place like Howells might require some careful thought.

 

All power to Barry Jordon's Tuba at Magdeburg though! How exciting for the Germans!

 

How peverse the Gloucester Sw 2' was designed not to work with the Swell Oboe!! Was it designed to work with any other stops of the division or was it just intended as a solo register...?

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How peverse the Gloucester Sw 2' was designed not to work with the Swell Oboe!! Was it designed to work with any other stops of the division or was it just intended as a solo register...?

 

Well, it was just hearsay... that RD didn't like the 'Swell to Oboe' colour. In practice, 88442Ob or 842Ob at Glos certainly sounds :P to my ears, and I tried to avoid it in psalms. The Oboe works with all the other 'fonds' and is refined enough to bring on very early in the build-up. It's a very pretty 2' too, which blends well with everything else, in particular the Nazard, Tierce and lower flutes. It is just bizarre that the Oboe doesn't blend with it. Perhaps an Oboe always needs a nice bright Fifteenth rather than anything flutier?

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As for using mixtures before the big reeds, surely Swell 8842ObMixt was the standard penultimate piston setting on traditional cathedral organs, even if there wasn't a tierce in the mixture? Does anyone know what Sumsion had set up at Glos?

When was "was" though? Ever since I have been playing the organ I think this has been the case; I was taught also that it is useful to include the 16' reed on this piston too if it is a Contra Fagotto and not too loud to be so used. So it does seem to have been a standard practice for some time.

 

However, is it older than the mid twentieth-century generation of organists? Unless my memory deceives me (increasingly likely these days!) the influence of the neo-Baroque extended beyond considerations of how to register Bach in a way that made your Willis, Walker, H&H or whatever sound as much like a Schnitger as possible and left its mark even on the registration of Romantic music. In the 50s and 60s clarity was the watchword, whatever music you were playing. I have been listening recently to one of those Amphion CDs compiled from the old EMI Great Cathedral Organ LPs. Wonderful playing it is too, but the thing that really strikes me is the registration: it seems at least as vertical as it is horizontal, with lots of diapasons and chorus work. Howells's practice, whatever it was, would pre-date any mid-century influences there might have been.

 

Self-evidently, old-school organists who refused ever to draw mixtures would not have included them on any piston and in the days when divisions had only three or four pistons each I would be surprised if any were given to 8842ObMixt. From the limited (mostly anecdotal) evidence I have it does seem that alongside the many organists whose registration was predominantly octopodian and who only used stops above 4' pitch with extreme discretion or not at all, there were others who did not disdain upperwork. However their approach to building crescendos was no different: the build-up had to be as smooth as possible so the stops were added in whatever order best secured this effect.

 

It is pure speculation, but I have a feeling that Howells would have belonged to the same school of registration as Harold Darke. They were of the same generation and the textures of their organ compositions are not that dissimilar. In the absence of firmer information, I think it would not be inappropriate to apply Darke-style registration to Howells's music. How did Darke use his upperwork?

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Well, it was just hearsay... that RD didn't like the 'Swell to Oboe' colour. In practice, 88442Ob or 842Ob at Glos certainly sounds :P to my ears, and I tried to avoid it in psalms. The Oboe works with all the other 'fonds' and is refined enough to bring on very early in the build-up. It's a very pretty 2' too, which blends well with everything else, in particular the Nazard, Tierce and lower flutes. It is just bizarre that the Oboe doesn't blend with it. Perhaps an Oboe always needs a nice bright Fifteenth rather than anything flutier?

 

 

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

 

 

I can't speak for the old organ at Gloucester, but I would have thought that the great flexibility of the Oboe was especially useful in combination with octave and sub-octave couplers. With only a 4ft Principal and 8ft Oboe, the couplers enable that combination to "rise up" from the Swell; usually with the sub-octave first, then the octave coupler, and continuing the build-up, switching to 16ft reed and Mixture before drawing the enclosed artillery. That's more or less the standard "seamless" way of getting a crescendo, which can be further refined by coupling to the Great and balancing heavier foundations against the brightness of the Swell. Thus, the impression is one of crescendo rather than violent contrasts of tone-colour .

 

It was always inspiration to watch a master like Dr Francis Jackson doing this in the psalms and hymns, where he could take the organ from a restrained growl to a mighty roar, almost as if it were just a swell-box opening.

 

That's the difference between German organs and English ones. In England we developed a good ear and could creep across the manuals like a large spider, but in Germany, they invented a clever machine to do it for them. :unsure:

 

MM

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

I can't speak for the old organ at Gloucester, but I would have thought that the great flexibility of the Oboe was especially useful in combination with octave and sub-octave couplers. With only a 4ft Principal and 8ft Oboe, the couplers enable that combination to "rise up" from the Swell; usually with the sub-octave first, then the octave coupler, and continuing the build-up, switching to 16ft reed and Mixture before drawing the enclosed artillery. That's more or less the standard "seamless" way of getting a crescendo, which can be further refined by coupling to the Great and balancing heavier foundations against the brightness of the Swell. Thus, the impression is one of crescendo rather than violent contrasts of tone-colour .

Absolutely - I learned the 'dark arts' from William Morgan on the fabulous Hill/HNB organ of Bolton Parish Church. There, the penultimate Sw piston was always 16 Fagotto, 8' flute, 4 & 2 principals plus super octave - nasty on some organs but just the most gorgeous mini full swell there, and perfect for coupling through to mf Ch and/or Gt combinations in psalms and other accompaniments. His crescendo was utterly seamless: the 'standard' alternation of manual additions, with Sw being shut each time unenclosed divisions had become louder than it, ready for the final roar.

 

Back to 'new' Gloucester: the addition of the Sw sub octave coupler (one of the additions so much maligned by the sanctimonious) has enabled the kind of use MM expounds above, hugely adding to its flexibility, particularly under the choir.

 

Vox raises valid points about neo-classical influences on 'traditional' cathedral registration, and we must define what we mean by 'old school' when so many of our teachers from the 60s and 70s would be appalled to see us registering Bach with 16,888,44,12th,2,17th,Mixt etc, when one stop at each pitch was de rigueur back then (even if it sounded stupid, as at the RFH). BUT, I do recall seeing several piston schemes from the late Victorian and Edwardian period where at least the Swell Mixture certainly came on before the reeds, and even where 8 + 2 was set on a Ch piston (Southwalk perhaps? Can't recall now). Perhaps it was during the 1920s and 30s when things went horizontal, perhaps due to American and/or theatre influence?

 

You mention Francis Jackson - certainly a magician of the highest order - but (as a footnote) it's worth noting the 'neo-classic' registration he uses on the famous Tuba Tune recording from York. Certainly not what Norman Cocker had in mind at the beginning (FJ turned in into a faux organo pleno), apart from the glorious Tuba, of course :P

 

IFB

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About Southwark, here is a link that might be interesting:

 

http://www.organrecitals.com/southwarkpistons.php

 

Very interesting discussion ! thanks and go on,

 

Pierre

Very interesting! And there we are - I was wrong viz a viz Sw Mixture :unsure: Although see Choir piston 8: 8+2 :P

 

Mind you, I rarely set 'Swell to Mixture & Oboe' myself, preferring the sound of either a mini full Sw or 88844(2)Ob&Cornopean to emerge before full Sw proper, when I'm accompanying.

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Very interesting! And there we are - I was wrong viz a viz Sw Mixture :P Although see Choir piston 8: 8+2 :P

If I understand this correctly, Choir 8 draws the Choir 8+2, the Sw flute 8 + string 8, the Ped Sub Bass and the Swell to Pedal, so it rather looks as if the two Choir stops are intended as a solo combination. (Not that this makes any difference to anything. :unsure:)

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Absolutely - I learned the 'dark arts' from William Morgan on the fabulous Hill/HNB organ of Bolton Parish Church.

 

(snip)

 

Perhaps it was during the 1920s and 30s when things went horizontal, perhaps due to American and/or theatre influence?

 

You mention Francis Jackson - certainly a magician of the highest order - but (as a footnote) it's worth noting the 'neo-classic' registration he uses on the famous Tuba Tune recording from York. Certainly not what Norman Cocker had in mind at the beginning (FJ turned in into a faux organo pleno), apart from the glorious Tuba, of course :P

 

 

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

 

 

It's a while since I heard William Morgan play. I think the last time, he was playing a Compton theatre-organ rather well, and we had quite a long natter afterwards.

 

This "horizontal" thing is quite interesting. I don't think the influence came from either America or from the theatre-organ. It had started long before that in the last decade of the 19th century; possibly, (but by no means exclusively) as a result of Hope-Jones and his so-called orchestral "classical" organs, which were designed to play things like Wagner. Wagner's heavy orchestration was probably THE most significant influence, I would suggest.

 

The "Victorian Baroque" was very much in evidence until around 1880-90, and when I mentioned the organ I played by Harrison & Harrison, which actually pre-dated Lt Col George-Dixon, but nevertherless demonstrated a change of tonal style in the added third manual, I would suggest that this was the brief influence of Whiteley, who had worked with Hope-Jones, and who was attached to Harrison & Harrison in some capacity or other. I think the relevant date was almost exactly at the turn of the century, which certainly pre-dates the theatre organ, but not the orchestral organ.

 

In fact, by way of comaprison, theatre-organs were actually fairly bright and snappy in tone; with lots of mutations and octave couplers, as well as extended ranks. The percussions added the glitter of mixtures, of course.

 

It was, I suspect, the church-organ which took us down the path of dullness, but I would suggest that the peak of that style was certainly 1920 to 1930, when organists were often encouraged (in the words of Herbert Norman) to specify "devotional tones"....that is....heavy Open 1 Diapasons/Woods etc.

 

Of course, not even Arthur Harrison went that way, which is probably why many of his few remaining, original instruments still remain musical, where other have been long forgotten, altered or discarded.

 

Interestingly, anyone who has played an original Skinner organ as I have, will know that the Tubas are VERY bright, and much, much better than their UK counterparts of the same period.

 

The bit about Norman Cocker I am not sure about. I remember the old Harrison at the cathedral well, and whilst it was a very, very large instrument (100+ stops in a quite small building), it never lacked brightness. It just had great weight underpinning it, as one might expect. It certainly had lots of mixtures, and these were specified by Norman Cocker I believe (unless it was Whitworth - I haven't checked).

 

Without doubt, the big Tuba at Manchester, in relation to the rest of the instrument, was probably the equal of York, but a good deal smoother than the York travesty, which never fails to amuse and delight.

 

Unfortunately, I know nothing of Norman Cocker's playing style, expect that he was a very competent theatre-organist in Altrincham.

 

What I can tell you, is that similar registration to Frank Jackson's, when played on the organ of halifax PC, sounds remarkably right for the Cocker "Tuba Tune," and that is the way that everyone plays it there.

 

MM

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Not really, Pierre. At least, not in the sense we are discussing it. Thuringian organists (at least) used combinations that might well include mixing of stops at the same pitch. However, that does not amount to a philosophy of horizontal registration. It is simply a quest for new, warm tone colours. What we are discussing is the Romantic principle of the horizontal addition of stops in order to manage a smooth crescendo - a very different concept.

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Not really, Pierre. At least, not in the sense we are discussing it. Thuringian organists (at least) used combinations that might well include mixing of stops at the same pitch. However, that does not amount to a philosophy of horizontal registration. It is simply a quest for new, warm tone colours. What we are discussing is the Romantic principle of the horizontal addition of stops in order to manage a smooth crescendo - a very different concept.

 

Of course, but this all started somewhere....The first organ built after the Abschwächungsprinzip (i.e., that crescendo) was the 1833 Walcker in Frankfurt.

This one was just midway in between Bach and the post-romantic period.....Differing concept may share the same roots.

 

Pierre

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Of course, but this all started somewhere....The first organ built after the Abschwächungsprinzip (i.e., that crescendo) was the 1833 Walcker in Frankfurt.

This one was just midway in between Bach and the post-romantic period.....Differing concept may share the same roots.

 

Pierre

 

 

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

 

 

The main difference in concept relates to the music, and the horizontal style of registration is really quite alien to Bach.

 

That isn't to say that such is not possible; of course it is, but that amounts not just to "interpretation," but to re-composing the original.

 

This is exactly what the "expressionist style" is all about.......bringing something new to the familar, in which the performer expresses a very personal and idiosyncratic way of performing the music.

 

People knock this approach these days, which s a pity.

 

MM

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The bit about Norman Cocker I am not sure about. I remember the old Harrison at the cathedral well, and whilst it was a very, very large instrument (100+ stops in a quite small building), it never lacked brightness.

MM

Indeed - I was being specific about Tuba Tune and the reg indications in the score.

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Indeed - I was being specific about Tuba Tune and the reg indications in the score.

 

 

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

 

Ah!

 

But were these put in by the publisher, I wonder?

 

MM

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Unfortunately, I know nothing of Norman Cocker's playing style, expect that he was a very competent theatre-organist in Altrincham.

 

I believe that he also played at the 'Art' Picture House, Bury. Now (unsurprisingly), a bingo hall.

 

The bit about Norman Cocker I am not sure about. I remember the old Harrison at the cathedral well, and whilst it was a very, very large instrument (100+ stops in a quite small building), it never lacked brightness. It just had great weight underpinning it, as one might expect. It certainly had lots of mixtures, and these were specified by Norman Cocker I believe (unless it was Whitworth - I haven't checked).

 

I have a feeling that some of the upperwork at Manchester was put in by order of Alan Wicks, the organ being unfinished at the time of his appointment.

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Unfortunately, I know nothing of Norman Cocker's playing style, expect that he was a very competent theatre-organist in Altrincham.

 

I believe that he also played at the 'Art' Picture House, Bury. Now (unsurprisingly), a bingo hall.

 

The bit about Norman Cocker I am not sure about. I remember the old Harrison at the cathedral well, and whilst it was a very, very large instrument (100+ stops in a quite small building), it never lacked brightness. It just had great weight underpinning it, as one might expect. It certainly had lots of mixtures, and these were specified by Norman Cocker I believe (unless it was Whitworth - I haven't checked).

 

I have a feeling that some of the upperwork at Manchester was put in by order of Alan Wicks, the organ being unfinished at the time of his appointment.

 

 

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

 

 

You are quite right Paul.

 

Norman Cocker died two years before the instrument was finished following war-damage, but in fact, Cocker's own ideas had already been realised with the parts of the organ which were up and running before Alan Wicks' arrival.

 

Norman Cocker was astonishingly forward-looking and hugely underrated, and for someone who liked to play both classical organ and the theatre organ, almost unique.

 

The late Julian Rhodes wrote a quite extended article about Norman Cocker, and Manchester Cathedral in particular.

 

See it here, but be sure to move on to "part two" at the bottom of the page, which gives even more insight into Cocker's aims and ideals as they applied to small organs.

 

http://www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/schemes/cocker1.htm

 

Just moving back to the point about Francis Jackson's use of "organo-pleno" in the Cocker "Tuba Tune," I think anyone who's played the York organ for services in the 1960's to 1980's, would recall immediately that the sheer "wallop" of the big Tuba was so enormous, it probably needed just about every available flue to correct the balance. The fluework at York has never been the most potent by any means, and even if it were, it would drift up the tower, cruise around a bit and then return to planet-earth with all the devil and efficacy of falling mashmallow. It's important to bear in mind, that at the central-crossing, the dimensions across North to South transepts are almost identical to the whole of St.Lauren's, Alkmaar; and that's WITHOUT the huge space above, which soars up into the central tower space!!!!

 

It is a colossal building with an equally colossal (and rather confusing) acoustic.

 

In the modest intimacy of Manchester Cathedral, Great to 2ft coupled to Full Swell, would have been ideal accompaniment to the big Tuba Magna.....but quite ineffective at York!

 

MM

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