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Mander Organs
Colin Harvey

Cameron Carpenter

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That is very disappointing to hear that the Tower organ is amplified, surely that is cheating ? Does this happen in large churches and cathedrals to pipe organs. ?

Thanks Alan for your confirmation.and contribution.

Colin Richell.

 

The old Bath Abbey organ had the Swell organ amplified, because it was behind the arch - the great being in front. The acoustic of the chamber was such that the swell was just behind the great, so a microphone and amp to headphones was installed so that the organist could hear the organ properly.

 

I look after a wonderful Willis organ in Mildenhall Parish Church, which is buried in the south side of the chancel. It is a vast church and the only way for it to get out is to have microphones hanging over the great and swell so it can actually be heard.

 

Peter

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The old Bath Abbey organ had the Swell organ amplified, because it was behind the arch - the great being in front. The acoustic of the chamber was such that the swell was just behind the great, so a microphone and amp to headphones was installed so that the organist could hear the organ properly.

 

I certainly remember it being useful for the tuner to communicate with his assistant - and equally remember that it was a good idea not to swear within the range of the mic! There was a speaker in the case somwhere near the Great above the organists head, and to the right. It was quite a layout in that instrument with the choir shutters throwing the sound up out of the top of the box.

 

S

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I went to his recital last night. This was my second time hearing him live, and I must say that I was more impressed with his playing this time. The first time I heard him, I was quite turned off by his interpretation of the "traditional" repertoire. The playing was not very musical, to say the least.

 

Last night, I felt very differently. The programme was mostly transcriptions. While I did not like everything that I heard, the playing was musical--meticulous phrasing, sensitive articulation, clear delineation of form, etc. Sure, some transcriptions did not work as well as others (such as the Chopin Etudes and the Schubert Erlkonig), but the colours that he got out of the organ were simply dazzling. I knew that organ very well, and yet I heard many sounds that I had never heard before.

 

No doubt he is a flamboyant performer. Nevertheless, based on what I heard and saw last night, he did not change registration frequently or take rapid passages in the pedals for the sake of showmanship alone. Also, he displayed an effort in reaching out to the audience: greeting the audience personally half hour before the recital, and giving intros to the pieces he played.

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