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The Best Cases


Peter Allison
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I have just come from Beverley Minster, after hearing Dr Alan Spedding play a wonderful recital, to a very good sized audience. Whilst sat there pondering, as you do, I was looking at the organ case on the screen, and thought how good the colours of the pipes looked under the lights, and thought, is it one of the nicest cases in the country, what are the board members favourites ?

Regards

Peter

beverley minster

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If we are happy to keep to cases in this country (for the purpose of this thread), then Exeter, Gloucester and Norwich cathedrals are particular favourites. These are, of course, all double cases, facing two ways. I also like the Thomas Jackson case of the instrument at Bath Abbey - which I do not feel has been spoiled by being raised about eighteen inches at the time of the last rebuild.

 

Whilst I like the detail and overall design of the split cases at Bristol and Saint Paul's cathedrals, I regard it as a shame that both were cut in half. However, there is still an integrity and a noble feeling with both cases.

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If we are happy to keep to cases in this country (for the purpose of this thread), then Exeter, Gloucester and Norwich cathedrals are particular favourites. These are, of course, all double cases, facing two ways. I also like the Thomas Jackson case of the instrument at Bath Abbey - which I do not feel has been spoiled by being raised about eighteen inches at the time of the last rebuild.

 

Whilst I like the detail and overall design of the split cases at Bristol and Saint Paul's cathedrals, I regard it as a shame that both were cut in half. However, there is still an integrity and a noble feeling with both cases.

Exeter and Norwich I would agree are stunning, Bath too. Gloucester I like but find a little too square, if it weren't for the spectacular pipe decoration it would be rather plain. Kings College I very much like and also, in a completely different style, Westminster Abbey. I've not seen St. David's in the flesh since the rebuild (will be playing for a weekend next year though) but seems to photograph well.

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Have you ever come across the organ (case) at St. Oswalds in Durham, it was built new in 1988 (I helped carry it in) after a disastrous fire. Peter Collins was the builder, but I am not sure who designed the case and/or the marvelous carvings

Peter

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I quite like this and this. Great Yarmouth - St. Nicholas PC (S. Dykes Bower) and Birmingham - St. Chad's Cathedral (David Graebe). The first purely a facade but incredibly 'pseudo - whatever' (just waitig for something daring on mechanical action!) and the second totally functional etc. and mighty impressive in the building - both visually and sound wise.

 

AJJ

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Effective, beautiful and with integrity:

The Metzler in the University Church in Oxford.

The Frobenius in Oundle School chapel.

The Mander in Chichester Cathedral.

The Lewis in Southwark Cathedral.

 

And for the biggest disappointment, case-wise, in the UK? Westminster Cathedral. For such a heroic instrument in such an building not to have a case (and in fact to hide behind a dark grille) just seems wrong, as well as a missed opportunity for something great.

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[The reason why there are no pipes seen on view in the Grand Organ screen at Westminster Cathedral is because the architectural style is Byzantine. As readers of ths forum well know, the Byzantine rite does not allow organs in its churches. I know that Byzantine liturgy is not the order of the day in Westminster Cathedral but respect for the style adopted precluded an organ on show.

If you like you can blame Westminster Abbey because the cardinal archbishop of the day did not want a Gothic style building to compete with the place up the road. Although the present organ was not installed until a quarter of a century after the building opened, Bentley's architectural scheme was still respected

'

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The two cases of the new organ in the quire at Worcester Cathedral take some beating; the cathedral is now in “summer order”, almost all furniture in the nave having been removed and from anywhere in the nave the eye is drawn irresistibly upwards towards what must be, currently, two of the finest cases in the country.

 

Quite coincidentally, it sounds every bit as good as it looks.

 

David Harrison

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Peter Allinson started this thread by writing, "I have just come from Beverley Minster, after hearing Dr Alan Spedding play a wonderful recital, to a very good sized audience. Whilst sat there pondering, as you do, I was looking at the organ case on the screen, and thought how good the colours of the pipes looked under the lights, and thought, is it one of the nicest cases in the country ..."

 

Yes, Haarlem and many overseas cases are extremely nice, but the thread was about cases in "the country", which, presumably is the UK.

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Peter Allinson started this thread by writing, "I have just come from Beverley Minster, after hearing Dr Alan Spedding play a wonderful recital, to a very good sized audience. Whilst sat there pondering, as you do, I was looking at the organ case on the screen, and thought how good the colours of the pipes looked under the lights, and thought, is it one of the nicest cases in the country ..."

 

Yes, Haarlem and many overseas cases are extremely nice, but the thread was about cases in "the country", which, presumably is the UK.

I don't know why you make that presumption. After all, from heva's viewpoint, Haarlem is a case in "the country"!

JC B)

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I must agree that our continental cousins do have somethings that are hard to beat, even in the most parochial of german parish churches, where I spent 3 weeks hols in 88. But I agree on the New College case, its very good,. Durham cathedral is ok, but just 2 small high up cases

Peter

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

In no particular order:

 

1. For total overwhelming 19th Cent. grandeur I suggest Eton College Chapel - 32ft facade case.

2. Peterborough Cathedral - excellent proportions and fine carving.

3. King's College could reach the top of a list if it was restored with true proportions and depth and height and the Chair Case separated for musical and perspective qualities.

4. St Katherine Cree, London

5. Beverley Minster (superb proportions)

6. St John's College, Oxford.

7. St Bartholomew, Armley

 

These last two enclose the organ and one or two others, and have no pipes stashed away in other places. I would suggest that only cases that encase - should be allowed through to the final listing!

 

Fun topic! Thanks.

Nigel

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Not sure if it's bad manners to post one's home organ on such a topic, but this case, in such a small country church always struck me as pretty wonderful. I believe the tonal scheme was drawn up by Revd Freeman during his lifetime. The case is apparently a copy of somewhere in Austria. An interesting specification- there was a thread on 32's in two manual schemes somewhere on this board. Found plenty of use before midnight mass and so on underneath an lilting clarinet solo (Great Dulciana, absolutely invaluable here).... all in very good taste you understand............. B)

 

Incidentally, if anyone knows where the original case is located I'd be delighted to know.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N05780

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It's quite interesting that British organ builders often seem to produce their best cases when when working abroad. The most inspiring organ case of modern times is surely that of St Ignatius Loyola built by our gentle hosts. There's also that wonderful chinoiserie house organ again from Manders which also went to the USA.

 

Then there's the extremely handsome organ built by Tickell in Nesbyen, Norway a few years ago, with a gorgeously coloured and gilded case. The Hill organ in Sydney town hall has already been mentioned - what a facade!

 

Or how about the beautiful Dallams in Brittany, or even the Smith organ in Edam....

 

Fantastic cases all.

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