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Trinity College Cambridge- What Was There Before The Metzler?

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From what has been written on this site and other forums, Trinity's Metzler seems a widely admired instrument. I was just wondering if anyone in this forum had experience of the previous incarnation- (apologies if I have overlooked a previous discussion that dealt with this.)

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From what has been written on this site and other forums, Trinity's Metzler seems a widely admired instrument. I was just wondering if anyone in this forum had experience of the previous incarnation- (apologies if I have overlooked a previous discussion that dealt with this.)

 

Many years ago when I was young and impressionable I heard it - very much on it's last legs - much rushing wind, opaque louder registrations but some nice quiet stuff. It was jammed in up to the roof and seemed far too big for the building. (I remember when the Metzler went in the Prof. of Music where I was studying played it with the then DOM Richard Marlow and was very impressed - and he did not give out praise unless it was really necessary.)

 

AJJ

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Interestingly, they now use a digital organ alongside the Metzler, for occasions when greater versatility is needed....

:rolleyes:

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Not long before it was dismantled, Richard Marlow made a spectacular recording of the old Harrison on the 'Organ Music from Cambridge' series. It included among other things Whitlock's Fanfare and a marvellously atmospheric performance of Franck's B Minor Chorale. It was on Grosvenor GRS1007 - well worth buying if you see a copy.

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I've got a cassette recording somewhere of that LP. Certainly some aspects of the organ sound wonderful. The tuba is truly amazing and the pedal reed extremely forthright. Don't know if its still available, but the EMI CD of David Willcocks' "Psalms of David" (Volume 1) from "Kings" was actually recorded in Trinity with Sir David on the organ as it was. Its CDM 7631002, recorded in 1969, and shows off the organ pretty well, including the tuba and 32' open wood.

 

Also got a photocopy of an article in The Organ from the 1930s about the instrument. Could let any of you have a copy of it if interested!

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I only heard the old instrument once - at a lunchtime recital given sometime in the Lent term of 1975 - which was, I believe, the very last recital given before it was dismantled.

 

I don't remember much about the recital except that the organ sounded in pretty good shape and did everything that you would expect a large Harrison of that vintage to do and did it well. Not sure who was playing - might have been Richard Marlow or one of the organ scholars (for some reason I seem to think that Trinity had two organ scholars that year, but I may be wrong).

 

One thing that I do remember is that the "chaire" case which, I think, contained the positive organ (3 ranks attributed to Father Smith) had already been dismantled and the pipework removed - all that was left was the empty wind chest protruding from the edge of the screen.

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