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AJJ

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Geoffrey Morgan has just posted on Orgue-l - apparently he has heard that the RCO is not moving after all - he also queries the state of affairs therefore with the new Goll organ. Does anyone know more of this?

 

AJJ

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All members should have received a letter about this during this week. Seems like after a detailed review they can't afford to do the revedevelopment/move. A brave decision to throw the brakes on but it does leave them with a lot of big decisions to be made now I guess...

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All members should have received a letter about this during this week. Seems like after a detailed review they can't afford to do the revedevelopment/move. A brave decision to throw the brakes on but it does leave them with a lot of big decisions to be made now I guess...

 

Hi

 

The ramifications will spread beyond the RCO as well, as the British Organ Archive (and the new NPOR office) were due to be in the Curzon Street building as well.

 

Maybe it's as well to pull the plug now, if there's going to be a financial shortfall, but surely the sums should have been done properly (with an adequate contingency) in the first place.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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All members should have received a letter about this during this week. Seems like after a detailed review they can't afford to do the revedevelopment/move. A brave decision to throw the brakes on but it does leave them with a lot of big decisions to be made now I guess...

 

But how come they go so far - new organ etc, and then found that there was a problem?

 

AJJ

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But how come they go so far - new organ etc, and then found that there was a problem?

 

AJJ

Who's to say, but I think it demonstrates pragmatic management. I would never criticise anyone for having the guts to pull the plug on a high profile and expensive project if for whatever reason it is clear that it's financially impossible. Often people bury their head in the sand and push on regardless, with predictable results.

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Who's to say, but I think it demonstrates pragmatic management. I would never criticise anyone for having the guts to pull the plug on a high profile and expensive project if for whatever reason it is clear that it's financially impossible. Often people bury their head in the sand and push on regardless, with predictable results.

 

All in all a brave step by anyone's standards!

 

AJJ

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I am inclined to agree with Rev. Newnham - surely the committee must have been informed by their financial advisors as to whether or not there were sufficient funds avaiilable to effect the move?

 

I had also understood that a contract had been (or was about to be) signed with Goll Organs for a new organ in the (new) extension. I assume that this in fact not the case. Is it possible that there has been an element of mis-management?

 

They also seem to be very keen on collecting my subscription but rather less keen on being concerned that I actually get something for my money - which currently I do not! Not particularly through my own fault, either!

 

Personally, I cannot help wondering whether in fact a move to Birmingham from London would be a retrograde step. Whilst there might be some difference in rent or purchase prices, there are surely many more things in London which would attract organists to visit. For one, the RFH organ (if it actually gets re-instated after the refurbishment of the hall). Then there are the rather greater number of organs of all sizes, more concert-halls, more theatres and other places of entertainment. This is to say nothing of four cathedrals (if Westminster Abbey is included) each with a superb choir. There is also the presence of four of the national music conservatoires, the British Library, numerous art galleries and thousands of restaurants, cafes and bars.

 

Whilst Birmingham probably has a number of each of the above, I think that it is fair to say that London by its very size and nature will have a far greater choice of any and all of them.

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I am inclined to agree with Rev. Newnham - surely the committee must have been informed by their financial advisors as to whether or not there were sufficient funds avaiilable to effect the move?

 

I had also understood that a contract had been (or was about to be) signed with Goll Organs for a new organ in the (new) extension. I assume that this in fact not the case. Is it possible that there has been an element of mis-management?

 

They also seem to be very keen on collecting my subscription but rather less keen on being concerned that I actually get something for my money - which currently I do not! Not particularly through my own fault, either!

 

Personally, I cannot help wondering whether in fact a move to Birmingham from London would be a retrograde step. Whilst there might be some difference in rent or purchase prices, there are surely many more things in London which would attract organists to visit. For one, the RFH organ (if it actually gets re-instated after the refurbishment of the hall). Then there are the rather greater number of organs of all sizes, more concert-halls, more theatres and other places of entertainment. This is to say nothing of four cathedrals (if Westminster Abbey is included) each with a superb choir. There is also the presence of four of the national music conservatoires, the British Library, numerous art galleries and thousands of restaurants, cafes and bars.

 

Whilst Birmingham probably has a number of each of the above, I think that it is fair to say that London by its very size and nature will have a far greater choice of any and all of them.

 

 

Hi

 

I suspect that Birmingham is significantly cheaper in terms of property than central London, and doesn't do too badly for other resources - there are 2 cathedrals in the city, plus Litchfield & Worcester both in easy reach, not to mention the Town Hall & Symphony Hall (or whatever it's called) which both have pipe organs. The public library had a pretty good collection of organ-related material in the 1970's, when I lived in the city for a while, and that was before the British Organ Archive moved there! As a country, we do tend to be rather too "Lonond-centric". And bear in mind, London is only 90 mins. by rail from Birmingham.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Thinking on: If the RCO no longer want their Goll organ, could the fact that they went abroad for this lovely contract be about to backfire on them?

 

If they had signed with a UK company, most of the firms I know would, rather than cause a stink and lose a lot of future business, probably have swallowed this loss philosophically. Why should Goll do the same? They have no incentive whatsoever to lie down. If a contract has been signed, and all published information indicates that it has, we are into penalty clauses and (- God help us! -) someone will have to find a sum by way of compensation.

 

We (the membership) were never asked for our opinions; surely it would have made more sense for the RCO to re-house some really decent redundant organ, properly refurbished. They would then have saved enough to have some exciting (and varied) little organs from different builders. These would have been far better for holding courses, clinics, master classes etc.

 

One of the most recent high profile cases of an organ being loudly trumpeted before purchase and regretted afterwards is the Bridgewater Hall. We were told that this was the organ we had all been waiting for, this was how all organs should sound/be designed/be built. Well, those who doubted have been rewarded for sitting back and waiting.

 

Poor RCO... I wouldn't wish it on them. I definitely wouldn't, but - commit themselves to vast expense (some of it unnecessary) and.....

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

P.S.

Here's a plan B - just for the fun of some blue-skies thinking!

 

1. Stick with the Birmingham idea. London wasn't working - Holborn hasn't been happy for a long time and moving out of the centre to get somewhere cheaper in London will make it far trickier to reach.

 

2. Search for a redundant church - preferably non-conformist. Lovely halls, nice central facing big space

 

3. It you go a little way out from the centre, make sure it is on a good bus route or a short taxi ride from the main station and bus station. Further out and you will have room for a car park. The reality is, your workers and a lot of your visitors would rather travel by car.

 

4. Fire your main (expensive, Grand Scheme) architect. Get a nice cheap tame architect (like the one that masterminded the user-friendly re-vamp that Kensington Gore went through). All you need is someone to decide which walls come down, which fire doors need providing.

 

 

 

Now the radical bit: Do you actually need an organ at all - or at least, until the place is properly up and running? There are plenty of churches that could host meetings/events. It is well-known that Holborn hasn't been perfect for examining, and other organs/venues have been used instead. For splendid organs for big occasions, you need look no further than St.Chad's Cathedral, St.Phillip's Cathedral and Symphony Hall. Most of those music staff are on your council anyway!

 

Yes, I know that the RCO wants a very public 'high profile' (kicx asx') organ - but does it have to have it from day 1? No.

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I heard St-Chads in 1976, and found it a beautiful organ.

 

Aftertought: euh, this wasn't this one yet:

http://www.jwwalker.co.uk/image11.htm

(So I don't know about it)

 

A rather strange idea could be this one: why not recycle

a redundant organ? There are too many by far, available

for little money -actually the highest costs would be with the moving-.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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They also seem to be very keen on collecting my subscription but rather less keen on being concerned that I actually get something for my money - which currently I do not! Not particularly through my own fault, either!

 

Here here!

 

But then we had this conversation rather loudly in the pub on Friday! :unsure:

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Thinking on: If the RCO no longer want their Goll organ, could the fact that they went abroad for this lovely contract be about to backfire on them?

 

If they had signed with a UK company, most of the firms I know would, rather than cause a stink and lose a lot of future business, probably have swallowed this loss philosophically.  Why should Goll do the same?  They have no incentive whatsoever to lie down.  If a contract has been signed, and all published information indicates that it has, we are into penalty clauses and (- God help us! -) someone will have to find a sum by way of compensation.

 

We (the membership) were never asked for our opinions; surely it would have made more sense for the RCO to re-house some really decent redundant organ, properly refurbished.  They would then have saved enough to have some exciting (and varied) little organs from different builders.  These would have been far better for holding courses, clinics, master classes etc.

 

One of the most recent high profile cases of an organ being loudly trumpeted before purchase and regretted afterwards is the Bridgewater Hall.  We were told that this was the organ we had all been waiting for, this was how all organs should sound/be designed/be built.  Well, those who doubted have been rewarded for sitting back and waiting.

 

Poor RCO... I wouldn't wish it on them.  I definitely wouldn't, but - commit themselves to vast expense (some of it unnecessary) and.....

 

Well said, Paul!

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Not being an RCO member I have less of a stake in this particular question than many here, but a couple of observations. are interpolated.

 

If they had signed with a UK company, most of the firms I know would, rather than cause a stink and lose a lot of future business, probably have swallowed this loss philosophically. Why should Goll do the same? They have no incentive whatsoever to lie down. If a contract has been signed, and all published information indicates that it has, we are into penalty clauses and (- God help us! -) someone will have to find a sum by way of compensation.

 

Unlike copyright law I do know a little about the law of contract and the good news is that in English law penalty clauses as such are unenforceable. The bad news is that liquidated damages clauses are fully enforceable and that into which category a clause fits is determined not by the label the parties have chosen to apply to the clause but on which category the court decides it fits into should matters go so far. There is also a duty to mitigate loss, for example (and as appropriate) by going out into the market place and finding another buyer, or by stopping incurring additional expenditure through continuing to construct something which you have been told is unwanted etc. So the fact that a contract has actually been signed may be rather less important than what expenditure has been incurred by the potential builder which they cannot recoup from elsewhere. What is the actual situation I have no idea. In a best possible case scenario where virtually no actual work had been done the sum at risk might be quite small . On the other hand, in a worst possible case scenario, a completed instrument which was such that it could not be resold elsewhere, you might end up effectively paying for it anyway. However, given the length of time it takes to build a major pipe organ it would seem rather unlikely matters could have reached this stage .

 

We (the membership) were never asked for our opinions; surely it would have made more sense for the RCO to re-house some really decent redundant organ, properly refurbished. They would then have saved enough to have some exciting (and varied) little organs from different builders. These would have been far better for holding courses, clinics, master classes etc.

 

One of the most recent high profile cases of an organ being loudly trumpeted before purchase and regretted afterwards is the Bridgewater Hall. We were told that this was the organ we had all been waiting for, this was how all organs should sound/be designed/be built. Well, those who doubted have been rewarded for sitting back and waiting.

 

I am not sure such doubters have been rewarded, though they may well have been proved right. It does occur to me, however, that this particular problem - an organ seemingly underpowered for the building in which it is situated - has a certain history in British civic organs. Was not the same criticism levelled at the original Willis scheme in the RAH which led to the Harrison & Harrison scheme of the 1920s, and likewise the Hull City Hall organ as originally conceived by Phillip Selfe (before Comptons got their hands on it) was the subject of a similar critique by no less than Norman Cocker. Is this a case of those who are unwilling to learn the lessons of history being compelled to repeat them ?

 

Poor RCO... I wouldn't wish it on them. I definitely wouldn't, but - commit themselves to vast expense (some of it unnecessary) and.....

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The fact of something being in London would make me far less likely to travel there. Personally, I can't stand the place - you can't park, it's noisy, slow, expensive & smelly to travel around, you have to pay six quid for a weak coffee and a sandwich with a sneeze of cheddar on it... No, you may keep London as far as I am concerned.

 

Birmingham is central, well served by road and rail (don't know enough about aeroplanes to express an opinion), far cheaper in terms of property and able to be more lenient in terms of building alterations. You could probably have your own large car park. Or, perhaps go even further oop north - think of the wonderful wool warehouses in the Little Germany area of Bradford, for instance - equally good road, rail and air links as Birmingham.

 

I'm a confirmed Southern shandy drinking... well, I'll stop there, but in these times something being 100 miles further away is pretty much only a psychological problem, not a logistical one; such a move would at least help bring a bit of life back to those fantastic buildings that were restored diligently and carefully a few years ago, and have laid virtually empty ever since. And, even if there were objections, how much would it actually cost to put an examiner on a train to Bristol and London two days a year, to use some existing fantastic buildings and fantastic instruments as regional exam centres?

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Or, perhaps go even further oop north - think of the wonderful wool warehouses in the Little Germany area of Bradford, for instance - equally good road, rail and air links as Birmingham.

 

 

 

Hi

 

Yes, there are plenty of redundant mill buildings, and not a few redundant or near redundant churches in Bradford - sounds like a good idea to me - we might even get the St. George's Hall organ restored then!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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One of the most recent high profile cases of an organ being loudly trumpeted before purchase and regretted afterwards is the Bridgewater Hall. We were told that this was the organ we had all been waiting for, this was how all organs should sound/be designed/be built. Well, those who doubted have been rewarded for sitting back and waiting.

 

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

 

Refer to the discussion about acoustics. Marcussen do actually build some very fine organs, but like many, they possibly do not understand the absorbency of certain modern materials used in new concert-halls.

 

Even the trumpeted Symphony Hall, Birmingham, is an engineered acoustic, which relies on reflectors AND resonance chambers scattered around the walls, but it STILL absorbs sound in a way which a normal church or traditonal hall never would.

 

My guess is that without the resonance chambers, the Symphony Hall would be much the same as other modern concert halls in many ways, but the trouble is, my response is entirely musically instinctive rather than scientific; even though I've studied the effects of modern materials to SOME extent.

 

MM

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I heard St-Chads in 1976, and found it a beautiful organ.

 

Aftertought: euh, this wasn't this one yet:

http://www.jwwalker.co.uk/image11.htm

(So I don't know about it)

 

A rather strange idea could be this one: why not recycle

a redundant organ? There are too many by far, available

for little money -actually the highest costs would be with the moving-.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

I think the old Worcester Cathedral organ would form the basis of a very fine instrument, especially as it contains within it so much of what is interesting about English organ-building, Hill, Hope-Jones, Harrison & Harrison...

B)

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Well I simply said what I heard was probably

the previous organ at St-Chads.

It was an instrument build in two parts, and

I was told the last rebuild had been done by

Nicholson of Worcester in 1968.

It had an exceptional "churchy roll".

I still have an LP "Mass at St Chads", which

illustrates it fairly well.

 

Now as far as W... is concerned, maybe this thema

has been sufficently discussed here...I only retain

this: about that matter, what separes Belgium and UK

isn't a channel, but one galaxy or two.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Now ...........what separes Belgium and UK

isn't a channel, but one galaxy or two.

 

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

 

Would that be Galaxy chocolate bars Pierre?

 

MM

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[

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

 

Would that be Galaxy chocolate bars Pierre?

 

MM

 

Maybe, MM,

 

But the kind of "king size" ones you could not

eat a hundred thousand part of it without rather

serious health problems B)

(And an ancient model with that!)

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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I think the old Worcester Cathedral organ would form the basis of a very fine instrument, especially as it contains within it so much of what is interesting about English organ-building, Hill, Hope-Jones, Harrison & Harrison...

B)

 

Here we go - all together now..... one... two... three...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*ppft*

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Now are we supposed to sing the Requiem, David?

One, two, three: "Requiem aeternam, dona Eis Domine..."

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

I was just looking forward to another 4,236 pages about the Worcestertershire Sauce Organ.

 

You may of course sing the Requiem if you like. Mozart, preferably. I can't hear the Faure one any more without mentally hearing the Classic FM jingle between each movement and "Smooooth classics at 7" before the Agnus.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Is all this 'news' about the RCO move being cancelled just a hoax?

We all need to know, don't we?

 

Two pieces of mail have arrived for me from The RCO this morning, not a single word about it in either of them.

I've just visited the RCO website, no a word about it there either.

I've checked, and this topic did not start on April 1st so...

 

Come clean, lads! Tell us who started this brilliant hoax,

 

or

 

Come on RCO get your act together! The membership have a right to know what is going on.

 

 

P.S. I thought I should e-mail RCO administration for an authoritative answer but no reply has yet been received.

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