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York Minster Organ


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I heard a recording of JSW playing the Widor Toccata on Classic FM recently. I thought the organ sounded terrible on the recording, the mixture work being particularly unmusical somehow and rather high pitched (I thought that JSW's playing and tempo was spot on nevertheless). The organ certainly sounded quite different from some of the old iconic recordings of Francis Jackson. It's not an organ I'm familiar with and have never heard it live. Is the JSW recording representative of how the organ sounds now or is this just not a great recording?

 

Comments from those in the know would be welcomed!

 

Happy new year to all.

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The recording engineers hung the microphones from the central tower, therefore getting a rather unbalanced sound of the organ. Buy the new DVD that JSW recently did as the organ sounds fantastic on it.

 

Yes, I have a copy of that CD (I think).

 

I'm really not sure why they did that (the microphone placement), although they do explain it in the text. The Tuba Mirabilis sounds quite emasculated!

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I'm really not sure why they did that (the microphone placement), although they do explain it in the text. The Tuba Mirabilis sounds quite emasculated!

 

Because they can't resist it!

 

I wouldn't give a toss for their explanation: if you can't hear the organ from that position, they shouldn't have put their mics there. End of argument. :P

 

DW

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I heard a recording of JSW playing the Widor Toccata on Classic FM recently. I thought the organ sounded terrible on the recording, the mixture work being particularly unmusical somehow and rather high pitched (I thought that JSW's playing and tempo was spot on nevertheless). The organ certainly sounded quite different from some of the old iconic recordings of Francis Jackson. It's not an organ I'm familiar with and have never heard it live. Is the JSW recording representative of how the organ sounds now or is this just not a great recording?

 

Comments from those in the know would be welcomed!

 

Happy new year to all.

 

I was interested by your comments. The instrument does sound quite different from those first exciting recordings of the sixties and seventies. We now have the new and very interesting DVD’s issued on the Priory label. These recordings are so clear and so revealing. In the interim period we have had forty years to absorb the sound of some of the finest instruments, either live or in recordings and in doing so have probably formulated a balanced view of the English cathedral organ as part of a larger picture?

I am loath to mention anything about such an iconic instrument and I would be reluctant to criticize the output of our favourite recording company. The fact is that recording dates are presumably booked years in advance and there is an element of risk as to how the instrument is going to behave at any one time. Certainly the tuning is not good and sound of the organ running out of wind in the last piece is a disappointment. All of this could be to unforeseen problems and I perfectly accept the recording as very interesting picture of the York instrument in 2008.

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........ if you can't hear the organ from that position, they shouldn't have put their mics there. End of argument. :P

 

DW

 

I agree. The "Best seat in the house" should be just that, a seat. If a member of the general public can't sit/stand there, then they shouldn't record there.

 

All IMHO.

 

:lol:

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