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Guest Echo Gamba

Small Church Pipe Organs

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Guest Echo Gamba

I have often wondered how effective some of the small modern pipe organs (eg those of say 3-5 stops by Ken Tickell) are as some of the buildings' eg St Joseph & Etheldreda, Rugeley, Staffs, seem quite large. Does anyone have any first-hand experience?

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'Can't comment on the small modern tracker jobs but I play an 1890s 1 manual - 8' Claribel, 8' Gamba, 8' Dulciana, 4' Principal, 4' Flute, 2' 15th, 8 Oboe - all enclosed, 8 Open and 16 Pedal unenclosed - as my main church instrument and it works really well in a medium sized medieval church with often quite large congregations. I can just about keep the folks in the pews together and a surprisingly versatile lever swell pedal controls the quieter ranks when up against the choir only in the chancel - where the organ is too. Having experienced some modern tracker instruments around here from a congregational/choir point of view I would expect them to do well from a player's perspective as long as one remembers that the immediacy of tone and sensitivity of action might mean that one needs to take care how one registers. My machine does very much what one would expect it to do - variation in congregational music in reality means pushing in and out the 8' Open, 15th and Oboe to get variety - much less than this drops things into the Choir's tonal domain.

 

Alastair

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My church choir sang weekend services in Worcester earlier this year. Work was still in progress on the Quire organ and as a result the Quire was out of use for the whole weekend. Sunday services were (with the "Father Rodgers") in the nave, but as a result of a concert in the nave on the Saturday we were banished to the Lady Chapel. The organ in the Lady Chapel is a small Tickell chamber organ of, perhaps, 4 stops (I'm sure Adrian can correct or perhaps supply more details). I picked mainly unaccompanied music, but the range of sounds that our organist Darren Hogg enticed out of this instrument were just magnificent.

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