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Guest Hector5

Wanted - Redundant Organ

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Guest Hector5

I am currently on a search for a redundant organ 3/4M for a church. My colleague at the church has supplied a wish list which is set out below:

 

Ideally 3/4 manuals but not necessarily so probably 30-45 ranks, but some extensions is obviously fine

it needs to have electric action to be fitted into our building

 

Chests may need to be able to be rearranged to suit the church building

 

Romantic in style with enough 'omph' to lead a lustily-singing congregation in a dry acoustic

 

Things like a choir clarinet, pedal reed, solo reed, swell strings, full swell; basically the liturgical stuff.

 

Things like Great mixtures, case details, etc are less important.[/b]

 

If any of you know of any organs that fit this description, please can you contact me. Ideally either www. information, photos, stoplist and location please.

 

For information, this is serious enquiry from a church that was in the running for the Christian Science instrument in London, not a time-waster.

 

Happy new year to you all,

 

Hector

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You could try this site initially; there appear to be one or two around the size which you desire. However, the site was last updated almost a year ago, so it is possible that none of the featured instruments are currently available.

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This looks to be quite an appealing specification with something of a sticky future ahead.

 

"2008 - organ to be removed Jan. 2009 and scrapped unless another home

can be found; (DPi);"

 

I understand it's being dismantled w/c 12 January and then going to Abertillery in Wales

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I keep getting e-mails from a David Pinegar (Hamerwood Hall), who used to be on this forum, till he got removed, he is always talking about a 4 decker, going frpm a southern church but do not know where. I can give you his e-mail add if needed

Peter

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Guest Cynic
I keep getting e-mails from a David Pinegar (Hamerwood Hall), who used to be on this forum, till he got removed, he is always talking about a 4 decker, going frpm a southern church but do not know where. I can give you his e-mail add if needed

Peter

 

 

That's the same organ that is now to be saved by the folks from Abertillery - indeed, our member Revd.Patrick Coleman! David Pinnegar has worked hard to publicise this; in this case he's definitely been a force for good, albeit somewhat insistent at times!

 

The problem with Hector's request is that instruments of such size are rarely identified as available. I can think of three recent large organs that were all sold complete but direct to a parts dealer (the one in Warwickshire who advertizes in OR). In at least two of these cases, that decision was made by the builders of the new organ, Nicholsons. By contrast, a couple of large organs to be replaced by Kenneth Tickell have been offered a chance of a new homes, I know because I took one complete myself and am about to take the second in two week's time.

 

There are two more lists that are worth visiting, but be warned against getting 'attached' to anything. I've seen things of great interest on behalf of others only to find on close inspection that they were promised elsewhere a long while ago and the site was never updated. George Sixsmith maintains a list, Google will find it. The IBO also does. There was one large romantic organ still on the IBO list that didn't appear to have found a home, viz the J.W.Walker Concert organ originally built for Bourneville. Hector's organ-buidler would have to electrify it, but that is a sensible thing to plan to do anyway.Given any sensible source of funding, most organ-builders would rather fit a brand-new system than reuse an existing (out-dated) one.

 

 

PS Let me be really cheeky and only part-in-jest: If Hector is not in a hurry, I suggest he writes to all Oxbridge Colleges letting them know that as and when they eventually chuck away what they have now, he may be interested. There must at any given time be at least four colleges who are considering throwing baby and bath-water out.

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Although this is by no means definite yet - the Church Commissioners are taking a long time to make up their mind in this case - it is possible that St Peter's Brighton (the parish church with a tower in the middle of the two main rods into Brighto from the north) will be declared redundant. Four manual Father Willis, rebuilt H&B, similar specification to Truro Cathedral. At present the most likely future for the building seems to be a church plant by HTB. Watch this space!

 

Malcolm

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I am also looking for an organ to replace a feeble and inadequate (though 'historic") instrument in this area. I have been checking the IBO redundant list and George Sixsmith's for the past year and cannot find anything suitable. In this case the requirements are a largish 2 manual of around eleven sp. stops on each with tracker (manual) action. It must be a decent quality instrument in fair condition. I did contact a redundant church in Bolton with the ideal organ (by Isaac Abbott), but they wish to leave in in situ. I shouldn't have thought that finding such an instrument would be too difficult, but it seems that those already listed for disposal are either too small, or nondescript largish jobs, usually with tp action. If anyone can help I should love to hear from you. I don't think my request will be in conflict with Hector's as his requirements are obviously for a much more comprehensive instrument.

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This one is available: http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N16556. Bill Drake has it in storage.

 

Edit: Come to think of it, though, I doubt Bill would countenance electrifying it.

It is such a shame that this stunning Bridge organ (the largest he made) is still in storage, while the rest of the building has now been restored and is back in use, albeit with an empty organ case. It is becoming rather a national embarrassment - our cultural and artistic bodies should be ashamed.

 

Although it's a shame Bishops got at it in the 1920s with some rather curious additions and revisions, this organ really deserves to be carefully restored - it is a remarkable survival.

 

Anyway, it would be completely unsuitable for Hector5's requirements - as it's mainly 1735, it's hardly going to be just a romantic liturgical slushbox for leading hymns and choirs.

 

Hector5, RobH: I assume you've already tried Derrick Carrington at the Redundant Organ Rehousing Company? http://www.rorcl.co.uk/

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well quite.

 

As my mother (a complete organ innocent) recently commented after hearing me give a recital on a well-appointed instrument (with everything Hector asks for above and more - she looked in astonishment as the moveable console was wheeled around - "I've never seen one of those before - why would you want to move it around?"): "well, I suppose this organ is OK for accompanying a congregation and the choir on a Sunday morning but it's not really up to doing anything else, is it?"

 

I love her to bits: she has an uncanny knack of whacking those nails completely on the head.

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This one is available: http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N16556. Bill Drake has it in storage.

 

Edit: Come to think of it, though, I doubt Bill would countenance electrifying it.

 

Isn't it supposed to be going back, and fully restored, in proper Bill Drake manner, at some point.

 

Jonathan

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yes. the problem is, it was being planned in the late 90s and it's still in storage...

 

Like Pershore, now no longer going back. Is there any committee or anything working to have it reinstalled and restored?

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Guest Cynic
snip

 

"well, I suppose this organ is OK for accompanying a congregation and the choir on a Sunday morning but it's not really up to doing anything else, is it?"

 

snip

 

 

Let us face facts, for practically every church, isn't that exactly what they want and no more?

Some aspects of both organ building and organ design forget this most important point.

 

Colin, I agree, your mother talks sense!

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I keep getting e-mails from a David Pinegar (Hamerwood Hall), who used to be on this forum, till he got removed, he is always talking about a 4 decker, going frpm a southern church but do not know where. I can give you his e-mail add if needed

Peter

 

Hi

 

The organ concerned is the one in the 11th Church(Christian Science) mentioned a couple of posts earlier.

 

There was an eminantly suitable organ in the Halifax area a couple of years ago which failed to find a home, and was destroyed along with the church building.

 

More locally, http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?...ec_index=N04828 is available (the DOA has reluctantly given approval to dispose of it, as there's no realistic prospect of restoration in the forseeable future.

 

The NPOR record isn't complete, as I'm waiting to hear the results of some research that is underway, but at heart the organ is a Bishop of around 1920 vintage. It currently has pneumatic action, which might be an issue though.

 

The Methodist church also has a list of redundant organs - try the Methodist music Society.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Although this is by no means definite yet - the Church Commissioners are taking a long time to make up their mind in this case - it is possible that St Peter's Brighton (the parish church with a tower in the middle of the two main rods into Brighto from the north) will be declared redundant. Four manual Father Willis, rebuilt H&B, similar specification to Truro Cathedral. At present the most likely future for the building seems to be a church plant by HTB. Watch this space!

 

Malcolm

 

I think you'd have to join the back of a long queue to get a look in with this instrument if it becomes available...

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Let us face facts, for practically every church, isn't that exactly what they want and no more?

Some aspects of both organ building and organ design forget this most important point.

 

Colin, I agree, your mother talks sense!

I absolutely agree, but I'm sure Cynic would agree too that the best organ builders manage to provide a good accompanimental instrument as well as one capable of large amounts of the repertoire very successfully.

 

J :lol:

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I think you'd have to join the back of a long queue to get a look in with this instrument if it becomes available...

 

Sheffield Cathedral and St. Mary Abbott's Kensington are two places which I imagine would be first to jump in. In St. Mary's in particular they seem to have dispensed with their 4-manual HNB/Harrison and be using an undersized (<20 stop) Copeman Hart instead...such an instrument as that in Brighton would I imagine be very suitable .

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Let us face facts, for practically every church, isn't that exactly what they want and no more?

Some aspects of both organ building and organ design forget this most important point.

 

Colin, I agree, your mother talks sense!

 

Absolutely yes. But sometimes I wonder if those churches should at least seriously consider ditching their ancient premises for somewhere which is cheaper to maintain and easier to heat for holding their services?

 

But I agree. There have been many moments where we've experienced moments of disorientation and created organs in churches better suited to perform something like Bach trio sonatas and little else, or built octopods capable of producing gentle and suitably dignified sounds before and after the service but are incapable of doing anything actually during the service, like accompany a congregation singing a hymn for example.

 

However, quite often churches have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively" or to satisfy some vainty of theirs. Hence the organist eventually finds himself able to be wheeled around the church while playing, connected remotely to a set of pipes situated in some distant corner of the church. Quite often those re-worked and battered pipes have seen better days and the quality and long-term future of the key action and wind supply have frequently been overlooked to provide new features at the console or some new sound. It's always a frustrating experience to sit at an organ that must have once been a fine musical instrument which has been emasculated into something that merely serves the liturgy.

 

Let's be honest, the features one needs for the liturgical use are not that demanding: a chorus consisting, at the *extreme* very least, an Open Diapason 8 and Principal 4, underpinned by a 16' pedal to accompany the congregation; some softer stops, some ideally enclosed in a swell box to accompany the choir and enough variety for musical interludes. The sky's the limit after that as one wants an organ capable of playing more demanding and varied choral accompaniments with contrasts of sounds, solo voices, multiple swell boxes, etc. But it's surprising how much a really good organ can accomplish with very few stops.

 

It is very possible that the organ ruined by the church in successive rebuilds is quite capable of fulfilling its liturgical requirements but is an unsatisfactory organ for playing solo. In the glare of the spotlight when it is not hidden behind the choir or underneath the congregation, its musical deficiencies are more likely to be apparent.

 

My mother's main complaint about the organ she commented on was that she couldn't really hear any real notes in the sound produced by the organ, which she thought was rather a dull and uninteresting organ, despite its fine pedigree and comprehensive specification. While she liked the pieces of music and knew quite a few of them, she felt disconnected from it, no matter how loud it was and despite having the performer in full view.

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There have been many moments where we've experienced moments of disorientation and created organs in churches better suited to perform something like Bach trio sonatas and little else,

 

Or even schools, I played at Cranleigh back in November for the school chapel service one morning, and the GDB there, which is a very fine instrument, is totally useless at supporting the sounds of 800 lusty young voices, and the DofM advised me they weren't even singing particularly well. However, they have, I understand major developments in that area.

 

Jonathan

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