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Belmont Abbey, Hereford


Peter Clark
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A major resoration project is underway on Belmont Abbey's fine organ:

 

http://www.belmontabbey.org.uk/restoration...restoration.htm

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=A00515

 

I have played the instrment many times and indeed was a friend of the late Abbot Alan Rees, a gifted organist and composer who died in tragic circumstances a few years ago.

 

Peter

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A major resoration project is underway on Belmont Abbey's fine organ:

 

http://www.belmontabbey.org.uk/restoration...restoration.htm

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=A00515

 

I have played the instrment many times and indeed was a friend of the late Abbot Alan Rees, a gifted organist and composer who died in tragic circumstances a few years ago.

 

Peter

 

It looks quite exciting - is the consultant by any chance David Briggs? - maybe I missed this in the blurb - some of the new work looks like his sort of thing.

 

A

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Guest Cynic

:wacko:

 

Oh dear!

 

B)

 

 

The specification rather suggests that DB is involved, doesn't it? - the pedal mutations, the suboctaves and the pedal divide.

What on earth do they think they need this lot for? One massive concert (and probably a CD) with DB? - a free DB concert a year even?

The whole thing seems totally OTT to me. I hope nobody suggested that the enlargement work was in any way necessary, if so, IMHO they're having them on.

 

I know the organ and despite a rough edge or two (it was a Denis Thurlow special) with the addition of the marble flooring some years ago the organ sounds most impressive and, if anything, a bit on the loud side already.

 

Nicholsons will have fun fitting it all in, anyway. I suppose no new stops are going to be digital? Does it say, have I missed that?

If so, whoops..

it pains me to look again actually.

 

[Thinks: Money down the flipping drain.]

 

If there's money on that scale available for improvements to organs, I can suggest several instruments in that part of the world where a 10th of the money would do some real good for a lot of worshippers.

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Errm, the organ at Portsmouth RC cathedral was put in by David Wells & Co... It is a re-homed Lewis from Christ Church, Sunderland and replaced a Mander from the 1960s. I've never heard, seen or played it but I did once play the old organ.

 

The organ in the Anglican cathedral is the Nicholson...

 

I think there's a small typo in your last message! Did you mean abomination?

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"Nicholsons will have fun fitting it all in, anyway. I suppose no new stops are going to be digital? Does it say, have I missed that?

If so, whoops..

it pains me to look again actually.

 

[Thinks: Money down the flipping drain.]"

 

Yep, nice to know the economic crisis isn't stopping some people spending unnecessary money on unnecessary 'improvements' to their organs.

 

David Briggs is a brilliant organist but surely even he realises that not every organ needs the pedal division of Notre Dame?

 

<sigh>

 

back to work

 

Bazuin

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It amazes me how some organ rebuilding plans are the height of extravagance whilst others which really need money spending on them just to get the organ to work properly never get off the ground.

 

I played Belmont Abbey organ once for a wedding and found it to be perfectly adequate for the building although the mixture work wasn't the most pleasant.

 

I was wandering how much of a part the diocesan organ advisor plays these days and whether there advice is any good and whether the churches take any notice of it in any case. I was advised recently that they are looking to raise about £450k to rebuild Oswestry Parish Church and add a handful of new stops to the great organ. It seems a huge amount of money to me.

 

The new organ in Worcester Cathedral seems like a bargain costing not much more than some very expensive rebuilding projects.

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Yep, nice to know the economic crisis isn't stopping some people spending unnecessary money on unnecessary 'improvements' to their organs.

 

David Briggs is a brilliant organist but surely even he realises that not every organ needs the pedal division of Notre Dame?

 

<sigh>

 

back to work

 

Bazuin

Actually DJB's not the advisor and there are plenty of organs pre-dating NDP that were built with pedal mutations. To my eyes the new scheme looks like an ideal and cost effective solution for what was probably a rather 'vanilla' organ.

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Guest Cynic
Actually DJB's not the advisor and there are plenty of organs pre-dating NDP that were built with pedal mutations. To my eyes the new scheme looks like an ideal and cost effective solution for what was probably a rather 'vanilla' organ.

 

 

Sorry to be rude, Ian.....Erm....Have you played/heard this instrument?

 

To be honest, I don't understand your term 'vanilla' organ. If you're suggesting that in any way this instrument pulls its punches or is a bit colourless, IMHO it's quite the reverse. This instrument is both resourceful, colourful and actually quite aggressive. What 'makes it' is the new acoustic (since it was originally voiced). In the 1990s someone at The Abbey came up with the idea of laying a fairly thin layer of solid marble throughout the church and this was resoundingly successful. The monastic choir and the organ sound extremely effective now. It's a fair-sized building, but now sounds considerably bigger.

 

Thanks for clearing the matter up about DB being (or rather, not being) the designer! Let's say then that whoever came up with this spec appears to have been substantially influenced by DB's ideas at Gloucester and Blackburn. I know and like DB, no insult was intended - however, I did intend to suggest that this was a case where a flight of fancy that could have entertained us all in a theoretical discussion appears to be turning into fact at very considerable expense and with arguably very little justification.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Cynic
Guess who is giving the opening recital.....

 

http://www.belmontabbey.org.uk/restoration...restoration.htm

 

 

P

 

 

Is this information given on the Belmont site? I ask because if so, I cannot find it.

I'm pretty sure I can guess who's going to play (because I imagine it's exactly his sort of thing) but you could put me out of my misery.

.

.

.

.

.

.

P.S. Considering how many noisy stops are being added, does anyone else notice how certain basic sounds are still missing?

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Is this information given on the Belmont site? I ask because if so, I cannot find it.

I'm pretty sure I can guess who's going to play (because I imagine it's exactly his sort of thing) but you could put me out of my misery.

It says David Briggs in the middle of the linked page.

 

Paul

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  • 2 months later...

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