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David Thornton

Manchester Cathedral

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Last night we attended a performance of the 'St. John Passion' at Manchester Cathedral and very good it was too.

The Dean opened the concert by welcoming everyone and announced that the priority music development for 2009 was to be a 'new organ'.

 

I am aware from conversations with members of the resident team over the last 6 months that:

1. Paul Hale has been on site and surveyed all the current organ material.

2. A number of builders have been asked to submit proposals (sorry, can't quite remember all the names which were quoted)

3. The new instrument would be (to some extent) accommodated within a new case on the screen.

 

Let's hope these plans get further than those made during Gordon Stewart's tenure during the '80s, when it was proposed to have a 'stock' 3 manual Walker on the screen. I gather that funds were availably at the time, but got diverted into other things.

It certainly will be lovely to see a fine case back on the screen, the present aspect viewed from the nave is not pleasant.

 

DT

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Last night we attended a performance of the 'St. John Passion' at Manchester Cathedral and very good it was too.

The Dean opened the concert by welcoming everyone and announced that the priority music development for 2009 was to be a 'new organ'.

 

I am aware from conversations with members of the resident team over the last 6 months that:

1. Paul Hale has been on site and surveyed all the current organ material.

2. A number of builders have been asked to submit proposals (sorry, can't quite remember all the names which were quoted)

3. The new instrument would be (to some extent) accommodated within a new case on the screen.

 

Let's hope these plans get further than those made during Gordon Stewart's tenure during the '80s, when it was proposed to have a 'stock' 3 manual Walker on the screen. I gather that funds were availably at the time, but got diverted into other things.

It certainly will be lovely to see a fine case back on the screen, the present aspect viewed from the nave is not pleasant.

 

DT

The 80s proposal had a lovely David Graebe case on the screen. But thank goodness it wasn't built.

 

Hope they keep the French Horns...

 

...and the two curtain shakers in the Jesus Chapel.

 

Oh, and the Solo string chorus up to Cornet des Violes.

 

And the clarinet.

 

Oh and the lovely Swell reeds (both great and small).

 

Come to think about it, can't they just replace the dreadful Great chorus and leave the rest alone? I believe some tweaking to the upperwork was done in the 90s but it still lacks character.

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Come to think about it, can't they just replace the dreadful Great chorus and leave the rest alone? I believe some tweaking to the upperwork was done in the 90s but it still lacks character.

 

In such a rotten acoustic nothing else would sound any better than what is alreay there. No doubt they will be interested in something from "another place" if the usual suspects are involved, in any way!

 

DW

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In such a rotten acoustic nothing else would sound any better than what is alreay there. No doubt they will be interested in something from "another place" if the usual suspects are involved, in any way!

 

DW

Fisk would be nice ~shhh~ sorry :lol:

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"Another one (will) bite(s) the dust" ?

What a sustained pace ! with one each year, there will soon

be nothing left save neo-this and that.

Good for the business, at least, in those awkward times.

 

As far as I knew it, I'd say just remove the whispers on the Solo

(a pathetic attempt to make a synthesis of Solo and Brustwerk...)

and, as Mr Ball says, redesign the Great Mixture (1 1/3'!!!!)

 

Pierre

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As what?

 

After Lausanne Cathedral? I don't think so!

 

:P

Oh dear. Haven't played it so can't comment. Played some fabulous ones in the States tho.

 

But let's have no more talk of aliens. A good (old?) British organ is what Manchester needs, with foundations like my Gran's fruit cake (rich, complex and comforting), strings like her Victoria sandwich (light and fluffy) and reeds like a strong cup of tea (Britain's favourite drink - it's official*) :lol:

 

 

*Oz and James Drink to Britain

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oh, and I'll leave Pierre to design the Mixtures! Bring back Norman Cocker's original design, I say...

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The 80s proposal had a lovely David Graebe case on the screen. But thank goodness it wasn't built.

 

Hope they keep the French Horns...

 

...and the two curtain shakers in the Jesus Chapel.

 

Oh, and the Solo string chorus up to Cornet des Violes.

 

And the clarinet.

 

Oh and the lovely Swell reeds (both great and small).

 

Come to think about it, can't they just replace the dreadful Great chorus and leave the rest alone? I believe some tweaking to the upperwork was done in the 90s but it still lacks character.

 

We go to Choral Evensongs here regularly and I'm rather inclined to agree with you.

 

I would scrap the present Great and Choir and create new within a case on the screen: Great speaking into the nave, unenclosed Choir speaking into the stalls, also put the fine Solo Tuba in the case and any Pedal material that would fit. Keep the Swell as it is, move the Solo (including the old choir Clarinet) into the space vacated by the present Great. Move the pedal Ophicleide rank into the space vacated by the present Choir or Solo and lighten it up a bit.

 

DT

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The 80s proposal had a lovely David Graebe case on the screen. But thank goodness it wasn't built.

 

Hope they keep the French Horns...

 

...and the two curtain shakers in the Jesus Chapel.

 

Oh, and the Solo string chorus up to Cornet des Violes.

 

And the clarinet.

 

Oh and the lovely Swell reeds (both great and small).

 

Come to think about it, can't they just replace the dreadful Great chorus and leave the rest alone? I believe some tweaking to the upperwork was done in the 90s but it still lacks character.

 

We go to Choral Evensongs here regularly and I'm rather inclined to agree with you.

 

I would scrap the present Great and Choir and create new within a case on the screen: Great speaking into the nave, unenclosed Choir speaking into the stalls, also put the fine Solo Tuba in the case and any Pedal material that would fit. Keep the Swell as it is, move the Solo (including the old choir Clarinet) into the space vacated by the present Great. Move the pedal Ophicleide rank into the space vacated by the present Choir or Solo and lighten it up a bit.

 

DT

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A good (old?) British organ is what Manchester needs, with foundations like my Gran's fruit cake (rich, complex and comforting), strings like her Victoria sandwich (light and fluffy) and reeds like a strong cup of tea (Britain's favourite drink - it's official*) :lol:

not like Gloucester then

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As what?

 

After Lausanne Cathedral? I don't think so!

 

:lol:

 

I have played the Fiskmonster, prompting me to start THIS thread. Nice organ, but about 50 decibels louder than it need have been to fill the cathedral...

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A new organ, WHY? In the present financial climate? I have heard this Harrison & Harrison organ several times, and each time it stole my heart. Maybe it is not their best instrument, but (to me) it seems ideal for this building (with its very organ unfriendly acoustics).

 

WHY the need for a new organ, please read the description of the present organ on Manchester Cathedral's own website:

 

http://www.manchestercathedral.org/content/view/57/197/

 

"Whilst this organ is not full appreciated by many who regard it as "out of fashion", it is a good example of Harrison's post-war Romanticism!"

 

My hope and advise would be: appreciate what is there, enjoy it and be proud of it. It is a very suitable, versatile and useful organ for this building and Anglican worship. At this moment it seems absurd to spend huge sums of money to replace a good functioning musical instrument. Postpone replacement or rebuilding plans to the future, maybe the next generation will appreciate the merits of the present instrument!

 

Dave Lazoe

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I was there in the 90's with a Polish friend, and he found it "great", I recorded among others pieces the "Reubke", and as for the curtain shakers, brilliant.

What I cannot understand in this day and age of economic recesion etc etc, why fix it when its not broke. I could understand if it was falling to bits and in an unplayable condition like so many instruments, but its not. give any spare £££££ to rehousing the CC in Warrington Parr Hall, but thats another thread

Regards

Peter

 

(back to check out the Reubke, Bach and Buxtehude) :lol:

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If I recall correctly, the 80s scheme was abandoned becausethe Cathedral authorities were reluctant to spend a very large sum of money on a new organ, given the extent and seriousness of the social problems existing within the Manchester Diocese.

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The organ is excellent for accompanying, but is not without its problems:

 

lack of anything speaking into the Nave (except Ped reeds!) to support congregations

poor chorus work (though the mixtures were replaced in my time as organ scholar and the 2's were meant to be next)

scattergun approach to mutation layout (Nazard, Tierce and Larigot are all on different manuals)

lack of major solo reed (the Tuba that Norman Cocker specified, presumably for his own Tune, was removed in the late 70s)

lack of manual gravitas at 16'

 

The scheme drawn up in the 1980s sought to correct the first three (not sure about the other 2, so long since I saw it) but completely ignored the strengths of the current instrument (as listed by Ian somewhere above). I would imagine this is different - looking at instruments Paul Hale has consulted on, I can't see him throwing out a good Romantic war-horse for a squeak-machine. However, if they are, I'm first in the queue for the French Horn!

 

Paul Walton

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If I recall correctly , the 80s scheme was abandoned because, it was felt that it was not morally justified for the Cathedral authorities to spend a very large sum of money on a new organ, given the extent and seriousness of the social problems existing within the Manchester Diocese.

 

I'm not sure these kind of economic arguments really help - are you suggesting we don't embark on any new cultural projects until world poverty is eradicated?

 

If new organs aren't commissioned, then organ-building firms will go bust, won't they?

 

I'm more worried by the prospect of another bland new chamade-ridden Euro organ cropping up in the UK.

 

A good Fisk, however, would be lovely... ;-)

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"If new organs aren't commissioned, then organ-building firms will go bust, won't they?"

(Quote)

 

If good organs (continue to) be binned, there is no future for the organ trade anyway.

This economic model just proved to end right in the Wall; you don't build anything

on burned grass.

 

Pierre

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I'm not sure these kind of economic arguments really help - are you suggesting we don't embark on any new cultural projects until world poverty is eradicated?

Not at all. I'm merely recounting what I am given to understand was said at the time.

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...the Tuba that Norman Cocker specified, presumably for his own Tune, was removed in the late 70s

 

Paul Walton

I can't believe I'm quite such an organ anorak to contribute this nugget, but I believe the tuba he had in mind was that in Cork Cathedral. Some say Manchester's party horn could be heard from platform 12 of Victoria Station...

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...give any spare £££££ to rehousing the CC in Warrington Parr Hall...

Peter

Is the glorious Schulze at St Peter's Hindley still homeless? Manchester could do FAR worse! Perhaps with the Parr Hall CC in the nave somewhere too...

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Guest Roffensis
The 80s proposal had a lovely David Graebe case on the screen. But thank goodness it wasn't built.

 

Hope they keep the French Horns...

 

...and the two curtain shakers in the Jesus Chapel.

 

Oh, and the Solo string chorus up to Cornet des Violes.

 

And the clarinet.

 

Oh and the lovely Swell reeds (both great and small).

 

Come to think about it, can't they just replace the dreadful Great chorus and leave the rest alone? I believe some tweaking to the upperwork was done in the 90s but it still lacks character.

 

 

I'd endorse most of that. There was/is a nasty mixture that ought to go if it hasn't already, but this organ has always given a good account of itself. What is lacking is a proper case like it had. That would be something. Not one of these ugly modern things in light English Oak taht blend with nothing and look an afterthought, but a nice dark one to match the stalls. Ideal. And gold pipes. No tacky tin ones.

 

R

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Guest Roffensis
"Another one (will) bite(s) the dust" ?

What a sustained pace ! with one each year, there will soon

be nothing left save neo-this and that.

Good for the business, at least, in those awkward times.

 

As far as I knew it, I'd say just remove the whispers on the Solo

(a pathetic attempt to make a synthesis of Solo and Brustwerk...)

and, as Mr Ball says, redesign the Great Mixture (1 1/3'!!!!)

 

Pierre

And no one say I didn't warn you!!!

 

It's the trend. It's worse than the 70s.

 

Now the lot gets ditched half the time!!

 

Who cares!!

 

LOL!!

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