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Vox Humana

Washington National Cathedral

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According to a comment by a contributor to Youtube, it appears that plans for the new Dobson organ in the chancel are currently on hold due to lack of funds. Anyone know anything about this?

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According to a comment by a contributor to Youtube, it appears that plans for the new Dobson organ in the chancel are currently on hold due to lack of funds. Anyone know anything about this?

Wouldn't surprise me about that as even the recession's affecting the USA, but I've not seen anything on their website to the contrary! Similarly, there's nothing on the Casavant Frere website to suggest they're not in a position to fulfill their contract for the West End Organ! I'm uber curious as to what the final plan for the organ is - we're not even getting a taste of what the final specification will be! Dear Lord - it's the middle of summer yet I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas! LOL

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......Another proof they would do better forgetting that one for a moment:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM7er1y_Lpw...feature=related

 

 

......And really well played with that.

 

Long life to the crisis!

 

Pierre

 

Can someone please enlighten me as to what, tonally, is wrong with this organ. Putting aside any electrical and mechanical problems, this http://www.nationalcathedral.org/arts/organProject.shtml sheds some light. If it's a projection issue, internal remodelling, perhaps with projecting casework to allow principle choruses to be sited in free space would sort most of it out. A new small instrument II/P and about 15 stops playable from its own, and the main console, sited in the nave would sort the rest out and give an intimate teaching instrument. They might even be able to afford it too.

 

AJS

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Can someone please enlighten me as to what, tonally, is wrong with this organ.

Nothing really. I don't normally like sprawling great behemoths, but I found this organ quite magnificent. Some will dislike on principle the two neo-Baroque divisions and the old quinted 64' was an awful noise (and if that's the electronic replacement at the end of the clip Pierre posted it doesn't sound a whole lot better). The Sowerby Memorial Swell division is as loud as your average Great Organ (or at least sounds it in comparison to the main Swell), but it needs to be - it faces down the nave, I believe. The organ does choir accompaniment very well too - there's nothing lacking for that function. I suspect the problem is the acoustics, which are very resonant and that the organ has difficulty leading a full cathedral (it is a vast edifice), but whatever the solution to that may be, I don't think it is to scrap this organ.

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Posted on behalf of Themythes:

 

This topic has proved interesting in more ways than just the organ project. This link opens up the soi-disant historic services. In fact, the most recent historic service was last Sunday (the 5th, with the excellent choir of our own Royal Holloway College); the archive goes back over two years. They seem to be almost exclusively Eucharistic services and the choir is almost invariably girls and men. For the boys, try December 25th, 2006 with an alert performance of the Willcocks “Dancing Day” arrangement, or the Funeral service for President Ford (January 2007). Further perusal of the whole website will, also, introduce the word “docent” to those of you who, such as I, have not hitherto encountered it.

 

If there are any Choral Evensongs, I haven’t found them, but by way of compensation, there are some excellent shots of the organ console during recent Eucharists, which is, I suppose, where we came in.

 

David Harrison

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KXiqMcpGR0...feature=related, confirms some of what I thought, along with the stoplist on the cathedral website. As a general short description; quart in a pint pot or more accurately, possibly a margarine tub, distributed horizontally in the choir triforium. Well it isn't going to be audible in the nave. A case of reorganisation into a projecting vertical format with disposition of pipes and soundboards dependent on the job they have to do (clearly simplistic) would greatly enhance the effectiveness of the instrument. The only things it seems to need are a little rationalisation, a big scale principal and reed chorus on heavier pressures, a 32/16/8 Open Wood unit of fairly large scale and a nave organ. Obviously just a very broad overview, but this organ is not a lost cause by any means.

 

AJS

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