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pcnd5584

The Organ Of The Rfh - Pipes Stolen?

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I have just received my copy of the current issue of The Organ. On page 40 there are two references to the instrument 'disappearing', one rather more clear that the other. I quote the second: ... 'The recording is the best I have heard of this great instrument - now, sadly, gone forever, for the original pipes have disappeared (the rumour is that they were stolen from where they were being stored for their value as scrap metal).' ...

 

Does anyone know whether there is any truth in this somewhat surprising statement? I was under the impression that the remainder of the organ (most of the Pedal Organ, the Choir, Positive and Solo organs and the G.O. reeds) was currently being stored in Durham by Harrisons.

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Guest Roffensis

What a travesty if pipes have been stolen. I think we will all agree that although this organ may not be to everyones taste :rolleyes: , it is surely one of the most important in the UK :o . I personally have the greatest respect for it, and consider that it was a incredibly daring and far reaching, forward looking instrument. I heard it once, in the 70s, and was bowled over by it :o . One of the most vigorously voiced and exciting jobs I have ever heard.

 

I hope one day it is fully restored. The world would be a lesser place without the RFH organ.

 

Can I moan?

 

When I think of one fat old overblown windbag of an organ..... If only the RFH had been so fully restored instead.

 

R

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Has anyone thought to write to Harrisons to see if this story is true??? Because if it isn't it's certainly a serious allegation to make.

 

I'm not sure that the powers-that-be at Manders (ie our gracious hosts) would like to be seen to be linked with such a story if it's only idle hearsay or gossip.

 

Q

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Has anyone thought to write to Harrisons to see if this story is true??? Because if it isn't it's certainly a serious allegation to make.

 

I'm not sure that the powers-that-be at Manders (ie our gracious hosts) would like to be seen to be linked with such a story if it's only idle hearsay or gossip.

 

Q

 

For that matter, I doubt that the administrative team of The Organ would wish to be associated with idle gossip - yet they printed the review.

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Guest Cynic
For that matter, I doubt that the administrative team of The Organ would wish to be associated with idle gossip - yet they printed the review.

 

 

Naturally I wish everyone well, but I wonder just how careful or fastidious the current editorial team at The Organ are. I would give as evidence for my doubt the front cover of the May-July issue which boasted in enormous type of an article about 'Cesar Francke's metronome' (sic). They also seem to indulge in repeated articles about certain firms that in virtually every way amount to advertisements for said firm's work, I am thinking of one Surrey-based firm in particular.

 

As to any lost pipework from the RFH (if this has indeed gone missing) H&H are perfectly capable of replacing it, and quite possibly for nearly the same price as refurbishing the old. In studying the cost of the current work at St.Mary Redcliffe Bristol, my firm opinion is that this clean and overhaul (involving no new pipes at all) cannot be significantly cheaper than a goodly amount of brand new work.

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Guest Roffensis

I phoned and was told categorically that there is no truth in this rumour :D

 

R

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I phoned and was told categorically that there is no truth in this rumour :D

 

R

so this is how rumours start, lol,

what about the organ that is rumoured to have,,,,,,,,

 

Peter

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I phoned and was told categorically that there is no truth in this rumour :D

 

R

 

Well that is reassuring. I wonder who the reviewer was? I coud not find a name (or initials) printed near the article.

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I phoned and was told categorically that there is no truth in this rumour :D

 

That's still the best way to handle it.

 

When I worked as an editor for an organ magazine, some person approached me, relating the "news" that, under the load of the then-new suspended Klais in Cologne cathedral, the vaults were crumbling, and that the organ had been silenced and was about to be taken down very soon. The person in question just came from a meeting of organ experts-to-be, so a lot of people had had their heads together over their beers, and the buzz made its way through the scene quite well.

 

I called the cathedral's curator (Domabaumeisterin), and she said, well she'd love to confirm the rumour as she had never been especially fond of the location and case design of the organ, but alas, everything was fine.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Guest Cynic
That's still the best way to handle it.

 

When I worked as an editor for an organ magazine, some person approached me, relating the "news" that, under the load of the then-new suspended Klais in Cologne cathedral, the vaults were crumbling, and that the organ had been silenced and was about to be taken down very soon. The person in question just came from a meeting of organ experts-to-be, so a lot of people had had their heads together over their beers, and the buzz made its way through the scene quite well.

 

I called the cathedral's curator (Domabaumeisterin), and she said, well she'd love to confirm the rumour as she had never been especially fond of the location and case design of the organ, but alas, everything was fine.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

Sorry for the delay, I did much as Friedrich did in the above account, but even e-mails take a little time.

Here is our answer, direct from the very person who does know chapter and verse!

I post the following with permission:

 

Dear Paul,

 

Thanks for the email. I'm pleased to have a tip-off.

 

The story is completely untrue. The pipework is safely in store in the care of Harrison & Harrison Ltd in Durham and is kept in temperature and humidity controlled conditions.

 

What more can I say?

 

Thanks,

 

William

 

Dr William McVicker

Independent Consultant

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Ive just had a reply from Katherine Venning saying everything is safe, she has taken some photgraphs I dont know if these will be available.

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Naturally I wish everyone well, but I wonder just how careful or fastidious the current editorial team at The Organ are. I would give as evidence for my doubt the front cover of the May-July issue which boasted in enormous type of an article about 'Cesar Francke's metronome' (sic). They also seem to indulge in repeated articles about certain firms that in virtually every way amount to advertisements for said firm's work, I am thinking of one Surrey-based firm in particular.

 

Interestingly this looks as if it has been doctored out of the photo of this edition on the website:

http://www.theorganmag.com/current.html

 

A brief look around the website reveals several other hidden gems such as the fact that Hakim and Messiaen had a lovely time in their posts at St Sulpice...

 

http://www.theorganmag.com/cdrevs/09/348web2.html

 

Is it me or is the tone of the reviews in organ magazines these days- especially the ones such as Cathedral Music and The Organ which I suspect have a smaller readership than OR and Choir and Organ- getting cattier and cattier?

 

I no longer subscribe to organ magazines except for OR which comes free with my Local Organ Society subs but on the odd occasion I pick others up in shops I find that the comments in them are very subjective, often a matter of taste and frequently unhelpful but still served up as law. Take one example from the website of the Organ Magazine at the moment:

 

"The suite is worth hearing the once, but the music is too inconsistent in style to be convincing as a whole: frankly, you cannot set elements of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Mass and his version of the Von Himmel Hoch Variations within your own ideas and expect to come up with a coherent work of art, especially as Hakim does not possess the sheer force of Stravinsky’s creative personality, or anything like it. Surprise your audience by all means, but don’t get them to leave before your music has finished."

 

I often wonder who the people that write these reviews actually are- as musicians I mean- their names are normally quoted at the end of the article. But can they play? Or more importantly can they use their ears intelligently? If I wasn't so busy, I would go back through my past issues of magazines and produce many examples where the whole tone of some of the reviews suggested to me that the reviewer was someone who had not succeeded as a recording artist or high level recitalist and had some sort of axe to grind against those that have or were starting to do so. Bring back the intelligent, reasoned and well informed OR reviews by Paul Hale, Roger Fisher and Kevin Bowyer- all superb players who had the good grace to write fairly and recognise that they were not the only people in the organ world who play well.

 

Rant over,

 

All the best,

 

Charles

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