Colin Harvey Posted February 22, 2011 Share Posted February 22, 2011 I was wandering as to how well the voicing of the Parr Hall organ would work in Sheffield Cathedral as it will be coming from a softly furnished hall to a cathedral with acoustics at the opposite end of the scale. I remember GTB describing the challenges the voicing posed in his biography of the present Temple Church organ when it was installed. In fairness, they seemed to get the end result right of course! I think this is an extremely good question. My only experience of Cavaille-Coll concert hall organs is the recently restored organ in the Philharmonie Concert Hall in Haarlem (restored by Flentrop in 2006, with a reconstructed Barker lever action). This organ was originally in Amsterdam and it was transplanted to the Hall in 1874/5. To English ears, this organ is *EXTREMELY* loud. The Great reeds and mixtures come on with a crash and seem to set the entire stage surround to resonate with the sound. It is quite devastating on the stage - not only will it frighten those of a nervous disposition, it will make them hallucinate. However, many Cavaille-Coll organ experts feel that this organ has been softened and it would have been much louder in its original home. I hate to think what such an instrument might be like in the relatively intimate environs of Sheffield Cathedral if the original voicing is kept. I also wonder how the cathedral organists will cope with such an instrument day-to-day to accompany evensong - the realities of living with such an organ may be very different to the dream. Long term I would worry how the nature of the instrument may become diffused as succesive organists strive to make it fit better for its purposes in the musical life of the Cathedral. I am concerned that they may not yet be fully aware of what they are letting themselves in for. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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