nachthorn Posted January 5, 2010 Share Posted January 5, 2010 I've just spent a hard-working, pretty chilly, but tremendously rewarding weekend accompanying a visiting choir run by a friend, singing the services at Tewkesbury Abbey. I'd heard positive but vague comments about the place, and was bowled over by the building and by the musicality of the 'Milton' organ when I arrived. It's one of those instruments that seems to turn every note into a beautiful sound, aided no doubt by the acoustic, and I found the tracker action to be very light and communicative. The Choir division, in particular, was stunning. It did raise a few questions, though. (1) Why is this instrument not better known and more frequently mentioned in the context of good instruments? Is it just me who found it so good? (2) What is the purpose of the Apse division? I know the history of the organs there, including Stubington's grand plan, but what was the idea behind putting a division in a remote chamber, and what was the rationale behind the tonal plan of the division? It was far too distant for use in Quire services, but had no impact in the Nave (Tuba excepted). It was obviously important enough to be included in the 1997 rebuild though. (3) How did Kenneth Jones manage such a supremely musical rebuild, when - for instance, and in my opinion - Nicholson achieved nothing of the sort in similar circumstances at Christchurch Priory only two years later? I don't think that the quality of tone or the touch of the action are in the least comparable, yet both must have cost similar sums at similar times and were guided by the same consultant. Different buildings, different acoustics, yes I know, but there's no obvious excuse for the disparity. Nicholson have seen plenty of regular work before and since, but Kenneth Jones' work is still rare in Britain. Incidentally, I did spend quite a while gazing longingly across at the 'Grove' organ from the 'Milton' console, but sadly neither time nor circumstances permitted a closer acquaintance with it. Maybe next time... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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