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Tewkesbury Abbey


nachthorn

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Thank you Martin, at least your response was relevant to the subject.

You did mention the Ally Pally Organ as worth restoring, so you must have thought that at the time.

I am just mystified as to who Noel Bonavia-Hunt was because none of the people involved in the early days know the name.

Perhaps the real Henry Willis might know.

Colin Richell.

 

Unfortunately, the editions of Crockford's Clerical Directory available on "ancestry.co.uk" only go as far as 1932 just after Noel Aubrey Bonavia-Hunt [bA Pemb Coll Oxford 1905, MA 1909] had served from 1916 to 1930 at "All SS. St John's Wood". The entry ends with L. to Offic. Dios Lon. and St. Alb. from 1930 and show an address at 96 Broadhurst-gardens, N.W.6. [is Ally Pally nearby?] with a Maida Vale telephone Number. He is listed as Author, The Church Organ 1920; Modern Organ Stops 1932. I am also aware that he authored The Modern British organ; Irons in the Fire and The Tradition of the Organ (issued under the auspices of the Federation of Master Organ Builders and the National Union of Musical Instrument Makers, in 1939). I think there are pictures of him voicing pipes in one of these publications and he liked a full sound of Diapason holding up Schultz (and Doncaster Parish Church?) as an example. So it seems he was quite influential in organ circles.

 

PJW

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In the context of research I am due to undertake for a booklet I have promised to write for the Anglo Catholic History Society (history of All Souls' Church Brighton) I have been told that complete sets of Crockfords can be found in the Lambeth Palace library and also owned by Michael Farrer (founder member of the ACHS) who now lives in the infirmary of Charterhouse (in Clerkenwell). No doubt there are other complete sets.

 

I have three quite old editions but nothing as old as you require.

 

Malcolm

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In the context of research I am due to undertake for a booklet I have promised to write for the Anglo Catholic History Society (history of All Souls' Church Brighton) I have been told that complete sets of Crockfords can be found in the Lambeth Palace library and also owned by Michael Farrer (founder member of the ACHS) who now lives in the infirmary of Charterhouse (in Clerkenwell). No doubt there are other complete sets.

 

I have three quite old editions but nothing as old as you require.

 

Malcolm

 

re Noel Bonavia Hunt.

The following might be helpful:-

 

http://www.bardon-music.com/books.php?id=9...en&curr=eur

This shows him as at Willesden 1905 -1912, St Johns Wood 1922 -1930

 

 

http://pipe-organ-letters.com/index.php/home/yellow.html

This shows him in Bedrfordshire at Stagsden in 1952 as Vicar(?) moving to Benenden near Cranbrook Kent in 1957

 

Best wishes

 

David W

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In the context of research I am due to undertake for a booklet I have promised to write for the Anglo Catholic History Society (history of All Souls' Church Brighton) I have been told that complete sets of Crockfords can be found in the Lambeth Palace library and also owned by Michael Farrer (founder member of the ACHS) who now lives in the infirmary of Charterhouse (in Clerkenwell). No doubt there are other complete sets.

 

I have three quite old editions but nothing as old as you require.

 

Malcolm

 

I've just come in from a weekend trip to Lincoln so a bit tired from the drive at the moment - It's no surprise to me that mr. richell has never heard of him. He died in 1965 actually. I'll write some more up on him tomorrow.

 

DW

*Not the REAL Henry Willis* :P<_<

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I've just come in from a weekend trip to Lincoln so a bit tired from the drive at the moment - It's no surprise to me that mr. richell has never heard of him. He died in 1965 actually. I'll write some more up on him tomorrow.

 

DW

*Not the REAL Henry Willis* :D:lol:

 

 

Not the Real Henry Willis again!

 

I got out the Bonavia-Hunt files yesterday and was truly amazed! It seems that he and Henry 3 were great buddies and, among other things, shared a fascination with the then new-fangled Radio - Bonavia-Hunt held several patents for tuning coils and was quite an expert. It was B-H who was responsible for introducing HW3 to the young Alexander Black, one of the young radio pioneers active in London at the time and HW3 then bought the Alexander Black firm, selling "hi-fi" stuff well into the 1950s - that firm is still active in the south of England.

 

The name of Noel Bonavia-Hunt is, of course, extremely familiar to anyone who has a true interest in the organ and its history and his writings on soundboard design and voicing were widely published in the period between the two wars: there are also several instruments with which he associated himself quite closely and some of these were written about extensively. I went quite recently to inspect the (now vandalised) organ in the Chapel of the old Brompton Hospital and this instrument was one of those which he had had a go at, revoicing-wise: as to how successful or not this exercise was is now impossible to determine.

 

I spent almost half of the day yesterday in skipping through these files - there is the beginnings of a book here if any of the more literary of the members of this forum might be looking for a project - the files are available!

 

As a side issue, his father (The Revd. Henry George B-H) founded Trinity College of Music. He died in 1917 and the Revd. Noel Aubrey B-H in 1965, aged 83 I think.

 

DW

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"there is the beginnings of a book here "

(Quote)

 

Aha ?

B-H's "Modern organ stops" is still a reference today, despite

the preconceptions against it from the later Neo tribe; he knew

quite better than those what a chorus is...

 

May we know more about that potential book ?

 

Pierre

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the later Neo tribe; he knew

quite better than those what a chorus is...

Really? Super Diapason and all? I have played (knowingly) 2 instruments with his input, and chorus isn't a word one could use about either.

 

PS - It is a great honour to be in the company of Henry Willis. I hope he is keeping well.

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Really? Super Diapason and all? I have played (knowingly) 2 instruments with his input, and chorus isn't a word one could use about either.

 

PS - It is a great honour to be in the company of Henry Willis. I hope he is keeping well.

 

Read that "Modern organ stops" again.

 

Pierre

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Really? Super Diapason and all? I have played (knowingly) 2 instruments with his input, and chorus isn't a word one could use about either.

 

PS - It is a great honour to be in the company of Henry Willis. I hope he is keeping well.

 

 

 

 

 

Here Here, I also hope that Henry is keeping well. What a character ! I met him many times and he was a true genuine organ builder.

Colin Richell.

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Anyone watch last week's episode of QI, the one with the German theme?

 

As usual it was erudite, witty and thoroughly amusing.

 

One of the topics they discussed was internet forums, in particular what happens when an arguement develops.

Someone appears to have calculated the number of posts it takes until the point is reached when members start refering to Hitler and the Nazis.

 

For some strange reason I kept thinking of the Tewkesbury thread!

:lol:

 

DT

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Anyone watch last week's episode of QI, the one with the German theme?

 

As usual it was erudite, witty and thoroughly amusing.

 

One of the topics they discussed was internet forums, in particular what happens when an arguement develops.

Someone appears to have calculated the number of posts it takes until the point is reached when members start refering to Hitler and the Nazis.

 

141

 

:lol:

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"there is the beginnings of a book here "

(Quote)

 

Aha ?

B-H's "Modern organ stops" is still a reference today, despite

the preconceptions against it from the later Neo tribe; he knew

quite better than those what a chorus is...

 

 

Pierre

 

Perhaps such fundamentalists should have been called a Dia tribe.

 

AJS

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Bonavia-Hunt's description of the Diapasons and their choruses

up to Mixtures is well worth reading; he deals about building

a wall of tone, a structure, and not about those funny concepts like "textures"

"clarity" etc. It is clear he understood the matter, did he succeed or not

to implement it afterwards.

 

Pierre

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Bonavia-Hunt's description of the Diapasons and their choruses

up to Mixtures is well worth reading; he deals about building

a wall of tone, a structure, and not about those funny concepts like "textures"

"clarity" etc. It is clear he understood the matter, did he succeed or not

to implement it afterwards.

 

Pierre

 

Sounds like Phil Spector or Brian Wilson. I don't think I could cope with the full on Wall of Sound stuff all the time.

 

"Succeed or not to implement it afterwards" - shades of Downes?

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I do not know the book cited, but Bonavia Hunt's The Modern British Organ is available online here.

 

I am afraid I have only skimmed through bits of it, but chapter 9 seems to confirm that Bonavia Hunt had a genuine understanding of all types of organ from Silbermann, through Willis to the neo-Baroque and extension organs. This quote (from p.122) seems characteristic: “A lively controversy has recently raged in the correspondence columns of The Diapason (the well known organ journal in America) in which the protagonists of the classic and romantic schools of tonal design have put their respective claims before the Editor. I sympathise with both parties, for surely they both have a case. There is no valid reason in theory why the specialised tones beloved by the romanticists should not find an honourable place in the King of Instruments so long as they do not oust a single unit of the essential chorus.” From the final sentence of this chapter it seems that his ideal is the eclectic organ.

 

I really should read the book properly; it looks interesting.

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"From the final sentence of this chapter it seems that his ideal is the eclectic organ."

(Quote)

 

I am sorry not to believe that.

Rather, the "Diapason chorus", i.e., Principal stops from 8' or 16' up to Mixture(s)

or seperate rank trhoughout (Ripieno-like), is the backbone of the organ, and this,

from the Renaissance to nowadays without exception.

That is to say even the romantic organs do have that Diapason chorus, but sometimes

somewhat hidden, and not intended to be used alone.

Even the H-J organ in Worcester had its Diapason chorus, reduced to 16-8-4, with two

hidden quint ranks provided by Quintadenas at 8' and 4', not to mention the octave couplers.

 

By "essential choruses", B-H meant the Diapason chorus and the reed choruses, which are

built up with Trompettes, Trumpets, Trompeten or Trombas, never with Cromornes or

Cor anglais or Vox humanas; should you deprive any organ from both the Principal and

the Trumpet tone, you no longer have a church organ, but a collection of solo stops,

maybe suitable in a theatre organ, though this latter too has its design needs, and is

certainly not merely a collection of tones.

 

Those lines are the kind of things you think about after having read Mr Bonavia-Hunt.

 

See here for the references of "Modern organ stops", 1923:

 

http://www.bardon-music.com/books.php?id=9...en&curr=eur

 

There is a 26 pages sample under Pdf. It features A to beginning of "D". See the

first five pages about the Diapason, pages 22 to 26 (of the Pdf file, not the book's

pagination):

 

 

 

Pierre

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Even the H-J organ in Worcester had its Diapason chorus, reduced to 16-8-4, with two hidden quint ranks provided by Quintadenas at 8' and 4', not to mention the octave couplers.

This is surely over-egging the case, Pierre. Hope-Jones is well known for eschewing the chorus principle in favour of variety of colour at unison pitch. His 4' (and 2') stops were not intended in any way to detract from this predominance of unison sound and the place of the sub-unison ranks was to add gravitas. A few emphasised overtones do not make a chorus and the octave couplers were there to increase the power and solidity of the sound, not to imitate a chorus structure.

 

You should come and hear our R&D foghorn, because the philosophy behind it is not so very far removed from Hope-Jones's. That doesn't have any proper choruses either. Oh, they are there on paper - the Great has 3 Open Diapasons, two diapasons at 4' and two at 2', plus a couple of Mixtures. But a couple of minutes listening will immediately convince you that the elements of the chorus do not provide any coherent vertical structure - and nor were they ever meant to. This is at heart another 8' organ, with the upperwork doing no more than discreetly assisting the overtones and most definitely never asserting itself. The Great Superoctave and Fourniture were actually added by Deane & Co in 1993 in an attempt to provide some brightness. Deanes did a superb job in matching the existing pipework (the Superoctave and Fifteenth are as alike as two peas, almost), but they really were attempting the impossible. The only way you could ever get this organ to sound bright is to scrap it and start again. Choruses? Pah!

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"the octave couplers were there to increase the power and solidity of the sound, not to imitate a chorus structure."

(Quote)

 

But, Vox, this sentence is a contradiction in its own terms.

If we could go now togheter to Waltersausen, among others,

we could experiment the baroque chorus is just that: a means to

increase the power and the solidity of the tone !

 

A chorus structure isn't about "brightness", this was a misunderstanding

of the second half of the 20th century.

We have organs from that period where the Mixture are practically solo stops;

you ear them, and nothing else behind, because they overpower the rest

of the would-be-chorus to the point you can forget to draw them.

And this is what composers like Olivier Messiaen precisely did. Instead

of using "choruses" made out of Cavaillé-Coll fonds and neo-classical mixtures,

he preffered to use them apart -with outstanding results-.

 

A Diapason chorus does not necessarily fulfill the need to play this or that

"repertoire" with this and that results; it is the core, the backbone of the organ,

however it sounds. Its function is not an aesthetical one, I mean, a question

of style, it is an architectural one; the wall made with bricks. But now the shape

of the building is another matter !

 

"The only way you could ever get this organ to sound bright is to scrap it and start again. Choruses? Pah! "

(Quote)

 

No, don't scrap it save the 1993 Mixture; send it in Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany instead!

I just learnt we shall have an Hook & Hastings organ in Boom, Belgium, recuperated, and we

are very proud with it.

 

Pierre

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You should come and hear our R&D foghorn, because the philosophy behind it is not so very far removed from Hope-Jones's. That doesn't have any proper choruses either. Oh, they are there on paper - the Great has 3 Open Diapasons, two diapasons at 4' and two at 2', plus a couple of Mixtures. But a couple of minutes listening will immediately convince you that the elements of the chorus do not provide any coherent vertical structure - and nor were they ever meant to. This is at heart another 8' organ, with the upperwork doing no more than discreetly assisting the overtones and most definitely never asserting itself. The Great Superoctave and Fourniture were actually added by Deane & Co in 1993 in an attempt to provide some brightness. Deanes did a superb job in matching the existing pipework (the Superoctave and Fifteenth are as alike as two peas, almost), but they really were attempting the impossible. The only way you could ever get this organ to sound bright is to scrap it and start again. Choruses? Pah!

 

Having played this large instrument on a number of occasions, I can testify to the accuracy of this description.

 

It does make some nasty noises and, for me, the good selection of beautiful, quieter registers simply does not compensate for the fact that the choruses, such as they are, fall flat in their effect.

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