Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Forster and Andrews


mwl1
 Share

Recommended Posts

One of the organs I play, at All Saints, Saxton (North Yorkshire) was built by Forster and Andrews and suitably listed in their opus list. There are no great mysteries surrounding its history - it was clearly built for the church in which it continues to reside - yet it is very different from any other F&A organ I have ever encountered. It's quite an early work of the firm - 1859 - and has a few period quirks such as a tenor C Swell and a tediously irregular pedalboard - 25 pedals but the pedal stop (a Bourdon) only goes an octave and one from the bottom. The remaining pedals still work with the Great-Pedal coupler. Also, this organ does not have the classic F&A rounded accidentals. The keyboards are very old and worn, with some amazingly deep grooves in places, and look as if they've been on the organ since conception. An electric blower has been fitted by Wood Wordsworth at some point. Where does one go to find details of exactly when and by whom all this happened? The Borthwick Institute?

 

Of course, this is an organ for largely Early English repertoire and it could be delightful, but its position in the building (under the tower) means that it's like a rose in a bed of weeds. The acoustic is dead - the organ sounds like it's in a small room. If it were moved to somewhere else in the building, such as its former location in the south chapel, I'm sure it would be a pleasing instrument of great historic interest.

 

Does anyone know of any other F&A organs like this? I'd be very interested to hear anything anyone might be able to suggest about this one, or similar ones. The organ in the next village to this, at Scarthingwell, generated much interest when I posted about it a few years ago. They share quite a few period traits but Scarthingwell sounds wonderful and Saxton sadly doesn't sound brilliant in its current location.

 

Here is the NPOR entry, which I complied a while ago...

 

Best wishes,

Matthew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the organs I play, at All Saints, Saxton (North Yorkshire) was built by Forster and Andrews and suitably listed in their opus list. There are no great mysteries surrounding its history - it was clearly built for the church in which it continues to reside - yet it is very different from any other F&A organ I have ever encountered. It's quite an early work of the firm - 1859 - and has a few period quirks such as a tenor C Swell and a tediously irregular pedalboard - 25 pedals but the pedal stop (a Bourdon) only goes an octave and one from the bottom. The remaining pedals still work with the Great-Pedal coupler. Also, this organ does not have the classic F&A rounded accidentals. The keyboards are very old and worn, with some amazingly deep grooves in places, and look as if they've been on the organ since conception. An electric blower has been fitted by Wood Wordsworth at some point. Where does one go to find details of exactly when and by whom all this happened? The Borthwick Institute?

 

Of course, this is an organ for largely Early English repertoire and it could be delightful, but its position in the building (under the tower) means that it's like a rose in a bed of weeds. The acoustic is dead - the organ sounds like it's in a small room. If it were moved to somewhere else in the building, such as its former location in the south chapel, I'm sure it would be a pleasing instrument of great historic interest.

 

Does anyone know of any other F&A organs like this? I'd be very interested to hear anything anyone might be able to suggest about this one, or similar ones. The organ in the next village to this, at Scarthingwell, generated much interest when I posted about it a few years ago. They share quite a few period traits but Scarthingwell sounds wonderful and Saxton sadly doesn't sound brilliant in its current location.

 

Here is the NPOR entry, which I complied a while ago...

 

Best wishes,

Matthew

 

Hi

 

There is info on this organ in the F&A records held by the British organ Archive (part of BIOS). An e-mail to the hon. archivist would be a good start. There's a link to send an e-mail on http://www.duresme.org.uk/BIOS/bios1.htm#people

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the organs I play, at All Saints, Saxton (North Yorkshire) was built by Forster and Andrews and suitably listed in their opus list.

 

============================

 

 

This organ, I suspect, falls into that “grey period” of British organ-building, when most organists would have played only on the manuals, assisted by a few pedal pull-downs down to low F. I’m not quite sure when the C-compass became standard, (others will know), but this was a period when things were clearly changing towards the “German” style.

I’ve never come across a Forster & Andrews organ like this; especially one with a Tenor C Swell and an incomplete 16ft register on the Pedal organ. It’s actually quite difficult to work out why this should be, unless it was merely to provide gravity for hymn accompaniment, which would have been the principal job of the organist.

Looking at the photographs, the Forster & Andrews console “house style” is certainly there with the exception of the un-rounded accidentals.

 

I often wonder if “organ repertoire” of any kind was played on these sorts of instruments, or whether organists simply transcribed from piano scores and reductions.

 

The incorporation of a Sesquialtera is interesting, because that is not normally found with a Forster & Andrews instrument. That suggests an altogether earlier fashion of organ-building: more “English” than “German” I suspect, and all this 8 years after the Great Exhibition of 1851, where Schulze made such an impression.

 

A curiosity indeed, and one which is probably quite historically significant.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This organ, I suspect, falls into that “grey period” of British organ-building, when most organists would have played only on the manuals, assisted by a few pedal pull-downs down to low F. I’m not quite sure when the C-compass became standard, (others will know), but this was a period when things were clearly changing towards the “German” style.

I’ve never come across a Forster & Andrews organ like this; especially one with a Tenor C Swell and an incomplete 16ft register on the Pedal organ. It’s actually quite difficult to work out why this should be, unless it was merely to provide gravity for hymn accompaniment, which would have been the principal job of the organist.

Looking at the photographs, the Forster & Andrews console “house style” is certainly there with the exception of the un-rounded accidentals.

 

I often wonder if “organ repertoire” of any kind was played on these sorts of instruments, or whether organists simply transcribed from piano scores and reductions.

 

The incorporation of a Sesquialtera is interesting, because that is not normally found with a Forster & Andrews instrument. That suggests an altogether earlier fashion of organ-building: more “English” than “German” I suspect, and all this 8 years after the Great Exhibition of 1851, where Schulze made such an impression.

 

A curiosity indeed, and one which is probably quite historically significant.

 

MM

 

Hi

 

According to Elvin, F&A were one of the first firms to adopt - at least in part - the "German" system with C-compass manuals. The change started after 1850.

 

I don't about about F&A specifically, but Ten.C Swells were fairly common in the mid-1800's, especially on small organs - a hang over from the short compass Swells of the earlier period, but without the full-compass Choir to go with it. There are a fair number of organs with this configuration on NPOR - and I used to play a couple (one by Walker).

 

13-note pedal stops were also pretty common on "village organs" - the instrument, possibly by Bryceson, in my last church had that arrangement. I guess that it was just to provide weight in hymn accompaniment - certainly that's the way I used to use it.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

 

According to Elvin, F&A were one of the first firms to adopt - at least in part - the "German" system with C-compass manuals. The change started after 1850.

 

I don't about about F&A specifically, but Ten.C Swells were fairly common in the mid-1800's, especially on small organs - a hang over from the short compass Swells of the earlier period, but without the full-compass Choir to go with it. There are a fair number of organs with this configuration on NPOR - and I used to play a couple (one by Walker).

 

13-note pedal stops were also pretty common on "village organs" - the instrument, possibly by Bryceson, in my last church had that arrangement. I guess that it was just to provide weight in hymn accompaniment - certainly that's the way I used to use it.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

==================================

 

 

I think this is what I found interesting about this organ, because Forster & Andrews were definitely linked to Schulze and the German system, but of course, in those days the last person to have a say in what was to be built, was probably the organ-builder, who would be regarded as a "tradesman."

 

There was quite lot of opposition to the new system in various places; the most famous of which was at Lichfield, of course.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hello,

 

I searched for Andrews & Forster and found this thread. My info is not about an organ from 1850, but one of 1891.

 

About 30km away from here (South-West Germany) the firm of Feenstra Orgelrestauratie sets up an organ of Forster & Andrews. The NPOR-Record is J00034 and it will be finished Easter. So I'm very happy in getting such an instrument into reach.

 

kleinz.jpg

 

Cheers

tiratutti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...