pcnd5584 Posted May 3, 2010 Share Posted May 3, 2010 I'll try this again, as I just typed a very concise response which the machine managed to delete before I posted it! I think the point here is, would you have been able to accompany the congregation or the choral repertoire on the 1664 stops? Indeed if the further five stops were added a century later they may well have been done out of necessity not the whim of the organist or organ builder. The fact that liturgy has developed is part of life and progress, if the organ doesn't try to keep up or indeed lead, it has lost the battle with the more modern and dare I say less desirable traits in modern church music! Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favour of the wholesale destruction of our organ heritage, but if an organ is failing through mechanical obscelence or condition but the pipework is both good and historic, is it right to insist it is maintained in a condition in which we cannot benefit from the pleasure of hearing it because of an English Heritage attitude? To quote an English Herirtage example, the bell frame at Malvern Priory is becoming unserviceable, but EH have said it cannot be replaced. Essentially meaning the bells will be permanently silenced. I am a member of English Heritage, but feel it is better to try to change attitudes from within! Jonathan No - in fact, I agree with you - and with Patrick's earlier comment regarding organs not being preserved in aspic. I was simply playng the Devil's advocate - and attempting to stress once again that the whole notion of trying to institute some type of national control on further work on organs in the UK would be incredibly complicated - and may even prove self-defeating. With the 'wrong' people in charge, we may end up with a situation in twenty years' time in which the UK is well-supplied with organs effectively preserved in the state in which they will be found say, five years from now - but many would be unplayable and a good number of others had been abandoned some years before, due to their perceived incompatibility. In such a situation, would churches be obliged by law to keep up maintenance on 'historic' instruments? And, if so, what would be the parameters of that maintenance? Who would fund the work? If some churches had abandoned the use of their [now] protected instruments, why would they choose to spend possibly large sums of money conserving them, merely in order to satisfy the whims of organ historiographers? (I mean no offence to any board member or user by that description - I an simply trying to illustrate how difficult it could be to inaugurate such a scheme now, in this country.) In any case, who would monitor the instruments? How would one 'police' such a national scheme? One only has to think of one example in the not-too-distant past - Prohibition. What happened? Put simply, America decided to go 'dry' - and as a direct result, all sorts of black-marked and covert trading on the supply of alcohol grew up, almost overnight. Whilst there is some historical evidence which suggests that the roots of the Mafia go back to medieval Sicily, it could also be argued that it may not have achieved quite the prominence it attained in the middle and latter half of the twentieth century, had not Prohibition come into effect. Picture a dark, rainy Thursday night, outside a nameless church deep in the heartland of England. From somewhere nearby, an owl hoots in the darkness Outside the vestry door, two men stand nervously, one smoking a cigarette. After a brief exchange, the other man steps quickly to a van, until now un-noticed. Opening the back doors, he begins to unload organ pipes - clearly belonging to a shiny new, high-pitched four rank mixture. They are ferried into the church by the smoker, who returns a few minutes later with his arms wrapped around what appear to be Dulciana pipes. These are in turn placed quickly into the back of the van, a blanket is thrown roughly over them and the back doors are closed and locked. Then the smoker reaches into the inside pocket of his long black coat and pulls out a bulging brown envelope, which he hands, somewhat furtively, to the driver. He nods aquiescence and turns to get into the van. Suddenly, the scene is illuminated brightly by three or four sets of vehicle lights. The two men are frozen in terror. From behind the lights comes a voice, magnified through a crackling loud-hailer. "STEP AWAY FROM THE VAN, NOW! YOU ARE SURROUNDED - STEP AWAY FROM THE VAN!" The burning question is: would it be worth a three-to-five stretch in Dartmoor, just to dispose of a Dulciana? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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