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DouglasCorr

P D Collins Organ At Turner Sims

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Just been into Orford Church to find the organ there already but without pipes or action because the Diocesan Organ Advisor requested a full size mock-up.... before a faculty can be granted.

It is a shame that it covers up a window but there is nowhere else for the instrument to go and will be of huge benefit to the worship and Aldeburgh/Snape music festivals.

Peter

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It loos pretty good in the situation - but why did the DOA want a full size mock-up, which no doubt has cost the church  a fair sum.  What's wrong with computer-generated images for the purpose?  Just wondering.

Hope you're keeping well Peter.

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On 17/02/2018 at 14:22, P DeVile said:

Just been into Orford Church to find the organ there already but without pipes or action because the Diocesan Organ Advisor requested a full size mock-up.... before a faculty can be granted.

It is a shame that it covers up a window but there is nowhere else for the instrument to go 

“at least as far as the window rises up behind it, the organ should be protected from further threats of weather damage by means of a small brick wall or a strong piece of sheet iron placed inside the window” (J.S.Bach)

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I agree with Zimbelstern (and Herr Johann), here. In fact, a similar issue was discussed - and the same solution proposed - at my recent meeting with the organ-builder. As for the DOA: it may have been that members of the committee considering the Faculty may have wanted the physical 'presence', to help them make their decision.

The floor will need looking at, too: it may well be that, with uneven tiling, a platform is required to stabilise the instrument.

Yes, it does look (really) good, there: an Iberian-type position. As support for the congregation: ideal. Choral accompaniment (if the choir is to remain in the Quire) will prove more problematic.

For concertising, the seats can easily be moved into whatever configuration is desired. 

Will want to hear this in situ at the earliest opportunity.

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3 hours ago, John Furse said:

Yes, it does look (really) good, there: an Iberian-type position. 

All the Spanish organs I have seen or played, although located in a similar position in relation to the floor plan, have been raised up quite or very high, either in a gallery, on the wall, or above the choir. Maybe this was for acoustic reasons, or simply so as not to take up space ground level. The choir in old Spanish churches is often situated in the middle of the church, or even further back, totally enclosed on three sides, with iron gates on the side facing the altar. A good example is the church of Nava del Rey, not far from Valladolid. You’ll see what I mean in these photos. 

https://goo.gl/images/3Xq6yo

https://goo.gl/images/KNA4FR

I went to the inaugural recital of the newly restored organ there in 2015, given by Juan de la Rubia, who is the organist of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  A very impressive instrument. The region is littered with baroque organs waiting for restoration.

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4 hours ago, John Furse said:

Yes, it does look (really) good, there: an Iberian-type position. As support for the congregation: ideal. Choral accompaniment (if the choir is to remain in the Quire) will prove more problematic.

I gather that they are keeping the tiny 2 manual in the North of the chancel for accompanimental purposes.

The organ should be really fabulous though as it is a surprisingly large church with a lovely acoustic.

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A large number of us who were brought up on it (so to speak) in its original home will be excited to see and hear it back in action again. It will be interesting to hear it in a new acoustic, the Turner Sims Hall being fairly unforgiving. When the smilar sized Collins organ was moved from an acoustically dead space into the larger and decidedly more resonant St Mary’s Church in Dorchester I seem to remember some revocing might possibly have been done to fit the new home.

A

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2 hours ago, Zimbelstern said:

All the Spanish organs I have seen or played, although located in a similar position in relation to the floor plan, have been raised up quite or very high, either in a gallery, on the wall, or above the choir. 

Precisely, Zimbelstern: that is what I meant, but expressed myself with less than my usual razor-sharp precision (!).

When I started to explore Spanish instruments, I was surprised by how many were located at the side of and further back on a west gallery. They rarely seem to speak down the nave.

2 hours ago, P DeVile said:

I gather that they are keeping the tiny 2 manual in the North of the chancel for accompanimental purposes.

I hope, therefore, that they will both be at the same pitch: enabling them to be played simultaneously, without 'distress'.

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40 minutes ago, John Furse said:

I hope, therefore, that they will both be at the same pitch: enabling them to be played simultaneously, without 'distress'.

What temperament was the Collins organ?

 

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Being over for my father-in-law's funeral (in Orkney), I'm also visiting family in East Anglia.  I was in Orford today and the Collins organ looks very well in its new home - north-west corner of the nave, facing south. The church is almost square, the east end having been long-ruined and the two eastern-most bays of the nave converted to a ritual chancel with a Victorian rood screen (the Bishop organ lives in the south chancel aisle), so it's acoustically fairly favourable.

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Quick update. In this month's Orford Church magazine it says the following:

Meanwhile, at its Ipswich meeting on Friday 9th February, the Diocesan Advisory Committee turned down our application for a faculty to install the organ in St Bartholomew's Church as being simply too big, despite having requested two mock-ups (each costing several thousand pounds) to determine best position, either in the northwest corner or in front of the tower. It is now open to the PCC to appeal to the Diocesan Chancellor who is a London barrister.

The Collins organ looks fine where it is and will be of huge benefit.

Madness!

 

Peter

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Absolutely!  The Collins organ looks very well and is certainly not too large in appearance.

The existing Bishop organ, while pleasant and adequate for choir accompaniment, and probably just about adequate to lead hymn-singing, is too small and in the wrong place for any of the more ambitious uses to which Orford Church might rightly aspire, both in liturgical terms and in the use of the building for extra-liturgical purposes (such as might occur due to its setting within the orbit of the many musical happenings around Aldeburgh).

The Diocesan Advisory Committee has blundered very badly and I hope the PCC will persuade the Chancellor to reverse their short-sighted decision.

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5 hours ago, P DeVile said:

Quick update. In this month's Orford Church magazine it says the following:

Meanwhile, at its Ipswich meeting on Friday 9th February, the Diocesan Advisory Committee turned down our application for a faculty to install the organ in St Bartholomew's Church as being simply too big, despite having requested two mock-ups (each costing several thousand pounds) to determine best position, either in the northwest corner or in front of the tower. It is now open to the PCC to appeal to the Diocesan Chancellor who is a London barrister.

The Collins organ looks fine where it is and will be of huge benefit.

Madness!

 

Peter

HOW MUCH?????, a lot of churches would die for that kind of money, in some places. What  a waste

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I wonder if the Diocesan Advisory Committee would have passed Peter Collins's organ at St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Different diocese.....

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St Mary’s in Dorchester gained the similar sized and vintage Collins from the chapel down the road some years ago and it looks and sounds grand there. To install the TS organ at Orford would be daring but would provide a completely new dimension to the music of the church and indeed the area. Let’s hope things can be more positive if they appeal.

A

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This is such a shame. I am in a conflicting morass of sadness and bewilderment – with more than a touch of scorn. I feel deeply for this lovely church – and the Church. This parish, its community, and the surrounding area could now be deprived of this unique opportunity, which would have so many benefits down the centuries. This is an important instrument; do these people realise that ?

 

One has to ask: how is it ‘too big’ ? (‘Big’, without further elucidation, is such a ‘Trump utterance’.) For this church, or any ? In its footprint, visible area, volume or other ?

 

I would now be tempted to go for the option of placement where the current instrument sits. That wouldn’t be so visually disturbing to these benighted people: they wouldn’t have to look at all those pipes.

 

That is, unless, an organ console is, in the eyes of this body, over large. Then, the answer is obvious: an iOrgan ! No console; no pipes; only subtly-camouflaged speakers. Perhaps they could have mock-medieval decorations, echoing the rood screen, as their disguise. The state-of-the-art, ‘crematorium solution’.

 

This has almost taken on the sort of ludicrosity on which Lewis Carroll would have brilliantly rhapsodised. I’m sure JSB would have been scathing, too. There are also echoes of Joseph II’s “too many notes, Mozart”.

 

If this committee proves intractable, it would look (and sound) very nice, slap-bang in the middle of the stage in the Maltings ! That brick wall would make it feel as if back ‘home’. And they wouldn’t need a Faculty !

 

I hope and pray the Spirit descends and sense prevails. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.”

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It's interesting to consider some of the other great Suffolk churches and their organs.

Blythburgh had its little Holdich/Bishop rebuilt by Rodney Briscoe with a lovely new case about fifteen years ago.

Stoke-by-Nayland (the finest of the lot, in my opinion, especially outside) had its old (originally 1834) Gray & Davison restored by John Budgen (Bishop & Son) in 1977, after years of extreme decrepitude and in 2006 it was clothed in a new case in Gothick style which is a vast improvement on the stacked up, bat-dropping-encrusted basses that enclosed it (after a fashion) up until then.

Southwold's fine big three-manual Walker (designed by Ouseley) was rebuilt by Cedric Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in 1966 (one of the excellent jobs they did around the time, others including Walsingham and St. Botolph, Colchester).  You don't see much of it as it is in a chamber, but there's a rather strange case above the choir-stalls that used to contain the console.

The nice Hunter/Bishop at Aldeburgh has what is not much more than a Victorian organ-builder's case, but the side facing down the aisle was painted and adorned with a horizontal trumpet in 2000.  It looks rather jolly, but is not by its nature such a fine case as the Turner Sims organ.

Lavenham replaced their Conacher/Cedric Arnold with a large three-manual which started out as a Father Willis in Holy Trinity, Bournemouth, where it was rebuilt in 1964 by Degens & Rippin,  It moved to St. Swithin, Bournemouth when Holy Trinity closed in1974, and then in 1996 was set up at Lavenham by the vicar with help from Lance Foy and Bishop & Son (John Bailey).  Since then it has grown to four manuals, with Tuba, 32' reed and flue and about 55 speaking stops. Now, I firmly believe that a church like Lavenham deserves a magnifical organ (adjective from Christopher Smart via Benjamin Britten), but it doesn't at present look particularly handsome, although no worse than the Conacher did.  They may improve the look of it in the course of time and I'm certainly not criticising what has been done, but it increases the sense of disbelief that the diocese doesn't want a fine case like the Turner Sims to go in Orford Church.

Framlingham has a justly-famed Thamar case and organ , restored in the west gallery by John Budgen in 1970, as well as a late-18th century chamber organ by William Allen.

Neither Mildenhall and Stradbroke have particularly large organs, but the former has a Father Willis and the latter a Holdich, both worthy examples.

Orford, which is the centre-piece of a beautiful little town and in an area where music-making is of a high standard and churches generally well-supported, surely deserves something special too.

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On 09/03/2018 at 10:18, Mark Harmer said:

I don’t know the Maltings stage, but from what you describe, that could be a brilliant solution.

It's been a while since I accompanied Bob Ling under the Maltings stage, but it used to have a mechanism to change from level to a five degree rake, for operas and the like. I look forward to observing the effect on pipe racks and bellows.. :) 

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1 hour ago, ick1508 said:

It's been a while since I accompanied Bob Ling under the Maltings stage, but it used to have a mechanism to change from level to a five degree rake, for operas and the like. I look forward to observing the effect on pipe racks and bellows.. :) 

Ha! Didn’t know that! Maybe if you could increase the rake to 90 degrees you’d have instant en charade ranks!

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Having spent the past few days in Orford, I thought that I could do a video of the inside of the church which may show the size of it. Despite my rather dodgy camerawork, I think that it shows what the internal dimensions are like and how the Collins organ looks. How anyone can possibly say that it looks too big for the building is frankly absurd. What do you think?

By the way, I have no professional interest in this project - just simply that I have a love for the village and surrounding area!

P

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It looks perfect, in my opinion. I can't fathom why the diocesan people don't like it.  It certainly looks more in keeping with the church than the existing instrument, whose only plus point from a visual point of view is that it is largely hidden behind the screen!

It's just occurred to me that the placement of the Turner-Sims organ at Orford would be a fitting memorial to Peter Collins, because he served his time as an apprentice at Bishop & Son in Ipswich.  One of his earliest jobs with them was to install a charming little chamber organ in Little Totham Church, Essex  in c. 1961 (since beautifully restored by Peter Bumstead)

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