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Mander Organs
David Coram

The Worst Organ In The World

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Yes, you are quite right - because discounting six large organs - St Paul's, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral, Southwark Anglican, RAH, RFH there aren't any really significant organs inside Greater London ... except perhaps (and the list isn't exhaustive)

 

Historic (say pre 1880)

St Giles Camberwell -- Very nice

St Vedast Foster Lane - Not heard it

St James Clerkenwell - Not heard it

Greenwich Naval College - Not heard it

St Anne Limehouse - Church still being reonovated when I was there

St Mary Rotherhithe - Nice, used to be my "local"

Christ Church Spitalfields (soon) - Don't know it

Buckingham Palace - When was that last heard?

 

H&H

The Temple Church - Not bad if you like that sort of thing

All Souls Langham Place - Lousy acoustic

All Saints Margaret St - Dull as ditch-water last time I heard it

All SS Tooting Graveney - Don't know it

 

Hill

St Mary-at-Hill - Very nice

St Mary Abbots Kensington - Equally, very nice

St Peter Cornhill - Pile of rubbish

St John Hyde Park Crescent - Don't know it

 

Mander

St Matthew Westminster - Don't know it

St Giles Cripplegate - Not bad if you make allowances

St Andrew Holborn - Interesting experiment...I like it personally

 

Lewis

St Mary Bourne St - Don't know it

+ another in south London - I can't quite remember where at the moment!

 

Walker

St Martin-in-the-Fields - Indeed it is

St John the Evangelist Islington - Don't know it

Italian Church Hatton Garden - Ah! The Anneessens Walker's ruined after the bomb hit the church.

Sacred Heart Wimbledon - Not heard it......big Walker job?

London Oratory - Well, aye like it....many don't

 

recent British-Irish

St Mary Paddington Green - Don't know it

St Mary Woodford - Don't know it

St Peter Eaton Square - Sad memories of the old Lewis

St Margaret Lothbury - Haven't heard it

Ealing Abbey - Still R & D?

The Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair - Not had the privilege

 

Modern imported (Europe/north America)

St John's Smith Square - Nice acoustic, pity about the organ

St Lawrence Jewry - Not heard the new one

The Little Oratory - Not heard it

Marylebone PC - Not bad

RAM concert hall - Not heard it

The Tower of London - Nice

QEH - Delightful Flentrop

 

Willis

St Dominic's Priory Hampstead - Not heard it

The Union Chapel - Note heard it (Fr Willis?)

The Ally Pally - Mmmmm.....indeed

St Augustine Kilburn - Know it intimately for some strange reason

Jesuit Church Farm Street -  Fascinating hybrid

 

Compton

St Bride's Fleet St - Recited upon it...love it

St Luke Chelsea - Haven't heard it

St Mary Magdalene Paddington - Don't know it

 

 

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

 

That's it, is it? 11,000,00 people and that's the best they can come up with covering 300 years?

 

Assuming that "Greater" Yorkshire has a similar number of people, I could quote the following, and will:-

 

Beverley Minster

St Mary, Beverley

Hull PC

Hull City Hall

Bridlington Priory

York Minster

Leeds PC

Leeds Town Hall

Selby Abbey

St Bart's, Armley

Doncaster PC

Wakefield Cathedral

Halifax PC

Halifax Civic Theatre

Huddersfield University

Huddersfield Town Hall

Ripon Cathedral

Harrogate PC

 

 

That's 18 organs with a total of 70 manuals and, I believe, 16 X 32ft reeds and two German masterpieces.

 

Of course, there's lots of historic instruments about and a large number of smaller new ones, romantic ones and older ones.

 

Nuff said

 

MM

 

PS: Why does everyone forget about the Merchant Taylor's Hall, London?

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The clearly you have completely mis-understood the ethos behind this instrument and others like it. It is actually a superbly musical instrument in which just about every stop blends well with every other stop. The only rank which could be considered 'brash' is the Orchestral Trumpet - even this, used intelligently, can be tremendously exciting.

 

It was voiced by Denys Thurlow - who at the time was acknowledged to be the one of the best voicers in the country.

 

I could probably supply some sound samples (if someone can explain how to transfer CD to computer to this board). I am fairly certain that you would find it hard to believe that it was the Wimborne organ and that you would like the sound of it....

I've never heard or seem Wimborne but must clearly do so at some stage.

 

I must say, the specification and photos on NPOR don't seem that promising - all I see is a heavily neo-baroquised Victorian Walker (poor thing but if it's at the heart of the instrument, no wonder it sounds so good), some really nasty casework and a rather garish horizontal brass trumpet.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N10180

 

But I won't comment until I've heard - and hopefully played - it.

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The clearly you have completely mis-understood the ethos behind this instrument and others like it. It is actually a superbly musical instrument in which just about every stop blends well with every other stop. The only rank which could be considered 'brash' is the Orchestral Trumpet - even this, used intelligently, can be tremendously exciting.

 

It was voiced by Denys Thurlow - who at the time was acknowledged to be the one of the best voicers in the country.

 

I could probably supply some sound samples (if someone can explain how to transfer CD to computer to this board). I am fairly certain that you would find it hard to believe that it was the Wimborne organ and that you would like the sound of it....

 

Erm, I don't think I have mis-understood its ethos at all. I simply don't like the sounds it produces. Intelligent and informed persons can disagree on such matters, ChCh being a good example. :)

 

There are badly constructed and ill thought-out organs, but there is no 'bad' style. As a student I presided over a small, tonally unaltered Hope-Jones (now sadly gone). A very pleasing musical instrument; don't believe all you read about RHJ's work. History, after all, is usually written by the victors...

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"As a student I presided over a small, tonally unaltered Hope-Jones (now sadly gone). A very pleasing musical instrument; don't believe all you read about RHJ's work. History, after all, is usually written by the victors..."

 

(Quote)

 

This is gold speaking! :)

 

Pierre

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

 

That's it, is it?  11,000,00 people and that's the best they can come up with covering 300 years?

 

Assuming that "Greater" Yorkshire has a similar number of people, I could quote the following, and will:-

 

Beverley Minster

St Mary, Beverley

Hull PC

Hull City Hall

Bridlington Priory

York Minster

Leeds PC

Leeds Town Hall

Selby Abbey

St Bart's, Armley

Doncaster PC

Wakefield Cathedral

Halifax PC

Halifax Civic Theatre

Huddersfield University

Huddersfield Town Hall

Ripon Cathedral

Harrogate PC

That's 18 organs with a total of 70 manuals and, I believe, 16 X 32ft reeds and two German masterpieces.

 

Of course, there's lots of historic instruments about and a large number of smaller new ones, romantic ones and older ones.

 

Nuff said

 

MM

 

PS: Why does everyone forget about the Merchant Taylor's Hall, London?

 

You die on your own sword, precisely because you haven't bothered to hear some of the better organs in London.

 

And guess what - all you seem to be able to come up with is a series of large organs - and yet you discounted the 6 largest in London, which includes the largest organ in the country!

 

Large isn't always best, it's what you do with it that counts - though up north they probably still turn the lights off first!

 

Merchant Taylors? Quite nice I suppose once you get past the chiff, but not perhaps NPM's finest hour.

 

To quote a famous recital organist: "Well done anyway!"

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Guest delvin146
"As a student I presided over a small, tonally unaltered Hope-Jones (now sadly gone). A very pleasing musical instrument; don't believe all you read about RHJ's work. History, after all, is usually written by the victors..."

 

(Quote)

 

This is gold speaking! :)

 

Pierre

 

Is there much about Hope-Jones either in books or on the net? I for one would like to be able to read a little more. Underestimated I'd say.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I have heard many a zinc Diapason sounding extremely well, as well

in England as elsewhere.

Many façade pipes were removed during WWI on the continent, and have been

replaced with zinc ones.

Afterwards, from about say 1960, a big business emerged replacing these

zinc pipes with (high percentage of) tin ones; save for baroque organs

(where indeed zinc is out of place) this is pure waste of money.

 

Pierre

 

 

I agree.

 

I know of a brand new tin front in an English Cathedral that has had to receive major attention recently (due to collapse) within ten years of manufacture. Zinc is excellent for stability and lightness (also for a good surface to spray) - and a decent voicer can get perfectly good results from it.

 

A 100% pure tin front (of more than 4' pitch) is hardly more robust than 100% lead so there should be some addition to the tin to make it properly stable/rigid. Another hazard: pray you never get any bats in your building! Bat urine stains tin and these marks, initially white become black and completely impossible to remove without abrading the surface completely.

 

I think a pure Tin front is sometimes a fetish or a totem - an end in itself. [And an expensive one.]

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I agree.

 

I know of a brand new tin front in an English Cathedral that has had to receive major attention recently (due to collapse) within ten years of manufacture.  Zinc is excellent for stability and lightness (also for a good surface to spray) - and a decent voicer can get perfectly good results from it. 

 

A 100% pure tin front (of more than 4' pitch) is hardly more robust than 100% lead so there should be some addition to the tin to make it properly stable/rigid.  Another hazard: pray you never get any bats in your building! Bat urine stains tin and these marks, initially white become black and completely impossible to remove without abrading the surface completely.

 

I think a pure Tin front is sometimes a fetish or a totem - an end in itself. [And an expensive one.]

 

What do you think about a spotted metal pipe front? It seems a very English thing and I often think it looks very fine.

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Aunt Mabel1

I came across some recordings of my great aunt Mabel playing in the 1970's at the pinicle of her career. I thought the organ sounds remarkably like Christchurch Oxford.

I thought it was one of MM's eastern European instruments.

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Erm, I don't think I have mis-understood its ethos at all. I simply don't like the sounds it produces. Intelligent and informed persons can disagree on such matters, ChCh being a good example.  :)

 

 

It depends who is playing it. The Swell and GO are quite English, the Positive has a German bias (but blends superbly with the rest of the instrument) and the Pedal is largely English, with a few German touches.

 

Taken as a whole, there is not an unpleasant sound anywhere on the instrument - with the possible exception of the Orchestral Trumpet, which I know some people dislike.

 

The flutes and quiet strings are uniformly excellent.

 

However, I do not dispute your final sentence - this is half the fun of ths board.

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The clearly you have completely mis-understood the ethos behind this instrument and others like it. It is actually a superbly musical instrument in which just about every stop blends well with every other stop. The only rank which could be considered 'brash' is the Orchestral Trumpet - even this, used intelligently, can be tremendously exciting.

 

It was voiced by Denys Thurlow - who at the time was acknowledged to be the one of the best voicers in the country.

 

I could probably supply some sound samples (if someone can explain how to transfer CD to computer to this board). I am fairly certain that you would find it hard to believe that it was the Wimborne organ and that you would like the sound of it....

 

 

I rather think the Orchestral Trumpet was voiced by Walker's reed voice Arthur Jones - Denys Thurlow was the greatly skilled and inspired flue voice, not always appreciated by the the Company.

 

FF

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I rather think the Orchestral Trumpet was voiced by Walker's reed voice Arthur Jones - Denys Thurlow was the greatly skilled and inspired flue voice, not always appreciated by the the Company.

 

FF

 

Now this I did not know - thank you, Frank.

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I really don't mean to be rude about this organ, but I can honestly say that of all the cathedral organs I've ever played in this country, this has to be the worst by far. Granted it was many years ago when I played it, but I still remember sitting there thinking I'd be quite happy if I never heard this organ again. Perhaps the relatively small acoustic did not help much to take the edge of it.

 

 

Um.... it is not a cathedral - just a member of the Greater Churches. No bishop, no dean - not even a provost.

 

Whilst I accept that beauty is in the ear, I would still like to run some sound files past your ears - I am confident that you will change your mind.

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Your best bet is to get an mp3 ripper, something like http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/ (I've never tried it, not being a Windows man - this was just the first thing that google threw up).

 

Rip the tracks you want to mp3, then e-mail them to me, I'll stick 'em on my website so you can link to them.

 

Oh, and Wimborne. I agree with you. As I've said on this board before, it's an instrument that I'd love to hear/play in a bit more of an acoustic, but noone can realistically argue that it's not an instrument of quality with superlative voicing.

 

Thank you, Adrian - I will try downloading and ripping tonight.

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

 

This is the link you need for Hope-Jones:-

 

http://www.voxlancastria.org.uk/hope-j.htm

 

MM

 

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

 

Sorry, I should also have mentioned that Roger Fisher wrote abook about Hope-Jones; the cover of which is on the home page of the link shown above, and from whence it may be obtained.

 

MM

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Lewis

St Mary Bourne St

+ another in south London - I can't quite remember where at the moment!

 

Perhaps St Augustine's Tooting (transplanted from St Peter's Dulwich by Saxon Aldred), or St John the Evangelist Upper Norwood.............?

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

 

Sorry, I should also have mentioned that Roger Fisher wrote abook about Hope-Jones; the cover of which is on the home page of the link shown above, and from whence it may be obtained.

 

MM

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Your best bet is to get an mp3 ripper, something like http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/ (I've never tried it, not being a Windows man - this was just the first thing that google threw up).

 

 

Not that I wish to advertise for anyone, but if anyone's looking for a similar tool (i.e. to turn CD tracks into MP3's), then pcnd and I just found that Easy CD-DA Extractor seemed to do the trick on Windows... (http://www.poikosoft.com/)

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Not the Roger Fisher ex Chester Cathedral.

 

FF

 

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

 

This is so.....in fact, it is a certain Roger C.Fisher, and the only connection between R H-J, R C Fisher and Roger Fisher is, as far as I am able to discern, the county of Cheshire.

 

Very flat, Cheshire.

 

MM

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