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David Coram

The Worst Organ In The World

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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/)
Anyone contemplating using this should be aware that the free download is only a trial version with a 30-day limit.

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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/)

 

I use the latest version of Windows Media Player which allows you to steal music from CD and have your wicked way with it.

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the tuba at Liverpool anglican which I believe had the tongues welded to the shallots! Whether it was any improvement was anyone's guess, but it would seem to indicate that even the great FW had his off days.

 

I think that you might have the wrong end of the stick here actually: The Tuba had apparently been 're-voiced' on a lower pressure* in the 1970s work by another concern and the tongues moved down. They were later discovered to have been soldered to the faces of the shalots, presumably to prevent sideways slippage, now being too narrow for the shallot face.

 

Nothing to do with Father Willis, or indeed any other Willis (or their successors!!).

 

David Wyld

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Guest delvin146
I think that you might have the wrong end of the stick here actually: The Tuba had apparently been 're-voiced' on a lower pressure* in the 1970s work by another concern and the tongues moved down. They were later discovered to have been soldered to the faces of the shalots, presumably to prevent sideways slippage, now being too narrow for the shallot face.

 

Nothing to do with Father Willis, or indeed any other Willis (or their successors!!).

 

David Wyld

 

Sorry, didn't mean to infer it was anything to do with Father Willis or their successors. Personally I wish it had been left alone actually!

 

D.

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Sorry, didn't mean to infer it was anything to do with Father Willis or their successors. Personally I wish it had been left alone actually!

 

D.

 

That's OK.

We would also prefer it if that instrument had been left alone but it has been changed a great deal since 1977, little by little, fiddling with mixtures, re-voicing reeds etc.. There was even talk, several years ago, of replacing the Tuba Magna by a new rank with the suggestion that the present pipes are unrestorable. Thankfully, that suggesdtion now seems to have gone away.

 

DW

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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.

 

Thanks PCND, send me some of the quieter registers, a couple of 8' 4' flutes and perhaps a montre. Nothing above 4' and definitely no reeds :D

 

D.

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Thanks PCND, send me some of the quieter registers, a couple of 8' 4' flutes and perhaps a montre. Nothing above 4' and definitely no reeds  :lol:

 

D.

 

Well, I shall post one or two quieter tracks which I have been able to locate on a commercial CD. However, there will be reeds on one track.

 

I find it difficult to imagine what you do not like about the reeds on this organ - apart from the Orchestral Trumpet and the Positive Crumhorn, they are all low-pressure English reeds - extremely musical and with admirable blending qualities.

 

There are no fat trombi or tubby posaunes, no splashy French bombardes or snarling German regals.

 

What type of reeds do you like?

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This first track is largely loud - so you probably will not like it. However, I am unable to post a quieter one until tomorrow, so hopefully this may at least dispel any thoughts of un-musical or unpleasant reeds.

 

http://www.adriantaylor.co.uk/pcnd/3.mp3

 

Here is a quieter track:

 

http://www.adriantaylor.co.uk/pcnd/8.mp3

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"There are no fat trombi or tubby posaunes, no splashy French bombardes or snarling German regals."

(Quote)

 

Then the solution is obvious: these fabulous Green's reeds.

Worth a reconstitution, but I guess we need the best voicer

in the world.

Pierre

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This first track is largely loud - so you probably will not like it. However, I am unable to post a quieter one until tomorrow, so hopefully this may at least dispel any thoughts of un-musical or unpleasant reeds.

 

http://www.adriantaylor.co.uk/pcnd/3.mp3

Sounds very English, musical and 'restrained' to me - even the chamade. I look forward to the quieter tracks - hoping for a large degree of subtlety - something we seem to pass over in our comparisons.

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Sounds very English, musical and 'restrained' to me - even the chamade. I look forward to the quieter tracks - hoping for a large degree of subtlety - something we seem to pass over in our comparisons.

 

I'm afraid I'm unable to access the file to listen to at the moment, it's filtered at work, I'll have to do it later at home. Thanks for putting on the links.

 

Reed wise, I like creamy smooth swell oboes, woody clarinets, and smooth trombas and tubas. The Imperial Organ sound is really what I go for.

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Reed wise, I like creamy smooth swell oboes, woody clarinets, and smooth trombas and tubas. The Imperial Organ sound is really what I go for.

 

So what you really want is a large vintage H&H then. Having said that, if you listen to the fairly new CD recorded on the 1921 H&H at Crediton Parish Church you may change your mind. The playing is excellent as always with Paul Morgan - but to my ears the organ sounds foul. The tutti I found oppressive and un-musical, to use an old quote. There was, to my ears, nothing attractive about these harmonically-dead trombi and the enormous tuba (which appeared to be capable of blotting-out most of the Swell and GO in single notes). Personally I feel that at this volume, the sound ceases to be musical - just sheer noise.

 

I must admit that I have never heard this type of instrument referred to as the 'Imperial Organ'....

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"There are no fat trombi or tubby posaunes, no splashy French bombardes or snarling German regals."

(Quote)

 

Then the solution is obvious: these fabulous Green's reeds.

Worth a reconstitution, but I guess we need the best voicer

in the world.

Pierre

 

Well no, Pierre - another thing that is left are the entirely musical low-pressure reeds of the Swell, GO and Pedal on the organ of Wimborne Minster.

 

Do we even have any surviving examples of Samuel Green's chorus reeds, in order to form an opinion? (I have a vague idea that Downpatrick Cathedral may have some surviving Green ranks - but even there, I do not think that any reeds survived. In any case, the organ was rebuilt by H&H at least twice during the 20th C. and I doubt that it sounds as it did originally.)

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So what you really want is a large vintage H&H then. Having said that, if you listen to the fairly new CD recorded on the 1921 H&H at Crediton Parish Church you may change your mind. The playing is excellent as always with Paul Morgan - but to my ears the organ sounds foul. The tutti I found oppressive and un-musical, to use an old quote. There was, to my ears, nothing attractive about these harmonically-dead trombi and the enormous tuba (which appeared to be capable of blotting-out most of the Swell and GO in single notes). Personally I feel that at this volume, the sound ceases to be musical - just sheer noise.

 

I must admit that I have never heard this type of instrument referred to as the 'Imperial Organ'....

 

My favourite sound preference is say Hill, Willis II, Hunter, Arthur Harrison. The kind of thing 1900-1940. Rolling diapasons etc. Think Westminster Abbey sound. The typical English cathedral sound, if you like. Equally authentic earlier English and German organs from the baroque for what they are. I've not heard HH at Crediton PC. I don't feel that organs have to be excessively loud to be effective, but I do feel they need good solid guts and foundation tone if they are to be effective and to support the upperwork. From what I remember, Oxford seemed to have little foundation tone, rough reeds and shrill upperwork, everything I dislike in an organ really. It also seems to be a mixture of French, German and English which doesn't really hold together. I await to hear the sound files.

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This first track is largely loud - so you probably will not like it. However, I am unable to post a quieter one until tomorrow, so hopefully this may at least dispel any thoughts of un-musical or unpleasant reeds.

 

http://www.adriantaylor.co.uk/pcnd/3.mp3

 

Here is a quieter track:

 

http://www.adriantaylor.co.uk/pcnd/8.mp3

I assume this is Wimborne.

 

from what I've heard, I like it. The choruses are nice and there are some nice reeds, flutes and strings - except possibly the most foul solo reed I've ever heard in my life in the Mendelssohn. Overall, the organ sounds generally traditional English romantic - and very musical and pleasing it is too, from what I can make out from the recording quality.

 

From the recording, it sounds like the acoustic isn't the most helpful - in fact, it sounds disctinctly unhelpful, which must have made recording this organ quite a challenge.

 

I guess this is probably an organ one needs to hear in the flesh to fully appreciate it and recordings onl give a vague impression of the impact of this organ.

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Indeed.

 

Actually, I prefer the solo reed at Wimborne to any tuba which I have ever heard - but then, you would expect me to say that, after everything else which I have said about this instrument.

 

The acoustic ambience ? It makes the RFH sound warm and fluffy....

 

:lol:

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My favourite sound preference is say Hill, Willis II, Hunter, Arthur Harrison. The kind of thing 1900-1940. Rolling diapasons etc.

 

In this, Delvin, I am with you to some extent. I consider myself very lucky - I like many different types of organ.

 

Hill organs I nearly alwaus admire - they are so musical. Willis II - OK, to an extent. Although I was favourably impressed by Liverpool Anglican last summer. Mind you, any organ played by Ian Tracey would probably sound fantastic (and no, I am not his agent....)

 

Hunter - St. James, Spanish Place is fabulous... and the church - glorious!

 

Arthur Harrison - hmmm; I like some of his stuff - but I do wish that he could have risen to prominence without meeting Col. George Dixon. Fat, leathered diapasons, piercing violes, almost inaudible cors anglais (St. Peter's, Bournemouth) and fat trombi - but then, you know what I think of those....

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well, we can have a gentlemanly disagreement about that reed... I think it's bound to polarise opinions.

 

For solo reeds, I think the Solo Tromba at Winchester Cathedral takes some beating - it's like a big trumpet - round, warm and bright. A nice, musical stop.

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well, we can have a gentlemanly disagreement about that reed... I think it's bound to polarise opinions.

 

For solo reeds, I think the Solo Tromba at Winchester Cathedral takes some beating - it's like a big trumpet - round, warm and bright. A nice, musical stop.

 

I think I used it once - at least it is enclosed.

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In this, Delvin, I am with you to some extent. I consider myself very lucky - I like many different types of organ.

 

Hill organs I nearly alwaus admire - they are so musical. Willis II - OK, to an extent. Although I was favourably impressed by Liverpool Anglican last summer. Mind you, any organ played by Ian Tracey would probably sound fantastic (and no, I am not his agent....)

 

Hunter - St. James, Spanish Place is fabulous... and the church - glorious!

 

Arthur Harrison - hmmm; I like some of his stuff - but I do wish that he could have risen to prominence without meeting Col. George Dixon. Fat, leathered diapasons, piercing violes, almost inaudible cors anglais (St. Peter's, Bournemouth) and fat trombi - but then, you know what I think of those....

 

St. James Spanish Place is a glorious organ. I've heard it a couple of times. Don't hear much about it, but really you don't hear much about Hunter at all which I think is a real shame. His example at Catford was excellent, when it was playable. That wasn't particularly loud either.

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My favourite sound preference is say Hill, Willis II, Hunter, Arthur Harrison. The kind of thing 1900-1940.

 

For what it's worth, I don't think anyone's come close to the masters of the mid-1800's - Walker, Bishop, Gray et al. I shall have to find out a recording of Romsey. Of course board members are always welcome to come and see it in the flesh, with a little notice!

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St. James Spanish Place is a glorious organ. I've heard it a couple of times. Don't hear much about it, but really you don't hear much about Hunter at all which I think is a real shame. His example at Catford was excellent, when it was playable. That wasn't particularly loud either.

Do you mean Brownhill Road Baptist in Catford? I had my first organ lesson there...wasn't working well then either.

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Do you mean Brownhill Road Baptist in Catford? I had my first organ lesson there...wasn't working well then either.

 

Not that one. St. Andrew's Torridon Road (Behind it). Red brick church. Superb 3 man 1908 Hunter pretty much untouched apart from the Swell to Gt. octave coupler added by Binns in 1959 and a new pedal board. Pneumatic Action, but it's in such a state (or the last I heard), that it's barely playable. Crying shame.

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Not that one. St. Andrew's Torridon Road (Behind it). Red brick church. Superb 3 man 1908 Hunter pretty much untouched apart from the Swell to Gt. octave coupler added by Binns in 1959 and a new pedal board. Pneumatic Action, but it's in such a state (or the last I heard), that it's barely playable. Crying shame.

Ahhh - I lived 1 minute from St Andrew's as a small boy - and the thing that got me started on playing the organ was hearing Paul Derrett at St Andrew's for the Guinness Book of Records marathon organ playing record - in fact I was sitting next to him on the bench some of the time, and was there when he finished. I don['t expect him to remember that but it's a small world. Now you know who to blame....

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