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OmegaConsort

Smallest 4 manual ever

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Following on from the interesting topic regarding the smallest 3 manual organ, and with apologies for stealing and adapting a good idea, what about the smallest 4 manual ever?

I am sure many are smaller, but a few years ago I played the organ in Turvey (Beds) which is very small (see below)....I found it quite delightful and with only 30 stops, suprisingly versatile!

 

 

Turvey

 

Best wishes

 

Richard

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Following on from the interesting topic regarding the smallest 3 manual organ, and with apologies for stealing and adapting a good idea, what about the smallest 4 manual ever?

I am sure many are smaller, but a few years ago I played the organ in Turvey (Beds) which is very small (see below)....I found it quite delightful and with only 30 stops, suprisingly versatile!

 

 

Turvey

 

Best wishes

 

Richard

I have a recording of Paul Edwards playing his Turvey Tuba Tune on it.

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I have a recording of Paul Edwards playing his Turvey Tuba Tune on it.

 

Excellent! It is a great little piece. I like a great deal of his music, especially the choral stuff (God be in my head, How shall I sing etc).

Best wishes

Richard

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There are three remarkable 4M stoplists, two genuine, one conjectural, listed in Norman Cocker's marvellous essay on small-organ design here, courtesy of the late Julian Rhodes:

 

[Excerpt] "It is reasonable to argue that the church organist would not know how, when and where to use percussions. But there are many church organists who do not appear to know how to use an open diapason."

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20020613035811/...mes/cocker2.htm

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Some 4 manuals have just a single stop -Turvey for example from a while back and our host's much more recent instrument at Chelmsford Cathedral) or derivations (St Albans following it's recent work). Sometimes this makes sense but I wonder whether the ammount of extra action etc. to provide a 4th manual and one (or even ) two stops is sensible when instead more stops could have been provided elsewhere without much loss of versatility. Does anyone have an opinion? There are also coupling manuals with no stops but more uses I would think - maybe one could combine these two ideas........though didn't this happen sometimes in France?

 

A

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There's this at 21 stops:

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=C00805

 

This organ has an interesting history. Those who know the excellent Hertfordshire based Organ Builder Saxon Aldred (is he still tuning/building organs?) may be aware of the fact that he was inspired to learn to play by this instrument. It was also the organ that Christopher Bowers-Broadbent first learnt on. Currently the school claims it has a Hope Jones organ, which is very much incorrect as after the 1949 rebuild by Willis, it sounds exactly you would expect of a Willis 3, although it is believed to be the last functioning HJ console as shown at http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/PSearch.cgi...N12852&no=2

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the 18 stop four manual Bishop organ which ended up in Paston College, Norfolk. Built for the musicologist W.J. Birkbeck at Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, it had seven previous homes (including Oxford and Ely Cathedrals and Booton Church) before being installed at Paston in 1938 by Hill, Norman & Beard, rebuilt by Williamson & Hyatt in 1959 and modified by Richard Bower in 1992. The Williamson & Hyatt rebuild reduced it to three manuals, but before this it had:

 

Great: Open Diapason, Stopped Diapason, Principal, Twelfth, Fifteenth

Swell: Violin Diapason, (Stopped Diapason Bass), Vox Angelica, Suabe Flute 4, Hautboy

Choir: Open Diapason, Stopped Diapason, Flauto Traverso 4

Solo: Harmonic Flute 8, Harmonic Piccolo 2, Cremona, Trumpet

Pedal: Bourdon, Bass Flute

 

There was a Swell Tremulant and couplers:

Swell to Pedal

Swell to Great

Swell to Choir

Swell octave

Choir to Great

Choir to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Solo to Pedal

Choir Sub Octave to Great

 

The Choir Open and Great Stopped were of Snetzler pipes.

 

Not by any means the daftest scheme I've ever seen. I think one could have fun with it.

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On the subject of having fun, at twenty eight stops (or maybe more, or less) comes this:

 

http://www.bhamorgan.org.uk/organs/031.htm

 

with the proviso that it is in an organ builder's home and he evidently swaps stops around according to what he finds (or needs to pass on) at the time!

 

 

Wot, no Tuba? :lol:

 

But you're right - it does look like fun.

 

When I was a lad, c.1969, I played a small (36 ss) four manual at St. Paul's, Cliftonville, Kent (NPOR N14621). Brindley and Foster, with some modification by Tunks. It was in a dodgy state then, but sounded quite good. I see from NPOR that it's gone now.

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