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As some of you will know, one of the three large organs Edmund Schulze built in the UK (St.Peter's Hindley, Greater Manchester) is currently unusable.

 

The specification and part of the story is told here:

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=R00463

 

The Hugh Banton electronic instrument that took its place in 2003, and some of whose speakers are already installed inside the historic (and listed) case is about to receive further improvements (!). I quote from the parish website

 

"Currently, we are trying to raise £4,500 to add various extensions to the organ including a Cathedral style echo system and speaker system at the West end, variable tremulants, better control over midi, CCTV views to West End of church etc."

 

and

 

"Sponsors are currently being sought to help fund improvements to the organ. We would like to make several improvements to our magnificent organ including the siting of additional louspeakers (sic!) at the back of church, within the Schultz (sic!) casework. This would enable the beautiful sounds that the organ posesses to be heard more distinctly and provide us with an instrument that could accompany services at the east and west end of the church ."

 

Now, I've heard and seen the work of Hugh Banton. For what it is, i.e. complex and well-installed electronic sound-producing equipment impersonating genuine organ pipes, it is of high quality. However, only someone totally beguiled by flashing lights, console gadgets and what one might politely term 'church music fantasy land' (32' pitch and echos) can possibly (surely??) think that this instrument is more worth expenditure than the unique and historic instrument for which it is 'standing in'.

 

Opinions anyone?

adnosad: This one' s for you.

:o

 

I have two other questions to ask...

 

1. What happens to any pipework that may need to be displaced by extra speakers?

2. Do any of our German friends feel like raising some money to have this organ bought and returned to Germany. I think its present 'custodians' might just go for that!! Put it this way, their totally negative judgement upon this unlucky instrument seems undeniable.

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As some of you will know, one of the three large organs Edmund Schulze built in the UK (St.Peter's Hindley, Greater Manchester) is currently unusable.

 

The specification and part of the story is told here:

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=R00463

 

The Hugh Banton electronic instrument that took its place in 2003, and some of whose speakers are already installed inside the historic (and listed) case is about to receive further improvements (!). I quote from the parish website

 

"Currently, we are trying to raise £4,500 to add various extensions to the organ including a Cathedral style echo system and speaker system at the West end, variable tremulants, better control over midi, CCTV views to West End of church etc."

 

and

 

"Sponsors are currently being sought to help fund improvements to the organ. We would like to make several improvements to our magnificent organ including the siting of additional louspeakers (sic!) at the back of church, within the Schultz (sic!) casework. This would enable the beautiful sounds that the organ posesses to be heard more distinctly and provide us with an instrument that could accompany services at the east and west end of the church ."

 

Now, I've heard and seen the work of Hugh Banton. For what it is, i.e. complex and well-installed electronic sound-producing equipment impersonating genuine organ pipes, it is of high quality. However, only someone totally beguiled by flashing lights, console gadgets and what one might politely term 'church music fantasy land' (32' pitch and echos) can possibly (surely??) think that this instrument is more worth expenditure than the unique and historic instrument for which it is 'standing in'.

 

Opinions anyone?

adnosad: This one' s for you.

:o

 

I have two other questions to ask...

 

1. What happens to any pipework that may need to be displaced by extra speakers?

2. Do any of our German friends feel like raising some money to have this organ bought and returned to Germany. I think its present 'custodians' might just go for that!! Put it this way, their totally negative judgement upon this unlucky instrument seems undeniable.

 

This is so sad. The mind boggles at such a wasteful, misguided approach.

 

I remember this organ very well. My first organ teacher, the redoubtable Norman Harper, and his wife Marilyn were Organists there during the mid-80s. Heard several stunning performances there (including a wonderful recital by Jennifer Bate) on what was a world class instrument in excellent condition.

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This unbelievable story may lend to think to a kind of Cairo action...

In the meantime, we have made some interesting experiments in

Belgium with toasters versus Beer; it appeared none of those things

can resist a well-targeted falling beer pint.

 

Pierre

The old British trick used to involve a screwdriver and a can of hairspray...

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1. What happens to any pipework that may need to be displaced by extra speakers?

 

Hi

 

I wish electronic organ firms would be honest and not try to disguise the speaker cabinets behind real pipes!

 

If the church really can't fund sorting out the Schulyz, or have other valid reasons for not doing so, then at the very least it should be protected and preserved - or as a last resort, moved elsewhere.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

I wish electronic organ firms would be honest and not try to disguise the speaker cabinets behind real pipes!

 

If the church really can't fund sorting out the Schulyz, or have other valid reasons for not doing so, then at the very least it should be protected and preserved - or as a last resort, moved elsewhere.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

If you were to take a trip to Sheffield you would see that when Copeman Hart installed their original digital instrument in the cathedral it constructed sympathetic visible speaker cabinets for the organ near the choir stalls. However I don't know that I could use the word "sympathetic" for the large structure at the bottom of the nave that essentially houses speakers for the pedal voices. The exception to this is a small speaker within what was the positif case located on the north wall.

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If you were to take a trip to Sheffield you would see that when Copeman Hart installed their original digital instrument in the cathedral it constructed sympathetic visible speaker cabinets for the organ near the choir stalls. However I don't know that I could use the word "sympathetic" for the large structure at the bottom of the nave that essentially houses speakers for the pedal voices. The exception to this is a small speaker within what was the positif case located on the north wall.

 

I agree - in the last couple of years the new Copeman Hart organ at Barnard Castle Parish Church has been featured quite a lot in their advertising in certain organ and choir related publications. It is situated at the west end of the church (far away from the choir at the front) and I can't think its speaker towers could be described as anything other than ugly. What's more ironic still is that since installing the electronic in place of a knackered and not very remarkable instrument (badly rebuild years ago) the original organ chamber has been opened up again - and the space is there for a decent sized two manual! Perhaps someone might come along with some inspiration 20 years in the future, by which time the Copeman Hart will seem very dated and probably well on the way to being worn out.

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The Hugh Banton electronic instrument that took its place in 2003, ...

 

Now, I've heard and seen the work of Hugh Banton. For what it is, i.e. complex and well-installed electronic sound-producing equipment impersonating genuine organ pipes, it is of high quality. However, only someone totally beguiled by flashing lights, console gadgets and what one might politely term 'church music fantasy land' (32' pitch and echos) can possibly (surely??) think that this instrument is more worth expenditure than the unique and historic instrument for which it is 'standing in'.

 

I assume he makes full use of a Van der Graaf Generator

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As some of you will know, one of the three large organs Edmund Schulze built in the UK (St.Peter's Hindley, Greater Manchester) is currently unusable.

 

 

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

 

 

He He!

 

Even the late Stephen Bicknell made this mistake!

 

There were actually four substantial Edmund Schulze instruments rather than three.

 

The fourth was that in Christ Church, Doncaster, which seldom gets a mention.

 

I don't know the full story, but apparently the organ was in the process of being re-built when the organ-builder, Binns, Fitton & Haley went to the wall and the premises were locked and boarded up; presumably so that creditors could dispose of the stock on the basis that they had a "lien" against the company.

 

Now, I did hear that an organist and various members of the church congregation spent a lot of time and effort trying to get the organ out of the premises, and I'm not sure if I can recall what was salvaged, except that a different organ ended up in Christ Church, but contained some Schulze pipes. :o

 

It was easily the most tragic event ever to happen to a complete Schulze organ since the disappearance of the ex-exhibition organ which had been installed in Northampton Town Hall.

 

I'll see if I can find any further details I may have in my files, because memory does tend to change, and it's a good ten years since I last looked at this when writing about Schulze.

 

MM

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This unbelievable story may lend to think to a kind of Cairo action...

In the meantime, we have made some interesting experiments in

Belgium with toasters versus Beer; it appeared none of those things

can resist a well-targeted falling beer pint.

 

Pierre

 

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

 

 

I've seen people smoking in churches in Holland, but I wasn't aware that people drank beer in Belgian churches. :o

 

I'm just eating a very nice Belgian chocloate-liquor, but it's far too good to start experimenting with.

 

MM

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

 

 

He He!

 

Even the late Stephen Bicknell made this mistake!

 

There were actually four substantial Edmund Schulze instruments rather than three.

 

The fourth was that in Christ Church, Doncaster, which seldom gets a mention.

 

 

MM

 

 

I can count a fifth.... the Schultz built for a church in Tyne docks which now lives at Ellesmere Colege School - a substantial 3 manual. A fine instrument - presumably also overlooked by the larger ones at Doncaster and Armley.

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

 

 

I've seen people smoking in churches in Holland, but I wasn't aware that people drank beer in Belgian churches. :o

 

I'm just eating a very nice Belgian chocloate-liquor, but it's far too good to start experimenting with.

 

MM

 

I remember back in 1988, having a holiday in Germany, where we came across a nice organ, and was being played by its organist. He was sat at the floor level console, smoking a cigar, and when asked about it, just replied" I am smoking in my workplace". And on an occasion of visiting London, was shown the console of All Hallows by the Tower, and the organist, (bless him) had a small ashtray with a cigar in it .still have the recital programme somewhere

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I can count a fifth.... the Schultz built for a church in Tyne docks which now lives at Ellesmere Colege School - a substantial 3 manual. A fine instrument - presumably also overlooked by the larger ones at Doncaster and Armley.

 

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

 

I think "cynic" had this organ in mind when he mentioned the three; the exhibition instrument being quite small, but added to at a later date when it was at Northampton.

 

Of course, there are other, less obvious instruments, which do not carry the Schulze name, and I can think of one in particular which was not built by Schulze, but which was partly voiced by Schulze. That organ originally stood in Mornington Street Methodist Church, Bingley, West Yorkshire, and I recall playing it long before they closed the chapel.

 

Not strictly to the topic, a lot of instruments had "Schulze pipes," but I suspect there was a bit of a con trick going on, where organ-builders used Schulze scales and claimed they to be the work of Schulze. I have no special reason for saying that, but the logistics of sending pipes to Germany, or having individual ranks sent over from Germany, seems a bit odd rather than impossible; especially since Schulze didn't have a metal-shop so far as I am aware.

 

More plausible would have been flutes and wooden Violones, but almost always, it is the Diapasons which are usually labelled as Schulze.

 

Of course, such was the fashion at the time, a number of organ-builders tried to copy the Schulze style, and possibly the closest to that was the organ of All Soul's, Haley Hill, Halifax, built by Forster & Andrews and currently (somewhat vandalised), in storage. That instrument also included genuine Cavaille-Coll ranks.

 

Schulze is quite an interesting topic, because he didn't work in isolation, and made full use of the British organ-builders he got to know and respect. In essence, there was a sort of "Schulze School" of thinking, and possibly as many as a dozen organ-builders copied the style or worked with Schulze at various times.

 

MM

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Arising from previous posts:

 

Binns, Fitton and Haley - I was told that when this firm went toes-up, they had the organ from Lisburn Cathedral, Co. Antrim, in the shop, and the organist took a van over and collected it before the bailiffs got hold of it. It's currently a Wells-Kennedy rebuild, fairly early and rather more neo-classical than they would do now, but cheerfully impressive all the same.

 

German pipework - it wasn't unusual for English builders to use imported pipes. A.H. Miller (Miller of Cambridge) used to holiday in Germany and stock up on wine and pipes. I think some of the Orchestral Gambas in the firm's organs were German, and possibly the doppel flutes too.

 

Wasn't there a long-running row about Hindley years back, one side saying Pendlebury had revoiced it on a higher pressure (his new action running on the same wind) and the other side (including Pendlebury) saying he hadn't?

 

When the Organ Club went to Ulm in about 1971, we were conducted up to the west-end loft of the then new five-manual Walcker organ by its designer, Walter Supper. He sat down at the console, put out his pipe in the adjacent ashtray, and said, 'There is a service going on at the other end of the church. This is the full organ with the chamades.'

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Not strictly to the topic, a lot of instruments had "Schulze pipes," but I suspect there was a bit of a con trick going on, where organ-builders used Schulze scales and claimed they to be the work of Schulze. I have no special reason for saying that, but the logistics of sending pipes to Germany, or having individual ranks sent over from Germany, seems a bit odd rather than impossible; especially since Schulze didn't have a metal-shop so far as I am aware.

 

More plausible would have been flutes and wooden Violones, but almost always, it is the Diapasons which are usually labelled as Schulze.

In this organ it's the flutes, as recorded in NPOR, and a lot of pipework was from C-C as well. This organ was rescued by Martin Renshaw when the chapel was closed and demolished in 1965, and I helped reinstall it here.

 

Paul

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Do any of our German friends feel like raising some money to have this organ bought and returned to Germany. I think its present 'custodians' might just go for that!!

I would certainly never bet the farm on the custodians of an unwanted organ being willing to let it go to a good home. I can think of an occasion (though I’d better not name names), where a very reasonable offer by a serious bidder for a first rate (HOC Grade 1) but derelict (though restorable) instrument was refused by the church authorities on the grounds that they wished to sell it ‘as new’ in order to finance the re-ordering programme that its removal would make possible. I'm sure other board members will have had similar experiences.

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In this organ it's the flutes, as recorded in NPOR, and a lot of pipework was from C-C as well. This organ was rescued by Martin Renshaw when the chapel was closed and demolished in 1965, and I helped reinstall it here.

 

Paul

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

 

Thank you for this interesting post, which alters my perceptions a little. I wasn't aware of this instrument, but it has certain similarities with the All Souls' organ at Halifax, where the actual Schulze pipes were largely the softer registers such as flutes, for which Schulze was famous.

 

Of course, the mystery is the source of the metal pipes, but that's a relatively small matter I expect.

 

What these organs demostrate is the twin fascination with all things Schulze and Cavaille-Coll, and even a church near to where I live has a tin Vox Humana, which I'd would almost bet is by C-C, and which cost a lot of money when it was installed as an addition to the organ.

 

MM

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This is so sad. The mind boggles at such a wasteful, misguided approach.

 

I remember this organ very well. My first organ teacher, the redoubtable Norman Harper, and his wife Marilyn were Organists there during the mid-80s. Heard several stunning performances there (including a wonderful recital by Jennifer Bate) on what was a world class instrument in excellent condition.

 

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

 

You know, we're very quick to judge on the basis of artistic merit and organ-preservation, but at least no-one has chopped up the old Schulze or tried to get rid of it in other ways.

 

It's when you look at Hindley and the surrounding area of Wigan, (the loss of industry, the low wages and considerable unemployment or poorly paid, unskilled jobs), that the subject of church finance rears its ugly head. I have no doubt whatsoever that a church such as Hindley, (quite a big church), struggles to keep everything functional, and if that means a temporary electronic, with the pipe-organ out of action, then at least that is preservation of a sort.

 

I don't think there are any easy solutions, but at least, they're still wanting to hear good music there.

 

MM

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Binns, Fitton and Haley - I was told that when this firm went toes-up, they had the organ from Lisburn Cathedral, Co. Antrim, in the shop, and the organist took a van over and collected it before the bailiffs got hold of it. It's currently a Wells-Kennedy rebuild, fairly early and rather more neo-classical than they would do now, but cheerfully impressive all the same.

 

German pipework - it wasn't unusual for English builders to use imported pipes. A.H. Miller (Miller of Cambridge) used to holiday in Germany and stock up on wine and pipes. I think some of the Orchestral Gambas in the firm's organs were German, and possibly the doppel flutes too.

 

Wasn't there a long-running row about Hindley years back, one side saying Pendlebury had revoiced it on a higher pressure (his new action running on the same wind) and the other side (including Pendlebury) saying he hadn't?

 

When the Organ Club went to Ulm in about 1971, we were conducted up to the west-end loft of the then new five-manual Walcker organ by its designer, Walter Supper. He sat down at the console, put out his pipe in the adjacent ashtray, and said, 'There is a service going on at the other end of the church. This is the full organ with the chamades.'

 

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

 

 

 

The NPOR entry for Christ Church, Doncaster mentions the problem of the missing Schulze, but my sources are now sadly long dead, so I cannot check.

 

Interestingly, when Schulze sent pipework from Germany by ship, he apparently used wood-basses as packing cases; one side of the pipes left unglued! (That's a neat trick)

 

There was a famous incident at Leeds TH, when the court were situated in the basement. The organist practising above was told, in no uncertain terms, to shut up.

 

The nearest I got to the Ulm incident, was when I demonstrated the organ of Hull City Hall to a visiting organist's association, and after playing something (I forget what) which reached "fff" in volume, I said, "If we add the Tubas AND the Orchestral Trumpet......"

 

Some people visibly moved back towards the rear of the hall.........not without good reason. :o

 

MM

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The old British trick used to involve a screwdriver and a can of hairspray...

 

Which is (as I am sure you will know) exactly what a mutual colleague wished to use on a certain famous four-clavier toaster, in order to ensure its demise....

 

However, I too am sorry to hear of this. It seems a great pity that the electronic expedient has been employed in this case - does anyone know in what state the pipe organ is currently?

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

 

... I have no doubt whatsoever that a church such as Hindley, (quite a big church), struggles to keep everything functional, and if that means a temporary electronic, with the pipe-organ out of action, then at least that is preservation of a sort.

 

I don't think there are any easy solutions, but at least, they're still wanting to hear good music there.

 

MM

 

This is very true of so many areas... the original quote from the website said that they were "trying to raise £4,500..." - that implies to me that it won't be easy - and this is just a tiny percentage of what it would cost to restore the pipe organ - perhaps an impossible financial task in the current climate? Having said that, I wouldn't agree with everything that they want to spend the money on - what's the point in having digital reverb on an organ in a church when the singing that it's accompanying has no natural reverb?

 

Steve

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