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Not as far as I know - but I may be wrong. It would not be the first time, I shall make enquiries.

 

 

 

Yes, but where is this panelling/cladding at Chichester? Are you referring to the stop jambs, the casework (of the console) or some other part of the instrument?

 

Have a look on Google Images for Truro cathedral organ console and you'll find pictures which appear to support that they're the standard KA jobs, as at St Peter's.

 

I'm referring to the whole of the console - stop jambs, music desks, the side returns next to the music desk.

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

If, on the otehr hand, one were to mention the organ of York Minster, it could only be in the context of constant evolution. In my own lifetime it has changed three times, (I think), and even if it is a bit of a mix-and-match instrument, it remains one of my personal favourites because it has real colour and character. That is, without doubt, a subjective response, but one that is shared by many who have played the instrument and accompanied choirs on it. The more objective approach might result in this splendid organ being dismissed as a hotch-potch of periods and styles.....we have to strike a balance.

 

MM

 

I agree with this. York is, of course, a mongrel (a bit of Elliot and Hill, a bit of Hill, quite a lot of Walker, some Harrison and topped off with some Coffin!) yet, to me, it sounds perfectly cohesive. One of my favourites, too.

 

Changed three times? In my lifetime, I think it has changed twice - 1960 and 1993. You must be very old(!), or did I miss one?

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Winchester is terribly dull.

 

I found (in a residential week) that I really didn't enjoy Exeter. The winding (esp to the Choir) I found just too flaky. The rest of it, for me, failed to deliver the character which the case promised, and left me disappointed.

 

I should be surprised about the winding. This instrument has an action cut-off, which (obviously) cuts the action instantly, if the wind supply falls below a set threshold.

 

I have always found the winding to be stable and entirely adequate for whatever demands I made upon it.

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I should be surprised about the winding. This instrument has an action cut-off, which (obviously) cuts the action instantly, if the wind supply falls below a set threshold.

 

I have always found the winding to be stable and entirely adequate for whatever demands I made upon it.

 

I was just pootling along on flutes 8+4 in some verse anthem or other and as I did a scale in the bass the sustained chord in the middle octave was wobbling about like jelly, probably getting on for a minor third. It was the year of the rebuild so it is possible that the concussion or its spring had not been got quite right yet.

 

I seem to recall a rather brittle attack to the Swell reeds - certainly the 16' - which I put down to winding rather than voicing.

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

 

 

I think my least favourite instrument in almost any cathedral, has to be Bradford, but not because it is a poor organ.

 

The trouble is, the poor thing huddles in a chamber, (of generous proportions), in the chancel, and although it sounds splendid at the console opposite, it just doesn't get down the nave at all. This fact was recognised even when the organ was re-built 50 odd years ago, and for this reason, the rather charming Nave Organ, (on stilts), was placed at the back, with a very attractive modern case by Edward Maufe. (Complete with a low-pressure chamade).

 

The cathedral "management," (I use the word loosely), decided that the Nave Organ was in the way, and pushed through plans to have an exhibition space costing a fortune and serving no particular purpose. Thus, the Nave Organ was removed to a storage location, (has it ever been sold?), and a few loudspeakers and a digitally sampled Bradford System replaced it.

 

Sadly, whatever happens in the future, there is no getting away from the fact that the old part of the cathedral is an old wool-church with a dire acoustic, and even the very spacious, attractive and resonant Edward Maufe designed chancel, has little impact beyond the chancel-steps.

 

MM

 

I'd go along with all of this (I was a choirboy there for a very short time).

 

Why they built an organ chamber like that when they extended the cathedral beats me. Then again, do architects ever consider the organ? Find a box or a little side chapel to put it in and forget about it!

 

The loss of the Nave organ (it was there when I was) is also sad. A building like that, with a deep organ chamber facing south to boot, really needs another organ at the west end, and a 'hi-fi' in its place isn't the answer, in my opinion.

 

I think we both feel the same way about the previous powers-that-be at Bradford. Didn't someone end up at Lincoln and upset everyone there, as well?

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Have a look on Google Images for Truro cathedral organ console and you'll find pictures which appear to support that they're the standard KA jobs, as at St Peter's.

 

Well, as I wrote, I also played on the old console a number of times - as far as I know, new units were nade to match the existing piston-heads. Even the engraving is standard 'Willis' style - the alpha-numeric characters are distinctive, in particular. I do not doubt that K-A (or, for that matter, P&S) would be able to match the engraving - but I do not think that all the piston heads were replaced with plastic or Ivorine/Ivothene copies.

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Well, as I wrote, I also played on the old console a number of times - as far as I know, new units were nade to match the existing piston-heads. Even the engraving is standard 'Willis' style - the alpha-numeric characters are distinctive, in particular. I do not doubt that K-A (or, for that matter, P&S) would be able to match the engraving - but I do not think that all the piston heads were replaced with plastic or Ivorine/Ivothene copies.

 

Go and have a look - I'm pretty certain they're plastic.

 

Well, the topic says let's have a riot!

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I was just pootling along on flutes 8+4 in some verse anthem or other and as I did a scale in the bass the sustained chord in the middle octave was wobbling about like jelly, probably getting on for a minor third. It was the year of the rebuild so it is possible that the concussion or its spring had not been got quite right yet.

 

I seem to recall a rather brittle attack to the Swell reeds - certainly the 16' - which I put down to winding rather than voicing.

 

Probably not. This was one of three or four ranks which was revoiced with French-style shallots at the time of the 1965 re-design. I am surprised to read your comments regarding the winding - I have never found this to be a problem on this instrument. Remember that the 'rebuild' was mostly tonal - there remains a great deal of restoration to complete, including that of the wind system. There is presently an appeal notice in the cathedral. I think that they are asking for a million pounds. Whether this is entirely to be spent on the organ, I do not know.

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Go and have a look - I'm pretty certain they're plastic.

 

Well, the topic says let's have a riot!

It does indeed. However, I have already 'had a look' - at the actual console(s) - not just in a little picture, considerately re-sized smaller by Google, for my convenience.

 

I suppose we could ask our hosts. They would know one way or the other.

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It does indeed. However, I have already 'had a look' - at the actual console(s) - not just in a little picture, considerately re-sized smaller by Google, for my convenience.

 

It's hotting up in here already! I've had a look too - recitals, a week of services, and several weekends. Perhaps my memory is deceiving me, and I'm imagining things which aren't there, but you can clearly see the collar of the pistons (equal in size to the head) in several photographs online, as well as some of my own. The standard Willis items don't have this collar - the necks pass straight through the keyslip (as at Hereford at Southampton St Mary), sometimes with a much smaller collar (as at Salisbury). I'm very happy to be authoritatively told I'm wrong, but do please at least permit me to express as a possibility that these are replacement items. Whatever they are, I didn't like them and that's about all I was hoping to get across in this entirely subjective thread.

 

You're dead right about the Ophicleide, by the way.

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It's hotting up in here already! I've had a look too - recitals, a week of services, and several weekends. Perhaps my memory is deceiving me, and I'm imagining things which aren't there, but you can clearly see the collar of the pistons (equal in size to the head) in several photographs online, as well as some of my own. The standard Willis items don't have this collar - the necks pass straight through the keyslip (as at Hereford at Southampton St Mary), sometimes with a much smaller collar (as at Salisbury). I'm very happy to be authoritatively told I'm wrong, but do please at least permit me to express as a possibility that these are replacement items. Whatever they are, I didn't like them and that's about all I was hoping to get across in this entirely subjective thread.

 

You're dead right about the Ophicleide, by the way.

I must admit that I did not notice the necks - I do not usually have time to spend staring at the console from the side.... Well, as I said, I may also be wrong.

 

If they are replacements, the engraving is the best copy I have seen in a long time.

 

What about the extra divisional name-plates? The original Willis curved items are, I believe, patented, or copyright - or whatever one does to divisional name-plates. Do you mean to suggest that these are also not original 1963 Willis Ivory units? (He said, in a suitably scandalised, and somewhat shocked tone.)

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What about the extra divisional name-plates? The original Willis curved items are, I believe, patented, or copyright - or whatever one does to divisional name-plates. Do you mean to suggest that these are also not original 1963 Willis Ivory units? (He said, in a suitably scandalised, and somewhat shocked tone.)

 

Aren't both they and the stop heads original material? I thought they were older than 1963, actually.

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If it's any help here's a full-size photo from Flickr of one of the Truro stop jambs that also shows some of the pistons. It is the current console (taken in 2009 according to the EXIF).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38683120@N02/...in/photostream/

 

OK, I was completely wrong - they're stylistically appropriate remakes of the originals, far more artistic than the KA stuff I claimed they were. Ten points to PCND.

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OK, I was completely wrong - they're stylistically appropriate remakes of the originals, far more artistic than the KA stuff I claimed they were. Ten points to PCND.

 

And for a further five points, the wood of the stop jambs is a lot more characterful than I remember it being. Actually, I'll just shut up generally.

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Aren't both they and the stop heads original material? I thought they were older than 1963, actually.

 

I do not think so. If they were from the original (1887) Willis console, the stop-heads would have been so much larger that it would have been un-economical to have them skimmed and re-engraved. Compare those of Saint Patrick's, Dublin (the old console is on display in the floor of the North Transept*), Lincoln Cathedral or Saint Paul's Cathedral.

 

In any case, the curved departmental name-plates were not standard practice by FHW. Lincoln had parallel cigar-shaped plates (with rounded ends). Saint Paul's had plates of a (probably) unique design - they were entirely of richly-carved wood, with the centre name (out of three) displaced vertically a few centimetres. Hereford may have had them - I can only find a small photograph in the Watkins Shaw booklet, and it is too late in the evening to start looking through my back-issues of The Organ to find the article with the much better photograph.

 

 

 

* At least it was the last time I was there. Incidentally, there is a rare spelling error on this console. According to the stop-heads, this organ possesses a rank of pipes on the Pedal Organ named 'Contra Posanne 32ft.' I am a little surprised that FHW did not have this changed - unless, of course, he was unaware of the mistake.

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And for a further five points, the wood of the stop jambs is a lot more characterful than I remember it being. Actually, I'll just shut up generally.

 

Please do not do that - this is the most fun I had since my father leant back against the Advent candle display (whist giving a talk to our Sunday School class) - and managed to set fire to his suit jacket.

 

Although, to be honest, at the time (I was about twelve), I was mortified with embarrassment - stupid sod, I thought....

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Quite a party atmosphere tonight.

 

Nice to see a goodly number of board friends here - good evening all.

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OK, I was completely wrong - they're stylistically appropriate remakes of the originals, far more artistic than the KA stuff I claimed they were. Ten points to PCND.

 

God - I wonder how long it took someone to inlay all that marquetry around the stop jambs? (Or is that tautology?)

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Good evening to you too, M'sieur. Mine's a double scotch.

Good evening, Vox. I shall join you - although mine will be a straight Vodka, if you please.

 

You know, there is something unusual about some Willis Pedal Organs. Take Truro, for instance. Only seven stops and one extension (the 32ft.*). Even both 8ft. stops are composed of separate pipes - and both of metal. The there is Salisbury Cathedral, with it's modestly-named 'Octave Flute 4ft'. And what do we expect? Twleve pipes extending the Bourdon and Bass Flute rank up an octave? Mais non, mon ami; this stop is actually the former G.O. Flûte Harmonique, discarded (probably by Willis III) at the time of the 1934 rebuild.

 

 

 

*And what a disappointment is this stop - some notes are virtually inaudible, whilst others boom unpleasantly (low A is a particularly bad offender, here), rendering it useless for the magical effect of strings and a quiet 32ft. It might have been better if FHW had simply left the stopped 16ft. rank (which served as the 32ft. rank for the first year or so) in place.

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If it's any help here's a full-size photo from Flickr of one of the Truro stop jambs that also shows some of the pistons. It is the current console (taken in 2009 according to the EXIF).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38683120@N02/...in/photostream/

 

Thank you, Vox - but when did I write 'POW!' ? Surely you do not mean to imply that I should actually resort to violence....?

 

:P

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Thank you, Vox - but when did I write 'POW!' ? Surely you do not mean to imply that I should actually resort to violence....?

 

:P

Only of the cartoon type - I hope! :P

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I spent a fair bit of time on the rebuilt St Albans instrument a couple of years ago and found it very good indeed. A local organ builder was with me and was also very impressed.

 

However, we moved on to St Georges, Windsor a couple of days later for 2 Sunday services and realised that we had been fooling ourselves!! It simply blew St Albans out of the water. The fact that it speaks down the nave meant for a very exciting couple of services in the quire with lots of party horn and roar!!

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Incidentally, there is a rare spelling error on this console [the old one at St. Pat's Dublin]. According to the stop-heads, this organ possesses a rank of pipes on the Pedal Organ named 'Contra Posanne 32ft.' I am a little surprised that FHW did not have this changed - unless, of course, he was unaware of the mistake.

 

I think he may have indeed have been unaware, due to being dead. :P

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