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Mander Organs
AJJ

National Trust Properties in the UK

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I suspect it's the wrong branch of the same clan!

 

Sir Alexander McDonald who gave the huge 4 manual organ to Rudston Parish Church, where he was organist for over 40 years, was a member of the McDonald's of Sleat whose home, since about 1847, has been in Yorkshire - at Thorpe Hall, Rudston.

 

I knew the organ in the very early 1970's when it was a large two-manual. Since then I notice that a choir organ has been added 'in the style of the orginal' as well as swell and pedal reeds. The church is tiny, full organ must be deafening, and the organ case completely covers the West wall of the church. On entering the building you are immediately confronted by this large organ case which, I understand, suffered bomb damage during the 2nd world war. The console is in the chancel and, in truth, the instrument is 'nothing special' save that it must be one of the largest village organs in the land! (dangerous statement!)

 

It might be 'nothing special' but it's well worth a visit for members of the board who might be on their way to organ recitals at Bridlington Priory. Going along the A614 Driffield to Bridlington road turn left at Burton Agnes, just before the hall. Rudston village is three miles down this road. The benefice of Rudston, Carnaby, Boynton and Kilham has the incumbent living at Rudston - the vicarage is opposite the church. In previous times I was always made to feel very welcome when calling in.

 

Many years ago I knew the Rudston PC organist that I referred to in an earlier posting on this topic and he once allowed me to enter the organ chamber. As you say, it is a very large organ for a village church, the expansive case occupying just about every bit of available space on the west wall. What struck me about the sound that egressed from the organ was that it had a rather muffled quality and lacked, to my ears, clarity. Having seen inside the chamber I was rather under the impression that the instrument had fallen foul of the whims of an organist with a desire to have almost every tone colour at his disposable yet had little understanding of practicalities and pipe speech. It epitomised the expression, "quart into a pint pot". IMHO the pipe ranks were too close together, preventing correct speech from getting out. The whole chamber was packed to the gunnels. I would have loathed to have been the tuner.

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Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Surrey, houses a private collection of interesting and historic keyboards, but the organ is owned by the National Trust.

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N13737

 

J

 

And I believe this is another NT organ that they are quite amenable to visiting organists having a go on.

 

MT

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I paid a visit to Castle Howard yesterday in that wonderful part of Yorkshire, lovely chapel containing what the guide book says is an H and H of 1875.

 

When I was there (a couple of years ago), there was a CD of the organ being played by Francis Jackson available from the shop (Amphion PHI CD 130).

 

MT

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Many years ago I knew the Rudston PC organist that I referred to in an earlier posting on this topic and he once allowed me to enter the organ chamber. As you say, it is a very large organ for a village church, the expansive case occupying just about every bit of available space on the west wall. What struck me about the sound that egressed from the organ was that it had a rather muffled quality and lacked, to my ears, clarity. Having seen inside the chamber I was rather under the impression that the instrument had fallen foul of the whims of an organist with a desire to have almost every tone colour at his disposable yet had little understanding of practicalities and pipe speech. It epitomised the expression, "quart into a pint pot". IMHO the pipe ranks were too close together, preventing correct speech from getting out. The whole chamber was packed to the gunnels. I would have loathed to have been the tuner.

 

This very problem seems to have beset the church of St.Wilfrid, Grappenhall near Warrington, where until the early 1970's they had a four-manual that was grossly out of proportion to the building and its needs! A past vicar had wasted a great deal of money on enlarging it, along with expenditure on other useless items, all in a personal campaign to get his deeds recognised. The organist may have played his part (excuse the pun) and what they have now is far more sensible!

 

CP

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Eaton Hall, Chester, home of the Duke of Westminster, has a 3-man Whiteley in an excellent acoustic. receently restored by Nicholson. Often played on the garden Open Days when the chapel is open, the Hall is their residence and is closely guarded but the gardens are well worth a visit - even a narrow gauge railway, a replica of an earlier system serving the hall. Chester Cathedral choir usually have a concert there once a year to raise funds for tours etc..

 

 

A most excellent instrument which,due to the excellence of Whiteleyes scaling and voicing manages to produce a richness and depth of sound from what one would imagine to be a larger instrument.

 

Visited the Hall and heard the organ in May and was sure that it comprised of 3 manuals but I may well be wrong. Will be visiting the same this Sunday so I will check

 

The armoured RR is worth a perusal too as is the interesting art " installation " by Conrad Shawcross .

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