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Colin Yates

Cavaille-Coll Organ - Parr Hall Warrington

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I agree, Denis. This would be the answer, but not doing anything at all about the problem achieves precisely nothing.

We have a situation where no one wants the organ ----- the Warrington Borough Council want it out of the Parr Hall, but no one in the whole wide world seems to be interested in acquiring it.

This has been going on for approx. 5 years now and there is still no solution in sight.

 

In 2007 we were told by the WBC that there would be no more Recitals and that they weren't prepared to discuss it, end of story !

 

To give credit to the WBC, they do not want to let it moulder, far from it. They have sought the advice of Ian Bell and are keen to find another home for the organ, but if one cannot be found, what next ?

 

The C-C Organ is not a museum piece, as some would like it to be. It is a fine instrument and is worthy of being maintained AND heard.

 

Unfortunately for the organ, there has been a recent Heritage Lottery Fund Grant awarded to another worthy cause in the town. So I think it will be out of the question that there is any more money in the pot for the organ unless someone else takes it on.

 

I sincerely hope that those Members of the Mander site who are interested in the C-C Organ's future will be able to suggest a solution.

 

Have just paid a visit to this site after a long period and am somewhat saddened to read that this issue has not been successfully concluded. I feel quite sure that whilst many people are genuinely interested in the survival of this instrument it is the large amount of cash required for its purchase/removal/restoration/re-location which is pivotal in the instrument remaining in Parr Hall. A lot of credit must be given to WBC who whilst making best efforts are at the same time frustrated by the lack of a solid offer, backed up by the cheque; in order to release it from its present limbo.

 

Speaking personally, if it were fortunate enough to be moved then the most fitting ,suitable venue would be a few miles down the road in Pugins masterpiece at Gorton. That is providing the gallery is still intact at the West End.

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The previous organ at the Franscisan monastery at Gorton was this:

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=R02147

 

so the Parr Hall organ would be not dissimilar in size though I expect the building would be far loftier and resonant than its current home. But realistically would it be more appreciated in a secular venue or in a church? I expect the latter would be more likely to use it more frequently...

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

But for the sterling work of Prof Ian Tracey and Ian Wells, the organ at St Geroge's Hall, Liverpool would have gone the same way.

 

Best,

 

MM

Hope you don't mind MM :) --- It is David Wells, Organ Builder, who has done sterling work on the St George's Hall organ.

Ian Wells is Director of Music at Holy Trinity, Southport and Hon Deputy Organist at Liverpool Cathedral.

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Hope you don't mind MM :) --- It is David Wells, Organ Builder, who has done sterling work on the St George's Hall organ.

Ian Wells is Director of Music at Holy Trinity, Southport and Hon Deputy Organist at Liverpool Cathedral.

 

 

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

 

 

Thanks for correcting my lapse of memory. David Wells it is.

 

Best,

 

MM

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http://www.pyramidparrhall.com/whats-on/event/organ-recital-ian-tracey/

 

7 Weeks from today is the day !!! :)

 

This http://johnsorganworks.co.uk/blog/read_30158/cavaillecoll-200th-birthday-bash.html was the last time this magnificent

organ was heard in a Recital.

 

Another Recital is provisionally planned for next October.

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Paying the janitor is quite an issue.

 

At a certain town hall in the north of England, there is a fine organ. If there is something else going on, getting access to it on a Saturday is no problem. However, if they have to open the building specially for you, they have to pay not one person but two, because there is a union agreement that nobody should be in the building alone - and I can see why.

 

Furthermore, there is another agreement that once somebody has been called out to work, they are paid for a full 8 hour shift. In fact, because it's a Saturday, they get time and a half.

 

Hence it costs the council several hundred pounds just to unlock the door.

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In the late 1960's the Warrington Corporation were considering accepting £105 scrap value for this 1870 Cavaille-Coll Organ.

If this had been allowed to happen - we would all have been the losers.

This http://www.warringtonchoir.org.uk/cavaille_c.html gives the history of the organ.

 

For those of you who would like to hear it played, there is a CD recording available from

http://rfisher.me/recordings-page/organ/cavaile-coll/

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Attended the Parr Hall last night for the recital which was most excellently presented / played by " The Boss " whose approach to " the console with teeth " was both brave and impressive.

 

The sheer pleasure of hearing period pieces being played on a near as it gets period instrument of this type is quite invigorating , as well as being rare.

 

We all acclaimed Prof. T`s comments regarding the work and effort put in by the hard core band of dedicated enthusiasts and professionals; as well as the Management Team of the Parr Hall in their excellent promotion of the nights event and,hopefully, continued promotion of recitals.

 

The number of bums on seats well confirmed the need to retain this instrument in the hall. I believe another recital is planned for later in the year; I hope it is attended by as many, if not more.

 

There has to be physical evidence of support for the halls management team to decide that they are on to a viable proposition; last night I feel proved this point.

 

It is no good banging on about " this wonderful instrument in our midst - oh dear what a pity it`s no longer there " if people do not make the effort to support it.

 

Once again, well done to all concerned

 

Oh yes, finally, to those omnipresent individuals who one can almost hear sneering with self satisfied contempt, " and just how many recitals have you been to? " - well, first recital was CC in the `80`s and then joined the CC supporters Society, the rest is history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I used every means available to me to give much publicity to Ian Tracey's recent Recital in the Parr Hall, after Culture Warrington announced this event.

The response, on the night, was tremendous - thereby proving that with plenty of publicity, AND an excellent Recitalist - it is possible to get a decent audience for Recitals in Warrington.

There were 272 people present - that was approximately 100 more than at the Cavaille-Coll Bi-Centenary Recital in June, 2011. Many of these people travelled a good distance to be there - and they weren't dissapointed.

There appears to be a lack of interest, on this site, for this 1870 instrument, which seems strange to me when so many folk have been so vocal about its future in the past.

Never-the-less, I will continue to post information about it on the Mander site in the future.

For those who would like to know about Ian's Recital - he played a superb programme extremely well as he roamed around Paris in his mind's eye explaining almost every turn of the road to an enthusiastic audience.

It was an excellent programme - the theme being 'The Great Parisian Tradition'

He took the opportunity of emphasising what an important instrument we have in Warrington. This was given loud spontaneous applause.

 

I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of another chapter in the life of the Cavaille-Coll Organ in Warrington.

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There appears to be a lack of interest, on this site, for this 1870 instrument, which seems strange to me when so many folk have been so vocal about its future in the past.

 

 

 

If this were so, I agree it would be sad. However there might be a reason for an apparent lack of interest.

 

If a topic is important, its cause might not be helped if too many of those in favour of it remain anonymous. I've just done a quick tally of the posts on this topic, and out of a total of 14 different posters, 7 chose to be anonymous. (These numbers might not be quite right as I only did a quick skim). Irrespective of the merits of what a forum member says, there is an argument that they could give added weight to their case if readers know who they are. Ordinarily this does not matter very much, but in this case it might be relevant.

 

Quote

The response, on the night, was tremendous

 

 

 

So despite the perceived problems, it was OK in the end - excellent and well done.

 

 

Quote

 

I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of another chapter in the life of the Cavaille-Coll Organ in Warrington.

 

 

Can't but support you on that.

 

CEP

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Thanks Colin, your reply is appreciated. I have no reservations about anyone knowing who I am. It may be of benefit if anyone wants to contact me directly.

I'm not sure how I can go about dropping my pseudonym - it may be possible to just sign my postings off with my proper name ?

Incidentally, Ian's Recital had not one, but two City Organists in the hall AND an Emeritus Organist and his wife. It was good to have such support - and not only from those, but from the Parr Hall Management AND not forgetting David Wells' important contribution to the condition of the organ on the night.

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Looking for any recent news about this organ I found the following in a review of an event held last November:

WHEN Amy Macdonald told a packed Parr Hall audience on Thursday night that they had been the 'loudest' of her tour, it was easy to believe it. Macdonald performed largely with her guitar and it was her high-tempo renditions of Mr Rock and Roll, This is the Life and encore Poisoned Prince that had the crowd at their loudest, on their feet, clapping along. The three members of her band, on guitar, bass (including a double bass) and piano/percussion, were cleverly used to produce a beautiful sound.

And the decision to use the historic Cavaille-Coll Organ, one of the few remaining pipe organs of its type, as the backdrop to the staging was inspired. It created a beautiful setting to match the simplicity of the arrangements of the songs.

When it is full and bouncing like this, the Parr Hall really shines and it is easy to remember and reflect on its past history.”

Does anyone have any more recent, and more encouraging, news regarding this organ? 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zimbelstern said:

Looking for any recent news about this organ I found the following in a review of an event held last November:

WHEN Amy Macdonald told a packed Parr Hall audience on Thursday night that they had been the 'loudest' of her tour, it was easy to believe it. Macdonald performed largely with her guitar and it was her high-tempo renditions of Mr Rock and Roll, This is the Life and encore Poisoned Prince that had the crowd at their loudest, on their feet, clapping along. The three members of her band, on guitar, bass (including a double bass) and piano/percussion, were cleverly used to produce a beautiful sound.

And the decision to use the historic Cavaille-Coll Organ, one of the few remaining pipe organs of its type, as the backdrop to the staging was inspired. It created a beautiful setting to match the simplicity of the arrangements of the songs.

When it is full and bouncing like this, the Parr Hall really shines and it is easy to remember and reflect on its past history.”

Does anyone have any more recent, and more encouraging, news regarding this organ? 

 

 

 

I will leave it for you to decide if this is encouraging, or not, Zimbelstern.

Last October, we were able to book the Parr Hall for 4 hours, at a cost of £50.

Those there were Kurt Lueders (Vice-President of the Association Aristide Cavaillé-Coll), Gerald Sumner, David Wells, Ted Tilling, Scirard Lancelyn-Green and myself.

This meeting resulted in the collaboration of Gerald and Kurt, which resulted in a fine monograph about the Warrington organ.

As far as I know, Warrington Borough Council is asking £1.25 million for the Cavaillé-Coll organ, which achieved a Grade One listing by BIOS in June, 2015.

Following my last meeting with Culture Warrington in 2014, I created the Facebook group, 'Warrington Cavaillé-Coll Organ'.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/660405240701596/

Ian Bell did a full report on the condition of the organ for WBC in October, 2011. In it, he recommended that there was a contract of maintenance, as tuning it before a Male Voice Choir concert was far from enough.

I have distributed the copies we ordered to several significant people, in the hope that one day someone will realize how important this instrument is.

The last recital was by Jonathan Kingston on 26th October, 2015.

Agenda.thumb.jpg.7ffbb4bee0f88a2e36a1063416d794ea.jpg

LFH.jpg

BIOS Historic organ certificate.jpg

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Thank you Christine. I would think it to be very encouraging that Kurt Lueders was there. I was present at an excellent session (and lunch) he hosted last year at his church in Paris for an “Orgelreise” organised by a German organisation (Orgelpromotion) which takes around 50 organ fans to Paris around Easter each year. They absolutely adore Cavaillé Coll organs and visit all the leading ones, including Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame. He is an extremely well organised, erudite and enthusiastic campaigner for all he does (he has a great soft spot for harmoniums of which he has several in his church). 

I would think it to be very helpful to have as many influential French and German organ lovers as possible on your side. i have read through the extensive posts you and others have made on this topic over many years, and can only express my admiration for what you and others have done and are doing for this incredibly important instrument. I hesitate to make any further suggestions as to what can be done, but I imagine you would agree that the more that can be done to keep this issue in the public’s awareness, the better. I would especially like to hear something from the leadership of the Royal College of Organists. If they are listening could they please do something or tell us what they are doing? They are making a lot of videos at the moment and putting them on their website - perhaps one devoted to this instrument could be made. They have influence in very high places.

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