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Alistair McEwan

St Mary's RC Cathedral, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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See www.stmaryscathedral.org.uk for details of new 3 manual mechanical action organ.

 

A

 

 

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A very useful and flexible specification by the looks of it, and ideal for catholic cathedral music I would have thought.

 

MM

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A very useful and flexible specification by the looks of it, and ideal for catholic cathedral music I would have thought.

Yes. If the only things I miss are a Great Twelfth and a Sesquialtera somewhere they must be doing it right B)

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It looks like an excellent instrument on paper. Forgiving the odd Spitz Flute though, it does seem odd that the Great, Choir and Pedal are English (at least in name) and the Swell looks entirely French. Trumpet and Trompette stops in the same instrument? You can't drop a French-school Récit into an otherwise-English instrument and expect it to work musically, so why give that impression?

 

That said, of course, I doubt it would make any difference to players who will follow their ears in any case, and it's not going to make any difference to the sound which I hope will be as musical and engaging as the design suggests.

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

 

A very useful and flexible specification by the looks of it, and ideal for catholic cathedral music I would have thought.

 

MM

 

Catholic Cathedral Music ? What, pray, would that be ?

 

In the US it's strictly cowboy music, reel two of a "Sons of the Pioneers" movie.

 

Karl Watson,

Staten Island, NY

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Catholic Cathedral Music ? What, pray, would that be ?

 

In the US it's strictly cowboy music, reel two of a "Sons of the Pioneers" movie.

 

Karl Watson,

Staten Island, NY

 

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When I was over there I learned a bit of line dancing.

 

I know, it was silly and I'm ashamed, but at least I declined the leather and the cowboy hat.

 

Actually, coming to think of it, my experience was more "Brokeback Mountain" than "Sons of the pioneers," but it was fun in a sort of hilly-billy rock way.

 

Yehaaaa!

 

MM

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

 

 

When I was over there I learned a bit of line dancing.

 

I know, it was silly and I'm ashamed, but at least I declined the leather and the cowboy hat.

 

Actually, coming to think of it, my experience was more "Brokeback Mountain" than "Sons of the pioneers," but it was fun in a sort of hilly-billy rock way.

 

Yehaaaa!

 

MM

Go to the head of the class.

 

In the seven or so years I've been reading these remarks, NONE have compared to your last. It's the funniest thing I've ever read.

 

KMW

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Catholic Cathedral Music ? What, pray, would that be ?

 

In the US it's strictly cowboy music, reel two of a "Sons of the Pioneers" movie.

 

Karl Watson,

Staten Island, NY

I know it's not a cathedral but St. Ignatius Loyola, NYC has a marvellous organ and a full music program of a consistently high standard. Is that exceptional for large well-endowed RC churches in the US?

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Catholic Cathedral Music ? What, pray, would that be ?

 

In the US it's strictly cowboy music, reel two of a "Sons of the Pioneers" movie.

 

Karl Watson,

Staten Island, NY

 

 

Fortunately in the UK it isn't!!!

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Go to the head of the class.

 

In the seven or so years I've been reading these remarks, NONE have compared to your last. It's the funniest thing I've ever read.

 

KMW

 

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Wow! I am so utterly delighted that you found this so funny, because I actually targetted an American sense of humour rather than a purely British one. British humour often doesn't travel too well.

 

Even though I've had a foot in America, and other American connections, it isn't always possible to hit the mark.

 

MM

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

 

A very useful and flexible specification by the looks of it, and ideal for catholic cathedral music I would have thought.

 

MM

 

Yes - on paper it looks to be quite sensible, although I would agree that the Swell division needs clarification. Is it intended that the stops of this department are to be voiced in some 'French' manner - or merely that the designer wished to give the paper scheme some Gallic interest?

 

However, I am pleased to see:

 

A variety of foundation stops on the G.O. (instead of the arguably less-useful flute-mutations which often appear in schemes, from the mid-1990s onwards).

 

A choice of foundation stops on the third clavier. (Although I would prefer a 1ft Octavin to the chorus 2ft.)

 

A Swell Organ which includes an 8ft. Diapason. Notwithstanding, I wonder how well the Flûte à Cheminée will blend with the Viole de Gambe and the Voix Céleste. I should have thought that a Flûte Harmonique (8ft.) or a Flûte Traversière would prove more suitable.

 

A Pedal Organ with a choice of three 16ft. ranks - two of them open - well, apart from the lowest seven pipes of the so-called Open Diapason. I would be interested to learn how well the open wood 'helpers' function.

 

I think that the only other thing which I would miss, is a 32ft. reed. Whilst some here will probably raise their hands in horror at the sacrilege which I am about to propose, nevertheless, I would happily forego the compound stop, in order to fit in a half-length stop.

 

It even has a Chamade - so it must be all right....

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A Swell Organ which includes an 8ft. Diapason.

Yes. I was quite heartened to see this. Why are they so rarely included these days? Is it just a matter of ecomonics (avoiding having to build an 8ft high swell box)?

 

Notwithstanding, I wonder how well the Flûte à Cheminée will blend with the Viole de Gambe and the Voix Céleste. I should have thought that a Flûte Harmonique (8ft.) or a Flûte Traversière would prove more suitable.

Really? Now no one has ever accused me of knowing anything about organ building, but my own experience tells me that slightly "breathy" flutes are far more likely to blend with strings than fat, smooth ones. That said, I suspect the critical thing will be how the string is voiced rather than the flute.

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Really? Now no one has ever accused me of knowing anything about organ building, but my own experience tells me that slightly "breathy" flutes are far more likely to blend with strings than fat, smooth ones. That said, I suspect the critical thing will be how the string is voiced rather than the flute.

Fair enough - but my experience has been that French organs will generally pair a Flûte Harmonique (8ft.) or a Flûte Traversière with the (fairly) keen strings - with a Bourdon or Cor de Nuit as an alternative quiet register.

 

I am not thinking here of Hele organs, to be fair; but those French instruments which I have played, or of which I possess recordings, generally have this combination.

 

I have also found that a Lieblich Gedeckt (for example) makes a poor bedfellow with a Viole de Gambe and its companion Céleste. However, I have generally found that the Gedeckt blends extremely well with the FHW-type Salicional and Vox Angelica.

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I wonder what will happen to the little Nigel Church organ?

 

A

 

This seemd to be largely useless to me- I played both it, and the temporary Makin, and I know which one I preferred. The Church no doubt would find a suitable home, but the Cathedral was not it!

 

CP

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