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Liam Taylor

New Organ in the North East

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Hello all,

 

I thought some of you may be interested to know that an exciting new Organ Building project is underway in Newcastle Upon Tyne. A three Manual 46 stop Organ is currently being built for St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral by Kenneth Tickell replacing the Nigel Church Organ. Have a look at the link below for the full specification and a Computer Generated Image of the new Instrument.

 

St Mary's cathedral Newcastle

 

Liam

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Hello all,

 

I thought some of you may be interested to know that an exciting new Organ Building project is underway in Newcastle Upon Tyne. A three Manual 46 stop Organ is currently being built for St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral by Kenneth Tickell replacing the Nigel Church Organ. Have a look at the link below for the full specification and a Computer Generated Image of the new Instrument.

 

St Mary's cathedral Newcastle

 

Liam

 

It does look interesting. I note that there seems to be a greater choice of 8ft. foundation ranks - possibly at the expense of the G.O. Twelfth - a stop I would not miss if it were ommitted permanently. (And no, I think that my church instrument's G.O. chorus is cleaner and better without it. The Mixture is well-voiced and does not need any perceived 'binding' effect of a Twelfth.)*

 

I see also that Tickell still has this obsession with a French-named expressive division. I wonder if it will sound French, too? I wish that he would put the mixture compositions at C1 - these would be useful to know.

 

I wonder what form the Chamade will take - both aurally and visually.

 

I presume that the CGI shows a 16ft. case, with the Pedal Open Diapason (presumably of metal) in prospect. If this is in fact correct, I assume further that the Contra Bass will be of wood. This seems to be quite sensible; and good to have the choice of two open (and one stopped) 16ft. ranks on the Pedal Organ.

 

About the only thing I would change is the substitution of a 1ft. Octavin for the 2ft. Octave on the Choir Organ. With skilful voicing, one rank (voiced mid-way between a Diapason and a flute) should suffice. Again, my own church instrument has an excellent wide-scaled Blockflute [sic] on the Positive, which, in addition to mixing well with the other flute ranks, works perfectly well in the chorus.

 

 

 

* Just thought that I might be a little controversial - it has been a bit quiet here, of late....

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And nice to know there was nothing wrong with the 30 year old Nigel Church organ, other than that it was in the wrong part of the building, had a modern case that didn't suit the Cathedral and was generally too small. So it too has found a new home in a more modern Catholic church in London, where apparently it will also sit on the west balcony or what looks like quite a rebererant building in its own right. I have never yet been anything other than totally impressed by TIckell's organs having now had the pleasure of playing several.

 

(Though to be fair to our hosts and other companies, I would just as generously say the same about new contracts given to any of our top firms and if I ever had to be responsible for choosing a British firm for a new organ these days and all quotes came back with similar prices I'd be totally stuffed!)

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And nice to know there was nothing wrong with the 30 year old Nigel Church organ, other than that it was in the wrong part of the building, had a modern case that didn't suit the Cathedral and was generally too small.

 

Ah - so otherwise it was perfect, then....

 

 

 

(... if I ever had to be responsible for choosing a British firm for a new organ these days and all quotes came back with similar prices I'd be totally stuffed!)

 

Do not worry - having gone through this part of the process at our own church, this is extremely unlikely.

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Having known Ken Tickells work for some time now I think it's great that he has been chosen to build this new organ, at a time when new builds in this country have been few and far between.

 

Contrary to earlier posts on this topic I think the specification looks excellent and I have no doubt it was a collaboration between the customer and organbuilder.

 

With this in mind I feel we ought to encourage this sort of enterprise and support our UK builders rather than coming up with hyperthetcial and sometimes unfounded ideas of what we have no business to influence.

 

:-)

 

JT

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And nice to know there was nothing wrong with the 30 year old Nigel Church organ.......

 

Off topic but on the subject of instruments by Nigel Church - not quite 30 years old his largest at All Saints Friern Barnet (1984) is still going strong and sounding good. It was interesting to have had a small ammount of involvement when it was installed, although a short lived firm Church & Co, produced instruments of musical integrity.

 

http://npor.rcm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N07978

 

 

A

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... Contrary to earlier posts on this topic I think the specification looks excellent and I have no doubt it was a collaboration between the customer and organbuilder. ... JT

 

Jonathan, if you mean my post, please read it carefully - for the record, the only substitution which I suggested, was a 1ft. Octavin for one of the Choir 2ft. stops. I actually like the rest of it too. However, regardless of how excellent a scheme is perceived to be, there is always an element of individual taste - and of requirement for a particular situation. Which is as it should be.

 

Also for the record, I should think that these days, most rebuilding schemes are 'a collaboration between the customer and organbuilder'. Gone are the days when Arthur Harrison (or HWIII) gave you 'Scheme A', 'Scheme B' or, if your church was either small or penurious, 'Scheme G'. Nowadays, most people want to ensure that every penny they pay counts. And, if an organist does not really understand what goes on 'under the bonnet', then they usually call in a consultant.

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It looks a little as if the clock is being turned back. They got rid of a Lewis in order to instal Nigel Church's organ: now they're getting what may well have the same sort of presence as a big Lewis. It's rather like some churches in the States scrapping their Holtkamps or late Aeolian-Skinners in favour of much plumper beasts.

 

Um......wouldn't the Chamade be more use on the Choir, even if it had to have electric action? (I presume they're going for tracker).

 

Stopping there, because otherwise I would end up pontificating about what they should or shouldn't have done. As Bernard Edmonds said about the Mander rebuild at St. Paul's, 'I, too, could have told them exactly what should be done, but fortunately no one asked me.'

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