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Midnight Mass from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint George in Southwark


pcnd5584

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It's a bit of mircale it IS still there, but it is.

 

Leeds has some fascinating architecture, including a mill, (I think now converted to other use), which is built in a strange quasi-Egyptian style.

 

http://www.victorian...ple-mill-leeds/

 

 

St Aidan's is equally fascinating; being a vast, brick-built building of almost Basilca proportions, with an astonishing acoustic. It's kept going in what it is a very downtown area, almost against the odds, but it attracts a lot of admirers from the high anglican fold, and seems to keep afloat.

 

The internal mosaics are particularly famous, but what astonishes me, is the fact that the organ still works using the original Binns action, and it is by no means an isolated example. It's just astonishing that Binns could make pneumatics which lasted and lasted and lasted, and yet, in the cities, they must have been subject to the most awful pollution from manufacturing industry and coal smoke; right through to the late 1950's, when things got better. Indeed, the original plan was to have the interior panels of the church painted, but such was the pollution, the mosaics were considered a more durable option.

 

Even human beings seemed to expire from pollution quicker than Binns organs!

 

St Aidan's has a young, enthusiastic and highly qualified organist, and there has been quite a revival in the musical life of the church.

 

There are some pretty pictures on the Wikipedia site, and a rather good one of the organ-case:-

 

http://en.wikipedia....Aidans_0102.jpg

 

If you left-click on the photo, then left click again, it will reveal the full extent of the wood-carving, which is rather excellent.

 

 

Having accompanied a carol concert there many years ago, I can tell you that the organ is a long way up, and amusingly, when Binns added a Tuba rank, he placed it just beside the console. It certainly wakes you up!

 

MM

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Early Harrison & Harrison organs were just as numb, but at least J J Binns made this case in the factory:-

 

http://staidan-leeds...ns/the-organ-2/

 

It's a splendid organ, a very resonant (high anglican) church and rather beautiful to the eye.

 

MM

 

Arguably the finest church in Leeds, a large double-apsed basilica with the celebrated Brangwyn mosaics behind the altar at the east end and an imposing elevated baptistry at the west. The organ sounds magnificent. The church has a lively congregation and the current incumbent also happens to be Lord Mayor of Leeds.

 

JS

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Arguably the finest church in Leeds, a large double-apsed basilica with the celebrated Brangwyn mosaics behind the altar at the east end and an imposing elevated baptistry at the west. The organ sounds magnificent. The church has a lively congregation and the current incumbent also happens to be Lord Mayor of Leeds.

 

JS

 

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I think the magnificent Pearson designed church of St Michael & All Angels, Headingley, is possibly the finest church in Leeds.

 

Not only is the church imposing inside and out, the organ is absolutely super, with a lovely pair of West and South facing 16ft organ cases.

 

http://www.st-michaels-headingley.org.uk/music/organ.html

 

Well worth a visit.

 

MM

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Colin:

 

Have to agree with you. The building is gorgeous. Did Pearson build any ugly churches ?

 

I like the cases very much.

 

About the churchmanship at St. Aiden's: concerning the Established Church, would I be right if I concluded that the old, Church Union crown that I was born into have now split into those that are very Vatican II and some few who still use the Missal and the old ways (St. Mary's, Bourne St.) ? It kind-of looks that way from pictures and from this side heaven. If this is off base, please say so..

 

Karl

 

P.S. As for the RC Church, I found the Mass from Southwark enormously improved, streets ahead of what things were like there some years back. But the Westward facing celebrant/"presider" chairs, so common, so hedious, grate on one.

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

 

 

Early Harrison & Harrison organs were just as numb, but at least J J Binns made this case in the factory:-

 

http://staidan-leeds...ns/the-organ-2/

 

It's a splendid organ, a very resonant (high anglican) church and rather beautiful to the eye.

 

MM

 

Yes, there are a lot of zinc drain-pipes fronting AH organs - even at Redcliffe, about which the best that can be said is that they don't intrude.

 

St. Aidan's, Leeds is indeed a fine piece of work, and if Binns made the case it would be a guarantee of fine workmanship. When I mentioned him in connection with St. John-the-Divine, I was thinking of Rochdale Town Hall, but I've no idea if Binns designed or built the cases or just put the organ behind them. They look pretty good in their particular situation, but those at St.JtD seem to me to be not up to the splendour of the building.

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Yes, there are a lot of zinc drain-pipes fronting AH organs - even at Redcliffe, about which the best that can be said is that they don't intrude.

 

St. Aidan's, Leeds is indeed a fine piece of work, and if Binns made the case it would be a guarantee of fine workmanship. When I mentioned him in connection with St. John-the-Divine, I was thinking of Rochdale Town Hall, but I've no idea if Binns designed or built the cases or just put the organ behind them. They look pretty good in their particular situation, but those at St.JtD seem to me to be not up to the splendour of the building.

 

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

 

You don't have to explain yourself David, we knew what you meant.

 

Actually, I think the Victorians were so enamoured with steam and hydraulics, I think they actually found rows of chimney-cans rather atttractive. At Leeds town-hall, they even put those fancy caps on top of the case pipes, like those on Stephenson's "Rocket."

 

Even in our cathedrals, they were quite happy to allow rows of bare pipes, as at York Minster in the chancel aisles, and a lot of main-cases are not exactly pretty are they? Wells Cathedral was naked for years, Salisbury was less than beautiful and at Leeds PC, they put that hideous Hindu temple around the organ. The beautiful cases, for the most part, seem to have come from previous instruments, as at King's, Exeter, York etc.

 

Of course, when Hill, Norman & Beard created a beautiful case, they did it with style, as at Norwich.

 

I think the Binns case at St Aidan's is quite a rare excursion into aesthetic beauty, as of course are the gorgeous cases at St Michael's, Headingley, but they are the exceptions, and organ cases were utility, bargain basement jobs for the most part.

 

What a contrast with the Netherlands, where you don't just get beautiful carving, you get old-master paintings thrown-in for good measure, some of which require painstaking attention by art-restorers and historians.

 

As for St J-the-D in New York, the casework is a disappointment, but that doesn't alter the fact that the organ is the finest in New York, and probably one of the greatest organs of the world.

 

MM

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Good job I hadn't just taken a sip of red wine when I read that!

 

 

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Sorry about that Nick! B)

 

It's like something out of "The Wizard of Oz" isn't it?

 

I once took a Hindu friend inside Leeds PC, and when he saw the organ-case, his eyes lit up, (as only Indian eyes can), and he burst out laughing. It was he who gave me the idea, because what he said was even funnier.

 

"I just want to hang flowers on it and bring it gifts." :lol:

 

MM

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

 

I once took a Hindu friend inside Leeds PC, and when he saw the organ-case, his eyes lit up, (as only Indian eyes can), and he burst out laughing. It was he who gave me the idea, because what he said was even funnier.

 

"I just want to hang flowers on it and bring it gifts." :lol:

 

MM

 

Well, it seems someone else also had this idea ...

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moonrising/3124791192/

 

:rolleyes: M

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