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Nick Bennett

St John's College, Cambridge

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When I was an undergraduate in the 1970's, I used to sit across from the organ for the Sunday evening recital and evensong. I have a distinct memory of the chamades being utterly hair-raising. They sounded much closer than the rest of the organ, and had a lot of fizz.

 

One particularly memorable occasion was when I first made the acquaintance of the "Ad Nos" fantasia. I think John Scott was playing; he was certainly the organ scholar at the time.

 

I have been there recently and listened from a similar position butfound the chamades rather tame. In fact, I recently heard David Pipe playing "Ad Nos" there; I sat in much the same place as 30 years ago, and he used the chamades in the same places. But the effect was more muted.

 

I don't think it's my hearing, because I can still get the same effect from other instruments with very splashy trumpets.

 

So, have the chamades been toned down?

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I have been there recently and listened from a similar position butfound the chamades rather tame.  In fact, I recently heard David Pipe playing "Ad Nos" there; I sat in much the same place as 30 years ago, and he used the chamades in the same places.  But the effect was more muted.

 

 

So, have the chamades been toned down?

 

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

 

 

I don't know if the Chamades have been toned down at St.John's, but I can tlel you a delightful story about them, which the late George Guest swore was true as I chatted to him.

 

When the Chamadery was installed, and old Don refused to sit in his regular seat in the choir: instead, taking a place opposite the organ on the South side of the chancel.

 

This cause unerstandable outrage..... :P ......among his peers, and after the service the old Don was challenged to explain his out-of-order behaviour.

 

He looked up at the chamades and pointed at them, "I'm not going to sit underneath those infernal things!"

 

"Why ever not?" His peers asked. :P

 

"Because I'm not going to have them dripping all over me!" He replied. :D

 

A case of "Cor blarney" I think, but a delightful anecdote from the master.

 

MM

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Well, they were toned-down during their installation by HN&B. It is said that at the time, no-one here had any first-hand experience of voicing horizontal reeds. Initially, a trial chord of pipes was put into the organ - voiced on about 375mm. Apparently the result was clearly heard in Trinity Street.... The stop was subsequently installed and voiced on a rather lower pressure.

 

However, this was not what you were asking, either. So that is two of us who are of no help to you.

 

I suppose that it is possible they were revoiced at the time of the Mander rebuild. They are, presumably, on electric action, so there would be no issue with the pallet sizes; but I just do not know - sorry. Perhaps Mr. Mander can tell us!

 

I do know that on my own organ, the chamade rank is voiced on 200mm - and they are, at little more than head height, quite shattering!

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I do know that on my own organ, the chamade rank is voiced on 200mm - and they are, at little more than head height, quite shattering!

 

Would that be an Orchestral Trumpet (from TC) by any chance ?

 

BAC

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Would that be an Orchestral Trumpet (from TC) by any chance ?

 

BAC

 

 

Now that would be telling!

 

I presume that you have read The Organs of Britain - a Gazetteer, by John Norman?

 

:)

 

(I suppose that there is no mileage in me pretending to be Portugese, at this stage?)

 

Que?

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Now that would be telling!

 

I presume that you have read The Organs of Britain - a Gazetteer, by John Norman?

 

:)

 

(I suppose that there is no mileage in me pretending to be Portugese, at this stage?)

 

Que?

 

I thought Manuel was from Barcelona and worked in Torquay ?

 

I have read the Norman Book but I was thinking of a couple of LPs I have, one made by a man named after a now defunct marque of British car, and the other by someone who shares his name with a famous designer of a very well known tractor whose picture can be found on our local banknotes. The latter included the Lidon Sonata and the CS Lang Tuba Tune on his offering and the effect was certainly different from what I had previously encountered.

 

You might get away with Portugal but for the unusual way you spell cromorne, however, I shall say no more.

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Now that would be telling!

 

I presume that you have read The Organs of Britain - a Gazetteer, by John Norman?

 

:ph34r:

 

(I suppose that there is no mileage in me pretending to be Portugese, at this stage?)

 

Que?

 

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

 

 

OMG! pcnd is "The Stiq"

 

:rolleyes:

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I thought Manuel was from Barcelona and worked in Torquay ?

 

I have read the Norman Book but I was thinking of a couple of LPs I have, one made by a man named after a now defunct marque of British car, and the other by someone who shares his name with a famous designer of a very well known tractor whose picture can be found on our local banknotes. The latter included the Lidon Sonata and the CS Lang Tuba Tune on his offering and the effect was certainly different from what I had previously encountered.

 

You might get away with Portugal but for the unusual way you spell cromorne, however, I shall say no more.

 

 

OK - how about a talking moose?

 

(I learnt that from a book - but not the John Norman one....)

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Never mind the Chamades being less effective then they use to be. Get something done with the stiff and clumsy operation of the stop action. Many friends of mine have commented on how awkward the stop action is and in particular to the delay of stops coming on when brought into use. The same might be said of the key actions. I don't know why this Organ is like this as if u compared the mander at Chelmsford Cathedral the action is light even with all four keyboards coupled up. Any one else share similar views I would be interested to hear.

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I would go a stage further and suggest that it would have been better to have kept the previous action - and restored it. In fact, I quite liked the sound of the old instrument.

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