Jump to content
Mander Organs
Guest stevecbournias

What Organs Are Being Built In The Uk?

Recommended Posts

Guest stevecbournias

I am familiar with the mainline USA builder output as I read their new organ and upcoming projects. Similarly I am somewhat peripherally aware of the "boutique" builders' work along similar lines of communication. It is rare to hear about new work large, medium , small from the UK, the continent, Asia or anywhere else, down under etc. Anybody care to offer some enlightenment as to what kind of organs are being manufactured and in what "style" or according to what concept if that is the correct term in these other venues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am familiar with the mainline USA builder output as I read their new organ and upcoming projects. Similarly I am somewhat peripherally aware of the "boutique" builders' work along similar lines of communication. It is rare to hear about new work large, medium , small from the UK, the continent, Asia or anywhere else, down under etc. Anybody care to offer some enlightenment as to what kind of organs are being manufactured and in what "style" or according to what concept if that is the correct term in these other venues?

 

New organs being built, in Holland?

:D

 

One interesting organ being built is this one; french romantic organs normally are associated in Holland with the RomanCatholic demonination, this church is a protestant church in a rather orthodox protestant area in the Netherlands. Also it's a 'larger' new instrument for this builder in years - ofcourse 'large' in a Dutch perspective, we criticize 'big beasts' (just kiddin', steve) and built effectively nothing new (most new instruments are copies of some historic style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am familiar with the mainline USA builder output as I read their new organ and upcoming projects. Similarly I am somewhat peripherally aware of the "boutique" builders' work along similar lines of communication. It is rare to hear about new work large, medium , small from the UK, the continent, Asia or anywhere else, down under etc. Anybody care to offer some enlightenment as to what kind of organs are being manufactured and in what "style" or according to what concept if that is the correct term in these other venues?

 

First, the term "boutique builders" – a term I never liked, as it has a pejorative undertone ("Here's the organ vernacular, and there is your boutique stuff") – simply does not apply in the European organ world. Most European builders build organs in a style that would qualify as "boutique" in the US: carefully crafted in every detail on a very high level of craftsmanship, fully encased in self-contained cases; tracker action and slider chests as a rule (everything else being the exception), little borrowing or extensions, careful on-site voicing, the pipework sometimes being tuned to some unequal temperment.

 

Pipes, especially reeds and front pipes, are often built by specialized firms, as are some parts of the action and, of course, electronic parts.

 

Most builders follow more or less their own line of work, especially long-established firms like (in Germany) Klais, Beckerath, Schuke and many others. Others have specialized in historical styles, such as Ahrend (North-German) or Goeckel (French Romantic). In Germany, there was a heavy bias in the last two-and-a-half decades towards French romantic sound resources (or what one took for those), which has been fading for some years now; instead, German romantic style has become popular in new organs.

 

Since it rose form the dead in the 1950ies, the North-German Baroque style never went quite out of fashion all over Europe, but over the years was copied more and more strictly, as were all historical styles. Insights coming out of restorations of historical instruments took an important role in this development. Another important factor is the education of organists, who during their studies travel more and more in order to get acquainted with organs of all over the world.

 

Organbuilding "down under" follows more or less Anglo-Saxon lines with some influences from Scandinavia; in Eastern Asia, large organs are usually imported from France, the UK, Germany, the US and other Western countries, as only few builders have established their own shops there.

 

I am sure others will add to this raw outline, or correct my views, but this is it now.

 

Best,

Friedrich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... Anybody care to offer some enlightenment as to what kind of organs are being manufactured and in what "style" or according to what concept if that is the correct term in these other venues?

 

Oh – and be the hypothetical question asked which US builder compared best to what has been done in Germany over the last four decades, I would say it's Fritz Noack, who actually was brought up an organbuilder in Germany. Take his two-manual organs of moderate size, 20 to 30 stops: There is, on a high level of craftsmanship and musicianship, your average German church organ as built between 1960 and now. Only the case architecture would be mostly modern over here, with less references to historic styles even in a historical surrounding.

 

Best,

Friedrich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stevecbournias
New organs being built, in Holland?

:D

 

One interesting organ being built is this one; french romantic organs normally are associated in Holland with the RomanCatholic demonination, this church is a protestant church in a rather orthodox protestant area in the Netherlands. Also it's a 'larger'  new instrument for this builder in years - ofcourse 'large' in a Dutch perspective, we criticize 'big beasts' (just kiddin', steve)  and built effectively nothing new (most new instruments are copies of some historic style.

 

In looking over that organ it looks interesting. Seems well-designed to me. I could enjoy it with its diversity of color. Certainly is well-endowed with reed-tone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stevecbournias
First, the term "boutique builders" ? a term I never liked, as it has a pejorative undertone ("Here's the organ vernacular, and there is your boutique stuff") ? simply does not apply in the European organ world. Most European builders build organs in a style that would qualify as "boutique" in the US: carefully crafted in every detail on a very high level of craftsmanship, fully encased in self-contained cases; tracker action and slider chests as a rule (everything else being the exception), little borrowing or extensions, careful on-site voicing, the pipework sometimes being tuned to some unequal temperment.

 

Pipes, especially reeds and front pipes, are often built by specialized firms, as are some parts of the action and, of course, electronic parts.

 

Most builders follow more or less their own line of work, especially long-established firms like (in Germany) Klais, Beckerath, Schuke and many others. Others have specialized in historical styles, such as Ahrend (North-German) or Goeckel (French Romantic). In Germany, there was a heavy bias in the last two-and-a-half decades towards French romantic sound resources (or what one took for those), which has been fading for some years now; instead, German romantic style has become popular in new organs.

 

Since it rose form the dead in the 1950ies, the North-German Baroque style never went quite out of fashion all over Europe, but over the years was copied more and more strictly, as were all historical styles. Insights coming out of restorations of historical instruments took an important role in this development. Another important factor is the education of organists, who during their studies travel more and more in order to get acquainted with organs of all over the world.

 

Organbuilding "down under" follows more or less Anglo-Saxon lines with some influences from Scandinavia; in Eastern Asia, large organs are usually imported from France, the UK, Germany, the US and other Western countries, as only few builders have established their own shops there.

 

I am sure others will add to this raw outline, or correct my views, but this is it now.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

 

 

Dear Friedrich:

Thank you for your comprehensive summation to my inquiry.

 

As to "boutique" organ shops they are in plentiful supply over here. However not all of the organists or the committees that they must answer to who will pay the bills for the new instrument are willing to spend $30,000 per register and wait 3-5 years in line for that special organ. That is why Schantz, Reuter, Wicks,Casavant and countless lesser entities are doing a booming business with their less than superb quality output in comparison to the European standards. I doubt that as long as the existing USA church goes on that things will change. You will continue to have two camps. The more elitist group with the tracker organs of various styles and the more ordinaire all-purpose "American Classic" ecclectic instrument invented by and pioneered by fellow-countryman G. Donald Harrison who was one of several early organ reform personalities in the USA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am familiar with the mainline USA builder output as I read their new organ and upcoming projects.

 

It is rare to hear about new work large, medium , small from the UK, the continent, Asia or anywhere else

 

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

 

As I have been studying the former Eastern Bloc organ-culture for about 18 months now, you'd think I would now be a master of it. Not a bit of it!

 

However, in what has been a very complex and frustrating search, with some terrible computer links, disappearing souls, dreadful mp3's and less than well-organised information, I have, by a variety of cross-references, now got a working picture of what is taking place across Eastern Europe.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC

 

In broad terms, the Czech organ tradition is similar to that of Germany, but for reasons best known to themselves, most small to medium size instruments do not have reed stops, and the stop-lists of to-day's new organs are often unchanged from those of 250 years previous!

 

However, Rieger-Kloss have done some extensive work in the Czech lands and even in the US, with some very substantial organs indeed; many in the big concert halls such as Prague, Krnov, Bruno etc. They also enjoyed a certain status in the entire former communist region, and therefore gained many contracts beyond the Czechoslovak state as it then was. The word is, that R-K instruments vary between being tonally "acceptable" to downright stupendous. They did the remarkable enlargement of the famous Olomouc organ in St.Moritz.

 

Another interesting company, who have a splendid website with some superb mp3 samples, is that of Robert Ponca. They have built a number of new instruments.

 

The following URL's will give some idea of the organ-building in the Czech Republic:-

 

http://www.ponca-organs.com/new/index2.php?id=nase

 

http://rieger-kloss.cz/home/home_en.htm

 

http://www.grygar-organs.com/index.php

 

POLAND

 

Of all the Eastern European countrues, Poland seems to be the most chaotic in terms of business communications, and even finding URL's that actually respond the same day is a bonus.

 

However, whilst Poland may be a poor country for the immediate future, the RC church is especially well supported and has money to spare by the looks of it.

 

Some organ builders seem to have disappeared, and two of the most remarkable were those two firms involved in the enlargement and "restoration" of the famous 18th century Wolff organ of Oliwa Cathedral, Gdansk; namely Mollin and also Kaminskich.

 

The leading organ-builders in Poland seem to be the Zych company, who have a fine web-site with details of some huge instruments constructed in recent years.

 

http://www.zych.com/

 

The Polish organ-tradition covers just about everything, from really precious baroque organs, to a large number of German Romantic organs in the Walcker/Sauer tradition and to-day, to organs which include Swell divisions and even big Tubas!

 

The biggest German organ of all after Passau, was the organ built by Sauer for the "100 year hall" in Breslau (Wroclaw) which was dismantled and installed in the cathedral in reduced form. It still has 5-manuals and a huge number of ranks, but curiously, the 32ft reed never went in! This was the first electric-action German organ, so far as I am aware.

 

I am told that Polish organ-building can be a bit patchy in quality, like most things Polish. This was probably to do with the Russian master's lack of comercial awareness, and a lack of understanding for the traditions and quality required in organ-building. Some old organs, for example, which had been placed in storage at the start of WW2 were never put back.......some priceless ones. These were used as spare-part junk-yards by many of the organ-building concerns!!!!!!!!!

 

The legacy whereby organ-builders were just state employees or part of collectives has now passed, and economic reality has set in.

 

HUNGARY

 

Hungary is strange. It has many baroque organs, which like those in the above two countries enjoy a degree of restoration which keeps people off the streets at night.

 

However, the tradition includes the Angster/Cavaille-Coll legacy, which means that many organs are either beefed-up to include chamades and big swell divisions, or are very much in a sort of Magyar/French tradition all their own.

 

If there is one thing which strikes me about modern Hungarian organ-building, it is the visual beauty of new organ-cases and consoles in contemporary style. They really are worth looking at!

 

The following links will give some sort of clue as to the diversity and scale of Hungarian organ-building and its' history, as well as new organs being built there.

 

http://www.aquincumorgan.com

 

http://varga.orgona.org/referencia.htm Hungarian - (a number of small new organs)

 

http://www.orgona.hu/index_e.html

(Pecsi Organbuilding - Pecsi - Hungary - located in old Angster works, Pecs?)

 

http://www.prestant.hu/fooldal.html

(Very small contracts generally)

 

http://www.varadi-orgona.hu/html_eng/about_eng.htm

(Have done work on some large Hungarian organs, including Eger, Kolasco and St.Stephen's Basiliks)

 

Hungary has a number of very, very large instruments, including several with over 100 stops (no extensions or duplexing Steve!) and often 4 or 5 manuals.

 

Forgive me if I miss out Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Azerbjhan for the moment.....I'm still trying to discover where they are on the map!!

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stevecbournias

Rieger-Kloss has a USA rep in Chicago and a builder here uses them for new pipes and so I did a co-design on a largely new organ with him using new R-K pipes, some old pipes from the 1929 Hillgreen,Lane and some stock pipes the builder had. The new work from R-K is quite pleasing tho for my personal preference a bit on the soft side but that is a matter of taste.

 

The voicing on the new chorus pipes and flutes and mutations is very satisfactory and I could offer good words to anyone about their work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The organ building business is divided in "boutique" and "big players" in the U.S. because there is still a market there!

First in the world by far.

Next comes Asia, Japan, Korea and China, while Europe will soon cease to

exist if the trend goes further.

In Belgium we have a handfull of builders still alive, struggling to survive

with little maintenance jobs. Whenever a 10 stops organ is rebuild it's

like a Graal.

The good side of it is the organists have to learn to live with outmoded organs,

because they know there will never be a Cent left for anything.

 

When exceptionnaly there is a big contract, no belgian builder can afford

it so it goes to abroad.

The best belgian builders like Thomas work mainly outside Belgium.

 

The little builders working alone or with temporary helpers are best suited to

the deep economic recession we have; but this tendancy has a severe

drawback.

Many of them are purists doing only strict neo-baroque organs, which is

an excellent choice for them because they can do all themselves.

 

But then Premium quality= Neo baroque, the rest= "cheap" organs, in the

buyer's minds. This tends to stop the evolution and forbids any innovation.

 

Fortunately there are exceptions. Walcker today would be seen as a "boutique" by

U.S. standards, but deals with romantic organs. Schoenstein builds electropneumatic

organs with "boutique" quality. Buzard builds tracker organs, but not neo-baroque at all, quite to the contrary, he is inspired by the british romantic style.

And our host Mander I defy anyone to "file" in any "category" at all...Big player,

top quality, able to build a baroque organ or St-Ignatius NY as well....There is hope somewhere.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The organ building business is divided in "boutique" and "big players" in the U.S. because there is still a market there!

First in the world by far.

Next comes Asia, Japan, Korea and China, while Europe will soon cease to

exist if the trend goes further.

In Belgium we have a handfull of builders still alive, struggling to survive

with little maintenance jobs. Whenever a 10 stops organ is rebuild it's

like a Graal.

The good side of it is the organists have to learn to live with outmoded organs,

because they know there will never be a Cent left for anything.

 

When exceptionnaly there is a big contract, no belgian builder can afford

it so it goes to abroad.

The best belgian builders like Thomas work mainly outside Belgium.

 

The little builders working alone or with temporary helpers are best suited to

the deep economic recession we have; but this tendancy has a severe

drawback.

Many of them are purists doing only strict neo-baroque organs, which is

an excellent choice for them because they can do all themselves.

 

But then Premium quality= Neo baroque, the rest= "cheap" organs, in the

buyer's minds. This tends to stop the evolution and forbids any innovation.

 

Fortunately there are exceptions. Walcker today would be seen as a "boutique" by

U.S. standards, but deals with romantic organs. Schoenstein builds electropneumatic

organs with "boutique" quality. Buzard builds tracker organs, but not neo-baroque at all, quite to the contrary, he is inspired by the british romantic style.

And our host Mander I defy anyone to "file" in any "category" at all...Big player,

top quality, able to build a baroque organ or St-Ignatius NY as well....There is hope somewhere.

 

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

 

 

The problem faced by many organ-builders, (as well as boat-builders incidentally) is the gap between signing a contract and actually getting paid for it. In the building industry generally, there is a method of payment in stages, where each landmark (subject to penalties for lateness) is rewarded by a part-pot of cash. I don't know whether this applies to organ-building, but if not, it ought to do!!

 

History is littered with examples of superb organ-builders who went out of business due to financial problems; even in the baroque period.

 

Unless the name is Fr.Willis, it would also be true to suggest that many organ-building companies are not terribly good at financial management, and rely on expensive over-drafts. Any delays with suppliers, or problems on the way, and profits tend to evaporate rather quickly.

 

I don't know about Belgian banks, but UK banks are quite ruthless. If you have £2 million, they'll gladly lend you £2 million, but then, you probably wouldn't need it!

In Germany, even though they are international banking minnows, they do tend to support enterprise, and even appoint bank officials as company directors.

 

It has not always been like this, because the history of the organ is also littered with generous benefactors: some of whom still exist eg: Worcester and the Korean gentleman who provided funds to Liverpool Cathedral. Indeed, Fr.Willis exploited this very well, and made rather more money than he might have done honestly.

 

Of course, it is in the former Eastern Bloc that patronage was at its' most extreme, because state industries simply couldn't go belly-up. As a consequence, they didn't have to make a profit, they were kept busy (very busy in fact) and only now, in the cold reality of market-forces, do they have to face what others face around the world.

 

Many organ-building companies, such as H,N & B and Lewis, were propped up for decades by wealthy individuals such as John Christie and the Courage family.

 

The fact that our hosts have survived this difficult period and managed to pick up big contracts, suggests that there has been sound financial management somewhere along the line.

 

There is still superb organ-building going on around the world, funded from a variety of sources, but from a financial viability point of view, nothing quite beats the big public contracts, unless the corporate name is Walt Disney!

 

Sadly, quality is no guarantee of financial survival in this world, and it has always been thus.

 

I would absolutely refute Pierre's observation that "Premium quality= Neo baroque, the rest= "cheap" organs" in the minds of clients. The Americans are not stupid, and one only has to look at the quality of E M Skinner (even Wurlitzer!) to know that EP organs are certainly not poor relations to stick-organs! The American organ-builders can be good....very, very good....but at a price, and all in good time....like, when they're ready.

 

What a good situation to be in, when clients plead for an organ, and then have to go to another country to get one before the entire Organ Committee dies!!

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is still superb organ-building going on around the world, funded from a variety of sources, but from a financial viability point of view, nothing quite beats the big public contracts, unless the corporate name is Walt Disney!
Talking of which, I was interested to learn that the 109 (?) stop 4-decker in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was a present to Los Angeles county from the Toyota Motor Corporation (love the "bad hair day" look of this BTW). Maybe if most of their UK production wasn't exported...? Nah, still can't see it somehow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

The problem faced by many organ-builders, (as well as boat-builders incidentally) is the gap between signing a contract and actually getting paid for it. In the building industry generally, there is a method of payment in stages, where each landmark (subject to penalties for lateness) is rewarded by a part-pot of cash. I don't know whether this applies to organ-building, but if not, it ought to do!!

 

Normal here is: one quarter when signing the contract, one quarter when work begins in the shop, one quarter when the stuff is delivered, one quarter when the organ is approved and signed off.

 

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
============================

 

In broad terms, the Czech organ tradition is similar to that of Germany, but for reasons best known to themselves, most small to medium size instruments do not have reed stops, and the stop-lists of to-day's new organs are often unchanged from those of 250 years previous!

 

This applies to a lot of German organs too. The reason is not actually all that arcane....

 

these organs are cone-tuned. That means, amongst other things, that tuning ruins the pipes. So the tuner hardly ever comes around, perhaps every three years in a lot of places. So the organist tunes the reeds; but that only works if you have a regular one who is a professional and knows what he's doing. That is not universally the case. So why provide stops that can hardly ever be used?

 

Cheers

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently client, along with the rest of the church, for a new organ in England. Much as I'd love to, haven't got time to write about it right now.

 

The problem faced by many organ-builders, (as well as boat-builders incidentally) is the gap between signing a contract and actually getting paid for it. In the building industry generally, there is a method of payment in stages, where each landmark (subject to penalties for lateness) is rewarded by a part-pot of cash. I don't know whether this applies to organ-building, but if not, it ought to do!!

 

Usually, these things are paid in installments (especially for new organs) and the terms of payment (time and amount) are agreed in the contract.

 

Boat builders- well, it tends to be what sort of a boat it is. If it's a custom job made by a yard and you've comissioned it, then it would be installments. If it's a "production" boat, my experience is you pay for it in one shot, (or deposite + payment) usually through an agent rather than direct from the builder. It's more like a car, really.

 

Unless the name is Fr.Willis, it would also be true to suggest that many organ-building companies are not terribly good at financial management, and rely on expensive over-drafts. Any delays with suppliers, or problems on the way, and profits tend to evaporate rather quickly.

 

 

Fr.Willis died with enormous debts and, indeed, his financial irregularities beggar belief. Reason why there are so few Willis II organs is that they were effectively priced out of the market by the debts the company had and their overhead of the repayments they had to make. I would not hold him up as a paragon of good financial management in the field of organbuilding - in, fact, quite the opposite. No-one still knows quite how the exhibition organ was funded. However, Willis was brilliant spin doctor and the reputation of Willis organs has much to do with the reputation and mystique he created.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy New Year, Colin

 

One of the things that saddens me is that so often people default to the larger firms for new instruments, when there is often equal or better quality to be found outside, with the sole traders - who so often left the larger firms' employment, because they felt creativity was stifled or that quality was being sacrificed to support the expensive company infrastructure. Without another great exhibition, we shan't know what talent truly exists out there. Any millionaires care to contribute? How about a competition to build a practice organ of a set budget or design?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The fact that our hosts have survived this difficult period and managed to pick up big contracts, suggests that there has been sound financial management somewhere along the line.

MM

 

It may also have something to do with them building rather good organs, too!

 

Whilst I do not necessarily like all the Mander organs which I have played, I have never observed shoddy workmanship or ugly tonalities

 

Chichester is, by the way, an absolute gem. If you have never heard it, I thoroughly recommend doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be good to have some information available on new instruments - and rebuilds, in this country.

 

OR used to run a column on this subject; however, it then turned into a lecture from John Norman on various technical aspects of organ building and design.

 

Personally, I did not find this so useful or interesting, since the technical information is readily available in a number of existing publications.

 

Is anyone else interested in such a column?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would be good to have some information available on new instruments - and rebuilds, in this country.

 

OR used to run a column on this subject; however, it then turned into a lecture from John Norman on various technical aspects of organ building and design.

 

Personally, I did not find this so useful or interesting, since the technical information is readily available in a number of existing publications.

 

Is anyone else interested in such a column?

 

There used to be a Positif Press journal called The Organbuilder, don't know if it's still available - think it turned into something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David!! Happy New Year. Been meaning to email you anyway....

 

On the subject of small builders - there are a few small builders who have the potential to build absolutely 1st class organs and they need opportunities to thrive. I'm sure you and I have the same names going around our heads....

 

however, there are also lots of small builders who buy in lots of supplier parts and simply assemble them into an organ. The results are frequently not of the same quality as the bigger, better know players, like Manders & H&H, who have bigger resources, facilities and more specialised staff in each area and can take much more responsibility and control for each item to get it right for that organ.

 

When drawing up the list for builders for a contract, the thing that goes through the client's head is "are we confident this firm is capable of doing a job upto the standard we want for the quarter of a million pounds we're thinking of spending?" It's about managing risk and most people will feel much happier putting their money with a big company that's done similar work before very well than a small company that's unproven doing the work and you're unsure whether they've got the facilities and resources to do a good job.

 

The only way for the builder to get up there - and those like Ken Tickell have done it - is to start small and build your way up. I believe there's a certain organbuilder in Westbury that should be given the break to build a new organ....

 

On publications for new organs in UK, there's the IBO's organ building annual journal:

 

http://www.ibo.co.uk/IBO2005/publications/...ing/journal.htm

 

which is well worth getting, highlighting work in organ building in the UK each year. I think this is the replacement of "The Organbuilder".

 

I fully agree with pcnd's comments: I was at Chichester over the summer and the organ is a gem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boat builders- well, it tends to be what sort of a boat it is. If it's a custom job made by a yard and you've comissioned it, then it would be installments. If it's a "production" boat, my experience is you pay for it in one shot, (or deposite + payment) usually through an agent rather than direct from the builder. It's more like a car, really..........

(snip)

 

Fr.Willis died with enormous debts and, indeed, his financial irregularities beggar belief.

 

 

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

 

 

I used the trade of boat-building because I've been involved in the finances of it, working for a major engine manufacturer. There are many similarities between organ-building and boat-building.....exotic materials, expensive outside components, highly-skilled labour-intensive work, acceptance, stage-payments etc. The finished-product costs about the same too; especially with the custom-built 45ft + power-boats.

 

Just to clarify a point, was Fr.Willis in debt personally, or were the debts restricted to the company?

 

Does anyone know?

 

I had to giggle at that priceless moment on "Howard Goodall's organ works," when Herny Willis IV spoke of Fr.Willis.

 

"The usual trick was to have two benfactors each paying half, with the church paying the other half. This....made....certain organs.... quite profitable!"

 

Of course the other gem was when Howard Goodall asked, "How many people worked for your Great Grandfather."

 

With characteristic style, HW IV replied, "Ah! Now that's an interesting question....all of them, as opposed to almost none of them to-day!"

 

They don't make characters like this anymore.

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"there are a few small builders who have the potential to build absolutely 1st class organs and they need opportunities to thrive. I'm sure you and I have the same names going around our heads...."

 

(Quote)

That is even more sad in Germany: 300+ builders on a threatened market,

some of them among the small capable of grand things. But it's highly probable

they will never been given the chance!

 

Pierre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had to giggle at that priceless moment on "Howard Goodall's organ works," when Herny Willis IV spoke of Fr.Willis.

 

"The usual trick was to have two benfactors each paying half, with the church paying the other half. This....made....certain organs....  quite profitable!"

 

Of course the other gem was when Howard Goodall asked, "How many people worked for your Great Grandfather."

 

With characteristic style, HW IV replied, "Ah! Now that's an interesting question....all of them, as opposed to almost none of them to-day!"

 

They don't make characters like this anymore.

 

MM

 

In the same episode, Ian Tracey was shown playing some grand piece or other. The soundtrack was exciting; we were then treated to a close-up shot of Ian playing - with the wind switched off. (The piston channel LEDs were un-lit.)

 

Why do TV companies allow this? Howard Goodall should have known better - unless, of course, he did not watch that part of the day's 'rushes'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only way for the builder to get up there - and those like Ken Tickell have done it - is to start small and build your way up.

 

 

 

Funny thing, but Fr.Willis started at the top almost, as did Cavaille-Coll. I seem to recall that H & H rise was also fairly meteoric, once they established themselves in Durham.

 

In this day and age, were I to start an organ-building firm, (which I have absolutely no intentions of doing) I would co-operate with others (which I know goes on anyway) as associates, with pooled funding, risk, skills, manufacturing facilities and profits. After all, anything bought from outside suppliers, such as blowers, action components and manuals, are components purchased from outside firms.

 

Didn't John Compton keep J WWalker & Sons in business by getting them to make cinema organ components during the depression years, as sub-contractors?

 

I think the name Nicholson may have been similarly associated with Compton at the same time, but I could be wrong.

 

MM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...