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Exeter Cathedral Organ


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Well, yes - I also spoke up for this stop, on a purely historic level. But I should still like to know what possible use this stop could be musically.

 

And there speaks a man whose organ has a trompette en chamade at a height which could part your hair! :P

 

Only joking......

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And there speaks a man whose organ has a trompette en chamade at a height which could part your hair! :P

 

Only joking......

 

If you would like to buy a copy of my CD, you may be pleasantly surprised at how useful and effective this stop is - when used with care....* The thing that it does not do well (and I do not believe that it was designed to do in any case), is play a piece involving a solo melody - such as any Tuba Tune, or the Charpentier. Unfortunately, this is how most visitors to the organ attempt to use it. On the other hand, I can think of very few Tuba stops on which I should like to listen to chords.

 

 

 

* Please do not feel obliged to do so, David; however, it may be your 'Damascus moment'....

 

(Now, am I joking, or not?)

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I think the word you are seeking, David, is Megakazoo.

 

Gah.

 

Vox - I am beginning to suspect that you actually like stops such as the Tromba ranks at Crediton - or even the Choir Tuba....

 

I am shocked - deeply....

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Gah.

 

Vox - I am beginning to suspect that you actually like stops such as the Tromba ranks at Crediton - or even the Choir Tuba....

 

I am shocked - deeply....

 

Ah now (how do you spell the sucking of teeth?) Which is worse? The oily smoothness of honking 'bas, or a cheese-grating Regal on steroids? Difficult. I can't bring myself to praise Crediton, but dare I admit to a tiny (and it is tiny) admiration for the 'bas on the Foghorn? Then again, the other day I dug out a book of Caleb Simper's voluntaries, hoping for a good laugh, and was dismayed to find all but a couple neither funny nor nauseating. I think I need counselling.

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Ah now (how do you spell the sucking of teeth?) Which is worse? The oily smoothness of honking 'bas, or a cheese-grating Regal on steroids? Difficult. I can't bring myself to praise Crediton, but dare I admit to a tiny (and it is tiny) admiration for the 'bas on the Foghorn? Then again, the other day I dug out a book of Caleb Simper's voluntaries, hoping for a good laugh, and was dismayed to find all but a couple neither funny nor nauseating. I think I need counselling.

 

No, Vox - I suspect that what you need is a good single malt.

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Please: no tampering with the Truro Ophicleide.

+1. I think it might have been voiced to thrill open-mouthed boy choristers at Choral festivals. So, it's worth keeping it as is just for that.

Incidentally, I learned that Henry Doughty, for almost 20 years assistant at Truro, died in November (only 6 months after John Winter's death.

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I think it might have been voiced to thrill open-mouthed boy choristers at Choral festivals. So, it's worth keeping it as is just for that.

 

You may be right. It certainly had that effect me as a chorister singing at an RSCM Cathedral Course there decades ago under Gerald Knight, with Roy Massey upstairs. I had heard Pedal Trombones, but this (to a twelve-year-old) was something else entirely...

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+1 I think it might have been voiced to thrill open-mouthed boy choristers at Choral festivals. So, it's worth keeping it as is just for that. ...

 

Hmmm.... as the only Pedal reed - and on a seven-stop department - I am not sure about this. As I wrote above, for historical reasons alone, it is worth keeping; but just to thrill choristers....? Of this I am less persuaded.

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My remark was a touch facetious, I'll admit. But my point was that it is a thrilling stop and deserves to remain on its own terms and for the historical reasons set out previously. I'll temper my position by saying that it's only thrilling if used sparingly (John Winter and Henry Doughty knew that well (HD called it a 'real snorter')). I once went to a lunchtime recital there and the player, an international star, shall we say, used full organ for a prolonged period during 'Ad Nos' (indigestion, anyone?). I decided to go back to the office early.

I entirely agree that a softer pedal reed would be useful (and a soft 32', perhaps, like Salisbury or the St Paul's Posaune?) - I'm not against additions, provided the main part of the organ remains unaltered. I stand to be corrected, but I recall that there is provision for the Tuba to be returned to its original position if so desired.

 

Getting back to topic, I always thought the Exeter organ (prior to the rebuild), lovely as it is, was the opposite of Truro with a Trombone that lacked a bit of impact.

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My remark was a touch facetious, I'll admit. But my point was that it is a thrilling stop and deserves to remain on its own terms and for the historical reasons set out previously. I'll temper my position by saying that it's only thrilling if used sparingly (John Winter and Henry Doughty knew that well (HD called it a 'real snorter')). I once went to a lunchtime recital there and the player, an international star, shall we say, used full organ for a prolonged period during 'Ad Nos' (indigestion, anyone?). I decided to go back to the office early.

I entirely agree that a softer pedal reed would be useful (and a soft 32', perhaps, like Salisbury or the St Paul's Posaune?) - I'm not against additions, provided the main part of the organ remains unaltered. I stand to be corrected, but I recall that there is provision for the Tuba to be returned to its original position if so desired.

 

Getting back to topic, I always thought the Exeter organ (prior to the rebuild), lovely as it is, was the opposite of Truro with a Trombone that lacked a bit of impact.

 

You are correct regarding the Truro Solo Tuba. It would be comparatively quick work to re-instate it in the former position. everything was left in place - well, except for the pipes, of course.

 

The Exeter Trombone - possibly. But it is all the more useful for that. It is also worth remembering that Exeter Cathedral, whilst not being anywhere near as large as York Minster or Lincoln Cathedral, is still rather larger than Truro Cathedral - and with a much drier acoustic ambiance.

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