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The Minster Documentary

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I wonder if other board members have been watching the documentary mini-series on York Minster on Friday evenings? If so, I wonder if anyone knows why at least four of the stop-heads on the Nave console appear to have blank paper labels stuck over the engraving. Two of them are high up on the jamb, just below the four chorus reeds.

 

Prior to the 1993 additions and alterations by Geoffrey Coffin, the G.O. had twenty-two stops; there are now a total of twenty-four stops on this division. Since the stop-heads on the screen console have clearly been skimmed and re-engraved*; I had presumed that the Nave console stop-heads would have been skimmed and re-engraved at the same time. I wonder if perhaps there have been some more recent alterations to the G.O. of this instrument - does anyone have any further information, please?

 

 

 

* As this photograph shows: http://www.yorkminster.org/worship-and-choir/choir-and-music/organ-amp-organists.html

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I believe that as part of an experiment, Harrisons have put the Gt Reeds back on their pre1960s pressure. This has rendered some of the new ranks put in in the 1990s unusable, but I gather that the Minster staff feel that the gain in the speech of the reeds is worth the sacrifice.

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I believe that as part of an experiment, Harrisons have put the Gt Reeds back on their pre1960s pressure. This has rendered some of the new ranks put in in the 1990s unusable, but I gather that the Minster staff feel that the gain in the speech of the reeds is worth the sacrifice.

I understand that in 1993 Coffin placed all four Gt reeds on a separate (raised) chest on 7" WG. Prior to that, I think that two were on 7" and two on a main chest at 4 1/4".

Presumably, then, either the raised reed chest has had its pressure lowered or some of the reeds have been returned to the main chest (at lower pressure) replacing some of the flues that were on that chest.

Do you have any more details?

 

Btw, since when did Harrison's become involved with the Minster organ (since the 1930s, of course)?

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So from the photo of the stops it appears the Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 and the Cymbel 22.26.29.33 have at least been put to one side.

 

In a recent recording of the Minster organ, John Scott Whiteley demonsrates this Cornet stop. Compared to the 'Cornet separe' also available on the Great (possible with the addition of the Sequialtera II 12.17, also added in 1993), I'm not sure if we should lament the loss of this Cornet stop. It sounds quite unexciting and dull to me, compared to the Cornet Separe version, which sounds a great deal clearer and much more useful, particularly for Bach.

 

Here are the two Cornet sounds, one after the other, commencing from approx 1:10 -

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxakRY3lnw

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So from the photo of the stops it appears the Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 and the Cymbel 22.26.29.33 have at least been put to one side.

 

In a recent recording of the Minster organ, John Scott Whiteley demonsrates this Cornet stop. Compared to the 'Cornet separe' also available on the Great (possible with the addition of the Sequialtera II 12.17, also added in 1993), I'm not sure if we should lament the loss of this Cornet stop. It sounds quite unexciting and dull to me, compared to the Cornet Separe version, which sounds a great deal clearer and much more useful, particularly for Bach.

 

Here are the two Cornet sounds, one after the other, commencing from approx 1:10 -

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxakRY3lnw

 

Yes - the same thought had occurred to me.

 

I think that I would miss the Cymbel, though; particularly since the smaller version on the Choir Organ was removed at the time of the 1993 work. Personally, I regard it as a mistake to remove these stops from larger instruments - particularly those which stand in resonant buildings. The cathedrals at Carlisle, Chester (several compound stops have had ranks removed or silenced), Dublin (Saint Patrick's), Exeter, Lichfield, Saint Paul's (London: Manual V - pitched an octave lower) and York Minster have all lost high mixtures in one form or another. At least three of these have had the Choir cymbal-type mixtures replaced with somewhat pointless 19-22-26 compound stops. Such stops I heartily dislike, partly due to the presence of the uncovered quint and partly because this type of mixture rarely fulfills any useful function. Generally, it neither gives clarity to the bass register nor brilliance to the upper range.

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So from the photo of the stops it appears the Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 and the Cymbel 22.26.29.33 have at least been put to one side.

 

In a recent recording of the Minster organ, John Scott Whiteley demonsrates this Cornet stop. Compared to the 'Cornet separe' also available on the Great (possible with the addition of the Sequialtera II 12.17, also added in 1993), I'm not sure if we should lament the loss of this Cornet stop. It sounds quite unexciting and dull to me, compared to the Cornet Separe version, which sounds a great deal clearer and much more useful, particularly for Bach.

 

Here are the two Cornet sounds, one after the other, commencing from approx 1:10 -

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxakRY3lnw

I think it's a shame to lose both of these stops. If they really must go, with what are they replacing them? Who just disposes of stops without replacing them with something?

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I think it's a shame to lose both of these stops. If they really must go, with what are they replacing them? Who just disposes of stops without replacing them with something?

 

I refer you to posts 2 and 3, which explains perhaps what has happened.

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Yes - the same thought had occurred to me.

 

I think that I would miss the Cymbel, though; particularly since the smaller version on the Choir Organ was removed at the time of the 1993 work. Personally, I regard it as a mistake to remove these stops from larger instruments - particularly those which stand in resonant buildings. The cathedrals at Carlisle, Chester (several compound stops have had ranks removed or silenced), Dublin (Saint Patrick's), Exeter, Lichfield, Saint Paul's (London: Manual V - pitched an octave lower) and York Minster have all lost high mixtures in one form or another. At least three of these have had the Choir cymbal-type mixtures replaced with somewhat pointless 19-22-26 compound stops. Such stops I heartily dislike, partly due to the presence of the uncovered quint and partly because this type of mixture rarely fulfills any useful function. Generally, it neither gives clarity to the bass register nor brilliance to the upper range.

 

With respect to the former Cymbal III 29.33.36 on the Vth manual at St Paul's Cathedral. I really don't know why they changed this in 1993/94. The Cymbal imparted an attractive brilliance to the Dome tutti, and it's lowering by an octave to a Mixture 22.26.29 is regrettable. The current mixture composition in the Dome makes no sense to me at all:

 

Quartane II 19.22

Mixture 22.26.29

Fourniture 19.22.26.29

 

That simply looks like duplication to me, and I don't understand it. I would have thought a Sesquialtera II 12.17 (or III 12.15.17) would be more useful, with the possibility of a Cornet 'Separe', rather than what we have now. I've always thought that the absence of the Cornet option in the Dome rather strange - the clear fluework is there, and the Diapason II being quite unforced, so why they haven't done this is perplexing to me.

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I refer you to posts 2 and 3, which explains perhaps what has happened.

Thank you. Yes, I got that. Two of the Great reeds have been moved down to the lower-pressure chests, displacing the Cymbel and Cornet.

 

But that leaves two empty slides on the upper chest, doesn't it? Are they to be left unoccupied, or will they be installing a couple of new stops?

 

Edit: ...assuming that the 'experiment' is successful and the trumpets are left in their new positions.

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With respect to the former Cymbal III 29.33.36 on the Vth manual at St Paul's Cathedral. I really don't know why they changed this in 1993/94. The Cymbal imparted an attractive brilliance to the Dome tutti, and it's lowering by an octave to a Mixture 22.26.29 is regrettable. The current mixture composition in the Dome makes no sense to me at all:

 

Quartane II 19.22

Mixture 22.26.29

Fourniture 19.22.26.29

 

That simply looks like duplication to me, and I don't understand it. I would have thought a Sesquialtera II 12.17 (or III 12.15.17) would be more useful, with the possibility of a Cornet 'Separe', rather than what we have now. I've always thought that the absence of the Cornet option in the Dome rather strange - the clear fluework is there, and the Diapason II being quite unforced, so why they haven't done this is perplexing to me.

I suppose it depends to some extent on the composition of the Mixture in relation to that of the Fourniture.

 

There has been, over the past twenty or so years, a reaction against high-pitched mixtures and in a typical English parish church it is probably best to avoid really high stuff. But in a large building, particularly when the pipes are some distance from the listeners, I think there's a need for a high mixture to top the chorus. The Cimbel at Belfast Cathedral (Harrison c.1968) clinches the presence of the organ in the building and the Swell Mixture has much the same effect in that department.

 

I'm not sure that a Sesquialtera would be much use in the Dome at St. Paul's, apart from as a colour stop. One would be unlikely to perform Cornet Voluntaries on it. George Thalben-Ball managed a superb rendering of a Stanley Voluntary on the West End end reeds accompanied from the chancel. Not everyone could bring this off, but GTB was GTB.

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With respect to the former Cymbal III 29.33.36 on the Vth manual at St Paul's Cathedral. I really don't know why they changed this in 1993/94. The Cymbal imparted an attractive brilliance to the Dome tutti, and it's lowering by an octave to a Mixture 22.26.29 is regrettable. The current mixture composition in the Dome makes no sense to me at all:

 

Quartane II 19.22

Mixture 22.26.29

Fourniture 19.22.26.29

 

That simply looks like duplication to me, and I don't understand it. I would have thought a Sesquialtera II 12.17 (or III 12.15.17) would be more useful, with the possibility of a Cornet 'Separe', rather than what we have now. I've always thought that the absence of the Cornet option in the Dome rather strange - the clear fluework is there, and the Diapason II being quite unforced, so why they haven't done this is perplexing to me.

 

I agree entirely.

 

I also wonder what the thinking was behind these mixture schemes.

 

Although the organ of Lincoln Cathedral does not possess a cymbal-type mixture, the last time I played it, I could not help but wonder if the Choir Mixture (ostensibly 22-26-29) had been re-cast as a 15-19-22 Mixture. The stop lacked any kind of brightness or definition at all. I realise that it is around the corner from the console - but so was the former Cimbel (26-29-33) on the Choir Organ of Exeter Cathedral, and this stop gave a beautiful, bright sheen to the Choir chorus. I also think that removing this stop (and re-scaling the Twenty Second as a pointless Larigot) was a grave error. The Clarinet which took its place is on an open soundboard, so is inexpressive and a Larigot could easily be obtained by the use of the Lieblich Bourdon, Nazard and Octaves Alone - with or without the 8ft. and 4ft. Gedeckts.

 

For that matter, I wonder if Harrisons have taken the opportunity to swap the positions of the Choir and Solo organs in their current re-ordering of the Exeter organ. If not, I would also regard this as a completely wasted opportunity.

 

I would have suggested that the following was a more sensible arrangement of resources:

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

the Stopped Diapason and [Nason] Flute would go to the CHOIR ORGAN; in turn, the CHOIR Lieblich Gedeckt and Lieblich Flute would go to the SWELL ORGAN (where they would be re-united with the mild strings, which were formerly on the CHOIR ORGAN, prior to 1965). The CHOIR ORGAN would also lose its Lieblich Bourdon (which is seldom used; in any case, the lowest twelve notes come from the Pedal Bourdon).

 

The SWELL ORGAN would lose the Twelfth and gain the Vox Humana from the SOLO ORGAN *

 

The SOLO ORGAN would lose the Vox Humana (to the SWELL) and the Piccolo (no great loss - it wobbles unpleasantly) and thus be slightly reduced in size. However, the CHOIR ORGAN would gain two slides.

 

The CHOIR and SOLO organs would swap places.

 

This would give:

 

SOLO ORGAN (Now facing East, but with shutters in both directions)

 

Viole d'Orchestre 8

Viole Céleste (C13) 8

Claribel Flute 8

Harmonic Flute 4

Orchestral Oboe 8

Corno di Bassetto 8

Tremulant

Tuba 8

Trompette Militaire 8*

(*The latter stop to have its 1965 voicing re-instated.)

 

 

CHOIR ORGAN (Now facing West)

 

Stopped Diapason 8

Viola 8 (Slightly re-voiced and broadened)

Prestant 4 (New)

Nason Flute 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2 (New)

Open Flute 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Twenty Second 1 (Re-instated)

Cimbel (26-29-33) III (Re-instated)

Cremona 8 (New)

Tremulant

 

Having known this instrument since I was fifteen, I would regard this as a more versatile and sensible scheme than what was actually in place. The Swell flutes are more robust than those on the Choir Organ, so they would make a better foundation for the new chorus. The new Prestant and Fifteenth would help this division to function as a more realistic foil to the G.O. The Cremona, by being a full-blooded specimen would provide a voice which has probably never been present on this instrument. However, it would be English, rather than a French Cromorne - although it would contrast from the superb Willis II Corno di Bassetto on the Solo Organ.

 

 

 

* Clearly the soundboards would require re-planning (which is presumably one of the things which Harrisons have undertaken); one would not want to encounter (or tune) a Vox Humana in the middle of the Swell upper-work.

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I suppose it depends to some extent on the composition of the Mixture in relation to that of the Fourniture.

 

There has been, over the past twenty or so years, a reaction against high-pitched mixtures and in a typical English parish church it is probably best to avoid really high stuff. But in a large building, particularly when the pipes are some distance from the listeners, I think there's a need for a high mixture to top the chorus. The Cimbel at Belfast Cathedral (Harrison c.1968) clinches the presence of the organ in the building and the Swell Mixture has much the same effect in that department.

 

...

 

The Positive Cymbal (29-33-36) here performs a similar function. When the Positive chorus (including the Cymbal) is added to those of the G.O. and Swell organs, the instrument really comes alive - even in the dry acoustic of our ancient Minster church. As Clutton wrote in The Organ: ... 'and by closing one's eyes one can well imagine oneself hearing a huge baroque west end organ in a great continental church - no mean achievement from this restricted organ chamber.' *

 

 

 

 

* p.6; The Organ, No. 181: Vol. XLXI (July 1966).

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Regarding the St Paul's Dome Chorus Cymbal, I agree that this had a thrilling effect - you hear it once or twice in some Dearnley recordings - but I think I read somewhere that this stop's composition was altered because it was difficult to keep in tune. Could that be right? Might JPM possibly comment?

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Thank you. Yes, I got that. Two of the Great reeds have been moved down to the lower-pressure chests, displacing the Cymbel and Cornet.

 

But that leaves two empty slides on the upper chest, doesn't it? Are they to be left unoccupied, or will they be installing a couple of new stops?

 

Edit: ...assuming that the 'experiment' is successful and the trumpets are left in their new positions.

 

Yes, I take your point. Reading through this again I think it is inferred that all four G.O. reeds have been moved back to their old positions, and four existing flue stops have been displaced. Two have been identified by pcnd5584 (the Cornet and Cymbel sitting below the reeds), the other two as yet undetermined. So presumably the raised chest remains unused?

 

I think that's what has happened. If so, I think the loss of the four flue stops is a shame, except perhaps the Cornet, which sounds dull and uninspiring to me. I'm not sure what John Scott Whiteley would think of this, as presumably he was one of the supporters of the Coffin additions in the 1993 work?

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Regarding the St Paul's Dome Chorus Cymbal, I agree that this had a thrilling effect - you hear it once or twice in some Dearnley recordings - but I think I read somewhere that this stop's composition was altered because it was difficult to keep in tune. Could that be right? Might JPM possibly comment?

 

If that's true (which no doubt it probably is), I think that is a regrettable reason for getting rid of an important stop that was integral to the design of the Dome chorus in the first place.

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In Belfast, one tended to rate a tuner's skill on whether he/she could make a good job of the St. Anne's Cimbel. We were lucky in having Philip Prosser (who voiced Gloucester for Downes), and his son Steve, although there was usually a bit of banter about who was going to do it.

 

'Get up there and do the Cimbel.'

'Come on! I did it last time!'

 

David McElderry of Wells Kennedy was also good, and so was Rachel Adams, who trained with WK and later spent some time with our hosts before returning to Northern Ireland.

 

Apparently, before Philip took over the maintenance, the tuning was done by Charlie Smethurst. During the Troubles, a lot of firms were reluctant to work in Northern Ireland (not just organ builders - one of the first results of the Good Friday Agreement was the advent of Sainsbury's, Tesco and McDonalds'), but Charlie liked the place, to the extent that he retired to Dunmurry on the outskirts of Belfast. Charlie was really a console man (trained by Harrisons'). He tuned mixtures in equal temperament and, at St. Anne's, was found to have pushed in the mouths of the smaller pipes so they didn't have to be tuned at all.

 

This diversion apart, we know that the function of a cymbel is not just to add extra top but to clarify the bass and tenor. Indeed, because of its many breaks, such a stop may not be any higher than the other mixtures by the time it gets to the treble range. I don't know how well the St. Paul's Cymbel performed this function, but maybe the present arrangement works better. After all, Donald Harrison provided a 'Klein Fourniture' which duplicated ranks in other mixtures and no one seems to have regarded it as a waste of space.

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I agree entirely.

 

I also wonder what the thinking was behind these mixture schemes.

 

Although the organ of Lincoln Cathedral does not possess a cymbal-type mixture, the last time I played it, I could not help but wonder if the Choir Mixture (ostensibly 22-26-29) had been re-cast as a 15-19-22 Mixture. The stop lacked any kind of brightness or definition at all. I realise that it is around the corner from the console - but so was the former Cimbel (26-29-33) on the Choir Organ of Exeter Cathedral, and this stop gave a beautiful, bright sheen to the Choir chorus. I also think that removing this stop (and re-scaling the Twenty Second as a pointless Larigot) was a grave error. The Clarinet which took its place is on an open soundboard, so is inexpressive and a Larigot could easily be obtained by the use of the Lieblich Bourdon, Nazard and Octaves Alone - with or without the 8ft. and 4ft. Gedeckts.

 

For that matter, I wonder if Harrisons have taken the opportunity to swap the positions of the Choir and Solo organs in their current re-ordering of the Exeter organ. If not, I would also regard this as a completely wasted opportunity.

 

I would have suggested that the following was a more sensible arrangement of resources:

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

the Stopped Diapason and [Nason] Flute would go to the CHOIR ORGAN; in turn, the CHOIR Lieblich Gedeckt and Lieblich Flute would go to the SWELL ORGAN (where they would be re-united with the mild strings, which were formerly on the CHOIR ORGAN, prior to 1965). The CHOIR ORGAN would also lose its Lieblich Bourdon (which is seldom used; in any case, the lowest twelve notes come from the Pedal Bourdon).

 

The SWELL ORGAN would lose the Twelfth and gain the Vox Humana from the SOLO ORGAN *

 

The SOLO ORGAN would lose the Vox Humana (to the SWELL) and the Piccolo (no great loss - it wobbles unpleasantly) and thus be slightly reduced in size. However, the CHOIR ORGAN would gain two slides.

 

The CHOIR and SOLO organs would swap places.

 

This would give:

 

SOLO ORGAN (Now facing East, but with shutters in both directions)

 

Viole d'Orchestre 8

Viole Céleste (C13) 8

Claribel Flute 8

Harmonic Flute 4

Orchestral Oboe 8

Corno di Bassetto 8

Tremulant

Tuba 8

Trompette Militaire 8*

(*The latter stop to have its 1965 voicing re-instated.)

 

 

CHOIR ORGAN (Now facing West)

 

Stopped Diapason 8

Viola 8 (Slightly re-voiced and broadened)

Prestant 4 (New)

Nason Flute 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2 (New)

Open Flute 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Twenty Second 1 (Re-instated)

Cimbel (26-29-33) III (Re-instated)

Cremona 8 (New)

Tremulant

 

Having known this instrument since I was fifteen, I would regard this as a more versatile and sensible scheme than what was actually in place. The Swell flutes are more robust than those on the Choir Organ, so they would make a better foundation for the new chorus. The new Prestant and Fifteenth would help this division to function as a more realistic foil to the G.O. The Cremona, by being a full-blooded specimen would provide a voice which has probably never been present on this instrument. However, it would be English, rather than a French Cromorne - although it would contrast from the superb Willis II Corno di Bassetto on the Solo Organ.

 

 

 

* Clearly the soundboards would require re-planning (which is presumably one of the things which Harrisons have undertaken); one would not want to encounter (or tune) a Vox Humana in the middle of the Swell upper-work.

 

It will certainly be interesting to hear the final results at Exeter. The Trompette Militaire was quite an exciting stop when I heard it in the 80s, and was certainly quite powerful. I didn't know that had been subsequently changed.

 

I also hope that the voicing of the stops isn't adjusted too much in order to make them more powerful. I was recently listening to the organ in my local cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, where the organ has been recently 'revamped' by Harrisons. The work is clearly excellent, and the new organ cases very striking. But I can't help feel the voicing of the Great flue chorus is really extremely bold, even over the top. I know the organ is confined high up within the Chancel recess, and projection of sound is important down the nave, but sitting in the choir stalls, the volume is extraordinary. I mean, the diapason chorus virtually knocks you off your feet, even when the building is full!

 

No criticism intended to the Head Voicer at Harrisons, but I do hope this doesn't happen at Exeter.

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In Belfast, one tended to rate a tuner's skill on whether he/she could make a good job of the St. Anne's Cimbel. We were lucky in having Philip Prosser (who voiced Gloucester for Downes), and his son Steve, although there was usually a bit of banter about who was going to do it.

 

'Get up there and do the Cimbel.'

'Come on! I did it last time!'

 

David McElderry of Wells Kennedy was also good, and so was Rachel Adams, who trained with WK and later spent some time with our hosts before returning to Northern Ireland.

 

Apparently, before Philip took over the maintenance, the tuning was done by Charlie Smethurst. During the Troubles, a lot of firms were reluctant to work in Northern Ireland (not just organ builders - one of the first results of the Good Friday Agreement was the advent of Sainsbury's, Tesco and McDonalds'), but Charlie liked the place, to the extent that he retired to Dunmurry on the outskirts of Belfast. Charlie was really a console man (trained by Harrisons'). He tuned mixtures in equal temperament and, at St. Anne's, was found to have pushed in the mouths of the smaller pipes so they didn't have to be tuned at all.

 

This diversion apart, we know that the function of a cymbel is not just to add extra top but to clarify the bass and tenor. Indeed, because of its many breaks, such a stop may not be any higher than the other mixtures by the time it gets to the treble range. I don't know how well the St. Paul's Cymbel performed this function, but maybe the present arrangement works better. After all, Donald Harrison provided a 'Klein Fourniture' which duplicated ranks in other mixtures and no one seems to have regarded it as a waste of space.

 

I can confirm the St Paul's cymbal worked very well. I suspect it was demoted by an octave through practical expediency, rather than pure musical considerations.

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I'm not sure that a Sesquialtera would be much use in the Dome at St. Paul's, apart from as a colour stop. One would be unlikely to perform Cornet Voluntaries on it. George Thalben-Ball managed a superb rendering of a Stanley Voluntary on the West End end reeds accompanied from the chancel. Not everyone could bring this off, but GTB was GTB.

 

The addition of a Sesquialtera in the Dome flue chorus was considered some years ago, before the new Dome reeds were added, but nothing came of it. Also, I disagree with the potential effectiveness of a Cornet-style voluntary from the Dome. Sitting near or under the Dome, the Dome flue and reed choruses are surprisingly clear, with little reverberation. All the problems of extended reverberation emanate from the Chancel organ. If the Dome is played alone, the sound is very clear, precise, and bold, (apart from the Diapason II, which surprisingly unforced, almost delicate). I would really like to see the flue Dome chorus extended to something like this:

 

Double Open Diapason 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Flute Harmonique* 8

Quint* 5 1/3

Octave 4

Principal* 4

Tierce* 3 1/5

Super Octave 2

Sesquialtera 12.15.17* III

Quartane 19.22 II

Fourniture 19.22.26.29 IV

Cymbal 29.33.36+ III

 

* New

+Replacing Mixture 22.26.29

 

Henry Willis III proposed in 1940 a striking Dome flue chorus, with its own independent Cornet stop, which if it had been built would have been quite exciting!

 

Double Open Diapason 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Principal I 4

Principal II 4

Quint & Terz 5.10 II

Mixture 15.19.22.26.29 V

Cymbale 31.33.38 III

Cornet III-V (breaks: 12.15.17/8.12.15.17/1.8.12.15.17)

 

[source: A history of the organs of St Paul's Cathedral, Plumley and Niland 2001, pp 151-153].

 

 

So the idea of a strong Dome flue chorus, with even an independent Cornet, has been about for quite some time.

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Yes, I take your point. Reading through this again I think it is inferred that all four G.O. reeds have been moved back to their old positions, and four existing flue stops have been displaced. Two have been identified by pcnd5584 (the Cornet and Cymbel sitting below the reeds), the other two as yet undetermined. So presumably the raised chest remains unused?

Prior to the 1993 alterations, only two of the four reeds (Trumpet 8' and Clarion 4') were on the 4 1/4" main chest. The other two (Contra Posaune 16' and Posaune 8') were on the upper chest at 7".

 

In 1993, the Trumpet and Clarion joined the other two reeds on a new 4-stop raised chest, the new Cymbel and Cornet taking their place on the main chest. The only other alteration was the old Tertian II being replaced by the new Sesquialtera II.

 

As far as I know, the old 2-stop upper chest was moved to the East side of the Solo box within the screen to accommodate the new Bombarde 8' on 10" pressure (and one slider remaining unused).

 

So if it is the Trumpet and Clarion that have been moved down to the main chest, and restored to their original 4 1/4" pressure, there remains two unused sliders on the upper chest. Perhaps it has been decided just to leave these unused. Personally, I'm not sure why it was thought necessary to move these reeds and lose two valuable flues (notwithstanding your low opinion of the Cornet!); if they thought the 7" wind pressure was too high for the Trumpet and Clarion, couldn't they have left them there and reduced the size of their foot holes? Or perhaps they are just trying the lower pressure temporarily... I hope.

 

Incidentally, is it in fact Harrisons who are doing the work, as was suggested earlier?

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Is my memory playing tricks, or wasn't it the case that the Trumpet and Clarion had been the old Trombas and hadn't been happy on the lower pressure?

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Is my memory playing tricks, or wasn't it the case that the Trumpet and Clarion had been the old Trombas and hadn't been happy on the lower pressure?

Yes indeed. According to my little book, all four Great reeds were originally made by Walkers in 1903-4.

 

Then the Trumpet and Clarion were "revoiced as dominant Trombas" by Harrisons in 1916-17, although they were still called Trumpet and Clarion. The four Great reeds were, at that time, placed on "7 and 15 inches", although it is not clear which were on which.

 

Then in 1960, Walkers revoiced them again, this time on 4 1/4", the same as the flue work, and stood them on one of the main windchests, the Posaunes being on an upper chest on 7". And there they all remained until 1993.

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