adlg Posted February 5, 2006 Share Posted February 5, 2006 Gentlepersons: I happened across this board quite by accident, and can think of no better place to pose my question than here. To wit, we have a new cathedral organ; and I would really like to know what CoE organists think of if. Would anything like this have ever come to pass in a provincial Anglican cathedral in GB today? Even in modern history? Now that it has been installed and properly regulated, I will have to say that parts of it are really quite good. Judiciously registered, the Great, Choir, and Pedal are perfectly up to handling Bach, et al.; and it can adequately handle the French stuff; most of the Romantic German excresence that passes for organ music, etc. (exception: Brahms); and the usual English bits. It is just that there is so much muchness there (forgive me, Gertrude Stein). I must admit here that I have little use personally for organs of more than 60 ranks or so, anything bigger is just playing the game of mine's-bigger-than-yours—especially in so small an acoustic space. I find parts of the specification appalling. I mean, glockenspiel? Harp? Chimes? Two voxes (an unkind rumor has it they wanted five—sharp, flat, vox-in-a-box, etc., or was that p-ppppp)? Really? In an Episcopal cathedral? Have both E. M. Skinner and Virgil Fox come back from the grave in full drag? I cannot decide whether the goal was ultimate-retro or decadent New Age. In addition, at least two more 32' sets, plus numerous additions to the principal choruses were lusted after, and about a half dozen other things—funds were not the issue here. Mind you, this is a modestly sized cathedral by English or East Coast, USA standards; and the builder must grudgingly be given his due for cramming so much into so little space. The builder, Schantz, has a excellent reputation for quality of workmanship, but I cannot image the long-term maintenance of this instrument will be easy. We of the very-high-church-but-not-quite-anglocatholic ilk, timorously suggested we could perhaps wait a little and consider an English builder (visions of St. Iggy's, NYC danced through our heads). Based solely on that experience with their instruments, I naturally thought Mander should be very high on the list. Alas, our humble prayers failed even to reach the ears of the cloven-hoofed, though none of use ever really thought there was a chance: The powers-that-be had already made their decision, and I will have to give them credit for one thing: They got the job done promptly, less than two years and there it was! Unheard of! How much did it take to grease the the production wheels I wonder? And still they ponder why so many of us refer to the place as Roosevelt St. Methodist. Ah well, what can you expect from someone who has never forgiven them for giving the BoCP the old heave ho—though I heartily endorse nearly ever thing else that has come to pass in the last 30 years; and if the Archbishop of Canterbury wants this Anglican to apologize offending the English sensibility for recognizing all as being Christ's children, he'll be told quite firmly to stick it in his ear. Enough. If the link below does not work, just Google “Shantz Organs, USA” and go to “What's New.” It's number two on the list. http://www.schantzorgan.com/w-new/Listing.cfm?Selection=81 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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