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Goodbye King's


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I'm not sure if I would describe the alterations to the Pedal flue work as minor?


The new Principal 8', replacing the Violoncello 8' (an octave extension of the Geigen 16') will surely provide more definition to the Pedal flue work, and in its own right is a significant upgrade to the Pedal. This also represents twenty new pipes at eight feet pitch on the soundboard, an invaluable addition in my opinion.


The Principal 4' also now stands independent, no longer being borrowed from the V rank mixture. This will be remade with new pipework, and should provide another useful revision for the pedal upper work, providing greater clarity than the previously borrowed 15th rank from the mixture .


Finally, the V rank mixture has been upped an octave to, from the previous I'm sure this will also be very useful, although the deletion of the 17th rank may or may not be a good thing.


Taken all together these are quite significant revisions to the King's Pedal flue upper work, and I look forward to listening to the results when the work is completed.



Presumably the Pedal Mixture is now actually 15-19-22-26-29; or has it dropped a rank?


As you note, the fact that the seventeenth rank has been removed is worthy of note. On this instrument (and since one of the compound stops on the G.O. contains a tierce), it is interesting that the Pedal Mixture has be re-cast as containing entirely quint and unison ranks. However, leaving out the twelfth was undoubtedly a good idea. These ranks can produce a very unpleasant effect, if present in a Pedal compound stop (which is not in the form of a bass Sesquialtera, such as was found on the Chancel Pedal division of the Willis/Mander instrument in Saint Paul's Cathedral, until 1988, when it was replaced by a 4ft. Flute - presumably of independent pipes).

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I had supper with the Harrison team after the opening concert at Colchester Moot Hall last week. King's came up in the conversation, and I don't think I'm divulging any confidences to say that more of the Pedal is being brought "upstairs" than was previously the case. This is all to the good because it will help co-ordination between departments.


I'm glad they've scrapped the tierce in the Pedal Mixture. Tierces in the bottom of mixtures always sound odd to my ears.


On Saturday, I was at King's for Evensong and the concluding voluntary was Alain's Litanies. I thought, as I have before in the last few years, that there was less brightness to the sound than there had been previously. It might have been the registration, of course....

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