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ross cobb

UK 5-manuals?

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Where in Stockport and Edinburgh did the 32 and tuba end up?

I presume that the 32 reed went to St George's, Stockport, which was rebuilt by R&D in 1981.

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Radley School Chapel also had a 5 manual,I believe.

I recall an illustration in The Organ showing a flamboyant organist playing this console.

NPOR states it only comprised 55 stops though.

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Radley - well spotted! The four manual organ gained a fifth manual in 1891, only to be removed and rebuilt five years later when moved to a larger chapel. It was apparently broken up during the 1930s and replaced with a three manual organ; the case was transferred elsewhere and is rather splendid:

 

http://viewfinder.historicengland.org.uk/gallery/450/CC9/CC97_2417.jpg

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Gosh, yes! I'd forgotten about that one. Radley had a Precentor, the Revd. William Singleton, who served for a vast number of years and kept persuading the authorities to add bits to the organ. There's a picture in "The Organ" of him sitting at the five-manual console.

 

East Hagbourne Church has the Choir case.

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Gosh, yes! I'd forgotten about that one. Radley had a Precentor, the Revd. William Singleton, who served for a vast number of years and kept persuading the authorities to add bits to the organ. There's a picture in "The Organ" of him sitting at the five-manual console.

 

East Hagbourne Church has the Choir case.

 

And not forgetting Christ's Hospital: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N13075

 

This instrument, as far as I know, still retains its five-clavier console.

 

I believe that it was here that a thirteen-year-old student, named Ivor Keys, impressed greatly a reviewer for The Organ. The boy was a pupil of C.S. Lang, Director of Music at that time, if I recall correctly.

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Did we mention Christ's Hospital earlier? It certainly still has 5 manuals. not quite up there with Holy Rude, Stirling, but a fine organ all the same. It was at one time fashionable to compare it unfavourably with the old Hill in Big School. Personally, I liked the Rushworth and didn't care for the Hill, but I am not a great Hill fan (with certain very notable exceptions). They have a Father Willis Model Organ as well, and used to have a Casson rebuilt all neo-classical by Nick Plomley.

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Did we mention Christ's Hospital earlier? It certainly still has 5 manuals. not quite up there with Holy Rude, Stirling, but a fine organ all the same. It was at one time fashionable to compare it unfavourably with the old Hill in Big School. Personally, I liked the Rushworth and didn't care for the Hill, but I am not a great Hill fan (with certain very notable exceptions). They have a Father Willis Model Organ as well, and used to have a Casson rebuilt all neo-classical by Nick Plomley.

 

Possibly - I did not have time last night to read through four pages of posts. Next time I shall try to ensure that I do so....

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Norwich Cathedral is another. The specification featured in the 1953 edition of "Grove" (and is no doubt on NPOR).

Norwich Cathedral did indeed have 5 manuals following the rebuild of 1889 (5 manuals & pedals, 64 stops) by Norman & Beard but sadly a fire put paid to this instrument in 1938. The fire, which was caused by an electrical fault, took place during Choral Evensong and destroyed almost the whole instrument: the state of the instrument a week later can be seen in this view from the choir:

 

http://www.georgeplunkett.co.uk/Norwich/Cathedral/Choir%20view%20west%20a%20week%20after%20organ%20fire%20%5B2331%5D%201938-04-16.jpg

 

Must have been a most frightening experience for all present, not least whoever was playing!

 

HN&B built a wholly new instrument in 1938-42 of 4 manuals & 105 stops with "rather more than half of the 6655 pipes new". I guess that some of the remains of the organ were taken down before the photo above was taken? Either way we can be thankful that the damage from the fire wasn't considerably worse.

 

N&B 5-manual organ of 1899: NPOR N06483

 

Dave

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The organist, Heathcote Statham, was playing, and only became aware that his organ was on fire when a lay-clerk appeared in the organ loft with an extinguisher. According to Gordon Paget (not, it must be admitted, the most reliable of sources, although he was on the spot at that period), quite a lot of the old organ survived, although the photographs after the fire suggest a complete wreck.

 

It's worth mentioning, in the context of other threads, that the present Norwich organ is doing well on most of its original mechanism, despite the passage of seventy or so years.

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The organist, Heathcote Statham, was playing, and only became aware that his organ was on fire when a lay-clerk appeared in the organ loft with an extinguisher. According to Gordon Paget (not, it must be admitted, the most reliable of sources, although he was on the spot at that period), quite a lot of the old organ survived, although the photographs after the fire suggest a complete wreck.

 

It's worth mentioning, in the context of other threads, that the present Norwich organ is doing well on most of its original mechanism, despite the passage of seventy or so years.

 

Indeed. I spent a week-end playing it for a visiting choir, about three summers ago. I thought that it was wonderful - with the exception of two stops on the Solo Organ. Really good choruses, a wealth of beautiful quieter registers and a majestic tutti - and some of the friendliest, most helpful cathedral staff whom I have ever met.

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............................................. - and some of the friendliest, most helpful cathedral staff whom I have ever met.

 

Some time ago, when I lived in the UK, I played host to a close friend who is a distinguished African Bishop. During the course of his visit to the UK we visited a number of Cathedrals including Norwich. We arrived, me in not-too casual dress and him in full episcopal 'choir' regalia. He didn't want any fuss but the staff there were hugely accommodating, very friendly and only too wiling to put themselves out to show my guest around the Cathedral and the environs of the Cathedral. They were absolutely lovely and, afterwards I wrote to them expressing our appreciation.

 

On the opposite side, and I know a visiting organist had a similar experience when arriving to practice for a FREE organ recital he was giving, we went to a 'modern' Midlands Cathedral (work it out!). The 'greeters' were rude and unwelcoming to the Bishop (my visiting organist friend said that they nearly didn't get a Recital that day - he very nearly just walked away!) "He's not one of ours" said the lady on the desk referring to the, very obvious, member of the Anglican Episcopate! I, again, wrote to the then Dean - who, very strangely, wrote me a reply about balancing books!

 

Very different reactions - I would imagine Norwich is a good place to take on a summer residency with a choir!

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Some time ago, when I lived in the UK, I played post to a close friend who is a distinguished African Bishop. During the course of his visit to the UK we visited a number of Cathedrals …

I may be taking this too seriously but isn’t there some specific protocol about bishops seeking permission in advance from the dean before entering a cathedral? Or is that only when a bishop plans to enter their *own* cathedral?

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I may be taking this too seriously but isn’t there some specific protocol about bishops seeking permission in advance from the dean before entering a cathedral? Or is that only when a bishop plans to enter their *own* cathedral?

 

I may be taking it even more seriously, but I wonder where the Scriptural Authority for all this sort of thing can be found ... ?

 

CEP

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I may be taking this too seriously but isn’t there some specific protocol about bishops seeking permission in advance from the dean before entering a cathedral? Or is that only when a bishop plans to enter their *own* cathedral?

 

I think it only applies when 'officially' visiting! - but perhaps you are right - in which case I stand corrected - but I can see no reason why a Bishop shouldn't be allowed to sight-see - and say his prayers - like anyone else!!

 

But my point was the courtesy and helpfulness of Norwich towards my friend and how I imagine it would be an excellent place for a 'Cathedral Residency' - and the unhelpful, rude and obstructive attitude of 'the other place' - not only to my Episcopal visitor but also to an organist friend who was there giving an organ recital there.

 

Apologies - I'm sorry - I've hijacked the thread again - nasty habit of mine. It was meant as an aside!

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I may be taking it even more seriously, but I wonder where the Scriptural Authority for all this sort of thing can be found ... ?

 

CEP

 

I don't think it's anything to do with 'Scripture' - more to do with Henry VIII keeping his Bishops under control?

 

To return to the subject - Leeds Town Hall, prior to its evisceration in 1972, had 5 manuals.

 

DW

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My general understanding is that the Bishop whose Cathedral it is has to ask the Dean for permission.

 

Here's chapter and verse: Under the Cathedrals Measure 1999, three bodies together form the body corporate of a cathedral – the Chapter, Council and College of Canons. The Measure also states ‘The bishop shall have the principal seat and dignity in the cathedral’. The bishop, after consultation with the Chapter and subject to any provision in the Statutes of the cathedral, may officiate in the cathedral and use it in his work of teaching and mission, for ordinations and synods and for other diocesan occasions and purposes.

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Kings scoring over bishops is nothing new. King James IV (I think) of Scotland, deciding that the bishop was getting somewhat uppity, took St. Magnus Cathedral away from him and gave it to the burghers of Kirkwall. To this day, the cathedral is owned not by the Church of Scotland, which maintains the worship, but to the people of Kirkwall and the cost of its maintenance is borne by the Orkney Islands Council. This historical oddity probably goes a long way to explain why St. Magnus Cathedral never became derelict, like the Border abbeys, was restored in a scholarly fashion and is maintained today (including the organ) to an immaculate standard.

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To return to the subject - Leeds Town Hall, prior to its evisceration in 1972, had 5 manuals.

 

DW

Looking at NPOR, they list it as having four manuals:

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N02796

 

although it had five manual divisions. I assume that the Solo and Echo were both on the fourth manual.

 

Having said that, here's a photo showing 5 manuals:

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N02796&Number=1

 

so perhaps the listing is wrong!

 

In any event, it now only has three of course.

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"Henry Willis" (following family tradition*) is right and NPOR is wrong. Leeds Town Hall had five manuals before the last rebuild.

 

 

* "My father was a man of very definite opinions. He basically thought that anyone who didn't agree with everything he did was a bloody fool. The alarming thing was that he was usually right." (Henry Willis 4)

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I'm a bloody fool!

 

Nice one John - you and me both! I can't speak for HW III as I never met him, but I do find people who adopt an 'I'm always right' attitude to be wearisome. Sometimes there is only a single and inarguable answer to an issue, but more often there is room for dialogue.

 

CEP

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I remember an evensong at Chichester in the mid-late 70s with Richard Kok (sic) playing, no sign of John Birch, lay clerks conducting, and excellent performances of (albeit sraightforward) repertoire. If I remember correctly Wood No 2 in Eb and Holst "Turn back, O man"

 

Apologies - I was mistaken about the spelling. I was thinking of someone else It is Richard Cock!

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