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Rah Organ Over The Web

Anthony Poole

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First of all, I'm glad to see the message board back. Congratulations to all concerned in coming up with this version.:D I like all the facial expressions


I've listened to a few Proms over the Web and am curious about the BBC microphone placing, in relation to the organ. I heard Naji Hakim's recital yesterday and the balance sounded like the microphones were right in front of the Great, which was very, very prominent, while the other departments sounded like they were a more 'natural' balance.


I'm not sure whether this has anything to do with the internal layout of the instrument, or the Beeb's microphone placement, or whether the sound of the Web bears any relationship to the sound heard by radio listeners on either FM or digital, or the audience in the hall. I've no way of telling, as I live in New York.


I'd be interested to hear other people's observations.




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Guest Geoff McMahon

This is a comment which has been made a few times already. I think there is something of a learning curve to be worked through regarding the microphone placement and it is not an easy one to solve because of the sound reflector above the orchestra which normally sits at about the level of the Great Organ, effectively masking all that is above it. The internal layout, with the Solo and Swell organs being so far back does not help of course, but that balance is much better than it was also due in part to the removal of the roof.


I am sure the BEEB will get it all sorted in the end, but the best option remains to go there and hear it in the flesh.


John Pike Mander

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was in the hall for the BBC CO prom (Saint Saens Organ Symphony) and thought that the Great was dominant, so perhaps the microphones are giving an accurate "picture". Dame Gillian Weir played a Messian encore, which confirmed that the Swell and Solo organs are distant. But what a sound in the final movement of the Saint Saens!!

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Thanks to BBC I've listened to that concert (Saint-Saens symphony) and I do agree. The sound is very powerful in Saint-Saens sympohy and the swell sounds lovely. Congratulations!

Perhaps I mistake, but I think this organ doesn't fit very well to Messiaen's music. Of course the instrument is a masterwork but I think the piece sounded somewhat harsh (it's only an impression). Perhaps the problem is Dame Gillian Weir (really I don't know). What do you think? I've never read the score of this piece so I don't know what kind of stops did Messiaen write. Perhaps the problem is on the microphones.

By the way, this thing to listen to the proms into the seven days after the broadcast is a marvellous thing. Here in Spain, RNE doesn't do that.

Thank you very much.

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