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The 1886 Abbott & Smith organ of the Church of St. James, Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire.


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The 1886 Abbott & Smith organ of the Church of St. James, Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire has been moved to the Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Marchilac-sur-Célé, Mid Pyrenees, France over the last two years.

 

At 10am today, Sunday 10th April, their will be an inauguration with the Benediction of the organ and a Pontifical Mass, followed by a recital by Giorgio Revelli at 3pm.

 

This link is to this instrument https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2g00u5_promenade-musicale-en-la-tres-fascinante-abbaye-de-marcilhac-sur-cele_creation

 

Last year, le Père Guillaume, Parish Priest of l'Abbaye de Marcilhac-sur-Célé in South Western France, raised nearly 40 k€ through crowd-funding.

 

This link is of his parachute jump to raise money for the project https://youtu.be/HdOCcpSkTvE
This one is to the lead up to his jump https://youtu.be/Mcn8T9YzH0A

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I wish I had known earlier!

 

I've just arrived home from taking someone to Bergerac airport - and it would have been only another hour further on and would have made a nice day out (on a lovely sunny afternoon!!)!

 

I'm planning a trip to Rocamadour later in the summer and I'll call in and have a look!

 

Many thanks for that!

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Very pleased to read of this progress. I remember acquainting myself with this instrument twenty-eight years ago at Cragg Vale and enjoying it immensely. It occurred to me that it was actually an Isaac Abbott instrument, with an attractive script-engraved metal nameplate. May it flourish for many decades to come - in a home where it will be appreciated.

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Very pleased to read of this progress. I remember acquainting myself with this instrument twenty-eight years ago at Cragg Vale and enjoying it immensely. It occurred to me that it was actually an Isaac Abbott instrument, with an attractive script-engraved metal nameplate. May it flourish for many decades to come - in a home where it will be appreciated.

http://video-m6info-yahoopartner.tumblr.com/post/142583312967/lot-le-point-dorgue-du-cur%C3%A9

 

The Inaugural Service of Dedication of this Abbott & Smith organ.

 

Julie and Geraint Harris were there from Cragg Vale. After the opening concert, both the Bishop - Mgr Laurent Camiade, and organ builder M Bancelles gave an extra couple of pieces.

The photo is of the Bishop.

 

marcilhac2.jpg

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I am always pleased to see organs which are not appreciated in their native setting finding a new home-albeit abroad or in the British Isles. It puzzles me why some diocesan organ advisers seem reluctant to give such instruments a new life and seek to retain them in a building where they are not appreciated (the organs that is),sometimes to rot next to an electronic substitute.

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As a DOA I am really proud to have sent some instruments to parishes abroad where they are really appreciated (mainly France). It is distressing that churches in this country are simply unprepared to spend the money on the instruments. For some congregations the pipe organ is a casualty of redevelopment of the building, and we have managed to re-home all instruments which have become redundant under such circumstances (and the churches have been really helpful and enthusiastic about ensuring that their organ has a future in other location), and in some cases uncovering some really quite lovely instruments into the bargain. One church in my diocese took a great leap of faith and bought a fabulous Sweetland organ instead of an electronic creation, which was lovingly installed by Peter Collins, replacing an extension organ. For the same price as a modest electronic, the parish got a simply lovely instrument which will last for a very long time. I am occasionally frustrated by parishes who fail to appreciate what they have and try to opt for the cheapest short-term solution. I have recently lost a redundant Norman and Beard organ from a hospital chapel, due to the fact that the developers bulldozed the organ, rather than have the organ removed. Despite advertising the organ, the only enquiries we had were from Australia, and each one fell flat due to funding problems

 

Congratulations to the French on their new acquisitions, which include from my patch, a lovely small 1904 Browne, a Bates of Ludgate Hill (a real find in a church junk loft!) and a Forster and Andrews instrument. Strangely enough - no-one was interested in these organs in the UK................

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Strangely enough - no-one was interested in these organs in the UK................

I'm afraid that the British, or at least most of them, seem completely uninterested in the organ and its music.

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I'm afraid that the British, or at least most of them, seem completely uninterested in the organ and its music.

I agree, John.

We have found this to be the case, here in Warrington.

Although the 1870 organ in the Parr Hall is obviously important as the only recognizable survivor of the nine Cavaillé-Coll organs built in this country,

it is strongly believed that the organ has a special significance in the entire corpus of the Cavaillé-Coll organs, something that might well be especially important if the disposal of the organ by the Warrington authorities becomes a real threat to its survival.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that this could and should become a major heritage issue in the widest sense.

 

It is ironic that one of the people involved in the removal of the Cragg Vale organ to France is also my co-Admin of the Facebook group

'Warrington Cavaillé-Coll Organ'. Just like Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, he is also from Toulouse.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/660405240701596/

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It has recently been pointed out that this organ was built by Isaac Abbott, not Abbott & Smith as first thought.

This is a photo of the name-plate taken at the time of the restoration.

The 1886 organ featured should be described as an Isaac Abbott instrument rather than an Abbott & Smith - like the 1884 Isaac Abbott organ in Arncliffe Parish Church, Upper Wharfedale.

Here is the maker's plate which I photographed in M.Bancelle's workshop.

12993597_10154202395369374_1253048515318

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I'm afraid that the British, or at least most of them, seem completely uninterested in the organ and its music.

 

Or any classical music, come to that. Even the Proms, that supposed bastion of popular classical music, is being progressively dumbed down year after year. This year it has only three concerts of pre-Classical music (two Baroque, one Renaissance) and the only organ music I spotted was Wayne Marshall playing BWV 565 (twice). Perhaps the schedule is merely reflecting popular opinion (is it?), but it is surely also helping to shape it.

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Or any classical music, come to that. Even the Proms, that supposed bastion of popular classical music, is being progressively dumbed down year after year. This year it has only three concerts of pre-Classical music (two Baroque, one Renaissance) and the only organ music I spotted was Wayne Marshall playing BWV 565 (twice). Perhaps the schedule is merely reflecting popular opinion (is it?), but it is surely also helping to shape it.

Society is changing!

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Society is changing!

 

It surely is! But then, it always has done. When I was a lad my relatives bemoaned the fact that things were so different, racing away from them probably. Looking back, the most vociferous ones were a generation removed - my parents were less vocal and just got on with it. Nowadays I often find myself doing much the same thing! It's an age thing, I think.

 

I did have a grandfather whom I have always respected, who seemed to take a more balanced view. He once said "don't take any notice of your aunty so-and-so when she says how wonderful things were in the old days. They weren't, and you should never believe otherwise".

 

CEP

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...... the only organ music I spotted was Wayne Marshall playing BWV 565 (twice).

 

Will it be 2 immediately consecutive performances to take up the time normally occupied by one?

 

I noted that there is also a prom dedicated to someone called Strictly. Who is this person?

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Or any classical music, come to that. Even the Proms, that supposed bastion of popular classical music, is being progressively dumbed down year after year. This year it has only three concerts of pre-Classical music (two Baroque, one Renaissance) and the only organ music I spotted was Wayne Marshall playing BWV 565 (twice). Perhaps the schedule is merely reflecting popular opinion (is it?), but it is surely also helping to shape it.

 

Of course it's a matter of opinion but I'm not sure that I would say that the 'Proms' are 'dumbing down'. I've looked at the programme for this year and thought it was quite exciting. There are 13 new commissions, and quite a number of London Premiere's! Great orchestras and choirs from the UK and around the world, distinguished conductors and some fine soloists are performing a wide variety of music in a diverse variety of venues - and there are programmes of quality to attract the young too!

 

Yes, there are omissions! I notice Reger, whose 100th anniversary of his death is this year, is hardly featured - just one work - the 'Variations & Fugue on a theme by Mozart' - but played by the Staatskapele of Dresden. Only one work by George Butterworth too and, as has been said, hardly any organ music. Having said that I have found listed, on 'Organ Recitals.com,' 42 organ recitals in London during the time of the 'Proms' - you could, almost, go to a Organ recital, in London alone, every day during the Prom' season!

 

The world is changing - and the 'Proms' are changing too! - my opinion is that they are changing for the better. I think they are 'less stuffy' than in the days of my youth. I also think there is a wider variety of music and, quite possibly, finer performances as well! Of course, there will always be criticism - from me too!

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