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40 Stop, 3 Manual Organ


Guest Lee Blick

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Well, yes - but we can always learn from an older instrument, which is an acknowledged success in its own right.

 

We have to learn from all older organs.

And then we need to understand we cannot melt

all styles as we like, there are things that go togheter,

and others that won't.

Pierre

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OK – here goes….

Pedal

1 Open Wood 16

2 Open Diapason 16

3 Sub Bass 16

4 Principal 8

5 Bass Flute 8

6 Fifteenth 4

7 Mixture *

8 Trombone 16

9 Trumpet (Gt) 8

i Choir to Pedal

ii Great to Pedal

iii Swell to Pedal

iv Swell Octave to Pedal

 

Positive

10 Gedackt 8

11 Principal 4

12 Flute 4

13 Blockflote 2

14 Larigot 11/3

15 Sesqialtera II

16 Mixture *

17 Clarinet 8

v Tremulant

vi Swell to Positive

 

Great

18 Violone (lowest 12 haskelled) 16

19 Open Diapason 8

20 Stopped Diapason 8

21 Salicional 8

22 Principal 4

23 Wald Flute 4

24 Quint 22/3

25 Fifteenth 2

26 Tierce 13/5

27 Mixture *

28 Trumpet 8

29 Clarion 4

vii Positive to Great

viii Swell to Great

ix Great &pedal combinations coupled

 

Swell

30 Bourdon 16

31 Viola 8

32 Voix Célestes (tc) 8

33 Hohlflöte 8

34 Principal 4

35 Harmonic Flute 4

36 Flageolet 2

37 Mixture (17.19.22) III

38 Contra Fagotto 16

39 Trumpet 8

40 Oboe 8

x Tremulant

xi Generals on Swell footpistons

 

Accessories

8 adjustable thumb pistons to Gt, Sw, Gen

6 adjustable thumb pistons to Pos 8 adjustable foot pistons to Ped, Sw

Reversible thumb pistons to Pos-Ped, Gt-Ped, Sw-Ped, Sw-Gt,

Reversible foot pistons to Gt-Ped, Sw-Ped, Sw-Gt, Trombone

 

Notes

§ This is not an entirely hypothetical scheme and should be seen as a radical rebuild of NPOR N04318. ( http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N04318 ). This organ can best be described as an occupational hazard (although accompanying the choir week by week is a great privilege). It’s not completely had it, but a combination of ill-considered tonal alterations two badly executed rebuilds have left it a bit of a mess.

 

§ The organ would have a vertical(ish) disposition. It would occupy the same site as the present instrument, freestanding in the transept.

 

§ The Positive would be in an oberwerk position. The Swell would be behind the Positive and above the Great. There is sufficient height for the Pedal Diapason to be placed in the case at impost level.

 

§ Tracker action would be possible, except for the Open Wood. I’m assuming that Great reeds could still be placed on higher pressure and Great Trumpet copuld be transmitted to the Pedal. Please advise.

 

§ If e.p. action were employed, expense could be saved by some Pedal extension, Swell octave/suboctave couplers could be included and the Gt reeds could be made playable on the Positive.

 

§ I’ve left the Ped, Pos & Gt mixture compositions open to debate by greater minds than my own. The Swell Mixture’s purpose is clear to all, I‘m sure

 

§ I tend towards the view that if there is only space for one 4’ reed it’s more useful on the Great. Again your views on this are most welcome.

 

§ The Trombone should not be too dominating.

 

§ The Swell Bourdon may be a bit controversial. I do believe that a quiet manual 16’ is useful for accompanying. Having this on the Swell means that the Great double can be more assertive.

 

§ The Swell Viola should be quite bold so as to be usable as a foundation stop. If this makes the Celestes more like a Voce Umana, so be it!

 

§ Great mutations should be quite fluty, but have an effect in the chorus.

 

§ Please note, if anyone rubbishes my scheme, I will take it like a man and not resort to abuse (!).

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======================

 

Yes!

 

Try Leeds Town Hall....Gray & Davison 19th century.

 

Isn't there one at Usk PC in South Wales by the same builder?

 

I don't think the big Orchestral Trumpet at Hull City Hall is horizontal, but if it were........    :wacko:

 

MM

 

I was a student in Leeds fifteen years ago, and I don't remember that an awful lot of the G&D had survived the Wood rebuilding, but please correct me. I know the Hill at the Ulster Hall has a horizontal reed which is jolly enough, but I was hoping for some more recent successful examples on non-Klais/Marcussen etc-type instruments.

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A Tromba and Harmonics make it sound like a Willis organ.

 

OK, a Bombarde is probably a bit of a luxury, a Violone might be more useful.

 

Why get rid of the Horizontal reed?  I am sure a firm such as H & H or Manders could make a decent one?

 

:wacko:

 

OK. I own up. I was trying to Arthur-Harrison your scheme a bit. I'm afraid I dream flat twenty-firsts...

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:wacko:

 

OK. I own up. I was trying to Arthur-Harrison your scheme a bit. I'm afraid I dream flat twenty-firsts...

 

There is a cure for this - a new recording of the 1921 H&H at Crediton. The playing is excellent (as is usual with this particular artist), but the organ sounds dreadful. The GO mixture jangles unpleasantly and every time the GO reeds are drawn, they virtually obliterate everything else, with a dull, opaque blanket of sound. This is not music! The 32p reed also makes some nasty noises, to my ears.

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OK – here goes….

Pedal 

1 Open Wood  16

2 Open Diapason  16

3 Sub Bass   16

4 Principal   8

5 Bass Flute   8

6 Fifteenth   4

7 Mixture   *

8 Trombone   16

9 Trumpet  (Gt) 8

i Choir to Pedal  

ii Great to Pedal  

iii Swell to Pedal  

iv Swell Octave to Pedal    

 

Positive 

10 Gedackt   8   

11 Principal   4

12 Flute   4

13 Blockflote   2

14 Larigot   11/3

15 Sesqialtera  II

16 Mixture   *

17 Clarinet   8

v Tremulant

vi Swell to Positive 

 

Great 

18 Violone  (lowest 12 haskelled) 16

19 Open Diapason   8

20 Stopped Diapason  8 

21 Salicional   8

22 Principal   4

23 Wald Flute   4

24 Quint   22/3

25 Fifteenth   2

26 Tierce   13/5

27 Mixture   *

28 Trumpet   8

29 Clarion   4

vii Positive  to Great 

viii Swell to Great  

ix Great &pedal combinations coupled

 

Swell

30 Bourdon   16

31 Viola   8

32 Voix Célestes (tc)  8

33 Hohlflöte   8

34 Principal   4

35 Harmonic Flute  4

36 Flageolet   2

37 Mixture  (17.19.22) III

38 Contra Fagotto  16

39 Trumpet   8

40 Oboe   8

x Tremulant

xi Generals on Swell footpistons

 

Accessories

8 adjustable thumb pistons to  Gt, Sw, Gen

6 adjustable thumb pistons to  Pos    8 adjustable foot pistons to  Ped, Sw

Reversible thumb pistons to  Pos-Ped, Gt-Ped, Sw-Ped, Sw-Gt,

Reversible foot pistons to  Gt-Ped, Sw-Ped, Sw-Gt, Trombone

 

Notes

§ This is not an entirely hypothetical scheme and should be seen as a radical rebuild of NPOR N04318.  (  http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N04318 ).  This organ can best be described as an occupational hazard (although accompanying the choir week by week is a great privilege).  It’s not completely had it, but a combination of ill-considered tonal alterations two badly executed rebuilds have left it a bit of a mess.

 

§ The organ would have a vertical(ish) disposition.  It would occupy the same site as the present instrument, freestanding in the transept.

 

§ The Positive would be in an oberwerk position.  The Swell would be behind the Positive and above the Great.  There is sufficient height for the Pedal Diapason to be placed in the case at impost level.

 

§ Tracker action would be possible, except for the Open Wood.  I’m assuming that Great reeds could still be placed on higher pressure and Great Trumpet copuld be transmitted to the Pedal.  Please advise.

 

§ If e.p. action were employed, expense could be saved by some Pedal extension, Swell octave/suboctave couplers could be included and the Gt reeds could be made playable on the Positive.

 

§ I’ve left the Ped, Pos & Gt mixture compositions open to debate by greater minds than my own.  The Swell Mixture’s purpose is clear to all, I‘m sure

 

§ I tend towards the view that if there is only space for one 4’ reed it’s more useful on the Great.  Again your views on this are most welcome.

 

§ The Trombone should not be too dominating.

 

§ The Swell Bourdon may be a bit controversial.  I do believe that a quiet manual 16’ is useful for accompanying.  Having this on the Swell means that the Great double can be more assertive.

 

§ The Swell Viola should be quite bold so as to be usable as a foundation stop.  If this makes the Celestes more like a Voce Umana, so be it!

 

§ Great mutations should be quite fluty, but have an effect in the chorus.

 

§ Please note, if anyone rubbishes my scheme, I will take it like a man and not resort to abuse (!).

 

 

Actually, I like quite a lot of this. I agree that a Swell Bourdon is useful in accompanying. However, I think that I would find a Voce Umana less useful! Whilst I do find a 4p flute useful for accompanying, I also like a good unison diapason. My preference would be to replace the Hohlflöte with the Harmonic Flute (converted to 8p pitch, with a non-harmonic bass), add an Open Diapason 8p, keep the Viola on the softer side and get the undulant to beat with that.

 

Insofar as the Positive and GO mixtures are concerned, the GO I would prefer as 19-22-26-29; I have never met a more useful GO mixture - if artistically voiced. 15-19-22 adds little in the way of brightness. 19-22-26 is acceptable, but my preferred option is the IV-rank mixture.

 

The Positive is more of a problem. If Denys Thurlow were to voice it, I would suggest a 22-26-29 mixture. However, there is no principal-toned stop above 4p pitch and therefore, to add such a mixture would need a highly-skilled voicer; otherwise it will stand apart like oil on water.

 

However, I do like much of the rest.

 

The action? Sod tracker - have the couplers!

 

:wacko:

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If Denys Thurlow were to voice it, I would suggest a 22-26-29 mixture. However, there is no principal-toned stop above 4p pitch and therefore, to add such a mixture would need a highly-skilled voicer; otherwise it will stand apart like oil on water.

 

 

=================

 

The organ I play is a small masterpiece voiced by Denys Thurlow. I can accompany the congregation on....wait for it......just the 4ft flute & Mixture IV played an octave down!

 

It's quite extraordinary.

 

MM

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There is a cure for this - a new recording of the 1921 H&H at Crediton. The playing is excellent (as is usual with this particular artist), but the organ sounds dreadful. The GO mixture jangles unpleasantly and every time the GO reeds are drawn, they virtually obliterate everything else, with a dull, opaque blanket of sound. This is not music! The 32p reed also makes some nasty noises, to my ears.

 

 

I'd be interested to hear this; any details?

 

It would be churlish not to accept your assessment of the instrument, but don't we usually judge a builder by his most successful work, rather than less convincing examples? :huh: Otherwise, we'd have to write off most of the big names in organ building...

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I'd be interested to hear this; any details?

 

It would be churlish not to accept your assessment of the instrument, but don't we usually judge a builder by his most successful work, rather than less convincing examples?  :huh:  Otherwise, we'd have to write off most of the big names in organ building...

 

Absolutely! I have a great respect for the work of Arthur Harrison. I think that Credition was probably difficult for him, with a buried N. Transept position and hugh central tower piers largely impeding egress of sound to the nave.

 

I think that Ripon (for example) is a wonderful instrument (although the GO Trombi are not quite the opaque reeds one normally expects with AH and WCJ.)

 

My comment regarding Credition was occasioned by the remark made concerning the Harmonics mixtures favoured by Arthur Harrison.

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Here's mine. Quite a bit of borrowing, so maybe I'm bending the rules a bit too far. I've assumed money is no object... (Ha! As if!)

 

Great

1. Bourdon 16

2. Open Diapason 8

3. Stopped Diapason 8

4. Principal 4

5. Spindle Flute 4

6. Wide Quint 2 2/3

7. Fifteenth 2

8. Quart 2

9. Tierce 1 3/5

10. Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV

11. Trumpet 8

Swell to Great

Positive to Great

Swell

12. Geigen Diapason 8

13. Bourdon 8

14. Salicional 8

15. Voix Céleste 8

16. Octave Geigen 4

17. Suabe Flute 4

18. Fifteenth 2

19. Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV

20. Basson 16

21. Trompette 8

22. Hautbois 8

23. Voix Humaine 8

24. Clairon 4

Tremulant

Positive (Clarinet enclosed)

25. Rohr Gedeckt 8

26. Gamba 8

27. Nason Flute 4

28. Koppel Flute 2

29. Larigot 1 1/3

30. Cymbel (29.33.36) III

31. Clarinet 8

Tremulant

23a. Voix Humaine (Sw.) 8

32. Imperial Trumpet 8

Swell to Positive

Imperial Trumpet on Gt.

Pedal

33. Sub Bourdon 32

34. Open Metal 16

35. Sub Bass 16

1a. Bourdon (Gt.) 16

36. Principal 8

37. Flute 8

38. Mixture (15.19.22.26.29) V

39. Bombarde 32

40. Trombone 16

20a. Basson (Sw.) 16

11a. Trumpet (Gt.) 8

20b. Basson (Sw.) 8

20c. Basson (sw.) 4

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Positive to Pedal

Accessories

Great & Ped Combs Coupled

Pedal to Sw. Pistons

Generals on Sw. toe pistons

8 General thumb pistons

6 thumb pistons for Gt.

8 thumb pistons for Sw.

6 thumb pistons for Pos.

6 toe pistons for Ped.

8 toe pistons for Sw. (or Gen.)

Reversible thumb pistons for every coupler

Reversible toe piston for Sub Bourdon 32

Reversible toe piston for Bombarde 32

 

I'm not sure whether all of this would work.

 

* The Great Quint would need to blend with the diapason chorus and contribute effectively to the Cornet décomposé. Is this practical?

 

* The Sw. Salicional to be mildly stringy so as to add character to the Bourdon and the Voix Céleste to be a bit keener. Any reason why the céleste shouldn't go down to CC?

 

* The treble of the Sw. Voix Humaine (from c'') to be voiced in such a way as to be usable as an Orchestral Oboe substitute in the treble register. I'm not sure about borrowing it on the Positive. It would have to be voiced to blend with the Sw. Bourdon, so the latter might not accompany it well, but I suppose it would still be usable against the Salicional.

 

The Pedal could be criticised for being a bit lacking in 16ft flue support, but personally I'm quite happy to go for clarity over woofiness!

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Great

1.  Bourdon  16

2.  Open Diapason  8

3.  Stopped Diapason  8

4.  Principal  4

5.  Spindle Flute  4

6.  Wide Quint  2 2/3

7.  Fifteenth  2

8.  Quart  2

9.  Tierce  1 3/5

10.  Mixture (19.22.26.29)  IV

11.  Trumpet  8

Swell to Great

Positive to Great

 

I'm not sure whether all of this would work.

 

* The Great Quint would need to blend with the diapason chorus and contribute effectively to the Cornet décomposé. Is this practical?

 

I am not sure it is.

 

There is the classical French method of having a "Grand Nazard" on the Grand-Orgue, which means a large-scale, quite prominent Flute 2 2/3 (not 5 1/3), as opposed to the smaller Nazard of the Positif. But these were never meant to be played with the chorus.

 

If you do, the chorus gets a strongly nasal character. That is a musical quality all the same, but it is quite different to that of a principal-scale Twelfth. It is, to my ear, an either-or option.

 

It would be rather possible to have a Great Sesquialtera 2 2/3' + 1 3/5' of light principal tone, that could go both with the chorus and as a solo stop. Then, a Nazard and Tierce of fluty scale could be put on the Positive. This would as well see to what I feel to be a certain lack of Cornet colours in the scheme.

 

Or go for the Schnitger method an have it all -- a pair of stops on every pitch from 16 to 2!

 

Best,

Friedrich

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If there must be ranks that do for the "Jeu de tierce" as well as for the Diapason chorus, then it is the octave ranks, never the mutation ones.

For example, a typical belgian Récit/écho from the 18th century:

 

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Nasard 2 2/3'

Doublette 2'

Tierce 1 3/5'

Cymbale

Cornet 5r

Cromorne or Trompette or Voix humaine 8'

 

The Prestant and the Doublette are used either with Nasard and Tierce, either

with the Cymbale (with the Bourdon 8' of course).

Independant mutation stops are never to be find in the Diapason chorus;

all mutations are ever flutey and must not be drawn with the D.C.

The Cornet is wider scaled as the Jeu de Tierce, it is nearly always present

next to the Tierce on every manual.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Thanks, Friedrich. In that case it would have to be a Nazard since, in my view, a principal-toned Quint, while quite nice to have as a luxury, is in no way essential to a chorus. What makes me slightly uncomfortable about it is that many British organists will insist on drawing Nazards with diapason choruses without ever stopping to worry about whether it blends or not.

 

The idea was to have the Cornet on the Great, but separated into individual ranks. To my mind it sits there best for both French and English Baroque music. I've never seen much point in putting flute-toned Nazards and Tierces on a Choir Organ unless they are the quiet, English Romantic type. On the other hand, for the sake of variety I quite like not having all the mutations crowded onto one manual, which is why I placed the Larigot on the Positive. But I'm now beginning to wonder what use that Larigot serves. Perhaps I should ditch it in favour of a proper Orchestral Oboe.

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The Cornet is wider scaled as the Jeu de Tierce, it is nearly always present

next to the Tierce on every manual.

Thanks, Pierre. I agree entirely. But for the purpose of my unashamedly (and unapologetically!) eclectic design I'm envisaging a compromise that will do duty for either. I don't want to have to sacrifice other stops so I can have room for both!
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OK - this would certainly be good.

 

Does anyone happen to know if there is (or was) a recording of the instrument before the recent PPO restoration, please?

There was a cassette dating from 1987 (Priory PRC 227) of English Organ Music shared between Cartmel Priory and the Great Hall of the University of Lancaster played by Ian Hare, whom I had previously encountered at Beverley Minster when both of us were much younger. Last July he played at my daughter's graduation ceremony, at least for part of the time, but he must have been feeling the pressure of a week of such ceremonies for he was off the bench and packing up when the last of the academic procession were still leaving the hall, so the spectators all shuffled out in silence !! :huh::lol:

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I was a student in Leeds fifteen years ago, and I don't remember that an awful lot of the G&D had survived the Wood rebuilding, but please correct me. I know the Hill at the Ulster Hall has a horizontal reed which is jolly enough, but I was hoping for some more recent successful examples on non-Klais/Marcussen etc-type instruments.

 

 

Well, I do not know about recent but we have Blackburn (Imperial Trumpet), St John's College, Cambridge (Trumpeta Real), Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (Orchestral Trumpet), and the new Bombarde at York (where the Tuba Mirabilis is also, of course, horizontal though I hardly think one would describe the timbre as very trumpet like, impressive though it is). According to some specifications attached to CDs that I have the new Orchestral Trumpet at Ripon is horizontal though what you see from the transept does not look very like a horizontal reed.

Then there is the main organ at the west end of Lancing College Chapel, and the Royal Trumpets in St Paul's perhaps ought not to be overlooked on this site.

 

BAC

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Well, I do not know about recent but we have Blackburn (Imperial Trumpet), St John's College, Cambridge (Trumpeta Real), Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (Orchestral Trumpet), and the new Bombarde at York (where the Tuba Mirabilis is also, of course, horizontal though I hardly think one would describe the timbre as very trumpet like, impressive though it is). According to some specifications attached to CDs that I have the new Orchestral Trumpet at Ripon is horizontal though what you see from the transept does not look very like a horizontal reed.

Then there is the main organ at the west end of Lancing College Chapel, and the Royal Trumpets in St Paul's perhaps ought not to be overlooked on this site.

 

BAC

 

Brian - Ripon: the Orchestral Trumpet is horizontal, on top of the Swell box. I happen to know this, because I have stood right next to it! The vertical (shiny) piped which can be seen from the Transept are another rank - I cannot now recall; however, it could be the treble of the new (1963) 32p reed - only the lowest octave or so is placed behind the decani stalls.

 

York: I am fairly certain that the Tuba Mirabilis is not horizontal - but vertical. The pipes are, I believe, hooded. One of our choirmen was acting as a key-holder for Phil Burbeck years ago, when PB was doing some re-balancing for JWWW. Apparently, he noticed that all the slots on the C (or possibly the C# side) had been closed up, in order that the tuner could get past it without catching his sleeves. This is (apparently) why, on older recordings, there is a glorious irregularity to the timbre of this stop. Anyway, that is the story which I was told.

 

I was also told another story about Francis Jackson, who had (at that time) just returned from visiting another cathedral organist (who was interested in taking over from FJ at York). However, this one will have to be by PM....

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York: I am fairly certain that the Tuba Mirabilis is not horizontal - but vertical. The pipes are, I believe, hooded.

 

Are you certain? I seem to remember an old photograph showing the stop being attended to by a tuner. I'm sure that the resonaters were set at an angle, rather like artilliery pieces. In any event, if you stand about 1/3 way down the nave, the tops of the pipes can be seen between the bottom of the case and the top of the screen. No doubt Hill's original chamade was more elegant!

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York: I am fairly certain that the Tuba Mirabilis is not horizontal - but vertical. The pipes are, I believe, hooded. One of our choirmen was acting as a key-holder for Phil Burbeck years ago, when PB was doing some re-balancing for JWWW. Apparently, he noticed that all the slots on the C (or possibly the C# side) had been closed up, in order that the tuner could get past it without catching his sleeves. This is (apparently) why, on older recordings, there is a glorious irregularity to the timbre of this stop. Anyway, that is the story which I was told.

 

Whilst this is possible, (after all there are numerous popular misconceptions like the remark that Holmes never made to Watson, "Elementary my dear Watson), the foundation of my belief that they are horizontal is the following note on the sleeve of a record of 20th century British organ music made at York by FJ in 1964. The relevant part of the note reads:" The most notable addition of 1916 was the Tuba Mirabilis, on 25 inch wind pressure [NPOR gives this as now being 15 inches] which, though out of sight, is in a similar position to the chamade trumpets of Spain and has a remarkable impact on the west side of the organ." The note is signed by Francis Jackson.

 

I do not see how it would be possible simply to take pipes made to be mounted in this way and just raise them to a vertical elevation. Substantial remodelling would surely be required. And what would be the point ? Moreover, the stop was installed at the behest of Teddy Bair and was a favourite of his apparently(FJ's "Impromptu" written as a birthday present for EB contains a central passage specifically for this stop); therefore, it does not seem very likely that his loyal pupil would change it so fundamentally, and even less likely that he would do so without having the guts to admit to what he had done. This would mean that any such alteration would have to have taken place since FJ retired , but no account that I have read of the changes made in the 1990s makes any mention of such a change. The other tuba is , of course, vertical and is reputedly a fine stop in its own right if somewhat in the shadow of its more assertive companion. Perhaps it was that stop that was meant ?

 

Brian

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York:

 

Brian

 

========================

 

The big Tuba is horizontal.....I once tuned a couple of pipes.

 

So, I think, is the new reed (Bombarde?) pointing East, with much of the rest of the organ scattered at various points on the compass.

 

Probably something to do with Easter and Charles Wood's..."shall trump from East to West."

 

MM

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========================

 

The big Tuba is horizontal.....I once tuned a couple of pipes.

 

 

MM

 

 

==============

 

We have a mystery on our hands!

 

The "monster" MAY be on 15" pressure these days....anything is possible....but why does it therefore sound exactly the same as it always did?

 

I think the NPOR are making up "porkie-pies"....what say you Tony?

 

MM

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========================

 

The big Tuba is horizontal.....I once tuned a couple of pipes.

 

So, I think, is the new reed (Bombarde?) pointing East, with much of the rest of the organ scattered at various points on the compass.

 

Probably something to do with Easter and Charles Wood's..."shall trump from East to West."

 

MM

 

My apologies - my informant was wrong!

 

I would be interested to know if the part about the tuning slots was also incorrect.

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