Jump to content
Mander Organs
Lucien Nunes

Southampton Guildhall Compton - special event Oct 1st 2017

Recommended Posts

To celebrate 80 years of the SGH Compton, we are offering a novel view of the instrument on Oct. 1st 2017, in an afternoon of demonstrations, talks, brief open-console sessions and a 1-hour performance by Richard Hills.

Compton opus A269 of 1937 is a multi-purpose civic-hall instrument comprising 50 ranks on 41 units, playable from two 4m consoles; one theatre-style and one classical, with resources and playing aids configured for the different repertoires. It can be played as a nearly-straight romantic or a very comprehensive unified orchestral / theatre instrument that excels at light music. With its original specification, voicing and action fully intact, Southampton is a textbook example of the work of the Compton firm, on which account it holds a grade 1 HOC.  Also incorporated is 'Melotone' electrostatic tone generator serial No.1, a very early example of the integration of an electronic voice within a pipe organ. Dr. George Thalben-Ball was consultant and performed the inaugural concert. Two NPOR entries refer, one per console:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N11620

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N18285

Opportunities to see and hear this organ are limited to a few days per year due to it being within a commercially-operated modern music venue. For the anniversary, we had originally considered a concert with added chamber tours. With physical accessibility proving rather an obstacle, an alternative format was devised where a roving camera in the chambers will interact with a presenter on stage, relaying live images onto the big screen during a descriptive talk and demonstration of the voicing and resources of the instrument. As well as a comprehensive show-and-tell of the pipework, if things work out to plan we might even see such details as the inside of a unit chest being played and direct-electric combination capture action operating. We hope this will allow everyone in the audience to have a 'look around' the organ in comfort and safety. Come and see; hear; possibly play (if you are a player and you draw a lucky straw for an open-console slot) and talk Compton during the interval (refreshments available) - we are a friendly crowd!

02 Southampton Guildhall, West Marlands Road, Southampton SO14 7LP. 2pm 1/10/17
Tickets £12 / £10 concs. from the box office: 023 8063 2601
or at https://academymusicgroup.com/o2guildhallsouthampton/events/1014825/compton-organ-open-day-featuring-richard-hills-tickets
We look forward to meeting you there
Lucien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the many topics raised in Lucien's post concerned the " direct-electric combination capture action" of the Southampton Guildhall organ.  For those who really are into the nuts and bolts of organ building, I described this in an article at:

http://www.pykett.org.uk/electro-mechanical-capture-systems.htm#Compton

This could not have been written without Lucien's assistance as it was he and his colleagues who actually did the refurbishment work, and this was why I described him in a recent post elsewhere as "the world's greatest living expert" on the system!  So for this reason alone this special event could be well worth attending.

CEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Colin Pykett said:

One of the many topics raised in Lucien's post concerned the " direct-electric combination capture action" of the Southampton Guildhall organ.  For those who really are into the nuts and bolts of organ building, I described this in an article at:

http://www.pykett.org.uk/electro-mechanical-capture-systems.htm#Compton

This could not have been written without Lucien's assistance as it was he and his colleagues who actually did the refurbishment work, and this was why I described him in a recent post elsewhere as "the world's greatest living expert" on the system!  So for this reason alone this special event could be well worth attending.

CEP

Thanks for that.  I have bookmarked it to read properly later, as it could take several days to read it all!  Looks very interesting, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Colin - it was a pleasure to get to grips with this system as it represented a truly modern approach to the design of data storage in its day. The extensive, unmodified electric action of the SGH organ offers an insight to the systematic approach taken in its design as an integrated whole. The disposition of the various parts, the standardisation of components, the arrangements for troubleshooting; all lend a sense of purpose to what might otherwise be just a rats' nest. The same is true of the tonal design, which at least can speak for itself against those who would challenge its conceptual basis. An organ must be more than a catalogue of its maker's various offerings even if its stoplist reads as such, and thus will you find Southampton.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×