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Paul_H

Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

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Hi all,

First post on this fascinating board.  Just wondering if anyone who's well-up on the organ at Bridlington Priory can help with a quick technical question?

The original Anneessens specification (1889) notes that there was a "Clarinet Onches Libres" on (if I recall) the Choir.  Is the current Solo Clarinet the same free-reed Anneessens clarinet, or did it disappear in one of the pre-Nicholson rebuilds?

Some years ago Michael Smith (organist) and I spent ages surveying the pipework and photographing the innards for the organ's 100th birthday, but neither of us dared ascend to the Solo box - the access was via a home-made ladder propped up against the pillar adjacent to the front of the Swell box, clambering on top of the box and then up another ladder to the Solo in the triforium.  Getting on top of the Swell box looked bad, getting back down again would have been hair-raising.  So, we never answered the question back then.  On a later occasion I lent my camera to the Nicholson's tuner who kindly took some photos but for some reason the film jammed (this is pre-digital) and they're all on the same frame :-(

If anyone's interested in some of the pics I took, they're on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtual_pkh/albums/72157594250160915 - pretty sure it doesn't look like that inside now!

Thanks

Paul H

 

 

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Hello Paul

Welcome to the board! they're an interesting bunch here!!!

I was in Bridlington Priory last Friday during a rare visit to the UK. I hadn't been in there since the 1970's when Raymond Sunderland invited me to play. I also have, in not good condition, his Vista recording made in about 1972/3. Your pictures were fascinating and, yes, I'll bet the inside doesn't look like that now! They have a series of recitals during the summer and, one day, I'll get to hear the rebuilt Bridlington instrument. I shall look forward to that.

Sorry, though! It doesn't answer your question! Why not contact Paul Hale? I don't know him, we have met twice I think, but he has always struck me as being most approachable and, of course, very knowledgeable - and he was the consultant to the recent rebuild!  (unless, of course, you re PH!!).

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According to the info included with Paul Derrett's 1989 recording the Solo Clarionet 16' is the original Anneessens free reed stop from the choir, or at least that was how Laycock and Bannister left it after their 1968 rebuild. I believe Nicholson's recent work has preserved all the Anneessens pipes.

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9 hours ago, Lausanne said:

According to the info included with Paul Derrett's 1989 recording the Solo Clarionet 16' is the original Anneessens free reed stop from the choir, or at least that was how Laycock and Bannister left it after their 1968 rebuild. I believe Nicholson's recent work has preserved all the Anneessens pipes.

This stoplist shows the Anneessens preserved pipework.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E01122

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So, the answer to the original question is 'no, Nicholson decided/were advised to dispense with the free reed Clarionet 16'' '.

Free reed stops are becoming very rare, I guard my 1878 Walcker Oboe  very carefully, I don't care that it goes out of tune with the slightest temperature rise and that it does a creditable impression of a Harmonium. I'm just waiting for the organist of the Votive Kirche in Vienna to get fed up with his/hers so that mine is then the oldest in the world - well the oldest Walcker free reed oboe at least.

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That's a shame if true, as you say free reeds are quite rare these days.

Bridlington's a fascinating organ, although (and I say this without disparaging Nicholson's in any way) for this listener it seems to have lost something in the rebuild.  Although the 1967 Great upperwork was a bit inappropriate (screaming away just behind the front pipes in the choir) the overall balance of the rest of the organ was superb. In particular, the way the main chest ran east-west for most of the length of the organ gave the Great & Positive a wonderful sense of "spaciousness" which seems to be missing now. I haven't seen the innards since the rebuild but I'm guessing the new soundboards are nothing like the same size.

Completely off topic (sort of) but if anyone's interested, a young man by the name of Antoine Anneessens has a Youtube channel - he's a budding organist and is the great-great-grandson of Charles Anneessens the organ builder.

Thank you for the replies.

Paul H

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I was on holiday in the area in 1970 (aged 14) and I went into Bridlington Priory and found an old gentleman playing the organ.  He said he was in to play through the Mendelssohn Sonatas (which he did very well) and that it was a good organ but had too many mixtures ("I don't like mixtures!").  But he let me play (a fine job!) and also gave me a phone number for Mervyn Byers at Selby Abbey, so I had a session there too.  I also sat next to Francis Jackson while he accompanied Evensong ("Me in G") at York and played afterwards - a formative experience!  

Such acts of kindness made a deep impression on me and I know other people in my generation will say the same.

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8 hours ago, David Drinkell said:

I was on holiday in the area in 1970 (aged 14) and I went into Bridlington Priory and found an old gentleman playing the organ.  He said he was in to play through the Mendelssohn Sonatas (which he did very well) and that it was a good organ but had too many mixtures ("I don't like mixtures!").  But he let me play (a fine job!) and also gave me a phone number for Mervyn Byers at Selby Abbey, so I had a session there too.  I also sat next to Francis Jackson while he accompanied Evensong ("Me in G") at York and played afterwards - a formative experience!  

Such acts of kindness made a deep impression on me and I know other people in my generation will say the same.

I can remember the Bridlington Priory organ in its 3-manual days from shortly after Compton had rebuilt it and it was being played by the late Norman Strafford, consultant for the Compton rebuild of the Hull City Hall organ that was happening around that time. It sounded really fine then.

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I find it very sad to think that the free reed Calrinet may have goe at Bridlington, and I'll tell you why.  At St Joseph's RC church in Bradford, they had an Anneesens organ in a fairly poor state, but I did at least play what still worked when I was about 15 or 16.

I said then, and still maintain now, that the 8ft Clarinet (a free reed) was one of the most beautiful organ sounds I've ever heard.

Sadly, that was destroyed when the organ was replaced, just as happened at St Mary's RC, East Parade, in the same city.

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5 hours ago, MusingMuso said:

I find it very sad to think that the free reed Calrinet may have goe at Bridlington, and I'll tell you why.  At St Joseph's RC church in Bradford, they had an Anneesens organ in a fairly poor state, but I did at least play what still worked when I was about 15 or 16.

I said then, and still maintain now, that the 8ft Clarinet (a free reed) was one of the most beautiful organ sounds I've ever heard.

Sadly, that was destroyed when the organ was replaced, just as happened at St Mary's RC, East Parade, in the same city.

Welcome back MusingMuso - long time - no see!!

St. Joseph's Bradford  - interesting! I didn't know the Anneesens organ but I did know the instrument that followed it. It came from South Lane Methodist church in Hessle, near to Hull. It was a Hopkins of York instrument. South Lane sold it for £250! I can't remember much about  the specification, but, looking at NPOR, it does seem to have dramatically changed. I remember a Double Open Diapason at 16' on the Great and two Open Diapasons at 8' - the larger of the two being far to big to accompany the average congregation. As a child the stop that thrilled me was the Swell Cornopean - one of the fiercest I have ever come across!! 

I had my very first organ lesson on that instrument at South Lane - from a chap called Geoff Lightfoot who was the church organist and no mean player!

Sorry to hi-jack!

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On 9/21/2017 at 07:52, S_L said:

...I was in Bridlington Priory last Friday during a rare visit to the UK. I hadn't been in there since the 1970's when Raymond Sunderland invited me to play. I also have, in not good condition, his Vista recording made in about 1972/3. ...

I believe that this may be the same L.P., a copy of which I also possess. Did it include an improvised March and Fugue, by Raymond Sunderland?

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On ‎09‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 22:58, pcnd5584 said:

I believe that this may be the same L.P., a copy of which I also possess. Did it include an improvised March and Fugue, by Raymond Sunderland?

 

My apologies, I didn't see this post.

No it doesn't include an improvised March & Fugue by Raymond Sunderland but it does include the following:.

1) Bridal Fanfare and March. - Raymond Sunderland - written for his daughter's marriage in 1972.

2) Legend Op. 141 - Karg-Elert

3) Chorale Improvisation "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" Op. 65 No. 5 - Karg- Elert

4) Chorale Improvisation "In Dulci jubilo' Op. 75 No. 2 - Karg-Elert

5) Chorale Improvisation "O welt, ich muss dich lassen" Op. 65 No. 21 - Karg-Elert

6) Chorale Prelude on "Urbs Hierusalem beata" - Healey Willan

7) Apostolic Symphony - Garth Edmundson

 

The record, on the VISTA label (VPS 1006) was made in the evening of the 2nd of October 1972 after the rebuild of the Priory organ by Laycock and Bannister in 1967/68.

 

Hope that helps.

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I have been associated with the organ of Bridlington Priory since the late seventies. The Solo Clarinet has not been a free beating reed since I have known the instrument. I have not come across any reference to it being altered by any previous builders but it was certainly not discarded by Nicholson. Guy Russell.

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