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Barry Oakley

Hull Minster Organ Appeal

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Hi

Some of the devices are already  used for stop control, etc. by users of Hauptwerk & other pipe organ simulators, and since they output (or can be persuaded to output) the relevant MIDI commands it should be possible to interface them with a pipe organ that has MIDI facilities including MIDI inputs, but I see little point.  Why would I want to play an organ from a piano keyboard when the proper console is there.  I can think of a couple of possible scenarios, but it's not something I'd want to do regularly.  It's a strange feeling playing organ sounds from a weighted piano keyboard!

Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean that it's a good idea to actually do it!

Every  Blessing

Tony

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On 13/08/2019 at 20:59, Barry Oakley said:

Beverley Minster is dedicated to St John of Beverley. St Mary's is further into the town and near Beverley Bar, an ancient entrance gate into the town. It has a fine 4-manual organ, a mixture of T C Lewis and Forster & Andrews workmanship.

Sorry to be pedantic but strangely Beverley Minster isn’t dedicated to St. John of Beverley despite the fact his tomb is there and was a site of pilgrimage, it is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and St Martin of Tours. As a chorister at the Minster we would travel to the small village of Harpham on the way to Bridlington every year on St John of Beverley’s feast day to sing evensong as that church in his birthplace was dedicated to him. I believe there is another church somewhere in Northumberland dedicated to him and I remember being told a story as a chorister about the St John in St Johnstone (as in the football team in Perth) being St John of Beverley but I’m not sure of the truth in that!

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Nothing wrong with pedantry - or an interest in non-organ subjects!  But, according to Wikipedia (not infallible, but in this case quoting a local author), the Perth St John is John the Baptist.  As one ‘wooed’ by the Hull City Hall organ at the IAO Organfest a couple (?) of years ago, I have returned several times, also making a visit to Beverley Minster, the most wonderful church - quite the equal of many cathedrals, and finer than some - also having an organ to match.  Selby, another beautiful venue and fine organ, is outside that 12-miles radius mentioned by MM (so is Bridlington), but very easily reached from Hull (or, indeed, by direct train from London with the excellent Hull Trains).

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5 hours ago, andrewm said:

Sorry to be pedantic but strangely Beverley Minster isn’t dedicated to St. John of Beverley despite the fact his tomb is there and was a site of pilgrimage, it is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and St Martin of Tours. As a chorister at the Minster we would travel to the small village of Harpham on the way to Bridlington every year on St John of Beverley’s feast day to sing evensong as that church in his birthplace was dedicated to him. I believe there is another church somewhere in Northumberland dedicated to him and I remember being told a story as a chorister about the St John in St Johnstone (as in the football team in Perth) being St John of Beverley but I’m not sure of the truth in that!

I'm beginning to think that John may be quite a common name.

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5 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Nothing wrong with pedantry - or an interest in non-organ subjects!  But, according to Wikipedia (not infallible, but in this case quoting a local author), the Perth St John is John the Baptist.  As one ‘wooed’ by the Hull City Hall organ at the IAO Organfest a couple (?) of years ago, I have returned several times, also making a visit to Beverley Minster, the most wonderful church - quite the equal of many cathedrals, and finer than some - also having an organ to match.  Selby, another beautiful venue and fine organ, is outside that 12-miles radius mentioned by MM (so is Bridlington), but very easily reached from Hull (or, indeed, by direct train from London with the excellent Hull Trains).

Getting to grips with the City Hall organ was always an ordeal when it came to degree congregations and such, but what an organ!

Totally revoiced by Compton's, I regard it as their greatest masterpiece, and Jimmy Taylor's in particular. It makes a fascinating foil to the other really great Compton at Southampton Guildhall, which has all the 1930's weight and infinite means of expression. "Rock crushing" is not a malign description, for that was the style back in the day. However, the City Hall organ at Hull, with considerable brightness and chorus integrity, really anticipated the reform movement in Britain, and the organ at the Festival Hall in particular. With an infinitely finer acoustic than the RFH, the City Hall was always going to sound better in the stalls.

What a difference a decade and a half can make!  Southampton was 1937.....Hull around 1952 if I recall without checking.

MM

 

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The Southampton Compton was used for the continuo in a Messiah when I was there in the late ‘70s. It worked very well!

A

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5 hours ago, MusoMusing said:

Getting to grips with the City Hall organ was always an ordeal when it came to degree congregations and such, but what an organ!

I didn't know that you played for degree congregations at Hull - perhaps we do know each other after all!!

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A friend and I had a "lock in" at City Hall, for a couple of hours. Just 2 of us with a digital recorder.... happy days

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16 hours ago, MusoMusing said:

Getting to grips with the City Hall organ was always an ordeal when it came to degree congregations and such, but what an organ!

Totally revoiced by Compton's, I regard it as their greatest masterpiece, and Jimmy Taylor's in particular. It makes a fascinating foil to the other really great Compton at Southampton Guildhall, which has all the 1930's weight and infinite means of expression. "Rock crushing" is not a malign description, for that was the style back in the day. However, the City Hall organ at Hull, with considerable brightness and chorus integrity, really anticipated the reform movement in Britain, and the organ at the Festival Hall in particular. With an infinitely finer acoustic than the RFH, the City Hall was always going to sound better in the stalls.

What a difference a decade and a half can make!  Southampton was 1937.....Hull around 1952 if I recall without checking.

MM

 

I admit to being quite fanatical about the work of Compton in Hull, particularly at the City Hall where as a young boy I was privileged to see (and hear) some of the work taking place in 1950 under Jimmy Taylor’s direction and who I got to know. But from a sentimental aspect I am particularly fond of the lovely organ in what is now Hull Minster and where I became a boy chorister in 1949. This organ was completed just before the outbreak of WWII.

The Minster organ, I understand, was a project on which John Compton himself actually worked. It was much the brainchild of Norman Strafford, then organist and master of choristers and also consultant for the City Hall masterpiece in 1950-1951. Slightly earlier, 1948, Strafford also had a hand in the Compton rebuild at Bridlington Priory.

Eighty years have now passed since the Minster organ was completed. Apart from periodic tunings and some repairs, the organ has essentially remained untouched, simply gathering the grime of time and understandable wear and tear having taken place.

In recent years much has been happening at Hull Minster. Gone are its substantial oak pews forming the seating in the central nave; a new stone nave floor has been laid and gone too is the presence of any nave carpeting. Already there is evidence of an exciting acoustic into which the eventually restored organ will speak. At now just turned 82, I hope I’m still around to once again witness the glorious sound of this beautiful F&A/Compton.

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Barry:  I’m only four years behind you, but I have visited the Minster when some of the re-ordering was in progress.  I haven’t heard the organ but noted that it is laid out very generously and, of course, had a close look at the console.  MM mentioned Southampton Guildhall (which I have played in a very small way on a private visit) and that also has the Compton illuminated touch stops.  Actually it’s another very fine instrument, although not really the subject here.

As you doubtless know, Hull City Hall has been in the hands of the builders, but recitals there are now resuming on Wednesday 2nd October (Philip Rushforth from Chester Cathedral), and then on the first Wednesday of every month at 12.30 pm.  For the benefit of others, they last a full one-hour and the bargain price is £4.50 including a printed programme.

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39 minutes ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Barry:  I’m only four years behind you, but I have visited the Minster when some of the re-ordering was in progress.  I haven’t heard the organ but noted that it is laid out very generously and, of course, had a close look at the console.  MM mentioned Southampton Guildhall (which I have played in a very small way on a private visit) and that also has the Compton illuminated touch stops.  Actually it’s another very fine instrument, although not really the subject here.

As you doubtless know, Hull City Hall has been in the hands of the builders, but recitals there are now resuming on Wednesday 2nd October (Philip Rushforth from Chester Cathedral), and then on the first Wednesday of every month at 12.30 pm.  For the benefit of others, they last a full one-hour and the bargain price is £4.50 including a printed programme.

I firmly believe that after the organ is fully restored it will be more than a treat. Apart from Hull citizens, few have heard the Minster organ as it has never been commercially recorded in either vinyl or CD format. I hope that will be rectified eventually. And given the promising new acoustic it could eclipse the City Hall.

Living as I now do some 130 miles away from Hull, attending recitals there is, sadly, hardly a practical consideration. Many years ago I quite regularly attended first-class recitals given by Peter Goodman, then City Organist. But I suppose the most memorable of them all was the 1951 opening recital given by Norman Strafford and Fernando Germani.

 

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On 16/08/2019 at 16:54, AJJ said:

The Southampton Compton was used for the continuo in a Messiah when I was there in the late ‘70s. It worked very well!

A

Indeed, but such use requires careful registration. It is an organ which can whisper or roar.....and boy, can it  roar!

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On 16/08/2019 at 21:05, S_L said:

I didn't know that you played for degree congregations at Hull - perhaps we do know each other after all!!

Only if you were alive 1979-82.

MM

 

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