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Following extensive internet research (!), I have patched together the following (spookily, whilst engaged in this, Radio 3 broadcast an arrangement of the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream !):

1826, 6 August: 17-year old Mendelssohn completes Concert Overture (Op. 21) to A Midsummer Night's Dream;

1827, 20 February: its first performance, Szczecin, Poland;

1829, 25 May: Mendelssohn conducts first concert in England, Argyll Rooms, London;

1829, 24 June: Mendelssohn conducts first British performance of his Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Argyll Rooms, London;

1842, 6 March: Wedding March completed;

1843, 14 October: first performance of Incidental Music (Op 61) to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Potsdam, Germany;  

1847, 2 June: first performance of Wedding March at a wedding, St Peter, Tiverton (arranged & performed by Samuel Reay*);

1858, 25 January (the ‘rot’ begins): played at wedding of Princess Royal (a daughter of Queen Victoria) to a Prussian prince, Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace. The rest is history, as they say.

It is just possible that Our Felix ‘improvised’ this music on the (now Maldon) organ, well before (more than a decade) he completed it and inscribed it on paper, as David suggests. As I learned early on, the absence of a positive does not indicate a negative. It would be surprising, but not impossible, that the documentary evidence for this has not survived.

BTW, David: I believe you mean west-facing, for the new Bishop case at Maldon.

 

Addition (for further 'work' ?): I have been unable to penetrate the Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who may well be able to provide more info. (Hint ! Hint ! For those with more German than me.)

*[An archive gave that Samuel Reay “obtained the pianoforte duet copy” and “arranged it for the organ”.] 

 

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Thanks, John, for this - it's most interesting.  I guess the folk at Maldon would be disappointed to have their tradition proved wrong, but it's highly unlikely I shall ever be in a position to enlighten them!  I've been into "Edit" and changed "east" to "west".

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And other couple on my patch - the first is a 1930s Percy Daniel in a tiny village church in Knockholt.  There are all sorts of surprises here, including a 32' Bourdon which goes down to FFFF and forms part of the facade.  There is also a hidden 16' Octave for the Oboe which comes into play when the Swell suboctave coupler is drawn.  I've known this organ in two incarnations, the most recent work replaced a mild Flageolet with a brighter Fifteenth.  I have to say that I almost preferred the mild Flageolet 2, but no doubt the Fifteenth has it's uses.  It's a superb organ and is a quality village organ.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14807

 

 

Shipbourne.thumb.jpeg.1ed24708d2da4ffa7f5adc1912d767c5.jpegThere are another couple of gems in my diocese by Lewis, including a lovely job at St Giles'' church, Shipbourne.  It was restored recently by Bishops who did a simply wonderful job.  It was only a few weeks after the restoration had been completed when vandals attempted to break into the vestry and the route they chose was through the organ.  The immaculate work was completely destroyed and had to be re-done.  It is a lovely organ, although it still has it's rather heavy key action.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14861

There is another Lewis at Keston which has been recently restored by Martin Cross.  This organ has a more unusual design but hangs together really quite well.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D02834

St Luke's Church, Bromley Common also has a fine Lewis, although the building is now used by an evangelical church, and I understand that some services are also held for the original congregation.  Both church and organ are in good order, and the organ has fine choruses and reeds and a spectacular Pedal Violon with real drive.

Finally a real gem of an organ in a superb acoustic by Harrison and Harrison in St Philip's church, Cosham,  The stoplist seems to promise little at first sight, but the quality of the voicing coupled with the wonderful acoustics makes for a wonderful playing experience. 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N01010

 

 

 

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Interesting to note that the Knockholt organ has a 70 note soundboard on the Swell, thus giving full range to the octave coupler.  This is unusual in Europe, but normal in North America, and from experience I would say that it makes a considerable amount of difference in flexibility of registration, especially if you have a full set of octaves, subs and unison offs.

Here's the Comper case at Cosham - I didn't know about it until Paul mentioned it.  I can imagine that, as he says, the organ is more flexible than the stop-list would suggest. Arthur Harrison was a clever fellow that way!  One thinks also of the Addington Palace organ (now at St. Alkmund, Shrewsbury) and St. Sepulchre, Holborn Viaduct (13 speaking stops including a full-length Double Open Wood inherited from the previous instrument).

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N01010&Number=1

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The posts from Paul Isom remind me that, some years ago the Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters spent a week-end in Kent and visited several new Walker organs.  If I remember correctly, Paul demonstrated that at St. George, Bickley and the assembled company was mightily impressed by his playing.  The demonstration included a piece by Denis Bedard, of whom I had not heard before, but have since played quite a few pieces.  We also visited Bromley Parish Church and Lancing College.  I think all the cases are by David Graebe.

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D03330

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D03330&Number=1

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D03599

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D03599&Number=2

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09210

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N09210&Number=1

 

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9 minutes ago, David Drinkell said:

Interesting to note that the Knockholt organ has a 70 note soundboard on the Swell, thus giving full range to the octave coupler.  This is unusual in Europe, but normal in North America

I thought this tended to be just on selected Swell stops, not throughout the whole division?  I have only limited experience of US organs though, so I'm quite probably wrong.

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The organ at St. John's Cathedral, where I used to play, had 68 note soundboards on Great, Choir and Solo and (for some reason) 73 on Swell.  The Fredericton organ has 65 notes on all manuals (which I think is a bit odd, but it's a slightly odd beast anyway).  In general, it's not unusual to have extended soundboards and octave couplers on all manuals. 2' stops tend not to have the extra octave, on the basis (I suppose) that it would only be heard by dogs.....

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Mendelssohn's Wedding March:

I have put a little additional info on my above post. It would have meant lots of awkward scrolling, otherwise.

If other members get no further with the Leipzig Ausgabe, I suppose I could always email them.

 

Even more spookily (see above), when I awoke this morning, I switched on Radio 3 in the middle of this piece - played by an orchestra, tho'. I wonder if this has owt to do with a solstitial event occurring soon.

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8 hours ago, David Drinkell said:

The posts from Paul Isom remind me that, some years ago the Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters spent a week-end in Kent and visited several new Walker organs.  If I remember correctly, Paul demonstrated that at St. George, Bickley and the assembled company was mightily impressed by his playing.  The demonstration included a piece by Denis Bedard, of whom I had not heard before, but have since played quite a few few pieces.  We also visited Bromley Parish Church and Lancing College.  I think all the cases are by David Graebe.

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D03330

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D03330&Number=1

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D03599

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D03599&Number=2

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09210

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N09210&Number=1

 

By sad coincidence, David Graebe died two years ago today

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I well remember the visit of the Ulster Organists to Bickley as Rodney Bambrick gave me possibly one of the finest reviews I have ever had in my life, and it still has pride of place on my website.  The Bickley organ was voiced by Mark Lively, and I think aided by Paul Fulcher as well.  It has a distinctly French slant - and in fact the late Andy Pennells asked me if I wanted the stop names engraved in French, and I said no for fear of upsetting the diocesan organs advisor!  I wish I had said yes................................  It has  a big job to do to fill the enormous space and is a remarkably satisfying instrument to play.  I left Bickley and ended up playing in the local village church where my wife and I lived (Brasted).  This is another Walker, and is more generously proportioned, with a superb Violone, strings open to the bottom.  It is very very loud, and I understand that  the Pedal Bassoon 16' is at the rear of the Great chest.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D05982

The previous organ was a rebuild of a Nicholson by Cedric Arnold , WIlliamson and Hyatt and was remarkably similar to their lovely job in Walsingham.  Sadly this organ went up in smoke when the church burned down.

Cedric Arnold also provided the small instrument for our beautiful school chapel.  The organ was tiny but had some real quality sounds and was used a lot for weddings.  In think that the bulk of the pipework was by Bedwell.  The school was taken over and sadly the chapel was re-purposed as a six form common room and the organ has found a new home in France thanks to Martin Renshaw.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=K00132

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I remember the old organ at Brasted - one of a clutch of outstanding instruments by Cedric Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt, which included Walsingham, St. Botolph's, Colchester and Southwold.  Sawbridgeworth PC, Hertfordshire, has a scheme in similar vein, but I've never heard it played.

Here's Walsingham:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06436

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N06436&Number=3

 

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9 hours ago, John Furse said:

Even more spookily (see above), when I awoke this morning, I switched on Radio 3 in the middle of this piece - played by an orchestra, tho'. I wonder if this has owt to do with a solstitial event occurring soon.

I remember one St. Magnus Festival when we had a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andre Previn.  The programme included the premiere of Maxwell Davies's Violin Concerto (with Isaac Stern) and the Vaughan Williams Tallis Fantasia, but also the Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream music.  Elspeth and I were perched on the custodian's desk at the west end and Bill Cant, the cathedral minister, was sitting on a chair next to us.  He dozed off during the Mendelssohn, but woke up with a considerable start when the Wedding March started!

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On 18/06/2018 at 06:51, David Drinkell said:

The organ at St. John's Cathedral, where I used to play, had 68 note soundboards on Great, Choir and Solo and (for some reason) 73 on Swell.  The Fredericton organ has 65 notes on all manuals (which I think is a bit odd, but it's a slightly odd beast anyway).  In general, it's not unusual to have extended soundboards and octave couplers on all manuals. 2' stops tend not to have the extra octave, on the basis (I suppose) that it would only be heard by dogs.....

This is a bit off-topic but not, I hope, too far.

 

One of the organs I play on an as required basis for the occasional funeral or carol service is a single manual Holditch., http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04551.

It has a Diacton drawstop which acts on an extra 12 pipes per treble rank and thus extends the range of what is otherwise an Octave coupler. It's very effective and allows a real top-end boost when the church is full.  I assume that this is a device found only on Holditch organs ; I have never met it before.

 

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Holdich coined the term Diaocton. A few other builders borrowed the name, but usually did not supply the extra octave of pipes.  See the reference to Leaden Roding earlier on this thread.

Is the organ to which you refer Lower Quinton, Gloucestershire?  If so, here it is on NPOR:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04551

And the picture from your link, a nice typical example of a Holdich case:

Swithun_Holditch

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Thank you David, yes that's the organ - I tried to post the photo directly but my allocatiion was used up.

The organ sounds very good in the building and is surprisingly versatile with all manual ranks' pipes being enclosed, and comfortable ; as you can see the bench has a backrest which I find to be rather nice! The short compass pedal board restricts the choice of music a little and the Bourdon drawstop needs a very firm pull/push but it's an enjoyable organ to play.

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On ‎18‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 15:29, David Drinkell said:

I, too, like this instrument. There are some beautiful, softer stops. However, I've always found the Great Mixture too 'big'. At the last recital I attended here, the organist played a lot of 'loud' music - giving me a headache by the end.

There is a considerable amount of hard, reflective surfaces (much marble) in this lovely church and the sound can 'clang'. Next time, I would sit in one of the aisles. 

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A "good looking" case/organ, is the Father Willis, that was moved from the hospital chapel at Winterton, near Durham, to the parish church of St. Brandon, at Brancepeth, also near Durham. Mr Richard Hird, who is well known in organists circles, up in the North East, was organist at Winterton, before it was closed. I did take my "reel to reel" tape recorder there, one night, but sadly have lost the sound files 

brancepeth.jpg

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Here's Sir Charles Nicholson's case for the west end section of the organ at Hythe Parish Church, Kent.  The instrument itself is said to be the last that Arthur Harrison finished in person and it is a very fine and aristocratic example of his work. The original specification was as here:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14797

Since I played there, Browne of Canterbury restored and enlarged the organ as follows:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N13073

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N13073&Number=2

 

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On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 16:26, Philip J Wells said:

Gloucestershire, Standish has an instrument on a west gallery designed by Dykes Bower in memory of Revd Andrew Freeman, that great photographer of organs.  There are not many small two manual organs with a 32ft flue on the pedals!

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05780 

image.png.56ed47a95d85083938531749b98cba44.png

[A larger picture is on the NPOR link; I seem to be out of my allotted upload quota.]

A 32' Sub Bourdon was a common feature of organs by Percy Daniel.  It usually went down to bottom G, with the ;last seven notes quinted.  Examples included Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N00797

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N00797&Number=2

 

and St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol. NPOR gives a proposed stop-list of Daniel's rebuild here (in the early nineteen-fifties, I think), but it actually came out as:

Great: Double Open Diapason, Open Diapason 1, Open Diapason 2, Stopped Diapason, Principal, Flute, Twelfth, Fifteenth

Swell: Geigen Diapason, Stopped Diapason, Salcional, Vox Angelica, Principal, Mixture II, Contra Fagotto, Horn, Oboe, Tremulant, Octave, Sub, Unison Off

Choir (enclosed): Muted Viol, Lieblich  Gedact,, Dulciana, Open Flute, Piccolo, Clarionet, Trumpet, Tremulant, Octave, Sub

Pedal: Sub Bourdon, Open Diapason, Bourdon, Echo Bourdon, Octave, Bass Flute, Trombone

There is a picture on NPOR http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=F00013 of the John Smith case before the Daniel rebuild, but it doesn't seem to want to copy here.  The church was converted to a concert hall shortly after my student days in Bristol finished (1978) and the organ was removed.

Percy Daniel had a small three-manual house organ at his home at Eckersley, Clevedon, which also had a Contra Bourdon.  After his death, the house and organ were bought by local organist Stanley Chappell, and when he died, Martin Renshaw acquired the instrument for its parts (including a nice old case).

 

 

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A 32' Sub Bourdon was a common feature of organs by Percy Daniel.  It usually went down to bottom G, with the ;last seven notes quinted.  Examples included Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

..........................and of course St Katherine, Knockholt where the 32' is on the case front.

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4 hours ago, Paul Isom said:

A 32' Sub Bourdon was a common feature of organs by Percy Daniel.  It usually went down to bottom G, with the ;last seven notes quinted.  Examples included Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

..........................and of course St Katherine, Knockholt where the 32' is on the case front.

At the risk of derailing this great main topic, this has always struck me as a very small instrument to have a 32':

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N00539

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Mark Noble of Norwich built some nicely-cased and fine sounding organs.  This one was built for Pirnough Church, Ditchingham in 1865.  The church was badly damaged by the 1987 "hurricane" and subsequently converted to a residence.  The organ was restored and installed in Itteringham Church by Holmes & Swift.

There was some suggestion (Charles Drane's notes and Canon Gordon Paget) that the organ came from Worstead Church and might have been by Bishop of about 1840, but this was never substantiated. Its predecessor was an 1866 Hill, the case of which consisted of a big box with shutters on the front and the console beneath.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=C00902

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=C00902&Number=1

Here is Noble's rather stunning case at Colton:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06195

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N06195&Number=2

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1 hour ago, innate said:

At the risk of derailing this great main topic, this has always struck me as a very small instrument to have a 32':

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N00539

Yes.  I notice the 32' was in the original organ by Dalladay of Hastings before it was rebuilt by Brian Bunting.  Dalladay did some odd things.  On the other hand, it's just an Acoustic Bass with no pipes of its own (Daniel's Sub Bourdons normally had only 7 acoustic notes), so the effect was obtained cheaply for just the cost of the action and the draw-stop.

The smallest organ I know of which claimed to have a 32' is (I presume it's still there) in the Old Kirk, Westray, Orkney Islands, and is a Model B major organ by Solway Organs of Dalbeattie.  The pipe-work, etc, is in a large box with a shutter on top (the Minister thought it was an electronic instrument until I showed her the pipes) and there is a detached console next to it with the following stop-keys:

Viola 8, Principal 4, Block Flute 2 2/3, Octave 2, Contra Bass 32

The fraction on the Block Flute stop-key has been added to the 2 already engraved thereon.

Inside the box, there is a stopped bass 8', running into open pipes from tenor C upwards and everything is extended from this one rank. At the bottom, there is an octave of harmonium reeds at 16' pitch and this constitutes the "Contra Bass 32", which is thus not a 32' at all but a 16' bass device working only in the bottom octave.

Now, the basic idea might have worked OK (Percy Daniel used to have a little organ on hire which had one rank of pipes tapped at 8, 4 and 2, and it was a nice little job), but the execution here was awful and it was a pretty terrible machine.  A quick trawl through NPOR reveals that a lot of the instruments by Solway Organs have not survived, although they rebuilt the one at Kirkandrew-on-Esk with its fine Temple Moore case, and I see that the Pipe Organ Preservation Company has recently moved one to Ballyclog, Co. Tyrone, where I remember playing the harmonium a couple of times in my Belfast days.  I was told that the proprietor sold up in order to become a clergyman in the Episcopal Church and that the new owner found he had inherited a large debt and went bust......

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