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Choir Man

British Organ Going To Germany

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I saw this instrument advertised on the IBO's list.  It looks like a fine instrument.  I imagine that the unusual apsidal design of the case(s?) might have made it difficult to re-accommodate without electrification, and that most organ builders would be at the least rather circumspect about ripping out an original action.

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Our loss is their gain!

Seriously, though, I'm glad to hear of British organs finding homes in other European countries.  After all, we have adopted sounds from Europe over many decades and it's nice to know that British sounds are finding favour over there too.  Tubas seem to be in favour these days too.

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I suppose this can be looked at in several ways. The optimist in me says that these instruments bring with them the musical traditions and culture for which they were conceived, which has attracted a certain amount of interest here in the Netherlands. In particular, a number of churches hold evensong every now and again, particularly in Leiden (Hooglandse Kerk, Willis), and The Hague (Ss John & Philip, though that's actually an Anglican church with an original Goetze and Gwynn), something unknown to any Dutch denominations.

Another example is the 1883 Harrison organ from St Peter's, Bishop Auckland, which is being restored and installed in the Grote Kerk in Wijk bij Duurstede close to Utrecht as a choir organ. My wife has played this organ, it's her home turf, and says it was a bit of a belter. It'll sound quite different in the church it's going to. Looking forward to asking nicely if we can play  again, I don't think it will disappoint.

http://www.orgelnieuws.nl/grote-kerk-wijk-duurstede-krijgt-engels-koororgel/

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Another one now inaugurated in Hannover area:

https://www.orgelbau-huefken.de/aktuelle-projekte/hannover.html

News report, images, and a brief video (after some advertising....) In his short statement the organist points out the organs' capability to accompany choirs very well.

http://www.haz.de/Hannover/Aus-den-Stadtteilen/Sued/Suedstadt-Nazarethkirche-hat-neue-Orgel

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Re. the Hannover export, to save anyone else digging around for info, it's a 1902 Forster & Andrews from Llandudno - NPOR N11696 - although kropf's link says it was originally for St Andrews Derby?

NPOR says the church closed and the organ was sold to its new home for £6000.  I imagine its restoration cost significantly more!  

It's gained a few stops (on new chests) - a Great Mixture IV and 4' Flute, Choir Tuba (new wind supply) and Pedal Trombone; the kropf's Huefken link says the action is 'rein mechanisch' but NPOR says TP.  Pipes have been lengthened to lower the pitch to ~concert.

To my eyes looks much smarter in its new home and has a much better position on a west gallery in a stone vaulted nave, and no doubt it now has a much better acoustic to speak into.  What's not to like (except that we Brits will soon need a visa to go and play it but don't get me started!)?

----

ETA:  Ps. there's a biggish 3-manual 1961 Schuke at the other end of the Nazarethkirche.   Quite a play-ground!  https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazarethkirche_(Hannover)

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'most organ builders would be at the least rather circumspect about ripping out an original action.' Unfortunately, I think this is a great deal too optimistic in Britain.

 

 

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Regarding technical specs of the Hannover instrument: Do not trust the german sources to much, even the interviewed organist mixes up the date of build (1902/1904).

Schulte organ builders (near Cologne) have quite a reputation for importing English organs, sometimes redesigning them technically and optically.

Some references given here: http://www.orgelbau-schulte.de/de/htmls/england_amerika.htm

and on the home page http://www.orgelbau-schulte.de/ they say that they can rely on a pool of about 50 english/american instruments. And they definitely argue with the financial benefits of re-using existing material...

 

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I am sad to have learnt in the last few days that the 3-manual Hill organ in All Saints Church, Llanelli (http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=G01663), which had been advertised on the IBO site and the Organ Clearing House site, may have been destroyed.  I am sure many churches would have been very pleased to have an instrument of such quality.  How did it evade rescue, I wonder?

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I know this is contentious, but looking at the photos and details on the NPOR link, is this really such a loss? The pictures don't give me the impression that this is a well-loved instrument. 

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Unusually pour moi, I have to be 'contentious': an 1874 Hill, “substantially in original condition” and with a complete Great & Swell ? Many would give their right arm for one of these. Then, however, they wouldn't be able to play 'the Widor', composed only five years after this instrument.

I quote from a report (it is worth reading. How many more such wonders are languishing out there ?) made on its condition, presumably with a view to its proposed sale [https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59af83217131a5b42453b1db/t/59cd3a9f90badefdc2524937/1506622134118/All+Saints+Parish+Church+final.pdf]: “This instrument has received excellent attention throughout its life”. “This is an outstanding instrument which has had an illustrious history and demonstrates all the qualities for which its builder was renowned. The chorus work is brilliant and full . . .”

May be unloved, but definitely not to be sniffed at.

 

I know what ‘destroyed’ means; but, what does ‘destroyed’ mean ?

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The church closed in 2011 but it is a Grade II listed building and the organ is part of the listing. Interesting that the organ may have been destroyed.

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20 hours ago, John Furse said:

Many would give their right arm for one of these.

I understand, but nobody did give their right arm for it and so, this is what has happened. I fear that we are going to see much more of this as time goes on. There are just so many pipe organs out there in churches and chapels that nobody is wanting to attend anymore that it is inevitable that these buildings will be sold or demolished, and their pipe organs disposed of. And many of these instruments have nobody to play them, even if they had more than two or three to hear them being played. 

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Sad ! Strange that it was not snapped up for export as happened to the above - possibly as a ‘choir’ instrument.

Yes, there are many organs ‘out there’, but I’d hazard a guess not all that many of this quality.

It would be good to know if the pipes had, at least, been salvaged for future re-use.

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