Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

York Minster organ rebuild


John Robinson
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've just had the pleasure of watching 'The Organs of York Minster 1236 - 2021' book launch from York Minster (was unable to attend in person).
It's still here: 

for another seven days, if anyone's interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 161
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

12 hours ago, John Robinson said:

I've just had the pleasure of watching 'The Organs of York Minster 1236 - 2021' book launch from York Minster (was unable to attend in person).

John, from deepest Southern England I fully share your admiration for the Minster organ which I first heard played by Francis Jackson almost 70 years ago!  That memory has remained ever since.  I was able to be at York for the final Evensong and recital with the organ encased in scaffolding before being taken down for the rebuild.

As well as sounding magnificent, the restored case and pipe decoration are also to be treasured - indeed, showing a photograph of it to a friend in USA his response was “what a magnificent case”.  I remember at the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Miss Katharine Worsley (when FJ played them out to Widor V Toccata - did that create the fashion?) the ITV television camera took in a general view of the west-facing case, and the commentator gratuitously remarked that it was “not very attractive” - how wrong he was, but sadly quite typical of ignorant comment about organs.  On my recent retirement, I was presented with two pipes.  On proudly showing the larger one, 4’ and gilt, to someone they asked “what is it?”!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

John, from deepest Southern England I fully share your admiration for the Minster organ which I first heard played by Francis Jackson almost 70 years ago!  That memory has remained ever since.  I was able to be at York for the final Evensong and recital with the organ encased in scaffolding before being taken down for the rebuild.

As well as sounding magnificent, the restored case and pipe decoration are also to be treasured - indeed, showing a photograph of it to a friend in USA his response was “what a magnificent case”.  I remember at the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Miss Katharine Worsley (when FJ played them out to Widor V Toccata - did that create the fashion?) the ITV television camera took in a general view of the west-facing case, and the commentator gratuitously remarked that it was “not very attractive” - how wrong he was, but sadly quite typical of ignorant comment about organs.  On my recent retirement, I was presented with two pipes.  On proudly showing the larger one, 4’ and gilt, to someone they asked “what is it?”!

Sadly, I'm afraid that demonstrates the general lack of interest in organs in this country.  Do the same in Holland or Germany and just about everyone would know what it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pleased I stumbled on this thread. Great to see they have a book out (just ordered it). When I was a kid, I purchased a book / pamphlet on St Paul's Cathedral Organ back in the 80's. It's had updates in 1994 and 2008 by Mander Organs. They don't seem to do a book now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Nathan said:

I'm pleased I stumbled on this thread. Great to see they have a book out (just ordered it). When I was a kid, I purchased a book / pamphlet on St Paul's Cathedral Organ back in the 80's. It's had updates in 1994 and 2008 by Mander Organs. They don't seem to do a book now.

I have just received mine in the post and I can tell you that it's an excellent work, far better even than what I was hoping for.  Not only the history including specifications and pictures, but also the information about the recent rebuild which is comprehensive and includes diagrams of the internal layout, for which I am particularly grateful.
I can firmly recommend it to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, John Robinson said:

I have just received mine in the post and I can tell you that it's an excellent work, far better even than what I was hoping for.  Not only the history including specifications and pictures, but also the information about the recent rebuild which is comprehensive and includes diagrams of the internal layout, for which I am particularly grateful.
I can firmly recommend it to you.

Is there any other way to order the book than from the York Minster’s shop (which, at this time, doesn’t ship to the EU)? I’d be very much interested in purchasing a copy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, SlowOrg said:

Is there any other way to order the book than from the York Minster’s shop (which, at this time, doesn’t ship to the EU)? I’d be very much interested in purchasing a copy.

I'm afraid I don't know.  I have looked on Amazon (who, of course, do ship to the EU) but there's no sign of it being available there.
Perhaps someone else can help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Rather belatedly, as I suspect that everything about this refurbished organ has already been discussed on here, but I'd now like to add my own first experience.

My wife and I attended the Nine Lessons and Carols service in York Minster on the 22nd December.  I was indeed impressed by the power of the new organ which sounded louder than I had ever heard it before, and we were sitting half-way down the nave.
I remember having suggested on here some time ago that the organ might benefit from the further addition of a nave organ, but I now confess that I was completely mistaken and the organ is more than capable of leading a nave full of people, and that's without the Trombas and the Tuba Mirabilis. 

In fact I'd go further and say that I think it could easily overwhelm them if necessary, as evidenced by some old biddies behind us who were obliged to relinquish their planned chatter due to the post-service organ music!

Oh, and the choir was very good too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, John Robinson said:

Oh, and the choir was very good too!

Being only around ARCO standard I'm not really qualified to comment on the organ but I did, some time back, listen to recordings of the morning Mass and Evensong from York and was hugely impressed by the quality of the choir. I remember hearing a 'fauxbourdon' service by Philip Moore which was stunningly beautifully sung.

I don't know whether I am allowed to say this but I do remember 'the old days' and there are lots of epic stories told about the Minster choir of the 1960's, My late wife came from York, was a member of the Chapter House choir, good friends with FJ, and taught by Andrew Carter. She had a fund of memories, some of them hilarious!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gosh! I would have loved to be at that service but have listened to and watched in on line. I agree - choir and organ both sound truly magnificent as I think I have said here before. There was a stunning performance of Naylor's Vox Dicentis at one Sunday Advent evensong - I think it was the week following Wesley's The Wilderness, about which I had previously enthused. It didn't involve the organ, of course, but the organ certainly sounds magnificent... through my headphones, at any rate. For me, York and Truro are the ones for sheer quality, but I know there are plenty of others that I haven't caught up with properly. 

In other news... I read in a tweet from Norwich that the organ will be out next year. I haven't seen a scheme for this yet and wonder if anyone else has. The Norwich lay clerks have been laid low with Covid/isolation etc over the Christmas period, I understand.

Is there any news from Bristol... or from other cathedrals overdue a rebuild? Which instruments are these?? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

Is there any news from Bristol... or from other cathedrals overdue a rebuild? Which instruments are these?? 

From what I understand the contract for the work at Bristol was to be awarded to NP Mander (London) before that firm folded. Latest info on this is that the work will now be done by Harrison & Harrison which contract, last I heard, was shortly to be signed. I don't know when the work is due to start but I would think the next couple of years.

The work proposed did include an expansion of the organ's stoplist - I mentioned this elsewhere on the forum back in April 2020: https://mander-organs-forum.invisionzone.com/topic/4578-bristol-cathedral/ - so let us hope the scheme goes ahead. The consultation link on the forum post linked to does not work now but it was an interesting read.

Dave

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...