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Worcester Cathedral's Organ


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Well, le'ts be practical now.

 

The organ should be thrown out the Cathedral, and then

out of W...estern England's town. Not an easy task, we

would need some rather good trucks.

 

 

==============

 

I have an LGV Class 1 licence and I would be very happy to volunteer my services.

 

When do we roll?

 

MM

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Guest Leathered-Lips
==============

 

I have an LGV Class 1 licence and I would be very happy to volunteer my services.

 

When do we roll?

 

MM

 

To be honest, it seems pretty crazy to me that there is some kind of awareness of historic organs in this country. I believe there is the NPOR historic organ certificate, although I don't know too much about it. Is it not too late to get one slapped on it now? I would have thought it certainly fulfils a criteria for being historic and rare.

 

As, to my knowledge, the is little surviving evidence of Hope-Jone's work, so why is this organ allowed to be outed? If this were in a parish church I suspect the DOA might well kick up a fuss about replacing it on historic grounds, and raise the question why it has become so unsatisfactory all of a sudden after so many years, and rightly kicking a parish organist into touch. However, the DOA is rarely the person which has to play the organ they are advising on. The trouble is that DOA's tend to be cathedral/abbey organists in many cases. The whole thing about organs seems to be about politics and not upsetting a friend etc. It's as corrupt as the church itself in that respect. As a result they can sometimes get away with their personal opinions in anything and everything where there is nobody to contest their way of thinking on a rational basis. If they don't like an organ some will often try to get rid of it by advising the church accordingly, and the same applies with their own cathedral instruments. This is not to say this is the case at Worcester as I really don't know, but it looks a distinct possibility to me. What I'm saying is that Cathedral organists tend to rule the roost and there is no stopping them really. This is not to have a go at DOA's and other cathedral organists, I'm simply trying to put a point across which naturally stems from this topic. I am aware that plenty of advice which comes from many DOAs is well considered and solid, but in some cases it seems to be downright stupid and selfish sometimes.

 

Obviously the great English composers around that area had no about taste or a good English cathedral organ when the heard one did they? It seems cathedrals can do what the hell they like and are not answerable to anyone in particular. I can quite accept that it's not to the personal taste of everyone and nobody would expect it to be, but change the organist and not the organ it makes far more sense and is much more economical.

 

People cry when a Willis/Hill is confined to the dustbin or even demolished with the church in some cases, and quite rightly. For crying out loud, if we are going to bang on about conserving historic organs, I don't think we can be too selective about what we class as historic. So Hope-Jones is well out of fashion at the moment, but so what? The instrument seems to have served its purpose for decades, and although altered it's nothing that a reputable organ builder could not overhaul and pull together to make it mechanically reliable. It may be costly yes, and even around the price of a new organ, but to out something rare like that really should not be allowed. If it were to find a new home however, where it could be more appreciated I would not be so bothered about losing the "Worcester" sound, just a little saddened. In many respects it'd be nice to be able to stick two fingers up at Worcester when they hear their organ elsewhere playing to those who really appreciate it for what it is and respect it for what it is. Part of me in fact hopes it will go elsewhere, surviving intact complete with diaphones as a novel rarity whether musical or not. Worcester clearly do not deserve it and if this organ is not a classical example of something which should be preserved, I don't know what is.

 

I cannot see quite why Worcester needs an English and French style organ, I suppose it's their perogative, but rather extravagant? I cannot see why they don't leave the Hope-Jones in place, and build a new French style organ at the West End in addition. The Hope-Jones could either be restored (ideally), or left as it is and not used, after all it's not doing anyone any harm. If the organist would rather play the new French organ, fine let him, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. In years to come, fashions may have changed and the Hope-Jones could then be restored under the advice of an organist who might appreciate it for what it is a little more. Seems rather daft to me to put a French organ in an English cathedral where its primary purpose in this country is choir/congreagational accompaniment. To be fair, I played the electronic in the nave shortly after it was put it. For an electronic, it was half decent as well. Of course another alternative is to put a new electronic in, whether that be English or French voicing. The speakers could be adjusted so it could effectively be played anywhere in the building. This is not ideal of course, and whilst I do not advocate electronics in many cases, the use of one here might be an acceptable compromise in this situation and certainly preferable to the outing of a perfectly good organ. Sorry to rant, but I think the current scheme there is outrageous and really quite crazy. If the organist doesn't like what he's got he should bloody well piss-off somewhere else, as tends to happen shortly after such far reaching schemes anyway. Seems like someone there is just hell-bent on getting the thing out of the building, possibly to inflate their ego? This whole proposed scheme seems to be one more scaldalous waste of money - something churches seem to be good at anyway. Personally I think the cathedral money raised would be better directed at some work which will make a life-changing difference to others, by giving to charity rather then messing around replacing organs and installing disco lights. Come to think of it, the following link almost looks as if it could be a cathedral organist just after they've had their new toy installed together with new lighting in the cathedral to match.

 

(paste into browser)

 

www.getnoticed.net/my_sites/jim_bowen/jim.swf

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Dear Edna/ Godzilla,

 

There are already twelve pages like that on this thread, with arguments from both sides.

There are the ones who like this organ, and there are the others who would like to

throw it in the Atlantic ocean, the faster the better; and there are people who think we should not even talk about it any more, as if to talk about this *thing* was a testimony for bad taste and lack of education.

 

So I don't believe we should continue to show bulls the red flag -or is it indeed the purpose?-, it's time to find actual solutions before it's too late.

 

Anyway, we shall be called donkeys to have let done that, no doubt. If at least we could

avoid the bin and have the parts stored , our children will judge us a little less severely.

 

So: do you know of a storage place?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Guest Leathered-Lips
Dear Edna/ Godzilla,

 

There are already twelve pages like that on this thread, with arguments from both sides.

There are the ones who like this organ, and there are the others who would like to

throw it in the Atlantic ocean, the faster the better; and there are people who think we should not even talk about it any more, as if to talk about this *thing* was a testimony for bad taste and lack of education.

 

So I don't believe we should continue to show bulls the red flag -or is it indeed the purpose?-, it's time to find actual solutions before it's too late.

 

Anyway, we shall be called donkeys to have let done that, no doubt. If at least we could

avoid the bin and have the parts stored , our children will judge us a little less severely.

 

So: do you know of a storage place?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Dear Pierre,

 

Thanks for that. Well lets look on the bright side at least. I wish I did personally know of a storage space, but my respect for Worcester would go up hugely if they publically offered the present organ a good home. How about Sheffield? Apparently their organ is so worn out it's beyond repair. Maybe they'd appreciate the donation? Wonder if it would fit in St. Mary's Nottingham? Tewkesbury I guess are a little full already. Salford Cathedral? Gloucester? Parr Hall Warrington :lol: or some town hall which currently doesn't have anything? Of course, nobody has yet said it's being broken-up which I suppose is a bit of an assumption to make, yet in keeping with the flavour of the whole project so far. Seriously, so far as I'm aware parish churches are frequently asked to keep the pipework of an instrument if they go electronic or change stops. I think it'd be fair to apply the same rule to Worcester Cathedral - why should they be any different. At the end of the day, the mechanics are something else altogether, and if anything I'd rather that was dispensed with after a comprehenive record kept of how it was all put together. At the end of the day so long as the organ's voice is preserved, the rest could in theory be remade at some point should someone want to put the organ in a museum in the future?

 

To be honest, how much longer do our organs have anyway in church, they may be better off in concert halls? At the current rate it looks as if many cathedrals could be car parks in the not too distant future, or at least flats..and that's said with all sincerity. With the traditional notion of a church which respects the organ as a functional instrument in decline the reality is that they will be closed in the not too distant future unless the state comes in to maintain them or church attendance increases dramatically in this country. It's unfortunate, but I see that as a reality. Sorry to be the prophet of doom, but I try not to put my head in the clouds and go "la la la", when the evidence is all around.

 

Perhaps organs should have buildings built for them, especaially for recitals rather than liturgical use? They may also be a millionaire around somewhere with an interest in organs who would be prepared to sponsor and preserve it for the benefit of others. I remember seeing one near San Fransisco on Howard Goodall's programme. Maybe the cathedral would like to give him a call before phoning a refuse company.

 

Every good wish

 

Edna x

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my respect for Worcester would go up hugely if they publically offered the present organ a good home.

(Quote)

 

I fully agree of course.

But better not take it for granted. When the containers will be at the doors,

it will be too late.

 

Pierre

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To be honest, it seems pretty crazy to me that there is some kind of awareness of historic organs in this country. I believe there is the NPOR historic organ certificate, although I don't know too much about it. Is it not too late to get one slapped on it now? I would have thought it certainly fulfils a criteria for being historic and rare.

 

 

Hi

 

If you look at the criteria for an HOC (on the BIOS website www.bios.org.uk) you'll find that Worcester is FAR from historic! Indeed, the much less changed chamber organ in my church has been refused because of sundry alterations. I don't think any Cathedral organ would qualify.

 

EVery Blessing

 

Tony

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Dear Pierre,

 

To be honest, how much longer do our organs have anyway in church, they may be better off in concert halls? At the current rate it looks as if many cathedrals could be car parks in the not too distant future, or at least flats..and that's said with all sincerity. With the traditional notion of a church which respects the organ as a functional instrument in decline the reality is that they will be closed in the not too distant future unless the state comes in to maintain them or church attendance increases dramatically in this country. It's unfortunate, but I see that as a reality. Sorry to be the prophet of doom, but I try not to put my head in the clouds and go "la la la", when the evidence is all around.

 

 

Every good wish

 

Edna x

 

Hi

 

For most of its history, the Hristian church had no use whatsoever for pipe organs!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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When the containers will be at the doors,

it will be too late.

 

===============

 

I'll just go fill the tanks and get hitched up ready for Belgium, or did someone mention the bottom of the sea?

 

Those diaphones would look good on top a truck I guess, unless someone from the Cinema Organ Society or ATOS could find a better use for them.

 

:lol:

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I don't think any Cathedral organ would qualify.

(Quote)

.....Worldwide, then, but some very rare exceptions!

 

Let's face it: nearly all new appointed organist wants to

change this and that to the organ he's got the responsibility for;

and then it's the organ that gets "punishment".

 

Where is the logic behind this?

Pierre

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Guest Leathered-Lips
Hi

 

If you look at the criteria for an HOC (on the BIOS website www.bios.org.uk) you'll find that Worcester is FAR from historic!  Indeed, the much less changed chamber organ in my church has been refused because of sundry alterations.  I don't think any Cathedral organ would qualify.

 

EVery Blessing

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

Thanks for that. Perhaps I would have better said that it has some quite rare material in it, perhaps I didn't make myself very clear. I'm not sure that an organ cannot be classed as "historic" and worthy of preservation, even if it has been significantly altered. So far as I can see the very fact that it is a bit of a mish-mash of different builders together with Hope-Jones I would have thought makes it no less worthy of preservation on that very basis? I think "historic" and "pedigree" are two different issues. I agree it would not qualify on the issue of pedigree, but on the former. Maybe some reclassification and further investigation into the "rules" should perhaps be undertaken, but as I said, I have insufficient knowledge on them. So I suppose the idea of a historic organ certificate goes out of the window...at least for now anyway.

 

Every good wish.

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I'll just go fill the tanks and get hitched up ready for Belgium, or did someone mention the bottom of the sea?

 

Those diaphones would look good on top a truck I guess, unless someone from the Cinema Organ Society or ATOS could find a better use for them.

 

:lol::lol::D

 

One pack Duvels more for MM!

Pierre

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Guest Leathered-Lips
I'll just go fill the tanks and get hitched up ready for Belgium, or did someone mention the bottom of the sea?

 

Those diaphones would look good on top a truck I guess, unless someone from the Cinema Organ Society or ATOS could find a better use for them.

 

:lol:  :lol:  :D

 

One pack Duvels more for MM!

Pierre

 

What a good thought Pierre! :D

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Hi

 

For most of its history, the  Hristian church had no use whatsoever for pipe organs!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

===============

 

Now it would seem that no-one has any use whatsoever for the Christian Church.

 

So much for throwing the organs out and trying to make church more entertaining!

 

MM

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===============

 

Now it would seem that no-one has any use whatsoever for the Christian Church.

 

So much for throwing the organs out and trying to make church more entertaining!

 

MM

 

Hi

 

Not really true - some churches are actually growing - although mainly in third-world countries. In my reading of church history, the rot really set in in the late Victorian era, when "church" became an institution, and rules and regulations became more important than following Jesus' example.

 

Also, if you look at the statistics, most of the churches that are showing any growth in this country are those who are adopting new patterns of worship - althoguh adly sometimes (frequently?) they've gone too far - it's interesting that some of the charismatic church streams are "re-discovering" the very hymns they decried until a very few years ago!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Leathered-Lips
===============

 

Now it would seem that no-one has any use whatsoever for the Christian Church.

 

So much for throwing the organs out and trying to make church more entertaining!

 

MM

 

I think it would be hard to dispute that the kind of churches which are flourishing are those which use bands, and the type of music not associated with the organ. "WE "know the organ is a superb instrument, but we are biassed, to the average person on the street they'd rather have the piano and someone playing the drums. It is afterall what they are more used to due to pop culture and tv etc.

 

I'm not saying they are right or wrong in their musical opinions, but organs in the liturgical context can hardly be seperated from the religious aspect of their use. How many people attend cathedral evensong on weekdays? How many of the public really care if it has a diaphone or a diapason? (they're very often the ones footing the bill for our requests). How many would really miss it apart from the musicians? Who's going to to light and heat the building and maintain the organ in the future. Without trying to avoid sterotypes so far as I can see the majority in attendance are elderly folk who have 20 years left at best.

 

The younger generation (and many of the older generation now), as a whole would rather hear music along the lines of Scissor Sisters or Usher, - music which is not related to the organ at all. Pop music as a mainstream has taken over, that's the reality. How many people go near a church of the traditional type which uses the organ when based on the population of the country as a whole? Yes this is sad, but if the religious aspect is no longer inspiring, (if it ever was), then liturgical music rather looses its function anyway and becomes a bit of a farce, being retained by us for the pure sake of it and because we like and appreciate it. We should not forget that it was fashionable and considered "right" to go to church years ago, but since the 1960's society has changed. I think there are many who have done their best to show that the organ is not a dull and boring instrument, but I can quite see why some think that...just look at some of the topics on here and try to put faces to them. Can you imagine a group of scallies going to an organ recital rather than down the boozer? Overall, trying to advocate the organ as a viable instrument, has unfortunately been largely unsuccessful in my eyes, even through the performance of more "trendy" repertoire and a brighter tone in some cases. However, it is not an excuse to simply give up.

 

It is and will probably always be a rather expensive and quirky instrument which appeals to a few, rather than the masses (unfortunely). This does not exactly go in its favour, as well as being sterotypically installed in churches and rather cold dank buildings (in the eyes of the secular public). Organists very often have the reputation for being rather dull and pretentious, whilst this is not true in many cases, it would be hard to dispute that many are rather perculiar and refrained individuals who tend not to be the life and soul of the party. (Maybe the organ attracts that type - I don't know).

 

Further to this it is not possible to go into a music store and pick one off the shelf, so to the largely "unchurched" it rarely crosses their mind as an instrument to learn. - Where are they most likely to find the closest one? ...In the locked church down the road with the sounds of Harold inside trying to bash his way through a piece of Tee-Mee Pattison on nothing more than 8'4' flutes with his artritic fingers and decidedly dodgy pedalling.

 

The trumpet and piano to be honest are cheaper, more practical, and to many a more attractive option. With all the other things on offer today such as games consoles, the internet, and sport etc I don't think we can really be surprised that an instrument which WE hold dear has a very uncertain future due to a combination of church association, accessibilty, sheer propertions, maintenence, and purchase cost. If the cost of organ building continues to rise, I find it really sad that it may only have a relatively short-lived future. If people arn't going to listen to it, then we need to adapt our repertoire to appeal to the masses, and yes, arranging some pop tunes and combining a rock-band may well be a very good idea and promote the cause - even if it would be in bad taste, the instrument would at least get some public exposure. This could be a spring-board used to show that some of the traditional organ repertoire isn't actually that bad after all - even if it is classical! I can vouch that I have 3 pupils who were inspired by hearing Bachs Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, but only becasue I played it on a CD to them. It inspired me as a youngester, and however tired that piece is and however unauthentic..it does inspire young people, even if I have long gone past liking it and Widor's Toccata. For others more extreme measures may be required. Maybe we could get Francis Jackson to play it in a heavy metal arrangements, with smoke pouring out the back of the instrument for effect? Instead of "Francis Jackson Organ Recital", how about "Organ Fusion legend FJ rocks the mass with McFly"?

 

Let's tone down organ recitals and stick an organ at the Glastonbury festival so people get to hear the thing at least then add some Guns n' Roses.

 

Sorry, I know this is not the place for sociological or religious debate, or for such a negative thought. I suppose it related even less to the Worcester organ, apart from highlighting what a huge waste of money it'd be to build two new ones, although I think cathedrals themselves might survice a little longer than parish churches with organs in them I suppose. Let's hope through organ music an interest can be rekindled, but let's face it people have tried for years with varying degrees of success. Personally I think the way people become interested in the organ is through the power of diaphones and the full-organ sound. :lol: The more subtle influence of strings and 8' 4' usually follows, but at a much later stage. I see the way to access the organ as through its power, it usually creates the initial interest which can become a little more refined and enlightened at a later date. Maybe we should focus our attention at marketing the organ more as a secular/pub instrument that we have done in more recent years since Victorian times? There is a pub in Newcastle with an Open Diapason facade done out as a church, unfortunately the rest of the organ is not there. - A wasted opportunity me thinks...although undoubetedly there would be the potential for it to become full of dirty old anoracks clutching their novello Bach and drinking sherry.

 

We would all hope that the organ continues to flourish in the church with the glorious music for choirs, but I fear that is very much more the hope rather than the reality. A safer option would be to make the "Secular organ" more appealing if we wish to preserve and further the continued surival of the instrument. Building an "Organ House" with a bar and a few disco lights might in fact not be such a bad idea. I wish I had the funds to do so myself. Get the PIPE organ out of it's stuffy environment, strip away the pretense and people may start to enjoy it! (Forget the Hammond which most people think is an organ - show the damn thing up!) Get a decent song writer from a record label to incorporate a good PIPE organ part which works with the rest of the group, and give it a few solos in the songs. Do some pipe organ and pop instrumental and gradually introduce some organ solo sparingly. Mathias, Rutter, Messiaen arrangements with some Vierne and Widor could all work and appeal if done well. Let's face it there are some clever and very resourceful pop writers out there who could do a far better job than "Switched on Bach". Parts of the Whitlock "Chanty", (or however it's spelt), would provide a great ostinato or bridge if carefully reworked. And the pedal part of the Toccata from the Plymouth could be reworked, syncopated, and generally funked-up.

 

Yes, stick a PIPE organ around the bar with lashings of booze, add some disco lights, use the diaphones and tubas and pedal reeds...co-ordinate the lights with the action..why not? it's perfectly possible to do with modern technology. Learn to have a jolly good time. :lol:

 

I'd love to give it a role in the nightclub. There's plenty of redundant churches used for such purposes, and the organ could be part of the attraction. It would seem night-club owners tend not to be organists - see the pattern? If people will not come to the organ, we need to be taking the organ to them. How about the Worcester Cathedral Organ finding it's way to "Mirabillis 64" in the city centre? Any millionaires fancy taking on such an idea? - so far I do not know of it being pioneered in the UK.

 

Either we risk the traditional integrity of the instrument slighty and lose it it altogether, or make some compromises by ensuring a future and changing it's surroundings. Hopefully, as a versatile instrument, it could do well in both traditional and more modern guises. It'd certainly be interesting to see a breasted young lady rather akin to the 1970's car ads on a club flyer draped over the console in her flirtatious garments, rather than the bonnet of a Ford Cortina, although I would rather it were not one of the current more mature recitalists. Maybe the RAH organ should have come out of the hall and into athe club? Just perhaps? Afterall entertainment styles have largely changed in society since victorian times and the wurlitzer lost it's role in the 1920's. The pipe organ has remained trailing behind along with the organists, still in use at Blackpool. Lovely as it is...how many POTENTIAL young organists go ballroom dancing I ask or into a cathedral? Is it surprising that relatively few think of learning it? - it's so uncool!!

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rules and regulations became more important than following Jesus' example.

 

(Quote)

 

This I find a fully correct statment, and it is true for the RC Church I know

as well.

 

In Belgium the only churches that grow are the extremist ones, who litterally

advertise with (would be) "simple" answers to complicated questions.

 

@ MM: Mind the bottom of the sea solution, tough. A 32' Diaphone could make

a fairly frightfull Vox Balenae, isn't it?

Now suppose a shark named Max decides to improvise a little on it. What do you think could happen to the coasts less than 1,000 Miles away?

Would you like to take responsibility for that? :lol:

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
rules and regulations became more important than following Jesus' example.

 

(Quote)

 

This I find a fully correct statment, and it is true for the RC Church I know

as well.

 

In Belgium the only churches that grow are the extremist ones, who litterally

advertise with (would be) "simple" answers to complicated questions.

 

@ MM: Mind the bottom of the sea solution, tough. A 32' Diaphone could make

a fairly frightfull Vox Balenae, isn't it?

Now suppose a shark named Max decides to improvise a little on it. What do you think could happen to the coasts less than 1,000 Miles away?

Would you like to take responsibility for that? :lol:

Pierre

 

The attitude of the chirsdtian church to organs and organsits remains at an all time low, and professional jealousy often is responsible. Clergy often go to great pains to cut the number or verses, and meanwhile babble on repeating htemselves ad lib as if they are actually interesting. Most people have a cut off point of 5 minutes, after which they start shuffling. The non conformists have no real tradition anyway, being non conformist and basically a spin off "newbie", but as to the catholic, there can be no excuse. The old masses have been chucked out and with them a language that has made the old texts, and hence music, obsolete. There were however organs in the first century?, primitive, but in those days things were sung unaccompanied, so I gather. The church is crazy anyway, and is known for it. All this arguing about vatican 1 or 2, Latin or English, common prayer or common praise, clappy clappy or decent, the church should be seen as a centre of excellence but often isn't, but is a melting pot of social misfits, who have nothing better to do than argue the value of organ,choirs etc. The church has lost its way, and has not improved itself for all the debating. From that alone, i would personally take the hint. Where there are organs and choirs, hold onto them tightly, and treasure them.

Unfathomable joy of christ be upon you all,

R.

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I think it would be hard to dispute that the kind of churches which are flourishing are those which use bands, and the type of music not associated with the organ. (snip)

 

The younger generation (and many of the older generation now), as a whole would rather hear music along the lines of Scissor Sisters or Usher, - music which is not related to the organ at all. Pop music as a mainstream has taken over, that's the reality. (snip)

 

Can you imagine a group of scallies going to an organ recital rather than down the boozer?

 

Afterall entertainment styles have largely changed in society since victorian times and the wurlitzer lost it's role in the 1920's. The pipe organ has remained trailing behind along with the organists, still in use at Blackpool. Lovely as it is...how many POTENTIAL young organists go ballroom dancing I ask or into a cathedral? Is it surprising that relatively few think of learning it? - it's so uncool!!

 

======================

 

This may not seem like the place to discuss religious or sociological matters, but of course, the whole future of organ-music and organ-building are connected with them.

 

Leathered-lips-(inc?) made an interesting statement, which I will repeat:-

 

"Can you imagine a group of scallies going to an organ recital rather than down the boozer?"

 

Well, I could tell you a story....in fact I will.

 

I was once performing at a quite important London venue, and I mentioned this to a young man I knew at the time, who had a "new age" hairstyle flopping down one side of his head. He told me he'd love to be there to hear the music.

 

"Why not turn the pages for me?" I suggested

 

"Cool! Should I put my hair up or down?" He asked.

 

I thought for a moment, then broke into a mischievous grin as I replied, "Up!"

 

So it was, a certain London church was treated to the sight of a young new-age punk turning the pages, complete with Mohican!!

 

I don't find any great prejudice against me when I mention that I'm a classical musician to the many "Scallies and Chavs" with whom I come into contact. Maybe the reason is that I can relate to THEIR world quite easily; and by the way, I have the "Scissors Sisters" CD!!

 

Another interesting snippet from 'Leathered-Lips' is worthy of repetition:-

 

"Let's face it there are some clever and very resourceful pop writers out there who could do a far better job than "Switched on Bach".

 

Actually, there are some brilliant arrangers and composers connected with pop-music, who may do it for the money, but who do it terribly well nevertheless.

 

I now fly off at an obtuse angle.........

 

I often meet a LOT of young people from all over the planet; among whom are many young Indians, Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians. I also pop across to Holland quite often, and talk to people of all ages there. It's an interesting fact of life, that even the Indians know something about organs and organ-music, and a young Pole (possibly about age 20) not only happily informed me where the largest organ in Poland was, he also mentioned the moving life-size figures in the organ-case at Oliwa Katedral in Gdansk!! (He works in a distribution warehouse!!)

 

The Dutch of all ages have a real enthusiasm for the organ, and I recall a mini-swarm of children clamouring around me at Rotterdam Cathedral wanting to see the console. I took the time and trouble to take them up four at a time.

 

I had an uncle who sang quite well. He was something of a local celebrity, and toured around the northern "Messiah" circuit as a bass soloist; singing alongside the likes of Kathleen Ferrier and Isobelle Bailey. When the BBC asked him to turn professional, he replied, "Nay lad, I can't abandon t'cows and t'milk round."

 

He remained a farmer to his dying days.

 

Doesn't it come down to COMMUNICATION?

 

This is why I like a lot of contemporary Czech music.....folk rhythms and high intellect combined.

 

Liking people for what they ARE rather than what we would want them to be is not difficult, and it's where communication starts. Talk to a young Pole about Poland, and demonstrate that you know something about the place....then sit back and watch them light up as they struggle to communicate in English with boundless enthusiasm. It's all about bridge-building......

 

Organists, as a broad group of people, bore me to death quite frankly when they're not playing the organ, and the same goes for most people connected with "church."

 

Carlo Curley tells the story of going along to play the organ at the RAH, and when he got there, a pop-group (Status Quo?) were trying to destroy the building as they practised for a gig. When they finished, and started to collect their things, Carlo went to the organ, switched on and flicked the far-right general piston.

 

He almost blew the pop group and their equipment out of the building, and they gaped in disbelief.

 

Carlo got off the organ and shouted, "Now THAT'S organ-power!"

 

IT ISN'T DIFFICULT......GO AND COMMUNICATE!!

 

 

By the way, the Cinema/Theatre organ came into its' own AFTER the talking films arrived, when organists became superstar entertainers earning pop-star money. The peak was during the war-years in this country, and the talent enormous....Quentin Maclean studied organ with Karl Straube and composition with Max Reger!!

 

Sid Torch became a brilliant BBC arranger after giving up the theatre organ.

 

MM

 

(I've listened to the track "Filthy/Gorgeous" by the "Scissors Sisters" and a Bach Trio Sonata slow-movement played on an 18th century Stumm whilst writing this. How's that for eclecticism?)

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@ MM: Mind the bottom of the sea solution, tough. A 32' Diaphone could make

a fairly frightfull Vox Balenae, isn't it?

Now suppose a shark named Max decides to improvise a little on it. What do you think could happen to the coasts less than 1,000 Miles away?

Would you like to take responsibility for that? :lol:

Pierre

 

================

 

I've just discovered that the diaphones are Hope-Jones.

 

There was I thinking Davy Jones....sorry about that!

 

I take no responsbility for any possible tsunamis off the coasts of Europe.

 

MM

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As, to my knowledge, the is little surviving evidence of Hope-Jones' work, so why is this organ allowed to be outed?

 

Not quite the same I know but the last console that Hope-Jones built is still used to day in the chapel of Berkhamsted Collegiate school, Hertfordshire.

 

Hope Jones built the original organ for the school's new chapel in 1898 of 21 stops and 4(!) manuals:

 

Pedal

1 Tibia Profunda 16

2 Great Bourdon 16

3 Great Bourdon Octave 8

4 Tuba Profunda 16

 

Choir

5 Lieblich Gedact 8

6 Viol d'Orchestre 8

7 Dolce 8

8 Corno di Bassetto 8

 

Great

9 Bourdon 16

10 Open Diapason 8

11 Tibia Plena 8

12 Dulciana 8

13 Octave 4

 

 

Swell

14 Phoneuma 8

15 Lieblich Geshallt 8

16 String Gamba 8

17 Tibia Clausa 8

18 Gambette 4

19 Horn 8

20 Oboe 8

 

Solo

21 Tuba Sonora 8

 

In 1949, Henry Willis III was asked to "rebuild" the Hope-Jones organ in memory of those Old Boys of the school who fell in the two world wars. I use the term rebuild in the loosest sense as you can tell from the specification below that barely any pipework remained untouched and much was discarded, what emerged in 1949 was essentially an new organ with a core of old pipework.

 

Pedal

1 Resultant Bass 32

2 Open Bass 16

3 Bourdon 16 A

4 Octave 8

5 Flute 8 A

6 Octave Flute 4 A

7 Oboe 16 B

8 Trombone 16

 

Choir

9 Hohl Flute 8

10 Principal 4

11 Nason Flute 4

12 Nazard 2 2/3

13 Flautina 2

14 Tierce 1 3/5

15 Larigot 1 1/3

16 Tremulant

 

Great

17 Lieblich Bourdon 16 A

18 Open Diapason No.1 8

19 Open Diapason No.2 8

20 Rohr Gedact 8

21 Principal 4

22 Flute Couverte 4

23 Twelfth 2 2/3

24 Fifteenth 2

25 Mixture III

 

 

Swell

26 Geigen 8

27 Stopped Diapason 8

28 Aeoline 8

29 Unda Maris 8 TC

30 Octave Geigen 4

31 Fifteenth 2

32 Mixture III

33 Contra Oboe 16 B

34 Tromba 8

35 Tremulant

 

What still exists is the console and much wind trunking etc within the organ and a very deep Tremulant on the Choir which can turn the whole thing into a Wurlitzer in a second :lol: Tonally it is very different and I am convinced that Hope-Jones would not have recognised this organ is being from his factory at all. However, individual ranks of original Hope Jones pipe work are still there such as the Tromba, Trombone, Gt/Ped Bourdon (old Great Tibia) and the Current No. 1 Open, however Willis did inevitably do a lot of revoicing. If you're ever near St. Albans then Berkhamsted School Chapel is well worth the 20 minute detour as the architecture of the Chapel is beautiful and the organ is fabulous (it doesn't look much on paper but it has to be heard to be believed- especially the 4' Flute Couverte on the Great :lol: )It has just been restored (2001) by Martin Cross very successfully. Forgive my ramblings but as a fairly recent old boy of the school, I feel priviledged to have been able to learn on such a gorgeous instrument!

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Thanks!

 

Would anyone know about this one:

 

http://www.pykett.org.uk/the_hope-jones_organ_at_pilton.htm

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

I've seen it but not heard it - as the article says, it has had some things done to it that are not fully in sympathy with its origins but there seems to be enough left to get an impression of the sound as HJ intended it to be. The minimalist console is very neat!

 

AJJ

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Guest Roffensis

 

I think the greatest error concerning Worcester is the constant referral to it as a Hope Jones. Yes the Hill was rebuilt (ruined) by Hope Jones in 1896, but the organ actually began life as a Hill, to which the transept case and one of the choir cases belong. The other chancel case was duplicated. But in actual fact, it now really is a Harrison, it was so drastically altered by that firm in 1925 with several additions and several removals of stops, and 1972 saw further treatment. In 1972 the 32 foot reed was also added. 1978 the organ was again altered, so that the "original" Hope Jones organ was all but got rid of tonally. One has to learn to refer to it as the typical Harrison sound, it most certainly is not in any way H.J. and no restoration could ever regain that style, it has gone, and went a very long time ago. In 1925 it was a case of making it into a cathedral organ of worth rather than a curiosity. So please, let's stop the Hope Jones nametag, it isn't H.J.

Furthermore by calling it H.J. actually fuels a justification to out it, as an oddity, poorly voiced. The truth is that it is very fine Harrison organ, and if we are to allow the removal of this, then why not criticise Durham and Westminster Abbey, both reworkings of old material, with additions. Gloucester was another example, being a reworking of the Willis in 1920 by Harrisons. The 1971 organ is now a reworking of both the Willis and Harrison Gloucester organs. It does not stop there,

both Kings and Ely were Harrison reworkings of the Hill organs. Worcester has some very fine stops, and in particular some very fine soft stops. The tutti is beyond doubt one of our most beautiful cathedral sounds, and it seems to me we are just missing the real point and reason in the whole saga.......whim.

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Furthermore by calling it H.J. actually fuels a justification to out it, as an oddity, poorly voiced.

(Quote)

 

Is that acceptable? There are numerous references as to H-J voicing's to be

extremely good, but it was not a "classic" one, i.e. respecting the "Chorprinzip"

(specification and voicing designed to build choruses).

If you study H-J's specification at Pilton, and this is explained by the author of the article linked to above, you'll note H-J reintroduced by the window the chorus that was outed by the door (Quintadena 4'+2 2/3'+ octave couplers) At W....estern england's sauce there was a Tiercina, intended to emit 8'+ 1 3/5'.

 

Now as to the thing at W..., what remains of H-J is above all the very original disposition

of the organ itself, its dispatching within the room that provides for that so peculiar"presence".Do you like it or not, it's H-J's merit.

I don't find it sounds like a typical H&H, tough the link is obvious; it's no Tromba-Tuba organ. What strucks, immediately, are the basic, "pure organ-tone" voices: the Diapasons, the soft stops, the extremely good Swell céleste, the reed choruses and above all the one in the Swell (never tell a french it's frenchy, because it is not at all despite what was believed). It is both unique and extremely "normal", in that it sounds

like...Many organs should.

This is to the point the Diapason choruses sound well despite some dreadly mixture work, would-be-"baroque" voiced, that should be revised with the aim to try to go back to H&H 1925 scheme. But that's not today's priority...

So it's not an H-J, it's not an H&H, it's.....THIS one.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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