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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.

(Snip)

 

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.

 

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

 

So it's a mongrel then?

 

To the sea-bed with it!

 

All this talk of Robert Hope-Jones and heritage has thus far failed to mention two interesting facts. Firstly, his great grandson, Mr Robert Hope-Jones, is very much alive and kicking and involved with organ-building. Secondly, the Lancaster Theatre Organ Trust are in the process of establishing the Manchester based Hope-Jones heritage centre, and any remaining examples of Robert Hope-Jones work would be very welcome there........like those redundant diaphones at Worcester.

 

Better still, I have pictures for you............including one of the current Robert Hope-Jones, who bears a certain resemblence to H-J the elder.

 

Try the following link:-

 

http://theatreorgans.com/lancast/

 

Then go to the tab marked Heritage.

 

MM

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Nobody on the continent has ever heard H-J's Diaphones. They are still there at Worcester -disabled, but there-. Yes, I heard many arguments "that's good for ships, etc". But having them restored does not imply their mandatory use everytime. And we stupid foreigners could, while in U.K., pay a special visit to hear these strange things.

Are these ideas so "special"?

 

Just wondering if Dijon really has got one:

http://www.erdelec.fr/PAGE12.htm

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Hé hé!

 

I know Mr Richaud, he is a member of the french forum

under the name "Egyptian Bazu":

 

http://www.erdelec.fr/PAGE4.htm

 

And like many of us on the continent, he is interested with Diaphones.

As an organ-builder especialized with electric and late-romantic organs,

he is also titular of this organ in Dijon, for which he is busy to build

these Diaphones.

Whenever they will be in function, he will -to my request- put samples

on-line.

Mind you, Hope-Jones name meets with a growing interest in Europe.

You can see it from two points of view:

 

1)-PFFFFFF!

 

2)-Let's build on this. Later, Athur Harrison, Thynne, Hill, the ancient

english builders could follow. With contracts for british builders!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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It's just a matter of time until the the historicists have arrived at the H-J era, isn't it?

Then we'll have diaphones all over the place  :rolleyes:

 

....With which I would disagree.

The best way to avoid a new fashion -or craze?- would be to keep the

existing Diaphones. Otherwise we shall pass twenty years to reconstitute

them correctly, after having imponed bad copies everywhere...

And round and round goes the history!

Pierre

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....With which I would disagree.

The best way to avoid a new fashion -or craze?- would be to keep the

existing Diaphones. Otherwise we shall pass twenty years to reconstitute

them correctly, after having imponed bad copies everywhere...

And round and round goes the history!

Pierre

 

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

 

Craze.....now there's good word!

 

I think I would prefer to hear the "crazy frog" song than a diaphone in full flight on a supposedly classical instrument. I wonder if a "bad copy" of something already bad, would make it a better copy than the original?

 

Quite how anyone could equate Thynne, Arthur Harrison and Hope-Jones in the same phrase, completely escapes me.

 

Musically, there is not the slightest justification for wanting to re-create diaphones or anything else by Hope Jones, unless the repertoire is restricted to East Hope Martin's "Evensong." Nothing was ever written for that style of instrument that hasn't since been lost, dumped or given away to Oxfam shops.

 

I begin to wonder whether we are now talking antiquity for it's own sake, rather than for the sake of music. Without the slightest musical justification, isn't it better to let the Hope-Jones remains go to a dedicated museum rather than be retained as a musical carbuncle in a cathedral organ of already dubious origins?

 

It's quite interesting that so much time and energy should be expounded on a subject which has no relevance whatsoever and never will have. The "Orchestral Organ" was a freak of music, and frankly, even fair-organs had better chorus-work!! Cinema organs at least had mutations and things which went up to 1.3/5th pitch (sometimes to 1ft), and they can actually be teased into making very Cavaille-Coll-like sounds with a bit of imagination and artistic-licence.

 

MM

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Quite how anyone could equate Thynne, Arthur Harrison and Hope-Jones in the same phrase, completely escapes me.

 

(Quote)

 

Don't be angry, but from an historian's point of view, this is normal.

As a music lover, I prefer the two firsts, but this is irrelevant as long

as the aim is to understand the facts.

We must distinguish things like tastes and/or "musical needs" etc on

one side, and the facts and figures on the other one.

(As I already said I don't like Diaphones. This is my opinion; as

an historian I warn against losing them).

 

The "classic" organ is only one part of the organ. The romantic organ,

tough firmly rooted in the classic traditions, is something different.

Of course now the british organ, even the late-romantic one, stayed

closer to the classic one:

-By keeping the slider chest

-By sticking to the choruses (even under altered forms)

 

The two are correlated.

So I understand it might be a little more difficult for you to admit an organ

may be designed completely differently than the "classic" one.

This said, W...estern sauce is.....A chorus organ above anything else!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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(Quote)

 

Don't be angry, but from an historian's point of view, this is normal.

As a music lover, I prefer the two firsts, but this is irrelevant as long

as the aim is to understand the facts.

 

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

 

The historian A J P Taylor was right.

 

"History is bunk!"

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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(Quote)

 

The historian A J P Taylor was right.

 

"History is bunk!"

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

The original quote by Henry Ford was:

 

"History is more or less bunk". (Chicago Trbune 25 May 1916)

 

As for diaphones, the only one I know of on a church organ is the Compton (?) example at Christchurch Priory, retained in the recent Nicholson rebuild and labelled Contra Bass 16 or the like. A decent wooden Violone does much the same job. Such stops must also be simpler to make and voice etc.

 

As Hilaire Belloc wrote;

 

"I am a sundial and I make a botch.

Of something that is far better done by a watch".

 

JS

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Guest Roffensis
=================

 

Craze.....now there's good word!

 

I think I would prefer to hear the "crazy frog" song than a diaphone in full flight on a supposedly classical instrument.  I wonder if a "bad copy" of something already bad, would make it a better copy than the original?

 

Quite how anyone could equate Thynne, Arthur Harrison and Hope-Jones in the same phrase, completely escapes me.

 

Musically, there is not the slightest justification for wanting to re-create diaphones or anything else by Hope Jones, unless the repertoire is restricted to East Hope Martin's "Evensong."  Nothing was ever written for that style of instrument that hasn't since been lost, dumped or given away to Oxfam shops.

 

I begin to wonder whether we are now talking antiquity for it's own sake, rather than for the sake of music. Without the slightest musical justification, isn't it better to let the Hope-Jones remains go to a dedicated museum rather than be retained as a musical carbuncle in a cathedral organ of already dubious origins?

 

It's quite interesting that so much time and energy should be expounded on a subject which has no relevance whatsoever and never will have. The "Orchestral Organ" was a freak of music, and frankly, even fair-organs had better chorus-work!!  Cinema organs at least had mutations and things which went up to 1.3/5th pitch (sometimes to 1ft), and they can actually be teased into making very Cavaille-Coll-like sounds with a bit of imagination and artistic-licence.

 

MM

 

Very many of the Worcester ranks ARE Harrison. Certainly very much more than H.J. s which I think number only two. The Diaphones are to my mind a curiosity, from a historical point of view, but really have no place in a English cathedral, any more than a Wurlitzer Tibia. The Hope Jones scheme had some highly eccentic stop names, and some equally odd choruses. Some of his pipework could indeed be excellent, but he failed in other ways, and had some pretty odd ways to achieve sounds! What Worcester is now in NO way reflects what H.Js left behind. The ring of the choruses, the reeds, and so on, are attributable only to Harrisons, who built the things. There remain a handful of Hill stops also. To return to the Diaphones, no one is going to seriously suggest fog horns on a pedal organ, and Worcester has perfectly fine 32 foot stops, which is exactly why they were disconnected. Diaphones are not needed, what on earth would we use them for!? and why!!!??? Far better to sling them in a museum and save some space into the bargain. The sound of the organ, and it's effectiveness in the role it plays at the cathedral, are the important issues, and the sole reason I would like to see it retained. It has served well, and sounds well, and it's hybrid status is far from unique. The weight of tone and the "ring" of it are very English, and it remains a unique sound. None of it's character can be given to the credit of Hope Jones, or to his dull specifications and lack of proper choruses. Harrisons did logical work on what was, then, a very lacking organ. Tonally, the same accolade could not be awarded it today, it's far from lacking, and yes the sound is THAT sound, it IS the Worcester sound. Once it goes, if it goes, I believe there will be much knashing of teeth.

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Very many of the Worcester ranks ARE Harrison. Certainly very much more than H.J. s which I think number only two. The Diaphones are to my mind a curiosity, from a historical point of view, but really have no place in a English cathedral, any more than a Wurlitzer Tibia. The Hope Jones scheme had some highly eccentic stop names, and some equally odd choruses. Some of his pipework could indeed be excellent, but he failed in other ways, and had some pretty odd ways to achieve sounds! What Worcester is now in NO way reflects what H.Js left behind. The ring of the choruses, the reeds, and so on, are attributable only to Harrisons, who built the things. There remain a handful of Hill stops also. To return to the Diaphones, no one is going to seriously suggest fog horns on a pedal organ, and Worcester has perfectly fine 32 foot stops, which is exactly why they were disconnected. Diaphones are not needed, what on earth would we use them for!? and why!!!??? Far better to sling them in a museum and save some space into the bargain. The sound of the organ, and it's effectiveness in the role it plays at the cathedral, are the important issues, and the sole reason I would like to see it retained. It has served well, and sounds well, and it's hybrid status is far from unique. The weight of tone and the "ring" of it are very English, and it remains a unique sound. None of it's character can be given to the credit of Hope Jones, or to his dull specifications and lack of proper choruses. Harrisons did logical work on what was, then, a very lacking organ. Tonally, the same accolade could not be awarded it today, it's far from lacking, and yes the sound is THAT sound, it IS the Worcester sound. Once it goes, if it goes, I believe there will be much knashing of teeth.

 

Having looked at the spec for Pilton, even as a lady in my riper years I find the spec a little on the gross side, but nontheless interesting.

 

As for Worcester, surely leaving the diaphones on it would be novel if nothing else. I doubt they'd be used much for services, and probably quite rightly, although they are indeed a curious quirk which would actually do Worcester more favours, should someone wish to hear these novel things used out of service time. A good recital puller possibly?

 

The rest of the organ so far as I can see looks more than reasonable and capable of fulfilling its function. Be it Harrison, Jones, Hill, whatever - it's been fine for years and would certainly continue to be if restored to good mechanical order. I still cannot see why we have to lose a perfectly reasonable, (if less than perfect organ, in the eyes of some), to be replaced by some brand new thing. ...Incidentally, has anyone seen a proposed spec of the new organ appearently they say that will install into the quire?

 

Could we reasonably summise that the prospective instrument will be full of mutations, and crumhorns together with other nasties along the same lines which are becoming so tiresome and unoriginal in modern English specs, and in fact so not 21st century. Every good wish

 

Edna von Klinkerhoffen X

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As for Worcester, surely leaving the diaphones on it would be novel if nothing else. I doubt they'd be used much for services, and probably quite rightly, although they are indeed a curious quirk which would actually do Worcester more favours, should someone wish to hear these novel things used out of service time. A good recital puller possibly?

 

===========

 

Has anyone on this board ever heard a diaphone, or used one in anger, I wonder?

 

I have, so I can speak from experience.

 

The sound is almost pure fundamental, and of immense power, unless it is a milder type such as the Wurlitzer Diaphonic Diapason. Even the 32ft Diaphone by Compton at Hull City Hall is quite a revolting sound, which argues with the hugely powerful 16ft Tuba extension.

 

The proper place for a Diaphone is where they are normally found.....on a cinema organ, where they blend perfectly with the Tibia Choruses and imitative orchestral sounds, but even then, they can really shake the cobwebs off the chamber walls.

 

They deserve to be where I suggested; in Manchester, and the Hope-Jones heritage museum, where the man, his work and his considerable genius are best represented in the right context.

 

MM

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Guest Roffensis

 

As for Worcester, surely leaving the diaphones on it would be novel if nothing else. I doubt they'd be used much for services, and probably quite rightly, although they are indeed a curious quirk which would actually do Worcester more favours, should someone wish to hear these novel things used out of service time. A good recital puller possibly?

 

===========

 

Has anyone on this board ever heard a diaphone, or used one in anger, I wonder?

 

I have, so I can speak from experience.

 

The sound is almost pure fundamental, and of immense power, unless it is a milder type such as the Wurlitzer Diaphonic Diapason. Even the 32ft Diaphone by Compton at Hull City Hall is quite a revolting sound, which argues with the hugely powerful 16ft Tuba extension.

 

The proper place for a Diaphone is where they are normally found.....on a cinema organ, where they blend perfectly with the Tibia Choruses and imitative orchestral sounds, but even then, they can really shake the cobwebs off the chamber walls.

 

They deserve to be where I suggested; in Manchester, and the Hope-Jones heritage museum, where the man, his work and his considerable genius are best represented in the right context.

 

MM

 

Two really good points from both Edna and your good self. As to Edna, they would be a curiosity. What their use would be in a cathedral organ is very subjective methinks. I too heard them before they were disconnected, and to me it was simply a sense of weight, which quite frankly the job has anyway, with its 32' Hill stop.

The spec for the new proposed organ has not to my knowledge ever been published, and alarm bells ring about it. Firstly, as Worcester is the typical English sound, the ideal organ for Elgar and so on, I ever find it remarkable how well it can handle French also. The sound of an organ is not governed by what is on the stop list, but there are many reasons why an organ sounds as it it does. Plain metal, spotted metal, high tin content, open feet or not, high or wind pressures, high or cut ups, et etc, you name, it all contributes. If we are are to expect another English organ, it's a waste of money, as THERE IS ALREADY A FINE ONE THERE. So we can safely expect something to be different, or why is the current going? A whole new organ will include soundboards and action, building frame, everything including cases. To restore the current, even with new soundboards and action, is not going to break the bank anywhere near as much, unless it's going to be built on the very cheap. Some argue about high wind pressures and cite them as bad, but are they? why? other cathedral organs have them. Look at Liverpool! listen Worceste sounds magnificent when properly cared for.....

I think we can safely say the new organ would probably have a nod in the English direction, but would be one of these "eclectic" numbers, and for those who criticise Worcester as a heinz 57, the new could be equally heinz 57 on spec. I cannot see a new organ being built in the true English tradition, it's out of date isn't it..... :rolleyes: , most don't even train their choirs to sing English like they did years ago, many boys are taught "Continental" tone, with a very reedy tone to lessen the divide between girls and boys voices....so much for the English tradition. :angry: The other red herring is the French organ in the nave also proposed which is supposed to be for the Three Choirs Festival and is supposedly to be French? :lol: ......and the two organs used together!! :blink: ....... hmmm!! No the whole saga is very odd, and there has been a lot of talk, and the work even involves drilling out mediaeval stonework. English Heritage will love that...... not. ;) The idea of stuffing organs in Triforiums is also a poor idea, as exemplified by Canterbury and Peterborough, whose organs do not reach the nave very well at all. The whole issue has a lot of unanswered questions, and the deliberations of all involved appear to be based on anything other than musical considerations :( .

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Guest Roffensis
The Diaphones are adjustable in power.

Moreover, if someone don't want them, suffice not

to pull the handle!

W... don't need them of course. Listen to this again!

 

http://plenum.free.fr/worcester/07%20Piste%207.mp3

 

At the time of this recording in febraury 1978 of the saint Saens Messe a Quatre Voix, the organ had only just been rebuilt. The diaphones were disconnected then, so are not on the recording! What you are "hearing" (on wide range equipment!) is the Hill 32' flue, and new 32' foot reed.

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At the time of this recording in febraury 1978 of the saint Saens Messe a Quatre Voix, the organ had only just been rebuilt. The diaphones were disconnected then, so are not on the recording! What you are "hearing" (on wide range equipment!)  is the Hill 32' flue, and new 32' foot reed.

 

Of course this is not to be heard on PC's loudspeakers!

The B& W Nautilus with a 150 Watts Nad is the bare minimum to get

something like an idea. Or even better, hear it live...

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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The "Worcester Sound" was deliberately made more French in character with the alterations suggested by Donald Hunt and implemented during the Woods-Wordsworth rebuild at around 1978. In particular the great reeds, which had previously been 16' & 8' trombas, were replaced with a Posaune 8' and Clarion 4'. The 8' tromba was very fine, perhaps the organ had a more typical Harrison flavour with the trombas still in place.

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The "Worcester Sound" was deliberately made more French in character with the alterations suggested by Donald Hunt and implemented during the Woods-Wordsworth rebuild at around 1978.  In particular the great reeds, which had previously been 16' & 8' trombas, were replaced with a Posaune 8' and Clarion 4'. The 8' tromba was very fine, perhaps the organ had a more typical Harrison flavour with the trombas still in place.

 

Of course this was changed with this aim; the result, however, isn't french at

all. (By the way, you won't encounter any Posaune in France save in the

german and luxembourgish-speaking areas of Alsace and Lorraine).

The result is, as Roffensis pointed out, 100% british.

Of course the organ would sound more H&H with the Trombas, no doubt.

But we'd better think of a rescue of the whole thing first!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Of course this was changed with this aim; the result, however, isn't french at

all. (By the way, you won't encounter any Posaune in France save in the

german and luxembourgish-speaking areas of Alsace and Lorraine).

The result is, as Roffensis pointed out, 100% british.

Of course the organ would sound more H&H with the Trombas, no doubt.

But we'd better think of a rescue of the whole thing first!

 

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

 

The "W" word seems to have crept back into use again!

 

I'm slightly bemused by the references to the "English" sound. What exactly IS the "English sound?"

 

Would it be post-Snetzler (a Swiss who built in English/Italian style), the extreme low-pressure refinement of Samuel Green, the noble gravitas of Wm.Hill, the powerful flue choruses of Charles Brindley, the Schulze-like qualities of T C Lewis, the storming reeds and emaciated diapasons of Fr.Willis, the superbly crafted extention organs of John Compton with their high-pressure flues and synthetic 32ft reeds, the heavy tones of Rushworth & Dreaper or the "screech-owl" chorus-work of the 60's?

 

They've all been, or still are to be heard in many of our largest ecclesiastical settings, and they're as varied as they are different.

 

Only Arthur Harrison, ( undoubtedly a truly magnificent organ-builder) could make them all sound the same if he came to re-building them. Worse still, there are very, very few examples of a cathedral organ entirely from the hand of Arthur Harrison....Redcliffe is possibly the least altered example of his own work from scratch.

 

Seen in this light, Arthur Harrison was an organ-wrecker!

 

How can...nay...how dare anyone claim that the Arthur Harrison sound is "typically English," when it covers only a fraction of the time-scale of British organ-building?

 

With all due respect to Mander organs, I would love to hear St.Ignatius Loyola, NY, which seems to have wowed people over there, but I have to site good examples from other organ-builders to make the next point.

 

For those who want noble diapasons and a "English sound," what about St.Mary-the-Great, Cambridge....a truly fine organ, devoid of French reeds or German thinness of tone, yet entirely appropriate for a huge amount of repertoire AND for accompaniment.

 

I haven't heard Southwell in the flesh, so I will pass this by. However, Blackburn is a wonderful example of what CAN happen when a British organ-builder is not aping the style of someone else. With French, German and English input, here is a unique British-style instrument, which IMHO is tonally superior to almost ANYTHING that Cavaille-Coll built; better balanced, more thrilling and altogether clearer.

 

I know of just one other instrument which can do what Blackburn does, but I expect no-one will ever have heard it....St.Moritz, Olomouc in the Czech Republic.

 

Being a Rieger-Kloss re-build from the communist era, I hesitate to vouch for the quality of the mechanics and electrics, but tonally, this is one of the greatest organs in the world, at the core of which is a genuine baroque instrument by Engler. To this magnificent core has been added a wealth of expressive voices; to the extent that it is a fantastic organ for Cesar Franck AND Bach, and the available recordings of Messaien and Alain bear testimony to this.

 

The interesting thing is, the sound is on the same lines as Blackburn, but altogether different at the same time; being less "French" in the reed department. For anyone who is in the market for a new "English" cathedral sound, the Olomouc instrument could certainly serve as an inspiration and a starting point.

 

Prague ain't far by air, and they have trains!

 

MM

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What exactly IS the "English sound?

 

(Quote)

 

From a continental point of view, this is absolutely blatant, evident,

and extremely typical:

 

A choruses-dominated organ in which the reeds and the mixtures blend

in a peculiar manner, because of the fact the reeds -not only the "closed-toned" ones!- have their harmonics subdued.

 

Take any german, french or belgian Trumpet, Clairon, Bombarde, Posaune; they all

would have been classified by Bonavia-Hunt as "free toned", while the Willis chorus reeds he named the "normal" one.

Take a recording with a french Trompette played in Solo. Turn the "Treble" knob

to zero, you have something approaching.

 

And so these british reeds, tough powerfull, never cover the Diapason Chorus, while in a french organ any Trompette would engulf it.

 

Hear for example the Gigout Tocatta on a belgian romantic organ; it's to the

point in the Final section the organist removed some reeds in order we can

here something from the rest:

 

http://users.skynet.be/sky25034/audio/OPP-EGigoutToccata.mp3

 

The german organ remains a Diapason chorus, too, but for different reasons, which are known in UK trough Schulze and Lewis: rather free-toned reeds, but less powerfull and in limited number!

 

So any british organ, despite the sheer diversity of styles -that makes of England

a so rich and worthwile Orgellandschaft- is recognizable from outside the church.

 

Remember: in the classic french organ, the reeds and the mixtures (save the Cornet) never go togheter.

In the Cavaillé-Coll organ, you hear only the reeds in tutti.

In the british organ, what you hear is this unique blend of the Diapason choruses

up to mixtures and the reeds, which nourishes them by the bottom without interfering.

 

Unique in the world...

 

As for Snetzler: he was a Swiss, and the organ he introduced in England was a typically 18th century's southern german's one; nor english nor italian, but his "Dulciana" (actually an inverted- conical "Dolcan") was to provoke a revolution

in english building in complete contradiction with the shyness (tough beautiful!)

of its tone...

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Take any german, french or belgian Trumpet, Clairon, Bombarde, Posaune; they all

would have been classified by Bonavia-Hunt as "free toned", while the Willis chorus reeds he named the "normal" one.

 

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

 

Am I the only person to think that Bonavia-Hunt was as mad as a March Hare?

 

Anyone who could regard Willis reeds as "normal" had to be barking.

 

Before Willis, and long before Arthur Harrison came along and ruined even his work, there were different reeds entirely....full bodied, blending reeds superior to almost anything else anywhere....think Thomas Hill; think H, N & B and the Rundle reed-voicing dynasty.

 

As for French reeds, I just can't imagine why anyone would want to play an organ which sounds like a hugely amplified harmonium when everything is drawn.

 

I expect that the next most intense sensation after playing a large Cavaille-Coll is to be struck by lightning....and I don't fancy that either!

 

MM

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As for French reeds, I just can't imagine why anyone would want to play an organ which sounds like a hugely amplified harmonium when everything is drawn.

 

I expect that the next most intense sensation after playing a large Cavaille-Coll is to be struck by lightning....and I don't fancy that either!

 

MM

 

Dear MM,

 

I do not think I know a single french organ souding like an amplified harmonium !!!!!!

 

And I played some Cavaillés, but never got struck by lightening !!!!

 

I do think there are worse manners to die than playing Cavaillés !

 

Kind regards

 

PF Baron

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Well, .... back to the two mp3's provided by P. Lauwers

 

I personally find them magnificient, and the organ seems really splendid : very clear, you can hear everything, always extremely elegant, with fantastic colours, and with some kind of "depth" of sound which makes it quite special.

 

It now seems we are almost attending its funeral, and it is really sad to me that it will probably not be prevented from being scrapped instead of restored

 

From what we can hear on these files, it seems to be one of the really nice organs of the UK, and a valuable witness of its time.

 

It is for me a very important thing that any country takes care of its history and traditions. It seems that this will not happen in Worcester.

 

The question is not to know if the action or the sound is up to date, the question is about saving instruments which have something to say.

 

And it seems that the organ in Worcester still has something to say. It only needs some englishmen to help him to do it.

 

Please just do help it to do so !(personnally, I am juste a b.... french guy, and cannot do it for you !!!!)

 

Best regards

 

PF Baron

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Dear MM,

 

I do not think I know a single french organ souding like an amplified harmonium !!!!!!

 

And I played some Cavaillés, but never got struck by lightening !!!!

 

I do think there are worse manners to die than playing Cavaillés !

 

Kind regards

 

PF Baron

 

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

 

Well, I have played a Cavaille-Coll or two, and I once came within 7 metres of a lighting strike. I'm not sure which frightened me most!

 

For the sake of detante, I suppose I'd better qualify my outrageous statements.

 

Cavaille-Coll was a wonderful organ-builder of course, and did actually inspire a whole school of organ-composition. I don't think many organ-builders could make the same claim. He definitely WAS a genius, a very able engineer and tonally had a lot to say which was in accord with the age; just as Henry Willis did in the UK.

 

It's very interesting, but if we think of three great organ-building names from three different countries, namely Cavaille-Coll, Henry Willis and Edmund Schulze, they were strong-minded enough to actually dislike what each other created!!

 

I think we would all agree that any of the above three could produce a certain "wow" factor, and for very different reasons, but all suffer, in some way or another, from certain defects.

 

Schulze organs tend to be very, very chorus dominated, with very average sounding reeds. Henry Willis organs tend to have thin choruses and powerful but superb reeds, whilst Cavaille-Coll organs lack the elegant choruswork of more classical instruments, and get swamped by the ferocity of the reeds. Nevertheless, they're all wonderful organs of their type.

 

The ting that annoys me is this adulation of all things Arthur Harrison. If ever a builder produced a standard sound, and made every organ he touched fall into the same category, it was he. In many ways, the Arthur Harrison sound is wonderful, but it is a sound which is restricted far too much to the era in which it was created, and things have changed musically since then.

 

It just annoys me when people claim that the organs of Arthur Harrison are THE definitive type of British instrument, and yet fail to appreciate what has been created since; albeit with some birth-pangs along the way.

 

MM

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