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Pierre Lauwers

Worcester Cathedral's Organ

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I have just been in the Cathedral and there is no leaflet of display showing the stoplist. The Rodgers is installed in the choir and the other load of rubbish minus 3 drawstops is in the Nave. Is the pipeorgan still being used?

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Funny, in a way I get the feeling it's has much similarities to what is already there, on the other hand I get a feeling that there's something (for us continentals europeans) typically english missing such as multiple open diapasons one manual. And what is a 'sackbut 32' (and why would you want/need one, if you have a trumpet 32' and a diaphone 32 (though muted) 'in situ')?

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Funny, in a way I get the feeling it's has much similarities to what is already there, on the other hand I get a feeling that there's something (for us continentals europeans) typically english missing such as multiple open diapasons one manual. And what is a 'sackbut 32' (and why would you want/need one, if you have a trumpet 32' and a diaphone 32 (though muted) 'in situ')?

 

It's just a 32' trombone - what's in a name?

 

Perhaps the builders/organist/consultant don't like the present 32'reed or think that a new one would fulfil the task better. Maybe at least the resonators are to be re-used: I would have thought that throwing out such expensive hardware and replacing it with something quite similar would suggest that someone has money to burn!

 

John

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Maybe "has" isn't the correct term, rather "can have"?

 

By the way, the very british idea of having several 8' Principal

stops on the Great gains some interest on the continent, at the

very moment Britain get rid of it.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Maybe "has" isn't the correct term, rather "can have"?

 

By the way, the very british idea of having several 8' Principal

stops on the Great gains some interest on the continent, at the

very moment Britain get rid of it.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Do you have any examples?

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There are no actual examples yet; but when I suggest on my forum, which

is the biggest on the Web in french language, such a Diapason chorus

for a Great manual:

 

Double Open 16'

Open Diapason I 8'

Open Diapason II 8'

Open Diapason III 8'

Octave I 4'

Octave II 4'

Grosse Mixture (16'-32')

Fourniture

Cymbale

 

I got questions, but no more a strong opposition like some years ago.

One could even add a Twelfth, a Fiftheenth, a german Prinzipal, an italian

Principale and a Voce umana as a "first magnitude" scheme; I proponed

this once without being called a belgian humorist.

Twenty years ago, such ideas costed me my career, and I guess it could

today if I was an englishman.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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It looks very good and exciting on paper, but its interesting to see that whereas I thought the plan was for 2 new organs, one at each end of the cathedral, its actually for 3 with an extra one in the middle.

 

I'm still struggling to believe the sheer extravagance of all this, and can't imagine how on earth a small city like Worcester will manage to pay for the upkeep in years to come.

 

ps. I also agree about the "Sackbut", what a silly name.

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ps. I also agree about the "Sackbut", what a silly name.

 

 

 

 

York Minster seems to have lived happily with its wooden Sackbut 32 since the 1820s. Preferable to have an honest English name than some horrible bastardisation like Contra Posaune.

 

JS

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Stop names and previous instruments aside - if other work by Tickell is anything to go by (Dulwich, Eton and the recent rationalisation/augmentation at Sherborne) Worcester is likely to be in for something quite exciting. If they are able to go for the best solution to their needs then good for them! It will be interesting to see the Nicholson part of the whole scheme.

 

AJJ

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Preferable to have an honest English name than some horrible bastardisation like Contra Posaune

 

or like Nasard, or Tierce, or Gedeckt, or Voix Celeste, or Spitz flute, or Cor Anglais (!)

 

But we'll see what this new organ will become, shoud it fail to deliver, the words sack and butt will be used in another context ....

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Stop names and previous instruments aside - if other work by Tickell is anything to go by (Dulwich, Eton and the recent rationalisation/augmentation at Sherborne) Worcester is likely to be in for something quite exciting. If they are able to go for the best solution to their needs then good for them! It will be interesting to see the Nicholson part of the whole scheme.

 

AJJ

 

Indeed it will. Nicholsons seemed to integrate the diaphones and shouty reeds at Christchurch Priory quite well into the scheme & it all blends well despite appalling positioning. I get the impression the several revisits to revoice things were more to do with the consultants than the builders & most of the workmanship is either good or being sorted. I do hope N's do a better job of voicing the flutey upperwork than at Christchurch, which has some very strange & unpleasant transients.

 

Surprised at there only being one open diapason on the Gt but hope the Gamba is nice and edgy, like the Wimborne one. I don't think Sackbut is a particularly daft name at all. Doesn't it suggest something more bassoon-like than trumpet-like? If you're going to have a new organ, then have a new organ and not a load of secondhand bits cobbled together in a different order - hardly a step on from where they are now. Certainly keep really good stuff - New College Oxford still has Willis pipework in the Sw. Speaking of daft names, Sherborne has a Contra Batten 32, which is a pretty daft name (think it was named after a former choir member).

 

Much as I would love to see the old beastie rationalised & rebuilt, at least we're not having another Klais (or a Goll...)

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Indeed it will.  Nicholsons seemed to integrate the diaphones and shouty reeds at Christchurch Priory quite well into the scheme (snip)

 

I don't think Sackbut is a particularly daft name at all.

 

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

 

Diaphones are almost impossible to regulate with any degree of accuracy from one note to the next, but each to his own I suppose.

 

We seem to be forgetting that the 32ft reed at York Minster is called Sackbut, and revived (in the 60's?) a much earlier use of the stop-name at the same place. It is not a NEW name by any means.

 

Anyway, it's a whole lot more gentile than the title Virgil Fox gave to the 32ft reed at Riverside Church, New York.

 

Due to the fact that the resonators were split, and joined by rubber sleeves to get around some awkward corner or other, he used to refer to them as the....wait for it....Contraceptive 32ft.

 

MM

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Well, the Tickell scheme has at least one flaw on paper - the loss of the 16p Bombard on the present Solo Organ - which performs the useful role of filling-in the sonic gap between a GO with only 8p and 4p reeds (i.e., no 16p) and a pedal organ with a 32p reed (and two open 32p flues).

 

I like a nice Sackbut, too; but what is wrong with 'Contra Posaune'? Surely it is not a bastardisation - the only difference possibly being that the prefix might be spelled 'Kontra'. I have seen plenty of more peculiar names on continental instruments.

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Well, even William Hill himself could have been guilty then for

"politically incorrect" stop-names. Not to mention Arthur Harrison

with his "Geigen". He should have used "Shallow Open Diapason".

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Ummm.... I thought that 'Geigen' came from the German word 'Geige', meaning violin - what's the 'shallow' bit?!

 

For all those of you who are thoroughly sick of the Worcester thread, I have two alternative suggestions:

 

1) Don't read posts in this thread.

 

2) I am happy to share the url for Hot Belgian Fishwives.

 

(Sorry, Pierre.)

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Sherborne has a Contra Batten 32, which is a pretty daft name (think it was named after a former choir member).

 

 

It could have been worse - he could have been called 'Ramsbottom' or 'Willey'....

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Indeed it will.  Nicholsons seemed to integrate the diaphones and shouty reeds at Christchurch Priory quite well into the scheme & it all blends well despite appalling positioning.  I get the impression the several revisits to revoice things were more to do with the consultants than the builders & most of the workmanship is either good or being sorted.  I do hope N's do a better job of voicing the flutey upperwork than at Christchurch, which has some very strange & unpleasant transients.

 

There are so many things wrong with the Priory organ - not least that it is covered in an enormous wooden box. Tone-cabinets are not always the answer. One cannot just slavishly follow rules which work well for one country, with different architectural positions and acoustic environments.

 

One of the main features about werk-prinzip construction is that the most successful continental examples are shallow - only one department deep. They are placed against the west wall and thus able effectively to project the sound down the main axis of the building, into the greatest sonic space. The building in question is also likely to have a greater interior height and stone vaulting (as opposed to fake plaster vaulting with wooden ribs).

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Much as I would love to see the old beastie rationalised & rebuilt, at least we're not having another Klais (or a Goll...)

 

Neither, for that matter, is anyone else....

 

I have now located and re-read the RCO announcement concerning the proposed Goll organ. Whilst they do not clearly state that a contract had actually been awarded, I feel that this is strongly implied in the wording of the article.

 

I am still concerned that the RCO is not stewarding its resources to the best effect. Currently I am undecided as to whether or not to renew my subscription for this year. Yes - I realise that it was due in July, but since I apparently get nothing except an occasional newsletter, it is difficult to justify the expenditure. Particularly in the light of the fact that it now seems that certain things the RCO announced that it was going to do, it is now unable to carry-out.

 

Has no-one on the council heard of counting pennies before embarking on grandiose schemes?

 

If they do ever get an extension to the Curzon Street buildings, why not save money and rescue a three-manual British organ - there are no doubt currently several threatened specimens in the country which would benefit from escaping the scrap-yard.

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there are no doubt currently several threatened specimens in the country which would benefit from escaping the scrap-yard.

 

(Quote)

 

OOOOOH YES.

 

I know of one...

Pierre

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"One of the main features about werk-prinzip construction is that the most successful continental examples are shallow - only one department deep"

 

(Quote)

 

This structural principle is excellent for baroque organs, not for romantic ones, and even a Holtkamp does not work that way.

 

Pierre

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there are no doubt currently several threatened specimens in the country which would benefit from escaping the scrap-yard.

 

(Quote)

 

OOOOOH YES.

 

  I know of one...

Pierre

 

WHERE??!!

 

 

Do tell!!

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