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Pierre Lauwers

Worcester Cathedral's Organ

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That being said, perhaps the most pertinent aspect of this instrument is that for visiting organists not used to the unusual layout. it can be difficult to play. Given the distance between the Swell and the Choir, Harrisons placed the softer stops usually found on the Swell and ideal for accompanying St Mary Redcliffe's fine choir, in the Solo swell box on the South side of the Choir. The orchestral reeds, flutes and strings usually found on the Solo are actually on the Swell. Apparently, seasoned users of the organ tend to use the Solo to Choir coupler to get over the need to reach the top manual for these soft strings, flutes etc.

 

Yes, thats very true. I also found it a difficult instrument to manage due to the unusual allocation and layout of the toe pistons.

 

Some years ago I accompanied Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir in a recital at Coventry Cathedral where, similarly, advice from the resident organists was to use the solo organ as the accompanimental swell as the real swell organ was too loud. This just reinforces my point - there are plenty of organs that are very loud and may have very forceful swell organs, but this doesn't mean they're ready for the scrap heap.

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Guest Roffensis
Yes, thats very true. I also found it a difficult instrument to manage due to the unusual allocation and layout of the toe pistons.

 

Some years ago I accompanied Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir in a recital at Coventry Cathedral where, similarly, advice from the resident organists was to use the solo organ as the accompanimental swell as the real swell organ was too loud. This just reinforces my point - there are plenty of organs that are very loud and may have very forceful swell organs, but this doesn't mean they're ready for the scrap heap.

 

Depends what is meant by "they're"............

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Guest Barry Oakley
Depends what is meant by "they're"............

 

 

Are there others who, like me, feel that the Worcester Cathedral organ topic is now grossly overblown?

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Guest Roffensis
Yes: me, the main culprit!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

If overblown means caring about an organ, well it includes me too. B)

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Some years ago I accompanied Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir in a recital at Coventry Cathedral where, similarly, advice from the resident organists was to use the solo organ as the accompanimental swell as the real swell organ was too loud. This just reinforces my point - there are plenty of organs that are very loud and may have very forceful swell organs, but this doesn't mean they're ready for the scrap heap.

 

I think that sometimes incumbent organists are inclined to fuss a little too much! Naturally one would wish to check the bona fides of any visiting organist - particularly one who is to accompany a service. However, I have also played at Coventry (for both recital and service-work). I used the Swell, Solo and Choir organs - judiciously, of course. Whilst it is true that I used the GO as a coupling manual when accompanying the choir, nevertheless, I found that it was necessary to use a fair amount of the GO for the hymns. Apparently, I did not blow the congregation out of the building, as it were! Friends are very quick to accuse me when I have played loudly, so I can only conclude that it was acceptable.

 

Generally, an experienced organist, a good choirmaster (or mistress!) and a friend who does not mind walking around the building during rehearsals is sufficient to avoid inducing apoplexy amongst the more mature members of the congregation.

 

With reference to awkward foot pistons: does anyone here have experience of playing at Durham before James Lancelot had H&H alter Conrad Eden's original eccentric (and anonymous) layout? I think that that had to be the most frightening foot piston scheme ever conceived - the organ equivalent of a fruit-machine :blink:

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Guest Roffensis
I think that sometimes incumbent organists are inclined to fuss a little too much! Naturally one would wish to check the bona fides of any visiting organist - particularly one who is to accompany a service. However, I have also played at Coventry (for both recital and service-work). I used the Swell, Solo and Choir organs - judiciously, of course. Whilst it is true that I used the GO as a coupling manual when accompanying the choir, nevertheless, I found that it was necessary to use a fair amount of the GO for the hymns. Apparently, I did not blow the congregation out of the building, as it were! Friends are very quick to accuse me when I have played loudly, so I can only conclude that it was acceptable.

 

Generally, an experienced organist, a good choirmaster (or mistress!) and a friend who does not mind walking around the building during rehearsals is sufficient to avoid inducing apoplexy amongst the more mature members of the congregation.

 

With reference to awkward foot pistons: does anyone here have experience of playing at Durham before James Lancelot had H&H alter Conrad Eden's original eccentric (and anonymous) layout? I think that that had to be the most frightening foot piston scheme ever conceived - the organ equivalent of a fruit-machine :rolleyes:

 

 

Has anyone heard any further concerning the Worcester Cathedral organ? all seems very quiet at present, given that we were supposed to be having some official announcement at any time. With a bit of luck there has been a dramatic rethink of the whole issue.

Richard.

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Conrad Eden's original eccentric (and anonymous) layout? I think that that had to be the most frightening foot piston scheme ever conceived - the organ equivalent of a fruit-machine :rolleyes:

 

===========

 

I don't think it's very fair to refer to the late Conrad Eden as a fruit-machine.

 

It may well be true, judging by the fact that he just walked away from 40 of us visiting the cathedral at Durham by prior arrangement, and we had to somehow fend for ourselves and "persuade" the verger to allow us to play the organ....but it's still not fair!

 

:D MM

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===========

 

I don't think it's very fair to refer to the late Conrad Eden as a fruit-machine.

 

It may well be true, judging by the fact that he just walked away from 40 of us visiting the cathedral at Durham by prior arrangement, and we had to somehow fend for ourselves and "persuade" the verger to allow us to play the organ....but it's still not fair!   

 

:blink:  MM

 

No - read my post more carefully!!

 

I was referring to the bizarre (and un-labelled) foot-piston layout on the H&H console. Because the pistons were laid-out in such a strange way and beacuse they were also un-labelled, whether or not one obtained the stop-changes which were desired was somewhat arbitrary - that was the reference to the fruit-machine!

 

To the best of my knowledge, Conrad Eden was a superb musician, who knew his instrument intimately and was able to make full use of it at virtually every service.

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No - read my post more carefully!!

 

I was referring to the bizarre (and un-labelled) foot-piston layout on the H&H console. Because the pistons were laid-out in such a strange way and beacuse they were also un-labelled, whether or not one obtained the stop-changes which were desired was somewhat arbitrary - that was the reference to the fruit-machine!

 

To the best of my knowledge, Conrad Eden was a superb musician, who knew his instrument intimately and was able to make full use of it at virtually every service.

[]

 

Dear PCND5584,

 

I think MM is teasing you, at least that is the way I read it. Perhaps his sense of humour was what caused Conrad Eden to walk away in the first place, though this would seem somewhat discourteous to the other 39 people present unless they shared exactly the same sense of humour, and they had somehow collectively got up his, that is CE's, nose. But whatever his shortcomings as a host may have been, I totally agree that Conrad Eden was a superb musician and certainly the only player who has ever come close to persuading me that the Schoenberg Variations on a Recitative are worth taking the time to listen to , never mind the time required to learn to play them. It is a pity that more of his artistry was not preserved on record. Apart from the first 5 Rheinberger Sonatas for Vista, I know of only two LPs one of which is Vol 9 in the Great Cathedral Organ Series. Does anyone out there know of anything else ?

 

Brian Childs

 

Best wishes,

 

BAC

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Dear PCND5584,

 

I think MM is teasing you, at least that is the way I read it. Perhaps his sense of humour was what caused Conrad Eden to walk away in the first place, though this would seem somewhat  discourteous to the other 39 people present unless they shared exactly the same sense of humour, and they had somehow collectively got up his, that is CE's, nose. But whatever his shortcomings as a host may have been, I totally agree that Conrad Eden was a superb musician and certainly the only player who has ever come close to persuading me that the Schoenberg Variations on a Recitative are worth taking the time to listen to , never mind the time required  to learn to play them. It is a pity that more of his artistry was not preserved on record. Apart from the first 5 Rheinberger Sonatas for Vista, I know of only two LPs one of which is Vol 9 in the Great Cathedral Organ Series. Does anyone out there know of anything else ?

 

Brian Childs

 

Best wishes,

 

BAC

 

Well, possibly! MM does appear to have an off-beat sense of humour.

 

Yes, I agree that Conrad Eden's performance of the Schoenberg Variations is excellent. He really was a good organits. As you say, what a pity that there are not more recordings of his playing.

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Guest Roffensis
No - read my post more carefully!!

 

I was referring to the bizarre (and un-labelled) foot-piston layout on the H&H console. Because the pistons were laid-out in such a strange way and beacuse they were also un-labelled, whether or not one obtained the stop-changes which were desired was somewhat arbitrary - that was the reference to the fruit-machine!

 

To the best of my knowledge, Conrad Eden was a superb musician, who knew his instrument intimately and was able to make full use of it at virtually every service.

[]

 

Dear PCND5584,

 

I think MM is teasing you, at least that is the way I read it. Perhaps his sense of humour was what caused Conrad Eden to walk away in the first place, though this would seem somewhat  discourteous to the other 39 people present unless they shared exactly the same sense of humour, and they had somehow collectively got up his, that is CE's, nose. But whatever his shortcomings as a host may have been, I totally agree that Conrad Eden was a superb musician and certainly the only player who has ever come close to persuading me that the Schoenberg Variations on a Recitative are worth taking the time to listen to , never mind the time required  to learn to play them. It is a pity that more of his artistry was not preserved on record. Apart from the first 5 Rheinberger Sonatas for Vista, I know of only two LPs one of which is Vol 9 in the Great Cathedral Organ Series. Does anyone out there know of anything else ?

 

Brian Childs

 

Best wishes,

 

BAC

 

Yes Michael Smythe issued several sonatas at Durham (among others) by Rheinberger on Vista. These were reissued on CD by Prezioso complete, but are deleted. I have one copy of one CD. They're impossible to find. Conrad Eden also featured on "Ten famous British Organs" on Vista, Karg Elert Nun Danket, and a couple of other short pieces, and of course the mentioned HMV record that was reissued almost completely by Amphion on CD. In addition Smythe issued a LP of Durham/Eden on RCA. Quite a obscure programme too. I am not sure if Ryemuse ever did a EP of him there, there was a plan to but nothing I have spotted. I think that is all that was done at Durham in those days. I have the lot if anyone is interested.

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Well, possibly! MM does appear to have an off-beat sense of humour.

 

 

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

 

I've earned money from it!

 

Off-beat?

 

In my experience, organists are usually on time for the opening and closing measures of each and every bar.

 

MM

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Guest Leathered-Lips
This is interesting Mr Cox,

 

The "logical progress" has been claimed since some centuries to justify the deleting of many instruments we would be quite happy to have today.

 

I do not like particularly Hope-Jones. Actually, he gave many arguments to the "Orgelbewebung" to destroy late-romantic organs, including better than Hope-Jones's!

 

But I believe we do need to respect all the previous milestones in history -with special care for what we do not like-.

 

When I visited Worcester, anyone there agreed the Hope-Jones flue stops that were still in use to be particularly beautiful. 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"?

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

I may be wildly out of date on this discussion, but the following link points to Rogers installing something "during the rebuilding of the Hope-Jones organ". Anyway I hope it does get reinstated.

 

http://www.rodgersinstruments.com/PDF_Pres...al_July2005.pdf

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Guest Leathered-Lips
I may be wildly out of date on this discussion, but the following link points to Rogers installing something "during the rebuilding of the Hope-Jones organ". Anyway I hope it does get reinstated.

 

http://www.rodgersinstruments.com/PDF_Pres...al_July2005.pdf

 

I've done a little more research into this. It would appear, apparently to the best of their knowledge that the organ with be undergoing a "multi-year renovation". What excellent news, hope they get the 32' diaphone going again. <_<

 

Every good wish

 

Edna

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I've done a little more research into this. It would appear, apparently to the best of their knowledge that the organ with be undergoing a "multi-year renovation". What excellent news, hope they get the 32' diaphone going again.  <_<

 

Every good wish

 

Edna

 

I would not count on it! As I understand it - and as has been stated several times, the H-J/H&H/Wood & Co., is to be replaced (but with the retention of the existing 32p ranks) by two new four-clavier instruments.

 

Since Rodgers are not primarily concerned with this aspect of the matter, it is to be assumed that they have not spent much time considering the fate of the pipe organ. Surely they were more interested in making the sale than providing factually-correct statements regarding the nature of any proposed work on the pipe organ! I may just be cynical but I would not personally put much faith in the relevant sentence in their press-release.

 

However, I could not be more pleased if I was proved wrong.

 

I know, I have just added yet another post to this eleven-page screed....Ah well. :(

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Guest Roffensis
I would not count on it! As I understand it - and as has been stated several times, the H-J/H&H/Wood & Co., is to be replaced (but with the retention of the existing 32p ranks) by two new four-clavier instruments.

 

Since Rodgers are not primarily concerned with this aspect of the matter, it is to be assumed that they have not spent much time considering the fate of the pipe organ. Surely they were more interested in making the sale than providing factually-correct statements regarding the nature of any proposed work on the pipe organ! I may just be cynical but I would not personally put much faith in the relevant sentence in their press-release.

 

However, I could not be more pleased if I was proved wrong.

 

I know, I have just added yet another post to this eleven-page screed....Ah well. :(

 

 

Here's another, and ditto I suspect the accuracy of Rodgers statement also, although it would make sense....... <_<

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Here's another, and ditto I suspect the accuracy of Rodgers statement also, although it would make sense....... <_<

 

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

 

I am now so sick of hearing about the ghastly organ at Worcester, I just wish someone would chuck a primed grenade in its' direction.

 

That would be good for music, good for organ-building, good for further discussion and good for Britain.

 

MM

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Guest Barry Oakley
===============

 

I am now so sick of hearing about the ghastly organ at Worcester, I just wish someone would chuck a primed grenade in its' direction.

 

That would be good for music, good for organ-building, good for further discussion and good for Britain.

 

MM

 

I have also been sick and tired of hearing about the Worcester Cathedral organ. Can someone please cut the wind to this topic.

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I have also been sick and tired of hearing about the Worcester Cathedral organ. Can someone please cut the wind to this topic.

I can see nothing wrong in those people who are interested discussing a topic. Those who are bored with it are under no compunction to read any new entries.

 

I raised this issue with my close inside contact at Worcester yesterday evening and he simply could not understand Rogers' statement. The contract for an entirely new quire organ has been signed.

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Guest Leathered-Lips
I can see nothing wrong in those people who are interested discussing a topic. Those who are bored with it are under no compunction to read any new entries.

 

I raised this issue with my close inside contact at Worcester yesterday evening and he simply could not understand Rogers' statement. The contract for an entirely new quire organ has been signed.

 

That is really rather sad news, if it's true. If Worcester really must get rid of it is there nowhere else it could go? I mean, perhaps Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, par example?

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I am intensively prospecting in Belgium; halas, nobody here knows what

a british organ is, let alone one of the most idiosyncrasic ones.

(Guess who's responsible for that?)

20 years ago I bought 50 (fifty) complete Howell's organ works sheet

music in western england and distributed them in Belgium. Guess to what

result? I never heard it played.

Requiescat in Pacem.

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
I am intensively prospecting in Belgium; halas, nobody here knows what

a british organ is, let alone one of the most idiosyncrasic ones.

(Guess who's responsible for that?)

20 years ago I bought 50 (fifty) complete Howell's organ  works sheet

music in western england and distributed them in Belgium. Guess to what

result? I never heard it played.

Requiescat in Pacem.

Pierre

 

I was certainly surprised at Rogers statement, and guessed the worst, but then an electronic firm is not going to be so clued up on restoration of pipe organs, or in this case, non restoration. Alarm bells however should rightly ring, as under such justification that has been given for the wholesale replacement of Worcetser, clearly any organ can be threatened under the banner of whim. Practically all of our organs have been altered, and very many are hybrids, and this sometimes even applies to those organs we consider "original", such as Salisbury. People have criticised that organ in the past, too thin etc, and one day someone will suceed in getting it outed, as there is nothing in place to regulate such moves. The ultimate decisions on organs should be made upon the sound. Where an organ has proved adequate, and is simply ailing under poor maintenance, there can be no excuse to consign it to the local tip. Worcester fits that building like a glove, as Donald Hunt said in the booklet on the history, it is a sound that feels right in this building. It has evolved, and a new "streamlined" instrument is not going to have such character. It will never again be the "worcester sound". I think there will be very many regrets, and personally I have grown wearisome of it all. I certainly will not be bothering wioth the place anyway in the future, and remember what was when true greats were there like Robinson and Hunt. The vast amount of recordings and broadcasts made there prove that it was the ideal cathedral sound. I will miss it.

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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.

Then it should go to the workshop of an excellent builder.

There are 99% chances the windchest need replacement,

so it's the kind of work like RAH's.

The wiring should be replaced, maybe, like someone suggested

with digital action in order to symplify the system.

 

Next step is to move the thing to its new home. Don't dream,

the acoustics and the place avaibilities will be different than the

original one, which has an enormous influence on any romantic

organ's tone (Yes, on baroques too, but less by far).

 

So the last, but not the least step is to have the thing revoiced.

You need an excellent voicer who understands what *this thing*

is about, and love it.

 

So it's a big budget, probably higher than to build a normal today's

organ of the same size.

"Our customer", then, should be motivated, know the history of

this organ, collect Donald Hunt's recordings.....Save some crazy people

like myself I do not know many, let alone with a Cathedral under their

responsibility.

 

If we don't want to sing the Requiem, maybe we should consider at least

stocking the thing somewhere, in the hope 20 years later the fashion

will become more reasonable.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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