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Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral


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12 hours ago, pcnd5584 said:

They do seem to be rather nervous of upper-work. Anything above a 29th appears to be anathema. It will be good to hear the re-designed instrument in York Minster in the flesh, as it were, at some point. However, in that vast space, and with that acoustic energy, I wonder if they will miss their Choir Cymbal (29-33-36)?

Hello Sean, the Choir Cymbal was taken away in 1993. The Choir Organ speaks to the east, being positioned above the screen console tribune (although it is effective, gently, to the west especially now the interior is less crowded with basses blocking the sound). There is no lack of brilliance in the sound of the Great chorus in the building and you are welcome to visit to hear it all. The reinstated Mixture V on the Great has the following composition:

c1      15 19 22 26 29

f#19  12 15 19 22 26

f#31   8 12 15 19 22

c37    5 8 12 15 19

g#45  1 5 8 12 15

though of course a set of numbers on a screen are nothing without consideration of the scale and relative brilliance of the individual pipes and the tonal finishing in the space.

 

 

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21 hours ago, pcnd5584 said:

They do seem to be rather nervous of upper-work. Anything above a 29th appears to be anathema. It will be good to hear the re-designed instrument in York Minster in the flesh, as it were, at some point. However, in that vast space, and with that acoustic energy, I wonder if they will miss their Choir Cymbal (29-33-36)?

I have noticed in recent work such as Canterbury Cathedral nothing in the mixture work has gone above the 29th. The favourite seems to be Mixture/Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29). Not saying there's anything wrong as such (perish the thought) but I would have thought a little more 'colour' would be welcome.

 

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9 hours ago, robertsharpe said:

Hello Sean, the Choir Cymbal was taken away in 1993. The Choir Organ speaks to the east, being positioned above the screen console tribune (although it is effective, gently, to the west especially now the interior is less crowded with basses blocking the sound). There is no lack of brilliance in the sound of the Great chorus in the building and you are welcome to visit to hear it all. The reinstated Mixture V on the Great has the following composition:

c1      15 19 22 26 29

f#19  12 15 19 22 26

f#31   8 12 15 19 22

c37    5 8 12 15 19

g#45  1 5 8 12 15

though of course a set of numbers on a screen are nothing without consideration of the scale and relative brilliance of the individual pipes and the tonal finishing in the space.

 

 

It is worth pointing out that the individual voicing of mixture work, such as Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29), can make a tremendous difference to the brightness of the principal chorus.

I am always reminded of the King's College Cambridge organ, where the 1970 addition of the IV rank Fourniture on the Great made a significant difference to the overall effect of the chorus. Some might say it was a bit too bright, being a product of the fashion back then to brighten up principal choruses and make them 'stand out from the crowd'. All the recordings from King's pre-1992 make this evident.

The work done by Harrisons in 1992 though toned down the brightness of this stop, and to a certain extent I think this is a shame. It's certainly more integrated with the principal chorus but it has lost that something which made it a bit more fun. 

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21 hours ago, John Robinson said:

I mentioned related matters on a thread on Facebook recently, asking about the loss of the Cornet, Sesquialtera and Larigot, and was assured by someone in authority at the Minster that these would not be missed.
In addition, I believe that the new west shutters to the Swell box have made an enormous difference to the output in the nave.  Then there is the Ophicleide extension down to 32' on the same pressure as the Tuba Mirabilis.
I've only heard it on recordings so far, so what do I know?!

I'm sure you know quite a lot. I think on a previous thread we mentioned this issue. Of the stops you mentioned I am surprised the Cornet was removed. This is such a versatile addition to any specification.  It's also a useful 'support' for the treble reeds. 

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11 hours ago, robertsharpe said:

Hello Sean, the Choir Cymbal was taken away in 1993. The Choir Organ speaks to the east, being positioned above the screen console tribune (although it is effective, gently, to the west especially now the interior is less crowded with basses blocking the sound). There is no lack of brilliance in the sound of the Great chorus in the building and you are welcome to visit to hear it all. The reinstated Mixture V on the Great has the following composition:

c1      15 19 22 26 29

f#19  12 15 19 22 26

f#31   8 12 15 19 22

c37    5 8 12 15 19

g#45  1 5 8 12 15

though of course a set of numbers on a screen are nothing without consideration of the scale and relative brilliance of the individual pipes and the tonal finishing in the space.

 

 

Evening Robert - many thanks indeed for your reply, and for the information.

I was particularly interested in the G.O. Mixture V scheme. Whilst, as you say, numbers on a screen convey little of the aural effect, I note that an interval in the 16ft. harmonic series has been introduced as early as C37; I would be interested to hear this stop (and its effect as a cap to the chorus) in the building.

I have only played the Minster organ once, a year or two after the PPO work in 1993, and I cannot recall much about it. (I do remember timing how long it took to walk the entire external length of the Minster - and being slightly surprised at how long it took.)

I would very much like to come and hear the Minster organ in the building. Whilst it did sound impressive on one or two recordings, it is difficult to gain a truly accurate aural impression without actually being there.

I think that I was very much thinking of the Walker here at Wimborne Minster. (The Cymbal 29-33-36 is staying where it is - it brings this instrument alive in the very dry acoustic ambience of the church in a way that no other stop does. Well, there is the Orchestral Trumpet, en chamade - but this is quite a different effect....) At Wimborne, the compound stops were some of the best I have ever encountered, and were designed as a cumulative effect - much in the same way as adding successive departments at Sint Bavokerk, Haarlem literally electrifies the building with sound.
 

At the Minster, each stop is a model of cohesion; nothing screams or sounds 'like bottles being thrown into a recycling bin'. I suppose that I wondered if, in the vast acoustic of York Minster, whether the upper frequencies were really present in a way that brought the sound to life - but in quite a different manner to powerful reeds.

The G.O. is:

C1   19-22-26-29

C13 15-19-22-26

C25 12-15-19-22

C37   8-12-15-19

C49   8--8-12-15

This of course avoids introducing harmonics in the 16ft series near the top of the compass, which in the Minster would have required very careful handling.

 

The Swell Mixture is:

C1       22-26-29

G#21  19-22-26

G#33 15-19-22

G#45 12-15-19

D51     8-12-15

And the Positive Cymbal is:

 C1     29-33-36

G#9   26-29-33

E17    22-26-29

C25   19-22-26

G#33 15-19-22

E41    12-15-19

C49     8-12-15

G#57    1-8-12

 

   
       
       
       
       
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8 hours ago, contraviolone said:

I'm sure you know quite a lot. I think on a previous thread we mentioned this issue. Of the stops you mentioned I am surprised the Cornet was removed. This is such a versatile addition to any specification.  It's also a useful 'support' for the treble reeds. 

I'm afraid not!  I know very little other than what I have read and I wish I knew a great deal more.  I also confess to not being an organist, so please don't place any great weight on any suppositions I come up with!  Thanks anyway, though.

Re. the York Minster organ, the 1960 and 1993 alterations/additions were, I believe, intended to make the instrument more suitable for 'correctly' playing 'baroque' music.  That's nice (as far as I'm concerned) inasmuch as it might make the organ more 'all singing and all dancing', but on the other hand it could be argued that the ideal British organ should sound 'British' and not attempt to sound German, French and even Iberian into the bargain!

I have only heard the 'new' York organ online so far but even then I do think it sounds excellent, within those restrictions of course.  Incidentally, I remember once suggesting that a small 'nave organ' might be added advantageously to carry the sound (and the timing) down the nave, but I'm probably completely wrong and the 'new' instrument will no doubt not need any such addition.

Now, as for some strident west-end trumpets as at St Pauls... !

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On 22/05/2021 at 13:42, contraviolone said:

I'm sure you know quite a lot. I think on a previous thread we mentioned this issue. Of the stops you mentioned I am surprised the Cornet was removed. This is such a versatile addition to any specification.  It's also a useful 'support' for the treble reeds. 

What you say is quite correct when cornet and reeds are from the same stable, but such a register is at odds stylistically with 7” pressure 1903 Walker reeds (partly “pepperpot” tops) and 15” pressure brilliantly-toned Trombas 8 and 4. Both sets require no treble support. 

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