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Martin Cooke
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In an update to the 'projects' section of their website, Harrison and Harrison have made some interesting announcements. The Norwich Cathedral project, which seems to be underway already, is described as a 'new organ'. In other cathedral news, they are to clean and overhaul the Winchester organ and provide a Vox Humana. There are several interesting smaller projects too.

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5 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

In an update to the 'projects' section of their website, Harrison and Harrison have made some interesting announcements. The Norwich Cathedral project, which seems to be underway already, is described as a 'new organ'. 

Yes. A "New organ re-using a nucleus of Norman & Beard pipework with addition" consisting of "4 manuals, 101 stops". A slightly smaller instrument if anything: NPOR (index number D05016) has the current organ as 4 manuals, 107 stops (or, when viewing the search result from typing in simply "Norwich Cathedral", 105 stops: I wonder what the stoplist will be in comparison to the present one.

Dave

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3 minutes ago, P DeVile said:

The Echo department was removed at least 60 years ago.

Do you mean the pipes are no longer there ?

I seem to recall being told (by someone who should've known) that they were still 'aloft'. Mind you, this was a long time ago - but not 60 years !

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50 minutes ago, John Furse said:

Do you mean the pipes are no longer there ?

I seem to recall being told (by someone who should've known) that they were still 'aloft'. Mind you, this was a long time ago - but not 60 years !

They are certainly not there - I speak as one who looked after the organ from 1990 until a couple of years ago!

 

Peter

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Martin’s first post mentioned some fairly modest work to be done at Winchester: a general clean and addition of a swell vox humana.  This last is interesting as the organ had a Father Wills vox humana until 1938 when surprisingly (?) removed in the first H&H rebuild.  I have heard Martin Neary and David Hill synthesising a fairly convincing vox humana sound since, but both must have regretted the absence of the original FW stop.  I wonder whether the new one will have its own chest.  I would have thought there were times (e.g., Guilmant I) where the vox humana might require accompaniment on other swell stops, but I suppose this can be overcome by modern gadgetry, transfers, etc. Do people think that, generally, the solo is a more suitable place for it?

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1 hour ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Apologies for usurping a reply to this.  There are three NPOR entries.  The answer, I think, is NPOR N06484, surveyed 1970: HN&B “Modified 1968/70“ and the Echo Organ had gone then.

Yes, Rowland.

But, if you scroll down in the previous survey (NPORView D06117), you will see the ranks listed as "not connected". To me, this would indicate they were still in situ.

The next survey, which you quote, has no information indicating their removal.

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Well, I can’t answer from personal knowledge questions about Norwich.  Peter De Vile says that the Echo had definitely gone by 1990.  The NPOR 1970 survey lists the last work done on the organ by HN&B in 1968/1970, so that seems a reasonable inference to draw.  If the point is important (!) only someone with local knowledge can supply an answer.  Frank Fowler would have known but, sadly, he is no longer with us.

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3 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

Well, I can’t answer from personal knowledge questions about Norwich.  Peter De Vile says that the Echo had definitely gone by 1990.  The NPOR 1970 survey lists the last work done on the organ by HN&B in 1968/1970, so that seems a reasonable inference to draw.  If the point is important (!) only someone with local knowledge can supply an answer.  Frank Fowler would have known but, sadly, he is no longer with us.

My predecessor Neville Newby started looking after the organ in 1949 and I remember him telling me that he couldn't remember much about the Echo department apart from having some gongs! so we should assume that it was removed at or before 1968.

 

With regard to the forthcoming work, I gather that the pipes are being kept but everything else will be new. I personally hope that the console will be retained.

 

The big problem there has always been that the sound is very west-facing with Primary and Secondary Great, Swell and Solo speaking that way. The chancel is served essentially by both Choir and Positive sections which can be split to be a two manual. Not much good for the big choral stuff! I think that the idea is to have the Great and Swell sections within the case but sideways on so the sound will go both ways.

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18 hours ago, John Furse said:

Yes, Rowland.

But, if you scroll down in the previous survey (NPORView D06117), you will see the ranks listed as "not connected". To me, this would indicate they were still in situ.

The next survey, which you quote, has no information indicating their removal.

The Echo pipework was used in a HNB temporary organ of 1952 for St Mary’s Baptist Church (Bootman, Organs of Norwich 2000). It’s not a good idea to use the NPOR as if it’s a carefully considered work of scholarship. The more complex the organ history, the more difficulties there are going to be. The instrument with the extant but disconnected Echo organ is Westminster Abbey. 

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8 hours ago, ptindall said:

It’s not a good idea to use the NPOR as if it’s a carefully considered work of scholarship. The more complex the organ history, the more difficulties there are going to be. 

No fault of the NPOR  It is only as good as the information submitted.  If people can take the trouble to submit new surveys and corrections it will be as good as it can be. 

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In fact NPOR did supply the answer here on N06528.  It just needed someone with local knowledge to make the connection.  When entire organs are moved, NPOR almost invariably cross-references the details.  This case only concerned a single division and (subject to correction) the move happened before NPOR even existed.  

Incidentally how many people using NPOR understand that the work is done by unpaid volunteers - and how many, I wonder, especially the occasional grumblers, ever donate!  I recall someone complaining who even thought it should be a kind of organists’ employment agency!  It’s a wonderful facility.

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2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

[ ... ]

Incidentally how many people using NPOR understand that the work is done by unpaid volunteers - and how many, I wonder, especially the occasional grumblers, ever donate!  I recall someone complaining who even thought it should be a kind of organists’ employment agency!  It’s a wonderful facility.

Yes, it is a wonderful resource.  Being aware of the financial difficulty for BIOS of keeping it going, I once enquired of the Chairman why it wasn't run on a subscription-only basis rather than relying on the goodwill of individuals to make voluntary donations.  Apparently the reason (or one reason) is that this would cause difficulties with the charitable status of BIOS, which has to be seen to be involved in 'outreach' activities to the community.  So perhaps we need to thank the relatively small membership of BIOS for contributing to the upkeep of NPOR for the benefit of the entire world, and I believe the RCO also plays a major role in hosting the site.

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On 25/02/2022 at 07:05, ptindall said:

The Echo pipework was used in a HNB temporary organ of 1952 for St Mary’s Baptist Church (Bootman, Organs of Norwich 2000). It’s not a good idea to use the NPOR as if it’s a carefully considered work of scholarship. The more complex the organ history, the more difficulties there are going to be. The instrument with the extant but disconnected Echo organ is Westminster Abbey. 

Didn’t the Hexham Abbey Echo organ remain in situ when the Phelps arrived? ..possibly as an aid to reducing VAT on the new organ if it were treated as a second organ by HMRC?

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