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Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Martin Cooke

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I was waiting for the car horns to make an appearance and wasn't disappointed.  I always felt the flue voicing was a little raw, grating even after a while, but this recording makes it sound a little too smooth - perhaps it is partly to do with where the mics are placed but I look forwards, very much, to hearing it in the flesh.


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Difficult to judge from the sound quality but I presume that the work carried out by H&H is to  their usual high standard.

A very well designed instrument from Walkers but let down badly by the horrendous " acoustics" of The Wigwam.

The chamades however will forever sound more like ragmans bugles; and the same goes for their counterpart at the other end of the street.

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1 hour ago, Adnosad said:


.................................. but let down badly by the horrendous " acoustics" of The Wigwam.



Are you speaking from personal experience of having worked in the cathedral - or have you just been listening to unqualified rumour?

I've conducted in the building innumerable times and, once you get used to it, it isn't difficult at all. I've conducted a large choir with organ, singing 'big' 19th/20th cent. music, where you have to make sure the organ doesn't outplay the choir. Philip Duffy once told me to accompany hymns on no more that Gt. 4 - coupled to Sw 5. because the sound of the organ goes over the choir and drowns them. I, also, one Sunday morning conducted a Monteverdi Mass with just eight singers - who found it a delight to work in. Moving the choir stall to almost face each other made a big difference as well!

It's a glorious building to work in!! Walker's did a wonderful job - and, I suspect, Harrison's rebuild brings out the very best in it! 

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Only through the personal experience of using my auditory nerve in the building over a half century or so; in which case I suppose I should get tested for a hearing aid ( or two ! )

I can agree with you with regards to the acoustic when performing he likes of Monteverdi/Byrd/Tallis etc.     I have a most excellent Byrd/Tallis recording by LUMS and the performance is quite stunning.  This however I put down to the expertise of the sound engineer; the same goes for  the Duffy/Rawsthorne recording of the Soler Concertos.    Once one is actually within the arena the experience , IMHO completely, sounds somewhat differentl.

Good that we are in agreement as to Walker/ Harrisons  excellent work.   The Met` along with Ampleforth, are two very similar instruments save for the Antiphonal section at Ampleforth,

Finally, whilst going on about matters antiphonal ,acoustic, and echoes I cannot refrain from mentioning the worlds Largest Echo Organ located at the other end of the street.   120+ stops in the Echo Division and, thanks to a legacy, they are adding more Echo stops to it!

To add a footnote to this we will unfortunately now be unable to hear this grossly expensive restoration, which was funded in the main by individual public donations,not church funds, to the full advantage since the current cathedral policy seems to have scrapped the organ recital series and just reduced its function to being a mere machine to accompany hymns, in the main.

I sincerely hope that the Metropolitan will have an Organ  Recital series with visiting recitalists arranged for the near future.

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