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QUOTE(pcnd5584 @ Jun 1 2006, 10:54 AM)

The deadening blanket of sound which is usually present when a tuba is inartistically coupled to the tutti I find oppressive and un-musical!

 

Well, yes and no. Willis Tubas such as those found at Lincoln, Salisbury or St Paul's could never be said to be oppressive and un-musical when added to the tutti, whereas no one in their right mind would or should add Harrison Tubas like those at King's or Durham. Their addition would certainly justify pcnd's statement.

 

Since we have strayed on to Tubas, aren't the York and Norwich examples en-chamade?

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But modern chamades often don't blend any better than tubas, do they? There are some very nasty examples tacked onto romantic English-sounding organs.............

 

We had one put on here in '84. It is rather unconventional but sounds very nice - it has projection but blends well into the tutti - can solo well against the Great (being on the Swell manual and therefore central in the case - the Great/Pedal being didvided C/C#) or works chordally with the rest of the Swell chorus. It can also function as a cantus firmus effectively from the Pedal - the 8' reed there being smaller and more an adjuct to the more 'homely' 16' Bassoon.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N07978

 

AJJ

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The deadening blanket of sound which is usually present when a tuba is inartistically coupled to the tutti I find oppressive and un-musical!
Oh, it's not so bad when the normal tutti is already an oppresive, unmusical, deadening blanket of Trombas. Come and hear our local four-decker! :D
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Oh, it's not so bad when the normal tutti is already an oppresive, unmusical, deadening blanket of Trombas. Come and hear our local four-decker!  :D

 

Well, if we had a clue as to where it was ...

 

I thought the reason that the Tuba normally resided on the Solo manual was that it was usually intended to stand apart from, rather than blend with, the rest of the instrument, in which case failure to blend in would hardly be all that surprising but rather an indication that the intended effect had been achieved !

 

And "noise" can be very evocative, at least to those of us of a certain age - for instance the very distinctive sound of a Merlin aero engine, or of a supercharged Bentley 4 1/2 litre or even a Fiat 500!!!

 

As to the sound of Spanish chamades they have never seemed to me to have anything more than physical configuration in common with their modern counterparts, and I think Professor Peter Williams holds (or at least held) the same opinion. But surely stops voiced in the classic Spanish fashion would be a wonderful addition to the armoury of those who want to maximise their ability for producing "raspberry" effects, and the directional layout of such stops should mean that at least in some instances they could be directed at the person for whom such sound effects were intended?

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Tony and MM - interesting information. Would I be correct in assuming that Bradford Cathedral has a fairly dry acoustic?

 

 

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

 

Not quite so!

 

It is really TWO acoustics in one building.

 

The nave is your typical northern wool-church, without much in the way of resonance, but the chancel (designed in the 1960's by Sir Edward Maufe) is extremely resonant.

 

In the chancel, the organ sounds excellent. Elsewhere it just sounds distant and un-imposing, save for the "Trumpet Major and Clarion".

 

Unfortunately, I think it was the late Keith Rhodes who had the Trumpet Majors throttled back a bit, which is a pity, because they were absolutely scorching AND blending reeds, voiced on only 7" wind. In fact, I can't think of better reeds anywhere in the UK, and even now, they're pretty darned good.

 

Two chamades which have been over-looked are those at Leeds Town Hall and Ampleforth Abbey; both of which are a little different to the normal.

 

Leeds TH has the horizontal (inside the case) Gray & Davison "Bombarde", which is a good rank. Assertive, musical and entirely adequate, it is not a very high-pressure example.....perhaps around the 7" wg region? It sits betwixt solo Tuba and chorus reed in character, and has to be a very good all-rounder in the party-horn stakes.

 

I don't quite know how one would describe the Ampleforth 'piece de resistance', which is not really vertical, and isn't really horizontal, but mounted at about 45 degrees somewhere up in the "Gods".

 

Some inspired lunatic realised that the ceiling of the central-tower, high above the crossing, is a perfect parabolic reflector.....sort of dome-esque, but not quite!

 

So they pointed the reeds at it....but not any old reed.

 

I wonder if this isn't the ONLY trumpet in the known world to be made with solid-silver resonators, and thus named "Trompet argenta"

 

The effect is a bit like being struck by lightning, at a guess, (though I can't verify that), but it is a simply superb climax reed which can be added to the tutti to good effect.

 

Acoustically, the effect of the pure chamade is akin to the effect of real trumpets and cornets in either orchestra or brass-bands; sounding much louder than they actually are, due to the edge-tones being heard directly. The trick is to listen to them from below and behind, and if they sound good, then they ARE good. I guess one could do this at St.Paul's, and it is certainly possible at St.Lauren's, Rotterdam, for example.

 

However, I can't help but think that Leeds TH has one of the best. It isn't a thin reed, but it is no Tuba fortunately. On relatively modest wind, it's a very effective register, and a whole lot better than those vulgar Cavaille-Coll party-horns one hears in France. :D

 

MM

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

 

 

I don't quite know how one would describe the Ampleforth 'piece de resistance', which is not really vertical, and isn't really horizontal, but mounted at about 45 degrees somewhere up in the "Gods".

 

Some inspired lunatic realised that the ceiling of the central-tower, high above the crossing, is a perfect parabolic reflector.....sort of dome-esque, but not quite!

 

So they pointed the reeds at it....but not any old reed.

 

I wonder if this isn't the ONLY trumpet in the known world to be made with solid-silver resonators, and thus named "Trompet argenta"

 

I always thought the Ampleforth reed has resonaters of high percentage tin that looked like silver - I have doubts if they are infact solid silver.

 

Incidently Walkers used Boosey and Hawkes Brass Trombone Tubes for some of their brass display "en chamade" reeds. i.e. Wimborne Minster and Liverpool R C Cathedral.

 

I had a recording of the Wimborne reed on a L P record. I also had a pet dog who was very used to organ records. When I played the the "en chamade" track it got up and walked out of the room, glancing over its shoulder at the loudspeaker as it did so! :D

 

FF

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Incidently Walkers used Boosey and Hawkes Brass Trombone Tubes for some of their brass display "en chamade" reeds. i.e. Wimborne Minster and Liverpool R C Cathedral.

 

I had a recording of the Wimborne reed on a L P record. I also had a pet dog who was very used to organ records. When I played the the "en chamade" track it got up and walked out of the room, glancing over its shoulder at the loudspeaker as it did so!  :D

I must admit my reaction upon hearing the Wimborne chamade reed on a CD of the organ I recently acquired was not that different to Frank's discerning pet dog. Having not heard the Wimborne organ live, the CD could be misleading, but I thought beneath the recently added bells and whistles I could detect the core of what sounded like quite a fine instrument.

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I must admit my reaction upon hearing the Wimborne chamade reed on a CD of the organ I recently acquired was not that different to Frank's discerning pet dog. Having not heard the Wimborne organ live, the CD could be misleading, but I thought beneath the recently added bells and whistles I could detect the core of what sounded like quite a fine instrument.

 

Jeremy,

 

If my history memory is correct, the Wimborne chamade reed was paid for by money raised by the Ladies Flower Guild. On Saturday afternoons their representitives on duty arranged the week-end flower displays in the Minster.

 

It so happened that the organist used to practice on a Saturday afternoons and to show his gratitude to the ladies he always played a couple of pieces featuring said reed. I rather think the expression "Rue the day" was not unknown to the flower ladies at this time.

 

FF

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I must admit my reaction upon hearing the Wimborne chamade reed on a CD of the organ I recently acquired was not that different to Frank's discerning pet dog. Having not heard the Wimborne organ live, the CD could be misleading, but I thought beneath the recently added bells and whistles I could detect the core of what sounded like quite a fine instrument.

 

I've only played it very briefly, but yes, it is a fine instrument, particularly given that it's in an acoustical vacuum. Some really gorgeous noises on it, including the chamades and a lovely 4' flute (on the choir, I think). I'm sure there are others on here better acquainted with this instrument than me, though.

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I know that, in organs terms, it refers to horizontal pipes, but since my French is less than fluent I'm wondering why such ranks are called "en chamade". What exactly is the concept imparted by these words? My French dictionary gives the following meanings for "chamade": "(battre la chamade), to sound a parley, to surrender"; and "(heart) to beat wildly". I'm having a bit of difficulty relating this to organ pipes. Is there another meaning?

 

The derivation surely goes back to Latin 'clamare', to shout, so the various references to battle cries etc are probably on the right lines.

 

I hope I'm not teaching folks to suck eggs, but the Iberian 'trompeta real', of course, has vertical pipes located within the case. 'Real' in this case means real, i.e. normal or non-horizontal and has nothing to do with 'royal'. By the same token you sometimes also see flautado real.

 

A further entry for the inventory of horizontal reeds is the Solo Orchestral Trumpet at Ripon Cathedral added by H&H in 1988. The pipes lie on top of the swell box facing west and are on 17" wind. The big (unenclosed) Tuba still wins, however.

 

JS

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His console definitely went to Kingsteignton, but I don't think any of the pipework did.
I stand corrected. A chap I know has been speaking to Michael Farley who did the 1999 rebuild. It seems that Michael did acquire the whole of Arthur Starke's organ and used some of the ranks in the Kingsteignton rebuild (though he couldn't remember which ones); others he sold elsewhere. I was also told that the pipes for Kingsteignton's prepared-for Positive Organ are from the Freshwater organ.
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I always thought the Ampleforth reed has resonaters of high percentage tin that looked like silver - I have doubts if they are infact solid silver.

 

 

FF

 

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

 

Mmmmmm!

 

The following quote is from Stephen Bicknell, writing to Piporg-L some years ago:-

 

"The only observation I wish to make

about Ampleforth and the kind of standards that prevailed at the time the

organ was built is to point out that though the solo trumpet is made of

silver the remainder of the organ includes recycled material from the

previous Forster & Andrews of 1871."

 

 

Simon Wright has been known, I understand, to tell the story of the benefactor, who wanted "silver" to be used for the trumpet.

 

"Trompet Argentea" seems a strange choice of name if it isn't so.

 

I shall probably go to mine end never knowing for certain, which is fairly annoying.

I'm certainly not going to crawl up all those steps and ladders just to find out if the trumpets are hallmarked!

 

It's a brilliant reed....at least that is definite.

 

MM

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QUOTE(pcnd5584 @ Jun 1 2006, 10:54 AM)

The deadening blanket of sound which is usually present when a tuba is inartistically coupled to the tutti I find oppressive and un-musical!

 

Well, yes and no. Willis Tubas such as those found at Lincoln, Salisbury or St Paul's could never be said to be oppressive and un-musical when added to the tutti, whereas no one in their right mind would or should add Harrison Tubas like those at King's or Durham. Their addition would certainly justify pcnd's statement.

 

Since we have strayed on to Tubas, aren't the York and Norwich examples en-chamade?

 

This has come up before - in the case of York, no - the pipes are merely hooded. Norwich, I do not know, but I had never heard that the large Tuba was horizontal.

 

I confess that I do not even like the Salisbury Tuba stops coupled to the tutti. They are still quite fat and lacking in harmonic development.

 

The Tuba stops at Lincoln I believe are comparatively mild - again they have been discussed here before. I think that the conclusion reached was that Willis regarded these ranks on this instrument as 'super' GO reeds and were to form part of the tutti.

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I stand corrected. A chap I know has been speaking to Michael Farley who did the 1999 rebuild. It seems that Michael did acquire the whole of Arthur Starke's organ and used some of the ranks in the Kingsteignton rebuild (though he couldn't remember which ones); others he sold elsewhere. I was also told that the pipes for Kingsteignton's prepared-for Positive Organ are from the Freshwater organ.

 

Thank you, VH.

 

However, I am now puzzled, because, as far as I know the work carried out by Michael Farley took place before the death of Arthur Starke. If this was indeed the case, has Michael undertaken further work (sorry, unfortunate choice of word) since this date, is the date incorrect on the NPOR details - or have I got my dates mixed-up?

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But modern chamades often don't blend any better than tubas, do they? There are some very nasty examples tacked onto romantic English-sounding organs, sometimes a few hundred yards away from the rest of the instrument. At least the tuba is usually tonally/physically related to the rest of the instrument.

And it has some repertoire written for it...

 

Well, personally I would dispute that! I was using ours earlier today (for the end of the Duruflé Choral Varié sur ... Veni Créator) and I just find them so exciting and full of life and energy.

 

I believe that it was Norman Sterrett who (rather fancifully) described the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral chamades as 'crackling like summer lightning'. There is some truth in this; these stops seem to have an energy, a vitality which I personally find lacking in stops of the tuba class.

 

Incidentally, the only distant chamades on 'romantic English-sounding organs' of which I can think are the examples at the west end of our national cathedral; these are however only three or four hundred feet away from the main instrument. I presume you also mean to include continental (or possibly even American) instruments which have an English-style sound - and some (nasty) chamades.

 

Insofar as repertoire for tuba stops is concerned - well, there are of course the Cocker and the Lang pieces and also a few pieces which call for occasional chords, or intermittent lines played on the tuba. However, as Ralph Downes said (in reference to Norman Cocker's piece) "... I don't think we can take that sort of thing - a pastiche, after all - too seriously as organ music, by the side, say, of Liszt, Franck, Reger, Hindemith, Vierne, Messiaen, etc ?"*

 

He goes on to state: "I don't think any Tubas have surpassed the Willis types used at Salisbury or the Chancel Tubas at St. Paul's. These, even, are inclined to 'honk' in the tenor, but I suppose that is inevitable." †

 

 

 

* p. 105, Ralph Downes: Baroque Tricks. Positif Press, Oxford (1983).

 

† Ibidem.

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.....Well, I found something just after having written that!

 

A whole bunch of Santanyi-sound files recorded with Hauptwerk:

 

http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/organs/santanyi/demos.0.asp

 

Just enough to get an idea....

Pierre

 

Sorry, but the reed examples just sound electronlc. I am not fully appraised of the nature of 'Hauptwerk', save that it is a sampling programme. Therefore, I would have expected it to sound less 'electronic'. Having said that, do Spanish chamades actually sound like that? I have not heard any for a long time and cannot now recall the precise timbre.

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.....And like the true Chamades, Tubas are not intended to be added to the Tutti,

but pitted against it!

( For the Tutti we have the Trombas).

 

Pierre

 

This may be good in theory, but I have lost count of the times I have been subjected to colleagues and cathedral organists drawing Tuba stops coupled through to the rest of the instrument at the end of a big piece....

 

Whilst I freely admit that I do the same thing with chamades, at least the sound is bright and full of vitality - not just sheer noise.

 

It may be that Arthur Harrison never intended that his Tuba stops form part of the full organ sound - yet this does not stop the performer!

 

For the record, Gilbert Benham, speaking of the H&H rebuild of the organ in the RAH, said that he doubted "... whether the entire full organ was ever intended to be used, for it is of prodigious power." * Notwithstanding, I have heard at least two occasions when an organist playing on this behemoth managed to swamp an entire symphony orchestra playing fortissimo - no mean achievement. This was certainly overkill....

 

 

 

 

* p. 140 Laurence Elvin: The Harrison Story. Elvin (1974).

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This has come up before - in the case of York, no - the pipes are merely hooded. Norwich, I do not know, but I had never heard that the large Tuba was horizontal.

 

I confess that I do not even like the Salisbury Tuba stops coupled to the tutti. They are still quite fat and lacking in harmonic development.

 

The Tuba stops at Lincoln I believe are comparatively mild - again they have been discussed here before. I think that the conclusion reached was that Willis regarded these ranks on this instrument as 'super' GO reeds and were to form part of the tutti.

 

The Tuba Mirabilis at York is horizontal, at least Francis Jackson, who ought to know, has said it is, as have others , and so too is the new Bombarde which faces East, while the TM faces west. The original York Tuba is conventionally upright. Allegedly the Tuba Magna on Manchester Cathedral (now removed) was horizontal while the Tuba at Newcastle presumably still is. I cannot recall any other horizontal tuba in an English Anglican cathedral though there are several surviving examples of the sort of 19th century Fan Tuba which York and Chester both had at one stage in their evolution in Parish churches which have either less money, or less inclination, to spend on rebuilds.

 

Where do Trompettes Militaire , as in St Paul's and Liverpool, fit in this discussion ? Or non-horizontal Orchestral Trumpets , such as those at Norwich, Coventry, Hull City Hall and Westminster Abbey. In terms of the four examples cited, and apart from the name, how much do they really have in common in terms of timbre, decibel output , and contribution to the tutti of their respective home instruments ?

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The Tuba Mirabilis at York is horizontal, at least Francis Jackson, who ought to know, has said it is, as have others , and so too is the new Bombarde which faces East, while the TM faces west.

 

The mystery continues.

 

A colleague has helped to tune and regulate this rank and states categorically that the pipes are hooded, but the boots, blocks and the lower parts of the resonators are in fact vertical. It is possible that the confusion has arisen by Francis Jackson observing the resonators and noting that the ends of them were horizontally disposed - but not noticing (or being un-aware) that the lower parts of each pipe were vertical. As far as I understand it, this does not qualify for the term en chamade - if it did, probably over half the chorus reeds in the country could be similarly named.

 

I shall endeavour to ask Geoffrey Coffin - he should certainly know.

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I cannot recall any other horizontal tuba in an English Anglican cathedral though there are several surviving examples of the sort of 19th century Fan Tuba which York and Chester both had at one stage in their evolution in Parish churches which have either less money, or less inclination, to spend on rebuilds.

 

Lichfield's Tuba was originally en chamade - adn on display in the case in the North Transept. Also, the old Hope-Jones organ at Llandaff Cathedral had a reed stop similarly disposed.

 

Where do Trompettes Militaire , as in St Paul's and Liverpool, fit in this discussion ? Or non-horizontal Orchestral Trumpets , such as those at Norwich, Coventry, Hull City Hall and Westminster Abbey. In terms of the four examples cited, and apart from the name, how much do they really have in common in terms of timbre, decibel output , and contribution to the tutti of their respective home instruments ?

 

In the case of the Orchestral Trumpet ranks, this is most interesting. The examples which you quote all differ greatly in tonality. The Coventry examples were altered, rather unfortunately, twice - once by H&H (by request and in memory of David Lepine) and once by David Wells. Prior to this, they were fiery and very bright. The rank at Westminster Abbey is presumably similar to the ranks of the same name at the Temple Church and All Saints', Margaret Street. These stops are more akin to stops of the Tuba class. The Hull City Hall Orchestral Trumpet can be heard on an old Vista recording, with Peter Goodman playing John Cook's Fanfare. Again, whilst the stop is bright, it is not particularly similar in timbre to the H&H Orchestral Trumpets at Coventry; or, for that matter, the Orchestral Trumpets at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

 

The Trompette Militaire at St. Paul's is a special case. I can think of no other stop like it. The new rank at Liverpool, whilst exciting, is quite different tonally. Exeter came close - albeit in a rather more dry acoustic, but several years ago, Lucian Nethsingha caused it to be revoiced and made quieter - much to its detriment, I feel.

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This may be good in theory, but I have lost count of the times I have been subjected to colleagues and cathedral organists drawing Tuba stops coupled through to the rest of the instrument at the end of a big piece....

 

Whilst I freely admit that I do the same thing with chamades, at least the sound is bright and full of vitality - not just sheer noise.

Regarding the chamades, I know exactly what you mean. I used to experience the same thing with the Solo reeds (Orchestral Trumpet and Clarion) at Windsor. They were not en chamade, but were (and are) brilliant stops and most certainly voiced to complement Full Organ - and the Clarion has French shallots too. Thus you can have a reasonably traditional English Full Organ with the Full Great plus Full Swell, or a quite French one by adding the Solo reeds. These two distinctly different full organ sounds come over brilliantly in John Porter's recording, recently re-released by Priory: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001XAR0...v=glance&n=5174.

 

As far as adding the Tuba to the ensemble is concerned, I refer you once again to our local four-decker Rushworth & Dreaper - you know the one I mean. Here the Full Great and Swell is a very "round" (i.e. "lugubrious") sound. The Great reeds are a 16, 8, 4 Tromba chorus and the Great Mixture is a Harmonics that, far from adding any vertical perspective to the chorus, is clearly designed to do no more than keep the fundamental tone alive. Adding the Tuba to the Full Organ is no big deal. It doesn't swamp anything because there's nothing to swamp except other reeds - it's just the next logical step up in volume.

 

(I'll be lynched by our locals for this - they think the organ is totally magnificentl. :D )

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
The mystery continues.

 

A colleague has helped to tune and regulate this rank and states categorically that the pipes are hooded, but the boots, blocks and the lower parts of the resonators are in fact vertical. It is possible that the confusion has arisen by Francis Jackson observing the resonators and noting that the ends of them were horizontally disposed - but not noticing (or being un-aware) that the lower parts of each pipe were vertical. As far as I understand it, this does not qualify for the term en chamade - if it did, probably over half the chorus reeds in the country could be similarly named.

 

I shall endeavour to ask Geoffrey Coffin - he should certainly know.

 

 

The York Minster Tuba Mirabilis is eccentrically constructed, and I am sure that pcnd would not say that it qualifies as a chamade because the pipes do stand vertically on their chest. I can understand the description chamade being applied because after a run of quite a bit less than a metre, the resonators all turn 90 degrees and the remainder of each pipe virtually rests horizontally above the stone parapet. These pipes (or quite a few of them anyway) can be seen projecting horizontally at the bottom of the West case (i.e. the one that faces the Nave). I am completely sure that Francis Jackson knows the difference between a chamade and non-chamade reed, but the Y.M.Tuba.M is so much 'something else' that it is hard to classify. Don't tell him, but I don't like it either!

 

Other stops not yet mentioned;

The Gray and Davison/Hill Tuba* at Ludlow Parish Church that used to project in a fan around the top of the Snetzler case is now (horizontal) on the top of the Swell Box. It's an excellent stop.

 

I wish to commend one of my favourite big solo reeds: viz. the splendid Fanfare Trumpet at Brecon Cathedral. The story goes that David Gedge's son used to be in the choir at St.John's College Cambridge and for many years David had nursed an ambition to have a similar solo reed at Brecon. His patience was rewarded in 1996 when Percy Daniels rebuilt and slightly enlarged the instrument. Frankly, I think he got a better stop than the Cambridge one! Very sensibly, it is wired in such a way that it cannot be coupled to the remainder of the organ. The present Dean also plays the organ and at his request a 4' extension has been provided, this is marked Dean's Clarion 4'.

 

 

Off at a tangent again:

*I once got up there to tune it (with the organists' but not Denis Thurlow's permission). Meeting him later, of course the subject came up - he was very cross! I then explained to him that if I had not tuned it, I would have had either to play a Tuba tune (given on the programme) on an inadequate alternative stop (and explain this to the audience), or demonstrate his stop foully out-of-tune. Grudgingly, he admitted that he could see the point of this. Incidentally, it was on this same occasion that he told me that he had revoiced the (large quantity of) Snetzler Great pipework 'as loud as it would go' - he was very proud of the fact.

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Paul - thank you for clearing-up this point.

 

I also thought it was likely that Francis Jackson was quite able to tell the difference between a chamade and a conventional reed. Therefore it is nice to have the dichotomy resolved!

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