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Pah, channels. When I had my first experience of the organ at Ripon (1985?), as page turner, then going on to have organ lessons on it, the pistons were set by an array of toggle switches behind the player in a wall cabinet. No channels, no generals.

 

I don't think people need a registrant. However, I do think that a lot of players of the "modern age", myself included, struggle to make the most of an instrument's colour without a usable piston system, especially on larger instruments. I'm gradually being trained out of the habit though, by having a very unreliable piston system that was designed in 1935, and hasn't been changed since it was installed... There're only so many times the clergy will put up with you attempting a subtle post-communion improv only to find the great clarion hanging a few mm out where you were expecting a solo flute...

 

 

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I'm not anti-technology by any means, but I just think all these modern console toys are completely spurious to good music making.

 

It's quite amusing to think that the theatre-organ specialists could show their classical bretheren a thing or two about console control, since some of the larger installations in America can have 400 stop keys to play with!

 

That's about twice as many registers as Liverpool!

 

If anyone wants a lesson in console-control on the fly, it is quite an experience to watch the British theatre-organist, Simon Gledhill, who tends to hand-register an awful lot.

 

It may well be that he was born with the repetition-speed of a woodpecker and the accuracy of a praying-mantis, but it's mighty impressive to behold when he is changing registration constantly, and still getting an awful lot of notes down at the same time.

 

I reckon that the youngsters to-day are amateurs!

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Are you sure York has a Cymbelstern??!!

 

Yes, definitely heard it with my own ears !! Unless, you can buy them as a stand alone item or achieve the sound from an expander !!

 

I always thought that a cymbelstern would make a nice addittion to the Beverley case, although this is probably the sort of vulgarity the conservative AS would baulk at !!

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If anyone wants a lesson in console-control on the fly, it is quite an experience to watch the British theatre-organist, Simon Gledhill, who tends to hand-register an awful lot.

 

It may well be that he was born with the repetition-speed of a woodpecker and the accuracy of a praying-mantis, but it's mighty impressive to behold when he is changing registration constantly, and still getting an awful lot of notes down at the same time.

But isn't it the case that theatre organists can arrange what they play to give themselves the opportunity to hand-register as they wish? You have a point though. Last year I had to accompany Fauré's Requiem on a 23/IIIP Dicker/Hele with mechanical stop action and had to register it largely by hand because there were only 4 composition pedals (2 Gt, 2 Sw). To say it was hard work is an understatement!
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====================

 

 

If anyone wants a lesson in console-control on the fly, it is quite an experience to watch the British theatre-organist, Simon Gledhill, who tends to hand-register an awful lot.

 

It may well be that he was born with the repetition-speed of a woodpecker and the accuracy of a praying-mantis, but it's mighty impressive to behold when he is changing registration constantly, and still getting an awful lot of notes down at the same time.

 

I reckon that the youngsters to-day are amateurs!

 

:lol:

 

MM

 

Perhaps stop keys and the horseshoe layout have some advantages over drawstops when it comes to hand registration. You need to be fairly careful with second touch cancelling though - add the Fifteenth a bit clumsily and whoops that's all you've got...

 

JC

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Yes, definitely heard it with my own ears !! Unless, you can buy them as a stand alone item or achieve the sound from an expander !!

 

I always thought that a cymbelstern would make a nice addittion to the Beverley case, although this is probably the sort of vulgarity the conservative AS would baulk at !!

 

He's not the only one! How could you, the Hill case at Beverley is perfection already.

 

 

Redeye

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I also had heard of a 'slide-show-projector-style' wand, but no reference is made to this anywhere in the copious literature provided; maybe we have both imagined this.

 

The wand (if indeed it exists at all) is, I gather, intended for the use of a second assistant.

 

It does exist.

 

Ian Wells used it for Ian Tracey's recital last August Bank Holiday - with limited success. The first piece was, I believe, Whitlock's Fanfare and unfortunately, during one of the early passages for which Ian Tracey was using the Tuba Magna, Ian Wells leaned forwards in order to turn the page and inadvertently advanced the sequencer by two positions; this was interesting - first the Tuba disappeared only to be replaced with a few flutes; this, in turn, gave way to a diapason chorus (to Fifteenth, if I recall correctly).

 

However, apart from this hitch (and Ian Wells spending the rest of the summer in the local ICU) the recital was extremely good.

 

I cannot imagine why Ian Tracey wishes to have someone else carry-out his changes of registration; I agree with you, Paul - I prefer to do all that type of thing myself, if at all possible.

 

Best wishes for your forthcoming recital.

 

:)

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Are you sure York has a Cymbelstern??!!

 

I hadn't heard of this either. However, at a recital at York a few years ago, Carlo Curley brought along his own 'Nachtigall'. This was a twittering mechanical bird in a cage which he placed on the choir console to accompany parts of his recital. It was surprisingly effective heard from the choir stalls, I seem to remember.

 

John

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Just turning music is difficult enough, especially for works you don't know. Doing major stop changes without rehearsal is more nerve-wracking than giving the recital. Nobody ever asks you to draw a quiet flute or the voix celestes - no, the stop changes you are needed for involve the loudest stops on the instrument! The worst scenario is as follows.

 

You turn up for a recital as a member of the audience and are collared to turn pages five minutes before the recital is due to start. You are introduced to the recitalist, who opens a piece you have never heard before somewhere in the middle - you can't tell how far into the piece it is. The page, needless to say, is black with note-heads and accidentals. There are no bar numbers in the score. "I'd like you to get the Great Trombas here" he says, pointing at the middle of a page. He then turns forward several pages (you can't see how many) and says "and I want you to get the Ophicleide before this F". There is no rest before the F, just a phrase break. Inevitably, this piece is the last one in the programme, so you have the best part of an hour to forget what he asked you to do. Was it the Ophicleide first, then the Trombas?

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You turn up for a recital as a member of the audience and are collared to turn pages five minutes before the recital is due to start.  You are introduced to the recitalist, who opens a piece you have never heard before somewhere in the middle - you can't tell how far into the piece it is.  The page, needless to say, is black with note-heads and accidentals.  There are no bar numbers in the score.  "I'd like you to get the Great Trombas here" he says, pointing at the middle of a page. 

This happened to me at Westminster Abbey but fortunately the organist remained in charge of registering. On that monster, I wouldn't have known where to start!!! :)

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