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GrossGeigen

Lesser-known Town Hall Organs

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Good morning Mr Step,

 

How very interesting and fascinating I find your information;  it's good to know that people from as far away as USA and Australia are reading this.  I am particularly interested to read that you have worked on the Kotzchmar organ in your City Hall.  I have a c.d. of this by the virtuosic Thomas Murray - An Evening with Edwin Lemare - but produced in 1991, and the organ sounded very fine then before its more recent restoration.  You may be interested to know that the greatest concert organist, hopefully not arguably, of the 20th century - Lemare - has been re-incarnated this century in the form of Thomas Heywood (Melbourne Town Hall) who has been recitaling over here (UK) to ecstatic audiences.  He is like a breath of fresh air to the organ world.

Yes - SOME of our local councils do keep their civic organs in good condition, others who possess organs hardly know what they are and care even less, and one or two would like to restore their instruments but haven't the wherewithall at the moment.

Regards  M.S.

 

p.s. One town council, WALSALL, to name and shame, having spent something like £250,000 on its instrument in 1988, has now allowed it to fall into poor condition through indifference, and, to be fair, perhaps they now have more pressing priorities. Councils are notoriously very fickle, what is in favour one year is totally out of favour the next year. Iam sure it is the same everywhere. Another council that I know treats the organ like a piece of machinery, which I suppose it is, but at least they maintain it; they say we'll do the swimming pool this month, and the organ next month. etc !

 

Regards M.S.

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Good morning Mr Step,

 

How very interesting and fascinating I find your information;  it's good to know that people from as far away as USA and Australia are reading this.  I am particularly interested to read that you have worked on the Kotzchmar organ in your City Hall.  I have a c.d. of this by the virtuosic Thomas Murray - An Evening with Edwin Lemare - but produced in 1991, and the organ sounded very fine then before its more recent restoration.  You may be interested to know that the greatest concert organist, hopefully not arguably, of the 20th century - Lemare - has been re-incarnated this century in the form of Thomas Heywood (Melbourne Town Hall) who has been recitaling over here (UK) to ecstatic audiences.  He is like a breath of fresh air to the organ world.

Yes - SOME of our local councils do keep their civic organs in good condition, others who possess organs hardly know what they are and care even less, and one or two would like to restore their instruments but haven't the wherewithall at the moment.

Regards  M.S.

 

Thanks to MS for your comments about the Kotzchmar. It is indeed an amazing instrument and Thomas Heywood is giving a reciltal here on the 29th August. He has chosen the perfect programme; all music from the orchestral and opera reportoire. Music that organs like the K'mar were built to perform. The Thieving Magpie, Swan Lake, Bartered Bride, Magic Flute are all included plus Rondo Capriccio by Edwin Lamare. Austin added a new 5 manual console around 2000 when the organ had been restored. This is a state of the art console with all modern conveniences and the fifth manual is for the Echo organ up in the roof which previously was a "floating" division. The organ does need some caution when registering. One recent recitalist used the 16/8 and 4 ft Tubas for the Trumpet Voluntary. As this reed is on about 30" wind it nearly blasted our earbrums to oblivion!....and he was a well respected organist from France.

You can find out more about the organ at the website www.foco.org

 

I do regularly read this site and find it very informative. I find the predominantly UK organists/lover/enthusiasts not quite so hooked on intimate detail as their counterparts here is the US. On one site here there can be days and days of discussion on the relative merits of a Tierce on the Swell Organ!

 

I was pleased to see that St Peter's St Albans have had a magnificent new instrument and well deserved. It is with some sadness that I remember working on the rebuilding of their old organ in 1973. Much of the work was done during the 3 day week without electricity on certain days. The new building frame was too tall for our Ipswich workshop so we built it outside under a covered scaffold. ON the no power days we cut hand mortices and tenons and set in captive bolts by hand all to the light of paraffin lamps....oh it was so Dickensian! Despite some comments to the contrary I consider that St Peter's got a really good deal for the money and it certainly lasted for 30 years. But of course I am somewhat biased!

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Thanks to MS for your comments about the Kotzchmar. It is indeed an amazing instrument and Thomas Heywood is giving a reciltal here on the 29th August. He has chosen the perfect programme; all music from the orchestral and opera reportoire. Music that organs like the K'mar were built to perform. The Thieving Magpie, Swan Lake, Bartered Bride, Magic Flute are all included plus Rondo Capriccio by Edwin Lamare. Austin added a new 5 manual console around 2000 when the organ had been restored. This is a state of the art console with all modern conveniences and the fifth manual is for the Echo organ up in the roof which previously was a "floating" division. The organ does need some caution when registering. One recent recitalist used the 16/8 and 4 ft Tubas for the Trumpet Voluntary. As this reed is on about 30" wind it nearly blasted our earbrums to oblivion!....and he was a well respected organist from France.

You can find out more about the organ at the website www.foco.org

 

I do regularly read this site and find it very informative. I find the predominantly UK organists/lover/enthusiasts not quite so hooked on intimate detail as their counterparts here is the US. On one site here there can be days and days of discussion on the relative merits of a Tierce on the Swell Organ!

 

I was pleased to see that St Peter's St Albans have had a magnificent new instrument and well deserved. It is with some sadness that I remember working on the rebuilding of their old organ in 1973. Much of the work was done during the 3 day week without electricity on certain days. The new building frame was too tall for our Ipswich workshop so we built it outside under a covered scaffold. ON the no power days we cut hand mortices and tenons and set in captive bolts by hand all to the light of paraffin lamps....oh it was so Dickensian! Despite some comments to the contrary I consider that St Peter's got a really good deal for the money and it certainly lasted for 30 years. But of course I am somewhat biased!

 

Hello again Mr Step,

Will you repeat again the web site for Portland city hall organ. Inserting the one you gave - www.foco.org only gives me the Home of the Fraternal Order of Court Officers !!

Regards M.S.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Having in the past worked for Bishop and Son for 15 years I must also add to the list the organ in Ipswich Town Hall; well Corn Exchange to be precise but it is part of the same building and owned by the Council. This is the organ taken out of Holy Trinity, Paddington, London after its closure in 1971. It was an 1876 Lewis rebuilt by N&B about 1912 I believe and then they did some additional work as HN&B in 1957. Bishops tok it out of the Paddington and completely rebuilt it for the Corn Exchange in 1975. I well remember working against the clock to get it out of the church as the lead from the roof had been stolen and water was getting in. As we worked one after another of the lights blew up as the water penetrated!

 

This one is still playable but has suffered. perversely from a leaking roof about 3 times! Bishops have managed to do a number of repairs and all was working well last Christmas as far as I know.

 

 

I was the last organist of this noble spired church which was built with the softest stone imaginable. The organ was tremendous and sounded more so because of the voluminous acoustic of the neo-gothic pile. It was the silentest organ I have ever come across. No hiss or a suggestion of air anywhere. I remember taking Mr Fowler around it and he asked me to go down and switch it on when it had been all the time. Stunning - as everyone used to say. The Lewis pipework was so brilliant. The mixture IV on the great was like a Grand Chorus and knocked your head off.

 

I was told by Fr Duff, the last Parish priest, that the church had been closed when I was singing with the RSCM summer choir at the Abbey. A number of us (Roy Massey/and/or John Bertalot, Paul Hale, included), went in a fleet of taxis from Westminster in the night as I had my key with me. We got in and played in darkenss but unfortunately neighbours heard and called the police. We fled into the hall and as the police came brandishing torches we fled into the vestries and hid in toilets where we were found, but not arrested. That was probably the final time such an illustrious gathering was there. James Lancelot, Paul Spicer, Chris Tinker, Michael Hedley all were playing there right up to the closure and Tom Corfield was appointed my assistant but never played because of the church closing before the start of the Autumn term.

 

Whilst in Rome with Germani, he was anxious to purchase the organ to install in the music room of his villa north of Rome. He already had the 4 manual console in the place but really needed more than the Baroque organ there to play his dream - a recording of all Reger's works! He got in touch with Fr Duff to make an offer but alas, the organ the previous week had been sold to Ipswich he said.

 

This does bring back memories! What fun it all was but sad to see the departure of one of the capital's great instruments.

 

Best wishes,

 

Nigel

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Herzen however was jealous to learn of the regal at Cambridge...

 

Surely he can't have been that jealous - the Regal at Cambridge only had a six rank Compton <_<

 

On the other hand it did have a Discus blower, which would have been immeasurably more comfortable to use than the converted bicycle pump...

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I was the last organist of this noble spired church which was built with the softest stone imaginable. The organ was tremendous and sounded more so because of the voluminous acoustic of the neo-gothic pile. It was the silentest organ I have ever come across. No hiss or a suggestion of air anywhere. I remember taking Mr Fowler around it and he asked me to go down and switch it on when it had been all the time. Stunning - as everyone used to say. The Lewis pipework was so brilliant. The mixture IV on the great was like a Grand Chorus and knocked your head off.

 

I was told by Fr Duff, the last Parish priest, that the church had been closed when I was singing with the RSCM summer choir at the Abbey. A number of us (Roy Massey, Paul Hale,  included), went in a fleet of taxis from Westminster in the night as I had my key with me. We got in and played in darkenss but unfortunately neighbours heard and called the police. We fled into the hall and as the police came brandishing torches we fled into the vestries and hid in toilets where we were found, but not arrested. That was probably the final time such an illustrious gathering was there. James Lancelot, Paul Spicer, Chris Tinker, Michael Hedley all were playing there right up to the closure and Tom Corfield was appointed my assistant but never played because of the church closing before the start of the Autumn term.

 

Whilst in Rome with Germani, he was anxious to purchase the organ to install in the music room of his villa north of Rome. He already had the 4 manual console in the place but really needed more than the Baroque organ there to play his dream - a recording of all Reger's works! He got in touch with Fr Duff to make an offer but alas, the organ the previous week had been sold to Ipswich he said.

 

This does bring back memories! What fun it all was but sad to see the departure of one of the capital's great instruments.

 

Best wishes,

 

Nigel

 

 

Good morning Nigel,

 

This IS exciting. What fun you had in those days. I've just sent an email to Sir Royston himself to ask what ELSE did he get up to in those days ? I'm agog to know more. Organists certainly enjoyed themselves then, whereas today they seem to be like sausages churned out of a machine, all play the same music, all say the same things, and all, mostly, are so dreadfully boring. Your account is a breath of fresh air.

Regards Michael Sullivan.

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A number of us (Roy Massey, Paul Hale,  included), went in a fleet of taxis from Westminster in the night as I had my key with me. We got in and played in darkenss but unfortunately neighbours heard and called the police. We fled into the hall and as the police came brandishing torches we fled into the vestries and hid in toilets where we were found, but not arrested.

 

 

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

 

I once actually did get arrested for playing the organ at 2am, when I was working furiously on perfecting a concert scheduled for the next day.

 

The sad thing is, I'd telephoned the local plod to inform them that I would be there late, in an unlit church and that they should not worry.

 

There I was thundering through something or other, when the whole church lit up with blue flashing-lights, like a sort of moonlight son-et-lumiere, and large men in uniform started hammering on the west door; one with a snarling Alsatian on a lead and the local chief-of-police standing behind in all his scrambled-egg glory.

 

So I sat in the back of the "van" for a while 'til they made enquiries, woke up all the clergy, caused general mayhem and disrupted my practice.

 

Desperately trying to save face when I told them that they HAD been informed, I got a stern and totally inappropriate lecture from the scrambled-egg about wasting police time, so I nodded in agreement and apologised profusely on behalf of their own incompetence.

 

As they departed, what else could I possibly do, but play the theme-tune from "Dixon of Dock Green?" The looks I got!

 

It was shortly after that when I played for the chief's funeral.

 

MM

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I think that it's very interesting that the theatre-organ and local organ enthusiasts have done more to keep town-hall organ-music alive, than almost any other body of people.

 

I have been thinking about this for a few days. It does certainly seem to be true that over the years quite a number of the theatre organ groups and individuals have succeeded in getting councils interested enough to allow them to install a preserved theatre organ in a civic building.

 

Stockport and Worthing are obvious examples, but there are lesser known though equally well-used installations such as Ossett, Abingdon, Louth etc. In one case that I can think of (Burton-on-Trent) the council themselves actually replaced an ageing and nearly defunct concert organ with a Wurlitzer!

 

What remains to be seen is whether any of our local organists' associations have the manpower, skills and wherewithal to consider approaching a council who own a disused instrument with a view to 'adopting' it. I'm not for one minute suggesting that they muscle in on the territory of an organ-builder, but if instruments like Dover, for example, are currently unplayable and not on maintenance, then there may be some scope for a project to at least get it into some sort of playable condition.

 

Such arrangements are always subject to suitable insurance and references, but they ARE possible if the will is there on both sides. Lewisham's Compton (which is actually in Catford!) is a case in point. An approach was made by an interested individual who put forward a project plan. The council were pleased to have someone take an interest, and were prepared to put a small budget towards it. The end result is that after a silence of around 15 years the organ once again sounds glorious, and has found favour in the newly-revitalised venue.

 

If one gets involved with such a project, a healthy relationship with the local organ-builder is very desirable, and I would advocate using them as much as funds allow once you are in a position to raise some - i.e. when the organ is playable to a sufficient standard to put on the occasional lunchtime recital with a player prepared to accept its limitations. As funds improve the council may well take more of a financial interest themselves, but in any case it's then an opportunity to pay for further professional work on an as-and-when basis.

 

A project with which I am involved relies on our organisation (not the local organists' association I hasten to add) carrying out repairs and maintenance on a voluntary basis. We use the services of our local organ builder/tuner to carry out any specialist repairs such as to pipework, and he is also contracted to carry out the tunings. The modest profits from concerts are split between ourselves and the venue, as is the cost of tunings. As it happens this is not a civic installation but a commercial one, but the methodology is the same.

 

As one who loves the 'town hall' type of recital programme of big organ barnstormers mixed with transcriptions, I only wish I lived somewhere where there was such a hall and organ. Swansea isn't too far away, but doesn't tend towards this type of programme, and St. David's Hall, Cardiff, while a civic venue, is about as far away from a Town Hall organ as it is possible to get!

 

The key to making the initial approach definitely has to be "softly, softly" though, as councils are very quick to dismiss bands of volunteers of any type as 'nutters'....

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The key to making the initial approach definitely has to be "softly, softly" though, as councils are very quick to dismiss bands of volunteers of any type as 'nutters'....

 

 

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

 

This is a good point of course, because no council, even when faced with a silent organ, would be prepared to accept a group of apparent "amateurs" getting things done.

 

The theatre organ groups are very well organised, with some very expert people in their midst. I know that when I helped to rip out the Free Trade Hall organ in Manchester (now at Stockport), it was so professionally organised and those guys knew exactly what they were doing.

 

I suppose the big advantage that the cinema groups have, is the fact that THEY own the instruments usually, and install or re-install them at their own expense and at their own risk; other than things like structural alterations and safety matters.

 

I would suggest that the best way to go about things like this, is to establish a group of interested people who would be prepared to buy and instrument, and then raise the funds to restore it or re-install it elsewhere, just as the theatre-organ people do.

 

Of course, unit organs are relatively easy to dismantle and re-install compared to custom made slider-soundboard instruments.

 

I must admit to being impressed though, when an "amateur" organ-builder sets out to tonally finish a Wurlitzer, because the factory never did, and the end result is just marvellous.

 

I suppose the secret is lots of TLC, which enthusiasts have an excess of, very often.

 

MM

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

 

I once actually did get arrested for playing the organ at 2am, when I was working furiously on perfecting a concert scheduled for the next day.

 

The sad thing is, I'd telephoned the local plod to inform them that I would be there late, in an unlit church and that they should not worry.

 

There I was thundering through something or other, when the whole church lit up with blue flashing-lights, like a sort of moonlight son-et-lumiere, and large men in uniform started hammering on the west door; one with a snarling Alsatian on a lead and the local chief-of-police standing behind in all his scrambled-egg glory.

 

So I sat in the back of the "van" for a while 'til they made enquiries, woke up all the clergy, caused general mayhem and disrupted my practice.

 

Desperately trying to save face when I told them that they HAD been informed, I got a stern and totally inappropriate lecture from the scrambled-egg about wasting police time, so I nodded in agreement and apologised profusely on behalf of their own incompetence.

 

As they departed, what else could I possibly do, but play the theme-tune from "Dixon of Dock Green?"  The looks I got!

 

It was shortly after that when I played for the chief's funeral.

 

MM

 

 

Hello musing muso

 

This is VERY exciting, and you write so wonderfully. I assume it is true, although it does sound slightly incredible. I would love to know who you are, would it be possible to email me with your name ? I fail to understand this obsession with writing under pseudonymns, providing one doesn't comment too outrageously I see nothing wrong with writing under ones proper name. I have had a reply back from Roy Massey who said it wasn't him but he wishes he had been one of the perpetrators, ' but I don't think it was me, more's the pity'. He continued: ' I was threatened with contempt of court once whilst practising in the Victoria Hall - Hanley when the court was in session. The steward to the Court told me to shut up and I told him to get stuffed and carried on. Some minutes later he came back with a message from the judge about contempt of Court. I stopped !!! '

 

Every good wish Michael Sullivan

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Hello musing muso

 

This is VERY exciting, and you write so wonderfully.  I assume it is true, although it does sound slightly incredible.  I would love to know who you are, would it be possible to email me with your name ? I fail to understand this obsession with writing under pseudonymns, providing one doesn't comment too outrageously I see nothing wrong with writing under ones proper name.  I have had a reply back from Roy Massey who said it wasn't him but he wishes he had been one of the perpetrators, ' but I don't think it was me, more's the pity'.  He continued: ' I was threatened with contempt of court once whilst practising in the Victoria Hall - Hanley when the court was in session. The steward to the Court told me to shut up and I told him to get stuffed and carried on.  Some minutes later he came back with a message from the judge about contempt of Court.  I stopped !!! '

 

Every good wish  Michael Sullivan

 

 

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

 

Well, I'm afraid it is absolutely true!

 

As for "contempt of court" I think a similar thing happened at Leeds Town Hall, when Simon Lindley was silenced while the courts sat in the rooms below.

 

They've now moved to a new court-house; possibly because of the organ...who knows?

 

I don't think I know of any other strange happenings, save for my half-cousin (or somesuch), who disappeared completely in the middle of an empty street in Ashton-under-Lyne during an organ-crawl.

 

This however, became the basis for my infamous comic tale entitled "A Lancashire Organ Crawl" which has, I believe, been printed in NZ!

 

Then there is my story of "The ox and ass" based also on a true events, and involving the unlikely admixture of a Yorkshire cathedral carol-service, three slightly inebriate organists and an outraged elderly aunt who grew up in India during the days of the Raj.

 

On the basis that Michael pays me a compliment, where others demonstrate derision, pity or outright contempt, I shall send him a personal message and break cover.

 

MM

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Hello musing muso

 

I have had a reply back from Roy Massey who said it wasn't him but he wishes he had been one of the perpetrators, ' but I don't think it was me, more's the pity'. 

 

 

 

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

 

With Roy Massey's laugh, could he be hidden anywhere, let alone in the vestry-toilets of a church in the middle of the night?

 

<_<

 

MM

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Hello musing muso

 

This is VERY exciting, and you write so wonderfully.  I assume it is true, although it does sound slightly incredible.  I would love to know who you are, would it be possible to email me with your name ? I fail to understand this obsession with writing under pseudonymns, providing one doesn't comment too outrageously I see nothing wrong with writing under ones proper name.  I have had a reply back from Roy Massey who said it wasn't him but he wishes he had been one of the perpetrators, ' but I don't think it was me, more's the pity'.  He continued: ' I was threatened with contempt of court once whilst practising in the Victoria Hall - Hanley when the court was in session. The steward to the Court told me to shut up and I told him to get stuffed and carried on.  Some minutes later he came back with a message from the judge about contempt of Court.  I stopped !!! '

 

Every good wish  Michael Sullivan

 

 

This is perfectly true, I was `standing by' for Roy Massey and was with him when it happened. The further facts were that the Judge was trying a very sensitive sexual assult case involving a young girl who was giving evidence. His Lordship found the sound of the organ distracting in the Courtroom and wanted silence - he got it.

 

Afterwards the Judge came into the hall and courteously explained to us what had happened and seemed to have been delighted to have met the illustrious Roy Massey wishing him well for his recital.

 

FF

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Guest Andrew Butler
I do regularly read this site and find it very informative. I find the predominantly UK organists/lover/enthusiasts not quite so hooked on intimate detail as their counterparts here is the US. On one site here there can be days and days of discussion on the relative merits of a Tierce on the Swell Organ!

 

Let's see what happens here - what are the relative merits of a Tierce on the Swell Organ? Actually, this is a serious question! :rolleyes:

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Let's see what happens here - what are the relative merits of a Tierce on the Swell Organ?  Actually, this is a serious question!  :rolleyes:

 

 

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

 

 

Better still, what are the relative merits of a Swell?

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Better still, what are the relative merits of a Swell?

Or in some circumstances, what are the merits of relatives?

 

Paul

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Or in some circumstances, what are the merits of relatives?

 

Paul

 

An ordained friend likes to refer to friends as God's apology for relatives.

 

Michael

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An ordained friend likes to refer to friends as God's apology for relatives.

 

Michael

 

 

These little comments are all very interesting, but we are becoming far removed from the original subject - Lesser Town Hall organs. Have we exhausted this topic ? Maybe so.

No one has mentioned Town Hall organs in Scotland, of which there are several.

The organ in the Library and art gallery in Glasgow could come under this heading.

This building has only recently been re-opened and its organ can now be heard again.

M.S.

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These little comments are all very interesting, but we are becoming far removed from the original subject - Lesser Town Hall organs.  Have we exhausted this topic ?  Maybe so.

No one has mentioned Town Hall organs in Scotland, of which there are several.

The organ in the Library and art gallery in Glasgow could come under this heading.

This building has only recently been re-opened and its organ can now be heard again.

M.S.

Ayr Town Hall is definitely worth a mention - a fairly modest three manual Lewis & Co of 1903, limping along to this day without ever having been restored. Much smaller than Kelvingrove but similarly exquisite voicing.

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Ayr Town Hall is definitely worth a mention - a fairly modest three manual Lewis & Co of 1903, limping along to this day without ever having been restored. Much smaller than Kelvingrove but similarly exquisite voicing.

 

Scotland has some good civic organs. The three best are undoubtedly Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow, the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Caird Hall in Dundee.

 

Kelvingrove in Glasgow is home to a 1901 III/48 TC Lewis instrument in unaltered condition and a glorious acoustic. It was restored by Manders in 1989 and has just been cleaned by the same firm while the hall has been closed for building restoration work (it re-opened a fortnight ago). Kelvingrove NPOR

 

The Usher Hall in Edinburgh is home to a 1914 IV/63 Norman & Beard organ in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic. It was restored by Harrisons in 2003 and is used frequently - there are almost weekly lunchtime concerts attracting several hundred, and there are a few major evening recitals a year. John Kitchen is the city organist. Usher Hall NPOR

 

The Caird Hall in Dundee is home to a 1923 III/50 Harrison & Harrison concert organ, again in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic. It was designed by Alfred Hollins, and was restored by Harrisons in 1992 and is used a good bit. Stuart Muir is the city organist there. Caird Hall NPOR

 

There is an early Father Willis, much altered by Willis III in Aberdeen's Music Hall.

 

Andrew Caskie

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Scotland has some good civic organs.  The three best are undoubtedly Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow, the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Caird Hall in Dundee. 

 

Kelvingrove in Glasgow is home to a 1901 III/48 TC Lewis instrument in unaltered condition and a glorious acoustic.  It was restored by Manders in 1989 and has just been cleaned by the same firm while the hall has been closed for building restoration work (it re-opened a fortnight ago).  Kelvingrove NPOR

 

The Usher Hall in Edinburgh is home to a 1914 IV/63 Norman & Beard organ in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic.  It was restored by Harrisons in 2003 and is used frequently - there are almost weekly lunchtime concerts attracting several hundred, and there are a few major evening recitals a year.  John Kitchen is the city organist.  Usher Hall NPOR

 

The Caird Hall in Dundee is home to a 1923 III/50 Harrison & Harrison concert organ, again in unaltered condition and an excellent acoustic.  It was designed by Alfred Hollins, and was restored by Harrisons in 1992 and is used a good bit.  Stuart Muir is the city organist there. Caird Hall NPOR

 

There is an early Father Willis, much altered by Willis III in Aberdeen's Music Hall.

 

Andrew Caskie

 

This is interesting; these 3 organs are well known. Are there any other public hall organs in Scotland, apart from Ayr which we have just been told about ? I didn't know about Aberdeen Music Hall, did anyone else outside Scotland I wonder ?

Nobody has mentioned the organs in the Southampton and POrtsmouth Guildhalls, both of which are in poor condition, although the Soton one is used occasionally.

On the IAO Congress in 2004 we attended both places. At Soton Ian Bell gave us a most informative talk on the Compton tradition, and it is hoped that funds might be found to restore this organ to its former glory. Harold Britton then played very appropriate music on both consoles. On the concert console he played Wolstenholme's - Finale, (a fine piece, why does no one play this ?) and Smart's Postlude in D, and on the Theatre console selections from Quentin Maclean etc.

MS

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Known ?

 

Rather depressing to see all those civic instruments at the other side of the water.

Wish we had some of them overhere ...

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Known ?

 

Rather depressing to see all those civic instruments at the other side of the water.

Wish we had some of them overhere ...

 

 

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

 

What?

 

Haarlem has TWO civic instruments.....St.Bavo and the Concertegebouw, and they're not just any old organ are they?

 

How about we swap ten of ours for two of yours?

 

 

:unsure:

 

MM

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