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Holy Trinity Brompton


parsfan
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I attended the 0930 service at HTB yesterday. Rather surprisingly the organ was not used but a there was a band.

 

Looking at the spec on NPOR, I was surpised how large this organ is.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N14959

 

Any views on this organ's quality and present condition.

 

I played it (1999) - I didn't like it. I can't remember a huge amount about it (I was playing Duruflé Requiem with orchestra), except that it was a large spec, but without much in the way of contrast or beauty. It certainly seemed to be in normal working order - I don't remember anything untoward happening.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

NPOR would tell you more, but in brief, this is essentially the organ from St.Mark's North Audley Street - now closed - a major Rushworth and Dreaper from their only 'very good' period. It was designed by Maurice Vinden just at the time when everyone was into Karg-Elert, hence the interesting range of mutations on the choir. I think everything is virtually the same as it was at Audley Street except for the Pedal where there wasn't room for a 32' Open Wood and this was replaced with a new 32' reed. They might also have played with a mixture or two.

 

I gave a number of recitals upon it in the 1980s, and I remember it as being fun but rather powerful for this church where it replaced a much rebuilt organ of a similar size. Mind you, one can always draw fewer stops to allow for this! The console is supplied with a mobile platform and plenty of cable, so it made rather a good recital instrument if one is looking at things from the audience point of view.

 

The swap-around was carried out by Percy Daniels while Paul Joslin was Organist and Director of Music at HTB (he of BBC Daily Service, BIOS Historic Certificate officer etc. etc.). HTB Music was really flourishing around that time. Congregations were (and still are) huge on a regular basis. However, one weekend some years later, without prior warning, Paul arrived to be told that his excellent (voluntary and unpaid) choir were no longer required. Since this included his own wife (Gwen) and a lot of friends who had supported him and the church equally for a good period of time, he was pretty put out! I believe that the orchestra (modelled after Noel Tredinnick's team at All Souls' Langham Place) were to be retained at this watershed moment.

 

Apparently, despite the fact that they offered to more than treble his salary, he was not to be bought off and left the church pretty soon afterwards.

 

We have all worked for some 'interesting' clergy at some point or other, haven't we? Ironically, this lot (I think I'm right in saying) are the very ones who run courses on how clergy can build successful churches.

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The console is supplied with a mobile platform and plenty of cable, so it made rather a good recital instrument if one is looking at things from the audience point of view.

 

I'm sure I was stuck away in some kind of loft above the choir stalls - don't remember there being a mobile console.. Maybe my memory is playing tricks.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I'm sure I was stuck away in some kind of loft above the choir stalls - don't remember there being a mobile console.. Maybe my memory is playing tricks.

 

 

Unless I've totally missed a complete rebuild....and I don't think that priorities in that church would allow for this (!) I think you must have some other building/organ in mind. The Durufle has that effect on me too.

 

Even the console of the previous organ was down at floor level, near enough the same as the present instrument.

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Unless I've totally missed a complete rebuild....and I don't think that priorities in that church would allow for this (!) I think you must have some other building/organ in mind. The Durufle has that effect on me too.

 

Even the console of the previous organ was down at floor level, near enough the same as the present instrument.

 

This is the church just round the corner from the albert hall? Big chandelier above the middle of the nave?

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Are you perhaps thinking of the Brompton Oratory?

 

Michael

 

Oh bugger it, I knew I shouldn't have drunk so much that night. I have no idea any more. I've always thought it was Holy Trinity, but looks like I'm very wrong!

 

I do remember that this was the concert after which my car got stolen, then found abandoned round the corner with no ignition electrics in it. Being a poor student at the time, and due to be playing in Southampton that morning, I got the nice RAC man to teach me to hot wire it. Unfortunately I stalled it on Hyde Park Corner, so had to get out of the car, stuck my rear in the face of the oncoming traffic, and hot wire it again... All good fun...

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About 10 years ago I attended at service at St Paul's. Onslow Sq. At the time, the church was a satellite of HTB (I believe that it has since closed). A member of three church staff informed me that certain ranks from the St Paul’s organ (unplayable since the 70’s) had been incorporated into the HTB instrument. I have no information as to which ranks were used, or whether this work was done at the time of the organ’s installation or at a later date. The NPOR specs of the Audley St/HTB organs do not appear to differ greatly (except for the separation of the Ch division into Ch & So).

 

Spec of St Paul’s organ as follows:

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N13070

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We have all worked for some 'interesting' clergy at some point or other, haven't we? Ironically, this lot (I think I'm right in saying) are the very ones who run courses on how clergy can build successful churches.

 

Hi

 

HTB is the home of the Alpha course - aimed more at evangelism - but these days, in my opinion - touted as virtually the only way to do it.

 

I don't know the feeling about organs,e tc. - but I can guess. When will certain clergy and church leaders realise that the organ can (and should) have a place in contemporary worship?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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HTB is the home of the Alpha course - aimed more at evangelism - but these days, in my opinion - touted as virtually the only way to do it.

I used to live just behind HTB and the Brompton Oratory, but never went into either so cannot comment on the organs. However, I do recall taking the dog for a walk past HTB every night, where there's a nice piece of grass, around 10.00 pm. For some reason this would coincide with an exodus of pretty young women from HTB, many of whom would make a bee-line for the King Charles Spaniel to rub its ears. Unfortunately, they never showed much inclination to do the same with me. :rolleyes:

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NPOR would tell you more, but in brief, this is essentially the organ from St.Mark's North Audley Street - now closed - a major Rushworth and Dreaper from their only 'very good' period. It was designed by Maurice Vinden just at the time when everyone was into Karg-Elert, hence the interesting range of mutations on the choir.

 

Rushworth's seem to have been quite fond of septiemes in the 1930's.

 

Their 1939 job for the Church of the Holy Rude Stirling (from, I suspect, the very end of their 'very good' period) had a very similar, although somewhat larger, specification right down to the Choir septieme which, unfortunately, got transformed into a 1 1/3 sometime in the late 1970's.

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Oh bugger it, I knew I shouldn't have drunk so much that night. I have no idea any more. I've always thought it was Holy Trinity, but looks like I'm very wrong!

 

I do remember that this was the concert after which my car got stolen, then found abandoned round the corner with no ignition electrics in it. Being a poor student at the time, and due to be playing in Southampton that morning, I got the nice RAC man to teach me to hot wire it. Unfortunately I stalled it on Hyde Park Corner, so had to get out of the car, stuck my rear in the face of the oncoming traffic, and hot wire it again... All good fun...

 

I very much doubt it was Brompton Oratory. The Walker/Downes organ is in at the back of a gallery on the south side of the nave, which it shares with the console and the choir. It's probably RD's finest organ, three manuals and not enormous:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N18498

 

The Church, however, IS enormous. A picture of the choir:

 

http://www.bromptonoratory.com/ord04/img18.jpg

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