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St Peter's Church Roath, Cardiff


AJJ
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Here's another new one from overseas -

 

http://www.organrecitals.com/s/sprc.html

 

I have not heard of this company though I believe that another branch of the family is also building in Germany. Has anyone heard it or have any info. There are some interesting pictures on the church website if you scroll down.

 

http://www.stpeters-roath.co.uk/events.htm

 

The company website has some interesting work on it too.

 

http://www.spaeth.ch/

 

AJJ

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The answer is on their Website under "Tradition":

 

"A long family tradition is the basis for much experience on the one hand, on the other it is a challenge for a productive analysis of the achievements of previous generations.

 

The history of our company started in the 18th century when in 1742 Johann Georg Späth, coming from Hohenmemmingen in Swabia, built the first church organ for Faurndau and when Jacob Späth invented the tangent door together with his son-in-law. In each generation of the Späth family various sons chose the profession of an organ builder, among them Emil and Hubert Späth. The two left the seat of the family in Ennetach in 1909 and took over the business of Heinrich Spaich in the Swiss town Rapperswil. Today, two organ building companies of the Späth-dynasty which are independent of each other still exist in Germany, one in Freiburg/Breisgau and the other in Ennetach.

In Rapperswil the brothers Späth according to their era started with the building of tubular pneumatic organs. Through the esteem for the Romantic movement organs of this time come back into favour."

 

Pierre

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Here's another new one from overseas -

 

http://www.organrecitals.com/s/sprc.html

 

I have not heard of this company though I believe that another branch of the family is also building in Germany. Has anyone heard it or have any info. There are some interesting pictures on the church website if you scroll down.

 

http://www.stpeters-roath.co.uk/events.htm

 

The company website has some interesting work on it too.

 

http://www.spaeth.ch/

 

AJJ

 

 

It's a new name to me, but I'm going to a recital there tonight to find out at first hand.

 

I'll report back in due course :mellow:

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  • 3 weeks later...
It's a new name to me, but I'm going to a recital there tonight to find out at first hand.

 

I'll report back in due course  :D

 

OK, so it's taken me two weeks, but I've finally found a couple of minutes to jot down something about this new organ.

 

Despite having lived in Cardiff for most of my life, and regularly driving past St. Peter's, this was the first time I've been inside. It was a pleasant surprise as, despite it's stern Victorian-Gothic exterior the inside of the church is surprisingly bright and airy. With a timber floor beneath the pews and tiled along all three aisles, and not much by way of soft furnishings (the pews are plain wooden ones with no cushions - take your own for recital comfort!) the acoustic is lively but not too much so, and the organ does sound very good indeed.

 

It's installed in the same position as the previous instrument on a balcony above the entrance vestibule at the West end of the church, access being via the spiral staircase in the tower - itself notable for an R.C. church in that it houses a chime recently expanded to 14 bells, originally paid for by the Bute family of Cardiff Castle, which plays hymn tunes at certain times of the day.

 

Surprisingly the Spaeth doesn't appear to be built into a Werkprinzip case, but looks much more 'English' in design, actually continuing the Gothic theme of the building. The woodwork is all executed to a very high standard, and those who have played it tell me that the action is surprisingly light and responsive for an instrument of this size. Equally surprising is that the Swell division gives a very good impression of an English swell, although the overall scheme is very much Continental classical.

 

To take advantage of this the recitalist (Brian Williams, who normally presides at the beautiful and almost untouched Hill in the neighbouring Anglican parish of St. Germans) prepared an unashamedly romantic programme with the emphasis on the French, although he also included four short pieces by Russian composers for good measure.

 

I don't have a copy of the specification, but I can tell you that the principal chorus work was quite thrilling. Only one of the flutes has a pronounced chiff, but it isn't distracting - unlike a similar stop a mile or so away at a well known concert hall which spits at you even if you're in the back row of the balcony! The reeds are colourful and quite powerful, and could really have done with the tuning being touched up prior to the recital. This was particularly the case with the Krumhorn.

 

Overall the instrument oozes quality, and I look forward to further visits. Dame Gillian Weir is performing the offical inaugural recital early in November, but I expect this organ to be in demand as it provides easily the most interesting instrument in the central Cardiff area, and along with the FWs at St. Johns and Dewi Sant, and the aforementioned Hill at St. Germans which is just undergoing a restoration to the actions, the Spaeth completes a quartet of three-manual recital instruments all within about a mile of each other. This one has the supposed advantage over the other three of having general pistons and a piston stepper, but thus far nobody has managed to work out how to set it B)

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OK, so it's taken my two weeks, but I've finally found a couple of minutes to jot down something about this new organ.

 

Despite having lived in Cardiff for most of my life, and regularly driving past St. Peter's, this was the first time I've been inside. It was a pleasant surprise as, despite it's stern Victorian-Gothic exterior the inside of the church is surprisingly bright and airy. With a timber floor beneath the pews and tiled along all three aisles, and not much by way of soft furnishings (the pews are plain wooden ones with no cushions - take your own for recital comfort!) the acoustic is lively but not too much so, and the organ does sound very good indeed.

 

It's installed in the same position as the previous instrument on a balcony above the entrance vestibule at the West end of the church, access being via the spiral staircase in the tower - itself notable for an R.C. church in that it houses a chime recently expanded to 14 bells, originally paid for by the Bute family of Cardiff Castle, which plays hymn tunes at certain times of the day.

 

Surprisingly the Spaeth isn't built into a Werkprinzip case, but appears much more 'English' in design, actually continuing the Gothic theme of the building. The woodwork is all executed to a very high standard, and those who have played it tell me that the action is surprisingly light and responsive for an instrument of this size. Equally surprising is that the Swell division gives a very good impression of an English swell, although the overall scheme is very much Continental classical.

 

To take advantage of this the recitalist (Brian Williams, who normally presides at the beautiful and almost untouched Hill in the neighbouring Anglican parish of St. Germans) prepared an unashamedly romantic programme with the emphasis on the French, although he also included four short pieces by Russian composers for good measure.

 

I don't have a copy of the specification, but I can tell you that the principal chorus work was quite thrilling. Only one of the flutes has a pronounced chiff, but it isn't distracting - unlike a similar stop a mile or so away at a well known concert hall which spits at you even if you're in the back row of the balcony! The reeds are colorful and quite powerful, and could really have done with the tuning being touched up prior to the recital. This was particularly the case with the Krumhorn.

 

Overall the instrument oozes quality, and I look forward to further visits. Dame Gillian Weir is performing the offical inaugural recital early in November, but I expect this organ to be in demand as it provides easily the most interesting instrument in the central Cardiff area, and along with the FWs at St. Johns and Dewi Sant, and the aforementioned Hill at St. Germans which is just undergoing a restoration to the actions, the Spaeth completes a quartet of three-manual recital instruments all within about a mile of each other. This one has the supposed advantage over the other three of having general pistons and a piston stepper, but thus far nobody has managed to work out how to set it  B)

 

'Sounds fun - thanks!

 

AJJ

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  • 1 month later...

I have just joined this forum; I am the organist ad choirmaster at St Peter's, Cardiff, where the new Spaeth organ has been installed. There are a few teething problems inevitably, such as cyphers appearing randomly, a swell tremulant which engages itself from time to time with no prompting from the player, and now the manuals have to be taken back to Switzerland for adjustment, but it is an excellent instrument. If anyone is in, or is passing through, ot is near Cardiff and wish to play the organ please e-mail me.

 

Peter Clark

 

 

PS but not next week because that's when the manuals go back. By the way. I found Hans Spaeth and his team charming people. Before they went back to Switzerland my partner Jane and I took Hans and a couple of them out for a beer and a game of pool. We won.

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  • 2 months later...
Here's another new one from overseas -

 

http://www.organrecitals.com/s/sprc.html

 

I have not heard of this company though I believe that another branch of the family is also building in Germany. Has anyone heard it or have any info. There are some interesting pictures on the church website if you scroll down.

 

http://www.stpeters-roath.co.uk/events.htm

 

The company website has some interesting work on it too.

 

http://www.spaeth.ch/

 

AJJ

 

 

There has been an addition to the parish website with new photos and a report - more for the general public than the specialist - which I wrote about Gillian Weir's recent recital. The spec is also published there. It can be found at:

 

http://www.stpeters-roath.co.uk/organ.htm

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

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