Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Canterbury Cathedral Organ And 32' Flues


Recommended Posts

I am assuming the latest NPOR survey is accurate? That gives a stop-by-stop "history" of the origin of the pipework. Why did I think the Tuba was new Klais? Or am I thinking of somewhere else?

Thanks for the NPOR suggestion, now why didn't I think of that. It certainly is a lot of old pipework reused so I fully retract my criticism on that score. Some of it must be a little forced compared to how it used to be though. I certainly can't think of another organ (well maybe St. Mary Redcliffe but thats a bit different because of the echo organ) where the swell strings are so loud. Sw1 with the box closed is really much louder than what you would normally expect.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Guest Roffensis
Having myself given recitals and accompanied services both before and after the Bath rebuild, all that needs to be said is that the organ sounded - and still sounds exciting. But why is the 1997 work being questioned after so many years: the reasons were well-documented at the time. Mechanically, it was in such a dire state that remedial work was essential. There were also structural changes and repositioning of many departments - all for the better, I might add. It requires more care though to accompany a choir on the rebuilt organ, as the balance between the manual departments can be disconcerting. The sound can seem 'aggressive' at the console, but from the choirstalls - and also from the nave, the ensemble blends extremely well.

 

I attended the day of events and services which marked its inauguration one Saturday in 1997, and the consensus was (and is) that the rebuild is a resounding success.

 

To get back on topic, does anyone know if there are plans to bring back a 32' flue in any projected work at Canterbury?

 

There's a point. I have only heard rumours that the 32' is required back, but more interestingly, someone last year pointed out what he considered to be at least part of it remaining in the Triforium. If you look up SW from the East crossing, there is certainly something up there. Although I witnessed much of the work there in 1978, I do not recall any of that coming down then.....

 

The 16 foot open on the Pedal is huge however, and the old 32', actually a Norman and Beard stop of either 1905 or 1908, was actually behind it substantially in power as I recall.

 

What I did notice after the 1978 work was the 32 reed, which although a beast still and comes off with a good thump upon release, does not have quite the brashness? it had. I think I am correct to say the WP on this was reduced, slightly, by about 2 or 3 inches.....by comparison, the big 16 pedal reed is huge, and very brassy, a magnificent stop.

 

R

Link to post
Share on other sites
I am assuming the latest NPOR survey is accurate? That gives a stop-by-stop "history" of the origin of the pipework. Why did I think the Tuba was new Klais? Or am I thinking of somewhere else?

 

Probably. The Tuba is an old rank - Hill, as far as I know (as opposed to Norman and Beard).

Link to post
Share on other sites
The connection between Tewkesbury Abbey organ(s) and Christ Church, Lancaster Gate is (I believe) the Tuba stop, which was needed to complete The Milton when John Budgen restored The Grove in the 1980s and had to re-instate four stops that had been 'borrowed' since 1948. I provided two flutes 8' and 4' for the Solo of The Milton (from a Bishop organ in Broomwood Methodist Church, Clapham) for the same reason.

Hello Paul.

 

You building organs nowadays as well as playing them (as at Christ Church, Cheltenham a few years ago)?

 

Dave

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Paul.

 

You building organs nowadays as well as playing them (as at Christ Church, Cheltenham a few years ago)?

 

Dave

 

 

I am, sir, a Bodger with a capital B. I am in fact an extremely experienced bodger, with several near-successes and one or two failures to my credit. I can claim to have supplied the cheapest organs around to a number of discerning but penniless customers, and I have saved several organs that nobody wanted, albeit to leave them (upon occasion) unrecognizeable.

 

Nobody has yet spotted my skills as an organ-designer, but I pride myself on being able to get a pretty large pint into a small pot and I can revoice a sow's ear into something useful. I would never dare to charge even 10% of the sums the professionals do, and view the whole business as a sport. Does this count as organ-building? Not necessarily!

 

The only attack I have had on this forum so far from anyone who has met one of my organs is that I was taken to task for adding a Great Fifteenth (on a clamp) to an organ that previously stopped at the giddy height of 4' pitch. Guilty, my lord.

 

My organ-building hobby has developed steadily from 10+ years of holiday work with R.H.Walker of Chesham Bucks. I started holding keys at the age of 12 and progressed in a small way thereafter. Good guys - one of whom was Vincent Woodstock, now in business on his own. So often, however, my interventions have been because everyone else has given up on the organ in question. I would evidence things like a £2,000 clean and overhaul to an organ so neglected that it was completely unplayable and full of dead birds. There was a case of a late 18th century chamber organ where a member of the congregation rang to say they'd been told to get rid of it, but they liked the sounds it made! Yet another where the organ-builder had given up on a large two-decker and recommended he be allowed to find a small replacement tracker organ. My bodge-up is still happily in use 12+ years further on - 12 years isn't very long, but it's promising.

 

I worry about the professionals actually. They no longer seem to do the job that many churches need. You know the sort of thing: organ-builder comes, sets up in the church, takes the pipes out, cleans them, lubricates everything, patches leaks and puts the whole lot together again. Time taken three weeks, cost - small. Where I was in Gloucestershire, it was well-known that even the small firms would not touch an organ under £15k. At that bottom line, so many churches will go electronic. When I hear stories such as the amount H&H are charging to clean and overhaul Redcliffe, I am speechless (more-or-less)!!!!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Roffensis
Well there - a fitting end for a Dulciana. It does have a use, after all....

 

 

I only spotted this mistake in my typing yesterday! LOL!!

 

Ah well, I'll keep taking the pills. :lol:

 

R

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Echo Gamba
I am, sir, a Bodger with a capital B. I am in fact an extremely experienced bodger, with several near-successes and one or two failures to my credit. I can claim to have supplied the cheapest organs around to a number of discerning but penniless customers, and I have saved several organs that nobody wanted, albeit to leave them (upon occasion) unrecognizeable.

 

Nobody has yet spotted my skills as an organ-designer, but I pride myself on being able to get a pretty large pint into a small pot and I can revoice a sow's ear into something useful. I would never dare to charge even 10% of the sums the professionals do, and view the whole business as a sport. Does this count as organ-building? Not necessarily!

 

The only attack I have had on this forum so far from anyone who has met one of my organs is that I was taken to task for adding a Great Fifteenth (on a clamp) to an organ that previously stopped at the giddy height of 4' pitch. Guilty, my lord.

 

My organ-building hobby has developed steadily from 10+ years of holiday work with R.H.Walker of Chesham Bucks. I started holding keys at the age of 12 and progressed in a small way thereafter. Good guys - one of whom was Vincent Woodstock, now in business on his own. So often, however, my interventions have been because everyone else has given up on the organ in question. I would evidence things like a £2,000 clean and overhaul to an organ so neglected that it was completely unplayable and full of dead birds. There was a case of a late 18th century chamber organ where a member of the congregation rang to say they'd been told to get rid of it, but they liked the sounds it made! Yet another where the organ-builder had given up on a large two-decker and recommended he be allowed to find a small replacement tracker organ. My bodge-up is still happily in use 12+ years further on - 12 years isn't very long, but it's promising.

 

I worry about the professionals actually. They no longer seem to do the job that many churches need. You know the sort of thing: organ-builder comes, sets up in the church, takes the pipes out, cleans them, lubricates everything, patches leaks and puts the whole lot together again. Time taken three weeks, cost - small. Where I was in Gloucestershire, it was well-known that even the small firms would not touch an organ under £15k. At that bottom line, so many churches will go electronic. When I hear stories such as the amount H&H are charging to clean and overhaul Redcliffe, I am speechless (more-or-less)!!!!!!!!

 

Never being afraid to show my ignorance, what exactly is a "clamp" in this context please? :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Never being afraid to show my ignorance, what exactly is a "clamp" in this context please? :lol:

 

 

To avoid having to take away another stop, space can be created for a small rank (sometimes) by making a long block, maybe 60" x 3" x 3" (supporting its own slide, top board and rackboard) that can be simply screwed along the back (or front) wall of the chest. Holes are then carefully drilled into the end of the existing bars, to line up with what amounts to an L-shaped hole in the new block. Mahogany or some-such hardwood is far and away the best for this. Since many Victorian chests were built to give 'a good flush of wind' to each pipe (allowing for the occasional inadequacies of hand-blowing) this method of adding a stop is usually very effective, only if one were to try adding a Bourdon, a Large Open or a 16' reed would there be likely to be starving of the wind because of this addition.

 

There is only one ticklish point, and that is that all drill-dust must be carefully removed from both inside and outside the chest after this operation or the chest will cipher regularly from this point on. This would be the equivalent of a surgeon sewing a set of forceps inside the patient.

 

You then have the fun job of getting additional stop action in where there is quite probably no room left for it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...