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Mander Organs
D Quentin Bellamy

Regal Marble Arch Organ Re-surfaces.

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You would possibly find that any major organ would take on the task - if the right money was available!! Those who would not really wish to be associated with a Cinema organ could save their reputation by classing it as "A Historic Restoration".

 

It's just a question of finding a lot of money.

 

FF

 

I wonder why a reputable firm of organ builders would have any reservation in dealing with a cinema organ. HNB were pretty reputable so far as I know, and so was John Compton. So what happened. Is it that the necessary skills are now no longer available?

 

If it is a question of snobbery versus dosh, I'd go for the dosh anytime!! <_<

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I wonder why a reputable firm of organ builders would have any reservation in dealing with a cinema organ. HNB were pretty reputable so far as I know, and so was John Compton. So what happened. Is it that the necessary skills are now no longer available?

 

If it is a question of snobbery versus dosh, I'd go for the dosh anytime!!  <_<

 

There was always (and still is a bit) the `straight' organists who would not lower themselves to play light music. They might be fine at playing 'wot is writ' but put a piano copy in front of them and get them to re-arrange it orchestrally on sight to produce a decent performance floors them.

 

Thus the remark that `I would not lower myself to play music like', that usually means, 'I can't, or I don't want to (which is fair enough) and I'm not giving you any credit for the fact you can'.

 

This attitude was rife among organists in my youth and around the 1950's anyone one connected with cinema organs had a very dubious reputation.

 

There is also the fact, as suggested, that the skills needed for wiring, electric and pneumatic actions died the death with the advent of the exclusive popularity of mechanical action instruments.

 

I can think of at least three companies who at one time proudly announced that in future they would build nothing but mechanical action organs. I noted that when work became scarce they changed their tune.

 

FF

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There was always (and still is a bit) the `straight' organists who would not lower themselves to play light music. They might be fine at playing 'wot is writ' but put a piano copy in front of them and get them to re-arrange it orchestrally on sight to produce a decent performance floors them.

 

Thus the remark that `I would not lower myself to play music like', that usually  means, 'I can't, or I don't want to (which is fair enough) and I'm not giving you any credit for the fact you can'.

 

 

FF

 

 

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

 

I know this board is not about theatre organs, but of course, whilst the theatre organ was designed to do something quite different, it found a new role in the hands of an elite company of truly great arrangers; among them Reg Foort, Quentin Maclean, and latterly, Simon Gledhill.

 

More than that, it carved a niche for itself when the outstanding up-tempo rhythm organists got their hands on the instrument; to the extent that the style of Sidney Torch is immediately recognised world-wide.

 

It astonishes me that many who would despise the theatre-organ, are often the same people who would revere the likes of George Thalben-Ball, who was doing much the same thing at the consoles of town-hall organs.

 

The trouble is, even with the best will in the world, organ transcriptions played on essentially classical organs, sound like "organs gone bad". When a talent such Simon Gledhill plays a transcription on a good theatre organ, the result is absolutely convincing: second only to the real thing.

 

In my experience, most classical organists who transcribe things, fall far short of Simon's ability and innate musicianship.

 

Maybe the problem is the fact that the theatre-organ never attracted composers, even though composers often played them. Without a repertoire, how can anyone take a musical instrument seriously?

 

I think this is part of the reason why I spent three days of my life composing a piece for the theatre-organ, which harks back to the style of Percy Whitlock and his generation: not that it would ever be published to-day.

 

So if anyone wants a free copy of a light-hearted "Caprice" which sounds just as effective on the classical-organ as it does on the theatre-organ, let me know via PM.....undiscovered treasures of the repertoire and all that!

 

<_<

 

MM

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Thinking of the Regal Marble Arch and its Carillon, do we know of other organs linked to bells? I know that the Hazel Wright organ at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California is so linked. Are there (m)any more?

Christ Church (with Emmanuel) in Clifton, Bristol has a cimbelstern mounted on the side of it.

 

It was added by David Wells when he rebuilt the organ in 2001 and I have heard it used to good effect on one occasion when the organist used it at the end of a hymn that was, if I recall, "Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation" and very nice it was too.

 

I went to the 2001 reopening recital (seeing as I only live about 10-15 minutes from the church by car) and it was done by Wayne Marshall. It was a highlight of the evening when it came to the church's organist - whose name escapes me - having to pick a theme for WM to improvise on. The theme picked was that of "The Flintstones" which caused a good deal of amusement with the audience and, despite the ideas being a bit slow to come, WM went on for at least half an hour. A great evening.

 

I don't know how much use the cimbelstern still gets as, with Christ Church not being my local church, I don't get to go there too often.

 

Dave

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Wouldn't imagine that much now as their new Director of Music is not an organist. A band plays at the evening service, so the organ probably only gets an outing on a Sunday morning.

 

How are we supposed to take improvisation seriously when such themes are given. I expect a gregorian theme to be the subject of a submitted theme improvisation.

 

I have never regarded WM as a real improviser in the Briggs/Baker/Latry sense !

 

It beggars belief that the Flintstone theme is now set to a children's chorus that I recently heard at All Soul's Langham Place.

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Christ Church (with Emmanuel) in Clifton, Bristol has a cimbelstern mounted on the side of it.

 

It was added by David Wells when he rebuilt the organ in 2001 and I have heard it used to good effect on one occasion when the organist used it at the end of a hymn that was, if I recall, "Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation" and very nice it was too.

 

I went to the 2001 reopening recital (seeing as I only live about 10-15 minutes from the church by car) and it was done by Wayne Marshall. It was a highlight of the evening when it came to the church's organist - whose name escapes me - having to pick a theme for WM to improvise on. The theme picked was that of "The Flintstones" which caused a good deal of amusement with the audience and, despite the ideas being a bit slow to come, WM went on for at least half an hour. A great evening.

 

I don't know how much use the cimbelstern still gets as, with Christ Church not being my local church, I don't get to go there too often.

 

Dave

Yes ....

 

but Cymbalsterns and tubular bells are one thing, but that is not really what I was asking. I was asking how many organ in the world are linked to the bells in the tower.... (or a Carillon...) Bit of a difference to what I had in mind .... etc.... I reckon that unless we hear to the contrary we are talking of two organs in the world. CC and the now defunct Marble Arch HNB. :ph34r:

 

Q

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