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Winchester Cathedral / Lunchtime Recitals


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Does anyone agree that the trend for omitting the Swell 8' diapason in modern specifications is regrettable? Surely on a typical English organ performance of Romantic music is severely hampered without one?

 

Yes. Almost nothing gets played at Romsey without it.

 

But in a cost-conscious age you are left with a choice; build a huge Swell box that can take an 8' bass, or have a tenor C stop with or without grooved bass (or a bass outside). Hard to justify the former where space and money are tight, and hard to justify the latter on virtually all other grounds.

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Yes.  Almost nothing gets played at Romsey without it. 

 

But in a cost-conscious age you are left with a choice; build a huge Swell box that can take an 8' bass, or have a tenor C stop with or without grooved bass (or a bass outside).  Hard to justify the former where space and money are tight, and hard to justify the latter on virtually all other grounds.

...which sort of makes it all the stranger to tune one that's already on the organ sharp! The V Diap at Winchester was an essential sonority in mp-mf dynamics, especially as the 8 flute is a rather acidic Lieblich; now it's straight to the 4 flute (which doesn't blend all that well, also being a Lieblich) or whack on the Oboe.
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...which sort of makes it all the stranger to tune one that's already on the organ sharp! The V Diap at Winchester was an essential sonority in mp-mf dynamics, especially as the 8 flute is a rather acidic Lieblich; now it's straight to the 4 flute (which doesn't blend all that well, also being a Lieblich) or whack on the Oboe.

 

 

 

With regard to Lunch Time Organ Recitals at Cathedrals I can well relate to the writers feelings on courtesy and making u welcome to play there precious instruments. I have had some experience of playing at a few Cathedrals and in most cases I was made welcome considering I am not a brilliant performer. To be frank Cathedrals are busy places and Directors of Music and their Assistants rarely have the time to accomodate u in their hectic schedules. If by chance u do happen to get a lunchtime slot and they have taken the time to write to you then thats just luck I think. Ive always dreamed of playing the Organs of Westminster Abbey and the Willis in the R.C Cathedral but I know that wont happen as recitals are generally by invitation only. To be honest its not worh giving a recital if the fee is not of a substantial amount. In this country in any case recitals are very poorly attended. In fairness some places do get a good audiences but on the whole its normally a audience of around 25 - 50 people ! Usually theres a collection to of course help pay the expenses of putting on the recital. From my experience its is not a very big fee and its really only travelling expenses your getting. I know it might sound corny but the Organ scene can be quite bitchy as is the Choral scene. So dont be too disgusted if u felt u were treated unkindly by some Cathedral Organist and his assistant. They are probably still recovering from last night Choir rehearsal and another round of endless meetings with the Dean & Chapter !

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