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In this booklet there are monochrome photographs of each stop-jamb. The engraving is carried-out in very clear and neat block capitals - and not the nasty condensed type-face which was favoured by a number of builders (presumably because they could then specify slightly smaller stop-heads).

 

Yes - it all comes back now. Clearly the calligraphic(?) font I remember was somewhere else, but Bath did stand out as not being in the thinner condensed font. It all looked very business-like and clear, and I liked it! The only aesthetic improvement I can think that Klais have made is in the shape of the key cheeks which in their 1972 incarnation were fairly plain if I remember correctly - which recent posts seem to suggest I don't!

 

Anyway, thanks for saving me an hour rooting through the attic looking for the Bath booklet amongst all the other 'obscene publications' which my wife thought were taking up too much space on the bookshelves, and depriving her of room for the latest Danielle Steel :lol:

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Yes - it all comes back now. Clearly the calligraphic(?) font I remember was somewhere else, but Bath did stand out as not being in the thinner condensed font. It all looked very business-like and clear, and I liked it! The only aesthetic improvement I can think that Klais have made is in the shape of the key cheeks which in their 1972 incarnation were fairly plain if I remember correctly - which recent posts seem to suggest I don't!

 

You are quite correct! For the key-cheeks HN&B simply used their standard 'simple' shape, with the top being rounded where it met the front face.

 

Anyway, thanks for saving me an hour rooting through the attic looking for the Bath booklet amongst all the other 'obscene publications' which my wife thought were taking up too much space on the bookshelves, and depriving her of room for the latest Danielle Steel  :lol:

 

I suppose that it could have been worse - imagine all those wonderful organ booklets sharing shelf-space with some Barbara Cartland novels....

 

:)

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Back to Canterbury .....

 

I came across this scheme here that at least echos in part what is proposed for Canterbury.

 

Personally, I very much hope that this will not be similar to the scheme which will eventually be implemented. It appears that the late Julian Rhodes had scant respect for the remains of the fine Willis organ which presently forms the nucleus of a large two-clavier organ at the cathedral - with, of course, the former Corno di Bassetto and the Tubas available on the lowest clavier.

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Guest Roffensis
Personally, I very much hope that this will not be similar to the  scheme which will eventually be implemented. It appears that the late Julian Rhodes had scant respect for the remains of the fine Willis organ which presently forms the nucleus of a large two-clavier organ at the cathedral - with, of course, the former Corno di Bassetto and the Tubas available on the lowest clavier.

 

 

The Great, Swell, Pedal and Solo Tubas 8 and 4, Choir Dulciana and Cremona were left, what was removed was largely the old choir, and the remainder of the old Solo. I think some of the old choir was actually remodelled, but I am not certain of this. The old pedal had a fair amount of extension, which was improved by Manders. The 32' reed as I have previously said, is, to my ears, more polite, and one wonders if the wind pressure was dropped?. It's still magnificent, but some of the sheer "roar" has gone. One Swell Mixture (a Cornet I think) went :D , which was very recognisable, which has been missed by some (including me!) , and the large open on the Great, actually Norman and Beard, also went. Swell Sub Octave disappeared :D , and so also did the Open Wood 32', also N&B. :lol: In essence, all of the Fr. Willis was kept, and I think I am right in saying some of the other Fr. Wiilis pipes were destroyed in the war whilst in store at Brixton. There is a very good booklet out on the organ now, which gives details of the organ, in particular the provenance of the pipework, which is in part by Green, two stops?

 

I have seen the Rhodes spec! It isn't very sympathetic to the Willis is it!! :)

 

All best,

 

Richard.

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I have just listened to the voluntary at the end of Choral Evensong.

 

Since I was playing for a choir practice at school, I cannot say whether what I heard was indicative of the rest of the service; however, I thought that the organ sounded badly out of tune.

 

Whilst I quite liked the voluntary, it sounded as if the assistant was not using either the GO Double Open Diapason or the 16p reed - it was very top-heavy and I found it to be quite unsatisfying.

 

I am not sure that I would wish the 32p reed on this instrument to be any louder - it was very foundational and quite audible! Certainly rather different to Salisbury Cathedral, where the 32p reed is virtually inaudible in loud combinations at the console, yet appears to balance a little better in the Nave.

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A quiet day at the office, and with my fantasy football team in dire straits, it's fantasy spec time here

 

Since I now have to go out again, I have had time for merely a cursory glance at your proposal, Jeremy.

 

However, I like that which I have seen. I shall endeavour to produce my own later tonight.

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Guest Roffensis
I have just listened to the voluntary at the end of Choral Evensong.

 

Since I was playing for a choir practice at school, I cannot say whether what I heard was indicative of the rest of the service; however, I thought that the organ sounded badly out of tune.

 

Whilst I quite liked the voluntary, it sounded as if the assistant was not using either the GO Double Open Diapason or the 16p reed - it was very top-heavy and I found it to be quite unsatisfying.

 

I am not sure that I would wish the 32p reed on this instrument to be any louder - it was very foundational and quite audible! Certainly rather different to Salisbury Cathedral, where the 32p reed is virtually inaudible in loud combinations at the console, yet appears to balance a little better in the Nave.

 

 

The 32' reed had more tone than now. In most of the voluntary it was the 16' reed in use when required, the 32' was drawn much later. True about Salisbury.

 

As usual with the dear BBC, the level, even on DAB, was cut back towards the close. I agree about the brightness. Do you think it needed the mixtures added in 1979? Over wide range equipment it sounded balanced to me, if bright.

 

tuning? ah well, all organs have off days :blink: .

 

R

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In my opinion the best option would be to increase the size of the existing chancel organ to four manuals with a new solo manual in the style of Willis, and install a two manual nave organ, based on the existing Mander nave organ pipework, and new pipework. This would mean that, since the vast majority of services are only held in the chancel, the organ there would be fairly comprehensive, but there would be a versatile organ in the nave to be there when needed.

 

The new specification would be as follows:

 

Chancel Solo

Contra Gamba 16

Flute Harmonique 8

Violoncello 8

Cello Celestes 8

Flute Harmonique 4

Corno di Bassetto 8

Orchestral Oboe 8

Tuba Mirabilis 8

Tuba Clarion 4

Orchestral Trumpet 8 (at the west end)

 

Nave Great

Open Diapason 8 (Mander)

Stopped Diapason 8 (Mander)

Clarabella 8 (new)

Principal 4 (Mander)

Harmonic Flute 4 (new)

Fifteenth 2 (Mander)

Sesquialtera 12.17.19.22 (Mander pipes, transposed a bit)

Trumpet 8 (new)

 

Nave Swell (all new)

Rohr Gedackt 8

Salicional 8

Voix Celeste 8

Principal 4

Lieblich Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Cornet 17.19.22

Contra Fagotto 16

Cornopean 8

Hautboy 8

 

Nave Pedal

Open Diapason 16 (new)

Bourdon 16 (Mander)

Posaune 16 (new)

 

Other restorative measures would be followed in the chancel, such as putting back the Double Open Bass 32 on the pedals

 

The 1978 nave case would reman but be enlarged to accomodate the new pipes.

 

The builders for the project would be one of Harrison, Mander or Walker.

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In my opinion the best option would be to increase the size of the existing chancel organ to four manuals with a new solo manual in the style of Willis, and install a two manual nave organ, based on the existing Mander nave organ pipework, and new pipework. This would mean that, since the vast majority of services are only held in the chancel, the organ there would be fairly comprehensive, but there would be a versatile organ in the nave to be there when needed.

 

The new specification would be as follows:

 

Chancel Solo

Contra Gamba 16

Flute Harmonique 8

Violoncello 8

Cello Celestes 8

Flute Harmonique 4

Corno di Bassetto 8

Orchestral Oboe 8

Tuba Mirabilis 8

Tuba Clarion 4

Orchestral Trumpet 8 (at the west end)

 

Nave Great

Open Diapason 8 (Mander)

Stopped Diapason 8 (Mander)

Clarabella 8 (new)

Principal 4 (Mander)

Harmonic Flute 4 (new)

Fifteenth 2 (Mander)

Sesquialtera 12.17.19.22 (Mander pipes, transposed a bit)

Trumpet 8 (new)

 

Nave Swell (all new)

Rohr Gedackt 8

Salicional 8

Voix Celeste 8

Principal 4

Lieblich Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Cornet 17.19.22

Contra Fagotto 16

Cornopean 8

Hautboy 8

 

Nave Pedal

Open Diapason 16 (new)

Bourdon 16 (Mander)

Posaune 16 (new)

 

Other restorative measures would be followed in the chancel, such as putting back the Double Open Bass 32 on the pedals

 

The 1978 nave case would reman but be enlarged to accomodate the new pipes.

 

The builders for the project would be one of Harrison, Mander or Walker.

 

I quite like this one, although I would keep the GO Mixture as 19-22-26-29 at CC. The only other thing that I would change is to remove Walkers from the list of builders. I am not sure that they would be interested; they ceased looking after our instrument several years ago - largely, we surmise, because it has electro-pneumatic action, a detached console and an eclectic stop-list, which includes a chamade.

 

One interesting thing which I also liked about your scheme was the Clarabella on the Nave GO (although it probably ought to be named 'Claribel'). After the proliferation of Stopped Diapasons, it is nice to see the resurgence of this stop. Now I am very fond of a good Stopped Diapason - but I also like many other types of flute - a good Willis-style Claribel can be a very musical and useful sound.

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In my opinion the best option would be to increase the size of the existing chancel organ to four manuals with a new solo manual in the style of Willis, and install a two manual nave organ, based on the existing Mander nave organ pipework, and new pipework. This would mean that, since the vast majority of services are only held in the chancel, the organ there would be fairly comprehensive, but there would be a versatile organ in the nave to be there when needed.

But would I be right in assuming that, when services are held in the nave, the choir also sits and sing in the nave? Surely they must. A nave organ of only two manuals would be fine for leading congregational singing, but a little limited for accompanying choir-only items. Yes, you can "make do" for sure, but if money is no object (and, by the sound of it, it isn't) why stint yourself?
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Guest Roffensis
But would I be right in assuming that, when services are held in the nave, the choir also sits and sing in the nave? Surely they must. A nave organ of only two manuals would be fine for leading congregational singing, but a little limited for accompanying choir-only items. Yes, you can "make do" for sure, but if money is no object (and, by the sound of it, it isn't) why stint yourself?

 

 

To be honest, for the choir, if sitting at the East end of the Nave, the present choir organ is loud enough. It is of course much quieter than in the choir itself, but you can hear it. There is a "Christmas at Canterbury" CD, and it was recorded in the nave, not using the nave organ, and clearly the choir organ is not spot miked. You can even hear the organ at the far west end, but it's remote. Then again, so is York, and Lincoln, and.......the list goes on! I would not take the Rhodes spec. seriously, I understood it as a sort of "dream organ" (more like a nightmare actually in some ways if you ask me) and the plan at Canterbury is a four manual Nave organ isn't it?

R

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I quite like this one, although I would keep the GO Mixture as 19-22-26-29 at CC. The only other thing that I would change is to remove Walkers from the list of builders. I am not sure that they would be interested; they ceased looking after our instrument several years ago - largely, we surmise, because it has electro-pneumatic action, a detached console and an eclectic stop-list, which includes a chamade.

 

One interesting thing which I also liked about your scheme was the Clarabella on the Nave GO (although it probably ought to be named 'Claribel'). After the proliferation of Stopped Diapasons, it is nice to see the resurgence of this stop. Now I am very fond of a good Stopped Diapason - but I also like many other types of flute - a good Willis-style Claribel can be a very musical and useful sound.

 

I would have to stick up for Walkers here as they have done such sterling work at Romsey, including making a new electropneumatic nave division and console which is so superbly balanced tonally with the main organ I think they would be ideal to go on the list - if ever proof was needed, we have it.

 

I would stick up for Clarabella, too - that was the original name of Bishop's invention and used by many others (including Walker at Romsey...)

 

Sorry to pick holes in yet another thing but the only change I would make to the Romsey nave would be to drop the composition of the mixture by a notch. It's very musical and so on (19.22.26.29 as you suggest) but just gets a bit wearing after a while for the congregation, who plead with me not to use it - I would far sooner have something lower and more harmonically interesting on a nave division whose primary function is to provide support to voices. I think the 12.17.19.22 start point could be ideal.

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I would have to stick up for Walkers here as they have done such sterling work at Romsey, including making a new electropneumatic nave division and console which is so superbly balanced tonally with the main organ I think they would be ideal to go on the list - if ever proof was needed, we have it. 

 

I would stick up for Clarabella, too - that was the original name of Bishop's invention and used by many others (including Walker at Romsey...)

 

Sorry to pick holes in yet another thing but the only change I would make to the Romsey nave would be to drop the composition of the mixture by a notch.  It's very musical and so on (19.22.26.29 as you suggest) but just gets a bit wearing after a while for the congregation, who plead with me not to use it - I would far sooner have something lower and more harmonically interesting on a nave division whose primary function is to provide support to voices.  I think the 12.17.19.22 start point could be ideal.

 

Regarding your first point - Walkers dropped us, not the other way around.

 

Your second point - The scheme is not based on a Bishop organ, but an instrument by Willis. 'Claribel Flute' is more in keeping with the general tenor of the nomenclature. Willis may have used the name 'Clarabella' in some of his earlier organs (although I have not yet found an example) but there are many instances of him using 'Claribel (Flute)'.

 

I disagree regarding the mixture - if you really wish for something less bright, 15-19-22 would be fairly inoffensive. I would happily consign all tierce 'chorus' mixtures to the melting pot - along with the Tuba.

 

Well, on reflection, I would keep them for those who wished to use them; alongside, I would add a decent quint mixture - but I may not necessarily add a chamade. I recognise that this type of stop (however it is voiced) is not suitable for every organ - for example, the cathedral organs of Bristol or Truro would be spoiled by the addition of a chamade, since this would be out of keeping with the rest of the instrument.

 

In fact, at Truro, I would prefer that the Tuba was re-positioned on the Solo chest, where FHW originally placed it. I doubt that he ever intended this stop to dominate in quite the way it does now.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Following up some recent comments, I have been trying to find out the present situation at/of J.W.Walkers. Attempts to gain access to their website have proves fruitless. Search engines bring up nothing at all.... unusual in these days of hi-tec business. Frankly, I find it a bit worrying because they have produced some of the best work in the UK in the last ten years or so and should have been expected to go on doing so as a 'main player'.

 

Does anyone know more?

 

Certainly it has been obvious for a while that JWW are principally interested in new work*; for a while rebuilds and restorations have been referred to a different team altogether (based in Wiltshire rather than Suffolk) and headed up by the legendary Sebastian Meakin.

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Following up some recent comments, I have been trying to find out the present situation at/of J.W.Walkers. Attempts to gain access to their website have proves fruitless. Search engines bring up nothing at all.... unusual in these days of hi-tec business. Frankly, I find it a bit worrying because they have produced some of the best work in the UK in the last ten years or so and should have been expected to go on doing so as a 'main player'. 

 

Does anyone know more?

 

Certainly it has been obvious for a while that JWW are principally interested in new work*; for a while rebuilds and restorations have been referred to a different team altogether (based in Wiltshire rather than Suffolk) and headed up by the legendary Sebastian Meakin.

 

You're not the only one to ask this question - I have offered numerous times to help them get a new website up and running, which would take a matter of minutes. Sebastian (as conservation director) takes almost total control of the Romsey maintenance, with the Brandon team coming down once a year for an action regulation visit. From what I understand the Brandon lot spend most of their time in the USA.

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According to ORGANBUILDING 2006, Sebastian Meakin now owns J W Walker & Sons Ltd., as of March this year.

 

Clearly, there have been some unsettling times at Brandon, which prompted Andrew Dolby of P & S Organ Supply to issue a statement in the latest IBO newsletter (Sept 06), to the effect that difficulties in customers settling accounts led them to enter into administration for a short time (July-Aug). The company is now re-branded P & S Organ Supply (UK) Ltd and Andrew Dolby reports that it's 'business as usual'.

 

Apologies if this is old news.

 

H

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I put Walker on my list because one of the organs I play on is a 1962 Walker, which is in a fairly standard style (ie. not neoclassical or anything else in particular); this organ has an incredible sound right from the quietest stops to the full organ. It seems a pity they are closing down/restructuring as they seemed always to be a company to produce amazing pipe organs

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According to ORGANBUILDING 2006,  Sebastian Meakin now owns J W Walker & Sons Ltd., as of March this year.

 

Clearly, there have been  some unsettling times at Brandon,  which prompted Andrew Dolby of P & S Organ Supply to issue a statement in the latest IBO newsletter (Sept 06),  to the effect that difficulties in customers settling accounts led them to enter into administration for a short time (July-Aug).  The company is now re-branded P & S Organ Supply (UK) Ltd and Andrew Dolby reports that it's 'business as usual'.

 

Apologies if this is old news.

 

H

 

 

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa.............................

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Guest Roffensis

Further to my earlier posting concerning the more "polite" 32' reed at Canterbury, I have been doing some research through my books etc.

 

The old 1886 job did not, as we know, have a 32' Pedal reed, just a 16', with a 8' prepared for. The 16' reed was placed on 15" wind.

 

In 1949, when the Willis 32' Reed was added, it was put on 12" WP, and the 16' reed remained on 15" WP. They stayed on this pressure until the 1978 rebuild by Manders, who reduced the WP further to 10 inches. That explains the "crackle" the 32' has lost somewhat. The 8' Pedal reed was also on 15" WP.

 

I have further discovered that, according to the 1949 booklet, the pipework was stored in the Holy Innocents Chapel in the crypt. Part of the organ had already been installed back in the Triforium during the war, and suffered from the elements requiring futher work, but the whole of the organ was brought back into use mid 1949. No original Willis pipework is mentioned as being lost at Brixton, only action etc. It appears that no pipes actually left the cathedral, as at Salissbury under Alcock.

 

Willis also mentions that the 1905/08 additions by Norman and Beard "have been given appropriate treatment" :unsure: .

 

The disposition of the organ is interesting, and was, west to East.....

 

Bay 1- Swell at back, Unenclosed Choir in front.

 

Bay 2-Great at back, Pedal upperwork and Mixture in front

 

Bay 3- Solo (enclosed) in front, Pedal Ophicleide and Clarion at back

 

Bay 4- Pedal Fluework

 

Bay 5- Pedal 32' Flue and 32' Reed (which, if I recall correctly, occupied part of the SE Transept Triforium.

 

This in essence is also the 1968 organ, Willis making no tonal alterations to the 1949 job. Redistribution of the main parts is referred to however.

 

Richard

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Further to my earlier posting concerning the more "polite" 32' reed at Canterbury, I have been doing some research through my books etc.

 

The old 1886 job did not, as we know, have a 32' Pedal reed, just a 16', with a 8'  prepared for. The 16' reed was placed on 15" wind.

 

In 1949, when the Willis 32' Reed was added, it was put on 12" WP, and the 16' reed remained on 15" WP.  They stayed on this pressure until the 1978 rebuild by Manders, who reduced the WP further to 10 inches. That explains the "crackle" the 32' has lost somewhat. The 8' Pedal reed was also on 15" WP.

 

I have further discovered that, according to the 1949 booklet, the pipework was stored in the Holy Innocents Chapel in the crypt. Part of the organ had already been installed back in the Triforium during the war, and suffered from the elements requiring futher work, but the whole of the organ was brought back into use mid 1949. No original Willis pipework is mentioned as being lost at Brixton, only action etc. It appears that no pipes actually left the cathedral, as at Salissbury under Alcock.

 

Willis also mentions that the 1905/08 additions by Norman and Beard "have been given appropriate treatment"  :unsure: .

 

The disposition of the organ is interesting, and was, west to East.....

 

Bay 1- Swell at back, Unenclosed Choir in front.

 

Bay 2-Great at back, Pedal upperwork and Mixture in front

 

Bay 3- Solo (enclosed)  in front, Pedal Ophicleide and Clarion at back

 

Bay 4- Pedal Fluework

 

Bay 5- Pedal 32' Flue and 32' Reed (which, if I recall correctly, occupied part of  the SE Transept Triforium.

 

This in essence is also the 1968 organ, Willis making no tonal alterations to the 1949 job. Redistribution of the main parts is referred to however.

 

Richard

 

Thank you for this information, Richard. Canterbury seems to be one of our lesser-documented instruments (the last time I asked, they still did not have a booklet about the organ).

 

Perhaps some firm can give them a really good, versatile and comprehensive instrument (or two), if or when they are able finally to afford the cost.

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Canterbury seems to be one of our lesser-documented instruments (the last time I asked, they still did not have a booklet about the organ).

 

During a stay at Canterbury this summer I bought at the Cathedral Shop a very infomative booklet which contains the specifications of all previous instruments.

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Guest Roffensis
Canterbury seems to be one of our lesser-documented instruments (the last time I asked, they still did not have a booklet about the organ).

 

During a stay at Canterbury this summer I bought at the Cathedral Shop a very infomative booklet which contains the specifications of all previous instruments.

 

 

Yes it's very good, isn't it? I have several going back yonks, including a 1949 Willis booklet, but they needed a really decent modern one which of course they now have. It goes with the very many and varied choral CDs, and also Organ CDs, unlike some of our lesser Cathedrals and cheaper Abbeys, who cannot afford them! :o:o

 

R

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