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Bristol Cathedral Vs. St. Mary Redcliffe


DaveHarries
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==========================

It is a splendid recording, and all the more remarkable in view of what Nicholas Kynaston said to me at a party.

 

"I don't understand Bach!"

 

:huh:

 

MM

 

Some people one enjoys 'live' are a disappointment on disc. Kynaston is not. Everything I have of his gets replayed regularly.

IMHO I think his attitude comes across as non-dogmatic and non-academic....much the better for it, too!

 

There are some otherwise very gifted players where the 'academic' bit seems to get in the way of the music.

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Some people one enjoys 'live' are a disappointment on disc. Kynaston is not. Everything I have of his gets replayed regularly.

IMHO I think his attitude comes across as non-dogmatic and non-academic....much the better for it, too!

 

There are some otherwise very gifted players where the 'academic' bit seems to get in the way of the music.

 

 

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

 

 

I couldn't agree more Paul, and in a different way, in spite of the scholarship and academic abilities, Geraint Jones was another who communicated a great love of the organ and its music.

 

MM

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

I couldn't agree more Paul, and in a different way, in spite of the scholarship and academic abilities, Geraint Jones was another who communicated a great love of the organ and its music.

 

MM

 

I find the same with Thomas Murray - scholar etc. but superb 'communicating' musicain too. I'd like to hear him play at Redcliffe or the Cathedral.

 

AJJ

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Guest Barry Williams
Some people one enjoys 'live' are a disappointment on disc. Kynaston is not. Everything I have of his gets replayed regularly.

IMHO I think his attitude comes across as non-dogmatic and non-academic....much the better for it, too!

 

There are some otherwise very gifted players where the 'academic' bit seems to get in the way of the music.

 

 

Nicholas Kynaston's recordings, (two CDs re-issued from LPs) at the Royal Albert Hall are superb and give me great pleasure.

 

I have never heard him play this well live, though I am sure that he can.

 

Barry Williams

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Nicholas Kynaston's recordings, (two CDs re-issued from LPs) at the Royal Albert Hall are superb and give me great pleasure.

 

I have never heard him play this well live, though I am sure that he can.

 

Barry Williams

 

There's also a recording of him playing on the big Klais at Altenberg (I think) including a transcription of Danse Macabre - an amazing sound with chamades all over the place, celestes and even a glock. I'd love to know if that were on CD - I've got it as an LP but have not seen it reissued anywhere.

 

AJJ

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There's also a recording of him playing on the big Klais at Altenberg (I think) including a transcription of Danse Macabre - an amazing sound with chamades all over the place, celestes and even a glock. I'd love to know if that were on CD - I've got it as an LP but have not seen it reissued anywhere.

 

AJJ

 

 

It is! MITRA CD16176

 

H

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To return to the thread!

Bristol is indeed blessed with an abundance of 4 deckers, as well as the 4 already mentioned there is another in Redland Park URC, close to both Clifton College and Clifton Cathedral. Originally by Father Willis it is a magnificent instrument, unfortunately placed in a building with almost no acoustic merit. As to which instrument is the best my vote goes for the H & H in St Mary Redcliffe. I have played them all and each does the job it was intended to do well. The Anglican Cathedral organ however is definitely one to be listened to rather than played, it takes a lot of getting used to, particularly regarding time lag between departments. However, in the hands of someone used to this and other difficulties the sound is thrilling from the nave.

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Guest Barry Williams
To return to the thread!

Bristol is indeed blessed with an abundance of 4 deckers, as well as the 4 already mentioned there is another in Redland Park URC, close to both Clifton College and Clifton Cathedral. Originally by Father Willis it is a magnificent instrument, unfortunately placed in a building with almost no acoustic merit. As to which instrument is the best my vote goes for the H & H in St Mary Redcliffe. I have played them all and each does the job it was intended to do well. The Anglican Cathedral organ however is definitely one to be listened to rather than played, it takes a lot of getting used to, particularly regarding time lag between departments. However, in the hands of someone used to this and other difficulties the sound is thrilling from the nave.

 

Could you tell us please why the action has this time lag?

 

Barry Williams

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Could you tell us please why the action has this time lag?

 

Barry Williams

 

Could it be an acoustic delay between the departments? I remember having to prove the point to an organist with an attached console who insisted that action on a far soundboard was slower than that on the Great, just above his head. A microphone and headphones quickly proved the point. This situation was sometimes one of the reasons for detaching a console.

 

FF

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Could it be an acoustic delay between the departments? I remember having to prove the point to an organist with an attached console who insisted that action on a far soundboard was slower than that on the Great, just above his head. A microphone and headphones quickly proved the point. This situation was sometimes one of the reasons for detaching a console.

 

FF

My experience tells me this is indeed the case, the time delay increases with the distance the department is situated from the console. This also affects the relative volume of these departments, one has only to draw the pedal bourdon to find it swamping anything but the loudest stops, although closing the door alongside the console helps restore an apparent balance for the player! However, down below in the nave everything is sorted out by the glorious acoustics.

A case for a detached console?!

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My experience tells me this is indeed the case, the time delay increases with the distance the department is situated from the console. This also affects the relative volume of these departments, one has only to draw the pedal bourdon to find it swamping anything but the loudest stops, although closing the door alongside the console helps restore an apparent balance for the player! However, down below in the nave everything is sorted out by the glorious acoustics.

A case for a detached console?!

 

I too have found Bristol Cathedral organ unrewarding to play at the console, its action rather noisy and the instrument difficult to balance because of the position of the console. I agree that the Pedal Bourdon is extremely loud if the little door to the right of the console is open. It would benefit from a detached console. possibly on the south side of the quire, (a la Salisbury or Winchester) where the player would undoubtedly get a better impression of what s/he is doing. The situation could perhaps have been remedied in 1951 when the instrument had a major overhaul but I believe that the late great Clifford Harker insisted that the tubular pneumatic action was renovated and preserved at the time. Is this instrument still the only Cathedral Organ in the country still to have this action?

 

All this said, it does make a glorious sound and the effect, coupled with a magnificent acoustic, in the nave is magnificent.

 

Ian Crabbe

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My experience tells me this is indeed the case, the time delay increases with the distance the department is situated from the console. This also affects the relative volume of these departments, one has only to draw the pedal bourdon to find it swamping anything but the loudest stops, although closing the door alongside the console helps restore an apparent balance for the player! However, down below in the nave everything is sorted out by the glorious acoustics.

A case for a detached console?!

 

 

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

 

 

I wrote about this before; possibly a couple of years ago.

 

However, I just don't see the advantage of a detahced console, where EVERYTHING is heard late, but in synchronisation.

 

Time lags and acoustic delays are just something you learn to live with, and the real difficulty only arises for visiting organists, who need time to familiarise themselves.

 

As musicians, we have incredibly sensitive responses to time-delays, but fortunately, we can overcome the difficulties in a relatively short time.

 

It doesn't come any easier with "werkprinzip" layouts, because with a really big instrument, the pipework and chests can be just as far away from the console as those of a more horizontal disposition. I think I quote Haarlem orginally, where the Pedal towers are 15ft feet to each side of the console and reach upwards 30+ feet. The Rugwerk is just behind your ear-lobes, the Hoofdwerk is probably about 10ft up, and the Bovenwerk may be as much as 25-30ft to the vertical, which makes for some interesting time-lags at the console.

 

If we take an organ like the RAH, or better still, the RFH, the horizontal disposition is such that nothing is really co-ordinated when it arrives as sound at the console, but again, with practise, organists just get used to it and adapt very quickly.

 

With some cinema organs, there are terrible problems when the chambers are in the roof, or worse still, divided on each side; yet many brilliant recordings of people like Sidney Torch and Quentin Maclean demonstrate that they had fully adapted to the delays.

 

I would defy almost anyone to sit at the detached console at York Minster and play a recital, or sit at the upstairs console and accompany a major choral-setting, at least without enjoying some time with the instrument first. Nevertheless, we are totally unaware of the problems when listening to a broadcast or a recital, because the in-house organists know their beast intimately.

 

It can't be much fun for orchestral conductors, when the Mahler "Symphony of a thousand" is heard across the whole depth and width of the stage and tiered choir section of somewhere like the RAH.

 

It's just part of the job, and a detached console doesn't make things any better.

 

MM

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I too have found Bristol Cathedral organ unrewarding to play at the console, its action rather noisy and the instrument difficult to balance because of the position of the console. I agree that the Pedal Bourdon is extremely loud if the little door to the right of the console is open. It would benefit from a detached console. possibly on the south side of the quire, (a la Salisbury or Winchester) where the player would undoubtedly get a better impression of what s/he is doing. The situation could perhaps have been remedied in 1951 when the instrument had a major overhaul but I believe that the late great Clifford Harker insisted that the tubular pneumatic action was renovated and preserved at the time. Is this instrument still the only Cathedral Organ in the country still to have this action?

 

All this said, it does make a glorious sound and the effect, coupled with a magnificent acoustic, in the nave is magnificent.

 

Ian Crabbe

 

I have not played the organ of Bristol Cathedral for a few years, but the last time I did, the action was quite good. There was no appreciable difference in the response times of the various divisions. Perhaps it is due, as another contributor suggested a few months ago, to inadequate maintenance. I understand that Manders no longer look after this superb instrument.

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I have not played the organ of Bristol Cathedral for a few years, but the last time I did, the action was quite good. There was no appreciable difference in the response times of the various divisions. Perhaps it is due, as another contributor suggested a few months ago, to inadequate maintenance. I understand that Manders no longer look after this superb instrument.

 

And maybe also the fact that if one is used to an instant reaction electric action then anything (except maybe an instant reaction mechanical action) is going to have its own oddities. Last time I was at Bristol Cathedral it seemed ok but very much a pneumatic action (albeit in quite good condition) with all one would expect from this type of mechanism.

 

AJJ

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Guest Barry Williams
My experience tells me this is indeed the case, the time delay increases with the distance the department is situated from the console. This also affects the relative volume of these departments, one has only to draw the pedal bourdon to find it swamping anything but the loudest stops, although closing the door alongside the console helps restore an apparent balance for the player! However, down below in the nave everything is sorted out by the glorious acoustics.

A case for a detached console?!

 

 

I recall, many years ago, giving a recital at St Mary's Woodford where the manual departments on the Grant, Degens and Bradbeer organ are disposed vertically. It was almost impossible to hear the strings when playing Dupre's G minor Prelude (and Fugue) yet those listening found the string accompaniment almost too loud.

 

Barry Williams

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