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Barchester Cathedral Vs St Thomas Barchester


OmegaConsort
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I enjoyed reading the Bristol Cathedral vs. St Mary Redcliffe posting - I've played both (not recently) and liked them both. I agree in part with arguments for and against comparing organs particularly when they come from such different sources and periods and are played in completely different acoustics....

 

How about these for comparison using the same criteria (i.e no criteria at all!):

 

Beverley Minster vs St Johns Beverley

St Peter's Bournmouth vs St Stephen's Bournmouth

Norwich Cathedral vs Norwich RC Cathedral (only joking)

St Philips Birmingham vs St Chads Birmingham

Liverpool RC vs Liverpool Anglican

 

It's all a bit tongue in cheek really from me, but perhaps if comparing, we might look at organs by the same builders, or perhaps organs built / rebuilt in the same year??

 

Lastly, and as a slight digression, my top 3 Willis Cathedral organs in order:

 

1. Salisbury (by a margin)

2. Truro

3. Lincoln

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
How about these for comparison using the same criteria (i.e no criteria at all!):

 

Beverley Minster vs St Johns Beverley

 

 

Perhaps you mean St.Mary's Beverley? If so, there's no contest.

 

This is going to sound awfully opinionated. Like you I had read about the large Lewis at St.Mary's Beverley. Well, my advice is don't make a special trip to hear the organ! Make a trip to see the church if you like because it's fascinating. This one-time Lewis was (IMHO) totally mauled by a local firm, (Hall and Broadfield of Hull) some years ago and although it may impress you on paper, when you see it, I'm completely sure you won't want to stand and listen to it for long.

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I enjoyed reading the Bristol Cathedral vs. St Mary Redcliffe posting - I've played both (not recently) and liked them both. I agree in part with arguments for and against comparing organs particularly when they come from such different sources and periods and are played in completely different acoustics....

 

How about these for comparison using the same criteria (i.e no criteria at all!):

 

Beverley Minster vs St Johns Beverley

St Peter's Bournmouth vs St Stephen's Bournmouth

Norwich Cathedral vs Norwich RC Cathedral (only joking)

St Philips Birmingham vs St Chads Birmingham

Liverpool RC vs Liverpool Anglican

 

It's all a bit tongue in cheek really from me, but perhaps if comparing, we might look at organs by the same builders, or perhaps organs built / rebuilt in the same year??

 

Lastly, and as a slight digression, my top 3 Willis Cathedral organs in order:

 

1. Salisbury (by a margin)

2. Truro

3. Lincoln

 

Insofar as the two instruments in Bournemouth are concerned, I prefer St. Stephen's. That said, St. Peter's is an excellent accompanimental organ. I had the pleasure of playing it regularly some years ago when I acted as a part-time Sub Organist (whilst also being assistant to a colleague at St. Aldhelm's, Branksome). The H&H/R&D at St. Peter's has a wealth of quiet tone-colours available, together with many exciting sounds. It was at big services and recitals where the organ failed to perform adequately. There is a lack of 'presence' in the Nave - partly due to the instrument's enchambered position. Furthermore, it did lose some of its character at the rebuild, although some readers will not be surprised to learn that I do not bemoan the revoicing of the G.O. reeds - or the re-casting of the Harmonics as a quint Mixture (19-22-26-29). The 32p reed, added by R&D I found to be disappointing, it is a continuation of the Pedal Ophicleide and the change in power and timbre at BBB - CCC is quite audible.

 

The organ at St. Stephen's is, as many will know, a superb instrument, largely by Hill, but rebuilt by R&D some years before that at St. Peter's. Really, the only thing that was spoiled on this organ was the silly 4p flute on the G.O., which replaced the original Harmonic Flute and the re-casting of the G.O. Mixture (originally 19-22-26-29, as far as I can tell), to 17-19-22. However, in this case, the tierce does not drop out after the first twelve notes - something that is not typical of Hill's practice.

 

Some of us suspect that R&D also either revoiced the Tuba on the Choir Organ - or possibly replaced the rank with different pipe-work. Whilst it was also regrettable that the Swell Organ also lost a Vox Humana and an Orchestral Oboe at the same time, the box was desperately crowded and in practical terms, tuning access was difficult. St. Stephen's was designed by J.L. Pearson and has a French feel about it, together with stone vaulting throughout and the best acoustic in Bournemouth. St. Peter's has many beautiful features - the scheme of polychrome decoration in the east end is well done. This part of the church has stone vaulting - but the acoustic is not particularly favourable.

 

In the end, it may come down to the fact that after Mass at St. Peter's, coffee is served; whereas after Mass at St. Stephen's, three types of sherry are served in the North West Tower.

 

:blink:

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Guest Barry Oakley
Perhaps you mean St.Mary's Beverley? If so, there's no contest.

 

This is going to sound awfully opinionated. Like you I had read about the large Lewis at St.Mary's Beverley. Well, my advice is don't make a special trip to hear the organ! Make a trip to see the church if you like because it's fascinating. This one-time Lewis was (IMHO) totally mauled by a local firm, (Hall and Broadfield of Hull) some years ago and although it may impress you on paper, when you see it, I'm completely sure you won't want to stand and listen to it for long.

 

Paul is absolutely correct about this instrument (and the church) which was rebuilt and enlarged by a new local firm in the 50's who, after a short while, had earned themselves the reputation of being "bodgers." But to be fair, prior to their arrival on the scene this was a magnificent Forster & Andrews/T C Lewis organ. I first heard it played in the early 50's by the 90-year-old Harold Malkin, a former organist at St Mary's who had lived for many years at a residence just inside Beverley Bar. It possesed impressive tone then - ppp to fff. I think there may have been rivalry at the time between the organs at the Minster (John Long, organist) and St Mary's where Eric Bell occupied the console. It was Bell I believe, who had the organ enlarged to his specification.

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