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New Oxford Aubertin

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Some new detailed pictures of Stop action, Winding etc came through today. I post them for those interested in the Boiler Room of this almost completed instrument. When you reach this album, to see the previous pictures I am sure that if you click on the the link St John's Public Gallery, you will be directed to the previous ones that I have posted. Happy looking.

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

 

P.S. Hot from the download are 4 pictures added to the above, showing the woodcarving being applied to beneath the central tower of the main case. It mirrors the same design of the Ambo (seen in a previous album) that is beneath the Gallery.

 

 

The container will arrive at the College on 15th January 2008 at 08.30 and the installation will begin on the 16th.

 

N

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Yum!

 

Is there any chance of an open day, do you think? I might just stir my stumps and limber up my encrusted digits...

 

I have a feeling that quite a few of us might also be interested.

 

AJJ

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
I have a feeling that quite a few of us might also be interested.

 

AJJ

 

There is an Open Day on Sunday 9th December for France (et tout le monde). However, I am sure that something proper and interesting will be arranged when all is up and running in Oxford. Fret not! If there is more news after I return from France with the grandees of St John's on th 11th, you will be the first to know.

 

Advent has for me this year an added meaning.

 

All the best for a wonderful, spiritual and musical weekend.

 

Nigel

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

I have just added a few photos of the last minute adornings of the organ in readiness of the unveiling to the world on 9th December 2007.

 

What exciting times .....................

 

No more pictures until I return next week. There will also be a video!

All best wishes,

Nigel

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I have just added a few photos of the last minute adornings of the organ in readiness of the unveiling to the world on 9th December 2007.

 

What exciting times .....................

 

No more pictures until I return next week. There will also be a video!

All best wishes,

Nigel

 

 

With such perfection in the finishing in the workshop, it's hardly surprising M Aubertin will be able to have the organ fully installed in a matter of days in January.

 

JS

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

The final pictures that I took on 10th December before the starting of the dismantling on Wednesday 12th. The next time we see this extraordinary organ (both in sound and sight) will be in Oxford during the latter part of January. There will be about 40 pictures going into this album over the next few days.

 

In excess of 350 people visited the workshop on Sunday for the unveiling and there were about 5 concerts throughout the day given by myself and top French organists such as Michel Chapuis.

 

Sir Michael Scholar, President of St John's College led a group that included the Chaplain, The Clerk of Works, the Tutor in Music plus the Organ Scholar (Max Barley) and the organ Scholar Elect 2008 Richard Moore).

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

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Sir Michael Scholar, President of St John's College

Last time I saw Sir Michael Scholar was when he played the organ for the wedding of one of the college staff (I was in the choir); not many heads of house could do that, I think.

 

Paul

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
The final pictures that I took on 10th December before the starting of the dismantling on Wednesday 12th. The next time we see this extraordinary organ (both in sound and sight) will be in Oxford during the latter part of January. There will be about 40 pictures going into this album over the next few days.

 

In excess of 350 people visited the workshop on Sunday for the unveiling and there were about 5 concerts throughout the day given by myself and top French organists such as Michel Chapuis.

 

Sir Michael Scholar, President of St John's College led a group that included the Chaplain, The Clerk of Works, the Tutor in Music plus the Organ Scholar (Max Barley) and the organ Scholar Elect 2008 (Richard Moore).

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

 

 

In my haste to get the pictures on here and tired from a fraught journey from Paris this morning (when it should have been last night!), I forgot to say that at a rather splendid Dinner hosted by The President in honour of the completion of the organ (so far), it was announced that a donor is giving the college a 5 stop Positive chamber organ by Aubertin. Therefore, by the end of the summer, this establishment will be the home to THREE Aubertin organs. (The analogy to London buses can surely be easily made?) Such glorious fortune for university musicians!

 

All the best,

N

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The promised pictures of the new organ.

 

Happy viewing of all the details.

 

Nigel

 

I have viewed and I am very, very happy. I would give absolutely anything to have been there.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
The final pictures that I took on 10th December before the starting of the dismantling on Wednesday 12th. The next time we see this extraordinary organ (both in sound and sight) will be in Oxford during the latter part of January. There will be about 40 pictures going into this album over the next few days.

 

In excess of 350 people visited the workshop on Sunday for the unveiling and there were about 5 concerts throughout the day given by myself and top French organists such as Michel Chapuis.

 

Sir Michael Scholar, President of St John's College led a group that included the Chaplain, The Clerk of Works, the Tutor in Music plus the Organ Scholar (Max Barley) and the organ Scholar Elect 2008 Richard Moore).

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

 

and finally ....

I have just put up two short video clips on to the FaceBook Group (Oxford Aubertin at St John's) of the new organ, the second of which displays some of the sounds played by the Organ Scholar, Max Barley and Organ Scholar Elect, Richard Moore.

 

Christmas came early for these young men.

 

All the best,

Nigel

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Last time I saw Sir Michael Scholar was when he played the organ for the wedding of one of the college staff (I was in the choir); not many heads of house could do that, I think.

Henry Chadwick, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in the 1970s and still, I think, alive after a spell as head of house somewhere in Cambridge, was an organist who had learned the organ at school from someone that had heard Mendelssohn play. He asked me about Messiaen in my interview.

 

We can't thank Nigel enough for his kindness in posting news, photos and videos for our delectation. St John's College is more than fortunate to have such an instrument.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Up-date:

The dismantling is fast under way. The Recit comes down today as do all the pipes of the Gt. The Pedal is already in containers.

The Chapel is under full cleaning this week I am told.

 

All the best,

N

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Henry Chadwick, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in the 1970s and still, I think, alive after a spell as head of house somewhere in Cambridge, was an organist who had learned the organ at school from someone that had heard Mendelssohn play. He asked me about Messiaen in my interview.

Henry Chadwick's daughter, Dr Priscilla Chadwick, is Principal of Berkhamsted Collegiate School. The school produced a new hymn book about seven years ago and I believe HC had an editorial finger in that particular pie.

 

H

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Henry Chadwick, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in the 1970s and still, I think, alive after a spell as head of house somewhere in Cambridge, was an organist who had learned the organ at school from someone that had heard Mendelssohn play. He asked me about Messiaen in my interview.

 

That story seems a little far fetched but is, I suppose, just possible.

 

Mendelssohn died in 1847 and Henry Chadwick was born in 1920.

 

Assuming that Chadwick's organ teacher was old enough to actually remember hearing Mendelssohn rather than just having being a babe in arms somewhere within earshot I would assume that he must have been at least 5 years old at the time and therefore born in 1842 or earlier - that would put him well into his 80's by the time Chadwick was old enough to reach the pedals, and he would have been at least 90 about the time that Chadwick was 12 years old.

 

If this story is really true, someone must know who this person was ...

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That story seems a little far fetched but is, I suppose, just possible.

 

Mendelssohn died in 1847 and Henry Chadwick was born in 1920.

 

Assuming that Chadwick's organ teacher was old enough to actually remember hearing Mendelssohn rather than just having being a babe in arms somewhere within earshot I would assume that he must have been at least 5 years old at the time and therefore born in 1842 or earlier - that would put him well into his 80's by the time Chadwick was old enough to reach the pedals, and he would have been at least 90 about the time that Chadwick was 12 years old.

 

If this story is really true, someone must know who this person was ...

I'd never done the maths, merely repeated the story; I think Chadwick was at Eton but not until the posited teacher would have been 92. I'm now going to have to check the details of a similar story involving my great-uncle and WG Grace.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

I have news from Courtefontaine that the Chapel organ is awaiting the transport lorries tomorrow morning (7th January) and will be arriving in Oxford at the end of the week. Six workers arrive on the afternoon of 14th to start the unpacking and then the erecting onto the brand new gallery that awaits it. Also coming is the private 2 Man & Ped house organ for the President of the College (Sir Michael Scholar) and I learn that a private donor has provided the funds to the college for a 5 stop Positive that will reside at the East End - the opposite end to the Grand Orgue. Suddenly the lucky musicians and Scholars (pun intended!) of the college, have now a trinity of Aubertins in 2008!

 

The big organ will take about 12 days to install. Pictures and video will be posted as soon as possible.

 

All the best,

Nigel

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I have news from Courtefontaine that the Chapel organ is awaiting the transport lorries tomorrow morning (7th January) and will be arriving in Oxford at the end of the week. Six workers arrive on the afternoon of 14th to start the unpacking and then the erecting onto the brand new gallery that awaits it. Also coming is the private 2 Man & Ped house organ for the President of the College (Sir Michael Scholar) and I learn that a private donor has provided the funds to the college for a 5 stop Positive that will reside at the East End - the opposite end to the Grand Orgue. Suddenly the lucky musicians and Scholars (pun intended!) of the college, have now a trinity of Aubertins in 2008!

 

The big organ will take about 12 days to install. Pictures and video will be posted as soon as possible.

 

All the best,

Nigel

 

 

Many thanks for keeping us up to date, Nigel. What happened to the Harrison?

 

 

Ed

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Many thanks for keeping us up to date, Nigel. What happened to the Harrison?

Ed

 

Well - it became a bit of everyone's organ in the end I seem to think with the most amazing facade 'designed' by Sir Edward Brantwood Maufe which was likened to a radiator. Therefore, I don't in all honesty think that it could be classed as a H & H in the end. What has happened? At the moment it is secreted away in St John's College awaiting removal. There is, of course, much fine pipework of the Romantic/Symphonic tradition. However, as many testify, the organ was not the right sound nor size for the delightful intimate chapel seating about 160 people. The player sat as far away from the pipes as anyone other then the celebrant at the High Altar. The tuner needed a ladder propped against the gallery to reach it as there was no staircase at all - as did the winder of the College Clock, the mechanism of which co-habited with the organ in the gallery. All not a happy piece of design especially for emergency work before a service - or during it for that matter.

So - in a nut shell, the large open pedal pipes are being taken by M Aubertin's English colleague who painstakingly looks after the Aberdeen University instrument for use in restoration/rebuilds that he might be commissioned to do in the future. The other pipes will go to France in all the boxes that bring the new organ so that they can sing out in other restoration/rebuilds on the continent (some members here know of the brilliance that M. Aubertin has executed in this genre in Alsace, - Thann, for instance). Therefore, he is delighted to use the pipes but in more proper and larger places. A deal was done, in other words and two important stops added to the scheme.

The pipes will join his rather splendid pipe archive/library of discarded/rescued ranks and will rub shoulders on the 2nd floor with an almost complete Silbermann organ, as well as numerous ranks of Callinet, Abby and Cavaillé-Coll plus numerous ancient pipes from other European countries.

 

In conclusion, the majority of the pipework is not being discarded at all, but will be given new homes in the future. The new gallery now with its spiral staircase (perhaps the most expensive in the kingdom of recent times), allows an organist and builder to approach it without fear. The new organ is totally mechanical (hence the necessary egress for player!) except for the blower and light. The woods have been maturing over the past 70 years and the original oaks in Burgundy for the case (the region, not the vin) were planted around 1800.

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

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Guest Barry Williams

With reference to another thread, I am delighted that care has been taken to ensure that access is safe. Having been in the previous organ loft I confirm that access was not in accordance with Health and Safety standards.

 

Barry Williams

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"The other pipes will go to France in all the boxes that bring the new organ so that they can sing out in other restoration/rebuilds on the continent"

(Quote)

 

Very, very clever !

Be sure Mr Aubertin will use them to the best.

(Should have happened in one other case...)

I just posted about it on my forum so these pipes

won't remain for long in store.

 

Pierre

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