Jump to content
Mander Organs
Guest Barry Oakley - voluntarily dereg

Holy Trinity Church, Hull

Recommended Posts

It must be a question of taste. I think Glouceter Cathedral is a magnificent sound! I wish there were a few more organs suited to the French Romantic repertoire around. Listen to it in the hands of David M Patrick if you want to hear it at its best!

JohnFoss

 

I've always been too upset by the sound of the Gloucester organ, and the lack of any real solo reeds, and the lack of a soft reed, and the lack of....

 

to bother too much about the shape of the pistons!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Anyone 'out there' who is interested in this instrument may like to click on the link below

http://pic6.piczo.com/PAULDERRETT/?g=18662419

which (if working) will take them to a page giving recent photographs, the specification showing extensions (and stops currently disconnected) together with current plans for a CD. I have included a photo of a superb model of the old organ case at HTH (as seen in the 18th century) which appears on a monument in the church.

 

[My thanks to a member of this forum who was able to find sufficiently old-fart-friendly terms in which to explain to this techno-phobe how to make proper web-links!]

 

P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It must be a question of taste. I think Glouceter Cathedral is a magnificent sound! I wish there were a few more organs suited to the French Romantic repertoire around. the 2 bListen to it in the hands of David M Patrick if you want to hear it at its best!

JohnFoss

I don't dispute the fact that the Gloucester organ can play some of the French romatic repertoire adequately, although the strings and the diapasons are very far from french, the problem is that it cant play the standard anglican choral repertoire.

 

I've just attended the gloucester RSCM area festival, where I must say Robert Hossart played the organ quite brilliantly, however not even he, with his considerable experience and absolute mastery of the instrument, could mask its short comings. This was most clearly demonstrated in "The Spirit of the Lord", from Elgar's Apostles. This was always going to be a challenge on the Gloucester organ. The effects you need to emulate include soft french horn (there's no enclosed soft reed) and combined trumpets and trombones (there are no solo reeds). Robert's performance was wonderful, he really coped with most of the challenges superbly well, but for anyone who knows the score, bars 3 & 4 after figure 4 in the novello score were just a disaster. The organ completely failed to reveal the brass theme transcribed as the left-hand part in the novello VS, and the whole effect was just a confusing mish-mash of sound.

 

Those who love this instrument, and there are many, will tell you that, when you know it well, you can adapt to cover its shortcomings. My point is that you shouldn't have to. Just try playing "God is gone up" on the damn thing!

 

This organ can not sensibly play the music of Stanford, Bairstow, Ireland, Howells, Elgar, Sumsion, Darke, et al. This is its "day job". Given the cathedral's strong links with such luminaries as Elgar, Sumsion, Howells, Brewer and Vaughan-Williams and Wesley this is criminal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone 'out there' who is interested in this instrument may like to click on the link below which (if working) will take them to a page giving recent photographs, the specification showing extensions (and stops currently disconnected) together with current plans for a CD.

Do my eyes deceive me or is that a couple of acres of carpet on the floor of HTH? :o Tell me it isn't so, Paul, puhlease! B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Barry Oakley
Do my eyes deceive me or is that a couple of acres of carpet on the floor of HTH?  :o  Tell me it isn't so, Paul, puhlease!  B)

 

In case Paul does not get back on the forum before I post this message, no, your eyes have not deceived you, Jeremy. There is a lot of carpet, but thankfully it does not come much further beyond the picture's foreground. Much of the extensive main nave aisles - centre, north and south are uncarpeted. The carpet was never there during my early days at Holy Trinity (1948) and it seems to be an an unnecessary piece of expenditure. In hindsight it would have been better spent on the organ. Sadly, during the intervening years there has been a succession of Philistine clergy (present incumbent not included) who practically decimated Holy Trinity's fine reputation for musical excellence. Paul and his wife, Serena, are doing an excellent job at Holy Trinity and have already worked wonders during there relatively short time at the church. I trust the Almighty will look favourably on their efforts, inspiring generosity towards the much-needed restoration of the organ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Do my eyes deceive me or is that a couple of acres of carpet on the floor of HTH?  :o  Tell me it isn't so, Paul, puhlease!  B)

 

 

Dear Jeremy,

You are quite correct in thinking that the whole foor looks to be covered from the postcard photo I included. Actually, there's not much*. Like you, I would like to lose the rest, but one has to deal with things in a mutually acceptable order! I have been doing odd things around and about, but one frequently has to wait a diplomatic amount of time first, and if there's a faculty involved, expect to wait the best part of a year more to get something 'sorted'.

 

*The tiles underneath are in much better condition than the remains of the present carpet, so I think that repeated comments along these lines are most likely to bring results. I hate to see even good carpet in a church, and this carpet must be easily thirty years old now. I keep bending down to pick up bits of rubbish and keep finding that what looks like detritus is actually holes and or backing!

 

Are things any better in the so-called affluent south east?

 

P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This organ can not sensibly play the music of Stanford, Bairstow, Ireland, Howells, Elgar, Sumsion, Darke, et al. This is its "day job". Given the cathedral's strong links with such luminaries as Elgar, Sumsion, Howells, Brewer and Vaughan-Williams and Wesley this is criminal.

 

I don't think you should take it so personally!

 

Yes, it's probably a bit tricky to live with if you try and make familiar Anglican noises. That doesn't make it less of a musical instrument though the loss of a 32' is a great shame. David Briggs never seemed to find the organ a problem and speaks very highly of its capabilities, but that's by the by. It certainly doesn't seem to hold the cathedral music making back, just as the New College choir aren't in any way held back by the GD&B.

 

Elgar and Brewer were "contemporary" once...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are things any better in the so-called affluent south east?

Well, anecdotal evidence tends to suggest we get a better quality of shagpile here in the effluent south-east to the extent that sometimes I'm tempted to go barefoot. :o As for the acreage of carpet at HTH, have you tried removing it by stealth using a stanley knife, cutting back a cm or two a week? B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I don't think you should take it so personally! 

 

Yes, it's probably a bit tricky to live with if you try and make familiar Anglican noises.  That doesn't make it less of a musical instrument though the loss of a 32' is a great shame.  David Briggs never seemed to find the organ a problem and speaks very highly of its capabilities, but that's by the by.  It certainly doesn't seem to hold the cathedral music making back, just as the New College choir aren't in any way held back by the GD&B.

 

Elgar and Brewer were "contemporary" once...

 

 

Several answers to this one!

David Briggs came to Gloucester from Truro and always professed himself happier with the organ at Gloucester. This surprised everyone who heard this comment initially. For all that he loved the organ, he did instigate several changes, first of which was to make the Great (reeds especially) louder by having the roof removed from the case. His most successful scheme at Blackburn reflects what he would probably have aimed for if he had only been allowed to develop the Gloucester organ further!

 

I heard him play there live on several occasions (I also have three of his CDs recorded there); he makes it sound almost world class virtually every time. Mind you, he only plays a limited range of repertoire and is prepared to do very eccentric things to find exactly the noise he requires. As an example, I remember him more than once choosing to play main melodies on the 4' Pedal reed (accompanying on the manuals) because there were no equivalents elsewhere on the job. This always involved a certain amount of re-writing - not a difficulty if you have a talent and brain the size of his! If this makes me sound jealous, you're damn right.

 

A wound opens up for me (and many others) every time this organ is championed. On Priory's website, for instance, it used to be described as the finest cathedral organ in the country. You'd think that a company with that much experience would have heard a few other contenders! Even so, if it had been a brand new HN&B organ (like those of nearly equivalent size at the Mormon Church, Exhibition Road, London or The Chapel, Ellesmere College, Shropshire) I would have little problem with it. I can certainly understand why Briggsy loves it.... it can sound very like Pierre Cochereau's Notre Dame when he wants it to. Bear in mind that making music like his hero has always been his life's ambition.

 

The Gloucester organ is sometimes uncomfortable/peculiar to play, and sometimes sounds very unmusical, but those who know it well can do wonders. The point of my unhappiness (also Neil Fortin's, Howells', Sumsion's etc. etc.) is the fact that it replaced a very fine accompanimental instrument (and either incorporated or displaced all the pipes of that organ) In the accompaniment role it fails to meet even your 'average' cathedral organ standard by some wide margin.

 

Put it this way, otherwise the nastiest-sounding cathedral organ I know is the HN&B (with Hope-Jones bits) at Llandaff, and even at Llandaff you stand a better chance of unobtrusively and subtly accompanying a choir in core Anglican repertoire than you do at Gloucester.

 

IMHOThe New College organ is a far cleverer instrument in a far less flattering building. Even then, you will find that a lot of the N.C. recordings have taken place elsewhere. Indeed, so have a lot of the Christ Church (Cathedral) Choir's recordings.

In both cases, the choir usually goes to the chapel of Merton College.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
a lot of the N.C. recordings have taken place elsewhere. Indeed, so have a lot of the Christ Church (Cathedral) Choir's recordings.  In both cases, the choir usually goes to the chapel of Merton College.

The greater part of the Ch Ch recordings with Nimbus were done at Dorchester Abbey; and the organ at Merton is pretty weedy - you wouldn't go there for the sake of the organ.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Several answers to this one!

David Briggs came to Gloucester from Truro and always professed himself happier with the organ at Gloucester. This surprised everyone who heard this comment initially.  For all that he loved the organ, he did instigate several changes, first of which was to make the Great (reeds especially) louder by having the roof removed from the case. His most successful scheme at Blackburn reflects what he would probably have aimed for if he had only been allowed to develop the  Gloucester organ further!

 

I heard him play there live on several occasions (I also have three of his CDs recorded there); he makes it sound almost world class virtually every time.  Mind you, he only plays a limited range of repertoire and is prepared to do very eccentric things to find exactly the noise he requires. As an example, I remember him more than once choosing to play main melodies on the 4' Pedal reed (accompanying on the manuals) because there were no equivalents elsewhere on the job. This always involved a certain amount of re-writing - not a difficulty if you have a talent and brain the size of his!  If this makes me sound jealous, you're damn right.

 

A wound opens up for me (and many others) every time this organ is championed. On Priory's website, for instance, it used to be described as the finest cathedral organ in the country. You'd think that a company with that much experience would have heard a few other contenders! Even so, if it had been a brand new HN&B organ (like those of nearly equivalent size at the Mormon Church, Exhibition Road, London or The Chapel, Ellesmere College, Shropshire) I would have little problem with it.  I can certainly understand why Briggsy loves it.... it can sound very like Pierre Cochereau's Notre Dame when he wants it to. Bear in mind that making music like his hero has always been his life's ambition.

 

The Gloucester organ is sometimes uncomfortable/peculiar to play, and sometimes sounds very unmusical, but those who know it well can do wonders. The point of my unhappiness (also Neil Fortin's, Howells', Sumsion's etc. etc.) is the fact that it replaced a very fine accompanimental instrument (and either incorporated or displaced all the pipes of that organ)  In the accompaniment role it fails to meet even your 'average' cathedral organ standard by some wide margin.

 

Put it this way, otherwise the nastiest-sounding cathedral organ I know is the HN&B (with Hope-Jones bits) at Llandaff, and even at Llandaff you stand a better chance of unobtrusively and subtly accompanying a choir in core Anglican repertoire than you do at Gloucester.

 

IMHOThe New College organ is a far cleverer instrument in a far less flattering building. Even then, you will find that a lot of the N.C. recordings have taken place elsewhere. Indeed, so have a lot of the Christ Church (Cathedral) Choir's recordings.

In both cases, the choir usually goes to the chapel of Merton College.

 

Paul, you make many interesting points. You may be surprised to learn that I agree with you on some of them.

 

I am not personally acquainted with the New College organ so I will not express an opinion on the basis of recordings and broadcasts alone. However, I suspect that I would prefer Gloucester to this instrument - acoustic aside!

 

Even I do not rate Gloucester as my favourite English cathedral organ. I cannot choose between Bristol, Coventry, Exeter or Ripon.

 

Now there is a dilemma....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Paul, you make many interesting points. You may be surprised to learn that I agree with you on some of them.

 

I am not personally acquainted with the New College organ so I will not express an opinion on the basis of recordings and broadcasts alone. However, I suspect that I would prefer Gloucester to this instrument - acoustic aside!

 

Even I do not rate Gloucester as my favourite English cathedral organ. I cannot choose between Bristol, Coventry, Exeter or Ripon.

 

Now there is a dilemma....

 

 

I've never given a recital at Exeter, but took my choir there and tried it a bit as well as hearing it 'in action' at the hands of others. I agree that it is a fine organ with a stunning case.

 

Bristol is elegant and Ripon is splendid - a pity that humble recitalists (on any other than Bank Holiday dates) do not get to play from the nave console which would give a much better idea of the sounds that one is actually producing. Producing good balances from the console in the loft depends on bringing a friend to help. Apparently, the late, great Philip Marshall greatly preferred Ripon to Lincoln and (on that point) was heard to regret ever moving away from it.

 

Even so, out of your list, the choice would be easy for me - even without a Tuba, Coventry does everything so well. Do you know Hereford? That's a wonderful organ... both for accompaniment and solo playing. Now.... if forced to choose between Coventry and Hereford, I would go for H.

 

Southwark is utterly magnificent, but will never be as much fun to play as the others until someone forks out for a nave console. This is potentially the finest cathedral organ in the country - and I'm not forgetting Durham, Westminster Cathedral or Salisbury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even so, out of your list, the choice would be easy for me - even without a Tuba, Coventry does everything so well.  Do you know Hereford? That's a wonderful organ... both for accompaniment and solo playing. Now.... if forced to choose between Coventry and Hereford, I would go for H.

 

Southwark is utterly magnificent, but will never be as much fun to play as the others until someone forks out for a nave console. This is potentially the finest cathedral organ in the country - and I'm not forgetting Durham, Westminster Cathedral or Salisbury.

 

Unfortunately I have never played Hereford - I would love to!

 

I have played Southwark - on a Sunday afternoon many years ago, but I agree, it is a superb organ. A nave console is a very good idea.

 

The only thing about Ripon which I would change would be to re-instate the GO Hohl Flute and Harmonic Flute, instead of the Coppel Flute and Larigot - which are rather out of character.

 

I think that I would probably agree - if forced to choose (out of the instruments which I have played), Coventry would win.

 

I still want to know who thought that it was a good idea to 'upholster' the console in black leather to match the choir stalls. It smells like one is playing a Jersey cow....

 

B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Unfortunately I have never played Hereford - I would love to!

 

I have played Southwark - on a Sunday afternoon many years ago, but I agree, it is a superb organ. A nave console is a very good idea.

 

The only thing about Ripon which I would change would be to re-instate the GO Hohl Flute and Harmonic Flute, instead of the Coppel Flute and Larigot - which are rather out of character.

 

I think that I would probably agree - if forced to choose (out of the instruments which I have played), Coventry would win.

 

I still want to know who thought that it was a good idea to 'upholster' the console in black leather to match the choir stalls. It smells like one is playing a Jersey cow....

 

B)

 

 

There's a photograph of Robert Weddle seated at the console wearing his leather jacket. You could say that the style of the console matched the times!

 

For the booklet for my Amphion CD, Martin Monkman photo-shopped how the console actually looks because the leather is so worn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's a photograph of Robert Weddle seated at the console wearing his leather jacket.  You could say that the style of the console matched the times!

 

For the booklet for my Amphion CD, Martin Monkman photo-shopped how the console actually looks because the leather is so worn.

 

When I played it a couple of years ago, someone had spilled Coke (or similar) all over the pedal 'sweep', and lower right-hand side of the console. It is a pity that people do not take better care of this console, which is quite the most comfortable I have ever played.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Andrew Butler

Mention of Lincoln a couple of posts back set me thinking at a tangent - as a relative nrwcomer to the forum, can anyone recall if there was ever any discussion of the "re-organization" of the music dept at Lincoln a few years back, and if so point me in the right direction...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mention of Lincoln a couple of posts back set me thinking at a tangent - as a relative nrwcomer to the forum, can anyone recall if there was ever any discussion of the "re-organization" of the music dept at Lincoln a few years back, and if so point me in the right direction...?

 

I cannot recall anything specific - just one or two comments.

 

Certainly, when Simon Morley left to go to Ripon (for a short time), he was replaced by Charles Harrison, as Assistant Organist. The post of Master of the Choristers was re-invented as Director of Music, and was taken by Aric Prentice, who was, I believe, previously one of the Lay Clerks. Colin Walsh was made Organist Laureate and basically can play whenever (and for whatever) he chooses. Stephen Bullamore is the Second Assistant Organist.

 

Try this link:

 

http://structure.lincolncathedral.com/html...UserLinkID=2532

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The greater part of the Ch Ch recordings with Nimbus were done at Dorchester Abbey; and the organ at Merton is pretty weedy - you wouldn't go there for the sake of the organ.

 

Paul

 

Actually, I think a fair few Nimbus Ch Ch recordings were made at Leominster Priory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I cannot recall anything specific - just one or two comments.

 

Certainly, when Simon Morley left to go to Ripon (for a short time), he was replaced by Charles Harrison, as Assistant Organist. The post of Master of the Choristers was re-invented as Director of Music, and was taken by Aric Prentice, who was, I believe, previously one of the Lay Clerks. Colin Walsh was made Organist Laureate and basically can play whenever (and for whatever) he chooses. Stephen Bullamore is the Second Assistant Organist.

 

Try this link:

 

http://structure.lincolncathedral.com/html...UserLinkID=2532

 

Aric Prentice is I think DOM at the Minster School too which may have been part of an intention to combine the two posts. The fact also that he is also a singer is an added advantage when one is i/c a choir. When I last heard them they sounded very good.

 

AJJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Andrew Butler
Aric Prentice is I think DOM at the Minster School too which may have been part of an intention to combine the two posts. The fact also that he is also a singer is an added advantage when one is i/c a choir. When I last heard them they sounded very good.

 

AJJ

 

Thanks - am aware of the events; just wondered if anyone had a "take" on it all. I heard the girls a couple of years ago and thought them good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks - am aware of the events; just wondered if anyone had a "take" on it all.  I heard the girls a couple of years ago and thought them good.

Andrew,

 

The record label GUILD recently issued a recording of Lincoln Cathedral Choir directed by Aric Prentice entitled 'Hail Mary' and very good it is too. With all the caveats about judging an organ or choir through the medium of recording, I have to say I thought the choir sounded in very fine fettle.

 

JJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, I think a fair few Nimbus Ch Ch recordings were made at Leominster Priory?

Well, not one of the ones I've got. Of the Nimbus ones only the earliest and latest I have are at Merton, the rest all Dorchester. Disks of them I have from other companies are recorded at Merton or in the cathedral itself.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...