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All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham - Multum In Parvo


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Guest Cremona

Does anyone have any idea of the revised stoplist of the organ at All Hallows, Ditchingham. This organ was one of H, N & B's essays into small organ design, over 3 manuals. I gather that it's been expanded and been given a new case by Richard Bower, but short, of this there is no spec or photo of the case around.

 

I am fascinated by some of the multum in parvo instruments around. I've played one or two and have to say that I get more of a buzz playing these than some of the larger organs. Three such organs come to mind:

 

St Philip's, Cosham - Harrison and Harrison (6 SP)

 

GREAT: Open Diap. 8, CLaribel FL. 8, Harm Fl, 4

SWELL: Lieblich Ged. 8, Viola da Gamba 8

PEDAL: Sub Bass 16

 

St Lawrence, Seal Chart - Gern (11 SP) N.B.

 

GREAT: Open Diap. 8, Stopped Diap. 8, Dulciana 8, Gemshorn 4

SWELL: FL. Harmonique, Viole de Gambe, Salcional 8, Voix Celeste 8, Lieblich Fl 4, Oboe 8

PEDAL: Bourdon

 

Pratts Bottom, United Church - Merklin

 

MANUAL: Montre 8 b/t, Bourdon 8 b/t, Viole de Gambe 8 b/t, Presant 4 b/t. Basson Hautbois 8 t only

PEDAL: Coupled to manual

 

Each organ is an absloute gem, tons of colour and really satisfying to play. The Cosham acoustic is wonderful and the organ sings beautifully in the building. At Seal Chart the acoustics are non existent, yet the organ works wonderfully well. In each case, there is nothing above 4' pitch, yet each organ comfortably leads the worship without the player wishing for more upperwork. The Pratts Bottom organ is a real find - in a tin shack with a superb case, reversed console. The stops were re-engraved by a well-meaning Englsihg organ builder, but the pipework is mercifully still marked in French.

 

I wonder how many of you have searched for, and found the little gems in your neck of the woods.

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Does anyone have any idea of the revised stoplist of the organ at All Hallows, Ditchingham. This organ was one of H, N & B's essays into small organ design, over 3 manuals. I gather that it's been expanded and been given a new case by Richard Bower, but short, of this there is no spec or photo of the case around.

 

Hi

 

Try contacting Richard Bower. There's no info on their web site, but that only has details of a handful of their overhauls. He kindly sent me some info on another organ that they'd rebuilt.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I always found this one quite amazingly versatile.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N13366

 

The Great to Swell coupler opens up interesting possibilities.

 

I agree, Andrew.

 

In fact, I managed to learn most of the Fugue in B major of Dupré (I already knew the Prélude) one Saturday morning on this instrument, whilst staying overnight with a fellow student. The Contra Oboe was a particularly rich and useful stop.

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Guest Andrew Butler
Ahhhhhhh - fond memories! I worked at AP for two years and played the organ nearly every day. I married a wonderful girl who was the publications manager, and Martin How kindly dedicated a piece to me that he'd written as a farewell to the organ. It's a terribly sad piece and designed to show of the Oboe stop - shades of Flor Peeters Aria perhaps. I followed the organ to Dorking, giving a joint recital with Martin How on what was affectionately called the 'packing room organ'. It was never really the same - terrible acoustics, combined with the smell of cardboard boxes. Even sadder was the view at our wedding reception at AP of Peter Aston and Martin How looking into what what was the chapel and the empy space where the organ was, and a CD player now resides, used for civil ceremonies. Oh - and the publications department is now a fitness suite!

 

How poignant.

 

Is the piece published, please?

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Guest Andrew Butler
Does anyone know where this is now? I seem to remember it being up for sale.

 

AJJ

 

 

I believe it went with the RSCM to Cleveland Lodge... Don't know what future holds for it though.

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I believe it went with the RSCM to Cleveland Lodge... Don't know what future holds for it though.

 

Since the RSCM has (as far as I am aware) now moved to occupy part of the premises which belong to Sarum College, I doubt that there will be room for the several organs which they own. It would be a great shame if the old chapel organ in particular was lost or simply thrown out.

 

Does anyone happen to know any further details concerning the move and whether or not it was possible to accommodate the chapel organ in their new home?

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St Philip's, Cosham - Harrison and Harrison (6 SP)

 

GREAT: Open Diap. 8, CLaribel FL. 8, Harm Fl, 4

SWELL: Lieblich Ged. 8, Viola da Gamba 8

PEDAL: Sub Bass 16

 

St Lawrence, Seal Chart - Gern (11 SP) N.B.

 

GREAT: Open Diap. 8, Stopped Diap. 8, Dulciana 8, Gemshorn 4

SWELL: FL. Harmonique, Viole de Gambe, Salcional 8, Voix Celeste 8, Lieblich Fl 4, Oboe 8

PEDAL: Bourdon

 

Pratts Bottom, United Church - Merklin

 

MANUAL: Montre 8 b/t, Bourdon 8 b/t, Viole de Gambe 8 b/t, Presant 4 b/t. Basson Hautbois 8 t only

PEDAL: Coupled to manual

 

Each organ is an absloute gem

 

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

 

These organs may be gems, but they are still wasteful musically.

 

The Gern has exactly the same number of speaking-stops as the organ I play, but I'd like to bet that I can play a lot more real music on it, including quite a lot of the romantic repertoire.

 

MM

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Fascinating. If I hadn't read the blurb I would have assumed from the spec that this was a a 6-stop instrument worked up into a IIIP extension organ.

 

As a student I used to play this - only 1 Man and Pedal but amazingly versatile as with the 3 man above - no Swell either!

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N18679

 

AJJ

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Pratts Bottom, United Church - Merklin

 

MANUAL: Montre 8 b/t, Bourdon 8 b/t, Viole de Gambe 8 b/t, Presant 4 b/t. Basson Hautbois 8 t only

PEDAL: Coupled to manual

 

The Pratts Bottom organ is a real find - in a tin shack with a superb case, reversed console. The stops were re-engraved by a well-meaning Englsihg organ builder, but the pipework is mercifully still marked in French.

Willis moved the organ here c.1935 and anglicised the stop names. The oak shanks in the console still have the workshop pencilled markings. Some years ago the bass of the Montre 8ft packed up working. When the faceboard was removed, the off-note action was full of conkers, which well-meaning squirrels had stored there, having run right through the wind system to get there !

 

H

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I am sorry - I beg to differ! I play each week on a modern tracker organ - very good in it's own way, but not so much fun as these small instruments. But to decribe these organs as wasteful without having heard them is silly. I can assure you that there is NOTHING wasteful about any of the organs. Every stop counts in organs of this size, and on each organ described there is absolutely no waste at all. In fact, the Gern is a fabulous instrument to play all the repertoire on - and I would go on to say that I could easily play on the Gern week in week out an not feel short-changed. I have an extremely wide repertoire and do not find this organs limiting at all. Remember that these instruments are there to further the worship and mission of the church and not generally recital instruments. Jack Bethards in some of his smaller essays in organ design has produced instruments which, on paper look quite extraordinary, but on hearing and playing sound superb - and yes, I have played a few on visits to the US. I think the answer is to look way beyond the list of stops on paper and to experience them first-hand.

 

 

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

 

Fabulous it may be, but it's still only one stop more than an octopod.

 

Still, I guess the Cesar Franck "Cantabile" and the Vierne "Berceuse" would sound lovely.

 

MM

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I've never played or heard it, but I have heard this small scheme spoken of highly...

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D02251

 

 

Or this, a fraction bigger. Now this one really covers the (musical) ground! The 32' looks like a real waste of space, but it isn't one bit.

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N17580

 

I believe I once read that this scheme was designed by Sir Sydney Nicholson.

There had previously been a much larger instrument in the church and this rebuild was very much a compromise - due to shortage of funds, maybe?

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I wonder how many of you have searched for, and found the little gems in your neck of the woods.

 

Got one in my own church now for two years: it was build for here, then moved here and now it's here.

 

Superb musical and technical quality (sample). As far as I'm (biased) concerned the finest choirorgan in the land (and nice acoustics we have too) ...

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One cracking little organ in my neck of the woods is this, in Twyford School Chapel, just outside Winchester:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R01000

 

Parry went to this school in the 1850s/1860s and the Chapel is remarkably fine, including a magnificent west window and 16th century swiss glass in places.

 

I renewed my acquaintance with it this morning during choir practice after the morning service. The organ, despite being just 10 stops, is really a full-sized organ pared down to the bare minimum. Walkers restored it with no alterations last year and it has settled in well. It has come to life as an invigorating and energetic little organ. The tiny Swell organ is very versatile and despite its hybrid pedigree (the swell and Gt 15th being later additions by a local builder), it hangs together very well. I'm looking forward to playing it next Sunday when the Parish church holds their Sunday morning service there.

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I remember these two organs with affection from my first period as a learner in the mid 70s. I haven’t seen either of them for about 25 years, I hope they’re still okay.

 

St Peter’s, Williton

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N12706

 

St Nicholas, Withycombe

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N05642

 

There are pictures of them on my web pages.

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