PipeChat Digest #64 - Tuesday, September 9, 1997
(back) Subject: Re: PELS organ From: Steskinner@aol.com Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 06:14:23 -0400 (EDT) In a message dated 97-09-05 12:15:07 EDT, you write: << >I got a chance to work on one yesterday a 3 manual 13 rank unit organ circa 1960s? >> Nelson: I've only worked on one Pels--First Christian, Santa Ana, CA. It was the most pathetic piece of garbage. The console was a mess, with outdated and unreliable electronics, and the chests had external primary magnets of a very poor design that would hang up or come apart on a whim. Thanks for letting me vent. Steven Skinner First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant Erie, PA
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: ManderUSA@aol.com Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 07:25:24 -0400 (EDT) In a message dated 97-09-08 00:51:25 EDT, John Speller writes: << The sound of the bells of Oxford from Christ Church Meadow on a Sunday morning (which you can hear on the film "Shadowlands") is a sound not easily forgotten. >> I must give a shameless further plug to the film "Shadowlands," as it opens with the sight and sound of one of my favorite Mander organs, that of Magdalen College, Oxford! End of commercial. Malcolm Wechsler (unmuffled) N. P. Mander, Ltd. - U. S. A.
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: "John L. Speller" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 08:07:21 -0500 (CDT) At 07:25 AM 9/8/97 -0400, Malcolm Wechsler wrote: >I must give a shameless further plug to the film "Shadowlands," as it opens >with the sight and sound of one of my favorite Mander organs, that of >Magdalen College, Oxford! The film does indeed contain some fine scenes of the Mander organ, which looks and sounds extremely good. There is also one scene in the Sheldonian Theatre (the University of Oxford's Great Hall, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, where degree ceremonies, etc. are held) which shows the organ there. This is a Henry Willis I / Henry Willis III / Harrison & Harrison instrument that has now (since the film was made) been replaced by an electronic substitute. In the film the Willis-Harrison organ sounds extremely good too, and I never recall the Sheldonian Theatre organ sounding anything like that good before. (Henry Willis I and III and Cuthbert Harrison must all have been having off days when the instrument was built and rebuilt.) In the film it in fact sounds remarkably like the Magdalen College organ, and I wonder if the filmmakers dubbed the sound of the Mander over the footage of the Sheldonian organ case! John
(back) Subject: Taverner From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 10:55:47 -0700 Yes, the bells were magnificent! But just before that the John Taverner "Alleluia" I found to be hauntingly beautiful. The bass line sounded like bees humming. It was my first time to ever hear it; has it been recorded? Each time a newscast runs a snippet with that music playing, it throws me into trance somehow (just my personal reaction). Thanks--Robert Clooney
(back) Subject: A few final thoughts on the funeral From: Vernon Moeller <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 10:42:20 Friends: A few thoughts on Saturday's funeral: I'd like to extend my personal thanks to all of you who have enlightened me regarding the bells that were rung at Princess Diana's funeral on Saturday. Despite my original decision not to watch the ceremony, I got up at 5:10am (on a Saturday, no less!) with my wife to watch CNN's broadcast. I managed to view it all without so much as a single tear coming forth until my Irish got to me near the end when the choir sang Londonderry Air. I sat in total awe of the magnificent sound of the Taverner piece at the end, having never heard it before. How can something be so eerie and so beautiful at the same time? There are certain sounds and scenes I will never forget. Besides those above, I will long remember how the Welsh Guardsmen carried her casket on their extended arms - didn't her casket have handles, or is that a position reserved for special people? (Out of curiosity, I wonder how heavy her casket was?) I will also remember how her hearse was gradually covered with flowers. We all agreed at the office this morning that when it comes to pomp and ceremony, nobody beats the British. You folks over there have a lot of respect from us for this one, as well as our deepest sympathies, of course. While I'm still not a big fan of Elton John, he did a very fine job. I think I would have enjoyed his music a little more if I hadn't had to listen to it 20 more times during the day, whenever I'd turn on the TV. Too bad Luciano didn't belt out the "Ingemisco." And the bells - I, too, thought that perhaps there were two sets. Now that I know basically how it was done, I wish I could listen to the pealing again, intelligently, this time. Their sound has become indelible in my memory, just like I can still remember a day long ago when an American president's body was born on a caisson through the streets of Washington D.C., and the muffled drums beat a tattoo that seared itself into my memory. There are several things that I wish America had that Britain continues - among them is change-ringing. I never hear that over here, in central Texas. The closest we get is when the carillonneur (sp?) at the University of Texas here in Austin cuts loose at lunchtime. I used to work in the bell tower, typing translations of Soviet computer science documents, and I loved to work there when the bells went nuts - I'd open the windows to get more volume, but my coworkers would close them and make personal threats. After all, the bells were on the 27th floor and we were on the 20th - guess they were too close for comfort for some people! \/\/\
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken and Chris Potter) Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 12:11:57 -0500 Malcolm Wechsler wrote: >When I was at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Ontario, in the 60s, we lived >with the frustration of a peal of 13 (?) bells that had been fixed in place, >because of fears that the tower would no longer withstand the pressure of >swinging bells. We were left with a wooden clavier up in the tower, and >committed the possibly unforgivable sin of actually playing changes on these >bells, using the clavier. Unforgivable sin. I don't think so, considering the only alternative is just playing hymn melodies which, while nice, are not nearly as festive as full changes played enthusiastically. My wife rings changes every Sunday at St. Peter's in Da Bronx on our three and a half ton 10 bell chime of stationary bells from a chime stand. The sound is quite wonderful, though you miss the wonderful doppler effect of a swinging peal. This summer we were guests of the ringers at the tower of St. Thomas in Salisbury while they rang. (Yes we bought their T-shirts) One thing that struck us was just how much that massive ancient stone tower MOVED when they rang. It was heavy buttressed stone and it moved like it was made of the flimsiest wood and we were probably only 30 feet or so up the tower. I can't imagine what it would feel like up at the top. One thing we learned while in the UK was that the government is paying for recasting of cracked and otherwise useless tower bells all over the land so there can be a massive ringing peal to bring in the millenium when It happens. We'll certainly be doing our thing on the Bong-O-Lator in Da Bronx to celebrate it with them. Which makes me wonder..... Just how many active towers are there in the US. The only towers I am aware of where they actually ring swinging changes are the Episco-Parlour in New Castle, Delaware, and the National Cathedral. Are there others? Any in the New York area? How many chimes played from a stand are still being used regularly? (No, I don't count TowerToast.) I recently heard that the St. Thomas, NY chime was only infrequently used these days. When we went to St. Peter's the bells had been mostly silent for years, though they had been restored for the church's tricentennial in 1993. Ken (wondering when we will ever get back to discussion of direct-electric action) ============================================================================ ==Kenneth G. Potter, Minister of Music St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Westchester Square 914/358-2528 2500 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461 email@example.com ==============================================================================
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: firstname.lastname@example.org (bruce cornely) Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 13:01:35 -0400 I know of two others towers with swinging bells: St. Thomas Church(Houston TX) Christ Church (Raleigh, NC) Probably the Am. Guild of Carilloneurs could help us out. In this months Diapason, there is a very nice cut-away diagram of a carillon tower on page 4. Bruce Cornely ========= o o o o o o o =========== o o o o o ______________ o o o o o o o o o o ______________ o o o o o o o o o o ______________ o o o o o OHS ======================== AGO
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: David Scribner <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 12:21:48 -0500 >I know of two others towers with swinging bells: >St. Thomas Church(Houston TX) >Christ Church (Raleigh, NC) > >Probably the Am. Guild of Carilloneurs could help us out. In this >months Diapason, there is a very nice cut-away diagram of a carillon >tower on page 4. > Check the Web Page for Affiliated Towers of the North American Guild of Change Ringers. There are lots of towers in the States. It also lists some in Canada. http://www.nagcr.org/afftower.html David ********************************** David Scribner Black Iris Consulting 4775 Balmoral Drive Pensacola, FL 32504-9174 850-478-9635 - Voice 850-476-0711 - Fax firstname.lastname@example.org
(back) Subject: Elton John location From: OrgGrinder@aol.com Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 13:28:48 -0400 (EDT) Hi list! Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this here or on PipOrg, but I found it quite interesting (and appropriate) that Elton John was located among the people for his participation in the funeral service. It looked to me like he was located in a side aisle somewhere, not in the chancel or altar or choir areas. Symbolic of representing the people? Dan Miller Minister of Music Calvary Church, Charlotte NC OrgGrinder@aol.com
(back) Subject: Re: Elton John location From: David Scribner <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 12:52:16 -0500 >Hi list! > >Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this here or on PipOrg, but I >found it quite interesting (and appropriate) that Elton John was located >among the people for his participation in the funeral service. It looked to >me like he was located in a side aisle somewhere, not in the chancel or altar >or choir areas. Symbolic of representing the people? > >Dan Miller Dan If I am not mistaken EJ and the piano were at the Nave side of the Choir Screen. My thought about the location had to do with that is where they were able to get the piano worked into the Abbey. I hadn't thought about the placement representing the people. There has been lots of opinions on both lists about EJ's participation in the service. I am just now wondering if there was some thought on the part of the authorities about this placement. In other words, outside of the "Holy" areas of the Choir, Crossing, etc. David ********************************** David Scribner Black Iris Consulting 4775 Balmoral Drive Pensacola, FL 32504-9174 850-478-9635 - Voice 850-476-0711 - Fax firstname.lastname@example.org
(back) Subject: Re: A few final thoughts on the funeral From: Bob Conway <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 13:57:47 -0400 At 10:42 AM 9/8/97, you wrote: >There are certain sounds and scenes I will never forget. Besides those >above, I will long remember how the Welsh Guardsmen carried her casket on >their extended arms - didn't her casket have handles, or is that a position >reserved for special people? (Out of curiosity, I wonder how heavy her >casket was?) Vernon 'et al'. in England the traditional way of carrying a coffin into and out of a church is just as you saw it. The coffin is carried oh the shoulders of the bearers, and I am pretty sure that Diana's coffin would have weighed about 500 llbs. Between eight strong young men, that is not too heavy, the problem comes in the collective manoeuvering of the bearer party while the coffin is being carried. Having been a bearer in the past, I can say with some sense of personal knowledge that it is indeed an honour to be asked by the family to do the last possible thing that can be done for the deceased. Bob Conway
(back) Subject: Re: Words for "Candle in the Wind" From: Bob Conway <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 14:11:10 -0400 To all my List friends, I have received countless copies of the words for "Candle in the Wind". Thank you all for such promptness, you are all so helpful. I have already forwarded the words to my friend, who will be able to "read" them on his speech synthesizer. Thank you, Bob Conway
(back) Subject: Re: Taverner From: Shirley <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 17:10:28 At 10:55 09/08/97 -0700, you wrote: >Yes, the bells were magnificent! But just before that the John Taverner >"Alleluia" I found to be hauntingly beautiful. The bass line sounded >like bees humming. It was my first time to ever hear it; has it been >recorded? Each time a newscast runs a snippet with that music playing, >it throws me into trance somehow (just my personal reaction). >Thanks--Robert Clooney Robert, I had the same reaction. It must have been difficult on director and bass section alike to 1) maintain pitch without going flat and 2) maintain the sostenuto effect through the spot breathing that had to be necessary. It was a perfect piece for the occasion, starting off ominously in a lower register, and ending gloriously. Mesmerizing. There was a post to the ChoralTalk list about how this piece came to be written, but I no longer have it... If I remember correctly, Tavener wrote it for a friend named Athene who had died in a bicycle accident, tragically, in her 20s. --Shirley
(back) Subject: Bell-ringing sites From: Shirley <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 17:35:00 Hi, folks-- A search from Lycos produced one particularly good site for carillon and change-ringing, both in America and in England, as well as a wealth of other resource material at: http://www.trincoll.edu/~carrill/carillon.html Enjoy! --Shirley
(back) Subject: Re: Elton John location From: email@example.com (bruce cornely) Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 18:12:37 -0400 I don't think Elton John's location is symbolic of anything. Actually I did not notice where he was. If he was in a side aisle "among the people" it was probably because they did not want to go the trouble of placing a grand piano up on the Choir Screen, and there is not enough room in the Great Choir. Simple logistics! Bruce Cornely ========= o o o o o o o =========== o o o o o ______________ o o o o o o o o o o ______________ o o o o o o o o o o ______________ o o o o o OHS ======================== AGO
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: Kenneth LaFleur <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 19:21:38 +0000 The old New England town of Hingham, Massachusetts, has a ring of English bells in a brick tower next the very old Meeting House (1681) -- Old Ship. Since they were installed early in this century, the bells (which are a memorial to the first settlers) have had an essentially unbroken succession of change ringers. Neighbors complain bitterly. At a distance, the sound is delightful. Ken LaFleur
(back) Subject: Re: Taverner From: Giwro@aol.com Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 20:17:52 -0400 (EDT) In a message dated 97-09-08 10:57:26 EDT, you write: << But just before that the John Taverner "Alleluia" I found to be hauntingly beautiful. The bass line sounded like bees humming. It was my first time to ever hear it; has it been recorded? >> I don't know, but you could check the H&B Website and see: http://www.hbdirect.com/catalog.htm Jonathan Orwig
(back) Subject: Re: Taverner From: Stanley E Yoder <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 20:37:13 -0400 (EDT) Everybody, before this gets totally tangled: It is John Tavener (one R), b.1944 Not to be confused with (nor spelt the same as) John Taverner (two Rs), c.1490-1545. Stan Yoder Pittsburgh
(back) Subject: PipeChat IRC is open for business! From: Bob Conway <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 20:44:42 -0400 To all PipeChat-L readers: The Monday evening PipeChat IRC is now open for business. You can find us on AnotherNet as usual, Bob ... Q: How many graduate students does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Only one, but it may take upwards of five years for him to get it done.
(back) Subject: Re: PELS organ From: RMaryman@aol.com Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 21:36:33 -0400 (EDT) Nelson - I have worked on one PELS organ. It was installed in about 1972 if memory werves corredt, and used mahogany chest shells and toe-boards with a direct-electric note action and mechanical relays. My recollection is that the construction was not too well done, and the chests were quite leaky after having been in place for a few years. It seems like the wood was not well enough seasoned to cope with the dryness of heated american church environs. I also noticed that that particualr organ used mostly Stinkens pipework, relatively modest scaling and low cut-ups and very light to no nicking on the languids. It was a verry "chiff"-y and (to my personal tastes) lacking in solid fundamental tone. (in orther words a very typical neo-baroque knock-off with all the 'right' things done not quite right). Rick Maryman.
(back) Subject: Re: Those Bells From: "Clifford N. Bohnson" <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 18:14:56 -0400 Here in Burlington City, New Jersey, St. Mary's Episcopal Church has a chime (I'm not sure how many bells are included) on which changes are rung each Saturday morning and on special occasions. And at St. Peter's R.C. Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, there is a ten-note chime rung from a stand. This was played every Sunday during my eleven-year tenure by a very enthusiastic Hungarian teenager, who had rebuilt the keyboard mechanism. It may still be in use. In fact, while there, I commissioned C. Alexander Peloquin to write an evening canticle - (still unpublished) - which he scored for choir, cantor, organ, brass, string bass, and tower (or orchestral) bells. It was enormously successful! We had to pipe the bells back into the church, as they could not be heard otherwise over the other musical forces involved. It was premiered in the presence of the Bishop at a workshop we sponsored on "Evensong in Catholic parishes." -- CLIFFORD N. BOHNSON, President The Unicorn's Garden (representing Makin Organs of England [digital electronic] and ITC Pipe Organs of Jackson, New Jersey) http://www.mosquito.com/~unicorn/PAGE1.HTML
(back) Subject: music source From: Ronnymn@aol.com Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 02:31:46 -0400 (EDT) page 4 of Sept. Diapason mentions music publisher Chanvrelin. Do any of you know of some circuitous link route to them on the Web?? I think I would like to order their Beauvarlet-Charpentier yet avoid what would probably be more complex communicatios i.e. intern'tl telephone. While I write this I am thinking what a lazy technonerd Ive become. Oh well. (I have tried some search engines with no results)