PipeChat Digest #3506 - Saturday, March 1, 2003
Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part1)
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Nigerian scam
  by <REEDSTOP@prodigy.net>
Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part two)
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Felix Hell in Schenectady, NY
  by "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com>
Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part 3)
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part 3)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
pipechat on IRC
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Cage's 600+ year work
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@scti.net>
Re: Cage's 600+ year work
  by <Chicaleee@aol.com>
Infant funeral music
  by "William Miller" <Miltronix@comcast.net>
Organist's time pie chart
  by "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com>

(back) Subject: Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part1) From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 22:02:59 +0000 (GMT)   BLACKBURN CATHEDRAL RE-BUILD (Part One)     New cathedral organs are always a source of some excitement, and in 1969, the new instrument at Blackburn Cathedral built by J W Walker & Sons caused more excitement than usual.   Only a few years previously, the 4-manual Harrison & Harrison organ for Coventry Cathedral had been built and installed, but failed to grip the musical imagination. A thoroughly well made instrument, Coventry marked something of a compromise in organ design.......and instrument which was capable of much but which excelled at nothing. Although a good instrument for choral accompaniment, Coventry represents a fine organ of no particular distinction.   The plans for the re-ordered and enlarged cathedral at Blackburn, with a large chancel topped by a huge lantern tower, meant that the old west end instrument would have to be re-sited. The sad story of this organ by Cavaille-Coll, which had been so hacked about and ruined, ended when all agreed that it was beyond restoration. Plans for the enlargement of the cathedral therefore included the provision of a new instrument.   The Cathedral Organist, John Bertalot, teamed up with Dr Francis Jackson of York Minster, and together they collaborated in the design of a modestly proportioned new instrument; the choice of builder falling upon the Walker company of Ruislip, Middlesex, who had done fine tonal work at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan RC Cathedral and elsewhere. Indeed, the Walker company had somehow managed to overtake their arch-rivals, Harrison & Harrison, as the most innovative organ-builder at that time. Innovation does, however, have a down-side, when it applies to modern "miracle" building materials rather than the traditions of craftsmanship handed down and always used by Harrison & Harrison of Durham. As we shall see, this was to have re-percussions at a later date.   J W Walker were fortunate in that they had on their books two excellent voicers, Walter Goody and Denys Thurlow. Thurlow was greatly influenced by the scholarship of Ralph Downes (the designer of the instrument for the Royal Festival Hall), and thus took in the various threads of the organ reform movement. However, as history was to show, Thurlow replaced mere academia with a flawless ear and the artistry of the master voicer he had become.   Blackburn Cathedral is NOT a tourist venue, and as a diocese, did not enjoy vast historic endowments. Money has always been a difficult area, and when the new organ was being considered, moderation was called for. In designing the new instrument, it was therefore important to design effectively and at a cost which would not respresent an outrageous amount or discourage fund-raising.   With additional advice and input from the likes of Peter Hurford (St Albans Cathedral) and Brian Runnett (Norwich Cathedral), John Bertalot and Francis Jackson envisaged a divided, EP actioned instrument with a detached floor sited console close to the choir stalls. The chancel area was large and the organ pipe positions very widely spaced; the resulting acoustic absolutely vast for a building which is not exactly enormous. The huge acoustic would need a more incisive, less opaque sound if the organ were to lead worship and retain sufficient clarity in the nave of the building. This had to be achieved from a modest three-manual instrument.   One wonders whether a critical comment made by Brian Runnett did not change the tone of British organ-building, when he suggested that, the 8ft Principal on the Great should be three notes larger than the normal J W Walker scale.   Of one thing we can be certain, no-one could have anticipated fully the work of tonal-genius which was to emerge!   To be continued.........                                                 __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts http://uk.my.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Nigerian scam From: <REEDSTOP@prodigy.net> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 17:33:30 -0500   Well, I don't know, but there's 14,000,000,000 to buy some (more) if you just....oh forget it! :-)   J    
(back) Subject: Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part two) From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 22:36:03 +0000 (GMT)   BLACKBURN CATHEDRAL RE-BUILD (Part two)     If the organ of Coventry Cathedral had trodden the path of organistic conservatism and applied the classical-style of organ-building with an almost grudging acknowledgement, the tonal execution at Blackburn thrust British organ-building into entirely new musical territory.   A very clever and economical 3-manual design was drafted by John Bertalot (Blackburn Cathedral) and Dr Francis Jackson (York Minster) as follows:-   Pedal   Contra Bass 32 (Metal) Principal 16 Sub Bass 16 Quintaton (Gt) 16 Octave 8 Nachtorn 8 Fifteenth 4 Recorder 4 Spitzflute 2 Mixture 4 rks 19 (22) 26 29   Serpent 32 Posaune 16 Bombarde 8 Schalmei 4     Swell (divided Chancel facing/Transept facing boxes)     Rohrflote 8 Viola da Gamba 8 (transept box) Celeste (GG) 8 (transept box) Principal 4 Nason Flote 4 Nazard 2 2/3 Gemshorn 2 Octavin 1 Mixture 3 rks 12 19 22 Cymbale 3 rks 29 33 36 Fagot 16 (transept box) Trompette 8 (transept box) Cromorne 8 Clairon 4 (transept box)     Great     Quintaton 16 Principal 8 Stopped Diapason 8 Octave 4 Rohrflote 4 Nazard 2 2/3 Blockflote 2 Tierce 1 3/5 Fourniture 3 rks 15 19 22 Plein Jeu 3 rks 22 26 29 Trumpet 8     Positive     Bourdon 8 Prestant 4 Koppelflote 4 Principal 2 Sesquialtera 2 rks 12 17 Larigot 1 1/3 Scharf 3 rks 26 29 33 Holzregal 16   Imperial Trumpet 8 (horizontal)     A note about the divided swell boxes.   The transept stops of the Swell could be coupled to the Posotive seperately, thus creating an indpenedently expressive division. There were/are two swell pedals to the swell organ as a consequence.   Usual manual to pedal and intermanual couplers.   (See revisions 2002, for later specification and couplers in full)         to be continued.......       __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts http://uk.my.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Felix Hell in Schenectady, NY From: "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 18:28:48 -0500   One of the surest ways to judge the success of an organ recital is to note if the artist is invited back. Using this criterion, Felix Hell was surely a hit when he played at First United Methodist Church in Schenectady, NY, a year ago -- since he's been invited for a return visit. Here are the details as forwarded by the church's director of = music:   On Sunday, March 9 at 3:00, First United Methodist Church, 603 State = Street, Schenectady, NY, will present Felix Hell in an encore performance. = After his incredible performance last year, many of the people who = attended asked if we could bring him back. Well, here is your opportunity = to be dazzled once again by this young organ virtuoso.   His program will include:   Prelude in D Major - D. Buxtehude Prelude and Fugue in E Flat Major ("St. Anne") - J.S. Bach Schm=FCcke dich, O liebe Seele - J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in E Minor ("The Wedge") - J.S. Bach Toccata - J. Jongen Sonata No. 6 - F. Mendelssohn Sonata No. 1 in D Minor - A. Guilmant   As always, the concerts are free and open to the public. CDs of Felix will = be available for purchase in the Narthex. A reception will follow. Parking = will be available in the lot behind the church on Chapel St. as well as = the MVP parking garage.   Since we expect a large crowd for this concert, it is suggested that you = arrive early. The doors will be open by 2:15.   For more information call the church office at 315-374-4403.                  
(back) Subject: Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part 3) From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:37:16 +0000 (GMT)   BLACKBURN CATHEDRAL RE-BUILD (part 3)     Those of us who attended the opening recital given by Dr Francis Jackson on the new organ of Blackburn Cathedral, back in 1969, have a deeply etched memory of something very, very special. Not only had Dr Jackson composed (almost!) a new Sonata for Organ for the opening, (he improvised the ending and completed it from a recording of the BBC broadcast!) but this was an organ which sounded like no-other.   Perhaps with a hint of G Donald-Harrison, J W Walker had combined "classical" design with more than a measure of French romanticism......clear, incisive fluework of no great weight combined with French Baroque "Cliquot-werk" and fiery "Cavaille-Coll" style chorus reeds.....all crowned by an exciting "Imperial Trumpet" mounted horizontally and thrusting out from the left-hand organ gallery in the chancel. Visually, the organ was "hi-tech", with a mutli-coloured, functional display....tinted pipes, white swell boxes and burnished tin/brass.   Brass?   Well indeed! The 32ft Serpent, each pipe with an attractive kink in the resonators is crafted from burnished brass.   Why Serpent 32ft?   A little bit of organ consultant's humour and rivalry.....York Minster had long had a 32ft Sackbut!   In fact, by the standards of J W Walker & Sons, the use of brass resonators was much less exotic than the use of PURE SILVER (hallmarked) for the big en chamade trumpet of Ampleforth Abbey!   What a feast! Not only was their visual excitement provided by the new chancel area and the functional display of the organ pipes and machanisms, there was a world-class organist at the peak of his powers, a large and enthusiastic audience, a new Sonata and, a new organ to hear.   But what would the organ sound like?   There are moments in life when mere words fail.......   Such words as astounding, astonishing, exciting, thrilling and monumental mean absolutely nothing in the context of Blackburn Cathedral.....stunned silence is the only possible response.   Perhaps only a handful of organs in Europe have a similar impact to the sound that we heard that evening.   Haarlem supremely, St Ouen definitely, Schnitger always, Silbermann certainly; but added to that list was now a new organ.....a British built organ, which far surpassed recent rivals such as Coventry and the Fesitval Hall.   Quite simply, it was an awesome instrument.   In the 1970 and 1980's, this modest instrument was used by Jane Parker-Smith for the VISTA recordings of French Organ Masterpieces. The Blackburn sound was captured well by this vinyl, thanks to the brilliant recording techniques of Brian Culverhouse.   An equally superb recording was made by Graham Steed, (a pupil of Dupre), and his peformance of the Dupre G minor was wonderfully transcribed onto vinyl for posterity.   As three decades passed, the organ began to deteriorate, with wind leakages and growing unreliability, compounded by extensive dust and dirt from building work, and a lack of adequate maintenance.   In 1997, Ian Bell was consulted, and a report on the instrument showed that it was in a poor state of repair.   Thus, discussions took place and plans slowly emerged for the re-building of the instrument.   If the Blackburn organ had a weakness, it was always going to be in the unenviable task of accompaniment. With little in the way of foundation stops, or a second enclosed division, here was an instrument which, by definition, would challenge even the most resourceful and imaginative of Assistant Cathedral Organists.   With this weakness in mind, various parties were consulted, but all of them seemed to regard the Blackburn organ as sacrosanct, best summed up by the words of a former Cathedral Organist at Blackburn, David Cooper, who said, "I wouldn't wish to get rid of anything".   It was a prophetic comment, and one which probably did much to ensure that this masterpiece of British organ-building should remain un-spoiled.........but it had to be re-built.     to be continued.......                     __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts http://uk.my.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Blackburn Cathedral re-build/spec (part 3) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 19:01:19 -0500   On 2/28/03 6:37 PM, "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:   > It was a prophetic comment, and one which probably did > much to ensure that this masterpiece of British > organ-building should remain un-spoiled.........but it > had to be re-built. > Colin: What a terrific account! I'm reading it over from the beginning each time, and intend to continue doing so.   Awesome! I continue to look forward to each segment.   Thank you.   Alan    
(back) Subject: pipechat on IRC From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 17:30:21 -0800   9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time TONIGHT. Directions how to get there on the Pipechat homepage.   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: Cage's 600+ year work From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@scti.net> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 20:17:24 -0600   Sebastian, Bob, or someone in the know:   Could someone provide the suggested metronome settings for the above piece?   Thinking of adding it to my repertoire after reading the discussion regarding performance,   Glenda Sutton        
(back) Subject: Re: Cage's 600+ year work From: <Chicaleee@aol.com> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 21:23:31 EST     --part1_50.18ea25b5.2b9173a3_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Glenda, most of the pipechatters are at the IRC chatroom, which I have = never been able to find. I am sure you would have better luck than I, and you might go there and ask them. Lee   --part1_50.18ea25b5.2b9173a3_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <HTML><FONT FACE=3D3Darial,helvetica><FONT COLOR=3D3D"#400040" SIZE=3D3D2 = FAMILY=3D =3D3D"SANSSERIF" FACE=3D3D"Arial" LANG=3D3D"0">Glenda, most of the = pipechatters ar=3D e at the IRC chatroom, which I have never been able to find.&nbsp; I am = sure=3D you would have better luck than I, and you might go there and ask = them.&nbs=3D p; Lee</FONT></HTML>   --part1_50.18ea25b5.2b9173a3_boundary--  
(back) Subject: Infant funeral music From: "William Miller" <Miltronix@comcast.net> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 21:25:17 -0500   Infant funeral music (always a sad affair!):   It's probably too late to help Bob Lind, but the last infant funeral I = had, I played a transcription (combined the accompaniment and voice parts as sensibly as I could) of the choral work AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN by Edgar Bainton. It was very moving and appreciated by the family. If you have a 'romantic-style' organ it will work.   Bill Miller DofM, Hancock UMC, Springfield PA    
(back) Subject: Organist's time pie chart From: "Stephen Best" <sbest@borg.com> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 22:15:58 -0500   I seem to recall seeing a pie chart of how a church musician/organist spends his/her time -- like x number of hours practicing, x number of hours preparing choir rehearsal, etc. It might have been in an AGO magazine, but I'm not sure. Anyone recall seeing this? If so, where?   Steve Best in Utica, NY