PipeChat Digest #5010 - Friday, December 17, 2004
 
Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street)
  by "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es>
Re: GDB
  by "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr>
Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street)
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
RE: Console Accessories
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
RE: GDB
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
RE: GDB
  by "alantaylor1" <alantaylor1@members.v21.co.uk>
Re: GDB
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Downes-land memories
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street)
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: GDB
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street)
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Re: MP3 Files
  by "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net>
Re: Downes and the Royal Festival Hall
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
George Wright -- New CD
  by "William T. Van Pelt" <bill@organsociety.org>
Re: MP3 Files
  by "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis@email.com>
 

(back) Subject: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street) From: "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 11:30:49 +0100   > What about your claim then, that the UK cathedral organs > shouldn't be called Willis's, as they had been rebuilt by other > builders.   This raises a problem I frequently find when cataloguing organs.   Take a hypothetical (but not untypical) example of an 18th century case housing an instrument built in the 1890s, that was converted to pneumatic action in the 1930s with new windchests and console plus major tonal alterations, which was again radically altered in the 1960s to give it a more "Baroque" sound and then "restored to original condition" in the 1980s, with new windchests, a lot of new pipework, re-voicing of the rest, action changed back to mechanical but with a 50 million memory electronic combination system.   To whom should this be attributed?   Since full details of all the work carried out are rarely available, I tend to attribute it to the original builder unless it's very clear that next to nothing remains of his work, but the situation is usually uncertain.   Thoughts, anyone?   Peter.    
(back) Subject: Re: GDB From: "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:54:41 +0200   So charmingly put, Alan.   "You mention GDB. Well, I went to an opening of an organ that they had rebuilt. It was a smallish country church. I think it could have been in Kent. It was a small two manual. The words Pip squeak and scream comes to = my mind. After the recital I was approached by the man himself. He asked me what I thought of the organ. I pointed out that this was probably the only time that this organ would be heard in recital mode. And, what the hell = were they going to play the hymns on on Sunday. I suggested the organ lacked = two things. The first being a gallon of petrol, the second a match. My point being it wasn't only the romantic organ builders that screwed up organs."   Not all the G D & B organs were equally successful, but have you been to = St Mary of Eton, Hackney; Woodford; New College, Oxford; Fulham Priory; Tooting; Sussex University; Ardingly; Hurstpierpoint; Cranleigh; York University; I don't know which organ you are referring to - I have to be honest that = the organ in St Martin's Farnham was not totally suitable for the building - since I designed it I can say that without fear of upsetting one - it is very small - three ranks - and does scream a bit. On the other hand with Tooting, which came later, we learned from the experience. I hope you have =   read Cecil Clutton in the REVIEWS section at http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/ You are re-opening a discussion which was going strong amongst the = dinosaurs 50 years ago. We have moved on since then. John Foss At one time a Director of Grant Degens and Bradbeer http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/      
(back) Subject: Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street) From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:19:47 -0500   The standard practice seems to be, if the organ was built by X, rebuilt by =   Y, then rebuilt again by Z, its an X/Y/Z organ. I've even seen this in cases where it was an essentially new organ just reusing a few pipes and = the chamber from the old.   There is a Russell & Co organ here in Burlington that replaced an Estey. = I continually hear people refer to it (in writing) as the 195X Estey/ 199X Russell organ. This used to really bug me since there's virtually nothing =   left of the Estey. But the organist pointed out that the whole concept of =   relying on a substantial antiphonal division (really an independent 2 = manual and pedal organ, largely duplicating the main organ) to compensate for dry =   accooustics was Estey's idea, and was retained, even though little of the Estey organ was left. The fact that the _chambers_ were reused, then, is = a major factor in considering it a rebuild instead of an entirely new organ. = It is true, too, that quite a bit of pedal work is unaltered pipes, and = the manual pipework does have a lot of Estey metal... just very altered.   If the only accurate information I had was the original builder, I'd probably cite it as "the radically altered (year) so-and-so organ".   Andy     On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 11:30:49 +0100, Peter Rodwell wrote > > What about your claim then, that the UK cathedral organs > > shouldn't be called Willis's, as they had been rebuilt by other > > builders. > > This raises a problem I frequently find when cataloguing > organs. > > Take a hypothetical (but not untypical) example of an 18th > century case housing an instrument built in the 1890s, that > was converted to pneumatic action in the 1930s with new > windchests and console plus major tonal alterations, which > was again radically altered in the 1960s to give it a more > "Baroque" sound and then "restored to original condition" > in the 1980s, with new windchests, a lot of new pipework, > re-voicing of the rest, action changed back to mechanical > but with a 50 million memory electronic combination system. > > To whom should this be attributed? > > Since full details of all the work carried out > are rarely available, I tend to attribute it to the > original builder unless it's very clear that next > to nothing remains of his work, but the situation > is usually uncertain. > > Thoughts, anyone? > > Peter. >   A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com  
(back) Subject: RE: Console Accessories From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:07:19 -0600   >My successor apparently has a huge phobia of bad breath, so she keeps a dozen or more different kinds of breath mints there. In fact, when I started practicing for this recital, she kept calling and harassing me about registrations allegedly changing (she didn't know how to reset the pistons, and I never changed her settings), and at one point accused me of stealing breath mints and paper clips. At that point, I went to the priest and said I didn't have any use for her mints and paper clips, that my husband worked nights and slept days and couldn't take her daily calls waking him up, and that if the good Reverend wanted me to do this gig I needed relief from the nagging. Thankfully, I've not been bothered any more.     Forgive me for asking if you've already explained this, but if she's your "successor," then why does the good Reverend want you to do her job?   Regards,   Daniel Hancock Springfield, Missouri  
(back) Subject: RE: GDB From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 03:28:01 +1300   >John Foss At one time a Director of Grant Degens and Bradbeer   Could you tell me more about Maurice F-G as a person? He and I used to = swop letters frequently, and he sent me eight pipes of 1ft C, all of different stops, to show me what he liked: hard spotted metal, interesting scales, = no nicking, low mouths, huge toe-holes. I still have these samples, and all = the pamphlets and letters he sent. His making and sending me those pipes was nothing but plain generosity to a young organ enthusiast who had no possibility of doing anything else back for him but be a penfriend. His letters were often strongly-worded and strongly-minded, but enormous fun = and full of anecdote and opinion, plus fact.   Heavens, this must have been in the early 1960s!   Ross    
(back) Subject: RE: GDB From: "alantaylor1" <alantaylor1@members.v21.co.uk> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 14:27:57 -0000   Oh my....!!   =20   I think it could have been Farnham. My friend, now dead, Garrett gave = the opening and only recital?   =20   Yes, I do know most of the organs you have listed. For my taste, at the time, they were over the top. However, I think it is about time I = revisited the organs. Let=92s see how they sound to me 30 years on.   =20   I have just got a copy of Christus Vinvcit. An LP made in 1978. The = choir conducted by my friend Colin Mawby. The record was produced by John = Foss.   =20   Alan   London   =20   =20   "You mention GDB. Well, I went to an opening of an organ that they had   rebuilt. It was a smallish country church. I think it could have been in   Kent. It was a small two manual. The words Pip squeak and scream comes = to my   mind. After the recital I was approached by the man himself. He asked me   what I thought of the organ. I pointed out that this was probably the = only   time that this organ would be heard in recital mode. And, what the hell = were   they going to play the hymns on on Sunday. I suggested the organ lacked = two   things. The first being a gallon of petrol, the second a match. My point   being it wasn't only the romantic organ builders that screwed up = organs."   =20   Not all the G D & B organs were equally successful, but have you been to = St=20   Mary of Eton, Hackney; Woodford; New College, Oxford; Fulham Priory;=20   Tooting; Sussex University; Ardingly; Hurstpierpoint; Cranleigh; York=20   University;   I don't know which organ you are referring to - I have to be honest that = the     organ in St Martin's Farnham was not totally suitable for the building - =     since I designed it I can say that without fear of upsetting one - it is =     very small - three ranks - and does scream a bit. On the other hand with =     Tooting, which came later, we learned from the experience. I hope you = have=20   read Cecil Clutton in the REVIEWS section at=20   http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/   You are re-opening a discussion which was going strong amongst the = dinosaurs     50 years ago. We have moved on since then.   John Foss   At one time a Director of Grant Degens and Bradbeer   http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/   =20     --=20 No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.296 / Virus Database: 265.5.4 - Release Date: 15/12/2004 =20  
(back) Subject: Re: GDB From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:36:21 -0600   I think we should not be too hard on Grant, Degens & Bradbeer, for, if we are honest, most of us have sensibilities that have changed over the = years. Back in around 1965 I recall being bowled over by a recording of Peter Hurford playing the GDB organ at St. George's, Letchworth. I could not believe how effective a little twelve-stop organ could be, and the organ seemed to have a "virile," exciting sound that was quite new to me at that time. (In retrospect some of its inpact was due to having a Swell to = Great Sub Octave coupler, not really a neo-baroque concept!) I used to like the GDB organs at New College, Oxford and Faringdon too, although I always thought the New College case was hideous and still do. Like many others, however, I tired of the sound of bright, articulate neo-baroque organs, = and have come to appreciate a more romantic and symphonic sound today. Even = so, set in the context of their times, GDB organs were quality instruments, = and avoided the worst excesses of some of the screechy neo-baroque organs I = have heard by other builders, especially in the USA.   John Speller      
(back) Subject: Downes-land memories From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:16:08 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Hee! Hee! Alan has style, when he wrote:-   > I suggested the organ lacked two > things. The first being a gallon of petrol, the > second a match.   I know nothing about the Oratory organ other than the fact that it sounds splendid, but from what Alan states, it sounds to be a bit of a nightmare to maintain.   Isn't this typically Walker at that time?   The use of dreadful materials such as chip-board was quite common at this time, and David Wood, who recently re-built the organ at Blackburn Cathedral (Walker - 1969) was obliged to have new windchests made after only 35 years! I also recall the Middleton Hall organ at Hull University (Walker), which was terribly unrealiable electrically, with very unpredictable piston action etc.   In fact, Stephen Bicknell has stated in a lecture, that British organ-building post-war, was in a terrible state and that quality had fallen through the floor; though whether this ever applied to Harrison & Harrison or Compton, I do not know.   I doubt that Ralph Downes ever had much to do with technical design, and in this respect, he probably was a rank amateur. His contribution was, I suspect, purely tonal.   Moving rapidly backwards to Hope-Jones, I "think" I disagree with Alan, but maybe not. I take his point about blend.....what blend? There was never an attempt to build an organ....merely a strange collection of totally unrelated orchestral effects. However, Alan misses the point I suspect. The individual ranks can be very, very good. Hope-Jones strings are excellent examples, his flutes are beautifully voiced, his diapasons (always at 8ft) have a nice edge and fullness of tone (as do those of Wurlitzer) and his Tubas are very, very good. Weren't the Hope-Jones interests taken over by Norman & Beard, who finished the organ at Battersea Town Hall?   This has nothing to do with the fact that Hope-Jones knew absolutely nothing about REAL organs.   Norman & Beard were, of course, the company who were responsible for the Christie Unit cinema organs, and who built to a very high quality. I seem to recall that they inherited the voicer(s) and interests from the bankrupt Hope-Jones, and consequently produced some extraordinarily fine orchestral reeds and major reeds.   So if old Downes liked the Hope-Jones Diapason at Worcester, I can well understand why; especially since it sat among other diapasons at higher pitches, to make a real organ sound.   I think we both agree that Compton made some outstanding church and concert instruments and employed some excellent staff. The quality of the components was fantastic.   Strange though it may seem, some of the Grant, Deegens and Bradbeer (Rippen?) men were ex-Compton, and I agree that, in many instances, they produced organs unsuited to the buildings in which they were placed. St.George's, Letchworth is another example. Locally to me, there is a Philip Wood organ on which it would be possible to accompany 500 with just the Great Gedact Flote! I think there was a "learning curve" with many builders, when they tried to adopt what they regarded as "classical voicing" techniques.   But who do we blame....the organ-builders or the musicians? I suspect the latter have much to answer for.   As for the Royal Festival Hall instrument, I just do not agree that it is a screeching sound. Bright it certainly is, but if the upperwork didn't have real punch, it would never be heard in the hall. IMHO, they should (a) never have built the hall and (b) never attempted to install an organ in it.   One thing I can tell Alan, having played it, the organ in de Dolen concert hall, Rotterdam (Marcussen I "think", but it might just be a Flentrop.....so long ago) speaks into a very similar acoustic to that found in the Festival Hall. It sounds far, far worse than the Harrison/Downes organ!   I'm not impressed by the Marcussen at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and as for that thundering beast by Klais at Birmingham....well....what sort of organ is it supposed to be?   It seems to me, that modern concert halls are just very, very poor places in which to install an organ, because the acousticians have this idea that good acoustics can be built into a hall containing 5,000 softly cushioned seats. In the old days, people sat on benches, wooden chairs or thinly covered metal affairs, and the sound was fine.   Bring back the Victorian architects. They didn't know too much, but they got it right!!!   Finally (at last!) who the hell would want four independent choruses on a four manual instrument....what a silly idea!   I just can't imagine what Schnitger was thinking of at Zwolle.   Let's just agree to have our friendly differences of opinion Alan, or we could probably die having this conversation. The British organ community are STILL talking about the Festival Hall organ fifty years on.   All you have to do is accept the FACT the Ralph Downes was a great man who deserved a knighthood at the very least.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK       --- alantaylor1 <alantaylor1@members.v21.co.uk> wrote:   I love the sound of the Oratory > organ. Although I hear the > design of the action et al is quite dreadful.>   > If Downes thought that Hope-Jones voiced a good > diapason, well....that just about wraps it up for > Downes. > > I once had access to a vintage, and then untouched, > Hope-Jones. It was in St > Georges, Hanover Square, London. This organ was > truly dreadful.   > But, to my ears the > RFH organ is dreadful. > Yes, there are a few nice stops on the organ... And, > who the hell wants or needs a chorus on all four > manuals? > > Wurlitzer, in my view, made better cinema organs > than Comptons.   > I don't think that some builders left the path of > the righteous when they > built organs that you have given the good new name > of "orchestralisation". > They just did something different. > > You mention GDB. Well, I went to an opening of an > organ ..... I pointed out that this > was probably the only > time that this organ would be heard in recital mode.         __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - Find what you need with new enhanced search. http://info.mail.yahoo.com/mail_250  
(back) Subject: Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street) From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:29:15 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   I think the answer to this is quite simple.   Where an organ has been changed radically, then it should be stated clearly.   If a builder then comes along and "restores" the original, then that should be stated also.   If I want to know anything about an old Dutch organ, I can usually find out who, what, when and where in fine detail. Sometimes, even an individual rank gets a special mention, because it was taken from another organ by the same builder, but the pipes had been sitting discarded above the other organ for 220 years!! (I kid you not!)   Have fun cataloguing!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- Peter Rodwell <iof@ctv.es> wrote:   > This raises a problem I frequently find when > cataloguing > organs. > > Take a hypothetical (but not untypical) example of > an 18th > century case housing an instrument built in the > 1890s, that > was converted to pneumatic action in the 1930s with > new > windchests and console plus major tonal alterations, > which > was again radically altered in the 1960s to give it > a more > "Baroque" sound and then "restored to original > condition" > in the 1980s, with new windchests, a lot of new > pipework, > re-voicing of the rest, action changed back to > mechanical > but with a 50 million memory electronic combination > system. > > To whom should this be attributed? > > Since full details of all the work carried out > are rarely available, I tend to attribute it to the > original builder unless it's very clear that next > to nothing remains of his work, but the situation > is usually uncertain. > > Thoughts, anyone?     __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: RE: GDB From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:34:24 -0800 (PST)   Hello,   Grant's Whisky.....now there's wonderful subject at Christmas time.   Regards,   Colin Mutchell UK     --- TheShieling <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> wrote:   > > Could you tell me more about Maurice F-G as a > person?     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Read only the mail you want - Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard. http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street) From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:47:21 -0600     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 9:29 AM Subject: Re: Who is the real builder? (was Bourne Street)     > Hello, > > I think the answer to this is quite simple. > > Where an organ has been changed radically, then it > should be stated clearly.   It ought to be possible to have a series of guidelines (and some trade organizations do this) to determine how to describe organs.   One might say, for example, that any organ claiming to be new should incorporate a certain percentage of new materials. Certainly over 50%, = and perhaps some would argue as much as 75%. Less than those percentages, and it would be a "Rebuild."   Similarly, one would distinctions between "restoration," "rebuilding" and "reconstruction" according to how much of the instrument was affected and how much of the original material was present.   A good phrase to use is "incorporating pipework from the previous organ by (such and such) builder."   For example, one organ I worked on recently was a new 3/42 instrument = which incorporated 6 ranks from the previous Pilcher organ. Two of these ranks, the 16' Subbass and 16' Lieblich Gedeckt were on their original = windchests.   What really upsets me is when people claim they have an organ by one of = the great builders of the past when it has been rebuilt out of all = recognition. I was recently asked to review a CD that had been recorded on what was described as "The Skinner organ at (such and such) church." When I heard the recording I winced as the reeds came on. On looking at the specification I determined that 2/3 of the instrument, including all the choruses and all the reeds except the English Horn, had been replaced by neo-baroque stuff in the 1960's. Basically all that was left of the = Skinner organ was a few flutes and strings. How could anyone possibly describe = that as a "Skinner organ"?   John Speller      
(back) Subject: Re: MP3 Files From: "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:19:46 -0500   Dear Scott, For some strange reason I cannot play any MP-3 files through my = computer. How do I get the software to do that again. I seem to have = lost the capability. Paul ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Scott Montgomery=20 To: PipeChat=20 Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 8:38 AM Subject: MP3 Files     For those of you that are interested, I have put last Thursday's = recital up on my web page. Some files are large, and may take a few = minutes to load up.   Thanks, let me know if there are any problems.   To see them, go to www.scottmontgomerymusic.net/listeningpage.htm               Scott Montgomery=20 619 W Church St=20 Champaign, IL 61820=20 217-390-0158=20 www.ScottMontgomeryMusic.net       --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.786 / Virus Database: 532 - Release Date: 10/29/2004
(back) Subject: Re: Downes and the Royal Festival Hall From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:37:10 EST   Dear John:   I agree with you whole heartedly on Ralph Downes. At RFH he was dealt an exceedingly bad room for an organ. The other thing is that the building was under construction at the same time the organ was built. The room is part of the organ. Nobody could predict what the end result would be, even with promises otherwise. I wonder if they will retain those pudgy flower pot fake pipes in the facade. They look like way overgrown tibias. Did the architect get any heat for a job gone totally wrong, or the acoustical engineer? Probably not. Blame the organ consultant as the scapegoat. Well you have to blame somebody. That's totally wrong.   Ron Severin    
(back) Subject: George Wright -- New CD From: "William T. Van Pelt" <bill@organsociety.org> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 13:48:08 -0500   George Wright's new CD recorded on the Pasadena studio Wurlitzer and made from never-before-released tapes that were discovered in 1997 is now in stock at OHS. Further description and ordering information appears at http://www.ohscatalog.org A link to the CD shows near the bottom of the opening page.    
(back) Subject: Re: MP3 Files From: "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis@email.com> Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 03:01:46 +0800   Microsoft MediaPlayer (built-in to windows) should play MP3's ... you might= have to re-associate the filetype mp3 with the player.=20   In Media Player 10, if the menu bar is not displayed in application, click = the down arrow icon just to the left of the minimize, maximize/resize, clos= e icons in the upper right hand corner. You can either choose to "show the = tool bar" or use this mini menu to set the file associations.   Click the "Tools" menu, select "Options". On the properties page, click the= "File Types" tab and select "MP3 audio files (mp3)" (you could also use the "select all" button)   I like Nullsoft's Winamp better. (http://www.winamp.com/) There are countle= ss other players out there with amny features.       ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Subject: Re: MP3 Files Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:19:46 -0500   >=20 > Dear Scott, > For some strange reason I cannot play any MP-3 files through=20 > my computer. How do I get the software to do that again. I seem to=20 > have lost the capability. > Paul > ----- Original Message ----- > From: Scott Montgomery > To: PipeChat > Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 8:38 AM > Subject: MP3 Files >=20 >=20 > For those of you that are interested, I have put last Thursday's=20 > recital up on my web page. Some files are large, and may take a=20 > few minutes to load up. >=20 > Thanks, let me know if there are any problems. >=20 > To see them, go to www.scottmontgomerymusic.net/listeningpage.htm >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > Scott Montgomery > 619 W Church St > Champaign, IL 61820 > 217-390-0158 > www.ScottMontgomeryMusic.net >=20 >=20 >=20 > --- > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. > Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). > Version: 6.0.786 / Virus Database: 532 - Release Date: 10/29/2004       -- Jan Nijhuis nijhuis@email.com   --=20 ___________________________________________________________ Sign-up for Ads Free at Mail.com http://promo.mail.com/adsfreejump.htm