Author Topic: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Shepherd  (Read 32848 times)

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NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2010, 08:46:27 PM »
Showing my ignorance what kind of stop is it? Fog Horns like the old Diaphones at Worcester?

It was invented in 1904 by Ernest M. Skinner, the great American organbuilder. You can tell he was born to that profession - he was born in a town called Clarion!  ;D

http://www.organstops.org/e/Erzahler.html explains it all. The name is German for "Story-teller", which I think is rather lovely. It sounds like a kind of cross between a flute and a string - it's quite compelling, quite delicate.

Also, don't be rude about Hope-Jones or the old Worcester organ! It remains one of this country's great tragedies that such a brilliantly original organ-builder as RHJ is still so despised... his Clarinets and strings, particularly, are gorgeous. His organs were fantastically inventive. The old Worcester organ, incorporating Hill, RHJ and, by the time of its replacement, a lot of Harrison, was a magnificent beast: its destruction was nothing short of cultural vandalism and should never have been allowed.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 09:04:16 PM by organforumadmin »

barniclecompton

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2010, 12:36:53 AM »
The voicing is untouched, the action is original. Alot of the leatherwork they done was leaking a year after they done the work, the action is leaking, theres stops that stopped working altogether too!

Jonathan Lane

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2010, 05:16:54 AM »


Also, don't be rude about Hope-Jones or the old Worcester organ! It remains one of this country's great tragedies that such a brilliantly original organ-builder as RHJ is still so despised... his Clarinets and strings, particularly, are gorgeous. His organs were fantastically inventive.

Its a bit like having a line such as 'To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer, The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.' in a Catherine Cookson novel.

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2010, 05:34:29 AM »
Sorry, Jonathan, being ill and having not slept properly for four days, I'm being rather thick. What on earth are you on about?  :)

Jonathan Lane

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2010, 01:41:15 PM »
Sorry, Jonathan, being ill and having not slept properly for four days, I'm being rather thick. What on earth are you on about?  :)
A few good stops, and there were a few in the old Worcester organ does not make an instrument.  The old organ was one of the hardest organs I ever had to play, and was almost impossible to get anything musical from it, the new one is a fine instrument and looks far better too!

revtonynewnham

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2010, 02:55:56 PM »
Hi

I doubt that anyone still alive played the Worcester organ as Hope-Jones left it!  Everything since has been a compromise, due to cost factors, until the recent Tickell job.

It seems to me that H-J organs need a totally different approach to registration than the one we learned and are used to on typical British organs.  A couple of years ago I had opportunity to play Colin Pykett's digital reconstruction of a small HJ organ - very interesting - and capable of some nice effects, both quiet and loud.  I guess that HJ suffered the same sort of antagonism that the ne0-classical builders faced here in the UK over the past 40-50 years.  It's too easy to condemn something that's "different" to the norm.

Every Blessing

Tony

barniclecompton

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2010, 07:17:14 PM »
If Micheal McDonald done any work on it, it wont be much better, if at all, than it was before.

Why not? What's wrong with him and his workmanship?

You only need to look at the botch over he done at ayr town hall to understand that!

I know nothing of this... as I understood it was an untouched Lewis. Sorry, being resident in Surrey, Ayr is a long way away, the furthest North I've ever been is Manchester (my mother was taking her FRCO at the Royal Northern - I was about two, but, when we went into the Cathedral, I was still able to point up from my pushchair under the tower and say "Look, Daddy, look at that wonderful fan-vaulting!". Yes, that one really is true.

It is an untouched Lewis with regards to the voicing and action. Within a year of Micheal Macdonald doing the restoration on Ayr town Hall, the leatherwork was leaking in some places, theres stops that dont work, theres cyphers all over the place, the action is leaking......

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2010, 10:35:07 PM »
Sorry, Jonathan, being ill and having not slept properly for four days, I'm being rather thick. What on earth are you on about?  :)
A few good stops, and there were a few in the old Worcester organ does not make an instrument.  The old organ was one of the hardest organs I ever had to play, and was almost impossible to get anything musical from it, the new one is a fine instrument and looks far better too!

There were a hang sight more than a few good stops. No, it was not without its flaws - those concrete swellboxes didn't help, for a start - but it was a fine instrument, and, in case you've forgotten, casework by George Gilbert Scott (also now wantonly destroyed). Yes, the Tickell looks good - but it could have used a lot more of the existing instrument's pipework.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2010, 10:37:03 PM »
It seems to me that H-J organs need a totally different approach to registration than the one we learned and are used to on typical British organs.  A couple of years ago I had opportunity to play Colin Pykett's digital reconstruction of a small HJ organ - very interesting - and capable of some nice effects, both quiet and loud.  I guess that HJ suffered the same sort of antagonism that the ne0-classical builders faced here in the UK over the past 40-50 years.  It's too easy to condemn something that's "different" to the norm

Dear Tony

I think that this is the raison d'etre for the cause of preservation and for exercising good conservation principles. You're making a very valid point here.
Best wsihes

David P

barniclecompton

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2010, 10:57:31 PM »
I dont get how this is now gone from a pipe organ in possible need of "rescuing" to being about hope jones.

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2010, 11:11:35 PM »
Sorry, we were talking about Scottish organbuilders, I mentioned Edmonstone's work in Perth, got onto the subject of the (very rare outside N. America) Erzahler stop at St Ninian's, then Barrie Davis asked what an Erzahler is, saying "Fog Horns like the old Diaphones at Worcester?", and I decided to stick up for poor old RHJ... now, I know there's nowt subtle about the Diaphone - I seem to recall that they actually really did use them as foghorns for H. M. Coastguard - but they're bloody effective at underpinning full organ in a full building... another of my favourite organs is another huge, much-maligned beast, the Compton at Downside Abbey. It's a magnificent beast, really needs a damn good restoration though... and a Vox Humana stop. In fact, as it's an extension organ, a whole 16/8/4 Vox Humana rank would be ideal!  ;D

drawstop

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2011, 01:31:17 PM »
How about one cathedral in each county?
And it is time parish churches were stopped from being milked by the local cathedral.

Michael Macdonald

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2011, 05:02:26 PM »
http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=R00220

Thats all the information i can find on it. The church closed a few years back and nothing has been heard of it since. As far as i know the organ is still there.

From memory the instrument was originally constructed by Ingram & Co, installed second hand at the Good Shepherd by Hilsdon in the 1950s with a new stop tab console detached downstairs. The organ was on the West gallery behind a timber screen. The building was supposed to be unsafe and was closed.

Michael Macdonald

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2011, 05:07:04 PM »
http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=R00220

Thats all the information i can find on it. The church closed a few years back and nothing has been heard of it since. As far as i know the organ is still there.

When the Good Shepherd Cathedral closed the Church of St Margarets was elevated to Cathedral status. The organ (Hardy & Sons circa 1900) was overhauled by Paul Miller about ten years. Unfortuately this has been jettisoned in favour of an electronic substitute

Michael Macdonald

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2011, 05:11:09 PM »
If Micheal McDonald done any work on it, it wont be much better, if at all, than it was before.
[ No I did not work on the instrument, it was maintained by Messrs Harrison & Harrison who took over the Hilsdon Tuning Round when the business closed.

David Drinkell

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2011, 10:43:51 PM »
I feel there is a certain amount of confusion on this thread.

Diocesan Quotas pay primarily for running the diocese, not the cathedral, although the cathedral may get a cut in view of its role as the mother church.  Cathedrals are often strapped for cash too, although they may attract the occasional large donation.  At Bury St. Edmunds, for example, the wonderful new central tower came about because the architect Stephen Dykes Bower bequeathed a large sum on the condition it was spent on building.  The Lottery chipped in a larger sum and the parishes were not asked for huge wads of cash. 

IMHO, the well-worn description of Guildford Cathedral as a bus station or a garage is unfair.  I find it a fine example of its period, impressive externally and inspiring within.  I could live with the organ, too, although it's certainly bady placed (like Chester), the acoustics are poor and I think it's a shame the opportunity to provide a striking case was missed.

Chelmsford Cathedral serves the most populous diocese, apart from London, in the Church of England.  There would be little point subsuming Essex into other dioceses.  Chelmsford has also made great efforts to raise the profile and standard of its music (as have most parish church cathedrals in the last twenty or thirty years).

The Worcester Cathedral organ was a sad hotch-potch by the end and did not contain much original Hope-Jones pipework.  It was, as had been pointed out, an awkward beast to drive, the Gilbert Scott cases were arguably not his best examples and a lot of the pipework (including the Large Open) was situated too close to the singers and quire congregation for comfort.  A start from scratch was surely a better proposition than yet another revamp, or even a compromise in order to use existing, altered pipes.  Similarly, at Bury St. Edmunds the previously Nicholson organ was a fine conception but contained a fair amount of old work which shortened its reliable life.  The new Harrison is a pedigree production, as well as having cases of which Stephen Dykes Bower would have been proud.

I wouldn't call Downside 'much-maligned', except insofar as some people tend to carp at any extension organ.  If all such instruments incorporated the standards of voicing and workmanship one is accustomed to find in Compton's work, the breed would doubtless have a better reputation.  In the specific case of Downside, it's rather off the beaten track and is very little known.  Those who have taken the trouble to experience it in person are generally impressed. 

References to Perth appear to confuse the organs of the Episcopal Cathedral and the Kirk of St. John.  St. John had the Rothwell, the Cathedral a thorough-going mongrel.  The sixties Rushworth rebuild at the Cathedral was not highly regarded, although with careful handling it could sound better than it deserved.  It had been somewhat tweaked during Alastair Pow's time as organist and Sandy Edmonstone's rebuild, complete with Willis console from St. Giles, Edinburgh, seems to have pulled it together in a remarkable way.  Speaking as a one-time organist of a Scottish cathedral, my impression of Sandy Edmonstone and Michael McDonald is that both are honest, conscientious and skilful, and do the best they can with the resources available.


David Pinnegar

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2011, 12:54:36 AM »
Dear Michael and David

Thank you so much for your clarifications on this thread and, Michael, apologies are certainly due for our Admin teams including myself for having overlooked an inappropriately targeted derogatory comment regarding you. If you would like it to be removed then of course it can be done . . . However, as misconceptions can  be commonplace, sometimes it can be better for them to be brought into the open and corrected as you have done . . .

(With regard to Guildford, I have not been there in decades but chatting with an organist with a sense of humour the other day, the comment was made that clearly "Maufe did not like organs" . . . . )

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 01:03:25 PM by David Pinnegar »

David Drinkell

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2011, 04:43:10 AM »
I know not everyone will agree, but I admired Maufe's Nave Organ case at Bradford (now, sadly, gone).  I thought his extension of the building was admirable, too.

In Belfast, the short-lived Church of St. Barnabas, Duncairn Gardens (demolished in 1995) was obviously inspired by Guildford, although I don't think it was actually by Maufe.  It was a fine building and had excellent acoustics.  The Evans & Barr organ (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=C00301) sounded really grand.  Possibly a coat of paint with a hard finish on the ceiling would improve the acoustic at Guildford.  Some buildings in North America (including St. John the Divine, New York City) have been treated to alleviate the effect of previous acoustic treatments.

pcnd5584

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2011, 12:35:51 PM »
... The Worcester Cathedral organ was a sad hotch-potch by the end and did not contain much original Hope-Jones pipework.  It was, as had been pointed out, an awkward beast to drive, the Gilbert Scott cases were arguably not his best examples and a lot of the pipework (including the Large Open) was situated too close to the singers and quire congregation for comfort.  A start from scratch was surely a better proposition than yet another revamp, or even a compromise in order to use existing, altered pipes.  Similarly, at Bury St. Edmunds the previously Nicholson organ was a fine conception but contained a fair amount of old work which shortened its reliable life.  The new Harrison is a pedigree production, as well as having cases of which Stephen Dykes Bower would have been proud. ...

I am not sure that I would agree that the old Worcester organ was awkward to handle. I had to play it (near the end of its life) for a long week-end of services for a visiting choir, in 2004. I found it easy and very comfortable to play, Of course one had to be careful not to play too loudly for the choir and congregation in the Quire. The same is true at Salisbury and Winchester (and, in all probabilty, Durham). Interestingly, the Worcester organ was not in the parlous state that I had expected, from reading what had been written about it.

I found that everything (except for the Seell Gedeckt 8ft) worked perfectly. There were no cyphers, no apparent shortage of wind - or any other kind of malfunction. Instead, I discovered a wealth of beautiful quieter registers, in addition to a majestic and powerful tutti - which seemed to me to fit this building like a glove.

With regard to Bury Saint Edmunds; the new organ does indeed look spectacular. However, having played the old organ, I presume the reference to 'old work' refers to the action and/or winding or soundboards. I think , on balance, that I would have preferred the previous stoplist - the present instrument is rather smaller (by around twenty speaking stops) - with, in particular, an odd Pedal reed section - 32, 16, 16 and 16. The instrument has also lost an entire section, the previous organ having contained a Positif in addition to a Choir Organ. There is now, as far as I can see, a shortage of useful, quiet 8ft, registers - particularly on the lowest clavier, which has lost, amongst other ranks, a beautiful, resful Unda Maris, which formed an undulating rank together with the Dulciana.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 12:46:35 PM by pcnd5584 »
Pierre Cochereau rocked, man

revtonynewnham

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Re: Ayr-Cathedral of the Good Sheperd
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2011, 01:48:22 PM »
Hi

Interestingly, in view of the comments about starting anew in various cathedrals, it's perhaps worth remembering that, except for the Positive dept, the organ at Guildford was distinctly second-hand, having come from Shipley Baptist Church here in Yorkshire when they closed and demolished the large Victorian edifice at around the time Guildford was being built.

Every Blessing

Tony

 


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