Author Topic: 2 organs - 1 console (Lancaster Priory)  (Read 3480 times)

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2 organs - 1 console (Lancaster Priory)
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:30:48 AM »

Whilst we were in the area on holiday a little while ago I was able to make a brief visit to Lancaster Priory to see & play te "new" installation.  The stop list of this interesting instrument is on NPOR -

This is an interesting solution to the perennial Anglican problem of how to provide an organ that can both adequately accompany the choir in the chancel and also lead a large congregation in the Nave.

The solution at Lancaster was to install 2 redundant organs - a 3m Willis in the West Gallery, and a 2m Harrison in the chancel.  Regular readers of this forum will know that David Pinnegar was instrumental in saving this organ's predecessor, a Custom Compton electronic with 2 sets of speakers to cover the 2 requirements.

I found the organ interesting.  On paper, there looks like a lot of duplication - there are fairly complete diapason choruses at both ends for example, and a plethora of flutes and other ranks.  In practice, it works very well.  There is a significant difference in voicing between the two choruses, and between other similar ranks (the reason, no doubt, for going for organs by 2 different builders).  There are some very nice quiet sounds available, as well as the big West End chorus and the big solo reed.  Talking to the organist, he says the only real problem is that the chancel organ can be a little underpowered when their full choir (some 60 voices) is singing - in that situation he finds he needs to also draw a coulpe of stops on the corresponding manual of the West organ (and this is set on some of the general pistons).

In the short time I had to play (my arthritis was not too good on the day) I found no problem in keeping track of the two organs - which are playable from a single, mobile console.

Well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Every Blessing



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