Author Topic: St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London  (Read 4785 times)

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flared_ophicleide

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St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:36:24 AM »
Though this may not fit this sub-forum, I figure this is the closest thing. There is an appeal for this organ's restoration though.

The 1891 Walker, re-built by Harrison & Harrison, is a curious one considering that it had been reduced in size by a factor of around 3.5. (was III/46, now II/13). Also, included in its much reduced size is a 32' Open Wood.  This is believed to be the smallest organ with a 32' Open Wood.

According to the NPOR, one entry shows that the 32' OW was installed by Walker, but in another, said stop originated from the III/46 Gray & Davison from 1855. (I think it was the latter)  The one thing that has me wondering is the fact that this big stop seems to have been intentionally carried over into this small organ. Why?

Is there a history of this organ that one could read?  Was visiting St. Sep's a few months ago and didn't even think to even look for any literature of the church itself much less the organ.

Could someone help?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 01:40:52 AM by flared_ophicleide »

David Drinkell

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Re: St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 04:50:28 AM »
The story is that Sir Sydney Nicholson, the founder of the Royal School of Church Music, was consultant when Harrisons' built the present organ using the best ("hand-picked") pipework from the previous very large 3 manual instrument.  The 32' was retained because it was already there and the general idea was to make a small organ that had the effect of a big one - an aspiration which I think was achieved. The old organ had become completely unplayable.  I have seen a photograph of some of the pipes tied to the railings outside the church with a notice appealing for funds.

Terz

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Re: St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 09:58:42 AM »
You may be right about this being the smallest organ with a proper 32ft stop, rather than just an acoustic bottom octave.  I have just checked and the one near me in Standish, Gloucestershire where Andrew Freeman was vicar is a 2M+P of 23 stops.  It has a case designed by Stephen Dykes Bower.   http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05780

David Drinkell

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Re: St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 06:16:28 AM »
A 32' bourdon (usually down to GGG with the lowest five notes acoustic) was quite common in organs by Percy Daniel, who rebuilt the Standish job for Andrew Freeman.  St. John the Baptist, Weston-Super-Mare, St. George, Brandon Hill, Bristol (NPOR is wrong in querying the existence of this organ - I remember it well), and Wotton-under-Edge Parish Church were examples, although Standish was smaller than these.  Andrew Freeman is on record as having a preference for gentle tone, with plenty of scope for 'atmosphere', so a 32' would have been to his liking.

RPB

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Re: St. Sepulchre without Newgate, London
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 11:00:19 PM »
There is a description of how the organ at St Sepulchre's came to be as it is in Nicholas Plumley's book "The organs of the City of London from the Restoration to the Present". Evidently Nicholson provided the funds for the 32ft to be incorporated into the scheme.

The annual St Cecilia's Day service used to be held at St Sepulchre's for many years after the second world war.  A new anthem was composed for each service, but not many of them have subsequently found their way into the repertoire.  An exception is Finzi's "God is gone up" (1951).  The organ introduction is for "Great and Pedal Reeds (only)".  Neither of these exists at St Sepulchre's!  Apparently nobody told Finzi what the organ was like!!

 


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