Author Topic: Too late...  (Read 23042 times)

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Steve Best

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2010, 07:40:37 AM »
At the request of this group's moderator, I am sending along this partial update on the situation involving the demolitiong of an organ in upstate New York:

The saga of the destruction of the 2003 DeMarse three manual tracker organ continues.  The organ is gone, but the controversy which has followed continues unabated.  You will recall that this instrument was located in Our Lady of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church in Queensbury, NY.   Containing 48 ranks of metal pipes by Stinkens and Letourneau and some larger wooden pipes from Organ Supply Industries, the instrument was destroyed in late October in a move which stunned many, including the diocesan organ consultant, who had worked long and hard to relocate the instrument.  Indeed, just days before the organ's destruction, a group of parishioners from another church had arranged to have the organ demonstrated, a meeting that was abruptly canceled by the Annunciation pastor, who denied these people to the building.  The next day, the organ was destroyed.  The Glens Falls (NY) Post Gazette reported that "The removal of the organ was completed last week by Foley-Baker Inc., which will salvage some parts like the blower and send the pipes to a hazard waste facility due to a lead issue, according to Busch."  Mr. Busch is the resident priest at Annunciation church. 

In the days following the organ's destruction, support for organ builder Harold DeMarse has come from all over the world.  Multiple organ builders which had examined the organ and made suggestions for repairing any deficiencies and/or removing the organ to a new home registered their outrage.   David A. Vredenburg, organ consultant for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, whose recommendations were summarily ignored, has proven to be a pillar of strength and support.  Donors whose gifts made the organ possible have undertaken a determined effort to set the record straight. Investigative reporters are probing background information which has not yet been made public.  Musicians from across the USA and many other countries have contacted the Rev. Howard Hubbard, bishop of the diocese.  There is much more going on behind the scenes.

This story is far from being over even though the organ has been destroyed.  I will report more as I am able, but I certainly don't want to jeopardize ongoing efforts to salvage some good from such a lamentable situation. 

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2010, 03:16:26 PM »
Thank you for that update. We all need to give that bishop an holy bollocking, so to speak... mind you, given that he's a Catholic bishop, he probably won't listen. Mine is absolutely [inappropiate word deleted] useless!  >:(
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 07:43:53 PM by Barry Williams »

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010, 05:29:01 AM »
Mr. Best,

Are you aware that Mr. Vredenberg is categorically denying having given you any information, i.e. confidential Diocese documents that you quote, that he has not asked you to speak on his behalf, and he is insisting that he knows nothing of your personal online mission regarding the Annunciation organ. Are you aware of this, and if this is true, where are you getting your information from?  If it's not true, then why is he declaring innocence?   I do hope investigative work, as you have indicated, continues, so that the public may know the truth in this matter, as clearly it is very shifty at this point.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2010, 06:41:27 AM »
Hi!

I'm wondering if on the facts that are very obvious, the following is a fair summary?

1. An organ was built and donated to the church below full cost and by public subscription some dozen years ago.
2. The builder of the organ was an organist associated with the church.
3. There was a change of organist and clearly the organ lost its aural shine in another's hands
4. There were some minor problems requiring maintenance to some extent
5. In the knowledge that the church had fallen out of love with the instrument, at least one other church was keen to obtain it
6. The instrument ended up largely in a rubbish skip instead of what we on this forum as organ preservationists would regard as responsible rehousing elsewhere, leading to our perspective that wanton destruction has taken place?

The administrators of this forum wish to maintain this forum as a place of free speech and fair comment. I'm sure that many readers will be pleased not to see gratuitous use of four letter words converted into gerunds . . .

Organs should be the instruments of gentle men and ladies who can both accompany with manners and have the guts to pull out the high pressure reeds when necessary . . . and so we much look forward to the results of the ongoing investigations in this matter. However, it's apparent that at this stage somne sort of diplomatic negotiations are bound to be going on somewhere or other. In the Atheist's Corner I have written about the Grove of Nemi where any challenger to the Priest may take up the golden bough with his sword and kill the Priest, and thereafter have to defend his position from future challenges. This sort of process happens especially when people's jobs are on the line, and it is unreasonable in such circumstances to expect or obtain full information.

We look forward to further instalments about what really was going on in Albany and how and why what appears to be corporate vandalism in terms of organicide took place.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 04:38:03 PM »
Mr. Best,

Are you aware that Mr. Vredenberg is categorically denying having given you any information, i.e. confidential Diocese documents that you quote, that he has not asked you to speak on his behalf, and he is insisting that he knows nothing of your personal online mission regarding the Annunciation organ. Are you aware of this, and if this is true, where are you getting your information from?  If it's not true, then why is he declaring innocence?   I do hope investigative work, as you have indicated, continues, so that the public may know the truth in this matter, as clearly it is very shifty at this point.

And where do you get this information from? Sounds very fishy...

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2010, 07:14:01 PM »
Investigative work is ongoing, as Mr. Best states.  How do you know what is true and what isn't, when the individuals who started the current online "Battle of Queensbury" (LOL) don't participate in the posts, but have a spokesperson representing them?  That's very fishy, to say the least...actually there are other phrases I could use, but that wouldn't be gentlemanly. 

David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2010, 12:55:43 AM »
Hi!

Spokesperson? I'm not sure I understand this. Steve Best has informed us directly of what's going on through this thread or are you saying that Steve is a spokesperson for someone else?

Perhaps you might explain your position: there's a lot of fog around over Britain at the moment so our vision across the pond is slightly nebulously obscured.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2010, 02:21:34 AM »
I suspect the "fog" continues right  up to the corporate limits of  Queensbury ;)  Possibly to the doorstep of the Our Lady of the Annunciation RCC,  Maybe even inside the head Mr. Busch...

Eric
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Steve Best

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2010, 04:43:01 AM »
I speak for no one other than myself -- an individual who finds it incomprehensible that a major instrument with many redeeming qualities -- note, I did not say this was a PERFECT organ -- has been lost.  This particular instrument is a mere 100 miles from my home, and its destruction has been widely reported and discussed in upstate New York.  After all, the instrument was known to those who attended the AGO 2003 regional convention recital on the organ.

Yes, the dedicatory recital was less than a resounding success, and I reported on that event for what it was.  Following is a part of my review which is often overlooked:

"I still have hopes that this organ can be finished and take its place as one of the finer instruments in its area. Mr. DeMarse is noted for exquisite craftsmanship and attention to every detail, and given enough time, I can only hope that his determined effort and skill will make up for what has to be considered a major setback. However, scheduling a recital at this stage of the organ's development was a most unfortunate mistake.

"Lastly, I wish more people would take seriously my number one inviolable rule for dedicatory recitals: NEVER NEVER NEVER even think of scheduling a dedicatory recital until the organ is 100% finished and has been played enough to identify and correct any problems."

The organ is, of course, gone.  If reports in the Glens Falls newspaper are to be believed, 48 ranks of Stinkens and Letourneau pipework have been delivered to a hazardous waste facility because of the lead content of the pipes.  Alas....




NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2010, 05:42:55 AM »
Marcel Dupré opened the Westminster Cathedral organ with less than half of it even there  ;D

David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2010, 05:05:06 PM »
Hi!

In relation to the idea that one should not do a dedicatory recital before 100% completion, I think that the sad thing is an appaling lack of imagination, understanding and intelligence of many people, if not coloured by a pure jealousy not of material things but actually of effort.

This results in a predisposition to rubbish things that have wonderful potential. This goes hand in hand with people who cannot see wonderful opportunities staring them in the face, and thereby don't take them.

How many organists have yet taken the opportunity to display their programmes and enthusiasm yet in the concerts section of this forum? Of course if the organ isn't worth shouting about, it's not worthy of being listened to.

How many organ builders have talked about wonderful projects they are undertaking on this forum? Why not? And that is why, with dead people running the show, the organ is dying with them.

So it is with inaugural recitals. So it was with the Peter Collins instrument at Trono which was rubbished because people had neither the understanding nor imagination to consider what would be the result with some tweaks on a potentiometer or two - and worse - he committed the cardinal sin of showing initiative and a willingness to experiment. And worse still, the IOB thought that it would threaten jobs in the pipe organ industry. There's always a vested interest lurking in the background.

And then there's the Golden Bough (see Atheist's corner) - since time immemorial we have set up Kings as Gods only then to knock them down to prove that they are mortal after all . . . and these primitive motives colour humankind's progress in lurches. Coming full circle, we then find that we are as primitive as the times of myth ever were.

For my own part, it has been an honour to work with Hugh Potton at Hammerwood, who did the inaugural recital on the organ at Hammerwood then fresh from Londonderry and had the sheer imagination to understand. But not appreciating what the instrument in its setting can do, Ann Marsden Thomas in London won't: "everyone has toasters at home" - without realising or wanting to understand the special facility that exists only a short train ride out from London. Similarly YouTube videos of the instrument recorded with the camera microphone with automatic volume control are often derided by people who cannot understand that were one to take the camera into a pipe chamber, one would get no better result. Mander summarily dismissed me from the Mander Forum overtly for having posted a YouTube video of an amusing attempt at sheer FUN with the 1812 Overture accompanied by explosions from attempts to burst 50 balloons at once. It could have been better, but it was fun and audiences have asked me when we're going to do it again.  . . .

That's what encouraging enthusiasm is all about - is any organist game for doing another FUN recital?

The Mander response was that I was bringing the instrument into disrepute. I had also at about the same time mentioned the Taboo of hybrid organs . . . a subject that simply _must_not_ be discussed.

If Repute means Death, so be it. I want to enliven Life - and the organ can do it!

It's a pleasure to see that undiscoraged, Peter Collins has used his hybrid experience to enable a pipe organ to provide good and useful enjoyment whilst preserving unusable sections in mothballs for a day when later the pipes can come back to life: http://stmaryhighamferrers.co.uk/organ.aspx . This is a valid use of hybridisation facilities.

Since that time, adventurous and brilliant musicians such as Mark Shepheard, David Goode, D'Arcy Trinkwon, Hugh Potton again, Clive Driskill Smith and Jeremy Filsell, excited by the tonal possibilities for experiment that the five manuals and the vaste disposition of stops create, have all suffered with me my gradual taming of the beast, bringing stops under piston control, but have all enjoyed bringing repertoire which can be played on large and disparate instruments to audiences in intimate surroundings. Meanwhile audiences have enjoyed the sheer grandeur of scale of the repertoire of the King of Instruments as well as experiencing the sheer virtuosity of musicians.

It annoys me considerably that people look only towards appearances and the sheen of a finished result. One can't tell a sausage by its skin . . . and the skin is irrelevant to the function of the heart. Appearance is all. To some extend this is why deliberately I usually dress in old holely clothes and don't care about my hair, a matter that has brought amusing comment on YouTube videos. It's apparent that others take prejudice upon the sound of my voice.

So it is that people should understand that a half built organ is EXCITING and opens the heart to the sound. People who don't understand that are simply people too limited to have got a fragile machine going - perhaps a model steam engine powered by water and meths, and simply revelled in the achievement of getting such a thing going.

Why can't people simply REJOICE in achievement?

At least the loss of the Albany organ is the ultimate proof of the imaginative inadequacy of the priest in contrast to what might have been lacking in the unfinished instrument. As in the Cruxifiction itself, it's sad that people only understand when they have destroyed or witnessed destruction, and even then, there is always a next time.

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 05:21:09 PM by David Pinnegar »
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2010, 05:12:37 PM »
David, that reminds me - within the last year [name removed] was appointed as organist at St Barnabas', [name removed] (a tiny but glorious G. G. Scott mini-Cathedral on the ridge above [name removed], with a huge octagonal crossing tower and a spire that can be seen from miles away in most directions). My mother also applied, but didn't get the job (to state the bl****n' obvious). Since then, though, the job has been re-advertised, saying that [name removed] health had forced him to resign - what's going on?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 05:13:28 PM by organforumadmin »

David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2010, 05:18:29 PM »
David, that reminds me - within the last year [name removed] was appointed as organist at St Barnabas', Ranmore (a tiny but glorious G. G. Scott mini-Cathedral on the [name removed] Ridge above [name removed], with a huge octagonal crossing tower and a spire that can be seen from miles away in most directions). My mother also applied, but didn't get the job (to state the b****in' obvious). Since then, though, the job has been re-advertised, saying that [name removed] health had forced him to resign - what's going on?

Dear Richard

Thanks for alerting me to this - he's been very quiet recently - I knew he had significant work commitments, and I'll get in touch.

He did a monumental recital including Reubke and Cochereau on the organ, and the recording of Reubke was in my ears one of the most enjoyable I've heard, followed by a piano recital of the largest works including the Prokofiev 8th Sonata - an extract of which I must get onto YouTube sometime. He is a phenomenal musician and a larger than life performer . . .

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 05:14:59 PM by organforumadmin »
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 06:44:30 AM »
Mr. Best,

Why don't you post the your entire Felix Hell review of his Q'bury organ concert, just so it's on file for "posterity's" sake, along with everything else you've posted?  From what I've heard, it would be a fun read! It would be the right thing to do...


David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2010, 12:37:43 AM »
Why don't you post the your entire Felix Hell review of his Q'bury organ concert, just so it's on file for "posterity's" sake, along with everything else you've posted?  From what I've heard, it would be a fun read! It would be the right thing to do...

Hi!

Today I took an organist through to meet "the beast", good enough to bring much enjoyment to audiences and organists alike, flicked the power switches and . . . it having been in use yesterday sounding superb in preparation for an 18th December concert, with the heating on, now today at a different temperature it sounded really awful. Quite terrible. Lots of sounds I didn't like and didn't balance well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Bozak is interesting in relation to an anecdote about auditioning an organ:
Quote
Bozak joined C. G. Conn in 1944 to help them develop an electronic organ. While in Elkhart, Indiana, he noticed that the human sense of hearing was unpredictable at best. Years later, Bozak recounted this story about the Conn electronic organ project: "The general sales manager, who was a pianist and played organ, sat down and played the thing and said it was great, just what we were looking for. A week later he was invited back into the laboratory and sat down and played the instrument again. He didn’t play ten or fifteen bars when he said, This goddamn thing doesn’t sound right. What did you guys do to it?’ We said we hadn’t done anything. Well, he didn’t believe us. ‘You did something to it. You messed it up here,’ he said. ‘Restore it back to the way you had it.’ So what we did was let the damn instrument sit there for another week, and he comes back and plays it again. ‘Now this is the way it should be,’ he says."[2]

Anyone who wants to judge an organ on one sound one visit registered in a singular style needs their ears, and their heads, tested.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2010, 02:08:14 AM »
It appears more information may become publicly available in due course.

http://poststar.com/app/blogs/?tag=our-lady-of-the-annunciation

Eric
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The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2010, 11:15:27 AM »
http://poststar.com/news/local/article_4250a50c-0958-11e0-9d93-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

Quote
A former parishioner of the church, who donated $50,000 toward having the organ built, has questioned the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany about the removal, and an organ consultant for the diocese has quit in the wake of the instrument's destruction.

Quote
After hearing about the dismantling, Judith Krueger sent an e-mail to Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard asking for an investigation of the situation.

Krueger, who now lives in Florida, says she donated $50,000 a decade ago to help install the organ.

"It's very difficult to understand what exactly is going on here for me," Krueger said. "It seems like such a total waste."

Krueger didn't hear back from the bishop, but she did receive a reply to her inquiry from the church pastor, Joseph Busch, who said the matter was referred to him.

Busch's reply reiterated the parish's explanation - that the instrument couldn't be saved and the safety concerns had to be addressed.

"Despite erroneous reports in the blogosphere, no realistic possibilities for relocation of the instrument ever emerged," Busch wrote.

Krueger said she doesn't expect to get her donation back, but the loss leaves her with mixed emotions.

"Now that I see what happened, I'm disappointed, wondering how in the world something like this could happen," she said.

Well... She isn't the only one :o :'(

Eric
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The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

NonPlayingAnorak

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2010, 07:45:47 PM »
What the parish now needs to do is to announce, without permission from any authorities, a fundraising drive to get a worthy replacement - from De Marse, if possible. Let's see how the parish priest tells them he doesn't want however many thousands of dollars...

What makes me really angry here, yet totally fails to surprise me, is that the Bishop can't be arsed to do a bloody thing about it and won't speak to such a generous donor.

eun pots

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2015, 01:56:55 PM »
There has been a resurrection of sorts.  Demarse just finished building a replica in another church in the nearby city of Amsterdam.  He played a wonderful recital on the instrument yesterday, 11-15-15.  There were about 100 people in attendance and I will post any links as I find them (if he makes them available). 

A Halloween recital was played on the organ by a different organist a few weeks prior but Harold's recital was the official premier.  Here is a link to the Halloween recital. 
https://youtu.be/SiuVI07UwX0

David Pinnegar

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Re: Too late...
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2015, 11:39:15 PM »
What wonderful news!

That YT video is a very exciting instrument indeed.  Thanks for sharing! And please more news when you have it.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

 


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