Author Topic: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$  (Read 11694 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

KB7DQH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
  • Karma: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« on: March 09, 2011, 04:45:42 AM »
You may well ask "What the (unprintable) is Eric getting onto here?

In light of the recent post I remembered reading in some Album liner notes about a recording of the Handel Organ Concertos done nearly a half-century ago, and the desire to perform the organ portion
on an organ that not only did Handel at one time in his life he actually played, but one in which he had actually suggested the specification of the instrument...

That such an organ did in fact actually exist, and that it was unaltered except for "routine maintenance and tuning" and moreover was available for the recording session.

The wrinkle presented itself when the orchestra showed up... It was assumed by all that there was enough tuning range in the modern instruments available to the orchestra that they could tune to the organ's pitch which happened to be a semitone flat from ISO 13...

Well, the orchestral instruments available couldn't shift pitch enough to play in tune with the organ,
and so all of the pipework was removed to the Mander Organs factory, trimmed to "concert pitch"
and fitted with tuning sleeves...  To permit retuning the organ to its historical pitch following the recording session.........

So...............

Eric
KB7DQH
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."

dragonser

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
  • Karma: +32/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 02:54:43 PM »
Hi,
if you mean the Organ Concertos of Handel played by E Power Biggs ,
Philips recordings 835 531ay
then yes the Booklet [ which I have ] does describe how the Organ had to be retuned.
it also described how electricity had to be supplied to the Church !

regards Peter B

revtonynewnham

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Karma: +67/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 03:58:22 PM »
Hi

Today this would be regarded as sheer vandalism!   Why did no-one think to check the organ pitch first?  It's well known that many older pipe organs are far from A=440Hz.

Every Blessing

Tony

Holditch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Karma: +25/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 05:58:04 PM »
The Holditch Dulciana rank I am using was at least a semitone higher than A-440, this rank is from the 1850s.

I may have joined the vandals club in re-pitching the rank to A-440! (covers head in shame!)
Dubois is driving me mad! must practice practice practice

Barrie Davis

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 358
  • Karma: +37/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 08:06:41 PM »
I cannot find Great Packington on NPOR can anyone help me?

Barry Williams

  • Guest
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 08:07:14 PM »
In respect of Great Packington there was, I recall,  an unfortunate case in the High Court which resulted in an eminent lady organist losing a considerable sum of money over the issue.  These things can be raw in people's minds, so I wonder if it is wise to debate the matter so publicly, given that some of the people concerned are still around.

On the question of hearing the difference in tone quality, (as opposed to pitch,) when the length of a pipe has been altered, I had occasion to obtain expert evidence for a Consistory Court.  It was shown that even a trained pipe organ voicer could not tell the difference in tone when standing ten feet away from the voicing machine on which an Open Diapason pipe of middle C was sounding.  (This was done as a 'double blind' trail - i.e. on the same basis as new drugs are evaluated.)  It is inconceivable that anyone with less training could discern the difference in tone when standing further away.

Barry Williams

revtonynewnham

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Karma: +67/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 08:10:12 PM »
I cannot find Great Packington on NPOR can anyone help me?

Try http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N05888

(Search just for "Packington".

Every Blessing
Tony

David Pinnegar

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 10:14:41 PM »
The Holditch Dulciana rank I am using was at least a semitone higher than A-440, this rank is from the 1850s.

I may have joined the vandals club in re-pitching the rank to A-440! (covers head in shame!)

:-) The 1893 Hunter from the RCSM at Addington Palace is at least 1/4 tone sharp . . .

KB7DQH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
  • Karma: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 01:21:58 AM »
Quote
Hi,
if you mean the Organ Concertos of Handel played by E Power Biggs ,
Philips recordings 835 531ay
then yes the Booklet [ which I have ] does describe how the Organ had to be retuned.
it also described how electricity had to be supplied to the Church !

Yes-- that one... and I have the vinyl to go with the liner notes also...

Eric
KB7DQH
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."

David Drinkell

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
  • Karma: +26/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 11:13:28 PM »
Noel Mander was above all a practical organ builder - the instrument had to do the job.  He believed that sliding the pipework would not alter the tone.  Subsequently, a number of leading organ builders, including some from Europe, gave their opinion that the tone had not been altered in any way.  Sliding the pipework also preserves the pipes from collapsing around the mouths.  Once a pipe has done this, it will collapse again, no matter how often it is straightened out.  (I played a modern Belgian instrument a couple of years ago which had suffered considerable harm to its speech because the pipes were not only cone-tuned but had not been slightly thinnned at the top to facilitate this.  After a few years, the pipes were slid, and there has been no more trouble).

The lady who made the fuss about Packington did much valuable work in musicology, as well as being a fine player, but she could be wrong, and sometimes got a bee in her bonnet (one of her last writings, about the historic case at Old Radnor, was wildy off the mark).

Today, orchestral players could be found with instruments capable of playing at the old pitch.  Then, such approaches to authentic performance were in their infancy.  I think Mander's solution was the right one at the time and even now, for the sake of preserving the pipes, I would not say it was wrong.

At the Sign of the Pipe

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 08:53:32 AM »
on an organ that not only did Handel at one time in his life he actually played, but one in which he had actually suggested the specification of the instrument...

Unfortunately there is no evidence that Handel ever played the organ itself. However, the letter that Handel wrote to Charles Jennens on 30 September 1749 which contains the suggested specification is of course the source of the original specification.

That such an organ did in fact actually exist, and that it was unaltered except for "routine maintenance and tuning"

However, the organ was moved in the 1770s after Jennens' death and had a small Swell division added (possibly by Snetzler).

The siting for the organ as it survives today is absolutely splendid. The church in which it stands is situated in the grounds of a large estate and bears witness to Handel's suggestion that it should not include a reed as "they are continually wanting to be tuned, which in the country is very inconvenient"

Whilst the raising of the pitch in the 1950s is to be regretted, the sound of the organ is still magnificent.

David S.

londonorganist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Was the Great Packington Organ Vandalised for $$$
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 01:39:12 PM »
The wrinkle presented itself when the orchestra showed up... It was assumed by all that there was enough tuning range in the modern instruments available to the orchestra that they could tune to the organ's pitch which happened to be a semitone flat from ISO 13...

Well, the orchestral instruments available couldn't shift pitch enough to play in tune with the organ,
and so all of the pipework was removed to the Mander Organs factory, trimmed to "concert pitch"
and fitted with tuning sleeves...  To permit retuning the organ to its historical pitch following the recording session.........


Interesting Eric! I assume you mean a semitone sharp, though? Trimming down the pipework would sharpen it not vice versa! I can imagine a nightmare with reed weights in this situation too!

 


Locations of visitors to this page

Organ Design


Latroba Holidays