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Thread: 2001 restoration, Ely Cathedral organ

  1. #1
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    2001 restoration, Ely Cathedral organ

    The other day, I listened to a CD by Paul Trepte on the big H&H at Ely Cathedral. It was great(!), but during the Ad Nos (Liszt), it seemed that the 32' Bombardon was a bit over-used at one point. As incredible as this reed is, generally (imo) 32-footers should be used with care.

    Before this restoration, there was the Solo 8' Fanfare Trumpet from '75. Today's stoplist shows two big reeds in the Solo: 8' Tuba and 8' Orchestral Trumpet.

    According to the stoplist, the Orch. Trumpet was new, but not the Tuba, so I'm wondering if, back in the '70s, the Tuba was put in a tray and stored? ......

    or was the Fanfare Trumpet revoiced as the Tuba (which I kind of doubt)?

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Probably my favourite British Cathedral and organ ...
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Ely has a super-sweet machine - No doubt about it - In a superb acoustic space - Comes right in second place in my book, after the Liverpool Anglican Machine, of course.............



    The stop in question is imvoho a tuba mirabilis mounted horizontally - Methinks???????
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

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    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    The stop in question is imvoho a tuba mirabilis mounted horizontally - Methinks???????
    No - the Solo Tuba was simply revoiced as a Fanfare Trumpet in the 1976 H&H/Clutton remodelling. At the more recent restoration, the Fanfare Trumpet was again revoiced (this time as a Tuba), and the stop labelled Fanfare Trumpet in the present stop list is new.

    Ely and Liverpool cathedrals do indeed contain good instruments; however, there is a wealth of other equally superb organs in the UK. I would suggest investigating (by CDs, for example), the organs of Bristol (Walker 1907), Coventry (H&H 1962), Salisbury (Willis, various dates) and Ripon cathedrals (Lewis/H&H, various dates) - just for a start. Whilst each of these instruments (even Coventry) has been altered or restored to a greater or lesser extent, in each case none has lost its original identity. Each instrument is unique - and often quite different in style and tonal effect. However, all are superb, utterly musical instruments.

    I have first-hand knowledge of each (and many other cathedral instruments besides), and would be happy to supply further details of these, and others, if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Sep-04-2010 at 20:06.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Fond memories of Ely, played it prior to the restoration and was a pleasant instrument in marvellous acoustics. There's an innate charm to many H&H instruments, but I will confess an overwhelming fondness and preference for Durham Cathedral - both the building and the organ provided an unforgettable evening's playing for me.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    As I have not had the pleasure of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in person, I'll look forward to a visit to Scouser land next time I'm in Great Britain. I do have several recordings of the monster at Liverpool, so French sounding yet so English.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    I used to visit Ely Catherdral a lot, my brother went to the school there. It is a beautiful place, my brother used to sing in the choir.


    Margaret

  8. #8
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce
    The stop in question is imvoho a tuba mirabilis mounted horizontally - Methinks???????
    Quote Originally Posted by pcnd5584 View Post
    No - the Solo Tuba was simply revoiced as a Fanfare Trumpet in the 1976 H&H/Clutton remodelling. At the more recent restoration, the Fanfare Trumpet was again revoiced (this time as a Tuba), and the stop labelled Fanfare Trumpet in the present stop list is new.
    Looks like my doubt gets ruled out about the revoicing. And, speaking of horizontally, the first time I heard a recording of the Ely, it was from the compilation from the Great English Cathedrals series on tape. A. Wills playing Franck's Fanfare in B-flat Major, where he used the Fanfare Trumpet. Ever since, I had believed it to be horizontal, because all the harmonics were there.

    I'm glad this organ has the Tuba back. I think it's been screaming for it all these years.

    Yep, there are many other greats around England. Whatever my mood, there's always something there. Giants like St. Paul's and Liverpool (Ang.) to the 1821 Lincoln in Thaxted and Adlington Hall. Hopefully, the 1735 Bridge, Christ Church, Spitalfield, will be heard by us some day.

    Two great small giants come to mind now: Truro Cathedral's Fr. Willis and St. Bee's Priory's Willis. The former, except for the console and Tuba placement, is unaltered. The latter? Is everything at St. Bee's original?

  9. #9
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingvox View Post
    No - the Solo Tuba was simply revoiced as a Fanfare Trumpet in the 1976 H&H/Clutton remodelling. At the more recent restoration, the Fanfare Trumpet was again revoiced (this time as a Tuba), and the stop labelled Fanfare Trumpet in the present stop list is new.
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingvox View Post
    Looks like my doubt gets ruled out about the revoicing. And, speaking of horizontally, the first time I heard a recording of the Ely, it was from the compilation from the Great English Cathedrals series on tape. A. Wills playing Franck's Fanfare in B-flat Major, where he used the Fanfare Trumpet.
    This would not have been possible at this time. This series of recordings was made during the 1960s; the Tuba was not revoiced as a Fanfare Trumpet until the H&H rebuild of 1976. However, the Pedal and G.O. reeds had been revoiced (with the wind pressures lowered to facilitate this) prior to the 1976 rebuild.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

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    OMG! Looks like I contradicted myself, or worse... was wellied on stout when I was making these posts! (or both) ...... :-/
    Thanks, pcnd. I stand corrected. And I may have several questions on British organs for you soon. Next spring, I'm going to England & Wales for 5 wks.

  11. #11
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingvox View Post
    OMG! Looks like I contradicted myself, or worse... was wellied on stout when I was making these posts! (or both) ...... :-/
    Thanks, pcnd. I stand corrected. And I may have several questions on British organs for you soon. Next spring, I'm going to England & Wales for 5 wks.
    Please do not worry - we all make mistakes....

    I will be happy to help with any questions you may have.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

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