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Thread: Most awkward access

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Most awkward access

    Some organs I've seen have quite scary access points (obviously devised before the Occupational Health and Safety Police were born by the politically correct virus).

    The organ at Christ Church St Laurence (my church) isn't too bad, though it is a ladder that just goes right up into the console.

    Anyone share any experiences of getting attacks of vertigo ascending to organs perched on high?
    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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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Gosh, haven't they changed that yet? I remember that from when I had a play there several hundred years ago Yes, there are a couple of churches in SA's Barossa Valley that have rather ghastly and cramped methods of getting up to galleries and/or consoles not dissimilar to CCSL.

    There's a chapel here in Adelaide that has what is, to date, the narrowest and most cramped spiral staircase I've ever had the misfortune to climb (clearly put in as an afterthought ... "Oh, we really need some way of getting up to the gallery") Upon getting up there, the organist plays with one's back to the altar, with the organ bench butt up against the gallery ballustrade, which in turn is barely two foot higher than the top of the bench. That makes me nervous!

    Melbourne Concert Hall I remember is a long walk up a few flights of solid stairs to the console but an uneasy look down once you get there. Best to just sit behind the Positif and play.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  3. #3
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I think the Grand Organ at Sydney Opera House's concert hall is also an adventure to get at, I've not had the pleasure.
    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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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Access to the Epistleseite organ in the "Dom" Cathedral (Salzburg) is accessed from the sacristy and up spiral staircase clearly designed for organists who are no taller than 5 foot tall. (I'm 6'5") Once at the top, there is a 10 foot long narrow hallway whose ceiling is barely 4 feet high, and then through a thick black curtain you find yourself suddenly on this narrow ledge ... no kidding ... a ledge about 3 feet in depth with a 3 foot high railing. Three people at the most can be on that ledge at one time ... any more than that, someone is going to fall to their death to the nave floor below.

    Rather scary experience, but the 18 rank tracker was worth the fright of being up there. I had to play an entire Mass from that console, and accompany a choir that was singing from the nave floor, about 20 feet down. At least I had practice time in that place before the Sunday Mass.
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    Commander, Assistant Conductor tittualex's Avatar
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    Dear All,

    So much hardship in service of Lord.........

  6. #6
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Access to the Epistleseite organ in the "Dom" Cathedral (Salzburg) is accessed from the sacristy and up spiral staircase clearly designed for organists who are no taller than 5 foot tall. (I'm 6'5") Once at the top, there is a 10 foot long narrow hallway whose ceiling is barely 4 feet high, and then through a thick black curtain you find yourself suddenly on this narrow ledge ... no kidding ... a ledge about 3 feet in depth with a 3 foot high railing. Three people at the most can be on that ledge at one time ... any more than that, someone is going to fall to their death to the nave floor below.

    Rather scary experience, but the 18 rank tracker was worth the fright of being up there. I had to play an entire Mass from that console, and accompany a choir that was singing from the nave floor, about 20 feet down. At least I had practice time in that place before the Sunday Mass.
    Lars - that really does sound horrendous. I really don't do confined spaces and really get vertigo so I'd probably just never have the guts to play the Salzburg monster.
    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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    I got lost once trying to get to the console of the organ in St Davids Hall, Cardiff...

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Really?! Have they changed something there because when I played that one, all I did was walk along behind the back row of stalls

    I was recently at a colleagues house flipping through his copy of "Organ-Isms" which had tell of a cathedral in New Zealand wherein the organist must sit on the actual railing of the gallery in order to play the instrument. Nothing but a sheer drop immediately behind. Aforementioned colleague played there once and became a little nervous when the hymn was annouced: "We shall now sing Nearer My God To Thee"
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Soubasse,

    That would be the sensible way, but from the performers entrance outside or from the (ah, hem) bar, using the subteranian passages it requires a guide or some cosiderable length of string... and possibly being persued by a minotaur to help sharpen the mind.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    I think the Grand Organ at Sydney Opera House's concert hall is also an adventure to get at, I've not had the pleasure.
    Plz explain this adventure.

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