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The blog shows a record of our past and current work. Please click on the post for the full details
  • Renatus Harris organ at St Paulinus Llangorse

    Another Harris organ survives at St Paulinus Llangors in Powys, from near the end of his life, when Renatus was living in the parish of St John, in Bristol.  It was built in 1720 for St John’s Cardiff, and removed when the Father Willis organ was installed in 1885.  It was put in store and …

  • St Botolph Aldgate history of the 1704 Renatus Harris organ

    Considering the tendency of the English to rebuild or replace their organs, almost from the moment they were first built, we are fortunate to have two organs from the times of Bernard Smith and Renatus Harris, in something like original condition.  It seems extraordinary that so little of Bernard Smith’s work has survived – only …

  • Tim Roberts plays Blow at St Botolph Aldgate

    I have been listening to Joseph Payne playing John Blow.  His playing, it would be fair to say, occasionally catches fire, but is mostly worthy.  So I have gone back to one of my favourite recordings, made by that wonderful keyboard player Timothy Roberts, of music by John Blow and his pupils and successors.  The …

  • The G&G organ for Magdalene Cambridge, 20 years old

    The organ was brand new, the brain-child of Dr Richard Luckett, who was then Fellow and Pepys Librarian.  The organ is based on the organs of Bernard Smith (1630-1703) who was German, but spent a decade making organs in Holland, including the 1657 organ in Edam, and was from 1667 resident in London and on …

  • Joseph Payne playing John Blow at Magdalene College Cambridge

    About six months after we finished the new organ at Magdalene College Cambridge, Joseph Payne, an eminent English-American keyboard player, recorded all the keyboard works of John Blow, on organ and harpsichord.  They were recorded and produced by his wife Phoebe, and I spent a day with them at Magdalene.  We were sent a pre-production …

  • The Swan Singers in 2018

    Here we are in 2018.  It impressed me how much further spring has got this year than it had in 2018.  On May 3rd I heard my first swifts in Wells (we have swifts rather than swallows), though the first recorded in Bristol were on April 23rd.   

  • May Day with the Swan Singers on the Mendips

    For the last few years Dominic’s wife Antonia’s chamber choir, the Swan Singers, have sung madrigals on May morning, up on the Mendips at Ebbor Gorge.  Swans are important in Wells, see https://bishopspalace.org.uk/whats-on/swan-news/ including a link to the swan cam.  When I can I join them (the Swan Singers).  This year we had to do …

  • 1879 Gray & Davison console at St Anne’s Worksop

    I also feel affectionate about the organ at St Anne’s, not least because it is our parish church.   Edward is organist there.  Nick and Emma got married there.  It has moved twice, once from the congregational chapel in Clapham, south London, to Buckley in NE Wales, and then in 1999 to St Anne’s.  The organ …

  • The Gray brothers at St Patrick RC Soho Square

    If you prefer the organs of the 18th century to those of the Imperial Age, then Gray & Davison will be your favourite major Victorian organ builder.  We have been lucky enough to restore some of their earliest organs (St Patrick Soho Square and St Swithun Worcester, chamber organs at Dingestow Court, St James Lower …

  • New history of Gray & Davison by Nicholas Thistlethwaite

    I have just read this new book about the Gray family’s organs and the Victorian firm of Gray & Davison that effectively took over from them after 1851.  The central character in the book is Frederick Davison, partly because we now know so much more about him.  For a general reader (including me) the evocation …

  • The Remy Family

    I sent the picture of the Sharp family to Derek Adlam, who sent me this picture in return, equally as wonderful, by Januarius Zick.  How many painters have names beginning with Z?  The Remy family were ironmasters in Bendorf in the Rheinpfalz, wealthy and musical.  The painting is in the Nürnberg Germanisches Museum.  It is …

  • Sharp family

    I have always loved this picture of the musical Sharp family, with their musical instruments on a family boat on the River Thames, painted by Johan Josef Zoffany in about 1780.  Their letters are an important source of information and colour about Georgian music-making.  Granville was also one of the main figures in the anti-slavery …

  • Riepp family

    This picture is in Ottobeuren, near where Riepp was born, and where he built one of his largest organs and certainly the finest surviving.  I have a fondness for these slightly naïve conversation pieces.  Each figure seems to have been painted separately and positioned rather awkwardly in the painting, which may indeed have been the …

  • Klaus Josef Riepp

    G&G are all on furlough, since we cannot work in the workshop and cannot work from home.  We hope it won’t be long before small manufacturing businesses are allowed to start work again, but in the meantime I have been gathering illustrations, finishing articles and other pieces of work, and getting in touch with people …

  • ‘Newark Siege’ from ‘A Consort’s Monument’

    On Saturday (April 25th) Record Review on BBC Radio 3 played a recording of John Jenkins’s wonderful descriptive piece commemorating the siege of Newark in 1646.  It can be heard on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000hmrp 18mins and 30 seconds into the programme.  I hope you are then inspired to buy the recording from Ricercar-Outhere https://outhere-music.com/en/albums/a-consort-s-monument-ric413  Newark is only …

  • Recording ‘A Consort’s Monument’ with viol consort L’Achéron

    In October Antonia and I spent a day with the viol consort L’Achéron, during their recording of English viol music in the beautiful little church of Centeilles near Siran in the Minervois (Fr).  You can sample some of the significance and the flavour of the recording here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRkgXGJ1YBI  or on their website https://www.lacheron.com/single-post/2020/02/24/A-Consorts-Monument—MAKING-OF Apart from …

  • Opus 1

    The first organ was finished as we celebrated Christmas in 1980, and my elder daughter Pip was born on Boxing Day.  Its design shows some naivety, with all our ideas packed into a small organ, but on those occasions when we have re-visited it over the years, I have been impressed.  It was commissioned by …

  • Goetze and Gwynn forty years on

    I (Dominic) have always picked April 1st as the birthday of the firm, a thoroughly appropriate day.  It is actually about halfway between the date in 1980 when Martin and I started our first project, and the date when both of us started full time.  I think we have achieved a lot since then, but …

  • Experiment with corroded Trumpet block

    The bottom octave blocks from the trumpet in the 1870 Lewis organ at St Peter’s Vauxhall had white powder, a common problem. Joe has been trying to reverse the process by electrolysis.

  • Good weather for varnishing Christopher Kent’s Positive organ

    Good weather for varnishing Christopher Kent’s positive organ

  • Culture Clash!

    The church’s organ is a fine 1931 Walker organ, it could hardly be more different than the Wethringsett organ

  • Paul Parsons playing the Christophe et Etienne harmonium from Erddig

    Paul Parsons playing the Christophe et Etienne harmonium from Erddig.

  • Charles Wooler playing Byrd

    Charles Wooler playing Byrd on the Wethringsett organ in Newcastle

  • Wetheringsett organ at St James and St Basil, Fenham

    The Wethringsett organ has moved from Eton College to St James and St Basil, Fenham in Newcastle where Charles Wooler, the Director of Music and Magnus Williamson, Professor of Early Music at Newcastle University who has been associated with these organs from the beginning, are organising events.

  • The new Choirbook Lectern

    The new Choirbook Lectern made by Nick for Newcastle University at an event at Hexham Abbey on Friday 6th March with the group Ensemble Pro Victoria https://www.ncl.ac.uk/events/noticeboard/item/ensembleprovictoria4march2020.html

  • View of the organ case from Musick’s monument

    At the centre of the Musick Room was an organ, as Mace recommends in his text, with music desks in the top leaf for eight players, including the organist.  The picture does not give much away for the organ builder trying to reconstruct the design, but his description gives a basic stoplist and a few …

  • Plan of the Musick room in Thomas Mace’s Musick’s Monument

    Thomas Mace provided a plan for his Musick Room, but also a detailed description, used by François and Andreas for their model

  • A close up of the model

    This is a close-up of the model, which interprets Mace’s words.  The Room was never built, but his idea of placing the musicians at the centre, and the audience all around in galleries, was revolutionary in its day.  His chief concern was to preserve an environment in which the players could concentrate on their playing, …

  • Thomas Mace’s Musick room at Trinity College Cambridge

    Andreas Linos, viol player, and François Muracciole, architect, are demonstrating their model of Thomas Mace’s Musick Room to Dr Nicholas Bell librarian of Trinity College Cambridge and his predecessor as librarian Dr David McKitterick, and Benjamin Hebbert researcher and dealer in stringed instruments.  Thomas Mace, who might be described as an eccentric genius, as well …

  • Choir book lectern for Newcastle University

    Nick has made a second late medieval lectern based on the one made to support the Eton Choirbook.  It is to be used tomorrow on the 4th March https://www.ncl.ac.uk/events/noticeboard/item/ensembleprovictoria4march2020.html