Archive

  • Joseph Cullen’s ca1850 Glasgow Chamber Organ Restoration

    The organ was saved by Joseph Cullen (organist and choral conductor), and kept with the intention of being restored as a practice organ. It is ideal for this purpose, as it has two manuals and pedal, with full compasses, all in the case of a large chamber organ. The organ was restored by Christina Reinspach and Dominic Gwynn in the summer of 2003.

    GREAT ORGAN   
    Stop Diapason bass 8ft (C to B)
    Stop Diapason treble 8ft (cº to f³)
    Open Diapason treble 8ft (cº to f³)
    Principal 4ft
    Fifteenth 2ft
    SWELL ORGAN
    Stop Diapason 8ft
    Dulciana 8ft
    Flute 4ft

    Pedal pulldowns
    Pedal coupler

    The manual key compass is C – f³ (56 notes). The Swell organ is inside the swell box from cº. The pedal key compass was originally C – c¹ (25 notes). The pedal keys, and the rest of the key action was missing, and were replaced with new keys and action on the original design but with a C – d¹ compass and modern key spacing.

  • Leeds University New Chamber Organ

    The organ is based on the ca1760 chamber organs of Thomas Parker, who learnt his organbuilding from Richard Bridge, and made the organ for Charles Jennens, now at Great Packington.

    The organ has an oak case, in two halves, on wheels, and with an internal electric blower.

    Stop list:

    Stop Diapason 8ft
    Open Diapason 8ft open metal pipes from f#º
    Principal bass and treble 4ft
    Fifteenth bass and treble 2ft
    Sesquialtra II (GG 1 1/3 4/5 G1 3/5 1 1/3)
    Cornet II (c¹ 2 2/3 1 3/5)

    Shifting movement (reducing to Diapasons)

    Key compass of GG to e³ (58 notes) at a pitch of A415
    Transposing keyboard for pitches A392 A415 A440 and A465
    Tuning slides to the metal pipes for re-tuning at different pitches

  • Harm Vellguth New Consort organ in 17th english style

    This organ was made for playing with viols and viols consort. It is based on the organ made for Sir George Shirley in about 1630, for his house at Staunton Harold in Leicestershire, where he also employed the young William Lawes, who compiled the Shirley part books for the household’s viol playing.

    Most of the pipes and the windchest from this organ survive, now in the church next to the house. All the pipes are made of pine, with oak blocks, tuning stoppers and caps.

    Stop Diapason8ft
    Open Diapason treble8ft
    Principal4ft
    Twelfth2⅔ft
    Fifteenth2ft

    The key compass is C to c³ (49 notes). The Open Diapason starts at c#¹.

    The pitch is a¹=415Hz. The tuning uses the Erlangen temperament, with pure fifths, and the comma divided over two fifths, d-a-e so that some thirds are good. The pipes are all cut to length.

    The oak case is 200cm high, 120cm wide and 72cm deep.

  • St Luke’s Smithfield Virginia USA Repair of 1630 Chamber Organ

    In October and November 2002, Dominic Gwynn, James Collier and Timothy McEwen repaired this historic organ, and carried out a measuring and drawing exercise to prepare for the making of a replica, planned for 2003, but not carried out. The repair followed deliberations during a residential conference at Smithfield, organised by Historic St Luke’s Church, particularly Richard Austin and Fran Olsen. The organ was measured by John Watson of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Robert Barclay of the Canadian Conservation Institute, the organ historian Barbara Owen and George Taylor of organ builders Taylor and Boody of Staunton Virginia. Papers given at the conference were published in proceedings edited by John Watson Organ Restoration considered (Williamsburg 2005). The report and drawings is available as a report from Historic St Luke’s Church and G&G.

    The organ was bought by the Lestrange family of Hunstanton Hall near Kings Lynn in 1630. It is not impossible that a label marked is that of the original maker. The musical importance of the organ is that John Jenkins, one of England’s greatest composers, was retained by the family as their professional musician in the 1640s and 1650s. It is a consort organ, that is, it was bought for a professional musician to accompany gentlemen playing a set of viols. The Lestranges were a remarkably musical family.

    The organ seems to have spent its life at Hunstanton Hall until it was sold to Captain Lane in 1949, and then bought and donated to St Luke’s in 1958. St Luke’s was an Anglican church, supposedly itself built in 1632

    Bass side Treble side 
    Principal Bass Principal Treble
    Fifteenth Bass Fifteenth Treble
    Stop Diapason Treble
    Open Flute
    Stop Diapason Bass

    The compass is C AA D – c³. The Stop Diapason, Principal and Fifteenth are divided bº/c¹. The Open Flute starts at cº, but was originally intended to have a bottom octave with Stop Diapason Bass and Principal.

  • Thornage All Saints, Norfolk, Restoration of the 1812 Elliot Chamber Organ

    The organ was made by ‘Thos Elliot/ Tottenham Court London/ 1812’. The organ evidently came to Thornage from Swanton Novers Hall, and was sold to the church for £14 (source?). Under the treble end of the keyboard cover is written: this Organ was rebuilt for L Atkin Esq/ Swinton Novers by EWPaulett of/ Norwich/ June 3rd 1904. The organ was restored by Boggis of Diss in 1945.

    In 2002 Edward Bennett and Chritina Reinspach restored this organ, treating for woodworm, replacing corroded pulldown wires, repairing wind leaks and regulating the action and voicing. Stuart Dobbs restored the metal pipes, and particularly the Hautboy, which had been replaced and was found stored on the roof of the organ and elsewhere in the church. The voicing of the Hautboy was restored by Martin Goetze. The case was repaired by Verners Kalacis, and the surface finish touched in and revived by Charles Marsden.

    Stops at the bass side at the treble side  
    Principal Fifteenth
    Stop Diapason (GG – bº) Stop Diapason (c¹ – f³)
    Open Diapason (c¹ – f³) Hautboy (c¹ – f³)

    The key compass is GG AA to f³ (58 notes). The pitch is A441Hz at 18C, and the tuning used was modified meantone (the 1945 tuning sldies were retained). The wind pressure was surprisingly low at 46mm w.p. and the voicing gentle.

    All the pipes stand in the swell box. The pedal at the treble end operates a sliding swell front (with a rope with two pulley wheels, not a nag’s head).

    In the centre of the plinth there is a blowing pedal, no doubt for the convenience of practicing, since there is also a blowing handle at the side. At the bass end there is a shifting movement pedal, which reduces to Open and Stop Diapasons and Hautboy. The sliders are held open at the chest with steel springs. There are notches in the stop shanks so that they are held in the jamb in the off position, when the knob is flipped up they shoot out. Pressing the shifting movement pedal down moves the Principal and Fifteenth sliders off, and the springs move them out when the pedal is let go.

    The sound file is from the Historic Organ Sound Archive of the National Pipe Organ Register. For more recordings go to http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?HOSA

  • Lower Clapton NW London St James Restoration of Gray 1775 Chamber Organ

    This chamber organ was made by Robert Gray in 1775, his earliest surviving instrument. Robert Gray insured premises at Leigh Street near Red Lion Square on December 17th 1772 (Joan Jeffrey from the Sun Fire Insurance policy registers). He later went into partnership with his brother William in around 1790 (the date of the chamber organ at Burghley House). William’s son John became one of the finest builders of his day, and went into partnership with Frederick Davison to form the firm of Gray & Davison.

    The early history is unknown. In 1848 the organ was restored, with a new pipe front added, by Bates of Ludgate Hill, when it was purchased by the Refuge for the Destitute, Hackney Rd, Dalston, for £55. It was given to St James in 1923, and has stayed there ever since. The organ’s future was saved by the Vicar in the 1970s, when it was brought back into use. The 2002 restoration by Edward Bennett, Verners Kalacis and Christina Reinspach was carried out on the initiative and through the efforts of Victoria Hay, sometime organist of the church.

    Key compass GG AA – f³

    Open Diapason (c° – f³)
    Stop Diapason
    Principal
    Fifteenth

    The shifting movement reduces the stops sounding to Diapasons.

    The pipes have a very low mouth height, and have a correspondingly gentle sound. Their condition is fragile, so it was decided to keep the tuning slides, the pitch therefore remaining at A440, but using the tuning system surviving at Burghley House, a modified 1/6 comma meantone.

  • Pistoia, S.Francesco, Italy Restoration of the 1896 William Hill & Son Organ

    This organ belongs to the Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo. The history of the organ is set out in a book about the restoration published by the Accademia. It was built for the Unitarian Chapel at Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, London. There is an entry in the Hill Shop Book Volume 4 p.75 (British Organ Archive, Birmingham Central Library). The job number is 2190. The presence of the job number 2186 on parts of the organ leads to the organ at Stretton near Burton on Trent in Staffordshire, a very similar organ.

    The organ was bought by the Accademia in 1997. When Martin saw it in 2002, it appeared to be largely intact, but in an amazing pile of bits. The general condition of the organ was quite good, though it had been dried out while still at Rosslyn Hill. The wind chests particularly had to be dismantled and restored. The pipes had been mishandled, but the voicing was generally unaltered. Three of the stops had been replaced in the 1970s – contemporary stops were found to replace them. The case had to be extended, as it was originally in a chamber and is now free-standing. The organ was inaugurated with a late Victorian evensong performed by the Welbeck Singers, with Naomi Gregory on organ, in the presence of notables from the town of Pistoia and the Fondazione.

    Our involvement with the organ was the responsibility of Christopher Stembridge and Pier Paolo Donati. Martin Goetze was in overall control of the restoration project. Apart from our team, we were assisted particularly by Clive Sidney, whose wife comes from Pistoia, by Warren Marsh and Mark Booth. Chris Wells stained the new woodwork to match the old.

    The present stoplist is:

    GREAT  CHOIR  SWELL  PEDAL   
    Double Diapason 16 Salicional 8 Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 16
    Open Diapason 8 Lieblich Gedackt 8 Open Diapason 8 Bourdon 16
    Open Diapason 8 Suabe Flute 4 Rohr Flute 8 Trombone 16
    Clarabella 8 Orchestral Oboe 8 Viol di Gamba 8 Pedal unison
    Principal 4 Corno di Bassetto 8 Voix Celeste 8 Pedal Octave
    Harmonic Flute 4 Choir Octave Mixture III
    Twelfth 2? Choir sub Octave Horn 8
    Fifteenth 2 Swell to Choir Oboe 8
    Mixture III Swell Octave
    Posaune 8 Swell sub Octave
    Swell to Great
    Choir to Great

    The manual key compass is C – a³, pedal C – f¹.
    The pitch is A440Hz at 18°C. The tuning system is Equal Temperament.
    The wind pressure is 83mm wg (action wind reservoir 120mm wg)

  • Stanford on Avon Leicestershire St Nicholas Conservation work on ca1631 Organ Case

    In 2002, Martin Goetze and Stuart Dobbs cleaned and restored elements of the famous organ case at St Nicholas Stanford on Avon in Leicestershire. The church is vested in The Churches Conservation Trust https://www.visitchurches.org.uk/. The organ is part of the instrument made by Thomas and Robert Dallam for Magdalen College, Oxford, in about 1631. In 1730 the organ house at Magdalen College was demolished, the main part of the organ being stored until 1737, when it was bought by the parishioners of Tewkesbury Abbey where it survives, having been rebuilt a number of times. The Chair organ was possibly rebuilt at Magdalen College for use in the chapel until the new organ was installed in 1736. This is the instrument that is now at Stanford on Avon.

    The work consisted of treating for woodworm and cleaning the organ of debris resulting from the church being restored and occasionally open to the elements during the last few years. Some of the work of the 1966 restoration was replaced. The heavy resin replacement carvings had fallen off, and were replaced with carved oak like the original, and the replacement embossed pipes, which hardly resembled the originals, were replaced with new. An example of the latter, a repair by Stuart Dobbs, is shown in the illustration.

  • St James, Bermondsey, South East London, Restoration of the 1829 Bishop Organ

    Built in 1829 by James Bishop, this was one of the largest organs in the country, in one of the largest new churches, and for a long time had the most complete Pedal organ, as well as other innovations either unique or most unusual. It had lain partly dismantled for the last 50 years, but amazingly, most of the original parts survived, at least in part or altered, strewn around the unused spaces at the west end of the galleries of the church.

    Bishops had made some alterations in 1877, including turning a GG organ into a C organ. In 1975, Bishop restored the Great organ, and in 2002 Goetze and Gwynn restored the organ as close as possible to 1829 condition.

    The organ is a wonderful survival. When it was made it was still a classical organ but stood on the threshold of the romantic 19th century, with a larger Swell organ, composition pedals, couplers, romantic voices, etc. It would have been intended mainly for reformed psalm-singing, but would also have illuminated a period of music when church music was becoming more elaborate, classical forms were being expanded for greater expressive content, and the music of J.S.Bach was being explored for the first time in Great Britain. It is an organ with European significiance.

    The stops are as follows:

    GREAT ORGAN CHOIR ORGAN SWELL ORGAN PEDAL ORGAN 
    Open Diapason Open Diapason Open Diapason Double Pedal Pipes
    Open Diapason Dulciana gº-f³ Open Diapason Unison Pedal Pipes
    Stopped Diapason Stopped Diapason Stopped Diapason Trombone
    Principal Principal Principal
    Twelfth Flute Cornet 5 ranks
    Fifteenth Fifteenth French Horn
    Sesquialtera 3 ranks Cremona Treble Trumpet
    Mixture 2 ranks Bassoon Bass Hautboy
    Trumpet
    Clarion

    Couplers: Swell to Great, Swell to Choir, Choir to Great, Great to Pedals, Choir to Pedals

    3 composition pedals to Great Organ (full Great, Great without reeds, Diapasons)
    reversing shifting movement pedal for shutting off all the Swell Organ stops except the diapasons
    swell pedal (louvre swell shutters, ratchet for open position)

    Great and Choir: GG – f³
    Swell: G – f³ (GG – F# play Choir keys)
    Pedals (including finger keyboard): GG – gº

    Pitch: 432Hz at 15ºC

    The tuning was fixed from Swell pipes which appeared to have original lengths. It is a modified form of the (approximately 1/5 comma meantone) system described by Bishop in a notebook he started in 1807.

    The lower of the Swell Open Diapasons has a smaller scale than the upper. The Bassoon is from GG – dº; the Cremona from d#º – f³. However, the pipes change shape (and sound) between b° and c¹. Despite the name, the Swell Cornet has no Tierce rank. The Great and Choir Stopt Diapasons, and the Choir Flute, are open wood pipes from c¹ up. The Swell Stopt Diapason is stopped (with pierced stoppers) to the top.

    Adrian Greenwood acted for the church, and Ian Bell was advisor.

    The recording is available from www.somm-recordings.com SOMMCD 039 Organ music by Samuel Wesley played by Jennifer Bate at the organ of St James Bermondsey (there is more music by Samuel Wesley and his contemporaries played on the Bermondsey organ on SOMMCD 039); also www.delphianrecords.co.uk DCD34062 John Kitchen plays the Complete Organ Voluntaries by William Russell (1777-1813)

  • Istituto S. Caterina, Cortona, Italy Restoration of the ca1830 Paoli Organ

    In February 2002 we were given the opportunity to examine an Italian organ in detail, in the course of a repair instigated by Christopher Stembridge, who was at the time organizing courses based at the monastery. We also spent time with our expert guide and performer, visiting 16th century organs at the Duomo and Badia in Arezzo, Le Grazie at Montepulciano, S. Maria Nouva, S. Filippo and S Chiara in Cortona, and the Annunziata in Florence. Although most Italian classical organs are by northern standards small, with a single manual and no more than 10 stops, we started to grasp their range and subtlety. By the end of the week, other organs started to seem gross and extravagant by comparison. We also realised how conservative the Italian tradition was by our standards, with mid-19th century organs only slightly larger, but made in identical, or very similar, fashion as the earlier ones.

    That was certainly true of ‘our’ organ, made by Paoli in about 1830. There are extra solo stops (three treble flutes, two half stop reeds, drum and carillon), the short octave (usual in earlier organs) has been filled in, the stop action uses sliders, not a spring chest, but the soundboard is made of a solid piece of wood, the rollers are metal stapled to the board, the keys are pivoted at the tail, the two multi-fold wedge bellows are operated with ropes. The organ is made and laid out in much the same way as previous organs. Interestingly the short toe pedals were laid out with a short octave and the extra accidentals added at the side, as of for a second octave. An identical toe pedal for Bb operated the drum.

    The organ is basically in good condition, and almost entirely unaltered. We cleaned all the pipes, setting most of them in good order. The reeds worked well once they had been cleaned out, apart from three where the solder seams of the tinned plate resonators had sprung apart. The rest of the organ was cleaned and a few minor adjustments made. Accessible surfaces were treated with woodworm fluid. A broken bellows rope was replaced. The organ was checked for major voicing irregularities (eg overblowing, instability of speech, obtrusive quietness or loudness) and tuned after checking in octaves, etc. building up the ripieno like a mixture, since the addition of stops has an effect on the pressure.

    By a stroke of good fortune, the organ was ready for demonstrating to the nuns on the Friday, which happened to be the patronal day of the local saint, Santa Margherita of Cortona, who spent a few years at the beginning of the 14th century at the convent. That morning there had been a service attended by the Bishop at the Basilica at the top of the hill, where S. Margherita lies in a glazed casket, and a fair in the courtyard. After Christopher’s recital, the delighted nuns treated us to caramelised nuts, sparkling wine and Vinsanto.

    For Christopher Stembridge, the reward lay in having a teaching and playing organ within the walls of the convent where the summer course takes place (since the course, which he runs with his wife Ella Sevskaya, last year featured mainly other keyboard instruments). The course must be a memorable experience (details from stembridge@quilisma.com ), with a scholarly and enthusiastic guide for whom the music of this country seems to have become second nature, in delightful surroundings at the top of one of the hilliest of Tuscan hill towns. His dream is to see Cortona’s other organs restored, from the late 16th century organ in the perfect centrally-planned Renaissance church of S. Maria Nuova, to the early 17th century organ in S. Filippo. Unfortunately, one or two are beyond restoration.

    The organ stands on the second gallery. It and the gallery below are fitted with pierced railings so that the nuns were not visible to the lay people below. The nuns had their own choir at the east end, at the same level as the organ gallery, with an altar against the west wall. The windows at this level were also covered with grills.

    Principale 8’C-B stopped cº + c# ºopen wood, dº-a#¹ in front, b¹-d³ doubled
    Ottava 4’ wood
    Decima Quinta 2’
    Decima Nona 1?’ to 2?’ at f²/f#²
    Vigesima Seconda 1’ to 2 at c²/c#²
    Vigesima Sesta ?’ to 1?’ at f¹/f#¹ and 2?’ at f²/f#²
    Nasardo 2?’ f¹ – d³
    Cornetto 2’+1³/5’ f¹ – d³
    Flauto 4’ C – e¹
    Clarone 4’Pr + Ottava C-B, cº – d³
    Trombe Soprani 8’ f¹ – d³
    Voce Umana 8’ f¹ – d³
    Cariglione
    Contrabassi 8’ f¹ – d³
    Tamburi C – B

    The compass is C – d³. The pitch is high. The tuning is meantone with good thirds

    The chapel has a good acoustic, resonant but without reverberation. The organ is in effect a 4ft organ; the sound is brilliant but not piercing. The organ in the chapel of Santa Chiara, for the Poor Clares, who are an enclosed order, is also a Paoli, of 1856. Like this organ, it has a surprising number of pipes, but with a smaller case is relatively lighter and brighter

  • Wetheringsett Organ New Organ in Tudor Style

    The new organ is based on the soundboard found in recent years at Wetheringsett in Suffolk (hence the name). It was discovered during alterations to a farmhouse, and may have been a dairy door. According to tree-ring dating the tree of which the original soundboard was made (from Baltic oak) cannot have been cut down before about 1525. The likeliest local church for this organ is at Debenham, a large church which bought an organ in 1525. It is likely that this organ stood on the floor, or against the wall in a gallery, and was probably the main organ of the church.

    It is known that there were continental organbuilders being paid for new parish church organs in the first half of the 16th century in England, but the indigenous characteristics of this organ suggest that this organ was made by an English builder, probably fairly local, since there were some well-known East Anglian builders. These characteristics can be summarised as: long, fully chromatic key compass, choruses of wooden or metal pipes of the same scale and style, each with its own slider, and a voicing style familiar from 17th century English organs.

    SPECIFICATION

    Stoplist: The pitch and scaling of the stops are indicated by the spacing and the toehole sizes on the old soundboard. The order is that of the sliders and stop knobs, from the front.

    I.short resonator reedregal 5ft
    II.open metalprincipal 5ft(C C# and D shared with other Principal)
    III.open metalprincipal 5ft(27 pipes D# – f_ in the front)
    IV.open metaloctave(C shared with other Octave)
    V.open metaloctave
    VI.open metalfifteenth
    VII.stopped wood basses 10ft(C to f#º, 19 notes)

    Key compass: The key compass is C to a², 46 notes, which is the number of grooves in the Wetheringsett soundboard. This compass matches the ranges needed for the surviving repertory. The two C organs at All Hallows by the Tower in London (1519), and Holy Trinity Coventry (1526) would also have had an upper limit of a². This key compass allows for techniques of transposition by the player, which may have been quite subtle (by a fourth, a fifth or a tone).

    Pitch: The nominal pitch is 5ft, i.e. a fourth above singing pitch. 5ft Principal ranks were the basis of the two organs mentioned above. For the actual pitch I have chosen the pitch of the earliest unaltered English pipes (the dummy pipes of the 1630 Dallam organ now at Stanford on Avon), which are about 1½ semitones above A440 at singing pitch. We have to assume that this pitch pre-dated use alongside choirs, but that it encouraged subtleties of technique in ‘accompanying’ which we have yet to learn.

    Tuning: The tuning system is the tuning system recommended by Arnolt Schlick in his Spiegel der Orgelmacher published in Heidelberg in 1511, and intended as a guide for good practice throughout the Holy Roman Empire. He was the first writer to give a recipe which mentions every note of the scale. It is a modified form of mean tone tuning, with good (not pure) major thirds and the wolf spread to some extent over neighbouring fifths to allow some modulation (though ab for instance is still much closer to being a g#).

    Dimensions

    The outside dimensions of the organ are

    height total340cm (375cm with pinnacles)134ins (148ins)
    height to impost122cm48ins
    plan at pipe level170cm wide x 78.5cm deep67ins x 31ins
    plan at ground level98cm wide x 78.5cm deep39ins x 31ins
    ground plan of the wind system134 x 13453ins x 53ins
    staging (= total floor space required)300 x 150120ins x 60ins

    The recording is available from www.oxrecs.com OXCD-101 Organs & Voices of Tudor England, Geoffrey Webber directs the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge with organist Magnus Williamson, featuring the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs, a 40-page booklet describes the history and use of these type of organs during the Reformation with both sacred and secular, choral and keyboard interpretations of music performed at the time;

    The organ is also used on www.oxrecs.com OXCD-106 Tudor Church Music from Durham Cathedral with the Durham Cathedral Choir and the Durham Cathedral Consort of Singers directed by James Lancelot with Keith Wright on the organ, with the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs; and www.atmaclassique.com ATMA classique ACD2 2349 Thomas Tallis Complete keyboard works: Rachelle Taylor plays the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs, and Malcolm Rose’s reconstruction of the harpsichord from the 1579 Theewes claviorgan, and Darryl Martin’s reconstruction of the ca1570 “AH” virginals

  • Wingfield Organ New Organ in Tudor Style

    The new organ is based on a soundboard found at Wingfield church in Suffolk (hence the name). The surviving fragment cannot be dated accurately. There is as yet no possibility of tree-ring dating. It has sliders, and the first reference to stops in an English organ is at Westerham in Kent in 1511/12, where the organ was ‘to be made with iii stoppis after the new making’. It is unlikely to have been made after 1560, or between 1547 and 1553. The 1530s and 1540s seem most likely. The assumption is that this soundboard always lived in this church, and that it was the organ which was seen in 1796, standing on the north side of the chancel. It seems likely that this organ was made by a local builder, from local materials.

    Builder: It is known that there were continental organbuilders being paid for new parish church organs in the first half of the 16th century in England, but the indigenous characteristics of this organ suggest that this organ was made by an English builder, probably fairly local, since there were some well-known East Anglian builders. These characteristics can be summarised as: long, fully chromatic key compass, chorus of wooden pipes of the same scale and style, each with its own slider, and a voicing style familiar from 17th century English organs.

    Specification

    Stoplist: The pipes are all open, and made of oak. The pipes in the front (and the back) are the Principal, a 5ft rank, the inside pipes consist of two Octave ranks and two Fifteenths. The Principal has no slider, but the other four ranks can all be drawn separately. The pitch and scaling of the stops are indicated by the spacing and the toehole sizes on the old soundboard.

    Key compass: The key compass is F to a² without g#², 40 notes, which is the number of grooves in the Wingfield soundboard. This compass is derived from the ranges needed for the repertory. The two C organs at All Hallows by the Tower in London (1519), and Holy Trinity Coventry (1526) would also have had an upper limit of a².

    Pitch: The nominal pitch is 5ft, i.e. a fourth above singing pitch. 5ft Principal ranks were the basis of the two organs mentioned above. For the actual pitch I have chosen the pitch of the earliest unaltered English pipes (the dummy pipes of the 1630 Dallam organ now at Stanford on Avon), which are about 1½ semitones above A440 at singing pitch.

    Tuning: The tuning system is a modification of the Erlangen tuning, suggested by Annette Otterstedt. This is a Pythagorean tuning system, based on pure fifths. The wolf fifth is placed so that there are some useful good major thirds, and the effect of the wolf fifth is reduced by dividing it over two neighbouring fifths. Although there are bad fifths on d-a and a-e, there are good thirds on d-f#, a-c#, e-g# and b-d# (the last not in practice very useful), which influences some finals, though not perhaps to make an argument for such a modified tuning over strict Pythagorean.

    Dimensions

    The outside dimensions of the organ are

    height including pipes261cm tall102"
    ground plan of the case127cm wide x 43cm50" x 17"
    ground plan of the wind system107 x 9642" x 38"
    staging (= total floor space required)244 x 12296" x 48"

    The recording is available from www.guildmusic.com GMCD 7233 ‘The Nightingale and the Sparrow’ Derek Adlam plays John Bull and Giles Farnaby on muselar, harpsichord and organ; the organ is also used on www.oxrecs.com OXCD-101 Organs & Voices of Tudor England, Geoffrey Webber directs the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge with organist Magnus Williamson, featuring the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs, a 40-page booklet describes the history and use of these type of organs during the Reformation with both sacred and secular, choral and keyboard interpretations of music performed at the time; the organ is also used on www.oxrecs.com OXCD-106 Tudor Church Music from Durham Cathedral with the Durham Cathedral Choir and the Durham Cathedral Consort of Singers directed by James Lancelot with Keith Wright on the organ, with the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs; and www.atmaclassique.com ATMA classique ACD2 2349 Thomas Tallis Complete keyboard works: Rachelle Taylor plays the Wetheringsett and Wingfield organs, and Malcolm Rose’s reconstruction of the harpsichord from the 1579 Theewes claviorgan, and Darryl Martin’s reconstruction of the ca1570 “AH” virginals

  • St Endellion Cornwall New Church Organ

    This organ is based on early 18th century English organs, mainly the Father Smith organ at St Mary Finedon in Northamptonshire and the Gerard Smith organ at St Lawrence Whitchurch in Middlesex.

    GREAT SWELL PEDAL 
    Open Diapason8'Open Diapason8'Bourdon16'
    Stop Diapason8'Stop Diapason8'
    Principal4'Principal4'
    Flute4'Fifteenth2'
    Fifteenth2'Cromhorn8'
    SesquialteraIII
    Trumpet8'

    Couplers: Swell to Great Swell to Pedals Great to Pedals

    Manual compass: C – g³. Pedal compass: C – f¹

    The pitch is a¹=440Hz. The tuning system is one of Mark Lindley’s elegant temperaments, in which all the keys are usable, but with perceptible differences in quality between the more and less commonly used keys.

    The case design is based on the 18th century West country cases of Renatus Harris and the Seedes of Bristol, with arched flats and only three of the five pipes in the central tower forming a semi-circle. The Open Diapason starts from F in the front. St Endellienta’s emblematic cow is in the middle of the central pipe shade.

    The organ was commissioned and funded by the Parochial Church Council at St Endellion, the Friends of St Endellion, the St Endellion Festival http://www.endellionfestivals.org.uk/ and the Friends of St Endellion Festival. It has been used at the Festivals, held twice a year, and recorded by Joseph Cullen on Dinmore Records DRD 031.

    A link to St Endellion Church http://www.northcornwallclusterofchurches.org.uk/our-churches/st-endellion/

    The recording is available from www.goetzegwynn.co.uk  DRD 031 S Joseph Cullen plays a recital on the 2001 Goetze and Gwynn organ

  • Osterley Park Middlesex Restoration of the 1788 Holland Chest Organ

    The label above the keyboard gives: “Henry Holland NEPHEW and SUCCESSOR to Mr Pyke/Organbuilder to His Majesty/Bedford Row and St James’s Street PICCADILLY”. A graffito under the organ shows that it was not Holland who made it: “Ed. White Invent et Delinea/May ye 30th 1788”. It restored in 1955 by N.P.Mander and during the winter of 2000-2001 by Edward Bennett.

    It was originally made for Osterley Park, spent some time at The Vine in Hampshire, and has now been returned to Osterley, on loan to the National Trust https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house ,from the owner, Augustine Ford.

    The organ has St Diapason, Principal and Fifteenth, with bass and treble knobs for each stop on either side of the keyboard. The shifting movement removes the Fifteenth. All the pipes are made of pine, narrow-scaled, in a traditional English manner which must have seemed quite old-fashioned by 1788.

    The compass is GG AA – f³, with the bass/treble division at bº/c¹. An internal blower and a trolley have been provided so that the organ can be moved for concerts and weddings.

  • St Botolph Aldersgate Restoration of the Green/Speechly organ

    The organ was installed in the new church by Samuel Green in 1791, using pipes from an older Green organ. It was the gift of Seddons the upholsterers. It had the following stops:

    Great (GG AA – e³) Swell (f-e³) Pedal (GG – cº)
    Open Diapason I Dulciana pulldowns
    Open Diapason II Stopped Diapason
    Stopped Diapason Principal
    Principal Cornet III
    Twelfth Trumpet
    Fifteenth Hautboy
    Sesquialtra III
    Cornet IV (short compass c¹)
    Trumpet

    It was completely rebuilt by Henry Speechly in 1867, retaining the case, Great chest and most of the flue pipes. The centre tower of the case and the carving beneath it were altered at the same time. The front was moved forward, and the back panelling was pushed out into the passage to accommodate the new Swell.

    The resulting organ has been little tampered with. In 1926, Hill, Norman & Beard raised the wind pressure, re-voiced the reeds, replaced the pedal action with pneumatic, and provided an electric blower.

    Speechly’s organ survives largely intact, though HN&B in 1926 replaced the pedal action with pneumatic (including the shared Bourdon on the Swell), and re-voiced the reeds, with loaded tongues and harmonic trebles.

    In 1999-2000 Goetze & Gwynn Ltd (advisor John Norman) restored the organ without alteration. The case was restored by Chris Wells and Charles Marsden (including gilding the new front pipes in the middle tower, which had been replaced with zinc ones). This organ had the following stops:

    GREAT (in order on chest, from front)

    Open Diapason 1791marked , spotted metal, C – dº in front
    Dulciana 1867cº – f³, bass from Stopped Diapason
    Stopped Diapason 1867C – bº stopped, c¹ to f³ harmonic
    Cremona 1867cº to f³, cleaned with new tongues in 1926?
    Principal 1791plain metal, c¹ to f³ with tuning slides
    Flute Harmonique 1867 c¹ to f³ harmonic
    Fifteenth 1791 bass pipes are slightly different from the other Green pipes
    Sesquialtera 1867with 1791 pipework, C 2' 1 1/3' 1', g² 4' 2 2/3' 2', no tuning slides
    Trumpet 1867revoiced 1926, c² – b² harmonic, c³ – f³ flues

    SWELL (in order on chest from back)

    Double Diapason 1867 C – B outside box
    Open Diapason 1791ex Great, spotted metal
    Voix Celestes 1791ex Dulciana, draws Gamba simultaneously (1894?)
    Stopped Diapason 1791 bass ex Great
    Principal bass 1791, treble 1867
    Piccolo Harmonique 1867
    Mixture 1867C 2' 1 1/3' 1', g² 4' 2 2/3' 2'
    Gamba 1894? in place of 1867 Clarion
    Oboe 1867revoiced, f² – f³ harmonic 1926
    Cornopean 1867 revoiced 1926

    PEDAL

    Open Diapason 1867
    Bourdon 1894? using Swell Double
    Tremulant 1894? or 1926

    Couplers

    Swell-Great sans serif stop knob label
    Super-octave brings on Sw-Gt sub-octave, so that e.g. Great c¹ plays Swell cº
    Swell-Pedal sans serif stop knob label
    Great-Pedal also has an on-off rocker pedal on the bass return of the pedal recess

    The combinations are at present set as follows (numbering from bass):

    1 Swell DD OD Pr Mix Corn (nothing off)
    2 Swell OD Pr (others off)
    3 Swell StD Picc (others off)
    4 Great Dulc
    5 Great StD Pr
    6 Great OD Pr 15
    7 Great OD Pr Ses
  • Magdalene College Cambridge Chapel New Organ

    This organ is designed and built in the tradition of Father Smith, particularly the organs at Great St Mary Cambridge, St Mary Finedon and Adlington Hall.

  • Brightling Church in Sussex, restoration of the ca1820 Nicholls Barrel Organ

    The local squire, John Fuller, gave the organ in about 1820. He had already encouraged the psalmody in Brightling church by providing nine bassoons to accompany the singing.

    A printed label at the back of the chest reads: ‘W.A.A.Nicholls, son-in-law and successor to the late G.P. England, No.9 Stephen Street, Tottenham Ct. Rd.’

    There are six stops: Mixture, Fifteenth, Twelfth, Stopt Diapason, Principal, Open Diapason

    Key compass: AA D F G A B c#-g² c A# G# F# E C (43 keys)

    The pitch is 434.17Hz at 20ºC. The tuning is 1/4 comma meantone. The wind pressure is 43mm.

    The bellows is blown by foot pedal, independently of the barrel mechanism, which means that the ‘player’ can dwell on a note (e.g. the initial reciting note), without worrying about loss of wind.

    There are two barrels with 12 chant and hymn tunes each:

     Barrel no.1  
    0 Hanover (old 104th) g#
    1 Lord Mornington's chant e
    2 Windsor Chapel d
    3 unknown f
    4 Bristol d
    5 Gainsborough g
    6 Falcon Street c
    7 Abingdon g
    8 chant (by P.Dally) a
    9 Montgomery d
    10 Morton d
    11 Old 100th a
    12 Hanover (old 104th) g
     Barrel no.2  
    0 Mount Ephraim  c#
    1 Sheldon d
    2 Adeste fidelis e
    3 St George g
    4 Irish f
    5 New Sabbath d
    6 Oxford New c
    7 Islington c
    8 Easter Hymn d
    9 Surrey g
    10 Burford g minor
    11 St Anne d
    12 Mount Ephraim c

    The last ones (12) on each barrel are not available, and have been replaced with the transposed tunes at the opposite end of the barrel, which sound ghastly in meantone of course, which may be why there are no notes played in the bottom octave.

  • Merton College, Oxford, Restoration of ca1760 Thomas Parker Chamber Organ

    The appearance, pipe marks and style of manufacture link the organ at Merton with Thomas Parker, who worked with Richard Bridge and had his own workshop in Grays Inn Lane ca1750-1770. Parker made the organ now at Great Packington in Warwickshire, and the organ at the Foundling Hospital in 1768-9. The Merton organ dates from around 1760.

    Before it went to Merton, the organ stood in Hawkstone Park, Shropshire, and perhaps originally in Hodnet Hall, Shropshire (home of the Heber-Percys). It does not seem to have been altered in any way until 1912, when it was repaired by Balsar Ludwig of Banbury, with minor alterations to the case, chest, the Cremona and mixture, and the pitch and tuning. Walkers repaired the organ, also with minor alterations (including electric blower), in 1965.
    The survival of the Cremona and the original bellows system make this organ particularly interesting.

    In 1999, Martin Goetze and Dominic Gwynn carried out cleaning and repairs. The restoration of the gilded front pipes and the pipe shades, was carried out by Chris Wells of Stannington near Sheffield, and of the finish of the organ by Charles Marsden of Tickhill near Doncaster. New stop jambs with paper labels were made to replace those provided in 1912. The front was made to be removable again, to facilitate tuning, and a new roof was provided.

    The mixture had been recast in 1912, and was restored to its original composition. The tuning slides were retained, left at modern pitch, but with an unequal tuning. The Cremona was repaired as found. The leather of the bellows was reinforced, a new trunk replacing the faulty kopex connection to the cut-off valve.

    Stop List

    Open Diapson treble 8ft (c#¹ – e³;metal)
    Stopped Diapason 8ft (wood)
    Principal bass and treble 4ft (open wood)
    Twelfth 2 2/3ft(AA – eº in the front, remainder inside; metal)
    Fifteenth bass and treble 2ft (metal)
    Mixture bass and treble II (GG 1 1/3' 1' c#¹ 2 2/3' 1 3/5';metal)
    Cremona treble (c#¹ – e³)
  • Worksop St Anne’s Restoration of 1852/79 Gray & Davison Organ

    The organ was until recently in the United Reformed Chapel of St John’s, The Green, Buckley in Clwyd. It was moved there in 1902 from Grafton Square Congregational Chapel in Clapham. The organ was supplied to ‘Clapham Congregational Church’ in 1852 by the well known London organ builders, Gray & Davison. They rebuilt and enlarged it in 1879-80, altering the appearance. It seems to have remained unaltered in 1902. In 1947 Whiteley of Chester carried out repairs, and supplied a Tremulant, pneumatic action to the Pedals, a new pedalboard and a balanced Swell pedal.

    In 1998-9 we have moved the organ and restored it. The organ uses the case front from the original organ in the 1913 Austin and Paley church at St Anne’s, which has an unaltered interior. The organ it replaces was a 1913 Brindley & Foster, made for the church, though unfortunately with pneumatic action and direct pallet chests which none of the firms asked to tender were prepared to restore. Only now, for the first time, will there be front pipes. The organ at Buckley had a simple piperack, though parts of the 1852 case survived inside the organ.

    The organ fits the space exactly, apart from the pedal organ, which occupied a great deal of space at the sides. The original pedal chests have been used, but the opportunity of restoring the mechanical key action has also meant that these chests could be disposed to fit the new site. Otherwise, the organ has been restored in the state in which it was found.

    The stop list is:

    Great Size Swell Size Choir Size Pedal Size 
    Double Diapason 8’ Lieblich Bourdon 8’ Dulciana 8’ Open Diapason 16’
    Open Diapason 8’ Open Diapason 8’ Viol di Gamba 8’ Bourdon 16’
    Small Open Diapason 8’ Keraulophon 8’ Claribel Flute 8’
    Gamba 8’ Stop'd Diapason 8’ Suabe Flute 4’
    Clarinet Flute 8’ Principal 4’ Flageolet 2’
    Principal 4’ Fifteenth 2’ Clarionet tc 8’
    Harmonic Flute 4’ Mixture II Voix Celestes tc 8’
    Twelfth 2?’ Cornopean 8’
    Fifteenth 2’ Oboe 8’
    Mixture II Clarion 4’
    Trumpet 8’ Tremulant

    Couplers:

    Swell to Great
    Swell to Choir
    Swell to Pedal
    Choir to Pedal
    Great to Pedal

    key compass: manuals C – g³, pedals C – f¹
    tuning: equal temperament
    pitch: 448Hz
    balanced swell pedal (1947, originally hitch-down)
    3 Great, 3 Swell combination pedals

  • Three stop chest organ available for hire

    The organ is based on the work of John Snetzler, particularly on an organ made at the start of his career as an independent organbuilder in England. The combination of the characteristic English Stopped Diapason and the rather sharper tone of the Swiss-influenced metal stops makes it a versatile organ for continuo.

    Stopped Diapason8ft
    Principal4ft
    Fifteenth2ft

    Compass: C – f³ (C available from a¹=415Hz)
    Pitches: a¹ = 392, 415, 440, 466 (with intervening pitches available with tuning slides of suitable length)

    It is available for hire: contact Alan Gotto on agotto@dsn.co.uk or the builders

  • Handel House Museum London New Chamber Organ

    The organ was made for the Handel House Trust, https://handelhendrix.org/, which in 2001 opened a museum in the house where Handel lived for the last 36 years of his life: 25 Brook Street in Westminster. It lives in the church of St George’s Hanover Square, Handel’s parish church and the home of the London Handel Festival. The organ is based on the chamber organs of Richard Bridge and Thomas Parker, who built the organ which belonged to Charles Jennens, the librettist of Messiah, which still exists close to its original condition.

    Stop Diapasonwood
    Open Diapason (c#_ – e_)metal
    Principalmetal
    Flutewood
    Fifteenthmetal
    Sesquialtera II (GG – c_)metal
    Cornet II (c#_ – e_)metal

    The key compass is 54 notes (GG AA C D – e³). The metal ranks are all divided into bass and treble halves at c¹/c#¹. There is a shifting movement pedal which removes the metal ranks (if drawn). The pitch is a¹=415Hz.

    The organ is 263cm high, 141cm wide and 75cm deep. It has a stained oak case, with gilded dummy metal front pipes, and a gilded cherub’s head. The keys have ebony naturals and sandwich sharps. The stop knobs are ebony, next to engraved brass labels.

  • Belton House near Grantham Restoration of 1826 Thomas Elliot Organ

    The organ in the Chapel at Belton House near Grantham in Lincolnshire, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house, was built by Thomas Elliot for £458 10s 0d in 1826. In December 1828 it was visited by the organbuilder Alexander Buckingham who kept notes of his visit, and in the deprecating manner he used for his former master, Thomas Elliot, said that “the organ is very bad contrived to get to tune it and the chorus stops does not mix well together.” In 1831 he returned and moved the Swell nine inches towards the back “…for convenience of tuning…”. In 1833 he added a set of 17 pedals, and in 1842 he put in the Swell to Great coupler. In 1896 Bevington installed a Troy water engine, fed from the lake and rebuilt the bellows with cuckoo feeders. They also revoiced the Hautboy with new shallots.

    John Brownlow, Earl Brownlow and Viscount Alford, who bought the organ, also patronized music-making in Grantham, including a volume of sacred music written by William Dixon, who was organist of the chapel in the early nineteenth century, and organist at St Wulfram Grantham. These must have been performed at Belton too.

    The organ has two keyboards, a Great of 58 notes (GG AA to f³) and a Swell of 35 notes (gº to f³).

    It has the following stops (according to the order on the bass and treble stop jambs):

    Swell Hautboy Cornet treble
    Swell Dulciana Sesquialtera bass
    Swell Stop Diapason Fifteenth
    Stop Diapason Twelfth
    Open Diapason Principal

    The organ is in the Chapel Gallery. It has a fine mahogany case with a ceramic medallion of Handel above the single pipe flat, probably designed by Jeffry Wyatville.

    In the winter of 1997 to 1998 Martin Goetze and Stuart Dobbs restored the organ. The restoration work consisted mostly of cleaning and adjusting. The main parts of the work involved the two wind chests and the pipework. The chest had to be dismantled, the bar frame flooded, and the pallets re-leathered, in the style of the 1826 organ.

    The feet of most of the treble pipes had corroded and become misformed as a result. The corrosion probably originated in sulphur dioxide from the coal fire in the gallery, which condensed in the cold area of the pipe feet between the upperboard and rackboard, and acting with other impurities, produced blisters in the feet from the inside of the foot. The feet had become porous and brittle, and some of the corrosion was so severe that the feet had curled to one side. Since corrosion also expanded the metal and jammed the foot in the rackboard, some of the toes had lifted out of their uperboard holes. The feet were soaked in Paraloid B72 where not too misformed, or replaced by cutting off the affected section and replacing with new metal.

    The restoration project was entered for the Museums & Galleries Commission Conservation Awards and was shortlisted.

  • St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life Cardiff Restoration of ca1830 Scottish Chamber Organ

    This organ is very similar in style to others by James Bruce of Edinburgh (e.g. John Barnes’s), that it may well be by him (see Alan Buchan’s article in BIOS Journal 21). There is what looks like a monogram on the f³ key, and possibly on the bass pallet. The organ would date from around 1830.

    It may be that it was moved to Llanfihangel by Jardine (whose label is glued to a back panel). Whiteley of Chester last maintained the organ and rebuilt it, probably about fifty years ago. They removed the swell box, with its pipes and keys, added the octave coupler, a Gamba and its upperboard at the back, the plastic stop knobs and re-leathered the pallets about 1950.

    The chapel in which the organ spent the last part of its life became redundant in the 1970s and lost its roof. The organ started to fall apart with dampness. In 1987 the organ was offered to the Museum of Welsh Life, and in 1997 it was restored by James Collier of Martin Goetze & Dominic Gwynn. It is now in the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans near Cardiff.

    The stop list before the 1997 restoration was (stop knob order on bass and treble jambs):

    Blank Fifteenth
    Octave Coupler Twelfth
    Gamba Principal treble
    Principal Stopped Diapason
    Stopped Diapason Open Diapason

    The Octave coupler and the Gamba were removed during the 1997 restoration. The stop list is now:

    Stopped Diapason (treble and bass)
    Open Diapason (cº-f³)
    Principal (treble and bass)
    Twelfth
    Fifteenth

    There is a shifting movement (with two pedals – off and on). There is a foot pedal for the player and a handle for an assistant.

    The compass is GG to f³ without GG#. The keyboard slides into the case; Whiteley had fixed it for use with the octave coupler. It has ivory naturals and ebony sharps.

    Originally there was a second keyboard with a small Swell organ. The evidence for this is as follows:
    • the three vacant stop knob holes in the bass jamb (which are the same as the other holes)
    • a hole cut out of the back of the wind trunk for a subsidiary trunk, now leathered over
    • the gap between the basses of the Stopped Diapason, about as wide as the keys, with mortises in the back rail, and a large mortise in the middle of the upperboard
    • the two Stopped Diapason bass toeboards rest on sawn-off portions of the rails in which the cheeks of the Swell keys ran, with tongues in the cheeks running in grooves in the rails
    • there is space above the surviving keys for an extra keyboard, the space used by Whiteley’s octave coupler
    • two surviving pipes from the Swell in other ranks (12th eº is marked Dulc 1 SW, 15th d² is marked pr c# Sw)

    So it looks as if the Swell had a Stopped Diapason, Dulciana and Principal. It must have been short compass, perhaps c¹-f³, but there is no sign of that. The idea of two sliding keyboards is very unusual but not impossible.

    The case is a light-coloured mahogany, with furniture-Gothic ornament. The case measures 3250mm tall, 1655mm wide and 765mm deep. Most of the ornaments were missing and only some have been replaced.

  • Russell Collection Edinburgh University Restoration of ca1760 Thomas Parker Organ

    The organ can safely be attributed to Thomas Parker, both on stylistic grounds, and because of the tuning system, which is related to the organ made by Parker for the Foundling Hospital in 1768. The history of the organ cannot be traced further back than the late 19th century, so this connection is the only clue we have for the date. It may have belonged to the Verney family, since the earliest records refer to their possession of the organ. The is a John Collier painting of Morforwyn Fanshawe, daughter of Sir George Lloyd Verney, standing in front of the organ in about 1900, presumably at her father’s house at Clochfaen near Llangurig in Dyfed.

    The stylistic connection is with Thomas Parker’s work at Great Packington in Warwickshire, which is signed in pencil on the back of the Great key slip “this Organ was made by Thsº Parker London”, and with Richard Bridge’s late work (1758) at St Leonard Shoreditch on the NE edge of the City of London.

    The tuning system is that described in 1762 by Dr Robert Smith, President of Trinity College Cambridge, though the authorship was disputed by John ‘Longitude’ Harrison. It was applied to the organ at the Foundling Hospital at the instigation of Harrison’s son William. It is essentially meantone with pure thirds, with four extra pipes for c#, eb, g# and bb.

    The organ has four stops:

    Stopped Diapason, all wood
    Open Diapason (from cº), all metal
    Principal, GG to D wood, the rest metal
    Fifteenth, all metal

    There was a shifting movement, reducing the registration to the two Diapasons (if drawn). The bar frame of the wind chest was made in two halves, with a vertical slider between the two halves of the chest. The slider isolated the front half of the chest from the back, on which the Diapason pipes stand.

    The compass is GG AA C D to e³, though with 16 pipes in each octave. There are extra pipes for c#, eb, g# and bb. It was assumed from the start that the system would replicate that recorded for the Foundling Hospital, with levers controlling a second set of sliders giving either sharp keys (outwards), flat keys (inwards) or meantone keys (middle):

    C# C# Db Ab G# G#
    D# Eb Eb Bb Bb A#

    It may be that the Edinburgh organ was a prototype for this system, but it proved impossible to arrange the sliders in more than two positions, and it seemed logical to have a choice of sharp keys or flat keys, with g# and bb controlled from the bass side, and c# and eb from the treble side.

    Papers presented at a conference based on the organ and its tuning system can be found on the website http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/museums-and-galleries/musical-instrument-museums

  • Ian Pleeth, restoration of ca1810 attributed to John Avery Chamber Organ

    This organ belonged to Sheila Lawrence, was sold to Ian Pleeth, for whom we restored it, and now belongs to Michael Latcham. Its provenance was unknown and there were no marks inside the organ to indicate a history. It is a curious organ in one respect, its key compass, which suggests its possible commission by a musician. The pipes, their marks, the layout, the keyboard and stops and the simple casework suggest the workshop of John Avery, whose bureau organs are very similar. The keys tilt up into the organ in the same way. The blowing is by foot only, and the wind pressure is provided by springs attached to the bottom of the wind chest, with wheels running on the top leaf of the single-fold horizontal reservoir.

    Edward Bennett restored the organ. His main work was stripping and restoring the wind chest, which had runnings and ciphers. The casework needed some restoration work, to warped panels and to the surface polish.

    The key compass is C D to c4. The stops are Stopped Diapason and Principal, divided bass/treble at bº/c¹.

  • Barrel Organs ca1810 Restoration of Two Domestic Barrel Organs

    On the left of the picture is the barrel organ belonging to Tony Clayton, evidently a domestic instrument for a clerical gentleman, with sacred songs and tunes. This organ was made by John Longman in about 1805 (according to a label on the barrel).

    St. Diapason
    Open Diapason
    Principal
    Fifteenth

    It has 21 keys. It had originally 3 barrels (with 10 tunes each), later expanded to 4, but only one survives.

    On the right of the picture is the organ belonging to the late Irene, Dowager Lady Astor of Hever, a domestic instrument with popular tunes of the day. It was made by George Astor, her husband’s ancestor, in about 1810.

    Drum
    SP Diapason
    Principal
    Fifteenth
    Triangle

    It has 15 keys. It has 3 barrels with 10 tunes on each.

    The two organs were restored in 1996 by Roland Koch

  • National Museum of Wales Cardiff Restoration of 1774/1864 Williams Wynn Organ

    The organ was made by Snetzler (S) in 1774 for Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, “the Welsh Maecenas” for his London house at 20, St James’s Square. It was already somewhat altered by Samuel Green (G) in 1783. The organ was moved to the Williams Wynn country seat at Wynnstay Hall near Ruabon in 1863, and rebuilt by Gray & Davison (G&D). The Organ was restored by G&G in 1996, more or less unaltered, though the Swell, which at Wynnstay had been placed in an alcove behind the organ was placed in the normal position in the more compact form necessary in the Museum.

    For the Museum Oliver Fairclough was instrumental in the purchase of the organ and guided its installation. There are regular Thursday lunchtime concerts organised by Cardiff Organ Events.

    Great   Swell   Pedal    
    Open Diapason 8 S/G Double Diapason 16 G&D Grand Bourdon 16 S/G&D
    Stop Diapason 8 S Open Diapason 8 G&D/S
    Principal 4 S/G Keraulophon 8 G&D
    Flute 4 S Stop Diapason 8 G&D/G
    Dulciana 8 G&D Principal 4 G&D/S
    Fifteenth 2 S Fifteenth 2 S
    Mixture III S/G/G&D Mixture II S/G
    Trumpet 8 G&D Oboe 8 G&D
    Cornopean 8 G&D

    Couplers
    Sw-Gt Gt-Ped Sw-Ped Swell octave

    Great Mixture: C 12.19.22 g² 12.15
    Swell Mixture: C 19.22 c¹ 12.15

    The mixtures are made up of pipes marked , and ; these are from the Great Twelfth, Sesquialtra and Cornet and the Swell Cornet. The Swell Mixture and Fifteenth go down to C. The Bourdon uses some Snetzler GG and AA pipes. The Swell Double and Stopped Diapasons are entirely made G&D pipework.

    Composition pedals:
    1. Sw Ker, St Diap
    2. Sw Ker, St Diap, Op Diap, Pr, Ob 3. Sw full Swell (every stop)
    4. Gt full Great (every stop except Tr)
    5. Gt Op Diap, St Diap, Dul
    6. Gt St Diap

    Voicing; G&D’s voicing is undisturbed, and Snetzler’s is more or less intact too. The wind pressure is 2 1/4″ (58mm) which cannot be far from Snetzler’s. The main alteration to Snetzler’s tonal scheme is to the composition of the mixtures, and the volume balance.

    Compass: Great and Swell C to g3 Pedal C to e1
    Pitch: A440. Tuning is equal temperament.

  • Italian Chamber Organ New Organ in 17th century style

    This is a new organ based on the late 17th century positive organ from Lucca, which we restored for the late Sheila Lawrence. It has been recorded on numerous occasions, mostly with His Majesty’s Sackbuts and Cornets sagbutt@mac.com

    Principale8ft
    Ottava4ft
    Decimaquinta2ft
    Decimanona1ft
    Vigesimaseconda1ft
    Voce Umana from c¹8ft

    The keyboard is transposing (a¹ = 390, 415, 440 and 465Hz). The pipes are tuned with slides.
    There are two foot pedals, one to bring on all the chorus stops (Tirapieno), the other to remove them, leaving the Principale.

    The compass is C – c³, with an octave of pedal pulldowns (C-cº).

    The recording is available from www.sfzmusic.co.uk SFZ0107 Giovanni Battista Grillo played by His Majesty’s Sackbuts and Cornetts (Gary Cooper organ); also www.chandos.net Chaconne CHAN 0789 William Byrd: The Great Service in the Chapel Royal, Musica Contexta directed by Simon Ravens with Stephen Devine on organ and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble; and Gaudeamus CD GAU 336 Ercole Pasquini played by James Johnstone on harpsichord and our 17th century style Italian chamber organ; and www.hyperion-records.co.uk Hyperion CDA66970 Francesco Cavalli’s Messa Concertata, Canzonas and Sonatas performed by Seicento and the Parley of Instruments directed by Peter Holman; and www.deccaclassics.com 0289 478 3506 6 1612 Italian Vespers Robert Hollingworth directs I Fagiolini

  • Hatchlands Surrey Cobbe Collection Restoration of 1759 Snetzler Chamber Organ

    The organ was made by John Snetzler in 1759, and rebuilt by John Banfield of Birmingham in 1906. It was restored by Edward Bennett, Martin Goetze, Stuart Dobbs and Roland Koch in 1995-6. The pitch was restored, a new mixture imitating Snetzler’s mixture at St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe made to replace the 1906 Keraulophon, new stop knobs, restored wind chest, etc.

    The organ was moved to Alec Cobbe’s Collection of musical instruments http://www.cobbecollection.co.uk/musical-instruments/ in the National Trust house at Hatchlands near Guildford in Surrey in 1989 https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatchlands-park. It came from Wellesbourne Methodist Church 1916, and before that Barford Hill House, and originally Sherbourne Hall, Warwickshire.

    Stopped Diapason (8ft)
    Open Diapason treble (8ft)
    Dulciana treble (8ft)
    Principal bass (4ft)
    Principal treble (4ft)
    Flute (4ft)
    Fifteenth bass (2ft)
    Fifteenth treble (2ft)
    SesquialteraIII (GG 1 3/5 1 1/3 1, g#¹ 2 1 3/5 1 1/3)
    Cornet III (c¹ 2 2/3 2 1 3/5 )

    The shifting movement leaves the Diapasons, Dulciana and Flute.
    Key compass GG AA – f³, divided at bº/c¹ (treble stop c¹ – f³)
    The pitch is now as originally a¹=425Hz.
    The tuning is now Werkmeister III “so that all the keys can be played”
    Bellows 1906, wind pressure 55mm