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Coventry Cathedral Organ

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  • Coventry Cathedral Organ

    Having bought two CD's of this organ I would be interested in people's opinion's of the instrument in terms of:

    1.) Specification
    2.) Tonal Qualities
    3.) Balance
    4.) Aesthetics
    5.) Comparison with other instruments

    Right, go for it!

    John G Hackett
    Kingswinford, West Midlands, UK

  • #2
    Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

    I have heard it live - it was played at my graduation. I was impressed by how ferocious the sound on Full Organ is, but I did notice some peculiarities so I am interested to see how others view the instrument!


    • #3
      Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

      What peculiarities did you notice? Apart from how odd it looks...


      • #4
        Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

        It does indeed look odd. When you stare at the "casework" there doesn't appear to be enough room to accomodate all of the pipes in an organ of that size.

        The "peculiarities" I was referring to are as follows:

        1.) Stereo split effect between divisions

        The layout of the pipework means that you get an interesting stereo panning effect with the Swell, Choir and Solo on the left and the Great and Pedal on the right. It makes for some interesting contrasts when the player moves between the divisions.

        2.) Dominance of Pedal Reeds

        At Organo Pleno or Fortissimo, the pedal reeds seem to dominate the overall sound and at times obscure the more intricate fingerwork on the manuals. This is not a negative point to me, rather an interesting characteristic. But those reeds really do seem to boom away in a manner that I have not heard in other instruments.

        3.) Sound Balance

        The organ seems to boom in the bass and shout in the treble without much presence in the mid-range, again in a way that I have not experienced in other instruments I have heard.

        Those are the points I've noticed - when I say "peculiarities" perhaps I should term them "characteristics". I think they go towards making this an intriguing instrument. Whether it is a flawed instrument or not, well, that's where you guys on here come in!


        • #5
          Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

          Where were you (relative to the organ) when you got that impression? Organs can sound very different at different places in a building.


          • #6
            Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

            Directly in front - middle row of seats, front of nave.


            • #7
              Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

              Sounds much the same from the west end. A long time since I heard it live, but your impressions confirm mine regarding the pedal reeds. These are climax reeds not really 'baroque' in execution, whereas some of the sounds are those of the time.


              • #8
                Re: Coventry Cathedral Organ

                I've just picked up on the Coventry Cathedral thread. I have a snippet of information which will be of interest.

                Originally, the "organ committee" at Coventry consisted of "grey old men" who wanted a "traditional cathedral organ" of the type built by Arthur Harrison. There were many protests against this, and evntually, a more modern design was drawn up in consultation with Cuthbert Harrison.

                I got this from a member of the committee; now long deceased.

                However, there is a very amusing anecdote.

                The chap I knew was waiting for a bus which would take him to the cathedral, when a car drew up alongside him. He bobbed down as the window wound to the bottom, and a voice from within said, "Excuse me, do you know how I get to the cathedral?"

                My friend opened the passenger door without a word, got in the car and then said, "Well, Mr.Harrison, I think we're going to the same meeting......this way!"