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Thread: St. Thomas 5th Avenue

  1. #51
    pp Pianissimo Sculptor2's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by michaelhoddy View Post
    is the state of affairs, circumstances, and decisions made that brought previous instrument to the point where a full replacement was the best and most viable option.
    Think about how few buildings we have in this country from before 1800, and how every year more are lost to fire, floods, disasters, demolition and alterations, we don't have buildings and churches from the 1500s like they do in the UK, Americans don't want "old, outdated" that's why almost every small town that still has some remaining 19th century stores on Main St almost invariably have the bottom floors of every one of them "modernized" with some crazy new paneling, stucco, mirrors, or some other bizarre treatment. The city was going to demolish THIS 19th century building in the 1960s because it was "old and outdated" and it was ONLY saved because one woman started a campaign to save it because of the CLOCK, that was the only reason it wasn't demolished. It is now a public library;

    j.jpg


    When it's not buildings, it's contents that get trashed, like this one-of-a-kind 1897 mechanical clock in a building on Broadway the city sold to a developer, the building is landmarked and cant be demolished, but that protection didn't extend to the CLOCK, the developer renovated to make condos in the building, he wanted to remove and SCRAP this clock to put another condo in, it went to a court battle. The developer was thinking the clock could be easily replaced with an all electric clock to serve the same time display properties, basically replacing a Rolex watch with a $5.99 battery operated plastic watch from Walmart, it was all the same to him as long as the time was displayed;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqprf45HBpE

  2. #52
    pp Pianissimo Sculptor2's Avatar
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    Published on Jul 18, 2011
    Jon Meacham explains the need for a new great organ for Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uf2uUzABZQ



    Someone like Jon was best equipped to detail and know the problems to speak to the public, and the organists and people who fixed problems in the old organ that were not obvious to those sitting in the pews or listening on-line over computer speakers who did not have the "key" to the organ chamber and worked on it personally were also best equipped to know what the public didn't see or hear.

    To-day (sunday) a couple of events at St Thomas using the new organ, for those who can't be there, they will have their live (I believe) webcast and the recorded version of them uploaded afterwards;

    Included in this Choral Eucharist are hymns sung by the congregation and choir, additional music sung exclusively by the choir, lessons, prayers, a sermon, and a Rite I Mass;
    http://www.saintthomaschurch.org/cal...lemn-eucharist

    Then;

    Sunday, October 7, 2018
    5:15 pm Saint Thomas Church
    Organ Recital: Benjamin Sheen
    Inaugural Recital Series on the new Miller-Scott Organ played by the Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.


    The Saint Thomas Organ Recital Series is free and open to the public. Usually starting at approximately 5:15pm, it follows the 4pm service on most Sundays from September through May.

    Mr. Sheen will present the following program:
    March for ‘A History of the English-Speaking Peoples’
    William Walton (1902-1983)
    transcribed by Tom Winpenny (b. 1983)
    Intermezzo lirico
    Marco Enrico Bossi (1861-1925)
    from Piéces de Fantaisie
    Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

    • Naiades
    • Carillon de Westminster

    Concert Etude: Saint Francois de Paule marchant sur les flots
    Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
    transcribed by Lionel Rogg (b. 1936)
    Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue, Op. 149
    Healey Willan (1880-1968)



    http://www.saintthomaschurch.org/cal...benjamin-sheen
    Last edited by Sculptor2; 10-07-2018 at 07:14 AM.

  3. #53
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    This concert would be worth attending if only for the Willan, which is a great piece.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

  4. #54
    f Forte michaelhoddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voet View Post
    This concert would be worth attending if only for the Willan, which is a great piece.
    Absolutely. And Benjamin Sheen is a great young organist. In the link below is the audio from the livestream, which is quite an enjoyable listen:

    http://www.saintthomaschurch.org/cal...benjamin-sheen

  5. #55
    f Forte michaelhoddy's Avatar
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    I gave myself a week to process the new Dobson organ, having now heard it in person last week at the recital, in comparison to the previous Arents (Aeolian-Skinner/Adams) organ it replaced. Here are some of my observations, in no particular order:

    1. As I previously stated, the new Dobson is marvelous: visually and tonally. Absolutely a gem.

    2. The new Dobson is colorful and dynamic in ways the Arents was not, especially between mp and mf. Overall, the new organ is much smoother through its dynamics and seems more integrated tonally and in terms of blend, whereas the Arents was rougher around the edges, so to speak.

    3. That said, I still feel the Arents was more thrilling at full tilt. Brilliant and bombastic, with a full ensemble and pedal that rolled around the nave in grand fashion. The Dobson does not have the steely brilliance of the Arents (if for no other reason than the fact that the Dobson has 19 ranks of chorus mixtures vs the Arents having 48!). The Dobson emphasizes midrange sounds more while the Arents. If I had to make a blanket judgement, the Arents was an impressive effect at fortissimo dynamics, while the Dobson makes a better impression at every other dynamic. The other specialty of the Arents was the big blended "fonds" effect of massed foundation flues and enveloping pedal diapasons (think the opening of the Franck Choral in E or the middle section of the Choral in A), and the Dobson doesn't quite match this, in my opinion.

    3. If the Arents organ spoke with a French accent, the new Dobson speaks with an English accent. French works sounded a little better on the previous organ in my opinion, but most everything else I've heard so far works to better effect on the Dobson, especially "orchestral" type works. Daniel Hyde played the Karg-Elert Valse Mignonne to wonderful effect last week, something I can't imagine translating nearly as well on the previous organ.

    4. The new south organ case is visually stunning and a true work of art that will last generations. The visual effect of the organ is far superior to the previous Aeolian-Skinner configuration, with the incongruous combination of the 1913 Goodhue case in the northeast bay, with exposed 1950's-style "window box" chests next to it in the northwest bay and in both locations on the south wall (with chambers behind). I know one of the stated reasons for the new south case besides aesthetics was to better project sound out of the chancel and down the nave. I actually think it might have the opposite effect, as the new Great seems comparatively muted especially in the treble at the back of the nave. I suspect the totally exposed Aeolian-Skinner divisions actually got more sound directly into the nave, rather than it having to get out of the case and around the corner first! Some of this may have been due to the preponderance of aggressive mixtures in the previous organ, but it seemed more present at the back of the church than the current one does.

    One additional observation: it is wonderful to attend an organ concert that was SOLD OUT. Every single seat in the nave occupied, and we were packed in like sardines!

    In summary, the new organ is wonderful, but with different strengths, and happily much more reliable. Hopefully it has the good fortune to exist untouched by music director whims and stylistic fads for many years
    Last edited by michaelhoddy; 10-13-2018 at 02:16 AM.

  6. #56
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Michael,

    Thank you for your experienced ear and assessment of the new organ. Certainly the Dobson is a change in tonal philosophy from before. However, it will be interesting to see how it survives over time (as already stated). Of course, we know from John's observations of the organs on his most recent trip to the UK, the listening location in the space can make quite a difference as well. It will be nice to hear different observations from differing vantage points in the church.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  7. #57
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    Micahel,

    I really appreciate your assessment of the new Dobson. Thanks for taking the time to share it. You mentioned that you every seat was occupied and you were "packed in like sardines!" I wonder how that might have impacted the sound. I have frequently had the experience that when a venue is filled to capacity it can have a damping effect on the organ. It would be interesting to compare to a time when the church has fewer people.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

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