« An island in the desert? | Main | Pensions and politics .... »

November 27, 2005

Let mighty organs sound .....

The Abbey has recently played host to another round of Gala Organ Concerts, and the three organs have been strutting their stuff magnificently. I took the opportunity to try and capture some of the features of the Grove, the "Exhibition" Organ built for the Graet Exhibition in the 1880's and subsequently displayed around the country. It is still very much in the shape and order in which it finished up in the Abbey in the mid-1890's and is now very much an almost unique example of an unmodified Victorian Organ.

Among its unique features is the playing action, a mixture of pneumatic and "tracker" operation with mechanical links for the stops. Pieces like the Boellman Toccata have to be heard on this instrument to appreciate what it really sounds like!

The four manuals for the Grove Organ - the fifth, the Pedal, is just visible in the photo with the pedal "pistons" for preset "Stop" changes above.

The organ has a magnificent set of "reed" stops and a very wide range of sounds encompassing all the flutes, and many of the traditional "organ" sounds. The playing action uses wind pressure to operate the valves for the individual pipes in some parts of the organ with the mechanical linkage of "tracker" action for the rest. It provides the Organ Builders who maintain and tune it wioth a number of interesting challenges.

The linkages for part of the "tracker" section of the playing action.

Listening to this magnificent instrument, under the hands of a real virtuoso, made me very aware of the fact that, once we have restored and repaired the tower and the transepts - we will have to do something to restore this wonderful instrument.

That will not be cheap either!

Posted by The Gray Monk at November 27, 2005 04:31 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: