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Nolan playing all Widor Symphs in Melbourne

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Nolan playing all Widor Symphs in Melbourne

Postby Erzahler » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:59 pm

Joseph Nolan is playing all of the Widor Symphonies on the HNB/Schantz Melbourne Town Hall organ this month.
Sun 11: Symphonies 7 and 5
Wed 14: Symphonies Romane and 8
Fri 16 (1pm): Symphonies 1 and 2
Fri 16 (8pm): Symphonies 3 and 4
Sun 18: Symphonies Gothique and 6 ... eph-nolan/
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:48 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Nolan playing all Widor Symphs in Melbourne

Postby Andrew Grahame » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:16 pm

This is very tempting, but despite Melbourne being only a fairly short plane trip from Sydney it will be impossible for me to get there for any of these concerts.

Mention of the Melbourne Town Hall colossus brings to mind that this instrument is to be sampled for HW. I wonder where things stand currently on this huge project.

I've never heard the rebuild instrument, and I've only ever heard the original HN&B on recordings. On a trip to Melbourne about 20 years ago I briefly stood in the empty Town Hall and gazed up at that massive case. I was surprised at the hall's size - smaller than I'd imagined - which leads me to wonder just how loud the enlarged instrument is when going full tilt!

A Sydney organist who visited Melbourne some years back to give a recital on the organ pre-rebuild later described the enormous pedal Diaphones as "unusable" - and I've heard others speak in all manner of superlatives of their immense power. Perhaps the wallop they pack now stands in proportion to the vastly increased tonal forces on top of them!

For the benefit of overseas forum members - for decades there's been an ongoing "rivalry" between Sydney and Melbourne re their respective Town Hall organs. Melbourne's has had a chequered past - the original 19th century instrument was altered drastically in a turn-of-the-20th-century rebuild then later destroyed by fire. The entirely new replacement from the late 1920's was controversially rebuilt and greatly enlarged in recent times. The current Melbourne organ is now unquestionably the bigger of the two. Sydney's Town Hall organ by contrast remains largely original and intact. Even now, the only electrical components in the Sydney organ are the console lights and the blower apparatus - the tubular-pneumatic key, stop and piston actions has been scrupulously restored. There have been various minor alterations to the Sydney organ over the years - many now reversed - plus the lowering of the pitch to A=440 in the late 1930's, but this instrument still retains a very high degree of originality and authenticity. Two vastly different instruments - and in my view any true comparison is really just like comparing apples with oranges. Each has its place in its own right. Hopefully the Sydney organ will one day be sampled for HW also!

Andrew Grahame
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:51 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

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