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Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby David Butcher » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:20 pm

Hello all,

Image

I'm very pleased to bring you news of my latest Hauptwerk project - the 1892 Father Willis organ of Hereford Cathedral in England. This organ has long been one of my favourite English instruments, so it is a real thrill to be able offer this instrument to the Hauptwerk community.

Rather than go into too much detail in this post, I would like to invite you to visit http://www.lavenderaudio.co.uk/organs/h ... index.html where you will find plenty of information on the history of the organ, some indication of what sample sets are planned and when they are likely to be available, along with some audio demonstrations of how the sample set is currently sounding with approximately half of the stops loading. Please note that these demos are still very much work in progress and that there remains much work to be done before any of the sample sets are ready for public release.

Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks for your attention.
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby Jonathan Taylor » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:03 pm

David,

This is WONDERFUL news! It seems the English are opening up to the idea of having their organs sampled (now all we need are the French to let us in).

I can't wait!

Jonathan
"The organ is in my eyes and ears the king of all instruments," Mozart in 1777
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby amateurorganist » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:22 pm

Wow! David! I can't wait for this sample set! :D
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby imcg110 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:25 pm

Excellent news David!!
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby IainStinson » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:30 pm

This is most welcome. Congratulations on the work done so far - the web pages are most interesting. The demonstration pieces suggest that the samples were made rather closer to the organ than the Salisbury Willis set. I'm sure we'll all be waiting (impatiently) for further information.

Iain
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby telemanr » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:08 am

I see the 16 or 8 foot stops on the solo. How do you control which version is used when you draw the stop? And how is the high and low pressure 16 implemented?
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby pwhodges » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:50 am

I presume they are 8' stops with a 16' extension that can be used when you select the suboctave and unison off couplers.

What a wonderful surprise this set is! Who's prepared to go and sample the (much smaller) Reading Town Hall instrument, then?

Paul
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby imcg110 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:24 am

Very exciting news indeed David!! Your approach to this instrument seems quite different to the MDA Willis and I can see lots of reasons to own both sets. I look forward very much to hearing more as the instrument evolves.

As with the Haverhill OIC, would you consider an extended version to complete the project?? My suggestions would be : Grt reeds on Choir, Swell string celeste, Choir Unda Maris from the dulciana and some gentle viols 16 and 8 on the pedal. I can understand why these might not have been included in the original organ, but it would make for a more subtle instrument for home use without significantly altering the overall tonal structure. This is an organ that should not be pushed too far from original spec!!
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby amateurorganist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:06 am

Personally for me, the full specification seems complete enough. This is a cathedral organ and I would be a bit wary of augmenting it with other material.

I was very impressed with the ensemble sound. The tone seems very clear and clean and I like the reverberation.
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby imcg110 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:42 am

I wouldn't wish to augment it with material from other sources, just subtlety redistribute some pipework, eg the swell 16 string also available independently on the pedal, the duciana softened and flattened as an unda maris etc. Given David's success with the Haverhill OIC extended, it was just a thought as to whether he might think about doing it again.
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby dflick » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:46 am

I'll take it as it is right now!! haha
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby fourniture_iv » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:04 pm

Fantastic! Can hardly wait for release... Thank you, David.

"The English, the English, the English are best. I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest!" Flanders & Swann :-)
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby Lord Asriel » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:37 pm

Very good news - I'd listen with pleasure to the existing demos. Looking forward to the final instrument! :P
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby David Butcher » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:49 am

Thanks for the positive comments ... all very much appreciated.

I see the 16 or 8 foot stops on the solo. How do you control which version is used when you draw the stop? And how is the high and low pressure 16 implemented?


It's quite an unusual system and one that I'm not aware of anywhere else. There are two separate controls - basically miniature and rather fragile feeling drawstops - which, when drawn, have the effect of playing the chosen ranks at 16 foot pitch. One controls all the low pressure stops regardless of whether they have 16 foot extensions (ie all apart from Tromba, Tuba and Glockenspiel) and the other just controls the Tromba which is on high pressure (the Tuba is unaffected).

This picture shows the relevant controls (look below the Tromba and below the Orchestral Oboe) ...

Image

As with the Haverhill OIC, would you consider an extended version to complete the project??


Thanks for the suggestions Iain and although the focus is (as you would guess) on getting the complete instrument as built ready, never say never ! I guess the thought is already in place with the Great Trumpet planned to be available on other divisions in Volumes 1 and 2 and having all great reeds available on the Solo would be a good plan. I like the Unda Maris suggestion, although unfortunately the Swell Contra Gamba is stopped in the bottom octave and sounds more like a Bourdon, so may not work on the pedal.

The Flanders and Swann reference made me smile. In case anyone was wondering, it was written to poke fun at xenophobic Englishmen. However, there is a line that could be appropriate to organists in the song ....

And they practise beforehand which ruins the fun!
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Re: Forthcoming sample set: Hereford Cathedral Father Willis

Postby engrssc » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:37 pm

Any idea "when" or did I miss that? Ready to stand in line. :)

Rgds,
Ed
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