April 29th. 2019
After a few teething problems with producing workable files (due to having to produce three versions of each and creating a further three unique HW auto-installation files for end users - which made it very confusing), both the Avery and Davis chamber organs from 1792 and 1790 respectively are now available complete with trial versions. Please visit the appropriate page for further details. The links to the trial sets are below in addition to being on the relevant product page.
The trial demos cover 2.5 octaves for each full stop extending from G up to C (30 notes). Although they are wet samples, the acoustics of each building are very minimal so additional reverberation can be added to advantage.
Tuning is presented in Equal Temperament although both instruments have unequal temperaments. The Davis is quite acceptable being close to 10th. comma so the wolves aren't too dreadful. However, the Avery is Meantone 5th. comma which tends to be rather extreme for most people.
Any problems, please let me know.
March 9th. 2019
Around here they call February "fortnight" because it goes by in a flash and this February certainly shot past as if it had never existed. The Avery has been completed and I decided that I would also complete the Davis from about the same date. It's a slightly larger instrument with nine stops. The instrument remained pretty much untouched until it was restored a few years ago however, the restoration consisted of providing an electric blower repairing and regulating the action plus the replacement of a missing reed stop with one from the same period. It's a bit all over the place in terms of compass of the stops though.
With a long GGG compass and a fairly short pedalboard also running from GGG, the Double stops an octave above the bottom (ie: at 10 2/3'), the Open Diapason stops at F# just less than an octave from the bottom, whilst the Dulciana grooves its bass from the Stopped Diapason for its bottom octave. The two 4' stops along with the Fifteenth and Mixture are full compass and the Oboe typically commences at Middle C. It seems a bit pointless to have a GGG based pedalboard that mirrors the keyboard with the reduced compass stops since there is a lack of continuity but that's the way it is. Nonetheless it's a very sweet little instrument.
The Stopped Diapason is not quite as nice as the one in the Avery below but the Double which is also a stoppered register is rather nice and the 4' Flute is really delightful. The Mixture is a bit of a misnamed stop since it is not a Sesquialtera and Cornet having only unison and quint sounding ranks. I find it hard to believe that the restorer would have altered any Tierce ranks to Quint ones so I must assume that the quint based mixtures were considered sufficient to create a quasi cornet sound and the two halves of the Mixture do fit well into the chorus. All in all a rather strange instrument.
The builder; James Davis hailed from Preston in Lancashire and his history and place amongst the organ builders of the time is interesting. He was responsible for the original organ at Wymondham Abbey as well as a large number of smaller instruments including the one above.
Once completed the Davis will join the Avery in a dual release.
February 3rd. 2019
The final stages of the facsimile chamber organ by Avery dating from 1790 / 1792 are nearing completion. The organ has had quite a history, this being the third church in which it has been located. John Avery was quite a character and although he was a craftsman of considerable skills, his personal life was rather fraught with problems. In addition to being drunk most of the time, he was often in prison for debt and indeed, he died in the Giltspur Street Compter ( a prison for debtors as well as a house of correction). He was also reputed to remove pipes from organs he had already built and putting them in other organs.
However, despite this rather bad reputation, he produced excellent work when sober and solvent and his instruments included Winchester and Carlisle cathedrals as well as St Margaret's, Westminster. Whilst nothing of his larger instruments remains, there are still a few small chamber instruments in existence.
The instrument in question is a small single manual of five stops with no pedals presented in a rather lurid red colour. It retains the old long compass down to G and finishes at F thus having a compass of 59 notes. As per the norm G# in the bass does not exist in the real instrument (we have provided pitch shifted notes to cater for this). The organ was completely restored in recent years by the late William Drake who was renowned for sympathetic restoration of old instruments. The instrument had pull down pedals at one time but these were removed in the Drake restoration. The tuning is Meantone Fifth Comma which makes a certain number of keys unpleasant or impossible to play in. Thanks to Hauptwerk many different temperaments can be applied as users see fit. The instrument is cone tuned.
All in all, it's a charming organ and represents the first facsimile Hauptwerk organ dating from before the 1800's.
The specification is: Dulciana, Stopped Diapason, Principal Bass, Principal Treble, Fifteenth Bass, Fifteenth Treble, Sesquialtera Bass, Cornet Treble. There is a shifting pedal to cancel or bring on the upper work.
January 24th. 2019
Two more demo pieces played on the new Concert Series 65-3. There are two 65 stop models of the 65 stop one spread over 4 manuals and the other over 3. As with the Belier below, the instrument is straight "out of the box" without any voicing adjustments. However, there is added multi channel convolved reverberation at 75%
January 10th. 2019
The first demo recording of the New Concert Series 125 is now available below. This demo features the Concert 125 "straight out of the box" and running through a standard out of the box convolved reverberation @ 75%.
Although the piece is not particularly difficult, I have had to use my MIDI file (usually used for practice) because my current performance of the piece is not up to scratch for public performance.
January 4th. 2019
The Concert Series is now complete and I hope to make an official release announcement on the HW forum later today.
There are 10 new models ranging in size from a two manual and pedal 20 stop model up to a four manual 125 stop model.
News items prior to 2019 has now been archived.
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