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Thread: Next England Vacation about to happen!

  1. #31
    pp Pianissimo RogerM's Avatar
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    John,

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the reports of your latest holiday in England, even though I have no special interest in cathedral organs.

    You may be interested to know that ‘minster’ has its origins in the old English ‘mynster’, being a superior church or cathedral. Thus Westminster originates from the informal name of the minster west of the City of London. Now Westminster (one word) is an area of central London in the City of Westminster and the superior Anglican church there is known as Westminster Abbey. There is another superior church there, Westminster Cathedral, which is the mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

    York is a city in northern England and home to the cathedral of York, commonly known as York Minster (two words), which is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second highest office of the Church of England.

    Just for your information.

  2. #32
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Thanks for the remarks, Roger. We hear some of these explanations from the tour guides and read them in the histories, but I can't always remember the details. (And I keep forgetting that "York Minster" is two words! It's such a fascinating and beautiful place it seems it should have a very unique name of its own!)

    It's amazing to me how much history surrounds the great cathedrals of England. I read somewhere that as early as 200 years after the resurrection of Christ the Gospel was being preached in what is now the city of York. Most of the cathedrals, and many of the lesser churches as well, like to mention that they are built upon sites where Christian worship has been taking place for a thousand years or longer. In Ripon cathedral you can go down a narrow winding staircase into the remains of an ancient Saxon church dating back to the early hundreds (forgot the date they gave us).

    I suppose the ancient-ness of these spots is one thing that draws me to them so. Though it shouldn't make that much difference whether one worships in a 1500-year-old sacred spot or in a brand new freshly-consecrated place, I sure do get goose bumps in those old churches just thinking about the great throngs of saints throughout the centuries who have stood in the same place offering prayers and receiving communion in much the same way we do today!

    We may never get to visit the UK again due to advancing age and the difficulties of traveling and getting around that come with age. But if we do I hope I'l get around to at least a few more of these awesome places!
    John
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    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  3. #33
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    As mentioned above, here is a snippet of audio I captured of the Yorkminster organ and choir! Very brief, and swimming in ambiance (but that's how it sounds in there unless you are actually in the quire).
    Thanks much John for sharing those snippets with us. Your selfless sharing of the details of your visit is most appreciated. A thought came to me - you mention that recording the service is kind of prohibited and that I can understand as unnecessary movement and activity can have a disrupting effect. But since the organs mentioned, as are without a doubt others as well, are really world class there should be some recordings made which one can download and enjoy. Perhaps some of our Brit friends can tell us - unless I missed something somewhere in the process of searching to satisfy my insatiable hunger for pipe organ music...

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  4. #34
    pp Pianissimo RogerM's Avatar
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    Go to Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com and search in CDs & Vinyl for ‘York Minster organ’, or whatever, and you will be presented with a range of CDs and MP3 downloads/streaming options. They are not free of course. Cathedral gift shops usually offer recordings of their organ and choir.

  5. #35
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Thanks Roger.

    Will do that.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  6. #36
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Best I can recall, every cathedral I've visited had a rule against any kind of recording or picture-taking during services. There could be many reasons for this -- to minimize disturbances and distractions for the clergy and musicians, to keep everyone's focus on the words and acts of the service itself, possibly to honor copyright agreements on the music, or to protect intellectual property rights of the professionals, such as organists.

    But largely just to emphasize that a service is a SERVICE, not a performance. I do applaud them for taking that stance. So different from the situation in some church services I've attended, where you have proud mamas and papas crouching near the chancel, videoing the kiddy choir's sweet little "number" in the middle of the service so they can share it all over facebook and instagram.

    What is frustrating is that a few places, such as St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey, prohibit ALL photography inside the building, even during the everyday touring hours. Seems to me that it would be reasonable to allow visitors to take pictures freely, at least without flash, as long as they don't disturb other visitors or monopolize certain spots where, I suppose, many people might want to take a pic, such as at certain memorials or burials. But they do have a constant stream of tourists coming through, so perhaps the thought is that more people can walk through and see the sights if they prohibit stopping and snapping pics here and there. But then many other beautiful churches and cathedrals allow complete freedom for taking pics. You can take all the pics you want at York Minster as long as it's not during a service.

    On several occasions I've seen a staffer in St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey walk right up to a visitor who was discretely holding a cell phone and snapping a few innocent pics, and loudly reminding him that no photography of any kind is allowed. So I was just a bit worried that someone might notice that I was videoing and feel compelled to rebuke me.

    A homemade recording seems to convey a bit more of what it feels like to actually be there than a professional recording. The ambiance is so thick and heavy in these places that the professionals probably place some microphones in spots we can't reach in order to get a clearer sound. That captures the instruments and voices better, but can shortchange the true ambiance.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  7. #37
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    There could be many reasons for this.

    Seems to me that it would be reasonable to allow visitors to take pictures freely, at least without flash, as long as they don't disturb other visitors or monopolize certain spots where, I suppose, many people might want to take a pic, such as at certain memorials or burials.
    Some years ago I was fortunate enough to pay a brief visit to the El Prada Museum in Madrid. I asked my host how much time I should allow for the excursion and his polite reply was "Maybe one week..." I had three hours - while they had their lunch.

    Inside this magnificent building with its even more magnificent contents I ogled and marvelled and stared and.... tried to take a picture of the 3 X 6 meter painting of the Last Supper. My hand had not even reached the clip of my camera hanging at my side when a uniformed guard lightly touched my arm and wagged a finger indicating: NOT ALLOWED. He did not speak and was exceedingly polite - I had no alternative but to mumble: "Much sorriness..." and moved away into another room.

    Reading John's comments, and others, and coupled with my own experience I can only try to describe the phenomenon as some kind of Patriotic Jealousy aimed at keeping what's theirs to themselves, even pictures of it. It does make more sense when one considers that to have thousands of pictures of domestic heritage treasures floating about the globe may even affect tourism. Some pictures obtained for free may even be sold for profit anywhere, so, it makes perfect sense to have some kind of restrictions on taking pictures. However, it seems that this can be taken to the extreme.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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