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John Avery Chamber Organ 1792

 

This is a rare and charming organ representing the first facsimile English HW organ dating from before the 1800's.

This organ has had quite a history; according to various records this being the third church in which it has been located.  It is difficult to ascertain whether the records are referring to the same instrument since it would seem to have been a two manual with a specification totally unrelated to the present specification and layout for some part of its existence. Certainly it has been in the current church since 1903 and at that time it was reported as being a barrel and finger organ which would imply a single manual instrument. It was repaired / restored in 1959 by persons unknown and in 1988 it was completely restored by William Drake who more recently, restored the famous Bridge organ at Christ Church, Spitalfields. The current specification quoted in the N.P.O.R. states that all of the pipework is by Avery with the exception of the new Sesquialtera and Cornet. The casework which is presented in a rather lurid red colour is gothic in style and dates from 1881. There is some evidence at the rear of the instrument that at one time there was a barrel mechanism. The instrument had pedals at one time but these were removed in the Drake restoration.

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, London ( 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 is a small single manual with five stops and no pedals. The two unison stops are undivided but the remainder split at Middle C. It retains the old long compass down to G and finishes at F thus having a compass of 59 notes. The keyboard slides out into place once the covering "flap" is opened. As per the norm for instruments of this period, G# in the bass does not exist in the real instrument (we have provided pitch shifted notes to provide the missing pipes). 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 throughout.

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.

The compass of the Sesquialtera is 17:19:22 breaking back to 15:17:19 at 053-F.  Cornet is 12:17 throughout from middle C. The keyboard compass is 59 notes from 031-G to 089-F.

We have presented the organ in three different versions: Version 1 is of the organ recorded very close up at about 2' from the pipes. Version 2 is of the organ recorded from about 10' back and Version 3 combines both close and medium recordings with the choice of either or both recording positions. The reverberation in the church is fairly minimal and the meduium distance set is presented "wet". The close recorded samples are to all intent and purpose dry with negligible ambience.

N.B. The reversible pedal that cancels out the split upper-work stops has not been included because it would be impossible to duplicate this facility exactly as it works in reality. Seven combinations plus a cancel have been provided as an alternative. Because HW defaults to a C compass keyboard, it will be necessary for users to reset the bottom note as 031 G using the "Keyboards" settings under "Organ Settings" in order to access the GGG compass. the screen shot above is for the close and medium combined set.

A COMPASS LIMITED TRIAL VERSION IS AVAILABLE at: http://www.silveroctopus.co.uk/TRIALAVERY59.CompPkg.Hauptwerk.rar

THE COMPASS RUNS FROM G43 TO C72 GIVING 2.5 OCTAVES.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE THREE TRIAL VERSIONS AVAILABLE - CLOSE 2' DISTANCE, MEDIUM 10' DISTANCE OR BOTH TOGETHER. FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, LOADING THE CLOSE VERSION OF THE TRIAL VERSION INITIALLY THROWS OUT A MESSAGE SAYING THAT IT CAN'T BE LOADED. ATTEMPTING TO RELOAD THE ORGAN AGAIN WILL THEN LOAD NORMALLY.

AVERY 1792: 35.00

AVERY 1792 PLUS DAVIS 1790: 75.00

SAVE 15.00

 

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Last modified: 25-06-2019