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Organist’s space: events, organ travels and player stories

Church of St Brides, Fleet Street choose Viscount

St_Bride,_inside view

The Church of St Bride’s is justly world famous. With 2000 years history of worship on the site today’s landmark building was the invention of Christopher Wren famous for so many of London’s churches including of course St Paul’s Cathedral.

An earlier building destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666 followed a succession of churches that had existed on the site for over a millennium. It took nine years for St Bride’s to re-appear from the ashes under the inspired direction of Sir Christopher Wren. So it is an event not without considerable irony that in 1940, St Bride’s fell victim once again to flames as German incendiary bombs reduced Wren’s architectural jewel to a roofless shell. This time 17 years elapsed before rebuilding was completed.

View to west end croppedToday St Brides is once again the subject of major restoration activity but thankfully of merely a cosmetic nature. A full clean and repaint of the wonderful interior is underway and this necessitates the blocking up of the unusual ‘portholes’ in the west end wall that the the fine 4 manual Compton pipe organ speaks through. St Brides is perhaps unique among London churches with a very substantial pipe organ but not a single organ pipe in view to the congregation as you can see from the this picture. Do you know of any others? Do let us know.

 

View from scaffoldSpeakes on scaffoldWe have supplied our Regent 356 instrument and placed 8 speakers high up on the scaffolding that is being used to facilitate the roof and wall repainting. You can see our organ close to the Compton console on the south aisle in the picture to the left and the speakers in the picture to the right in their first location.

As the scaffolding was extended we were able to get the sound source into a much better location higher in the building and nearer the center of the nave. To get the best results from a digital organ location of the speakers is absolutely crucial and if possible getting reflected sound from a roof or wall to be the main impact. This we were able to do as the scaffolding was built higher in the church.

New speaker location

You can listen to the organ on THIS LINK but please excuse a lot of background noise as this is a busy church.

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I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.

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