Royal Northern College of Music September 2017
The Royal Northern have recently acquired an Envoy 350-FV which replaces a small pipe organ in one of the practice rooms. This instrument with a comprehensive set of thumb and toe pistons will especially allow students to become familiar with the playing aids found on larger instruments.
Why have a Viscount Digital Organ or, more to the point, why not have a Viscount Digital Organ?
When the RNCM announced changes to organ teaching provision and the redesignation of the Organ Room for other purposes, my thoughts turned immediately to my own JRNCM students.
Where could we go and what sort of instrument would be most suited to our needs?
These talented teenagers, girls and boys, needed something new and challenging. We are blessed with occasional access to the wonderful and rather idiosyncratic Hradetsky Organ in the Concert Hall and the lovely Walker has been sold.
Over the past 20 years, and more, many of my students have progressed to Organ Scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Cathedrals, Public Schools and Conservatoires where their skills have been admired, valued and further developed.
The perennial question was; “when can we get regular access to a big 3 manual with loads of colourful voices and masses of playing aids?” or to be more precise “how can I also teach effective organ management?”
The opportunity now came to answer that question within the reasonable budget set by RNCM.
Digital was the only practical solution and I explored a number of options before a visit to Anthony Bogdan Organs handed me the solution on a plate. There it was, the Viscount Envoy 350-FV.
This instrument was used in, and subsequently purchased by, Manchester Cathedral before the new Stoller Organ was completed and many colleagues including three of my pupils were extremely enthusiastic about it.
I took my wife, Kate, a fine pianist but not an organist, to Anthony's premises in Leigh and we had to fight each other off the bench as neither of us wanted to stop exploring it’s vast potential of voices, temperaments and styles. Piston galore for thumbs and toes, pedals for swell, choir and crescendo – when was the last time I properly taught “swell dipping”?
I am totally convinced that this is a perfect teaching instrument in addition to being a worthy cathedral instrument. Deliciously crisp tracker touch across the whole instrument, proper balanced depth of touch, no lumps, bumps or shallowness, no running, no cringeful intonation (unless you choose it); detaché, notes inegales, authentic fingering and more are all within our grasp now.
The unique Physis sound generation system is a complete revelation, total authenticity of voicing and fully adjustable to taste. It is five organs in one! Fantastic.
Thank you Anthony, thank you Viscount and thank you RNCM.
Let battle commence in Room 338!
Simon Mercer RNCM
|Pedal 11||Great 13||Swell 15||Choir 11|
|Double Open Wood||32||Double Diapason||16||Lieblich Bourdon||16||Open Diapason||8|
|Open Wood||16||Open Diapason I||8||Geigen Diapason||8||Gedackt||8|
|Open Metal||16||Open Diapason II||8||Chimney Flute||8||Gemshorn||4|
|Bourdon||16||Hohl Flute||8||Echo Gamba||8||Lieblich Flute||4|
|Principal||8||Stopped Diapason||8||Vox Celeste||8||Nazard||2-2/3
|Bass Flute||8||Principal||4||Geigen Principal||4||Flageolet||2|
|Choral Bass||4||Harmonic Flute||4||Wald Flute||4||Tierce||1.3/5|
|Trumpet||8||Double Trumpet||16||Contra Fagotto||16||Tuba||8|
|Great to Pedal||Tremulant||Tremulant||Tremulant|
|Swell to Pedal||Swell to Great||Swell to Choir|
|Choir to Pedal||Choir to Great|