Having received the unwelcome news that the voicing platform of my twenty-year-old Copeman Hart practice instrument would shortly be discontinued following takeover of the company, I researched the most imaginative and realistically-priced replacement, which I found at Viscount. I chose the Envoy 35-F instrument pictured here.
The Physis technology of their latest range allows the organist to voice, in terms of character, speech and volume, four organs from dropdown menus approximating to each stop. The simulated mechanical action is a positive playing experience and even the internal speaker system – larger speaker installations voiced to the needs of your building, are available -is responsive to a wide frequency and directional range. Romantic wide-scale or baroque narrow-scale principals, flutes and reeds, at your choice, will soon convince you. Not to mention purring or roaring 32’ sonorities!
Customer service at point of sale was friendly and unhurried, exuding quiet confidence in the product. A subsequent voicing visit by the Managing Director, whose advanced organ-playing skills were soon apparent, was supportive rather than prescriptive, offering downloads of additional voices to add further integrity to chosen ensembles.
Whatever your voicing preference, British, European or American best-of-both, the Viscount range places the choice in your hands. Given the escalating costs of ministry and buildings, churches facing the not uncommon six-figure sums for the restoration of pipe organs of lesser provenance must surely consider such flexible and musical alternatives at a fraction of the price with a ten-year guarantee.
Huw Tregelles Williams, OBE, MA, B.Mus., FRCO ( Former Head of Music, BBC Wales. Concert organist)