The city of Hereford is situated in the west midlands of England, fairly close to the border with Wales and is the county town of Herefordshire. The region is relatively sparsely populated (by UK standards) and the county is predominantly known for its agricultural produce with many fruit orchards keeping the local cider makers in business. The Hereford breed of cattle is probably the county’s most famous export and today Herefords are found in the US, South America and Australia.
The Cathedral itself dates from the 11th century and is dedicated to two saints, Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King -
In common with more or less every Cathedral in England, music plays a hugely important role in Cathedral life. During term time, the Cathedral choir sings at three services each Sunday and there is a Choral Evensong every day except Wednesday. The organ plays a key role in this and is therefore first and foremost a liturgical instrument with duties ranging from delicately colouring Anglican chant to leading a full Cathedral. However, regular organ recitals and recordings also take place and many distinguished recitalists have performed at Hereford.
For further details of the Cathedral and its history, please visit the Cathedral’s excellent website, which also contains some impressive 360 degree virtual tours.
• Every note of every stop has been sampled at a rate of 48kHz and a resolution of 24 bits
• Samples are presented “wet”, ie complete with the natural reverberation of the church (for some stops, 5 seconds or more)
• Multiple releases are employed, with the vast majority of stops featuring three releases per note for greatly improved realism in staccato passages
• Multiple loops are featured, with almost all samples benefiting from 3 or 4 separate loops
• Separately sampled tremulants are featured for the Solo Viola da Gamba, Orchestral Oboe, Clarinet and Cor Anglais
• Hauptwerk’s models for swell enclosure and tremulant have been accurately programmed, based on samples taken across the compass of each stop
• Blower, tremulant action, stop action and key action noises are also included
In planning for the release of the three volumes, care has been taken to create organs that are complete in their own right and bear comparison to other instruments of a similar number of stops. Each volume is of a similar size and the pricing tends to reflect this.
All three volumes are now available, along with an Evaluation Mini Set. An “XL” version is due later in 2012 which will increase the manual and pedal range to 61 and 32 notes respectively, as well as offering various other minor enhancements and changes. This will be offered as a free download to customers of all three volumes.
These sample sets are all compatible with Hauptwerk version 3 upwards. The organ was sampled in April 2009 and February 2010 using high quality microphones by Bruel & Kjaer (now DPA) and AKG. Mic pre-
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