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Where is better for a manual 16' flue?


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#1 innate

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:35 PM

There seems to have been a shift from placing the only manual 16' flue on the Swell (often only down to Tenor C) in many small- and medium-sized English church organs in the 19th century to the Great in the 20th century. I suspect for much of the solo organ literature it might be more useful on the Great but what about service playing, hymns etc? Might a (full-compass) 16' flue be more useful on the Swell? Particularly if there is no Swell sub-octave coupler? Would the presence of a 16' reed in either division change your answer?



#2 David Drinkell

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:00 PM

I've always found that a 16' reed in the Swell is the best and most useful stop as a first double.  There's a lot of repertoire which calls for it, it makes the best full swell effects and can be useful coupled to the Pedal.  If it can be done (as it usually can in North America with a full set of couplers), the Swell principal chorus with 16' reed coupled to the Great at 4' pitch and to the Pedal at unison pitch is a very useful device.

 

 

On the Great, a 16' Geigen is versatile.  I've never cared for manual bourdons, quintatons, etc, although I know they are supposed to be right for certain things - the effect just doesn't appeal to me....



#3 AJJ

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:12 PM

One of the mid Victorian instruments I play on regularly has its only manual 16' flue on the Swell and I often wish that it were on the Great. For me at least in repertoire it would work better there and I would also find it more of use there in service playing. There is no 16' reed on the Swell in question but that is part of the nature of the beast and something I can happily live with. I stand to be corrected here but I seem to remember reading somewhere that Father Willis made his Swell 8' Cornopeans or Trumpets of larger scale in the bass when no 16' reed was present to fill out that part of the compass.

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#4 Colin Pykett

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:48 PM

I've always found that a 16' reed in the Swell is the best and most useful stop as a first double.  There's a lot of repertoire which calls for it, it makes the best full swell effects and can be useful coupled to the Pedal.  If it can be done (as it usually can in North America with a full set of couplers), the Swell principal chorus with 16' reed coupled to the Great at 4' pitch and to the Pedal at unison pitch is a very useful device.

 

 

On the Great, a 16' Geigen is versatile.  I've never cared for manual bourdons, quintatons, etc, although I know they are supposed to be right for certain things - the effect just doesn't appeal to me....

 

I've just had a look at the stop list of the Fredericton organ and found it most interesting (http://cccath.ca/tour/organspecs.html).  For example, in the context of this thread there does not appear to be a 16 foot swell reed.  Other interesting aspects include there not being a Solo organ but an Echo instead (thus no Tuba!).  Of course, I might have missed something in my reading of it.  And yes, I've often thought the full set of couplers is perhaps something which ought to be used more widely outside North America.  The wealth of unison stops together with the couplers must offer an almost limitless variety of soft and mezzo-forte effects, many of which I bet are very beautiful especially in that spacious acoustic.  Fairly makes my mouth water!

 

Has it been recorded, e.g. on youtube?

 

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#5 bam

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 05:55 PM

The Swell Lieblich Bourdon (TC) on our Porritt is a very good stop.  It adds just the right amount of depth to full organ, it's a lovely flute played an octave up and can also be used an octave up with the Vox Angelica either as a soft solo (very useful if the Oboe is out of tune!) or soft chorus.  Perhaps it looks odd on paper but it works really well.



#6 David Drinkell

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 06:31 PM

 

I've just had a look at the stop list of the Fredericton organ and found it most interesting (http://cccath.ca/tour/organspecs.html).  For example, in the context of this thread there does not appear to be a 16 foot swell reed.  Other interesting aspects include there not being a Solo organ but an Echo instead (thus no Tuba!).  Of course, I might have missed something in my reading of it.  And yes, I've often thought the full set of couplers is perhaps something which ought to be used more widely outside North America.  The wealth of unison stops together with the couplers must offer an almost limitless variety of soft and mezzo-forte effects, many of which I bet are very beautiful especially in that spacious acoustic.  Fairly makes my mouth water!

 

Has it been recorded, e.g. on youtube?

 

CEP

The Fredericton Cathedral organ, my present steed, is an example of North American practice at the time when it was built (early twentieth century, new console in the fifties but no tonal changes).   The absence of a 16' Swell reed is a severe piece of gormlessness, but that's the way they thought in those days.  The Echo Organ was apparently originally meant to go at the west end, although the building isn't of a size to require antiphonal effects or a nave organ (if anyone knows Snettisham Church in Norfolk, ours is a copy, but with the chancel east of the crossing - Snettisham lost theirs after the Reformation).  So the Echo is on the west wall of the Lady Chapel, almost above the player's head, and does virtually nothing that can't be achieved in the main organ, which fills the north transept.  We really need a Tuba!  I have been dropping heavy hints ever since I arrived.

 

As I have mentioned before in this forum, I have preferred a full set of couplers operated by rocking tablets above the top manual ever since I was in charge of the Willis at Kirkwall Cathedral.  Fredericton is an example, the norm with Casavant at the time, where the inter-departmental couplers are tabs above the top manual but the Octaves and Subs are by drawstop with their respective departments.  I don't care for this, although it means that they can be operated by the capture system for their respective departments.  Also, there are no Unison Off couplers, which I also miss.  There is no doubt, in my experience, that a complete set of octaves, subs and unison offs gives a vastly increased palette, doubles included - which brings us by a somewhat  roundabout route back to the original topic.



#7 Colin Pykett

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:39 PM

The little but historic Walker organ of 1858 at Ponsbourne St Mary, Newgate Street village in Hertfordshire punches above its weight in terms of what can be achieved by an expert builder using minimal tonal material.  It has a 16 foot Double Diapason on the swell which is actually stopped and only goes down to tenor C because there is no room in the box for any pipe longer than 4 feet.  Below tenor C it relies on the Great Stopped Diapason Bass as do all the other swell stops.  Nevertheless, it is a most valuable stop, partly because it is an independent rank scaled and voiced for its role rather than being derived from elsewhere or obtained using suboctave coupling. The sole pedal stop, a genuine (wooden) full length Open Diapason rather than a Bourdon, is also an unusual treat.

 

For more info see the church website at http://hartfordhundr...ponsb_wpora.php and the NPOR entry at http://www.npor.org.....html?RI=H00315

 

The instrument was recently and comprehensively restored by our hosts (this is not mentioned on the NPOR), and a detailed and very readable account of how this was achieved appeared in Organists' Review of March 2016 written by the organist, Paul Minchinton.

 

CEP


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#8 Contrabombarde

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 08:34 PM

AN organ at a previous church I played at had a modest three manual Bishop from the 1870s. No manual doubles, but it did have a surprisingly effective alternative: a Choir to Great Suboctave coupler in addition to the more usual Choir to Great. It permitted a 16 foot foundation to tenor C on full Great whilst allowing you to play on the choir at normal pitch should you need to for softer verses.



#9 David Drinkell

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:24 AM

Yes - that's a handy device.  Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill, London, had a very decent Speechley (destroyed by fire many years ago), which had no Swell 16' reed, but a Contra Fagotto on the (enclosed) Choir.  One could do a lot of things with that set-up.



#10 AJJ

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 07:23 AM

Yes - that's a handy device.  Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill, London, had a very decent Speechley (destroyed by fire many years ago), which had no Swell 16' reed, but a Contra Fagotto on the (enclosed) Choir.  One could do a lot of things with that set-up.


Similar here:

http://www.npor.org.....html?RI=N10088

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"…We can’t criticize the organ for being boring. In such cases it is the organist that is boring. There is no such thing as a boring organ."




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