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Alsa

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About Alsa

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  1. I don't think that the console at Sheffield is adjacent to choir at all, but sits one bay further east, tucked away behind one of the pillars supporting the tower (the choir seats are at the east end of the Nave). Some of the organ's speakers are quite close to the console and the organ's sound is set up to be very loud in order to project into the building, so I doubt that the organist stands a chance of hearing the choir (and the organ in balance with the choir) without using the headphones. Some cathedral (pipe) organs have a sound relay of the choir through speakers to the organ loft. I suppose that it depends on the individual set up whether it would be better or worse using speakers rather than headphones. In these circumstances I think I'd rather hear the 'fresh' and immediate sound of an organ I was playing at close quarters rather than at arms length through a sound system.
  2. Look in the Laukhuff catalogue. There is a very neat brass strip light which is wide and gives a very clear light from LEDs. Has been used by H&H, amongst others, at Westminster Central Hall and St Albans.
  3. See this organ: http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N04640 A lovely musical instrument. Great Mixture CC 12.15.22 (sic) ; mid c 8.12.15; treble f sharp 1.8.8 The Great Fifteenth also broke back in the top octave to 4' pitch. This was changed in the 1960s when J.W.Walker replaced them so that it now continues unbroken.
  4. I checked this out in the St Paul's book and apparently it was originally called Echo Cornet by Father Willis. Do you think it was a Dulciana Cornet, then? I wonder ... has another one bitten the dust?
  5. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Now if you want a really interesting example of a flute celeste then see this: http://www.organstops.org/l/Ludwigtone.html I have only encountered one example of this stop and it was very beautiful indeed. I find a lot of the standard American (Skinner inspired) Flauto Dolce and Flute Celestes rather insipid and sickly in effect - reminscent of the organ music you'd hear in a funeral scene in an American TV series from the 1960s and 70s (and you'll hear this sound reproduced quite faithfully on many an Allen or Rodgers electronic instrument in this country).
  6. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Do you really think that the specification changed because the repertoire changed at that time. I'm not so certain. I suspect that the specification was drawn up in the abstract and that when it came to building it practical issues came to the fore - principally about using the organ in the services, accompanying a choir and a large congregation in that vast space in the same service on the same instrument, and more than likely a huge amount of personal preference of the organist an organ builder.
  7. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Actually I am pretty certain that the majority of Unda Maris stops I have encountered have either been flat tuned Salicionals, Aeolinas, Dulcianas or Dolces! (it's just that the Liverpool Cathedral one is an example of a flute celeste). There is no rule - you get what you find.
  8. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Pierre, please forgive me if I seem to be a bit rude, but I think you are theorising too much. Whatever was intended (whatever 'intended' means) in the process of building the organ, the version you give is not how it was eventually built. Surely one can only assume, quite reasonably I would have thought, that they considered it all carefully over a period of time in the process of designing the organ and came up with something that was different from the version you describe. So by the time the organ was completed in the early 1920s the theoretical Unda Maris (which may well have been intended at first to be a Dulciana) had become a flute celeste, and the Mixture stop was no longer located with the Dulciana chorus but included with the enclosed section, which is high up inside the north case. You mention in one of your posts that the organ has been changed. And now you have said that the organ was built in a modified state. Surely the latter statement merely suggests that the specification of the organ evolved over a period of time, before and probably whilst it was being built. I took your statement that the organ has been changed to mean that since these stops in the choir organ were changed at a later date (after it was completed in the 1920s), but I honesly believe that this is not the case. The design may have evolved but I do believe that what you have stated is untrue. I feel that it is important to correct that.
  9. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    But Pierre you appear to be relying on an inaccurate source. The published specification in Sumner (1952 edition) gives: Choir Organ (23 stops) Partially enclosed Choir (unenclosed section) Contra Dulciana 16 Open Diapason 8 Rohr Flöte 8 Dulciana 8 Flute Ouverte 4 Dulcet 4 Dulcina 2 Choir (enclosed) Contra Viola 16 Violin Diapason 8 Viola 8 Claribel Flute 8 Unda Maris 8 (down to FF) Octave Viola 4 Suabe Flöte 4 Octavin 2 Dulciana Mixture (10.12.17.19.22) Bass Clarinet 16 Baryton 16 Corno di Bassetto 8 Cor Anglais 8 Vox Humana 8 Trumpette 8 (harmonic) Clarion 4 (harmonic) Tremulant In 1959/60 Willis removed the unenclosed section and replaced it with: Choir - Positive Gedact 8 Spitz principal 4 Nasât 2 2/3 Coppel 2 Terz 1 3/5 Spitzflöte 1 Cimbel (29.33.36) I hope that this makes things clearer.
  10. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Unfortunately your source seems to have been inaccurate. You would probably have done better to find out the information from the cathedral or the organ builder. There is no reason for anyone to believe that the Unda Maris and Dulciana Mixture have been altered, physically or in purpose, since the organ was built. They were always in the enclosed section and my understanding is that the Unda Maris has always been a flute stop. You are probably right - it may well be a shame that the beloved Dulcianas were taken away and replaced with other stops. But perhaps the problem was insufficient room - room for both sets of pipes and room for the stop knobs and mechanisms associated with them. And perhaps these stops were barely, if ever, used. The work was done by the original organ builders and the organist at the time had known the instrument for a long time. Or perhaps we know better?
  11. Alsa

    Unda Maris

    Yes, that's a fantastic description. Pierre's post about the Liverpool Dulcianas is a little bit misleading because the Unda Maris is a flute rank. Like the Dulciana Mixture it is in the enclosed section (of the Choir) and they both belong with the other enclosed stops. I doubt that either was envisaged to be part of a chorus with the unenclosed Choir section and even less likely on a practical level, given the physical separation of the two sections. As the Dulcianas were removed fifty years ago I am left wondering exactly who can say how effective they were, with any accuracy anyway. I also wonder why they were replaced with different kinds of stops altogether? There was probably a good reason at the time.
  12. Alsa

    2 & 4 Stop Teaser

    ...except perhaps the Organists and Organ Scholars of King's College, Cambridge. c.f. http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N05194 Eat your words, Herr Gedeckt!
  13. pcnd: I played the organ quite a few times both pre and post 1974. The general impression of the work in 1974 that I had was of a re-build that 1) sorted out the failing tubular pneumatic actions 2) gave the organ some more fashionable sounds on the Choir (the usual suspects, like a SpitzPrinzipal [8] Nazard Tierce Cymbal and Cremona) and that Solo Trompette thing (a totally different voice from the rest of the organ) 3) a modern electric console in HNB style. I don't think it dealt with long term solutions (releathering reservoirs). I haven't played it since the recent restoration, but it seems to be sensible in every way. I'm very pleased that stops which were switched around (Greening hated string stops, for example) have been reinstated, especially that the anachronistic Spitz thing has been replaced by the original Choir Open Diapason. Regarding the console the 1974 console stops were laid out like the old one - two double columns each side in standard early 20th century Hill fashion. But I remember that the jambs were new and angled (with funny bits of leather round the edges of the jamb plates) and the old stops seemed huge and very close together on them. The stops didn't come out very far either making it difficult to spot what was on or not and it all felt a bit betwixt and between in style. I guess the main thing would have been the addition of so many stops to cover the new Nave organ, couplers and the odd extra stop here and there just meant that the two jambs each side had to go over to three for sake of practicality. That's fairly obvious when you look at the two photos - before and after. Lament the loss of the 1908 console, maybe. But I certainly don't think you need to lament losing the 1974 console with its ugly square pistons, green swell pedals, those funny HNB toe pistons and tiny stop movements. You can see for yourself the quality of what they have now, which I would think is probably much nearer the chunkier and classier feel of the previous vintage Hill console.
  14. But the organ in question is here: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=E01163 which is St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral (RC) not St Mary's Cathedral (Episcopal Church of Scotland)
  15. RAH acoustic jumbled? Have you heard it recently?
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