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Everything posted by contraviolone

  1. I am sure all the points you raise are valid, as too are Friedrich's. However, I do wonder why Pierre Cochereau should suggest the return of the Positif de Dos? He must have had strong musical reasons for its re-instatement. On the colouring of 'white and gold', I certainly agree with that. I don't think that would look good at all in Notre Dame. But then in a similar vein, the new console to my eyes looks lurid as well. It should also be remembered that the Positif de Dos was still in place in 1863, when the drawings of Viollet-le-Duc at this time included it. It was only at the very last minute, after the contract was signed, that Viollet-le-Duc suddenly changed his mind about it. Hence its exclusion, together with the subsequent changes to the tribune. Apparently Cavaille-Coll didn't mind, including the Positif as you say in the main case. I still think the re-instatement of the Positif de Dos would still, from an aesthetic and historical viewpoint, look attractive. And I'm sure Pierre Cochereau had very strong reasons to include it.
  2. I was wondering the same. This instrument has now undergone so many 'transformations' that it probably bears little resemblance to the organ even of Pierre Cochereau's time, certainly before the alterations of Boisseau. I was listening to a recording made by PC from the 1950s, before the Boisseau alterations were made, and in most respects it sounds a completely different organ compared to today, let alone post-Boisseau. I also dislike the new console. It looks completely out of place with the rest of the organ loft. They may as well go completely digital in everything, and have electric buttons instead of drawstops that light up when pushed. They could have different colours for each division, and they could also flash when in use. It could be the equivalent of the light show of the Eiffel Tower! I'd rather go listen to St Sulpice across the river, which is still, in my opinion, the better instrument compared to Notre Dame by a long mile.
  3. I suppose even if it were possible, adding a Positif de Dos would make this instrument even more daunting! Still, we can looking forward to the more colourful effects of the new additions, particularly the Onzieme 2 10/11, playable from both manuals and Pedal.
  4. I will also be interested to hear opinions of the Notre Dame organ. However, for one thing I'm not sure how the addition of the Resonance will make any substantial difference to this instrument? Having said this, I will be interested to hear the effects of the new mutations Neuvieme and Onzieme (as discussed in the other thread). I also believe it is a shame that the Positif de Dos still remains unrestored. The 'grand plan' of Pierre Cochereau was to restore this, and I think this addition to the specification would be much more effective than the 'new' Resonance division. Not only would the appearance of the Notre Dame organ be greatly improved, it would also provide a chorus at a lower level than the rest of the instrument, so benefiting from little or no obstruction from the tribune. It would also cover up the console and the untidy looking cabling, all of which detract from the overall appearance of this instrument. I do wonder why the Titulaire's have not pushed for the restoration of the Positif de Dos? I'm sure it would be restored if they insisted. And the original woodwork for this division is still stored in the Cathedral. I can only assume it would just be too expensive to do it, as it would involve substantial alterations to the tribune. But from a musical viewpoint, it would be a distinct advantage to this instrument, restricted as it is to it's very high position at the West end of the Cathedral.
  5. The addition of a Sesquialtera in the Dome flue chorus was considered some years ago, before the new Dome reeds were added, but nothing came of it. Also, I disagree with the potential effectiveness of a Cornet-style voluntary from the Dome. Sitting near or under the Dome, the Dome flue and reed choruses are surprisingly clear, with little reverberation. All the problems of extended reverberation emanate from the Chancel organ. If the Dome is played alone, the sound is very clear, precise, and bold, (apart from the Diapason II, which surprisingly unforced, almost delicate). I would really like to see the flue Dome chorus extended to something like this: Double Open Diapason 16 Open Diapason I 8 Open Diapason II 8 Flute Harmonique* 8 Quint* 5 1/3 Octave 4 Principal* 4 Tierce* 3 1/5 Super Octave 2 Sesquialtera 12.15.17* III Quartane 19.22 II Fourniture IV Cymbal 29.33.36+ III * New +Replacing Mixture 22.26.29 Henry Willis III proposed in 1940 a striking Dome flue chorus, with its own independent Cornet stop, which if it had been built would have been quite exciting! Double Open Diapason 16 Open Diapason I 8 Open Diapason II 8 Principal I 4 Principal II 4 Quint & Terz 5.10 II Mixture V Cymbale 31.33.38 III Cornet III-V (breaks: 12.15.17/ [source: A history of the organs of St Paul's Cathedral, Plumley and Niland 2001, pp 151-153]. So the idea of a strong Dome flue chorus, with even an independent Cornet, has been about for quite some time.
  6. I can confirm the St Paul's cymbal worked very well. I suspect it was demoted by an octave through practical expediency, rather than pure musical considerations.
  7. It will certainly be interesting to hear the final results at Exeter. The Trompette Militaire was quite an exciting stop when I heard it in the 80s, and was certainly quite powerful. I didn't know that had been subsequently changed. I also hope that the voicing of the stops isn't adjusted too much in order to make them more powerful. I was recently listening to the organ in my local cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, where the organ has been recently 'revamped' by Harrisons. The work is clearly excellent, and the new organ cases very striking. But I can't help feel the voicing of the Great flue chorus is really extremely bold, even over the top. I know the organ is confined high up within the Chancel recess, and projection of sound is important down the nave, but sitting in the choir stalls, the volume is extraordinary. I mean, the diapason chorus virtually knocks you off your feet, even when the building is full! No criticism intended to the Head Voicer at Harrisons, but I do hope this doesn't happen at Exeter.
  8. If that's true (which no doubt it probably is), I think that is a regrettable reason for getting rid of an important stop that was integral to the design of the Dome chorus in the first place.
  9. Yes, I take your point. Reading through this again I think it is inferred that all four G.O. reeds have been moved back to their old positions, and four existing flue stops have been displaced. Two have been identified by pcnd5584 (the Cornet and Cymbel sitting below the reeds), the other two as yet undetermined. So presumably the raised chest remains unused? I think that's what has happened. If so, I think the loss of the four flue stops is a shame, except perhaps the Cornet, which sounds dull and uninspiring to me. I'm not sure what John Scott Whiteley would think of this, as presumably he was one of the supporters of the Coffin additions in the 1993 work?
  10. With respect to the former Cymbal III 29.33.36 on the Vth manual at St Paul's Cathedral. I really don't know why they changed this in 1993/94. The Cymbal imparted an attractive brilliance to the Dome tutti, and it's lowering by an octave to a Mixture 22.26.29 is regrettable. The current mixture composition in the Dome makes no sense to me at all: Quartane II 19.22 Mixture 22.26.29 Fourniture That simply looks like duplication to me, and I don't understand it. I would have thought a Sesquialtera II 12.17 (or III 12.15.17) would be more useful, with the possibility of a Cornet 'Separe', rather than what we have now. I've always thought that the absence of the Cornet option in the Dome rather strange - the clear fluework is there, and the Diapason II being quite unforced, so why they haven't done this is perplexing to me.
  11. I refer you to posts 2 and 3, which explains perhaps what has happened.
  12. So from the photo of the stops it appears the Cornet and the Cymbel have at least been put to one side. In a recent recording of the Minster organ, John Scott Whiteley demonsrates this Cornet stop. Compared to the 'Cornet separe' also available on the Great (possible with the addition of the Sequialtera II 12.17, also added in 1993), I'm not sure if we should lament the loss of this Cornet stop. It sounds quite unexciting and dull to me, compared to the Cornet Separe version, which sounds a great deal clearer and much more useful, particularly for Bach. Here are the two Cornet sounds, one after the other, commencing from approx 1:10 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxakRY3lnw
  13. They are certainly, in many distinct respects, very different instruments. But in terms of overall 'balance', and dare I say 'musicality', the RFH instrument is now several steps ahead of the RAH. Not that we hear the RAH organ anyway, so any discussion on this is virtually futile.
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