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Mander Organs


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Everything posted by Lausanne

  1. However, many 2 rank celestes do have both ranks quite close and function perfectly well. My celeste is separated by just one rank (bourdon 8'). If the two undulating ranks are placed too far apart, then any temperature difference (caused by winter heating etc.) might noticeably slow or speed up the undulation. I've read of the idea that pipes playing close together tend to pull one against the other, but I've yet to hear a physics-based explanation unless their mouths are close and facing each other. The C /C# pipe planting has more to do with weight and space distribution on the soundboard than sound - though I hope to illicit some interesting comments to the contrary. Chromatic soundboards seem to sound the same to my ears.
  2. Did Laurie mean to refer to Olivier Latry, or is there another organist we have never heard of whose name is not helping his career?
  3. There are a couple of pictures of the organ and console taken earier this year on the web: pic.twitter.com/Zv7RwCyEIK with visible evidence of it being used at least from time to time. And a pic of the pipes looking quite safe too!
  4. Audsley (Vol.1 p. 513) says that it is usual to complete the last octave of Clarions with labial pipes. He also quotes the French Regnier who says that in France the alternative to using labial pipes is to break back an octave at the top and to make sure the Clarion is drawn along with the prestant 4' and doublette 2' so the break is not so obvious. Reed pipes above those of an 8' rank are often replaced by labial pipes because they are harder to manufacture, almost impossible to tune and to keep in tune, and require a certain pressure below which they are unstable. As the vibrating length of the tongue in this range is only a few mms it is also difficult to attain sufficient volume. The ear is also not really able to distinguish the difference in the upper harmonics between a reed and a labial pipe in this range (as was mentioned previously) so there is really no point.
  5. So, the answer to the original question is 'no, Nicholson decided/were advised to dispense with the free reed Clarionet 16'' '. Free reed stops are becoming very rare, I guard my 1878 Walcker Oboe very carefully, I don't care that it goes out of tune with the slightest temperature rise and that it does a creditable impression of a Harmonium. I'm just waiting for the organist of the Votive Kirche in Vienna to get fed up with his/hers so that mine is then the oldest in the world - well the oldest Walcker free reed oboe at least.
  6. According to the info included with Paul Derrett's 1989 recording the Solo Clarionet 16' is the original Anneessens free reed stop from the choir, or at least that was how Laycock and Bannister left it after their 1968 rebuild. I believe Nicholson's recent work has preserved all the Anneessens pipes.
  7. I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous post re finding a Tierce on a N&B of 1909. Although I agree the 1859 Hill specification for York has to be one of the oddest I've seen. And the general Tierce hunt has got its own thread now, but the game has some restrictions: A new organ built between 1895 and 1925.
  8. To keep the N&B 1909 Tierce topic free from our more general discussions, please use this topic if the (1895 - 1925) Tierce you have found was not by N&B. David
  9. Quite fascinating, Sir Fred obviously had ordered absolutely everything on the 'menu' of all possible organ stops at the time, but when it actually arrived found it didn't work as well in practice as he'd thought. The Tierce rank survived the next rebuilt by Harrison of Rochdale, but even he got into trouble over something. Finally Willis was asked to rebuild and then the independent Tierce was removed. The npor really is a wealth of information! I suppose we must class this as before the great octopod invasion when Mixtures were hounded out of existance in almost all new organs around the turn of the century. So perhaps we should limit our Tierce hunt to new organs built from 1900 onwards.
  10. But again, just so we don't lose sight of the original question, let's stick to N&B organs of 1909, or at least pre WWI, as our examples. It is more likely that the team carrying out the restoration are being fluid with the definition, as even if a 17th was planned but not put in, you cannot restore something that was never there in the first place. Perhaps they're just having fun 'enhancing' the organ. This was of course what DW was hinting at. Another question which might form a separate thread is just when independent Tierce and Nasard were first reintroduced into new Organs, so far the earliest I've heard of is 1924.
  11. Although this is listed as H, N & B 1928 at which time quite a few organ builders were experimenting with individual mutatation ranks, even my Tschannun of 1924 here in Lausanne had separate Nasard and Tierce in the Swell. In 1909 we know that Dixon was influencing Norman's work, but if separate tierces were being considered, I would expect them to have been in the largest instruments they were building at the time such as Johannesburg and Wellington and the only tierce ranks these organs originally had were as part of the Harmonics mixture. I might speculate that the historic records being quoted may have referred to 'Harmonics -Tierce' meaning a mixture with 17ths in it, and this was misinterpreted as a separate rank.
  12. The scale of the Great Bourdon 16' will be smaller than the typical scales used for a pedal Bourdon 16' and so the borrowed stop will not sound as full as a pedal Bourdon. The first octave of a rank of Viola da Gamba pipes is, I believe, below the compass of the baroque stringed instrument. Hence these bass pipes are renamed Violincello.
  13. It seems we have more evidence of influence on Italian organ building, rather than it influencing other styles. It has been mentioned some time back, but the Welshman George William Trice (born 1848) set up an organ building company after failing with his originally intended coal importing business in Genoa in 1880. He had trained with Sweetland of Bath and spent some time with Cavaillé-coll. His first organ partnership in Genoa was with Pietro Anelli and Zeno Fedeli in 1884 at the aptly named Quinto al Mare. They became famous for building a large organ with electric action at S. Andea, Genoa in 1888. One of their apprentices was called Giovani Tamburini, who of course went on to greater things. This might explain why some Italian organs of the late 19th and early 20th Century suddenly found themselves with stops called Diapason, Eufonio and Dulciana, amongst other things. Trice's action was quite a complex and costly affair, some sort of cone chest with Barker lever and coupled to him being foreign and Protestant, his business did not survive. But his influence did. There are one or two examples of his work still intact. The organ in the Waldensian church in Florence (originally the Anglican Church who moved to smaller premises but left their organ) is still going strong and spoken about with great respect by the Tuscan organ builders. However, like most things in Italy, Italian is best. They are very proud of their Ripieno.
  14. Sounds like the organist's 'A-Team', cue music...
  15. Oh you are such a tease MM! And for anyone struggling to follow this quaint reference, St. Peter's Harrogate has an electronic 32' reed. The chorus would be Schulze-like as it was actually made by the Schulze firm (even though Brindley & Foster erected it and several other firms have made changes). Perhaps to sound really well, a bold diapason chorus of the Schulze style really needs a generous acoustic. I was just trying to answer the question why there seemed to be relatively few copies of the Armley sound. Did B&F ever produce any diapason chorus that used the exact scales as Schulze did? I know that many Organ builders asked him for details and he was only too willing to provide these. He apparently said something to the effect that, "it's all very well having the scales, they've still got to make them sing"
  16. Thanks for this F-W, these are exactly what Stephen Bicknell refers to in all the articles he has written about the Grove and so his comments about the Lewis reed comparison does make some sense. Unless Nicolas Plumley got his figures from Stephen and they were wrong in the first place. I am tempted to believe your theory that the higher pressures H-S was talking about were for his combined organ, but why he would want to make such drastic changes to something that already filled the building with a glorious sound is a mystery. Perhaps the higher pressures were only for the rebuilt Milton organ leaving the original Grove pressures alone. There is a chance though that Cynic doesn't need to nibble the brim off his trilby just yet. ...and to keep the post a little closer to MM's original question: Further to Cynic's first post about the fashion for Hill style choruses waning, there were many articles and books written around the turn of the century by people such as Audsley and Dixon, in which Hill, for one, was heavily criticised for sticking with tradition. In fact, rereading some of these pieces, I think today Hill might have been able to sue Dixon for libel. Audsley's point was that Hill didn't really make an effort to build a concert organ, he just expanded his version of a Cathedral organ, and with nowhere near enough string stops for his tastes (only Skinner managed to satiate his demands in that direction) nor enough divisions under expression. Concert organists of the period were expected to reproduce orchestral works as well as the odd piece of 'organ music'. Perhaps Schulze's diapason chorus was not faithfully reproduced everywhere because St. Batholomew's, Armley is not everywhere; it is a cavernous cathedral of a building. I think it was MM who mentioned that the organ must have sounded rather odd (if not painful) in the much smaller church it lived in for a few years (Harrogate). The end of the Victorian period was not as vibrant as its begining, so all that we now generally agree to have been a 'good' organ sound was then considered brash. By the time people's tastes had recovered from lashings of Victorian brown paint, organists and builders were looking towards much earlier periods for their inspiration. The neo-baroque started earlier than people often think. The organ I play in Lausanne was enlarged in 1924 and included a nasard and tierce in the Swell. (Pierre will no doubt tell us of many earlier examples). I am glad that many organ builders and organists are now looking again at some of the organ highlights of the 19th century and not just with faithful restorations, but with completely new organs. And yes I know some builders never actually stopped being inspired by the 19th century, but their customers, on the whole, yearned for something different.
  17. The latest on the Parr Hall web site about the organ's planned move to Sheffield is dated last October. The cathedral make no mention of the Cavaillé-coll, but proudly announce they have spent money adding more stops to their electronic organ. This seems to suggest they have given up on the idea of having a real organ and a world famous one at that! It makes me ashamed to be a Yorkshireman.
  18. Stephen Bicknell referenced an earlier article by Huskisson Stubington (The Organ vol. 24 1944-5) about the Tewksbury organs, so he must have been aware if there were discrepancies in the recording of the various pressures. His comments about the reeds being comparable with certain Lewis reeds before 1885 make sense if the lower pressures he quotes are correct. Could the pressures have been lowered after Stubington's tenure? We both seem to have believable sources and for the moment I can't find any others to substantiate either. I'm sure John Budgen would know what pressures he found in 1980. Anyway, I have just ordered a copy of the new CD of Carleton Etherington playing both the Grove and the Milton, it is being released on the 31st January by Presto Classical (excuse the advert, but I'm sure many board members would be interested to know).
  19. Good old Audsley (Vol.II, p. 8) describes Lewis's reed pressures in his 1877 organ for the Public Halls (later St. Andrew's) Glasgow. The Great is on no less than six separate chests with 5 different pressures designed to increase the power towards the treble end of each rank. The 'front Great' flues and trumpet are on 3.5" in the bass, 4" in the middle and 4.5"in the treble and the three chorus reeds on the 'back Great' (Double Trumpet 16', Trombone 8' and Clarion 4') are on 4" in the bass, 5" in the middle and 6" in the treble. These pressures are comparable with the chorus reeds in the Grove organ on 5.75". The Glasgow Lewis also had several reed stops on the solo division, including a Tuba and Tuba Clarion and it is unlikely that these were on less pressure than the Great reeds, but as yet I have not found proof of them being as high as the 12" pressure Tuba in the Grove. No doubt someone on the forum may have heard or possibly played the Glasgow organ before its destruction in the fire of 1962. According to Christopher Gray (BIOS Journal 1998) the pressures used by Lewis in 1874 for his organ at St. Peter's Eaton Square, were 3.5" for the flues, 5.25" for the Great and Pedal reeds, 4" for the Pedal flues and 10" for the solo Tuba. This would suggest that the Glasgow Tuba was on a similar pressure. By 1901, for the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, he was using 14" for the reeds. I am not trying to prove that his tonal philosophy was similar to Willis, but we can not always clearly categorize organ builders into either high or low pressure reed voicing etc. It is, of course, a fact that Lewis favoured low pressure for his organs, but used higher pressures when necessary. Michell had known Vincent Willis from the early 1870's and they remained friends until Michell's death in 1921, Thynne was dismissed (most likely) from Lewis's in 1881 and when he and Michell set up their short-lived company they managed to pinch a good number of Lewis staff including his foreman George Adams. Northcott, the voicer of the Grove reeds, was trained at Walker's and so perhaps did not feel he had to follow either Willis or Lewis reed voicing of the period, but create something unique. There is also the possibility that the subsequent reed voicing styles of both Lewis and Willis were influenced by the Grove organ, but neither would ever have admitted it.
  20. Here's quite a good recording (youtube-style) of the Grove. Sorry if this has recently been posted elsewhere.
  21. Stephen wrote in 1999 (Bios Journal) that the Grove reeds were in some way to emulate the high pressure reed batteries of Willis, but, he says the effect they have is different and wonders whether they relate in some way to the heavy pressure reeds that Lewis added to such organs as St. Peter's, Eaton Square (originally Bishop, but with Lewis reeds dating to somewhere between 1872 to 1884) or those at St. Andrew's Hall, Glasgow. So he isn't really saying the Grove reeds are not Willis-style, but perhaps Lewis was making high pressure reeds around the same period that were closer to Willis than we think.
  22. A possible answer to the question: As tuning is achieved by comparing successive octaves to one set to your chosen tempered scale, in order to minimize errors that may occur at each stage the bearings are set around the mid point of all the octaves of pipes in the organ. If your organ has 5 octaves per rank and ranks from 16' to 1' (in a mixture if not alone) then the middle of these will be the middle octave on the 4'. That is, you will possibly need to tune 5 octaves away from this middle octave in both directions, but no more. If a lower octave is set, there are more likely to be errors towards the smaller pipes. In early organs the lowest pipes would be at 8' pitch (and probably stopped), so the middle octave in this organ would be even higher, but then the ability to set the bearing intervals limits you to using the usual middle (and sometimes tenor octave) of the principal 4'. In addition, as someone mentioned, many organs would not have a metal rank (more reliable than a wood pipe) below 4', so there is an historic as well as practical reason.
  23. These threads often follow the chinese whisper syndrome. In post number 4, whistlestop referred to the organ as a toaster. This provoked my suggestion that a rather more thorough cleaning method, not just a wheezy vacuum cleaner, might be what was needed. It later became clear that the organ was in fact a real one, but why on earth it was impossible to simply slide out the pedal board and clean beneath, I'll never know. And on another housekeeping thread, has there been any recent progress with your house organ Cynic?
  24. Sometimes there are a couple of screws holding the pedal board in place towards the back if it is on a wooden floor. But if it is on a stone floor, it is unlikely to be attached to this, they are heavy though, so it may be that your 'yank' wasn't quite sufficient. However, perhaps locating the vacuum's crevice tool might be safer. As to the age and origin of the organ, if you could post a link to a few photos of the instrument someone may well be able to give you more details. Have you checked the weights on the reservoir, they are often original and with the makers initials on them? Some builders signed their work on the inside of the windchest. Often the most obvious clue to age is the way the facade pipes or lack thereof, are arranged. Would I be right in thinking the NPOR reference is this? If so, then the organ is by R&D and dates from 1936: a four-rank extension organ with, according to the notes, some pipes from a previous organ whose NPOR listing has been deleted. My guess would be that this might be a Wadsworth or Jardine organ, given the area. So it is possible that some of your pipework is 100 years old. Interestingly there is a diaphone assistance for the lowest notes of the pedal open diapason - how well does this work? R&D also used a similar effect for another extension organ from the same period (1933) in their organ for the Diocesan College, Rondebosch, South Africa. The two solo synthetic stops presumably are a combination of an 8' with some harmonics from other ranks, probably giving a clarinet sound perhaps?
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