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John Robinson

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Everything posted by John Robinson

  1. No, unfortunately. It is in a brochure I obtained in Haarlem several years ago (in Dutch - I don't understand most of the text!).
  2. Knox Grammar School, Sidney
  3. As a rough estimate, using a cross-sectional diagram of Haarlem (without a scale!), I would say that the length of the Bovenwerk action is in the region of forty feet. There appear to be two ninety-degree changes of direction.
  4. Hi I would be interested if anyone could provide me with some information with regard to the maximum practical length of trackers. Intuitively, I should imagine that, whilst the length of a tracker on its own would not make any difference to the weight of touch, it would affect the speed of repetition. Whatever the material, and however thin and light a tracker could be made, the longer it is, the more mass it would possess and therefore the more inertia, which would slow down its speed of change of direction. In practical terms, I would certainly expect to feel a difference in response between, say, a brustwerk placed just above the console, and a swell at the top of a large organ. Perhaps someone (Mr Mander?) could tell me the longest practical distance between key and pallet in a mechanical action instrument. On the matter of material I understand that, traditionally, trackers are made of thin strips of wood. I am sure that other, lighter materials have been utilised. Very thin strips of aluminium, for example, could be lighter but, presumably, would be subject to contraction/elongation with temperature change. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I understand that some part of the action can be made to be 'floating' in order to accommodate such changes. As a hypothetical challenge, would it be possible to play with reasonable accuracy (using mechanical action) a division at a vertical distance of, say, fifty feet above the keys?
  5. Thanks, Rob It would be interesting for several contributors if you could post the photos on this site. Should you manage this, please let me know how you did it! I tried to post some a while ago (see my posts in this thread) but couldn't work out how to do it! John
  6. Pierre will be delighted to know that the half-length 32ft reed is actually by Aneesens of Belgium, and came from the old organ of St.Mary's, East Parade, Bradford which had been replaced by an organ largely the work of Booth of Otley, whoever they were. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> It replaced a 32' free reed which was said to have been ineffective in the hall, and probably was. I wish I could have heard it, though.
  7. Please accept my condolences John Robinson
  8. Yes, it is perfect, and needs no alteration. However, if the money is available, expansion?... Now that the Dome Diapason Chorus is in the NE quarter dome, the SE quarter dome is simply begging for a resident. How about an enclosed Echo department? Yes, I know they went out of favour some time ago, but what goes around comes around!
  9. MM Many thanks for the details of the web site for the Polish organ. This is very interesting, even though I don't understand (and wouldn't begin to try to pronounce!) the Polish text. TN I do have a photo of the pipe/free-reed hybrid, but I can't work out how to include it in this post. There must be a way, as I have seen pictures posted on this forum. Perhaps someone will advise me, then the picture will be there for all to see. I didn't ask Phil, but I suspect there would be problems keeping the flue pipes in tune with the free reeds, due to temperature fluctuations. I also have a photo of the enharmonic reed organ at the museum which I could include. This comprises up to seven keyboards (three present at the moment), thus providing up to seven different notes for each semitone. Looking at it, I am sure it would be a nightmare to play, although I understand it was primarily for demonstration and experimentation with different temperaments.
  10. =============== Believe it or not, the harmonium is perfectly on-topic. There was an organ in Poland which had, as a third added manual, an entire reed organ of harmonium type installed behind the knee-board of the console. The pipes are still there, but the harmonium disappeared. MM <{POST_SNAPBACK}> I'd be interested to know where that is and the specification, including the harmonium section, if you have that information. John
  11. I hesitate to post this topic as, of course, this is a PIPE organ forum, although as digital organs have been mentioned once or twice, I though I might chance it! I recently visited the Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum in Saltaire, West Riding of Yorkshire. My wife and I were the only people there, yet the proprietor, Phil Fluke, spent a couple of hours of his time enthusiastically demonstrating some of his many instruments (including combination instruments: piano + reed organ, celesta + reed organ, pipe organ + reed organ, etc.) and providing much information of interest. Although I have been interested primarily in pipe organs for over forty years, I found my visit to this museum really very enlightening. For example, some of the reed organs I heard were impressively powerful: not the bleating, unsteady sound I had come to expect. Also, an example of a 'flute' register sounded tolerably 'fluty', which I found quite surprising from a free reed. If anyone is in the area, I would urge them to pay a visit. Admission is only £2.50 and photography/videography is permitted. I would strongly suggest telephoning first, as it is not always open. When my wife and I arrived at the published opening time, we were disappointed to find it closed. However, five minutes after telephoning the proprietor at his home, we were being welcomed in! The Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum 6 Albert Terrace Saltaire Shipley Yorkshire BD18 4PS Telephone: 01274 585601 (Mobile: 07976 535980)
  12. Whilst in Gdansk last year, my wife bought me a CD: Organy Katedry w Oliwie - Roman Perucki (DUX Recording Producers, Warsaw - DUX 0271) which contains works by Handel, Bach, Mendelssohn, J. H. Roman (Swedish contemporary of Handel) and a couple of local guys. I'm not sure of the availability in this country, but the organ sounds good and there is some useful information in the booklet in English.
  13. [Passau? Is this really an organ? Sound squirting from the walls all around you? It's just a huge toy. You get the same effect from an electronic with lots of speakers...... Eisenbarth is just not one of the world's great organ builders, sorry BJ <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Yes, Mr Jordan, Passau is really an organ and not 'just a huge toy'! The brochures and other publications make much of it being 'five independent instruments'. This is not strictly true, as the Evangelienorgel and Fernorgel cannot be played independently from separate consoles. I perceive three parts of this instrument - namely the Hauptorgel, Epistelorgel and Evangelienorgel - as really being one unit. They are all situated at the west end in an arrangement somewhat similar to that of Beverely Minster (featured elsewhere on this discussion board). The only reason that they consist of three units is that it would have been impossible to stuff everything into the central 1730s case, and so the (earlier) cases in the side aisles were also utilised. Like many continental organs, and a few in the UK, there is a separate Chororgel at the other end of the building. The only departure from this quite usual west-end (main) organ and separate chancel organ is the inclusion of a Fernorgel (echo organ) in the attic. So you see it is not really a case of 'sound squirting from the walls all around you'! A few years ago I dragged my long-suffering wife around south Germany (Weingarten, Ottobeuren, etc) on one of the best holidays of my life (although not hers!). We heard the organ(s) at Passau and it sounded good to me. The only reservation I had was that it could, perhaps, do with more 'bottom-end' power, although I think that 32' Double Open Woods are anathema to most Germans! Surprisingly for such a very large instrument, it possesses only three 32' stops. Some may ask 'Well, how many do you want?' St Paul's, at less than half the size, has four; the RAH and Liverpool each have five. I think that Passau could stand at least one more, perhaps a more powerful reed. Regarding your final point, although Eisenbarth does not have the stature of such as Klais and Marcussen, it doesn't necessarily follow that he cannot build a successful organ.
  14. Did I say that church music MUST only be accompanied by the organ? As we all know, it very often is not. I am, however, allowed to express my own opinion, and stand by what I have said. Although my opinion may seem intolerant to some, I fail to see how it has caused 'anti-organ feeling'. I suspect that the reduction of interest in the organ in this country is more likely to have occurred due to many factors, including television, MP3 players and even the steady increase in atheism and agnosticism over the past several decades. Surely you do not blame this latter, too, on those of us who prefer organ music to twanging guitars?
  15. I do agree that anything (even a digital) is better than the 'electric guitars and drum kits', but I think that is probably a desperate attempt by the Church to attract young people rather than a musical statement.
  16. I completely agree with the sentiments that digital stops and digital organs as a whole are a cheap and inferior substitute for the real thing. Quite apart from the sound which, to some extent must be subjective, a factor which appears not to have been considered is that a pipe organ, provided that it is well maintained, may well appreciate in value over a (long) period of time, whereas digital organs quickly deteriorate by all accounts. Look at all the priceless historical organs of Europe. Can you imagine this situation pertaining for digitals in, say, a couple of hundred years?!
  17. Yes, they were, but these amounted only to one or two pieces extracted from each of the six programmes and, as far as I know, did not include any of the dialogue. Just another organ music CD (not that I have anything against them!), and not a documentary/educational programme.
  18. I, too, would like a good quality recording of 'The King of Instruments'. I did record it on to VT when first broadcast, but the quality is not what I would like. I did, some time ago, contact the BBC to ask whether they could sell me a recording, but no. I think it's enough that they actually produced a series of programmes about the organ, and to publish a recording, preferably DVD, would be too much to expect! If you should discover a DVD of this programme series, please be so good as to let me know. John
  19. Very interesting. I think the traditional Spanish measurement for organ pipe length was the 'palm'. I wonder why they didn't use Imperial units which, as you say, were at one time standard (if not exactly comparable in measurement) throughout Europe. I am just waiting to see what happens when our masters in Westminster make Imperial units completely illegal: Open Diapason 2438mm Principal 1219mm Twelfth 812mm Just flows off the tongue, doesn't it? Don't laugh - it may well happen!
  20. Yes, the Cologne Cathedral nave organ does look impressive and is in an acoustically advantageous position. Apparently, they were not allowed to attach the organ to the nave wall or in any way alter the fabric other than to make holes in the vaulting to accommodate the supporting cables, which are supported from large steel girders in the loft. The organ simply rests against the nave wall. Strangely, it has a carved wooden clown-like thing which can be released from beneath the Positive section at appropriate moments! I'm not sure of its significance (probably some local custom or personality?), but am very surprised to find such a thing in a Roman Catholic cathedral. Incidentally, I contacted Klais to see if they had produced a book (along the lines of 'Ein Hauch, Ein Ton' - see above posting - which I purchased a couple of years ago) about the rebuilt transept organ. They have not, but I believe are trying to persuade the cathedral authorities to do so. In the meantime, they were kind enough to send me a leaflet providing certain details and plans of the revised instrument - unfortunately in German only, but nevertheless very interesting. Would that it were possible to obtain such things for all organs! The Vox Balenae 64' (voice of the whale?) is derived from the new (wooden) Principal 32', and has no pipes of its own, which prompts me to wonder why, if this type of resultant requires only separate pallets and some extra wiring, such stops are not included in all 32' organs!
  21. I wouldn't say that the (Cologne) Nave organ does a 'better' job than the Transept organ, though I haven't heard them 'live'. They just sound different, at least on my recording. If anything, the Transept organ sounds 'bigger'. Isn't it difficult to put sounds into words?! Incidentally, the rebuilt Transept organ now includes an acoustic 64' and some high pressure tubas - although these sound (to me) rather more French than English. Anyway, it's now way past my bedtime!
  22. The 1998 Nave organ at Cologne supplements, rather than replaces the 1948/1956 Transept organ, which was altered in 2002. Both are now playable from a 4 manual console in front of the Transept organ. The specification of the re-organised Transept organ is available on the Klais web-site (www.klais.de/). I suggest you obtain the CD: Motette CD 12191 which includes music on both organs (individually and together) and which, in my opinion, is excellent. It also contains an informative 38 page booklet in English as well as German.
  23. Many thanks. This works perfectly.
  24. Can anyone advise me as to the composition of the Aliquot II-III at Cologne Cathedral (Transept Organ)? I believe that the lower/lowest rank is 1', but have no idea what the second and third ranks may be, although I suspect they may be something along the lines of the elevenths and thirteenths which were popular in German neo-baroque organs. It is part of the Solo division, which also contains the usual mutations, including a seventh and ninth. Whilst on the subject of this organ, does anyone know where Klais put the new (2002) Principal 32'? In the notes of a recently published CD, it is said to be full length, open and on display, though I cannot see it on any of the included photographs! Many thanks, John Robinson
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