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Pierre Lauwers

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  1. Well Mark, May I suggest you never come to Belgium -or you will fall in tears-. If only our problems were such as this one. Of course we do have beautiful organs, some of which in a reasonably good state. But in other places, you could as well find a sandwich from 1960 on a soundboard -no joke, I did. The remains of the thing were packed within a newspaper. Of course the rats were not content with it, halas for the organ-. Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  2. Thanks ! This is the kind of data I searched for since some time -*some* may actually be a little understated-. Here is it: CHOIR Contra Dulciana 16' Claribel Flute 8' Dulciana 8' Viola di Gamba 8' Lieblich Flute 4' Harmonic Piccolo 2' GREAT Double Open Diapason 16' Open Diapason I 8' Open Diapason II 8' Open Diapason III 8' Claribel Flute 8' Octave 4' Harmonic Flute 4' Octave Quint 2 2/3' Super Octave 2' Sesquialtra 3 ranks, 17,19,22 ( Sesquialtera?) Trombone 16' Trumpet 8' Clarion 4' SWELL Lieblich Bourdon 16' Open Diapason 8' Lieblich Gedackt 8' Salicional 8' Vox angelica 8' T.C. Principal 4' Fifteenth 2' Mixture 3 ranks 17,19,22 Contra Posaune 16' Cornopean 8' Oboe 8' Vox Humana 8' Clarion 4' Tremulant SOLO (expressive) Quintaton 16' Harmonic Flute 8' Viole d'orchestre 8' Viole celeste 8' (no mention of compass) Concert Flute 4' Orchestral Bassoon 16' Clarinet 8' Tremulant Tuba 8' (unenclosed) PEDAL Double Open Wood 32' Open Wood 16' (extended from Double) Open Diapason 16' (borrowed from great Double O.D.) Sub Bass 16' Dulciana 16' (borrowed from Choir Contra Dulciana) Octave wood 8' (extended from Double Open Wood) Flute 8' ( extended from Sub Bass) Ophicleide 16' Bassoon 16' (borrowed from Solo Orchestral Bassoon) Posaune 8' (extended from Ophicleide) So we have a "classic" english-romantic-cathedral organ, as one could expect. Notheworthy are the rather little Choir -maybe an addition- but I think the most important originality in this design -at least from a non-english point of view- are the Mixtures. There are only two in the whole organ ( Great's Sesquialtera and Swell's Mixture), have only three ranks, and both the same disposition. Moreover, they contain a Tierce rank (see another Thread). So one may suppose these Mixtures to be more suited to the "Full-Swell" than to the "Plein-jeu". Of course Herbert Howells did play others organs later. It's possible we know very little of the organs he had in mind while composing. The few recordings I have are somewhat spoiled by neo-classical mixtures -at least to my taste-. It is quite certain such Mixture designs, paired with the peculiar English chorus reeds, won't be easy to find in continental Europe if one aims at playing this music in a reasonably "correct" way. Any comments? Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  3. Thanks for your input, Stewartt, As you mention it, a stop that has been built for so long could well have been used for a bit more than accompanying the Swell Oboe. But beyond this aspect, it could be that it made deal of an organ structure we don't understand any more ( why bother with a "softer something else?"). Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  4. Hello, It seems -after the infos I could gather- this stop to have been introduced in England by Johannes (John) Snetzler. It could have been the "Dolcan" or "Dolce" from southern Germany. (an inverted conical soft stop). It would then have been taken over by Samuel Green, who develloped his own version, which was rather a narrow-scaled Open Diapason. The stop would have continued for some times under this form, while later the americans built it as a stringy stop. There were even Dulciana choruses ( Dulciana 8'- 4'- Dulcet 2' -Dulciana mixture). I could only find data in Audsley's, but about a Dulciana Cornet with Tierce ranks. It is also mentioned by Bonavia-Hunt and Wegdwood, who wrote "A mixture stop of quiet silvery tone, tough scarcely of Dulciana scaled pipes. A very great aquisition to an organ of moderate size. The Dulciana mixture is generally enclosed in a Swell box. St Mark, Leeds (Binns); York Minster (Walker);Echo organ, Norwich Cathedral, VI ranks (Norman & Beard-a most effective stop). (From "Dictionary of Organ stops", J.I. Wedgwood, Winthrop-Rogers Ltd, second edition, 1907). My questions are: -Do we still have intact Dulciana stops by Samuel Green? -Would this stop make sense in a modern organ? -Would any Dulciana mixture do as a secondary Diapason chorus or would it be a mere fancy? Best wishes to all, Pierre Lauwers.
  5. Does anybody know the 1920 disposition of Gloucester's cathedral Organ? Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  6. "En fenêtre" (french) means "In window" (Like a window) This means there is no "detached console", the keybords and the stop knobs emerge from the main case, the player facing it. This disposition is mandatory if one wants a suspended key action (without backfalls). Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  7. Here is one I wrote 10 years ago for a not too-big church (as an exercise in the vacuum of course). And yes, with such kind of "big-swelled" organ, one has to accept the Swell to stay behind the great, or we shall end up with a huge tower....So suspended action is not possible. Apologies for the "hotch-potch". I live in a little country overflowed with languages, and surrounded by four of the most significant Organ countries on Earth ; so any belgian disposition is likely to be a syntesis, like an alsacian too. Great Bourdon 16' Open Diapason 8' (not slotted) Gambe 8' Flûte harmonique 8' Bourdon 8' Octave 4' (not slotted) Plein-jeu 4 ranks, two repeats (see below) Trompette 8' Swell Quintatön 16' Dulciane 8' Voix céleste 8' T.C. Flauto traverso 8' (first octave stopped) Diapason 8' (narrower than great's) Flûte octaviante 4' Octavin 2' Cornet 2-5 ranks (full compass, to begin with 2'-1 3/5') Basson-Hautbois 8' Trompette harmonique 8' Pedal Contrebasse 16' Soubasse 16' (borrowed from Great, Bourdon 16') Octave 8' (extended from Contrebasse) Bourdon 8' (borrowed from Great, Bourdon) Octave 4' (extended from Contrebasse) Trombone 16' Swell to great Great to pedal Swell to pedal (No octave couplers). The diapason chorus not quite brillant, but rather sweet and silvery. Plein-jeu: 2 2/3'-2'-1- 1/3'-1' 4'-2 2/3'-2'-1 1/3' 5 1/3'-4'-2 2/3'-2' Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  8. I like it ! Just one point : I would not use a Salicional with the celeste (supposedly a Vox coelestis or Voix céleste). The Salicional needs slower beats, so it's good with an Unda-Maris or Vox angelica. You need a narrower-scaled, more stringent -but quiet!- Gamba. Like a french Dulciane ( nothing in common with an english DulcianA) or german Aeoline. Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  9. Were not actually many open 8' flues in romantic swells simply grooved to a stopped Diapason (or Bourdon) in the first octave? The lack of space did probably exist since ever... Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  10. A quite important matter! Maybe the Diapason 1 was intended as a basis for the diapason chorus, and the other(s) to go with the others 8' flues, like with Cavaillé-Coll's "choeur des fonds" ? Montre 8' (slotted) Flûte harmonique 8' Gambe 8' Bourdon 8' Cavaillé-Coll's mixtures evolved greatly, but I'm pretty sure they were rarely meant for 8-4-2-mixture, excepted perhaps his first and very late organs. One could even imagine a combination of the two: Open diapason 8' (not slotted, basis of the chorus) Montre 8' (slotted) Flûte harmonique 8' Gambe 8' Bourdon 8' This is something I dream to try (on a work's chest, not in an organ !) Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  11. Dear Mister Gunning, I fully agree such organs as RFH's we owe respect, like I said, and the others of the same kind abroad too. But does this perfectly sound aim need any downgrading of what preceded? If yes, we must recognize we shall write the same story as our ancestors, that is, systematically destroy our parent's organs. And then our children will "better" ours.And.And.And. High pressure stops are beautiful, and we need to preserve them. I personally like very much things like Vox angelica, Violes celestes, Cornet de viols, Flute celeste with Flauto dolce, Solo claviers topped with a beautiful Tuba...That's my aestethic. But I would not impone such stops to an 18th century organ. Nor shall I ever pretend "neo-baroque organs= s..."). Mind you, I believe my post-romantic favorites don't need that. I'd love very much to see churches with two organs, one for Howells, the other for Titelouze. Peace and love ! Only challenge: to convince the people not trying to play both organs togheter. (Aequal temperament+ mesotonic.....Could be something like a clash). Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  12. Yes..... But please give us, as Cavaillé-Coll did, the full series of "normal" harmonics in the first place. Septièmes and Neuvièmes were a kind of craze on the continent, but now it's already old fashioned, a bit "néo-classical". The Tierce is quite different indeed. Not only has it its place within the flutes (Cornet or "jeu de Tierce"), but in the principal choruses as well, maybe better on a separate slide, in order to give the player the choice according to the music he plays. Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  13. This could be dangerous, for often, one commences to change one thing, then the next...Then, 30 years later, with the next rebuild, one finds an organ "not fully original", and whammo! "what is wanted" is done without remorse. The english high-pressure reeds are reknowed worldwide, and I wish we had some on the continent... Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  14. Well, I shall have to revise the definition of the word "pedantic", I think. I observed and studied many "eclectic" or -even more annoying-"eclectisided" organs in Belgium, to end up with the personnal conclusion it is to be considered as an aestethic by itself. The french talk about "Néo-classique" organ to define this kind of melting-pot, and "Néo-Baroque" for the straight baroque-like organ. The "Néo-classic" organ is of course a failure if we judge it to its original aims, that is, to create an organ upon which all musics could be played. If we now consider Messiaen, Duruflé, Langlais, Grünenwald and others, who wrote for these instruments, it becomes clear that even at least some of these ones we need to keep intact. They are a valuable testimony, too, to the fact "adding some stops" is not enough to "enlarge a repertoire", so a kind of warning signal for the future generations. Of course the builders and designers from this period did not know many about the crucial matter of temperament. I know of some beautiful "Néo-classique" organs. I'll cite two: the Maurice Delmotte of Châtelet, near Charleroi in Belgium. It was built in 1942 and sits just between late-romantic and néo classique. It is beautiful because it's toroughly romantic voiced -even the Larigot-. The Danion Gonzalez of Beauvais (1979) is the second. You should know it through Jennifer Bate's splendid recordings of Messiaen; this one is lightly, clearly voiced throughout. So the homogeneity took over upon theories in the last case, while the former -a provincial belgian builder- did not even have heard of these theories....that we maybe can qualify as "pedantic", this time. The worst cases are "rectified" instruments. There is near here a Walcker from 1907, 37 stops. In 1960, one of the Great's chests was put on the floor, with "baroque" new stops, while a half of the 8 feet flues were replaced by mixtures of the screaming kind. The pneumatic action -still working perfectly in 1960- was electrified, with cables everywhere, glued with chatterton. That no fire did happen since then is a bit more than a little miracle. So I think that we maybe need to exercise care not to put all these instruments into the same basket. While such "rebuilds" as I mentionned above we may lightheartly "delete" to come back to something else, we certainly need to keep the technically and musically sound ones. Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  15. Yes, Here we are at the core of the problem! I have 3 old LP's, plus some pices on CDs. Priory records offers three CDs, and they seem not very easy to join by E-Mail. Not that easy to find... And of course, Howells's music requires a splendidly resonant building, plus an organ that fits. Resonant Cathedrals are to be find aplenty in France, but I doubt the french romantic organ would be fully adequate. At least, trials should be done, but I am afraid the Cavaillé-Coll reeds could be too "free" and pervasive. French organists to whom I sent the "De Profundis" Psalm-Prelude were quite impressed indeed. Does anybody know where the written music can be ordered? Last but not least: this matter shows -once more- how important it is to keep at least some organs from every aestethic, even the ones that are "out of fashion". Many english Cathedral organs have been modified since Howells's time, and now that "it's time for him to come back", we are at risk never finding the original conditions needed to get reference recordings. (This is of course true everywhere, not only in England! Franck's organ, too, is gone.) Best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  16. Hello, It becomes fashionable to restore romantic organs now, with no more aim at modifying them. But of course, many of them, even well-known Cavaillé-Coll have been "hacked" upon, especially their Mixture designs. As far as litterature and my own observations can tell, it seems many romantic mixtures included Tierce ranks, and were actually a synthesis between the plain "chorus mixture" and the Cornet. And this probably to facilitate the Tutti -with reeds-. They seem also to have had the function of raising the treble level, especially the "Progression harmonique" (probably after Vogler's "Progressiv Harmonica"), which was actually a progressive Cornet. The french did reject the Tierce in Mixtures since somewhere between the 17th and the begin of the 18th century. Even today, on a french forum, there is nobody to admit there were Tierce in at least some Cavaillé-Coll's mixtures. In England, things seem to have been the reverse, with Tierce in nearly all Mixtures up to Schulze (or maybe Snetzler?) Does anyone have ideas about how to design, scale and voice a correct Mixture for a romantic organ? Must these Tierce ranks be softened like Audsley advised to do? Thanks and best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
  17. Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a belgian organ lover, having done some research in this field up to twenty years ago -then the businesses took over for a time-. I try to introduce the organ works of Herbert Howells to belgian and french organists, who ignore him. This music is of course closely tied to the british cathedral organ, no doubt, and moreover the late-romantic one. So I'd be delighted to know: -Has anybody tried Howell's music on a continental organ (Cavaillé-Coll, Gonzalez, Klais, other, romantic or neo-classical) -What are the basic requirements to which an organ must respond to do justice to this music? Thanks and best wishes, Pierre Lauwers.
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