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Pierre Lauwers

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Everything posted by Pierre Lauwers

  1. There are indeed two discussions in one for the moment here.....The awkward thing was the baroque Traversflöte in another video. Well, I could fill some pages with Widor. 35 years ago, it was customary to despise his music completely; nowadays, some pages are fashionnable again......Save the slow pieces, which are deemed just a bit higher as supermarket music. I strongly disagree with this ! Those "little" pices -like this Adagio- are completely underrated gems. In them lies the true dramatic in Widor's music. I myself rate it 10 times higher than the Toccata. It is in those moments that Widor goes beyond virtuosity, towards some depth in expression. The 10th organ symphony, the "Romane" -90% of which is made of rather slow movements and rather light registrations- express that trend to its fullfilment. PROVIDED -of course-, in both cases, the player understands that and plays accordingly; in this video at Kaunas, the organist does. And I guess he choosed the "wrong" (and indeed it is wrong if we follow Widor's remarks) stop just because of that dramatic ascendancy, an ascendancy we can be sure existed in the Flute stop of Cavaillé-Coll Widor himself used. Pierre
  2. Two very interesting comments ! @pcnd: Indeed, one could hesitate. That stop sounds rather dull for a Gamba in the lowest part of the compass. There, it could be a Principal or a Flute. But it displays quite a degree of treble ascendancy, gaining both in strenght and timbre in the treble; this is not a Principal trait, rather an open Flute substitute, and the piece gains much in drama with it. Oscar Walcker built his Principal with wide scales, after british models, without treble ascendancy. @MM: Baroque organ = crazy organ. Indeed ! a "reasonable" baroque organ is something that has been invented in the 20th century. Pierre
  3. Paul's knowledge about the british organ will be sadly missed from abroad. Pierre
  4. Now I come back to this very interesting point: "The timbre varied on almost every note." (Quote) ......And *gerade* (precisely, straight) this IS the baroque organ, even when it is crammed with foundation stops. The scales you cannot understand with beautiful Excell presentations, because they are completely empiric, taylored for each situation, each church. Whenever there is any "rule" behind those scales, they can rely on some kind of "magic thinking" like "sacred numbers" and so on, a "sense of proportions" that lies completely outside of any modern "logic". Most of the time -with, again, the exception of Silbermann and some of his followers- we deal always here with "mixed scalings", that is, you'd get several distincts "curves" on your Excell file. Accordingly, the tone varies through the compass. Is it a fault ? To the eyes of any romantic builder, yes, without doubt. But in polyphonic music this is quite useful. It is surprising nobody criticize Schnitger organs, which are exactly the same for that matter. And yes, this is the kind of "awkward things" Bach assessed and played..... Pierre
  5. It is indeed a Traversflöte (overblowing), but with string's attacks. There are such stops in any Trost organ as well. Pierre
  6. This is a 1938 organ. This means, already "orgelbewegt"'; and what were the first stops that this fashion suppressed from the Specifications ? The 8' open Flutes ! (Addenda) That there is no 8' open Flute on the first manual you can guess from the voicing of the Gamba played against the Vox coelestis here..... Pierre
  7. A rarity: a 1938 Oscar Walcker organ: The Adagio is the most interesting by far (and also musically as well!), hear that voicing..... Pierre
  8. There was just a new interesting one posted on Youtube yesterday: Pierre
  9. A splendid 1913 thing (with pneumatic action): Pierre
  10. As I said, french-speaking builders did not like to hook their reed pipes. Another interesting manner was Maurice Delmotte's in Belgium (at work between about 1900 up to 1960!). The 16' Swell reed stop had its first octave "going through the bottom" of the swellbox, on an auxilliairy chest that lied at the level of the pedal stops in the basement of the organ; and of course, that stop was borrowed towards the Pedal. A clever idea. Pierre
  11. Halas, MM, I have been trained first in motor design/ engineering (before shifting to history!) so that I can say your views, so logical as they may seem, are somewhat out-dated. And yes, it is out of place here, so I suggest you ask the engineering teams in Japan directly. And so let us go back to the organ, and what I mean with "Pneumatic actions need to be trashed like a modern, high-revving engine". When pneumatic organs were built, they ever had some form of combination system. Often, this consisted of some fixed combinations (Voix céleste on II with Flute on I: Foundations; Tutti...) with rather simple registrations that were often used then. They also had a number of couplers, among which the absolute hit was the Swell to great in 16', a sub-octave coupler also. Now some years afterwards, the fashion changed. The people wanted shrill, top-heavy sound, so that the sub-octave coupler went out of use as well as the combinations. But the organ was still used for some decades, before going in the depth of the *forgetting* .....And then, again some decades later, somewhat funny people like your servant re-discovered those poor little "bac à cantiques" ("canticles binns", as they were called in Belgium till 1980). Of course, they did not re-work that good ! they had to be awakened first. Mind you, there are few moving parts in such a system, but those that exist are all leather, an organic material. But some functions were, 9 times out of 10, completely out of order and refused to work. Guess which ones ? Bingo: the combinations and the sub-octave coupler Swell to great ! So the best way to maintain a pneumatic organ fit "by trashing it" is: -Play, play, play them again ! with "repertoire", so that all the notes are used, from the lowest to the highest, on each manual. -Use the couplers. Activate the combinations, even for a short time or if you won't use them. The aim is to have absolutely all leather parts moving, at best once a day. Pierre
  12. ....And here lies the risk: should you content yourself with this low-down torque, the longetivity of the engine will suffer. Give it revs! With a pneumatic action it is the same. Pierre
  13. Indeed, there were half-length 16' reed stops in the romantic period ! an example was the "Tuba magna" of Cavaillé-coll, a stop he used in swellboxes when the available height was unsufficient for a full-length one. And he did not "hook" his resonators as often as the british builders did. We speak here of a chorus stop of course; among the soloists, the half-length ones are numerous. Pierre
  14. No, I did not talk over a F 1 engine, but rather a Honda VTEC one. And yes, that one will last longer if trashed enough to reach its optimal temperature. And yes a pneumatic action, if it can stand to be forgetted for 50 years, likes to be trashed as well; the more you play it, the better it works. Preferably everyday -the same is true fror the electro-pneumatic action-. Pierre
  15. "Were pneumatic actions ever designed to last centuries without any maintenance, unlike small tracker actions?" (Quote) Of course, this we shall never know. But what we DO know is that the system which does endure the least badly to be neglected is well that one (the tubular-pneumatic action). I have been teached (in the 70's already) that "quality" and "reliability" are actually subjective notions, in that there are many acceptions of this. You can have, for example, two engines: -One old simple thing in cast-iron, with lateral valves, traditionnal alimentation, ignition and so on; this thing can last for decades, but you have to maintain it all 2,500 Miles, or it will soon refuse to start. And you'd better drive it rather cool, avoiding high revs. -One modern, all-aluminium unit, with double overhead camshafts, electronic injection and ignition, revving up to 8,000 RPM or more.......Good for more than 100.000 Miles with nearly no maintenance, even if you trash it, even MORE if you indeed DO trash it. But whenever something goes wrong, any repair will be more time-and-cost intensive. There are also such cultural differencies about the assessing of the finish, handling, and so on. So according to your technical training, you will find one system or the other "better", while actually, the real point lies with the quality of materials and workmanship, whatever the system may be. Pierre
  16. "Music is not a living theme park for organ-historians." (Quote) Mind that some of us might belong to a jurassic one ! Pierre (LOL!!!)
  17. Here is something fully "Post-romantic", with another kind of attacks, as worthwhile as the( true!) baroque ones in the Casparini organ: There are no "good" nor "bad" periods ! Pierre
  18. Indeed, MM, Late romantic and post-romantic organ music can be very fast: .....With smooth attacks. This said, it is true even a Diapason Phonon has transient attacks ! You simply hear less of them than in others cases. As for those "would-be-controlable" transient named "Chiff", I always considered them as a fad. But when you hear the CD Mr Urbaniak and Rost recorded on the Casparini organ of Adakavas, an organ with much transients, you note the difference with the "modern chiff" ! While this one resembles to something like this: ......(plopss).......tik........TSCHACK!!!!......tschukk...... etc, rather at random than "controlled", what you hear with the Casparini organ is rather a matter of articulation, each pipe attacking with a conson, this conson being never louder as the note itself, and strictly the same with each note: tatatatatatatata.... It is quite different, and the very worf "chiff" becomes inaccurate. See here about the CD recorded at the Casparini organ of Adakavas: http://www.vargonai.lt/cd_urbaniak_rost_adakavas_en.htm Pierre
  19. You have Mail, Pcnd ! Here is a wonderful example of an "old nail" -this time with electro-pneumatic action- which I would place immediately under legal protection (Denkmalschutz, Monument historique): Other vidéo: This 1931 organ, entirely devoid of any pretention in aspect and materials, deserves a careful listening. Those two videos are enough to realize how a gem it is. And by "legal protection", I mean all of it, old electrical bits included. The fad of replacing old electric material with modern electronic stuff must be stopped ! (We can of course protect the system with modern, rapid fuses) Pierre
  20. No panic, Sean, you are always welcome ! As for the "tierce matter", I think that at this point, we should go togheter to Angermünde, and then to Saint-Maximin du Var, and discuss the thing again afterwards with a Bouillabaisse and a Rosé de Provence. I *know* how I am *right*, but, in the same time, I also know that if I were you, I would express the same views as you. The matter is too complicated to be sorted out by the Web ! Pierre
  21. As there are already many such organs that have been restored on the continent, without troubles afterwards, it would maybe be interesting to have some of your pneumatic organs restored by our builders, in order to pave the way. I could suggest some names by PM (No mystery, you know them all...) Pierre
  22. "initial transient speech" (Quote) This is the problem: as the aim, in late-romantic playing, is to avoid those transient altogheter, you are still seeking something else here. Pierre
  23. The same can be said about the tracker organ -even more an old nail-, the next step of this way of thinking is to give up the pipes altogheter and go for the toasters, the *modern*-day "progress". Pierre
  24. The funny thing is the fact that E-F Walcker adopted the Kegellade -first step towards pneumatic chests, as well as the Barker lever was the first step towards pneumatic actions- because he met huge problems with the classical slider-chest in....Russia. To say the pneumatic organs that have succeeded through long perios owe it to "chance" or "care" is.....Maybe somewhat ideological. Sorry, but the ones who did it in Belgium were precisely those that were deprived of any care at all! To build new from scratch ? I would certainly do. And to do it in continental, severe climates ? After some testing on a limited basis, maybe. It would certainly be interesting to have, for example, a pneumatic chest as a temporary extension of an existing organ, tested in a church were the conditions are difficult. The saying that such actions are "slow, unpredictable" etc would be disagreed with by several builders, in Germany, but also in France, who have especialized with it since years. Pierre
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