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Everything posted by sprondel

  1. Hello Niccolo, someone got back to me and helped clearing matters up a bit. There are several extended ranks or units: Trumpet 32-16-8-4, Double Open Bass 32-Open Diapason 16-Open Diapason II 8, Bourdon 32-16-8. The first 12 of the 32-foot flues are actually wired Quint combinations. The Trumpet 16-8-4 unit went in when the organ was first installled in 2008 in its original case, the 32-foot octave was added with the later enlargement. The Tuba has its own short chest just between the case and the southern wall of the transept. About what fits, or may fit, into a case, opinions
  2. Someone from the German Pfeifenorgelforum commented yesterday on how cute the ears looked on the bottom right pipe. Indeed. Best wishes, Friedrich
  3. Fraser has become a staple in the German online organ community over the last one to two years. What I like about him is how he embraces the many facets of the German organ culture, as you can easily see from his many organ portraits. They cover a huge spectrum, including organ reform instruments, your basic seventies or eighties parish church German organ, organs built specially for contemporary music, the pseudo-French giant at Bonn-Beuel and now Gackenbach. I suspect you won't find many colleagues of German origin with such open enthusiasm and relaxed attitude to diverse concepts and repert
  4. Well, St Stephen’s is a very large and acoustically difficult space, in fact quite cavernous, built from rather porous limestone that tends to swallow up much of the sound energy. kropf knows it intimately, perhaps he could provide some more specific insight. I think it is exactly the kind of space that needs an awful lot of organ, and especially a Great division that can sing out from pole position, if you want to arrive at anything approaching a satisfactory musical experience. I am quite sure that this was the rationale for massaging the huge Great into that very narrow space. I wish I coul
  5. Internally, the organ is laid out quite interestingly. The arch under which the instrument sits has another connection about 5 ft behind the main façade of the organ, a diaphragm arch 5 ft deep and 10 feet high where it connects to the pillars on either side (scroll down on this page to see it during construction of the new organ). This arch, hidden by organ cases for centuries, posed severe acoustical problems for the 1960 organ, as most of the pipework was placed behind it. The arch, needless to say, is indispensable for the statics of the building. Rieger, however, managed to get their
  6. Is it just me, or is there anyone else who also can’t unsee the sleeping monkey king in this curious case? Just wondering. All best wishes, Friedrich
  7. I love this one. A showpiece indeed, if rather an inverted-flamboyant one. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mwu1n68ezbvfb2o/02 Raitio_ Canzonetta.mp3?dl=0 All best wishes, Friedrich
  8. I just found an older comment in another (now defunct) forum in which an organbuilder suggested that the »Terz« approach worked best when applied to the first 24 or 30 notes, from there continuing in pure octaves, so that the beats won’t increase at the former rate. More than one other contributor back then wrote, however, that they tuned individual notes, just by ear, the only condition being that the ranks are positioned sufficiently far apart from each other. All best wishes, Friedrich
  9. In German organbuilding, there is the term “Terzschwebung”, and I understand that this is the most frequent method of celeste tuning. It refers to the tuning process: Both ranks are pulled, and a major third is played; in the sharp rank, the upper pipe is silenced, while in the unison rank the lower one is. Then both remaining pipes are tuned to a pure major third by way of sharpening the celeste pipe. For a flat celeste, the silencing would be done the other way round. That way, the beats per note will increase with the pitch in a pleasant way, and it’s quite easily done. Is this the usu
  10. In an interview in Orgel International, Olivier Latry repeatedly mentioned Messiaen using his own recordings as points of reference. Apparently, when discussing the music, he sometimes turned to his wife, asking her how again he had done it for HMV’s « Messiaen par lui-même ». So, peculiar as they appear to be when compared to the printed music, he considered them to be of prime importance. On the other hand, he seems to have been very pleased when he witnessed dedicated performers such as Jennifer Bate or Almut Rössler playing his works. Rössler recorded them on three instruments that we
  11. In fact, additional to the Guillou recordings (Mussorgsky & Stravinsky, Bach), there are a number of recordings by Ulrich Meldau with orchestral repertoire (Dupré & Demessieux, Bossi, Bartmuß). Gunther Rost recorded one of his Petr Eben CDs there (Job), and there are recordings of light music by Ursula Hauser and of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s organ music by Livia Mazzanti; David Zinman conducted Strauss’s Festival Prelude there. Apart from the Guillou recordings, however, I consider Keith John’s GEO portrait for priory the most spectacular (Mussorgsky & Alain, Trois danses). Thus,
  12. First part of the question: As far as I can say, no, they haven’t. It is still up to the builder, consultant and buyer and their mutual relationship to determine specifics such as the use of space in any case, be it new or existing. At some point, the builder might point out that for many reasons he would rather have more space than still more ranks to fit in, and hopefully the consultant will go along with that. As to secure access, I am not sure if there are regulations, but I suspect there are – here a builder might be able to tell more. Second part of the question: Yes and no. Ches
  13. No. 5 is really grand and dramatic, with lots of fire in the first movement and Scherzo and an enormous and well-orchestrated climax in the finale. The second movement, Adagio con espressione, is quite worthwhile as well. My favourite Guilmant sonata by far. Get Michael Schönheit’s recording from the Leipzig Gewandhaus—surprising choice of instrument as it may be, it is incredibly intense throughout. The Morceau de concert op. 24 is a fine piece which works with two subjects and their combination (as do several movements of the 5th sonata). Best wishes Friedrich
  14. The opening recital by Iveta Apkalna can be listened to here (link expires in four days or so). Between pieces, there are interviews (in German) with Apkalna and Philipp Klais. Another Philipp Klais portrait, quite extensive and in German, can be found here, with three decades or so of Klais recordings’ worth included. He comes across as a nice enough chap, though if you compare contents and key phrases between interviews, you notice that he has his talking points well prepared and apparently repeated over and over again. No wonder considering the media coverage of the new hall, which cove
  15. Plug-and-play would be quite improbable, since there are so many variables – or rather, so many ways in which a second-hand rank, without any adapting, may not fit in. What system was the rank voiced on, and what system will have to accommodate it? On what pressure was it voiced originally? Will its speech and scaling support blend with its new neighbours? Maybe there would be a chance if the second-hand rank and your instrument were made by the same builder at approximately the same time, so that the same pipe-makers and voicers might have been involved, the same chest system was used and
  16. Well, I guess the idea of reinforcing singing where the main organ won’t reach singers might be as old as the Ecclesiological and Tractarian movements are. At least according to Nicholas Thistlethwaite (Victorian Organ, p. 310f), it was in consequence of those reforms that organs were banned from musically and acoustically efficient locations into corners, chancels, and triforiums. re Colin's remarks: Thanks for these – very informative, and coming with a good explanation for the coming-about of that monster, the Large Open. With the organ at an acoustical disadvantage from the outset (see
  17. That’s most certainly all that’s needed – and a fine organ all by itself it might be! Maybe for its purpose, a rather slow halving ratio wouldn’t be a bad idea, and a 16-foot bourdon wouldn't hurt (if only 12 notes and borrowing from the SD from TC), as it was included in Canterbury Cathedral, IIRC. All best wishes, Friedrich
  18. I believe it was HW IIIrd’s hardly concealed adaptation of Skinner’s stop. Just like his Sylvestrina, which as far as I know is not much different from an Erzähler. Best wishes Friedrich
  19. Is it in fact spelled “Reim”? I’m wondering, because the only builder who ever came up with a similar name was Johann Friedrich Schulze (father to Edmund). In 1847/9, he included a “Riem 16'” in his large organ at Bremen cathedral. The stop was a Bassoon with wooden reeds (in the previously given source, it’s plainly called “Fagott”), an idea which is supposed to have been brought up by cathedral organist Wilhelm Friedrich Riem, after whom the stop was christened. It can't have been terribly successful, as it was exchanged for a more traditional reed in the second half of the 19th century.
  20. Yes, for commercial CD recordings he adds the flying mic. The permanent installation, as far as I know, goes without them, so as not to disturb the architecture.
  21. In Saint-Sulpice, there has been a permanent mic installation for several months now, put in place by Christoph Martin Frommen, sound engineer for the Aeolus CD label. The installation was used, among others, for Fugue State Filmss Widor DVD set. On a regular basis, it's used to capture the auditions. The microphones are mounted on the massive cornices on either side of the nave. All best wishes Friedrich
  22. Question 1: Yes, we are. One reason might be that this those instruments are so far apart – too far for many of us to visit and hear in the flesh. Plus, not two large organs are alike, because in most venues individual solutions are required, which makes them even more interesting. And, not least: Large organs often seem more versatile musically than smaller ones – seem, as many Willis beasts or the St Mary Redcliffe dragon are highly specialized in their own ways, and not as open to a larger repertoire than one might think judging by the stoplist only. Second part of the question: No, we shou
  23. First question: In Franck’s own organ at Saint-Clotilde, there were a Flûte traversière, a Bourdon, a Gambe and a céleste. I'd expect that the classical Voix humaine registration would be Bourdon, Vh, tremulant. In this case, the Flûte would still be out – perhaps because Franck’s Récit was comparably small and on the lyrical side. I would start with the classical solution (in your case, Lieblich, Vh, tremulant). The Diapason wouldn’t really fit in, as in a Voix humaine registration, one is supposed to hear a reed sound without much else. Second question: No, it never is, except when expli
  24. I quite distinctly recall finding, in the early 90ies, my first GEO series CDs offered specially at low-price at the local music shop in Freiburg. Among the first I bought was the Ely one, with Dr. Arthur Wills playing the Guillou Toccata, some Parry, Widor’s Romane and an eight-movement Symphonia Eliensis of his own making. I remember being quite flabbergasted at the sound of the Harrison, as well as at the forceful impact of Dr. Wills’s playing. Furthermore, at that time, British organbuilding and organ music was virtually unknown in Germany, where everyone was still firmly walking West and
  25. The smaller organ dates from about the same time as the larger one. It was built in two stages in 1467/1515 by unknown builders, and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1636/7 by Friedrich Stellwagen, one of the most important North-German builders of the era whose main achievement is the large and incredibly beautiful 24-foot organ at St Mary’s, Stralsund, which has been restored around 2000 to its original state. The small organ at St Jakobi is one of the most important landmark instruments in the North. After much enlargement and rebuilding, which included the case (the rebuilt one, incidentall
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