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Yes!!!

 

And there you have exactly the right choruses and mixtures.

 

==============

 

You don't have to go all the way to Latvia, unless you're into blond jokes and wonderful choral music.

 

Doesburg cathedral, towards the German border of the Netherlands, has a wonderfully authentic 4 manual Walcker.

 

As for extant Sauers and other German romantic organs by such builders as Schlag & Soehn....there are thousands of the things in N W Poland; the bit that Germany "borrowed" for about 140 years!!

 

The largest Sauer ever built, at the Centenary Hall (Jarhundrethalle), Breslau (now Wraclaw) forms the basis of the cathedral organ there.....and it's BIG. The electric action was designed by no other than Walcker.

 

MM

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The closest "Reger organ" I know is 9 km from my house, but it needs restoration,

the second is in Essen-Werden, but there are some problems with the free-reed clarinet voicing.

It's easier to find CDs from Riga, tough I do have one from Essen-Werden.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Thank you, MusingMuso, for the details.

 

However, I am uneasy - just how much 'transcribing' did Jos van der Kooy have to do, to make the big pieces 'work'?

 

I must agree with M. Lauwers. I still think that it is a bit of a waste of effort!

 

===================

 

Why shouldn't romantic music work at Haarlem, with it's wonderfully warm, rich tones and very "English" sounding reeds?

 

Only three things get in the way.....the lack of a Swell Box, the lack of pistons and a slight limitation in the compass.

 

What follows is going to tax my abilities at describing the sonic experience, but I'll give it a whirl.

 

For the classic English "Full Swell" with box closed, it sounds as if Jos van der Kooy (who knows this organ better than anyone) uses the 16ft Dulcian (I hope I get the stop names right, because I don't have the stol-list to hand), a 4ft Principal coupled to the "Great" (I'll stick with English equivalents), and then, to simulate the opening of the Swell, more 8ft "body" is introduced, then 8ft Trumpet tone and a Mixture, then 16ft Trumpet tone with bigger Tierce Mixture....all done seamlessly, with the aid of a registrant or two. "Closing the box" is just a reversal of the above.

 

It has to be heard to be believed, because the simulation is so nearly perfect.

 

Most German Romantic works do not venture far into the top octave, so I guess the problem of the limited compass is not so great as might be suspected, and only really affects English and French music. (I have heard the Cocker Tuba Tune played at Haarlem....the top A drops down, with the addition of the big Mixture, and it sounds quite acceptable, as the Mixture adds the top note required)

 

Combination "software" is replaced with combination "liveware"....you know....real flesh and bones, like we used to use before everyone became lazy. OK, there may be something of a crowd in the organ-loft, and they need to be briefed meticulously, but I've never actually heard a registrational mistake at Haarlem in about 20 years!!

 

The point about it "being a waste of effort" is, I'm afraid, a comment which merely demonstrates that the writer hasn't heard Jos van der Kooy or someone like Bas de Vroome play Reger at Haarlem.....it is the most wonderful experience.

 

Becuase the tones at Haarlem are so warm, largely thanks to the building and the strong "middle" and "bass" of the organ, Reger's music loses nothing, but actually gains a certain contrapuntal clarity, Normally, Reger's music just becomes a jumble of sound on a typical Walcker, with those enormously powerful basses and restrained trebles.

 

As for dynamics, two registrants can do most, if not all, of the functions covered by a Rollschweller. German romantic organs do not rely on the powerful Swells enclosed in massive boxes, such as we find in the UK, America or France, but instead, on the addition and subtraction of registers.

 

Of course, the proof of the pudding etc........

 

The CD I mentioned says it all, and I would count it as among the top five CD performances I have in my collection....wonderfully recorded and brilliantly performed. Don't hesitate to buy a copy. You will not be disappointed, because this is seriously good organ-playing by any standards.

 

As for Cesar Franck at Haarlem, it may be just a little difficult, but perhaps not impossible. French music is so obviously written for a French organ....or maybe a Hungarian one......but that's another challenge to our pre-conceptions!

 

MM

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Reger's music just becomes a jumble of sound on a typical Walcker, with those enormously powerful basses and restrained trebles.

 

 

 

This is precisely why I am concerned about such experimentations!

Sorry, this is not true. A german romantic organ is still, while of course

orchestral, a polyphonic organ.

If the basses are too strong, the fault lies with the registration. Why do you think there are often five flue 16' on the Pedal? Precisely in order to have one suited to each situation...

The first big Walckers had two Pedalboards. Later, a device called "Automatisches Pedal" permitted to dispose of that (with pneumatic action). The aim was to help avoiding

overwhelming basses. Maybe some organists would be better inspired relying on

such devices even today.

You can even play Bach on a Walcker. Of course, for the very same reasons, I'd prefer to try Naumburg in the first place.

And yes, Reger's music is polyphonic. Like the organs his music was written for.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Reger's music just becomes a jumble of sound on a typical Walcker, with those enormously powerful basses and restrained trebles.

 

This is precisely why I am concerned about such experimentations!

Sorry, this is not true. A german romantic organ is still, while of course

orchestral, a polyphonic organ.

If the basses are too strong, the fault lies with the registration.

 

====================

 

Is Pierre suggesting that we should never play any music on any instrument not of the exact period and country?

 

But Bach to Reger!

 

Is Pierre suggesting that all Walcker organs were the same, right across the history of the company, or that they were never different from the earlier romantic organs of Germany save for the introduction of the Rollschweller?

 

The organ at Doesburg Cathedral in the Netherlands, dates from circa.1914, and whilst the huge resonance of the building may contribute something to it, the lower registers are certainly not balanced by the brightness of the trebles at almost any dynamic level. Even using the metal basses and full pleno for the music of Bach, the effect is still bass heavy and indistinct.

 

Lest we forget, Walcker experimented with draughts in chimmney-flues in his attempt to get the gravity he was looking for, and furthermore, the Pedal reeds are absolutely overwhelming at Doesburg.

 

Make no mistake, it is a fine organ and makes many fine sounds, but Reger sounds a lot better elsewhere!!

 

The trouble is, Reger was never much of an organist and he relied on Straube a great deal. Straube himself was keen to move away from the heavy romantic German organ, and the organ at Passau Cathedral had much to do with him.

 

What we have to decide, as musicians, is whether we follow the ignorance of Reger as an organist (certainly not as a composer!) or the more enlightened understanding of Straube as a supreme organist and champion of Reger's music.

 

I am not a great musicologist, but I believe that Reger revised certain works on the advice of Straube, so we have to understand that Reger's wonderful music for the organ was something of a team effort between the two men. So if Reger listened to the input from Straube enough to re-write certain things, and Straube wanted the sort of sound associated with Passau rather than an organ like Doesburg, who am I to challenge that?

 

MM

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Is Pierre suggesting that we should never play any music on any instrument not of the exact period and country?

 

No, of course, but we should know, and still have, genuine instruments.

 

The case "which organ for Reger" has given, and still gives, rise to endless dispute in Germany.

The reason for this may be something comparable with Britain: the germans do not like...german romantic organs.

To the point the german builders of today prefer to discuss and share about the german romantic organ with foreigners (among others myself) than to run by advance losts

wars in their own country.

 

Walcker's style changed very often, every 5 years or so. Very, very faster than say Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's. But there were basis that did ne verchange:

-Abschwächungsprinzip from Frankfurt, Paulskirche (1829) up to WWII

-Moderate scaling and pressures (with some exception like Michaeliskirche,

Hamburg, because of the "Sachverständigern" of the day)

 

So that each Walcker organ should make possible subtle enough registrations to

allow for polyphony. This said, I did not hear Doesburg.

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No, of course, but we should know, and still have, genuine instruments.

 

The case "which organ for Reger" has given, and still gives, rise to endless dispute in Germany.

 

==============

 

I suspect that the real clue as to which style of organ is best for Reger is to be found not in the organs of Walcker, but in the work of Sauer. The great Sauer organ was the preferred choice of Karl Straube at St.Thomas's, Leipzing (1908).

 

It's a pity the Germans don't like German Romantic instruments. Personally, I rather detest most modern German ones tonally! (Ok, there is a lovely new German organ at Warsaw Cathedral in Poland, but that seems to be a glorious exception to the rule of simply dreadful reeds and characterless fluework)

 

Give me a good Mander anyday!

 

MM

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No, of course, but we should know, and still have, genuine instruments.

 

The case "which organ for Reger" has given, and still gives, rise to endless dispute in Germany.

 

==============

 

I suspect that the real clue as to which style of organ is best for Reger is to be found not in the organs of Walcker, but in the work of Sauer. The great Sauer organ was the preferred choice of Karl Straube at St.Thomas's, Leipzing (1908).

 

It's a pity the Germans don't like German Romantic instruments. Personally, I rather detest most modern German ones tonally! (Ok, there is a lovely new German organ at Warsaw Cathedral in Poland, but that seems to be a glorious exception to the rule of simply dreadful reeds and characterless fluework)

 

Give me a good Mander anyday!

 

MM

 

 

Here we agree!

Sauers are extremely interesting, refined organs. Moreover, Sauer had an excellent

pneumatic tubular action. But it seems nobody can restore a pneumatic

console in Germany nowadays.

Note this firm has been revived an tries to build "something else".

Ditto for Link. Both firms deserve success, in Germany and abroad.

Mander organs need to find a home on the continent too; maybe he could help with

those pneumatic actions and consoles as well.

In the meantime, the very fact the Grande oeuvre of Mander is in New York

must have us all thinking -I mean us all europeans-. But let's be fair, this is very

good for NY.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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This said, I did not hear Doesburg.

 

I think one should take care in referencing Doesburg; the Walcker that is now there wasn't built for that church, but a totally different kind of church in Rotterdam (the former Nieuw Zuiderkerk to be precise: http://home.hetnet.nl/~peterdillingh/rdam3.htm).

The people I know who have played the organ in its original home, state that it has lost quite substantially in it's new home.

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In the meantime, the very fact the Grande oeuvre of Mander is in New York

must have us all thinking -I mean us all europeans-. But let's be fair, this is very

good for NY.

 

===================

 

Indeed we agree, and it has been a source of great personal annoyance that there seems to have been a rush towards what many would regard as an inferior sound, in many of the prestige projects of recent years.

 

If some of these projects demonstrated that the imported products were tonally superior, I would have welcomed them, but they patently are not. In fact, I can only think of two instruments imported to this country which really excite me, and those are the original Frobenius at Queen's College, Oxford, and the excellent Rieger at Clifton Cathedral.

 

I wonder what sort of a mess certain continental builders would have made with the St.John's, Cambridge project, where the acoustic is less then generous?

 

But as this thread was about Trombas and Trompettes in the first instance, and we seem to have strayed far away from that, perhaps we should recall the 1960's instrument at Blackburn Cathedral; a tonal landmark in British organ-building, and one which still sets a standard.

 

For those who like their Trompettes and pedal reeds, it's still the place to go, with the added advantage that it has better chorus-work than anything ever made by Aristide Cavaille-Coll.

 

It's very sad to think that so many "names" have disappeared in UK organ-building, just when a national style was proving its worth at home and abroad.

 

 

MM

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Guest Barry Oakley

By the way, here is a little sample of a Sauer organ (Ronsdorf/Wuppertal, 1908)

(Pedal Posaune and a strange chorus)

 

I have a good sound system running from my PC, but I had to pinch myself to believe I was listening to an organ. What an awful sound. I thought I was listening to a very bad electronic.

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I have a good sound system running from my PC, but I had to pinch myself to believe I was listening to an organ. What an awful sound. I thought I was listening to a very bad electronic.

 

=================

 

If you listen carefully, I think you will find that it is simply a demo of the reeds only.

 

You can't expect W C Jones reeds on a German Romantic instrument!

 

Sauer organs sound quite wonderful, so long as you like those tierce mixtures.

 

MM

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Of course, it's a demo, and we aren't accustomed to hear

such an organ that way!

(Save if you passed some time with them, say in order to assist

for tuning/regulating).

This shows how romantic organs (even as late ones as 1908's) are closer

to the baroques ones by far, as we believe it.

You could produce the same noises with a 1720 Posaune and a Terz Zymbel.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Guest Roffensis
Indeed. In fact, I understand that most of the pipes for the 32' diaphone are still in Scott's huge South Transept case, because Harrisons were not able to remove them. So reconnecting them would be a comparatively straight-forward matter. New under-actions, re-winding and refurbishing the pipes.

 

I wonder what Adrian Lucas would think of that.... :D

 

very little I think. :D:D :angry: :angry: :angry: :blink:

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Sauers are extremely interesting, refined organs. Moreover, Sauer had an excellent

pneumatic tubular action.

 

- Well, it is very slow by English standards!

 

But it seems nobody can restore a pneumatic

console in Germany nowadays.

 

- Christian Scheffler does excellent restorations particularly of Sauer instruments, and has St. Thomas, Bremen cathedral and dozens of others to his credit.

 

 

It is worth noting that Reger developed projects not only with Sauer and Walcker but with a lot of other firms as well, including Steinmeyer, Maerz, Jehmlich and others.

 

Cheers

BJ

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And the perfect Reger organ?

 

It's just got to be Passau, in which Straube had a hand, but I guess the purists will argue the case for a great Walcker or Sauer instrument of the period. Others would be perfectly happy to play it on the splendidly re-built Albert Hall instrument.

 

MM

 

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

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- Christian Scheffler does excellent restorations particularly of Sauer instruments, and has St. Thomas, Bremen cathedral and dozens of others to his credit.

 

 

 

Yes, but none with pneumatic console.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers

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- Christian Scheffler does excellent restorations particularly of Sauer instruments, and has St. Thomas, Bremen cathedral and dozens of others to his credit.

Yes, but none with pneumatic console.

 

I don't understand what you mean; St. Thomas and Bremen both have fully pneumatic actions. So, unless we mean something quite different by the term, pneumatic consoles do. As does the Michaeliskirche in Leipzig.

 

Best

B

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Here is an example -from Scheffler's words:

 

http://aeolus-music.com/deutsch/orgeln/bremen.htm

 

You will read: "als elektropneumatische..." (about 3/4 of the text)

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

Of course you are right about this. I played in Bremen last year but had forgotten that the console is eqipped with sequencers and all mod cons. BUT this is not the case in Leipzig, and there are other German builders restoring pneumatic consoles all the time; a Rühlmann instrument not 200 yards from my front door (Restoration by Hüfken of Halberstadt last year) being an example. In fact I would say that there are numerous pneumatic actions being restored which shouldn't be. I was called in to look at an organ recentls where the pneumatic action works with 6mm tubing and the tubes are up to 9 metres long. This was carefully restored about 5 years ago, and doesn't work any better now than it ecer did.

 

Cheers

BJ

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the pneumatic action works with 6mm tubing and the tubes are up to 9 metres long.

 

(Citation)

 

Who was the builder?

Are there at least relays along these 9 meters tubing?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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the pneumatic action works with 6mm tubing and the tubes are up to 9 metres long.

 

(Citation)

 

Who was the builder?

Are there at least relays along these 9 meters tubing?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

The builder's name was Hugo Hülle. You will never have heard of him, which is quite right too. And no, there are no relays, which is why it was quite mad simply to have restored the organ as it was. As it was unplayable before, it would probably not have cost very much more to have "upgraded" the action than it did to "restore" it, even though money is still of course very tight here in the eastern half of Germany.

 

The point is, I think, that there is a sort of reflex action here, that any organ is better off in its original state than in any other. And that is sometimes simply wrong, especially as most German pneumatic actions are really ghastly, partly because they use pressures that are too low and action runs that are too long. Electrify the lot, I often say, and cause jaws to drop!

 

BJ

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The builder's name was Hugo Hülle. You will never have heard of him, which is quite right too. And no, there are no relays, which is why it was quite mad simply to have restored the organ as it was. As it was unplayable before, it would probably not have cost very much more to have "upgraded" the action than it did to "restore" it, even though money is still of course very tight here in the eastern half of Germany.

 

The point is, I think, that there is a sort of reflex action here, that any organ is better off in its original state than in any other. And that is sometimes simply wrong, especially as most German pneumatic actions are really ghastly, partly because they use pressures that are too low and action runs that are too long. Electrify the lot, I often say, and cause jaws to drop!

 

BJ

 

Well, here we agree. Better to put the money in good Sauer, Walcker, Link, Jehmlich

and Co's restorations.

Keeping all the styles don't mean we need to keep all without distinction. But at least it's better than throwing all to the pile without more distinction, or selling the things

trough E-bay...

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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