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Trombas & Trompettes


Pierre Lauwers

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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

 

May I suggest that a more appropriate sweeping statement (suggestion) might be restore it properly or trash the lot. If the instrument has merit to any degree, it should be restored I think. If it does not, one ought to have the courage of ones convictions and simply start again.

 

John Pike Mander

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May I suggest that a more appropriate sweeping statement (suggestion) might be restore it properly or trash the lot. If the instrument has merit to any degree, it should be restored I think. If it does not, one ought to have the courage of ones convictions and simply start again.

 

John Pike Mander

 

That would of course be an idealistic way to react. In this particular case the organ is not very distinguished, although it stands in an important and large church (it's not THAT one, John, incidentally). It's a substantial 3 manual instrument with a very mixed pedigree and three rebuilds behind it, trashing it would be the best option, but not financially viable.

 

The question is, what would count as restoring it "properly"? Whether you electrify the action up to the last motor before the chest or add relays or use tubing of geater diameter, you are "improving" the action, which is in terms of normal German thinking on the matter. not on.

 

There has been one report suggesting building a mechanical action for the instrument, which would basically mean starting again but recycling the pipework, because the current layout would be a nightmare on tracker.

 

Churches here have no money, because no-one goes to them, so doing anything at all to organs is essentially a question of keeping them playing as cheaply as possible. Most of them are just hymn-machines anyway, so whether they are electric or pneumatic is unimportant, as long as they play. My point was really, this organ was restored very well not 10 years ago, but nobody has been happy with the result, because rubbish remains rubbish, whatever you do to it!

 

BJ

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[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...... :P

 

Eisenbarth is just not one of the world's great organ builders, sorry

 

BJ

 

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.

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Passau is a "neo-classic" organ to be compared with a Danion-Gonzalez

or a Klais from the 80's.

So its upperwork is more suited to Messiaen or Duruflé than to Reger

or Howells.

 

http://www.geocities.com/luxorgan/

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

 

I can never quite understand why the music of Reger is somehow linked to contemporary organs during his life. People quote the organ at the Riga Dom, Latvia, which was built before Reger first slithered his way to the breast. As Karl Straube was involved in the design of the original Steinmeyer at Passau, it may well have been closer to what he and Reger had in mind musically.

 

The Steinmeyer at Passau was an early, and very deliberate attempt, to create an instrument which leaned towards neo-classicism. The Eisenbarth re-build was merely a continuation of that idea, with a bit of added "attitude" in the brass section.

 

The closely woven, counterpuntal nature of Reger's music is only able to truly come alive when played on an instrument which doesn't destroy it, which is probably why English organists continue to play Howells in preference.

 

"Toy" or not, I think I could enjoy living with the organ at Passau, whilst other German organists prefer a modern re-working of neo-classicism which seems to have very little to do with Baroque, Romantic or even contemporary music.

 

MM

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The closely woven, counterpuntal nature of Reger's music is only able to truly come alive when played on an instrument which doesn't destroy it, which is probably why English organists continue to play Howells in preference.

(Quoting)

 

Dear Musing Muso,

 

Yes, the music of Reger needs a polyphonic organ. But this does not mean

a neo-classic one, whose powefull and high-pitched mixtures destroy completely the very soul of this music -as for howells music-.

When you spend hours in and round a genuine late romantic german organ,while an organist -besides helping for tuning- plays Reger, you begin to understand why.

Such an organ allows you to render a contrapuntic music perfectly clear with registrations like this:

 

Hauptwerk Bourdon 16' Gamba 8' Prinzipal 8' Gedackt 8' Rohrflöte 4'

 

Pedal Violon bass 16' Oktavbass 8' (or even without the 8'!)

 

You can hear many examples on a CD recorded at Essen-Werden (Walcker 1900):

 

Max Reger

Grand organ works

Variationen und Fuge über ein Originalthema Op 73

Introduktion, Passacaglia und Fuge, Op 127

Choralvorspiel "Komm, süsser Tod!"

Gerd Zacher

Aeolus AE 10411

2004

http://www.aeolus-music.com

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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0):

Now THIS organ is a masterpiece!

BJ

 

Yes!

 

And before the wars and the Orgelbewebung's destructions, there were hundreds and hundreds organs just like that one.

There is one here in Namur (Walcker) one in Mirepoix (Link), another in Giengen

(Württemberg, Link), to my "live" knowledge.

So the "masterpiece" were rather the rule than the exception...

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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

 

I can never quite understand why the music of Reger is somehow linked to contemporary organs during his life. People quote the organ at the Riga Dom, Latvia, which was built before Reger first slithered his way to the breast. As Karl Straube was involved in the design of the original Steinmeyer at Passau, it may well have been closer to what he and Reger had in mind musically.

 

MM

 

Well, surely there would be little point in quoting instruments which were constructed after he had drunk himself to death at the age of forty-three!

 

That is, unless we are talking about Janet Reger - not Max.... :P

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However, I believe we were supposed to be discussing Trombe and Trompettes. (Yes, I know I am as guilty as anyone with respect to straying from the subject!)

 

So, has anyone out there heard the new recording of the Temple Church H&H? I believe that James Vivian is the artist. Now that organ possesses two trombe on the GO, both enclosed in a separate box (as opposed to King's, Cambridge, where all three ranks are enclosed in the Solo box). Apparently, they are not the usual, opaque beasts; they are brighter and more free in timbre than normal Arthur Harrison trombi.

 

Is this accurate? If so, does anyone know whether this was because they were revoiced when the organ was moved from the ballroom of Lord Glentanar? I must admit that I think that this is unlikely, since they still speak on a pressure of 15" w.g. (the same pressure as the Tuba).

 

Any information (including whether or not the CD is worth purchasing) will be gratefully received.

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