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Tertian / Octave Tertian


Guest Psalm 78 v.67
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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

I have never played one, but have seen specs that include the above. (eg the Copley at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, and several Wyvern & Phoenix toaster specs)

 

How would one employ them? Chorus, solo...?

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I have never played one, but have seen specs that include the above. (eg the Copley at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, and several Wyvern & Phoenix toaster specs)

 

How would one employ them? Chorus, solo...?

 

Is it possibly an imitation of the sort of Postive Division that they have at Durham Cathedral? The Choir and Postive Specs are:

Choir 26 Bourdon 16

27 Viole d'Amour 8 was Salicional

28 Lieblich Gedackt 8

29 Flauto Traverso 8 was '4'

30 Gemshorn 4

31 Stopped Flute 4

32 Flauto Traverso 4

33 Nazard 2 2/3 1970

34 Piccolo 2

35 Tierce 1 3/5 1970

36 Dulciana Mixture III 15.19.22

37 Clarinet 8

Positive

38 Flute A Cheminee 8

39 Quintade 8

40 Prestant 4

41 Flute Ouverte 4

42 Doublette 2

43 Sesquialtera 2 12.17

44 Larigot 1 1/3

45 Octavin 1

46 Octave Tierce 4/5

47 Cymbal III 22.29.33

48 Dulzian 16

49 Trompette

 

The 4/5 Octave Tierce looks totally bizzare on paper, but in practice it gives a third (and frequently used) Cornet Colour. You Draw The Prestant 4, Doublette 2', Larigot 1 1/3', Octavin 1' and Octave Tierce 4/5' transfer to Solo using Postive on Solo, drop them down an octave using Solo Sub Octave and Solo Unison Off and then return them to the Choir using Solo to Choir (Still with me? :wacko: ) and Voila an 8, 4, 2 2/3, 2 and 1 3/5 combination. I gather that in the most recent restoration of the console Solid State logic spotted that the Octave Couplers affect the Positive when it is transferred to the Solo, but didn't make the connection with the 4/5'. They rang James Lancelot telling him that they'd spotted a very silly quirk of the system and that they'd taken it off for him. As you can imagine they were soon corrected!

 

Not knowing the pitches of the stops you mention I wonder if this is what they're aimed at doing. Just a thought.............

 

 

Charles

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I have never played one, but have seen specs that include the above. (eg the Copley at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, and several Wyvern & Phoenix toaster specs)

 

How would one employ them? Chorus, solo...?

 

 

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

 

I think the Tertian is purely a chorus register, and I adore them in the right acoustic.

 

I have often thought that instead of Mixtures going ever skywards, as they tended to do in so many neo-broke jobs in the 1960's and 70's, a far richer but tamer brilliance could have been obtained with an octave tierce mixture.

 

I was quite upset when they removed the Tertian at York Minster, and I said so at the time.

 

One of the best I have heard, is that at St.Michael's, Zwolle in the Netherlands, originally by F C Schnitger. It comes on like a little set of bells tinkling away, and I love it.

 

Clever people those Schnitgers!

 

MM

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

 

I think the Tertian is purely a chorus register, and I adore them in the right acoustic.

 

I have often thought that instead of Mixtures going ever skywards, as they tended to do in so many neo-broke jobs in the 1960's and 70's, a far richer but tamer brilliance could have been obtained with an octave tierce mixture.

 

I was quite upset when they removed the Tertian at York Minster, and I said so at the time.

 

One of the best I have heard, is that at St.Michael's, Zwolle in the Netherlands, originally by F C Schnitger. It comes on like a little set of bells tinkling away, and I love it.

 

Clever people those Schnitgers!

 

MM

Here I have to make some additions:

The original Tertian as found at Schnitger and his predecessors is NOT intended as a chorus voice!

Especially when it is breaking (that's why you often find modern versions starting already at 4/5' in the bottom octave, but then breaking in the middle or treble...)

Together (or played without) the high pitched Scharff of the Rückpositiv, it is intended to transfer the color of e third throughout the whole keyboard compass! Remember those chorale fantasies by Reincken, Weckmann, Buxtehude: They often have these wonderful crazy crossings of the virtuoso solo voice, coming from the right end of the keyboard to the left end within or two measures!

That is where breaking stops provide the same brilliance in the bass and the treble range, enabling the solo voice to be heard even against accompaning reeds or semi-pleno flues in Oberwerk or Hauptwerk and Pedal (MM is welcome to once again praise North German and Netherland's reed stops now...!) B)

Neuenfelde shows a Rückpositiv with Tertian AND Sesquialtera* - the first breaking, the latter not. Both options are available there.

 

Depending on the temperament the organs have today, of course using the tertian in the chorus is possible and nice. But it becomes tiring as soon as the temperament tends towards equal temperament, as the diminshed thirds get more and more in conflict with the pure ones of the stop.

 

*) Sadly no more of original Schnitger pipework, but other baroque pipework...

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Didn't we have a little trickle of Tertians onto the UK scene because of Ralph Downes and his collaboration with Walkers at The Oratory in London? I seem to remember one also appearing at St John's, Duncan Terrace, Islington and perhaps at St James the Greater in Leicester (hazy about that even though it is down the road!). Anything at York? How excellent that we have some fine advice about how to use it and also why it appeared but also (for me, more importantly) how such a register influenced the composer to compose.

 

Elsewhere on this Forum we have heated discussion about the UK organs from around 1880 - 1950 and the spawned repertoire (or severe lack of it). Perhaps some reason for the repertoire can be adduced from the building of this style of organ? Composers/improvisers frequently rely on the inspiration of instrument. Players too, of course. But without the colours and the ability to hear counterpoint throughout the full compass of the organ at all dynamic levels, the former folk find themselves in musical quicksand.

 

How refreshing to read from our overseas members about the true use and meaning of these infrequently built, yet interesting colourful stops. (This is the joy of scanning the posts each day!) But I am sure that on these shores (I write from England today!) you might find folk turning them into a Sesquialtera once the builders have driven away! Shh!

 

All the best

 

Nigel

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Here I have to make some additions:

The original Tertian as found at Schnitger and his predecessors is NOT intended as a chorus voice!

Especially when it is breaking (that's why you often find modern versions starting already at 4/5' in the bottom octave, but then breaking in the middle or treble...)

Together (or played without) the high pitched Scharff of the Rückpositiv, it is intended to transfer the color of e third throughout the whole keyboard compass! Remember those chorale fantasies by Reincken, Weckmann, Buxtehude: They often have these wonderful crazy crossings of the virtuoso solo voice, coming from the right end of the keyboard to the left end within or two measures!

That is where breaking stops provide the same brilliance in the bass and the treble range, enabling the solo voice to be heard even against accompaning reeds or semi-pleno flues in Oberwerk or Hauptwerk and Pedal (MM is welcome to once again praise North German and Netherland's reed stops now...!) :)

Neuenfelde shows a Rückpositiv with Tertian AND Sesquialtera* - the first breaking, the latter not. Both options are available there.

 

Depending on the temperament the organs have today, of course using the tertian in the chorus is possible and nice. But it becomes tiring as soon as the temperament tends towards equal temperament, as the diminshed thirds get more and more in conflict with the pure ones of the stop.

 

*) Sadly no more of original Schnitger pipework, but other baroque pipework...

 

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

 

 

Oh!

 

:o

 

MM

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

Oh!

 

:)

 

MM

 

....YES.....

We could go on with the flemish Sesquialtera, which is of Principal scales, 1 1/3'-4/5' at C, then breaks

in 2 2/3'-1 3/5'. Sometimes there are three ranks. To be used as a detail stop or in the chorus at the will of the player. Just mid-way between the german and the british Sesquialtera...

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Didn't we have a little trickle of Tertians onto the UK scene because of Ralph Downes and his collaboration with Walkers at The Oratory in London? I seem to remember one also appearing at St John's, Duncan Terrace, Islington and perhaps at St James the Greater in Leicester (hazy about that even though it is down the road!). Anything at York? How excellent that we have some fine advice about how to use it and also why it appeared but also (for me, more importantly) how such a register influenced the composer to compose.

 

There was formerly on the GO at York Minster a Tertian, which commenced at 26-31, as far as I can remember. It is now a Sesquialtera (12-17) - although composed of new pipes.

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There was formerly on the GO at York Minster a Tertian, which commenced at 26-31, as far as I can remember. It is now a Sesquialtera (12-17) - although composed of new pipes.

 

Which is how the then Assistant DOM used it - in a solo context - when in the 70s I visited and had a very thorough demo. Also agreeing with Nigel A in a round about way - if it sounds right for what you want then use it. For a beefy solo in Chorale Preludes I often use the 2-2/3 & 1-3/5 Sesqui. plus IV rank mixture as a solo combination. It also serves as a more 'clangy' chorus top if needs be. This agreeing with what Pierre L was suggesting too. Ears are the best judge!

 

AJJ

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... The 4/5 Octave Tierce looks totally bizzare on paper, but in practice it gives a third (and frequently used) Cornet Colour. ...

Charles

 

I must admit that I have looked at the Durham specification many times and I cannot but wonder whether a Grosse Tierce (3 1/5p) would have been more useful (for example, in French Classical repertoire) - particularly when one of the uses of the Octave Tierce is down an octave as a [thinner?] colour for a cornet composé, apparently.

 

However, I am interested to note the changes in the Choir Organ stop-list; for example, the re-instatement of the Viol d'Amour and the Flauto Traverso, both at 8p pitch.

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However, I am interested to note the changes in the Choir Organ stop-list; for example, the re-instatement of the Viol d'Amour and the Flauto Traverso, both at 8p pitch.[/font]

 

Possibly in the same manner as the more recent changes in the South Choir at St Pauls Cathedral - maybe more accompanimental variety etc.?

 

AJJ

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French mutation ranks belong to the Flute family, not the Principals.

Some hybrid organs have both french mutations (Nasard and Tierce)

and german, Principal-scaled Sesquialtera, Terzian and/or Tierce mixtures:

mainly, the flemish organ, and the Joachim Wagner school in Brandenburg,

that is, Joachim Wagner (trained both by a Schnitger's pupil, and then

two years with Gottfried Silbermann) and his followers like Marx (not Karl...).

 

This was of course not intended to pile "Repertoire"!

When he wrote his book in 1801, Schlimbach presented Wagner's style as

the "best" one to be continued and develloped, Tierce (as seperate ranks

or Sesquialtera or Terzians or in a Mixture Wagner called "Scharff"), wide

and narrow, included.

 

About 1840 a belgian organ-builder, a polyglotte guy very interested with

organs in others countries, bought that book and used it as a complement

to Dom Bédos (by the way, another reference for Schlimbach!)in his own work.

 

His name was Hippolyte Loret.

And so you find in the organ at Averbode (nearly intact but unplayable), 1859, Wagner scales, tierce-mixtures, leathered reeds, and french nasards and tierces (or rather Cornets

for that matter, not mounted, but directly on the Wind-chests, Like Wagner did)

 

http://www.orgelsite.nl/kerken46/averbode.htm

 

But this organ, though indeed a chameleon, is at its best in Mendelssohn and Lemmens!

 

Again, synthesis work when organic, not piling "needs" and others "requirements".

This is something that comes from the heart, and the knowledge of the different cultures,

languages included!

 

There is an interesting sound file on this page, which demonstrates how a Wagner organ can

nearly "speak french", having extremely well integrated the french influencies introduced

by Gottfried Silbermann (Just above the specification in the middle of the page, " Klangbeispiel"):

 

http://www.angermuender-sommerkonzerte.de/wagner_orgel.htm

 

Pierre

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I must admit that I have looked at the Durham specification many times ...

However, I am interested to note the changes in the Choir Organ stop-list; for example, the re-instatement of the Viol d'Amour and the Flauto Traverso, both at 8p pitch.

I think you've been slightly misled by the previous mail. The Viol d'Amour is an 1876 Willis stop. It was moved to the choir in 1970 when the 1876 salicional went to the Sw to rejoin the Vox Angelica that was moved from Ch to Sw in 1905. It was a very late change by Conrad - well after the console photographs were taken. He wanted a slightly stringier sound on the Choir to compensate for the removal of the 1935 Viola da Gamba (which became most of the pedal Dulciana). I was fascinated by this as I remember him spending hours comparing various stops and combinations on Ch and Sw before finalising the 1970 rebuild. I can also recall H&H doing various bits of work (like reworking the winding of the new Violone/cello unit) afdter the official opening and it may be that the pipes were moved that late on. Certainly I remember him discussing it several lessons after we had first returned to the cathedral.

 

The Flauto Traverso is an 1876 stop as is its 4' companion and has always been on the Choir.

 

He discussed a number of things with me, like the mixtures and the pedal toe-piston layout, but the Positive mutations were a complete surprise. It was me that suggested a Positive on Solo transfer was probably more use than a Positive on Great (assuming couplers 'read through') so that may have started a train of thought (In the end both transfers were provided)

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Which is how the then Assistant DOM used it - in a solo context - when in the 70s I visited and had a very thorough demo. Also agreeing with Nigel A in a round about way - if it sounds right for what you want then use it. For a beefy solo in Chorale Preludes I often use the 2-2/3 & 1-3/5 Sesqui. plus IV rank mixture as a solo combination. It also serves as a more 'clangy' chorus top if needs be. This agreeing with what Pierre L was suggesting too. Ears are the best judge!

 

AJJ

 

 

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

 

 

That's what I like to hear....none of that pedantary!

 

Tertians drawn at dawn, and all that.

 

MM

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I expect that we will all have noted, either from personal experience with certain of their instruments or from reading their portfolio pages, that Mander Organs sometimes use 5 rank Mixtures in Pedal Divisions having the composition 17:19:22:26:29 (on a 16' basis). The presence of 3 1/5' rank undoubtedly gives more definition to the 16' line.

 

However, I've sometimes wondered if they've ever thought about splitting these into a 2-rank Tertian 17:19 topped by a 3-rank Mixture 22:26:29, which might perhaps provide increased versatility. Perhaps our host might care to comment?

 

Rgds

MJF

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I think you've been slightly misled by the previous mail. The Viol d'Amour is an 1876 Willis stop. It was moved to the choir in 1970 when the 1876 salicional went to the Sw to rejoin the Vox Angelica that was moved from Ch to Sw in 1905. It was a very late change by Conrad - well after the console photographs were taken. He wanted a slightly stringier sound on the Choir to compensate for the removal of the 1935 Viola da Gamba (which became most of the pedal Dulciana). I was fascinated by this as I remember him spending hours comparing various stops and combinations on Ch and Sw before finalising the 1970 rebuild. I can also recall H&H doing various bits of work (like reworking the winding of the new Violone/cello unit) afdter the official opening and it may be that the pipes were moved that late on. Certainly I remember him discussing it several lessons after we had first returned to the cathedral.

 

The Flauto Traverso is an 1876 stop as is its 4' companion and has always been on the Choir.

 

He discussed a number of things with me, like the mixtures and the pedal toe-piston layout, but the Positive mutations were a complete surprise. It was me that suggested a Positive on Solo transfer was probably more use than a Positive on Great (assuming couplers 'read through') so that may have started a train of thought (In the end both transfers were provided)

 

Oh yes - I missed this. I had forgotten about this swap.

 

When is half-term....?

 

:D

 

I expect that we will all have noted, either from personal experience with certain of their instruments or from reading their portfolio pages, that Mander Organs sometimes use 5 rank Mixtures in Pedal Divisions having the composition 17:19:22:26:29 (on a 16' basis). The presence of 3 1/5' rank undoubtedly gives more definition to the 16' line.

 

However, I've sometimes wondered if they've ever thought about splitting these into a 2-rank Tertian 17:19 topped by a 3-rank Mixture 22:26:29, which might perhaps provide increased versatility. Perhaps our host might care to comment?

 

Rgds

MJF

 

Or, even better, allowing the Tierce rank to draw separately. The five-rank mixture as it stands would not be much use for such pieces as the Prelude and Fugue, in C minor (BWV 546), by JSB.

 

The advantage of keeping the nineteenth in the Pedal Mixture is that it would bridge the gap between the Fifteenth and the Twenty Second - only an octave, I grant, but I think that it would make the chorus more cohesive down at that tessitura.

 

Oh - choir practice.

 

Back later.

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I've never had to use half-draw stops stops in anger, but I've always wondered how easy it is to judge the half-draw point when playing at full tilt.

Having brought up the subject of half-draw stops, I must confess that I've only ever come across one myself. I don't know how its mechanism worked, and whether this is common, but it had a noticeable "catchy" point at the half-draw point so that it wasn't necessary to position it by the eyeball method. Has anyone else come across them?

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Having brought up the subject of half-draw stops, I must confess that I've only ever come across one myself. I don't know how its mechanism worked, and whether this is common, but it had a noticeable "catchy" point at the half-draw point so that it wasn't necessary to position it by the eyeball method. Has anyone else come across them?

I suspect organ-builders can be divided into two distinct groups: those that use half-draw stops and those that don't. The builders that favour them seem to use them in most of their organs. But no, I've never actually encountered one in the flesh. Are they always additive ie is the half-draw always fewer ranks than the full draw? Or could, say, the 17th rank in a mixture be present on the half draw but not in the full draw?

 

Half-draws are also used for undulating ranks in small organs, I think. A full draw will draw a diapason and the half-draw reduces the wind so it can be used with another 8' as an undulant. I don't know how successful this is.

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I suspect organ-builders can be divided into two distinct groups: those that use half-draw stops and those that don't. The builders that favour them seem to use them in most of their organs. But no, I've never actually encountered one in the flesh. Are they always additive ie is the half-draw always fewer ranks than the full draw? Or could, say, the 17th rank in a mixture be present on the half draw but not in the full draw?

 

Half-draws are also used for undulating ranks in small organs, I think. A full draw will draw a diapason and the half-draw reduces the wind so it can be used with another 8' as an undulant. I don't know how successful this is.

The latter is the one circumstance that I've encountered, and there was no problem with the draw-stop action itself. However, the reduced wind supply didn't seem to suit the rank very well, and on the whole I wouldn't call it a success.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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