Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Speaking Of Organs For Rebuilds...


Recommended Posts

A university in the North Island, New Zealand has brought a T.C. Lewis 1883, rebuilt by George Croft 1930 something as a three-man, and they are planning to install it in there concert hall.

They've already got a speci planned for rebuilding, but I would like to know what everyone would do if this was your instrument.

 

The current speci is:

Great

Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Salicional 8

Octave 4

Harmonic Flute 4 (stopped bass till TC)

Fifteenth 2

Swell to Great

Swell to Great Octave

Choir to Great

 

Swell

Bourdon 16 (was prepared for and never installed)

Geigen Diapason 8

Rohr Flute 8

Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (TC)

Principal 4

Horn 8

Oboe 8

Tremulant (affects Gt aswell)

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Choir

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Dulciana 8

Flute 4

Piccolo 2

Clarinet 8

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Open Diapason 16

Sub Bass 16

Octave 8

Bass Flute 8

Fifteenth 4

Flute 4

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

Electro-Pneumatic action, balanced mechanical swell pedals to Swell & Choir

3 Toe Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 3 to Sw

3 Thumb Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 3 to Sw, rev. pistons to Sw to Gt & Gt to Ped

Three manual console (lower man pretty much just tacked onto bottom) with stop keys. Its pretty much an attached console and is located about 1meter to the side of Choir box.

 

Have fun!

 

Layout: Great at front, Swell behind Great soundboard, Choir on right side of organ about half a meter lower than Great, Ped Sub Bass 16-8-4 behind Swell box and Open Wood 16-8-4 behind that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A university in the North Island, New Zealand has brought a T.C. Lewis 1883, rebuilt by George Croft 1930 something as a three-man, and they are planning to install it in there concert hall.

They've already got a speci planned for rebuilding, but I would like to know what everyone would do if this was your instrument.

 

The current speci is:

Great

Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Salicional 8

Octave 4

Harmonic Flute 4 (stopped bass till TC)

Fifteenth 2

Swell to Great

Swell to Great Octave

Choir to Great

 

Swell

Bourdon 16 (was prepared for and never installed)

Geigen Diapason 8

Rohr Flute 8

Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (TC)

Principal 4

Horn 8

Oboe 8

Tremulant (affects Gt aswell)

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Choir

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Dulciana 8

Flute 4

Piccolo 2

Clarinet 8

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Open Diapason 16

Sub Bass 16

Octave 8

Bass Flute 8

Fifteenth 4

Flute 4

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

Electro-Pneumatic action, balanced mechanical swell pedals to Swell & Choir

3 Toe Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 3 to Sw

3 Thumb Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 3 to Sw, rev. pistons to Sw to Gt & Gt to Ped

Three manual console (lower man pretty much just tacked onto bottom) with stop keys. Its pretty much an attached console and is located about 1meter to the side of Choir box.

 

Have fun!

 

Layout: Great at front, Swell behind Great soundboard, Choir on right side of organ about half a meter lower than Great, Ped Sub Bass 16-8-4 behind Swell box and Open Wood 16-8-4 behind that.

 

Install the missing Swell Bourdon (preferably using a redundant T.C. Lewis rank).

 

Restore it without making any other changes - except for a new console.

 

.... and thank God that you have this (largely) untouched example of his work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Install the missing Swell Bourdon (preferably using a redundant T.C. Lewis rank).

 

Restore it without making any other changes - except for a new console.

 

.... and thank God that you have this (largely) untouched example of his work.

 

Its a very nice organ to play, except when I last played it when erected in factory, there was a huge amount of wind leaks somewhere from the main bellows. I know for certain that Croft would have changed the action to electro-pneumatic, and added the 4-ft extensions to the pedal openwood & subbass. He also added the Acoustic 32 and the Choir organ.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Its a very nice organ to play, except when I last played it when erected in factory, there was a huge amount of wind leaks somewhere from the main bellows. I know for certain that Croft would have changed the action to electro-pneumatic, and added the 4-ft extensions to the pedal openwood & subbass. He also added the Acoustic 32 and the Choir organ.

 

Hi

 

I'd suggest returning it to it's original Lewis state as far as possible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

 

I'd suggest returning it to it's original Lewis state as far as possible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

I'm going to have a talk to the organ factory director and ask him if he has any more info about who built which parts of the organ. The dates were actually Lewis 1885 and Croft 1935.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

 

I'd suggest returning it to it's original Lewis state as far as possible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

An even better idea - perhaps with a new console, in a conjectured re-creation of the Lewis style (for example, the draw-stops arranged on horizontal rows, in a kind of English interpretation of a Cavaillé-Coll bureau-style console). There are a number of photographs of original Lewis consoles around, so it may be possible to achieve this without resorting to too much guess-work (a recent thorny problem at a certain large, north-country English church, with a famous instrument comes to mind).

 

I had not realised that the Choir Organ was not originally by Lewis. Mind you, on paper, it looks to be in a fairly sympathetic style. If it works (and blends) tonally, I suppose that they could consider retaining it. One does not have to use it.

 

For the record (and to make Pierre's day) I would not recommend adding any type of chamade rank to this organ....

 

B)

Link to post
Share on other sites
An even better idea - perhaps with a new console, in a conjectured re-creation of the Lewis style (for example, the draw-stops arranged on horizontal rows, in a kind of English interpretation of a Cavaillé-Coll bureau-style console). There are a number of photographs of original Lewis consoles around, so it may be possible to achieve this without resorting to too much guess-work (a recent thorny problem at a certain large, north-country English church, with a famous instrument comes to mind).

 

I had not realised that the Choir Organ was not originally by Lewis. Mind you, on paper, it looks to be in a fairly sympathetic style. If it works (and blends) tonally, I suppose that they could consider retaining it. One does not have to use it.

 

For the record (and to make Pierre's day) I would not recommend adding any type of chamade rank to this organ....

 

B)

 

A new console built into the casework was the sort I was thinking of, except not having the stops in horizontal rows. I would've had the stop jambs parallel to the manuals, but now I know that Lewis consoles would have had the horizontal, I think that's better.

About the only 2 stops I would add would have to be a Trumpet 8' on the Gt and a Lewis style Posaune 16' on the Pedal, and I would probably remove the Acoustic 32' and possibly the Fifteenth & flute 4' on the pedal.

 

JA

Link to post
Share on other sites
A new console built into the casework was the sort I was thinking of, except not having the stops in horizontal rows. I would've had the stop jambs parallel to the manuals, but now I know that Lewis consoles would have had the horizontal, I think that's better.

About the only 2 stops I would add would have to be a Trumpet 8' on the Gt and a Lewis style Posaune 16' on the Pedal, and I would probably remove the Acoustic 32' and possibly the Fifteenth & flute 4' on the pedal.

 

JA

 

This is certainly a possiblilty - unless, of course, the desire is for a strict historical reconstruction. However, such reconstructions can sometimes prove to be very limiting from the point of view of a player. It is as well to remember that the primary function of an organ is to be played - not simply to become a physical representation of a particular point in history. Historical reconstructions are all very well if there is sufficient documentary evidence available - and providing that it does not turn the instrument in question into an anachronistic oddity. The organ of Reading Town Hall springs to mind. During the last restoration, certain features were altered which have had a serious impact on the use of this instrument. These have not only made the players' tasks more difficult, but they have imposed unnecessary limitations on what may be played effectively on this organ - particularly since the pitch has been altered; I believe that it is now either impossible, or at least very difficult to use this instrument with an orchestra.

 

It might be possible to contact certain organ builders and see if there is any surviving Lewis pipe-work available. Whilst I suspect that a Pedal Posaune is probably a long shot, it is not inconceivable that there is a Trumpet hanging around somewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Psalm 78 v.67
An even better idea - perhaps with a new console, in a conjectured re-creation of the Lewis style (for example, the draw-stops arranged on horizontal rows, in a kind of English interpretation of a Cavaillé-Coll bureau-style console). There are a number of photographs of original Lewis consoles around, so it may be possible to achieve this without resorting to too much guess-work (a recent thorny problem at a certain large, north-country English church, with a famous instrument comes to mind).

 

I had not realised that the Choir Organ was not originally by Lewis. Mind you, on paper, it looks to be in a fairly sympathetic style. If it works (and blends) tonally, I suppose that they could consider retaining it. One does not have to use it.

 

For the record (and to make Pierre's day) I would not recommend adding any type of chamade rank to this organ....

 

B)

 

How do people find the "Lewis" horizontal stop layout? The only example that I can recall coming across is St Peter's, Sudbury (Suffolk) on which I had a brief "go" some years back. Once you are used to it, I suspect it would be preferable to the usual vertical set up....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how its possible to make many suggestions without some indication of its intended purpose.

 

You've said it will be installed in a concert hall, it strikes me as being a very limited specification for playing any repertoire at all, so if they're wanting a recital instrument I would have thought a historical restoration would not be adequate. If its only needed to accompany the odd hymn on graduation day, or to fill in the texture in the Elgar choral works, you might get away with it.

 

Sorry, but my advice would be buy a different organ.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Barry Oakley
I don't see how its possible to make many suggestions without some indication of its intended purpose.

 

You've said it will be installed in a concert hall, it strikes me as being a very limited specification for playing any repertoire at all, so if they're wanting a recital instrument I would have thought a historical restoration would not be adequate. If its only needed to accompany the odd hymn on graduation day, or to fill in the texture in the Elgar choral works, you might get away with it.

 

Sorry, but my advice would be buy a different organ.

 

I would go along with the views of nfortin. When I saw this topic posted and the specification I can't say it excited me in view of its intended use in a concert hall. I'm left with wondering what use will the instrument be put to; how big is the hall and does it have a generous acoustic?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never actually been in the concert hall there so it is pretty difficult. Completely no idea about the acoustics. I'll try to find a speci for what they want to do in the rebuild soon.

 

JA

 

For more information about the hall, you can go to GALLAGHER CONCERT CHAMBER where there are some pics and a little bit of info about the acoustics.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cynic

I think

1. they've done well to find this instrument

2. it would be good

3. that since it has already been modified, they should have no qualms about adding stops - provided that these are in the Lewis style. There are good examples around to copy. The additions I suggest below (in bold) could be based (for instance) on the exact same stops to be found at Southwark Cathedral.

4. That additions should be on separate chests so as not to compromise the existing soundboards.

 

 

Great

Violone 16

Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Harmonic Flute 8

Salicional 8

Octave 4

Harmonic Flute 4 (stopped bass till TC)

Fifteenth 2

Mixture IV

Cornet III

Trumpet 8

Swell to Great

Swell to Great Octave

Choir to Great

 

Swell

Bourdon 16

Geigen Diapason 8

Rohr Flute 8

Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (TC)

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture III

Contra Fagotto 16

Horn 8

Oboe 8

Tremulant (affects Gt as well)

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Choir

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Violoncello 8

Violoncello Celeste 8

Dulciana 8

Flute 4

Salicet 4

Piccolo 2

Fifteenth 2

Clarinet 8

Tuba 8

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32 preferably replaced by Sub bass 32

Open Diapason 16

Violone 16 (Gt.)

Sub Bass 16

Octave 8

Bass Flute 8

Fifteenth 4

Flute 4

Trombone 16 (with a 32' octave if there's funds/room)

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

Electro-Pneumatic action, balanced swell pedals to Swell & Choir

8 Toe Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 8 to Sw

3 Thumb Pistons to Gt & Ped, and 3 to Sw, rev. pistons to Sw to Gt & Gt to Ped

Detatched and mobile three manual console - I like the suggestion that this be in Lewis terrace-style

Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like this speci that you have come up with.

They were going to add the Violone 16, and use pipes for that in the back of the facade, but I'm not sure if they were going to add that on the Gt or just the Ped. They were also going to add a Vox Humana 8 on the Choir except I can't give exact details, since I haven't got the speci.

One addition I think could be made is an Echo Bass 16, borrowed from the Swell Bourdon 16, just to provide a softer flute bass instead of the Sub Bass 16.

As for the Mixtures the compositions could be something like: Gt Mixture IV (15.17.19.22), Gt Cornet III (12.15.17), Sw Mixture III (15.19.22 or higher like 19.22.26)

 

JA

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cynic
I quite like this speci that you have come up with.

They were going to add the Violone 16, and use pipes for that in the back of the facade, but I'm not sure if they were going to add that on the Gt or just the Ped. They were also going to add a Vox Humana 8 on the Choir except I can't give exact details, since I haven't got the speci.

One addition I think could be made is an Echo Bass 16, borrowed from the Swell Bourdon 16, just to provide a softer flute bass instead of the Sub Bass 16.

As for the Mixtures the compositions could be something like: Gt Mixture IV (15.17.19.22), Gt Cornet III (12.15.17), Sw Mixture III (15.19.22 or higher like 19.22.26)

 

JA

 

By and large, yes. [i ought to note that I have not yet come across a Lewis Mixture with a Tierce in it... therefore, I think your Great Mix. ought to be 19.22.26.29]

 

Your Swell Bourdon can be used on the pedal too, provided that it is on a chest by itself. If there's preparation for a Bourdon on the Swell soundboard now, you'd be best putting it there. A Bourdon slide (being at the back of the bar and the back of the box) is most unsuitable for a reed or upperwork which were the only things that it seemed necessary to add. Reeds and Mixtures ought always (for steadiness of wind etc.) to be right above the pallet.

 

Occasionally, I have seen Contra Oboes on former Bourdon slides and they are the very **gg** to tune.

Link to post
Share on other sites
By and large, yes. [i ought to note that I have not yet come across a Lewis Mixture with a Tierce in it... therefore, I think your Great Mix. ought to be 19.22.26.29]

 

Your Swell Bourdon can be used on the pedal too, provided that it is on a chest by itself. If there's preparation for a Bourdon on the Swell soundboard now, you'd be best putting it there. A Bourdon slide (being at the back of the bar and the back of the box) is most unsuitable for a reed or upperwork which were the only things that it seemed necessary to add. Reeds and Mixtures ought always (for steadiness of wind etc.) to be right above the pallet.

 

Occasionally, I have seen Contra Oboes on former Bourdon slides and they are the very **gg** to tune.

 

I'm not actually sure that there was extra space on the soundboard for the Bourdon, so it would probably go onto another chest with other new ranks, but could use electro-magnets instead of using the pallets.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
By and large, yes. [i ought to note that I have not yet come across a Lewis Mixture with a Tierce in it... therefore, I think your Great Mix. ought to be 19.22.26.29]

 

Your Swell Bourdon can be used on the pedal too, provided that it is on a chest by itself. If there's preparation for a Bourdon on the Swell soundboard now, you'd be best putting it there. A Bourdon slide (being at the back of the bar and the back of the box) is most unsuitable for a reed or upperwork which were the only things that it seemed necessary to add. Reeds and Mixtures ought always (for steadiness of wind etc.) to be right above the pallet.

 

Occasionally, I have seen Contra Oboes on former Bourdon slides and they are the very **gg** to tune.

 

Aboslutely, Paul. Although I was a little surprised to find a Lewis organ with a four-rank Mixture on the G.O., but which commenced at 12-15-19-22. All the other examples which I have seen began at 19-22-26-29. Unfortunately, I am unable presently to recall the location of this instrument.

 

I also like your scheme; although I suspect you may be thinking more of the Solo Organ at Salisbury Cathedral with regard to the Violoncello and its attendant Céleste - Southwark does not possess these!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Occasionally, I have seen Contra Oboes on former Bourdon slides and they are the very **gg** to tune.

 

Especially when they have a nasty half length bass (as they nearly all do) and they are directly behind a good-sized Swell Open, stuffed up against the back wall of the box.

 

....oh, we always tune on the springs, said the organ tuner. Like hell he did!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cynic
Aboslutely, Paul. Although I was a little surprised to find a Lewis organ with a four-rank Mixture on the G.O., but which commenced at 12-15-19-22. All the other examples which I have seen began at 19-22-26-29. Unfortunately, I am unable presently to recall the location of this instrument.

 

I also like your scheme; although I suspect you may be thinking more of the Solo Organ at Salisbury Cathedral with regard to the Violoncello and its attendant Céleste - Southwark does not possess these!

 

 

Whoops!

I don't think it Salisbury I'm confusing it with; could be Westminster Cathedral*.

I'm wrong anyway - sorry.

 

 

 

*[Lewis-inspired - in fact, I believe that John Courage wanted Lewis to build this instrument but TCL sold out before the contract was signed]

Link to post
Share on other sites
Whoops!

I don't think it Salisbury I'm confusing it with; could be Westminster Cathedral*.

I'm wrong anyway - sorry.

 

 

 

*[Lewis-inspired - in fact, I believe that John Courage wanted Lewis to build this instrument but TCL sold out before the contract was signed]

 

Do not worry Paul - I once had Cavaillé-Coll personally constructing a famous instrument a year after his own demise; for which I was subject to much abuse from a certain contributor who is also no longer with us.... :P

 

It is interesting to note that the Solo organs of both Salisbury and Westminster cathedrals possess a Violoncello and a Violoncello Céleste (although in the case of the instrument at Salisbury, the stop-head is labelled 'Cello Céleste). These ranks are all of a similar vintage - in fact, a very similar vintage. Apparently, Walter Alcock was visiting Willis' works during the restoration of the organ at Salisbury Cathedral and heard Willis III voicing these ranks for Westminster Cathedral. Now Alcock had only specified a Violoncello for Salisbury; however, on hearing the glorious effect of the Violoncello with its undulant, he pleaded with Willis to sell the rank to him (well, the authorities at Salisbury Cathedral) - and to make another for installation at Westminster Cathedral. The rest is, as they say, history.

 

I think that the present instrument at Westminster Cathedral is superb - but I cannot help but wonder what it would have been like had T.C. Lewis built the Grand Organ.

 

Perhaps in an idle moment (it is almost the end of term) I might produce a conjectural scheme - of roughly similar size to that which currently obtains - but in the 'Lewis' style.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...