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Registering Clerambault


Justadad
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Hi

 

My son takes his ARCO practical exam next week and his alloted practice time on the organ is tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.

 

One of his pieces is 'Récits de cromone et de cornet séparé en dialogue from Clérambault’s Premier Livre d’Orgue, Suite du Premier Tons'. (http://imslp.net/images/e/ec/Clerambaultorgue.pdf for reference.)

 

This is the organ: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D03400

 

Hurford says, in Making Music on the Organ:

 

"Tierce en taille. Accompaniment: Bourdon 8', Prestant or Flute 4'; or perhaps Bourdons 16' and 8', or perhaps coupled to the Grand Orgue instead, Solo (usually on the Positif): Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', Nazard 2 2/3', Doublette (a fluty principal) 2', Tierce 1 3/5', Larigot 1 1/3'. This combination should be rich and homgenous - like the voice of a solo tenor.

 

"Chromhorne en taille. Accomapniment: as above. Solo: Chromone 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', and perhaps the Nazard 2 2/3'.

 

"Dessus, or Récits de chromhorne. This would probably use neither the 4' nor the 2 2/3'. If the Chromhorne is attractive it may even be used on its own. The accompaniment would be Bourdon 8' alone or with the addition of a Flute 4' if the tone of the 8' proved indeterminate or unclear."

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Justadad

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Most of the Clerambault registrations could work as specified on the Dulwich Tickell - if not the next best is not far away stopwise. It is not of course a French Classical organ by any means but there are sufficient solo and chorus combinations etc. for most needs. If a Tierce solo and Cromorne are both needed (this is not a very frequent registration) then the Great Sesqui. etc. and choir reed could probably be used with the accompaniment on the Swell - not totally authentic but if it sounds ok.... Hurford was very keen on one playing 'with ones ears' so to speak. When I last heard Dulwich such things were being done and I have also played the two suites on far less well 'registrationally endowed' instruments than the one in question!

 

AJJ

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Hi

 

My son takes his ARCO practical exam next week and his alloted practice time on the organ is tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.

 

One of his pieces is 'Récits de cromone et de cornet séparé en dialogue from Clérambault’s Premier Livre d’Orgue, Suite du Premier Tons'. (http://imslp.net/images/e/ec/Clerambaultorgue.pdf for reference.)

 

This is the organ: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D03400

 

Hurford says, in Making Music on the Organ:

 

"Tierce en taille. Accompaniment: Bourdon 8', Prestant or Flute 4'; or perhaps Bourdons 16' and 8', or perhaps coupled to the Grand Orgue instead, Solo (usually on the Positif): Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', Nazard 2 2/3', Doublette (a fluty principal) 2', Tierce 1 3/5', Larigot 1 1/3'. This combination should be rich and homgenous - like the voice of a solo tenor.

He may find that the Choir Nason Flute helps to give a richer sound than the Principal (which may be too incisive).

 

"Chromhorne en taille. Accomapniment: as above. Solo: Chromone 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', and perhaps the Nazard 2 2/3'.

 

Again, he should experiment - the solo may be better without the mutation, since, unless it is a particularly good stop, it may not blend particularly well in the lower mid-range.

 

"Dessus, or Récits de chromhorne. This would probably use neither the 4' nor the 2 2/3'. If the Chromhorne is attractive it may even be used on its own. The accompaniment would be Bourdon 8' alone or with the addition of a Flute 4' if the tone of the 8' proved indeterminate or unclear."

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Justadad

 

If the Cremona is too thin, he could try using the Nason Flute - or, as a last resort, the Gedeckt. However, in the latter case (and to an extent, the former) he should take care to ensure that this does not result in any unfortunate tuning discrepancies. Whilst the instrument should be in just intonation, current fluctuations in temperature and humidity may result in an effect that is best avoided. In such a situation, the best compromise is probably to keep it a little thin - but in tune. It may also be worth remembering that a true Nason Flute should have a clearly audible third harmonic in its tonal make-up.

 

To 'play with his ears' is certainly sterling advice. There is nothing worse than text-book registration which is slavishly copied, but which fails to take into account the sound of the instrument, departmental balance - and the state of the tuning on the day.

 

This said, please pass on to Lawrence my best wishes for his impending examination.

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Hi

 

Could I pick the assembled brains a little further, please?

 

I'm way out of my depth here so what I say may be rubbish in which case, please be gentle with me.

 

Here's the problem.

 

I think I understand that a 'Cornet' is a collection of ranks including a few mutations, and whilst a 'Cornet Séparé' is a single stop for that collection of sounds, there is no such stop at St Barnabas. The various stops which could be used to make a cornet are on the Choir division.

 

And so is the Cremona - which whilst I'm told it's really a Clarinet, is the closest thing available to a Cromone (in spelling, at least).

 

In the music, the Cromone and Cornet swap centre stage until the end when the duet in the manner which reminds me of Wishbone Ash's twin lead guitars. And that means, I think, that they have to be on different divisions. If the Cornet goes to the Choir then the Cromone has to be fashioned out of the Swell (given that the Great is being used for the accompaniment).

 

The Swell has:

 

Open Diapason 8'

Chimney Flute 8'

Salicional 8'

Voix Celeste 8'

Principal 4'

Wald Flute 2'

Mixture IV-V

Double Trumpet 16'

Trumpet 8'

Oboe 8'

Clarion 4'

Tremulant

 

At the moment L is planning to use just the Oboe, plus the Tremulant to make it more Cromoney. I worry that use of the tremulant might be frowned upon as I can't find anything to suggest it might be appropriate.

 

Pearls of wisdom, please?

 

Best wishes

 

barry

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As the organ is not 'authentic French' I'd most likely use the Cremona for the Cromorne and instead of the Choir mutations for the Cornet (which can not be considered as this manual is already tied up with the reed) I'd go for the Great Sesquialtera plus Flutes. Then the Swell could be used for the accompaniment. Theoretically wrong but if it sounds ok.......... The whole thing really swings on this last consideration. (My own instrument has a Sesquialtera as the only tierce combination so I have to use it for all eventualities. As it is on the same manual as the Clarinet and there are only two manuals I could not play the piece authentically anyway!) I suppose what it boils down to is either Sesqui. versus Cremona and Swell accomp. or Mutations versus Oboe with Great accomp. Sorry not to have been of more use - I suggest though he doesn't get too bogged down with registration on this organ.

 

AJJ

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I agree with Alastair - in this situation, this is likely to fall more closely in line with the type of sounds one would expect to hear - certainly more so than an Oboe with a tremulant.

 

I have adopted a similar strategy on my own instrument, where the (French-style) Crumhorn is on the Positive, as is the cornet composé. However, there is a (fairly pathetic) Sesquialtera on the G.O. which, together with the 8p and 4p flutes, makes a reasonably acceptable alternative - which also just about balances at most points west of the organ chamber.

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This could be the start of a new thread but - where actually in a newish instrument (such as this) would one distribute ones Sesquialtera, Cornet, Flute Mutations etc. between Swell, Great and Choir to greatest advantage - keeping in mid dialogues with other voices, repertoire etc.?

 

AJJ

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Guest Cynic
This could be the start of a new thread but - where actually in a newish instrument (such as this) would one distribute ones Sesquialtera, Cornet, Flute Mutations etc. between Swell, Great and Choir to greatest advantage - keeping in mid dialogues with other voices, repertoire etc.?

 

AJJ

 

 

For lots of French, Dutch, English & German repertoire you need above all to have a decent Cornet on the Great.

If there are any 16' mutations, this is the place for these too.

 

An echo cornet is useful - best place for this is the Swell, a sesquialtera would sort-of serve.

 

The chief problem with French repertoire over here is that by tradition we seem so often to have our Cromorne and only proper Cornet on the same manual (The Choir or Positive). This is certainly a good place for the Cornet Separe. Even romantic repertoire really wants the Clarinet/Cormorne to be in the Swell rather than on the Choir. Of course, if you are blessed with four decks, the Clarinet/Corno etc. can be on the Solo. Then you may want several flutes to combine it with.

 

In the French baroque, you really need Cornets of one kind or another on at least three manuals, preferably two Cormornes (big ones!) and two sets of Trumpet, viz 16.8.4 on the Great and 8.4 on the Choir. To find everything you want...frankly, a trip to France is usually the easiest!

 

I like II Sesquialteras, but these are for German and Dutch repertoire really. They are helpful in making an 18th century English sound too. There are not enough Principal-scaled Tierces in this country, I am firmly convinced. I have noticed a number of newer organs boasting III Sesquialteras. Other than imitating Samuel Green or Bernard Smith tones, I cannot see much point in them. I know one designer who often puts two into an organ. They are no subsitute for a quint mixture. Same designer doesn't always provide Tierces on their own. Funny that....

 

Same designer likes composition-style pedal pistons rather than conventional ones.... what's going on there, then?

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Hi

 

My son takes his ARCO practical exam next week and his alloted practice time on the organ is tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.

 

One of his pieces is 'Récits de cromone et de cornet séparé en dialogue from Clérambault’s Premier Livre d’Orgue, Suite du Premier Tons'. (http://imslp.net/images/e/ec/Clerambaultorgue.pdf for reference.)

 

This is the organ: http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D03400

 

Hurford says, in Making Music on the Organ:

 

"Tierce en taille. Accompaniment: Bourdon 8', Prestant or Flute 4'; or perhaps Bourdons 16' and 8', or perhaps coupled to the Grand Orgue instead, Solo (usually on the Positif): Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', Nazard 2 2/3', Doublette (a fluty principal) 2', Tierce 1 3/5', Larigot 1 1/3'. This combination should be rich and homgenous - like the voice of a solo tenor.

 

"Chromhorne en taille. Accomapniment: as above. Solo: Chromone 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant (or Flute) 4', and perhaps the Nazard 2 2/3'.

 

"Dessus, or Récits de chromhorne. This would probably use neither the 4' nor the 2 2/3'. If the Chromhorne is attractive it may even be used on its own. The accompaniment would be Bourdon 8' alone or with the addition of a Flute 4' if the tone of the 8' proved indeterminate or unclear."

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Justadad

 

One can write things until the cows come home. I found that having to play Baroque music from France (which is so idiosyncratic) you first have to play a true French instrument. There just is no substitute. Once played, the memory remains for ever and when you make do with a UK organ you still can reproduce the style, articulation and ambiance. In the meantime you need to hear the organ you are going to play. paper registrations and thinking certainly help but only to a certain limited degree. You get somebody to play and you listen so that you can reproduce the subtleties that you have brought back with you through the Eurotunnel. You change this stop and that stop, until you get the optimum sound (in your estimations) from that organ. All a tricky subject. A good way to practice some of this music is on a harpsichord so the spirit of the dance (for almost all the movements are related to one form or another) is gleaned and then reproduced on the organ. That's why the suspended action is so similar to that of a harpsichord. Both have such glorious sensitivity. Teacher and student would have already discussed what dance belongs to which movement. Find others in other compositions. But all this takes time before an examination. Just do your musical best there. Most of what I write is for generally playing this repertoire in the UK. If you live in Aberdeen - you are well away, though!

All the best,

Nigel

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One can write things until the cows come home. I found that having to play Baroque music from France (which is so idiosyncratic) you first have to play a true French instrument. There just is no substitute. Once played, the memory remains for ever and when you make do with a UK organ you still can reproduce the style, articulation and ambiance. ...

Nigel

However, this may not be possible, given that he is taking the examination in a few days.

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Try reading the book by Fenner Douglas on the French Clissical organ. It will solve a lot of problems and give some proper insight.

 

JT

 

Again, assuming that he is able to locate a copy - and find time to read it - in the next few days.

 

Surely, as Alastair and I have already suggested, making slight compromises with the registration (for example, using the G.O. Sesquialtera and flutes against the Choir Cremona) will be quite acceptable to the examiners. They can hardly expect him to produce non-existent ranks from thin air.

 

Jonathan, I have no wish to disagree with your suggestion per se - but, given the brevity of the time-scale with which this candidate is faced, I wonder whether attempting to assimilate the wealth of detail available in this two hundred and sixty-six page volume would not simply result in confusion.

 

It might help to listen to a couple of recordings - a trip to a nearby music shop may be more achievable than booking a ferry and travelling to France before next Wednesday.

 

However, the fact remains that the Tickell organ at St. Barnabas, East Dulwich is not (and does not pretend to be) an eighteenth (or seventeenth) century French classical organ*. Furthermore, Lawrence's father has undertaken some research and gained an idea of the basic requirements and registrational conventions which are relevant to this repertoire. The rest - at this stage - is surely common sense. The organ in question possesses neither the full range of stops nor the particular type of scaling or voicing required for a faithful rendition of the work in question. The examiners will be aware of this and I am quite sure that they will not expect the candidate to make the instrument sound exactly like the Cliquot instrument at Poitiers, the cathedral organ at Saintes, S. Gervais (Paris) or any other similar historic French instrument.

 

 

 

* The first writings of the 'French classical organ school' (Nivers, 1665) already contained a very different set of specifications from those which had existed previously - and which remained virtually without alteration until after the Revolution of 1789. The emphasis on reed stops and imitations of reed sounds achieved by a combination of mutation ranks is perhaps the most striking innovation.

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Dear Gentlefolk

 

Thank you all for your various contributions.

 

I’m sorry this enquiry comes so late in the day. There are reasons for it but it would not be appropriate to voice them publicly.

 

I have ordered a copy of Fenner Douglass’ treatise but it won’t be here much before Wednesday and the exam is on Friday.

 

I’ve posted a couple of recordings here:

 

A http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault01.wav

B http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault02.wav

 

(They’re both about 30MB so will take a while to download.)

 

I’ve had sensible warnings about publishing Lawrence doing anything less that 100% professional lest it come back to haunt him later, so I shall just leave these in place for a few days and then remove them. But if you have a chance to listen to them and offer a preference it would be very helpful. At this stage we’re really down to choosing between A and B because there is no possibility of having any further time on the organ prior to the exam.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

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Dear Gentlefolk

 

Thank you all for your various contributions.

 

I’m sorry this enquiry comes so late in the day. There are reasons for it but it would not be appropriate to voice them publicly.

 

I have ordered a copy of Fenner Douglass’ treatise but it won’t be here much before Wednesday and the exam is on Friday.

 

I’ve posted a couple of recordings here:

 

A http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault01.wav

B http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault02.wav

 

(They’re both about 30MB so will take a while to download.)

 

I’ve had sensible warnings about publishing Lawrence doing anything less that 100% professional lest it come back to haunt him later, so I shall just leave these in place for a few days and then remove them. But if you have a chance to listen to them and offer a preference it would be very helpful. At this stage we’re really down to choosing between A and B because there is no possibility of having any further time on the organ prior to the exam.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

Either - don't forget that the Dulwich organ is not French Classical so really the question of authentic registration strictly speaking does not /can not really be expected to arise. The playing (nice!) is what matters - I prefer B though!!

 

AJJ

 

PS Fenner Douglass is a good read - I used it for my degree dissertation on De Grigny but as a number here have stated - go by what sounds good - on any organ one is likely to find in the UK at any rate. Do the theoretical when there is the luxury of a real Classical French organ. Better still I suggest one of Nigel Allcoat's summer schools.

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Hi Alistair

 

Thanks.

 

He does listen, and appreciates that how it sounds is important. Isn't it easier to be confident, though, going with what you like against a background of knowing what is authentic, than going with what you like in a vacuum? (L was at a festival once where someone played Wachet Auf with a Tuba solo. His argument was that if Bach had had a Tuba available to him Bach might have used it and, anyway, "It sounds good". The judge thought it was inappropriate.)

 

His other exam pieces are Bach and Messiaen; both idioms which which he is pretty familiar (given his age). The French Classical school is one he is only just beginning to explore. Hence this application for guidance.

 

Lawrence will gain from exposure and experience, and a visit to Nigel's Summer School is (for several reasons) not only desirable but almost inevitable.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

 

Either - don't forget that the Dulwich organ is not French Classical so really the question of authentic registration strictly speaking does not /can not really be expected to arise. The playing (nice!) is what matters - I prefer B though!!

 

AJJ

 

PS Fenner Douglass is a good read - I used it for my degree dissertation on De Grigny but as a number here have stated - go by what sounds good - on any organ one is likely to find in the UK at any rate. Do the theoretical when there is the luxury of a real Classical French organ. Better still I suggest one of Nigel Allcoat's summer schools.

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Dear Gentlefolk

 

Thank you all for your various contributions.

 

I’m sorry this enquiry comes so late in the day. There are reasons for it but it would not be appropriate to voice them publicly.

 

I have ordered a copy of Fenner Douglass’ treatise but it won’t be here much before Wednesday and the exam is on Friday.

 

I’ve posted a couple of recordings here:

 

A http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault01.wav

B http://www.mindsci-clinic.com/Clerambault02.wav

 

(They’re both about 30MB so will take a while to download.)

 

I’ve had sensible warnings about publishing Lawrence doing anything less that 100% professional lest it come back to haunt him later, so I shall just leave these in place for a few days and then remove them. But if you have a chance to listen to them and offer a preference it would be very helpful. At this stage we’re really down to choosing between A and B because there is no possibility of having any further time on the organ prior to the exam.

 

Best wishes

 

barry

 

Reply by PM.

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