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Mander Organs
Pierre Lauwers

Bach Organs

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.....Towards a better comprehension of the matter.

 

I shall post only facts and links here. I suggest we don't

discuss opinions.

I apologize much of the material available on the Internet

is in german; this is normal for german organs.

Moreover, my teacher said german is, for organ history,

as important as the latin for (roman catholic)priests.

 

Here is a very interesting page about the Wender organ in Arnstadt,

which has been reconstituted as it was during Bach's tenure, with much

original pipes:

 

http://www.orgelbau-hoffmann.de/wenderorgel/bericht.htm

 

Pierre

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Further to this, here below I give the specification of the organ in Weimar Castle, as it was at around the time* of Bach's tenure there:

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Gross-Untersatz 32

Sub-Bass 16

Violon-Bass 16

Principal-Bass 16

Posaun-Bass 16

Trompetten-Bass 8

Cornett-Bass 4

 

HAUPTWERK ('Upper clavier')

 

Quintathön 16

Principal 8

Gemshorn 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Quintathön 4

Mixtur VI

Cymbel III

Ein Glocken-und-Speil Register

 

'Lower clavier'

 

Principal 8

Viol di Gamba 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Klein Gedackt 4

Waldflöt 2

Sesquialtera IV

 

Tremulant

Cymbelstern

 

* This version of the specification is as given in Historische Nachrichten von der berükmein Residenz-Stadt Weimar, by G.A. Wette. It cannot be taken that this was the exact disposition of the instrument which Bach played, since a search of the Weimar archives has revealed that certain new stops were inserted in or around 1720 - approximately three years after Bach departed for Cöthen. No details of the new ranks were specified. It should also be remembered that Bach ceased his official duties as Organist in early December 1717, when he was grudgingly released from service by Duke Wilhelm Ernst. This followed a period of almost one month, during which Bach was held under house arrest for demanding his instant demission.

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Moreover, my teacher said german is, for organ history,

as important as the latin for (roman catholic)priests.

 

Pierre

 

However, it is not necessary to speak German - all I had to do was to ask a parent of two of our choristers - she was (and is) happy to translate any German for me, free of charge!

 

Rather, I should place far greater emphasis on the ability to play Bach's organ works. Music does not live in a history book, or on a page of manuscript paper - it lives in the heart, in the hands (and feet) and in the enrichment of the lives of others.

 

To appropriate a small part of the writings of Saint Paul:

 

"The letter kills - but the Spirit gives life."

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OK, that's all Tiger paper then.

 

Pierre

 

I am not sure what you mean by this, Pierre.

 

The phrase 'paper tiger' is a literal translation of the Chinese 'zhǐ lǎohǔ' - which means something which appears to be as threatening [as a tiger], but actually is not.

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Guest Patrick Coleman

The Weimar organ - does anyone know what exactly the Glocken und Spiel Register on the Hauptwerk did? Obviously not a Zimbelstern, as there is one of these on the organ already.

 

PS I'm quite able to understand German, so no translation required!

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I am not sure what you mean by this, Pierre.

 

The phrase 'paper tiger' is a literal translation of the Chinese 'zhǐ lǎohǔ' - which means something which appears to be as threatening [as a tiger], but actually is not.

 

Voilààà.....

 

So may I ask you to continue here ?

Thanks and see you later,

Pierre

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Voilààà.....

 

So may I ask you to continue here ?

Thanks and see you later,

Pierre

 

Absolutely!

 

So - what did the Ein Glocken-und-Spiel do; does anyone know?

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Further to this, here below I give the specification of the organ in Weimar Castle, as it was at around the time* of Bach's tenure there:

I have no idea who is correct, but the specification given on Osiris and in Peter Hurford's Making Music on the Organ agree that there was an 8' Trompete on the lower manual and that the Pedal Principal was an 8' stop. Hurford also gives the Sesquialtera as a 2-rank stop, but Osiris agrees with you on 4 ranks. Somewhere else - I know not where - I have also seen the Pedal Cornet listed as a 2' stop.

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Here is a very interesting page about the Wender organ in Arnstadt, which has been reconstituted as it was during Bach's tenure, with much original pipes:

 

http://www.orgelbau-hoffmann.de/wenderorgel/bericht.htm

And here is a useful one in English. The specifications agree except that this one does not give the Brustwerk/Pedal coupler.

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So - what did the Ein Glocken-und-Spiel do; does anyone know?

Speculation, but I'd imagine it was similar to the bells which the parishioners had put in at Mülhausen during the rebuild there.

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Here is the Mülhausen specification after it had been rebuilt to Bach's requirements (this is basically from Hurford's book except that I have followed Bach in calling the Hauptwerk "Oberwerk"). It should be remembered that Bach never got to enjoy the fruits of the rebuild for he moved to Weimar in mid 1708 (though he agreed to continue to supervise the work on the organ).

 

St Blasius, Mülhausen

(Wender, 1691; 1709 - additions of 1709 in italics)

 

Oberwerk

Quintadena 16

Prinzipal 8

* Viola da Gamba 8

Oktave 4

Gedackt 4

Nasat 3

Oktave 2

Sesquialtera II

Mixtur IV

Zimbel II

Fagott 16

Bw/Ow

Rp/Ow

 

Rückpositiv

Quintatön 8

Gedackt 8

Prinzipal 4

Salizional 4

Oktave 2

Spitzflöte 2

Quintflöte 11/2

Sesquialtera II

Zimbel III

 

Brustwerk

Stillgedackt 8

Fleute Douce 4

Quinta 3

Octava 2

Tertia 13/5

Mixtur III

Schalemoy 8

Pedal

Untersatz 32

Prinzipal 16

Subbass 16

Oktave 8

Oktave 4

Rohrflöte 1

Mixtur IV

¶ Posaune 16

Trompete 8

Cornett 2

Glockenspiel [bells] 4

Ow/Ped

 

Tremulant (whole organ)

Zimbelstern

Pauke (= drum)

 

* replaced Gemshorn 8

† replaced Quinte 3

replaced Trompete 8

¶ new pipes provided in 1709

 

The Glockenspiel was to be 24 bells of 4' pitch, though I have read somewhere that 3 octaves were actually provided. It was the congregation who asked for (and paid for) these bells; they did not share Bach's taste in music at all and were almost certainly one of the reasons he moved on.

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Further to this, here below I give the specification of the organ in Weimar Castle, as it was at around the time* of Bach's tenure there.....

 

An interesting post. A book I have here - "Making Music on the Organ" (by Peter Williams, pub. Oxford University Press, 1994) gives an almost identical specification for Weimar Castle Chapel to the one you give but with a couple of alterations. I have put the specification again below but the alterations which make up the specification as my book gives it are in bold type:

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Gross-Untersatz 32

Sub-Bass 16

Violon-Bass 16

Principal-Bass 8

Posaun-Bass 16

Trompetten-Bass 8

Cornett-Bass 4

 

Hauptwerk - Pedal

 

HAUPTWERK ('Upper clavier')

 

Quintathön 16

Principal 8

Gemshorn 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Quintathön 4

Mixtur VI

Cymbel III

Glockenspiel

 

Positiv - Hauptwerk

 

 

Positiv

 

Principal 8

Viol di Gamba 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Klein Gedackt 4

Waldflöt 2

Sesquialtera II

Trompette 8

 

Tremulant

Cymbelstern

 

According to the book, "The organ was situated in the highest gallery of this very tall chapel. The entire castle was burned down in the nineteenth century."

 

HTIOI,

 

Dave

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My (German) source points out that the only specification we have of this instrument dates from 1739 (which means years after Bach left Weimar!).

 

Some further corrections (in bold type):

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Gross-Untersatz 32

Sub-Bass 16

Violon-Bass 16

Principal-Bass 8

Posaun-Bass 16

Trompetten-Bass 8

Cornett-Bass 4

 

coupler?

 

'Upper manual' (Hauptwerk)

 

Quintathön 16

Principal 8

Gemshorn 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Quintathön 4

Mixtur VI

Cymbel III

Glockenspiel

 

'Lower Manual' (Internal Positiv)

 

Principal 8

Viol di Gamba 8

Gedackt 8

Octava 4

Klein Gedackt 4

Waldflöt 2

Sesquialtera II or 4

Trompete 8

 

Tremulant eventually for the entire instrument

Cymbelstern

 

According to the book, "The organ was situated in the highest gallery of this very tall chapel. The entire castle was burned down in 1774."

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Guest Cynic
HTIOI,

 

Dave

 

 

Being near my dotage, when someone writes something I don't understand I usually consult the Urban Dictionary

 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/

 

which I hereby heartily recommend to anyone who struggles as I do to keep up with the young and keen.

 

 

However...

Dave, you are just so trendy, that your sign-off HTIOI has not even appeared there yet. Please enlighten us. Maybe it's something useful or deeply significant...

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Dave, you are just so trendy, that your sign-off HTIOI has not even appeared there yet. Please enlighten us. Maybe it's something useful or deeply significant...

 

HTIOI = Hope this is of interest <_<

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HTIOI = Hope this is of interest <_<

 

In which case, could you simply type this, please?!!

 

Otherwise it will become like the dialogue on U.S. police dramas - with a code of numbers and letters for various offences and situations....

 

:blink:

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Being near my dotage, when someone writes something I don't understand I usually consult the Urban Dictionary

 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/

 

which I hereby heartily recommend to anyone who struggles as I do to keep up with the young and keen.

However...

Dave, you are just so trendy, that your sign-off HTIOI has not even appeared there yet. Please enlighten us. Maybe it's something useful or deeply significant...

 

 

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

 

 

That's really hip.....buzzin man!

 

MM

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Here is the Mülhausen specification after it had been ruibuilt to Bach's requirements (this is basically from Hurford's book except that I have followed Bach in calling the Hauptwerk "Oberwerk"). It should be remembered that Bach never got to enjoy the fruits of the rebuild for he moved to Weimar in mid 1708 (though he agreed to continue to supervise the work on the organ).

 

St Blasius, Mülhausen

(Wender, 1691; 1709 - additions of 1709 in italics)

 

Oberwerk

<snip>

 

Rückpositiv

<snip>

 

Brustwerk

Stillgedackt 8

Fleute Douce 4

Quinta 3

Octava 2

Tertia 13/5

Mixtur III

Schalemoy 8

Pedal

<snip>

 

This seems rather French to me. Is there another example of such a cornet on a "Bach" organ?

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This seems rather French to me. Is there another example of such a cornet on a "Bach" organ?

Bach's comments when specifying these stops were that the Quinta and Tertia together would form a fine Sesquialtera, so presumably they were not wide-scale pipes. However I seem to remember that Cornets are quite common in the French-inspired organs of the Silbermanns, Andreas especially. I haven't checked this though (so maybe I am just thinking of wide-scale mutations?)

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This seems rather French to me. Is there another example of such a cornet on a "Bach" organ?

 

Excellent question ! Pcnd, please explain !

 

Pierre

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Bach's comments when specifying these stops were that the Quinta and Tertia together would form a fine Sesquialtera, so presumably they were not wide-scale pipes. However I seem to remember that Cornets are quite common in the French-inspired organs of the Silbermanns, Andreas especially. I haven't checked this though (so maybe I am just thinking of wide-scale mutations?)

But JSB must have had a reason for specifying 2 stops rather than a II Sesquialtera so presumably he anticipated using them in various combinations and, I imagine, for solo effects.

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One would imagine so. But maybe he just wanted to be able to use the Quinta in choruses without the Tertia. Since the organ is long gone, we shall never know precisely what was possible. Wender built both the Arnstadt and Mülhausen organs and according to the article by Roberts I linked above, the Quint at Arnstadt is not usable as a solo stop. However it does sound as if Bach intended the Mülhausen one to be.

 

Despite the fact that Bach had moved on, I cannot quite escape the feeling that the registration markings in Ein Feste Burg were at least inspired by the Mülhausen organ. What is the current thinking on the chronology of this piece?

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Excellent question ! Pcnd, please explain !

 

Pierre

 

What would you like me to explain, Pierre?

 

I have never stated that Bach did not have stops such as sesquialteras, terzians or cornets* - in fact, one of my recent posts on the 40 Stop, 3 Manual organ thread mentions all three (in connection with the organs which Bach may or would have known).

 

What I was disputing (and still do) was the notion that most or all of the chorus mixtures on organs which Bach knew contained third-sounding ranks.

 

So, what was it you wanted to know, again?

 

B)

 

* I had assumed that it was as unnecessary to mention that these stops contained tierce ranks as was to remind board members that the Pope is a Catholic - or that bears prefer a sylvan setting in which to defecate.

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