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Pierre Lauwers

Bach Organs

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I would certainly be reasonable to postulate that he would have written more music in the multi-sectional northern style, which relies on lots of colour changes and "stereophonic" effects.

 

Try playing Buxtehude, for example, on a Saxon or Thuringian baroque organ. It's dead boring, which it certainly isn't in Norden, or Hamburg.

 

Bach's music finds a way to cast large forms which are not dependant on colour changes. It works everywhere where clarity is possible, and some places where it isn't - often the contrapuntal muddle comes not from over-resonant buildings but from mixtures which begin too high and repeat too often, meaning of course most neo-baroque organs. In the northern style, the mixtures were never meant for counterpoint, of course.

 

Cheers

Barry

 

 

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

 

 

This is a very interesting reply, but I can't quite think why it should be!

 

My problem is, that I've yet to hear a Saxon or Thuringian organ which isn't by Schulze and yet, oddly enough, Buxtehude doesn't sound too good played on a Schulze.

 

As for mixtures not being meant for counterpoint, I'm not so sure that this is the case, but I'm sure Barry has a very good reason for saying this.......I'm just racking my brains to imagine what it may be.

 

When I hear Bruhns or Buxtehude played on a Schnitger, it sounds really quite perfect to my ears. So too does Bach, and I haven't noticed that anyone avoids the Mixtures.

 

I'm probably missing something vitally important here........please explain Barry.

 

MM

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"My problem is, that I've yet to hear a Saxon or Thuringian organ which isn't by Schulze"

(Quote)

 

Here we are *genau* to the point !

 

Pierre

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Study it again, Pcnd,

 

It is quite an "horizontal" Plenum, with many breaks,

and nothing higher than 2' in the Treble.

In the flesh, it is splendid, but do not try a fugue

-these were played on the "Grand-jeu" with such organs-.

 

 

Pierre

 

This was not the point which you originally made, I quote from your earlier post:

 

'The Renaissance and early Braroque french Mixtures were high-pitched,

but not the 18th century ones; these were rather deep, often with 10 2/3'

rank in the treble (Clicquot, Isnard, and as early as 1700 by Jean de Joyeuse).

These late baroque Mixtures were not intended for Polyphony, but to be

played in chords.' (My emphasis.)

 

This is clearly not the case with the compound stops which I listed. In any case, I can think of very few neo-Classical or neo-Baroque mixtures on organs in this country which carry a nineteenth (1 1/3) higher in the treble than forty-four notes (which is one-and-a-half octaves above middle C). Five breaks is not 'many' on a four-rank Fourniture, which begins at 19-22-26-29.

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

 

I suspect that it is the TYPE of resonance which differs between St Paul's and Liverpool. Being a classical-style building, the reverberation seems quite even at St Paul's, which is also the case in the classical-style proportions of the church where I play.

 

With gothic shapes, all that seems to change, and greater diffusion and confusion seem to enter into the equation, and what you tend to hear is rumble, of which Liverpool has plenty.

 

Shape and proportion are possibly of far greater importance than actual choice of building materials, as Lichfield demonstrates so amply.

 

MM

 

You make an interesting distinction, MM.

 

However, I am currently re-reading through some old back-issues of The Organ and a couple of nights ago, I happened to notice an article regarding the opening of the organ in Liverpool Cathedral. In this the commentator states that the reverberation period was approximately one-and-a-half seconds.

 

Before you leap for your keyboard, I realise that the building was barely half-completed by then; nevertheless it is interesting to note that there was apparently such a short reverbertation period recorded at the time.

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You make an interesting distinction, MM.

 

However, I am currently re-reading through some old back-issues of The Organ and a couple of nights ago, I happened to notice an article regarding the opening of the organ in Liverpool Cathedral. In this the commentator states that the reverberation period was approximately one-and-a-half seconds.

 

Before you leap for your keyboard, I realise that the building was barely half-completed by then; nevertheless it is interesting to note that there was apparently such a short reverbertation period recorded at the time.

 

 

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

 

 

That is quite interesting. I guess the building was even smaller then than when I first went there, when the cathedral stopped abruptly after the bridge, with a make-shift wall. It had plenty of reverberation by then, as the old Noel Rawsthorne (Great Cathedral Organs) LP demonstrates.

 

I think it demonstrates my point about the shape and proportions of buildings if the acoustic was as sparse as 1.5 seconds at the opening. It would still be quite large, if only the choir and crossing were then completed.

 

Fascinating!

 

MM

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This was not the point which you originally made, I quote from your earlier post:

 

'The Renaissance and early Braroque french Mixtures were high-pitched,

but not the 18th century ones; these were rather deep, often with 10 2/3'

rank in the treble (Clicquot, Isnard, and as early as 1700 by Jean de Joyeuse).

These late baroque Mixtures were not intended for Polyphony, but to be

played in chords.' (My emphasis.)

 

This is clearly not the case with the compound stops which I listed. In any case, I can think of very few neo-Classical or neo-Baroque mixtures on organs in this country which carry a nineteenth (1 1/3) higher in the treble than forty-four notes (which is one-and-a-half octaves above middle C). Five breaks is not 'many' on a four-rank Fourniture, which begins at 19-22-26-29.

 

Here is a Clicquot (Poitiers) Plein-jeu:

 

http://perso.orange.fr/organ-au-logis/Musi...03GrignyVC1.mp3

 

Pierre

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

That is quite interesting. I guess the building was even smaller then than when I first went there, when the cathedral stopped abruptly after the bridge, with a make-shift wall. It had plenty of reverberation by then, as the old Noel Rawsthorne (Great Cathedral Organs) LP demonstrates.

 

I think it demonstrates my point about the shape and proportions of buildings if the acoustic was as sparse as 1.5 seconds at the opening. It would still be quite large, if only the choir and crossing were then completed.

 

Fascinating!

 

MM

 

Absolutely!

 

Am I also correct in perceiving that many (if not all) churches and cathedrals have a more lively resonance in colder weather?

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Here is a Clicquot (Poitiers) Plein-jeu:

 

http://perso.orange.fr/organ-au-logis/Musi...03GrignyVC1.mp3

 

Pierre

 

The chorus is quite a pleasant sound, although the (Pédale) reed is surprisingly full-toned, and sounds more like an English Posaune. Do you have a note of the composition of the mixture(s) and the breaks, please?

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The chorus is quite a pleasant sound, although the (Pédale) reed is surprisingly full-toned, and sounds more like an English Posaune. Do you have a note of the composition of the mixture(s) and the breaks, please?

 

See here:

 

http://perso.orange.fr/organ-au-logis/Pages/PJ7Clicquot.htm

 

On this page you will see the Mixtures at St-Maximin and Poitiers illustrated,

with their breaks.

 

Pierre

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

 

As for mixtures not being meant for counterpoint, I'm not so sure that this is the case, but I'm sure Barry has a very good reason for saying this.......I'm just racking my brains to imagine what it may be.

 

When I hear Bruhns or Buxtehude played on a Schnitger, it sounds really quite perfect to my ears. So too does Bach, and I haven't noticed that anyone avoids the Mixtures.

 

MM

 

I cannot for the life of me now find the justifying source. But if you play some Buxtehude or Bruhns using mixtures for the flourish-y bits and "consort registrations" for all but perhaps the most boisterous fugal bits, you will perhaps understand - or listen to Harald Vogel's Buxtehude recordings. The reason of course is that repeating mixtures will cause all contrapuntal lines to sound at more or less the same pitch at the same time, which certainly doesn't aid what would be called here "Durchhörbarkeit", a perfect word. But do note that the free, "fantastic" parts of these compositions are not counterpoint.

 

The thing is, of course that Bach organ music really is sui generis, there was nothing like it before it, and there was to be nothing like it afterwards. Well, except for Krebs...... a good, but not very inventive composer. Not many of his (Bach's) works really betray much northern influence; whatever the claims made for, for example, the E major / C major Toccata, it is not really much like a north German Praeludium, since its 4 limbs are much more complete in themselves than they might be in a piece by any of the northern composers of his time. And the 2-part composition - if they really were always paired in the way we know them today - seems to have been more or less his own invention, although of course Scheidemann and others did use this form. What they poured into it was very different, though.

 

I agree that at least some Bach sounds "perfect" on a Schnitger, although some care might be needed in registration, as I discovered myself when playing the "Dorian" in Norden in July. But, as I tried to indicate, the music is perfect in itself, and really quite divorced from instrumental considerations, so that the question of the "Bach" organ becomes moot. As we all know, the authors of Bach's necrology mentioned that he was always unhappy at never having had a "fine, large" organ at his permanent disposal, but he certainly knew a large number of instruments, ranging from the organs that he would have known as a schoolboy in Lüneburg to, famously, Naumburg, which would probably have been the instrument closest to his own taste. Those who have played it will certainly have noticed that it is NOT a typical Saxon or Thuringian instrument, apart from anything else, the fact that it was built with a Rückpositiv, already severely out of fashion, gives us some idea of Bach's own predilections. And we know that he was severely critical of a number of aspects of Silbermann's work.

 

Interestingly, one Schnitger organ (Cappel?) has mixtures with only one repetition each. These were copied at Weener; what the original mixtures there were like is unknown. They are excellent for polyphony. Here in the neighbourhood we have a smallish instrument by Schnitger's pupil Hartmann, on which I have made CD (Niederndodeleben). The divided Mixture is so high in the bass that it is no use at all.....

 

Incidentally, it seems often to be assumed that the instrument Bach played in Hamburg for reinken (St Katharinenkirche) was a Schnitger. This is not the case; organ builders who worked on it were Vogel, Scherer dÄ, (3 times), Fritsche, Stellwagen and Besser.

 

Enough for now.

 

Cheers

Barry

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Thank you for that wise post, Barry; others have said similar things.

 

I wonder whether this is the place to mention the extraordinary Zimbel III on the Cappel organ. I confess I only know this through the Hauptwerk sample set which DHM let me play the other day, but I assume the representation is accurate. Whether the stop is usual or unusual perhaps someone can tell me. I generally reckon I have a pretty good ear, but I confess I was quite unable to sort out its composition except that there was a very prominent fourth (souding F when playing C - in fact that note was all I could hear). The stop begins at a very high pitch and only the top octave is without breaks; throughout the rest of the compass the stop breaks back to the original pitch on every F and C. This constant repetition of pitches does not make for contrapuntal clarity! Actually my impression was that this is not altogether a very nice stop - I even wonder whether it belongs in the special effects department rather than in the chorus.

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"Naumburg, which would probably have been the instrument closest to his own taste. Those who have played it will certainly have noticed that it is NOT a typical Saxon or Thuringian instrument, apart from anything else, the fact that it was built with a Rückpositiv, already severely out of fashion, gives us some idea of Bach's own predilections. And we know that he was severely critical of a number of aspects of Silbermann's work."

(Quote)

 

The Naumburg Rückpositiv was kept by Hildebrandt because it was there previously,

and it was not aimed at its removal.

Not a taste matter also.

And yes Bach had disputes with Silbermann, about temperament; but it seems

Gottfried did not tune all his organs the same way.

 

Hildebrandt's style is indeed not thuringian, he was a pupil of Gottfried Silbermann,

so multicultural with french influencies.

Another Silbermann pupil -but not only a pupil of him!- did go a big step further

in the synthesis, retaining french elements, but this time integrating them in

the traditional central german Plenum -which is marked by what you know...-

A more achieved synthesis, then.

This same builder was the first to borrow stops from one clavier to be played on another,

and Bach played an organ with that invention in Recital.

 

After having worked with Silbermann this builder went in another area: Berlin-Brandenburg.

One of Bach's sons was titular of one of his organs.

 

This builder, who interests me more than Silbermann and Hildebrandt (along with others:

Scheibe, Trost, Wender) was Joachim Wagner.

 

With these four names, we *have* something . And oh, yes, we need not to forget the big

figure behind them all (also true for Silbermann): Eugenio Casparini. This last one was the

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll of the late 17th century, and this statment might be understated.

 

Pierre

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I cannot for the life of me now find the justifying source. But if you play some Buxtehude or Bruhns using mixtures for the flourish-y bits and "consort registrations" for all but perhaps the most boisterous fugal bits, you will perhaps understand - or listen to Harald Vogel's Buxtehude recordings.

 

 

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

 

 

What an exciting reply!

 

You may all recall my unbounded enthusiasm for a 3-CD set of organs in the Groningen district of Holland, and my rave "review" of the Bruhns G-major Preludium as played by the Netherlands organist Peter Westerbrink. I even went to the extent of suggesting that it was an object lesson in how to play baroque music on a baroque organ (in this case, the Aa-kerk organ, containing a great deal of Schnitger and the work of those who followed him in the region).

 

There aren't many "Road to Damascus" experiences left in life when you're 58, but this recording and Barry's reply are both exactly that.

 

Peter Westerbrink follows exactly what Barry suggests, in that the fantastic flourishes are played with the Mixtures drawn (actually not that many ranks......5 rks of Scherp Mixtur known to be by Schnitger).

 

In the contrapuntal sections, extensive use is made of almost minimal registrations consisting of 8 and 4ft Principals, and in other passages, with combined manual and pedal reed choruses or isolated reed in combination with unison fluework.

 

Absolutely clear throughout, the counterpoint is heard as it was meant to be heard, without any confusion at all. It is quite remarkable how those Schnitger reeds, probably with leathered shallots, blend so wonderfully and quite powerfully, not unlike a brass consort.

 

Of course, when the big "fantasticus" passages crack in, we hear that extraordinary combination of Schnitger flues and reeds, purely as a climax, and in fact, the last note is the one I eagerly anticipate, where the Pedal 10.2/3 Quint is added to quite extraordinary effect....almost like a 32ft reed arriving suddenly when least expected.

 

So here is living proof of what Barry means, and one which certainly captured my imagination immediately. On first hearing, something told me it was so absolutely right for the music, but I didn't fully understand why.

 

For those dedicated enough to want to learn and listen to this extraordinary performance, I will repeat the reference number of the disc, which is SYNCOOP 5751 CD 114.

 

Many thanks Barry!

 

MM

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Thank you for that wise post, Barry; others have said similar things.

 

I wonder whether this is the place to mention the extraordinary Zimbel III on the Cappel organ. I confess I only know this through the Hauptwerk sample set which DHM let me play the other day, but I assume the representation is accurate. Whether the stop is usual or unusual perhaps someone can tell me. I generally reckon I have a pretty good ear, but I confess I was quite unable to sort out its composition except that there was a very prominent fourth (souding F when playing C - in fact that note was all I could hear). The stop begins at a very high pitch and only the top octave is without breaks; throughout the rest of the compass the stop breaks back to the original pitch on every F and C. This constant repetition of pitches does not make for contrapuntal clarity! Actually my impression was that this is not altogether a very nice stop - I even wonder whether it belongs in the special effects department rather than in the chorus.

 

 

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

 

 

It isn't just at Cappel where the 4th rank appears as an aliquot rank.

 

The same is heard at St Laurens, Alkmaar, in the organ by F C Schnitger.

 

As part of the Mixtures, it can certainly be used as a part of the chorus.....and what a chorus......but in combination with other stops, it can produce a solo effect not unlike tubular bells. It is quite the most extraordinary sound.

 

There's nothing that unique about using pitches other than thirds and quints, and even John Compton was doing that by switching various pitches electrically. The Septieme, for example, has been around for a long time; even though it follows the natural harmonic series to a large extent.

 

Far more bizarre are some of the old Cymbels found on old Polish organs. I'm not entirely certain how they work, but they consist of a few virtually random, untuned pipes at very high pitch, which are soldered into a block. When "drawn" (presumably by some sort of bleed ventil or other), the notes chirp away happily high above everything else, making absolutely no contribution to the melodic line or the overall tuning of the instrument.....they just chirp away, doing their own thing, and adding a sort of gritty brilliance to the whole instrument. It's not an unattractive sound actually, but it has to be heard to be believed, and of course, used in moderation.

 

When these Polish cymbels ARE drawn, they have much the same impact as the York Tuba Mirabilus, and certainly draw attention to themselves.

 

I suspect that it all comes down to the voicing, because if you really think about it, even a normal Tierce mixture is producing higher harmonics, which on the note "C", would be G,B,D,F for the quints, and B,D#F# and A for the third sounding ranks.

 

Critically, our ear just cannot hear the individual components of sound at higher pitches, and as I have demonstrated many times to people, if you want hear what the Polish cymbels sound like, just get someone to draw a 2ft or 1.1/3 (going right to the top note without a break, such as one on the organ I play), and just lean on a random fistful of top notes whilst the player plays a normal major or minor chord on the full chorus. It doesn't actually spoil anything, but you get that gritty, harmonically random top-end effect.

 

Like Blue Stilton, it is something of an acquired taste.

 

MM

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Absolutely!

 

Am I also correct in perceiving that many (if not all) churches and cathedrals have a more lively resonance in colder weather?

 

MM's ascertation of 11 seconds reverberation at Liverpool Cathedral may well be correct when the building is empty and cold, however, bathed in warmth this afternoon and with a full nave, the best I could estimate (albeit crudely) over a wide dynamic range was around 5 seconds which I found surprising. Quite sufficient to mangle some of the music! Both organ and player (IT) were on top form.

 

A

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MM's ascertation of 11 seconds reverberation at Liverpool Cathedral may well be correct when the building is empty and cold, however, bathed in warmth this afternoon and with a full nave, the best I could estimate (albeit crudely) over a wide dynamic range was around 5 seconds which I found surprising. Quite sufficient to mangle some of the music! Both organ and player (IT) were on top form.

 

A

 

Oops - sorry about the Merlotspeak - 2nd word should be whatever you feel appropriate!

 

Cheers

A

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As we are funny guys in Belgium, the well-known

builder of ours, Dominique Thomas from Ster-Francorchamps

just finished the new organ for the protestant church "Le Bouclier"

in Strasbourg:

 

http://lebouclier.ovh.org/spip.php?article28

 

I shall give the spec later, in order to avoid too big a schock.

Let us begin with a little summary:

 

-The organ is designed after the Trost style.

 

-It has 2 manuals and pedal, 30 ACTUAL stops (more on paper...)

 

-Among those 30 stops, 10 are 8', and 6 are 16'.

 

Funny guys we are, Yessssss!

More later,

Pierre

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"Naumburg, which would probably have been the instrument closest to his own taste. Those who have played it will certainly have noticed that it is NOT a typical Saxon or Thuringian instrument, apart from anything else, the fact that it was built with a Rückpositiv, already severely out of fashion, gives us some idea of Bach's own predilections. And we know that he was severely critical of a number of aspects of Silbermann's work."

(Quote)

 

The Naumburg Rückpositiv was kept by Hildebrandt because it was there previously,

and it was not aimed at its removal.

Not a taste matter also.

 

 

...except, unfortunately, we will never know what the positive on Hildebrandt's organ sounded like because the one on the current Naumburg organ is entirely new from the last restoration - as indeed is over 50% of the total pipework (I think) - so, although this instrument is 'hallowed' by its documented association with JSB himself we mustn't forget that the sound we hear today is largely conjectural (unlike quite a few organs from the time) - and ideas of historical restoration have actually moved on since Naumburg was restored....

 

Gary Cole

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...except, unfortunately, we will never know what the positive on Hildebrandt's organ sounded like because the one on the current Naumburg organ is entirely new from the last restoration - as indeed is over 50% of the total pipework (I think) - so, although this instrument is 'hallowed' by its documented association with JSB himself we mustn't forget that the sound we hear today is largely conjectural (unlike quite a few organs from the time) - and ideas of historical restoration have actually moved on since Naumburg was restored....

 

Gary Cole

 

Altough the restoration has been made very carefully, by a very skilled builder,

it is effectively partly a reconstitution.

And a reconstitution is always risky, because we always know too little about

the original.

Just a reason more not to modify organs:):):)

 

Pierre

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Altough the restoration has been made very carefully, by a very skilled builder,

it is effectively partly a reconstitution.

And a reconstitution is always risky, because we always know too little about

the original.

Just a reason more not to modify organs:):):)

 

Pierre

 

But we have almost no original organs. Pierre, you mentioned Casparini, for instance, but where is there any substantial body of work by Casparini in existence? The famous "Sonnenorgel" doesn't have a Casparini pipe in it. And a lot of the famous Schnitgers are effectively Ahrend organs, those which are not Beckerath or Ott organs, that is.

 

The three famous Trost organs - Altenburg, Waltershausen and Grossengöttern - hardly even sound as though they came out of the same stable, the two Eule restorations perhaps resembling each other a little more, although seperated by many years, but the Kutter restoration at Waltershausen is utterly different. And speaking of Trost brings up a latent point, lying in wait when we speak of transmissions and extensions etc, as one must when names like Casparini or even Wagner come up.

 

The Compenius family was famous for its use of transmissions even at the very beginning of the 17th century. But we do not know how they worked, since there are no Compenius organs extant. We have two chests - in the Hartmann organ in Niederndodeleben of which I wrote earlier, but they have no transmissions. We know that Wagner practised this art: see http://www.orgellandschaftbrandenburg.de/I...kumentation.pdf . Wagner seems to have been the first organ builder to have transmitted stops from one manual to another. We know that Casparini paid a price for his ingenuity, in that his organs often didn't work very well; and the "Sonnenorgel" was called a "Rossorgel" - a stallion organ (not Stalin organ) because its action was so heavy.

 

Even if the Naumburg RP was already in existence, as it of course was, it would have been possible, even easy, to remove it. The Naumburg organ was such a prestige object that it is difficult to imagine a compromise of this magnitude being made. Incidentally, however, Gary Cole is misinformed when he says that the Rückpositiv was entirely newly made; new were: the Nassat 3', the mixture, Rauschpfeife and the gloriously beautiful Fagott. Confirmation to be had on the Eule home page at http://www.euleorgelbau.de/orgelrestaurier...disposition.htm . But of course the presence of original pipe-work does not in itself guarantee the original sound, when all voicing parameters have been altered.

 

I too feel that Joachim Wagner is a seriously underrated and under-mentioned organ builder. But I am not so very sure that these are ideal Bach organs, even if the Silbermann II temperament in which they are tuned didn't make most "big Bach" playing on them a slightly trying experience. Their 8' based HW divisions and fairly high-pitched secondary manuals seem a far cry from the "grave" sound that Bach wanted. And although Brandenburg cathedral has two string stops, these are seldom encountered in his instruments. Indeed, the specifications of the existing instruments are pretty much identical: the HW has a 16 ' Bordun, a principal chorus including two mixtures, a Rohflöte 8' a Spitzflöte 4' and sometimes a Waldflöte 2', a cornet and a trumpet; the secondary manual has a Quintadena and a Gedackt at 8', a Rohrflöte 4' and a Principal 4', a Nazard, an Octave 2', a Tertia and a high quint, a IV rank mixture and a Vox humana. The Pedal usually has a Subass 16', and there may be second 16' stop, usually a principal but sometimes a Violon. Brb has a Principal and a Violon, but no Subbass. There is usually only one labial 8' stop, mostly on Ocave, sometimes a "Gembshorn"; there is always a Quint 5 1/3'. a 4' stop (occasionally 2), a mixture, reeds 16 and 8 and possibly 4'.

 

All this suggests a standardisation typical of Silbermann but of course also of the French. However the pedal division is considerably more developed than Silbermann's characteristic 3-stop bass division, suggesting that Wagner's actual teachers, whoever they might have been (very possibly either Hartmann or Treutmann), had left an influence that could not be eradicated by 2 years working for or with Silbermann - Silbermann was only 7 years older than Wagner, so it would probably not be correct to think of Silbermann as Wagner's "teacher". And although Wagner's organs are like those of Silbermann in having no Rückpositiv, they are unlike them in having cases in which the divisions of the organ are clearly visible.

 

Excellently beautiful organs, yes. Bach organs? No, not really. They sound their best in the music of a generation later!

 

Cheers

Barry

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We still have one organ from Adam Gottlob Casparini, in Vilnius:

 

http://www.casparini.0nyx.com/Casparini/casphfd4.htm

 

....Presently restored under the supervision of the Göteborg

"Go Art center"; halas, this organization does not condescend

to answer the questions of a little belgian...

 

Here is a Link to the whole website about the Casparini Dynasty:

 

http://www.casparini.0nyx.com/Casparini/caspfram.htm

 

Bach himself named the Görlitz organ a "Pferdeorgel", so heavy

it was.

But its specification and design were at least one century in advance.

It even had two celestes!

 

As for Wagner organs, now, we must keep in mind it seems Wagner first

trained with a pupil of...Schnitger, before passing two years with Silbermann.

(Which builder could dream of a "better" Curriculum Vitae?).

He was between two worlds also, with a feet in the "north".

These organs aren't as rich as a Trost in foundations stops and solo reeds,

but their incredible Plenum suits the Preludes & Fugues better, by Miles, than

much *other things*.

Try Angermünde for that matter -not even a big organ-.

Other pieces will go better elsewhere, yes. After all, we have a choice, even

if the organs were restored, even if we have only one Scheibe left.

 

There is an interesting page, with pictures and sound files, about the Wagner organ

in Nidaros, Norway:

http://home.no.net/wimkamp/instruments/Wag...gner_organ.html

 

Anyway, in that field, be the organs 100% original or not, we are in a completely

different world that the one which was dealt with 1950-1990 as long as Bach was

concerned; as the much regretted Stephen Bicknell said, it was a genuine 20th

century affair.

It is often said Bach's music to be "universal". I'd say it is rather multicultural,

exactly like the organs he played, which were a synthesis with french and italian

influencies.

 

Pierre

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Even if the Naumburg RP was already in existence, as it of course was, it would have been possible, even easy, to remove it. The Naumburg organ was such a prestige object that it is difficult to imagine a compromise of this magnitude being made. Incidentally, however, Gary Cole is misinformed when he says that the Rückpositiv was entirely newly made; new were: the Nassat 3', the mixture, Rauschpfeife and the gloriously beautiful Fagott. Confirmation to be had on the Eule home page at http://www.euleorgelbau.de/orgelrestaurier...disposition.htm . But of course the presence of original pipe-work does not in itself guarantee the original sound, when all voicing parameters have been altered.

 

Apologies - my mistake! I think the Postive pipework was removed from the Positive case (during the war maybe?) only to be returned towards the end of the Eule retoration and this is what led me to (erroneously!) conclude that the Postive was all-new.

 

However, at 20 entirely new ranks (including all the mixtures and reeds) this is still a large proportion of the instrument which has had to be conjecturally reconstructed, whereas some other instruments contain considerably more original pipework - a good example being the 1734-7 Treutmann at Grauhof where only 3 of its 42 stops have had to have partial or complete reconstruction.

 

Gary Cole

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Another very good news is the restoration of the last Michael Engler organ

we still have:

 

http://www.jehmlich-orgelbau.de/deutsch/re...el_gruessau.htm

 

Though not directly linked to Bach, the period fits, while the style is very

close to Casparini's.

Another one I'd like to hear Bach played upon.

The restorator, Jehmlich, is excellent and we can be sure all possible

will be made to preserve its sound as it was.

 

Pierre

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I wonder whether this is the place to mention the extraordinary Zimbel III on the Cappel organ. I confess I only know this through the Hauptwerk sample set which DHM let me play the other day, but I assume the representation is accurate. Whether the stop is usual or unusual perhaps someone can tell me. I generally reckon I have a pretty good ear, but I confess I was quite unable to sort out its composition except that there was a very prominent fourth (souding F when playing C - in fact that note was all I could hear). The stop begins at a very high pitch and only the top octave is without breaks; throughout the rest of the compass the stop breaks back to the original pitch on every F and C. This constant repetition of pitches does not make for contrapuntal clarity! Actually my impression was that this is not altogether a very nice stop - I even wonder whether it belongs in the special effects department rather than in the chorus.

 

Dear Vox,

 

your perception of this stop was quite correct. Breaking twice per octave, it sounds the chord C-F-A on all the Cs and Fs, so that for about half the compass there are non-harmonic pitches present. It was not meant as a chorus stop at all, but as an imitation of the more or less random harmonics you hear in small handbells. The Zimbel sounds beautiful on top of a flute chorus when there is a vivid treble line, e. g. in a highly embellished cantus firmus in some North-German chorale fantasia. On top of a chorus it adds a random thrill, nothing more. Special effect department indeed.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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