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I hope that this is allowed but check this out and please sign if you feel the urge to. After a quick scroll through the names it seems that some already have!

 

AJJ

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I hope that this is allowed but check this out and please sign if you feel the urge to. After a quick scroll through the names it seems that some already have!

 

AJJ

 

 

However much one may agree with all the eminent names listed so far on the petition, that this proposal is, of course, ludicrous, and smacks of some mindless "Jobsworth" doing things by the book, it may not be quite as straightforward as one might wish.

Postings on a similar topic "Schwedische Orgel retten!" at orgelforum.de would seem to imply that the old facade was a listed monument protected by the Swedish equivalent of English Heritage or similar, and had been removed and replaced without permission.

If I have understood it correctly (and if I haven't, I am more than happy to be put right by somebody who knows better) it's a bit like tearing down an ugly (but listed) building, replacing it with something much finer, then complaining bitterly when a request for retrospective planning permission is refused.

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However much one may agree with all the eminent names listed so far on the petition, that this proposal is, of course, ludicrous, and smacks of some mindless "Jobsworth" doing things by the book, it may not be quite as straightforward as one might wish.

Postings on a similar topic "Schwedische Orgel retten!" at orgelforum.de would seem to imply that the old facade was a listed monument protected by the Swedish equivalent of English Heritage or similar, and had been removed and replaced without permission.

If I have understood it correctly (and if I haven't, I am more than happy to be put right by somebody who knows better) it's a bit like tearing down an ugly (but listed) building, replacing it with something much finer, then complaining bitterly when a request for retrospective planning permission is refused.

 

I fully agree, DHM.

 

Why not have kept the neo-classical organ in the first place?

I would have an easy game destroying listed organs I do not like,

replacing them with my own (A.Harrison-like with pints of Skinner,

Walcker and Kerkhoff) projects, and then complain against "bureaucrats"

who would argue...

 

Pierre

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I fully agree, DHM.

 

Why not have kept the neo-classical organ in the first place?

I would have an easy game destroying listed organs I do not like,

replacing them with my own (A.Harrison-like with pints of Skinner,

Walcker and Kerkhoff) projects, and then complain against "bureaucrats"

who would argue...

 

Pierre

 

I agree - to an extent.

 

However, I am puzzled by the implied notion that now, in 2007, we should leave all organs exactly as we find them (save for renewing worn-out or broken components with 'like-for-like' material).

 

Whilst I appreciate that there have been many instruments either ruined or altered unrecognisably by various tonal alterations and revoicings, nevertheless I wonder how logical (or practical) it is simply to stop altering organs at all. It seems a rather arbitrary matter to decide that, at this point in history, we should endeavour to preserve each type of instrument exactly as it is, regardless of whether there are any genuine shortcomings in the tonal make-up of the instrument.

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Dear Pcnd,

 

If we decided today that we shall keep all organs, save the

poorly built one -something that can be appraised with facts-,

in 100 years, the half at least will have dissepear because of fires,

floodings, earthquakes, bombing, or whatever the mankind can

imagine-and we can trust that-.

 

A simple question: How many british baroque organs do we still have ?

 

So now we have many neo-classical and neo-baroque organs, in Belgium,

which form about 70% of the total amount of organs.

We need to keep them, do we like them or not, because in 100 years

this amount will be halved even if we do nothing.

 

So the rule today is: never destroy or modify an organ which works.

If it has been modified because of changing fads, we can reverse

that. Examples: a Voix céleste which replaced a Tierce in a baroque

organ, or a Tierce which replaced a Voix céleste in a romantic one.

 

Often the organ is, however, made of several "historic layers"; this is

the case with a vast majority of cathedral organs in wealthy areas.

Such organs we have to keep as they are if they work.

 

But to crudely replace an organ belonging to a style of the past

(whatever that style may be) with something new should not happen

any more.

 

You know I advocate a revisiting of the post-romantic period; the best

manner to succeeed isn't by pushing to have the neo-baroque organs

I do not like demolished, but quite to the contrary, I must first help

to protect them!

We cannot build anything on the sand; we need sound basements, and

these, for the organ, are well preserved instruments from all the previous

periods.

 

Pierre

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Also, I don't understand how a dutch organbuilder could have done this project; they know how 'Monumentenzorg' (heritage) work here: approval first, than work (also just like (re)building a house). Can't be much different elsewhere.

 

Personally, I don't like either of the cases:the old one too 'originally' ugly (to me), the new one a neo somewhat-19th-century-dutch pastiche.

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Often the organ is, however, made of several "historic layers"; this is

the case with a vast majority of cathedral organs in wealthy areas.

Such organs we have to keep as they are if they work.

 

Pierre

 

But who is to say that the present 'historic layer' is better (or even more practical) than that which existed a hundred - or even fifty - years ago?

 

Take Lichfield Cathedral, where Harrison & Harrison have recently reversed many of the tonal changes which were instituted in 1974 (by the organist at the time, who knew the instrument well). In addition, they added a large Nave section - something which it never possessed formerly. Whilst I appreciate personally a closer return to more of the Holdich/Hill schemes, I cannot help but wonder if the Choir Organ (for example) is now rather a 'halfway house' - and that, in some respects, they now have the worst of both worlds.

 

Or should, in fact, this organ have been left tonally alone? It also had a beautiful new console in 1974. It now has another new (or at least re-modelled) console. Was even this strictly necessary?

 

I think that I am questioning the arbitrary notion of keeping organs in their '2007 state', as opposed to the idea of doing (or not doing) anything at all.

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You know I advocate a revisiting of the post-romantic period; the best

manner to succeeed isn't by pushing to have the neo-baroque organs

I do not like demolished, but quite to the contrary, I must first help

to protect them!

 

Pierre

 

Although I would suggest strongly that an (untouched) instrument from the era of Arthur and Harry Harrison represents not the post-Romantic period but is actually a supreme example of a Romantic organ in England. Remember that these periods did not run concurrently in every European country.

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Although I would suggest strongly that an (untouched) instrument from the era of Arthur and Harry Harrison represents not the post-Romantic period but is actually a supreme example of the Romantic period in England. Remember that these periods did not run concurrently in every European country.

 

Of course they did not. But A. Harrison was exactly as advanced as his contemporary

Oscar Walcker.

Casson's, Dixon's and Harrison's ideas were typically post-romantic ones.

Examples:

 

-The Harmonics as harmonics-producing machine

 

-The rediscovery of the chorus idea as a mean for itself

 

-Strange, experimental Mixtures (Dulciana Mixtures, in germany Harmonia aetherea, Cornet de Viols...)

 

-The Solo no more as a solists provider, but with its own chorus (Viols 16-8-5 1/3-4...)

 

Oscar Walcker worked along exactly the same lines. Dixon left absolutely nothing

to be desired compared with Emil Rupp (I have both authors complete...)

 

Pierre

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Of course they did not. But A. Harrison was exactly as advanced as his contemporary

Oscar Walcker.

Casson's, Dixon's and Harrison's ideas were typically post-romantic ones.

Examples:

 

-The Harmonics as harmonics-producing machine

 

-The rediscovery of the chorus idea as a mean for itself

 

-Strange, experimental Mixtures (Dulciana Mixtures, in germany Harmonia aetherea, Cornet de Viols...)

 

-The Solo no more as a solists provider, but with its own chorus (Viols 16-8-5 1/3-4...)

 

Oscar Walcker worked along exactly the same lines. Dixon left absolutely nothing

to be desired compared with Emil Rupp (I have both authors complete...)

 

Pierre

 

Granted - but given that Harrisons' epoch-marking instrument at Saint Nicholas, Whitehaven (sadly destroyed by fire in 1971), which contained several of these features , dated from 1904, this is still very much a Romantic instrument as far as England is concerned. Certainly, I have not yet heard any English organist ever describe a typical Arthur Harrison organ as anything other than an archetypal Romantic instrument. This is, in any case, only eight years after Hope-Jones' unfortunate rebuild at Worcester Cathedral - which arguably marked the beginning of the (temporary) demise of the true organ chorus.

 

In fact, Arthur Harrison never included a Viole at 5 1/3p pitch in any of his instruments - and only included reed mutations in two (his scheme for Westminster Cathedral was, as you know, never brought to fruition).

 

I should not have called Arthur Harrison's Dulciana Mixture stops 'strange' - they were generally of 15-19-22 composition at C1 and were more in the nature of small-scale (not in the pipe sense) chorus mixtures - usually inserted on his Choir organs; although the example at All Saints', Margaret Street was an Echo Cornet (12-15-17-19-22)* and that at Ely Cathedral (Dulciana Mixture) commenced at 12-19-22.

 

To refer to the introduction of a five-rank quint Mixture at Ely Cathedral (only four years later, in 1908) as the 'rediscovery of the chorus idea' is to stretch the point somewhat. For one thing, this was built upon the foundation of a heavily-blown leathered large Open Diapason. For another, there was no complementary secondary chorus in this instrument.

 

 

 

* This stop was divided in 1957, to form two stops: a Sesquialtera (12-17) and a Mixture (15-19-22). At the same time, the reeds were revoiced on more fiery lines, the leather was removed from the Large Open Diapason on the G.O., the mixtures of the G.O. and Swell were re-cast and the G.O. reeds were enclosed.

 

Having played this instrument in this state on a number of occasions, it does seem unfortunate that the G.O. Harmonics has been re-instated (2002), particularly since the G.O. reeds are not trombe ranks, but trumpets. I do not recall that the previous G.O. Mixture (19-22-26-29) did anything other than provide a quite acceptable amount of brilliance of a very sociable sort; it was certainly not a neo-Baroque 'shrieker'.

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The first post-romantic organ was built 1885 by Michell and Thynne,

now in Tewkesbury abbey (with feets in the water?)

We may discuss that one on another thread if it is judged

interesting.

In Belgium, the post-romantic period was 1890-1930.

(But our 1890 organs were less modern, by far, than Thynne's!)

 

Pierre

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The first post-romantic organ was built 1885 by Michell and Thynne,

now in Tewkesbury abbey (with feets in the water?)

Pierre

 

I disagree!

 

This is far too early in England, to be referring to instruments as post-Romantic. We have barely left the high Victorian period, which marked some of the best work of William Hill and some of the more refined work of 'Father' Henry Willis.

 

It may help to define exactly what you mean by the term 'Romantic' - as it applies to British organs, Pierre. If, for example, you intend to include instruments which possessed a wealth of tone-colours (for want of a better term 'orchestral'), which were capable of a great dynamic range and which had rather less emphasis on true chorus-building, then in Britain as a whole, this period extends until practically the 1950s. The isolated voices of Buckfast Abbey, Suzi Jeans' house organ and some of the work of Kingsgate Davidson (for example, Holy Trinity, Brompton) are exactly that - very much the exception to what was still considered to be the standard organ design in Britain at this point.

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Of course they did not. But A. Harrison was exactly as advanced as his contemporary

Oscar Walcker.

Pierre

 

Again, granted. However, it is worth remembering that Arthur Harrison never advanced. What was considered to be ground-breaking design in 1908 at Ely Cathedral (a family of violes was planned for Durham Cathedral in 1905, but not actually inserted until 1935), was woefully out-of-date by 1937. Right until the end of his life, Arthur Harrison could see no use whatsoever for separate mutations* (hardly a Romantic trait, I know!) and consequently only included them in one or two instruments, by request. The Choir organs at King's College, Cambridge and Westminster Abbey being notable exceptions, although in the case of the latter instrument, this consisted only of a Twelfth and Tierce - and (for the record) possibly the only example by Arthur Harrison of a Dulciana Mixture consisting of only two ranks (19-22).

 

 

 

* Excepting the almost universal provision of an Octave Quint 2 2/3 on the G.O. - not infrequently at the expense of a 4p flute.

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I'm happy to confirm that Tewkesbury Abbey is quite (as in fully) dry now!

 

On the original question I think DHM has summed it up well. Of the two photographs on the web site the new organ front looks far more attractive than the old, although its also a much better photograph, and its hard to see how you could replace the front of the new organ without compromising the instrument. However, if the old front was indeed "listed" and replaced without authorisation then this was an act of reckless folly.

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I name "romantic" an organ in which the choruses are still there

(as in the vast majority of them), but not for themselves, rather

as a backbone to hold the rest togheter.

In a 1880 organh you may have on the Great:

Montre 8', Prestant 4', Doublette 2' and Fourniture.

But if you try these stops as a "pure" chorus, it won't

work.

Before drawing the Prestant, you need all the 8' before,

and the Bourdon 16' with it.

Mixtures are to be drawn after the chorus reeds.

 

A Post-romantic organ breaks down those rules, and tries

to permit more freedom.

 

This was the case already in 1885 in Britain with CERTAIN

organs, not ALL !

So romantic and Post-romantic coexisted.

 

Pierre

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I name "romantic" an organ in which the choruses are still there

(as in the vast majority of them), but not for themselves, rather

as a backbone to hold the rest togheter.

In a 1880 organh you may have on the Great:

Montre 8', Prestant 4', Doublette 2' and Fourniture.

But if you try these stops as a "pure" chorus, it won't

work.

Before drawing the Prestant, you need all the 8' before,

and the Bourdon 16' with it.

Mixtures are to be drawn after the chorus reeds.

 

A Post-romantic organ breaks down those rules, and tries

to permit more freedom.

 

This was the case already in 1885 in Britain with CERTAIN

organs, not ALL !

So romantic and Post-romantic coexisted.

 

Pierre

 

In which case, we may be at odds with our definitions!!

 

In the first instance, this definition is too vague; in any case, it would include virtually every instrument in Britain (up to about 1950), apart from anything by Hope-Jones and a few by Rest. Cartwright & Co.

 

Furthermore, if one were to draw the English equivalent of Montre, Prestant, Doublette and Fourniture on an 1880 (-ish) organ by William Hill, Gray and Davison or Walker (to name but three), the result would almost certainly work well and be musically satisfying.

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I disagree!

 

This is far too early in England, to be referring to instruments as post-Romantic. We have barely left the high Victorian period, which marked some of the best work of William Hill and some of the more refined work of 'Father' Henry Willis.

Well said, M'sieur. Both in terms of organs and style of composition, the British romantic period extended into the twentieth century. I would have thought that Howells and his generation were the first British post-Romantics.

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So the rule today is: never destroy or modify an organ which works.

That's all very well, but if organ builders are only allowed to build new organs or modify existing ones where "acts of God" have rendered them inoperative, would we have a viable organ building industry? How would firms maintain the artistic skills required?

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That's all very well, but if organ builders are only allowed to build new organs or modify existing ones where "acts of God" have rendered them inoperative, would we have a viable organ building industry? How would firms maintain the artistic skills required?

 

....By repairing and maintaining all organs, big and small,

from any period, in place of rebuilding some of them all

20 years while leaving the 90% others return to the dust.

 

Sure, there will be less new organs, and more restoration

work.

And it would be better. Let me cite an example: the Charleroi

area, near here.

Out of 10 organs there, there are eight about 1960 Delmotte,

all nearly the same, to the point it is difficult to talk about one of them

in particular, because you always counfound the one with the next...

Charleroi was wealthy in 1960, and had all organs rebuilt while there

was a "dominant" builder in that area then.

This builder did not need to learn more than his own style, and habits.

All went to the bin save some pipes, and he used the same chests,

actions, bellows etc everywhere.

Had he carefully *restored* those baroque, romantic and post-romantic

organs, I do not think he would have "lost artistic skills" -quite to the contrary-.

 

Pierre

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A simple question: How many british baroque organs do we still have ?

 

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

 

Are you hiding some of them in Belgium that we don't know about? :blink:

 

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

 

 

Often the organ is, however, made of several "historic layers"; this is

the case with a vast majority of cathedral organs in wealthy areas.

Such organs we have to keep as they are if they work.

 

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

 

For what reason? Merely because it is old? :o

 

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

 

But to crudely replace an organ belonging to a style of the past

(whatever that style may be) with something new should not happen

any more.

 

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

 

Well, by that argument, Blackburn Cathedral would never have got an instrument which, in almost every way, is tonally superior to the ruined Cavaille-Coll which it replaces. :rolleyes:

 

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

 

 

 

We cannot build anything on the sand.....

 

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

 

The Dutch can! :P

 

MM

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"Are you hiding some of them in Belgium that we don't know about?"

(Quote)

 

Of course we do, by fear any british would find them ! :rolleyes::o:blink:

 

Pierre

 

Um - just a minute, Pierre. Surely there can be little national pride in the travesty which was perpetrated by some of your own countrymen in Brussells Cathedral a few years ago. They are apparently at least as good at destroying things which still work as we are here in Britain. :P

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Um - just a minute, Pierre. Surely there can be little national pride in the travesty which was perpetrated by some of your own countrymen in Brussells Cathedral a few years ago. They are apparently at least as good at destroying things which still work as we here in Britain. :rolleyes:

 

Oh yes.....I fought against them for years -in vain-.

You certainly have followed that thread on Organographia;

the previous organ was one of the finest Post-romantic

instrument in Belgium.

Its incredibly "rolling" Diapasons, nearly smooth reeds,

and very effective Swell (partly in bricks) marked it as

belonging to the very same category than another organ

about 600 Km (400 Miles) west...

 

When the decision was made to replace it, we asked the

Administrator of the "monuments historiques" to come

by and listen the organ.

(After all, it made part of the first neo-gothic ensemble in Belgium, now entirely destroyed)

But just before that day the electrical wires were cut.

I had some words (euh, energical) with certain people, and my own career

in the organ business was over.

10 years later the new -excellent- organ was there.

 

Noch Fragen ?

 

Pierre

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