Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Desperately Seeking Really Good Tubas


Recommended Posts

The "gem" has nothing to do with precious strones. The gemshorn was a medieval musical instrument made from a goat's horn. It is from the German for goat that the instrument gets its name, therefore the "g" is hard. http://www.music.iastate.edu/antiqua/gemshorn.htm

 

Thankyou, VH.

Seeing, sir that you are a gentleman and a scholar (not sure about the acrobat!) I will now endeavour to call this stop by its correct name. I will have plenty of practice, I have several gemshorns currently on the wind here - four out of 32 ranks currently playing! This is not too many, because I like them: I find them to have all the interest of a Diapason without the power.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"Thynne

Rest assured, Pierre, other Thynne pipework exists. I have a splendid viole of his here - want to make me an offer? This was rescued from a Noterman organ in the midlands that recently bit the dust and I got it third-hand. Another friend rescued virtually all the pipework from Holy Trinity, Tooting Bec in the 70's and much of this has now been incorporated into the amazing creation/collation that serves St.Paul's Newcastle-under-Lyme. The pipework is all splendid, but then as a major trade supplier, the maker had every reason to use and develop his skills. As a general rule, pipes made for the trade by London suppliers were at least as good as the pipes that the larger firms made for themselves. This was a very busy trade indeed at the time, organs being commissioned right left and centre. Those who supplied first class pipes, made of robust alloys would do the best trade. You can go into a little job made by a little-known builder and find (often) better pipes (in terms of manufacture) than, for instance H&H put into their organs in the same period."

(Quote)

 

Good news indeed.

I am not sure to understand: do you mean Thynne's pipework was bought from supplier(s) ?

This was the case with Stahlhuth, for example, who bought his Trumpets in Paris and his

Tubas in England. First-class of course !

The point you make is of course interesting; should we keep a temporary mechanical

"quick fix", done in order to accomodate a place which was not the one previously arranged ?

 

As the organ is tracker+ Barker lever action, the answer might be "yes" today, since we anew

"accept" such designs.

But had the problem be adressed 30 years ago, the whole organ would have received

a new EP action...

The same kind of problem arose, again 30 years ago, with splendid romantic organs

which membranes in their Taschenladen were worn out.

In place of replacing the leather pieces and that's it, new sliderchests were fitted,

and the sound was gone. Many a beautiful organ has been lost that way.

 

So I agree we should not preserve drawbacks just for the masochist sake of it,

but with much much care.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
"Thynne

Rest assured, Pierre, other Thynne pipework exists. I have a splendid viole of his here - want to make me an offer? This was rescued from a Noterman organ in the midlands that recently bit the dust and I got it third-hand. Another friend rescued virtually all the pipework from Holy Trinity, Tooting Bec in the 70's and much of this has now been incorporated into the amazing creation/collation that serves St.Paul's Newcastle-under-Lyme. The pipework is all splendid, but then as a major trade supplier, the maker had every reason to use and develop his skills. As a general rule, pipes made for the trade by London suppliers were at least as good as the pipes that the larger firms made for themselves. This was a very busy trade indeed at the time, organs being commissioned right left and centre. Those who supplied first class pipes, made of robust alloys would do the best trade. You can go into a little job made by a little-known builder and find (often) better pipes (in terms of manufacture) than, for instance H&H put into their organs in the same period."

(Quote)

 

Good news indeed.

I am not sure to understand: do you mean Thynne's pipework was bought from supplier(s) ?

This was the case with Stahlhuth, for example, who bought his Trumpets in Paris and his

Tubas in England. First-class of course !

The point you make is of course interesting; should we keep a temporary mechanical

"quick fix", done in order to accomodate a place which was not the one previously arranged ?

 

As the organ is tracker+ Barker lever action, the answer might be "yes" today, since we anew

"accept" such designs.

But had the problem be adressed 30 years ago, the whole organ would have received

a new EP action...

The same kind of problem arose, again 30 years ago, with splendid romantic organs

which membranes in their Taschenladen were worn out.

In place of replacing the leather pieces and that's it, new sliderchests were fitted,

and the sound was gone. Many a beautiful organ has been lost that way.

 

So I agree we should not preserve drawbacks just for the masochist sake of it,

but with much much care.

 

Pierre

 

 

1. Thynne was a trade supplier. Michell was a designer and they teamed up because their gifts were complementary. Thynne (like J.W.Whiteley who voiced for Hope Jones) supplied pipework very widely (an example, of course, is the ex-Noterman rank).

 

2. As to perpetutating obvious problems/quick fixes in a pneumatic action, IMHO only an idiot would insist upon it. All my friends wanted to do at Tewkesbury was to provide better stays and supports!

 

2b. Little parallel story [details a little hazy, may well be that other readers can firm it up*]. About twenty years ago a motorway was under construction down south (M3 M4 or something). The planners wanted to run it into the side of a hill, [known locally as Spring Hill - for a reason!] The local farmers said, don't do it. Planners knew best - they had experts working for them. Bear in mind that a motorway costs not far off a million pounds per mile to construct.

 

Anyway, construction went ahead and a little while before it was due to be opened, the complete section that had been built on Spring Hill came loose and slid down said hill!

 

 

*Forgive me if this is an urban myth, but I'm pretty sure it isn't/wasn't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"1. Thynne was a trade supplier. Michell was a designer and they teamed up because their gifts were complementary. Thynne (like J.W.Whiteley who voiced for Hope Jones) supplied pipework very widely (an example, of course, is the ex-Noterman rank)."

(Quote)

 

Fine ! do we know which builders used his pipes ?

 

"2. As to perpetutating obvious problems/quick fixes in a pneumatic action, IMHO only an idiot would insist upon it. All my friends wanted to do at Tewkesbury was to provide better stays and supports!"

(Quote)

 

Of course, this is probably the idea you and I would have proponed.

This is common sense.

I often insist on "preservation rules" here, because of some ideas one happens

to encounter here. ;)

 

The Tewkesbury thread runs like a tiger on the french forum. It seems the timing

is good to have this instrument better known!

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
"1. Thynne was a trade supplier. Michell was a designer and they teamed up because their gifts were complementary. Thynne (like J.W.Whiteley who voiced for Hope Jones) supplied pipework very widely (an example, of course, is the ex-Noterman rank)."

(Quote)

 

Fine ! do we know which builders used his pipes ?

 

"2. As to perpetutating obvious problems/quick fixes in a pneumatic action, IMHO only an idiot would insist upon it. All my friends wanted to do at Tewkesbury was to provide better stays and supports!"

(Quote)

 

Of course, this is probably the idea you and I would have proponed.

This is common sense.

I often insist on "preservation rules" here, because of some ideas one happens

to encounter here. ;)

 

The Tewkesbury thread runs like a tiger on the french forum. It seems the timing

is good to have this instrument better known!

 

Pierre

 

Do we know which builders used his pipes? I certainly don't, I'm not sure if anyone else does. One would have to go inside a range of organs and look - not easy to arrange! This is not such a surprise, after all, Cavaille-Coll and Schulze were known to export specially voiced stops to those who were prepared to pay. My Thynne rank has a paper label on 4' C to identify it, if this is his label rather than Noterman's (in ink it says 'Thynne') there would be something to look out for.

 

 

Edited later - the paragraph below is incorrect. I looked again today after writing this and I have muddled two ranks up in my aged mind. The one described below is not Thynne's. His beards are a proportionally quite wide bars of pipe metal soldered between the ears. I have taken a photo which I will post somewhere and then link in.

 

I originally wrote:

He was widely known as a string specialist and some shapes of string beard/fender attachment are very distinctive. In this case, it is a (near leaf-shaped) metal plate that is soldered below the lower part of the mouth that curves back in to the pipe and curls in between the (quite normal) ears. The tone is keen but not coarse - ideal, in fact for certain effects. It is made of high-grade spotted metal throughout.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do we know which builders used his pipes? I certainly don't, I'm not sure if anyone else does. One would have to go inside a range of organs and look - not easy to arrange! This is not such a surprise, after all, Cavaille-Coll and Schulze were known to export specially voiced stops to those who were prepared to pay. My Thynne rank has a paper label on 4' C to identify it, if this is his label rather than Noterman's (in ink it says 'Thynne') there would be something to look out for.

 

He was widely known as a string specialist and some shapes of string beard/fender attachment are very distinctive. In this case, it is a (near leaf-shaped) metal plate that is soldered below the lower part of the mouth that curves back in to the pipe and curls in between the (quite normal) ears. The tone is keen but not coarse - ideal, in fact for certain effects. It is made of high-grade spotted metal throughout.

 

 

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

 

I wonder if Schulze ever actually exported anything?

 

Most of the "Schulze" registers appear to be Diapasons, and considering the fact that he worked out a collection of chicken-sheds and didn't have a metal-shop, exporting anything would have been very difficult.

 

Maybe we will never know the truth, but I "suspect" that Schulze employed others to do the "exporting".....maybe from as far away as Sheffield or London.

 

The reason I say this, is the existence of a voicer's book, with each rank of pipes carefully entered into a ledger. Alongside some of them is a large "S" in red, with a diagonal line drawn through them, to signify "Schulze".

 

Make of this what you will....my name isn't Sherlock Holmes!

 

;)

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

I shall try to avoid using the word 'rebuild' as it obviously upsets some people, but having now let Pierre and Paul hit the ball back and forth a few posts, there does appear to be consensus. One possible model for consideration in the eventual 'restoration' might be that which M & T originally envisaged, rather than what they were forced to do in a hurry. But I'm sure somebody would say that would destroy a vital piece of organ history.

 

My experience working with organ advisers here in Switzerland is that their knowledge of how materials age and react to environmental changes (particularly the use of modern heating) is not often based on any scientific fact or even observation. There are also those (purists) who claim every building technique used more than 50 years ago has to be restored as is. Well this would have meant in one 1907 Goll rebuild of a 1895 Bishop Organ, that a taschenladen windchest (with 100 yr old cardboard tubes) made of the cheapest pine, with little or no surface protection, all glued to the Bishop mahogany top board, that had been badly repaired several times, and full of splits, was going to be 'restored'.

 

I gave a presentation to the 30 or so 'experts' from across the country and had to explain just how difficult it would be to separate the two glued pieces without destroying both. It may not surprise anyone to know that none of the 30 'experts' were actually engaged in Organ Building. Thankfully a few had some knowledge of basic wood working.

In the end they were convinced that as there were many better examples of Goll's work in the country, only the parts of the organ that were by Bishop (one slider chest had somehow survived the Goll 'restoration') should be restored and two new chests could be made to match the existing one. The work has yet to start, I am keeping the thing playing until they have sufficient funds for one of the four OB's who will be asked to tender (2 Swiss and 2 UK). A similar, but better Bishop Organ was scrapped over ten years ago from the Geneva Anglican church and replaced by yet another baroque copy by Kuhn.

 

Pierre might be interested to know that despite much pressure from the Swiss organists, I will not allow them to replace the Walcker-Tschanun organ at the Lausanne Anglican church, just so they can show off their Bach technique. It has one of the last remaining examples in Switzerland of the Walcker free-reed oboe from 1878. The old choir organ (originally IP tracker) has the original cone-valve chest, now operated by an exhaust Barker of 1924 in the IIIP puffer membrane pneumatic. The rest is a reasonably well constructed system, that after my overhaul in 1994 now works very well with just the occasional tweak to regulate some notes affected by the humidity changes. Mark Venning mentioned that Tschanun's laying of the tubing wasn't as neat as it could have been, but this doesn't compromise its efficiency.

 

Contrabombarde recently dropped by and managed to drive the old thing through Guilmant's first sonata with only a moment before to work out what did what (nothing is quite where you would expect it and there are ventil pistons galore).

 

So Pierre, most of us on this forum are protecting the old as well as encouraging the new. There are many churches and concert halls, though, where the organ really needs to be in a user friendly condition or it may find itself thrown in a skip and replaced with something pretending to be a pipe organ. Tewkesbury Abbey is not in this situation of course.

 

Did you hear about the Thynne organ that was bulldozed into the dust this year at what used to be Battersea Polytechnic? The reeds on that had had new shallots and revoicing by HN & B in 1924, so perhaps not such a catastrophy, but worrying as according to the NPOR no organ adviser or English Heritage were involved.

 

And if Thynne is pronounced 'Tin', I may have to write another limerick.

 

Barry's Tuba thread has long since frayed into several others.

 

Could Cynic perhaps start a new thread please with a few photos of the leviathan he is planning to build?

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Pierre might be interested to know that despite much pressure from the Swiss organists, I will not allow them to replace the Walcker-Tschanun organ at the Lausanne Anglican church, just so they can show off their Bach technique. It has one of the last remaining examples in Switzerland of the Walcker free-reed oboe from 1878."

(Quote)

 

Indeed I am!

 

If you could get some pictures, scales and details plus a sound file, we could

add it on Aeoline.de.

A very, very rare stop !

 

I found this about the organ you talk about:

 

http://www.christchurch-lausanne.ch/Organ.htm

 

Here is what we have about it as comment:

 

"als durchschlagende Stimme mit weicher Intonation zu finden. Als Solostimme oder in Verbindung mit Gedackten, Flöten, zarten STreichern in vielen schönen Klangkombinationen verwertbar. In Verbindung mit anderen Stimmen ergeben sich die Kombinationen wie Fagott-Englisch Horn, Fagott Klarinette, Fagott Oboe und andere, wo immer das Fagott den Bass repräsentiert.

 

Fagott-Oboë in Riga eingebaut auf dem II.Manual, mit variabler Windzufuhr. Ihre Klangstärke und-farbe lassen sich zur Erzielung größerer Expressivität mit einem Schwellpedal verändern, was bei Sander - Reger, Pastorale aus op.59 Anwendung findet

 

Oboë kommt auch bei Ladegast als durchlagende Zunge vor, Körper aus 14.löth. Zinn, Köpfe aus Birnbaum, bei obersten Octaven aus Messing; die klingen nach Busch schärfer und spitzer als die Clarinette und sind dem gleichnamigen Orchester-Instrument täuschend ähnlich

 

Fagott 16' ebenfalls Ladegast-Stimme, weit mensuriert, Bauart ähnlich Oboë"

 

So there is one in Riga, and maybe some could have escaped the neo baroque aesthetic purification in Ladegast organs.

 

 

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you could get some pictures, scales and details plus a sound file, we could

add it on Aeoline.de.

A very, very rare stop !

Dear Pierre,

I'll see what I can do, if I have time next week, pictures should be easy, but we may have to wait for me to work out the best way to produce a sound file that does it justice. I suppose it has to be said that the main reason they are rare is that most of the pipes tend to sound more like a harmonium than an oboe, but as your piece in German mentions (I think!) it has a mild intonation which allows it to blend very well, particularly with the other Walcker stops. The tenor octave has a really nice sound that is actually quite close to an oboe. I forgot to mention that it is an 8' stop and on 3.5 inches wind.

 

I had a well respected reed voicer, Jean-Marie Tricoteaux, restore it, there was quite a bit of lead corrosion to the blocks (the top boards are oak) and the usual splits to a few of the boots, but the tongues and resonators had pretty much survived. It turns into a beating reed somewhere around the fourth octave.

 

Sorry about the odd font changes in the piece about the organ on the church web site, somebody else has sole responsibility for this and refuses offers of help. I hope to sort it out soon and add more interesting photos.

 

And Paul, many thanks for the link to your organ project. You've certainly got something to keep you busy for several years to come.

 

David

Link to post
Share on other sites
See here our page about the reeds, David:

 

http://www.aeoline.de/page_5.htm

 

....With some sound samples as an example.

Mr Tricoteaux we know very well in Belgium,

he already voiced complete organs here !

 

Pierre

 

 

Pierre,

here is a link to a page which shows two photos of the William Thynne Viole I mentioned above. You will need to scroll to the bottom past photos illustrating a house organ project.

 

http://pic6.piczo.com/PAULDERRETT/?g=23073207&cr=6

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...