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A Strange Thing


Pierre Lauwers
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At risk of appearing provocative, there are colours more lovely and characterful here (than The Cube, not Old Gloster!):

 

 

:P

 

I've never seen a Wurlitzer been used for serious music before! If you close the browser while listening to it you could be fooled into thinking that its a proper organ ;)

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I've never seen a Wurlitzer been used for serious music before! If you close the browser while listening to it you could be fooled into thinking that its a proper organ ;)

 

Why wouldn't a Wurlitzer be a "proper" organ ?

After all, we all (should?) know they are extremely

well build and voiced.

The rest is only taste.

 

Pierre

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See again the Pedal....Only two stops there !

(the rest= borrowings and extensions...)

Pierre

 

No, Pierre. To the best of my knowlegde, it is accepted in England that all available speaking stops are counted as part of the total. In any case, Pedal extension of the type commonly used in this country is almost never aurally discernable in most repertoire.

 

The stops are (or were) available as separate draw-stops on the Pedal Organ - they count as part of the total.

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At risk of appearing provocative, there are colours more lovely and characterful here (than The Cube, not Old Gloster!):

 

 

;)

 

Ian - I am shocked and stunned - and a little confused!

 

I have mixed feelings about this. Firstly, the playing appeared to be extremely good - and from memory! Secondly, many of the sounds were what I would describe as 'orthodox' (for want of a more specific term). I did not care for some of the fatter reeds - but this would also be the case if it had been performed on the organ of King's College Chapel, Cambridge.

 

I thought that some of the quieter sounds were rather lovely, although I was also not sure at the 'five minute mark' - as already noted by Richard McVeigh.

 

However, I did put the browser window behind this one and I would agree that for much of the performance it was quite possible to imagine that the piece was being played on a vintage Harrison (together with a few additions). Then again, as Pierre has pointed-out, these instruments do not lack either craftsmanship or expert voicing - albeit of a different type to that which I am accustomed.

 

Also at the risk of being provocative, I thought that the musicality and technical ability of the performer, together with his handling of the instrument, was somewhat superior to Carlo Curley's Elgar.

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Or could it be a 3rd person, familiar with Stephen's stories, who has assumed the character by way of a nom de plume (or, rather, a nom de clavier)?

 

I haven't looked for any of these recordings, but would suggest that this - 3rd party adoption - would be in rather poor taste if done after Stephen's recent demise, and with knowledge of the event. I sincerely hope this isn't the case.

 

Rgds,

MJF

 

Go to http://www.carlo.com/PDFFiles/CCLN_00019.pdf and read the very mawkish (imho) tribute to Stephen Bicknell by Carlo Curley. It seems that Paulino is a Curley/Bicknell hybrid character!

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The Sumsion Elgar recording is also used as a filler on an EMI reissue of Elgar choral music. Will furnish more details when I am back in the same postal distict as my CD collection.

Paul

 

Go to http://www.amphion-recordings.com and follow the links to "Selections from the EMI Greact Cathedral Organs Series": the Elgar is on Volume 1. Having all the LPs (except 19: anyone prepared to part with one?) the stuff on all 4 discs is very good and I can recommend all four discs.

 

Charles

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Go to http://www.carlo.com/PDFFiles/CCLN_00019.pdf and read the very mawkish (imho) tribute to Stephen Bicknell by Carlo Curley. It seems that Paulino is a Curley/Bicknell hybrid character!

 

 

Thanks for pointing me/us to this. In its defence, I didn't find it mawkish at all. I found it no more or less than a worthy obituary for a friend.

 

To answer my own question (some postings above), it would appear that Carlo himself chose to have some of his performances in Japan ascribed to his alter ego.

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QUOTE(john carter @ Oct 19 2007, 02:51 PM)

The only CD of the Sumsion recording that I can find is on EMI Classics and is rather expensive. Is it good enough to justify a price tag of £35 for a mid-sixties recording? Currently my favourite is the version that is on Thomas Trotter's recent Elgar CD on the Regent label, recorded at Salisbury.

JC

 

The Sumsion Elgar recording is also used as a filler on an EMI reissue of Elgar choral music. Will furnish more details when I am back in the same postal distict as my CD collection.

Paul

 

 

EMI CDM 5 65594 2

Elgar Sacred Music

Worcester Cathedral Choir - Robinson (dir)

Gloucester Cathedral - Sumsion (org)

 

I don't know waht this cd costs on its own, but it should be borne in mind that for £35.00 you are getting a 12 disc boxed set of archive recordings of all Elgar's significant choral music. This includes the Boult recodings of 'The Apostles' and 'The Kingdom' and the Barbrolli/Halle recording of 'The Deam of Gerontius'.

 

Trust that this is of use,

Paul.

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No, Pierre. To the best of my knowlegde, it is accepted in England that all available speaking stops are counted as part of the total. In any case, Pedal extension of the type commonly used in this country is almost never aurally discernable in most repertoire.

 

The stops are (or were) available as separate draw-stops on the Pedal Organ - they count as part of the total.

 

Charles Anneessens could have done better by far in England then,

with his extended organs he made by the tons for flemish villages churches!

Mind you: three stops sold for the price of twelve....

 

Pierre

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QUOTE(john carter @ Oct 19 2007, 02:51 PM)

The only CD of the Sumsion recording that I can find is on EMI Classics and is rather expensive. Is it good enough to justify a price tag of £35 for a mid-sixties recording? Currently my favourite is the version that is on Thomas Trotter's recent Elgar CD on the Regent label, recorded at Salisbury.

JC

 

The Sumsion Elgar recording is also used as a filler on an EMI reissue of Elgar choral music. Will furnish more details when I am back in the same postal distict as my CD collection.

Paul

EMI CDM 5 65594 2

Elgar Sacred Music

Worcester Cathedral Choir - Robinson (dir)

Gloucester Cathedral - Sumsion (org)

 

I don't know waht this cd costs on its own, but it should be borne in mind that for £35.00 you are getting a 12 disc boxed set of archive recordings of all Elgar's significant choral music. This includes the Boult recodings of 'The Apostles' and 'The Kingdom' and the Barbrolli/Halle recording of 'The Deam of Gerontius'.

 

Trust that this is of use,

Paul.

Thanks Paul, I hadn't realised that it was a boxed set. The price tag now makes more sense.

JC

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Charles Anneessens could have done better by far in England then,

with his extended organs he made by the tons for flemish villages churches!

Mind you: three stops sold for the price of twelve....

 

Pierre

 

Pierre, as I wrote - this is standard practice in this country. I can see nothing either inherently wrong nor underhand in counting every Pedal stop on an organ. They are, after all, normally listed in any specification leaflet which may be published either by the church or by the organ builder.

 

Does anyone else have any views on this?

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Well, that is exactly what I thought too, Vox.

Whilst I can see that including extensions and borrowings in the total number of stops is standard practice certainly here in the UK there is much to recommend giving the number of ranks as well. This seems to be more common in the US where perhaps unit organs are more prevalent. I occasionaly play a three rank organ with about 25 speaking stops (it would be invidious to name the maker) at a church in Hackney; to call this a 25-stop organ might be literally true but is far from giving an accurate picture. There is a trend in small mechanical-action organs, again particularly in the US, of many stops being available on either manual, but not at the same time (except through the manual coupler) or where there is no independent pedal but all or most of the great is duplexed to the pedal. Again, I would consider just giving the number of speaking stops including the duplexes as misleading. The Ely spec that started this is typical of many early C20 large instruments in that the majority of the pedal stops appear elsewhere in the instrument, a design feature that certainly maximises the use of the largest and most expensive pipes but involves a certain amount of leger de main.

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Yes, Innate,

 

A design feature.

On the Pedal of a late-romantic or post-romantic organ, you never have enough

16', just like you never have enough 8' on the manuals.

Moreover, the available room is rarely satisfying for such a Pedal.

So you specify 16' on the manuals, bearing in mind they are actually

mainly Pedal stops. But the main 16' must be on the Pedal only

For example:

 

Kontrabass 16'

Subbass 16'

Bourdon doux 16' (from great)

Quintaton 16' (from Swell)

Dulciana 16' (from choir)

Trombone 16'

Basson 16' (from swell)

 

This was superbly explained by Ernest M. Skinner in his writings.

 

Now to count these stops twice I think not fair for the designer who took

care not to waste money and ressources.

 

Pierre

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Whilst I can see that including extensions and borrowings in the total number of stops is standard practice certainly here in the UK there is much to recommend giving the number of ranks as well. This seems to be more common in the US where perhaps unit organs are more prevalent. I occasionaly play a three rank organ with about 25 speaking stops (it would be invidious to name the maker) at a church in Hackney; to call this a 25-stop organ might be literally true but is far from giving an accurate picture. There is a trend in small mechanical-action organs, again particularly in the US, of many stops being available on either manual, but not at the same time (except through the manual coupler) or where there is no independent pedal but all or most of the great is duplexed to the pedal. Again, I would consider just giving the number of speaking stops including the duplexes as misleading. The Ely spec that started this is typical of many early C20 large instruments in that the majority of the pedal stops appear elsewhere in the instrument, a design feature that certainly maximises the use of the largest and most expensive pipes but involves a certain amount of leger de main.

 

Hi

 

For what it's worth, NPOR surveys note each stop (including extensions and duplicates) individually - but when we can, we indicate derivations in the stop list - and when we know an organ is an extension job, we say so (and note the extensions & derivations when we know them). The layout will shortly be changed to allow us to insert "XXX ranks" as an alternative to stop numbers - especially relevant for theatre organs and other heavily extended jobs.

 

Logically, to the player, duplexed ranks appear as seperate stops, and thus quoting the number gives a better idea of the organ's resources than only quoting the number of ranks.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Counting the actual ranks may be a good idea for theatre organs,

and heavily extended late-romantic organs with very few mixture ranks,

but less for modern jobs.

Let us take, for example, an organ with Mixture 5r, Cymbal 3r, and Cornet 5r

on the great.

That is already 13 ranks, which cost less than the others by far since we

only have three sliders there, and much very little pipes.

I'd better count the sliders (or equivalent for sliderless chests). One stop=

one slide+ 1 or several ranks thereupon.

 

So we can have an extended Pedal:

 

Kontrabass 16'

Subbass 16'

Bourdon doux 16' (great)

Salicional 16' (Swell)

Octave 8' (extended from Kontrabass)

Bourdon 8' (extended from Subbass)

Trombone 16'

Basson 16' (Swell)

Octave Trombone 8' (extended from 16')

 

On paper and at the console, we have nine stops. But on the actual

Pedal windchest, we have only three stops, whose compass goes one octave

further than the Pedalboard.

 

Pierre

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