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Yes, Pcnd,

 

Interesting here is the fact someone, before WW I,

did write something like that.

Maybe the organ never was built so.

But it influenced some organs built 80 years later.....And

might well continue to do so.

Maybe a good idea would be to......Will be continued

in 10 years.

 

Pierre

 

But was it the sound - or the paper specification which provided the influence?

 

I am not sure what you mean by your first sentence.

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As the sound nobody knows....

Some trials were made, were found interesting,

and now obtain in Brussels.

 

I meant: someone did design something like that before 1914.

In the meantime, such designs also existed in Germany.

(There is a Link organ in Andernach, Koblenz, quite comparable

as long as Mixtures are concerned).

So experimental they are, but such Mixtures belonged to a

dedicate style, a way of thinking, that was not limited to

a circle of "special" people.

 

Pierre

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

Well, well, well!!

 

Frizinghall was my second appointment as an organist, when I was all of 15, but the funny thing is, I had forgotten who built the organ, but now I know.

 

Actually, it wasn't such a bad sound, and the acoustic of the church was half decent.

 

The organ did, however, have a very special "trick".

 

For some obscure reason, the blower was installed alongside the organ, but at case-top level on a sort of beam. When the thing started, it made the most dreadful noise, as the wind first rushed and then the mickey-mouse flapper valve dropped closed. It sounded EXACTLY like a toilet cystern flushing, which at the age of 15, is quite irresistable.

 

So when the sermons ended (usually quite dreadful) it was always, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy.............WHOOSH!"

 

:wacko:

 

MM

Quite a coincidence, and praise indeed from MM for an organ built at the start of the 20th century.

 

I can only imagine the 'obscure reason' for placing the 'toilet flush effect' at a similar height to the pipes would be to avoid sucking in the freezing cold air that is well known to lurk around the floor level of churches, particularly in Yorkshire. The church would have saved electricity by leaving the blower running through the sermon, assuming that there weren't too many air leaks.

 

Did you actually manage to play Bach on this organ?

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Quite a coincidence, and praise indeed from MM for an organ built at the start of the 20th century.

 

I can only imagine the 'obscure reason' for placing the 'toilet flush effect' at a similar height to the pipes would be to avoid sucking in the freezing cold air that is well known to lurk around the floor level of churches, particularly in Yorkshire. The church would have saved electricity by leaving the blower running through the sermon, assuming that there weren't too many air leaks.

 

Did you actually manage to play Bach on this organ?

 

 

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

 

 

I think the reason was very much simpler. They didn't want to disturb the beautiful tile floor.

 

I can't recall playing anything on that organ, but I must have done I expect.

 

It was a long time ago!

 

:angry:

 

MM

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Well, why then do we find such Dolce coumpond stops in all post-romantic organs,

cathedral organs included ? To the point it is the signature of this style -The Grove

organ included- ?

 

Let us take as an example the most interesting specification Audsley gives, a not

huge one he made for the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken (a belgian town

which has its sister in the U.S.), New Jersey:

 

First organ- First clavier (according to the german romantic system also):

 

 

Dolce Cornet 5 ranks (2)

 

Second subdivision, in Swellbox N°3

 

Dulciana 8' metal

Viola di gamba 8' tin

Viola d'amore 8' tin

Orchestral Clarinet 8' metal

Vox humana 8' metal

Tremolant

 

Third organ- third clavier

 

First subdivision, in Swellbox N°2

 

Dolce 8' metal

Flauto d'amore 8' wood

Orchestral flute 4' wood

Orchestral Piccolo 2' metal

Orchestral Oboe 8' metal

Tremolant

 

Second subdivision, in Swellbox N°3

 

Minor Principal 8' metal

Violoncello 8' tin

Concert Violin 8' tin

Contrafagotto 16'

Corno di Bassetto 8'

Tremolant

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Double Principal 32' wood

Grand Principal 16' wood

Contra-basso 16' wood

Dulciana 16' metal

Bourdon 16' wood

Grand Octave 8' (extended from Grand Principal)

Dolce 8' (extended from Dulciana)

Violoncello 8' (extended from Contra-basso)

Compensating Mixture 3 ranks 4'- 2 2/3'- 2'

Trombone 16' metal

 

Auxiliairy Pedal organ

 

Lieblichgedeckt 16' (borrowed from second organ)

Double Trumpet 16' (from first organ)

Contrafagotto (from third organ)

 

Pierre

 

Pierre, without wishing to be provocative, I must question (once again) your labelling of such instruments as 'post-Romantic'. I recall that you have similarly described the instruments of Arthur Harrison as such.

 

I remain convinced that these instruments in Britain (and others from this era) would be labelled as perfect examples of English Romantic instruments. In this country, this period extended to around the 1950s. For example, I sincerely doubt that any of my colleagues would call the H&H instrument at the Colston Hall, Bristol anything other than a superb example of a Romantic instrument.

 

If we disregard (for the moment) those instruments which were designed by Ralph Downes, arguably the first post-Romantic organ in England was the rebuilt organ of York Minster (JWW Walker, 1960), with the superlative H&H at Coventry Cathedral following shortly after (1962).

 

I would be interested to learn your definition of a Romantic and a post-Romantic instrument, since I for one am currently labouring under some confusion, due to the terms which you have employed.

 

Again, I stress that I have no wish to be disagreeable - simply to seek to clear up some confusion which I believe has arisen.

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Pierre,

I usually agree with you, but in this case I don't. Tierce mixtures do blend with reeds, agreed.....

But then so do Quint Mixtures provided that they do not start too high. I find H&H Harmonics (incl. flat 21st) to be of very musical little use, I'm afraid. They're better than no mixture at all, but only in very full combinations.

 

The critical thing, in my experience, is that there is must not be a gulf between the main chorus (*16) 8' 4' 2.2/3 2 and the Mixture(s). In this regard, builders in Germany have often arranged it far better than many a builder over here. I find the long-established French Fourniture and Cymbale a very good idea, but from the 19th century on in France these ranks were often pretty pale and at Cavaille-Coll's hands they break back radically in the treble, even including harmonics of 16'. This is not a true Plein Jeu, nor is it the ideal principal chorus.

 

I could find you several UK organs of the period 1870-1910 or so where there is a perfect blend between reeds and a principal chorus - some by Hill are particularly outstanding*, but there are several by Willis (they were not all Geigen Diapasons, I assure you MM) several by Walker. As MM has said, the combination of Schulze Diapasons and Norman and Beard reeds (particularly on the Great) at St.George's Doncaster is very fine indeed. The blend there IMHO has nothing at all to do with the Cornet stop. There the success is in the way so many quints and octaves lock together. A chorus based on 16' complete with the 5.1/3 quint and all the mixtures is a spectacular sound, albeit one not to be endured a close quarters for too long at a time!

These effects were not ever forgotten, they simply went out of fashion in some quarters. If you have not heard a typical best period Walker, complete with so-called Clarion Mixtures, then you have really missed something!

 

*Sydney Town Hall, which you mentioned a while ago is an astonishing example of perfect plenum: chorus+quint mixures+reeds.

 

There is much good sense here.

 

Pierre, I must also disagree - my own instrument (and David's at Romsey) both contain superb G.O. choruses which blend perfectly well with the reeds; although I feel bound to state that I much prefer my own chorus reeds - those at Romsey were, greatly to their detriment, revoiced in 1974. Whatever one's views on tierce mixtures may be, a G.O. quint mixture which commences at 19-22-26-29 really is not that high-pitched. In the case of my own instrument, the G.O. mixture (which has this composition at C1) was originally provided by Robson in 1844. Whilst I cannot say with any certainty that the pipes were not regulated or altered in any way, there was certainly no new pipework introduced in the Walker rebuild of 1965. The result is an utterly musical, un-forced chorus, which 'sings' beautifully - and blends with virtually any flue stop on the G.O. and also with both chorus reeds. These two ranks are superb light-pressure trumpets, which were fitted with harmonic trebles at some point in the past.

 

Like Cynic, I can think of several good G.O. choruses on English instruments which contain only quint mixtures - and in which the flue-work blends superbly with the reeds.

 

I would further agree that there are a number of excellent examples by Wm. Hill & Son, which exhibit this characteristic.

 

When one considers the FHW instrument at Lincoln Cathedral, with its meagre provision of two 12-19-22 mixtures (the Choir 22-26-29 Mixture was inserted by H&H in 1960) - and in this vast building - it is surely evident that Willis relied too heavily on his chorus reeds for brilliance and excitement. Notwithstanding the high regard in which this instrument is held by many, it is also surely worthy of note that it has been criticised by one or two eminent authorities for such points as the fact that the Great and Swell organs have very similar stop-lists, and are, in fact, very similar in both timbre and output.

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No problem!

 

The post-romantic organ was designed by people who were relieved from the heavy

convictions of the "big chiefs" of the 19th century: E-F Walcker, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll,

Henry Willis I, Wilhelm Sauer, etc.

Those people had their styles firmly established between say 1850 and 1890.

 

Afterwards, trials were done more freely, and gave rise, in the end, to two different styles:

 

1)- The theatre organ

 

2)- The neo-baroque organ

 

....Both the most typical of the 20th century -and closer than one might expect-.

 

To summarize somewhat -or I could copy/paste some hundred of pages-:

 

-The "romantic" organ is a crescendo beginning with 8' flues (4 on each manual or more),

and finishing with the Mixtures (last things to be drawn)

 

-The "Post-romantic" organ experiments with extreme colors AND soft mutations

and Mixtures, Nasards, Tierces (tapered, 10 times softer than the real thing), Harmonia aetherea,

Dulciana Mixtures and the like. The registration becomes less standardized. See Tournemire,

Karg-Elert, and -later- Messian and of course H.H.

 

It is clear in Britain "romantic" and "Post romantic" did not follow mechanically, but co-existed.

In Germany Oscar Walcker built the first neo-baroque organ as early as 1921, while in Britain,

romantic ones could still be built 1956.

But who was the first to experiment with something else than a linear crescendo, pairing a Schulze

climax with a Willis one ?

 

That *is* the question....

 

" I can think of several good G.O. choruses on English instruments which contain only quint mixtures - and in which the flue-work blends superbly with the reeds."

(Quote)

 

Sorry, not for my (flemish) ear: Reeds and Mixtures sound apart, or, whenever they blend (in big chords), they cry.

 

Pierre

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There is much good sense here.

 

Pierre, I must also disagree - my own instrument (and David's at Romsey) both contain superb G.O. choruses which blend perfectly well with the reeds; although I feel bound to state that I much prefer my own chorus reeds - those at Romsey were, greatly to their detriment, revoiced in 1974. Whatever one's views on tierce mixtures may be, a G.O. quint mixture which commences at 19-22-26-29 really is not that high-pitched. In the case of my own instrument, the G.O. mixture (which has this composition at C1) was originally provided by Robson in 1844. Whilst I cannot say with any certainty that the pipes were not regulated or altered in any way, there was certainly no new pipework introduced in the Walker rebuild of 1965. The result is an utterly musical, un-forced chorus, which 'sings' beautifully - and blends with virtually any flue stop on the G.O. and also with both chorus reeds. These two ranks are superb light-pressure trumpets, which were fitted with harmonic trebles at some point in the past.

 

Like Cynic, I can think of several good G.O. choruses on English instruments which contain only quint mixtures - and in which the flue-work blends superbly with the reeds.

 

I would further agree that there are a number of excellent examples by Wm. Hill & Son, which exhibit this characteristic.

 

When one considers the FHW instrument at Lincoln Cathedral, with its meagre provision of two 12-19-22 mixtures (the Choir 22-26-29 Mixture was inserted by H&H in 1960) - and in this vast building - it is surely evident that Willis relied too heavily on his chorus reeds for brilliance and excitement. Notwithstanding the high regard in which this instrument is held by many, it is also surely worthy of note that it has been criticised by one or two eminent authorities for such points as the fact that the Great and Swell organs have very similar stop-lists, and are, in fact, very similar in both timbre and output.

Pcnd, it would be interesting to know the full composition of the mixtures and their breaks on the Minster organ if you have the information to hand.

JC

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No problem!

 

The post-romantic organ was designed by people who were relieved from the heavy

convictions of the "big chiefs" of the 19th century: E-F Walcker, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll,

Henry Willis I, Wilhelm Sauer, etc.

Those people had their styles firmly established between say 1850 and 1890.

 

Afterwards, trials were done more freely, and gave rise, in the end, to two different styles:

 

1)- The theatre organ

 

2)- The neo-baroque organ

 

....Both the most typical of the 20th century -and closer than one might expect-.

 

To summarize somewhat -or I could copy/paste some hundred of pages-:

 

-The "romantic" organ is a crescendo beginning with 8' flues (4 on each manual or more),

and finishing with the Mixtures (last things to be drawn)

 

-The "Post-romantic" organ experiments with extreme colors AND soft mutations

and Mixtures, Nasards, Tierces (tapered, 10 times softer than the real thing), Harmonia aetherea,

Dulciana Mixtures and the like. The registration becomes less standardized. See Tournemire,

Karg-Elert, and -later- Messian and of course H.H.

 

It is clear in Britain "romantic" and "Post romantic" did not follow mechanically, but co-existed.

In Germany Oscar Walcker built the first neo-baroque organ as early as 1921, while in Britain,

romantic ones could still be built 1956.

But who was the first to experiment with something else than a linear crescendo, pairing a Schulze

climax with a Willis one ?

 

That *is* the question....

 

Pierre

 

Thank you for this, Pierre.

 

I think that it is therefore true to observe that the situation was different in Britain (as one might expect) than elsewhere.

 

However, your definition of a Romantic organ needs qualification, in so far as British organs are concerned. In these instruments, it is the big reeds which were drawn last - often with the mixtures. Certainly, to avoid confusion, I am fairly certain that the entire output of Arthur Harrison would be, quite correctly, regarded as 'Romantic' by the majority of British organists.

 

One small further point - I am not sure that I would put Herbert Howells alongside those who required a less-standardised form of registration; particulary when it is remembered that the instrument for which he wrote most of his organ and (accompanied) choral music, was that at Gloucester Cathedral - in both its FHW (1899) and H&H (1920) incarnations. If anything, his registrational requirements were extremely orthodox - with the exception that he occasionally requested 8ft. and/or 4ft. Pedal stops (without a 16ft. rank). Aside from this, there are a number of calls for a Pedal 32ft - always a flue; and a Tuba - but nothing involving mixtures, mutations or anything out fo the ordinary. This is also true of the accompaniments to his choral works.

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As I always say, we'd better forget "Repertoire" for a moment

and care a bit more for beautiful tone.

 

Pierre

 

Pierre, I realise that I have lifted the above sentence and separated it from the rest of the paragraph. However, I will say again that this is surely impossible - or at least, pointless.

 

Without repertoire, any organ is no more than an interesting historical document in wood and metal. One cannot divorce the instrument from the music which was written for it to play. This is as fruitless as desigining a new sports car which maybe has a V-12 engine, capable of producing 160bhp, and of achieving 0 - 60mph in 4.75 seconds. It may, in addition, have leather seats and a full array of sophisticated controls and dash displays - and then saying "Oh no - you cannot actually drive it - you are just supposed to look at it!"

 

An organ of whatever style has, by its very nature, been designed to perform a particular job. It is occasionally simply to accompany congregational singing. More often, it is also to provide preludes, interludes and postludes. In a good number of cases it is designed to be able to give a good account of the greater portion of what is actually a very wide-ranging repertiore, spanning several centuries. Or, it may be an instrument in a town hall, which is used regularly for solo recitals and for orchestral and choral concerts. - and which has plenty of 'backbone'.

 

Whatever the case, to attempt to divorce any organ from repertiore (in general) is surely folly. I do not for one moment dispute that organ builders through the ages have sought to provide beautiful tone - but this is in service of the job which the instrument has to perform.

 

One cannot treat the organ simply as an interesting piece of history (from any period). It exists in its environment in order to perform repertiore of one kind or another.

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Pcnd, it would be interesting to know the full composition of the mixtures and their breaks on the Minster organ if you have the information to hand.

JC

 

The compositions I can give you now - the breaks I will provide as soon as I can go inside and check them out.

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Mixture IV 19-22-26-29 (throughout)

 

POSITIVE ORGAN

 

Cymbel III 29-33-36

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Sesquialtera II 12-17 (throughout)

 

Mixture IV 19-22-26-29

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Mixture 22-26-29

 

I can state that none of these mixtures screams or shrieks - all are well-regulated and beautifully voiced. Each completes a most satisfying chorus. The cumualtive effect I find to be both exciting and exhilarating.

 

Perhaps the only disappointing mixture is the G.O. Sesquialtera, which is too quiet and too wide-scaled. There is, in any case, a far better cornet composé on the Positive Organ.

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"his is as fruitless as desigining a new sports car which maybe has a V-12 engine, capable of producing 160bhp, and of achieving 0 - 60mph in 4.75 seconds. It may, in addition, have leather seats and a full array of sophisticated controls and dash displays - and then saying "Oh no - you cannot actually drive it - you are just supposed to look at it!"

(Quote)

 

Excellent point !

The comparison is effectively appropriate; even if you COULD actually drive

that V-12 (with 360 HP rather than the 160 you can have in a Mondeo nowadays),

as a *driving teacher*, it is quite understandable you would prefer to use a Ford Ka

instead.

 

There were some periods, some areas, with those "Porsche organs" (I do not necessarily

mean restored Ladegasts!) nobody understood any more during the neo-baroque period.

 

What to do with those 18th century central and southern german organs like Görlitz (destroyed 1938),

Ochsenhausen, Weingarten, Waltershausen and the like ?

 

What music could have been written for such bizarre a thing than the Palacio real, Madrid, J. Bosch organ ?

 

What to do with an Isnard organ such as St-Maximin-du-Var, with its unusual scales, two trumpets on the great,

borrowed Raisonnance manual, and 32' Great Mixture ? Nothing for Couperin or Grigny, anyway.

 

And then those Post-romantic, "unusable" things, like Michell & Thynne, A. Harrison, John Compton, Willis III

(to cite only british ones).

 

Fact is, you could not have a pupil sit on the bank and tell him: "draw a Principal 8', Octave 4', Super-octave 2',

mixture and Cymbal, with a (gentle, rattling) 16' reed on the Pedal".

 

With post-romantic organs, not "rules", but creativity, innovation led the way. We often talk about A.H., but the most

creative builders in Britain were certainly Thynne (or/ or with Michell) and above all John Compton.

 

Pierre

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"his is as fruitless as desigining a new sports car which maybe has a V-12 engine, capable of producing 160bhp, and of achieving 0 - 60mph in 4.75 seconds. It may, in addition, have leather seats and a full array of sophisticated controls and dash displays - and then saying "Oh no - you cannot actually drive it - you are just supposed to look at it!"

(Quote)

 

Excellent point !

The comparison is effectively appropriate; even if you COULD actually drive

that V-12 (with 360 HP rather than the 160 you can have in a Mondeo nowadays),

as a *driving teacher*, it is quite understandable you would prefer to use a Ford Ka

instead.

 

There were some periods, some areas, with those "Porsche organs" (I do not necessarily

mean restored Ladegasts!) nobody understood any more during the neo-baroque period.

 

What to do with those 18th century central and southern german organs like Görlitz (destroyed 1938),

Ochsenhausen, Weingarten, Waltershausen and the like ?

 

What music could have been written for such bizarre a thing than the Palacio real, Madrid, J. Bosch organ ?

 

What to do with an Isnard organ such as St-Maximin-du-Var, with its unusual scales, two trumpets on the great,

borrowed Raisonnance manual, and 32' Great Mixture ? Nothing for Couperin or Grigny, anyway.

 

And then those Post-romantic, "unusable" things, like Michell & Thynne, A. Harrison, John Compton, Willis III

(to cite only british ones).

 

Fact is, you could not have a pupil sit on the bank and tell him: "draw a Principal 8', Octave 4', Super-octave 2',

mixture and Cymbal, with a (gentle, rattling) 16' reed on the Pedal".

 

With post-romantic organs, not "rules", but creativity, innovation led the way. We often talk about A.H., but the most

creative builders in Britain were certainly Thynne (or/ or with Michell) and above all John Compton.

 

Pierre

 

Morning, Pierre!

 

 

Some interesting points. I shall endeavour to reply at breaktime - I have to start teaching now!!

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Have a good day !

 

I'll gather some links for a new thread with those disturbing organs.

 

Pierre

 

Excellent, Pierre!

 

I am still trying to think of an instrument which is a synthesis of a Schultze chorus with FHW reeds - there must be one somewhere.

 

Incidentally, who is Titulaire at Antwerp Cathedral now that Stanislas Deriemaker has retired?

 

Have a good one yourself - see you at the half-time mark!!

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... Fact is, you could not have a pupil sit on the bank and tell him: "draw a Principal 8', Octave 4', Super-octave 2',

mixture and Cymbal, with a (gentle, rattling) 16' reed on the Pedal".

 

Pierre

 

Just a quick one:

 

I agree here; this is one of my pet hates - playing Bach (for example) with one thin principal chorus , 'underpinned' by some gently snarling Pedal reed. God help us!

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Excellent, Pierre!

 

I am still trying to think of an instrument which is a synthesis of a Schultze chorus with FHW reeds - there must be one somewhere.

 

Incidentally, who is Titulaire at Antwerp Cathedral now that Stanislas Deriemaker has retired?

 

Have a good one yourself - see you at the half-time mark!!

 

His name is Peter van de Velde

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What music could have been written for such bizarre a thing than the Palacio real, Madrid, J. Bosch organ ?

 

What to do with an Isnard organ such as St-Maximin-du-Var, with its unusual scales, two trumpets on the great,

borrowed Raisonnance manual, and 32' Great Mixture ? Nothing for Couperin or Grigny, anyway.

My view of this kind of thing is that it is a salutory reminder that there are big gaps in the historical record, or our knowledge of it. These organs were built, and paid for; and there is no reason to assume anything other than that at least the builders and the people who commissioned them and played them thought they were not unreasonable and had some idea how they were to be used. That we may not understand is simply our loss.

 

Paul

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My view of this kind of thing is that it is a salutory reminder that there are big gaps in the historical record, or our knowledge of it. These organs were built, and paid for; and there is no reason to assume anything other than that at least the builders and the people who commissioned them and played them thought they were not unreasonable and had some idea how they were to be used. That we may not understand is simply our loss.

 

Paul

 

Exactly !

 

Pierre

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Just a quick one:

 

I agree here; this is one of my pet hates - playing Bach (for example) with one thin principal chorus , 'underpinned' by some gently snarling Pedal reed. God help us!

 

And do you know who launched that "Chorus alone on the Manual, 16' reed on the Pedal" ?

 

It was Lemmens, pretending to have been trained in the " Bach tradition", while he actually

followed a french baroque principle there....

But it is still quite common. Between 1970 and 1990, you never heard a Bach P&F played

with anything else in Belgium....

 

Pierre

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And do you know who launched that "Chorus alone on the Manual, 16' reed on the Pedal" ?

 

It was Lemmens, pretending to have been trained in the " Bach tradition", while he actually

followed a french baroque principle there....

But it is still quite common. Between 1970 and 1990, you never heard a Bach P&F played

with anything else in Belgium....

 

Pierre

 

This I did not know.

 

You may be interested to learn that I quite often commence the Fugue in C minor (from the Prelude and Fugue, in C minor, BWV 546) on the G.O., with tutti Fonds 8 (and all the couplers).

 

I have a recording of an old Radio Three broadcast from an English cathedral, in which a well-respected player performs several preludes and fugues with this type of registration. Whilst it was technically superb (and musically articulate), it was dead boring to listen to.

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You may be interested to learn that I quite often commence the Fugue in C minor (from the Prelude and Fugue, in C minor, BWV 546) on the G.O., with tutti Fonds 8 (and all the couplers).

 

Now I'm wishing I lived closer to Wimbourne!

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Just a quick one:

 

I agree here; this is one of my pet hates - playing Bach (for example) with one thin principal chorus , 'underpinned' by some gently snarling Pedal reed. God help us!

 

 

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

 

 

I don't have much option but to do this, but it sounds fine on the instrument I play.

 

The problem is usually a lack of an adequate pedal alternative without drawing couplers. Not many organs have the sort of pedal division with 10 rks of Mixtures such as one finds 'sur le continent', so we are reduced to the reeds as a way of defining the pedal line.

 

MM

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