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"post-romantic" Organs


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Hi

 

I don't think so! Stops shared between 2 manuals were known in England much earlier - on a quick skim through my books, the earliest I've found is Adlington Hall - c.1693 - and I'm pretty sure that around that time there was a large organ where the entire choir dept was derived from the same ranks as the great.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Maybe you're thinking of Salisbury Cathedral, where in 1710 Renatus Harris borrowed 14 of the 16 stops of the Great to another manual which was called 'Borrowed Great'.

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Maybe you're thinking of Salisbury Cathedral, where in 1710 Renatus Harris borrowed 14 of the 16 stops of the Great to another manual which was called 'Borrowed Great'.

 

This would have been the same period as Wagner's !

Fascinating stuff!

 

Pierre

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But I thought you had a Hill organ with a lovely oboe?

JC

 

Yes, we do; there are two organs. the 'great organ' (above West entrance) is mentioned above. The Hill organ has the same age as most of the pipework of the great organ, which though voiced well, has a limited use due to power, compass and stoplist.

We might enlarge it (in style) if money provides ...

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Maybe you're thinking of Salisbury Cathedral, where in 1710 Renatus Harris borrowed 14 of the 16 stops of the Great to another manual which was called 'Borrowed Great'.

 

Also Bristol Cathedral, where the Harris organ of 1685 had all the Choir stops borrowed from the Great.

 

Paul Walton

Assistant Organist, Bristol Cathedral

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If the same innovation appears simultaneously in two different areas,

this often means it dates actually back to an earlier time, rather than

two minds getting the same idea.

 

Let us think, for instance, to the Cornet in the early braroque flemish and french

(the very same, introduced by Matthijs Langhedul), which was sometimes available

both on the Great organ and a dedicate "clavier du Cornet".

 

Harris-and/or others- could have find the idea there.

And as the flemish organ derived from the Brabanter Renaissance organ

(Niehoff style), there could have been the origin, because we find it in Germany

also.

 

But it remains sure the belgian romantic builders got the idea through Schlimbach,

whose book was the reference work of the important master Hyppolite Loret (pupils:

Kerkhoff, Van Bever, Annessens, Peereboom & Leyser...), and so dates back to

Joachim Wagner.

 

Here is a file about Wagner's system, with pictures:

 

http://www.orgellandschaftbrandenburg.de/Dokumentation.pdf

 

Pierre

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As there is interest, here is another Weigle, dating 1913:

 

MANUEL I

 

Bourdon 16'

Principal 8'

Viola di Gamba 8'

Doppel Gedackt 8'

Flûte octaviante 8'

Dulciana 8'

Oktave 4'

Rohrflöte 4'

Quinte 2 2/3'

Mixtur 4-5 r 2 2/3'- 1 3/5'- 1 1/7'- 1'

Trompete 8'

 

MANUAL II

 

First division

 

Principal 8'

Seraphonflöte 8'

Fugara 8'

Lieblich Gedackt 8'

Salicional 8'

Geigenprincipal 4'

Flautino 2'

Cornett 3-5r 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5'

 

Second division: Fernwerk, behind the first

 

Quintatön 16'

Gemshorn 8'

Flauto amabile 8'

Aeoline 8'

Vox coelestis 8'

Traversflöte 4'

 

Pedal

 

Principalbass 16'

Violonbass 16'

Subbass 16'

Echobass 16'

Oktavbass 8'

Cello 8'

Posaune 16'

 

Quite lovely in its usefullnessless, isn't it ?

Had H-J done better ?

 

(I forgot to mention Weigle's patents, which representatives in Belgium and

France were such funny guys as Puget, Toulouse; Schyven, Brussels; Delmotte, Tournai).

 

Pierre

 

The trouble with specifications such as these is that there is no proper chorus. The mixtures seem to fulfil only a limited function - namely, the supplying of secondary colour of a reedy timbre. There is no true brilliance - and I do not mean shrillness. By designing these instruments in this way, they are thus robbed of one of the most glorious effects of which an ogan can be capable of producing.

 

Regardless of whether one likes such sounds, this type of specification has limited use - in the same way that a neo-Baroque organ often has a lack of foundation tone. I would still prefer to see a slightly more all-encompassing design. Yes, I know that what I am asking for is an eclectic design; but often there is actually less tonal compromise than in an overtly Romantic (or neo-Baroque) scheme, where the instrument simply fails to satisfy on several levels.

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This unusual Mixture is typical, of course, and does not crown a "proper"

(wathever this may mean) "chorus".

 

The idea is as follows:

The more different harmonics are represented in a Mixture,

the more it conveys the impression, in combination, that there

are many differing kinds of colors in an organ.

 

Let us take the 3 ranks Walcker Mixture: 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5'.

This resembles a Sesquialtera, but is voiced completely differently.

We have a quint, an octave, and a Tierce -all different-.

In the Tutti it gives the impression you have a big organ, even if there

are eight stops.

That is the aim of such a stop, not to have the clinical-standard, mandatory

"proper chorus".

 

Weigle's stop is quite close to Harrison's; it's an "harmonics-provider"...

 

Pierre

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The trouble with specifications such as these is that there is no proper chorus. The mixtures seem to fulfil only a limited function - namely, the supplying of secondary colour of a reedy timbre. There is no true brilliance - and I do not mean shrillness. By designing these instruments in this way, they are thus robbed of one of the most glorious effects of which an ogan can be capable of producing.

 

Regardless of whether one likes such sounds, this type of specification has limited use - in the same way that a neo-Baroque organ often has a lack of foundation tone. I would still prefer to see a slightly more all-encompassing design. Yes, I know that what I am asking for is an eclectic design; but often there is actually less tonal compromise than in an overtly Romantic (or neo-Baroque) scheme, where the instrument simply fails to satisfy on several levels.

I gently have to take issue, Sean. A paper specification tells one nothing about the sound, and, in any case, the Hauptwerk cited above clearly does have a complete principal chorus, albeit one containing tierce and septieme. If Leipzig's Thomaskirche Sauer and Nikolaikirche Ladegast/Eule (which I heard in the flesh last weekend) are anything to go by, I can assure you that there is certainly plenty of clarity (surely the object of a good chorus), yet also a gloriously warm, transparent richness and gravitas, in a sound not dominated by manual reeds. They weren't even particularly 'loud' in the way we in the UK expect a 'romantic' organ to be overpowering. But 'brilliance' as we undertand it in England is not a typical characteristic of these organs (nor even of the middle German baroque organ, but that's another topic...!), with the possible exception of the tiercy twang.

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I gently have to take issue, Sean. A paper specification tells one nothing about the sound, and, in any case, the Hauptwerk cited above clearly does have a complete principal chorus, albeit one containing tierce and septieme. If Leipzig's Thomaskirche Sauer and Nikolaikirche Ladegast/Eule (which I heard in the flesh last weekend) are anything to go by, I can assure you that there is certainly plenty of clarity (surely the object of a good chorus), yet also a gloriously warm, transparent richness and gravitas, in a sound not dominated by manual reeds. They weren't even particularly 'loud' in the way we in the UK expect a 'romantic' organ to be overpowering. But 'brilliance' as we undertand it in England is not a typical characteristic of these organs (nor even of the middle German baroque organ, but that's another topic...!), with the possible exception of the tiercy twank.

 

Fair enough, Ian. I realise that it is, at the least, unwise to make aural judgements from a paper specification. In mitigation, I was also basing my assumptions on the sound-files which Pierre had provided a few weeks ago, which featured one or two instruments with this type of specification.

 

In addition, those German instruments which I have played (or heard 'live') have tended to contain quint mixtures as part of the chorus-work - so I drew conclusions....

 

I am still not convinced about the clarity (and my subjective satisfaction) of a chorus which is capped by a mixture which includes both a tierce and a flat twenty-first. However, I am not averse to conversion on this matter. Do you happen to have any sound-files please, Ian?

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"a chorus which is capped by a mixture which includes both a tierce and a flat twenty-first. "

(Quote)

 

And here we are, dear Sean !

Precisely there lies the misunderstanding.

Such a "harmonics-provider" does not cap a chorus

like you understand it, that is:

 

Open Diapason

Stopped Diapason

Principal

Twelfth

Fifteenth

 

....The traditionnal "Diapason chorus" also.

 

Rather, it is meant as a "tone-binder" between all the families of

stops that obtain in the instrument.

It also serves as a reed tone Ersatz when there are no reeds.

In a Walcker Mixture, you will find all stop families, that are represented

among the foundation stops, represented in the Mixture as well:

 

Principal 8'

Gamba 8'

Flöte 8'

Dulciana 8'

Gemshorn 8'

 

And then:

 

Mixtur 2 2/3' (Flöte), 2' (Principal), 1 3/5' (Spitzflöte), 1 1/3' (Geigen), 1' (Dulciana).

 

This is a completely different design also, even if "Mixtur" stays on the stop-knob.

 

The trend towards that kind of design was already present in Germany just after...Silbermann,

when Joachim Wagner built his "Scharff" stops as color providers (with the Tierce 4/5') rather

than a higher pitched stop than the "Mixtur".

The aim was already, as Mr Ball said, towards color rather than sheer brillance.

 

Pierre

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Fair enough, Ian. I realise that it is, at the least, unwise to make aural judgements from a paper specification. In mitigation, I was also basing my assumptions on the sound-files which Pierre had provided a few weeks ago, which featured one or two instruments with this type of specification.

 

In addition, those German instruments which I have played (or heard 'live') have tended to contain quint mixtures as part of the chorus-work - so I drew conclusions....

 

I am still not convinced about the clarity (and my subjective satisfaction) of a chorus which is capped by a mixture which includes both a tierce and a flat twenty-first. However, I am not averse to conversion on this matter. Do you happen to have any sound-files please, Ian?

Alas I don't. There are a fair few examples on Pipedreams you might try, but none prepare you for the sheer warmth of tone in the building, and a richness that hugs you like a velvet blanket. But even with every stop drawn and 32's rumbling away below, the sounds is never opaque. (Oh and the variety and quality of the flutes...my goodness...I'm still quivering with pleasure :unsure: )

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"a chorus which is capped by a mixture which includes both a tierce and a flat twenty-first. "

(Quote)

 

And here we are, dear Sean !

Precisely there lies the misunderstanding.

Such a "harmonics-provider" does not cap a chorus

like you understand it, that is:

 

Open Diapason

Stopped Diapason

Principal

Twelfth

Fifteenth

 

....The traditionnal "Diapason chorus" also.

 

Pierre

 

But here, I am bound to say that this, too, is a mis-understanding, Pierre!

 

My traditional Diapason chorus consists of:

 

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8 (Well, Rohr Flute 8)

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19-22-26-29)

 

As far as I am concerned, it does not 'stop' at the Fifteenth. I also prefer it without a Twelfth - but that is for another thread and another day.

 

I would still say that, without the wonderful lightness and clarity of a well-voiced quint mixture, I would find the sound to be incomplete - and lacking that element of spine-tingling excitement.

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Alas I don't. There are a fair few examples on Pipedreams you might try, but none prepare you for the sheer warmth of tone in the building, and a richness that hugs you like a velvet blanket. But even with every stop drawn and 32's rumbling away below, the sounds is never opaque. (Oh and the variety and quality of the flutes...my goodness...I'm still quivering with pleasure :unsure: )

 

... and a 'tiercy twank', perhaps?

B)

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But here, I am bound to say that this, too, is a mis-understanding, Pierre!

 

My traditional Diapason chorus consists of:

 

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8 (Well, Rohr Flute 8)

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19-22-26-29)

 

As far as I am concerned, it does not 'stop' at the Fifteenth. I also prefer it without a Twelfth - but that is for another thread and another day.

 

I would still say that, without the wonderful lightness and clarity of a well-voiced quint mixture, I would find the sound to be incomplete - and lacking that element of spine-tingling excitement.

 

We could say a "chorus" is a chorus....Not a Cluster.

The original Diapason chorus, like the italian Ripeno, often did not go beyond 1',

even 2' in english organs.

Besides this, I think any car that isn't painted racing green to be incomplete.

 

I Shall come back with some sound examples.

 

Pierre.

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Wusterhausen Wagner organ, 1742: the transformation

was already commenced.

 

Sound file:

 

http://www.wagner-orgel-wusterhausen.de/hesse.mp3

 

 

.....And here the 3 ranks Walcker Mixture on an intact, 1888 organ:

 

http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/20.../Chanon(02).wmv

 

One sees -hear- what these two organs have in common.

The Walcker organ is an eight stop affair, without reeds,

and though (see above).

 

Pierre

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The original Diapason chorus, like the italian Ripeno, often did not go beyond 1',

even 2' in english organs.

 

Well, this is true up until the last quarter of the seventeenth century, but after this time mixture stops of various types appeared on most English instruments. In any case, this is a little obscure - the English organ has changed so radically (apart from isolated examples by Goetze and Gwynne, for example) that it is hardly relevant to the point in hand to talk about what they were like then. The fact remains that many English organs now contain compound stops of one kind or another which, in many cases, serve effectively to complete the diapason chorus.

 

Besides this, I think any car that isn't painted racing green to be incomplete.

 

Pierre.

 

Well, I quite like racing green myself.

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Sorry - but I cannot see the connection.

 

Here it is:

 

-If you go to Paris, you expect french cuisine.

 

-If a belgian or french organist would go to Britain, do you think

he expects to find Schnitgers or Gonzalez organs, or something else ?

 

Pierre

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In Paris I would hope to be able to find a variety of cuisines (except English - mustn't push my luck too far). Similarly I am glad that this country offers a representative selection of the best of different styles. Would that I did not have to travel so far to experience them.

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