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Dream Oxbridge Chapel Organ

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MM, there is no "dreadfull" organ design, as long as a structure obtains.

And David's specification has one.

In his small organs, Cavaillé-Coll also made little swells with as much

reeds.

The Lieblich Gedackt Walcker nearly always had on the second manual

(enclosed or not), with two mounths, clear and liquid. The Lieblich is no

dull big wood stopped stop.

With two independant 2' ranks, there is enough. The 2' Gemshorn may be

used as a Flute.

 

You care for the "french stuff" now ? Which one ? Grigny ?

 

Pierre

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

This is simply dreadful!

 

It could be compressed just as easily onto two-manuals, and be as effective.

 

The Pedal organ is incomplete and chorus-less, there is no 2ft Flute anywhere, far too many reeds on the Swell, a Lieblich Gedackt which would not particularly contribute anything, no separate mutations for the French stuff and a Swell organ which lacks the 15th rank but contains a bright mixture.

 

Sorry!

 

MM

 

Yes, it's pretty boring, I'd agree. But Sw mixture would be anything but bright, breaking back a octave earlier than the Gt, so it could comfortably be used up an octave and provide the missing chorus parts (becoming 8 4 4 2 III) if required.

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Guest Cynic
Yes, it's pretty boring, I'd agree. But Sw mixture would be anything but bright, breaking back a octave earlier than the Gt, so it could comfortably be used up an octave and provide the missing chorus parts (becoming 8 4 4 2 III) if required.

 

 

Pardon the sycophancy, David, but I firmly disagree with MM on this one. Your design is a very 'English' scheme which (if built by a sufficiently skilled UK firm) would be particularly fine in accompaniment which is (after all) what would be needed. Hardly any of the present Oxford organs are principally designed for (or suited to) accompaniment, so this would be not only an excellent precedent but a contribution to the university's stock of instruments.

 

Folks who keep suggesting 32' stops (the only Anglican effect missing from David's scheme) I suspect have not stood in the Merton Chapel themselves. Even a stopped 16' takes up more space than a small manual soundboard complete with pipes.

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Pardon the sycophancy, David, but I firmly disagree with MM on this one. Your design is a very 'English' scheme which (if built by a sufficiently skilled UK firm) would be particularly fine in accompaniment which is (after all) what would be needed.

I'd prefer to see the strings on the swell for 'seamless' accompaniment from pp without needing to change clavier. The logic for placing them on the choir to accompany the oboe means they then can't accompany the cremona. For anglican choral accompaniment I'd much rather have a corno or clarinet instead of the cremona. I'd also prefer a choir Nazard in preference to the cornet in this particular scheme.

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The drift of this seems to be going either 'repertoire' or 'anglican accompaniment' - as a diversion I tried this. As a very lazy accompanist - my regular Sunday hymns, psalms and reasonably simple setting/anthem could sound as if played on something like this - with pistons etc. But no one would ever build anything as eccentric for repertoire......

 

Manual I

Unenclosed

Open Diapason 8

Principal 4

Enclosed

Bourdon 16

Small Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture 2 III

Bassoon 16

Oboe 8

 

Manual II

Enclosed

Claribel Flute 8

Dulciana 8

Harmonic Flute 4

Nazard 2-2/3

Clarinet 8

Trumpet 8

Tremulant

 

PEDAL

Open Wood 16

Sub Bass 16

 

Manual I to Pedal

 

AJJ

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Pardon the sycophancy, David, but I firmly disagree with MM on this one. Your design is a very 'English' scheme which (if built by a sufficiently skilled UK firm) would be particularly fine in accompaniment which is (after all) what would be needed. Hardly any of the present Oxford organs are principally designed for (or suited to) accompaniment, so this would be not only an excellent precedent but a contribution to the university's stock of instruments.

 

Folks who keep suggesting 32' stops (the only Anglican effect missing from David's scheme) I suspect have not stood in the Merton Chapel themselves. Even a stopped 16' takes up more space than a small manual soundboard complete with pipes.

 

 

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

 

 

Well, in that case, they may as well buy a clapped out Harrison, or one of the better Hill organs which are not used at the moment.

 

What's the point of buying new if there are historic and splendid examples available?

 

Anyway, "Anglican Accompaniment" is just about deceased these days.

 

MM

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Is now the time to admit that I was being ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek? :lol: Actually I have little time for Romantic Walckers and Sauers since I know of no music which does not sound better to me on other types of instrument - except perhaps Reger, but my feelings about Reger as much the same as MM's about Howells.

 

About choral accompaniments I do agree with you really, but I am not convinced that a new organ in an Oxford chapel should necessarily be able to play any repertoire. I am quite possibly totally wrong, but the impression I get is that the university takes a more holistic approach to its organ infrastructure by providing instruments in different historical styles. It is then, not so much a question of being able to play any particular piece of music on any organ, but taking the piece of music you want to play to the organ for which it is suited. That is why I deliberately used the phrase "what Oxford needs" rather than "what the chapel needs". If the university were to replace the Merton organ I would personally like to see something more traditionally Anglican for a change, but I doubt that's what they would get.

 

 

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

 

 

Are you suggesting that Reger was incompetent?

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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

Well, in that case, they may as well buy a clapped out Harrison, or one of the better Hill organs which are not used at the moment.

 

Because the Merton acoustic is pretty exciting (and multi-dimensional), anything which went in there would need pretty careful handling from the perspectives of scaling, voicing and case design to remain effective and work co-operatively with other forces (such as choirs). Dumping an off-the-shelf redundant organ in such a situation just won't do. And if you're then going to revoice your historic Hill or Harrison - it won't be historic any more, so what was the point in having it?

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Only as much as Howells. :rolleyes:

 

 

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

 

 

Oh dear! There was I thinking that Howells was just Reger bereft of counterpoint!

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Because the Merton acoustic is pretty exciting (and multi-dimensional), anything which went in there would need pretty careful handling from the perspectives of scaling, voicing and case design to remain effective and work co-operatively with other forces (such as choirs). Dumping an off-the-shelf redundant organ in such a situation just won't do. And if you're then going to revoice your historic Hill or Harrison - it won't be historic any more, so what was the point in having it?

 

 

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

 

 

For the same reason that the Anglican tradition staggers on, presumably.It makes people FEEL better when they know that they are surrounded by relics.At least an old organ would be original, and not a modern reproduction.

 

It would be regrettable if it were just the ACOUSTIC which reminded people that things can be exciting AND mutli-dimensional.

 

I really do hate tradition, when the only thing it serves is the love of tradition.

 

MM

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

I really do hate tradition, when the only thing it serves is the love of tradition.

 

MM

 

Why? :rolleyes:

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

Oh dear! There was I thinking that Howells was just Reger bereft of counterpoint!

 

:lol:

 

MM

Not really - Howells's textures are clearer! :rolleyes:

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

For the same reason that the Anglican tradition staggers on, presumably.It makes people FEEL better when they know that they are surrounded by relics.At least an old organ would be original, and not a modern reproduction.

 

It would be regrettable if it were just the ACOUSTIC which reminded people that things can be exciting AND mutli-dimensional.

 

I really do hate tradition, when the only thing it serves is the love of tradition.

 

MM

 

I meant multi-dimensional in the architectural sense; the organ sits at the top centre of a capital T, where the lower leg is the chancel and the top arm is the ante-chapel which, if memory serves, is longer and wider than the chancel where the organ has to do its work. A floor position within the chancel or on a crossing screen is not really practical. Any instrument therefore has a fair bit to overcome before it reaches a choir or congregation.

 

A new instrument made to a new design would be an original; there would be nothing reproduced about it at all. I do not understand this remark. I would sincerely hope that a Hill or Harrison worth preserving would be preserved rather than extensively reworked to suit its new home; that would be a reproduction, and an unsatisfactory one at that, certainly from Hill's or Harrison's point of view and most likely also Merton's.

 

I am disappointed you see the Anglican tradition as a mere relic, and staggering. You may just as well say the whole notion of church and faith is a relic. I think what you actually mean is that it makes people feel better to know that they are part of many hundreds of years of consistency which is still visibly living, breathing and developing.

 

I find this talk of staggering and relics is at the very least ironic when we are discussing a newly established choral foundation.

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MM, why not change of tradition ?

You could hold a post in the Netherlands, while 100

dutch and flemish organists would strive to get a Willis

or Harrison in Britain -the fewer whistles, the best-

 

Everybody happy!

 

Pierre

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

Oh dear! There was I thinking that Howells was just Reger bereft of counterpoint!

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

 

Are you thinking of Max - or Janet?

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I meant multi-dimensional in the architectural sense; the organ sits at the top centre of a capital T, where the lower leg is the chancel and the top arm is the ante-chapel which, if memory serves, is longer and wider than the chancel where the organ has to do its work.

 

Indeed - although it is actually the arm of a transept. The Trompe-l'œil on the west wall has long since been painted-over.

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Why? :rolleyes:

 

 

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

 

Why do I hate tradition, you ask.

 

The usual excuse for tradition is that of "unchanging values" and a sense of "continuity" which, by the very nature of the beast, is designed to re-inforce the status-quo and bring order to that where none exists naturally. One of my favourite quotes is from Paraclesus, the16th Century Alchemist & Visionary, who wrote:-

 

"Just as the sun shines through a glass… the sun and the moon and all planets, as well as all the stars and the whole chaos, are in man."

 

In other words, we share not only our origins with creation itself, but must also enjoin the chaos of a changing (as well as expanding and decaying) universe.

 

I would sum this up with five words, "Life does not stop still."

 

People may take comfort from tradition, and many would claim that the only unchanging thing in the whole universe is God, and that tradition is therefore a necessary partner to faith. The problems begin when tradition exists merely because it is traditional, and if people of all faiths and none are propelled towards a new chaos, then we are merely left with ancient rituals which divert us away from the present, and which discourage innovation and spontaneity.

 

I haven't noticed that tradition feeds the hungry, heals the sick or loves the unloved. That's the really unchanging bit!

 

Still, I'm not really the person to ask.

 

The only reason I like the traditional "Last night of the Proms" is because we get to hear the organ destroy the orchestra, the choir and the audience at the end of "Jerusalem," and because I love to see what silly things the Hoorah Henrys get up to in the cello solo of the "Fantasy on sea songs".

 

That probably makes me an anarchist, coming to think of it!

 

MM

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You may just as well say the whole notion of church and faith is a relic. I think what you actually mean is that it makes people feel better to know that they are part of many hundreds of years of consistency which is still visibly living, breathing and developing.

 

 

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

 

 

Watching the Anglican communion self-destruct is a bit like the film "Death becomes her."

 

Fear not, for I see that the Pope has re-discovered the sale of indulgences!

 

Perhaps Desmond Tutu is the last true Christian, and he will not be living, breathing and developing for much longer.

 

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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

 

Why do I hate tradition, you ask.

 

The usual excuse for tradition is that of "unchanging values" and a sense of "continuity" which, by the very nature of the beast, is designed to re-inforce the status-quo and bring order to that where none exists naturally. One of my favourite quotes is from Paraclesus, the16th Century Alchemist & Visionary, who wrote:-

 

In other words, we share not only our origins with creation itself, but must also enjoin the chaos of a changing (as well as expanding and decaying) universe.

 

I would sum this up with five words, "Life does not stop still."

 

People may take comfort from tradition, and many would claim that the only unchanging thing in the whole universe is God, and that tradition is therefore a necessary partner to faith. The problems begin when tradition exists merely because it is traditional, and if people of all faiths and none are propelled towards a new chaos, then we are merely left with ancient rituals which divert us away from the present, and which discourage innovation and spontaneity.

 

I haven't noticed that tradition feeds the hungry, heals the sick or loves the unloved. That's the really unchanging bit!

 

That probably makes me an anarchist, coming to think of it!

 

MM

 

Yeh, but surely it's a natural human need to bring order to chaos. That's why we have a (reasonably) structured society. That way we get to eat, have somewhere to live and to have (again, reasonably) comfortable lives - without somebody bigger coming along and taking all our possessions from us. Certainly, chaos wouldn't feed the hungry, heal the sick or love the unloved, but a structured society would have a much better chance despite its failings.

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Yeh, but surely it's a natural human need to bring order to chaos. That's why we have a (reasonably) structured society. That way we get to eat, have somewhere to live and to have (again, reasonably) comfortable lives - without somebody bigger coming along and taking all our possessions from us. Certainly, chaos wouldn't feed the hungry, heal the sick or love the unloved, but a structured society would have a much better chance despite its failings.

 

Beautifully put. Order from chaos is also the reason we have sonata form, and, for that matter, musical pitch, spoken and written language, money, lines down the middle of the road, etc etc etc.

 

How exactly do you think we got from whether or not a hypothetical spec should have a 2' flute and a Pedal chorus to a discussion of anarchy and the futility/pointlessness of tradition? And, perhaps more to the point, why?

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Yeh, but surely it's a natural human need to bring order to chaos. That's why we have a (reasonably) structured society. That way we get to eat, have somewhere to live and to have (again, reasonably) comfortable lives - without somebody bigger coming along and taking all our possessions from us. Certainly, chaos wouldn't feed the hungry, heal the sick or love the unloved, but a structured society would have a much better chance despite its failings.

 

 

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

 

We are in danger of straying into the area of genetics and bio-diversity; to which the only possible response is "Order, order, order!"

 

It's the eternal struggle between lifeforms and the chaos of creation; which in the case of our planet, co-exist by the process of chance, rather than as some sort of symbiosis.

 

As for those who are bigger taking away everything we have; the Far East and the banks spring instantly to mind!!!!!

 

There is chaos even in market forces, it would seem.

 

MM

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Beautifully put. Order from chaos is also the reason we have sonata form, and, for that matter, musical pitch, spoken and written language, money, lines down the middle of the road, etc etc etc.

 

How exactly do you think we got from whether or not a hypothetical spec should have a 2' flute and a Pedal chorus to a discussion of anarchy and the futility/pointlessness of tradition? And, perhaps more to the point, why?

 

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

 

Sonata Form is the lazy man's approach to composing, musical pitch is contained within the harmony of the spheres, language is a fluid and flexible thing born of necessity, money is now nothing more than a commodity and lines down the middle of the road count for nothing, when you drive something 60ft long!

 

As for the second question, I turn to another alchemist:-

 

“But the mark of the crystal was light ineffable, so reflexed, that the crystal image itself became incomprehensible…..”

 

Johan Baptista van Helmont,

“A ternary of paradoxes”. London, 1650

 

The modern equivalent might be, "We lost the plot"

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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