Jump to content
Mander Organs

"non Conformist" Designs


Pierre Lauwers

Recommended Posts

I open a new discussion with the outstanding Willis design for Liverpool Cathedral.

 

Here are the Mixtures summerized:

 

GREAT

 

Mixture 5r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

Sesquialtera 5r: 1 1/3', 1 1/7', 1', 2/3', 1/2'

 

CHOIR

 

Dulciana Mixture 5r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

SWELL

 

Lieblich Mixture 3r: 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

Full Mixture 5r: 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1 1/7', 1'

 

SOLO

 

Cornet de Violes 3r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2'

 

ECHO

 

Harmonica aetherea: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2'

 

PEDAL

 

Mixture 3r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2 2/7'

 

Fourniture: 2 2/3', 2 2/7', 2', 1 1/3', 1'

 

(The Pedal's Mixtures differ only by the flat 21 firsts from the manuals, but there are

of course separate, deeper mutation ranks).

 

The organ was built prior to WW I, and kept on (many!) shelves during the war.

It was finally erected 1922 or 23 (?)

Emil Rupp gives it specification in 1929, faultly attributing it to Birmingham (Rupp made

a lot of mistakes in his writings); it was someone on this board who corrected it the first

time I posted about it (about two years ago).

 

Why did the organ-builders make such things ?

 

It is not too seldom in History to find daring, experimental organs.

I guess here Willis (just before WW I, it must have been Willis II) followed the path laid down

by Cavaillé-Coll in Notre-Dame de Paris; the question may have been, like in Paris, to fill

an absolutely huge building from a not-that-good position (too high in Paris, both sides of

the Transept in Liverpool).

To this means Mixtures and mutations were used as a "concrete" structure, after the example

of Eberhard Friedrich Walcker from the start (Frankfurt Paulskirche 1828-33).

Walcker used Quint and Tierces, after Abt Vogler system; Cavaillé-Coll added the flat twenty-first,

followed by Casson, Harrison, and Willis also.

A difference with Cavaillé-Coll is the fact Willis provided such ensembles at differing strenghts, with

a Dulciana chorus and even a Lieblich chorus, up to Mixture!

This is originally a german idea with "schwach intonierte Mixturen" like Harmonia aetherea -indeed also

present in Liverpool-.

 

Halas the iron curtain of the "Reform" will fall on all such experiments, and impone a standardised "Truth"

instead; man should "be able to play Bach" after a false north german way everywhere -"Ta-ti-tu-ta" in

Liverpool Cathedral, well, it is like to feed a Elephant with bird seeds, but so was the thinking then-.

 

Should we keep experimental organs as they were built ?

 

With the exception of real failures, I dare to think: yes. The Chant d'oiseau organ in Brussels,

designed by Jean Guillou, after minor -and reversible- changes, will be kept.

Sankt Peter Sinzing (Werner Walcker) also has its place in the musical scene, even if it remains

alone in its style.

The Casparini organ in Görlitz should have been kept at whatever price, even if Bach himself criticized

its action, which he found too heavy.

The Isnard organ at St-Maximin-du-Var also was a daring experiment, and we are delighted with it

each times we hear it.

 

So we need to give experimental organs a chance. Liverpool was modified not because it was "wrong",

but because the fashion changed too soon after its -belated- erection, before a number of organists

could really understand it.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
The organ was built prior to WW I, and kept on (many!) shelves during the war.

It was finally erected 1922 or 23 (?)

 

Pierre

I would like to see evidence that these mixtures were actually made: their composition is so radically different from what has been there since at least WWII (and see Classic-Car-Man's latest post in the original discussion in the 'General' forum).

 

Interesting to read your views about playing Bach in a "false North German way". I was re-reading Harald Vogel's useful contribution to Stauffer & May only this morning. He explores this very point (sadly all too briefly) and makes some interesting observations about Bach's apparently non-conformist attitude towards the plenum (made possible by the voicing of Thuringian organs), and the sheer variety of plena available on North German instruments. He's adamant that North German mixtures were not built for polyphony (c.v. John Brombaugh's comments on Silbermann's French influenced Mixtures in the following chapter). Well worth a read if, like me, it's a good 20 years since your last visit to this excellent book!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to see evidence that these mixtures were actually made*: their composition is so radically different from what has been there since at least WWII (and see Classic-Car-Man's latest post in the original discussion in the 'General' forum).

 

Interesting to read your views about playing Bach in a "false North German way". I was re-reading Harald Vogel's useful contribution to Stauffer & May only this morning. He explores this very point (sadly all too briefly) and makes some interesting observations about Bach's apparently non-conformist attitude towards the plenum (made possible by the voicing of Thuringian organs), and the sheer variety of plena available on North German instruments. He's adamant that North German mixtures were not built for polyphony (c.v. John Brombaugh's comments on Silbermann's French influenced Mixtures in the following chapter). Well worth a read if, like me, it's a good 20 years since your last visit to this excellent book!

 

 

* I'm sure that Ian is right.....please see

Liverpool Cathedral in the General Discussion part of this forum.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to see evidence that these mixtures were actually made: their composition is so radically different from what has been there since at least WWII (and see Classic-Car-Man's latest post in the original discussion in the 'General' forum).

 

As mentioned previously, the mixture compositions (whatever their original design might have been) were altered almost before the organ was completed. Goss-Custard, the first organist of the cathedral hated tierce mixtures. Liverpool is possibly not the best instrument to quote from this point of view.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...