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contraviolone
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Following the rebuild of the console at Westminster Abbey, two new 'prepared for' stops and additional accessories have been added to the organ specification. The stops are: Bourdon 16' (South Choir), Violine 16' (Bombarde, also available on Triforium Pedal). Any ideas on the purpose of these additions?? :lol:

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Following the rebuild of the console at Westminster Abbey, two new 'prepared for' stops and additional accessories have been added to the organ specification. The stops are: Bourdon 16' (South Choir), Violine 16' (Bombarde, also available on Triforium Pedal). Any ideas on the purpose of these additions?? :(

 

How fascinating! I wonder whether they might relate to the altar division that was disconnected years ago, tho the pipes I think are still in place?? Perhaps they are going to reinstate it (the latter of the three additions wouldn't relate to this of course!)

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How fascinating! I wonder whether they might relate to the altar division that was disconnected years ago, tho the pipes I think are still in place?? Perhaps they are going to reinstate it (the latter of the three additions wouldn't relate to this of course!)

 

There was a Celestial Organ - disconnected in 1937, but no Altar Organ. I doubt that the new stops relate to this, since there is no physical connection between the console and the Echo Organ (which I believe is in or near the North Transept). It is more likely that these are ranks which will be added to the divisions specified, as part of the main organ.

 

Yes - as far as I know the pipes of the Celestial Organ are still in place. The scheme was an interesting one, including the only Vox Humana on the abbey organ. It would indeed be fascinating if this division were to be re-connected and re-commissioned.

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I think the Altar Organ was on St Pauls, are the pipes still there and where was this divison situated?

 

The pipes were removed during the Mander rebuild of 1972 - 1977. Prior to this, there was a large expression box, divided inside, the smaller soundboard being positioned towards the east side. It was situated behind the north choir stalls*, with shutters facing west and east. The enclosed Solo Organ ranks were in the western section, with the Altar Organ in the east. After the organ was re-sited in the quire (following the repairs to the cathedral fabric, 1925 - 1930), there were additional shutters fitted to the roof of the Solo part of the box. The Altar Organ originally consisted of the following ranks:

 

1898 - 1900

Contra Gamba 16 (closed wood bass)

Gamba 8

Vox Angelica II 8

Vox Humana 8 §

 

Following the re-opening of the cathedral and the re-instatement of the organ in the quire, the stop-list became:

 

1930

Quintatön 16

Cor de Nuit 8

Sylvestrina 8

Fern Flöte 4

 

 

* In the second bay, as far as I can remember.

 

§ This is not the same rank of pipes which was added to the Swell Organ at the time of the 1972 - 1977 rebuild.

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I would suggest the pipework for both Bourdon 16' and Violine 16' will be new pipework, placed within the appropriate divisional soundboards. I doubt whether any pipework will be taken from the Celestial Organ - there is no Bourdon 16' in the specification and no direct correlation with the Violine 16' either. So presumably the Celestial Organ remains sealed up and gathering dust.

 

I can understand the addition of Bourdon 16' on the South Choir for accompanyment purposes. But what of the violine 16' on the Bombarde (high up in the Triforium)? Perhaps the experts can suggest the purpose of this new addition here?? :(

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I would suggest the pipework for both Bourdon 16' and Violine 16' will be new pipework, placed within the appropriate divisional soundboards. I doubt whether any pipework will be taken from the Celestial Organ - there is no Bourdon 16' in the specification and no direct correlation with the Violine 16' either. So presumably the Celestial Organ remains sealed up and gathering dust.

 

This sounds to be the most likely plan.

 

I can understand the addition of Bourdon 16' on the South Choir for accompanyment purposes. But what of the violine 16' on the Bombarde (high up in the Triforium)? Perhaps the experts can suggest the purpose of this new addition here?? :(

 

I would also be interested to know the thinking behind this.

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I am also perplexed, given that we may presume a Violine 16' is a string-toned flue stop. I say presume as various searches in reference books and Google Search result in Violon/cello but not Violine? So the Bombarde flue chorus will look like:

 

Violine 16

Open Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture 19.22.26.29 IV-VI

Grand Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 IV-V

 

:(

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I am also perplexed, given that we may presume a Violine 16' is a string-toned flue stop. I say presume as various searches in reference books and Google Search result in Violon/cello but not Violine? So the Bombarde flue chorus will look like:

 

Violine 16

Open Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture 19.22.26.29 IV-VI

Grand Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 IV-V

 

:(

 

I had also wondered about this, unless of course it is a misprint for the more obvious 'Violone'.

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There was a Celestial Organ - disconnected in 1937, but no Altar Organ. I doubt that the new stops relate to this, since there is no physical connection between the console and the Echo Organ (which I believe is in or near the North Transept). It is more likely that these are ranks which will be added to the divisions specified, as part of the main organ.

 

Yes - as far as I know the pipes of the Celestial Organ are still in place. The scheme was an interesting one, including the only Vox Humana on the abbey organ. It would indeed be fascinating if this division were to be re-connected and re-commissioned.

 

 

A short article on the Celestial Organ in Westminster Abbey is at http://www.organrecitals.com/westabbey.php .

 

PJW

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I had also wondered about this, unless of course it is a misprint for the more obvious 'Violone'.

 

Violine appears on The Encyclopedia of Organ Stops website, and an be viewed here http://www.organstops.org/v/Violin.html

 

It appears to be a German spelling for the English name Violin, or the French name Violon.

 

Jonathan

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Now that we have the pedantics out of the way with regard to website link notations, can anyone suggest the logic of an apparantly 16' 'Violon' stop on the Bombarde manual? :lol:

 

Apart from a desire for more gravitas, I cannot think of any good reason.

 

Incidentally, I posted a revised link since I was unable to make your original link work on the school computer. I did this in the interest of practicality - not pedantry.

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Apart from a desire for more gravitas, I cannot think of any good reason.

 

 

I'm sure pcnd is correct. The Schulze-style Great chorus on The Grove organ at Tewkesbury is underpinned by a 16' Violone and very successful this is too.

An additional 16' would certainly help the H&H Bombarde chorus to blend in with the remainder of the organ - without it, the emphasis is not the same until the 16' manual reed comes on. IMHO Full Great flues do not sound top-heavy at Westminster Abbey, Full Bombarde flues do.

 

Re: The addition of a little Bourdon in the Choir - while it would undoubtedly be a useful addition in itself, especially in romantic English and French music, I hope H&H are able to make it available on the Pedal too. There is a fairly delicate 16' string (borrowed from the Solo organ), but otherwise the softest flue on the W.A. Pedal is currently a Bourdon borrowed from the Great! I have long thought something softer than that might be useful upon occasion.

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... Re: The addition of a little Bourdon in the Choir - while it would undoubtedly be a useful addition in itself, especially in romantic English and French music, I hope H&H are able to make it available on the Pedal too. There is a fairly delicate 16' string (borrowed from the Solo organ), but otherwise the softest flue on the W.A. Pedal is currently a Bourdon borrowed from the Great! I have long thought something softer than that might be useful upon occasion.

 

I had not realised this. I am a little surprised that on an organ of this size, H&H did not provide one of their (separate) magnificent Sub Bass ranks.

 

As Cynic says, the new Choir Organ Bourdon would also be useful on the Pedal Organ - a quiet string is nice, but can be a shade too incisive.

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