Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Does Anyone Know Interesting Organs In Venice?


Guest spottedmetal
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest spottedmetal

Dear All

 

Does anyone know the organs of Venice? Are there any "must hear" or "must see" instruments among that collection of wonderful buildings?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear All

 

Does anyone know the organs of Venice? Are there any "must hear" or "must see" instruments among that collection of wonderful buildings?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

We spent a week there in the summer doing concerts. Answer - not a great deal - lots of very tatty Ruffattis and similar. Quite interesting but very poor condition instrument at Chiesa del Carmini, basic 2m with only one reed which was I either at 16 or 32 pitch in top two octaves of Sw - a sort of voix humaine crossed with krummhorn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
a sort of voix humaine crossed with krummhorn.

Yuck! I'd better avoid that one - my Harrison and Harrison loving son hates those rude-noise makers!

 

Thanks!

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear All

 

Does anyone know the organs of Venice? Are there any "must hear" or "must see" instruments among that collection of wonderful buildings?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

I have a CD of two of the organs in the Frari Church (Basilica dei Frari): a Callido of 1795 (20 stops, 1 manual) and a Piaggia from 1752 (10 stops, 1 manual). They sound good to me; recently restored and "tuned into unison" by Zanin and Son. I picked up the CD in the church but didn't hear the organs live. There is also a 3 manual Mascioni from 1928. The church has an enclosed choir (or something like it, anyway) and I remember thinking that I'd love to sing a evensong there.

 

I used to have a tape of three other organs, but have now lost it. I seem to remember two of them were good: S Zaccaria and S Maria del Rosario and one pretty awful - St Mark's. It didn't sound anything to write home about live, either.

 

Stephen Barber

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
I have a CD of two of the organs in the Frari Church (Basilica dei Frari): a Callido of 1795 (20 stops, 1 manual) and a Piaggia from 1752 (10 stops, 1 manual). They sound good to me; recently restored and "tuned into unison" by Zanin and Son. I picked up the CD in the church but didn't hear the organs live. There is also a 3 manual Mascioni from 1928. The church has an enclosed choir (or something like it, anyway) and I remember thinking that I'd love to sing a evensong there.

 

I used to have a tape of three other organs, but have now lost it. I seem to remember two of them were good: S Zaccaria and S Maria del Rosario and one pretty awful - St Mark's. It didn't sound anything to write home about live, either.

Thanks for this list - very very helpful!

 

St Marcs - might be a matter of who's playing . . . I heard someone practice in St Marcs and they achieved some fairly magical sounds. The instrument does not look big but certainly provided some tantalisation and clearly merits further investigation.

 

Chiesa del la Fava - S Maria della Consolazione raises an interesting question - it's an east end organ above the altar, almost forming part of the reredos. In England we're very used to west end gallery instruments - how many other "eastenders" are there?

 

Many years ago during an organ rebuild, I set up a relay from a pipe organ in a subsidiary chapel a few hundred yards away. Funds were limited and I had to put the signal down 3-core mains cable rather than coax, and high power amplifiers and speakers were not forthcoming. I used a domestic 30W amplifier and a specific make of speaker mounted in a backloaded horn, as I believe were used at Westminster abbey once upon a time. From the conventional point of view, there was no way that this should have worked . . . I sat the speaker behind the altar pointing up into the apse . . . and low and behold, the apse became an extension of the horn which relayed the remote pipe organ successfully for the year.

 

So the acoustics of east end organs should provide better results . . . why are they so rare?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear All

 

Does anyone know the organs of Venice? Are there any "must hear" or "must see" instruments among that collection of wonderful buildings?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

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

 

 

To be absolutely honest, I don't think there are that many interesting (newer) organs in Italy. There are a few very interesting old ones.

 

When the Italians want to make music, they either sing opera or build Ferraris.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

To be absolutely honest, I don't think there are that many interesting (newer) organs in Italy. There are a few very interesting old ones.

 

When the Italians want to make music, they either sing opera or build Ferraris.

 

MM

 

Heu.....Are you sure ?

Really ?

Une fois ?

 

Pierre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
========================

To be absolutely honest, I don't think there are that many interesting (newer) organs in Italy. There are a few very interesting old ones. When the Italians want to make music, they either sing opera or build Ferraris.

:)

 

Quite right! It's Ferraris who build Ferraris . . . and in Venice Ferraris play organs, build new organs and restore the old ones too!

 

There's an absolutely wonderful not-yet-completed gem in Santa Maria Formosa built recently by the firm FERRARI -MARCHI with an intriguing spec, I suspect of a sort rather rare in England:

 

It is not yet completed with stop heads and has handwritten labels - but it's particularly exciting. Are there any instruments in Britain so divided between Flutes and Principals and with a XVII on both?

 

In stop order . . .

 

Great: (principals)

16

8

2

XII

XVII

Rip 4

Flute 8

3 blanks - prepared for reed chorus

 

Swell:

8 Flute

4 Flute

4 Principal

8 Viol (extremely strong - a volume larger than any I've heard in England)

2 Flute

XII Flute

XVII Flute

8 Voix Celeste (matches Viol in volume)

1 Flute

2 Rip & ?Cims (handwriting on stop illegible)

 

Ped 16 8 4

 

It has tracker action, for the swell using fibre connexions running over frictionless bars, with dual electric action for a projected remote console, electric as well as manual couplers, wonderful LED display bars showing the state of the swell pedal, a crescendo pedal, electric combination action - which are frighteningly fast - and an unusual position of the combo pistons above the swell manual as it was designed with a particular organist with long fingers in mind.

 

It's a "must experience" instrument and one which, dare I say, might give a number of British organists a buzz.

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

;)

 

It's a "must experience" instrument and one which, dare I say, might give a number of British organists a buzz.

 

And we expect the new British Organ being installed this year in Florence will also be appreciated by one or two Italian organists, particularly as it will not 'buzz' quite as excruciatingly as the 1978 Italian job it replaces, that broke down after only eight years. Having spent quite a time viewing and working on Italian organs, I would tend to agree with MM. However, I am glad that Venice is to receive a new instrument, I just hope it is built to last, or at least float when the floods come. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
However, I am glad that Venice is to receive a new instrument, I just hope it is built to last, or at least float when the floods come. :rolleyes:

:) Yes! And it's on a west end gallery so certainly won't be flooded. The near stark division of flute and principal choruses between manuals is particularly exciting and remarkably effective. What is also intriguing, is the Septime duplicated on both manuals in Flute and Principal form, with no discordant Tierce. Tonally very different to our English tradition and most effective.

 

David (et al with experience in Italy), is the preference for the Septime rather than the Tierce typical in Italy or is use such as on this instrument rather novel?

 

The largest organ in Venice was built in 1878 by Pietro Bazzini and restored only about 5 years ago under the auspices of Venice in Peril. However, the big problem is lack of enthusiasm for the organ as an instrument in Venice as well as in England - perhaps worse - as it is rarely played and so has not been tuned or regulated since it was restored. However, despite that, it can show its colours when played by Giovanni Ferrari, - brilliant for Franck, Liszt and Bach, but were any English player to come to try it, it comes from such a different dispositional culture, they'd find it almost unplayable.

 

It's a fantastic sounding beast in a fantastic acoustic with a full "pyramid de ripenio" on both the Grand Organo (upper manual) and the Positivo, some interesting reeds and the whole offering a rather different dimension of sound to that to which we are used in England. However, in effect the instrument is four manuals in two, each stop being divided into treble and bass, and this puts one's thoughts of registration into total confusion, not assisted by having more conventional drawstops on the Positivo and latching sliders on the Grand Organo.

 

Many of the instruments are 18th century and some have been totally untouched for decades, if not longer. At St Francis de Paola, it appears that no-one has played the instrument in over 30 years. Such instruments have been known to reveal interesting insights to future generations, if not ours.

 

Most importantly, however, the state of organ appreciation in Venice suggests that a dynamo of enthusiasm is urgently required and it would be exciting to see if mutual benefit could multiply by cross-border cooperation?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...is the preference for the Septime rather than the Tierce typical in Italy or is use such as on this instrument rather novel?

 

Spottedmetal

Assuming we're not talking about fencing, your 'septime' refers to a seventh, but the spec lists a 17th otherwise known as a Tierce, so just for fun, and as there seems to have been some mention of it previously, I shall assume it is a typing error, you'll just have to forgive my sense of humour. And whether seventh or septième the following holds true:

 

The Septième is not an Italian invention and indeed mixtures were only introduced during the 19th century following influence from the rest of Europe. The typical Italian organ contained essentially a blockwerk, so you'll regularly find separate ranks of quints and octaves. The famous organ in St. Petronio (1483) has principal pipes at 16, 8, 4, 4(flauto), 22/3, 2, 11/3, 1. Not only were there no flat 21st they often omitted the note of b flat at both ends of the 50 note compass.

 

However, when mixtures were introduced they took to them with great enthusiasm, regularly adding multiple ranks of the same note:

15,15, 19,19, 22,22,22,22, 26!

Of course they would then be subject to a certain amount of neglect, bad tuning and extreme climate, oh, and the odd war, thus quite often after a few decades becoming: 15, (stolen) 19, 18.5, 22, bent over, squashed flat, 21, dead fly.

Hence the rumours that Italian organs make unusual sounds.

 

I think AC-C was experimenting with septièmes in 1846, and I noticed you mentioned Jackson which Audsley cites as having used one in his organ for the Collegiate Institution in Liverpool in 1850. Perhaps it was the use of the stop in the Notre-Dame organ in 1868 that really led to its wider use. That's wider in the rather narrow septieme sense. John Compton was interested in them too, but remarked that adding them may call for even higher partials to be corroborated by the introduction of onzièmes and treizièmes etc...there to please any passing bat.

 

Tierce ranks are not unheard of in Italian organs, but again, are a foreign influence. The sesquialtera and cornet 'stops' were only seen after about 1680 and spread from the north. Probably they were as a result of the Flemish Jesuit Willem Hermans and the Silesian Eugenio Caspar according to research done in the Bergamo area. (I've just noticed that Pierre gave a very interesting account on this, including the theory that the celeste came from Italy - although really a German builder, in the Casparini thread of Feb.5th)

 

The Italians (well the organists anyway) are very proud of their organ heritage and claim the Ripieno is the Italian organ sound. I would hazard a guess that the only major difference between their principal chorus and those of the northern Europe is that the scales of the higher ranks are still quite large. The idea that a 15th might be there to support and enhance the 3rd upper partial of the unison either did not exist or was not considered as important as making a powerful sound/harsh noise. Italian organ building seems to have clung rigidly to the old ways.

 

There are one or two exceptions to this, such as the Mascioni organ at the Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Carlo in Magadino on which Pierre Cocherreau recorded works by Bach, Couperin, Vierne and Messiaen, finishing with one of his legendary improvisations. I found it a revelation for several reasons, firstly I couldn't believe it was an Italian organ and secondly, there was so much life in both the Bach and Couperin. The recording is on the Ermitage label ERM 176-2.

There are no independent Third sounding ranks on this organ and certainly no Septièmes. I doubt also that the two mixtures contain any tierces either, the spec. I have doesn't give the mixture details.

 

So, the search for hidden Italian Septièmes (Vigesimoprimo-bemolle?!!) has now been launched. Does Santa Maria Formosa (virgin with curves!) in Venice hold the only known breeding pairs of this rare species?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I can see from the specification of the new organ in Santa Maria Formosa, there are no Septièmes. However, having now trawled the net for this rare breed in Italy, I have finally caught one. It's in the 1951 Tamburini Organ now erected in San Giovanni di Bosco in Bologna. Called a 'Settima 1,1/7'. The organ was originally in the Roman Auditorium Pio XII.

Somebody may well have the specifications of some of the other massive Tamburini organs of the same period and there may well be other 'Settimi' there too.

Cavaillè-Coll and later Mutin, desperately tried to introduce some seventh sounding ranks to St. Peter's in Rome. They were to be cleverly concealed within a vast organ to go on the west wall. Unfortunately this project failed to get past the Pope, who realised it was just the French trying to show off. If only they had though, what a sound.

The specification may be found on the web site created by Julian Rhodes, well worth a visit if you haven't already.

 

Julian Rhodes' Dream Organs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
As far as I can see from the specification of the new organ in Santa Maria Formosa, there are no Septièmes.

 

Dear David

 

B) Oh dear - yes I see now that confusion might have appeared to have set in. With only quick visits, it's difficult to take everything in at once and these particular labelled XVIIs didn't scream like ordinary Tierces and the interval sounded like a flat 21st! If we were misled with our ears perhaps it would be, as Pasquale Ferrari explains is that he is not using a purely equal temperament. Whichever it is, the organ at Santa Maria Formosa split so starkly between principles and flutes by Ferrari is really worth a visit.

However, having now trawled the net for this rare breed in Italy, I have finally caught one. It's in the 1951 Tamburini Organ now erected in San Giovanni di Bosco in Bologna. Called a 'Settima 1,1/7'. The organ was originally in the Roman Auditorium Pio XII.

That certainly soounds worth a visit.

 

On the older Venetian organs the Italian stop names are hideously confusing at first sight going up to Vigemanona and Trigesimasesta, the latter being a 1/4ft rank! These high ranks add so very tremendously to the sound. We tracked down the recording of St Mark's, San Zaccaria and San Maria del Rosario (Motette CD 10561). This last organ is a Bazzani of 1856 and like the huge 1878 instrument has a "pyramid de repieno" includes above the 4':

"Flauto in XII" 2 2/3 (Very confusing notation! But this is to distinguish flutes from Principals in the chorus)

Quintadecima 2

Decimanona 1 1/3

Vigesimaseconda 1

Vigesimasesta 2/3

Vigesimanona 1/2

Trigesimaterza 1/3

Trigesimasesta 1/4

 

On the 1878 Bazzano at the Church of Madonna del'Orto there are two "Due file di repieno" - one a XXIX/XXXIII and the other a XXXVI/XL - a 40th!

 

These specifications are so weird to our eyes that I hope that the apparent Septieme confusions above might be forgivable - these organs contain elements even more exotic!

 

On the CD the Sinfonia in Fa Maggiore by Alessandro Grazioli actually sounds orchestral in its effect played on the S Maria del Rosario organ - proving the worth of such upperwork in harmonic addition in synthesizing tones, on which I have commented elsewhere about how one can discover more about mixtures using Hammond drawbars.

 

We had the good fortune of playing a 1750 organ of this sort in a 7 second or more acoustic. The joy of adding these harmonics going up and up and up past 2ft right through to the 36th was exhiliarating and although having only one or two 8ft and 4ft stops, the resultant sound was extremely full. Intriguingly there was a Vox Umana which was not a reed but a detuned Principal and the reeds were a glorious fruity Trombe, Trombocini and I can't remember what the Cornetta sounded like. That organ is one of the best maintained in Venice and certainly deserves a recital.

 

The special thing about these instruments is that there is not a hint of chiff to interrupt the music - these instruments provide the definition by way of high harmonics which are voiced so delicately as to add but not to scream.

 

Were one to be in the position of commissioning a new instrument now, I wouldn't hesitate in saying that in particular that 1750 instrument needs a look in terms of scale and voicing, and the introduction of this high harmonic structure with the synthetic resultant tones that it produces would be a very valuable introduction to the attempts of English organ building to provide refined definition instead continuing in the direction of the continuing reproduction of percussive and gutteral noises.

 

The other advantage that these instruments offer is the production of a substantial volume with pipework of small dimensions, allowing a large specification to be enclosed in very thin casework.

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

 

Spec of the 1750 organ

 

Principals:

 

Principale bassi 8

Principale soprani 8

Ottava 4

Quintadecima 2

Decimanona 1 1/3

Vigesimaseconda 1

Vigesimasesta 2/3

Vigesimanona 1/2

Trigesimaterza 1/3

Trigesimasesta 1/4

 

Flutes and Reeds:

Voce Umana 8 (may be detuned principal rather than flute)

Flauto in VIII 4

Flauto in XII

Cornetta

Trombe bassi

Trombe soprani

Tromboncini bassi

Tromboncini soprani

 

Rollante (not sure what that is)

 

Pedal - all three come out together

Contrabassi

Ottava di C,B

Duo ?Decima? di C,B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we were misled with our ears perhaps it would be, as Pasquale Ferrari explains is that he is not using a purely equal temperament. Whichever it is, the organ at Santa Maria Formosa split so starkly between principles and flutes by Ferrari is really worth a visit.

 

Probably a version of Vallloti etc. Most if not all organ builders use something other than Equal Temperament now. Manders, Willis and Fisk certainly do, but it depends on the job. Willis's was always to help the Tierce with regards to the thirds.

In general Italian organs of two manuals have always had two distinct choruses: the principals forming the Ripieno and the Flutes often been called the Concerto.

 

On the 1878 Bazzano at the Church of Madonna del'Orto there are two "Due file di repieno" - one a XXIX/XXXIII and the other a XXXVI/XL - a 40th!

But these high pitched ranks are usually just an octave of pipes in the base, which then repeats every octave. If this is done with pipes all the way to the top there can be some attempt to blend in with the rest, but often with the typical electric action organs of the last half century in Italy, the same pipes are used throughout and the result is painful.

 

These specifications are so weird to our eyes that I hope that the apparent Septieme confusions above might be forgivable - these organs contain elements even more exotic!

 

The old Italian used for the ordinals is only otherwise used to denote the Popes. Ordinal cardinals are even more confusing. :wacko:

 

As to your punishment for leading us (some) a merry septième dance, the board members are still in conclave, but here in Lausanne you would be thrown in to the lake with weights tied to your feet. An alternative is to send you to a remote Italian church with a radiator heating just one end of the organ then ask you to tune the 16 rank mixture that hasn't been tuned for 30 years. You can come out when it's perfect!

 

On the CD the Sinfonia in Fa Maggiore by Alessandro Grazioli actually sounds orchestral in its effect played on the S Maria del Rosario organ - proving the worth of such upperwork in harmonic addition in synthesizing tones, on which I have commented elsewhere about how one can discover more about mixtures using Hammond drawbars.

 

Although fascinating, without having each of the ranks in the harmonic series under independent expression, almost none of the synthesized tones listed on the Hammond site are possible. In addition, the 8' and 4' on the Hammond are not really like anything on real organs. On the organ I play (with) in Lausanne all divisions are under expression except the Great and Pedal flues, and by using the various octave couplers it is possible to produce clarinet sounds and a passable Saxophone. The latter was created briefly during a service after the priest had joked "I bet the organ doesn't have a saxophone stop" She's more careful about comments she makes regarding the organ now!

 

The special thing about these instruments is that there is not a hint of chiff to interrupt the music - these instruments provide the definition by way of high harmonics which are voiced so delicately as to add but not to scream.

 

If this organ has no chiff and doesn't scream, I'm tempted to ask what it's doing in Italy. But perhaps even the Italian Organ builders are now joining the rest of the world in accepting that chiff is more a voicing fault than a pipe characteristic and that upperwork shouldn't 'be heard to' scream.

 

Were one to be in the position of commissioning a new instrument now...

But thankfully for British Organ Building, one isn't. B)

 

 

Rollante (not sure what that is)

During the 1750-1850s the Italians went in for the most bizarre organ effects to enable them to play operatic and military music in church. Some had real drums and cymbals, while others used combinations of the pedal pipes to make alarming sounds (the French had storm effects too during the same period). The Timpani comprised two pipes tuned a semitone apart and playing together when a pedal note is pressed, supposed to reproduce the roll of a kettledrum. The Rollante was a similar device except it played notes E a G together and was operated by a hitch down lever, producing a rumbling drone effect. Sometimes employed towards the end of unusually long sermons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
But these high pitched ranks are usually just an octave of pipes in the base, which then repeats every octave. If this is done with pipes all the way to the top there can be some attempt to blend in with the rest, but often with the typical electric action organs of the last half century in Italy, the same pipes are used throughout and the result is painful.
Dear David

 

Certainly on the 1750 Venetian mechanical instrument we played, testing a note in the middle of the manual, the note went up from 8ft and up and up and up and up on every new higher mutation we drew. The effect was mind-blowingly spectacular. With even just one manual and the traditional limited pedalboard, the instrument was an absolute joy to play, but we did not want to outstay our welcome with the monk who took us up there. It was quite a spiral staircase! If I can I'll try to get my youngest son to ask to go and see. This instrument was not a disappointment in any way!

 

As to your punishment for leading us (some) a merry septième dance . . .An alternative is to send you to a remote Italian church with a radiator heating just one end of the organ then ask you to tune the 16 rank mixture that hasn't been tuned for 30 years. You can come out when it's perfect!
Thank you for being so lenient. Yes - I'll have a go! Actually, first, if my wife can be persuaded to go on an organ hunt with youngest son, I'll try to get him to test it and I can assure you that my son's punishment of his father will be much worse! Sorry. Slap on wrists accepted!

 

But perhaps, I should be far from repentant ;) as the Septieme is so very neglected. I'm sure that it's the reason for a certain lacklustre on an H&H where it was removed from the Arthur Harrison harmonics, particularly in relation to the Tromba as either Pierre or MM pointed out, and, in order to do the neglected Dulciana fundamental reinforcement trick the full complement of upperwork including Tierce and preferably Septieme are essential to provide those necessary adjacencies. So it's with delight today that I saw details in the Organ magazine about the new instrument at St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral Edinburgh on which the Solo division includes both Septieme and a 1ft Rossignol (funny name as Nightingales aren't that high in reality but it's a romantic thought!).

 

Roll on the next new organ complete with full ranks of 1/2ft, 1/3ft and 1/4ft!

 

even the Italian Organ builders are now joining the rest of the world in accepting that chiff is more a voicing fault than a pipe characteristic and that upperwork shouldn't 'be heard to' scream.

 

This was the real joy of seeking out those earliest organs as that particular gem really points the way for modern builders to look on both these counts.

 

Thanks for all your wisdom and if you would like to be pointed in the direction of the "gem" do PM me. The experience of visiting it is dramatic in itself and well worth the effort for this alone :)

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roll on the next new organ complete with full ranks of 1/2ft, 1/3ft and 1/4ft!

Dear Spot,

By full ranks, you can't be thinking that pipes that are 2.4mm long (imaginary top C in a 1/4' rank) would first, be possible to manufacture, and second, make any audible sound if they were. You may well have heard an increasing frequency when holding middle C and adding each of these mutation ranks, but I venture to suggest that if you held any C above this and repeated the sequence the very top frequency would be the same, but because the fundamental was higher than the C below, your ear would be tricked (to use your words) into thinking everything was getting higher. However, if you show me a photo of the complete ranks at 1/2,1/3 & 1/4' I'll believe you, honest.

 

Whether UK organ builders should be learning from an Italian organ of 1750 sounds a bit cheeky. The majority of UK builders have a wide experience of different styles of building and a profound historical knowledge. Most have spent much time playing, inspecting and often measuring organ pipes around the world. Of all the European countries we seem to have been the most open to new ideas. We have had builders who made pipes in the French, German, Dutch and English style and a few recent examples of Italian style building when a customer has so desired. You'd be hard pressed, though, to find French organ builders using pipes made in the German style and probably vice versa. No doubt Pierre would know of several exceptions to that idea.

 

Since WWII the Italian organs of three manuals and above have looked towards the UK and US for inspiration. There is just so much you can do vertically, but if you wish for a variety of sound, creating pipes that develop there own subtle set of harmonics offers more musical flexibility.

 

Many of the Italian and French classical style organs that have been built for churches whose primary use is supporting congregational singing fail because, although you might be able to just hear the direction of the music over the singing, the overall musical effect is poor. I often hear local organists going on about how the cornet was designed to pick out the melody in a Bach chorale and so they then use the same registration to lead hymns. Fine if you're teaching them a new tune, but if the aim is a combined musical offering to God, the traditional English Diapason chorus is far better at supporting and blending with congregational singing. God of course, wouldn't dream of making a choice between the two, they're all just fine. :)

 

On my Septième search I came across two fascinating web sites that are worth a look, one is of a young organist and includes a large selection of the organs he has played with photos and descriptions:

Giuseppe Distaso

and the other is a site dedicated to the massive Tamburini organ (12,278 pipes, 159 stops) in San Giovanni di Bosco in Bologna:

Tamburini Organ in Bologna

 

Regards,

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You'd be hard pressed, though, to find French organ builders using pipes made in the German style and probably vice versa. No doubt Pierre would know of several exceptions to that idea."

(Quote)

 

Aha ?

Our little Europe still pays the (high) price for centuries of disputes, wars and

massacres of any imaginable, and inimaginable, kind.

Our different organ styles all emerged from two Renaissance centres

(The Brabant and northern Italy, so we'd better not laugh too much

with those little ancient organs!), and so all european organs do share

many things in common, as in a long chain.

But the wars and the differing languages soon built thick walls between

the organ schools, to the point even today, when I place a link to Audsley's

"The organ stops and their artistic registration" complete on-line book on the

french forum, the guys there discover with anguish one could have written

the french Montre to be something bad!

So each school lived -and still does, even more so today than in the past- in

isolation, and whenever one wishes a Bach-organ in France, the result is indeed

a french organ -the whole Mixture discussion has its grounds here-.

And despite the EC, the organ market is still quite protectionnist, as everybody

knows the rules are made to be "interpreted"...

 

But now David, yes, there are exceptions to that, as you know: the multilingual areas,

that is, Belgium, Luxembourg, Lorraine, Alsace and Switzerland.

There you will actually find german and french pipes in the same instruments !

 

And yes England has been widely open to foreign, cross-fertilizating influencies.

This you ow to a certain Cromwell, after whose "reign" you needed help from aboard

in order to replace all those vandalized organs, while Harrises and Dallams came back

from France with new, strange things.

And then the door was open for later "guest workers" like Schnetzler, Schulze...

 

Pierre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest spottedmetal
By full ranks, you can't be thinking that pipes that are 2.4mm long (imaginary top C in a 1/4' rank) would first, be possible to manufacture, and second, make any audible sound if they were. You may well have heard an increasing frequency when holding middle C and adding each of these mutation ranks, but I venture to suggest that if you held any C above this and repeated the sequence the very top frequency would be the same, but because the fundamental was higher than the C below, your ear would be tricked (to use your words) into thinking everything was getting higher. However, if you show me a photo of the complete ranks at 1/2,1/3 & 1/4' I'll believe you, honest.

Dear David

 

Clearly cause for further investigation here: points taken and indeed the mind boggled at what was to be seen and heard and potentially marvelled at what was achieved in these organs. The practicalities were apparent but upon first sight not defying common sense except in the top octave.*

 

Whatever the specifics of the upper ranks, the 1750 organ of D. Pietro Nacchini is really worth investigating. I looked specifically at Venice for the reasons that

1. once upon a time it was the heart of Renaissance civilisation and subsequent quality

2. having gone through periods of decay and neglect, one has a higher chance of finding things not subsequently mucked up by others and later expensive fashions

3. its isolation provided physical barriers to change and created a local pride further resisting change.

These factors are essential components to successful archaeology. As we discovered at least two instruments which had been unplayed and untouched for decades, possibly resulting from a lack of attention for a century or more, there is potentially a wealth of academic resource in these organs rare on the mainland.

 

Whether UK organ builders should be learning from an Italian organ of 1750 sounds a bit cheeky. The majority of UK builders have a wide experience of different styles of building and a profound historical knowledge. Most have spent much time playing, inspecting and often measuring organ pipes around the world.

 

Pierre's perspective on this is most valued but please forgive me in sometimes stating what might appear to some as being the obvious. I am not knocking the professionalism and erudition that we frequently see on this forum and elsewhere in the organ world, but in my own experience of interacting with people who don't appreciate instruments in their curatorship I find that sometimes it arises from missing links in the heritage of their experience. The existence of badly treated organs, like some misunderstood pets, is the evidence that wider views are usefully more widely promoted.

 

For this reason, sometimes perhaps it's important to state the apparently obvious and to place an explanation from what some might perceive as banale first principles, knowing that whilst there are some on the forum with life-long experience and erudition, for sure, the pages are picked up by Google and the forum is a resource to which others with less knowledge can seek answers through what they read without joining as members. Furthermore, sometimes in the stating of the basic, some unthought idea surfaces to develop anew.

 

Furthemore, whilst the majority of UK organ builders, as you say, have very wide experience and knowledge, it only produces results when bought by their customers . . . From my cursory researches and more limited perspectives, my opinion is that the Venetian sound has been largely overlooked and is worth buying into . . .

 

With its lack of interrupting chiffing, extraordinary definition and range of expression by the choices of harmonics, together with the lightness of tracker touch caused by the diminutive series of pipes together with lack of resulting winding problems on full organ, the historic Venetian instruments may have hold answers to problems to which other solutions have left some of us unhappy or unsatisfied.

There is just so much you can do vertically, but if you wish for a variety of sound, creating pipes that develop there own subtle set of harmonics offers more musical flexibility.
:) Um - yes - I agree - but the extreme extension of this argument is the Victorian octopod, to which some examples of later 20th century rebellion are not everyone's favourite instruments. The Venetians possibly hold a "third way" which might possibly erupt as a third or fourth manual in due course on what we might consider as a conventional organ, if not followed in itself as a singular instrument worthy of pursuit in its own right. In their new work certainly the Ferrari brothers have struck an exciting enough balance.

 

On my Septième search I came across two fascinating web sites that are worth a look, one is of a young organist and includes a large selection of the organs he has played with photos and descriptions:

Giuseppe Distaso

and the other is a site dedicated to the massive Tamburini organ (12,278 pipes, 159 stops) in San Giovanni di Bosco in Bologna:

Tamburini Organ in Bologna

 

These sites sound tantalisingly exciting to explore in due course!

 

Thanks and best wishes,

 

Spot

 

* Foldback and top octave, not tested on visit:

With a keyboard which, from the quick photograph I took, extending only 2 octaves above middle C - for ease of maths approximate to 250Hz - top note 8ft=1000, 4ft=2000, 2ft=4000, 1ft=8000, 1/2ft = 16000Hz - another visit is clearly warranted to investigate the foldback points. Whatever they were, the sound was effective

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...