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Armchair Designers - A 'real Life' Challenge

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I didn't mean to imply that there is no use for a Nazard on the Swell, just that personally I would prefer to retain the Vox Humana for everyday use. As for the Octavin rather than a Tierce, it's personal preference again. In my teenage years I used an instrument with no mixture, but an 8 4 2 1 chorus, and I still like the clarity of that sound.

JC

 

 

I agree - an excellent effect.

Would you agree that for that 1', a principal-type tone is likely to be better?

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I agree - an excellent effect.

Would you agree that for that 1', a principal-type tone is likely to be better?

Definitely. And a gemshorn style rank seems an ideal choice.

JC

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I don't understand why several of you can see no use for a Nazard on the Swell. I've only had it playing for a week or so, but the colour possibilities with a well-blending Nazard, along with 4' flute, 8' flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Tremulant etc. make this a very valuable stop. Long after I am too aged to make the weekly or monthly crawl inside to re-tune the Vox Humana I will be enjoying making melanges with a Nazard that rarely needs any attention at all.

 

Apart from the odd scherzo by Vierne, I cannot immediately think of any use for this stop in a Swell Organ. My own preference is for the mutations to be grouped together on the Positive (or Choir) Organ. I am not even bothered if there is no Twelfth on the G.O. I almost always prefer the chorus without it.

 

On the subject of a 1ft. stop - my Sifflute on the Positive at the Minster is delightful - and is a wlde-scaled true flute. Perhaps some type of compromise between diapason and flute may be possible.

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That's interesting, because I didn't know that H,N & B made diaphones.

 

Were they just for theatre-organs, or were they fitted elsewhere?

 

MM

 

There was a heroic example of a 32' H,N&B Diaphone from 1929 at Melbourne Town Hall. (Constructed at the firm's Melbourne factory, in fact.) However, in the unforgivable rebuild by Schantz in 2001 (where all but the pipework and case were discarded), the zinc pipes of the Diaphone were lost in a factory fire in the USA and were replaced by Schantz. Despite the efforts to prevent the vandalism of this whole project (led by the Christopher Dearnley and the Organ Historical Trust of Australia), it still causes one to smart at the destruction of the integrity of such a fine example of the British inter-war civic organ.

Given the exorbitant price of the rebuild, one wonders how much of a stretch it would have been to commission an entirely new 'American Classic' of similar size, whilst respecting the integrity of an undeniably superb, if not entirely fashionable work of art.

 

All that said, I can't help but be amused to wonder if perhaps the Schantz replacement was the first 32' Diaphone rank to be constructed from scratch in about 50 years. (If I am mistaken, please correct me; I feel there may be a glaringly obvious exception)

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There was a heroic example of a 32' H,N&B Diaphone from 1929 at Melbourne Town Hall. (Constructed at the firm's Melbourne factory, in fact.) However, in the unforgivable rebuild by Schantz in 2001 (where all but the pipework and case were discarded), the zinc pipes of the Diaphone were lost in a factory fire in the USA and were replaced by Schantz. Despite the efforts to prevent the vandalism of this whole project (led by the Christopher Dearnley and the Organ Historical Trust of Australia), it still causes one to smart at the destruction of the integrity of such a fine example of the British inter-war civic organ.

Given the exorbitant price of the rebuild, one wonders how much of a stretch it would have been to commission an entirely new 'American Classic' of similar size, whilst respecting the integrity of an undeniably superb, if not entirely fashionable work of art.

 

All that said, I can't help but be amused to wonder if perhaps the Schantz replacement was the first 32' Diaphone rank to be constructed from scratch in about 50 years. (If I am mistaken, please correct me; I feel there may be a glaringly obvious exception)

 

Schoenstein have included Diaphones in some recent instruments - one I seem to remember could have been second hand but others could be new.

 

AJJ

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
I don't understand why several of you can see no use for a Nazard on the Swell. I've only had it playing for a week or so, but the colour possibilities with a well-blending Nazard, along with 4' flute, 8' flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Tremulant etc. make this a very valuable stop. Long after I am too aged to make the weekly or monthly crawl inside to re-tune the Vox Humana I will be enjoying making melanges with a Nazard that rarely needs any attention at all.

 

Interesting! The Nazard, for me, is the next best thing to have after the Tremulant. It is the catalyst for so many wonderful combinations/sounds. On the Swell - such as at St John's Islington - it is of enormous use and I am always heartened to see the builder considering such a stop within their harmonic DNA of a proposed instrument. Putting mutations all together on one department is not at all helpful and smacks so much of the cul-de-sac designing of some people from the middle of the last century. Each department in my view needs to have the greatest palette of available colour within the boundaries of instrument size and the using ears from the room can really only make this happen, I think. I still amazed how many players do not go and hear in the church what the actual registrations sound like before a concert. We surely play to the audience, not the console and many-a-time I have heard a well produced reading marred by inept registration. I would be as controversial as saying that most times one should totally forget the registration marked in the score. It is really surprising how the tweeking of stops (and sometimes the most bizarre pullings-out!) gives the essence and musical reasoning behind the composers' description. I would (as some testify) spend about 1/2 or 2/3 of rehearsal time in the church. Then I know what others will hear. At the console it can sound an absolute fright and would never have been chosen in a month of Sundays!

Nazard reigns! Produce a sticker to be put on the case "Nazard on board"

 

Best wishes,

N

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Guest Cynic
Interesting! The Nazard, for me, is the next best thing to have after the Tremulant. It is the catalyst for so many wonderful combinations/sounds. On the Swell - such as at St John's Islington - it is of enormous use and I am always heartened to see the builder considering such a stop within their harmonic DNA of a proposed instrument. Putting mutations all together on one department is not at all helpful and smacks so much of the cul-de-sac designing of some people from the middle of the last century. Each department in my view needs to have the greatest palette of available colour within the boundaries of instrument size and the using ears from the room can really only make this happen, I think. I still amazed how many players do not go and hear in the church what the actual registrations sound like before a concert. We surely play to the audience, not the console and many-a-time I have heard a well produced reading marred by inept registration. I would be as controversial as saying that most times one should totally forget the registration marked in the score. It is really surprising how the tweeking of stops (and sometimes the most bizarre pullings-out!) gives the essence and musical reasoning behind the composers' description. I would (as some testify) spend about 1/2 or 2/3 of rehearsal time in the church. Then I know what others will hear. At the console it can sound an absolute fright and would never have been chosen in a month of Sundays!

Nazard reigns! Produce a sticker to be put on the case "Nazard on board"

 

Best wishes,

N

 

Glad I am not the only one!

Thanks for this.

P.

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Putting mutations all together on one department is not at all helpful and smacks so much of the cul-de-sac designing of some people from the middle of the last century.

 

This may be fine - unless one desires to use a cornet composé, and the Nazard is on the Swell, the Flute 2ft. (I am aware that this is not a mutation) on the G.O. but the Tierce is on the Positive, in which case I can forsee problems. By all means have another Nazard on the Swell (although I am still not bothered personally), but to imply that it is better to split them up seems to me to be just as unhelpful. It depends of course on what one wishes to do with them.

 

I find that for colour, I am incresasingly drawn to unison pitch stops (of an interesting tonality) and their combination with other stops, including octave pitches. I also like to experiment with using conventional stops in unconventional registers (or pitches).

 

One cannot do everything with mutations - even the best will tend to 'split' aurally by C13, if not even around G21. They can make some attractive sounds, certainly - but I am also interested by the possiblilties which are afforded by lots of colourful flutes, strings and quiet reeds.

 

I must confess that I am not really interested in the (arguably now) hackneyed style of playing a Bach chorale prelude, using mutations and flutes. I should much prefer to hear the melody on a beautiful Hautbois - perhaps occasionally also with a slow tremulant.

 

I still amazed how many players do not go and hear in the church what the actual registrations sound like before a concert. We surely play to the audience, not the console and many-a-time I have heard a well produced reading marred by inept registration. I would be as controversial as saying that most times one should totally forget the registration marked in the score.

 

Best wishes,

N

 

Well, I certainly do this - and get a pupil to play on my specified registrations, which I then adjust as necessary.

 

However, I would not agree with your last sentence quoted above. Of course there are many occasions when the registration of a piece has to be adapted on an 'unsuitable' organ. There are also occasions when it is necessary to resort to other measures - for example, when playing French symphonic music on many English organs. But I cannot see the need totally to disregard registrations marked in the scores.

 

To take but one example - the third Choral, by César Franck. I once heard a colleague commence playing this piece on the combined choruses to mixtures (but with no reeds). I have no idea why he thought that this was a good idea. To me it sounded intrinsically wrong. However, in the adagio, I use (on my 'own' church instrument) the Swell Clarion, the Principal 4ft. and the Flute 4ft., played down an octave, in order to give a slightly brighter and thinner timbre than that which is imparted by following Franck's instructions implicitly (on this particular English organ). Notwithstanding, I feel that I am still following the spirit of Franck's intentions.

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It was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

 

I'm awfully worried it was Professer Cochereau in the Minster with a length of flared copper, but I don't think he'd resort to physical violence over a nazard.

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I'm awfully worried it was Professer Cochereau in the Minster with a length of flared copper, but I don't think he'd resort to physical violence over a nazard.

 

Moi?

 

Ma non, m'sieur. Je n'avez pas le flared copper....

 

B)

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Joking apart, is anyone able to check that Nigel is OK? Although it is probably a machine problem, I'm surprised that we haven't seen a follow up.

JC

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Joking apart, is anyone able to check that Nigel is OK? Although it is probably a machine problem, I'm surprised that we haven't seen a follow up.

JC

 

I very much doubt he's "done a Vierne"!

 

Well, at least, I hope not......

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

I am touched by the concern and the pastoral care of the The Board.

Let it be known I have not been attacked in mid-sentence (but if was to be, I trust that such an assailant would allow me at least a semi colon or at best, a full stop before doing the dastardly deed). However, I did post a reply this morning but it seems to have turned into a literary BWV 1080 by this evening.

 

N

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Ah, but perhaps it's like Vierne's foot slipping onto that pedal note...

 

I am reminded of a story of a very well regarded organist playing for a big wedding. As the procession made its way up, the Queen of Sheba was arriving with due splendour and absolute rock-solid accuracy. When came the two-part echo section, all hell broke loose and a colleague rushed round to the console, thinking from the sound and the anguished facial expressions that the organist must have had a stroke.

 

The adjustable music desk was too low, and he'd been able to get the notes of the top keyboard down, but not back up again! Beware!

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