Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Another Challenge For Those With Too Much Time On Their Hands Or Those Who Like To Do This Despite Being Too Busy


Recommended Posts

That should be good for a few CDs or a free lesson.

 

However, assuming I am on the right planet (something I'm never entirely sure about) we are speaking of pedal compasses here and St Sulpice definitely has no top pedal G: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61021747@N00/165002479/

 

Oh - of course. I had forgotten (during the convolutions of this thread) that we were discussing pedal compass, in which case MM is quite correct.

 

Obviously I am in holiday mode and my brain is on some kind of daylight saving setting....

 

:lol:

 

To be fair to DJB, I always found him to be very generous. After most of my lessons, he would say "Oh, I have booked a meal in ..." (some nice French or Indian restaurant) - and then use most of the fee which I had given him for my lesson to pay for our meals. He also gave me several CDs, either as gifts or as thanks for turning pages (and occasionally playing notes) for one of his recitals.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 159
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'd have the Quintatön on the Récit, and the 16' Bourdon

on the Grand-orgue (with Pedal borrowing). The 4' Prestant

should be voiced somewhat "biting".

 

Pierre

 

This is an interesting proposal. I had considered this, but I was concerned that this would necessitate a substantially larger Swell box - I would not wish to have the basses outside, not even with the mouths speaking through 'letterboxes' in the back of the box.

 

I agree regarding the Prestant, though.

 

On another point, I am not sure what advantage Bazuin may gain from having this:

 

Hoofdwerk:

Praestant 8 (lead, full length at least from 6' F, stopped wooden bass if required)

Octaaf 4 (lead)

 

Surely the lead will be too soft and, whilst it may cause the pipes to yeild a gentle, more flute-like timbre, it would not be many years before the pipes began to show signs of collapse.

Link to post
Share on other sites
"Is it maybe because we lack anything resembling those nasty, primitive Schnitgers, Müllers and Silbermanns to force us to re-evaluate our approaches?"

(Quote)

 

Greens, Harrises, Englands, Snetzlers (former Müller worker) etc would do a great job in that matter. Have some restored!

 

Pierre

 

Hi

 

Some do still exist - but not that many of the larger organs have survived unaltered. Take a look at the Historic organ Certificate (HOC) listing on NPOR for some examples of the surviors (and some later organs of historic significance).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to post
Share on other sites
=======================

Well, I'll let you know if and when I get there!

 

Thus far, my meteoric rise to pedalling fame only includes the Bach C, D and F majors, the C P E Bach (?) "Pedal Exercitium", the Etudes by Bonnet (both of them), the "Etude Symphonique" by Bossi and half of the "Perpetuem Mobile" by Middelschulte. (I run out of patience with that after a while).

 

I once heard Thalben-Ball play his own pedal variations at Huddersfield Town Hall, and I felt that this was more than enough for one lifetime.

 

Thought for the day: If no-one ever wrote anything above top F on the pedals, which lunatic thought it a good idea to include F# and G?

 

I bet the Americans composed for those top-notes.......what about Leo Sowerby?

 

MM

 

Hi

 

A 32-note pedalboard "looks" right under 61-note manuals - hence the extended pedal compass. I've read somewhere (possible one of Elvin's books) that 61 note manual compass was introduced to help prevent the octave coupler running out of notes quite so early, whilst not incurring the expense (possibly seen as wasteful by the customer) of an extra octave of pipes that could only be played through the coupler and not directly.

 

The other issue is that, although 56/30 (or 58/30) might be adequate for most organ repertoire, there are people who want to play other music. I've noticed some theatre organists often play up and octave with heavy 16ft stops "on" - the extra few notes then provide a bit of saftey margin.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

 

A 32-note pedalboard "looks" right under 61-note manuals - hence the extended pedal compass. ...

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Except ours, which is displaced one note to the left from where it should be, causing occasional consternation to everyone - me included.

 

:lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is an interesting proposal. I had considered this, but I was concerned that this would necessitate a substantially larger Swell box - I would not wish to have the basses outside, not even with the mouths speaking through 'letterboxes' in the back of the box.

 

I agree regarding the Prestant, though.

 

Certainly a shared GO/P 16' would save space and be consistent with examples of this 'type' organ in France. Instead of the extended 8' and 4' other manual stops could also be shared with the P - this also consistent.

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely the lead will be too soft and, whilst it may cause the pipes to yeild a gentle, more flute-like timbre, it would not be many years before the pipes began to show signs of collapse.

 

I suspect Bazuin is thinking about the hammered, very hard lead found in many old Dutch organs. That stuff doesn't collapse quickly - it's been shown to be good for at least 500 years so far! The impurities and casting methods make it unlike the rather lilly-livered stuff we call lead today. As you rightly say, modern, very refined, unhammered lead is very soft and starts to collaspe quickly. But the old dutch lead pipes can be voiced pretty boldly with a full-bodied sound full of lively harmonics as well. Something to do with the density and weight of these pipes allows them to be blown pretty hard and to give a lot of sound. But of course, you know this already from your time spent in the Netherlands. I guess some dutch builders have rediscovered the qualities of old, fairly unrefined hammered lead and are reproducing it...

 

As you know, material is only a second-order (i.e. indirect) factor in the type of sound produced from an organ pipe.

 

I like Bazuin's suggested spec too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my spec

 

Great Organ

Open Diapason 8 (some compromises might be required in the bottom octave)

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

 

Swell Organ

Chimney Flute 8

Quintadena 8 (maybe common bass with chimney flute)

Flute 4

 

Pedal by couplers only (unless I've got space for a gentle 8' open flue, like a 'cello (probably labelled Principal or Open Diapason) and maybe a 16' if I was feeling indulgent and think the room is large enough to take it without standing waves and becoming too boomy).

Usual couplers.

 

In a Walnut, Rosewood or Mahogany case, with pierced carvings with silk backings and gilded pipes, designed in the English classical chamber organ style. Very important :lol:

 

Mechanical action.

Maybe a shifting movement to the Great principal and Swell flute.

 

It wouldn't matter if the swell box isn't that effective - it would just be for practicing my swell pedalling! The intention is that the quintadena & chimney flute could be used as a solo voice against the Great Stopped Diapason. The entire organ would naturally be rather gentle so as not to weary my ears listening at close quarters for a long time.

 

I've avoided reeds becauase of tuning access problems prevalent in very small organs with no real access inside.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

 

A 32-note pedalboard "looks" right under 61-note manuals - hence the extended pedal compass.

 

 

Tony

 

 

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

 

 

I suspect that the slotted history of the pedal-board probably began in far-flung rural villages, where livestock would regularly seek shelter in churches.

 

A fence around the organ can so easily be broken by a large cow, yet the same animal would not dare to go near a cattle-grid.

 

I suspect that the 32-note pedal has just the same width as the spacing between a cow's hind legs and forelegs.

 

:lol:

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites
I suspect Bazuin is thinking about the hammered, very hard lead found in many old Dutch organs. That stuff doesn't collapse quickly - it's been shown to be good for at least 500 years so far! The impurities and casting methods make it unlike the rather lilly-livered stuff we call lead today. As you rightly say, modern, very refined, unhammered lead is very soft and starts to collaspe quickly.

 

 

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

 

 

I've quoted this before, which comes from the research of Charles Fisk into lead-pipe composition in 17th century organs.

 

Using sophisticated spectrum-analysis, the composition of a typical "lead" pipe was found to be as follows:-

 

Antimony Sb 0.75%

Bismuth Bi 0.05%

Tin Sn 1.00%

Copper Cu 0.06%

 

 

Total metallic impurities 1.86%

 

Of course, we should also be aware of regional variations across Europe. Some lead also included Arsenic and other impurities.

 

On the subject of Tin, it should also be noted that Cornish tin was the best available, and I believe that the tin front at Haarlem was made of Cornish tin.

 

MM

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is correct for northern organs, and also flemish organs.

Not in the south for the Principal pipes, nor in Bach's area, nor France.

With some exceptions (mainly in volcanic italian areas), those were

the domain of the tin (read: high tin percentage).

 

Many flemish organs had such pipes even in the façade, covered with a tin sheet.

The tone was dark and it is the reason why those organs had much mutations

and sharp mixtures -sharp on paper!-, but never screamed, like much neo baroque

organs.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of hammered lead indeed which is common in the earliest surviving organs in the Netherlands. Nice that MM quotes Charles Fisk, his articles on this subject are fascinating and good propaganda for the style of lead pipework practiced by him, and more especially John Brombaugh. The latter visited Oosthuizen (1520-ish) in the 1950s already and it seems to have been very significant, because he continued to build new organs, (modelled after much later examples than Oosthuizen) with hammered lead pipes throughout his career. The resulting 'vocale' (the detractors call it "heavy lead") sound was an important step in the historically oriented organ building there then, and especially towards the organs by his disciples there now, who have oriented themselves on a wider array of historic examples. Although Brombaugh's heavy lead organs now seem a little passé, his instruments are astoundingly beautiful, (listen to Julia Brown's Naxos recordings of Scheidemann) and sometimes very inventive, (swell boxes with mixtures modelled on Father Willis!).

 

I read today that Walcker's masterpiece in the Dom in Riga (built as late as 1883/4) has compasses of 54/27. Frankly my 56/30 compasses render me avant-garde. :lol:

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Incidentally, since we are supposed to be designing (and discussing) house organs on this thread, here is the one which I would like:

 

PÉDALE ORGUE

 

Soubasse 16

Flûte (Emp.) 8

Flûte (Emp.) 4

 

GRAND ORGUE

 

Quintatön 16

Violoncelle 8

Bourdon 8

Prestant 4

 

RÉCIT-EXPRESSIF

 

Flûte Traversière 8

Viole de Gambe 8

Voix Célestes (AA) 8

Flûte Harmonique 4

Basson-Hautbois 8

 

PÉDALES DE COMBINAISONS

 

Tirasse G.O.

Tirasse Récit

Récit-G.O.

Machine G.O. (Barker)

Octaves Graves (Récit)

Octaves Aiguës (Récit)

Tremblant (Récit)

 

 

I can see the attractions of this organ and scheme but how big is this organ physically? You'd really need quite a sizeable room with high ceilings for this not to be a bit too large. And wouldn't a Barker lever machine be rather noisy, especially in a small room, and take up extra space? Is it really necessary anyway in such a small organ? Oh, I see - octave couplers on the Recit - yes, I can see why it's desirable. Also, wouldn't a tremblant to the recit require a separate reservior/regulator for the recit, making 2 in this organ? This organ strikes me more as an Orgue de Choer scheme and physically in a different league to most house organs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can see the attractions of this organ and scheme but how big is this organ physically? You'd really need quite a sizeable room with high ceilings for this not to be a bit too large.

I agree. Whilst I love the idea of lots of 8's to combine in almost infinite ways, they do take up a lot of space. On which subject... I've seen photos of old (prob. C17) organs where the pipes seem to be absolutely fitted in as tight as physically possible and several eg Schnitger specs have Brustwerks with lots of stops. My question is: can modern CAD reduce the dimensions of organs significantly compared to similar instruments of 3- or 4-hundred years ago?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cynic
I agree. Whilst I love the idea of lots of 8's to combine in almost infinite ways, they do take up a lot of space. On which subject... I've seen photos of old (prob. C17) organs where the pipes seem to be absolutely fitted in as tight as physically possible and several eg Schnitger specs have Brustwerks with lots of stops. My question is: can modern CAD reduce the dimensions of organs significantly compared to similar instruments of 3- or 4-hundred years ago?

 

Even if it could, you have to be a bit careful, pipes planted too close together can pull each other into tune, or set each other adrift. For all that, good planning can make quite a bit fit in apparently small space. Keen strings can be very small scale, mild principal ranks and harmonic flutes can have pretty acceptable stopped basses and reeds can be accommodated in boxes of seriously restricted height so long as they're purpose-built for the job. You need a good voicer to get a perfect match, but half length resonators can be made to work well for Oboe basses.

 

Once again, I'd give this (pcnd) scheme house room. There'd be plenty of repertoire for it!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Hector5
Even if it could, you have to be a bit careful, pipes planted too close together can pull each other into tune, or set each other adrift. For all that, good planning can make quite a bit fit in apparently small space. Keen strings can be very small scale, mild principal ranks and harmonic flutes can have pretty acceptable stopped basses and reeds can be accommodated in boxes of seriously restricted height so long as they're purpose-built for the job. You need a good voicer to get a perfect match, but half length resonators can be made to work well for Oboe basses.

 

Once again, I'd give this (pcnd) scheme house room. There'd be plenty of repertoire for it!

 

 

Curiously the Mutin Cavaille Coll organ a Meursault has independent basses for each of the three 8' ranks - an open wood bass for the Montre, Stopped Metal bass for the Flute Harmonique, and a cunningly good one for the Salicional. This organ has 16, 8, 8, 8, 4, IV, 16(Tuba Magna), 8 (Trompette), 4 (Soprano!) shoehorned in a case no wider than the console. The Dupre house organ, now in Rouen Cathedral as its Orgue de Choeur, also appears to have an open 8' wooden bass to the Montre, and is mitred either side of the swell box. I seem to remember that H, N & B in the 1960s often supplied Quintaten basses to strings - one such at Bromley Methodist was very successful indeed. If anyone has a copy of the Notes Personelles Volume 2 - you can hear (and see) a demonstration of the Cavaille Coll-style helpers for a Montre and Recit strings. The French builder Debierre also took things further with his 'Orgues Polyphone' where an awful lot of organ was stuffed in a tiny space - including reeds. Many of these organs are still going and have been restored. They seem to be souped-up version of the Casson Positive organs, but without some of the complications.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Coincidentally I one had an interesting exchange with Jack Bethards of Schoenstein along the lines of 'Cynic' above - keen strings, 'hybrid' Principals, varying scale flutes, enclosures etc. in the SMALL organ (small space) context. With a bit of ingenuity 'planning wise' and maybe some unconventional tonal arrangements much can be achieved. Perhaps more importantly much can also be played effectively. I also have a copy of an interesting article written by Bethards following a trip to France to look at instruments as described by Hector5 with a view to using stylistic points in planning new small Schoensteins in the US.

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I seem to remember that H, N & B in the 1960s often supplied Quintaten basses to strings "

(Quote)

 

If my notes are correct, Arthur Harrison did the same with enclosed Solo Violes d'orchestre

(first octave).

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
Even if it could, you have to be a bit careful, pipes planted too close together can pull each other into tune, or set each other adrift. For all that, good planning can make quite a bit fit in apparently small space. Keen strings can be very small scale, mild principal ranks and harmonic flutes can have pretty acceptable stopped basses and reeds can be accommodated in boxes of seriously restricted height so long as they're purpose-built for the job. You need a good voicer to get a perfect match, but half length resonators can be made to work well for Oboe basses.

 

Once again, I'd give this (pcnd) scheme house room. There'd be plenty of repertoire for it!

 

Thank you, Cynic!

 

I must admit that I would love to see this scheme built. Of course, I would have to move house first.

 

:lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 19th/early 20th Century French organ or harmonium repertoire contains some very interesting music including of course Vierne (both L. and R.) and on to Langlais.

 

Hers's a date for your diaries - I hope that people might spread the word - it's an opportunity to learn more about the harmonium and to listen to some repertoire specifically composed for it - including Karg-Elert's Second Sonata.

 

SOUTHBANK CENTRE CELEBRATES “THE QUEEN OF INSTRUMENTS”

HARMONIUM DAY, SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER, SOUTHBANK CENTRE

 

A day of talks and performances explore the Harmonium, on 11 October, in The Front Room and Purcell Room at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. There will be the opportunity to see, hear and play some of the best French and English harmoniums in The Front Room from 2pm. Hourly talks will be given by experts from Cambridge Reed Organs and the Saltaire Harmonium Museum, illustrating aspects of the development of the reed organ, including how it is played and its history, together with free ensemble performances by students from the Royal Academy of Music.

 

At 7.30pm, concert organist Anne Page will reveal her specialism in the art of playing the harmonium, in a programme which includes Karg-Elert’s symphonic second sonata. Page will play several harmoniums including the Mustel Art-Harmonium.

 

In a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm Anne Page, Pamela Fluke of the Saltaire Harmonium Museum, Bruce Dracott from Cambridge Reed Organs and Southbank Centre Organ Curator William McVicker will discuss the history and future of the harmonium, which was one of the most popular instruments of the Victorian era.

 

For further information please contact Kenny Morrison in Southbank Centre press office on 020 7921 0962 or via email on kenny.morrison@southbankcentre.co.uk or Jenny Wegg on 020 7921 0824, jenny.wegg@southbankcentre.co.uk

 

Harmonium Day: ‘The Queen of Instruments’, Saturday 11 October

 

The Front Room at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 2pm

Talks, demonstrations and performances

Admission free

 

Purcell Room, 6.15pm

Anne Page, Pamela Fluke, Bruce Dracott share and Southbank Centre organ curator William McVicker discuss the past, present and future of the harmonium.

 

Admission free

 

Purcell Room, 7.30pm

Anne Page harmoniums

R. Vierne: Marche de Procession and Intermezzo

Franck: l'Organiste (excerpts)

Wagner: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde

Guilmant: Scherzo Op.3

Karg-Elert: Sonata No.2, Op.46

L. Vierne: Carillon

Tickets: £12

 

Ticket Office: 0871 663 2500; Book Online: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Link to post
Share on other sites
SOUTHBANK CENTRE CELEBRATES “THE QUEEN OF INSTRUMENTS”

HARMONIUM DAY, SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER, SOUTHBANK CENTRE

 

'Sounds like a real treat.

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
'Sounds like a real treat.

 

AJJ

 

Hi

 

I understand that a couple of the Harmoniums from Saltaire are going down for the day - if you go, look out for a black Mustel - I'm not sure which other organ Phil is taking.

 

If only London was a bit closer (or public transport a more reasonable price).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

 

I understand that a couple of the Harmoniums from Saltaire are going down for the day - if you go, look out for a black Mustel - I'm not sure which other organ Phil is taking.

 

If only London was a bit closer (or public transport a more reasonable price).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Tony

 

Maybe you could stow away with the harmoniums (harmonia???)

 

R. :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...