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I used to play on this superb little Walker organ in a large reverberant church in Eastbourne. The sound belied the fact that it had only 7 stops! I'm so sorry that it would appear to have been replaced by an electronic now.

 

Great

 

8 Open Diapason (big with very bold treble)

8 Wald Flute (very full-toned)

8 Dulciana (not too small)

- Ch/Gt

 

Swell (actually called Choir)

 

8 Leiblich Gedackt (very beautiful)

8 Viol d'Orchestre (Very reedy - lovely stop)

4 Harmonic Flute (just the right amount of brilliance)

- Sub Octave

- Octave

 

Pedal

 

16 Leiblich Bourdon (not too soft)

- Ch/Ped

- Gt/Ped

 

For only seven ranks/stops, this was the most useful non extension instrument I have ever played!

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Now, ladies and gentlemen, we got an interesting point !

 

Both the baroque flemish organ, with its limitations,

and that post-romantic Walker, with its limitations,

heve been testified as interesting musical instruments

by organists !

 

Of course we all may prefer the one or the other, according

to everyone's own taste.

But our task is to preserve both on a par.

 

Pierre

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But not much of the best of the organ's repertoire? Bach, Franck? :rolleyes:

 

Pierre's spec would be a better organ for Bach than the 8-stop H&H I mentioned in the OP! Pierre's instrument at least has a decent chorus. The Harrison's biggest noise is the hooting great Open Diapason (with or without any other stops added - you can't hear them anyway).

 

Surely one cannot expect any organ of eight ranks to be able to play "the best of the organ's repertoire", if by that one means works on a grand scale: such an instrument will always be limited to small scale works. I can't imagine there are many eight-rank organs anyone would choose to take Grade 8 on, for example - though I'd be interested to hear any suggestions.

 

In any case, an organ in a small country church isn't really there to render the Great Works of the Organ Literature. It's there to accompany the choir and the congregation.

 

Not that there is a choir at St Peter's these days. I suspect there was when the organ was installed. There are choir stalls that would accommodate a choir of about eight, and a selection of third-rate anthems going mouldy underneath a layer of bat droppings in a cardboard box at the side of the organ.

 

The dedication recital was given by Mr Rooks of Blackburn Parish Church. I bet he was glad to get back to his Cavaille-Coll.

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I think you're quoting me out of context somewhat, Nick! :rolleyes:

 

Pierre suggested that that instrument would be capable of playing a lot of the literature. But, of course, it wouldn't be any good for any of the repertoire which requires a "proper" pedalboard!

 

I don't think that the organ which Pierre cited would be terribly good for accompanying the choir or the congregation either.

 

On the other hand, yes I do think that an organ of eight stops can do justice to Bach!

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The baroque flemish organ, like the french, had not to support

any singing ! it was used in between...A soloist instrument also.

And it is exactly as worthy as a post-romantic one, be it from H&H,

Walker, Walcker.....No more, no less. To establish an "hierarchy"

here would be like willing to tell wether apples are "better" than peers.

 

Pierre

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I rather preferred your first one! And what's with this Orlos? :P

 

Joking aside, yup, good spec. I'd be rather tempted by a one manual option in this instance, apart from the fact that it might be useful to have a second manual on which to solo out a melody. So perhaps your Orlos might go there! :)

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Pierre's spec would be a better organ for Bach than the 8-stop H&H I mentioned in the OP! Pierre's instrument at least has a decent chorus. The Harrison's biggest noise is the hooting great Open Diapason (with or without any other stops added - you can't hear them anyway).

 

Surely one cannot expect any organ of eight ranks to be able to play "the best of the organ's repertoire", if by that one means works on a grand scale: such an instrument will always be limited to small scale works. I can't imagine there are many eight-rank organs anyone would choose to take Grade 8 on, for example - though I'd be interested to hear any suggestions.

 

In any case, an organ in a small country church isn't really there to render the Great Works of the Organ Literature. It's there to accompany the choir and the congregation.

 

Not that there is a choir at St Peter's these days. I suspect there was when the organ was installed. There are choir stalls that would accommodate a choir of about eight, and a selection of third-rate anthems going mouldy underneath a layer of bat droppings in a cardboard box at the side of the organ.

 

The dedication recital was given by Mr Rooks of Blackburn Parish Church. I bet he was glad to get back to his Cavaille-Coll.

 

 

OT, but: I see no problem in playing ie Bach's D-dur (the h-moll, or the e-moll) on 'my' 7 stop Hill - works fine , if different; but that may come by the splendid performance :)

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Oh well, in that case:

 

Great

Principal 8

Stopped Flute 8

Octave 4

Gemshorn 2

Mixture IV

Orlos 8

 

Pedal

Subbass 16

Principal 8

 

I must admit that Orlos was a new one to me and required a quick look on The Encyclopedia of Organ Stops...

 

It looks good... but have a look also at the lower photograph of the Viejas.

 

 

http://www.organstops.org/o/Orlo.html

 

P

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Isn't a Vieja an old lady - in Spanish (if I remember my 'O' level days properly) - presumably a slightly more characterful sounding version of a Vox Humana and protruding from the case.

 

Now there's a thought!

 

AJJ

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Isn't a Vieja an old lady - in Spanish (if I remember my 'O' level days properly) - presumably a slightly more characterful sounding version of a Vox Humana and protruding from the case.

 

Now there's a thought!

 

AJJ

 

I've heard of, and indeed sang with on occasions, a "tenor en chamade". The idea of a rank of pipes voiced to sound like a loose-larynxed octogenarian soprano doesn't appeal! Especially if sounding from right above my head......

 

I would love to hear the organ shown in the photos though.

 

P

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This instrument has a complete division en chamade including smaller reeds - unusual in an organ so relatively small. These stops however were very useful in that position and surprisingly versatile - no geriatric croakers here. The RP pipework is 'historic' - an ingenious solution to preservation yet achieving more resources. Incidentally - this (along with many others) was a real 'ear opener' when I visited Denmark (some 20 years ago now) - amazing sounds on amazing actions - like nothing I had ever heard in the UK - even a 1950s Frobenius - 3 man 50 stops - totally unenclosed - one of the best Bach recitals I've heard 'live' - despite the fact that the Passacaglia was played on full organ from start to finish!

 

AJJ

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  • 2 weeks later...
[...] my suggestion is:

 

Great Organ

Open Diapson 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

 

Swell Organ

Violin Diapason 8 (maybe stopped bottom octave)

Gemshorn 4

Oboe Gambe 8 (maybe from T.C. if space is an issue)

 

Pedal Organ

Bourdon 16

 

Swell to Great

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

 

I think I could do everything on this organ - from playing a hymn with a full congregation to accompanying the annual Choral Evensong with Psalms and Stanford in Bb, to a Bach Chorale Prelude.

 

Those strongly voiced string stops that sound more like reeds are a good idea in small organs so I've included one here. They can be very effective and they're cheaper to make and don't need so much tuning and attention - so useful in a small organ that might only get attention once a year (if that). Without any reeds, tuning access doesn't have to be such a consideration in the organ, so it can be more compact.

 

 

 

This is spot-on. I used to play an organ just like this when I was a lad. Untouched Gray and Davison, arranged eccentrically over the west door of a medieval country church, with the console squeezed to one side and the soundboards running east-west. Sang its little heart out, an absolute joy it was. Really versatile too - warmth of tone from plenty of foundation stops (I think it had an extra 8' Flute on the Swell), variety from upper-work perfectly matched to the acoustic, a rousing hymn-chorus. There was loads of repertoire you could do with it, and it was a perfect partner for practising on, because the sound was never tiring on the ears. It was always in tune (no reeds, didn't need them), and it had a lovely responsive tracker action. A little masterpiece.

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The same with a Voix celeste.

 

Pierre

 

Yes - except that I would find an 8ft. flute (perhaps a Rohr Flute or Wald Flute - or even a Claribel Flute) infinitely more useful than the ubiquitous Dulciana. There is a smallish instrument in a church a few miles from where I live in which, some years ago, a local builder inserted a much-needed Fifteenth on the G.O. - but at the expense of the 8ft. Stopped Diapason. The organ is now left with a fairly robust Open Diapason and a very quiet (and tonally undistingushed) Dulciana - which is near-pointless and rather frustrating. There is a huge aural gap between the dynamic levels of these two registers, which is not entirely alleviated by the 4ft. Principal.

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Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Tibia Clausa 8

Viol d'Amour 8

Swell to Great

Swell Octave to Great

Swell Suboctave to Great

 

Swell Organ

Diapason Phonon 8

Hohl Flute 8

String Gamba 8

Cornopean 8

Tremulant

Octave

Suboctave

 

Pedal Organ

Subbass 16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

 

Vox, please tell me that you are joking....

 

B)

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Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Tibia Clausa 8

Viol d'Amour 8

Swell to Great

Swell Octave to Great

Swell Suboctave to Great

 

Swell Organ

Diapason Phonon 8

Hohl Flute 8

String Gamba 8

Cornopean 8

Tremulant

Octave

Suboctave

 

Pedal Organ

Subbass 16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

What about the tremulants.....?

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I remember attending a Messiaen recital on a very similar instrument some years ago - I cannot find words to tell you how light, delicate and colourful it was. It was just amazing how many pages there seemed to be in the score.

JC B)

 

PS Sorry Pierre!

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In 1897, a small church (seating about 150 say) ordering an organ from Harrison and Harrison got this sort of thing

 

Great:

 

Open Diapason 8'

Dulciana 8'

Harmonic Flute 4'

 

Swell:

Lieblich Gedackt 8'

Salicional 8' (from Tenor C)

Gemshorn 4'

Gamba Oboe 8' (from tenor C)

 

Pedal:

Bourdon 16'

 

Tracker action throughout. Three couplers.

 

The OD is so big it obliterates the rest of the instrument. The Gamba Oboe is a reedy flue stop - quite nice on its own or with the Gemshorn as a solo line.

 

There are at least two H&H organs of the same date with exactly this spec, and I believe I have found others (on the NPOR) with these stops plus a 4' Octave on the Great.

 

What I thought might be an interesting discussion is: what specification would you want nowadays if building a new organ costing about the same as it would cost to build the above specification?

In 1967 I was responsible for turning http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D05861 into http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D05862. At the time I thought it was the cat's whiskers. Nowadays, I'm horrified to think what I did.

I think I'd leave it as it was, though Professor Denny of Leeds University recommended changing the rather duck-like Oboe for "something rather more gentlemanly".

Mind you, Swell Octave to Great was totally useless.

A repentant sinner,

Peter Godden

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  • 2 months later...

Our Chancel organ at Kendal is a Bevington (circa 1880) with the following:

 

Great

Open Diapason 8'

Claribel Flute 8' (TC)

Dulciana 8' (TC)

Stopped Bass 8' (12 notes)

Principal 4'

Mixture 12.15

 

Swell (lever pedal)

Bell Gamba 8'

Lieblich Gedackt 8'

Harmonic Flute 4'

Cornopean 8'

 

Pedal

Bourdon 16'

 

Swell to Great

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

 

In accompanying the Boys and Men, plus various choral concerts, it has to cover a fair amount of choral repertoire. It is also used to play the Middle Voluntary at Evensong. My Assistant does a pretty good job of coaxing it: he's even managed a convincing rendering of Stanford in B flat using Adrian Lucas's arrangement of the orchestral version.

 

It would be nice to have a 2' or Oboe on the Swell, though I suspect that would require getting rid of the Gamba or Cornopean (or both!) to make enough room. It would also be nice, on this or the organ described in the first post on this board, to have a Swell Sub-Octave coupler. It doesn't work for every instrument, but there are numerous places (e.g. the Klais at Bath, the Willis at Truro or the new Kuhn at Jesus Cambridge) where Swell Oboe with Sub-Octave creates a wonderful "Full Swell" effect that doesn't completely kill off any choir attempting to sing along downstairs...

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  • 2 years later...

For that amount of stops you might as well have 1 manual and a greater spread

 

Pedal

Bourdon 16

 

Great

Diapason 8

Claribel 8

Flute 4

Principle 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture II

Oboe 8

 

I find that one manual organs of few stops tend to be quite playable actually- because there is a greater need to include decent stops. Small 2 manuals tend to be very boring because in making each division playable in its own right, you can end up with far too much foundation and little brightness. Particularly in organs of that period when octave couplers weren't exactly abound in small parish organs.

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