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It's all a matter of personal taste I suppose, but I have been of the opinion for years that the Mixtures should really come on after the reeds in the 'build-up' - this is not, of course, to say that a Mixture can not be used with the flues chorus and without the reeds.

DW

I'm afraid my taste differs. I think a flue chorus with mixtures is one of the most glorious, noble sounds our instrument can produce.

JC

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Mr David Wyld -thanks for his contribution!- cites Liverpool.

As it may be interesting here, I give the original Mixtures specifications:

 

GREAT

 

Mixture 5r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

Sesquialtera 5r: 1 1/3', 1 1/7', 1', 2/3', 1/2'

 

CHOIR

 

Dulciana Mixture 5r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

SWELL

 

Lieblich Mixture 3r: 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1'

 

Full Mixture 5r: 2 2/3', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1 1/7', 1'

 

SOLO

 

Cornet de Violes 3r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2'

 

ECHO

 

Harmonica aetherea: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2'

 

PEDAL

 

Mixture 3r: 3 1/5', 2 2/3', 2 2/7'

 

Fourniture: 2 2/3', 2 2/7', 2', 1 1/3', 1'

 

(The Pedal's Mixtures differ only by the flat 21 firsts from the manuals, but there are

of course separate, deeper mutation ranks).

 

"I think a flue chorus with mixtures is one of the most glorious, noble sounds our instrument can produce. "

(Quote)

 

....Like many others things! there are styles where this obtains, and others which

have another menu to offer.

 

Pierre

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I'm afraid my taste differs. I think a flue chorus with mixtures is one of the most glorious, noble sounds our instrument can produce.

JC

 

I don't disagree: as I said, in the BUILD-UP, I think Willis mixtures work best coming on after the reeds, but that isn't to say that they can't be used with the flues alone.

 

No point of disagreement really.

 

DW

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Pcnd, it would be most interesting to know the exact composition of the Wimborne GO mixture, with its break points, if you happen to get a chance to look inside?

 

JC

 

My apologies, I recall that you have requested this before. I shall try to have a look tomorrow evening.

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The Cornet was no longer needed to reinforce the treble since.....Its arrival

in Germany with Silbermann.

 

But we were discussing French organs in particular - in these there was a perceived weakness in the trebles of clavier reed stops.

 

In a romantic organ, its role is to bind the whole, not to reinforce the treble;

of course it is also true in the "Grand jeu", besides the reinforcing of the treble.

 

Pierre

 

Are you referring to French romantic organs, English or which, please? There are certainly very few English romantic organs which contain a Cornet, or anything similar. *

 

In any case, once the reeds are drawn on either French or English (for the sake of argument) romantic organs, a Cornet, unless it was very wide-sacle and very heavily blown, would be unlikely to contribute much to the ensemble.

 

 

 

* I am aware that we differ on when the period of the English romantic organ ended.

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"There are certainly very few English romantic organs which contain a Cornet, or anything similar. *"

(Quote)

 

The early romantic organs in England took, as the main Mixture, the baroque Sesquialtera over.

You don't see "Cornet" anywhere. But like in the others areas, the Tierce was actually ubiquitous

since it was the "magic potion" to build the Tutti.

The summit of this concept was the E-F Walcker of Mulhouse (F), the organ Schweitzer played.

 

Here follows its tonal structure:

 

MULHOUSE, Walcker 1866:

 

I MANUAL

 

Forniture (sic): 4' Gedeckt, 2 2/3' Nasard, 2' open, 1 3/5' conical, 1 1/3', 1'

 

Scharff 3r: 1', 4/5', 1/2'

 

Cornett 5r: 2',1', 2/3', 1/2', 2/5'

 

II MANUAL

 

Forniture5r: 2 2/3', 2', 1 3/5', 1', 1'

 

PEDAL: Quintabass 10 2/3' and Terzbass 6 2/5'

 

So as much Tierces as in St-Maximin du Var (Isnard), but....From 32' to 2' !

 

Pierre

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"There are certainly very few English romantic organs which contain a Cornet, or anything similar. *"

(Quote)

 

The early romantic organs in England took, as the main Mixture, the baroque Sesquialtera over.

You don't see "Cornet" anywhere. But like in the others areas, the Tierce was actually ubiquitous

since it was the "magic potion" to build the Tutti.

The summit of this concept was the E-F Walcker of Mulhouse (F), the organ Schweitzer played.

 

 

Pierre

Your statement regarding the baroque Sesquialtera could be misleading. If you intend to imply that this became the standard 17-19-22 Mixture, as favoured by Willis, then it needs also to be stated that many English builders were not using this recipe.

 

For example, Hill often used the following (at C1):

 

19-22-26-29

 

15-19-22 (often paired with: ) 26-29

 

17-19-22 (but where the tierce rank was discontinued at C13)

 

Norman & Beard and Rushworth & Dreaper often copied the H&H Harmonics scheme of:

 

17-19-flat 21-22

 

J W W Walker used frequently:

 

15-19-22, occasionally paired with: 22-26-29 (the 'Clarion Mixture', which still survives, in some form *, in the organ at Saint Mary's, Portsea).

 

My own church instrument had, at the time of the 1867 rebuild by Walker, on the G.O. a Full Mixture 19-22-26-29 and a Sharp Mixture (probably 26-29). The Sesquialtera did not arrive until 1965 - and this stop is now little used.

 

However, it would be helpful if you could define where you see the romantic period in English organ building as commencing and ending (loosely), please.

 

I confess that I am not sure why you included Mulohouse, since this part of the discussion was referring particularly to the English romantic organ; clearly that in Germany developed differently partly as a result of differing influences and partly due to the particular liturgical requirements prevalent in this country at the time.

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I don't disagree: as I said, in the BUILD-UP, I think Willis mixtures work best coming on after the reeds, but that isn't to say that they can't be used with the flues alone.

 

No point of disagreement really.

 

DW

 

Would you say that that was the case with all of Father Willis's mixtures, David? There is only really one that I can think of where the Mixtures seemed - to my ears - to be best brought on after the reeds, and that is the organ now at Great Torrington Parish Church. On all other Willis organs, the mixtures seem to me to be a logical top to the flue chorus - even Tierce mixtures - before reeds are added.

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"However, it would be helpful if you could define where you see the romantic period in English organ building as commencing and ending (loosely), please."

(Quote)

 

I'd say 1832, with William Hill. The exact amount of german influence (With Neukomm and Schnetzler

through Elliott) on him is difficult to evaluate, but certain.

 

It ended 1890 with Robert Hope-Jones (W-aterloo Cath), maybe even a bit earlier already

with the William Thynne organ now in Tewkesbury, opening what, with my teacher J-P Félix,

we call the "Post-romantique" period.

 

The History is a deep-rooted move, and the romantic organ was a wave which concerned

the entire Europe, no matter how the Mass was said and/or sung here and there.

 

Pierre

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"However, it would be helpful if you could define where you see the romantic period in English organ building as commencing and ending (loosely), please."

(Quote)

 

I'd say 1832, with William Hill. The exact amount of german influence (With Neukomm and Schnetzler

through Elliott) on him is difficult to evaluate, but certain.

 

It ended 1890 with Robert Hope-Jones (W-aterloo Cath), maybe even a bit earlier already

with the William Thynne organ now in Tewkesbury, opening what, with my teacher J-P Félix,

we call the "Post-romantique" period.

 

Pierre

 

This is interesting. I am a little surprised at the first date, which I should have said was somewhat early - but even more so at your second date. I think that many of my colleages here would state that the English romantic organ was alive and well certainly up to around 1940 or even 1950. The prost-romantic period we may classify as beginning loosely around the advent of the organ in the RFH (which could be said to have provided the impetus for the classical revival here) - unless one is to count Lady Jeans' house organ, of course.

 

To help define the term clearly, could you list a few important facets of a romanitn (English) organ, please? I ask, simply because I am surpirsed at the dates which you have given. For example, the organ at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth (R&D 1957 IV/P 80) I am fairly certain would be described here as one of the last examples of a late romantic instrument.

 

For that matter, with respect specifically to the English organ, how would you describe the difference(s) between a romantic organ and a post-romantic instrument?

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RFH is a néo-classique organ, not a Post-romantic.

 

What are the differencies ?

 

The romantic organ is a "solid-state" design; designed as a whole.

 

The post-romantic organ is an experimental one; the "big chiefs",

Father Willis, Cavaillé-Coll, E-F Walcker, who led their businesses with a

steel hand, were gone; their followers commenced to try to make "better",

more orchestral, to mix different styles togheter, to try others Mixtures,

went even farther with the "Magic potion" -the multiples forms of the Cornet-

 

Some british examples:

 

-Hope-Jones, indeed!

 

-William Thynne's attempt to merge Schulze and Willis schools

(particularly evident at Tewkesbury)

 

-Arthur Harrison's synthesis of H-J derived reed voicing and Diapason choruses,

while retaining the Phonon type for the first O.D.

 

-The devellopment of the Solo division as a complete Manual, with String choruses

(Cornet de Viols)

 

There, we are no more with "normal" romantic designs.

A supreme example of a post romantic organ is the Wanamaker's stores one. This could

not have been imagined by Father Willis, Cavaillé or E-F Walcker.

 

On the continent, let us cite some builders: Weigle, Gebrüder Link after 1890, Oscar Walcker

up to 1930, Jacquot in France (splendid example: Verdun war Memorial), Goll after 1900 (CH)...

 

In the United States: E-M Skinner!

 

Those experimental machines had freely designed specifications. Not two builders did the same

way; the one tried Dom Bédos-like Mixtures, but seen as a special effect, A.H. develloped

the "Harmonics", the Dulciana Mixture,

for which he was widely followed; such things the former romantic masters would never have allowed.

 

There is one Author who summarizes that trend, which, paradoxically, he contributed to kill, because he wanted to

"tell Truths" that did not exist: George Ashdow Audsley.

 

In 1921 began the neo-baroque move, originally just another of those multiple experiences.

In 1925 appeared another one, which wanted to gather the "néo" and the "romantic" in a

Kompromissorgel: the neo-classical organ.

 

Both progressively emerged as the new big chiefs.

 

So the post-romantic period is about 1890-1930.

 

Now some post-romantic organs were still built up to the 1950 (Willis III in England,

Delmotte in Belgium up to Châtelet, 1942, etc), Tewkesbury already 1885.

 

This period was one of the most interesting in the history of the organ, because,

exactly like Germany during the 18th century, it was a period of freedom, you could

expect no two organs would be the same...

 

Pierre

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RFH is a néo-classique organ, not a Post-romantic.

 

Pierre

 

Yes - I know, but I am afraid that my meaning was not entirely clear. I had meant to imply that the RFH organ was the start of the classical revival. I agree that it is itself a neo-classical (and, to an extent, eclectic) instrument.

 

I shall reply to the other points later.

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What are the differencies ?

 

The romantic organ is a "solid-state" design; designed as a whole.

 

One other quick point - by this yardstick alone, virtually all the work of Arthur Harrison is romantic - not experimental, nor post-romantic. This would inclued the rebuild of the organ at Westminster Abbey (1937).

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One other quick point - by this yardstick alone, virtually all the work of Arthur Harrison is romantic - not experimental, nor post-romantic. This would inclued the rebuild of the organ at Westminster Abbey (1937).

 

Let us see the matter from another side: would you imagine how

a Cornet de Viols or a A.H's Tuba would fit in a Tutti ?

They won't ?

Then they are not part of a romantic organ; this is what I meant

with "Solid State".

A.H's style was more standardized than others, of course. But such a daring

synthesis would never be permitted today.

 

Pierre

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Let us see the matter from another side: would you imagine how

a Cornet de Viols or a A.H's Tuba would fit in a Tutti ?

They won't ?

 

Pierre

This is not a convincing argument, Pierre. This implies that one definition of a romantic organ is one in which every single stop is used in the tutti. This would be unlikely to work on virtually any instrument. Musically speaking, one would not use a Cornet des Violes in a full combination, in any case.

 

With regard to an Arthur Harrison Tuba, I suspect that many have been used frequently as part of the tutti - and will be employed in such a way in the future.

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Sorry, Pierre, but I'm afraid I do not understand your argument. Father Willis's Orchestral Oboes and his tenor C Great Clarinets are not chorus stops either. Surely Willis and Cavaillé-Coll were no less experimental in their way than the generations that came after them?

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They were far lest experiment-prone than their followers towards

the end of their career -like any other human being- while the new actions

arrived, which permitted more.

Cavaillé-Coll resisted against non mechanical actions, deep nicking etc up

to his death.

Save some Solo stops the Tutti in a romantic organ= all drawn. It was usual

to "draw all save the Voix humaine and the Voix céleste".

Some later Cavaillé-Coll Mixtures could well stay shut as well, but this

was an anomaly, as said earlier.

In a E-F Walcker organ all was made in order to have its place in a dedicate

Crescendo. Here, again, only the undulating stops and the Vox humana are excluded.

Even the Physharmonica, when present, had its place in the Tutti, where it had

the role of a Tierce.

 

The idea to base a Diapason chorus on the second one on the great, the first

being a leathered one, reserved for others uses, isn't romantic at all.

 

In his *W* (aterloo) organ, Hope-Jones based the structure on a big Phonon,

something which remained unique.

This was an experimental step which transformed the whole organ, and should

have been develloped further.

 

One may say any organ with leathered Diapasons, closed toned reeds

(with, mandatory, heavy wind) and keen String choruses to be automatically

a post-romantic one; such features, included in a Cavaillé-Coll, a Father Willis

or a E-F Walcker organ would be as anachronistic as neo-baroque additions.

 

The new actions, the new voicing methods copious wind allowed, permitted

new solo stops, sub and octave couplings etc. But all this was to be used

in detail, the organ was no more a big ensemble that could be used in parts.

 

Arthur Harrison should have had a system built in his actions that would have cancelled

any coupler whenever a Tuba is drawn. The Tuba is on the Solo, and there is a purpose

right there !

Again, in a romantic organ, the strongest stops belong to the first manual; so a Tuba

has no place there.

 

Georg Stahlhuth near Aachen imported Tubas from England. But as he did not build

Solo divisions, he used to place them on the II or III -absolutely never on the Hauptwerk-.

The "Abschwächungsprinzip" was broken, exactly like Casparini, Silbermann, Wagner et al.

discarded the Werkprinzip during the 18th Century.

 

E-M Skinner went even farther towards this "exploded" structure, when he deprived his

first manuals of their Mixtures and chorus reeds in order to "export" them to the expressive

divisions ("Suffice to use the couplers").

 

Pierre

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They were far lest experiment-prone than their followers towards the end of their career -like any other human being- while the new actions arrived, which permitted more. Cavaillé-Coll resisted against non mechanical actions, deep nicking etc up to his death.

He did embrace the Barker lever though. The very fact that it was expedient for him to do so surely indicates how far his organs had evolved from the French classical model. The way he designed the fonds of the various divisions to be piled up to create a quasi-orchestral colour-cum-crescendo is a totally different aesthetic from the subtle colour-blending of similar-pitched stops favoured by late-Baroque organists like Kaufmann. I don't know who first invented this orchestral aesthetic, but it was such a departure from what had gone before that it must have been highly experimental to begin with.

 

Save some Solo stops the Tutti in a romantic organ= all drawn. It was usual to "draw all save the Voix humaine and the Voix céleste".

I assume here that you are arguing that the Solo flues of your Romantic organs were used in the tutti. I would be interested to know your evidence that this was so in English organs of the period. I agree, however, that it holds true for the stops of the Great, Swell and Choir.

 

Some later Cavaillé-Coll Mixtures could well stay shut as well, but this was an anomaly, as said earlier.

Yes, though at first this had nothing to do with the organ builders and everything to do with organists, both French and English, who had simply come to dislike high-pitched stops because they detracted from the orchestral illusion. It was of course precisely this aesthetic that reached its extreme in Hope-Jones. And, as you point out, it also informed Skinner's aesthetic.

 

In a E-F Walcker organ all was made in order to have its place in a dedicate Crescendo. Here, again, only the undulating stops and the Vox humana are excluded. Even the Physharmonica, when present, had its place in the Tutti, where it had the role of a Tierce.

Perhaps I misunderstand again, but now you seem to be drawing a distinction between the organs of Arthur Harrison's generation and Walcker's because they do not share the same aesthetic. But there is just as little similarity between Walcker and the earlier British builders such as Willis, Hill and Lewis who you would class as Romantic. In truth there is more continuity between the British organs of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries than with any of these and Walcker. The colours of German Romantic organs are not very sharply etched (compared to, say, a Cavaillé-Coll) in order that the build-up may be as seemless as possible. There are some British organs that follow a similar sort of aesthetic (St Andrew's, Plymouth, has been mentioned before), but it was never the norm here.

 

The idea to base a Diapason chorus on the second one on the great, the first being a leathered one, reserved for others uses, isn't romantic at all.

This is a bit like arguing that Wagner isn't a Romantic composer! Just as there is a wealth of difference between the early and late Baroque (compare Monteverdi and Buxtehude), so there is between the early and late Romantics. They are still Romantic nonetheless. I would take a lot of persuading that Wagner and Strauss are "post-Romantic". (Schönberg and Berg, maybe...)

 

As for the first Open Diapason being leathered, not all builders did this (as I am sure you know). John Calvert Hele (son of George) believed in big, fat no.1 Open Diaps, even when there were only two of them. I don't think I've ever come across any leathered examples though. I notice that you never mention Hele, but no assessment of the Romantic organ can really be complete without taking the Heles into account. Hele & Co. were a significant firm. They almost monopolised organ-building in Devon and Cornwall and very many of their organs remain - just look up "Exeter" on NPOR. They also worked further afield and at one point had a presence in London. I think you would love them. :)

 

The new actions, the new voicing methods copious wind allowed, permitted new solo stops, sub and octave couplings etc. But all this was to be used in detail, the organ was no more a big ensemble that could be used in parts.

What you appear to be saying is that the technical advances that were kick-started by the industrial revolution and continued thereafter led to various innovations in organ design. This is indisputable.

 

In the realms of composition you can most certainly draw a distinction between the classical Romanticism of Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn and the very different, "full-on" Romanticism of later composers like Wagner, Bruckner and Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff is essentially a twentieth-century composer, but I feel quite sure that no one would call him anything other than a Romantic. He is not post-Romantic; he is - through and through - as Romantic as they come.

 

I would argue the same for organs. Their tonal design underwent as great an evolution as the style of composition did - in fact, they reflected and kept pace (more or less) with the compositional changes.

 

But, however you look at this, I think you must concede that it is all part of one Romantic movement. You can draw a distinction between early Romantic and late Romantic, but "post-Romantic" is, I think, not a good term. I call such organs "symphonic" since they are intended to be registered orchestrally. I think this is better, but others could probably improve on it.

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They were far lest experiment-prone than their followers towards

the end of their career -like any other human being- while the new actions

arrived, which permitted more.

Cavaillé-Coll resisted against non mechanical actions, deep nicking etc up

to his death.

 

Save some Solo stops the Tutti in a romantic organ= all drawn. It was usual

to "draw all save the Voix humaine and the Voix céleste".

Some later Cavaillé-Coll Mixtures could well stay shut as well, but this

was an anomaly, as said earlier.

 

In a E-F Walcker organ all was made in order to have its place in a dedicate

Crescendo. Here, again, only the undulating stops and the Vox humana are excluded.

Even the Physharmonica, when present, had its place in the Tutti, where it had

the role of a Tierce.

 

Pierre

 

Well, possibly - but once again, I would like to get a specifically English definition, thus avoiding the inclusion of France, Germany or even the U.S.

 

In England, even during the height of the romantic period (whenever that may be), I doubt that any self-respecting organist who had custody over a moderate to large instrument drew 'all save the Voix humaine and the Voix céleste'. At the very least, this would probably engender a crisis of winding - possibly even in a 'Harrison' organ. Flutes (especially claribels, for example) were generally avoided in 'full' combinations.

 

I have still not read anything that leads me to agree with your proposed dates for the romantic English organ, Pierre - and would still maintain that a starting period of 1832 is really too early (and 1895 or so also too early to end). There are (or at least were) many English instruments in which the style overlapped periods, making it even more difficult accurately to define the character of a particular organ.

 

Nevertheless, I suggest the following criteria, at least in order to make clear what I view as essential ingredients in the make-up of an English romantic instrument:

 

1) That there should be a wide palette of tone-colours

 

2) A good dynamic range (leading to:)

 

3) Ideally at least two divisions enclosed in expression boxes

 

4) A responsive action, together with a wide range of accessories, in order to facilitate easy and comprehensive control of the instrument.

 

I think that simply to discuss this stop and is ues, or another stop, etc, is to miss the main point of the argument.

 

More later - the bell has sonded for next period.

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Flutes (especially claribels, for example) were generally avoided in 'full' combinations.

 

I'm not sure that this is true, actually. A look at a number of Romantic organs with "original" combination pedals will show that it was quite the norm to include flutes with diapasons.

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I'm not sure that this is true, actually. A look at a number of Romantic organs with "original" combination pedals will show that it was quite the norm to include flutes with diapasons.

 

There may be some examples - there are very few surviving instruments which have not been rebuilt with modern consoles. This still misses the point, which was to try to define the essential characteristics of a romantic English organ (and to attempt to suggest some probable dates for this period).

 

To take your point above, with but one instrument (and I realise that the organ of the RAH is an extreme example), when Cochereau played [at the RAH], someone - I forget who - took it upon himself to weed out flutes and other extraneous stops from PC's piston settings. Cochereau had set these as if it were a Cavaillé-Coll instrument and the subsequent sag in the wind supply at anything above forte was easily discernible. Whilst it is true that this organ had suffered from an insufficient wind supply for years (before the recent restoration), this does suggest that it is not a simple case.

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