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Esztergom Basilica


justinf
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I stumbled quite by accident across two Wikipedia entries about the organ in Esztergom Basilica, Hungary. According to the first article, the instrument will eventually be the third largest in Europe. The specification listed is rather unusual.

 

  • Many assertive and/or horizontal reeds: Trompeta Imperial 32', Clarins 16/8/4', Bajoncillo 4'
  • Several large and/or unusual mixtures: Rauschwerk VIII-X 2', Colorian IV 4/9'
  • Positiv mutations up through the None 8/9' and Undecim-Tredecim 8/11 + 8/13'
  • Oberwerk 16' mutations from the Nasat 5 1/3' up through the Septime 2 2/7'
  • Plenty of schnarr in the form of regals, dulzians and schalmeys all over the place
  • Two 32' flues and two 32' reeds in the pedal, plus a Grand Cornet IV 10 2/3'

 

Has anyone heard this instrument, in whatever form it currently exists? The first article reads, "The present organ preserves several stops from the instrument Liszt played." Is the new instrument replacing an historic organ, or was the original III/49 instrument lost or damaged in the war? I couldn't find the specification or much information at all about the organ Liszt played.

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It looks completely and utterly stark raving mad. Did Steve Bournias design the tonal scheme?

 

There seems to be rather mixed thinking behind it - what possible purpose could there be for an Unterwerk, Oberwerk and Positiv in the same organ? The Unterwerk and Positiv look extremely similar, in a quasi neo-classical style with the worst excressions of this period; the Oberwerk looks positively bizzare with a battery of trompetes and a flute harmonic, rauschpfeife and Acuta all on the same division. The swell organ, complete with 2 cornets and a stratosphericly sharp mixture would be best off spread between 2 or 3 swell boxes for that number of stops and size. Peppered with some stops that look like the wet dreams of the 1960s (and I thought had died out long ago) - there's no less than 3 1' stops here, it's amazing someone is trying to build this thing today.

 

The case doesn't look all that large - maybe a 16', rather squat 19th century continental classical box? Where is it all going to go?

 

With its many repititions, vainty and confused design, it reminds me in a funny way of the chaotic enlargements of the organ at York Minister in the early 19th century at the instigation of John Camidge...

 

It's worth bearing in mind that St Paul's Cathedral is a bigger building. mind you, a 237 foot high ceiling under the dome is not to be sniffed at...

 

Thanks for posting this...

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
  • Many assertive and/or horizontal reeds: Trompeta Imperial 32', Clarins 16/8/4', Bajoncillo 4'
  • Several large and/or unusual mixtures: Rauschwerk VIII-X 2', Colorian IV 4/9'
  • Positiv mutations up through the None 8/9' and Undecim-Tredecim 8/11 + 8/13'
  • Oberwerk 16' mutations from the Nasat 5 1/3' up through the Septime 2 2/7'
  • Plenty of schnarr in the form of regals, dulzians and schalmeys all over the place
  • Two 32' flues and two 32' reeds in the pedal, plus a Grand Cornet IV 10 2/3'

Might I suggest that all the fractions will make the tuner fractious?

 

Having just had another look at the specification, the using of stratospheric stops will sound like dropping a tray of Waterford seconds in that acoustic, I suggest,

N

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Thanks Colin and Nigel for replying. I have to agree the specification looks more than a little bizarre... I wonder if those mixtures set all of the dogs in town to barking? Still, I do not wish to be too dismissive of their efforts. As dubious as the spec may look, I wish them well with their project and hope they are able to turn out a satisfying and useful instrument.

 

Colin, is this the York Minster spec you mean? It almost looks like a cut+paste error. At the very least it should silence any further comments about the 1905 Hele additions at Winchester! :rolleyes:

 

Edit: I did find one page about the fate of the original organ, but no specification yet.

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Thanks Colin and Nigel for replying. I have to agree the specification looks more than a little bizarre... I wonder if those mixtures set all of the dogs in town to barking? Still, I do not wish to be too dismissive of their efforts. As dubious as the spec may look, I wish them well with their project and hope they are able to turn out a satisfying and useful instrument.

 

Colin, is this the York Minster spec you mean? It almost looks like a cut+paste error. At the very least it should silence any further comments about the 1905 Hele additions at Winchester! :blink:

 

Edit: I did find one page about the fate of the original organ, but no specification yet.

 

:D

 

yes, that's the one... i can just imagine sitting at the console at York on a Friday evening wondering which principals I'll use ... "Today I think I will mostly be using the Great principals 3, 5 & 8 today..." The Winchester organ looks decidedly down at heel. (or is that Vox Humana who looks down at Hele?)

 

I'm sorry, I shouldn't get down at Hele. I wish them well in Hungary. Just think - at the very least, the specification is tailor made for the music of Olivier Messiaen!!

 

(sorry about all the dreadful puns - seeing Nigel's post whetted my appetite but I don't think any mine come anywhere close to matching his... quite right to mention Waterford seconds too)

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"Today I think I will mostly be using the Great principals 3, 5 & 8 today..."

 

You'll have to bear with me (being American and all), but is this a reference to the Fast Show? "This week I have been mostly using Great Principals 3, 5 and 8."

 

Ten Principals must surely be a record, though I see Atlantic City managed ten Diapasons on its Great. The gauntlet has been thrown down: Won't someone build an organ that goes to eleven?

 

Edit: Thanks for the YouTube links. The Gigout sounds quite nice, actually. How about this one?

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well spotted re. fast show...

 

Yes, the videos give the impression of it being quite OK (except the Schrammel - the reeds sometimes don't quite speak at the same as the rest of the organ but it's so wonderfully OTT and kitsch I really don't care - it's fantastic). Astonishing acoustic. Why do they think they need something 3 times the size?

 

I still think it's completely & utterly stark raving mad but I've now canceled the trip to Hungary to burn it down...

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Thank you for these, Vox.

 

Notwithstanding the fact that one can see a close-up shot of part of the case (bristling with chamades), it looks as if the console has been installed in a garage - there appear to be pots of paint, old photographs and other items visible to the right.

 

I would like to hear this instrument in the setting for which it has been conceived before I offer an opinion - although it sounds quite good in the Gigout.

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Just don't mention this to Pierre....

 

Not necessary if we resort to one D. Phonon, one Synthematophon (each as efficient

as 4 normal ones) plus one Diaphone; then a "normal" one, then a Geigen, then

a Principale with its Voce umana. Makes only seven stops. :blink:

 

Pierre

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:)

 

yes, that's the one... i can just imagine sitting at the console at York on a Friday evening wondering which principals I'll use ... "Today I think I will mostly be using the Great principals 3, 5 & 8 today..." The Winchester organ looks decidedly down at heel. (or is that Vox Humana who looks down at Hele?)

 

I'm sorry, I shouldn't get down at Hele. I wish them well in Hungary. Just think - at the very least, the specification is tailor made for the music of Olivier Messiaen!!

 

(sorry about all the dreadful puns - seeing Nigel's post whetted my appetite but I don't think any mine come anywhere close to matching his... quite right to mention Waterford seconds too)

Hmm, Colin. I think we will be calling you Colin Hahaharvey next! On the subject if how many stops of one sort to have in one division of an organ I think it is a matter of principal.

 

Bizarrely, I had thought of ten possible puns that might fit into this post. I had hoped that they might all get into this message but, in the end, no pun in ten did. :lol:

 

Dave

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Since Pierre mentioned Synthematophons...

 

I see that Harrison are finishing a renovation of the Walcker organ in Stockholm City Hall, which includes one Synthematophon. I found no recordings or videos of this instrument online, nor any samples of a Synthematophon (even aeoline.de punts on that one). Can anyone link me up? Plan B is to win a Nobel prize to hear this thing.

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