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AJJ

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Take a look at this new organ by Robin Jennings:

 

http://www.jennings-organs.co.uk/pages/streatley.htm

 

It is in a typical village church, north chancel with rather nice slim case, designed to sound out into the church as well as play for a chancel choir. It is interesting that it has two unenclosed manuals mainly due the fact that the swell shutters would have taken up the space of a rank of pipes and seemingly it was thought better to have more stops. I think I could live with this (as opposed to having a 1 manual with about the same number of stops) and would probably (in the context of this organ) not miss the swell as long as the voicing allowed for quiet enough sounds etc. It is also interesting to see the horizontal tonal design ie. variety of 8fts etc. as well as the solo and chorus structures. All in all a superbly constructed/voiced instrument with some interesting ideas for the design of an instrument in a similar small church situation. What do people think?

 

AJJ

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Whenever I have had smaller instruments, I have been in the habit of removing the Swell shutters in any case. A fundamanetal requirement of contrapuntal music is to have two contrasting choruses and enclosing one of these in a box seems to do nothing to help. I have very seldom missed it.

 

I know you are aware of the Westbury organ, where since the rebuild the secondary chorus has been very definitely moved to the Choir, with the Swell there to provide sound effects, in a sense. This concept took some getting used to when I first sat at it but is really very effective.

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And also quite often small 2 manual jobs are to all intents and purposes a large 1 manual divided in two with one half enclosed for theoretical versatility. When I encounter these (playing hymns and settings etc. as well as repertoire) I tend (maybe out of habit) to play on Sw and Gt coupled contrasting if necessary with the Sw alone but with the box open for the most part. The non balanced Sw pedals tend to move one towards this too. Often the Sw is too quiet when closed unless the choir (if there is one!) is very near etc. Frequently the balance between it and anything on the Gt can be better with the box open.

As you say - Westbury works well - it is a good example of a basically Victorian organ but with modern touches that add to its versatility without taking away its identity. The Jennings organ seems to be revisiting similar ideas in a modern context.

 

AJJ

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Take a look at this new organ by Robin Jennings:

 

http://www.jennings-organs.co.uk/pages/streatley.htm

 

It is in a typical village church, north chancel with rather nice slim case, designed to sound out into the church as well as play for a chancel choir. It is interesting that it has two unenclosed manuals mainly due the fact that the swell shutters would have taken up the space of a rank of pipes and seemingly it was thought better to have more stops. I think I could live with this (as opposed to having a 1 manual with about the same number of stops) and would probably (in the context of this organ) not miss the swell as long as the voicing allowed for quiet enough sounds etc. It is also interesting to see the horizontal tonal design ie. variety of 8fts etc. as well as the solo and chorus structures. All in all a superbly constructed/voiced instrument with some interesting ideas for the design of an instrument in a similar small church situation. What do people think?

 

AJJ

 

Hi

 

I find a swell department a little bit of a luxury - yes it's nice to be able to adjust the relative volume of stops, or to bring in the swell reeds in a crescendo over the Great, but organs were around long before swell boxes were invented, and in a small, well-voiced organ, it's not totally necessary. (The chamber organ in my current church is all unenclosed, and it's not too much of a problem).

 

AJJ's post also races another, all too common, issue (althoguh I've always found lever swell pedals quite useable - but you can't normally leave the box 1/2 open.

 

Many of the recent crop of house/practice organs are also all unenclosed. It will be interesting to see how the organ works over the next few years.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Maybe the Swellbox isn't a question of "needs" but rather of style.

 

There are countless organs -little an big ones- without swellbox,

and there may be some hope there are fewer and fewer people that

would covet the idea of providing them with it; they were build

without and are excellent that way.

On the other hand, you can find little two-manual organs

completely enclosed in two swellboxes. Again, they were

designed that way -scaling, voicing, according to the acoustics

and the layout- and should be left alone.

 

Of course the situation seems to be less diverse in the UK in that respect,

the Swell being an institution. But there is an excellent reason for that:

the Swellbox exists in Britain since 1712. In Belgium, about...1850!

 

Even the well-known Abbé Vogler, who introduced the swellbox in

Germany around 1800 -along with his dreadfull "simplification system"

(read: systematic destruction), found it in Britain and nowhere else

(confirmed by the builder Gerhard Walcker).

 

The organ Mr Johnston gives a link to is a very interesting design!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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The organ Mr Johnston gives a link to is a very interesting design!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Yes, it is, though I was intrigued by the choice of an undulant on the second manual instead of perhaps the more logical small reed. (Perhaps to do with fears of tuning problems?) If space was at such a premium (as the justification for no swell shutters suggests) I might probably have put a fairly broad Hautbois or narrow Trompette in its place as it would provide a more obviously balanced second chorus and open up the way for a great deal more repertoire, especially early stuff. Any repertoire calling for a celeste is pretty much going to call for it to be enclosed, surely, and it's not going to make its presence felt in any registration much above mf?

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...Save the italian music which may benefit from it as

a "Voce umana" alternative, for instance the "Toccata per

l'elevazione".

May be useful in accompaniment, too.

The celeste is not automatically to be bound to "romantic"

repertoire. It was actually an invention of the italian's Renaissance,

and later found its way in Germany up to Silbermann organs

(Unda-Maris of Diapason scale, to be drawn with the Prinzipal).

Bach did certainly know the Unda-Maris (of course what we do not

know is if he liked or used it, and then how).

 

In the case discussed here one may imagine the builder could

have gone for a reed stop under different acoustic conditions.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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...Save the italian music which may benefit from it as

a "Voce umana" alternative, for instance the "Toccata per

l'elevazione".

May be useful in accompaniment, too.

The celeste is not automatically to be bound to "romantic"

repertoire. It was actually an invention of the italian's Renaissance,

and later found its way in Germany up to Silbermann organs

(Unda-Maris of Diapason scale, to be drawn with the Prinzipal).

Bach did certainly know the Unda-Maris (of course what we do not

know is if he liked or used it, and then how).

 

In the case discussed here one may imagine the builder could

have gone for a reed stop under different acoustic conditions.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

True, as far as all that is concerned. With regard to the accompaniment of hymns and the odd Mag and Nunc, and a typically English staple diet of chorale preludes, it seems odd. Of course I know nothing of the acoustics.

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True, as far as all that is concerned.  With regard to the accompaniment of hymns and the odd Mag and Nunc, and a typically English staple diet of chorale preludes, it seems odd.  Of course I know nothing of the acoustics.

 

Dr John Rowntree the consultant for the organ wrote that the Celeste was included to provide a range of Romantic colour in the absence of a Swell - in combination with either or both the other 8's on that manual. Also that along with the colour provided by the Sesquialtera (both in solo combinations and as a chorus stop) provision could be made for sounds required in the more modern end of the repertoire - Langlais etc. The main 8' chorus does the usual duty with interestingly the 16' pedal stop being derived from one of the manual 8's for space saving reasons. The only aspect missing perhaps might be a coupler between the two manuals (or a coupler manual) - the possibilities for massed 8's or 8's + 4's even in such a small design would be interesting to consider.

 

AJJ

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I did enjoy myself to design my own version of this organ;

something else -I do not pretend "better" in any way!!!-

 

From eleven stops, one of which being an extension

(the deepest octave of the Bourdon 16') I end up with

twelve, one of which still an extension, and two borrowings.

 

Here it is:

 

MANUAL I

 

Bourdon 16' (extended from Stopped Diapason)

Open Diapason 8'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Principal 4'

Twelfth 2 2/3'

Fifteenth 2'

 

MANUAL II (enclosed in a Swellbox)

 

Dulciana 8' (the baroque version)

Vox angelica 8' (a hint of "stringy" quality)

Chimney Flute 8'

Stopped Flute 4'

Cornet 3 ranks 2 2/3'-2'-1 3/5'

Cornopean 8'

 

PEDAL

 

Bourdon 16' (borrowed from I)

Cornopean 8' (borrowed from II

 

Of course we'd loose the possibility an independant 2' offers

on the second manual, but we gain a Full swell instead

(CH. Flute, St Flute, Cornet and Cornopean).

The Diapason chorus on the I lacks a mixture but can be

voiced to a "fair" result.

 

There would be of course a manual coupler, so we would have

a reasonable "churchy roll" with two stopped 8', one Diapason

plus the Dulciana as "choeur des fonds", while the 16' is now

available on the manuals to get a 16-8-4 ensemble.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Do we need a Swell box?

In all but the most space-restricted sites, yes.

 

Oh dear!! Please don't start talking yourself or your successor out of one!

 

There are innumerable times when subtlety and/or shading are required.

A small division with an effective enclosure (always supposing that it was designed and voiced for it) has so much more chance of balancing with others. A four stop unenclosed division has limited potential compared with even a three-stop one within a box.

 

I wouldn't enclose the main manual, and an enclosed Choir organ can be a disappointment, but please don't throw away the swell-box. Inartistic it may sometimes be (so are Tremulants, in theory) but they have enormous and valid use, especially in liturgical work.

 

I hasted to add, I have lived without swell boxes (seven years with a splendid Dutch 'classical' organ) - the sounds I was offered were really lovely but the solo voices could be much louder than ideal and balances were more restricted than they need have been.

 

Contrast a smaller instrument along similar lines (St.Anselm's Dartford, by Kenneth Titckell) where there are fewer stops but much greater fexilibity. There was a decent swell enclosure.

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These are all good arguments. My personal view remains:

 

1) The bulk of the corpus of organ music up to about the time of Lizst and Debussy is based on the principle of a conversation between two balancing choruses. In a very small instrument, enclosing one of these a) leads to a natural loss of projection, destroying the dialogue and b ) occupies the space of one or even two additional ranks.

 

2) I would not dare criticise Dr Rowntree but it seems incongrous to add romantic colour to an instrument without enclosure. I have been racking my brains for a single occasion when I have required a celeste without the ability to make it quieter. Considering a two or possibly three rank Mixture could probably be planted on the same space, which we are told is a premium, I don't quite understand that. Even a fairly raucous, bell-shaped Gamba as favoured by Bevington would have added a bit of reedy colour without the tuning issues.

 

But then, it would be a boring old world if we all agreed on everything, and there wouldn't be any need for different organ builders & consultants...

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These are all good arguments. My personal view remains:

 

1) The bulk of the corpus of organ music up to about the time of Lizst and Debussy is based on the principle of a conversation between two balancing choruses.

 

(Quote)

 

I believed that up to about 1980. But it is actually a typically neo-baroque idea.

The baroque builders, them, did think completely differently.

If you consider an organ with two main divisions, Great and Chaire, a Pedal and an echo division with three stops on a limited compass, for instance, one could believe the Chaire's chorus to be meant as a partner to the great's.

 

But now what happens if you have:

 

1)- A big Great

2)- A big Pedal

3)- A shiny "Récit"

4)- A Chaire organ placed backwards towards the Choir while the Great faces

the nave?

 

This was the case in Brussel's Cathedral in 1710, see the disposition here

(after a little blah-blah for which I apologize):

 

http://forum.aceboard.net/18898-3215-20345...eville-1710.htm

 

I once said this organ, had it done up to the 1960's, would have been destroyed with a rage by the neo-baroque fans -like they actually did whenever a baroque organ didn't fit their truths, that is, often-.

 

I fully agree there should obtain the largest possible diversity -of mind as well as

different organs and builders-, but let's be lucid: are we really going towards that ideal?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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If you have a big anything, then of course my argument falls over. I'm talking about under 10-15 stop territory here, such as the example given by Alistair, where a swell box takes up a) the cash and b ) the space for another rank which will, by definition, be an important part of the chorus.

 

Personally, I feel the neo-baroque boys (in this country, at least; I don't know enough about the rest of the world) probably did more good than harm. Without them, I have a feeling we would now be referring to 4' flutes as upperwork and doing a great disservice to music.

 

As far as I know transmission of the bass of one of the manual 8' stops to serve as the upper octaves of a 16' Pedal stop is quite common and certainly useful (only 12 pedal pipes to find room for, & pay for) - I have seen instances where Bill Drake and Peter Collins have done it (individually, of course, not a joint venture!)

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Maybe they did not harm as many....yet.

 

The question isn't "big or small", I think it's deeper than that.

If it was *that* important to have two choruses dialoging, why

then do we find dispositions where this did not obtain, even

in Cathedral organs of the first magnitude?

Some more questions -I am a question's lover!-

 

-Are we sure we know why the ancient builders provided

two Principal choruses?

 

-Are we sure we know how the organists used them?

 

(A question very very interesting in relation to the baroque british organ...)

 

Just for the anecdote: we had a discussion about the "Grand-jeu" on my Forum.

At the start we tought we all meant the same thing, but this was not the case.

After investigating the question we end up with the conclusion between Mersenne and Dom Bedos there must have been a considerable number of variations, of different versions of that sooo "well" known registration.

 

Is it fair to assume that without the "Orgelbewebung" the builders would all have been content with soft 4' as upperwork?

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Well, obviously there are neo-baroque desecrations, some musical and some less so. There are also fortunate occasions when a lack of money prevented the axe fall, and those instances are some of our most prized instruments now. The comment about 4' upperwork was obviously a tongue-in-cheek one but nonetheless indiciative of the direction we were heading with our small organ designs from 1900-1950. Look at the thread on Norman & Beard "symphony organs" for example - virtually all 2 manual output of the era was 8884 + 8888 + 16 or somewhere along those lines. I know of a fairly sizeable parish church about an hour away from me which has a 1920's monster with 88884 on the Great, 8888848 plus an octave coupler on the Swell and 16 on the pedal - this in a building which can probably fit 150-170 people and by no means out of the ordinary. My understanding is that it was the widespread acceptance of equal temperament and the resulting jangling mixtures and 3rds that was a key influencing factor in the loss of upperwork - take J C Bishop (by no means an unrespected or unenlightened builder) and his routine removal of tierce mixtures (because of screaming 3rds) for example - and that it was the neo-baroqueists who were among the first to be seriously bringing the issue of temperament to the forefront and revitalising an interest in choruswork. Without that revival, however misguided or appalling some of its legacy may now seem, I am in no doubt that the organ would be almost entirely without players, enthusiasts and talented makers - not to mention the hundreds of historical relics that would have been hollowed out and sold as mini-bars, rather than carefully, scientifically & intelligently restored by the Manders and Drakes of this world, thereby informing us even more of historical and performance practice.

 

I restrict my argument to a certain size of instrument (i.e. small) because a cathedral organ "of the finest disposition" won't be designed to play contrapuntal music first and foremost - it is primarily a liturgical tool, designed to make 500 people sing loudly, in time and in tune, and in the last few hundred years accompany the choir expressively. A small instrument being designed today to suit the needs of today has no such demands made of it. It seems to me to be reasonable to say that the ability to play contrapuntal music would be high on the list of requirements, as that is also entirely compatible with the provision of hymns and voluntaries, and such a size of scheme could never give a sensible account of Howells or Franck with all the 8' colour and flapping swells in the world. Bach mostly conducted from the harpsichord on Sundays, and taught the violin six days a week for the last 17 years of his life. His organ music is unquestionably string music also. This means not just solo and continuo, but also the idea of a dialogue. A badly designed swell will make nonsense of even a trio sonata as the focus of the sound emerging from the enclosure must inevitably be ill matched to the other voice, with which it should be equal in intensity if not directly in scale or volume. (This also raises the thorny issue of encasement.)

 

Surely it's also therefore reasonable to form the assumption that the ancient builders thought along similar lines? The evidence is in the music for how the players used the instruments, surely, or they wouldn't have carried on being built in the same way?

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Well, this one too has no "complete" (?) Choruses...

Fine for the Clarabella. Next step, the Dulciana?

 

I come back on David's comments tomorrow (need to find

something back in a pile of paper).

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Well, it has 842 twice with contrasting elements, two solo voices and two obvious accompaniments, so sounds just perfect to me. Perhaps just an 8' Pedal flute... from an apprentice of Grant, Degens and Bradbeer, too... curse those neo baroquists! At least on this one the Nones are on the outside...

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I come back on yesterday's comments from David.

 

-The link between equal temperament and mutations removal is too

simple. From my experience it's the neo-baroque people that removed

tierce ranks from mixtures by the tons!

Back to our Walcker here in Namur, there was a Mixture on the first manual

which contained a 17th 1 3/5' and a....3 1/5' in the treble, and even a part

of the keybord had the two. Here follows the comments of the builder that

"corrected Walcker" (!!!!!!) in 1962:

"This Mixture contains two Tierce ranks. This is something nobody has never

seen, it is completely stubborn and stupid, this has no musical nor acoustic

reason".

 

Sic transit Gloria Mundi...

 

-About Cathedral organs "just as liturgical tools". Were the little village jobs

anything else?

Here in my area 90% of the baroque organs had but one manual and hanged Pedal.

So far for the "dialogues". Despite a strong german influence.

In Brussels the uncommon Chaire layout was intended to accompany orchestral

performances in the Choir.

As far as singing congregation, remember this did not exist with the RC's liturgy at that time... the organ was a solo instrument.

 

I do not believe it is fair to link Mr Mander's restoration work with the classic revival.

When one reads the Portfolio here, it must be realised these works are completely neutral as far as styles are concerned; it is well beyond this tendancy.

 

I'd like now to blah-blah a little about a little organ design that testifies extraordinary results can be realised from whatever style, and not only the "True-baroque-polyphonic-upperwork-rich" (read: neo-baroque) one.

 

If you happen to go one day to Louvain-la-neuve (the University near the town of

Ottignies, about 15 Miles south of Brussels), don't miss the opportunity to go to the village of VIEUSART nearby.

In the little village's parish church there is a tiny thing with 10 stops that could be

a pilgrinage item for an hypothetic (and I do not mean "desirable"!) "Neo-romantic revival".

It was built 1903 by the Van Bever brothers, excellent builders from the Loret school, that united french boldness and south german subtelity (Hyppolite Loret's favorite reference was the Schlimbach's treatise).

 

Here is the disposition of this "Octopus":

 

Grand orgue

 

Bourdon 16'

Montre 8'

Flûte harmonique 8'

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

 

Récit (enclosed)

 

Salicional 8'

Voix céleste 8'

Flûte octaviante 4'

Basson-Hautbois 8'

Trompette harmonique 8'

 

Pédale

 

Soubasse 16' (borrowed from great's Bourdon 16')

 

Mind you, this organ has been played in recital with tons of ancient music

(Scheidt, Sweelinck, Frescobaldi.....Bach!) as well as Brahms and Boëllman.

It is at least as versatile as a sound neo-classical design-a bigger one of course-.

 

Here is a tentative resumee of the reasons for that:

 

-The Montre is a big thing. It is mid-way between an Open Diapason and a french

montre, slotted, but not as horny as the french model, nor pure as an O. Diap.

It is bold and round, "churchy", but its harmonic devellopment allows it to be

played for hours alone without tiring.

 

-The Prestant may not be used with it. It is too harsh for that, voiced to cencentrate

a complete chorus in itself. It is intended to build a "Grand-choeur" in synergy with the Trompette. Should you want a 8-4, you must then use the Swell's Flûte, a liquid, bright thing....To be regulated with the shutters.

 

-With the coupler you have the traditionnal "choeur des fonds", which gathers

Flute, Diapason, Bourdon and string tone.

 

-The presence of two reed stops allows the Trompette to be a big thing too: large scale, bold voicing, free tone. Together with the Prestant, you get in this little church

an honest Tutti, bright and impressive, a Cathedral's organ diminutive.

 

-The Voix céleste is misnamed. Its Salicional scaling makes of it an Unda-Maris,

or a loud Vox angelica. The beats are slow and make of it a Voce Umana perfectly

suitable in italian ancient music. Should a true Voix céleste be needed, suffice

to use the shutters...

 

This organ- a tracker action one- has four fixed combinations, the kind of very precious thing that helps to grasp the builder's intentions:

 

1)- Voix céleste.

 

Great: Flûte harmonique. Swell: Salicional and Voix céleste. Pedal: Soubasse.

 

2)-Hautbois.

 

Great: Bourdon 8'. Swell: Basson-Hautbois . Pedal: Soubasse.

 

3)- Fonds.

 

Great: Bourdon 16', Montre, Flûte harmonique, Bourdon 8'. Swell: Salicional,

Flûte octaviante 4' (please note the Prestant 4' isn't included!)

Pedal: Soubasse.

 

4)-Grand choeur.

 

All stops save the Voix céleste.

 

Any interest with the same blah-blah with baroque examples? Let me know then.

We have excellent true baroque organs too.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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I'm not sure whether I disagree or not. I am confused now!

 

Cathedral organs as liturgical tools - were the little village jobs anything else - well, of course not. The point is, that faced with a blank sheet of paper the designer had quite different requirements and constraints to bear in mind, and therefore started from a different place - very crudely, the cathedral could start from the point of LOTS of noise to be carried with clarity and definition throughout the building coupled to the ability to make very little, aetherial sounds; whereas with the smaller instrument the starting position is more naturally with the contrapuntal ideal. In both cases, the repertoire is central to these requirements.

 

Concerning the removal of tierces, obviously things move differently in every nation, and that goes for the use of the tierce as well as its falling out of favour. Our most prominent NB instrument (New College, Oxford) has hundreds of tierces and some stranger fractions, including 3 1/5 on the Great. If your point is that, generally speaking, generalisations are crude, then agreed.

 

Mr Mander was, I believe, the first to be doing authentic historic reconstructions - viz Pembroke College, Cambridge. Since then, others like Bill Drake and Goetze and Gwynne have stepped in. I don't think there was anything unfair about it, indeed quite the reverse - a great compliment.

 

The spec you give, and somewhat mysteriously ask me for blah-blah, is interesting, and there's of course nothing wrong with such an instrument, but it is very much fixed in a certain type of repertoire. On paper it seems hard to imagine it being capable of giving a clear account of a trio sonata or Mendelssohn sonata or indeed much written this century. I struggle to think of what I would programme for a recital or even voluntary on it - the first four pages of Franck's B minor chorale, or the beginning and end of a Howells Psalm Prelude - I am of course a cretin when it comes to romantic repertoire.

 

I have found two articles online which make the point somewhat more clearly than I do - http://www.gillianweir.com/articles/rondo and http://www.gillianweir.com/articles/rondo2 - now, back to the issue of Swell boxes, as I am all argued out here...

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I meant the removal of the tierces from the mixtures, not the

mutation ranks; these were added, while the tierce ranks in the mixtures

were removed.

 

Historic restorations are something different from neo-baroque re-interpretations.

 

The little designs from the baroque period differ widely with the neo-baroque ones;

What I proponed was to discuss one or two here if wanted.

Actually, there obtains no 12 stops baroque organ splitted on two manuals, there

was only one with some stops divided between bass an treble;

 

From about 15 stops, a Great plus a Cornet on an echo manual with a shorter

compass;

 

Bigger jobs could have this echo manual enriched with a reed stop and a Boudon 8' and Flûte 4' (these last two on a common slide), and then, only, a Chaire organ with

Bourdon 8', Montre 4',Flûte 4', Nasard, Doublette, Tierce, a Cymbal or a "Fourniture cymbalisée"

and a Cromorne. The whole very delicately voiced -far behind the great-.

More, the quite surprising layout : great towards the nave, Chaire towards the choir,

has had several examples in Belgium!

 

My point is the following: A 10-12 stops job with two Diapason choruses balanced together, on two different manuals, is a neo-baroque idea .

 

This leaves us with the interesting question as to wheter we can give up on this second chorus in favor of a Swell organ as second manual.

Bearing in mind this -truly baroque- echo second division...

 

As for Vieusart, the only thing I could suggest would be to come there with lots of music sheets from various periods and give it a try! as I said, Scheidt, Sweelinck,

Bach, Frescobaldi, Boëllman and Brahms I did hear there!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Ah. I originally meant tierces in general, the major third in equal temperament being not so very far from a "wolf" and hence disagreeable to those working when equal temperament first became widespread in this country, about 1850-1860 ish I understand. A commonly expressed view is that disinterest in chorus work and muddying of tone came about from this point on.

 

I think we may be at crossed purposes. I'm no neo baroqueist, I just don't think organbuilding would have reached the happy place it is today without these influences. I think we have much to learn from neoclassical instruments and the thinking behind them to show how we got from point A to point B, and I hope our most important ones are preserved. I think New College Oxford is every bit as deserving of a historic organ certificate and careful preservation as anywhere else. But with a blank canvas, I think few would commission such an instrument now.

 

Is it right to dismiss a basic musical principle - two contrasting choruses, not necessarily both principal choruses - as "neo baroque"? I don't think it is even accurate; I think it goes much, much deeper than that and has been a fundamental part of organ design ever since the Blockwerk became two Blockwerks. To condemn several hundred years of tangible history because it also happened to be a guiding principle of a handful of boffins in the 1960's, with whom we now in many ways disagree, seems a little hasty.

 

Most of what you say refers to existing, often historical, instruments. I always come at this from the point of view of designing a new instrument right now. Personally, unless I had the resources to make enough colour for expression to be useful, I would consider putting the second manual in a swell box as being wasteful and pointless.

 

Finally, read the original post again - at no point did I suggest that Manders were part of the revival movement - merely that, thanks to that revival, general interest was awakened and the path lay open for instruments like Pembroke College, Lulworth Castle, Grosvenor Chapel et al to be intelligently restored and have the electromagnets and Keraulophons and Tubas taken away.

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