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"Most of what you say refers to existing, often historical, instruments"




This sentence I often heard!

Fact is, the neo-baroque movement claimed that "we needed to go back to the Truth"; but whenever historians like myself came in, then, with actual, true examples

-existing or documented ones- they were disturbing.


So what was actually build was something else that what it was claimed for.


This said, and there are enough testimonies for that on this forum, I am the first

to say these neo-baroque organs must be preserved like any other organ style;

they have their place and role in the whole chain of organ history, and there are very beautiful examples.


As for the lessons to be learned from them, I think the most important is this discrepancy between official aims and actual wishes.

Many young organists today would like to push towards "neo-romantic" designs;

what we know today thanks to the Classic revival is this: there are ninety chances out

of hundred we would end up with something else!


Now we could discuss some of these funny, irationnal, "badly" designed baroque organs, or continue to imagine little new jobs of differing styles.


Best wishes,


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Reading the correspondence on this topic, I am astonished to read that some of your members seem to think that Organs are placed in churches for reasons other than accompanying the liturgy. You may think in terms of balanced choruses, swell boxes, and all the rest, but I assure you, those who cough up vast amounts of cash to pay for our instruments don't even think twice about such things - they are paying for something to accompany the hymns, psalms & anthems of the church - don't ever forget it! Voluntaries and recitals are usually, to them, secondary considerations. Of course, swell boxes, choruses and the rest are the means by which we achieve what they want, but the fact remains - Organs are not there in churches for us to indulge our particular fancies; they are there to accompany the liturgy, and if any compromise has to be made (and in the real world there almost always is), the better accompaniment of the liturgy must be the priority.





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Absolutely. But, in considering how best to accompany the liturgy, the issues will not be so very different from considering what repertoire to play; they include clarity, variety, excitement & splendour, not to mention cost effectiveness. After all, 95% or so of the published organ repertoire was written to at least fit into a liturgical context, so the starting point (and finishing point) for the designer is pretty much the same.

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