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Divisional Crescendo Assign


kropf
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Christmas greetings to all of You!

They shall accompany one of my typical overseas questions...:

 

By my "Hauptwerk" virtual organ software, i. e. the standard St. Anne's Moseley Instrument (originally a Brindley & Foster), I learned about those thumb pistons "Cresc to Gt", "Cresc to Sw" and "Cresc to Ped". Finding them not so necessary on such a relatively small instrument, I would find it quite interesting on larger organs to apply the stop crescendo (the German "Walze") to a selected choice of divisions only.

But this was the first encounter with that feature, and I'd like to ask, how far these features are known and a common element on English consoles?

 

Greetings!

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Christmas greetings to all of You!

They shall accompany one of my typical overseas questions...:

 

By my "Hauptwerk" virtual organ software, i. e. the standard St. Anne's Moseley Instrument (originally a Brindley & Foster), I learned about those thumb pistons "Cresc to Gt", "Cresc to Sw" and "Cresc to Ped". Finding them not so necessary on such a relatively small instrument, I would find it quite interesting on larger organs to apply the stop crescendo (the German "Walze") to a selected choice of divisions only.

But this was the first encounter with that feature, and I'd like to ask, how far these features are known and a common element on English consoles?

 

Greetings!

 

Christmas greeting to you too!

 

I can safely say that I have never encountered such a thing in all this green and pleasant land. It's possible that the feature exists (and perhaps other posters will describe their use of it, or encounters with it, here in due course) but I suspect it is extremely rare.

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Others may know better, but I would say that crescendo pedals are fairly rare in England. Offhand I can only recall two examples (though I must have played others). The Colston Hall in Bristol has a normal style crescendo pedal similar to St Anne's. Moseley. The organ of Buckfast Abbey designed by Ralph Downes has a German-style Walze. You can see it to the left of the swell pedals in the photo here. However, you obtain the crescendo by rolling the drum forwards, which I gather is the opposite from how it is in Germany! Unfortunately the cescendo is very "lumpy" as it has too few stages.

 

Crescendo pedals are very common in America.

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Others may know better, but I would say that crescendo pedals are fairly rare in England. Offhand I can only recall two examples (though I must have played others). The Colston Hall in Bristol has a normal style crescendo pedal similar to St Anne's. Moseley. The organ of Buckfast Abbey designed by Ralph Downes has a German-style Walze. You can see it to the left of the swell pedals in the photo here. However, you obtain the crescendo by rolling the drum forwards, which I gather is the opposite from how it is in Germany! Unfortunately the cescendo is very "lumpy" as it has too few stages.

 

Crescendo pedals are very common in America.

 

I've encountered crescendo pedals at the Cathedrals of Chester, Derby and Hereford. They're identical to the Swell pedals next to which they sit. (Visiting Recitalists beware - not every Swell pedal has to be left in the "open position" at the end of practice sessions!)

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I've encountered crescendo pedals at the Cathedrals of Chester, Derby and Hereford. They're identical to the Swell pedals next to which they sit. (Visiting Recitalists beware - not every Swell pedal has to be left in the "open position" at the end of practice sessions!)

 

Crescendo pedals were a fairly standard feature on larger (3 or 4 manual) Willis 111 consoles from the 1930's onwards.

Although I can't recall which instruments they were actually on, I've come across 2 different 'safety devices' to help avoid bringing the crescendo on by accident. One device was a drawstop which had to be drawn before the pedal became active, the other was a bit more 'low-tech'; a hook and eye holding the pedal in the closed position, but easily released with the toe (I think the latter might have been on Hereford back in the 70s).

 

p.s. are you sure about a crescendo pedal at Chester?

 

DT

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OK, I know about the various ways to activate crescendo rollers or balanced pedals. But obviously the topic core, divisional crescendo cancels seem to be very rare - as expected (otherwise I wouold have missed something. But one never knows...)

Was that a Brindley & Foster specialty?

 

And while imagining how useful this could be on larger organs, especially during improvisations (as literature would not call for such possibilities), it came up to me that there should be a crescendo specially designed for such devices (And talking about crescendo, I mean somethin with 30 stages or so, not 6 or 8, which would have much too sharp steps between the stage volumes):

E.g., if the crescendo played in the Gt heavily relies on stops beeing coupled from the Swell, but the crescendo has been cancelled for this division, there would also be no more useful crescendo on the Gt.

 

Another thread (here or in the German Orgelforum) brought up the "Pedal-Moderator", a second roller crescendo for the pedal division only....

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p.s. are you sure about a crescendo pedal at Chester?

DT

 

Yes, I've avoided using the crescendo pedal at Chester - a few years ago now. An LED digital display indicates the status - 99 steps, I think.

As Jenny points out in her book, consoles are full of booby traps for the unwary, crescendo pedals count as big ones, as recorded in other threads... :blink:

Have Chester ever got round to re-engraving the 'Gt-Ped Combs coupled' stop knob, which actually is the Great Open 16?

 

But back to Karl's question - Are the divisional crescendos a Hauptwerk feature? Are they actually there on the instrument at St Anne's?

NPOR (N00645) doesn't mention a crescendo pedal at all.

Merry Christmas

Ian CK

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But back to Karl's question - Are the divisional crescendos a Hauptwerk feature? Are they actually there on the instrument at St Anne's?

NPOR (N00645) doesn't mention a crescendo pedal at all.

Merry Christmas

Ian CK

 

Thanks, that is quite an enlightment! Maybe it is the key to the whole issue....

 

And checking the Hauptwerk website, there I find the confirmation. Could have checked it earlier! :blink:

Martin Dyde lists the feature among the "Couplers". Well, a nice idea, though...

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But back to Karl's question - Are the divisional crescendos a Hauptwerk feature? Are they actually there on the instrument at St Anne's?

NPOR (N00645) doesn't mention a crescendo pedal at all.

Merry Christmas

Ian CK

 

It's all virtual. In the sample set information for Moseley within the Hauptwerk application (Organ>Show Organ Information), the relevant page states that the accessories, real and virtual, are as follows:

 

(REAL) ACCESSORIES:

5 Thumb pistons to Swell, adjustable.

5 Thumb pistons to Great, adjustable.

Reversible Swell to Great.

Reversible Great to Pedal.

5 Toe pedals to Swell, adjustable.

Reversible Toe pedal Great to Pedal.

Balanced Swell pedal.

 

The following have been added for the Hauptwerk virtual model of the instrument:

 

ACCESSORIES:

40-stage Crescendo, adjustable.

General Cancel.

Setter piston.

FF piston, adjustable.

PP piston, adjustable.

 

COUPLERS:

Swell to Great Melody.

Pedal to Great Bass.

Crescendo on Swell.

Crescendo on Great.

Crescendo on Pedal.

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Thanks, that is quite an enlightment! Maybe it is the key to the whole issue....

 

And checking the Hauptwerk website, there I find the confirmation. Could have checked it earlier! :blink:

Martin Dyde lists the feature among the "Couplers". Well, a nice idea, though...

 

You beat me to it- sorry for the duplication- I only spotted this after checking and posting my message!

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I've encountered crescendo pedals at the Cathedrals of Chester, Derby and Hereford. They're identical to the Swell pedals next to which they sit. (Visiting Recitalists beware - not every Swell pedal has to be left in the "open position" at the end of practice sessions!)

 

 

Both the variety and concert consoles at Southampton Guildhall have crescendo pedals.

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