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2 Manual 10 Stop Scheme


Colin Harvey

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This is very interesting, very different from my own ideas

but that's just what we are looking for, to compare things

different and not to create a new "one best way".

This show we could build several 10-stops organs that

would be entirely different; so there is hope such limitations

can be coped with without suppressing any creativity!

 

In my own vision the first stop I wrote was the 8' Open Diapason, english,

unslotted. This is my preffered stop just before the celeste...

As a Second Open Diapason one could try an italian type, second best after

the english, "amabile", singing.

In bigger instruments we have the several english types (I would not use the

leathered Phonon type, tough), the italian, the german slotted....Miam miam.

Pierre

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I think that a nice balance between divisions is essential. While I agree that it is not the first role of an instrument in a church of moderate size to be able to do these things, I think that it would be useful for it to have this capability nonetheless, especially since this would probably not compromise the organ's usefulness in a hymn-playing (etc) context.

 

I've been thinking a little more about my own scheme, especially in light of Pierre's comments. Refinement in voicing is essential. It goes hand-in-hand with scaling, and  can make or break an organ.

 

I'd like to explain my now-revised scheme in terms of voicing, so that people can see how it is supposed to work...

 

Hauptwerk:

Rohrflute 8' - This stop should be quite bright, voiced to sound as if it has a 4' stop speaking with it. It should balance against the Oberwerk 8' and 4' flutes when used together.

Octav 4' - Quite bright and clear, with a definite chiff.

Octav 2' - Much the same as the 4' Octav, perhaps even a little bright.

Mixture IV - My knowledge of mixture compostions is quite limited, so this is what this mixture is supposed to do: Compensate for the lack of an 8' Diapason by lending a little more clarity to the lower octaves, and cap the chorus with a certain brightness without being shrill.

 

Oberwerk:

Viola da Gamba 8' - A "thick" string stop, which, when drawn with the Gedackt 8', should be usable as Principal of sorts.

Gedackt 8' - A contrast to the Hauptwerk flute (quite "dull" in sound). To be used for accompanying chant and soloists in a soft and unobtrusive manner.

Rohrflute 4' - Adds brightness and definition to the Gedackt to balance against the Hauptwerk Rohrflute.

Gemshorn 2' - Caps the chorus on this manual well, without being overly bright. Capable of being used with the Gedackt 8' only for a different tone colour against the Rohrflute on the Hauptwerk.

Krummhorn 8' - Useable as either a solo reed or a chorus reed. The other two 8' stops on this manual should be designed to work with the reed, so as to create subtle changes in the tone colour.

 

Pedalwerk:

Subbass 16' - Clear, without sound overly principal-like. The Pedalwerk is a little undernourished, I know, and could clearly benefit from an extension of the 16' rank to 8'.

 

So after all this, what are the possibilites?

 

Solo-Accompaniment:

Hauptwerk - Use the 4' Octav as a solo stop, against the Oberwerk 8' Gedackt.

There are more possibilites for the solo line on the Oberwerk, which are easy to spot by looking at the specification.

 

Both manuals have their own choruses, so these could be used against one another, in pieces like Menuet Gothique.

 

The Krummhorn can be accompanied on the Hauptwerk using the 8' Rohrflute.

 

The Viola da Gamba is handy for incidental music in a liturgical context. I can also imagine using it for the first part of Vierne's lovely little Berceuse before moving to the Rohrflute on the Hauptwerk.

 

There are more possibilites - I've just mentioned a few to let you know what I expect this organ to be able to do.

 

 

I like this more than the first!

 

I would be tempted to change the Krummhorn for a Hautboy, though. SInce it will have full-length resonators, it is likely to be more stable in tuning. In addition, although it will still make a good solo reed, it will be far more use in accompaniment than a Krummhorn - these have to be very good to be of any use in chords!

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I agree with several of these points, although I would question points 3 and 4. Balance between the divisions is, of course, a good idea but, assuming the organ is in a small to moderate-sized church, I am not sure that playing trio sonati convincingly is necessarily a pre-requisite!

 

Point 4 - a well-developed chorus is also a good idea - but I am unsure about the reference to Bach chorales! Certainly, a good strong lead for hymns might be useful, though - unless, of course, we are talking about a Lutheran church....

 

I would also add that it should be a reasonably interesting instrument on which to play repertiore up to moderate difficulty.

 

However, I think that Palestrina has made a very important point - too many schemes are conceived in a vaccuum, with apparently little thought given to the specific function of the instrument.

 

I put the requirements for this organ - musical requirements and type and size of building - in my initial note.... but yes, you are quite right to make the point again.

 

 

With this in mind, I suggest the following scheme:

 

PEDAL

 

Violone (W; haskelled bass) mf  16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

GO

                                 

Stopped Diapason                              8

Octave                                              4

Flageolet (wide scale, tapered)            2

Swell to Great

 

SWELL

 

Wald Flute                                          8

Viola (mild string)                                8

Viola Céleste (AA)                              8

(for service playing, of far greater use than

  a Cornet, for example)

Gemshorn (conical)                              4

Mixture  (15-19-22: C1)                      III

            (12-15-19: F#31)

            (8-12-15:  A46)

Bassoon                                            16

(Open shallots)

Whilst such an instrument would not play trio sonati particularly well, it would be quite practical for service-playing and the performance of a fair amount of standard parish repertoire.

 

I don't find this scheme very much to my taste. I find the lack of an 8' principal is not very helpful to build up a cohesive chorus - which I find invaluable for accompaying hymns and much parish work. The 16' bassoon with open shallots as the sole reed on the organ raises my eyebrows too - would this not be too dark and heavy for the rest of the organ - probably overpowering the pedal violone for bass? While it could be handy in "full organ", in mf registrations and under expression I would find it too muddy and heavy accompanying a choir for instance. I've lived with a similar arrangement (swell 16 reed alone) for 4 years and didn't find it that useful in practice. Perhaps an 8 reed with a sub-octave if you must? Overall, I would think that this entire scheme could be muddy and lack cohesiveness in the flesh, intriguing though it is on paper....

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  Perhaps we're looking at this problem the wrong way. Rather than giving a specification and justifying it, why don't we start by looking at what we would like the organ to "do", and then designing a specification that meets these needs in the best possible way?

 

I would suggest that small organ in a church should be able to "do" the following:

 

1. Lead hymn singing in a convincing manner, and provide some variety in timbres to maintain interest.

2. Accompany solo singing, especially chant and suchlike.

3. Be balanced between divisions, enabling the organist to play trios convincingly.

4. Have a well developed chorus for Bach chorales etc.

 

I also think that the potential of the instrument to be used for teaching purposes should not be overlooked.

 

Quite interesting views, Palestrina!

 

Here are my wishes:

 

1)-The organ must touch the souls of the hearers.

 

2)-It must be clear but never screaming, polyphonic but

    not agressive

 

3)- It needs to be able to play from ppp to F, from soft and sweet

      accompaniment up to a reasonnable Forte

 

4)- It must offer several tone colours without the aid of mutation

      and mixtures

 

5)- It needs subtelity and refinment in voicing.

 

6)- The Open Diapason 8' tone must suffice to fill the church,

      if needed there must obtain several rather than forcing

      one's strenght. These stops must be "rolling", but sweet

      and singing.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

Interesting requirements:

 

One set of requirement were very much dealing with the functional requirements of what the organ must be able to do it - but how do you quantify and qualify success against these requirements. These are likely to be requirements of the church - what they want the organ to do.

 

The above requriements are the aesthetic requirements - what the organ builder would like the organ to do. They are also requirements for the solution to the client's set of requirements.

 

Just an observation on 2 entirely different ways of looking at what an organ should do. Both sets of requirements are equally valid but in today's climate, Palestrina's requirements are likely to be considered - but in practice, I find they're dealt with in about 30 seconds - and Pierre's requirements are frequently so difficult to discuss that they often aren't discussed with any semblance of success to the parties involved.

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I put the requirements for this organ - musical requirements and type and size of building - in my initial note.... but yes, you are quite right to make the point again.

I don't find this scheme very much to my taste. I find the lack of an 8' principal is not very helpful to build up a cohesive chorus - which I find invaluable for accompaying hymns and much parish work. The 16' bassoon with open shallots as the sole reed on the organ raises my eyebrows too - would this not be too dark and heavy for the rest of the organ - probably overpowering the pedal violone for bass? While it could be handy in "full organ", in mf registrations and under expression I would find it too muddy and heavy accompanying a choir for instance. I've lived with a similar arrangement (swell 16 reed alone) for 4 years and didn't find it that useful in practice. Perhaps an 8 reed with a sub-octave if you must?  Overall, I would think that this entire scheme could be muddy and lack cohesiveness in the flesh, intriguing though it is on paper....

 

No - I do not like the idea of a GO without an 8p Open Diapason either - but I was trying to keep to the specified size of ten stops. I also do not like a GO without some kind of 2p stop - even if it were a wide-scaled flute.

 

Regarding the Swell reed, with open shallots, it would be more likely to have less body and fundamental tone. It depends, too, on the thickness of the reed tongue and which way the brass was rolled. My intention was that it fulfilled a similar role to the Swell Contra Oboe on the organ formerly in the chapel of Addington Palace.

 

I did not include a sub octave coupler, since I assumed that the action was to be mechanical. Even on an organ this size, this would be likely to lead to a heavy touch, unless one went to the trouble of having smaller pallets to the lower eighteen notes or so. This, however, would raise other problems! Whilst the double reed could be substituted by a Trumpet, I think that even on small organs it is important to have a sub-unison rank - a reed is less likely to be thick and cloying than a Bourdon. At any rate, I would find it far more useful than a Krummhorn as the only manual reed - but, each to his own!

 

As to muddiness, I disagree - although much would depend on voicing. Only the Swell double reed could thicken the texture, but with careful scaling and voicing this potential problem could be avoided. If anything, the inclusion of an Open Diapason on the GO could lead to problems of thick or cloying tone - possibly the safest is one modelled on an eighteenth century English stop. Or possibly a Walker No. 2 from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century.

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Yes, there are so many kinds of Open Diapason available that it should

not be too difficult to find one that fits in any scheme. It does not need

to be cloying at all, quite the reverse, it is the firm backbone of a whole

organ.

 

@ Colin Harvey: You got it, the kind of requirements I cited are often

overlooked. I believe the reason is that's not the kind of thing one

may have a firm control upon, you cannot refer to a treatise or count

the beans! to discuss such things is quite possible, as well as the means

we can use to such aims, but then we need to have listened to some organs,

with an open mind and an open heart.

If the customers are rather bothered with money and prestige, repertoire and

scholarship: no way!

Pierre

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Now, how about a nice Phoneuma, or a Tibia Clausa?

 

To reconstitute a Hope-Jones would be an excellent idea

from an historic viewpoint. We should do it, it will happen.

But if we speak about our tastes, it is not mine. I'd prefer

a Green instead were it for me...

Pierre

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Herewith a further scheme:

 

PEDAL

 

Sub Bass 16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

GO

 

Open Diapason 8

Rohr Flöte 8

Octave 4

Fifteenth 2

Swell to Great

 

SWELL

 

Viola 8

Wald Flute 8

Gemshorn 4

Mixture (15-22-26) III

Trumpet 8

 

Ten stops is quite small - it is quite hard to design something that will be practical. There will inevitably be compromises. Some might prefer to lose the GO Fifteenth and have a Vox Angelica on the Swell, for example. Or, to substitute the Pedal Sub Bass with a Violone.

 

However, with the above scheme, there is at least some attempt to provide two contrasting choruses - to the detriment of the Pedal Organ. Is it permissible to add pedal extensions, even if they take the total number of stops (as opposed to ranks) over the prescribed number?

 

However versatile and satisfying the Twyford scheme is (mentioned on original post) I would prefer to have two contrasting 8p flues on the Swell Organ - otherwise I might become very bored as an accompanist!

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Here is a more radical one:

 

Manual I

 

Bourdon 16'

Open Diapason 8'

Principale 8'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Octave 4'

 

Manual II (enclosed)

 

Eoline 8'

Voix céleste 8'

Zauberflöte 4'

Physharmonika 8'

 

Pedal

 

Violone 16'

Bourdon 16' (borrowed from I)

 

Usual couplers plus octave couplers (16'-4') and unisson off

Tubular pneumatic action with Taschenladen (because of the octave couplers

and silent action)

 

The Open Diapason of english romantic style, not slotted and moderate scale

The Principale the singing, amabile italian stop, not slotted, deals as II,

smaller scale than I, slight strenght ascendancy in the treble

The Octave voiced and scaled between the two.

 

The Eoline and Voix céleste very small scale after Wilhelm Sauer, very soft but sharp at the same time, to be voiced with the utmost care.

 

The Zauberflöte after Thynne, stopped harmonic, very slightly stringy, strenght rising in the treble

 

The Physharmonika after Walcker, free reed stop without resonators, variable pressure at the will of the player.

 

The Zauberflöte will the more often be used with the first manual's stops thus with coupler (Stopped Diapason), or alone or with the Physharmonika.

 

The Physharmonika can vary from a very soft Aeoline (the free reed stop after Ladegast) up to a fair Grand-jeu substitute (Cornet+ Trumpets tone). The Tutti will be built from it.

 

The Violone after Walcker, moderate scale, wood, firm and without any atom of excessive fat.

 

Moderate pressure (around 75mm), Physharmonika between near to zero up to about 100mm. And please, no chiff!!!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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II - swell

*stopped diapason 8 (round tone with much fundament)

dulciane 8 (like a soft diapason)

voix céleste 8 (like the dulciane)

*gemshorn 4 (a small(er) scale principal)

mixture III (soft)

*oboe 8

 

I - great

*open diapason 8 (to add 'power' to fulls-well, sounding rather 'old')

*lieblich gedeckt 8 (open, clear tone)

*principal 4 (with a pronounced 1st harmonic)

 

P

*bourdon 16 (round tone, very fundamental)

 

I+II 16/8/4

I+I 16/4

II+II 16/4

P+I

P+II

 

Very much like my own William Hill & Sons opus 2324 (*stops) :P

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This topic is becoming even more interesting now that more schemes are being proposed. For those of you who have added more schemes recently, could you tell me what sort of combinations you envision from the stops that you've specified? ie. What sort of pieces do you envision that an organist would be able to play on the instruments that you've designed, and how?

 

I forgot to mention that my own scheme is to be voiced in the Dutch Classical style. So in reply to pcnd5584, if you would prefer a reed other than the Krummhorn, it would have to be something that was being used by Dutch builders of the Classical period.

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OK - I will settle for a Trompet 8 then!

 

As far as repertoire is concerned, I am assuming a staple diet of hymns and anthems (the latter of no more than moderate difficulty) and voluntaries, probably in line with the sort of thing that the RSCM (when they are not being charismatic) suggests - and perhaps the type of pieces which have appeared in compilations produced (or at least endorsed) by the St. Giles' Organ School/AM-T.

 

Absolutely no Caleb Simper (too crap), Oliphant Chuckerbutty (too obscure) - or Britten (assumed to be too difficult for this type of situation).

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In the 70's there were still many little romantic organs in Belgium (now a good half has been replaced with neo-baroque-fit-for-Bach ones) and I could learn a little visiting them.

Very interesting were the Crescendo Pedals. They were non-programmable so that it was the builder who decided what stop came in at every stage, learning us a lot about his aims.

The strenght of tone is a major issue in romantic organs, it is what gives each stop its place in the scheme.

 

I'll give it for my project above, assuming that:

 

-The Voix céleste is excluded

-The couplers at 8' are on

-The Physharmonika is at full power

 

1)- Eoline 8'

 

2)-Stopped Diapason, Pedal Bourdon 16'

 

3)-Principale 8'

 

4)-Open Diapason

 

5)-Zauberflöte 4'

 

6)-Octave, Bourdon 16' Manual I, Pedal Violone 16'

 

7)- Physharmonika

 

8) Octave and sub-octave couplers (according to the room)

 

As for the "repertoire", it is above all a liturgic organ, made for the accompaniment

and short pieces like Karg-Elert and Reger transcriptions and little pieces, voluntaries etc. The wide dynamic range allows for many things save reference recordings and recitals of course.

First priority: first-class voicing and a mellow, "praying" tone.

Save the Octave 4' an Bourdon 16' one can combine the stops in every imaginable

manner.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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We haven't had a 3 manual scheme yet, so here's one for discussion:

 

Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Principals II 4 + 2

 

Swell Organ

Celestes II 8

Mixture IIII (4')

Trumpet 8

 

Choir Organ

Gedackt 8

Open Flute 4

Blockflute 2

Cornet II

 

Pedal Organ

Bourdon 16

 

All usual 6 couplers plus

Swell Octave and sub octave (85 note chest)

Swell Unison off

Swell sub octave to pedal

Swell octave to pedal

Swell sub to Gt

swell octave to Gt

 

Is there anything this organ couldn't do?

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I don't know about the Mixture on the Swell. A Mixture is supposed to crown a principal chorus. I'm wondering how successful such a stop would sound on top of a Celeste.

 

Forget the Werkprinzip, this Mixture does of course crown the Great chorus.

To have it with the reed in the Swell is an excellent idea; you can regulate

the chorus at will thanks to the shutters, while you can get a Full-Swell with

Trumpet+Mixture.

This way is often found in late romantic organs.

Such an organ needs to be understood as one instrument divided into three,

not three "complete organs".

 

I'd sign for this one, even if it's a little limited at 8'.

 

Pierre

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I don't know about the Mixture on the Swell. A Mixture is supposed to crown a principal chorus. I'm wondering how successful such a stop would sound on top of a Celeste.

Don't be a numpty - you wouldn't use it atop the celestes.

 

You could use it with the trumpet, as Pierre suggests - or an octave down alone - possibly using the sub octave coupler and unison off. You could also use this way for a pedal chorus...

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The other question that arises in my mind is this: We have the possibility of registering a Cornet on the Choir. What do we balance it against, if we intend to use it for a solo line? The Celeste would be a little weak, and the Great Open Diapason would probably be too strong. Of course, one could argue that one shouldn't be using the Cornet in this manner, given the availability of the Trumpet on the Swell, which could be accompanied on the Choir with the Flutes...

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The other question that arises in my mind is this: We have the possibility of registering a Cornet on the Choir. What do we balance it against, if we intend to use it for a solo line? The Celeste would be a little weak, and the Great Open Diapason would probably be too strong. Of course, one could argue that one shouldn't be using the Cornet in this manner, given the availability of the Trumpet on the Swell, which could be accompanied on the Choir with the Flutes...

Good question. My thought was that it would be used against the Great Open Diapason alone - a la Stanley Cornet Voluntary.

 

It might also work instead of a clarinet solo against Gt & Sw in a choral accomp setting too ...

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Good question. My thought was that it would be used against the Great Open Diapason alone - a la Stanley Cornet Voluntary.

 

It might also work instead of a clarinet solo against Gt & Sw in a choral accomp setting too ...

 

And why not against the Celeste, like in Dupré's Tombeau de Titelouze?

 

Pierre

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A diversion perhaps but this is what Schoenstein has done with 12 voices/14 ranks - non mechanical action though:

 

GREAT

Bourdon 16 (Treble Claribel)

Open Diapason 8

Claribel Flute 8 (Bass Bourdon)

Aeoline 8 (Enc)

Vox Angelica 8 (Enc)

Principal 4

Lieblich Gedeckt 4 (Sw)

Fifteenth 2

Mixture 2 III (Sw)

Contra Oboe 16 (Sw)

Trumpet 8 (Enc)

Great 4

Sw to Gt 16, 8, 4

 

SWELL

Open Diapason 16 (Bass Sw OD)

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Aeoline 8 (Gt)

Vox Angelica 8 (Gt)

Lieblich gedeckt 4

Nazard 2-2/3 (From Lieblich)

Mixture 2 III

Contra Oboe 16 (From 8')

Trumpet 8 (Gt)

Oboe 8

Sw to Sw 16, 8, 4

Tremulant

 

PEDAL

Resultant 32

Open Diapason 16 (Sw)

Bourdon 16 (Gt)

Open Diapason 8 (Sw)

Stopped Diapason 8 (Sw)

Aeoline 8 (Gt)

Fifteenth 4 (Gt OD)

Flute 4 (Gt Claribel)

Contra Oboe 16 (Sw)

Trumpet 8 (Gt)

Oboe 4 (Sw)

G to P 8, Sw to P 8

 

Quite cunning (note straight Diapasons on Gt, restrained duplexing of strings, unextended Trumpet etc.), larger than the ones we should be dealing with here but by all accounts it works in its context.

 

AJJ

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And why not against the Celeste, like in Dupré's Tombeau de Titelouze?

 

Pierre

Why not indeed? It shows that to be of most use, the ranks need to balenced in power against each other - so no overpowering Open Diapasons and gutless celestes.

 

Why are some many celestes on modern organs salicional based? I rate salicionals probably slightly below average dulcianas. I've come across some lovely (early) ducianas but i've yet to get hot under the collar about a sali. Much prefer things like echo gambes, with their papery quality and ability to add an edge to open diapasons. Salis never add anything to open diapasons.

 

Pierre, I will think about the aesthetic "requirements" of the organ at some stage....

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well, the Salicional-based celeste has tradition in Britain: The Vox angelica.

The true Salicional is rather a Diapason than a string; it is half-way between Open Diapason and Viole de Gambe.

The italian Principale differs from it more with the absence of slotting than scale!

For myself I prefer very small-scaled Voix célestes, the german way. These stops

are a sample of the paradise -not a libel as Audsley wrote- and I would not think of

a liturgical organ without them.

 

A correct balance will be easier to reach if we avoid overdoing anything, that is,

reasonnable scales, moderated wind pressures. The best way to destroy a Diapason is to force its tone, these stops need much wind but on low pressure. If power is needed then

it's better to have several ones -like all british builders did-.

The Voix céleste must be very soft but keen at the same time. It is that way that it gets its mystery and poetry, while still to be heared against the other stops.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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It is probably true to say that the Willis-type Salicional and Vox Angelica are more restful in prolonged use than the more reedy Gamba-style ranks often used. Personally, I think that there is a place for both.

 

Thomas Murray was once asked (by Geoffrey Morgan) what stops he would have on a practice-organ if it could only contain two ranks. He immediately replied "Awww, a Salicional and a Céleste!" :P

 

In reply to Pierre's comment about a Céleste needing to be soft - the Unda Maris and Salicional on the (unenclosed) Positif Orgue at N.-D. are huge! (But still useful and beautiful in tone.)

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