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"However, quite often churches have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively"

(Quote)

 

Here is a slightly different version:

 

"However, quite often Alpha males organists have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to play the repertoire" (i.e., the music which is fashionable in music schools during a short period) more effectively".

 

Happy new year :lol:

 

Pierre

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"However, quite often churches have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively"

(Quote)

 

Here is a slightly different version:

 

"However, quite often Alpha males organists have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to play the repertoire" (i.e., the music which is fashionable in music schools during a short period) more effectively".

 

Happy new year :lol:

 

Pierre

Ah yes, I recognise this situation as being much more common than the other. Actually I'm not sure how you could ruin a perfectly good organ so as to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively. If it doesn't do these things in a normal parish church or cathedral setting it can't possibly be a perfectly good organ in the first place, at best a good organ but unfit for purpose.

 

A large number of decent, but rarely pefectly good, organs were ruined in 1970s and 80s by the addition of foul, unblending mixtures with the aim of "providing more upperwork". It seems more likely that the intention here was to improve the instruments' ability to play repertoire than anything to do with either congregation or choir (although that may not alway have been how it was justified to the PCC or chapter at the time).

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Ah yes, I recognise this situation as being much more common than the other. Actually I'm not sure how you could ruin a perfectly good organ so as to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively. If it doesn't do these things in a normal parish church or cathedral setting it can't possibly be a perfectly good organ in the first place, at best a good organ but unfit for purpose.

 

A large number of decent, but rarely pefectly good, organs were ruined in 1970s and 80s by the addition of foul, unblending mixtures with the aim of "providing more upperwork". It seems more likely that the intention here was to improve the instruments' ability to play repertoire than anything to do with either congregation or choir (although that may not alway have been how it was justified to the PCC or chapter at the time).

 

There's an organ I play regularly where I just won't draw the Great Mixture, as it feels like it was made and voiced for a much bigger building, it just screams, even at the back of the nave. The rest of the organ is very pleasant.

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"However, quite often Alpha males organists have ruined a perfectly good organ in the name of "to be able to play the repertoire"

Sometimes, yes. But "ruined" is an emotive, not to say subjective word. In many cases the organ may said to be not so much "ruined" as "changed". I have mentioned before the first organ I ever played - a vintage, untouched IIP Father Willis. Years later, the then organist decided to have it rebuilt by having the rather small Swell division and Pedal department expanded so that he could play repertoire. Deane's did the work. I was very much against this and said so, but needless to say the organist was determined to have his way - and he did. Whilst I still consider that the deflowering of a virgin Father Willis was the most regrettable vandalism, I would be the first to admit that Deane's did a really first rate job of the greatest artistry. Objectively, the rebuilt organ was far, far more versatile, both for liturgical purposes and repertoire.

 

Ah yes, I recognise this situation as being much more common than the other. Actually I'm not sure how you could ruin a perfectly good organ so as to lead the service and accompany the choir more effectively. If it doesn't do these things in a normal parish church or cathedral setting it can't possibly be a perfectly good organ in the first place, at best a good organ but unfit for purpose.

But this supposes that a "normal parish church" organ needs to be able to accompany a choir. Actually that is rarely the case these days. Sad, but true.

 

A large number of decent, but rarely pefectly good, organs were ruined in 1970s and 80s by the addition of foul, unblending mixtures with the aim of "providing more upperwork". It seems more likely that the intention here was to improve the instruments' ability to play repertoire than anything to do with either congregation or choir (although that may not alway have been how it was justified to the PCC or chapter at the time).

Agreed. I am no more a lover of organs that are all top and no bottom than I am of organs that are all foundations and no upperwork. Give me proper, balanced choruses where the Blockwerk is bright, but the foundations also have body - and the reeds are bright without sounding like rusty hinges. Just a personal view.

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We are to the point here, guys.

The problem with that neo-baroque upperwork that was glued onto

foundation work is you even cannot leave it alone, since romantic

foundation needs its upperwork of its own, that is, for example

that big scale Flageolet, this "stupid" harmonics or tierce Mixture, which

has been removed, and replaced with that thin, screaming stuff; ditto with

the strong string stops (which were sawn into Doublettes), without which

the 8' flue ensemble is dull.

So with such butchered organs you cannot but must mix the water an the fire

in order to try to get something out. And so display the ruins!

There are thousands of examples of this fate on the continent, and I guess

the situation in Britain could be worse than 20 years ago.

 

Pierre

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