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... So what vanished ? The elements that provided:

 

1)- Gravity and filling ...

 

 

Pierre

 

One other point. I am also not sure that the instrument is now lacking in gravity, at any rate. With an acoustic 64ft. and three full length 32ft. flues on the Pedal organ, a 32ft. flue (partly shared with a Pedal rank) and nine 16ft. flues spread over four of the five claivers. When I have heard this instrument live, the one thing it appeared to have in abundance was gravity - or, if you prefer, gravitas.

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Guest Cynic
One other point. I am also not sure that the instrument is now lacking in gravity, at any rate. With an acoustic 64ft. and three full length 32ft. flues on the Pedal organ, a 32ft. flue (partly shared with a Pedal rank) and nine 16ft. flues spread over four of the five claivers. When I have heard this instrument live, the one thing it appeared to have in abundance was gravity - or, if you prefer, gravitas.

 

 

I agree.

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Now I am really confused....

 

I have just found one of the Liverpool booklets (I cannot presently locate both) and it gives an almost identical mixture scheme to that listed by Cynic in his 1965 booklet - with two exceptions: the Pedal III rank Mixture is given as 15-19-22 (instead of 17-19-22) and the Grand Chorus also possesses a sub-unison and a unison rank. The problem is, my booklet is a third edition and is dated 1982 - around four years after the completion of the work undertaken by H&H, which they commenced on October, 1976. This work, in addition to revoicing the Pedal Bombardes and the Tuba Magna, included 'some revision of the mixtures' (Elvin).

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I have in front of me the 1965 booklet 'The organs of Liverpool Cathedral' written by Noel Rawsthorne.

 

I too still have my copy of this.

However, I do remember someone once lending me a much earlier booklet describing the organ which may well have been one of these by R. Meyrick-Roberts; listed here on one of my favourite web-sites: Abe Books.

I think it featured photos of the stop jambs. It is probably your best bet for determining the original composition of the mixtures, unless David Wylde feels like contributing!

 

Whilst we are on the subject, what's the correct story about the removal of the original nave console and what what happened to it?

 

DT

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Further research (amongst my back-issues of The Organ) has revealed the following:

 

In an article written by Sydney W. Harvey at least three months before the official opening of the organ of Liverpool Cathedral (which took place on 19th July 1924), the mixture scheme is almost identical to that given by Cynic with, of course, the exception of the three-rank Cimbel on the unenclosed section of the Choir Organ.

 

However, the author also states that the schemes of the compound stops of the G.O. and Swell Organ were 'recast since originally specified'. Therefore, in a sense nothing actually 'vanished' - it was simply never there in the first place.

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SNIP!!!

 

Whilst we are on the subject, what's the correct story about the removal of the original nave console and what what happened to it?

 

DT

I asked this some time ago and was hushed by none other than the Lord of the House of Willis....

 

The reason for my curiosity was/is whether there is a mammoth five manual console floating about somewhere; but I never did learn the answer.

 

Q

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Guest Cynic
Further research (amongst my back-issues of The Organ) has revealed the following:

 

In an article written by Sydney W. Harvey at least three months before the official opening of the organ of Liverpool Cathedral (which took place on 19th July 1924), the mixture scheme is almost identical to that given by Cynic with, of course, the exception of the three-rank Cymbal on the unenclosed section of the Choir Organ.

 

However, the author also states that the schemes of the compound stops of the G.O. and Swell Organ were 'recast since originally specified'. Therefore, in a sense nothing actually 'vanished' - it was simply never there in the first place.

 

 

Sorry.... in his recent postings is pcnd seriously suggesting that neither Noel Rawsthorne nor Willis staff were aware in 1965 that the Tierces had gone in 1924? Surely, this has to be rubbish! Neither the organ-builders or NR could possibly be that much mistaken. Remember, it was NR who asked for several changes to be made later - why change the mixtures if they are already 'in line with modern thought'?

 

I think the comment about changes of specification is correct, but this happed right back the the start. I have here the official booklet of the Opening of the new cathedral in 1924 - it runs to 122 pages and itemises in detail all the fittings and includes such detail as listing all respective donors.

 

The important paragraph concerning the organ and specification changes runs as follows (page 82):

'The original specification was drawn up by Mr.W.J.Ridley, the donor's nephew, in consultation with Mssrs.Willis and Co. Subsequently (i.e. before or as the organ was built) the specification was modified, Mr.H.Goss-Custard, the Cathedral organist, acting as adviser and consultant to the Cathedral Committee.'

 

In this booklet (1924) the mixtures are all as given above in the 1965 booklet with the single exception of the Choir organ, where no Cimbal appears (IMHO this is probably a 1940 Willis stop).

 

I make no claim to be an authority on the subject, I merely refer to documents in my collection. To repeatedly tell us all that we can't hear tierces on old recordings, or that all documentation about tierces must be inaccurate is asking rather a lot. Isn't the obvious explanation that someone elsewhere (much more recently) got it ever so slightly wrong?

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Sorry.... in his recent postings is pcnd seriously suggesting that neither Noel Rawsthorne nor Willis staff were aware in 1965 that the Tierces had gone in 1924? Surely, this has to be rubbish!

 

No, of course not. The latter post was intended to clarify Pierre's earlier post.

 

However, I do wonder why the information givne in the booklets is clearly at odds with what is actually present in the instrument.

 

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I asked this some time ago and was hushed by none other than the Lord of the House of Willis....

 

The reason for my curiosity was/is whether there is a mammoth five manual console floating about somewhere; but I never did learn the answer.

 

Q

 

This had already been covered earlier in another thread (30th Oct 2006) at which time was said:

 

Quote: JEPHTHA

" As for the fate of the five-manual 1940 console, it was disconnected by 1965, when the mobile two-manual console was installed, and removed from the cathedral in the early 1970s (by Willis, I think)".

 

 

The 5-manual nave console was indeed removed by Willis, much to the consternation of the authorities! Mr. Willis sent several men with trolleys etc., to dismantle and remove it and when there were protestations made ..... "you can't do that!"... he arrived calmly carrying the contract and other relevant paperwork which demonstrated quite obviously that it had never been paid for. :P

 

A common problem isn't it? Those who should know better, often forget from where they've had the greatest support.

 

I have the 'remains' - as Jeptha so politely referred to it - in the factory here. All interesting stuff.

 

David Wyld

Henry Willis & Sons

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Sorry.... in his recent postings is pcnd seriously suggesting that neither Noel Rawsthorne nor Willis staff were aware in 1965 that the Tierces had gone in 1924? Surely, this has to be rubbish! Neither the organ-builders or NR could possibly be that much mistaken. Remember, it was NR who asked for several changes to be made later - why change the mixtures if they are already 'in line with modern thought'?

 

I think the comment about changes of specification is correct, but this happed right back the the start. I have here the official booklet of the Opening of the new cathedral in 1924 - it runs to 122 pages and itemises in detail all the fittings and includes such detail as listing all respective donors.

 

The important paragraph concerning the organ and specification changes runs as follows (page 82):

'The original specification was drawn up by Mr.W.J.Ridley, the donor's nephew, in consultation with Mssrs.Willis and Co. Subsequently (i.e. before or as the organ was built) the specification was modified, Mr.H.Goss-Custard, the Cathedral organist, acting as adviser and consultant to the Cathedral Committee.'

 

In this booklet (1924) the mixtures are all as given above in the 1965 booklet with the single exception of the Choir organ, where no Cimbal appears (IMHO this is probably a 1940 Willis stop).

 

I make no claim to be an authority on the subject, I merely refer to documents in my collection. To repeatedly tell us all that we can't hear tierces on old recordings, or that all documentation about tierces must be inaccurate is asking rather a lot. Isn't the obvious explanation that someone elsewhere (much more recently) got it ever so slightly wrong?

 

Paul is almost certainly right - on several points here:

 

In the original scheme, every division had a Mixture which incorporated a Septième: these were all removed from he scheme before the organ was installed.

 

I would need to get out the files to confirm, but I reckon it's a pretty safe bet that ALL of the Tierces were still there and were definately NOT removed at the whim of Goss-Custard. These records should also confirm, or not, Paul's suggestion that the Cimbal was a 1940 addition.

 

As to the possibility of 'someone' getting it wrong - this is quite reasonable given that there is a culture in that place of never being wrong, always having a quick answer and not bothering to check facts.

 

On a different note: an earlier posting to this thread commented on the original specification for the Echo Organ. I would be VERY surprised if that could be achieved for the £86,000 quoted (is this a mistake David?), also at the suggestion that it would all be voiced 'in style'!

 

We have the original designs and I suspect that it would bear little resemblance to what might be being discussed, like the Central Space stuff.

 

It all seems rather academic anyway, especially given the current climate and the fact that practically nothing happened when a similar appeal was mounted for St. George's Hall.

 

DW

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On a different note: an earlier posting to this thread commented on the original specification for the Echo Organ. I would be VERY surprised if that could be achieved for the £86,000 quoted (is this a mistake David?),

 

No mistake; but I don't think the wording necessarily implies that an Echo Organ would be built to the 'original specification'.

I too would be most surprised.

 

DT

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Tierce mixtures are mandatory in Bach since this was what he had under his fingers

in 90% of the organs he ever played.

 

-The Tierce in french organs.

 

During the Renaissance and early baroque period, the french Principal chorus

knew tierce ranks, be it in Ripieno organs (there is a description in Arnaut de Zwolle

of a such organ, with all ranks seperated like in italian or english organs, with

a 4/5' rank), or sometimes in the Blockwerk kind (Dijon).

 

When the flemish masters worked in France (Langhedul & Co), they introduced

there the "chorus Sesquialtera", typical of the flemish, dutch and british kind, that is,

1 1/3'- 4/5' in the bass, then a break to 2 2/3'- 1 3/5', Principal scales, to be used

within the Principal chorus.

Later Mersenne described a "Tiercelette" 4/5' rank, so it became an isolated rank.

 

During the 17th century a move took place towards the exclusion of the tierce from the

Principal chorus and its developpment to the extreme, on the other hand, in the Flute chorus:

3 1/5' rank on the Great or Bombarde manual, Tierce 1 3/5' on all the manuals, plus several Cornets, all wide scale but

different from each others, from the gentle, mellow, singing Stop on the Positif up to the bold,

loud Grand Cornet on the Great, just behind the Montre.

 

So it was clear: a Principal Chorus without Tierce ranks, played with no reeds whatsoever

(save the Pedal Trompette of course), and a big Flute chorus, crammed with tierces,

to which one can add the reeds.

 

Do not believe those french quint mixtures were intended for the polyphony; quite the reverse

is true. The "Plein-jeu" was meant for solemnity -imagine the priest entering the church followed

by a procession-, and was played in chords. Do not expect any "Ti-tu-tah" there.

 

And so the french baroque organ ended up divided in two parts, exactly at the time the german one

made the reverse way, that is, the fusion of the "Engchor" and the "Weitchor" in an integrated ensemble.

 

The neo-baroque made a *mixture* with that, and produced an organ vaguely "german", but divided

in two, with french-like quint mixtures (after Dupré's Diktat) meant for....Polyphony, with no possibility

to add a tierce (Neo-baroque Sesquis are flutey soloists, not the real baroque thing!) in it.

 

In fact the Tierce choruses were not really meant for polyphony, but rather for climaxes.

In a baroque organ from central germany, you'd better either use a "Grand jeu" kind of

registration, also with the reeds, either restrain to 8-4-2, or 8-8-8-4-4-2 2/3'-2' (and all

what can be done within thoses boundaries).

 

We are far from the quint mixtures which have been glued onto post-romantic big jobs,

but I guess some people will understand why they drive me mad...

 

Liverpool has not been build for neo-baroque re-interpretation of Bach "The Singer machine way",

but rather for the Vierne Mass. PAM; PAM-PAMPAM-PAM....There, like in Notre-Dame, the Septiemes

aren't anti-social, but to the point as filling helpers.

 

Pierre

This is all good stuff and has been aired before countless times on this forum. I for one love gritty Bach on low-pitched tierce choruses (tho I still hear echoes of my teachers' chagrin if I dare add reeds to fugues, so strong is the habit of not doing so). But what about the long tradition (in the UK at least) of quint mixtures on Romantic organs - often topped by a Sharp Mixture too (mid-century Hill, Nicholson et al)? Was Schulze the only force behind this? And so what of he was? It sounds wonderful (and you can hear the inner parts)!

 

And what about the numerous baroque organs (especially in North Germany and the Netherlands) with (predominantly) quint choruses at high pitches?

 

Are you saying the 'organo pleno' of manuals to quint mixture; pedals to mixture plus 16' reed is purely a Dupré/post Dupré fancy?

 

Bach fugues with reeds can sound so tiresome; without Mixtures they can sound so dull.

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"Are you saying the 'organo pleno' of manuals to quint mixture; pedals to mixture plus 16' reed is purely a Dupré/post Dupré fancy?"

 

Yes.

A Dupré way, but under way since the teaching of Lemmens.

At least in Bach, this is not historically correct. And yes, you

may surely use reeds in the fugues, the "french" way !

 

"And what about the numerous baroque organs (especially in North Germany and the Netherlands) with (predominantly) quint choruses at high pitches?"

(Quote)

 

Those belong to a completely different Orgellandschaft. And note

their Sesquialteras and Terzians, which are chorus stops.

 

Pierre

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"Are you saying the 'organo pleno' of manuals to quint mixture; pedals to mixture plus 16' reed is purely a Dupré/post Dupré fancy?"

 

Yes.

A Dupré way, but under way since the teaching of Lemmens.

At least in Bach, this is not historically correct. And yes, you

may surely use reeds in the fugues, the "french" way !

 

"And what about the numerous baroque organs (especially in North Germany and the Netherlands) with (predominantly) quint choruses at high pitches?"

(Quote)

 

Those belong to a completely different Orgellandschaft. And note

their Sesquialteras and Terzians, which are chorus stops.

 

Pierre

"But what about the long tradition (in the UK at least) of quint mixtures on Romantic organs - often topped by a Sharp Mixture too (mid-century Hill, Nicholson et al)? Was Schulze the only force behind this? And so what of he was? It sounds wonderful (and you can hear the inner parts)!"

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This is all good stuff and has been aired before countless times on this forum. I for one love gritty Bach on low-pitched tierce choruses (tho I still hear echoes of my teachers' chagrin if I dare add reeds to fugues, so strong is the habit of not doing so). But what about the long tradition (in the UK at least) of quint mixtures on Romantic organs - often topped by a Sharp Mixture too (mid-century Hill, Nicholson et al)? Was Schulze the only force behind this? And so what of he was? It sounds wonderful (and you can hear the inner parts)!

 

And what about the numerous baroque organs (especially in North Germany and the Netherlands) with (predominantly) quint choruses at high pitches?

 

Are you saying the 'organo pleno' of manuals to quint mixture; pedals to mixture plus 16' reed is purely a Dupré/post Dupré fancy?

 

Bach fugues with reeds can sound so tiresome; without Mixtures they can sound so dull.

 

Absolutely! I agree completely with this, Ian.

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Save Schulze and his followers, I do not know of much tierce-less choruses

in british organs -baroque included, with their Sesquialteras, identical to the flemish ones-.

Schulze was an inheritor of both northern and Silbermann traditions. Silbermann,

an outsider in the saxon scene with his frenchified Mixtures, who preferred

to isolate the Tierce on a seperate rank if those crazy guys really wanted it !

As for Hill, wasn't he influenced by a certain Neukomm, a good friend

of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll ?

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Save Schulze and his followers, I do not know of much tierce-less choruses

in british organs -baroque included, with their Sesquialteras, identical to the flemish ones-.

Schulze was an inheritor of both northern and Silbermann traditions. Silbermann,

an outsider in the saxon scene with his frenchified Mixtures, who preferred

to isolate the Tierce on a seperate rank if those crazy guys really wanted it !

As for Hill, wasn't he influenced by a certain Neukomm, a good friend

of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll ?

Thanks. That's very interesting. Pity Silbermann was hailed as definitive for Bach for so many years in the 20th century (Bach disliked his Mixtures, I believe). Actually, you'll often find a tierce lurking in Hill choruses (if only in the bottom octave of the Sw mixture, or even in a Swell Cymbal as in his glorious Peterborough creation). Even John Nicholson included a principal scale tierce (and larigot) on separate sliders for those crazy guys...

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Isn't a worrying state of affairs when Liverpool Cathedral has announced their intention to spend so much money on the organ, and it seems impossible to even assertain what the mixture compositions were a generation ago!? The instrument's historic significance seems only to be fully understood by our excellent Belgian colleague!

 

"We have the original designs and I suspect that it would bear little resemblance to what might be being discussed"

 

If the Echo is seriously being contemplated, why consider any other scheme than that proposed at the organ's conception? (was this extraordinary division really built and then bombed in the railway siding?) Could anyone think of a more wonderful Echo division?

 

I would be delighted should David Wyld dig into the Willis archives and answer the mixture questions definitively.

 

"Bach fugues with reeds can sound so tiresome; without Mixtures they can sound so dull."

 

On many organs Bach fugues sound dull no matter how you play them. Play something else, or play a different organ. But, please, no more organs with only (too) high quint mixtures, with no variety, no tierces, no 5 1/3 quints. The dogmas of the neo-baroque have died very very hard in Britain.

 

Bazuin

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Thanks. That's very interesting. Pity Silbermann was hailed as definitive for Bach for so many years in the 20th century (Bach disliked his Mixtures, I believe). Actually, you'll often find a tierce lurking in Hill choruses (if only in the bottom octave of the Sw mixture, or even in a Swell Cymbal as in his glorious Peterborough creation). Even John Nicholson included a principal scale tierce (and larigot) on separate sliders for those crazy guys...

(Quote, bold by myself)

 

Of course !

 

30 years ago in Belgium, Gottfried Silbermann was the only saxon builder

the guys knew of.

Bach disagreeded with his tuning and his Mixtures. But to be honest, we do

not know if the absence of the tierce was a problem; he simply said

"french mixtures are too deep in the treble", that is, too deep breaks.

 

Save in Silbermann and, maybe (I am not sure!) Hildebrand organs, every time

I ever found a Mixture specification belonging to a central german organ, there

was a tierce rank in it.

 

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
Just one small point. I am not sure that a mixture commencing 19-22-24-26-29 at C1 could be described as being 'very high pitched'. I am fairly sure that I have read of instances af old Dutch (and possibly German) organs which contained cymbal-type compound stops which began at 29-33-36 and even higher. Given time, I shall attempt to locate the information.

 

In the meantime, I am also puzzled about the apparent discrepancy of the history of the Liverpool mixtures.

 

 

The organ needs returning.

 

And not just the mixtures.

 

R

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Bach disagreeded with his tuning and his Mixtures. But to be honest, we do not know if the absence of the tierce was a problem; he simply said "french mixtures are too deep in the treble", that is, too deep breaks.

Which might be not too much of an issue in Plein jeu type textures, but rather suggests that Bach wanted mixtures that could be used in more actively contrapuntal music without destroying its clarity - tierces or not.

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More polyphonic Mixtures than those in french organs: yes !

But not to be used all the time, as any visit to Altenburg, Waltershausen

or Angermünde will show everyone.

 

Bach fugues boring without Mixtures ? As Bazuin said, then it is the organ

which isn't suited for Bach. German baroque jeux de fond at 8' pitch

were extremely varied in color, transparent, precise in speech, and you have

octave, super-octave and Mutations stops enough to complete them when useful.

The Mixtures are there for climaxes, with or without the Trompete (often in tin-plate,

very resonant).

 

Back to Liverpool, as Bazuin suggested, maybe the best solution would be

the simplest one: have Willis & Sons bringing it back to its original state,

according to first-hand archives.

Again, this won't please everyone. But no other solution would please

everybody, as well....So at least that one would ensure a benefit: an historic organ

of world-class value, recognized as such worldwide.

 

Why go for a fast food if you can have Grande cuisine ?

Ambition isn't pedantry if there is something behind it !

 

Pierre

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Back to Liverpool, as Bazuin suggested, maybe the best solution would be

the simplest one: have Willis & Sons bringing it back to its original state,

according to first-hand archives.

Again, this won't please everyone. But no other solution would please

everybody, as well....So at least that one would ensure a benefit: an historic organ

of world-class value, recognized as such worldwide.

 

Why go for a fast food if you can have Grande cuisine ?

Ambition isn't pedantry if there is something behind it !

 

Pierre

In principle, with this organ I would tend to agree. If there are enough resources to add an echo organ, then I would have thought returning the instrument, and, if wanted, keeping the current unenclosed choir, resited, is a possibility. All that concerns me is the documentary or anecdotal evidence, or lack of it, of the little tweaks that are inevitably made to many organs as the players get used to them and hear how they function. These are not the changes presented as changes, but those which happen behind the scenes. We say boldly that the organ was so good when installed that it didn't need changing when the cathedral was finished. Ostensibly that seems to be the case, but what about for example, pushing the trebles of the top 2 ranks of a great mixture, which can be undocumented, and carried out during a 'tuning' visit. Just a note of caution, not everything is exactly as it seems or is reported to be.

 

AJS

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I was never aware that an Echo Organ was planned in the original scheme for Liverpool - most interesting. It would seem to be a similar case at Westminster Abbey - where, I believe an Echo/Celestial organ is in existence, but not connected (perhaps another board member can confirm this), although I don't think I've ever heard of any plans to reconnect this section of the organ. However, in the case of Liverpool, the sum quoted to install such a division does indeed seem to be somewhat under what I'd imagine, as suggested by others.

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Guest Cynic
I was never aware that an Echo Organ was planned in the original scheme for Liverpool - most interesting. It would seem to be a similar case at Westminster Abbey - where, I believe an Echo/Celestial organ is in existence, but not connected (perhaps another board member can confirm this), although I don't think I've ever heard of any plans to reconnect this section of the organ. However, in the case of Liverpool, the sum quoted to install such a division does indeed seem to be somewhat under what I'd imagine, as suggested by others.

 

 

More about the Westminster Abbey Celestial Organ here.

http://www.organrecitals.com/westabbey.php

I'm sure that I have seen photographs of it somewhere too... possibly in an article by H&H's main London man, Andrew Scott.

Anyone got this?

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