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JWAnderson

Loudest Tubas

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Not a tuba, but a candidate for the solo reed to end all solo reeds has got to be the west-end State Trumpet at St John the Divine, New York. Affectionately known as 'The Horn of the Apocalypse' this really has to heard to be believed, and heaven help anyone directly in the firing line. Even sitting in the south transept the effect was devastating unlike any other solo reed I've ever heard... ;)

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Not a tuba, but a candidate for the solo reed to end all solo reeds has got to be the west-end State Trumpet at St John the Divine, New York. Affectionately known as 'The Horn of the Apocalypse' this really has to heard to be believed, and heaven help anyone directly in the firing line. Even sitting in the south transept the effect was devastating unlike any other solo reed I've ever heard... :lol:

 

And here they are!!!

 

DT

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Not a tuba, but a candidate for the solo reed to end all solo reeds has got to be the west-end State Trumpet at St John the Divine, New York. Affectionately known as 'The Horn of the Apocalypse' this really has to heard to be believed, and heaven help anyone directly in the firing line. Even sitting in the south transept the effect was devastating unlike any other solo reed I've ever heard... :lol:

 

 

==============================

 

 

It sounds impressive enough on CD, but hearing it live is one of those organist's "must hear" moments.

 

I hesitate to suggest that it alone is worth the air-fare......but......maybe economy class or stand-by.

 

It makes you really miss a praise band, doesn't it?

 

MM

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==============================

 

 

It sounds impressive enough on CD, but hearing it live is one of those organist's "must hear" moments.

 

I hesitate to suggest that it alone is worth the air-fare......but......maybe economy class or stand-by.

 

It makes you really miss a praise band, doesn't it?

 

MM

 

They demonstrate the organ in St John's once a week - v informal and friendly, and you get invited to the loft and I reckon you could play if you wanted. Look out on You Tube for the demo of this stop by Philip Stopford - (have I got his name right? Yes!) ALL his stuff is top quality (compositions) by the way and well worth listening to on You Tube.

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Has anyone mentioned Hull City Hall yet? There's a Tuba that one dare not use except as a solo stop, and then only fleetingly. (And don't even think about adding it to a chorus: you will probably blast a hole in the walls!) Of course, said instrument boasts an array of impressive and characterful reedwork, so that one is spoilt for choice when it comes to big noises.

 

 

Yes, I did when I referred to Holy Trinity, Hull (24 August), and then went on to suggest that a couple of minutes up Whitefriargate there is an "exquisite Orchestral Trumpet". When I made my suggestions I was not thinking particularly of loudness but more of voicing; although Holy Trinity and the City Hall organs combine voicing with power.

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I was at a recital by James Thomas at Ely Cathedral last Sunday (just got back from UK today). He finished with the Cocker and the Tuba was a several times louder than I was expecting. :D

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Amazing!

 

A

 

 

===========================

 

 

Amazing is the right word. I don't think I can think of many examples of instruments which just fit into the acoustic like a hand in a glove, but what you hear at St John-the-Divine. It's a tribute to the undoubted brilliance of both Skinner and G Donald Harrison.

 

Recordings are one thing, but in that huge building, the instrument just sounds fabulous.

 

To my mind, the party horn at the west end, (held secure by small chains incidentally), may be the tourist attraction, but even without them, this is a must hear instrument.

 

MM

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===========================

 

 

Amazing is the right word. I don't think I can think of many examples of instruments which just fit into the acoustic like a hand in a glove, but what you hear at St John-the-Divine. It's a tribute to the undoubted brilliance of both Skinner and G Donald Harrison.

 

Recordings are one thing, but in that huge building, the instrument just sounds fabulous.

 

To my mind, the party horn at the west end, (held secure by small chains incidentally), may be the tourist attraction, but even without them, this is a must hear instrument.

 

MM

 

I absolutely agree! Although it's not enormous by New York standards (about 120 speaking stops after the recent restoration) or in comparison to the size of the building, the sheer artistry of every register is outstanding. I could take the Solo strings to bed with me.....

 

I played it in 2001. I'm told that it's now better than ever, following an internal redistribution after the fire, which has in effect completed what Donald Harrison was unable to do because of shortage of funds.

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Hi everyone!

 

After spending an hour holding keys and being slightly deafened while the Tuba was being tuned today at Christchurch Cathedral (NZ), this made me ask the question which Tuba in any organ members of this forum would think would be loudest.

 

This Tuba Mirabilis is the loudest in New Zealand, being voiced on 19 inch wind and I have to say it sounds absolutely fantastic, and to top it off there is even a Fanfare Trumpet sticking 'en chamade' out of the transept case! This aside though I suspect compared to some Tubas I have heard of from the UK, it may only come in on the list about 30th.

 

So here's a start:

0. Atlantic City Convention Hall - Grand Ophicleide 16/8' 100" (I'm a bit hesitant to add this one as I do not know if it can be classed as a Tuba or just a loud noise)

1. Liverpool Cathedral - Tuba Magna 8' 50"

..

..

30. Christchurch Cathedral, NZ - Tuba Mirabilis 8' 19"

 

Josh

 

 

At the risk of making myself extremely popular here ( but in reality I don`t actually care ! ) I would beg the question " are there sufficient grounds to class a " Tuba " and its myriad derivatives as being - " musical " ?

 

 

 

 

PS. I should also add just to annoy someone, there's even a Dulciana complete with Vox Angelica which can only just be heard from the console with box open...

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The tubas at St.Pauls Dome are also not the kind of reeds that go by unnoticed :ph34r:

 

 

Was it the Dome tubas or the Chancel ones which were recently replaced by our hosts? I seem to remember that the Trompette Militaire (Wurlitzer!) beats them hands down.

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Was it the Dome tubas or the Chancel ones which were recently replaced by our hosts? I seem to remember that the Trompette Militaire (Wurlitzer!) beats them hands down.

It was the dome tubas (16, 8 & 4) that were replaced in 2008 and, I'm pretty sure, also the two chorus reeds that were moved to the dome from the Solo organ in the 72/77 rebuild. I haven't heard the new ones in the flesh but they sound stunningly magnificent on the Priory DVD by Simon Johnson, and I think they probably give any tuba anywhere a jolly good run for their money, made all the more special by their very location in the dome area, of course. The Trompette Militaire gets maligned because of its provenance but it is superb - surely one of the most magical trumpet stops anywhere in the world. The Royal Trumpets above the west door should not be forgotten, of course!

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It was the dome tubas (16, 8 & 4) that were replaced in 2008 and, I'm pretty sure, also the two chorus reeds that were moved to the dome from the Solo organ in the 72/77 rebuild. I haven't heard the new ones in the flesh but they sound stunningly magnificent on the Priory DVD by Simon Johnson, and I think they probably give any tuba anywhere a jolly good run for their money, made all the more special by their very location in the dome area, of course. The Trompette Militaire gets maligned because of its provenance but it is superb - surely one of the most magical trumpet stops anywhere in the world. The Royal Trumpets above the west door should not be forgotten, of course!

 

 

========================================

 

 

 

I think the Wurlitzer provenance is slightly misunderstood. I recall a long discussion about this rank, and something to do with Willis 3 claiming it as his own work, when it was a standard Wurlitzer Post Horn. However, so far as I recall, Wulitzer did not make their own Post Horns, which have spun-brass tubes. I'll try and find out the maker, but I'm fairly certain that they were made by a supplier who also supplied spun-brass chamades to many of the other US organ-builders.

 

Wurlitzer spec it may be, (and to the usual magnificent quality of reed-voicing), but it's typical of the finest US reeds, which are often quite outstanding.

 

MM

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========================================

 

 

...but I'm fairly certain that they were made by a supplier who also supplied spun-brass chamades to many of the other US organ-builders.

 

MM

 

GOTTFRIED is the name that comes to mind.

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My understanding is that Willis III ordered the rank from Midmer Losh, who were busy and subcontracted it out to Wurlitzer, who supplied a standard brass trumpet as found in their theatre organs. I wouldn't, on that account, criticize because it's a wonderful stop. Also, I remember Dennis Thurlow demonstrating a wide range of tone colours which could be got from a single Wurlitzer reed pipe and therefore I wouldn't minimise Willis's artistry in producing what he did from the material he had.

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========================================

 

 

 

I think the Wurlitzer provenance is slightly misunderstood. I recall a long discussion about this rank, and something to do with Willis 3 claiming it as his own work, when it was a standard Wurlitzer Post Horn. However, so far as I recall, Wulitzer did not make their own Post Horns, which have spun-brass tubes. I'll try and find out the maker, but I'm fairly certain that they were made by a supplier who also supplied spun-brass chamades to many of the other US organ-builders.

 

Wurlitzer spec it may be, (and to the usual magnificent quality of reed-voicing), but it's typical of the finest US reeds, which are often quite outstanding.

 

MM

 

 

Henry III did NOT ever claim it as his own work.

 

It was ordered from Gottfried as he's heard a similar one while in the US in 1928. When it arrived, unfortunately they'd supplied it fully 'fitted up' so he had the metalshop strip it out and re-fit it with Willis shallots and it was voiced by the Ferndale Road staff. I've heard Henry III bashers say that he just got it and put it into the organ: I don't really think that that was the way he worked!!

 

DW (from Auckland)

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Henry III did NOT ever claim it as his own work.

 

It was ordered from Gottfried as he's heard a similar one while in the US in 1928. When it arrived, unfortunately they'd supplied it fully 'fitted up' so he had the metalshop strip it out and re-fit it with Willis shallots and it was voiced by the Ferndale Road staff. I've heard Henry III bashers say that he just got it and put it into the organ: I don't really think that that was the way he worked!!

 

DW (from Auckland)

 

 

Thank-you. I don't think anyone could argue with that. Presumably Willis would not have had the facilities to make a brass trumpet, so he would naturally have ordered it in. From then on, the treatment it received would have resulted in a 'Willis' stop and nothing else.

 

Willis's own review in 'The Rotunda' could, I think, be interpreted as a claim that he had invented something new. At the very least, as finished and installed, it was certainly a first in the UK. In the same way, although Willis praised the efficient electric actions he found in the USA, he did not hint at the extent to which his new electric consoles were indebted to Skinner. Or, indeed, that 'The Rotunda' had a US equivalent in Skinner's 'Stop, Open and Reed'. But this is all legitimate marketing and doesn't detract from Willis's achievement.

 

I'm a great Willis III fan!

 

I hope the Auckland job is going well and that the result meets, and exceeds, your expectations.

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Henry III did NOT ever claim it as his own work.

 

It was ordered from Gottfried as he's heard a similar one while in the US in 1928. When it arrived, unfortunately they'd supplied it fully 'fitted up' so he had the metalshop strip it out and re-fit it with Willis shallots and it was voiced by the Ferndale Road staff. I've heard Henry III bashers say that he just got it and put it into the organ: I don't really think that that was the way he worked!!

 

DW (from Auckland)

 

I would have thought that DW would know as much about this as anyone, but for the sake of discussion, there is at least one other 'take' on the story, for instance this from the Organ Recitals website (http://www.organrecitals.com/stpauls.php):

 

"The Tuba organ's new stop, the Trompette Militaire, was to become, arguably, the instrument's most famous voice. It was donated by Henry Willis III who, essentially, sought to give the impression that it was of his own making. In fact, he acquired the stop from the American firm of Anton Gottfried, having been previously introduced to it by Emerson Richards, the designer of the mammoth organ in the Atlantic City Convention Hall... Willis said that, when the pipes arrived, he threw away the tone-producing components (i.e. shallot, tongue, etc.) and replaced them with his own but, actually, he did no such thing. The fact of the matter is that he made no changes whatsoever to the stop, although he did have the Gottfried stamp on the block of the bottom C pipe scratched out!"

 

The author of the article doesn't cite any sources that I can see.

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I would have thought that DW would know as much about this as anyone, but for the sake of discussion, there is at least one other 'take' on the story, for instance this from the Organ Recitals website (http://www.organrecitals.com/stpauls.php):

 

The author of the article doesn't cite any sources that I can see.

 

 

There isn't any point for discussion - As there are no sources, as you say, for the 'other' opinion, it's difficult to argue the point anyway I think.

It should be remembered that the stop was a gift of the firm - he was entitled to do with it whatever he pleased.

 

As a matter of interest, we've just completed a Trompette Militaire in the Auckland instrument, fitted up entirely with Willis shallots, not Gottfried ones, and it sounds extraordinarily similar. There are also Bombard 16, Tuba 8 and Tuba Clarion 4, which should carry a health warning! We'll be putting up an mp3 file on the webpage shortly at http://www.willis-organs.com/auckland_general.html where there are also pictures of the installation.

 

DW

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