Guest Cynic Posted August 22, 2009 Share Posted August 22, 2009 It is not often that one meets a new gadget (let alone one that is immediately intelligible in use) and last week I met something for the first time which struck me as a very good idea indeed. It is on the 2005 Eule organ in St.Sebastian's Cathedral, Magdeburg. This is a simply stunning new instrument of some size, although the cathedral itself is not particularly large. I could write about it at length, maybe later I'll put a link so that you can all read about it. I would describe it as an unqualified success, a real credit to the makers and to the cathedral organist Matthias Mueck who designed it. Above the stops of the Swell (which for excitement can match St.Mary Redcliffe, and for subtlety can beat it!) is an additional stop handle. It is a hand-draw for the swell shutters. It is linked in directly, so that both always move together. This is not just so that an assistant can open the box when the player has both feet busy (like the opening of the Reubke) but it has other advantages. The handle comes out about twice as far as all the other stops, but this makes it lighter to draw and gives more opportunity for the range of the swell to be illustrated visually. If I want to know just how nearly shut the box is - not wanting to have used the last drop, as it were - a quick glance tells me. Generally the foot may know there's a little bit to go, but not often just how much. A happy idea is that darker-coloured wood has been dovetailed into the shaft in the shape of a crescendo mark. They could catch on! I want one, anyway. [Pity that it wouldn't work on either of my two consoles. First of all, I have two boxes already and no room for more stop-heads, on the larger of my consoles (ex Tewkesbury Abbey), it's all stop tabs and there will be four boxes.] Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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