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If You Won The Lottery...


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This is a completely silly question, but I found myself wondering this today and didn't have an answer.

 

If you had won £45.5m on the lottery yesterday and decided to build your own personal pipe organ (in your house or custom-built edifice), how big an organ would you build and who would you get to build it?

 

Oh, and I'm sure that several of you would rather spend it on helping the poor of the world, but can we take those sort of replies as read, please?

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We just had a similar thread on Organographia...

 

My toy:

 

First division:in the living room, against the kitchen wall:

 

MANUAL I

 

Outside the swellbox:

 

Open Diapason 8'

Dulciana 8'

 

Under expression:

 

Dulciana 4'

Dulciana Mixture 3 ranks.

 

C: 2'- 1 1/3'- 1'

c2: 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 1/3'

c3: 4'- 2 2/3'- 2'

 

First division, second clavier: GRAND-JEU (in the same box)

Lieblich Gedackt 8'

Physharmonika 8'

Dulciana Cornet 4r (Can be drawn with the Dulciana Mixture)

 

C: 4'- 2'- 1 1/3'- 4/5'

c1: 4'- 2'- 1 3/5'- 1 1/3'

c4: 3 1/5'- 4'- 2 2/3'- 2'

 

Second division: : SWELL ORGAN, in the kitchen, behind the first division,

with the shutters opening into its swellbox:

 

Zauberflöte 8'

Aeoline 8'

Voix céleste 8'

Zauberflöte 4'

Octavin 2'

Basson-Hautbois 8'

 

Third division, fourth manual division: upstairs, with a channel conveying the sound

to the living room(with shutters):

 

FERNWERK-SOLO:

 

Flauto Dolce 8'

Flûte celeste (cf. Skinner)

Flauto Dolce 4'

Unda-Maris 4' (cf Skinner)

Harmonia aetherea 3r 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5'

Clarinette 8' (free reeds)

Tromba 8' (cf A.Harrison)

 

PEDAL

 

Soubasse 16'

Octave 8' (ext 16')

Serpent 16' (ext Physharmonika)

 

-All couplers, including 16' ans 4',

-Claviers 61 notes, chests 73 (true 4' couplers)

-electro-pneumatic action with Taschenladen windchests

-Movable Console

-Négociations with Madame to be carried over.

 

Pierre

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This is an unusual scheme, Pierre. I am not surprised at the plethora of dulciana-type ranks, but I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme, other than a few quiet pieces and the odd etherial improvisation. However, it is your (virtual) money and you are of course free to do as you wish - Madame notwithstanding, naturally....

 

This is an interesting idea, though. I am torn between wishing to set up a national fund which would provide money to maintain worthy instruments - each instrument put forward would have to meet some criterior, naturally; or simply buying or building a large house with a concert hall or chapel built in the grounds.

 

If I choose the latter, I think that I would desire something like this:

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Sub Bourdon (Ext) 32

Violone (M) 16

Bourdon 16

Salicional 16

Octave (M) 8

Violoncello (M) 8

Flute (Open W) 8

Viola 4

Mixture (12-19-22) III

Contra Bassoon (W) 32

Grand Bombarde (M) 16

Trumpet 8

Choir to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

CHOIR ORGAN

 

Stopped Diapason 8

Clarionet Flute 8*

Dulciana 8*

Vox Angelica (AA) 8*

Principal 4

Stopped Flute 4

Flautina 2

Doublette (15-22) II

Cremona 8

Tremulant

Grand Cornet (1-8-12-15-17: TG) V

Grand Ophicleide 8

Sub Octave

Swell to Choir

 

(* Enclosed)

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Double Diapason (W + M) 16

Open Diapason 8

Rohr Flute 8

Wald Flute 8

Cone Gamba 8

Principal 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19-22-26-29)

Posaune 8

Clarion 4

Choir to Great

Choir Sub Octave to Great

Swell to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Suabe Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (15-19-22) III

Double Trumpet 16

Hautboy 8

Cornopean 8

Clarion 4

Tremulant

 

Mechanical action, with Barker lever assistance to Great and Choir organs.

Mechanical stop action, with composition pedals, but with central balanced

crescendo pedals to the Choir and Swell organs.

 

WIND PRESSURES

 

PEDAL ORGAN

Flues 75mm (Salicional and Violoncello), remainder 100mm; Reeds 150mm.

 

CHOIR ORGAN

Flues and Cremona 75mm; Ophicleide 175mm.

GREAT ORGAN

Flues 85mm; Reeds 150mm.

SWELL ORGAN

Flues 75mm; Reeds 100mm.

 

Concert hall dimensions: Length: 80ft., Width: 25ft.; Height: 40ft. Walls stone, with hard plaster facing. Hardwood floor. ceiling, shallow barrel vault, faced with hard plaster. Six lancet windows in stone frames either side. Organ placed centrally at one end in gallery twelve feet from floor. Case of oak: front and sides. No tone cabinets, as such.

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This is an unusual scheme, Pierre. I am not surprised at the plethora of dulciana-type ranks, but I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme, other than a few quiet pieces and the odd etherial improvisation. However, it is your (virtual) money and you are of course free to do as you wish - Madame notwithstanding, naturally....

 

This is an interesting idea, though. I am torn between wishing to set up a national fund which would provide money to maintain worthy instruments - each instrument put forward would have to meet some criterior, naturally; or simply buying or building a large house with a concert hall or chapel built in the grounds.

 

If I choose the latter, I think that I would desire something like this:

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Sub Bourdon (Ext) 32

Violone (M) 16

Bourdon 16

Salicional 16

Octave (M) 8

Violoncello (M) 8

Flute (Open W) 8

Viola 4

Mixture (12-19-22) III

Contra Bassoon (W) 32

Grand Bombarde (M) 16

Trumpet 8

Choir to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

CHOIR ORGAN

 

Stopped Diapason 8

Clarionet Flute 8*

Dulciana 8*

Vox Angelica (AA) 8*

Principal 4

Stopped Flute 4

Flautina 2

Doublette (15-22) II

Cremona 8

Tremulant

Grand Cornet (1-8-12-15-17: TG) V

Grand Ophicleide 8

Sub Octave

Swell to Choir

 

(* Enclosed)

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Double Diapason (W + M) 16

Open Diapason 8

Rohr Flute 8

Wald Flute 8

Cone Gamba 8

Principal 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19-22-26-29)

Posaune 8

Clarion 4

Choir to Great

Choir Sub Octave to Great

Swell to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Suabe Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (15-19-22) III

Double Trumpet 16

Hautboy 8

Cornopean 8

Clarion 4

Tremulant

 

Mechanical action, with Barker lever assistance to Great and Choir organs.

Mechanical stop action, with composition pedals, but with central balanced

crescendo pedal to the Swell Organ.

 

WIND PRESSURES

 

PEDAL ORGAN

Flues 75mm (Salicional and Violoncello), remainder 100mm; Reeds 150mm.

 

CHOIR ORGAN

Flues and Cremona 75mm; Ophicleide 175mm.

GREAT ORGAN

Flues 85mm; Reeds 150mm.

SWELL ORGAN

Flues 75mm; Reeds 100mm.

 

Concert hall dimensions: Length: 80ft., Width: 25ft.; Height: 40ft. Walls stone, with hard plaster facing. Hardwood floor. ceiling, shallow barrel vault, faced with hard plaster. Six lancet windows in stone frames either side. Organ placed centrally at one end in gallery twelve feet from floor. Case of oak: front and sides. No tone cabinets, as such.

 

 

Nice one - I'd add a Tierce to the Great.

 

A

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Well, I think I'd go for something like this:

 

Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Hohl Flote 8

Viola 8

Principal 4

Mixture (12-15)

 

Swell to Great 16-8-4

Choir to Great 16-8-4

 

Swell Organ

Bordun 16

Violin Diapason 8

Rohr Flote 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Hautboy 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

Sub Octave

 

Choir Organ

Lieblich Gedact 8

Echo Dulciana 8

Vox Angelica 8 (TC)

Flute 4

Clarionet 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

Sub Octave

Swell to Choir

 

Pedal Organ

Bourdon 16

Echo Bass 16 (from Sw)

Violoncello 8

Bassoon 16

 

Great to Pedal 8-4

Swell to Pedal 8-4

Choir to Pedal 8-4

 

I think most of this could be achieved using pneumatic action, but what does everyone think about the amount of couplers?

I think that I may have over-coupled the organ a bit, but it could also add more flexibility?

 

JA

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" I am not surprised at the plethora of dulciana-type ranks, but I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme, other than a few quiet pieces and the odd etherial improvisation. "

(Quote)

 

This is a project for a living-room, a chamber organ. In such a place, the Dulciana

-voiced along traditionnal lines, also not stringy- will give the effect

of an Open Diapason.

So the backbone of the tonal structure will be a Dulciana chorus

(complete with the Dulciana Cornet), the actual Open Diapason

taking the role of the "Big one".

This choice isn't a "repertoire" one, but an adaptation to the conditions.

We may take for sure many an O.D., in a chamber organ, resemble

a Dulciana...

 

Pierre

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Interesting replies so far - but who would you get to build these?

 

Mander - no question.

 

No sycophantic intentions, here. My ideal voicing (assuming that the acoustic properties of the concert hall turn out as I hope) would be a conglomeration of Chichester, Bristol and Romsey.

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Well, I think I'd go for something like this:

 

Great Organ

Open Diapason 8

Hohl Flote 8

Viola 8

Principal 4

Mixture (12-15)

 

Swell to Great 16-8-4

Choir to Great 16-8-4

 

Swell Organ

Bordun 16

Violin Diapason 8

Rohr Flote 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Hautboy 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

Sub Octave

 

Choir Organ

Lieblich Gedact 8

Echo Dulciana 8

Vox Angelica 8 (TC)

Flute 4

Clarionet 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Unison Off

Sub Octave

Swell to Choir

 

Pedal Organ

Bourdon 16

Echo Bass 16 (from Sw)

Violoncello 8

Bassoon 16

 

Great to Pedal 8-4

Swell to Pedal 8-4

Choir to Pedal 8-4

 

I think most of this could be achieved using pneumatic action, but what does everyone think about the amount of couplers?

I think that I may have over-coupled the organ a bit, but it could also add more flexibility?

 

JA

 

It would add to the flexibility of the instrument. However, a few may be redundant. My own (admittedly much larger) instrument has a Swell Octave to Pedal - which I really only use through carelessness. However, there is a goodly selection of voices, here.

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Nice one - I'd add a Tierce to the Great.

 

A

 

Thank you, Alastair. I had considered it, but I wanted to keep it to around forty five speaking stops and the extra one ended up as a 32ft. reed, which I thought would be more useful (well, exciting) - particularly since there is already a Grand Cornet on the Choir Organ.

 

B)

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" I am not surprised at the plethora of dulciana-type ranks, but I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme, other than a few quiet pieces and the odd etherial improvisation. "

(Quote)

 

This is a project for a living-room, a chamber organ. In such a place, the Dulciana

-voiced along traditionnal lines, also not stringy- will give the effect

of an Open Diapason.

So the backbone of the tonal structure will be a Dulciana chorus

(complete with the Dulciana Cornet), the actual Open Diapason

taking the role of the "Big one".

This choice isn't a "repertoire" one, but an adaptation to the conditions.

We may take for sure many an O.D., in a chamber organ, resemble

a Dulciana...

 

Pierre

 

Well, fair enough, Pierre - but I still want to know what one would do with it. After enjoing the gentle sounds, the structure still remains unclear for my thoughts.

 

I am not convinced that one can design an instrument totally divorced from the general requirements of all mainstream repertiore, and still expect it to hang together convincnigly as a musical instrument - it must have some purpose, aside from producing some beautiful etherial effects.

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Interesting. Pierre, fascinating designs. Could explain the rationale behind them a bit? I doubt even Audesley in his most eccentric moments came close to your ideas. I'm trying to work out why I would want a division of the organ in my kitchen. The temperature and humidity in a kitchen aren't really ideal for organs for starters - and I would like as much of house to be free of sound while I play the organ - just in case I fancy a blast at 2am while eveyone else is sleeping...

 

Personally, I would have a large private chapel attached to my house, obviously with excellent acoustics and designed so the temperature and humdity remain constant throughout the year. Something a bit like Milton Abbey would be wonderful. I would invite either Paul Fritts, Ralph Richards or Martin Pasi (or maybe Msgnr Aubertin or Henk van Eeken), show them the organ gallery and say "build me an organ". And I'll enjoy the journey to see what evolves.

 

Something around 3 manuals/40ish stops would be ideal. I suppose I would like it to have a Ruck Positive, a Quintadena and a Vox humana. There would also be an excellent Grand piano, a selection of other keyboard instruments and space for a few other organs, which I would want to rescue - ideally including a Spanish Baroque organ and an early Italian organ.

 

I would also have a second organ on my private yacht.

 

But, to be honest, I already have a lovely organ to practice on, an excellent grand piano in my flat and access to other good organs so I won't complain too much if I don't win the lotto straight away.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Personally, I would have a large private chapel attached to my house, obviously with excellent acoustics and designed so the temperature and humdity remain constant throughout the year.

 

Without winning the Lottery I have a large church attached (well almost) to my house, with outstanding acoustics and a damned fine organ (in an ideally placed chamber), soon to be replaced by a finer one.

 

If I won the Lottery I would completely restore the existing Vowles and install the Walker at the West End... B)

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"I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme"

 

With the best will in the world, there is not much repertoire that springs to my mind that would provide much of an aesthetic match to your stoplist either. Much as I like the early mid-Victorian/Hill (?) ethos you're trying to evoke. Can the Great mixture at least have a tierce in the bass like Hill?

 

"Mechanical action, with Barker lever assistance to Great and Choir organs."

 

To the Choir? Just for the sake of the loud reed?

 

Could I have the Warrington C-C in a 'salon' designed specifically for it by Dana Kirkegaard? B)

Colin H's approach is also very tempting. But, actually, I like pncd's idea of a fund for the conservation of historic instruments most of all.

 

Bazuin

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"I doubt even Audesley in his most eccentric moments came close to your ideas. I'm trying to work out why I would want a division of the organ in my kitchen."

(Quote)

 

Indeed; Audsley wrote about 90 years ago and more, so it is time we dare

something further, isn't it ?

Again: In a living-room, Dulcianas might not be restrained to aethereal

occasional effects, they are intended here as "diminutive Diapasons",

as who you know wrote.

There are strong, practical reasons to invade the kitchen (with a closed

swellbox, opening towards the division in the living-room!) and a room upstairs:

 

1)-To dispatch the rather cumbersome whole in three different rooms

instead of one;

 

2)-To avoid to get the impression to sit right on the soundboards, something

very unpleasant (save maybe for some neo-baroque addicts). This will

give some depth, some distance to the sounds.

 

Now what is it designed for ? As stated here from the start: not an utilitary

practice organ, but a leisure one.

There is a "Plein-jeu", there is a "Grand jeu" you can play seperately

or togheter.

There is a "choeur des fonds", Solo stops, celestes, and even a Tuba

substitute. So...

The pipes I'd buy from several suppliers (In England, Germany, Slovenia),

the soundoards and action parts in Germany.....All is available.

 

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis

If I won the lottery, amongst other things I would pay to have the Willis organ restored at Canterbury Cathedral. Ditto another very large organ also by Willis no less, situated in a very large hall in a very large park in a very large City, on the northern outskirts.

 

If only!

 

R

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Anyone tempted by this?

 

Notable features include: 32p stops on nearly every division (!?)

Three 64p stops on the pedal (!!!?????)

and for anyone who wants to be deafened in style the Last Trumpet 8p, on 200" pressure, will definately be the last trumpet you ever hear... B)

 

JA

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Anyone tempted by this?

 

Notable features include: 32p stops on nearly every division (!?)

Three 64p stops on the pedal (!!!?????)

and for anyone who wants to be deafened in style the Last Trumpet 8p, on 200" pressure, will definately be the last trumpet you ever hear... B)

 

JA

 

From the stoplist...."There is a warning light for the Last Trumpet" ...presumably in the form of a lighthouse, placed outside the Basilica and switched on at least 60 minutes before the stop is deployed. Given the tasteful and modest specification I should have thought that virtual effigies of the Messrs Hackenback would rise through the floor on demand.

 

Seriously though, I should love to hear this instrument when completed in 2015, and I think, will make that trip then.

 

On topic, I would donate a decent sum to St Ouen to enable a careful restoration of the organ there; some work on the wind supply and action is clearly needed.

 

P

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Guest Roffensis

On topic, I would donate a decent sum to St Ouen to enable a careful restoration of the organ there; some work on the wind supply and action is clearly needed.

 

P

 

A heroic and musical instrument.

 

A fine and informed choice.

 

R

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From the stoplist...."There is a warning light for the Last Trumpet" ...presumably in the form of a lighthouse, placed outside the Basilica and switched on at least 60 minutes before the stop is deployed. Given the tasteful and modest specification I should have thought that virtual effigies of the Messrs Hackenback would rise through the floor on demand.

 

Seriously though, I should love to hear this instrument when completed in 2015, and I think, will make that trip then.

 

P

 

I think you might be in for a long wait if the instrument was the result of the fertile imagination of none other than the late Stephen Bicknell. But I'd be more than happy to just have a carbon copy of our hosts' mechanical magnum opus at Ignatius Loyola (note to Mr Mander: did you keep the original blueprints for that organ, I'm still waiting for the two million pounds that I was promised a few weeks ago from the son of a former African president who emailed me requesting help with a bank transfer, but I'll let you know as soon as the money arrives then we can talk business....) I'd be fascinated to know what it would cost to realise Stephen Bicknell's fantasy, though I fear it might come to the wrong side of the recent £45 million lottery win.

 

The original poster suggested that all of us would naturally consider donating a proportion of our new-found if hypothetical lottery riches to good causes. So might I be allowed to change the topic slightly and ask: if you won a few million pounds and could afford to donate to fully restore one organ in dire need of restoration, which one would it be?

 

My starter for ten:

Manchester Town Hall's Cavaille-Coll

St George's Hall Liverpool

Royal Festival Hall London

St Peter's Leicester (the only surviving four manual Taylor?)

Christchurch Spitalfields (does anyone have any idea when their organ will be replaced, it must have been in the workshop now for over ten years...)

St Ouen Rouen

(no I didn't say that it had to be in the UK...)

Atlantic City hall on second thoughts, probably not.

 

Further contributions to the list of the world's most expensive but deserving organ repairs welcome!

 

Contrabombarde

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Christchurch Spitalfields (does anyone have any idea when their organ will be replaced, it must have been in the workshop now for over ten years...)

I have it from a reliable source that the contract has recently been signed to reinstate the organ currently in storage. Don't quote me on it, but I think it is intended to return it to the original Richard Bridge (or maybe the Bishop?) specification. There was certainly talk of reinstating the French Horn.

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"I am not sure what I would play on such a scheme"

 

With the best will in the world, there is not much repertoire that springs to my mind that would provide much of an aesthetic match to your stoplist either. Much as I like the early mid-Victorian/Hill (?) ethos you're trying to evoke. Can the Great mixture at least have a tierce in the bass like Hill?

 

"Mechanical action, with Barker lever assistance to Great and Choir organs."

 

To the Choir? Just for the sake of the loud reed? ...

 

Bazuin

 

I doubt that you will be surprised that I beg to differ, Bazuin.

 

I have, amongst many other instruments, given recitals on the organ of Romsey Abbey, which has a scheme similar in several respects to that which I drew up - and is also one of the instruments I cited as being greatly influential in the style of voicing. I felt (as did the audience, apparently) that this instrument gave an entirely credible account of a some mainstream repertoire - from Bach's Prelude and Fugue, in G major (BWV 541) to the Final of Vierne's Sixième Symphonie.

 

The G.O. Mixture - why? The Tierce rank (when it was present) usually dropped out after the first twelve notes, at which point it became a quint mixture. In any case, I doubt that it was much use in the bass. It could even have led to aural confusion; for example, the opening chord of Bach's Fantasia and Fugue, in C minor would sound a little odd with a minor chord underpinned with a low Pedal C - and a major chord, due to the presence of the tierce rank at that point in the compass.

 

The Barker lever - yes, just for the sake of the loud reed. And why not? £45,000,000 will go a long way when spent carefully....

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If I won £45million on the lottery I think I might donate a couple of million to York Minster to build a (badly needed) Nave organ. I'm sure I could afford it.

 

Before anyone gets too excited, though, I should mention that it is rather unlikely to happen as I am too tight-fisted to do the lottery.

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